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THE INDEPENDENTS FIGHT BACK IN THE BATTLE FOR CUSTOMERS PAGE 30 CHAMBER OF THE YEAR 2013 Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

March/April 2014 Issue 18

Branding. It’s obvious 1 I can define my brand in a single sentence A …and it’s on all our materials B …with a moment’s thought C …if I think for a couple of minutes D …let me get back to you…

5 Our brand strategy A …is part of our business plan and long-term road map B …was all worked out last time we rebranded C …is more in our heads than actually on paper D …is that the same as a marketing strategy?

2 My brand's position in its market category is A …number 1 B …number 2 C …contending for a top spot D …I’d have to know my market category first.

6 Our brand identity (name, logo, visuals, tone of voice) A …is memorable, appropriate, distinctive and efficient B …is well known to our regular customers C …is sensible and clear, if not eye-catching D …could do with a refresh.

3 My brand's personality A …provably matches what customers want B …is a pretty good fit with what customers want C …is unique and attractive, and that must be a plus D …it’s more the personality of whoever’s on the phone.

7 Our brand is expressed A …in everything we do, and how we do it B …on all our products, premises, packaging and print C …on our marketing materials D …when we remember.

4 Our brand values A …are embraced by everyone who works here B …have been communicated to staff C …are written down somewhere D …are hard to pin down, but they’re very good.

Now check your score, bottom left. Disappointed? Elated? Of course, you can’t really diagnose a brand in seven questions. For a complete check, talk to us.

And your result is: All As: You are almost certainly already a global brand. If you aren’t, check your answers again. Mostly As: Strong — probably a wellknown UK brand. Mostly Bs: Above average — typical for a strong vertical market, niche, B-B or regional brand, but the brand could strengthen with more coherence. Mostly Cs: Local brand. Some inexpensive brand development could open many doors. Mostly Ds: The good news is that you can do a lot to boost your business by sorting out the brand. All Ds: First aid needed — ring us right away!

Pick the option which best matches your brand

We all know the power of branding, and we all know the kind of brands that fill us with confidence. It’s always harder with your own brand though. Is it right? Is it too much? Too little? Too quirky? Too boring? Here is a quick, informal test — a brand dipstick, if you like — to help you decide.

For a full brand health check, return this coupon to Brand Motor, 24 Cleeve Rd, Bidford B50 4NR, or email or visit Company: __________________________________________________ Contact:____________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Email: ______________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________________

Brand Motor: Branding engineered to drive business growth Brand Motor Limited • Company No: 07967133 • 24 Cleeve Road B50 4NR • Member of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce


WELCOME TO THE MARCH/APRIL EDITION OF BUSINESS DIRECTION. HWCHAMBER.CO.UK 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.

You may be aware, that the Chamber’s Chief Executive, Mike Ashton usually writes for this section of the magazine. Unfortunately Mike is currently away from work recuperating from an operation. He is planning on returning to work at Easter, and in the meantime I will be acting Chief Executive, therefore please direct any enquiries to myself. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the Board and Management Team at the Chamber have been planning for this leave of absence for a couple of months and assure you that the service you receive from the Chamber Team will remain the same. The Chamber continues to be a very lively and busy organisation during the next few months with a comprehensive range of events over the next few months including; the Chamber Business Expo in March, the Chamber Awards in July, the Health, Wealth and Green Living Event in association with Greenlinks Herefordshire in May and the HR Conference in association Hewett Recruitment in June. I hope that you take advantage of the opportunities that these events and others provide to you.

EDITOR Kelly Key 0845 641 1641 ext 213 Emily Martin 0845 641 1641 ext 232

EDITORIAL 0845 641 1641 ext 213

 Distinctive Publishing, Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1LE
 Tel: 0845 884 2385

Destination Worcestershire, the official tourism partnership for Worcestershire will continue to help promote the county as a tourism destination to domestic and international markets by distributing publications including; the Visit Worcestershire Official Guide - Spring / Summer edition and The Explore Guide. Both publications drive traffic to which is consistently attracting over 46,000 visitors a month.

The Chamber will also be actively promoting its new website which was launched in February. The new site features; an enhanced members directory which now allows members to search by sector, number of employees, location and those offering member to member discounts, a comprehensive business events and training calendar and business news and tender opportunity listings. Please visit to see the new site and get involved online. This editions theme is Food and Drink. This is an important sector across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and we have a number of major companies located here including; Heineken, Tyrrells, Chase Distillery, S&A Produce, Haygrove, Cargill’s and of course Lea and Perrins (Heinz) that make Worcestershire Sauce. On page 28, we hear from Helen Thomas, the Chief Executive of H.Westons who have experienced substantial growth over the last couple of years both here and overseas and are regularly seen advertising on television or through their sponsorship of the England Cricket Board. I hope you enjoy this edition and I’m sure you will join me in wishing Mike a speedy recovery. Sharon Williams

 Distinctive Publishing, Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House, Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1LE

 Tel: 0845 884 2337


3 First word

26 Big Interview: helen Thomas

4 Chamber news

28 Cover story: Food and retail

5 Business news 7 Business news

John Dean & Francis Griss

8 Business news

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.

38 Conference Worcestershire 39 Destination Worcestershire

9 Business news

42 Chamber training

12 Business news

44 New Members

15 International trade

46 Charity news

17 International trade 20 Policy 21 Business news



47 Business news 49 Business news

22 Business news

52 Movers and Shakers

24 Chamber events

54 Last word


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March/April 2014

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



NEW CHAMBER PATRONS JOHN PAINTER AND CHRIS HOBBS RETURN TO THE HELM John Painter and Chris Hobbs who were partners in Crowther Beard LLP have joined together again to form CB, Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors, based from the former offices of Crowther Beard on Shire Business Park in Worcester and in Tewkesbury Town Centre. Along with Managers former Worcester Royal Grammar School student Dan Jackson and Administration Manager Wendy Youngs, John and Chris are heading up a team that are dedicated to providing a full business offering with Clients’ needs at the heart of the offering. An on-line particle size analyzer (Insitec, Malvern Instruments) provides real-time QC testing for grinders on a production line

MALVERN ON-LINE PARTICLE SIZING HELPS DE’LONGHI ACHIEVE 100% TESTING OF EACH ‘BEAN TO CUP’ COFFEE MAKER Renowned globally for the quality of its coffee makers, manufacturer De’Longhi has transformed QC processes for grinders at its manufacturing facility in Mignagola di Carbonera in Italy, using the Insitec on-line particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments. The Malvern applications team worked closely with engineers at De’Longhi to develop a fully automated solution that supports the target of achieving 100% testing, of every element, of each ‘bean to cup’ coffee maker. Grinder set-up is assessed on the assembly line by analyzing the particle size of freshly ground coffee beans. The Insitec solution is easy to use, extremely reliable and robust, and testing is complete in just a few seconds. Three systems are now in continuous operation on three parallel assembly lines.

GREAT ESCAPE CHALLENGE 12-14 September 2014, Cannock Chase Join the Chamber in building great teams for your business. Using a proven formula of competition, strategic decision-making and adventure, the Great Escape Challenge takes corporate teams through 2 days and nights of high-octane team development. In 2014, amongst the businesses taking part will be Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. This award-winning event runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, with a well-deserved prize-giving ceremony and after party Saturday night.

John Painter said “I believe that with a strong and highly qualified team behind us we are well placed to provide a client service that is second to none. We have a loyal and highly motivated group working in our two

John Painter and Chris Hobbs, partners in CB, Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors.

offices that have identified what it takes to offer the service clients require.”

RESOURCE EFFICIENCY FORUM EVENT: REDUCING HEATING COSTS BY WASTE HEAT RECOVERY Tuesday 11 March 2014 8.00am – 10.00am Sanctuary Group, Sanctuary House,Worcester WR1 3ZQ FREE with continental breakfast for eligible business to business SME’s* Did you realise that you could save thousands of pounds on heating bills each year by capturing wasted heat from existing heating systems and recirculating it? • Hear about and see the Sanctuary Group award winning example of using waste energy from computer servers to heat buildings on site. • Discover how capturing of waste heat from industrial paint ovens and other operations can be redistributed for space heating, reducing the need for existing heating systems. • Find out about renewable heating systems; and how heat distribution fans can bring heat back down to the working level.

*If you have any questions about the eligibility criteria or the event please visit resource efficiency or contact James Bridges: jamesb@ To book, contact the Chamber Team on 0845 641 1641 /

HEREFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have launched a brand new website with a fresh new look and several improvements from the current one including a new Members Directory. It will be much easier to navigate and will include everything you need to know about the Chamber and the services it offers. The marketing team have been able to adapt the new site to make it more user friendly with the help of feedback from Chamber members. The new members directory will be much easier to use, with the help of the new search tools you can refine your search to the type of business, business sector and location. You will also have the option of only showing businesses offering Chamber Member discounts on products and services. Log on now at


March/April 2014


Lt Col (retired) Giles Taylor of the British Training Advisory Team with Hugh Robertson, the Minister for the Middle East

GRC’S £10M CONTRACT TO SUPPORT LEBANESE ARMY Global RadioData Communications (GRC) Ltd are proud to support £10m UK ‘LAF Rapid Land Border Security Assistance Project’ designed to assist the LAF in strengthening the capabilities of their Land Border Regiments, now patrolling the north and north east border with Syria.

Ben Mannion getting in shape for the Worcester Marathon

ARE YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS IN GOOD SHAPE FOR 2014? Hewett Recruitments’ Strategic Development Director Ben Mannion is getting into training for the Worcester Marathon on Sunday 4 May 2014. Ben invites you to dust off your running shoes and join him in in raising some money for St. Richards Hospice.

Ben has also been spending much of the New Year advising local businesses on shaping their recruitment strategy for 2014. For a free consultation on the best route to locate the talent you need contact

RESIDENTIAL BOOKINGS UP OVER 50% IN 2013 Herefordshire Activity Operator, Oaker Wood Leisure, has seen a sharp rise in their residential camp bookings over the last 12 months. The Onsite Glamping site opened in 2010 and has since gone from strength to strength with 2013 seeing over 50% increase year on year. Residential bookings come from a range of marketing including Corporate Away camps, Stag and Hen weekends and school and youth group camps. Each year the company has invested additional resources’ in the Glamping site which now boasts canvas bell tents, heated showers, an Eco Toilet and a covered dining area. For 2014 the improvements continue with the development of a Glamping

Pod Village. The Barbecue Hut of Scandanavian design, seats up to 30 people and Oaker Wood Leisure will offer it to companies who book on site Team Building days. Companies will be able to use the Barbecue hut both as an informal meeting room and for corporate entertaining.

Corporate Away Camp at Oaker Wood Leisure – get your staff away from the phones

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

A range of new equipment is being delivered to the Land Border Regiments including secure HF & VHF radios and specialist communications provider GRC Ltd. are supplying the secure, fixed and mobile

communications capabilities for this project. GRC’s Managing Director Iain Pope said: “We are really pleased to have been invited to support the UK’s LAF Rapid Land Border Security Assistance Project with the Lebanese Army; furthermore, we are confident that our communication provision and structured training support will be pinnacle in the successful and ongoing development of the LAF’s communication capability.”

ONCE UPON A TREE SIGN EXPORT DEAL WITH THE USA BBC Food & Farming Best Drinks Producers, Once Upon A Tree have signed an important deal that will see Herefordshire craft cider on sale in the States.

opportunity to expand production for the UK market too.

Managing Director and Cider Maker, Simon Day of Once Upon A Tree has been working with new US company ‘Shacksbury Cider’ to come up with a craft cider that defines Herefordshire as one of the most exciting cider making regions in the world. Simon has also helped Shacksbury source cider from the Basque region of Spain which will join a third home grown product in a portfolio of top quality craft ciders that will initially be available along east coast USA. The project sees production levels quadruple between 2012 harvest and 2014 harvest, and although still relatively small scale, the export opportunity will allow considerable

Simon Day with award winning Perry


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Dukes Hotel, London Chase Martini

CHASE DISTILLERY WINS THE COVETABLE ‘MADE IN BRITAIN’ AWARD Des Good, Managing Director of Grosvenor TV with Dale Parementer, Managing Director drpgroup

THE DRPGROUP EXPANDS ITS FAMILY WITH AQUISITION OF GROSVENOR TV Communications specialists the drpgroup have recently announced the acquisition of Soho-based video production company Grosvenor Television. The move sees the drpgroup’s London based video team expand by 6 people with the new team members continuing to operate under the established Grosvenor brand and out of their Golden Square offices.

The Growing Business Awards, recently, named Chase Distillery as the winner of the ‘Made in Britain’ category. Sponsored by Land Rover, the ‘Made in Britain’ Award particularly recognises industrially excellent, innovative and world-beating technologies designed, developed and manufactured in the UK.

While remaining as a niche specialist production house we will have all the significant resources of the group to call upon, allowing us to manage much larger projects.”

Originally launched by Real Business and the CBI 15 years ago, the Growing Business Awards are the most respected and established recognition of both SMEs and entrepreneurial businesses in the UK. The team of judges, including Luke Johnson, Helen Loveless and Charles Morgan, carefully deliberated upon a shortlist of companies that demonstrate technologies and innovations designed, developed and manufactured entirely in the UK, for the Made in Britain Award. Chase Distillery fought off stiff competition from the other exciting and innovative shortlisted businesses, defying the financial climate and championing British manufacturing and design. Former GBA winners include Sir Richard Branson,, and Innocent Drinks.

Grosvenor TV, established 26 years ago by Des Good, specialise in quality video production for a range of high profile clients such as the Ministry of Defence. Des Good, Managing Director of Grosvenor TV said:”The drpgroup can take Grosvenor to the next level.

ALL ROUND COMMUNICATIONS SHOWCASED AT RELAUNCH EXPO Worcester based consultancy Chris Green Media celebrated its restructuring into an all round communications company with a relaunch expo at the city’s Wild Wood Rooms recently.

The event showcased CGM’s range of services including media relations, media training, design and branding, photography and video production. Attended by guests from the business community and charities, the expo featured presentations by Managing

Director Chris Green and Creative Director Brendan McMahon. Author, broadcaster and media training consultant Tom Watt spoke about how he side-stepped celebrity hype to tell the real story of David Beckham’s rise to fame while ghost-writing the former England captain’s autobiography and the relevance for businesses who want to create their own narrative.

Key Team Members Left to Right - Paul Austin, Chris Green, Teresa Green and Brendan McMahon.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



WORCESTER CITY 10K Worcester City Centre will play host to an exciting new event this autumn, when running legend Steve Cram and company DS Media and Events bring their organisational skills to the area. Planning is well underway for the Worcester City 10K and accompanying Run Bike Run which will be held on Sunday 21 September 2014 with several thousand expected to take part. Both events will start and finish at the Worcester Racecourse and the route will provide fabulous views of the river, cathedral and city centre.

Rapid Retail merchandise stand at Stade de France


Steve Cram and his team already organise successful events in Sunderland and the renowned Kielder Marathon and are looking forward to extending the event series. Steve Cram commented: “Worcester is a beautiful venue for such an event and we are excited about working with the Worcester City Council to create and develop a top class event that everyone can enjoy.”

Rapid Retail, the UK-based business that designs, fabricates, fits and supplies high quality retail units, is in demand in France, having recently secured contracts with top football club, Paris St Germain, renowned rugby club, Stade Francais and France’s national stadium, Stade de France. Steve Cram

NAVIGATING THE AUTO-ENROLMENT MAZE FOR MEDIUM AND SMALL EMPLOYERS Automatic pension enrolment can present a minefield of legislation for employers, in particular SMEs, small and medium-sized employers who, for the first time, have to enrol their staff in a pension scheme. Wragge & Co LLP has teamed up with Buck Consultants in a joint initiative – the first of its kind in the UK, aimed at assisting SMEs to fulfill their obligations. The initiative provides a free, online questionnaire to capture key information required to select a pension vehicle, followed by a consultation with pensions and legal experts who will review the

questionnaire and then guide companies through a Key Considerations Checklist. Wragge & Co and Buck will then provide the employer with a tailored plan highlighting the most important action points and issues for their business. Richard Lee, Partner at Wragge & Co, says: “This fixed fee ‘expert view’ gives companies the reassurance they need that they are both meeting their legal obligations and getting the right pension deal for their employees.”

The units, decorated to match each venue’s branding, were installed in time for the World Cup play-off match, which saw an amazing display by France defeating Ukraine 3-0 and thus overcoming the two-goal handicap the home team faced going into the match, and for the Rugby Autumn Internationals – all held at Stade de France. At Stade Francais four concourse retail units have been installed around the stadium to further enhance club merchandise sales at home matches, whilst Paris St Germain is reaping the financial benefits of having two highly visible 6m retail units installed outside the stadium. The retail units are easily transportable, allowing them to be repositioned each match day.


Belgian chocolate soft cheese

Ledbury-based Meadow Cheese, owned by the Irish Dairy Board, supplies the biggest names in food manufacturing and catering with its dairy ingredients, from cheese sauces and cheese for use in pizza and ready meals, through to dairy based desserts and jellies.

used to add some spice to a pizza crust – a current big trend in pizza formats.

Innovation is key to Meadow Cheese; the company works closely with customers to develop products that meet the demands of today’s discerning consumer. Recent new products include a luxury Belgian chocolate soft cheese for desserts applications such as cheesecakes, mousses and flans, and a new Peri Peri flavoured low melt cheese rope, which can be

The company continues to invest in its Dymock Road site and 2014 will see the opening of a new £2m production line to support the business in its growth plans.

Meadow Cheese scooped awards in 2013 at the prestigious Nantwich International Cheese Awards and the Global Cheese Awards for its creative product ranges too.


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 641 1641 or visit 08

March/April 2014


UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER SECURES FUNDING FOR NATIONWIDE GRADUATE SCHEME The University of Worcester recently worked alongside Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Trust to secure funding for a prestigious postgraduate support scheme with its unique bid for an applied Executive MBA programme in Leadership and Management at the Business School, combined with a 12-month work placement, with an aim to improve post-graduate qualifications in the regional economy.

Teachers Simon Gough (rear) and Michael Bullock (left) with members of the Baxter College Engineering Club and their electric racing car

BEAKBANE ENCOURAGES YOUNG ENGINEERS Kidderminster-based Beakbane is helping to encourage the engineers of tomorrow by supporting a new engineering club at a local school, Baxter College. The first project for the club, which is also supported by local car dealership, Hills Ford, will be to build and race an electrically powered car in the national IET Formula 24 competition. The link between Beakbane and Baxter College came via local Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier,

who had visited both and realised that there would be a mutual benefit in putting the two together. The 12 members of the club, two girls and ten boys, all aged between 14 and 16, meet once a week after school in their own time. The car comes as a basic kit and the club will design and make additional parts such as the body shell.

GROWING PR AGENCY RELOCATES One of the area’s fastest growing PR agencies has relocated to new offices as part of their growth plans. Chamber member Henry Pepper PR has moved from their rural offices on the outskirts of Bewdley to Anglo House in Worcester Road, Stourport-onSevern. Lorraine Henry, the agency’s founder and managing director, said the move is a result of a growing client base and part of plans add more PR and social media specialists to her team. Lorraine said: “We’ve been based in the same offices for over five years and we came to a point where there was no more room to grow. “Our new office is far easier to access and importantly, as the team grows, it has the extra

Left to Right, Lorraine Henry and Stuart Henry

capacity and meeting space we need. It’s a stunning building in a great location and will play a big role in moving the business forward.”

The University are now actively seeking over 30 local businesses to be involved in this project and offer a placement, either to recent graduates or to existing managers in your business with around three years’ experience. Businesses will gain a competitive advantage through access to specialist knowledge and strategic consultancy support through their graduate’s work-based project and have the opportunity to attract and retain a skilled graduate for their business. If you are interested contact Lisa Loudon for more details.

WORCESTER BEAUTY TRAINING COMPANY OFFERS TEN FREE APPRENTICESHIPS The Nail Training Company in Worcester has secured funding for ten apprentices in a Level 2 Diploma in Beauty Therapy and a Level 2 Diploma in Nail Services. Available now to 16-18 year olds wanting to work in the ever-growing beauty industry, the Nail Training Company is inviting applications from local beauty salons with an apprentice, or direct from individual beauty students. The apprenticeship duration is 12 months. Kay Turford, Director of the Nail Training Company, whose new, state of the art training facilities are based in Lowesmoor, Worcester, said: “We have worked really hard to secure this funding from Total People via the Skills Funding Agency and are delighted to be able to support local young people in their learning and employment.  Apprenticeships give young people the chance to work for a real employer, earn a real salary and gain real qualifications whilst gaining valuable workplace skills and experience.  And we work with premier brands across all our training courses.” To find out more, please contact The Nail Training Company on 01905 731901.

Henry Pepper PR advises clients across the West Midlands, the UK and mainland Europe.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Kay Turford, Director of the Nail Training Company



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March/April 2014

DRIVER CPC - HAVE YOU GOT IT COVERED? Driver CPC is short for “Driver Certificate of Professional Competence”. The EU passed the Driver CPC EU Directive in 2003. This affects all professional LGV and PCV drivers. For new drivers it introduces a new initial qualification, the Driver CPC, which increases the level of knowledge that drivers need before they can drive.

PERIODIC TRAINING All drivers, new and existing, now have to undertake 35 hours of training every five years to ensure that their Driver CPC remains valid. This is known as Periodic Training. Periodic Training is designed to confirm, and expand on, the existing knowledge and skills of each driver to ensure that they continue to be safe, courteous and fuel-efficient drivers. This will also enable drivers to keep up-to-date with ever changing regulations and to benefit from training throughout their whole career.

WHEN DID DRIVER CPC COME INTO EFFECT? For bus and coach drivers 10 September 2008 For lorry and van drivers (over 3.5 tons) 10 September 2009

Existing drivers may benefit from ‘acquired rights’ and do not have to take a new driving test, however, they must take 35 hours periodic training before 10 September 2014 and then every 5 years to keep their Driver CPC Card valid.

WILL DRIVERS BE ABLE TO DRIVE PROFESSIONALLY WITHOUT THEIR DRIVER CPC QUALIFICATION? The simple answer is “No”, unless drivers are covered by one of the exemptions which can be explained by Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester).

Available from Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester) Covering all modules including: • Drivers Hours & RT(WT)R • Road Traffic Laws • Transport H&S • Fuel Efficient Driving • Driving commercially • Digi Tacho

PERIODIC TRAINING COSTS Our courses are competitively priced with additional savings of 10% of the training cost for Members of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. There are also further discounts for Group Bookings and for Organisations booking more than 50 driver days of training at one time. Costs include the fee for registering all training provided on the national Driver CPC Recording and Evidencing Database.

Extra 10% discount off the training cost for members of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Tel:01905 617000

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



The Courtyard, Hereford


S&A Produce (UK) Ltd’s new fleet of vehicles

The Courtyard in Hereford has been notified of secured funding from the local authority from April 2014 until March 2016. Herefordshire Council have recently committed to continue to fund the lively Arts Centre as agreed 12 months ago. Due to the significant financial pressures placed on the authority by central government, this does mean a decrease of income from the local authority year on year. The Courtyard has been active in generating its own funding schemes to make up for the decrease of long term funding including the Fifteenth Anniversary Fund and its Christmas Appeal.

S&A Produce (UK) Ltd has recently replaced their fleet with seven Volkswagen Caddy Vans featuring their new corporate colours.

Herefordshire Council appreciate the contribution that The Courtyard makes to the quality of life in the county and has committed to working with the Courtyard to find a solution which will secure the long term financial health of The Courtyard beyond 2016.

ARE YOU PENSION-ABLE? Pension-able Ltd is a business consultancy dedicated to helping SME companies complete their Auto-Enrolment (AE) project in a compliant and cost effective way. Feedback from enrolled companies suggests that many underestimated the complexity of the task and the time taken to complete their project: thus, making an early start is imperative as the penalties for non-compliance or delay can be severe. Pension-able consultants have the skills to assist in HR, IT, communications and project management activities: all of which are necessary to complete an AE project. Each consultant has deep experience in their sector and an in-depth understanding of the minefield that is the AE project. Pension-able offers a free initial assessment via telephone or face to face interview. Thereafter the company works with clients to create a project plan to meet the staging date with appropriate and affordable services. Contact Pension-able on 07968 800882.

MEMBERS JOIN FORCES TO PROMOTE CORPORATE IMAGE FOR TOP COUNTY GROWER Jude Norcott, S&A’s Public Relations Manager, commented:”The Company upgraded its infrastructure and as a result no longer had a requirement for 4x4 type vehicles. The Volkswagen Caddys were the best out of all of the vans we tested.

When supplying us with the vehicles, South Hereford Garages suggested that we participate in a joint PR exercise, demonstrating two local Herefordshire companies working together. With S&A in the process of launching a new company logo, this was an ideal opportunity to showcase the outcome of our recent rebranding exercise.” In addition, S&A have developed a new company website.

AWARD WINNING THURSFIELDS Steve Pitts the Lead Partner in Thursfields LLP’s Wills & Estates Department, has been chosen by Corporate International Magazine for their 2014 Global Award ‘Probate Lawyer of the Year in England’. Nick O’Hara, Managing Partner, said: “I was delighted that Steve was nominated for and chosen as the winner of this prestigious independent award. Steve was the winner of the same award from Corporate International Magazine in their 2013 Global Awards also for ‘Probate Lawyer of the Year in England’. Steve’s success, I believe, is based on his ability to listen and understand the needs of his clients and then tailor individual solutions. His warm approach and professional commitment always means he is willing to go the extra mile. I believe this reflects the approach that Thursfields takes with all their clients, whether for individuals or for businesses.”

Steve Pitts the Lead Partner in Thursfields LLP’s Wills & Estates Department


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March/April 2014


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INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN A NUTSHELL A central resource provided by your local Chamber of Commerce, for those actively involved in international trade.

Getting paid on time and securely is the most important financial consideration when embarking on international trade, but when your starting to look at exporting for the first time it can be daunting to know where to start.


Acorn brings together international expertise for import and export with all the necessary tools and information. Online export and import services from the best international trade partners and trade information from years of experience have been combined, which will help you be a success when trading overseas.

There are many training courses available ranging from basic exporting documentation and procedures through to specific exporting and importing requirements specifically designed to help local businesses trade profitably and effectively in the global market place.

If you do any type of business abroad, importing or exporting, then UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and your local Chamber of Commerce International Trade Centre can help you rise to the exciting opportunities and challenges that globalisation offers.

The UKTI now have four new courses starting in 2014 led by Trainer Keith Jones from Link Me 2 Export.

If you need someone to help you with your first exports OR if you need someone to provide special expertise to handle a letter of credit OR temporary help while your staff are ill OR on holiday, then Acorn Interactive can provide that too. Training courses for import and export can be provided face to face though your local International Trade Centre or online through Global Trade Skills. To find out more contact your local Herefordshire & Worcestershire International Trade Team based at the Chamber of Commerce on 0845 641 1641 or email:

‘PLANNING YOUR ATTENDANCE AT AN INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OR EXHIBITION’ A half day course held on Thursday 5 June 2014 Covering all you need to know to get the most out of exhibiting.

‘GLOBAL MARKETING AND IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE AND CULTURE’ A half day course held on Tuesday 23 September 2014 Including top tips on what not to do when visiting different countries on business.

‘ORGANISING AN INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR MEETING’ A half day course held on Tuesday 18 November 2014 The all important check list, everything you need to know to be prepared.

‘THE BRITISH BRIBERY ACT 2010 –WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU AS A SUPPLIER’ A full day course held on Wednesday 1 October 2014 Covering the history and background of the Act and where the risks are. To book or for more information contact: Alison Avery Tel: 0845 641 1507 Email:


75% of the world’s population don’t speak English. Translators and interpreters on behalf of the Chamber are highly skilled in more than 150 languages to help make trading overseas easier. Website:

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



GREAT WEEK 2014 FOOD & DRINK MISSIONS GREAT Weeks present an outstanding opportunity for UK Food & Drink companies to access substantial business prospects and meet key decision makers in some of the most exciting markets around the world. The bespoke programmes include participation at sector-specific briefings, seminars, networking events, showcases, site visits and buyer meetings.

HONG KONG & MACAO MONDAY 10 – THURSDAY 13 MARCH 2014 Programme Highlights:

FRANK’S LUXURY BISCUITS GO GLOBAL WITH HELP FROM UKTI Herefordshire-based luxury biscuit business, Frank’s Luxury Biscuits, has seen its business grow from strength to strength internationally over the past year with help from UKTI. Established in 2002, the company is a family run bakery, and still uses a recipe that is over four generations old. “We began baking biscuits in our kitchen following my retirement” says Frank “and we started by selling them locally to help fund projects for our local Church. Within twelve months we moved to our own premises and began to establish a nationwide delivery service. We now have 18 employees, over 300 customers within the UK, and export worldwide to America, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.”

said Peter Willis, International Trade Adviser at UKTI. “The company’s success demonstrates what can be achieved with hard work and commitment, and they are an inspiration for other small businesses out there who are looking to grow and export overseas.”

n Feature your products on the British gala dinner and cocktail reception menus, whilst networking with key figures from the Hong Kong hospitality and retail industries. n Macao’s casino industry has been identified as a high value opportunity, for UK food producers, by UKTI for both hotel supply chain and retail business prospects. n Meet Hong Kong, Macao and wider Asia-Pacific buyers and procurement officers during one-to-one meetings.

Frank’s Luxury Biscuits utilised UKTI’s Overseas Market Introduction Service to identify opportunities in overseas markets. This is a service which is available to any UK-based company looking for an introduction into overseas markets. For more information about this service and how it can benefit your business, please contact the UKTI team on 0845 641 1613.

Costs, grants and a detailed programme are available contact your UKTI Advisor for more information on 0845 641 1613 or email

Programme Highlights:

“It is a great pleasure to see this family-run business do so well, both within the UK and internationally,”

SOUTH KOREA MONDAY 31 MARCH – FRIDAY 4 APRIL 2014 n Showcase your products at the Food & Drink Festival, at the British Ambassador’s Residence, to 200 invited buyers, distributors and potential clients.

Export Week

n Network with key contacts from the hospitality industry during the Taste of Britain dinner.

Grow Your Business

Costs, grants and a detailed programme are available contact your UKTI Advisor for more information on 0845 641 1613 or email

One week of seminars, workshops and market briefings to provide practical advice on doing business overseas. Wednesday 9 April - Emerging Europe - Meet the Buyer (Food & Drink) For a full list of events during the week visit

n Serve your alcoholic beverages at the British Pub Festival hosted in the British Embassy Bar.

For more information on all the forthcoming GREAT Weeks:


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

UKTI Herefordshire & Worcestershire 016

March/April 2014


UKTI DIRECTOR CRISPIN SIMON EXPLAINS HOW TO GET YOUR EXPORTS OFF TO A FLYING START Exporting goods and services helps British businesses to grow, creates jobs and has the potential to add £30 billion to the UK economy. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) can help small businesses to break into overseas markets. Research shows that, on average, businesses earn £100,000 in additional sales within 18 months of working with UKTI. Here are our ten tips for SMEs to consider when exporting goods and services:

in supporting overseas trade such as UKTI, UKEF, chambers of commerce, banks, lawyers and accountants. Their support will be crucial.

8 APPRECIATE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Failure to take account of different cultures may lead to damaging or costly mistakes. These could range from causing offence by not observing protocol to using inappropriate packaging or marketing.


Use our expert international trade advisers to help you research the market and to find who your potential customers may be.

As obvious as it may sound, it is very easy to overlook the risk of non-payment. You can establish the credit rating of potential clients in many countries and guard against non-payment through, for instance, a letter of credit or credit insurance.  UKEF can provide advice and insurance where the private market can’t help.




Make sure you have a business plan and the necessary capital. Approach your bank and UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s export finance provider, so they can provide the best possible support.

3 TEST YOUR MARKET Take part in overseas events, trade fairs or missions to test markets, attract customers, appoint agents or distributors and make sales. UKTI’s Trade Access Programme provides grants to companies to attend trade shows and missions worldwide.

Setting up overseas may not move as quickly as you expected; local customs and legislation can slow things down. For any export advise contact your UKTI Advisor for more information on 0845 641 1613 or email

Get to know the currency you will be dealing with. Consult foreign exchange providers as they have a wealth of experience and knowledge. It will be tempting to pursue multiple markets but focus on one or two markets at first.

6 RECRUIT REPS Identify, appoint and manage agents and representatives.Make sure agents or representatives are the right people for your market and will positively reflect your business and interests.


Holy Trinity International School (HTIS) in Kidderminster runs a selection of student exchange programmes that enable children from other countries to sample a British education and extend, improve and refine their English language skills. Having decided to focus on Mexico, the school commissioned an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) asking UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to identify potential partner schools there. UKTI delivered a list and warmed up specific leads in preparation for a visit by an HTIS staff member.  As a result of the trip, HTIS accepted its first group of 11 Mexican students.





The feedback following the programme has been extremely promising, and it will likely be repeated in the coming academic year. With this success behind it, the school went on to commission an OMIS to find partners in Russia which will be followed shortly by one for Germany. “We can’t extol the virtues of UKTI enough,” says Pamela Leek-Wright, Headteacher at HTIS. ”They held our hand as we took our first steps into Mexico, finding the right people for us to talk to. The support they gave us was simply fantastic from start to finish.”

Take advantage of organisations that specialise

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







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HUN GRY T O G Join us at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire HR Professionals ROW Conference

at Sixways on 4th June 2014.

Auto Enrolment –Are you ready? The Government introduced new laws from October 2012 that will have a significant impact on every employer in the UK. Key facts

How we can help

n Employers will, for the first time, be required to automatically enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme.

As independent financial advisers with 14 years experience we are familiar with the challenges that businesses will face in light of these new laws and regulations.

n Employers will, for the first time, be required to pay pension contributions for any employees who join and stay in the pension scheme. n The Pensions Regulator will enforce these new regulations. n Even if you have an existing workplace pension scheme, you may have to make changes so that it complies with the new laws. n Employers can either use their own pension scheme to comply with these new laws or rely on a Government built scheme - the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) scheme. n Don’t leave taking action until the last minute six months planning will ideally be needed.

We can: n Help you review your existing workplace pension scheme to make sure it will comply with, or exceed, the new requirements n Establish and integrate a new scheme n Assist with the communication to workers and integration of the scheme with your payroll. The information provided is based on our current understanding of the relevant legislation and regulations and may be subject to alteration as a result of changes in legislation or practice.

Contact Mark Young or Beth Fortey on 01432 820710 Email: Email: Authorised and regulated by the Financial conduct Authority

0800 8600842 0333 3440812


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Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Hospitality at Worcester Racecourse for the new 2014 summer season! Experience a unique day at the races with an exciting hospitality package at Worcester Racecourse. Offering stunning racecourse views and mouthwatering menus, the hospitality packages available at the home of summer jumps racing provide a glorious day at the races to share with friends, family, colleagues or clients. Hospitality at the Racecourse includes the Private Suite Package, Marquee Package and Severn Restaurant Package, all available for the 22 fixtures from May to October. For all enquiries and bookings please call the racecourse team on 01905 25364 or visit the website, 019


ROLL OUT OF SUPERFAST BROADBAND TO RURAL AREAS SPEEDS UP New statistics released recently revealed a dramatic acceleration in the Government’s nationwide rollout of superfast broadband. At the end of 2013, the number of premises benefiting from superfast broadband as a result of the programme had almost tripled to 273,731.

Chris Hobbs, left, and John Painter, right, partners in CB, Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors

ANNUAL BUDGET BREAKFAST BRIEFING A presentation of the outcome of the Budget now in its Fifteenth Year. John Painter and Chris Hobbs will once again present their annual Budget Breakfast Briefing, sponsored by CB, Chartered Accountants on Thursday 20 March at Worcester Rugby Club. They will be joined on stage by Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire LEP who will present the reaction of the LEP and also of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce to the Chancellor’s statement. The briefing that is now in its fifteenth year is regularly attended by up to 100 local business leaders and beginning at 7.30am with a free breakfast, this year’s event is expected to be no different.

John Painter, Managing Partner of CB, Chartered Accountants, said that he thought that the event, which is one of the longest running events in Worcestershire, was so successful is that along with the factual content there was a light hearted element. “I think that both Chris and I see through the information that is given and add our own slant to it, sometimes pointing out the political nature of some of the decisions. I am sure this year will be no different with an election due within the next 15 months.” The briefing is free to attend and begins at 7.30 am with breakfast rolls and is expected to be finished by 9.00am when there will be time for networking. Bookings are via the Chamber website

A key part of the Government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing better infrastructure, the £1.2bn project is well on track. Based on past performance and these new statistics it’s forecast that more than 300,000 UK premises can now access superfast speeds due to the programme, making a real difference to people’s daily lives. The number of homes and premises gaining access will rise from 10,000 per week to 40,000 per week by the summer. The statistics demonstrate that the Government’s transformation of broadband in rural areas is well underway and is on track to deliver coverage to 95% of the country by 2017. The benefits are already being enjoyed by many, with families able to simultaneously stream films and TV, download music and upload photos and videos to social media sites in seconds. Businesses can collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing.

or call the Events Team on 0845 641 1641

REDUCING THE HARM CAUSED BY BUSINESS CRIME forces reduce the harm caused by business crime, with a focus on partnership working, crime prevention and effectively targeting of those who cause harm.

Reducing the harm caused by business crime is a key priority for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police, and a draft strategy to shape the way they do this has recently been consulted upon. The strategy, written following discussions and workshops held with the business community, is intended to be a high level strategic document focussing on what the two forces want to achieve over the next three years.


Barrie Sheldon, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, said: “Businesses are at the heart of our communities, providing jobs and boosting the economy. But crime can have a major effect – reducing profitability, increasing the fear of crime and, in extreme cases, threatening the livelihood of the businesses and their staff. We are committed to do all we can to help local businesses thrive.” Following final approval, the strategy will then run from 2014 to 2016 and shape the whole way the

To view the draft document and find out more please visit

March/April 2014



HEREFORDSHIRE BREWER INVESTS IN STATE OF THE ART BREW HOUSE Having sustained year on year double-digit growth for over 6 years running, to keep up with demand for their beers Wye Valley Brewery has just installed and commissioned a £2m brand new state of the art brewhouse. The design retains all the features of a traditional English brewery including using whole hop flowers. However, it also incorporates some truly cutting edge features that represent a quantum leap in terms of energy consumption and, therefore, sustainability. Furthermore, it provides a much better physical environment for brewers and visitors alike.

New Chamber member Core Tree SMS has teamed up with representatives of Macro Plastics, the world leader in Returnable Packaging Solutions. Core Tree SMS have been working alongside Rodney Salmon, European and Middle East representative to US manufacturer Macro Plastics, to elevate their products and his position within the industry through social media and online platforms. Rodney Salmon said: “Ensuring that the face of the people I represent is at the forefront of the industry is essential. I have been keen to have a presence online allowing me to have a mouthpiece in order to enhance my profile and add to the voices of the Industry. “This is when I contacted Jack McCaughtrie at Core Tree SMS in order to help me shape my profile. The advice and support that Jack has provided has been excellent and I am looking forward to developing our working relationship.”

FOLLY LANE STUDENTS “MEET THEIR FUTURE” Over 35 local and national employers attended the first ever three-college careers event ‘Meet Your Future.’ Hereford College of Arts, Hereford Sixth Form College and Herefordshire & Ludlow College careers departments worked together to create an exciting exhibition for students. Employers ranged from large national companies to local, self-employed artists all willing to give their time freely to support the students. The aim was to inspire young people as they sought to take the first steps on their career path, and indeed prepare to “meet their future”. The event gave students the opportunity to investigate the job market, ask questions, develop their confidence and consider what they could achieve in Herefordshire and beyond with both local and national businesses.

As a part of their expansion the brewery has promoted Head Brewer Jimmy Swan to Operations Director, Jimmy will oversee the day to day running of the business. Gareth Bateman joins the team as Head Brewer, and brings with him a wealth of experience with over 10 years in the industry at several regional and multinational breweries.

SAUDI AIRLINES TO RE-LAUNCH FLIGHTS FROM MANCHESTER Mr Rashid Alajmi, Saudia’s General Manager Passenger Sales and Services for the European Region said: “We are very happy that our plans to return to Manchester have now come to fruition, and that we are now be able to offer our customers a choice of U.K. airports, London Heathrow and Manchester both with non-stop service to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Commercial ties between the North of England and Saudi Arabia have traditionally been very strong and this new service will give business customers in the region the opportunity to travel to the Kingdom without having to transfer en-route. Initially effective 1st April 2014, there will be three daily services between Manchester and Jeddah, with a plan to operate daily in the future, with an additional service to Riyadh.

Left to Right, Peter Martin, Sanctuary Group Director of Development, Robin Walker MP for Worcester and Nick Baldwin, Sanctuary Group Chair.

SANCTUARY STARTS WORK ON NEW CARE DEVELOPMENT Work on Sanctuary Group’s new £22 million care development in Worcester has officially started on site. Worcestershire MP Robin Walker joined Sanctuary and its partners to celebrate the start of the project and take a closer look at plans for the development at the University Park site in St Johns. Currently known as Sanctuary Grove, the scheme will comprise a 60-bed care home, a 60-unit extra care scheme and a mix of 40 close care apartments and

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

bungalows. The development will also feature a central hub, providing a range of shared facilities such as restaurant, hairdressers, and gym for local residents. Mr Walker said: “This is a key investment for our local area. The scheme will support opportunities for work experience, for apprentices, and also for experienced workers to gain employment.”



STAY HEALTHY AND SAVE MONEY; AN EXCLUSIVE DEAL FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS As a member of the Chamber of Commerce, you have access to exclusive offers which could save you money on your premiums. AXA PPP healthcare are one of the UK’s leading health insurance providers and the Chamber Business healthcare plan offers flexible health insurance to suit all types of businesses, and a range of services you’d normally only expect a large business to be able to provide for staff. Take out health insurance from AXA PPP healthcare, for yourself and your business, and you’ll get 50% discount on Chambers Membership for 3 years In addition to this exclusive offer, AXA PPP healthcare will also provide your employees with a FREE Employee Assistance Programme, which offers expert support and guidance for everyday problems, including debt and work stress. If you are new to private medical insurance, or looking to save money on your existing cover, call AXA PPP healthcare on 0800 38 77 54 and mention that you’re a member of the Chamber of Commerce Or why not get a quote online today. Please visit and click on ‘Get a quote online’

FLEET FOOTED HILLS COPY IN MCL Leading Worcestershire Ford dealership, Hills Ford has recently handed over six new Ford Mondeo Estates to Pershore-based Midshire Communications one of the UK’s main independent print solutions providers, based in the heart of Worcestershire. MCL offers a fully managed print service to over 4,000 customers nationwide.

This spring sees ‘Lily the Pink’ hit the town and apparently, ‘she’s distinctive and very fruity’, according to Susan Vaughan, co-founder of Bishops Frome based drinks maker, Celtic Marches.

Herefordshire for over 100 years at their Wyre Croft Farm. They will be proudly marching forward with ‘Lily the Pink’ into a bar near you, in spring 2014.

Karren Brady CBE speaking at eResponse event

KARREN BRADY CBE SPEAKS AT ERESPONSE EVENT Apprentice star and award-winning business woman Karren Brady CBE was the VIP guest as eResponse Recruitment launched its new training academy. The West Ham United Vice Chairman, known as the First Lady of Football, was the guest speaker at the official unveiling of the firm’s trio of training academies in Redditch, Worcester and Kidderminster.

“Following the recent success of ‘Thundering Molly’ and ‘Slack Alice’, we have developed a new cider ‘Lily the Pink’. As always, it’s made from cider apples grown on our Herefordshire farm and we have worked hard to achieve a flavour that we were searching for. It is particularly fruity and has quite a kick,” explains Susan. “Our media partner, Nexus Creative, has come up with some great imagery for the brand, which follows in the recent Abrahalls tradition – we seem to be developing a range of slightly larger-than-life women!”

The former Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club, who became a national household name putting candidates through their paces on BBC’s The Apprentice, delivered a 40-minute speech alongside eResponse’s Paul Alekna in front of almost 200 guests at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium.

Celtic Marches has a significant heritage; Susan’s family have been growing fruit and hops in Celtic Marches and Abrahalls’ celebrated original brand, ‘Thundering Molly’.


Mike Hogarth, Fleet Manager at Hills Ford, said: “We’re seeing increased confidence in the marketplace and this deal is indicative of the way we see things moving in 2014. We were delighted to be able to supply these vehicles to MCL. As a Worcestershire business we are pleased to be able to forge links

CELTIC MARCHES BEVERAGES ARE THINKING PINK! Abrahalls, Celtic Marches celebrated range of Herefordshire ciders, is growing with the launch of a new brand.

with other locally based businesses and to share our common ethos of excellent customer care and a willingness to go that extra mile.”

Paul Alekna, Managing Director of eResponse Recruitment, said: “It was fantastic to host Karren at the official launch of our new training academy. She is an inspiration to young people and business leaders. Guests went away really impressed with someone who has proved her business credentials time and time again.”

March/April 2014




A million miles AwAy, right on your doorstep escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to a holiday home that’s right on your doorstep but feels like a million miles away! The glorious countryside of Herefordshire offers a relaxing pace of life with riverside villages, traditional country inns, ancient woodlands and market towns. Beautiful walks are plentiful, dotted with historic buildings and tea shops. Among this wonderful rural setting are two family owned holiday parks each quietly located on the edge of a village - Pearl Lake in Shobdon and Arrow Bank in Eardisland – which offer a holiday home lifestyle that is the perfect antidote to a busy schedule. Meet up with friends at weekends, enjoy a round of golf, a spot of fishing, or maybe a relaxing game of bowls followed by a meal at a country pub, then return to your luxury holiday home and let the stress of everyday life just ebb away. At both Pearl Lake and Arrow Bank we take care of everything for you so that you can do the things you enjoy during your stay. Spend quality time with your family, make new friends and enjoy a lifetime of holidays.

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HR PROFESSIONALS CONFERENCE Wednesday 4 June 9.00am – 3.00pm £35.00+VAT Members, £45.00+VAT Non-Members Following on from the successful event at Worcester Arena in 2013, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Hewett Recruitment have again teamed up for the annual HR Professionals Conference.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber Business Awards ceremony is seen as one of the highlights in the business events calendar and this year the glittering event will take place in July. The Chamber is pleased to announce that the categories for business entry will be: Excellence in Innovation* – sponsored by Central Technology Belt Most Promising New Business* (for businesses trading less than 3 years) Small Business of the Year* Manufacturer of the Year* Best Use of Technology to Improve your Business* Exporter of the Year* Growth Business of the Year Commitment to health and wellbeing in the workplace – sponsored by www (Worcestershire businesses only)

Business of the Year (Winner of Winners) All applicants to awards with a* will be entered in to the British Chambers of Commerce Awards and have the opportunity to win a large cash prize at the national ceremony in November. Entries will open Tuesday 1 April and close Friday 9 May. Sponsorship opportunities are available for those businesses who wish to raise their profile at this event. Please contact the events team to discuss on 0845 641 1641. To be added to the mailing list to receive Awards updates, please email

Commitment to People Development Most Outstanding Young Person in a Business – sponsored by Dytecna

HEALTH, WEALTH AND GREEN LIVING services, and innovative business projects from within the county and beyond.

ELECTRIC TRANSPORT HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! Tuesday 6 May, Tickets £5 from Courtyard Box Office Green technology is developing fast and Herefordshire businesses and residents that are well informed will save money, help save the planet and be the envy of peers.

Guest speaker Simon Crowfoot, Managing Director of Ecotricity’s Electric Highway programme and a board director of Ecotricity Group Ltd will describe how his company is bringing Electric Transport to life by ensuring that there is a charging point in every motorway services in the UK by the end of the year - just pop in for a coffee and 20 minutes later your Electric Vehicle is 80% recharged - and it gets even better - it is FREE, eventually you will have to pay to charge your car but this point is still a little way away! There will even be some Electric Vehicles for you to try! Exhibition stands are available, for more information, email

Taking place at Sixways Stadium on Wednesday 4 June, the event is aimed at HR professionals from business of all sizes and sectors. It is a date not to be missed for those wanting to understand the current and future innovations and challenges facing businesses. email Our Speakers: KEVIN GREEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE AT REC Kevin Green has been the Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation since June 2008. Before starting at the REC, Kevin worked for the Royal Mail from 2003 to 2008. His last role was HR Director for Royal Mail Letters; where he was responsible for all people-related issues for the business with 165,000 employees. He was part of the leadership team which transformed the business from losing £1 million a day in 2003 to making over £600 million profit in 2007. PAUL CHAMBERLAIN, HEAD OF EMPLOYMENT, BRABNERS MANCHESTER Paul Chamberlain heads Brabners Employment Law department in the Manchester office. He has experience of all aspects of Employment Law with a special interest in TUPE, senior executives’ severance agreements and recruitment agency law. BERNADETTE BIRD, GROUP HEAD OF HR SERVICES, SANCTUARY GROUP Bernie Bird is Group Head of HR Services for Worcester-based Sanctuary Group, one of the UK’s leading housing and care providers. Her career at Sanctuary spans ten years and Bernie is responsible for delivering a range of people focused solutions to the organisation’s 10,000 employees. SALLY MORRIS, HEAD OF DIVISION – EMPLOYMENT DIVISION Sally Morris is a partner at mfg Solicitors, heading up the employment division. Sally has detailed knowledge and understanding of all contentious areas of employment law including unfair dismissal, discrimination and contractual claims.

This event, organised by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Herefordshire Greenlinks and Herefordshire Council, will showcase the very best energy-saving products, 024

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

March/April 2014


NETWORKING CALENDAR MARCH - APRIL 2014 March 2014 Worcester Networking Breakfast Thursday 6th March 7.30am-9.30am Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester WR2 4QQ £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members Malvern Digital Curry Club in association with Sharpmonkeys Ltd – New event Monday 10th March 6.00pm-8.00pm Anupam Restaurant, 85 Church Street, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 2AE £15.00+VAT Members and Non-members Pershore Networking Breakfast in association with Wychavon District Council Wednesday 12th March 7.30am-9.30am Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, WR10 1PT FREE for Members, £15.00+VAT Non-members Herefordshire Women’s Business Forum in association with Thorne Widgery Accountancy Wednesday 12th March 9.30am-11.30am Thorne Widgery, 2 Wyevale Business Park, Kings Acre, Hereford HR4 7BS £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members Worcester HR Forum in association with Hewett Recruitment Thursday 13th March 11.30am-2.00pm Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester WR2 4QQ £22.50+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members Food and Drink Producers Forum Wednesday 19th March 8.00am - 10.30am. Optional tour afterwards. Weston’s Cider, The Bounds, Much Marcle, Ledbury, Herefordshire. HR8 2NQ. FREE EVENT Email to book Powered Growth Forum New event in Hereford Wednesday 19th March 4.00pm-6.00pm Three Counties Hotel, Belmont Road, Hereford HR2 7BP FREE EVENT Email to book Malvern Networking Breakfast Thursday 20th March 7.30am-9.30am Elim Conference Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, Worcestershire. WR14 4DF £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members Bromsgrove Networking Lunch Friday 21st March 12.00pm – 2.00pm Holiday Inn Birmingham Bromsgrove, Bromsgrove B61 9AB £17.50+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members Hereford Networking Breakfast Wednesday 26th March 7.30am-9.30am Burghill Valley Golf Club, Tillington Road, Burghill, HR4 7RW £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Hereford Curry Club in association with Harrisons Business Recovery and Insolvency Ltd Friday 28th March 12.30-2.30pm Champagne Signature Bar and Restaurant, Pomona Place, Hereford HR4 0EF £12.50+VAT Members and Non-members

April 2014 British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) will be holding its 2014 Annual Conference ‘State of the Nation’ – Good to Great on 1st April at the QEll Conference Centre, London. If you would like any further information about the annual conference, please contact Faye Busby on or visit

Worcester Women’s Business Forum in association with borwell Ltd Thursday 3rd April 9.30am – 12.30pm The Elms Hotel, Stockton Road, Abberley, Worcester, WR6 6AT £17.50+VAT Members, £35.00+VAT Non-Members

Worcester Artisan Food and Drinks Market Saturday 5th April 9.00am-5.00pm High Street, Worcester City Centre FREE EVENT – No booking required

Hereford Networking Breakfast in association with the Royal National College for the Blind Tuesday 8th April 7.30am-9.30am Gardner Hall, Venns Lane, Hereford HR1 1DT FREE Event

Hereford HR Forum in association with Hewett Recruitment Tuesday 8th April 11.30am-2.00pm Burghill Valley Golf Club, Tillington Road, Burghill, HR4 7RW £22.50+VAT Members, £30.00+ VAT Non-members

Worcester Networking Breakfast Thursday 10th April 7.30am-9.30am Worcester County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcestershire WR2 4QQ £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members

Redditch Networking Breakfast Tuesday 29th April 7.30am-9.30am Redditch Golf Club, Lower Grinsty, Green Lane, Callow Hill, Redditch B97 5PJ £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members

Hereford Networking Breakfast Wednesday 30th April 7.30am-9.30am Burghill Valley Golf Club, Tillington Road, Burghill, HR4 7RW £15.00+VAT Members, £30.00+VAT Non-members



BALANCING A RESPECT FOR THE PAST WITH AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE Cider producer H Weston and Sons embrace two very different worlds, the one into which it was born more than 130 years ago and the competitive modern one in which it must compete. Managing that requirement is Helen Thomas, whose great grandfather started the company in 1880 after coming to Much Marcle, with his young wife, as a tenant farmer and starting to make his own Herefordshire cider. Managing Director Helen, the eldest daughter of Norman, Henry’s grandson, understands instinctively the need to respect the company’s heritage.

She also believes that the company occupies a particular position in the market. Helen said: “We represent a part of the sector that consumers gravitate towards as they become more knowledgeable about cider and perry and seek out products that provide greater provenance, quality, tradition and heritage”. “In the same way that consumers’ palates change with the types and styles of wine that they drink, so, too, do they change for cider and most of our drinkers are aged 25 and above.” To take advantage of that situation, annual production has increased more than eight-fold since 1996 to more than 38 million litres and turnover increased more than 13-fold to more than £53 million.

She said: “I remember the days when I picked up cider apples in the orchards after school to enable me to buy my Christmas presents”.

Westons now command a UK market share of more than 3.8%, its highest ever level, and is expanding into foreign markets, selling in more than 40 countries with more than 8% of total volume sold going abroad, with Australia the main market.

“My life in the business was nurtured by my father. He allowed a free spirit to flourish and helped bring about change”.

In 2013, the company decided to focus on its main Stowford Press brand and place significant investment behind it to compete with other mainstream brands .

“I started to work for the company full-time when my son started school in 1980, beginning as a Secretary/ PA, then becoming Company Secretary, then Managing Director in 1996”.

That included the first television advertising in the company’s history and 2014 is the third year of its England Cricket sponsorship; last year‘s home Ashes series between England and Australia helping to raise the brand‘s profile.

“We wanted to grow the business but we also recognised that we needed to retain the traditional values that my great grandfather was so keen on when he founded the business in 1880”. “We were ambitious and could see that cider was becoming more popular with drinkers. In pubs you used to get about eight beers on offer and one cider, but as it freed up there was the opportunity to offer more ciders, especially when Magners came in with their advertising campaign. People would try Magners then see Westons cider and try that. It was to our benefit.” That nod to a rival is typical of her approach. Helen said: “With the decline of beer, the big brewers have recognised that the growth of cider is attractive enough for them to sell their own ciders”. “These mainstream products are generally competing head-to-head with each other but they also drive the awareness of cider in general and don’t negatively affect our sales”. “As cider still only accounts for little more than 11 % of the UK drinks market, I believe that all cider producers large and small should be supportive of each other and aim to grow together.”

Helen said: “It was a natural fit. The English cricket board was founded about the same time the company started and my great grandfather loved cricket and brought international players to Much Marcle. The result of our sponsorship has been heightened awareness and increased sales”. “Over the past 15 years, we have and continue to consistently and sustainably grow our market share in a sector that has boomed during that time”. “We continue to outperform the market. Over the past year, we have achieved a volume and value growth of more than 20% and during 2014 we would like to see a further 10% growth at least”. ”Last year we invested nearly £3.5m into the business, £12m has been invested in the site over the past six years, and this year plan to invest more than £4m. “For example, the business has invested in significantly expanding our orchards. Contracts are now in place with 326 farmers in Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Gloucestershire to ensure continuity of supply”.

we have in place, whilst stretching, ambitious and challenging, we believe we will achieve this.” Despite seeing the need to advance the business, Helen and her team have never lost sight of the family ethos of the company. She said: “Five generations, spanning three centuries, have been involved in the business and I want this to continue onto the next generation and beyond”. “There is a balance between the family’s involvement and the need to bring in professional people from outside the family”. “The business is an entity in its own right and the family is a stakeholder within the business. Cousins, brothers, sisters will all have different aspirations and it is important that there is a clear understanding about what the business is, what it stands for, what benefits are derived from being a stakeholder and what responsibilities are on one’s shoulders about making the right decisions for the right reason”. “Alongside me, the Board of Westons include my two brothers, both of whom are still very active in the business, whilst my two sisters remain involved through a Family Council”. “As a family business, as with any business, we recognise where our strengths are and just as importantly, where they are not. To this end we have two non-family, Executive Directors in Commercial and Operations, a non-family Non-Executive Director in Finance, as well as a non-family, Non-Executive Chairman. They contribute outside experience yet feel the same passion as the family do.” Helen is also conscious that remaining family-orientated in a global business world occupied by big players can be a challenge. She said: “Remaining independent and resisting the urge to seek outside investment have sometimes slowed the company’s progress but I completely reject the notion that Westons needs to sell out to a larger rival to compete more effectively with the giants of the drinks trade. Once you’re gone, you’re gone forever”. “Staying independent has not curtailed our trajectory and the past ten years have produced our steepest ever success curve. It took us 128 years to achieve a £25 turnover and only another five years to double that to £50m.”

“In 2012 we set ourselves an ambition to achieve a turnover of £100m within 10 years and with the plans

Five generations, spanning three centuries, have been involved in the business and I want this to continue onto the next generation and beyond ... 026

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

March/April 2014


HELEN THOMAS Managing Director, H. Weston & Sons Ltd

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



THE INDEPENDENTS FIGHT BACK IN THE BATTLE FOR CUSTOMERS In an age when the mass produced food and drink industry seem to be mopping up ever-increasing amounts of the market, the challenges for smaller independent producers have never been more pronounced.


However, the signs are that those independents, many of whom follow organic practices, are not only establishing footholds but also building their market share, despite strong competition from the major players and the impact of supermarkets. That was underlined in the Soil Association’s 2013 Organic Market Report, which highlights key areas of

growth in online retail, independent outlets and a shift towards younger consumers. Overall, the market in 2012 dipped by 1.5% as the UK continued through its most challenging economic downturn for many decades but the report said that was a blip, masking indications of a positive future for the UK organic market.

March/April 2014

COVERFEATURE Behind the optimism was strong growth of the global organic market of 25% in the previous three years and the growing concern of many people about our reliance on cheap, low-quality, untraceable food, according to the Soil Association.

KEY FINDINGS BOOM IN ONLINE SALES Organic shoppers are increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by home delivery over limited ranges at many supermarkets.

The report said that organic shoppers were increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by online shopping and specialist stores. The report also pointed to the ‘Jamie Generation’ of ethically aware consumers; under-35s significantly increased their average spending on organic products in 2012.

A striking success in 2012 was seen by Ocado, increasing organic sales by 6.4%, and overtaking Asda and Morrisons to become the UK’s fourth-largest organic retailer - with predicted further growth.

The organic dairy sector, non-food and catering showed showing a positive uplift as well.

Home-delivery specialists Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford, increased their combined organic sales by 10.3% in 2012, putting them as front runners of organic box scheme sales.

The report suggests that many organic shoppers are prepared to look beyond their supermarket shelves to find the organic choice and variety that they want.

Sainsbury’s saw its online organic sales increase by 48%.

This was backed up by the Association‘s survey of the availability of organic products which found that many people are struggling to find enough of a range of goods.

INDEPENDENT OUTLETS Independent outlets saw a 0.7% increase in sales, covering box schemes, mail order, farm and health-food shops, farmers’ markets and catering.

Rob Sexton, Chief Executive of the Soil Association, said: “In a prolonged economic downturn it is hardly surprising to find subdued sales of a wide variety of goods and services. The UK organic sector is not immune to the challenges of the wider financial environment. “Despite a 1.5% decrease in sales overall, however, there are areas of significant growth for organic products. “These include parts of the dairy sector, large specialist retailers, home delivery, non-food products and catering. “Organic shoppers are increasingly choosing the convenience and variety offered by online shopping and specialist stores over the inconvenience and frustration of finding more limited ranges and stock at many supermarkets. “Multiple retailers will need to ensure full ranging of organic products and invest in their own-label ranges if they are to regain ground from the leading

Now valued at £480.6 million, the independent sector is providing consumers with a high street alternative for the ethical consumer. home-delivery specialists Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford, whose organic sales increased by 10.3%.” “Despite the relative neglect of our policy makers and some supermarkets, there is much cause for optimism in the success of specialist retailers, the enthusiasm of young shoppers and the long-overdue questions being asked about our reliance on cheap, low-quality, untraceable food in the wake of the horsemeat crisis.” For its part, the supermarket industry has been responding to the shift in consumer trends, stocking more and more products from smaller producers, from ciders to meat products, offering wider ranges than previously.

BOX SCHEMES Box scheme, home-delivery and mail-order sales increased by 4.4% to £174.3 million. A third successive year of healthy growth was spearheaded by Abel & Cole and Riverford, whose turnover increased by 20% and 8% respectively. Abel & Cole’s weekly deliveries reached the 50,000 mark, increasing by a quarter.

EATING OUT *Organic catering and restaurant sales rose by 1.6% in 2012, despite a general tendency to eat out less in tough economic times.

Multiple retailers will need to ensure full ranging of organic products and invest in their own-label ranges if they are to regain ground from the leading home-delivery specialists Ocado, Abel & Cole and Riverford, whose organic sales increased by 10.3%. Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce


Car Offers Other models available

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l As a locally owned company we understand the importance of keeping your business moving. Business users only. Subject to status. Guarantees/indemnities may be required. Examples exclude VAT, are based on a 36 month non-maintained agreement. Payment in advance of 6 monthly rentals +VAT, followed by 35 monthly rentals + VAT, with a mileage of 10,000 miles per annum. Vehicle returned must be in good condition and within agreed mileage, otherwise further charges will be incurred. Prices correct at time of going to print and are subject to change without notice. Subject to availability for vehicles registered by 30th June 2014. Ford Lease is provided by ALD Automotive Limited, trading as Ford Lease, Oakwood Park, Lodge Causeway, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3JA.

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KEEN PROJECT Coomber Electronic Equipment Ltd is working with the University of Wolverhampton on a KEEN project. The Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (part-funded by ERDF), places a graduate (known as an Affiliate) into the heart of a business, with ongoing mentoring and support from the University. Tony Bennett – Managing Director at Coomber Electronic Equipment Ltd: “We are delighted with the progress made so far, we have gained an in-depth insight into how we are externally perceived and with the support and guidance of the University we have a planned approach to ensuring this continually improves.” Simona Dragan – KEEN Affiliate: “Probably the best thing about the KEEN programme is it offered me a smooth transition from university to my first full-time job. The project provides a great support system and an incredible learning experience. I feel very lucky and very happy in my new job. The KEEN programme is definitely a great opportunity for any graduate.” /


March/April 2014

KEEN to grow your business? Forward thinking businesses are being encouraged to work in partnership with the region’s universities on a Knowledge Transfer scheme, which has benefitted over 70 companies to date. The University of Wolverhampton is leading the Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) until July 2015. Focusing on innovation and research, KEEN enables West Midlands based SMEs to increase profitability and achieve sustainable growth. This is made possible through the transfer of knowledge into the business via a recent graduate who is recruited to work full-time on a bespoke growth project, developed in association with a regional university. The programme has benefitted businesses in a wide range of areas; including product design, website development, engineering and business process. KEEN is exhibiting at the Hereford and Worcester Chamber Business Expo and is sponsoring the Networking Zone. Talk to the team about how working with a university could drive your business forward. Find out more: Visit: Call: 01902 321 272 Email: Twitter: @wmkeen Facebook: /wmkeen


FREE TRAINING FOR YOUR BUSINESS – NO STRINGS ATTACHED! The Unique Skills People, the business-trainingarm of North East Worcestershire College, are pleased to be able to up-skill your workforce by providing FREE training opportunities for small to medium enterprises in Bromsgrove and Redditch.

Plus, free courses from the BCS (British Computer Society): n BCS Word Processing Level 1 (GLH 20 Hours) n BCS Spreadsheets Level 1 (GLH 20 Hours) n BCS Databases Level 1 (GLH 20 Hours) n BCS Powerpoint Level 1 (GLH 20 Hours) n BCS Online Basics at Entry 3 (GLH 20 Hours) n BCS Word Level 2 (GLH 30 Hours)

This free training opportunity is available to employees over the age of 19 who do not hold a qualification above Level 2. All of the free training is funded by the European Social Fund meaning that registration, resources, teaching and certification costs are met. The following qualifications are on offer: n Emergency First Aid Level 2 n Health & Safety in the Workplace Level 2 n Food Safety in Catering Level 2


n BCS Spreadsheets Level 2 (GLH 30 Hours) n BCS Powerpoint Level 2 (GLH 30 Hours) Currently the IT courses are held at Osprey House in Redditch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays 9am - 3pm. USP are able to fit your staff in at a time to suit. Evening classes will be made available providing there are sufficient numbers, and likewise USP will even consider onsite training at your company for viable group sizes. For further information, speak to Francesca Gibbs by e-mailing or calling 01527 572931/07781 379251.

As well as these free training courses, USP offer a wide range of standard, customised and bespoke courses at all levels. The courses are designed and delivered to individuals who want to improve their own skills and for companies who want to enhance their employees’ knowledge. NEW College, USP’s parent company, have been providing a wide range of training solutions for large numbers of local SMEs and national employers for many years. USP has a successful track record in providing innovative and creative training solutions; meeting the needs of employers from a range of different market sectors. The company is able to utilise a large network of trainers and business professionals who have up to date commercial awareness, business acumen and experience within their chosen field. Contact a member USP’s dedicated sales team on 01527 548871 or email who will be pleased to discuss your requirements, answer your questions and arrange a free consultation to discuss any immediate or future training needs.

March/April 2014

Brand Design Digital Telephone. +44 (0)1905 360 956


GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH BookOTel, one of the leading business travel, venue finding and event management companies in the UK are going from strength to strength. Due to a sustained period of outstanding growth BookOTel are pleased to announce the expansion and relocation of its headquarters to the Berkeley Business Park in Warndon from the Monday 3 February 2014 onwards. The announcement ensures that BookOTel continues to call Worcester home after 24 years trading within the city. The organisation currently operates from a head office in Barbourne but following an ongoing recruitment drive that will see the company employ over 50 local residents required a new platform to accommodate its further growth. Nick Scott, Managing Director - BookOTel said: “This is a very exciting time for everyone connected with BookOTel. The new offices provide the space and facilities to support our growth strategy and the exciting plans that we have in place for 2014 and onwards.”


Throughout the year, Belle House Event Catering is regularly catering for weddings, parties and events, providing restaurant quality food and a professional service at private homes and venues. Belle House are nominated caterers at various stunning venues across Worcestershire.

Belle House are proud of the enviable reputation for imaginatively presented and deliciously tasting food. The ethos is to use seasonal ingredients where possible which are sourced from the local area round Pershore and the Cotswolds. Getting it right and listening to customers is vitally important, so the friendly team of event organisers, professional chefs and waiting staff provide peace of mind at each event for customers. From canapés for a birthday party to a corporate event or marquee wedding, Belle House are totally passionate about what we do, always ‘creating excellence in food.’

Conference Worcestershire works in partnership with BookOTel to offer a FREE venue finding service.

To submit a conference, meetings or events enquiry please call 01905 732962 or email

ESCAPE AWAY FROM ALL THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE CORPORATE WORLD The Elms is a stunning Queen Anne mansion in the heart of rural Worcestershire, set within 10 acres of landscaped gardens with stunning views of the Teme Valley. 

surpassed, The Elms has an excellent reputation for hosting private lunches and dinners too.With an onsite Spa and 23 beautiful bedrooms, this hotel really does tick all the boxes.

The Elms provides a luxury escape away from all the hustle and bustle of the corporate world; allowing creative minds the chance to unwind and fresh thinking to begin. The superb hotel provides the perfect corporate retreat with excellent facilities for team building events, brain storming away days and more traditional boardroom meetings.

Special Offer: Book The Elms as the venue for your next corporate event and the hotel will supply complimentary Bacon Rolls on arrival, plus the event organiser stays for free! Quote ‘CONFERENCEWORCESTERSHIRE’ when booking.

The dedicated team of experienced staff will be on hand to ensure all of your needs are met and expectations are


One spectacular location – three unique venues – you will be spoilt for choice at West Midland Safari Park! Spring Grove House has a stunning interior; faultless attention to detail and a dedicated Management Team meaning that this is an important and distinguished business destination for the Midlands. Tree Tops Pavilion is an African-inspired venue situated close to the Animal Reserves. Its vast proportions and capacity makes it one of the largest corporate entertainment facilities in the County. Cellarz is the large vaulted brick cellars ‘below stairs’ venue that adds a different dimension to corporate entertaining. It is rich in character, yet displays up to the minute contemporary styling. The Events Team can offer bespoke packages for conferences or team building that will surprise and delight your guests. Why not incorporate a keeper talk into your day, experience the thrills of the rides or even take a trip to the Rhino House for Champagne and Canapés? Venues are also available to hire exclusively for many types of events such as Christmas Parties, Corporate Fun Days, Awards Dinners ... in fact, West Midland Safari Park has the perfect setting available for any occasion that is cause for celebration!

Terms & conditions apply.


The opportunity to hire spacious and well-equipped rooms at the Chamber’s head office in Blackpole, Worcester. 038

March/April 2014


DESTINATION MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION GROWS STRONGER Destination Worcestershire continues to grow stronger as the official Destination Management Organisation for Worcestershire with an increase in membership by 50% in just one year. This increase has ensured that the partnership now has 252 members ranging from country house hotels, sporting venues, B&B’s, self catering providers, camping and caravanning sites, large and small attractions, festival and event organisers, restaurants, pubs and tea rooms plus more, all being represented in the marketing and promotional activities for the county. The membership scheme includes a variety of benefits including inclusion in county tourism publications and listings on the official county tourism website, which receives in excess of 40,000 visitors during the summer months. Destination Worcestershire can be contacted on 0845 641 1540.

CHARITY DEVELOPS BUSINESS LINKS Local conservation charity Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has just received exciting news of a grant that will help it to strengthen links with the county’s business community. The charity, which works to protect wildlife and wild places across Worcestershire, has been awarded £8,700 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Catalyst heritage fund. With this support the Trust will be able to employ a part-time Corporate Development Officer to develop links with companies. Worcestershire Wildlife Trust are delighted to receive this vital funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The new Corporate Development Officer will be working to identify potential supporters interested in opportunities such as team building days on the nature reserves, corporate membership of the Trust, sponsorship or employee fundraising ideas. As a local charity WWT use many suppliers and contractors from all over Worcestershire and the project will be great to investigate how the Trust might work with the local business community. Delia Shannon, Business Development Officer


Pirate Day last year at Severn Valley Railway

CROWDS FLOCKED TO THE SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY DURING 2013 More than 211,000 people visited the Severn Valley Railway in 2013 to take advantage of all the historic railway has to offer. Last year’s passenger numbers exceeded the Railway’s forecast by over 6,000 passengers and show an increase of nearly 9,000 on 2012’s figures. This impressive result has been attributed to a number of factors including a host of well attended Special Events and a bumper summer season. The new-format Family Fun Weekends attracted nearly 7,000 visitors and the ever popular Santa and Festive Season Services attracted over 45,000 passengers in December. This year, the SVR also invested in a campaign specifically targeting families encouraging them to spend a day out on the railway, including TV advertising for the first time since 2010.

Visit Herefordshire is delighted that Herefordshire Council are backing the excellent work they do in supporting the visitor economy in the County for a further two years. As the funding from Herefordshire Council will reduce to zero in 2016 Visit Herefordshire has made some very difficult decisions on the best way forward for the company. Sadly redundancies have been inevitable, but we are delighted to continue with the help of volunteers and the tourism industry. With our funding secured until April 2016 Visit Herefordshire will: • Remain in King Street, Hereford. • The Discover Herefordshire Centre will remain open working in partnership with K & M Furnishings who have worked with us for a number of years. With the help of dedicated volunteers they will welcome visitors and provide a friendly, knowledgeable service. An opportunity to promote your business through the shop will be available in the form of leaflet display, so please get in touch. • Offer a number of new initiatives to be published later next month as well as promoting our wonderful visitor offer via the media and press. • Offer additional promotional opportunities on www., which is currently being developed into a commercial site, incorporating additional promotional opportunities as well as data collection to enhance our seasonal e-newsletter campaigns. The website is a great base to build on with 230,000 visits to the website in the last nine months, of which 74% are unique visits. Any business who is interested in receiving information on the opportunities available should get in touch. • Continue to print and distribute the Herefordshire & Wye Valley Visitor Guide, and to market the county through national campaigns. • Organise and promote the Flavours of Herefordshire Festival. Visit Herefordshire can be contacted on 01432 268430

WORCESTERSHIRE GETS A TOP SPA VENUE WITH THE OPENING OF THE HOUSE SPA A world-class destination spa opens in Worcestershire this spring. The sumptuous and stylish House Spa, the final part of a £10 million refurbishment at Dormy House Hotel near Broadway, is causing a stir in the north Cotswolds. It’s the first time the boutique hotel, part of the 400-acre Farncombe Estate, has had a spa facility and what an addition it is! With stunning new features, including a unique 16-metre Infinity Pool, `Bubble Bath` hydro pool and dedicated personal Training Studio, House Spa is already proving to be a huge hit with hotel guests, day-spa lovers and lucky local members (memberships are limited to 200). The Greenhouse spa lounge is at the heart of the new development, with open views over the countryside and a stunning log fire. Light food is served to guests and dishes are helpfully classed as Naughty, Nice or

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Dormy House Hotel’s new Spa facilities

Nutritious. There are six treatment rooms along with a couples’ Rasul Mud Room and treatment suite, the first of its kind in the area. An extensive thermal suite includes a Salt Infusion Steam Room, Lavender Sauna, Juniper Finnish Sauna, drench showers and ice chute.


THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS IS YOUR CUSTOMERS. DON’T LET YOUR I.T. PREVENT YOU PROVIDING THE BEST FOR YOURS. Every business relies on computer systems for everyday tasks. When something goes wrong it can cause untold problems for your users and have a knock on effect to your customers. No email, Internet connectivity issues, lost data or inaccessible customer information can lead to missing sales and unhappy customers. Relying on an ad-hoc firefighting attitude towards problems with your IT systems can be detrimental to your business. A few hours without normal operating systems can have knock on effects to your whole business. Not to mention the stress of sourcing support and the unexpected cost. It is common that in small/medium businesses it falls to one or two people, usually the ‘computer whizz’ in the office to look after the computers. Usually this person has other responsibilities that can suffer as they concentrate on IT rather than growing your business or maintaining customer relationships. By working with an MSP, you have an IT department with a team of engineers at your disposal - without the staffing and overhead costs.


Using proactive IT support from a local Managed Service Provider (MSP) allows you to concentrate on the core activities of your business giving you piece of mind that your systems are under control and being monitored 24/7 with qualified engineers ready to respond quickly if anything goes wrong. Backups are managed so should the worse happen you know that you can rely on your disaster recovery procedure to ensure you are quickly back to full operating levels with minimal disruption.

Back Up and more. Price is dependent on users so is easily scalable for expanding businesses. Working with an MSP often has a direct impact on your bottom line, and can contribute to the company to become more successful.

Dealing with third party software vendors can often be time consuming and complicated, allowing your provider to mange these relationships you can be confident that problems or upgrades will be quickly sorted.

At Wyvern Business Systems we pride ourselves on our modern MSP offering and have managed 100s businesses IT for them since the 80s. From only a few users to hundreds our support packages are flexible to you.

From a business sense IT spend can be unpredictable; call out fees to fix a broken PC or server can be costly as well as spiral out of control. With a managed service, all your costs for support are in one monthly payment. This can include monitoring, remote, telephone and on-site support, AntiVirus, Anti Spam,

If you’d like to discuss how we could offer piece of mind with worry free IT support please contact Steve McGowan on 01432 271233 or

Your business is important to you; you should be concentrating on building it rather than worrying about your IT systems. Outsourced IT support from an MSP allows you to do that with complete piece of mind.

March/April 2014


Local Knowledge, Regional Coverage

Turner & Company is the largest firm of Commercial Chartered Surveyors based in Hereford and we provide a wide range of services throughout the City, Herefordshire and beyond. Please contact us for assistance with l















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01299 822731 01299 822731

For enquiries please call the Estate Office:



LAUNCH OF GROWTH VOUCHER SCHEME FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Small businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are being given the chance to access new ‘vouchers’ to help them grow. The £30 million Growth Vouchers scheme, which is being launched by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), is available to businesses which are VAT registered, have been trading for over a year and have 49 employees or less.

ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR BUSINESS OPEN TO PROSECUTION? 78 businesses from across the West Midlands were prosecuted last year by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) or their local Authority for failure to comply with legislation. With 14 fatal injuries to workers last year in the West Midlands alone, It is essential that all business owners take responsibility for ensuring their companies remain compliant. Being a business owner or manager comes with many legal and employment obligations. This accompanied by rules and laws from Westminster and Brussels changing all the time makes running a business very challenging. To support businesses in this minefield the Chamber of Commerce offer a range of courses and services to keep you one step ahead of the game. As a member of the Chamber all businesses are given access to a free HR website and legal advice line which they can access as many times as they wish to download documents or for advice and support. In addition to this the Chamber provides a range of public and bespoke courses focused on HR, legislation and Health and Safety designed to help you navigate the sea of red tape.

COURSES IOSH MANAGING SAFELY Tuesday 4 - Friday 7 March 2014 9.30am - 4pm £495+VAT Members, £595+VAT Non-members This accredited course is designed for managers and supervisors in any sector and any type of organisation, Delegates will come away with practical actions that will help them handle health and safety in their teams and workplace.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE Tuesday 25 March 2014 9.30am - 4pm £150+VAT Members, £188+VAT Non-members This interactive workshop, designed for employers, managers and HR professionals are suited to employers no matter the size of workforce and will help to prevent costly mistakes.

MANAGING DISCIPLINARY ISSUES & MANAGING GRIEVANCE Wednesday 14 May 2014 9.30am - 4pm £180+VAT Members, £210+VAT Non-members This workshop will give practical guidance on how to carry out effective investigations when looking into disciplinary allegations, as well as how to document the evidence, and what to do in the disciplinary hearing.

IOSH WORKING SAFELY Thursday 15 May 2014 9.30am - 4pm £150+VAT Members, £188+VAT Non-members This accredited course is designed for people at any level and in any sector, needing a grounding in the essentials of health and safety. Delegates will come away with an understanding of why health and safety training is important and how simple behavioural changes can make a real difference to the wellbeing of themselves and others.

The advice available can cover five key areas, raising finance and managing cash flow; recruiting and developing staff; improving leadership and management skills; marketing, and making the most of digital technology. In the first instance, businesses need to visit www. to establish the eligibility and register their interest. They will then receive a free business assessment either online or from an advisor. West Midlands Chambers LLP, of which Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce is a member has been chosen as the delivery partner for this region. For more information or to apply, log onto

alternatively contact the Chamber on 0845 641 1641 for support.

FIRE MARSHAL TRAINING Friday 6 June 2014 9.30am - 4pm £80+VAT Members, £100+VAT Non-members This course provides general fire safety and awareness training for staff who may, as part of company fire procedures, have additional responsibilities for fire safety in the workplace, or simply wish to increase their knowledge of general Fire Safety procedures.

EMERGENCY FIRST AID AT WORK (EFAW) Thursday 3 July 2014 9.30am - 4pm £80+VAT Members, £100+VAT Non-members This introductory level course is suitable for low-risk employers in meeting their legal obligations for minimum first aid provision in the workplace. The Chamber also offers a course for people who already hold a First Aid at Work certificate and require requalification.

MANAGING ABSENCE & HOW TO MANAGE UNDER PERFORMANCE Wednesday 9 July 2014 9.30am - 4pm £180+VAT Members, £210+VAT Non-members What to do if you are concerned about excessive absence, underperforming employees and staff conflicts.


They can apply for up to £2,000, to match their own investment, to be spent on strategic business advice to support their growth aspirations.

INTERNAL QUALITY AUDITOR – ISO 9001:2008 Tuesday 15 July 2014 9.30am - 4pm £150+VAT Members, £188+VAT Non-members This one day course is designed to give those new to ISO 9001:2008 a general introduction and overview to the fundamentals of one of the most important tools associated with effective quality management.

MANAGING EQUALITY, BULLYING & HARASSMENT Wednesday 17 September 2014 9.30am - 4pm £180+VAT Members, £210+VAT Non-members This workshop will look at The Equality Act 2010, which replaced previous legislation and ensures consistency in what you need to do to make your workplace a fair environment and to comply with the law.

March/April 2014


If your business requires any type of training, coaching or consultancy then the Chamber Training Centre can help you. Please find below a list of courses for March to June 2014 Colour & Grey




IPR (Inward Process Relief) Wednesday 12 March £270+VAT Members / £300+VAT Non Members

Introduction to Import Wednesday 7 May Colour & White £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

Managing People in the Team Wednesday 4 June £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Basics of Export Documentation Thursday 13 March £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

Getting to Grips with Social Media Wednesday 7 May £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non Members

Planning your attendance at an International Congress or Exhibition Thursday 5 June £120+VAT Members/ £150+VAT Non Members

International Trade Compliance Tuesday 18 March £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

AEO Awareness Thursday 8 May £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

Fire Marshal Training Friday 6 June £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non Members

What’s New - Changes in International Trade Wednesday 19 March £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

Managing Performance in the Team Thursday 8 May £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Writing a Press Release Wednesday 11 June £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non Members

Advanced Microsoft Excel Friday 21 March £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Intermediate Microsoft Excel Friday 9 May £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Employment Law Legislation Update Tuesday 25 March £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Advanced Export Documentation Tuesday 13 May £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members

Finance Skills for Non Finance Managers Thursday 27 March £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Managing Disciplinary & Grievance Issues Wednesday 14 May £180+VAT Members / £210+VAT Non Members

APRIL COURSES Creating a Customer Care Culture Tuesday 1 April £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Raising Your Profile Thursday 3 April £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non Members Introduction into Microsoft Excel Friday 4 April £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Role of the Team Leader Tuesay 8 April £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Trading with the USA: Defence/Imports & Exports Tuesday 15 April £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Understanding Free Trade Agreements Wednesday 16 April £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Assertiveness and Confidence at Work Wednesday 16 April £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Intrastat & EU Thursday 17 April £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Advanced Guide to Letters of Credit and Finance Wednesday 23 April £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Professional Telephone Techniques Wednesday 30 April £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Effective Time Management Thursday 15 May £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members IOSH Working Safely Thursday 15 May £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members How to complete customs entries - CHEIF data entry Wednesday 21 May £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members 7 Steps to Closing the Deal Tuesday 27 May £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Train the Trainer Thursday 12 June £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Incoterms Thursday 12 June £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Basics of Export Documentation Tuesday 17 June £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members IOSH Managing Safely Tuesday 17 - Friday 20 June £495+VAT Members / £595+VAT Non Members Letters of Credit Wednesday 18 June £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Export Licensing Thursday 19 June £270+VAT Members/ £300+VAT Non Members Communicating for Success Tuesday 24 June £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Presentation Skills Monday 30 June £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Bespoke Training Courses Courses take place at Severn House, Worcester and start at 9.30 am. If there is a course that you are interested in that isn’t listed please contact the Training Team on 0845 641 1641 To book for any of these courses visit or call the Training Team on 0845 641 1641 or email

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce


NEWMEMBERS BEWDLEY Core Tree Social Media Solutions 07970 068817


Beat It Percussion CIC 01497 821 498


Exmed UK Ltd 01432 355964

Alive 4 2Day 01684 569373

Knight IPR Services Ltd 01684 568784

Bibby Factors Birmingham Ltd 0121 2324675

Jellefish 07748 948294


Business Development Midlands 0121 638 0463

Redalpha Limited Ltd 01432 820016 Stirling Rock Ltd 01432 269589

Timber Today 01885 400302


Admin Experts Online 07920 772423

Thomas Carroll Group 01432 359 500

Catang Limited 01527 570424

Two Boiled Eggs Ltd 01432 582910

Stroke Association 01527 903504

Weatherhaven Global Solutions Ltd 01432 373000

Waste Check Ltd 01527 877500

DROITWICH Astra Paperfree 07891 781830

Blackwood HR Ltd 01905 796527

Colsec Ltd 01905 795070

Midland Ladder Co Ltd 01527 821651

KIDDERMINSTER Cartridge World Kidderminster 01562 744100

Citizen Communication 01562 701 910

Janitorial Direct Ltd 01562 512870

Midlands Physiotherapy 01562 754 380

Minster Micro Computers Ltd 01562 68211

Pension-Able Ltd 07968 800882

The Finance Department 01905 679961

Terry Livesey Photography 0800 612 4518



Miso Communications Ltd 01531 576006

PERSHORE Blackthorn Workshop Ltd 01386 462208

Commercial Garage Equipment (Midlands) Ltd 07538 218194

Rapid Retail Ltd 01386 555044

REDDITCH A-S Electrical Services UK Ltd 01527 916 333

Capital Safety Group. EMEA 01527 548000

Exactech UK Ltd 01527 591555

Legends Redditch Limited 01527 404951

Medec Global Ltd 01527 435385

Onside Trading Ltd 07887 728 469 Seafresh Industry Invest Ltd (SIINVEST) 01527 460460


The Best Of Hereford 01432 291010

ABT Products Ltd 01989 563656

Universal Document Solutions Ltd 01562 882523

The Ledbury Cider and Juice Co Limited 01531 635024

GMP Software Limited 01989 561030




Adrian Jones Will Service 01432 378064

The Hair Force 07538 367692

First Class Payroll Limited 079042 05149

Besurance Consultancy Ltd 01905 904 704



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


March/April 2014

NEWMEMBERS KASP Legal Support Services Ltd 07947 546795

Hamer Childs - Solicitors 01905 724565


Homexperts Ltd 01905 747928

Elgar Foods Ltd 01584 819590

WORCESTER Albany Grange Limited 01905 381320

Axiski Ltd 07519 659960

Barbourne Cider LLP 01905 27151

Bigg Red Ltd 01905 428793

B Smith Packaging (Worcester) Ltd 01905 757124

CallBrenda Staff Agents 01905 20390

Cathedral Event Services Ltd. 01905 319782

Computer House Ltd 01905 745145

Dancefest 01905 611199

Direct Insurance Group Plc 01905 724 777

Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester) 01905 617000

Eat Your Veg 01432 851094

Edwards Motors 01905 828824

Efficient Thinking Solutions Limited 01905 756221

Elysium Communications Ltd 01905 734500

Fusion Brasserie Ltd 01905 840647

House of Gerry Weber 01905 721 950

Irinika Media Ltd 08000 235 055

Jo Menhinick Design Ltd 01905 767563

Karimark Entertainment LLP t/a Casablanca Wine Bar 01905 745861

Marshall Structures Ltd 01299 533 010

Manor Hill House 01527 861200

Mencap 01905 740501

Moto’s Mobile Massage Ltd 07973 530249 Northstar Events 07595 759423

Nutz4Sportz Ltd 01905 726423

Prime Mix Marketing Ltd 07719 430267

Solar Sentry Glass Solutions 01905 670515

St Pauls Hostel 07702 289526

The Waterside Cafe 01905 352257 Truelight Sound, Light and Vision Ltd 03306 600112

Vale Fire & Secur­ity Ltd 0845 4741102

Waste Efficiency Ltd 0844 264 0500

Watkins Smith Ltd 07764 624968

OUT OF AREA Alphaquad LTD 01789 491610

Art Works Design Consultants (Cheltenham) Ltd 01242 572559

Card Personalisation Solutions Ltd 08451 300240

Connexus Technology Ltd 0845 270 3939

Coventry University Enterprises Limited 02476 23 6000

Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance 01952 213300

Qualitas Insurance Brokers 01684 215003 Reprographic Technology UK Ltd 01780 789736

SJL Wealth Management 01332 346440

White Arrow Logistics Limited 01942 620653

STARS Day Centre 01905 355995

Techteam (Uk) Limited 08448 012345

TCS Media Worcester 01905 619099

Tina Weson Counselling 01905 888 388

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



STRICTLY WORCESTERSHIRE Strictly Worcestershire is a first and completely unique charity event being held at Chateau Impney on the Thursday 22 May 2014. It is raising funds for two vital causes, Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign and Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. The growing list of sponsors already include Nexus Creative, Landsowne Rodway, Chris Green media, Anja Potze Fine Jewellery, Umberto Giannini, Project Events, FT Images and Premier Places.

A DIGITAL DONATION HELPS NATIONAL CHARITY Worcester-based blood cancer support charity, Leukaemia CARE, is delighted to announce its brand new website, a project made possible thanks to creative design and digital agency NinetyFive Creative. The aim of the new website is to provide better access to information and resources for blood cancer patients and their carers through a simpler user journey, and increase donations through clearer calls to action. NinetyFive Creative were honoured to support the charity by undertaking the website project within budget and time constraints. Matt Lloyd, Managing Director at NinetyFive Creative said: “Leukaemia CARE operate on a national level so it was a fantastic opportunity. We’ve also been touched with their dedication and commitment to the cause, so were delighted to be able to support them.” With the new website now live, Leukaemia CARE has ambitious plans for their digital marketing, as Kayla explains: “We’re now in a fantastic position to develop and promote our range of services, so we’d like to thank NinetyFive Creative. They went above and beyond to deliver our brief and have done a fantastic job of developing our brand for online communications.” /

The event, based on BBC T.V’s Strictly Come Dancing comprises a fabulous dinner and very special dance competition featuring contestant-couples from our very own Worcestershire Business Community! Each couple will perform two, 2-minute ballroom dances in a full stage show in front of a special guest panel of judges and invited audience. Competing couples include Charles Rodway and his dance partner Brigette Packer, Julia Williams from Premier Places with Graham Spence, Andrea and Steve Borwell-Fox, and from BBC Hereford & Worcester Andrew Easton with Rebecca White. The line-up has eight fantastic and well-known couples in all, competing for the Strictly Worcestershire Glitter Ball Trophy. The Superb Judges include Digby, Lord Jones; ITV’s Bob Warman and Warriors legend Craig Gillies. There will be a special Professional Dance Showcase

from Worcestershire Dance Star Katie Love. Our Master of Ceremonies is BBC Hereford & Worcester’s Dave Bradley. Over 200 seats have already been reserved, so please reserve your own places now. Tables of ten with complementary wine start from £750.00, individual seats are £85.00 and General Public Gallery & Bar £20.00 It’s the glitziest, gold-sequined, most fabulous not-to-be-missed show of the year! For all details and to book tickets visit the website  

You can see the growth of this amazing project via Facebook: www.

CHAMBER MEMBER RAISES OVER £1000 FOR THE CLEFT LIP & PALATE ASSOCIATION CHARITY IN MEMORY OF THEIR STILLBORN SON A member of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce has raised over £1000 for the Cleft Lip And Palate Association charity (CLAPA) in memory of their son Francesco “Frankie” Enrico Ventura, who was stillborn on Friday 29 November 2013 by foregoing Christmas presents, asking their friends and family to do the same and fundraising via a Just Giving page. Lisa Ventura, who is part of Chamber member BT Local Business/Elysium Communications Ltd and her husband Russell learned that Frankie would be born with a cleft lip and palate during a scan at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in September 2013; they then discovered the Cleft Lip and Palate Association charity and contacted them for help and advice. When Frankie was sadly stillborn they decided to forego Christmas presents and donate the


money to CLAPA. Family and friends did the same, along with donations that Russell and Lisa received via their Just Giving page, some from as far afield as the USA and at Frankie’s funeral through AV Band in Worcester, with the total raised for CLAPA being £1057.62. They have been writing a blog about their journey as parents called “Frankie’s Legacy” (www. which has followers from all over the world including the USA, Australia, Japan and Eastern Europe and have set up a tribute website for their son

Lisa and Russell are also launching a small charity under the same name later this year. CLAPA Presentation Photo L-R Lisa Ventura Becky Gowers And Russell Ventura

March/April 2014


TUPE RULE CHANGE TRIGGER EXPERT’S WARNING On Friday 31 January 2014 new legislation surrounding TUPE transfers came into force with the regulations mainly applying to the buying and selling of businesses.

Blueprint has been designed to help companies reduce their paperwork, cut costs, save time and improve current processes. Using Blueprint you can design, produce and use your electronic forms for inspections, audits, surveys, maintenance and safety checks for use on PC’s, laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

The new rules, although not as sweeping as the government had originally hinted, bring clearer guidance and make the TUPE process simpler for small businesses to follow and implement.

Blueprint lets you quickly and cheaply design, produce and use e-forms for your related business in a way that is easier, quicker and more cost effective than traditional paper manual systems. Blueprint lets you change, amend and produce new electronic forms over and over again.

However, poor knowledge of the legislation and a lack of professional advice could create countless pitfalls and an all-round HR nightmare for businesses across the two counties. For advice on TUPE transfers and the changes in the rules, email Sally Morris through

Trakware Solutions, based in Redditch specialise in software solutions. They have many years of experience in the Auto ID industry and are proud to announce the launch of their latest product Blueprint.

With many businesses affected across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, it is crucial for bosses to get to grips with the revised legislation to avoid falling foul of the new rules during crucial staff consultations.

TRAKWARE LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT Sally Morris, Head of Employment Division, mfg Solicitors

WHY SHOULD I? Watkins Smith Ltd is new to the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber and has already successfully supported staff and existing members to think ahead with careful will planning.

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT AT SOUTHCREST MANOR HOTEL & SPA Exciting new menus have proved to be popular, starting with a fabulous new buffet breakfast followed by varied lunch and sumptuous dinner menus – and with more to come for 2014, Oscars Restaurant promises to be one of the main places to dine in Redditch. You don’t even have to be a resident of the 60-bedroom hotel to enjoy these delights. Whether it’s a family breakfast, an intimate dinner or a more formal event and wedding celebration, all you have to do is call and speak to one of the new experienced sales co-ordinators who will be more than happy to help you with any questions.

Director Stewart Watkins has a vision to help local people make sure that when they pass away their estate is in order and will benefit those people who are nearest and dearest. Two thirds of the UK do not currently have a will in place which means that what happens to their property and family when they die may be against their wishes. For what is a simple and short process, writing a will enables peace of mind and clear instructions to be left with your chosen Executors and Trustees. Like many others, if you are seeking help and guidance with your will or lasting power of attorney then please contact us at Watkins Smith ltd for a confidential and personal service.

Yes, things are certainly changing at the Manor,. Wi-Fi now runs throughout the hotel including the fully equipped and dedicated conference rooms, which are able to cater for anything from a meeting for two to 120 people.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Mark Cunningham, Events Director

THE GREAT ESCAPE With household names such as Adidas and HSBC already participating clients in the Great Escape Challenge, Chamber members Northstar Events are looking forward to inspiring Herefordshire and Worcestershire businesses to take part too. The event, which will be attended this year by a ‘keen and mean’ Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce team, pits corporate teams head-to-head over 2 days and nights of unforgettable action-packed, multi-sport, mind and body adventure. Northstar Events Director Mark Cunningham has been a leading creative developer of corporate challenges with over 10 years’ experience. He masterminded the Great Escape Challenge and said: “It’s very accessible and many of our first time competitors have never done anything like this before. On foot, bike and canoe teams take on a series of strategic, physical and mental challenges designed to push limits and bring out best qualities, bringing benefits directly back to the workplace.”


WORCESTER RECRUITER’S FLOOD AID OFFER Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester) is offering support to flood hit Herefordshire and Worcestershire businesses. Its owners, Vance & Sue Parsons, announced the offer having seen the impact of the storms and the flooding from their city centre office. “We couldn’t watch other local businesses suffering so badly without offering our support,” says Vance. “So if a local business has been directly affected by the floods and storms, we’re providing staff at rates massively below those normally charged by recruitment companies.” Established for thirty years, franchise business Driver Hire has 100 offices nationwide. It mainly provides temporary and permanent drivers and other logistics staff to local and national organisations in both the public and private sector. If they’re short of staff – perhaps because of illness, holidays or seasonal demand – Driver Hire will supply them with a suitable replacement. “We’re also happy to make use of our recruitment expertise and contacts to identify and coordinate workers who, because of the current crisis, are prepared to volunteer their time for free. We’re logistics recruitment specialists, but can help with a wide range of related roles. Right now it’s as much about willingness to do whatever will help as it is about particular skills,” Vance concludes. Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester) Tel: 01905 617000; email:

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March/April 2014



DROITWICH SUMMER FESTIVAL Droitwich Spa is looking forward to a new combined festival later this year. The festival will combine the popular arts and music festivals with last year’s inaugural food and drink festival to form a single Summer Festival.

The opening night of the festival on Friday June 20 will be a 5 course show case of local produce and will be held at St Andrews Town Hotel. Tickets for the evening are £35 and will include short interviews from TV Master Chef Charles Campion and Top Chef Mark Hix.

Food Festival Organiser Patrick Davis said: “The Ludlow festival has been very successful over a number of years. It would be great if we could achieve the same success in Droitwich.”

There are a large number of activities planned throughout the 2 week festival including a street market on Saturday June 21, several live concerts and art exhibitions and to finish a Big Picnic in the Lido park on Sunday 6 July.

We meet Felice Tocchini, Chef Patron at Fusion Brasserie in Stoulton near Worcester. Also well known as the UK’s official Sprout Chef, and for creating the Worcester Dunker Biscuit, Felice’s passion for teaching children and adults to cook has led to the introduction of cookery courses at Fusion Brasserie & Fusion Too.

WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO? Fusion Brasserie is a restaurant and bar serving fresh food with ingredients sourced from the local area. We cater for individual, private party and corporate events. Menus are tailored to suit personal requirements and budgets. Corporate events can be varied from cookery demo to cookery classes. Both our venues can be hired for exclusive use at affordable prices.


IN WHAT SECTORS ARE YOUR CLIENTS? Our clients come from a variety of sectors: The family looking for a value for money dinner, couples seeking a romantic venue, business patrons looking for a place for lunch or dinner, guests simply looking to let “their hair down” and have a good time, companies looking for an alternative team building event with conference facilities and good food.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FIRMS ON? We can advise in food products and recipes development; cookery demonstrations to show clients/public what can be done with one or more ingredient/produce, consultancy on setting up food outlets/restaurants.

BEST THING ABOUT RUNNING THE BUSINESS? Being the master of your own destiny!

AND THE WORST This could be a long list… probably as we rely so much on human resources, managing to find the right people to share our vision and work together with our team.

MALVERN INSTRUMENTS DRIVING GROWTH OUT OF RECESSION Just beneath the macro level, where the most successful businesses operate, there’s arguably been no recession at all. Over the past 5 years Malvern Instruments has enjoyed 12% aggregate annual growth. Although 95% of this was export led, 80% of their products are still made in the UK. Multinationals from many industries need to understand the materials they use down to the size, weight and shape of their molecules. Malvern Instruments entered this space early on through the rigorously audited Pharmaceutical industry. Demand is accelerating in Asia and South America as new technologies are deployed across already populous countries. Their legacy equipment is fast being superseded. The latest German and other machine tools are rapidly opening up the local market to Malvern Instruments’ products. Owned by the altruistic instrumentation and controls specialist Spectris this £1.2 billion holding company has a 10-year vision. Their business-model demonstrates customer-centric R&D investment, forensic attention to product quality, reliability, and associated customer service. This is needed in British manufacturing for sustainable growth and a positive, debt-reducing balance of trade.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Business Development Midlands Ltd (BDM) were established over 5 years ago and are leadership and management training specialists based both in the Jewellery Quarter and Longbridge areas of Birmingham but operating UK wide. Clients typically include Unipart, Mondelez, West Midlands Police and Johnson’s Coaches. As an Accredited Centre for the Institute of Leadership and Management and City and Guilds, BDM have recently won a Government contract, with their partners Protocol who are a major apprenticeship provider, to deliver training to meet the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership priorities. The project is aimed at using innovative approaches to support Worcestershire businesses in developing their workforce. Ian White, Business Development Midlands Ltd, Managing Director said: “We are looking forward to extending our work with Worcestershire businesses and ensuring that any money spent is for their benefit. Plugging into the Chamber’s impressive networking will be key to finding out exactly what business want, to help with their workforce development.” 

Ian White, Managing Director, Business Development Midlands Ltd


We’re passionate about print! Looking for a printer for your next print project? Then look no further, with Charlesworth Press you can expect … • Competitive pricing on brochures, catalogues, magazines, corporate literature, & much more • Full colour printing from short runs up to thousands of copies • Wide range of binding options including soft bound, hard bound, wiro & spiral bound • Dedicated Account Manager to help & advise throughout the process • Accredited to ISO 9001 Quality standards • Environmentally friendly ISO 14001 & FSC production • PLUS lots of care & attention to detail!! Working hard to support Chamber Members throughout Herefordshire & Worcestershire

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Two experienced professionals have been appointed to Worcestershire accountancy practice Ormerod Rutter’s Bromsgrove office.

Ady Watts have recently recruited three new members of staff; Mark Cathcart, Luke Williams and Daryl Stickings.

Due to the firm’s continued expansion, Senior Accountant Peter Collins and Management Accountant Sue Wright will be based full-time at its office in The Strand.

Mark will provide Strength and Conditioning work for Luctonians Rugby Club and the Hereford Rugby Development Group alongside personal training sessions for our members. Luke Williams is a well-respected physiotherapist

Mrs Wright, who joined Ormerod Rutter nine years ago, has a largely client-facing role encompassing accounting, finance and management. She is also assisting in the running of the Bromsgrove office.

and local athlete that regularly competes in cycling, running and triathlon up to ironman distance will be working at the Strength and Conditioning facility in Rotherwas, Hereford and Daryl Stickings who specialises in foot and lower limb disorders will be clinical lead for Extended Scope Musculo-Skeletal (MSK) Podiatry in the region.

JOANIE ROBERTS, HEREFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMEMRCE The New Face of Herefordshire! As the Area Relationship Manager for Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, Joanie is passionate about Herefordshire and thrilled to have the opportunity to support and champion businesses in and around the County. She is looking forward to meeting existing and new members alike. Exciting times ahead!

HallmarkHulme’s new Head of Employment Claire Cole (Left) and Managing Partner Rebecca Widdowson (Right)

LYDIA BARBER AND HANNAH HAFFIELD, PEPPERNECK Worcestershire based integrated marketing agency, Pepperneck, has appointed Lydia Barber as PR and Social Media Manager and Hannah Haffield as PR and Social Media Specialist following a period of sustained growth. Lydia first joined Pepperneck in July 2012 to facilitate growth in the company’s PR and social media activities, an area of the business which was becoming increasingly busy - bringing an additional dimension to Pepperneck’s service offering to existing long-term as well as new clients. PR and Social Media activity at Pepperneck saw an increase of 68% in turnover from 2012 to 2013, resulting in the appointment of PR specialist, Hannah Haffield, in October 2013. Lydia has been promoted to PR and Social Media Manager in recognition of the department’s success to date


CLAIRE COLE, HALLMARKHULME SHELLEY BONNEY, HALLMARKHULME The commercial department of Worcester’s oldest law firm, HallmarkHulme, has welcomed a new solicitor. Shelley Bonney will work alongside Tom Bartley-Smith, who is head of commercial law at the 223-year-old practice. Miss Bonney will be focusing on transactional work for a wide range of clients, which includes setting up businesses, liaising with lenders and agents, franchise agreements and disposal of shares and assets.

Worcester’s oldest law firm HallmarkHulme has strengthened its business team by appointing a senior lawyer as head of employment. Claire Cole arrives at the 224-year-old practice following six years with major international law firm Ashurst in the City of London and eight years as senior employment counsel for logistics giant DHL. Mrs Cole, originally from Birmingham, will offer advice on a wide range of specialist areas including workplace restructuring, TUPE, employment tribunal litigation, employment contracts and policies, restrictive covenants, trade union and employee consultation and settlement agreements.

CARRIE JAMES, HARRISONS BUSINESS RECOVERY AND INSOLVENCY LIMITED Harrisons Business Recovery and Insolvency Limited are delighted to announce that Carrie James has joined their Worcester team as Manager. Carrie has recently qualified as an Insolvency Practitioner having spent many years of her insolvency career working within small and medium sized firms in the West Midlands dealing with all aspect of insolvency. She has built up a wealth of experience during her career both in personal insolvency and corporate including turnaround and rescue. Carrie is known for her empathetic approach to all in financial difficulties be it individuals, partnerships or directors and shareholders. Carrie understands that it is a distressing time and how important it is to find the right solution as early as possible.

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Oakland Distribution Wholesale Sales Manager, Ian Stratton

IAN STRATTON, OAKLAND DISTRIBUTION Oakland Distribution has announced the appointment of Ian Stratton as their new Wholesale Sales Manager to cover Scotland and the North of England territories. Ian brings with him a wealth of experience gained from his time working in the FMCG sales arena. Joining the Oakland Distribution Sales team, the business now has for the first time a dedicated UK-wide geographical sales presence.

GEMMA JENKINSON, RCA REGENERATION LTD RCA Regeneration are delighted to announce the appointment of Gemma Jenkinson as Principal Planning Consultant. Gemma is a chartered town planner with over 14 years’ experience of providing planning advice in relation to large scale housing schemes for national house builders. Gemma has experience of preparing, submitting and negotiating planning applications as well as undertaking public consultation events.

DEBBIE FARR, ISO QUALITY SERVICES LTD ISO Quality Services Limited have recently appointed Debbie Farr as their new Training, Facilities and HR Co-Ordinator. Debbie has a strong background in customer service, facilities and staff management; bringing with her over 12 years of experience and knowledge from similar roles, most recently within the social housing sector. She holds a Level 7 NVQ in Management and will be employing her skills to raise the profile of ISO Quality Services’ training provision.

borwell are delighted to welcome Kate and Joel to the Marketing department. Together they will help strengthen customer focus and be part of a successful team providing Microsoft Certified, cybersecure software solutions to business and defence clients across the UK. Joel’s background in web project management, design and marketing will allow him to look at the borwell experience from the customer’s perspective. Integrating best practice in web technologies, and brand, Joel will develop marketing strategy and work closely with the Digital Marketing Assistant to encourage conversation with clients and the community.

JOHN PITT, ROYAL GRAMMAR SCHOOL The Governors of RGS Worcester are pleased to announce the appointment of John Pitt as Headmaster with effect from September 2014. Mr Pitt, who is currently Second Master of Whitgift School, will succeed Mr Andrew Rattue, who is moving on to become Head of King’s College, the British School of Madrid. Mr Pitt began his teaching career at Whitgift School in Croydon and was swiftly promoted to Head of Sixth Form before becoming Academic Deputy Head at The Portsmouth Grammar School in 2003. He was invited to return to Whitgift as Second Master in 2007, a post he still occupies.




Commenting on his appointment, Mr Pitt said: “I am delighted and feel extremely privileged to have been chosen as the next Headmaster of RGS Worcester.

SME Solicitors has announced the promotion of some senior staff to the position of Associate. Stacey Redman and Adrian Leonard have been awarded the promotions within the Worcestershire law firm. The promotions have been made to reflect the achievements and expertise of the Associates.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

As a continuing sign of its commitment to improving front line customer care, Winsted have today announced the appointment of Craig Bayliss as its sales manager for the UK region. Craig Bayliss, formally from DCRS and Cyfas Systems says “I’m honoured to be joining Winsted. Winsted is an outstanding global brand with a reputation for quality, which is second to none. I’m thrilled to be joining the team and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead”.

LMPQ academy recommended Kate for an apprenticeship with borwell. Kate is working towards becoming a Microsoft Technology Associate and is also studying for MS Certified CompTIA A+ certification. Working three days a week as a Digital Marketing Assistant, Kate has rapidly become an integral part of the borwell Marketing Team.

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NEXT ISSUE OF BUSINESS DIRECTION... The theme for the next edition of Business Direction is... Events and Conferencing. For the Last Word we spoke to Nick Scott, Managing Director of BookOTel who run the Conference Worcestershire service, who gave some useful advice on planning successful events.


WHEN BOOKING ANY BUSINESS TRAVEL OR EVENT WHAT NEEDS TO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION? The first thing to consider is simply ‘is it necessary?’ After this it is then important to identify the real purpose of the meeting and what are you looking to achieve. For example, in addition to the actual meeting or event, the travel and accommodation can act as an incentive to employees, and provide an ideal setting for team bonding. You will also need to consider the location and budget, ideally looking at booking a venue that suits the external factors and influences and avoid any unnecessary travelling or additional costs.

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCE? You need to be aware of your objectives. This will then influence why, when, where and how you hold your conference. It is a good idea to use a professional booking agent as you should always pay the same rates or better than if you were to book direct but their knowledge will help you to get the most out of your event.

WHY IS GETTING THE RIGHT VENUE SO CRUCIAL FOR ANY SUCCESSFUL EVENT? The venue needs to match the audience, for example, a group of young apprentices attending their first

conference may feel slightly daunted turning up to a 5* hotel. You want to make the delegates feel welcome, so that you achieve the most you can from your event. The location needs to be easy to reach for everybody attending; if you have guests coming from abroad you would ideally hold your event at a venue with good transport links or near an airport. The most important thing is to achieve value for money, not necessarily meaning you should choose the cheapest option but you should get the most out of every pound you spend.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES PLANNING THEIR FIRST TEAM BUILDING EVENT? Firstly you need to establish an authorised budget, this allows you to see what is available to you. Match the event to your expectations and who you are inviting, and remember not to exclude anyone when sending out invites!

may also provide a billback service, so that all of your invoices are checked and consolidated into one simply bill. Other advantages may include discounts and added value that agents can achieve, while also providing a valuable buffer zone between a client and a venue. BookOTel work with Conference Worcestershire, dealing with enquiries to help you plan the best event possible. Conference Worcestershire which is part of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce has formed a relationship with the Worcester based agency to help deliver a much improved service for conference and event organisers. If you would like to submit a conference or event enquiry please contact Conference Worcestershire on 01905 732962 or via email

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BUSINESSES USING A CONFERENCE MANAGEMENT COMPANY? You gain free assistance from a specifically trained professional with a high level of expertise in dealing with enquiries and extensive knowledge of the industry. They should provide you with a full unbiased proposal, provide assistance with site visits and negotiation, and work on your behalf from original enquiry to the final invoice of your event. The agent



March/April 2014

the value of your staff business training solutions delivered across the west midlands apprenticeships & NVQS • Business Administration • Customer Service • IT Users • Team Leading • Management • Accounting (AAT) • Hairdressing & Barbering

• • • • • • • • •

Beauty Exercise & Sport Catering Childcare Mechanical Engineering Motor Vehicle & Repair Carpentry Bricklaying Plastering

part time courses • Accounting (AAT) • Management • Marketing • Mentoring • Human Resources (CIPD) • Health & Safety

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