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YOUR CALL TO INNOVATE! Business Direction

Issue 44 45 July/August September/October 2018 2018

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Business Dire

45 Issue 44 tober 2018 2018 ber/Oc Septemgust July/Au

BUSINESS DIRECTION Business Direction, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s full colour bi-monthly publication. Designed and produced by business people for business people. Distributed to 4,000 businesses.

EDITOR Lucy Allen 01905 673 639


PRODUCTION & DESIGN Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF

ADVERTISING John Neilson Commercial Director, Distinctive Group 0191 5805990 | 07813 874970


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 & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce does not accept any responsibility for any representations made within them.


SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018 I hope our readers have had an enjoyable summer, and are looking forward to a successful autumn here in the two counties. I am delighted to announce that Bishop Fleming is now a Patron Member of the Chamber of Commerce. I’m pleased to welcome Bishop Fleming to our Patron network, and we are already working together to produce events like our brand new International Business Conference and the Autumn Budget Breakfast in November this year. The countdown is now on until the winners of the Tourism Awards for Excellence 2018 are announced on Tuesday 11 September at The Bank House Hotel, Spa & Golf Club. I’d like to wish good luck to all the finalists, and I look forward to celebrating the winners! It is now one year on since Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce was unveiled as a finalist in the World Chambers Competition 2017, recognised for its partnership with the health and wellbeing programme Worcestershire Works Well. The awards, organised by the ICC World Chambers Federation, are the only global programme to recognise the most innovative projects undertaken by the Chambers of Commerce and industries from around the world. The anniversary provides us with the fantastic opportunity to look at innovation here in the two counties, celebrating the successes of our Members and explore what the local business community will benefit from over the forthcoming years. Earlier this year, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) unveiled that the county had been successful in its bid for government funding to test and explore 5G connectivity – in order to revolutionise the way future business will operate both in the UK and worldwide. This exciting announcement has without a doubt placed the county at the forefront of technological innovation, and we look forward to Mark Stansfield, Chairman of the LEP, to explain more about the latest project at our October Expo. At the Spring Business Expo in March this year, the Chamber welcomed Callum Gill, Head of Insight & Innovation at drp Group, to speak at the Business Breakfast. Callum wowed delegates with his speech on “The Future of Communication”, discussing upcoming trends and technologies that are shaping the best practice in communication and business. Callum appears as this edition’s Big Interview, where he presents his top tips for businesses looking to implement innovative ideas. We also have fantastic cover features from Rehau Limited, Aardvark Marketing and Wyevale Nurseries - discussing the products that have taken them to receive national recognition. Best regards, Sharon

First Word Chamber News

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Business News




Business News




Business News


Business News


Chamber Training


Chamber Events


Big Interview


Cover Feature


Business News


Visit Worcestershire


Visit Herefordshire


Worcestershire Business Central 46 Movers and Shakers


International Trade


New Members


Charity News Innovation Business News

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Our Patrons are:

September/October 2018

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce




NEW SALARY & BENEFITS SURVEY TO SUPPORT FIRMS WITH RETENTION H&W Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Hewett Recruitment to launch the Salary & Benefits Survey for 2018. Previously known as the Salary & Skills Survey, the report has returned due to high demand for an up-to-date outlook on the local salary landscape – and is the largest benchmarking survey in the two counties. Businesses from across the region are invited to take part in the anonymous and confidential study. By doing so, you will receive an exclusive copy of the report, which will give a minimum, maximum and average salary for a variety of roles, as well as breakdowns on certain sectors and geographical areas. The report, due to be presented at our Autumn Business Expo, will provide businesses with invaluable insight to support them in their attempts to secure the best candidates and retain skilled staff. As the closing date for the survey approaches, please email for more information.

SEE YOU ON THURSDAY 11 OCTOBER! Local businesses are invited to join the Chamber at its Autumn Business Expo on Thursday 11 October, at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern. The Expo is the two counties’ biggest business exhibition, providing attendees with the opportunity to network and create new contacts, whilst raising your profile and promoting your company to the local business community. Back by popular demand, the Food and Drink Producers Zone will be a main feature of the event. Local Food and Drink companies will be showcasing their products, providing free samples throughout the day for visitors to enjoy. Guests also have the chance to attend a FREE seminar with Dr. John Collins, Commercial Director at SynbiCITE, who will discuss the future of innovation and strategy to a sustainable food production, and how we can educate and collaborate.

Members and Non-members are invited to join the Chamber at its next Charity Golf Day, sponsored by Patron EBC Group. Managed by Amros Golf, the fantastic event will take place on Wednesday 19 September at The Vale Golf and Country Club, Evesham, to raise the well-deserved funds for Midlands Air Ambulance. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with a difference, and work on their golf skills whilst supporting the local charity. The Golf Days are open to male and female players of all abilities, and members and non-members of a golf club. Places are on a strict first come, first served basis, so to book your place please contact sales@ or call Neil Betteridge on 07792620355.

To register your attendance, please visit www.

MEET THE FUNDERS SUCCESS AT OLDCASTLE The Chamber and Visit Herefordshire were pleased to invite local businesses to one of their first co-hosted events in July earlier this year. The “Meet the Funders” event took place on Wednesday 11 July at Oldcastle in Colwall, inviting delegates to hear updates from the Chamber and Visit Herefordshire, but also to find out more about economic development in the rural county. Guests were treated to a welcome drink on arrival, with a chance to network with local businesses on their doorstep.


As well as enjoying a presentation exploring how to find funding options to help grow your business, the event welcomed a host of exhibitors including; Herefordshire’s Great Places, Connect2Grow, Impetus, Folk2Folk, Department for International Trade, Fastershire and Marches Growth Hub. Speaking of the event, Oldcastle commented: “Engaging and highly professional, this event has already generated new ventures for our business. We look forward to the future and building upon these relationships.” To view upcoming events near you, please visit events-calendar.

September/October 2018


CHAMBER CHAMPIONS TAKE ON MEMBERS IN STREET SIXES On Monday 16 July, H&W Chamber of Commerce was one of 18 teams from across Worcestershire who took part in the return of this year’s Street Cricket, supported by Worcestershire Ambassadors. The seven-strong “Chamber Champions” included; Lucy Allen, PR Executive, Beth Collett, Business Engagement Executive, Yasmin Bent, Events Co-ordinator, Megan Pearce, Events & Training Assistant, Hayley Giles, Membership Assistant, Sam

(From left – right): Top – Beth Collett, Yasmin Bent, Hayley Giles & Sam Holdaway. Bottom – Megan Pearce, Lucy Allen & Steve Winstanley.

Holdaway, Account Executive and Steve Winstanley, Business Engagement Officer at Worcestershire Business Central.

FAMILIAR FACE TO HOST TOURISM AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Visit Herefordshire and Visit Worcestershire have once again joined forces to host the annual Tourism Awards for Excellence 2018. The fantastic awards are aligned with VisitEngland’s official awards, and winners at a local level have the opportunity to represent the county nationally. 69 finalists from across the 12 categories have been carefully selected from the applications for this year. Finalists from the two counties have been invited to an exclusive awards ceremony on Tuesday 11 September at The Bank House Hotel, Spa & Golf Club, where the Winners, Highly Commended and Commended from each category will be announced. Visit Worcestershire and Visit Herefordshire are delighted to reveal that Kate Williams, Author, Historian and TV Presenter, will be the host for the celebrations in just a few weeks time. Thank you to all businesses who entered the awards for 2018, and good luck to all finalists! To view the full list of finalists, please visit

The Chamber played matches in Angel Place and Broad Street, against Chamber Members CY Executive Resourcing, Fortis Living, Sanlam and Folk2Folk. Whilst sadly the Chamber’s team name didn’t ring true, it was fantastic to take part in the challenge to support young children from underprivileged backgrounds by bringing cricket to places it isn’t normally played, and we look forward to hearing the total amount of money raised on the day. Well done to WCCC for holding a great event.

COUNTDOWN TO WORCESTER STANDS TALL AUCTION This summer, Worcester welcomed 57 giraffe sculptures across the city centre as part of a Wild in Art event to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice’s Build2020 campaign.

FIRMS INVITED TO DISCUSS WORCESTERSHIRE’S TIME TO CHANGE HUB On Tuesday 31 July, the Chamber invited the partners of Worcestershire’s Time to Change campaign to talk about the way people think and act about mental health in the local business community. H&W Chamber is leading on the employer strand of the movement, and driving a campaign to establish how partner companies can encourage Chamber Members and the wider business community to sign up to support the Time to Change group. Earlier this year, Worcestershire County Council announced that the county had been chosen as one of a handful of areas in England to change how we all think and act about mental health. The hubs aim to put the people with personal experience of mental health problems (Champions) at the heart of their work, proactively campaigning to improve people’s attitudes and behaviours towards mental health.

Businesses, residents and visitors flocked to the High Street, parks and city landmarks to visit each sculpture on the six-mile route. As part of the project, St Richard’s Hospice created an exclusive app for the local community to record each giraffe they encountered. The Chamber, Worcester BID and Sports Partnership H&W joined forces to hold weekly Wednesday Walks at lunch time to encourage businesses supporting the scheme to get involved whilst improving employee’s health and wellbeing. The countdown is now on until the giraffes are auctioned off on Sunday 16 September at drp Group’s HQ in Hartlebury. The Live Auction will be a night to remember, hosted by Free Radio’s Tom Newitt and Hursty, and featuring Bargain Hunt and Flog It! Auctioneer Philip Serrell. Good luck to Bumble and all the giraffes – and thank you for brightening the streets of Worcester! (From left – right): Dawn Hardman, Matthew Allder, Emma Wheeler, Lucy Allen, Bumble, Traci Moss (Artist), Sharon Smith, Daisie Rees-Evans, Anne-Marie Jepson and Abigail Robbins

To find out how you can support the campaign, please visit

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce




ABRAXAS PROMOTE NEW GREEN INITIATIVE Abraxas Catering Equipment has pledged to donate all money obtained through its scrap metal and redundant equipment recycling scheme to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, who they have made their chosen charity for 2018. Metal recycling not only supports economic development and conserves natural resources; it also helps to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and atmospheric pollution. To further celebrate the company’s 20th year in business, Abraxas have also chosen to support the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and their tremendous lifesaving services. Along with a recent abseil and world cup sweep stake, the team have pledged to donate all the money received for the scrap waste to the charity this year.

Hereford Racecourse was the winner of a prestigious racing award last season when its Westons Cider Owners & Trainers Bar won the “Best Racecourse Owners & Trainers Catering Facility” at the national racecourse catering awards. The ceremony took place at Newbury Racecourse where representatives from the country’s 60 racecourses gathered. The judges acknowledged Hereford’s work in sourcing local produce, in particular Hereford Beef, for its popular Home Cooked Stew which was the signature dish for Owners & Trainers. The racecourse also struck up notable partnerships with Chase Distillery and Westons Cider. Executive Director, Rebecca Davies, said: “It was a fantastic day and an award we are extremely proud to have won. Serving Hereford Beef was a real hit, and more importantly people understood why we were doing it! Working with Hereford business and produce is something we are passionate about and it’s great that on this occasion we won an award for it too.”

EMI SHARE OPTIONS – A STEP FORWARD The European Commission has recently given the green light for the renewal of State aid approval for Enterprise Management Incentive share option schemes (EMI), which are tax-advantaged ways of incentivising employees. The last State aid approval expired on 6 April which meant a risk that EMI options granted after that date may have lost their tax-advantaged status. The renewal of the State aid approval means that EMI share options will now continue to be available. Employers are now free to proceed with intended grants of EMI options that many had been postponing – keeping those eager employees happy! Implementation of EMI schemes can be complex and it is important to ensure the documentation is carefully drafted and tax advice is taken to ensure people qualify for the relevant tax advantages.

Mike Nixon from Abraxas explains: “We must all take an active role in recycling; it’s crucial to the future of our planet. Businesses have far more awareness of their carbon footprint and must take action to reduce their impact on the environment in whatever ways they can.”

For more information or advice, members can call Clare Lang on 01562 516132 or email through clare.lang@

GRC JOINS FORCES WITH AVANTI IN INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP Hereford-based GRC has partnered with Avanti on a UK Space Agency funded International Partnership Programme in Kenya. As a key supplier to Avanti Satellite Communications, GRC will be supporting their delivery of the project - Satellite Enablement for Disaster Risk Reduction Kenya (SatDRR Kenya). Alongside the other partner businesses, the programme involves working closely with the Kenyan Ministry of Interior to deliver emergency communication solutions to areas of need

when affected by conflict, famine, floods and disease outbreaks. GRC will be providing equipment and its own locally manufactured SCYTALE system, along with engineers to install, integrate, train and support deployed and fixed locations. GRC Operations Director, Steve Slater, said: “This new contract for a local company highlights the positives a small business can bring to large scale projects. Our cost effectiveness, innovative products and ability to deliver to short timelines can make a significant difference to large contractors working on UK sponsored overseas contracts.”


September/October 2018


Your local, award winning legal experts

CHARITIES AS BUSINESSES Charities represent the gold standard of the “Not for Profit� Sector, which is a sector defined by what it does not do. In our experience, that definition can lead to confusion about the role of charities which, whilst they are not established to make a profit, often operate as businesses within the wider business community. In this article, we briefly describe some of the business-type activities of charities and highlight draft guidance to help charities and connected non-charitable organisations work together.

CHARITIES AS CUSTOMERS To state the obvious, charities need the same goods and services as any other organisation.

CHARITIES AS SUPPLIERS Charities supply goods and services to individuals, public bodies, not for profit organisations and for profit organisations. They may do this through the charity itself or through a separate trading subsidiary. They often operate in a highly competitive market place.

CHARITIES AS EMPLOYERS Charities employ staff and in some circumstances are able to employ their trustees and/or people connected to the trustees.

Jenny Smith

n Providing funding to the non-charitable organisation n Receiving funds from the non-charitable organisation n Completing shared projects or delivering services together n Involving the non-charitable organisation in fundraising


n Sharing names, branding and websites

The Charity Commission has consulted on draft guidance for charity trustees in managing relationships between charities and non-charitable organisations to which they are connected. The guidance covers common issues around:

n Sharing information or data

n Sharing communications

A link to a chart summarising the draft guidance can be found in our free Charities Spring Newsletter thursfields-spring-charity-newsletter Please use this link to subscribe to our charity newsletters to keep up to date on developments on this and other matters relevant to charities Finally, if you would like to discuss any matters relating to charities please contact:

n Sharing premises or staff

Jenny Smith, Head of Charities and Not for Profit Sector, Thursfields Solicitors

At the date of writing this article, the Commission is considering the responses to the consultation.

Telephone: 01905 677052 Email:

Worcester 01905 730450 | Kidderminster 01562 820575 Stourport 01299 827517 | Halesowen | Sedgley | Solihull | Birmingham


LOCAL RELATIONSHIP BANKING Banks who are not closing, but opening branches may be rare these days but Handelsbanken are doing just that. They might not be the biggest bank in the UK, but it is according to Global Finance magazine (November 2017), the third safest commercial bank in the world, and they have continued to buck the trend by opening new branches.

The last branch opened in the West Midlands is located in Market Street Stourbridge and now services the needs of over 300 business and personal clients spanning from the Wyre Forest in the west and the Black Country in the east. The Branch Manager, Richard Mander, who has over 30 years of finance and banking experience behind him, comments “that the Bank’s popular decentralised operating

The Bank’s popular decentralised operating model has been one of the factors behind the Bank’s growth in the UK.


model has been one of the factors behind the Bank’s growth in the UK.” The roots of the Handelsbanken operating model can be traced back almost 50 years to its former CEO, Jan Wallender, who didn’t like the way high street banks operated and wanted to do something different, so he sent the power back to the branches. This operating model now exists across the Bank’s Nordic and UK branches. Richard Mander comments that “most of the decision-making is taken at local level, that’s where the authority is and the branch operates as an individual unit in its own right. It’s the way things used to be in banking, the telephone calls come straight to our office where the team is based. The ability to speak directly with all of our staff has proved very popular with our customers.” Working with local customers is an important factor for Handelsbanken, and that means long-term relationships can be forged.

The Bank’s success is built on satisfied customers. In October 2017 Handelsbanken was rated number one for customer satisfaction and loyalty for the ninth year running, in an independent survey of British banks’ personal and business customers conducted by EPSI Rating ( These satisfaction and loyalty scores for both personal and business customers were the highest achieved by any bank since the EPSI survey started in the UK (EPSI rating, 2009 – 2017). When asked to sum up Handelsbanken, Richard’s reply was that “Handelsbanken is a financially sound bank which makes prudent decisions and one that believes in long term relationships and traditional values.” The team at Handelsbanken Stourbridge can be contacted on 01384 441050. Handelsbanken, 63 Market Street Stourbridge, DY8 1AQ

September/October 2018



September/October 2018



QUARTERLY ECONOMIC SURVEY (QES) FOR QUARTER 3 IS LIVE! For firms who may not know, the QES is the largest private sector’s business survey in the UK and the results from this forms a large part of our lobbying and key objectives for the year. For this reason the survey is watched closely by policymakers such as the Treasury, the Bank of England, the Office of Budget Responsibility, the IMF and the EU Commission. This year the Chamber have received an

overwhelming response rate from their Members which has provided valuable insight into the local economy and this data has fed into the British Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly report. The QES for Q3 is now available for all businesses to take part; you can visit our website or email the Policy team who will send you the link to the survey on

Business leaders across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are invited to attend the Chamber’s Annual Bank of England Breakfast held at The Courtyard in Hereford on Friday 28 September. Attendee’s will be able to meet with and hear from Graeme Chaplin, the Bank of England’s Agent for the West Midlands and Oxfordshire. As the Agent, Graeme will be giving his annual update on the Bank of England’s latest economic forecasts and will explain the role of the Bank in promoting stability in the UK financial sector post-Brexit. This is an extremely popular event and spaces go quickly so those wanting to attend are advised to book on early to avoid disappointment. Businesses can book through the website or by emailing our Policy Executive Daisie, on

NEW AREA COUNCIL MEMBERS The Area Councils are made up of fifteen specialists from different sectors that supply feedback from their respective sector and help to formulate Chamber policy on the most important economic issues that face the region’s businesses. Often, this gives Members of the Chamber an opportunity to speak to their representative with issues they may have and this is then fed through to the Area Council and the Chamber Board. With some vacancies on the Area Council, announced earlier this year, we would therefore like to welcome

the newly elected Members to the Area Councils: Richard Moore from Keepmoat Homes, Steve Hayward from Denco Lubrication Ltd, and Toby Kinnaird from Barrs Court who will be sitting on the Herefordshire Area Council. Daniel Walton from Olpro, Jane Bishop from Malvern Panalytical and Paul Adams from Roxell, will also be joining the Worcestershire Area Council. If you would like to know who represents your sector in your county you will be able to find the information on our website:

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



This November, Hewett Recruitment join the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce to bring you the much anticipated HR Professionals Conference. The annual event sees the biggest gathering of HR brains and business leaders from across the region join together to discuss future innovations, changing dynamics and key challenges facing business today and in the years to come. Now in its 6th year, the conference is a prestigious event in the HR calendar; attracting over 100 delegates, with top business and HR spokespeople sharing their knowledge and experiences with the highly engaged audience. Karen Fox, Employee Services Director at Mainstay Residential and regular delegate commented… “The Hewett Recruitment HR Conference is the must go-to event in my calendar. The speakers are always excellent, informative and enlightening. It’s also a great event to catch up and network with fellow colleagues from around the region, to hear what they are doing and to swap ideas. I look forward to seeing everyone again in November!” Louise Hewett is passionate about providing Andy McBride


the local HR community with engaging discussions surrounding hot topics to ensure relevant support and advice is shared, guiding professionals through current and arising challenges within business. This year, the conference, held at the Bank House, Worcester, will see a fresh dynamic with vibrant new speakers, including REC’s recently appointed Chief Executive, Neil Carberry as the key note speaker. Neil is the former managing director of the Confederation of British Industry, leading the CBI’s work on the labour market, skills, energy and infrastructure. He is a member of the council of the conciliation service ACAS and of the Low Pay Commission where he helps guide pay policy in the UK. There is no doubt he’ll have a vast sea of thought-provoking knowledge, information and experiences to share amongst this year’s delegates. We are delighted to announce our HR speaker Andy McBride, Head of Resourcing and Shared Services at Halfords, who’ll be offering an interactive session, sharing insight on nurturing talent from different avenues, her thoughts on Diversity and how Halfords are maximising the Apprenticeship levy. It promises to be a

Neil Carberry

thought-provoking and valuable discussion. One of the leading employment law solicitors in the county, Sally Morris, returns to our conference line up. As Partner & Head of Employment at mfg Solicitors, Sally will be sharing recent and impending legislation changes due to affect businesses, alongside updates on recent case law and advice on future-proofing your business. Delegates always look forward to Sally’s straight talking and informative presentation which inevitably leads to a lively question time. If you’re a HR professional or business owner looking to stay informed and remain ahead of the curve, there is no doubt the HR conference is the event for you. Tickets cost £37.50+VAT for Chamber/ CIPD Members and Hewett Recruitments clients. £50+VAT for non-members. Costs include a delicious lunch and refreshments. We look forward to seeing you there! If you would like to find out more information or to book tickets please email: or visit

Sally Morris

September/October 2018


Could digital Timesheets help your business and its employees?

We live in a digital world where you’d be hard pushed to find any business without a computer of some sort. However, alarmingly, the amount of paper used by a full time office employee is estimated to be around 10,000 sheets a year with around 45% of that put in to waste. So it may be time to question: do we really need to print all we do or are we just stuck in our ways? If your company uses timesheets, you’ll be familiar with the challenges that come with them; from misplaced paperwork on cluttered desks to running out of storage space. It’s no surprise many companies are re-evaluating their methods and systems to reduce paper processes. Not only does this save valuable admin time but it can also reduce printing costs and lessens the risk of human error. However small, human error can have such large repercussions for a business and its employees. Having a reliable timesheet management system that links with your payroll can drastically improve data accuracy. It allows the employee to simply log on to the company’s secure portal and enter in the details eliminating the risk of inaccurate information. It also relieves the monthly monotonous data entry exercise for your finance team – saving time and money! 2018 has seen a rise in flexible working. While the

advantages of smaller offices, less costs and happier employees definitely out way the negatives, this can also be another issue when it comes to those needing to complete timesheets when they can’t get back to the office. If you have an employee that works from home, out on the road or has a flexible contract, the Timesheet Module in Pegasus Opera 3 allows employees to submit their timesheets completely remotely from a device of their choice.This allows timesheets to be created, recorded and submitted via their laptop, home PC, mobile or tablet. Once the timesheet is submitted, it gets sent to the delegated manager for approval which can then be imported seamlessly to the Opera 3 Payroll system.This reduces the risk of data entry errors whilst also giving more visibility to those who can strategically benefit by spotting trends and gaining more insight into the individual’s working patterns. By exporting the detail in to a standard CSV file, the detail can be further analysed in a spreadsheet enabling you to track, monitor and manage efficiency. It’s worth noting that the Timesheets module can be used by any employee so you wouldn’t need to purchase any more Opera 3 licences. Overall, having a smooth, user-friendly timesheet management system can greatly benefit the employer, employee and the environment.

For more information, contact us on Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



Your Gateway to Business Support Looking to start or grow your business? The Marches Growth Hub offers free business support, information and advice including: Finance & Funding | Networking & Events Start-up Support | Employment & Skills 01432 261758 Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire, Skylon Court, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JL

Join us to Celebrate Productivity NWedR invites local business leaders to its annual flagship event at Hogarths Stone Manor near Kidderminster. The theme this year is ‘Celebrating Productivity’ and there’s lots of evidence to show that local businesses across the area are meeting the ever increasing productivity challenge. At the event, there is a great speaker line up, lots of networking opportunities and a delicious buffet lunch. The event is on Thursday 29 November 2018 starting at 10.30am and closing at 2.00pm. Once again BBC presenter Joanne Malin will welcome everyone to what is set to be an inspiring, informative and uplifting event in North Worcestershire – the natural environment for business. We’re Exhibiting! Come and see us at the H&W Chamber Business Expo at Malvern Three Counties Showground on Thursday 11 October 2018. We’ll be delighted to see you. Join the conversation on Twitter @NorthWorcsEDR using #NWProductivity. To register your place, visit


September/October 2018

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CHARTERED INSURANCE BROKER CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Hazelton Mountford is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and will mark the occasion with a special event at its offices later this year.

DRP HOSTS ANNUAL SUMMER CONFERENCE Communications agency drp held its annual summer conference at the Centaur Conference centre, Cheltenham Racecourse, on Thursday 19 July. The day and evening event was attended by the drpteam, to celebrate the agency’s success and exciting growth plans for the future. CEO Dale Parmenter commented: “Our annual conference is an opportunity to gather all team members in one place to share further insight and reflect on the business and discuss our extraordinary growth. The drpteam have reached a record number of employees this year, and it was only right that this success was celebrated.” The day included a review of successes, alongside a silent disco style “speed dating” session with the senior teams. In the evening a fun team “Cheltenham Challenge” saw 32 teams follow clues and enjoy the hospitality of the spa town. Back at the racecourse a free and easy evening saw food, drinks and entertainment provided by the Jockey Club, before retiring to the Cheltenham Chase and Doubletree hotels.

The company – launched by Gordon Hazelton and Jake Mountford - has seen phenomenal growth since it first opened its doors in 2008. From small beginnings, the company now employs 30 employees across its three companies within the group.


Gordon Hazelton, Managing Director at the firm, said:”We are delighted to have reached such a milestone and look forward to a celebratory year ahead. When we launched our company in 2008, the financial services sector was being squeezed by the credit crunch and the country was in economic recession. We are therefore extremely proud of the solid customer base we have built up and the positive work culture we have developed within our organisation. We have also created 30 jobs for local people which is great news for the local economy.”

Worcestershire-based Independent Connections Provider, Rock Power Connections, conducted an internal training day for Commercial Estate Agents, Fisher German at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.

Kev confirmed: “Commercial Estate Agents are facing power challenges on a daily basis. Be it a client acquiring a new site for development, a growing client needing extra power or when a new tenant moves into a premise with doesn’t have sufficient power.”

(L-R) Gordon Hazelton, Managing Director, Simeon Chapman, Director and Jake Mountford, Director all from Hazelton Mountford, celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary.

Taking place on Wednesday 4 July, Rock Power Connection’s Commercial Director, Kev Sankar, delivered an informative and engaging presentation on upgrading and installing new power supplies to commercial property, whilst introducing the firm’s complimentary sister services – Rock Surveying and Rock Clean Energy.

“Ultimately the Fisher German CPD event was about helping them understand how to overcome the electrical challenges associated with new sites, tenanted premises and vacant buildings.”

UK HERITAGE AWARD FOR ROWLANDS ROOFING Rowlands Roofing has won the “UK Heritage Roofing Award” at a ceremony held in London earlier this year. The company won with a project undertaken on a Medieval Hall House called “Llwyn Celyn” near Abergavenny, owned by the Landmark Trust. The local firm is becoming no stranger to winning roofing awards, having won the “Roof Tiling Award” and the “Roof of the Year Award” at the UK Awards 2017.

The firm’s roofing project undertaken at “Quintain House” went on to win the IFD Awards held in Vienna in October 2017. The achievement marked the first time that a UK company had won the Pitched Roofing Category in the IFD Awards’ 62 year history. Andy Rowlands, Owner, has also been recognised by “The Tylers & Bricklayers Livery Company” for his excellence in roofing, by being made a Freeman, and in May 2018, being given the Freedom of the City of London.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT WORCESTERSHIRE EDUCATION AWARDS Finalists of the Worcestershire Education Awards were invited to a lavish black-tie awards ceremony, on Wednesday 20 June, to celebrate this year’s winners of all 12 categories. For the second year, the awards, organised by the Worcester News in partnership with the University of Worcester, showcased the best of the best from schools, nurseries, colleges, volunteer groups and businesses. Former Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew gave an inspirational speech outlining how it was his own teachers and coaches who had helped propel him

sponsors in each category including the University of Worcester, Worcester Bosch, Worcestershire County Council, Babcock Prime, Western Power Distribution, Dominic Tunnell Opticians, Spire Healthcare and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership. to ever-greater success. He also spoke of the challenges he’d overcome during his extraordinary life including facing alopecia and dyslexia while still a schoolboy. Awards across 12 categories were then presented by representatives from the

RURAL MEDIA SECURES FUNDING TO HELP LOCAL YOUNG PEOPLE GAIN DIGITAL SKILLS WHY GETTING EXPERIENCE WORKS “For me, I wanted to undertake work experience so I could get the insight into what career path I wanted to go into after my A levels. “Nowadays university seems to be the directed choice for students, but with apprenticeships on the rise it shows that learning whilst you’re earning is becoming a preferred route. “However, there is no “correct” pathway and you have to do what you feel is best for you. It is better to have the options of both university and apprenticeship vacancies so that it doesn’t leave you restricted on your options. “There are so many opportunities out there and I would strongly recommend getting as much experience as possible, in a range of companies, because your preferences could fluctuate as you learn more.” Grace Law, a Marketing student who joined the Chamber for a week’s work experience.


A charity based in Hereford which hopes to help young people within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community to develop their digital skills, has secured funding and a coveted position on the Carnegie UK Trust’s #NotWithoutMe Accelerator programme to develop a new digital inclusion initiatives. Rural Media has been awarded £3,000 and given a unique opportunity to gain valuable “start-up” support from industry experts helping to design and refine its project idea. The charity is one of only six initiatives across the UK selected for the highly competitive Carnegie #NotWithoutMe programme, which supports the development of new and engaging digital inclusion projects. At the end of this process, the charity will have an opportunity to apply for a further £40,000 funding and ongoing support. Rural Media will work with GRT young people locally and nationally to develop their digital skills through specific workshops and creative technologies including film.

The event, which took place at the University of Worcester Arena on Wednesday, June 20, also raised £1,000 for Acorn’s Children’s Hospice. To view the full list of finalists, please visit

DOUBLE MEDAL JOY FOR PERSHORE COLLEGE Pershore College is celebrating the success of two of its engineering apprentices being awarded a Medal for Excellence by the educational organisation City and Guilds. Luke Hill and Matt Davis, who are land based service engineering apprentices, were presented with their medals at the college on Tuesday 10 July in recognition of their exceptional talents. Both have gained Level 2 Diplomas in Work based Land based Service Engineering (Groundcare). The prestigious Medals for Excellence have been awarded by the City and Guilds Group for over 100 years. They celebrate exceptional talent among learners who have achieved great results by not only producing exceptional work, but by going above and beyond what is expected to achieve their goals. Mark Eden, Director of Work based Learning said: “We are immensely proud of Luke and Matt. Their attitude to work and learning has been exemplary and they thoroughly deserve to receive these celebrated awards.”

September/October 2018



(L-R) Richard Lane (EBC Group) and Ian Bond (Talbots Law)

TALBOT TARGET EXPANSION AFTER £1M IT INVESTMENT Work place technology providers, EBC Group have helped a leading Midlands based solicitors, Talbots Law target ambitious expansion plans after a £1m investment in their IT & Technology. Talbots Law has worked with EBC Group to complete the installation of a new private cloud accessed Virtual Desk Interface (VDI) and VoIP telephony system that will deliver a number of customer service improvements. Richard Lane, Group Managing Director at EBC Group adds “We have worked with Talbots Law for 20 years, which is testament to our ability to provide all their ICT services.

On Saturday 15 September, #UKFoodHour will celebrate its first birthday. Hosted by Louise Roberts of Alimenti Food Sciences Ltd, the Twitter hour brings together the amazing food producers, bloggers, consumers, wholesalers, suppliers and retailers of the UK for online networking opportunities. The UK produces some of the best food in the world, with the very highest standards of production. #UKFoodHour was created to shout about how great the products and people are, network, and discuss the latest opportunities and challenges with like-minded people. In its first year, #UKFoodHour has held 52 Twitter hours, gained nearly 1,000 followers, tweeted about 5,000 times and reached 21,000 Twitter accounts each month. To celebrate the success, #UKFoodHour will host a Twitter hour Live in Herefordshire/ Worcestershire, and one in Oxfordshire. At the time of going to press, the venues and details are to be confirmed. To find out more about the celebrations and to join the conversation, follow @ UKFoodHour and by use the hashtag #UKFoodHour.

UNIQUE RECYCLING INITIATIVE AIMS TO CUT CAR SEAT LANDFILL WASTE Staff at JMDA are passionate about the environment and supporting green initiatives to minimise landfill waste and damage to the environment. The firm’s unique “Nursery Recycling Initiative” aims to minimise the impact of JMDA’s nursery design products on the environment. In breaking down unused Child Restraint Systems (CRS) into recyclable parts which can be sold as scrap, JMDA hope to raise a sum of money which they can donate to local children’s charities. Derrick Barker, JMDA’s Creative and Managing Director said: “Our responsibility as innovators spans beyond the design and manufacture of nursery products and innovative CRS. JMDA aims to design practical products with a beneficial impact on local and global communities, that support social wellbeing, but which don’t impact negatively on the environment.”

“As an award winning Managed Services Provider, we are confident that we can continue to support their digital transformation throughout their future growth.”

With the support of local environmental companies, worldwide supplies and global manufacturers, JMDA will put pressure on the industry to develop a fully recyclable CRS that meets the needs of consumers and regulatory bodies alike.

NEW SECURITY CENTRE MARCHES AHEAD IN FIGHT AGAINST CYBER CRIME A joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council has secured £9 million funding to develop a new Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford. The new Centre will offer high quality research facilities through the University’s Cyber Security Research Institute as well as providing office space for cyber businesses and advanced training facilities designed specifically to tackle threats in cyberspace.

Councillor David Harlow, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Communications, said: “The cyber security sector is an important and fast growing part of the UK economy, and Herefordshire is proud to be home to the new Centre for Cyber Security and a growing cluster of cyber security businesses. The new centre will provide a unique range of facilities including business space for SMEs research, product testing laboratory space and educational and training space, and will act as a draw for national investment in the local economy.”

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



GJS DILLON HELPS TWO TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES EXPAND IN MALVERN GJS Dillon has helped an award-winning Malvern technology company double the size of its business premises, and a Worcester technology company relocate to larger premises on Malvern’s leading business park. Acting on behalf of a private landlord, Mike Pritchard, Commercial Negotiator at GJS Dillon, let two industrial warehouse buildings at Beauchamp Business Centre; one to Metrasens, a world leading supplier of magnetic detection systems, and one to

PACS Services Limited, a manufacturer of electrical safety systems. Mr Pritchard said: “We are delighted to help two technology companies grow in Malvern on a sought after business park. Many technology businesses want to join the cluster of similar businesses already located in and around the town.” With offices in Worcester, Droitwich and Bromsgrove, GJS Dillon is the largest firm of Chartered Surveyors headquartered in Worcestershire.


WARRIORS AGREE NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH MPLANT Worcester Warriors are delighted to welcome MPlant to Sixways as an Official Partner of the Club. The agreement will see the company featuring on the sleeve of the Warriors shirt for the next two seasons.

Patron member Gowling WLG has applied its expertise in blockchain technology to its own business, by launching the ‘Gowling WLG Reward Token’ (GRT) scheme. With blockchain technology becoming more prominent globally, the scheme will educate everyone in the firm’s UK offices on cryptocurrency and its uses. The initiative educates employees on how the technology works, while simultaneously allowing them to earn and share rewards for their efforts, meaning lawyers are well placed to advise clients on future uses of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Director Helen Davenport commented: “Gowling WLG is the first company in the legal sector to launch an internal use of blockchain technology, meaning our lawyers are best-placed to help our clients in understanding what blockchain is and the benefits of introducing it to their business.” The launch of the scheme follows Gowling WLG’s report discussing the disruptive power of blockchain technology within the financial services sector. To find out more and read the report, please visit www.gowlingwlg. com/blockchain-report.

A typical unit at Beauchamp Business Centre Malvern

HEREFORDSHIRE PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES THE LEDBURY POETRY FESTIVAL Ledbury-based Paul Ligas Photography Limited was the official photographer for this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, producing event photographs that will help the festival’s future promotion. This was the first year that the poetry festival had made use of a professional photographer. Paul attended events every day throughout the festival, photographing the poets and performers on-stage and off with a quick editing turn-around to ensure the festival could start using the photographs on social media right away. Photographing poetry readings, workshops and outdoor events, Paul Ligas said: “The festival organisers and their publicist were delighted that they finally have the high-quality photographs that they’ve previously been unable to get using their mobile phones. The images I’ve captured will help them in the future to promote the festival in print and online.” Paul is looking forward to returning as the official photographer next year.

MPlant is a Worcestershire-based supplier of hired machinery to the private, construction and civil engineering sectors. MPlant’s Operations Director, Will Pawsey, said: “We’re really excited to become an Official Partner of Worcester Warriors. The Club is at the heart of the city and we’re really proud to be part of what Warriors are doing. “Warriors are well placed to push on throughout this season and the coming years and we’re looking forward to growing alongside them.” Warriors Managing Director, Gus Mackay, said: “We are very excited to welcome MPlant to the Club as an Official Partner and we can’t wait to work alongside a local company which is rapidly growing.”


September/October 2018


A PROTOTYPE FOR GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE One company delivering steadfast and reliable customer service with modern efficiency is Magenta Technology Ltd – provider of photocopiers and multi-functional printers. MORE THAN PRINTERS Printers now form the hub of the office, providing multiple functions; printing, copying, scanning and faxing, should they go wrong, the repercussions are greater, necessitating a first class level of service.

A COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT SERVICE The skilled Magenta team offer a comprehensive support service, beginning with a consultation so all printing equipment provided meets your business needs. You may buy or lease equipment and their service agreements include all call out fees, labour, parts and toner. All equipment is carefully monitored, so


toner is delivered on time, keeping your business running smoothly.

RAPID RESPONSE TIMES All maintenance requests are responded to quickly by the dedicated team, some of whom have over 40 years in the business. Typically, repairs take one visit to resolve, with the knowledgeable team, fully equipped with all the parts necessary for the printers and copiers. All work is completed in accordance with their ISO 90001 quality management systems, ensuring a high standard of work, a quick resolution and minimising downtime.

PRINTER SECURITY AND GDPR With the advent of GDPR, printer security has never been more important. Most printers have a hard drive showing all items printed and many are connected to the internet, potentially providing a gateway to your business. Security is paramount at Magenta, which is why they are often the print partner of choice for IT firms.

YOUR SPECIALIST PRINTING EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER Magenta Technology Ltd works with businesses of all sectors and sizes, across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and further afield. The majority of their work comes through referrals and personal recommendations. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 01432 278 296 or email:

Encapsulating our best thinking for the benefit of SMEs

A streamlined service for employers with workplace pension and employee benefit arrangements

For more information on our services please contact Sharron West, Pearl Account Manager: 01527 300013

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



EMPLOYING APPRENTICES WITH PERSHORE COLLEGE Karl O’Neill, Technical Manager at Bransford Webb talks about his experience of employing apprentices with Pershore College, part of WCG Apprenticeships. Bransford Webb supply nursery stock to garden centres and supermarkets all over the UK, they grow 1.5 million plants a year and employ around 50 permanent staff and a number of apprentices. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO EMPLOY APPRENTICES? Apprenticeships are the core element of our staff, lots of our supervisory staff and other key roles within the company have started out as apprentices. We feel it’s the best route for our recruitment and

as for some of them it takes some time to get used to the academic side. But the support from the college has been excellent.

HOW HAVE WCG APPRENTICESHIPS SUPPORTED YOU? The support from WCG is fantastic, the assessor is always on hand, very good communication, excellent support for the apprentices and a very strong relationship with us throughout. we like to support young people into the industry as it’s an industry with an ageing workforce. Apprentices bring youth, enthusiasm, new skills, new ideas and a thirst to want to do more.

HAVE YOU FACED ANY CHALLENGES WHILST EMPLOYING APPRENTICES? The main challenge is getting them through their portfolio and college work

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS TO YOUR BUSINESS? The main benefit is recruitment, it’s filling our full-time positions. As a business we have grown and grown over the last decade and many of the positions have been filled by former apprentices so it’s an excellent recruitment tool for us. If you are a business interested in employing apprentices, contact WCG Apprenticeships:

New Leaf Plants is the leading UK producer of clematis and climbing plants

We supply the most comprehensive range of clematis and climbing plants to garden centres, landscapers and retailers across the UK and Europe. We are part of a group of leading UK nurseries to initiate the change over to fully recycled and recyclable plastic plant pots. Top quality plants at great value prices Good range of top selling varieties to satisfy your customer requirements

Seasonal promotions to create themed displays and increase sales

Quality flowering stock to maximise impulse sales

For a brochure or further information please contact us at: Bredon View Nursery, Sandfield Lane, Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, WR11 7QS. +44 (0) 1386 442055 • 07740 675943 • •


September/October 2018


EMPLOYMENT LAW SPECIALITY Will Morse, employment law specialist at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors in Hereford, takes a look at the latest legislation impacting some businesses.

‘on call’, are not entitled to the minimum wage during that period. The ruling has of course been welcomed by care companies but they do need to be careful about how to react to the ruling. Employers who currently pay the national minimum wage for sleeping shifts should seek advice before they reduce employees’ pay in light of this judgment.

There was good news for businesses in the care sector recently with a ruling which restricts the entitlement of carers who work “sleeping shifts” to the minimum wage. In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that carers who sleep at a client’s home, when they are technically

Any reduction in pay – in the absence of a valid contractual provision enabling the reduction, which will be rare, or employees’ consent – will amount to a fundamental breach of contract, entitling employees to resign and bring claims based on constructive dismissal. Further, where 20 or more employees at one establishment are affected by a unilateral reduction in pay, collective consultation

rules will need to be complied with, failing which affected employees will be entitled to protective awards worth up to 90 days’ pay. Employers should also bear in mind that even where a pay reduction is implemented fairly and lawfully, in the absence of binding settlement agreements, employees could still chance their arm with claims – which could put employers to considerable expense of time and, in the absence of legal expenses insurance cover, legal costs. The team at Lanyon Bowdler hold regular employment law updates, when we talk through the latest developments affecting businesses, such as new legislation like this. Our next seminar in Hereford will take place in the autumn. They are always popular, so to be sure of booking a place, email the team at

Transparently priced, practical advice and support delivered by legal specialists in Herefordshire Our specialist corporate, commercial property, dispute resolution and employment lawyers provide support to help you grow and protect your business, giving you a solid foundation to build upon

Incorporating Beaumonts Solicitors

01432 378379 Our People, Your Team

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Beaumont House, Offa Street, Hereford HR1 2LH 44 High Street, Bromyard HR7 4AE Offices also in Shrewsbury | Ludlow | Oswestry | Telford



WORCESTERSHIRE HAS A REMARKABLE RANGE OF INNOVATION Worcestershire has always punched above its weight with a remarkable range of innovation and pioneering new small and medium sized businesses emerging. WINN, Worcestershire’s innovation programme, is celebrating two years of boosting innovation in the region. As well as its popular programme of regular WINN Wednesday events and keynote exhibitions, the innovation champion organises roundtable discussions on key sectors, workshops, thought leadership, advice and a chance to collaborate and connect with likeminded people. The WINN website also includes The Conversation, a regular spotlight on regional innovators. “WINN’s motto, ‘great things happen when people get together’ sums up its modus operandi,” says senior project manager Jess Antley. “WINN partners with a range of organisations and individuals to stage

Nelda DCruz and Jess Antley from WINN

One of the many WINN events

key events across Worcestershire aimed at boosting innovation across all industry sectors.

programme, the Low Carbon Programme (LoCOP) and the Proof of Concept programme.

“We are focussed on developing a community of inspirational individuals and brilliant businesses to help the region grow and become recognised nationally as a hub of innovative ideas and projects.

“Our regular WINN Wednesday events cover a range of topics,” added Jess.

“We can help businesses showcase their ideas, learn from other innovators and be inspired.”

Other WINN events already scheduled include Innovation Through Time, on November 21. ‘Held at Worcester Arena, entry is free, there is parking, and food and mocktails will be served. Booking for WINN events is available at

WINN is a Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Worcestershire LEP (WLEP) initiative and integrates with the County Council’s Open for Business suite of business support programmes, which include the Enterprising Worcestershire

“September’s event is called ‘It’s All About ME’ and is all about marketing and engagement.

01432 273359

Short Courses and Workshops for business

HerefordArtsCol HerefordArtsCol herefordarts

We offer a range of up-to-date training workshops for local businesses. Marketing for Small and Micro Businesses - 5th Oct & 8th Feb 19 Presentation and Networking Skills – 9th Nov & 15th March 19 Delivered by Heidi Chamberlain Jones, from Minx Media

An Introduction to SEO - 19th Oct Blogging 101 – 16th Nov An Introduction to Data Visualisation – 15th Feb 19 The Creative’s Guide to Working with Clients – 22nd March 19 Delivered by John Pring, from Designbysoap


Plus Creative Short Courses From design crafts to video and photography, fine art to computer graphics, discover a course to inspire you. For more information, or to request an enrolment form please contact the Short Course Team, by calling 01432 845302, or email

September/October 2018



NEWLY APPOINTED GENERAL MANAGER HELPS TO GAIN 4 AA STAR RATING The Bank House Hotel, Spa & Golf Club has recently gained a 4 AA star status after the appointment of Jason Mayglothling as General Manager. Jason joined the Bank House just before the end of 2017 and brought a wealth of knowledge to the role overseeing all strategic and operational management within the hotel. Jason Mayglothling commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have gained a 4 star rating from the AA. We have all worked hard to achieve the success and the team have been really guest focused which was picked up by the Inspector which was specifically mentioned in the report following her visit. Our new status really is a credit to the whole team.”

Herefordshire Council’s broadband delivery project, Fastershire, has won the top prize at the National Connected Britain Awards in London. The Connected Britain Awards aim to recognise the innovation and achievement of those companies who are at the forefront of Britain’s digital transformation. Fastershire is the broadband delivery project jointly created with Gloucestershire County Council, to provide access to faster broadband in areas of commercial market failure. The award recognised the progress made in the county towards full fibre provision. The county already boasts three times the national average full fibre connections and by 2020, over half of all rural broadband connections in Herefordshire will be fibre to the premise. This will make it one of the best connected places in the UK. Councillor David Harlow, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for economy and communication, said, “We’re immensely proud that Fastershire has received national recognition as so much has already been achieved.”

GLP TRAINING PRAISED BY OFSTED INSPECTORS A national training provider based in Worcestershire has impressed education watchdogs in their first ever Ofsted inspection. GLP Training, which employs a team of 48 training and development experts, was praised by inspectors for its work in creating bespoke, on-the-job training for UK businesses who take on apprentices. The Worcester firm, formed in 2014, works with national companies from the construction, facilities management, pharmaceuticals, retail, property and transport sectors, preparing people for jobs. In the past year alone they trained 150 apprentices on levy standards schemes, and more than 650 people on learning frameworks.

“We are looking forward to a busy summer and hosting some of our own events later in the year.”

GLP Training’s founder and Managing Director Gemma Parsons said: “All our procedures and processes have been checked thoroughly by Ofsted and we are delighted to be given such a glowing report by inspectors. It’s a huge seal of approval and brilliant milestone.”

MUSEUM OF CARPET CELEBRATES SUCCESSFUL SUMMER EXHIBITION OPENING Following the official opening on Saturday 3 July for friends, benefactors and members of the Kidderminster community, the Museum of Carpet’s second annual Summer Exhibition is open to the public. The “Journey to Japan” exhibition was celebrated with an introduction by Katagami Expert, Mamiko Markham, and officially opened by David Adam of Adam Carpets. The exhibition features stunning ink paintings and beautiful hand-cut textile stencils from nineteenth century Japan. It charts the voyage of Kidderminster carpet manufacturer Michael Tomkinson, who travelled to Japan after the country opened its borders in 1854. He was fascinated by

the culture he found there and collected extensively, opening a Japanese Museum in the grounds of Franche Hall upon his return. “Journey to Japan” is on at the Museum of

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Carpet from 3 July-29 September 2018. To find out more about the exhibition and associated events, please visit



TRAINING WITH THE CHAMBER The Chamber Business Training department delivers over 110 public training courses per year across Herefordshire and Worcestershire and over 50 bespoke days at various companies within the two counties and beyond. With the course portfolio being refreshed regularly the list of courses delivered is continuously growing.

way, thereby causing avoidable conflict, cost and absenteeism. JMDA are an award winning British product design consultancy based in Pershore, Worcestershire, and their Industrial Designer Rob Jones attended one of the Emergency First Aid at Work courses held at the Chamber offices in Worcester.

With the portfolio divided into 5 key course series covering topics in Developing People, HR, Legislation and Regulation, IT and Microsoft, PR and Marketing and Sales and Customer Care, we pride ourselves in delivering an excellent standard of training courses to suit all businesses so we thought we’d let one of our past delegates do the talking! Our HR, Legislation and Regulation course series will train staff in essential skills including Health & Safety and Management processes as well as offering courses to keep delegates up to date on the ever-changing legal work environment. This series is therefore aimed at both new and experienced managers who wish to gain clear guidance about how to deal with employment issues, both from a legislative perspective, and just as importantly, from an interpersonal skills perspective. Too often, employees implement the right decisions in the workplace, but the wrong

Rob explains, “I found the ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’ course extremely interesting. I now feel confident in delivering first aid and CPR to colleagues should the need arise. Being semi-rural, it’s essential that staff are competent to administer first aid competently and that we refresh our skills regularly.” He adds, “The course was delivered very well, besides being very engaging and interactive there was plenty of opportunity to ask questions. I’m pleased to have a wider understanding of CPR, seizures and choking, and I am now confident to treat a patient for shock. The training has certainly enhanced my first aid knowledge and will undoubtedly support me in my role as Employee First Aider at JMDA.” Other courses within this series include Employment Law Update, Fire Marshal Training, IOSH Working Safely, IOSH Managing Safely and Internal Auditor Training. Many of these courses are counted as points for CIPD CPD accreditations.

I found the ‘Emergency First Aid at Work’ course extremely interesting. I now feel confident in delivering first aid and CPR to colleagues should the need arise. Being semi-rural, it’s essential that staff are competent to administer first aid competently and that we refresh our skills regularly. 026

MEET THE TRAINER – JOHN LEGGE After 22 years of training in businesses across the UK, including here at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, John P Legge Computer Services Limited has launched a new product. Managing Director, John Legge, says: “After years of running the Excel courses at Basic Level, right through to Master Class, we found that post course many clients were asking us how they could practise their new found skills amidst their busy work life. “We are delighted to share that we have created an innovative idea using our Microsoft Office-based skills in PowerPoint and Excel to produce the solution. We now offer a series of three modules covering; Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Excel functionality found on our one day courses. “The modules are self contained in a PowerPoint presentation, and each of the six topics per module includes a video recording of a feature in Excel, an exercise to try and the answer to that exercise. “We are finding that people who have both been on our courses, and even those who want a taster before they attend the full one day course, are finding it helpful to have a good resource for practise at their fingertips on their office PC or network.” To view John’s Excel courses at the Chamber please visit For more details, you can see a sample on John’s website here

September/October 2018





Excel Master Class

Mental Health First Aid (2 Day)

Advanced Microsoft Excel

Tuesday 4 September - 9.30am-4.00pm £200+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non-members

Thursday 4 October £280+VAT Members / £360+VAT Non-members

Wednesday 17 October - 9.30am-4.00pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Introduction to Project Management

Intermediate Microsoft Excel

Managing Performance in the Team

Wednesday 5 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Monday 8 October - 9.30am-4.00pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Tuesday 23 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Effective Professional Proofreading – Hereford

Creating a Customer Care Culture

Emergency First Aid at Work

Thursday 6 September - 9.30am-1.30pm £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non-members

Tuesday 16 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Thursday 25 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non-members

Search Engine Optimisation

Email Marketing

Quality Manager Training

Tuesday 11 September - 9.30am-1.30pm £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non-members

Tuesday 16 October - 9.30am-1.30pm £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non-members

Tuesday 30 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £236+VAT Members / £295+VAT Non-members

Communicating for Success

IOSH Working Safely

Managing People in the Team

Thursday 13 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Wednesday 17 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

Wednesday 31 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members - £188+VAT Non-members

Intermediate Microsoft Excel

Friday 14 September - 9.30am-4.00pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members Writing Effective Marketing Copy

Monday 17 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members Effective Presentation Skills

Wednesday 19 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members - £188+VAT Non-members Creating a Customer Care Culture

Thursday 20 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members Conducting Effective Team Appraisals

Monday 24 September - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members Introduction to Microsoft Excel

Thursday 27 September - 9.30am-4.00pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members HR for the Non HR Managers

Monday 1 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members Professional Telephone Techniques

Tuesday 2 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non-members

For more information and bookings contact us on 01905 673 611, Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce


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IT REFRESHED - INTRODUCING THE NEW KEGSOFT BUSINESS LANGUAGE (KBL) applications – from tactical time-saving procedures for processing data, to strategic ‘line-of-business’ applications.

At Kegsoft, we believe IT has become overly-complex and difficult for many SMEs to progress specialist requirements without costly and scarce resources. This inspired us to completely rethink IT languages and application design for business …and develop a new rationalised approach that will help UK Ltd. address the growing skills gap between business and IT. KBL is a stripped-down IT language, designed and created in the UK from scratch - taking a significant step toward IT simplification. Ideal for business-focussed users who need to become more IT capable and productive, KBL makes light of tough business and technical tasks that are not easily dealt with – even by IT seasoned specialists.

VERSATILITY & PRODUCTIVITY Very easy to learn & use compared with conventional IT languages, KBL is straightforward, time-saving, goal-oriented and accelerates learning essential skills. Through greater individual IT competence and self-reliance, businesses and

INNOVATION, INNOVATION We’ve incorporated many innovative and cost saving techniques, e.g. for deploying and sharing spreadsheets as databases on the cloud, for processing very large & complex datasets and for enabling amazing interactive reports to visualise data and help you optimise valuable time and resources.

TALK TO US other organisations can become more productive and less dependent on scarce and costly resources.

KEGSOFT APPLICATIONS KBL has a lot ‘under the bonnet’ and Kegsoft can supply high-quality bespoke KBL-based applications to meet specific business needs faster and for less cost than traditional providers. More experienced KBL users can progress to design, create and enhance their own

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Kegsoft is new, progressive and formed by highly experienced IT and business professionals who have worked right across industry and commerce – if you’ve a problem, an idea, business requirement or just curious how we can help - call us on 01568 613272 for a friendly chat or visit



HR CONFERENCE, IN ASSOCIATION WITH HEWETT RECRUITMENT The event is aimed at HR Professionals from companies 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. Date: Thursday 22 November Time: 9.00am-3.00pm Venue: Bank House Hotel, Bransford, Worcester WR6 5JD Cost: £37.50+VAT for Chamber Members or clients of Hewett Recruitment and £50.00+VAT for Non-members

KEYNOTE SPEAKER – NEIL CARBERRY – CEO OF THE REC Neil Carberry was appointed as Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation in June 2018 having been managing director at the Confederation of British Industry, leading the CBI’s work on the labour market, skills, energy and infrastructure.

ANDY MCBRIDE – HEAD OF RESOURCING AND SHARED SERVICES AT HALFORDS Andy is currently Head of Resourcing and Shared Services for Halfords Ltd, a well-known Retailer of Cycles and Automotive products. Andy is responsible for all Group Talent acquisition, HR transactional services and Employee Relations. She has considerable experience in large scale resourcing and has been the leader in many system implementations and change programmes.

SALLY MORRIS – PARTNER AND HEAD OF EMPLOYMENT AT MFG SOLICITORS Sally Morris joins the conference line up once again as one of the leading employment law solicitors in the county. Sally is a respected media spokesperson on all employment and HR law issues regularly contributing legal commentaries and legislation warnings for the region’s business leaders and key media.

WOMEN’S BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN ASSOCIATION WITH BORWELL Hear from our inspirational female speakers, benefit from plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day and enjoy a delicious two course lunch. Date: Friday 21 September Time: 9.00am-2.30pm Venue: The Abbey Hotel, Abbey Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3ET Cost: £37.50+VAT Members and £50.00+VAT Non-Members

DAGMAR MACKETT DIRECTOR OF FILM AND VIDEO AT DRP Don't tell me, "I could never do that".

FLEUR SEXTON MANAGING DIRECTOR AT PET-XI TRAINING Resilient Business - Creating your own rules for success.

Dagmar has held positions including: head of Multimedia Operations at PR Newswire Europe: Corporate Communications Director and Head of Broadcast and Interactive at global PR agency, Weber Shandwick; and Head of International Media Relations at Medialink. In 2006, she took up the role of Senior Consultant in Corporate Communications at World Television and became its Global Head of News a year later.

Fleur is Business Woman of the Year 2017/18 and Managing Director and co-founder of multi-award winning PET-XI Training, whose relentlessly upbeat teams and innovative programmes deliver impact, inspiration, productivity and value across the UK.


DR EMMA POSEY - PROGRAMME LEAD INGENUITY STUDIOS AT NMITE HEREFORDSHIRE Ingenuity in Engineering Emma comes to NMiTE from Fairfield High School, Peterchurch (a local Herefordshire secondary school) where she taught Computer Science and Design Technology to 11 to 16 years olds. She has an academic and artistic background in creative technology, establishing bloc - a Wales-based arts organisation. Emma has initiated many projects, including local Maker Faires, focusing on shared idea development and 'out-of-the-box' technology.

September/October 2018


NETWORKING CALENDAR SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2018 SEPTEMBER 2018 Worcester HR Forum in association Hewett Recruitment Wednesday 12 September - 9.30-11.30am Chamber of Commerce, Severn House, Prescott Drive, Worcester WR4 9NE FREE for Members and clients of Hewett Recruitment / £35.00+VAT Non-members Chinese Supper Wednesday 12 September - 6.00-8.00pm Four Seasons, 18 Malvern Road, Powick, Worcester WR2 4RU £20.00+VAT Members & £35.00+VAT Non-members Sustainability Forum Wednesday 19 September - 8.00-11.00am Southco Manufacturing Ltd., Wainwright Road, Warndon, Worcester, WR4 9FA FREE for Members & Non-members Chamber Golf Day sponsored by EBC Group Wednesday 19 September - 12.00pm Shotgun start The Vale Gole and Country Club, Hill Furze Lane, Bishampton, Worcester, WR10 2LZ - Midlands Air Ambulance Individual tickets- £70.00+VAT Members/£75.00+VAT Non-members Team of 4 - £275.00+VAT Members/£300.00+VAT Non-members To book please contact or email Women’s Business Conference 2018 in association with borwell Limited Friday 21 September - 9.30am-2.30pm The Abbey Hotel, Abbey Road, Great Malvern WR14 3ET £37.50+ VAT Members and £50.00+ VAT Non- members Worcestershire Networking Lunch Tuesday 25 September - 12.30-2.30pm Brockencote Hall, Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 4PY FREE for Members and £35.00+VAT Non-members TYRO Events Wednesday 26 September - 5.30-7.00pm Benedicto's, 34 Sidbury, Worcester, WR1 2HZ FREE to Members & Non-members Annual Bank of England Breakfast Friday 28 September - 7.30-9.00am The Courtyard, Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR FREE for Members & £20.00+VAT Non-members

Maximise Your Membership Event Friday 19 October - 8.30-11.00am Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JL FREE for Members Hereford Women’s Business Forum in association with Thorne Widgery Accountancy Tuesday 23 October - 9.30-11.30am Thorne Widgery, 2 Wyevale Business Park, Kings Acre, Hereford HR4 7BS FREE for Members and £20.00+VAT Non-members Chamber Business Expo in association with Hewett Recruitment Thursday 11 October - 9.30am-2.30pm Malvern Three Counties Showground, WR13 6NW Networking Breakfast - 8.00-9.30am Sponsored by Worcestershire Business Central - 250 networkers will be joined by key note speaker: Mark Stansfeld, Chairman of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership – “Drivers of productivity for Worcestershire and how they can solve the UK’s productivity problem”. The Networking Zone - 9.30am-2.30pm Sponsored by West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets - Free Tea and Coffee kindly provided by Water Cooler World, will be in the Networking Zone, which is located in the centre of the Main Exhibition Hall. Food and Drink Producers Zone Sponsored by mfg Solicitors - Local Food and Drink companies will be showcasing their products and providing free samples throughout the day. Seminar - 9.30-10.30am Dr John Collins, Commercial Director at SynbiCITE will address attendees on the future of Innovation and strategy to a sustainable food production and how we can educate and collaborate. Seminar - 10.45-11.45am Leicester-based Mo Bro’s began in-house making its own formulations of beard oils, balms, butters and waxes with natural ingredients. Three years later the business turns over £1.3m, selling in 78 countries and has amassed over 300,000 online customers. Thanks to our Expo Sponsors

OCTOBER 2018 Hereford HR Forum in association with Hewett Recruitment Wednesday 17 October - 9.30-11.30am Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JL FREE for Members and clients of Hewett Recruitment / £35.00+VAT Non-members

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



WHY THE SECRET OF SUCCESS IS BEING PREPARED TO FAIL “Step outside of your comfort zone, take a risk, test the waters with innovation and be prepared to fail,” says Callum Gill, Head of Insight and Innovation at creative communications agency drp. In this issue, we hear more from Callum about how to foster innovation in your business and the story behind drp’s success. Rewind to 1980 where CEO Dale Parmenter set up a film and video production company. Soon the business grew to encompass event management, computer technology and digital media. By 2000, drp had taken the form of a traditional agency providing all aspects of communications for businesses. One way in which they were innovative, however, drp’s aim was to provide all of their services in-house – a rare thing amongst agencies. “Agencies typically hire production companies to deliver aspects of their campaigns,” explains Callum, “but at drp, we provide everything in-house, meaning clients receive a fluid, efficient and consistent service; and we are quick to react to their needs.”

client, innovating sector by sector and adding value to our clients’ businesses.” Today the company advises businesses on external and internal communications, employing over 270 people across four

“Technology has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in all of human history and it will happen again in the next 25 years, we are on an unprecedented upward curve in terms of technological advances. That’s why two years ago we established our ‘Insight and Innovation division’ in response to client demand for assistance in better understanding the latest technological advancements. We provide insight and information on the latest innovations, trends and more.”

The risk of failure deters businesses from innovating, they act to protect what they have rather than try something new - but the biggest risk to business is taking no risk at all, as a recent study by Nottingham University Business School found. Taking the safe option means that businesses miss out on opportunities.

“Dale’s approach to the business is that as long as he is receiving sufficient requests for a particular service, he will expand the business to provide that service in-house, which has led to steady growth and means we deliver more effective services for our customers in a shorter time frame, we are not beholden to an invisible supply chain.” “Brands have come to us when their regular agency has been too busy, or they’ve found that the standard has dropped when work has been outsourced. We have a structure at drp that is quite different to most agencies, meaning we deliver all aspects of a campaign for our clients.”

“In addition, we’ve never focused on sector specificity, we’ve learnt a lot from the different sectors in which we’ve worked, bringing all of this experience to each


to which they added two more at last year’s prestigious Drum UK Event Awards including ‘Agency of the Year’, all the more meaningful as their competitors and potential customers were the judges.

sites in the UK. Their facilities include the largest corporate communications complex in the UK, covering 4.2 acres, in which you’ll find three film and photography studios, plus much more. Which just goes to show what being innovative and staying ahead of the curve can achieve for a business, for this UK company now has a global reach. drp has won multiple awards over the years,

“We began with a blog called, then we arranged client-led discussions in which 10-25 of our clients get together to share information with their peers. Now we also organise ‘big talk’ events, in which 100-140 of our clients come together for an education programme in which speakers share their expertise, assisting our clients in developing their skills. Often our clients are working in silos within their business and it’s incredibly appealing for them to sit down in an informal environment with their peers from other companies to discuss their challenges, successes and to learn from one another.” “Risk aversion is damaging to businesses, people often hold up big brands such as Google and Amazon as the pinnacle of where they want to be, yet they aren’t willing to take risks or to fail, in the way these tech giants have been willing. For every business success they’ve had, these companies have

September/October 2018

BIGINTERVIEW experienced failures too, it is their willingness to fail and to learn from them that takes their businesses in a new direction. They’d be the first to say that if you are not failing you are not trying hard enough.” “The risk of failure deters businesses from innovating, they act to protect what they have rather than try something new - but the biggest risk to business is taking no risk at all, as a recent study by Nottingham University Business School found. Taking the safe option means that businesses miss out on opportunities.” “The language of innovation is often unclear and complex, but really innovation is nothing out of the ordinary. Businesses need to have an innovation budget that is separate from the annual budget and doesn’t run year to year, with a dedicated team who can plan and implement innovation. They also need to see a particular innovation as part of a longer-term strategy and understand that they are likely to recoup any losses over time.” “Rigid hierarchies are damaging to innovation too, and talk of innovation should not be restricted to the boardroom table. Providing the freedom for innovation is crucial, engage your workforce and allow them to contribute ideas, for this can be achieved simply by creating a dedicated email for ‘bright ideas’ or by holding regular innovation forums, as we do at drp. Foster a culture of innovation in your business by allowing frank and open discussions and listen to the voices from across your organisation.” At drp, it is clear that fostering the right culture within the company is central to their success. In recruitment terms, they look for the right person, then take the time to train them. Encouraging the talent within is a priority too, every employee has the opportunity to dedicate 10% of their time to learning and development, supported by the in-house academy called drp Academy, benefiting both the individual and the company. Callum is a good case in point here, for having started work as a copywriter, he soon rose through the ranks of the marketing department, before taking the reins as the head of the newly-fledged innovation division. “When it comes to assessing the value of ideas, involve your customers too,” adds Callum. “All too often leadership teams’ asses the value of ideas based on their experience rather than testing their success with customers, which is where focus groups, for example, are invaluable.” “Knowing your customers is crucial too, put time and effort into understanding their journey – so you know how and at

what points they interact with you. Rather than sending out blanket communications, personalise your

Callum Gill

messages, so customers know you’ve thought of them before delivering a communication.” “Businesses are often dismissive of millennials, but this generation is communicating with more people than any generation before them. The business world can learn a lot from the younger generation and it’s important to give them a platform as before long they’ll be the majority of your workforce. Reverse mentoring has proven very successful, millennials can learn how a business works, whilst businesses learn from their fluency with technology – it’s a two-way process in which both parties provide and take away something useful.” “There has been an erosion of trust in the digital space, millennials are not willing to listen to brands, the only way to reach them is with honest communication that is meaningful. Moving away from marketing products to experience-based communications is key - think of what Apple or John Lewis have achieved in this

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

way – these brands sell an experience, not a product.” “In terms of trends in communications, though augmented reality and virtual reality have an increasing role to play, mobiles remain at the top of the tree and they are not going away as so many avenues for communication use mobiles as a conduit – so businesses still need to think ‘mobile first’. As voice searches are becoming increasingly common, how brands sound will become as important as how they look and feel.” “Barriers to innovation and risk aversion are a huge threat to UK businesses. Being open to change and fostering a culture of innovation by engaging your employees, your customers and the younger generation are crucial to ensuring your long-term success.”



YOUR CALL TO INNOVATE! In this issue of BD, we take a look at three businesses in our region that are innovators in their field. We learn about the changes they’ve wrought in their industries and hear their top tips for galvanising innovation in your business too.

INNOVATE TO FLOURISH supervisory training provided in-house. Recent developments include the establishment of a ‘new products department’, with the remit of discovering new plants, putting them through robust trials, before bringing them to the market.

Founded in 1930, Wyevale Nurseries is a family-run business which is going from strength to strength – growing more than six million plants each year on more than 600 acres. Their expertise encompasses growing shrubs, herbaceous, trees and hedging plants for the retail, landscaping, forestry and garden design industries, as well as local authorities. Integral to their success is their team, new talent is nurtured through their apprenticeship and management trainee schemes, whilst existing staff develop their skills through the horticultural and

Led by an ‘Indiana Jones-type’ of the horticulture world, a plant hunter who travels all around the world, this venture has proven extremely successful, generating over £2m of new sales and introducing 215 new plant varieties, ten of which are exclusive to Wyevale Nurseries. “We had a reputation as a very traditional nursery offering a broad but workman-like range of plants, but in the last three years we’ve become much more innovative and our ‘new products department’ is a huge part of this transformation,” explains Carol Dickinson, Customer Support and Innovation Manager.

introductions, Daphne Perfumed Princess, recently won Best New Plant Variety 2018 at the Grower of the Year Awards. Just this summer Wyevale Nurseries has crowned these achievements by winning the 2018 Wholesale Nursery Stock Grower of the Year – which just goes to show what you can achieve by being innovative.

Their new approach has been recognised by a string of accolades including best new plant awards at the HTA National Plant Show, Four Oaks and twice at GLEE in the last three years. One of their new

REVAMP YOUR SALES AND MARKETING digital marketing tools available. These include marketing automation, website visitor tracking, CRM systems, websites, social media tools and much more. It’s easy to buy new IT software but it won’t, of itself, transform your lead generation. Aardvark consistently invest over 10% of their turnover on developing new systems, so their customers can benefit from this expertise. One business innovating in the sphere of marketing is Aardvark Marketing. Their talented team has recently won two UK awards at the 2018 Technology Innovators CV Magazine awards, firstly, for their marketing management services and secondly, for their social media and content marketing. So who better to ask about innovation? Not surprisingly business owners get confused and distracted by the sheer number of new


This holistic approach means they implement processes that are proven to work and the tools they recommend are both affordable and easy to use. Paradoxically, as more and more marketing activity becomes digital, some of the older methods such as telephone, PR and direct mail become much more effective at generating quality sales leads. For a busy business owner, outsourcing can be a very effective way of addressing these issues.

larger agencies or to hire a qualified and experienced employee,” explains Gill Hutchinson. “So we put together a more affordable Marketing Manager package, that is flexible, with no long-term contracts which is proving to be very popular. Businesses get the benefit of our marketing and digital skills without having to pay for it full time – so they can concentrate on the job in hand – running their business. The package includes monthly reports and quarterly reviews, so customers know exactly what they’ve paid for and what progress has been made.”

“We realised that a lot of businesses wanted a managed marketing service, but simply couldn’t afford the rates of

September/October 2018


GOOD IDEAS COME FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE BUSINESS REHAU takes its name from a Bavarian town called Rehau, close to the border with the Czech Republic. A family-owned leather manufacturer, founded in 1948, REHAU was compelled to reinvent itself, finding new materials and a new market in the wake of the division of Germany. Change and innovation were a necessity, and change it did. Today, REHAU is a global company offering polymer products to the construction, aerospace, automotive, rail, furniture and window industries operating in 120 countries with a £3.4bn turnover.

graduate recruitment, management trainee and junior leadership schemes, plus lots of opportunities for continued professional development. As Martin observes, “there are REHAU employees, born and brought up in Herefordshire who are now heading up departments and facilities around the world.” Central to generating new ideas and galvanising innovation is a company culture that encourages all staff to contribute their ideas. “It’s important to recognise that good ideas come from every corner of the business and that seeing things from a fresh perspective can be extremely helpful,” explains Martin. “Ideas for new or improved products, services and better internal processes have come from across the company.

Their commitment to the UK is longstanding, they’ve been operating here for over 55 years and have built up strong links with the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area, with a head office based at Hill Court in Walford, near Ross-on-Wye. “REHAU has always been a company that thinks locally and acts locally, producing products for the local market,” explains Martin Hitchin, Chief Executive at REHAU Ltd. Establishing the business in rural locations has been to their benefit, allowing them to forge strong links with the local communities and encouraging employee loyalty. The average length of service of an employee is 17 years and Martin himself has been with the company for over 30 years.

“We are a diverse business with many specialist teams, but we encourage people to interact, rather than to work in silos, so we have a staff café and lots of open spaces where colleagues can come together and exchange ideas. “We also have innovation champions who carry out road shows around the business, sharing the projects we’re working on and gathering feedback from different parts of the business. In addition, our two-day innovation conference brings together our colleagues from around the world, where we share our latest projects and learn from each other.” The innovations they’ve produced encompass all of the industries in which they work and draw on their commitment to energy efficiency, renewable energy and their expertise in water management. One such innovation is the leak-free heating system which saw them shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Innovation’ category at the Chamber Business Awards, they are also working on a ground-breaking community heating system and recycling first-generation UPVC windows, amongst many other projects. Such is their success that it’s likely the train or car in which you travelled this morning incorporated a REHAU product, which just goes to show how being open to new ideas can lead to first innovation and then business success.

The Ross-on-Wye site houses a research and development department, workshops, offices, a conference suite and a training centre. The latter is essential, as REHAU places great emphasis on developing their team with apprenticeships,

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



Unforgettable festive party nights

With a unique character, stunning architecture and superb service, Stanbrook Abbey Hotel is the perfect venue for your Christmas celebrations.

Winter Wonderland Party Join us for an evening of fantastic food and fine wine while you feast your eyes on the wonders of this 16th century former monastery. Arrive to a festive cocktail prior to a delectable three course meal with coffee and mince pies in St Anne’s Wing, before dancing the night away. £39.95 Sunday to Thursday £42.95 Friday and Saturday

Black Tie Magical Party Soak up the atmosphere with a festive cocktail and canapés in the candlelit Pugin Abbey. Additional menu options are included and your three course meal will be served in the historic Thompson Dining Hall. After coffee and mince pies join us for entertainment and an after dinner disco. £49.95 Sunday to Thursday £52.95 Friday and Saturday Stanbrook Abbey Hotel Jennet Tree Lane, Callow End, Worcester WR2 4TY 01905 832 940




CHRISTMASFOCUS Big Bash Corporate Entertainment Ltd.

Corporate Entertainment and Christmas Parties •

We specialise in supplying high quality equipment and entertainment for corporate events, Christmas and office parties, product launches, family fun days and weddings.

Over 120 hire items available from photo booths, magic mirrors, rodeo reindeers, rodeo Christmas puddings, snowboard simulator, Santa’s grottos, fairground style side stalls, electronic games and Worcestershire’s largest selection of inflatables.

We have everything you need to make your event a huge success. Telephone 01905 317217

Party Season

at Brockencote Hall



Relax by the fire in the cosy library, take in the festive atmosphere and delicious Thursday 13th December aromas drifting from the kitchen then enjoy an award-winning lunch or dinner from our festive menu in The Chaddesley Restaurant. Arrive to a fizz and canapé reception, then sit at joint tables of up to eight guests for a superb four course seasonal tasting menu. There’ll also be dancing into the Three course lunch £38.00 per person early hours to Jamie Knight and his live band. Three course dinner £49.00 per person £55.00 per person Coffee & petit fours £4.95 per person Forget the carriages – stay overnight in one of our luxurious double rooms for only Available lunch and dinner throughout December, with the exception of Sunday lunch, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. £95.00 which includes full English breakfast. Private Christmas Parties also available - Please contact the hotel for more information.


Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

30/07/2018 11:31


Christmas Gatherings Celebrate with colleagues, friends and family in the stunning surroundings of Malvern’s destination 1919 Restaurant & Bar.

The Cottage in the Wood put on an amazing Christmas Party. The food was fantastic, service impeccable and all our staff commented that it was the best event in all the years of trading. We highly recommend.

Nick Goodwin, John Goodwin FRICS

DJ Nights: 29th Nov | 6th Dec | 13th Dec | 20th Dec From £29 per guest & FREE room hire Book now and benefit from our EXCLUSIVE corporate rate of £85 per night. Subject to availability.

01684 588860 - The Cottage in the Wood, Holywell Road, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, WR14 4LG


Christmas at Christmas Market, Ice Skating & Santa’s Grotto Saturday 1st December Midday – 9pm

MEET THE CHEF ALEX POLLARD: EXECUTIVE CHEF Alex has worked in the industry for 30 years. He started as a kitchen porter and worked his way up from Chef de partie followed by Sous Chef. His career has taken him to various locations covering a wide range of catering styles – from brasseries and fine dining to restaurants and hotels. He has worked with Genuine Dining Company since 2015 again at various sites including Shepperton Film Studios and Citizen M. He also entered Gen Chef, a company wide chef competition, finishing in third place. He worked in Oakwood, our sister hotel, as Head Chef before moving to Penyard House in April 2018. Favourite dish: I don’t have specific dish, however I am passionate about seasonal fresh produce from local suppliers Hobbies: I enjoy cycling and playing squash. Alex grew up in Kent which will always be home but is really enjoying staying in Herefordshire and exploring the rural countryside. He is looking forward to a new challenge. Redesigning the Penyard House menus and introducing some contemporary flair to our dishes. Development within the Penyard House team is important and Alex is looking forward to training and sharing his knowledge and experience.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Party Nights - from £27.50 7th/8th December 14th/15th December 21st/22nd December Murder Mystery Dinners - £30.00 13th December 28th December Christmas Day Lunch - £55.00 Served 12:30pm-2pm Boxing Day Lunch - £24.95 Served 12pm-3pm Please speak to a member of the team for more information 01989 760716



EVOKE THE SENSES WITH INDAH EVENTS Want your next event to have an impact? Then call in the team at Indah Events, for their vision and creativity will ensure your event is one to remember. Engage Jessica and Niki for event planning and you’ll benefit from a service that is versatile and customised to meet your specific requirements, ensuring your vision is fully realised. Drawing on their diverse experience and inspirations, the Indah team skilfully produce holistic events which embrace the five senses, delivering an unforgettable experience that is rich, captivating and distinctive. Bring a unique twist to your event with the Indah Gin box, which can be hired independently or as part of a broader event package. This quirky, converted horse box, from which the finest craft gin is served, has proven a hit at numerous festivals across the country.

Book the box for your event and the bar’s offering can be customised to suit your tastes, whatever your favourite tipple.

Let your event benefit from the Indah touch:

Bring your - wellies Oldcastle is set in 50 acres of beautiful grounds set within panoramic backdrop views of The Malvern Hills. Said to be the original settlement of Colwall village it was Founded by Sir John Oldcastle, a good friend to Shakespeare who was a character reference for Henry IV’s Falstaff. The Jacobean family house is a charismatic, dog loving, friendly country house destination within easy reach to a direct London train line in the village and regional motorways. Surrounded by natural Malvern spring fed water features, lakes and ponds the location boasts many beautiful pub and dog walks right on your door step! Offering a very attractive setting for private events, civil wedding ceremonies and corporate events, including guest accommodation. Private and tranquil, the venue can comfortably host intimate or large events when needed for up to 300 guests inside and several thousand outside, with the use of private grounds around the venue and several modern and traditional spaces within the property. Equipped with all the benefits of 21st Century technology within a traditional setting, the venue can accommodate any event F&B needs with our own in house licensed bar and catering team. Oldcastle, Evendine Lane, Colwall, Worcestershire, WR13 6DT 07955 179114 | |


September/October 2018



BESPOKE BATHROOMS OPENS ITS DOORS Bespoke Bathrooms Ltd is a newly launched business based in Pershore who design, supply and install bathrooms, wet rooms and mobility adapted bathrooms. On Friday 20 July, Bespoke Bathrooms held its official launch which was attended by over 60 guests. Architect, Interior Designer and TV Presenter, Olivier Heath, opened the store and applauded Simon Borthwick (Director) and team on their co-ordinated approach to bathroom installations and understanding of a number of problems, intricacies and technical challenges involved in delivering a wonderful dream bathroom. The team have bundles of knowledge, materials and experience under one roof via their sister business 1st Call 24/7, as dedicated installers.

Malvern-based Glideology recently took on two graduates on placement - Joshua Monk is a software engineer working on embedded control systems and after being with the firm for six months on placement has now been offered a full-time position. Sam Turner, who started out as a traditional art degree student at the University of Worcester, now specialises in technical design and branding. The graduates received some funding through the Malvern Hills Graduate Grants Scheme run by Malvern Hill District Council in partnership with several universities. It offers up to £2,000 towards the costs of recruiting an undergraduate or graduate. Gavin Allen of Glideology, said: “For other companies considering taking on a graduate I would advise them to seriously consider the scheme. It has been easy to apply for, helped us as a local business and provided two under-graduates with the opportunity to learn and gain relevant experience in their chosen fields.”

Bespoke Bathrooms’ showroom contains 21 bays displaying contemporary and traditional bathrooms, shower enclosures, wet rooms as well as bespoke items such as; printed shower enclosures and a dragon-foot copper bath. It also displays Worcester Bosch oil and gas boilers, hot water cylinders and underfloor heating.

NEW INNOVATIVE MRI FOR SPIRE SOUTH BANK HOSPITAL Worcester-based Spire South Bank Hospital is continuously striving to improve its facilities in order to offer some of the best healthcare services in Worcestershire. Its new Philips MRI scanner is no exception, and not only offers some of the best imaging technology in the region, but also offers innovative solutions for patients who may be anxious about their procedure. With the introduction of the new MRI scanner, patients will now receive a more pleasant ‘in-bore’ experience through reduced noise, a ‘picture show’ - video projection on the back wall, a choice of music and elevated comfort in a wider bore. As well as added comfort, the examination times will now be shorter, and the scanner’s built in ‘voice’ tells patients what to expect throughout. Due to the scanner’s modern adaptations, patient’s anxieties are greatly reduced, with one initially hesitant patient adding that she could have “lay in there all day!”

COTSWOLD RIDING FOR THE DISABLED ASSOCIATION (RDA) Witley Jones recently donated some much needed storage at Cotswold RDA’s refurbished kitchen/toilet area. Providing opportunities for members of society with physical, mental or learning disabilities, the charity relies on grants and donations to keep afloat. Dave Manser, Business Development Manager at Witley Jones said: “Having visited Claire and the team, it was clear to see the positive affect their enthusiasm and dedication has impacted on the

lives of people. I witnessed first-hand the incredible affect their work has both physically and mentally, across a broad age range.

Everyone here sends their heartfelt thanks for this wonderful gesture from Witley Jones.”

It was nice to be able to help out and thank the team. It was only a small gesture, but I’m sure the lockers will get put to good use!” Claire Jenkins, of Cotswold RDA, added: “There is never enough storage here and these lockers really do look beautiful.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce




What will happen to your KEEP IT CLEAR business when you die? It’s a When someone you love dies without stark question, and one which you putting their affairs in order, or without having updated their will to reflect the might prefer not to think about, most recent family or business situation, but it does need consideration the problems which arise can make a because your family and business difficult time even harder. Bereavement partners will have to deal with the is painful and emotional –add a property consequences if you don’t plan for or business dispute into the mix, and you have a highly charged situation which the future. sometimes proves tricky to disentangle.

DO YOU HAVE A WILL? It’s now fairly well-known that 60 per cent of UK adults don’t have a will; many of those people will intend to get round to dealing with it, some will bury their heads in the sand and some will simply think that their family is uncomplicated or that they ‘don’t have anything to leave’ and this means that they don’t need a will. Most people have far more ‘to leave’ than they imagine, and more importantly, they have people who they want to protect and support into the future. If you have children; if you have property; if you have a bank account – all of these mean that you need a will to make sure that what you


YOUR CHOICES HONOURED Your will should reflect your own circumstances, your wishes and your hopes for the future – it should also protect the inheritance you’re leaving from unnecessary taxes and liabilities. Executors, beneficiaries, dependants and even those excluded from your will should all be considered carefully, along with the tax implications of what you want to do with your assets. If you own, or part-own, a business; if you own a house; if you have children and pets, a will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. It means that your business can continue to run as normal, your house belongs to your

chosen beneficiaries, your children are cared for in the best way possible and even that your pets can be rehomed if necessary.

MAKING IT EASY FOR STAFF Because making a will is so important, we have established a dedicated will-writing service, Wills at Work, for employees as part of a benefits package offered by employers. We remove the complications of will writing for staff, providing both them and the employer with confidence that their future is planned and considered. We know that each benefit scheme is unique, so we tailor Wills at Work to meet those needs. We train HR professionals to promote the offering and provide them with whatever marketing materials they need, from printed resources like leaflets and posters to digital materials, including podcasts and webinars. We also provide educational opportunities for staff at benefit fairs and events, or at the office with breakout sessions and lunchtime drop-ins. If an employee chooses Wills at Work as part of their benefit package, we get in touch with them via email, telephone or

September/October 2018


HELPING PEOPLE WITH AN IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR LIVES By Dawn Oliver (Partner) Head of Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning team I’ve been practising wills, trusts and probate law for over 25 years because there’s nothing more important to me than helping people with such an important part of their lives.

video conference to complete their will to their satisfaction.

HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE HMRC? Everyone’s will should comply with the law, but there is a world of difference between that and letting the taxman swallow up a large proportion of your assets before they can reach your loved ones. As part of helping you to make your will, we look at your wider estate planning objectives, so that you can make informed choices about the way forward. This could mean using trusts to protect assets and mitigate your inheritance tax liability, and it will most certainly include putting in place lasting powers of attorney so that decisions can be made in your best interests after you are no longer able to make them for yourself. We want to make sure that you, and those to whom you choose to leave your assets, receive the greatest possible percentage of your assets – it is a sad fact that, according to a recent survey by Time magazine, 70 per cent of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation and a stunning 90 per cent by the third.

A MATTER OF TRUST Many factors contribute to this dramatic decline, but there are ways in which you can protect your family wealth both from, and for, future generations. Traditionally, trusts have been widely used not only to reduce exposure to inheritance tax but also to protect wealth in a variety of circumstances such as funding school fees, protecting assets for disabled beneficiaries, and preserving them for those who are simply too young to manage assets themselves.

For some families, however, trusts are just too restrictive and in recent years we have seen more and more clients looking for alternative solutions which are more flexible.

COMPANY STRUCTURES CAN HELP Given the current relatively low rates of corporation tax in the UK, a Family Investment Company (FIC) may be a lower cost and more flexible proposition. A FIC is usually a new company set up to hold cash, investments or property where income and gains can be accumulated. A typical FIC structure begins with parents making an interest-free loan to the company. In return, the parents receive voting shares and are appointed directors. Other classes of shares are issued to family members who then enter into a shareholders agreement to regulate their ownership of the company. Through the voting shares, the parents retain some control over who receives what and when. This is an essential tool for those who want to prevent family wealth being frittered away. One size doesn’t fit all of course and each FIC arrangement is bespoke to you and your particular circumstances – an FIC is often attractive to people who are familiar with corporate structures, but can work well in a variety of circumstances.

I spend time really getting to know my clients, visiting them at a time and place that suits them, so I fully understand their situation and can give them practical advice that really helps. My passion is making my clients happy, knowing that I’ve provided practical advice that gives them confidence, knowing their affairs are in order. Through my work with individuals, and companies as part of the Wills at Work programme, I know how important wills are to family life, but I also know just how many people put off making one. There’s no need to be afraid – my team and I are here to help and make it as simple as possible for you.

Contact Dawn Oliver M: +44 (0)7721 564 340 E:

If you would like advice on making your will, or would like to update it and make it more efficient, do get in touch with me via our website at or at by email at and we will be happy to help you. We not only have many years of experience, we are also acknowledged to be a leader in our field in the region, with client care right at our heart.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT THAT’S RIGHT ON TRACK between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. The SVR’s beautifully restored saloons feature two lounge areas and are furnished with tables, armchairs and sofas. Large windows offer stunning views of the river Severn and the countryside along the route. On board catering is available, ranging from morning coffee and Danish pastries, to buffet lunches for up to 23 guests, or a four-course sit down meal for ten.

The Severn Valley Railway is making its luxurious observation saloons available for corporate hire, and is promising businesses a day to remember. Guests can travel in period style on a return trip along the 16-mile scenic route

Attended by your personal steward, the trip offers the perfect opportunity for entertaining clients or rewarding staff with the special vintage twist that comes only with the West Midlands heritage rail gem. Prices start from just £25 a person. Find out more at observationsaloons or phone 01562 757900

COSY CLUB WORCESTER CELEBRATES ONE YEAR IN WORCESTER’S CATHEDRAL SQUARE Amber Wood, Marketing Director at Cosy Club, commented on the first year in Worcester: “Cathedral Square Worcester provided us with the perfect location to open Cosy Club Worcester. We’re thrilled to be here, and we’ve had a great year welcoming the local community through our doors. There is an exciting food and drink scene in the town, which is fantastic to be a part of.” “Whether you’re fancying brunch, lunch, dinner or a sweet treat, the Cosy Club menu offers something for everyone,

TOURISM AWARDS FINALISTS Best Conference Venue Sponsored by City Signs Oldcastle The Bank House Hotel, Spa & Golf The Courtyard The Three Counties Showground Worcestershire County Cricket Club

Best Drink Producer Sponsored by mfg Solicitors British Cassis Gwatkins Cider JUS Pershore Juneberries Ltd The Hop Shed

Best Eating Out Sponsored by Worcestershire County Cricket Club Beckett’s Farm Castle House Hotel Cellar Door Churchfields Feli’s The Beefy Boys

Best Festival or Event Sponsored by Arena Entertainments Broadway Arts Festival Hereford Cathedral Pershore Plum Festival The Courtyard Waterworks Musuem Worcestershire Open Studios

Best Food Producer Sponsored by Worcestershire Ambassadors which can be enjoyed in our fabulously quirky surroundings of our restaurant. We look forward to continuing welcoming the people of Worcester through the doors!”

Churchfields Ice Cream and Dairy Court Farm & Leisure Croome Cuisine Emily’s Jam & Pickles Myrtle’s Kitchen Old Granary Pierogi

Best Guest Accommodation Sponsored by Quality in Tourism The judging for the Tourism Awards for Excellence 2018, sponsored by Glide Media and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, is now officially underway. The finalists from the two counties have been invited to the exclusive awards ceremony on Tuesday 11 September at The Bank House Hotel, Spa & Golf Club, where the Winners, Highly Commended and Commended from each category will be announced.


Buzzard House Castle Hill House Eckington Manor Sidney House The Cardinal’s Hat

September/October 2018


TOURISM AWARDS FINALISTS Best Hotel Sponsored by Thomas Carroll Brockencote Hall Hotel Caste House Hotel Colwall Park Hotel Dumbleton Hall The Abbey Hotel The Fish Hotel

Best Self Catering Sponsored by Baldur Digital Hop Pickers’ House at Brook Farm Poston Mill Rimmers Farmhouse The Old Dairy Malvern The Stables & Hayloft Trevase Cottages

Best Sustainable Business Sponsored by Forest Holidays BearsGreatEscapes Ltd Canvas and Clover Churchfields Saltworks Learn About Woodworking The Riverside at Aymestrey

Best Touring, Camping and Holiday Park Sponsored by OLPRO Arrow Bank Holiday Park Bredon Hill Treehouses Pearl Lake Leisure Park Wanderlust Camper Co Ltd

DISCOUNTS AND OFFERS FOR NEW NMITE STUDENTS Visit Herefordshire has been working with local businesses to welcome students to Herefordshire’s university and the county. The new university will bring significant economic impact to Herefordshire with 25 students beginning in September, projected to rise to 1,000 students with 100 staff by year 4, and eventually 5,000 students and 450 staff by 2030. There is no student union planned for the University so the city and county are very much the leisure areas. Visit Herefordshire has been working with local businesses to create offers and discounts for students

and their visiting families, including discounted accommodation, 2 for 1 entry into attractions and more. We already have families visiting and staying in the area simply because their children are looking at going to University here. We have also asked that the students actively feedback and review their experiences to give even more exposure to the businesses on Trip Advisor and other review sites, together with social media posts. If you are a business interested in offering something to the new students, email

Best Tourism Pub Sponsored by Celtic Marches Fox & Hounds at Lulsley King Charles II House Queen Elizabeth Inn The Crown Inn, Woolhope The Fleece Inn The Harewood End Inn The Riverside at Aymestrey

Best Visitor Attraction Sponsored Glide Media Battlelands Berrington Hall Land Rover Experience Eastnor Severn Valley Railway Spetchley Park Gardens The Commandery Westons Cider Worcester Racecourse

INTERNATIONAL CIDER CONFERENCE Visit Herefordshire will be accompanying local cider producers and the Cider Museum to Sagardoaren Lurraldea in the Basque region of Northern Spain from 27 to 30 September. Visit Herefordshire will be present as this international conference in order to promote cider production in the Herefordshire region, as well as being part of a coordinated campaign to generate further funds for the key cider producing regions across Europe. The aims include establishing a legal basis for creating a joint organisation to promote cider, create a common brand for international promotion of cider tourism, and generate physical and digital

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

media for joint promotion. There are also aspirations to search for European & other funds to finance the initiative as well as the creation of a new event which can be staged across the participating regions in future years.



ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE INSPIRING GROWTH CHALLENGE? Inspiring Growth is a business event hosted by Worcestershire Business Central with a new approach to problem solving. Its objective is to call on the wisdom, experience and acumen of the attendees to produce new and inspiring ideas for business growth: take part. The main event will be an award-winning highly interactive and exciting business challenge. Drawing on your knowledge and experience as a business leader it asks you to consider the challenges, threats and opportunities for your business. This not-to-be-missed session is designed to generate tangible solutions for improvement and growth for businesses of all sizes and from all sectors. ‘Customers’, ‘Cash’ and ‘Capacity’ are the focus of the session, encouraging practical ideas and solutions to: drive customer acquisition and retention; improve processes and efficiency; and have a positive impact on finances. Delegates will leave inspired with practical ideas they can apply in their own growing

business. Following the event, all the data and outcomes of the session will be shared with the attendees who take part in the challenge. The morning will also include the opportunity to quiz top local business leaders and entrepreneurs in an interactive Q&A session and a series of short talks. They’ll be throwing light on their trials and tribulations in business and discuss how the support accessed through Worcestershire Business Central has helped drive their companies forward. The event will also provide attendees with the opportunity to network with a variety of businesses from across the county, as well as being introduced to the dedicated business directory members of Advised in Worcestershire, a useful online directory to find the best professional services to support your business in Worcestershire. Inspiring Growth will take place on Thursday 27 September 2018 at Chateau Impney Conference Centre, Droitwich. To find out more and keep up to date about Inspiring Growth please visit: or contact the team on 01905 677888 to book your place.

KEEP YOUR BUSINESS ON TRACK WITH WBC We’ve got a tip for you come and say hello to the Worcestershire Business Central team at this year’s Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo. Join us for FREE business support and some fun at the races. Running a business can feel like a steeplechase - what’s your Becher’s Brook? Sales, staffing, a skills gap? We want to know what’s your biggest barrier to growth - our team will be on hand to offer FREE business support and guidance with all the information you need to succeed. With over 1000 delegates expected on the day, 120 exhibitors and FREE entry, the Chamber Expo is the perfect chance to raise your business profile and network with other business professionals. In addition, we’ll be hosting a roll-a-ball horse racing derby - the kind you might have played in an arcade or seaside pier. So whether you are a business starting up, one looking to grow, or just fancy yourself as the AP McCoy of arcade games come and visit our stand.


September/October 2018

The business event with a new approach to problem solving

Take part An award-winning highly interactive and exciting business challenge Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa

Thur 27 Sept

image: Ben White

“we’re ready to accelerate the growth of our business” All your business needs. All in one place @WBCUpdates 01905 677888

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Come and speak to us at



MINDFULNESS FOR LIFE Her search led her to the Breathworks Foundation. Their mindfulness and meditation courses, specifically designed for the reduction and management of stress and pain, are supported by findings from neuroscience and medicine, and are taught all over the world.

Zélie welcomes enquiries from individuals and the workplace, and referrals from GPs, physios, osteopaths and other health professionals. Stress is fast-becoming one of the great public health challenges of our time. A recent survey for the Mental Health Foundation found that three in four people have felt so stressed in the past year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. When we consider how stress impacts upon every part of our lives – our sleep, memory, health and relationships – it’s no wonder we’re beginning to explore ways of reducing and managing it better. It’s now widely acknowledged that mindfulness and meditation are a part of that solution but how do you know which meditation to choose? And how can

you remain mindful when you’re feeling stressed and pressured, or experiencing long term pain? In 2007 Zélie was asking these same questions as she searched for a way to manage her chronic back pain and related stress.

Zélie is now an accredited Breathworks teacher and founder of ‘Mindfulness for Life’, based in Malvern. She says, ‘In today’s world we have less and less time to look after our mental and physical health so it’s important we find ways to do this which don’t create more pressure. These courses are designed to give each participant the tools and practises to help them to think, feel and behave differently in the moment they’re in, instead of getting caught up in old habits and reactions. In this way they can find a new balance and a happier way of being with themselves and others.’

“Nothing goes right on the outside when nothing is going right on the inside” MATTHIEU RICARD, BUDDHIST MONK AND WRITER

Partnering with Defence

Businesses strive to recruit applicants who can demonstrate good leadership and possess skills in organisation, communication, problem-solving and teamwork, as well as demonstrating a strong work ethic. Did you know that Armed Forces service leavers, Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Cadets have these key personal attributes, and more? Members of the Armed Forces are also trained in a variety of diverse trades including engineers, electricians, drivers, chefs, HR specialists, communications operatives, and medics, which can help add value to your workforce.

If you are a business operating within the West Midlands and would like to see how supporting the Armed Forces can benefit your organisation, please contact our engagement team on: or call 0121 427 5221 ext. *227


West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association build and maintain relationships with employers in the region by creating strategic partnerships, by promoting the skills that service leavers, Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Cadets can bring to your business. Employers are encouraged to cement this partnership via the Armed Forces Covenant: a voluntary pledge which builds a two-way relationship between business and defence.

September/October 2018


To Let

New and Refurbished Industrial Units Pleasant and Convenient Location For enquiries please call

01384 569556 or 01299 822731 Wilden Industrial Estates Wilden lane, Stourport-on-Severn DY13 9JY

BORWELL TEAM SUPPORT FARNBOROUGH AIRSHOW 2018 AS SEEN ON BBC ONE SHOW! A Malvern based software company, borwell, had an integral part to play in the recent Farnborough Airshow, which ran from 16-22nd of July. Commissioned by QinetiQ, the borwell team produced the front-end visual display, which provided Situational Awareness to the Farnborough Airshow Flight Safety team. Using QinetiQ RADAR technology and an optical camera, data and video imagery of the aircraft were sent in real-time to the front-end Airshow Monitor software. Real-time tracks made by the aircraft were continually monitored by the safety team during the Airshow. The borwell software even made it onto the BBC One Show. The TV footage included an explanation of how the software was integral to the Airshow’s technical operation. See the borwell website for the video and the full story. 01684 377980

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



APPOINTMENT OF NEW OPERATIONS MANAGER SUPPORTS ABRAXAS EXPANSION Abraxas Catering Equipment is pleased to announce the appointment of Grant Shaw. Grant, who joined the team at the beginning of May as Operations Manager, will assist in the scheduling of Abraxas’ regular service and maintenance jobs and manage the company’s planned preventative maintenance contracts throughout the West Midlands. Grant Shaw said: “I’m very excited to join the company as Operations Manager. The team have been very welcoming and have helped me settle into my new position.”

TWO NEW TEAM MEMBERS AT HARRISON CLARK RICKERBYS Helping businesses in trouble, Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ growing restructuring and insolvency (R&I) team has welcomed two new members – Partner Robin Koolhoven and Associate Deanne Hamilton. Sam Payne, head of restructuring and insolvency, said: “I’m delighted that Robin and Deanne have joined us – they each bring strengths to the team that will aid our continued growth. My team, across all our offices, is here to support that whenever we can.”

HOOPLE’S TRAINING TEAM GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH! Hoople Training and Education is delighted to announce the appointment of Debbie Clueit to the role of mandatory trainer. Debbie said: “I’m excited to be joining the Hoople Training team and am confident that my background and experience to date will be well received by Hoople’s customers. As a newcomer to Hoople, I will be reviewing with colleagues its existing course provision and procedures, looking at areas for improvement and opportunities to expand our offer.”

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME NURTURES RISING STARS AT HAINES WATTS James Howard, a senior manager based at Haines Watts Worcester, is one of 15 managers and directors across the UK to complete the programme. “Thanks to the LDP, I’ve learned that I can be a leader but that I need a team with other specialities and knowledge around me – relationships are key,” said James. During the scheme, James learned new ideas and strategies to take back to the office and fine tuned his effective listening skills.



The Chairman and Trustees of Primrose Hospice are delighted to announce the appointment of David Burrell to the post of Chief Executive Officer at Primrose Hospice.

National construction company, Speller Metcalfe, has announced three new director appointments to the Operational Board of Directors.

Minster Micro would like to praise Paul on his success, and look forward to seeing him settle into his new role. Congratulations from the Minster Micro team!

Dean has headed up the NWedR team for more than 4 years and said: “I would like to say a big thanks to the excellent team and our partners for all the support and hard work over the last 4 years, and I wish you every success for the future.”

Speaking of his appointment, David said: “I am very proud to be offered the opportunity to lead Primrose, a charity that has an excellent reputation in the community, and I look forward to working with the staff, Trustees and many volunteers to ensure that the growing number of people who will need hospice care over next few years are able to access the high quality, compassionate care that Primrose provides.”

MINSTER MICRO APPOINT NEW SALES MANAGER Kidderminster-based Minster Micro is pleased to reveal that its former Business Development Manager, Paul Taylor, has been promoted to Sales Manager at the company.


Head of NWedR, Dean Piper, is leaving the North Worcestershire Economic & Regeneration Development service to take up the post of Head of Economic Prosperity at Cannock Chase District Council - his home district.


Rob Lashford, Mark Hudgeon and Martyn Osborne – who previously sat as regional managers for the company’s key regions – will now advise the Executive Board as Regional Directors at operational level. MD, Des O’Neill, said: “We are delighted to recognise the management contribution that Martyn, Rob and Mark have brought us over the last few years by asking them to join our Operational Board of Directors.”

September/October 2018

MOVERSANDSHAKERS Steph Hilton-Turvey, Referencing Supervisor



Areca Design has strengthened its team to include three new members in order to keep up with demand for the latest innovations. Dr Jamie Elliot has joined the team as Digital Innovations Manager, Charlie Sharp has been appointed as Website Developer following his apprenticeship, and Sadie Allan has returned to the firm as Website Designer/Developer.

Brinsop Court Estate is excited to announce the arrival of its new General Manager, Mike Lowe. Mike has worked within hospitality for 22 years, and brings with him a wealth of experience in hotels, restaurants, bars and wedding venues.

The team now look forward to increasing their work with World famous sports clubs, international tourism destinations and Local Government throughout the UK.

Mike said: “I feel so fortunate to be able to come and work in the most incredible venue in Herefordshire. With weddings, holidays and corporate events filling the diary, I will really need to hit the ground running.”

HAINES WATTS WELCOMES NEW TAX MANAGER Experienced Tax Specialist, Robert Comer, joins the Haines Watts team in Hereford. Working alongside department head, Doug Robshaw, Robert’s work focusses on supporting the firm’s large private client base with personal tax matters including capital gains tax advice and residency issues. Robert also specialises in tax planning for medical professionals.

NEW APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS AT CHARTERED INSURANCE BROKER Hazelton Mountford has welcomed two new members of staff following a successful recruitment drive. Jess Price and Sophie Anderson have both joined the 30 strong team, Jess as an Account Executive and Sophie as a Referencing Administrator. Gordon Hazelton, Managing Director at the firm said :”We would like to welcome our new team members and wish them well. Ensuring that we remain at the forefront of the local insurance industry requires us to attract and develop expert personnel who are customer focused.”

NEW HOSPITAL DIRECTOR FOR SPIRE SOUTH BANK HOSPITAL Spire South Bank Hospital is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Ryder as Hospital Director. Tom brings a wealth of experience in private healthcare from previous roles in the Spire Central Commercial Team and the Senior Management Team at Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. Tom commented: “I am delighted to be joining Spire South Bank and working with a skilled group of staff and consultants delivering excellent healthcare to the region.” southbank



Surf Tech IT Ltd is delighted to have appointed Phil Clever as Senior Support Engineer.

The Prince’s Trust Herefordshire and Worcestershire Development Committee have welcomed a new Chair. Kirsty Underhill, a Corporate Solicitor at Thursfields Solicitors in Worcester, has been a member of the Committee for just over two years.

Phil joined the company in August and brings a wealth of on-site IT experience to compliment the expanding Surf Tech IT team at their new larger offices at Anglo House in Stourport. Phil says: “I really admire the ethical approach that Surf Tech IT offer clients and am pleased to be working alongside Matt and his team to expand the business further throughout the West Midlands.”

Kirsty commented: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be taking over as Chair and I hope to continue the fantastic work the Committee does for The Prince’s Trust and which helps disadvantaged young people in the two counties.”

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

BE A MOVER & SHAKER Movers & Shakers is the page for your business to share any news about new appointments, promotions, retirements or even apprentices. The perfect way to break the ice and get to know the who’s who in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, make sure to send 80 words with a high resolution image to businessdirection@ for the chance to be included.



THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE‌ REDEFINED Smart Cone is a user-configurable course of intelligent illuminating cones that are synchronised to respond to the precise movements of the vehicle. The cones identify and display to the driver the exact route to follow and challenges their reaction, perception, coordination and vehicle handling skills in chasing the lights to the finish. The system can produce a variety of courses to give the ultimate flexibility of running competitions, training sessions and automotive product demonstrations; yet critically Smart Cone allows drivers to feel the thrill and exhilaration of challenging their driving prowess in a safe and contained environment. The system can be used with cars, bikes, go-karts, quads‌ in fact, almost any mode of transport. In addition, technical data can be generated from the system to provide accurate

measurement of speed, distance travelled, time and accuracy through the gates and around the course. These inputs, via bespoke algorithms, allow Smart Cone to calculate an individual score for every driver; even accommodating for variability in type and model of vehicle and driving conditions.

Please contact us to find out more. W: T: 01531 637873 E:

Smart Cone is available to purchase, hire, or can be supplied as a turnkey service to support your event and requirements.

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September/October 2018

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with bespoke direct marketing Staying power in a fast-paced digital culture is not always easy to find but tailored direct marketing is proving its worth more than ever. Standing out from the crowd means choosing quality and a tailored direct marketing campaign that can help you reach exactly the sort of customers you want.

Play for keeps

Print delivers both longevity and a tangible offering that customers can hold on to, refer back to and act on. While emails are easily lost in a sea of information, high end products in particular benefit from the lasting power of print. A high end purchase will not be made from an impulsive click on a link.

The proven option

Research has revealed that more than half of direct mail is opened, compared to just 25 per cent of email marketing. Good investments take consideration and a bespoke direct marketing campaign offers food for thought for customers looking to spend on a high ticket item. Use the space to lay out all the information potential customers will want to know within a high impact design.

Target the right customers

Targeting the right customers is part and parcel of a quality approach. Instead of wasting time and valuable resources promoting your brand to customers who are not in the market to buy, use clean, efficient data to reach an interested audience. As GDPR brings new standards to contact data, direct mail campaigns should reach the people who really are interested in buying your product. With customer consent companies can use valuable information such as age, interests or location to conduct a highly efficient targeted campaign.

The personal touch

Make it count – an eye-catching bespoke print campaign will let you reach out to exactly the customers you want to attract. Use direct marketing to bring the personal touch with a message

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ADVANCED EXPORT DOCUMENTATION & PROCEDURES Monday 17 September 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

BASIC EXPORT DOCUMENTATION & PROCEDURES Tuesday 25 September 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

JEWELLERS TO TRAVEL 10,000 MILES FOR THEIR PERFECT CUSTOMERS The owners of a beach-themed jewellery company were the ONLY British business to exhibit at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney last month. Julie Fountain and her business partner and sister, Becky Bristow, travelled more than 10,000 miles to connect with their “perfect customers”.

The show, which took place from the 25th to 27th August 2018 at the ICC, Sydney, played host to 154 jewellery businesses, and British-based Beach Art Glass were keen to share their innovative glass bead jewellery with an international audience. It’s unusual for people to travel so far for a jewellery fair, but Julie and Becky want to share their popular and unique sea-inspired


jewellery with shop owners and buyers in the beach-loving nation of Australia. As Julie puts it: “We always knew we wanted to expand our business into countries that embrace beach culture, and we were over the moon to be awarded a generous grant by the Department for International Trade which has part-funded our international trip.” “We feel that Australia, with so many miles of coastline and a welcoming attitude to British brands, was the perfect place to showcase our Beach Art Glass jewellery.” Julie is passionate about her craft and heads up a small team of British “lampworkers”, the name given to the craft of melting and shaping rods of Italian glass to create individual glass beads. All of the pieces are hand made, with earrings, bracelets and pendants all created using the robust, heirloom quality glass beads and fine sterling silver.

INCOTERMS (2010) Wednesday 10 October 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

LETTERS OF CREDIT Wednesday 10 October 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

BASIC IMPORT DOCUMENTATION & PROCEDURES Thursday 11 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

DIRECT SHIPPING Monday 29 October - 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members

TARIFF CLASSIFICATION Tuesday 30 October 9.30am-4.30pm £250+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non-members We regularly add new courses and dates to our programme. We are excited to be working on a NEW course series exploring Brexit and the impact it could have on your business. To find out more information, please contact 01905 673 600

September/October 2018



Over the last three months, four members of the International Trade team (Mark Armitage, Alison Avery, Naomi Steemson and Gail Dendy de Santos) have visited Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania. Their objectives were to continue building stronger links with commercial sections of British Embassies, local Chambers of Commerce, visit local companies, gain a more in depth understanding of local commercial opportunities and then use this knowledge to support Herefordshire and Worcestershire businesses in taking advantage of these opportunities.

As noted previously in Business Direction magazine, Central and Eastern Europe has multi-sector opportunities across multiple countries. These four dynamic economies alone have over 80 million consumers, high GDP growth rates (e.g. Poland over 5%, Romania 4.3% and Czech Republic 3.2%) and are stable, safe and accessible EU markets being only 2-3 hours away from the UK using low cost air carriers. British products and the British brands are recognised and appreciated for quality, tradition and style, with English widely spoken and used in international business. There are excellent opportunities for Herefordshire and Worcestershire businesses across a range of sectors with local distributors and end-users hungry for innovative, value-added British products and services - no wonder 19% of Midlands’s exporters reported growth in CEE sales in 2016. To find out more, contact your local International Trade team on 01905 673 600

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS FOR ALLTEKO Allteko Limited of Worcester, are proud to announce the successful acquisition of a £2million + order for a specialist gas coalescing filter vessel, from their primary customer in Kazakhstan. This contract represents their single biggest purchase with Allteko to date. The vessel will be manufactured by the prestigious Charles Thompson Ltd in Sheffield and is a significant export win for the UK. Allteko worked very closely with their customer and manufacturer, offering a bespoke solution, utilising new and specialist technologies. Allteko were eligible for the International Growth Programme, securing funding to visit both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan acquiring a new customer in the process. Allteko’s experience with the ERDF process was very positive and the support of their local ITA, proved invaluable in arranging the successful trip. Allteko’s BDM, David Ruddle, commented on how helpful Gail Dendy de Santos, International Trade Advisor, and the ERDF team were throughout the process.

ETL SYSTEMS NAMED EXPORTER OF THE YEAR ETL Systems is a proud winner of a regional export award. Awarded by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, ETL was a nominated finalist as the company exports exceeded 80% of sales in 2018 fiscal year. In addition to three previous export awards, the 2018 award identified ETL Systems for its strong reputation for high quality and reliable products and international success. Esen Bayar, Technical Director and Co-owner, ETL Systems, commented: “We are very proud to have won this award. We have spent a great deal of time and effort building a strong and reliable product portfolio. However, ultimately it is our team of dedicated and diligent people that make us successful, so we would like to thank each and every one of them.” Continual export success has also been identified through the establishment offices in the USA and Dubai, and further international expansion planned in the coming months in Asia.

Allteko have worked in the CAS region for over twelve years and have been able to utilise their knowledge of the Oil and Gas sector, through the vast experience of their MD, David Fielding and his team, to become a recognised and trusted supplier. Allteko are a global supplier exporting to over fifteen countries across all continents. Whilst Allteko specialise in the project management of vessel requirements for their consumers, they also offer a unique procurement service, with the ability to supply numerous beneficial commodities to their customers.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

Maintaining high delivery metrics and with a strong focus on customer service, Allteko are well revered in their industry and have been recognised for their services to exporting previously, with an invitation to Buckingham Palace received to attend a garden party in 2016. Allteko continue to grow and look forward to expanding their team at their Worcester HQ in 2018-19.



BEWDLEY The Roger & Douglas Turner Charitable Trust (CIO)

01299 861368 Manage an Estate Charity

01584 810044 Paul Ligas Photography

07876 256358



Netherwood Estates Partnership



Mixed Farming, Cattle & Arable

Shire Car Sales Ltd

M.J. Ainge & Co Limited

01527 272903

01885 410321

01568 613600


Equestrian Products Manufacturers & Wholesalers

Longlands Care Farm



Educational & Mental Health Charity Care Farm

Country Land and Business Association Ltd

IDS Indata

Car Sales

01785 337010 Lobbying and Advice to Rural Agriculture Landowners & Businesses

Urban Escape

01885 488604 Visiting Spa Service

01886 821431



IT Innovation

Alt-Energi Services Ltd

Mindfulness For life

Renewable Energy

07791 116 441


Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher

Nicholson Consulting Ltd


01684 585230 Consultancy in Design & Manufacture of Medical Devices

Complete Business Solutions

01432 851 700 Provide High Quality Office Services & Products;

Hexad Information Security Services Limited

01432 344424

Pinvin PI Private Investigation Services

07748 901732 Private Investigation Services

Information Security and Data Protection Consultancy


Simple Design Works

01432 367 617

Air & Water Hygiene Maintenance, Consultancy & Training

Product Design Consultancy

Profin Protective Finishing Ltd.


Metal Finishers

Integral View

07971 705 390 Coaching Programmes

Trosten Consulting Ltd

01562744414 Lubricants/Automotive Fuel

Vacs Installations Ltd


Aqua Protec Ltd

01386 793690

01527 524126

Silverback Commercial Law Services Ltd

01527 807372 Solicitors

Top Service Ltd

01527 518800 Credit Information & Debt Recovery Services

Security Instillations


Wyre Hire @ Bill White Nurseries

01384 444449

01299 266 326 Plant Nursery

LEDBURY Norton Armouries Film Ltd

01531 632255 Costume Armour



S Hamilton Ltd Medical Aesthetics & Skin Clinic

TENBURY WELLS Cadmore Lakeside Hotel

01584 810044 Country Hotel & Retreat

September/October 2018


Namesco Limited

Cotswold Digital Solutions Ltd

01905 356123

0345 363 3632

01285 700755

Transport, Logistics & Couriers

Internet Service Provider

Web Design & Digital Marketing

Eureka Financial Solutions

National Westminster Bank Plc

Folk 2 Folk

01905 456304

01905 355 743

07483 171 371

Financial Solutions


Peer to Peer Lender

Costsdragon Limited

Paul Pry Public House


01905 28992

0121 236 2474

Public House

IT Apprenticeships


Work Horizons Ltd

ACF Direct

01242 210911

Online Career Coaching Membership

Broker/Commercial Finance

Zenith Epos

01905 780740 Consulting Services & In-house Training

Fred & Jeans

01905391569 Property Rentals & Development

Freeagent 24-7

07854217036 Estate Agents

MRT Financial

07917625868 Wealth & Future Financial Business Planning

ANTZ Midlands

07787 906 576

0121 663 1710

01179 63220 Provide Restaurants with Checkout Equipment

Social Value Training & Services

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



THE EVESHAM HOTEL Previously an historical grand manor house, The Evesham Hotel & Spa is a small, privately-run hospitality venue in the picturesque market town of Evesham. The hotel comprises 37 en-suite bedrooms, set in 2.5 acres of stunning gardens. In 2015, the venue was bought by Arena Corporation Limited and since then hotel occupancy has increased year-on-year by 21%. Spa/pool membership subscriptions have risen and there is now a ‘waiting list’ for non-residents wishing to use the facilities that now include a sauna and a second beauty treatment room.

The hotel has recently updated its CRM and IT systems, including a new online booking facility. The main bar, restaurant and reception areas have also been refurbished. Services include a 50-seat restaurant, al-fresco dining, banqueting, conference/ meeting facilities and weddings. The hotel even has its own wedding licence. General Manager, David Field commented: “Business is booming and we’re fully booked for Christmas already.”

ALL-CLEAN SUPPORT SERVICES When Simon Dixon started All-Clean Support Services (ACSS) in 2002, his vision was to create a cleaning company that would develop long-term relationships with its clients built on reliability, quality and trust. This formula has clearly been an attractive one as ACSS now employs over 90 staff providing regular cleaning to more than 120 sites throughout Worcestershire, Herefordshire and South Birmingham. Additional reassurance that you would be employing the services of a truly professional cleaning service is provided through All-Clean Support Services’ ISO 9001 accreditation for quality management; Safecontractor accreditation for competence in management of health and safety and corporate membership of the British Institute of Cleaning Science, BICSc. “Our unique Service Pledge means that if you are not delighted with any of our services you simply won’t pay – no arguments, no hassles, no quibbles. Our customers can be assured that our office cleaning staff are vetted, trained and motivated to provide a top-class cleaning service.”

WELCOME TO FREEAGENT247. COM has been inspired by two of Worcestershire’s most experienced and successful Estate Agents: Gerard Smith and Daniel Lewis.

ASPIRE ACADEMY LTD A constant complaint of business people is that most young adults enter the job market woefully unprepared for employment. Young adults seem to learn all the things they wished someone had told them when they were 15, after they leave the education system behind. Acting on conversations with corporate executives and experience in school classrooms, Aspire Academy provides guidance that will offer young adults the best chance of getting their careers off to a flying start and to provide this guidance when they are 15.

Gerard and Dan’s vision has been to create firstly, an innovative alternative to fee-based traditional high-street agents and budget-service online companies and secondly, to deliver a greater supply of property into the market available to purchase, attracting those clients whom otherwise wouldn’t be moving owing to the fees payable. FreeAgent247. com provides an expert, local, seven-day-a-week, full-personal service, with far-reaching internet and social media marketing to deliver sales of their clients’ properties at the very best possible price, absolutely free of charge.

Olympic athletes do not start training for the 100 meters when they arrive at the opening ceremony, not if they want to be in the medals. They train for at least 4 years leading up to the event, if they want to be in the medals. Aspire Academy’s programs offer long term, low intensity, encouraging approaches which avoid overloading the already pressured young adult.


September/October 2018


KEMP HOSPICE HO-HO-HOPE FESTIVE GOOD CHEER ENSURES A COOL YULE AFTER THE HEATWAVE TEAM FORTIS RAISE FUNDS FOR PARKINSON’S UK A team of dragon boaters from Worcestershire’s largest social landlord have raised almost £700 for a charity which supports 1 in 350 people in the UK. The money was raised when the 40-strong team took to the water as part of Worcester’s Dragon Boat Race Regatta. The event, which took place on Sunday 1 July, has been held every year for more than 25 years on the River Severn in Worcester. The decision to raise money for Parkinson’s UK came after a Fortis employee – and dragon boat racer - Andrew Warner, was diagnosed with the condition in April this year. Andrew said: “Taking part in the dragon boat race earlier this month was such fabulous fun! What made it even more special is that we raised money for a charity that is very close to my heart. Thanks to all who made this happen and for all the donations!”

KEMP Hospice are swapping hot-hot-hot for ho-ho-ho as its plans for Christmas start to heat up. The district’s only day hospice and bereavement support centre is putting its festive fundraising into gear by calling on local businesses to help them out with sponsorship. KEMP Hospice’s ‘Santa Fun Run’ 10k, 5k and 1k races saw a record breaking attendance last December with over 500 people taking part. This year the event is hoped to grow even bigger as the local charity include a Santa Cycle Ride. The event takes place on the first Sunday in December, with the following week seeing the annual ‘Light up a Life’ celebration service taking place at Kidderminster Town Hall. Any businesses interested in finding out more information about sponsorship opportunities and helping the charity are asked to contact Cathy Sloan directly on 01562 756000 or via email cathy.sloan@

EXTRA WALKERS TAKE ON CHALLENGE DESPITE THE HEAT Walkers who took part in an annual 31 mile walk in soaring temperatures earlier this summer have raised more than £30,000 for a local charity. 160 walkers registered for The Worcestershire Way Walk, organised by St Richard’s Hospice. Alison Parkes, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “Huge congratulations to all those who completed the Worcestershire Way Walk earlier this month in what was probably the hottest one yet! The trek, with its many steep inclines and gruelling declines, is such a huge challenge and we are so grateful for all those who took on the 31 miles for the hospice. “We have received feedback from the day that many people in the community showed extra kindness by refilling water bottles, offering treats to the walkers and even a hosepipe for a quick swill at the bottom of the Malvern Hills! We are so lucky to have such generosity across Worcestershire.”

For further information please contact Andrew Warner, Development Manager, on

BOWLING TRIUMPH AND TEARS... OF LAUGHTER! The annual Sutcliffe & Co and McCarthy Taylor charity bowling night saw over 100 professionals come from across the breadth of the three counties to pit their wits against one another in the bowling lanes and raise some funds in the process. The fundraising event was in aid of St Richard’s Hospice and Cystic Fibrosis, and thanks to the generosity on the night and some matched funding from Barclays Bank, close to a staggering £3,000 was

raised. The evening wasn’t just about raising money as there was some healthy competition between teams. There was little surprise when the winners Ballards were announced having comfortably swept the board - for the second year in a row. Duncan Sutcliffe, Director, Sutcliffe & Co, said: “It was again a great night with a very high attendance. Many thanks to TenPin bowling for looking after all the teams and making sure we had a good night of bowling and were well fed.”

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



LOCAL RECRUITMENT EXPERT HELPS YOU TO DO IT YOURSELF Recruitment agencies seem to spring up quite frequently nowadays. That said, any business owner will tell you the value of hiring the right staff. The problem is that agencies can prove expensive and not always offer the desired results. Ballards Recruitment, the latest offering from award winning firm of chartered accountants Ballards LLP, looks like it might just offer the refreshing alternative approach to recruitment we have all been waiting for.

full outsourced recruitment service too, our ultimate goal is to support clients in becoming an employer of choice in their market meaning that they can recruit more easily for themselves in the future. One example is looking at their online profile; how potential employees perceive the business and ensuring that the culture of the business and attractive qualities are effectively communicated. This can be via the client’s social media streams, their website or even by existing staff’s word of mouth.”

We spoke to Emma Richardson, Senior Recruitment Adviser and asked her the question “what makes you different?”

Emma, who previous to working for Ballards Recruitment ran a recruitment firm in London for 10 years seems to appreciate the value of introducing employees that really make a difference to clients’ businesses.

“Well Ballards Recruitment is a consultancy in its truest sense of the word. We take a different view on things and really try to help clients recruit for themselves. Although we do carry out a

“As we are part of the Ballards LLP chartered accountants line of services, we value helping make our clients’ businesses better and operating with the highest integrity.”

Emma Richardson

James Syree, CEO of Ballards LLP chartered accountants commented, “Our business is about modern thinking and our clients have told us that offering recruitment solutions is real added value. It was a natural step to extend this service to the wider market” You can contact Emma Richardson on 01905 794 504 to discuss any requirements you may have.

The Midlands has been our home ever since we started doing business over 20 years ago. We now provide our voice, data and connectivity services to over 3,000 businesses nationwide but our roots will always be here, helping local businesses to connect with one another and their customers.

Get in touch today for your FREE telecoms consultation. This includes: + Free analysis of your current telecoms spend + Access to the best rates on the market + Free demonstration of how we can improve your current setup.

To find out how we can help you get connected, get in touch today. E: T: 01952 221 312


September/October 2018


Fantastic employees are hard to find

…unless you’re using Redwood Search! 01905 27747

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce




SPOTLIGHT ON INNOVATION To celebrate innovation in the two counties, Business Direction spoke to Hamish Gill, Managing Director of F8Creates, to discuss about his latest crowd-funded project. HI HAMISH. WE JUST WANTED TO SAY CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CROWD-FUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR YOUR INNOVATIVE PROJECT PIXL-LATR! WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND CREATING THIS PROJECT? Thanks very much! pixl-latr has been a long time in the making. The first conversations I had about it were in 2013 and were inspired by simple necessity. I had just shot my first sheets of large format film and home developed them, but when it came to getting the images onto the computer for me to edit and share, I came unstuck. There was nothing on the market that allowed me to digitise my images without spending a fortune on a large scanner. I spotted a gap in the market and set about creating a solution to the problem that could democratise the process through being effective and also fairly inexpensive. I decided to speak to one of the larger organisations in the film/ photography community about it, and even had a couple of rough prototypes put together. It wasn’t until the middle of 2017 that I met the Product Designer who worked on the prototype that went onto Kickstarter.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO DOWN THE CROWD FUNDING ROUTE? I am fortunate that I already have a ready made audience for the product – I run a fairly popular film/photography blog, and had a strong feeling that a good percentage of my following would engage with the idea. The issue was, I wasn’t really able to go into mass production without a good injection of cash. I could have sought investment, but that would have involved giving away a percentage of the company. Kickstarter allowed me to effectively take pre-orders against the concept. Additionally, the platform acts as a very powerful marketing tool.

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN YOU MANAGED TO HIT YOUR CROWD-FUNDING TARGET IN JUST THREE HOURS? Dumbfounded - watching the little money counter climb so quickly was incredibly


gratifying. I knew the idea was good, and the concept sound, but to have that validated by the film/photography community…well, it was a very proud moment to say the least!

NOW THAT YOUR CAMPAIGN HAS EXCEEDED YOUR TARGET, WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FOR BRINGING YOUR PRODUCT TO THE MARKETPLACE? With the target being exceeded by such a great amount, I am able to afford a bit of external support. I am now going back to the drawing board slightly - I want to deliver the best possible product as soon as I am able to. With that in mind, I have engaged a consultant and we are going to look again at the materials, design and manufacturing process to make sure the final product is a good as it can possibly be. I am also in talks with an international distributor who has expressed a strong interest in pixl-latr.

SEEING HOW SUCCESSFUL YOUR FIRST PROJECT HAS GONE, DO YOU HAVE OTHER INNOVATIVE IDEAS IN THE PIPELINE? My problem is usually too many ideas and not enough time or resource to bring them to fruition. I need to concentrate on pixl-latr for the time being. Of course, the other idea I’ve been working on for a few years is The Kiln. The Kiln will provide people like me with a platform,

contacts and resource needed to more readily realise ideas like pixl-latr. I am sure once we are in there and engaging with the tech, creative and small business community that otherwise inhabits it, I will pull a few more ideas out of the pipeline!

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I think the biggest challenge was finding someone like-minded with the right skillset to help me create the prototype. The project took a back seat for the first four years – I had engaged with two other Product Designers in that time that didn’t quite see the vision. The problem was not so much with them, but with the niche problem pixl-latr solves. Really, I needed a photographer who also had design skills. That’s what I found in Steve Lloyd of Chroma Camera. He understands the fundamentals of the problem, as well as understanding my ideas about how to solve it. Another challenge was keeping the product simple, which is surprisingly hard to achieve. With a target retail price of £40.00, and personal design philosophies around not over-complicating solutions, there was a lot of time spent head scratching. The head scratching continues, in fact, though thankfully now at least some of the time spent doing so has been funded by the Kickstarter campaign.

September/October 2018


FLASH TO THE FUTURE: BUSINESS IN 2050 Looking forward to 32 years time, BD magazine discusses what could be the big trends in business in the year 2050.



In 2016, Hanson Robotics introduced the world to Sophia, the social humanoid robot, who made global headlines by becoming the first robot to receive citizenship of any country. With many large companies already using robotics and/ or machinery to create their products in 2018, and AI technology on the rise, could employers be welcoming robots to the workforce?

As we wait for driverless cars to become available to the masses, we look at how the daily commute could have changed. As society is encouraged to think about its environmental impact, could we actually see employees favouring greener modes of transport like cycling?

HIGH RISE With an expected population of 9.7 billion by the year 2020, will Herefordshire and Worcestershire follow the trends of cities by building upwards as well as outwards? If we take on board the idea of a newer and greener community, will buildings be required to have solar panels or its own water supply?

FLEXIBLE WORKING With firms like Perpetual Guardian already establishing a 4-day work week to improve work-life balance, cut stress levels and boost productivity – how will the average work week look in 2050? Many countries in Europe have already cut weekly work hours, and trialled shorter working days, which have resulted in unmitigated success. Only time will tell...

Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



THE BIG WINS FROM OUR GDPR COMPLIANCE JOURNEY I’ve had the opportunity to share my thoughts on various aspects of GDPR in the past, but with the 25th May now behind us, I’ve taken the time to reflect on our initial compliance journey at OpenCRM, the steps we took and the big wins we achieved. Alongside a more robust and sharpened Data Security policy, the process of GDPR compliance has strengthened the way we operate as a business, improved the way we engage with our customers and streamlined the way we collaborate as a team.^

THE RIPPLE EFFECT It was without doubt that the introduction of GDPR was going to mean a complete evolution of our Data Security policies and procedures, after all, the goal posts had moved. But the nature of developing this process, led us down avenues of further evolution across the business. Through the new requirements we faced, we found new best practices, technologies and methodologies emerged, allowing us to get some big wins in other areas of the business as well. Discussions around capturing consent lead to new Account Management steps, by exploring how we retain data we found new technology features with cross department benefits and engaging with expert consultants helped to broaden our infrastructure capability. The Big Win – Evolution breeds evolution; by taking the time to explore new and exciting changes in our Data Security policies other interconnected processes benefitted from the best practices we uncovered.


ENHANCING OUR CUSTOMER FOCUS For us, GDPR was a great project as it was purely focused around our customers, ensuring we were doing everything in our power to secure their data. Whilst we all aim to put our customers at the front and centre of everything we do, often our product, processes or people can be cause for the focus to slip. It helped to reaffirm the clarity of what we do and why we do it. As a software provider, we’re here to build tools that not only help businesses manage what they do but ensure they do it in the right way – GDPR epitomised that and helped remind us of what it’s all about – our customers! The Big Win – GDPR gave us the opportunity to put the customer at the front of what we do! It helped remind everyone what really matters and re-energised the entire business.

THE BENEFITS OF EMPOWERMENT For the nature of our GDPR project in particular, we knew we needed to extend our open company culture to enable us look objectively and honestly at where we were and how we needed to change to meet the challenges. We gave the project the maximum authority it needed to rewrite some key areas of our business, but above that, we gave the project team the authority to challenge all that was put in front of them.

of our newest starters or to me as the Managing Director, we had to apply the due-diligence to achieve the right result. The end result? A Data Security policy we’re truly proud of and can fully get behind. The level of challenge and scrutiny meant we couldn’t rest on our laurels, we covered all the angles and accounted for the risks. The Big Win – By giving our GDPR team the maximum authority, we fostered the approach we needed. Hierarchy can undoubtably cause barriers, if you break them down, you can achieve the best results. Whilst I don’t believe the ICO (or anyone really) has really got their heads around the impact GDPR will have on the tech industry, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. Alongside a robust security framework, we’ve felt the wider benefits of an open and enthusiastic project that’s bred evolution in many different areas, empowered our staff to ask questions and helped us set our sights back on what matters, the customer. To talk to a member of the OpenCRM team about how CRM softwre can benefit your brand, just call 01748 473000 or visit the website: Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems.

We knew granting this authority would be essential, we needed our team to not be afraid of challenging if something was truly correct or suggest how to do something better. It didn’t matter if that was to one

September/October 2018


LOOKING FOR QUALITY HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS? THEN CALL SEVERN ANGELS Managing Director Spiwe Mhondiwa, herself a nurse, said: “All our people are highly trained and we make sure that we provide the right person for the right job.

When it comes to providing health care you need to recruit the very best people possible – and that is why new company Seven Angels Healthcare Limited has already proved so successful.

Severn Angels is a nursing agency that provides short-term, permanent contracts and shift work for a range of NHS trusts, nursing homes and hospitals. The reason its services are so much in demand is the Worcester-based company’s mission is to provide top quality and effective nursing professionals where they are needed most. Severn Angels employs professional, considerate, fully-trained, reliable workers

“We only take on people with experience which means that we are offering the very best healthcare professionals to our clients.”

who prioritise compassion and put the needs of patients first. The company provides staff for sectors of the healthcare industry across the West Midlands and Worcestershire including: n n n n n n n

Nursing homes NHS Trusts Private hospitals Community Nursing Mental Health Services Learning Disability Services Prison Health Services

If you are having staffing issues, or your healthcare needs are simply not being met, Severn Angels have the nurses for you and the company’s services can be utilised for short-term permanent contracts, or shift work, as required. To find out more, please contact Severn Angels on 01905 930707 or visit

If you are having staffing issues, or your healthcare needs are simply not being met, Severn Angels have the nurses for you and the company’s services can be utilised for short-term permanent contracts, or shift work, as required. Business Direction published by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce



INNOVATION IS WHERE FUTURE SUCCESS IS BORN Earlier this year, Management Coach Alan Clark led a session at the first Worcestershire Innovation Network (WINN) ‘Great Things’ innovation networking event at the Hive. The subject of his session was the Rapid Idea Creation Table (photographed). It can be a challenge to generate innovative products or services that would be the foundation for future success. Alan’s well-received hands-on session

introduced a simple tabular approach that uses the features of existing products or services. New combinations of features can provide the starting point for discovering possible innovations. Taking the features of existing cakes, the example photographed shows how simple yet powerful even an ordinary table can be for stimulating new ideas. This simple example could offer you possibly a thousand new combinations to consider. Even if most or all combinations are not practical, the whole exercise often helps kick-start new thinking.



Malvern Panalytical has announced a collaboration with specialist Internet of Things (IoT) company, TetraScience, to deploy IoT-enabled capabilities and connectivity for its instruments. The objective of the collaboration will be to provide access to customised dashboards, data collection and analytics, and system scheduling and monitoring. This will allow researchers to improve laboratory efficiency, better manage their equipment, and make swift, data-driven decisions. Duncan Roberts, V. P. Business Development, Malvern Panalytical, commented: “We have been closely engaged in finding the most suitable way to help our customers benefit from the vast potential offered by the Internet of Things. It was important for us to work with a leader in the IoT field, and we chose the TetraScience platform because it is robust, easy-to-use and vendor-agnostic. We have been impressed with the flexibility of the TetraScience platform and its ability to deal with the complexities of modern research processes.”

HOME SECRETARY OPENS NEW BROMSGROVE HQ The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, UK Secretary of State for the Home Office and Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove, has opened the new headquarters building of RSM Partners – the UK-based global leader in IBM mainframe security. The Home Secretary opened RSM on the morning of Friday 27 July, speaking of the event, Mark Wilson (Founder and Technical Director), said: “We are delighted that MR Javid found time in his busy schedule to join our team and celebrate the opening of our new state-of-the-art offices.” The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, commented: “It was an absolute pleasure to officially open RSM’s new UK headquarters in Bromsgrove. As a local business with international reach, RSM contributes so much to the West Midlands economy. I was proud to meet so many of their talented staff.”

The accreditation allows the University’s security staff to work more closely with the community and the police on and off campus. It gives those staff that complete the relevant training the ability to hand out Fixed Penalty Notices for such things as noise nuisance, graffiti and disorder. The University of Worcester is one of a limited few universities in the country to achieve the accreditation, under the Police Reform Act 2002. This coincides with news that the University has become one of only a handful of universities in the country whose CCTV has met the stringent requirements of the Home Office. Tom Taylor, Assistant Director - Security and Operations at the University, said: “This accreditation strengthens that work further and gives us the ability, when necessary, to deal with any incidents swiftly and appropriately, and has so far proved very successful since its implementation.”


September/October 2018

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September/October 2018

Profile for Distinctive Publishing

Business Direction 45  

Business Direction, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's 68 page, full colour bi-monthly publication. Designed and produce...

Business Direction 45  

Business Direction, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's 68 page, full colour bi-monthly publication. Designed and produce...