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BUSINESSEDGE The magazine of Sussex Enterprise

Awards through excellence What is a LEP? Striking an optimistic note

British Chambers of Commerce Accredited

JUNEJULY 2011


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Contents

Welcome

09 16 38 44 04 05 07 08 09 12 13 15 16 19 21

Economic Overview Upfront Upfront World View Opinion Policy News BCC Focus Ask the Expert Spotlight On… The Steam Room Start Ups

Contacts Business Edge is a Sussex Enterprise publication. If you have any stories you would like to tell us about or any comments please drop us an email at businessedgeenquiries@sussexenterprise.co.uk

SUSSEX ENTERPRISE Greenacre Court, Station Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9DS

22 24 36 38 41 43 44 47 48 50

The Big Interview Cover Feature Training Courses Premier Member View Events Movers and Shakers MP View News New Members The Last Word

This issue focuses on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and business support, following the changes the Government has introduced to economic development. Local Enterprise Partnerships are still a relatively new mechanism in the business support arena. The aim of the Coast to Capital LEP covering West Sussex and parts of Surrey is to bring international trade to the region and encourage entrepreneurship. We have looked at how the proposals in the LEP will make a difference and improve the local economy and spoken to local businesses to find out what they think about the new method of business support. And we visit the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove to find out what is happening in the local economy. Thomas Eggar’s feature – a Premier member and leading law firm, tells the story of their Academy approach to education and its recognition by The Law Society. And don’t miss Cocoa Loco’s take on the gourmet chocolate industry on page 9. Also, find out how an aviation expert has turned broken aircraft shells into a growing enterprise on page 21. We have been very pleased with the response we have had to calls for stories in the first few issues, but we are always looking for more. So, if you have anything you would like to tell us, please get in touch on businessedgeenquiries@ sussexenterprise.co.uk. Our next issue is due out at the end of July and will focus on the digital economy. We look forward to hearing from you.

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BUSINESSEDGE 3


ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

We are here to help In the fifteen years I have worked at Sussex Enterprise never have we had to cope with such a fluid environment. We have always had a strong understanding of the economy and a good understanding of what you want, but we need to improve on this. By the time you read this you would have received an email asking you what you want from membership of Sussex Enterprise and how we can help you save money and make money. We want to be more responsive. It is contact with you that is the most enjoyable part of my job. The internal management, we all have to do. If it works it is great, but let’s be honest it can also be very hard and incredibly frustrating. We each have a vision of what we want to do with the business, but we need to motivate and skill others to do it. Communicating and ensuring that objectives and targets match up and the continuous steering is the hard stuff. In the last couple of months I have been unchained from my desk and spent a lot of my time meeting with your fellow members. Seeing how you are getting on and what things are stopping you or slowing you down. The message that I am getting back is that it is tough, that despite some growth in turnover it is margins that are constantly under pressure and that you cannot understand why inflation is running at 4% as you are not putting your prices up. What impresses me most about you and your fellow members is your resilience and your ability to understand your market, but many businesses do just trundle along. They listen, but do not hear. By this I mean they ask customers their views of the product or service and how good the delivery of it was, but they then rarely do anything about it. It is not through laziness or lack of concern, but is often down to not knowing how to or what to change. If it was easy then we would all be doing it. One of the things we offer is the ability to put you in touch with other members that can help solve your problems. Not because they offer a consultancy service, but because they have been through what you are going through. It is part of your membership. In many of my visits to member businesses I have learned things that I have used at Sussex Enterprise and not implemented ideas I had

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as some of you have got there before me and found it did not work. Our networking events are a very good opportunity for you to do this informally. Our next few events are on page 41 and can be found on our website (www.sussexenterprise.co.uk) In addition to your membership we also offer a range of services that you have said over the years you need. The largest of these is our HR service. Due to the increasing amount of legislation our people are both our largest asset and also potentially our biggest problem. We can help you get the best out of each person and provide the service that you need. We have a range of packages that are excellent value and provide you with a personal service.

CEO Mark Froud

“What impresses me most about you and your fellow members is your resilience and your ability to understand your market, (others) ask customers their views of the product or service and how good the delivery of it was, but they then rarely do anything about it” We can also help you increase the capability and productivity of your staff by improving your and their skills through a range of training and development courses. They will help you and them do more and become more efficient. A recent report showed that 40% of our time at work is spent doing things that do not add value or make a direct contribution to your net profit. Take a few moments to think. Is that true for you? If so give me a ring on 01444 259259 and we can help.


UPFRONT

The Price of Loyalty!

Gatwick welcomes airport sales

It is common sense in the current market that changing insurance can save a company money. With more time and less capital in the business world at the moment, now seems like the perfect time to switch insurance, but be warned a company can do real damage to their insurance prospects by over marketing their portfolio, advises PI Expert. In the short term continually switching insurance providers can seem to be positive as it will drive prices down but businesses must understand the value of loyalty to insurance companies. It is more expensive for insurers to quote for new business than to write a renewal. This means that insurers can get very frustrated with customers who they see marketing their business every year and eventually will refuse to quote for them. Furthermore, if a claim at any point throws up an issue, insurers are undoubtedly more likely to take a generous view where a client has been a long standing customer. There are ways of effectively marketing an insurance portfolio. For an SME the most

sensible solution is to use a broker, such as PI Expert, to manage this for you. Jenny Carter-Vaughan, the Managing Director of PI Expert commented: “We work with our clients to firstly understand and then to present their business effectively to insurers and then use our expertise to narrow down the markets which are appropriate to their business. We also go to a number of markets to get the best price.” Jenny continued: “It is surprising how many brokers, including some of the largest players, only use a limited market for placing business. Although this may result in a higher commission for them, it rarely results in a better premium for the client.”

Fontwell Park wins top industry award Fontwell Park has won a prestigious industry award. West Sussex racecourse Fontwell Park was voted ‘Racecourse of the Year’ at the Betview Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. More than 700 guests attended the awards that were hosted by Clare Balding and rugby World Cup winner Will Greenwood. Fontwell Park had been shortlisted along with Lingfield Park and last year’s winners

Punchestown. The award is presented to the racecourse which provides the best experience for the betting and racing public. More than £8.5m has been invested at Fontwell Park since Northern Racing purchased the course in 2002. Last year saw the opening of £6.5m 888sport Premier Grandstand which offers some of the best racecourse facilities in the country. The course has experienced significant increases in hospitality, sponsorship and conference/ wedding business in recent years as well as growth in attendances. Fontwell Park General Manager Phil Bell said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by the betting industry for our investment in the business and customer service.”

From left, Phil Bell, Mike Dewsbury, Claire Balding, Tony Kelly,

Betview was launched in 2007 as the monthly business to business magazine for the betting industry. The Betview Awards reward and recognise the outstanding achievement, ingenuity and innovation happening across the UK and Republic of Ireland betting and gaming trade.

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Further break-up of BAA is good news for passengers and airlines

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Independent Gatwick gives a ‘foretaste of the benefits competition can bring’    

Gatwick welcomes the move by the Competition Commission (CC) to uphold its decision made in 2009 that the break-up of BAA should continue with the sale of a further two airports.   The sale of Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) 15 months ago illustrates the benefits that can be delivered to passengers and airlines through separate ownership. The sale of Stansted will bring greater competition between the London airports, which can only mean good news for passengers. Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport said: “It is welcome news that the Competition Commission remains convinced that competition in the airport market is a good thing and that a further break-up of BAA should press ahead. “The CC recognises that Gatwick, under new ownership, is delivering real benefits to both airlines and passengers . Airlines, including airberlin and Norwegian Air Shuttle, have switched from Stansted to Gatwick and BA and easyJet are growing their operations. Passengers are receiving better service with average security queue times of under two minutes in 2010 and we are driving value and efficiency while investing almost £1 billion in new facilities across the airport. “Competition creates choice and we want passengers and the airlines to choose Gatwick.”

BUSINESSEDGE 5


UPFRONT

Thales wins Queens Awards for Enterprise

Company Health Check

Thales UK is proud to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has today conferred two of its business units with the Queens Award for Enterprise.

YourDoc Medical Ltd make their Health and Wellbeing services accessible to SMEs, through Sussex Enterprise and their newly launched website.

The awards are in the International Trade category and are being conferred on Thales UK’s optronics business and its missile electronics business.

This month,Your Doc Medical launches their Company Health and Wellbeing Service with Sussex Enterprise. The issue of workplace health and wellbeing is rising swiftly up the UK business agenda, as companies increasingly recognise the true cost of absenteeism and workplace ill-health. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over 35 million working days were lost through ill-health and injury in 2004/05, while 2 million people were suffering from an illness that they believed was caused or made worse by current or past work. Therefore there are clearly huge costs to UK businesses associated with lack of effective health and wellbeing practice in both direct losses owing to absenteeism and possible litigation, and day-to-day underperformance across the company. Unfortunately, smaller companies often find it difficult to find the budget to invest in health and wellbeing services for their employees and yet the impact of sickness and absenteeism can be even greater for these companies than it is for larger organisations. Sussex Enterprise has set up this membership service to assist their member companies, large and small, to prevent and reduce the impact of these thorny issues. This service also adds to the exciting and cost effective range of value added services that Sussex Enterprise provides to its member companies. YourDoc Medical’s Service includes: n

A Health Portal – Packed with a variety of topical articles that have all been reviewed by GPs

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An online health management and health coaching system

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A Shop packed with specially selected health and wellbeing products

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A Focus Health Issue with an interactive Q&A section

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Subscribers also receive a regular Newsletter and Health tips.

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It is available online 24/7 and the service can be subscribed to for 12 months.

Jennifer Samarasinghe, Managing Director of Your Doc Medical Ltd says: “It is a very exciting opportunity for us to promote our preventative healthcare ethos by working with an innovative business organsation like Sussex Enterprise. We are also going to be able to reach many smaller companies and their employees so that they can benefit from our services. This has been a long term aim of the company that is finally being realised! Gill Edinburgh, Operations Director for Sussex Enterprise says “Sussex Enterprise is delighted to welcome this new service as part of our valuable membership packages. We are urging our small, medium and large members to use Your Doc Medical service to protect their business and save money in the process.” For more information on YourDoc Medical Ltd and their preventative Healthcare services contact: Jennifer Samarasinghe,YourDoc Medical Ltd on 01444 220031 or email: info@yourdocmedical.co.uk For more information on Sussex Enterprise and their membership packages contact: James Kenny, Membership Consultant on 01444 259260 or email James.kenny@sussexenterprise.co.uk

Thales UK’s optronics business designs and manufactures electro-optic day and night-vision equipment for use in land, sea and airborne applications. Founded in 1888, the optronics business was registered in Scotland in 1912 and is headquartered in Glasgow. Thales UK’s missile electronics business designs and manufactures target detection devices, fuzes and safety arming units, which are installed in a range of missiles. With origins tracing back to the First World War, the business has risen to being a recognised world leader in its areas of operations and is based in Basingstoke. Both parts of the business have been selected for the award for more than doubling their overseas revenues over the last three years. This outstanding performance by both businesses is the result of a vigorous sales and marketing programme, based on technologically advanced and competitive products, and pursued through a network of 60 international partners in a wide range of overseas markets. Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, says: “Thales UK is deeply honoured that these businesses have been recognised by Her Majesty for our achievements in exports. These awards underline our leading role in supporting both the UK’s defence industrial capability and the UK’s competitive position in the export market. Above all it recognises the efforts, unique skills and commitment of our employees.”

BUSINESSEDGE 7


WORLD VIEW

Sussex International Trade Forum Those companies who have not yet ventured into the opaque world of exporting may have the impression that it is nigh on impossible to get through the rules and regulations associated with the practice. But what would happen if someone from Qatar or Egypt contacted you through your website, and made a big order? Where would

you start on shipping your order, and what paperwork would you need to complete? Well one team you definitely should know within Sussex Enterprise is the Export Documentation team. Lea and Marie process over 5,500 thousand documents a year ensuring

that Sussex goods successfully get to their destination across the world. And they support the shipping of everything from charity goods for Romania to hi-tech oncology machinery. Many countries require stamped documentation to allow goods into the country, many don’t and many have specific rules that you need to understand. ATR/ EUR 1 certificate Allow for reduced rates of duty to be charged upon import into countries where preferential agreements exist, making qualifying goods more competitive. Carnets Facilitate the temporary exportation of goods for up to 12 months, act as a ‘passport’ presented at each customs post, are recognised in many countries world-wide and are used to enable companies to take goods and samples for display at exhibitions, and to transport specialised tools and equipment to complete specific work overseas. Letter of Credit A safe instrument of payment offering secure terms for buyers and sellers, whereby the seller is guaranteed payment through a bank if the terms of the letter of credit are fulfilled. Sussex Enterprise offer a full processing service for Letters of Credit ensuring swift and efficient settlement. Other Authentifications Many other export documents may require authentification by the Foreign Office, notary or other Non-Arab embassy. Arab British Certificates of Origin Cover exports to countries in the Arab League. Governed by the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Enterprise is an agent Chamber and can arrange Embassy legalisation of Arab documents. If you are an exporter (experienced or new to the exporting world), and you haven’t yet tried our service, then do get in touch on 0844 3759 551,or email us on export@sussexenterprise.co.uk

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OPINION

The sweet success of gourmet chocolate The UK is very much a nation of milk chocolate lovers, brought up on Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. But there is an increasing body of people looking for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, according to Sarah Payne of Cocoa Loco Sarah explains, there are probably three reasons for this. Firstly, the increased interest in food and ingredients promoted by the celebrity chefs, the increase in medical studies showing the health benefits of cacao of which there is more in dark chocolate and finally the physiological effect that eating dark chocolate has, according to Sarah Payne of member company Cocoa Loco. There are strong similarities between cocoa and coffee, in both the different types and how the markets have and are developing. With cocoa there are three variants cocoa trees/beans. Forastero beans make up 85% of the world supply. They are popular amongst commercial growers as the trees mature quickly and crop heavily. The quality of the taste is ‘acceptable’ and these beans are predominantly used for confectionary products. The finer quality chocolate comes from the trinitario (14%)

and criollo (1%) beans. These beans have more character and depth of flavour. The trend is to eat more quality chocolate made using the trinitario and criollo beans and this has led to single origin chocolates that can be traced back to countries and even particular estates/plantations.

The main challenge is the rising cost of ingredients. Cocoa is traded as a commodity on the world markets and has recently experienced a 30-year high. 70% of the worlds cocoa comes out of west Africa and turmoil in the Ivory Coast is just one of the factors keeping the price high. There are also significant price pressures on the other ingredients used. Sarah expects we will see an increase in the demand for both dark chocolate and ‘origin’ chocolates. A lot of origin chocolates are currently only available as bars and she expects we will see the chocolate being used in other products such as truffles.

Contact details The Chocolate Barn Hill House Farm,West Grinstead West Sussex, RH13 8LG Phone us on: 01403 865687 Or email us at: Sarah@cocoaloco.co.uk www.cocoaloco.co.uk

BUSINESSEDGE 9


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POLICY NEWS

Members of Sussex Enterprise urged to enter prestigious awards

The best businesses in Sussex are being encouraged to demonstrate the county’s entrepreneurship by entering a top award – as well as a chance to share in £50,000 worth of cash prizes.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has launched its successful Chamber Awards 2011 to help reward and recognise the most innovative and successful businesses across the region and in the UK that are playing such a vital role in the country’s economic recovery. Members of Sussex Enterprise can enter the following categories this year: n

Business of the Year

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Most Promising New Business

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Entrepreneur of the Year

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Achievement in International Business

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Excellence in Customer Service

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Excellence in People Development

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The Sustainability Award

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Finding New International Markets

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Innovation through Technology.

All regional winners will go through to the national finals where they could pick up a national award in their category as well as being

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in with a chance to collect the award for the most outstanding business achievement – and its £25,000 prize. President of the British Chambers of Commerce, Neville Reyner, CBE DL, said: “Hard-working small and medium-sized businesses are providing the backbone for our economic recovery. There are some remarkable and innovative companies in Britain, and the Chamber Awards recognise those firms striving to grow in the face of a tough business environment. “We need to restore confidence to those business owners that will drive Britain’s future growth. Working with businesses, local authorities, the Government, European policy-makers and opinion-formers, we want to remove the barriers companies face in expanding their businesses. If our small and medium-sized businesses are doing well – it’s good news for all of us. These awards are designed to reward and recognise that success.” The awards are backed-up by high profile

sponsors including, the Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, BT, Dell, and DHL. The regional winners will be announced in September, followed by the national awards ceremony at London’s Connaught Rooms on November 24. Kittiwake Developments Ltd won achievement in international business last year.

For Your Info To enter the awards online go to www.chamberawards.co.uk and for any further information you can contact the Chamber Awards Team on 024 76 47 2593 or email awards@chamberawards.co.uk. The closing date for entries is June 24. Good luck!


BCC FOCUS

Next steps for local enterprise partnerships In recent weeks, the Government has asked the British Chambers of Commerce to convene a new national network of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Adam Marshall Director of Policy explains.

We are very excited to take on this challenge – and to work with local business leaders, including the new Coast to Capital LEP board, over the coming months.The role of this network will be to help LEPs share knowledge, tackle common problems, and get the latest data they need to promote local growth. Contrary to some media portrayals, it is not intended to be a new organisation, a new quango, or a top-down structure that intends to control or manage LEPs’ relationships with Whitehall, or with each other. It is our intention that the network will help LEPs bring together a diverse range of local businesses to tackle the big issues around local growth. It will work with other business groups, with local partners, and of course Chambers like Sussex Enterprise to ensure that the private sector voice in Local Enterprise Partnerships – and in the growth agenda more generally – is supported and strengthened. We have been asked to put together a network run by the private sector, for the private sector, and this is what we will work hard to deliver.

In parts of the country, we have got to completely reinvent the spirit of enterprise. Companies across England tell me they are ready and willing to work with local councils to ensure that our towns and cities are open for business. But in return for their time and energy, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to make it easier for local businesses to tackle the problems with planning, skills and transport that stifle private sector growth. The new LEP network will be there every step of the way to assist these new bodies influence planning decisions to encourage development, set out a vision for the future for their communities, and work together where required to tackle issues of mutual interest – such as getting infrastructure connections and training programmes right. In recent conversations with ministers, we have underlined the fact that LEPs must be business-led, and that they must have wide private-sector support if they are to succeed over the coming years. We want to ensure that the emerging LEP Network gives businesspeople, regardless of their affiliation or

previous roles, the opportunity to get stuck in on the big issues affecting local growth. Over the coming months, the BCC, with a contribution from Government, will invest time and its own resources to develop a network that supports business and local economies. The plan is to make the network self-funding in the years to come. Our priority now is to listen to local business leaders – this is their network. It will only succeed if it delivers a supportive forum to exchange ideas, a way to engage with Ministers, and delivers the information that partnerships need to support local growth.We at the British Chambers of Commerce take the development of this network very seriously, and will ensure that it helps enable enterprise growth across England. Dr Adam Marshall is director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce www.britishchambers.org.uk

BUSINESSEDGE 13


Alan Jones Legal

What is a Chinese Chop?

HAVING BIRD PROBLEMS? NESTING, MESSING, ROOSTING? GULLS, PIGEONS, STARLINGS?

It’s legal but not edible. It’s one of the many things – some of them really important – which you will discover if you come to one of my training workshops on trading with overseas businesses. Cross border contracts can be a minefield but after attending one of my workshops you will: n learn about the most common international contracting pitfalls and risks; n be able to effectively plan your contract strategy before the start of negotiations; n improve and capitalize on your commercial relationships; n create contracts which are balanced and reflect parties’ aspirations. I am a former international commercial and aviation solicitor who now specializes in providing training workshops and courses for managers, executives and overseas lawyers. For more information, please get in touch E: alanjoneslegal@gmail.com W: www.alanjoneslegal.co.uk T: 01273 240165 M: 07774 885486

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ASK THE EXPERT

Email your question to businessedgeenquiries@sussexenterprise.co.uk, marking the subject line Ask the Expert, and we will try to include it in the next edition. I have heard that the ISO standard is most appropriate for manufacturing businesses – am I right, and what standard would you recommend for a service business?

Q

The ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Standard is adaptable for any business, in fact more business sectors outside of manufacturing are implementing ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, such as the banking sectors, Legal practices and Management Consultancy organisation. Sussex Enterprise for example have been registered as a UKAS accredited 9001 organisation for over fifteen years.

A

Ian runs the Sussex Enterprise Quality Management service and can be contacted on 0845 67 888 67 or ian.walker@sussexenterprise.co.uk

ISO 9001 UKAS certification demonstrates an organisations commitment to maintaining an effective Quality Management System and continual improvement. The ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Standard provides the framework and requirements to implement an effective management system that is flexible and adaptable for any business as it focuses on the interrelated processes, continual

I have a number of staff who use computers as part of their daily activity. I know I should have done something about checking out their safety at work, but am not entirely sure what to do or how often or what the risks are if I simply ignore it?

Q

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations came into force on 1st January 1993 (minor changes were made in 2002). They seek to protect the health of workers by reducing risks from VDU work. Briefly, the Regulations require employers to:

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n n n

Analyse workstations to assess and reduce risks. Ensure workstations meet requirements. Provide information and training.

improvement and customer satisfaction. It is also compatible with ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Systems, and BS 0HSAS 18001:2008 Occupational Health and Safety at Work. You can also consider IiP, Investors in People, this is an effective standard designed to focus on People Development.

Andy Hawkes, is CEO of Cardinus Risk Management Limited. To find out more visit www.cardinus.com

Plan work activities so that they include breaks or changes of activity. n Provide eye and eyesight tests on request, and special spectacles if needed. An assessment should be done when a new workstation is set up, when a new user starts work, or when a substantial change is made to an existing workstation. Assessments should also be repeated if there is any other reason to suspect they may no longer be valid - eg, if users start complaining of pain or discomfort. n

Employers need to train users about the risks in DSE work and how to avoid these by safe working practices. Training should cover good posture and changing position; how to adjust chairs; organising their desk space to work comfortably; adjusting the screen and lighting to avoid reflections and glare; breaks and changes of activity and how to report problems. You should also tell users about the general arrangements you have made for health and safety in their DSE work, and how they can apply for an eye test.

Legal Protection when you need it most Unexpected legal disputes can be costly at the best of times but as we begin to see the green shoots of recovery it is now more important than ever for small and medium sized businesses to have access to affordable legal representation and advice.

Tribunal Applications, a 56% increase on the previous year’s figures. The average award for unfair dismissal is now £9,120, race discrimination £18,584, sex discrimination £19,499 and disability discrimination £52,087.

Businesses have increasingly been seeking advice about redundancy issues and how to go about recovering debts from clients. In the past 2 years the Chamber Legal Advice Line has seen a 50% increase in redundancy and debt related calls. Managers of small firms generally have limited experience of coping with the ever changing employment legislation and the consequences if they fail to follow proper procedures.

As a member of Sussex Enterprise you have the peace of mind in knowing you are automatically covered by a comprehensive Legal Expenses Insurance Policy providing up to £670,000 of indemnity to cover the professional fees of a Solicitor, HR consultant or Accountant to represent your business in the event of a dispute. Members also have access to a 24/7 Legal Advice line providing telephone based advice relating to any legal, employment or taxation matter.

The latest Employment Tribunal Service annual report shows that in the period 1st April 2009 to 31st March 2010 there were 236,100 Employment

Accessing the Chamber Legal Expenses and 247 Legal Advice Line Service: It is essential that members contact the Chamber Legal

Advice Line as soon as they become aware of any issue that may give rise to a dispute and treat the Advice Line as if it was their own in house Legal Department. Delaying notifying the Advice Line could jeopardise your ability to be covered especially if you take any actions without the authority of the Insurer. Chamber Legal Expenses is provided by Composite Legal Expenses Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Please refer to the Chamber Legal Expenses policy wording to fully understand the policy terms and conditions. Details are available on request from your Chamber of Commerce or by visiting www.composite-legal. com/chamber. The Chamber Legal Advice Line can be accessed by calling 0871 423 5239. Tim Mullin Chamber Legal Expenses Account Manager

BUSINESSEDGE 15


SPOTLIGHT ON‌

...Brighton Why Brighton attracts exciting and innovative companies Alistair How. front right, Managing Director of Bupa International with staff members

S

ix hundred years ago, the fifteen hundred souls that lived in what was then Brighthelmstone only needed one of two skills in order to survive; they needed to know how to fish or to farm. There were simply no other industries. It took another three hundred years before

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Dr. Russell introduced a second economic activity by advocating bathing in the sea and the natives realised that, if they were nice to visitors, they could relieve them of their money; the hospitality sector was born. Even today, in a city of well over a quarter of a million people, there are only four main planks to the economy. More than half the 140,000 strong workforce is employed in the public sector or business and financial services; both expected to be fairly insecure over the next

couple of years. About a fifth of the population are still being nice to visitors and work in the hospitality sector [including retail] and then about 11% work in the fast-growing creative industries which includes the burgeoning digital media sector. Brighton & Hove has a growing, young population and a vibrant economy worth about ÂŁ3.5bn. Three things probably helped it to avoid slipping into the decline that has blighted so many coastal towns in the UK. Firstly, it is


in a town that was the epitome of fun after business was over for the day. It still has that reputation for fun and the two-week holiday has been supplanted by the weekend break which helps to support about 13,000 jobs directly related to the tourism sector. Thirdly, it has two universities producing in the region of 7,000 graduates per annum. They come from all over the UK but huge numbers like the place so much that they want to stay after they graduate and as a consequence the workforce is one of the most highly qualified in the country with over 40% holding a first degree. On the plus side it is still one of the most popular places to visit in England. It has an international reputation for digital media and its universities are ranked with the best in the world. It is a city with other enviable statistics e.g. the highest private sector job growth in the UK between 1998 and 2008, but there are also some unenviable figures. Despite being in the expensive-to-live south east, the city has only UK average wages for people working here. It is catching up to the south east average fast but this helps to explain why 28,000 people who work here can’t afford to live here as well. Also it has a shortage of graduate level jobs and graduates will often take entry-level positions, thus making it harder for those with only entry-level qualifications to get a foothold on the employment ladder. Despite having nearly half a million square metres of office space, less than 3% is the Grade A quality that modern businesses increasingly demand. Although refurbishment of ageing 1950s and 1960s stock is becoming more common, the city will need to find location(s) for 16,000m2 of new stock post 2016. The history of building in the city is chequered. At the turn of the millennium Brighton & Hove could boast some £2.2bn of development in the pipeline. Ten years and a global recession later, despite the success of the new Football Stadium and a new office block for Amex, many of the plans have been shelved, placed “under review” or just abandoned. only a 50 minute journey to London by train which is the destination for the bulk of the 33,000 people that leave every day to work elsewhere. Secondly, a little over 30 years ago the town’s councillors (it didn’t become a city until 2000) had the vision to build the 5,000 seat Brighton Centre. The conference centre made up for what cheap holidays in Spain took away. People may have stopped coming to the coast for their two-week holiday but businesses flocked to Brighton in droves to hold their conferences

Nevertheless, the city weathered the recession well with fewer job losses than anticipated and without the decimation of the city centre that blighted so many other places. There is an energy and a dynamism about the place that will not be suppressed and it punches way above its weight [and its purse!] in terms of its cultural and artistic offer. The strapline for the bid for city status in 2000 was “The Place to Be”. It was then, and it still is now.

How Brighton supports international health company One of Brighton’s star companies is Bupa International, a leading international expatriate health insurer and member of Sussex Enterprise, providing health cover to companies and individuals living and working abroad. Managing director Alistair How said: “We have been headquartered in Brighton since 1978 and are one of the largest employers in the city, where we currently employ over 600 people. This dedicated team oversees our day-to-day operations which covers hundreds of thousands of people in over 190 countries around the world. Employing nearly 52,000 people, Bupa has operations around the world, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Hong Kong,Thailand, Saudi Arabia, India, China and across Latin America. For an international business, Brighton’s cosmopolitan make-up makes it an ideal recruitment ground for our multi-lingual teams, who speak 34 different languages between them. “We have recently reinforced our continued commitment to Brighton by signing a 15-year lease for Victory House on Trafalgar Place. Many staff have already moved in, following an extensive refurbishment project. Brighton also has great transport links to London and Gatwick, making it easy for people to get to us. “Our success is down to our people – they are our biggest asset. That’s why we are investing so much in both recruiting the brightest Brighton stars, and retaining the dedicated workforce we already have. We have found that there is a lack of available office space and transport links to the surrounding towns in Sussex, which means staff can struggle to get into work. There is also a lack of affordable housing in Brighton, which makes it more difficult to attract potential staff to move here from elsewhere in the country. “It’s important for companies looking to export to have the right business model, and a truly international mindset in order to succeed. Hopefully, seeing local companies export successfully will encourage other Brighton businesses to take the plunge. “In April last year we were one of only two companies in Sussex to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, for our continued substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success.This is the third time Bupa International has won a Queen’s Award for outstanding achievement in international trade, having been a previous winner in 1999 and 2005.

BUSINESSEDGE 17


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THE STEAM ROOM

Tackling the green conundrum Let me be really clear. I am no green geek. I have trouble in seeing the point of recycling at home – even though I do it. I don’t own, in fact I have never owned, a car. Not through conscience but for two reasons. One, I live in Brighton. Why sit in the traffic when you could actually reach your destination on a bike. And two, I honestly can’t afford the car I’d like (which, in case you’re just feeling generous, is a top of the range BMW series 6 convertible which retails new for £73,470. That’s how green I am not). But I now find my self enraged by the government’s so called Bonfire of Regulation because they’ve included in that The Climate Change Act. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to wonder exactly whose idea it was to embrace within the bonfire the one legislative guide that places us under an obligation to try and save the planet from catastrophic climate change. I may belong to that group whose scepticism about climate change is really just a desire for longer and hotter summers – forget the grandchildren, and bring on the hot weather, I say - but even I think this indicates a government with too much time and too few social instincts. All of us who run businesses tend to get in a tizz about regulations. Even if we do think there is some social value in them, the rules that dictate the lengths to which we have to go to divest our businesses of people who aren’t performing, the difficulties we have when a key employee is absent for a long period, the building regs imposed when we design new offices drive us all potty with frustration. Sometimes they can feel an unequal burden. But all regulation is not the same. Who can gainsay rules that protect drivers from over tiredness and help road safety, the stripping out of lethal asbestos and all the other safety regulations that reduce deaths at work? They are not needless bureaucracy. They are a sign that we are civilised. That we don’t sacrifice people on the altar of profit and productivity. At least in the UK. We all know about the slave wages in some developing countries. And it’s a sign of that humanity and those civilised values that customers in the UK

care enough to make the assurance that it were not produced in unacceptable sweatshops a major reason why they trust a brand or not. And if you think it’s just developing countries read the poignant and heartbreaking “The Legend of Colton H Bryant” by Alexandra Fuller, which tells of the throwing of young men and women’s lives onto the mercy of the viciously careless oil companies in Wyoming. Climate change is coming. There is a 90% certainty from the data that the observed increase in global temperature is due to man-made greenhouse gases. We have agreed an international target for reductions in emissions and the Climate Change Act is our contribution. However CO2 emission is currently not going down, it is increasing by 1% a year. The leading environmental Scientist, formerly at Sussex and now at York University, Professor Sue Hartley simply says that the likelihood of a 2% increase in global temperature by 2050 is very high indeed. And that will result in far more extreme weather events, a dramatic reduction in biodiversity, water and food scarcity. Many may die and those that don’t will live in far, far more dangerous and difficult circumstances. We need to do everything we can.

The

Steam Room!

Each edition we invite a visitor to ‘The Steam Room’ to let off steam on the issues that are bothering them and their business.

But forget the planet, and the next generation, for a bit and look at the bottom line. If we stop using energy at the same rate, if we look for far more efficiency using alternative sources than carbon fuels, if we look to reengineer every process so that it uses energy more wisely, our investment will be repaid on our company bottom line. Regulation more often than not creates a level playing field of civilised values. It is not bureaucracy, it is not the dead hand of the nanny state. It merely organises our best instincts. If the government includes the Climate Change Act in its bonfire of regulation, there will be a bonfire of a very different kind. Of species, bio diversity and energy. And this is from a man who’d love to have a BMW series 6 drop top.

BUSINESSEDGE 19


START UPS

Who says you can’t make a silk purse… Whoever said you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear has clearly got it wrong – that’s precisely what we do at start-up company General Aviation Simulators Ltd (GAS), explains Roger Cato. Having spent a lifetime in aviation, including a role as the MD of Heathrow and Gatwick, I guess I should have known from the outset that retirement was not going to be a ’pipe and slippers’ existence. In fact the older I got the more my ‘passion’ (obsession is what the good lady calls it ) for all things aviation developed and by complete fluke I was introduced to three other enthusiasts who were already dabbling in Flight Simulation with a retired Ryanair 737. There seemed to me to be a market opportunity for light aircraft simulators because of the poor weather conditions in the UK which limits the number of times you can guarantee you will get airborne in single engine aircraft as planned.The other salient factor was there was nobody else with a product at this end of the market, that is to say, fierce competition for full motion jet aircraft but

nobody producing single engine piston aircraft – did they know something we didn’t??.

a small enterprise) instead of being a Board member as I was previously was in days gone by.

So we set-up GAS at Coolham, bought some broken and retired aircraft shells, often little more than a pile of junk and set about refurbishing them. Some the shells had been left out in fields for several years and we bought them complete with weeds and daisies. We write our own software, build our own computers, printed circuit boards and almost everything else we need. When finished they are better than most flying ‘club’ aircraft.

So far we have built five light aircraft simulators, two of which are in Australia, and last November we gained CAA “Qualification” for our simulator at Shoreham which now means that simulator time can count towards formal training. That was a major milestone for us which has prompted us to move onto twin engine piston aircraft – which as they say, is a whole new ball game.

I am slightly embarrassed to say, but only slightly, we have no written strategy documents and few policy documents – wonderful. What a change from my previous role and its also great to be on the receiving end of Sussex Enterprise’s advice (it means I personally don’t have to keep track of all the things you need to know about running

In my previous life, there wasn’t enough hours in the day, currently there are not enough days in the week – I wish I had known that before I started. You also can’t write as much software between 4 am and 8am as you think and doing your VAT return is not as much fun as people say it is! – I wish I known all that as well.

BUSINESSEDGE 21


THE BIG INTERVIEW

Awards through Premier member, Thomas Eggar LLP, is a leading law firm with offices in London and the South. They have a strong Sussex presence with offices in Gatwick, Chichester and Worthing. Last year their initiative to bring high quality continuous learning to all staff was recognised by The Law Society.

O

training content, style and delivery mechanisms had to match the requirements and behaviours we needed at each level, so we built a flexible framework for our modules, offering short focussed classroom sessions and bite-size modules along with project work that can be completed while working.

ne of the most prestigious awards in the legal calendar, the Law Society’s Excellence Awards reward the most outstanding practitioners in the legal profession and are designed to recognise best practice across the industry. Thomas Eggar’s Academy approach to education was shortlisted for the excellence in Learning category in 2010.

We recognised that to provide the quality and consistency of training we needed, we had to build strong partnerships with our trainers and training providers. To that end we have appointed a panel of trainers who meet with us (and each other) regularly to discuss the individual courses and make sure that they fit into a consistent programme.

About Thomas Eggar

Thomas Eggar is a recognised leading law firm in the south serving a diverse range of clients. Many of our lawyers are recognised as leaders in their respective fields, offering innovative and effective solutions.Thomas Eggar recognise that people are our strength and our greatest asset; collectively offering a distinct and compelling legal alternative to individuals and businesses alike. As well as providing our comprehensive legal services portfolio, we have also developed multidisciplinary teams to bring a combination of technical skills and industry expertise to support clients in the following sectors: aviation, care, charities & not-for-profit, education, financial services, hotels & leisure, housing, insurance, manufacturing & logistics, pharmaceutical, retail, rural business & estates, sport & media and technology.

About the Academy

Traditionally we had allowed learning & development to be managed by individual demands rather than aligning to our overall strategy. It was set up to deliver what we needed today, instead of delivering the skills we need for tomorrow. During the development of our three year strategy we identified the need to ensure service excellence; our people make us the law firm of choice for businesses and private clients. To ensure this quality of service, we needed to co-ordinate and raise the standard of training being delivered to our staff without incurring disproportionate cost.

22 BUSINESSEDGE

Our strategy was developed in conjunction with our Partners and staff, using a collaborative on-line forum (Wiki ideas lab) to allow everyone to anonymously contribute, criticise and develop the thinking that had been started by the management team. The result was a strategic plan which consisted of 7 key themes (as well as the usual financial targets for growth). One of these themes is talent development. We recognised that business development, people management, project & risk management, IT skills and communications all needed to be given a higher priority. We therefore developed a new competency framework that is linked directly to the Academy modules offered to our staff. The programmes are then delivered across the firm to all levels in all areas alongside technical legal training as a rolling programme of education. Our Academy programme is designed to equip our lawyers with the additional skills they need to be business leaders and all our staff with the skills they need to develop their careers. The

“Thomas Eggar is committed to providing relevant & ongoing training to their staff. To this end, Sussex Enterprise are working with them to deliver their training academy for support staff which incorporates bite-size comprehensive training covering a number of topics and run regularly throughout the year at all client venues” (Sussex Enterprise, September 2010). An example of the way we are changing our approach is our Academy training on communication skills. Working with specialist trainers and actors, we have developed a unique approach to the development of communication skills for all our staff, we have designed specialist modules for everyone. Another example is our highly successful programme of business development training, the project work associated with these modules has helped us to develop new client relationships and new business wins. All our modules involve practical project work and feedback as an integral part of the design; this allows us to ensure that the programme is continuously evolving to meet our requirements. In the current economic climate cost too is an issue. We have developed a good support network of external expert trainers working


excellence

with our business partners, such as Sussex Enterprise and Law South to ensure we have access to the best education at all stages of the Academy programme. We also use online learning tools extensively; both for legal and skills based training. This means that we can provide our staff with access to high quality training with the minimum disruption to the working day. We also take benchmarking our training very seriously. We offer our staff opportunity to gain additional qualifications through our Academy programmes. This may be additional legal, management or IT qualifications. Sounds easy, but it took a year to launch. Like anything worth doing, it’s worth doing well!

Progress

We have been very encouraged with feedback from our staff, trainers and from our peers. “Thomas Eggar’s new Learning Academy has put the firm at the sharp end of professional development excellence within

the legal profession. Its initiative to produce and implement a comprehensive business management and skills programme for all practitioners at all levels during their careers is a major achievement, putting the firm and its people in an excellent position to move forward in the increasingly competitive environment in which the profession now operates.” Martin Richardson Chief Executive and Director of Professional Development, Law South (September 2010). We have been able to see tangible benefits from the development of the Academy, it has helped us to deliver better quality targeted training. It also helps us to have a flexible framework for the future.

The benefits to the practice and future plans

We are committed as a firm to delivering success Through Excellence; this can only be achieved if our staff have a clear understanding of what excellence in service means to us and

have the skills and motivation to achieve it. Although we are very proud of what we have achieved in the past two years, our programme is under constant scrutiny and improvement, with new initiatives regularly incorporated into the Academy strategy. Our aim is for the firm to have transparency in its career structures, to provide development opportunities through the Academy and have people who work with us who are motivated and enthusiastic in the delivery of excellence. This will help to position us as the law firm of choice ready to take on the challenges of the new face of legal services Thomas Eggar has ambitious plans for the future, we see the coming changes in the legal landscape as an opportunity to promote our services to a broader range of clients, both national and local. Strongly committed to development within Sussex and the South, we retain our regional centres of excellence as part of our continued strategy for growth.

BUSINESSEDGE 23


COVER FEATURE

What is a LEP? Local Enterprise Partnerships are led by businesses and local authorities across natural economic areas. They provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth and job creation in their area. There are now 31 LEPs covering most of the country. By their very nature they are all different, some have decided to undertake all economic development in their economic area. Coast to Capital LEP has decided to “ruthlessly focus” on Entrepreneurship & Enterprise and Internationalism & Exports. We ask John Peel OBE, Chairman, Coast to Capital, Local Enterprise Partnership, for the inside track on LEPs Name

Position

Company

John Peel OBE

Chairman

MARSC Ltd.

Timothy Wates

Vice Chairman

Chairman of Wates Family Holdings

Steve Allen

Business representative

MD Prime Care Community Services

Philip Jones

Business representative

MD Wired Sussex

Alex Williamson

Business representative

Chief Financial Officer The Goodwood Estate

Ravi Shankar

Business representative

MD Epic Asset Management

Iain Shepherd

Business representative

Marine Director MARCOM Defence

Juliette Green

Business representative

Director Women’s Wisdom

HE/FE representative

College Principal, Central Sussex College

Louise Goldsmith

West Sussex County Council

Leader

Mike Fisher

London Borough Croydon

Leader

Not decided yet

Brighton and Hove City Council

Dr Andrew Povey

Surrey County Council

Leader

Bob Lanzer

Crawley Borough Council

Leader

Private sector

What is your vision for the LEP? The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership is a business-led partnership that will improve job creation by enabling the formation of more companies than would naturally emerge and by helping more companies to export. Our main focus will be on these two aims.

HE/FE

Tell us about its Board Members?

Dr Russell Strutt

All the eight business Board Members have been through a completely transparent appointment process and are drawn from as wide a variety of companies as possible and with a selection of skill sets. They come from the whole of the Coast to Capital area, and from large and small businesses, entrepreneurs and corporate, covering many sectors. We also have Further Education and Higher Education represented and the four Leaders of the upper tier authorities involved together with a District leader from the Gatwick Diamond.

Public Sector

24 BUSINESSEDGE


What has happened so far?

What does the LEP want from business?

It’s early days. We have had two Working Groups underway for a couple of months (International Trade Working Group, led by Mark Froud of Sussex Enterprise and Enterprise Working Group led by Coast to Capital Director, Phil Jones, from Wired Sussex).

If we are to run well we need direct funding and contributions in kind – (example: DMH Stallard kindly managed the Board recruitment process Marketing Leadership continues to assist pro bono with the marketing and communications activity; Thomas Eggar have agreed to be company secretary again pro bono). We are also talking to the business membership organisations such as Sussex Enterprise, Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors in Sussex. They have an important role to play in supporting Coast to Capital.

The business members have had one induction meeting and the first Board was held on Tuesday 10 May 2011. The Board have already added a third Working Group on Finance and Funding since government are making no contribution to running costs The Coast to Capital is made-up of West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, the Gatwick Diamond area, the eastern part of Surrey and the London Borough of Croydon. Why were these areas included? What’s the economic profile of the area? What opportunities and challenges does the area have? In my mind there are three economic areas Brighton to Croydon via the Gatwick Diamond (A23/M23); The Coastal Strip from Chichester to Brighton which could spill over the defined edges if required: the Market Towns – a rural hinterland which could well be extended east and west to cover the whole of the National Park. Our primary objective is to create 100,000 jobs over the next 25 years – we will be focussing all our efforts to achieve this. One of our major opportunities is to create a generation of young entrepreneurs by ensuring that enterprise is included in the syllabus of all schools (from the age of 8), colleges and universities in our area. Whilst I have a personal belief that entrepreneurs are born rather than made, if we organise this change well, all students will have the tools to become entrepreneurs and will be more useful to employers because of them. We will also attempt to keep childrens’ minds open to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) for as long as possible.

The aim of the Coast to Capital LEP is to bring international trade to the region and encourage entrepreneurship – how will the proposals in the Coast to Capital LEP make a difference and improve the local economy? And what day-to-day changes will businesses see? Changes will occur, we believe, in four areas of economic activity. In planning we will champion those priorities that need to be created in order for business to flourish.We will facilitate private sector investment by bringing private sector partners and investors together.We will set a framework for the delivery of public sector services and specifically for the delivery of publicly funded business support services. Finally, we will invest in the commissioning of services, studies and projects when and where appropriate. Finally, what are the next steps? The Board is now taking time to understand the issues and challenges they face, such as funding and finance. Coast to Capital also has to react to government initiatives such as Enterprise Zones with speed and clear leadership. From the inaugural board meeting we will start to forge the way forward to achieve our ambitions Talk to me again in six months and I will give you a frank progress report. To keep up to date with coast to Capital go to: www.coast2capital.org.uk

BUSINESSEDGE 25


RECRUITMENT & CONSULTANCY

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We offer: Professional services of experienced recruiters & interviewers A personal service – to manage all aspects of recruitment so you can concentrate on your core business n Cost effective recruitment focused on your needs n Fully briefed and pre-interviewed candidates n n

We do not: Send you inappropriate CV’s n Waste your time – if we cannot help, we will tell you n See you just as a sales target n

Beacon Recruitment & Consultancy have the knowledge and relevant business experience to manage recruitment up to senior management level in Commercial (office), Engineering, Industrial, Manufacturing and Technical industries We are your solution for temporary, contract and permanent vacancies We also have qualified consultants who can support you with Human Resources, Health & Safety and ISO quality systems

Member REC Inspected Company

member


Jet Pack Pictures are based on the East Sussex coast. We offer a variety of film and photography services to suit any requirements, including: Weddings l Online video content l Music videos l Short films and features l

Education and workshops l Graphic design l

If you have an idea we can find a solution. Jet Pack Pictures can help you to develop an imaginative and exciting product to suit your needs AND budget! Get in touch now for a consultation. Adrian Smith jetpackpictures@gmail.com @jetpackpic 07946 853913

www.jetpackpictures.co.uk


WANT TO INCREASE SALES?

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Sales Consultancy

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The Perfect Place to Entertain

Goodwood Racecourse has invested £500,000 on a refurbishment programme of the hospitality boxes in the Sussex Stand to provide the perfect place to entertain and impress clients. With spectacular panoramic views across the Racecourse and Sussex Downs these top quality private boxes allow guests to soak up the atmosphere in a chic and sophisticated setting, while enjoying fine dining, first class service and excellent racing action. A fresh new look to the boxes has been created using contemporary styling and a muted colour palette.The boxes offer flexible entertaining areas, and cater for parties from 16 to 50 people. Whatever the budget, Goodwood Racecourse can tailor a corporate hospitality package to suit, and guarantee a day to remember. Competitive pricing ensures the best value for money for a thrilling day at the races, whether you are entertaining or taking advantage of one of Goodwood’s sponsorship packages. Catering can range from a simple lunch to a

grand champagne reception, with three course meal and full afternoon tea. It was the third Duke of Richmond who in 1802 first brought horseracing to Goodwood. Now more than 200 years later Goodwood is internationally acclaimed as being one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world. Goodwood has enjoyed a long standing reputation for the high standard of entertaining; meticulous attention to detail and looking after its guests. There are plenty of opportunities to bring guests or clients to Goodwood, with 21 days racing this Season.The start of the Season is celebrated with a Garden Party on April 30, and meetings will run until mid October. July sees the return of the highlight of the summer racing and social calendar, the five day Festival which is affectionately known as Glorious Goodwood.

To discuss hospitality requirements please call the Goodwood team on:

01243 755072 or visit: www.goodwood.com

Financial services company, Prudential has been hosting events at Goodwood Racecourse for ten years, and return each year with their clients because they know they are assured of a warm Goodwood welcome and excellent service. Jessica Price, Event Manager at Prudential says: “Glorious Goodwood is a firm favourite in our events’ calendar. The facilities and the standard of service are first class and this creates the perfect environment for developing business relationships.” Guy Harwoods, Chairman of Harwoods Limited comments: “I have been coming to Goodwood Racecourse since I was a boy and have always been a huge horseracing fan. Goodwood is a unique setting with a great atmosphere and excellent racing. The principal week at the end of July is one that is set aside from the beginning of every year.” “We use Goodwood Racecourse for entertaining with our corporate and business friends because it is a great opportunity for us to provide a special day out both for people who are regular racegoers and for those who only go racing on occasion. Clearly we hope that this is a nice way for us to be able to repay the loyalty of our customers and to consolidate our good relations with them. Our guests really seem appreciative of the day’s hospitality at Goodwood and usually like to come back on a regular basis with us. The surroundings are fantastic and the personnel are always attentive.”


LEGAL

Making sure your business is on the right side of the law

The law keeps changing, which is why seeking expert legal advice is crucial in so many situations.

a

FEATURE

Those people who have tried to save money by dispensing with the services of a solicitor have often found themselves deep in trouble because they ignored that basic mantra.

The reason lawyers are so important lies in the complexity of law, a complexity that is constantly changing. Each year brings amendments, revision and whole new areas of legislation and keeping on top of the changes is crucial for any company, whatever field they are involved in. It’s so easy to miss a change that can have a major impact on the way a business operates. Also, very few laws are simple so in an age where a compensation culture is increasingly prevalent, getting the right advice at the right time is important.

mess with the law. Never assume that you know better than the experts, never gamble on the ‘barrack room lawyer’ who reckons they are right, never decide that reducing or eradicating legal fees is a good way of cutting a financial corner. Ignoring the advice can be as costly as it comes. Investing now can save a lot of pain and cost later.

Take export law. The international trade in products is a complicated one for companies. Different regulations surround what can and cannot be exported or imported and often lawyers are needed to help businesses negotiate their way round the regulations. Or take business law; everything from health and safety rules to retail legislation can present challenges and a single mistake can lead to a potentially costly breach. The result could be a fine, a court appearance or a large compensation pay-out. Understanding the law in the first place can prevent such unpleasantness. There is also a myriad of law surrounding competition: when is an advert unfair, is a product over-hyped, are the statements made about it correct, is an unfair advantage being taken over a competitor? We have all seen the rulings against companies by the Advertising Standards Authority underlining the warning that anyone making claims about their product or company needs to take great care. Getting it wrong can lead not just to financial implications but damage to the image of a business. Each and every one of these may require expert legal guidance and it is worth seeking out those companies that specialise in the field in question. A general lawyer, for instance, may not know enough about patents law to give adequate advice - but is likely to know someone who does. There are legal companies working within all the major business sectors. Lawyers, for instance, who understand health and safety or those who are experts in the application of employment legislation. Whatever your area of expertise, the basic, overriding message is never to

BUSINESSEDGE 31


Events and meetings to suit your style

Conference facilities

Whether you arrange meetings, away days, training courses, seminars, conferences or workshops, at Wiston House you will benefit from our personalised expertise.

Meeting rooms: l l l

5 rooms accommodating meetings from 4 to 100. All rooms laid out to meet your specification. WiFi throughout the building including the bedrooms.

Accommodation

We offer 48 en suite bedrooms with full English and Continental breakfast. We are pleased to offer a 10% discount off our Conference and Events rates to all Sussex Enterprise members. Please quote Wiston House when booking.

Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3DZ E: enquiries@wistonhouse.co.uk

www.wistonhouse.co.uk T: 01903 815020


CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITIONS

Moving with the times

Despite difficult economic times of late, there are signs that conferences and exhibitions remain popular. Companies cutting back on their sales teams see large events as a way of getting in front of large numbers of clients and prospective clients. One of the big features is the increasing use of technology. It is no longer enough just to have a stand at an event, clients expect to see so much more. Technology can allow for great innovation. Used intelligently, it can make an experience more interesting, drawing the customer in and giving the product a sense of excitement. Used correctly, whether it be through film, digital or interactive mediums, technology can do an awful lot for a product. And that means looking for venues that can harness technology, that have the equipment needed and the staff who know how to use it. The key to making such events a success is spending a little time choosing the right venue and making sure that you get the right support from its staff. Even if that may mean paying a little extra, it is money well spent because it does not make sense to cut corners when such an approach could make your event less than effective. There are few things more embarrassing for an event organiser than to see it unravel in front of them because they skimped on the planning - and a cheap venue will inevitably look cheap, presenting a poor image of the organiser’s organisation. Get it right and you look slick and professional.

When assessing the venue you are looking for a number of other important factors. Can the venue cope with the numbers expected to attend, has it got a good meeting room, will it provide equipment like projectors and Internet access, are the staff friendly and flexible in helping you meet your needs? If the answers to those questions are yes then the event is likely to be a success. Atmosphere is important to the success of exhibitions so getting it right is important. Too large a hall and it can feel impersonal and intimidating, too small and visitors feel cramped and uncomfortable. That atmosphere extends to the setting of the stages, stands and stalls. Do you want them in a regimented layout or do you want them more flexible? What will make your delegates feel most at home? Whatever the choice, it is vital that visitors can easily understand the layout and find their way around with the minimum of fuss. One of the other things that makes an exhibition successful is a sense that something is happening so it is useful to have staged areas for demonstrations and performances, or for companies to show their products at work. Such activities, with the interest they attract, makes an exhibition feel like it is alive. All good exhibitions have a touch of theatre about them.

New meetings and special rates a

Hotel Seattle at Brighton Marina has newly enlarged Meeting and Event space catering for up to 80 delegates. To celebrate FEATURE and to showcase the Fremont room they are offering some very special rates for new meetings of 40+ delegates with 50% off published day rates and £50 off residential rates until the end of the year.

For something different this summer how about a barbeque party to entertain clients or colleagues? All parties have their own room opening onto a private deck where Chef will cook up a treat! Suitable for 20-60 people with prices from just £25.For more information email: sales@hotelseattlebrighton.com

BUSINESSEDGE 33


Meetings & Events at Hotel Seattle

Would you like to promote your organisation?

Celebrate our New Space

To celebrate our New Meeting Space, Hotel Seattle are now offering... 50% OFF the published 8hr rates below* & £50 OFF the published 24hr rates below*

Meetings Conferences Private Dining Accommodation

We have a mag for that...

*For all new bookings for over 40 people

Take a look at our NEW Function Room for exclusive parties of up to

80 GUESTS * *Available from April 2011

If you would like to promote your organisation in the Sussex Enterprise Business Edge please contact Distinctive Publishing on 0845 884 2345 or email john.neilson@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

8hr Meetings package £65 pp (inc.VAT) 24hr Meetings package £195 pp (inc.VAT)

BRIGHTON MARINA BRIGHTON BN2 5WA

For more information or to make a booking please telephone: 01273 679 799 or email events@hotelseattlebrighton.com

TEL: 01273 679799 hotelseattlebrighton.com

Business Travel Team Ltd Voyager House, Sharpsbridge Lane Piltdown, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3XG

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Business Travel Team is an established and successful conference and event management company based in the heart of S.E. England. Founded in 1983 we have handled over 60,000 delegates, guests, customers, dealers, and consultants in as many as 82 countries. We specialise in producing individually highly crafted and quality corporate events, meetings and conferences

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We have nearly 30 years of experience in planning conferences & incentive travel

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Our motivational client events exceed the highest of industry standards

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TRAINING COURSES

Learning and Development with Sussex Enterprise Providing training for your staff is one of the most rewarding things any company can do for itself and its employees. The investment in training not only provides you and your staff with renewed motivation, but the new skills acquired helps to give your business a competitive edge – a necessary feature in today’s tough market. Sussex Enterprise has implemented its wealth of knowledge, experience and your comments from local businesses to offer you an extensive programme of scheduled training courses designed to meet all your business needs. Our new look spring/summer brochure has received some very positive feedback and we have listed below some of our most popular courses coming up this month to help bridge any skills gap that may be preventing your staff reaching their full potential: Social Media – Return on Investment – 7th June 2011 This course shows you how to measure the success of your online campaigns, how to maximize your time, track the right statistics and use the right tools. Motivation and Inspiration – 8th June 2011 Designed to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes to create a motivated workforce;

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develop a ‘can-do’ culture; and understand the key to motivation. Also develop a caring, yet stretching culture and achieve the best results through motivating others. Customer Service Excellence – 13th June 2011 This is a one day course that focuses on the skills and strategy behind providing your customers with excellence to grow your business. Sales Professional Stages 1 & 2 – 1st June and 24th June 2011 Stage 1 is specifically designed help you achieve better results in your selling and to get the best from your job. Stage 2 is a more intense look at the complete sales cycle, either as a great follow on from Stage 1 or for more senior sales teams. Exporting – Understanding the Paperwork – 4th July 2011 Accredited by The Institute of Export, this course will discuss the problems associated with export documentation. It will address all the issues of documentary compliance with security and customs regulations to avoid delays and financial penalties.

Our courses represent excellent value for money and we offer a fantastic 20% discount for all Member Plus and Premier Members. We also offer bespoke learning and development for individual companies where we can design and deliver a specific programme of learning for your own company, ranging from Customer Service and Selling Skills, International Trade or Health & Safety. The programme is especially tailored to your own needs by one of our professional consultants, who will see the project through from start to finish for you.

Contact details For further information on our full range of scheduled and bespoke courses please contact us on 0844 375 9543 or email training@sussexenterprise.co.uk. Alternatively visit our website at www.sussexenterprise.co.uk.


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DELIVERING EXCELLENCE TOGETHER

At DHL Express, we’re delighted to be joining forces with the Sussex Chamber of Commerce. From small companies to large organisations, we care about our customers’ needs. They’ve been trusting us to deliver for over 40 years – probably because we make understanding international express shipping our business. And that’s why we’re so excited about working with your Chamber of Commerce. Because together, we can do even more. To speak to a member of your local DHL team please contact 0844 248 0844. www.dhl.co.uk

BUSINESSEDGE 37


PREMIER MEMBER VIEW

All hail the LEP – but can it work? They are designed to breathe new life into local economies but can Local Enterprise Partnerships work? That is the question asked by business people adapting to the new world containing organisations such as the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

L

EPs have been introduced by the Government to replace regional development agencies and Coast to Capital covers West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, the Gatwick Diamond area as well as part of Surrey and the London Borough of Croydon. The LEP’s aim is to create 100,000 new jobs over the next 25 years. Among its other targets are to increase the 12% of regular exporters by 1% per annum over the next five years, increase business start-up rate to above the regional and England average and stimulate business growth, innovation, productivity and employment. And there is a need for it, according to Russell Bell, Senior Partner for Crawley-based asb law, a Chamber member, who said: “The area covered by the new LEP is in what is perceived to be one of the more prosperous areas of the country. For this reason, national governments have tended to overlook the region for regeneration and left businesses here to fend for themselves. The recent recession has, of course, changed those basic assumptions and created a need for support for growing businesses as they survive and develop. “One of the strengths of the region is that there is a well-established and skilled network of support services, from financial to legal to property and recruitment, ready to assist these businesses as they grow. One of the main issues for the budding entrepreneur is often how to access those services at affordable rates, and this no doubt will be one of the LEP’s challenges.

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One of the strengths of the region is that there is a well-established and skilled network of support services, from financial to legal to property and recruitment, ready to assist these businesses as they grow. Russell Bell, Senior Partner for Crawley-based asb law

“A weakness of the area is the diversity of its component parts. Does Croydon have a lot in common with Brighton or Gatwick? There is already competition between these centres for inward investment. Can they be persuaded to pull together for the common good? “When looking for an area to invest in or locate to, most businesses look for a combination of four or five key elements to help them reach a decision. These include the availability of appropriate sites, easy access by multiple transport links, the ready availability of staff with appropriate skill levels and a good support network to provide financial, tax, legal, accounting and associated back-up. These may be the areas in which the LEP can have the greatest effect in reaching its goals. Similarly, a focus on developing businesses rather than start-ups is likely to reap higher rewards, as the failure rate, more than 65% for micro businesses, may be significantly reduced. “The key issue for all LEPs will be to convince private sector businesses that this new model is able to deliver in a way that their predecessors

- Training and Enterprise Councils, Learning and Skills Councils, Business Links, Enterprise Agencies, Regional Development Agencies patently failed to do in the past. “To do so, they have to have an agenda which is truly private sector-led with business leaders firmly on board and leading the way. For so long as these initiatives are led by the public sector, with a few private sector directors on their boards to make up the numbers and to enable the public sector to claim a “public and private partnership”, they will not receive genuine private sector support, and will therefore find it hard to achieve true credibility in achieving their goals. “We all know that private sector budgets have been under severe stress for several years, and that the public sector is now going through similar pain. So who’s going to fund these ambitious plans? If the local authorities are able to provide initial funding to get things going, and a few of our larger corporates are able to provide some pump-priming support along the way, then there is a chance that the LEP can get off the ground.”


Shirley Smith, a partner in Reeves, a Premier member and one of the major accountancy and financial services firms in the south east of England, said: “The exciting thing about LEPs is that they will be led by business, for business, putting entrepreneurs at the heart of regional economic policy. It is giving the local business the opportunity to drive forward its local economy. Previously, targets were for other economic indicators, such as unemployment. LEPs are targeted on business, and getting that right will bring the other indicators in the direction we want them to. “The region has a host of skills and opportunities that have been, historically, somewhat hidden and under-promoted. We should embrace the opportunity to drive forward and promote our skills, including the manufacturing industry, and learn to use the international gateways in our region to our advantage. “I feel quite excited about the partnership. Businesses in the region now have the opportunity to lead and drive the area and to shout about our strengths and successes. “The LEP has the right types of target. At last, we will have targets with positive aims,

rather than the same old way of targeting the bad symptoms of underlying problems, which therefore only had a random chance of success, reduce unemployment. “My initial reaction is that 900 new businesses

“What does the LEP need to do? Enthuse the business leaders within its boundaries as to its aims. If it does so, it will succeed in those aims. I’d like to see them promoting the tax opportunities to encourage investment from overseas companies.

I feel quite excited about the partnership. Businesses in the region now have the opportunity to lead and drive the area and to shout about our strengths and successes. Shirley Smith, a partner in Reeves

in five years is a modest target, that is only three and a half a week! As is the percentage rise in international element of business in the region, 1% per year for five years sounds conservative, for example when BA reopening a few routes from Gatwick could probably achieve that in one go.

“We need to emphasise the partnership element of the LEP. Entrepreneurs will play their part, given encouragement to do so, which comes back to enthusing the business community for their part.”

BUSINESSEDGE 39


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EVENTS

Event listings for June/July as follows: 7th June 2011 - Save money, save staff and save Face East Sussex National Golf resort & Spa, Uckfield 07:30 – 10:00 free to attend Do you want to save money, save staff and keep on the right side of the law? This is your chance to debate the hottest topics and pick the brains of experts and other business owners to discover how you can make your business develop and be stronger as a result! You’ll leave with plenty of great ideas that you can implement in your business right away. 3 Big reasons to attend n Network with like-minded business people n

Hear the very latest thinking on personnel issues

n

Receive ideas and inspiration to help you grow your business

This is an opportunity to discover the cost effective ways to deal with workplace conflicts, the important news on Pensions Reform, NEST & Auto Enrolment and the Impact these will have on your Business plus your questions answered on all things HR related by the Sussex Enterprise consultants.

Sussex Enterprise events We will also be treated to a delicious breakfast courtesy of the fine caterers Greens of St James. This event will sell out fast – book your place today! Registration opens at 07:30 and we’ll finish at 10:00

the highlights of the British Equestrian Calendar. Over 15,000 spectators flock to our Sussex Showground every year on Derby Day itself, to watch first-hand the human and equine stars of the showjumping world battle the formidable course, including of course the famous Derby Bank.

24th June 2011 - Premier Members Lunch Hickstead Showground,West Sussex 07:30 – 10:00 free to attend

We have limited spaces on this exclusive event, so book your place today!

Delivered by Amadeus Ltd, Mike Oliver Associates, and the Sussex Enterprise HR consultants.

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS FOR PREMIER MEMBERS ONLY:

Registration opens at 07:30 and the event will start at 08:00 prompt.

Hosted by Hickstead Showground.

12th July 2011 - What Customers Love Worthing,Venue to be confirmed 07:30 – 10:00 free to attend

This event is ideal for anyone looking to network and/or find out essential information relating to their workforce.

23rd June 2011 - Hickstead Breakfast Hickstead Showground,West Sussex 07:30 – 10:00 free to attend Breakfast provided by Green’s of St James – Day pass to the British Jumping Derby Meeting – quality networking opportunities – and the most useful presentation you’ll ever witness! Think you’re terrible at remembering names? Ross Page from TOM International will be unlocking the true capabilities of the human memory, giving you the tools to retain information in way you never thought possible. But that’s not all! Thanks to Hickstead showground, all delegates will receive a free day pass to the British Jumping Derby Meeting – one of the highlights of the British equestrian calendar, including access to the member’s enclosure and VIP parking for the whole day.

“The British Jumping Derby isn’t just about the runners and riders that make the headlines but the course itself. It’s an iconic showjumping contest, the like of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world,” Clare Balding, Presenter. We are delighted to offer our premier members the opportunity of enjoying a day’s hospitality in the comfort of a Sussex Enterprise Premier Member’s suite. This exclusive event will consist of welcome drinks on arrival, followed by a three course buffet lunch. Following lunch we will hear from one of the top competitors of the Hickstead Masters Challenge after which you can watch them battle it out on the course. Afternoon tea is also provided along with complimentary drinks throughout the day. Guests will be given a VIP car pass and day members badge to access the showground for the whole day. Hickstead is world famous for show jumping, and the British Jumping Derby Meeting remains one of

Exact times to be confirmed

How to connect with your customers and sell more! If the statistics are to be believed it is seventeen times more expensive to find and sell to a new customer than it is to sell to an existing customer and 67% of the customers that leave you leave simply because you don’t pay them enough attention. How much better would it be if your customers felt your love and loved you back? Our breakfast event will identify customer centered themes that will have your customers loving you, and with the input of the audience attempts to prioritise these themes, giving you direct tools to implement back in your business. Presentations from Martin Henley, The Effective Marketing Company, and Don Moore, Sales Troubleshooter. Registration opens at 07:30 and we’ll finish at 10:00 All events can be booked by visiting www.sussexenterprise.co.uk/events

BUSINESSEDGE 41


07595 938 577 dmorgana.y.s@btinternet.com 21 Fitzroy Road, Lewes, East Sussex BN72UB

Is your business looking to achieve ISO Certification? Are you trying to work out the best place to start? Looking for a cost effective solution? Would you like some guidance to help you on your way? Could a web-based interface help you organise and share all your documentation? Need some advice on how to engage your staff in the process? TW Associates and Ampleo have teamed up to provide a comprehensive package for you. A web-based system will assist you with the implementation of ISO9001, 14001 & 18001. Subscribers have access to policies, manuals, procedures and forms. Training is also provided to ensure you engage your staff in sustained behavioral change. Other features include: n Create users and user security access. n Generate your own menus, links to websites and youtube movies etc. You can also change the generic format we have provided to suit your own needs. n Upload your system records into the website. n Unique Flash Demo’s provide audio-visual Flash movies to show how software and systems work; also demonstrating how forms should be completed. n Database Registers for Document Control, Non-conformance and Environmental Aspects. n We have a range of packages to suit your requirements. TW Associates can also offer you a range of audits and inspections – from basic inspection of the workplace and recommending improvements, to complete ISO System Internal Audits.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

asb announces new partner to head up private client services Sussex Enterprise member, asb law, has appointed Philip Raggett, formerly a partner at Kent-based Warners, to head up its Private Client department. Philip has more than 20 years’ experience as a solicitor having worked both for national and international accountancy firms as well as in private practice. He specialises in capital taxes planning, wills and trust work, acting for a large number of high net worth clients based across the region, and a significant number of London based clients. Ellen Lambert, whose particular expertise lies in

estate planning and complex trust work, has also joined asb as an Associate Team Leader. Another former partner at Warners, she will play a key role in managing the Private Client team across asb’s offices in Kent and Sussex . Andrew Clinton, managing partner at asb law, commented: “Philip’s experience complements the skills within the established team, and his ideas and energy will play a significant part in developing our private client offering. Together with the arrival of Ellen and, in recent weeks, Vanda James to lead the Family department, I’m confident we’ve got a winning line up.”

Philip Raggett (Partner) and Ellen Lambert (Associate) have joined asb law LLP

Lucy joins the team East Sussex PR and Marketing Agency, PRG, is expanding its team. The Eastbourne based company, the largest agency of its type in the south east, and long-standing Sussex Enterprise member, has recruited Lucy Hunt to join its experienced Account Management department.

Going up 33 per cent of UK financial services companies said that their volumes rose 33 per cent in the three months to March

Mrs Hunt, who will be managing a number of PRG’s long-standing client accounts, said: “Since I started out in marketing it has been my ambition to build a career at a marketing agency, and now to be working with such a well-established and reputable company as PRG is a dream come true.” PR Managing Director Simon Groves said: “We are delighted to welcome Lucy to the PRG family. It is very important to PRG to have excellent staff to service the needs of our clients. Lucy’s knowledge, skills and infectious personality will further aid the excellent service provided by our experienced team.

Average broadband speed rose by 25 per cent in the UK over the past year

“Our success, and the success of our clients, simply proves that in these difficult economic times businesses must focus their efforts on effective marketing to maximise their bottom line.” The 18-strong team includes specialists in PR, marketing, design, websites, Search Engine Optimisation and publishing.

A change of direction Rix and Kay Solicitors, a Sussex Enterprise member, has appointed Jim May as Non-Executive Director to offer guidance on the law firm’s business strategy. Jim is currently Chairman of Sussex Cricket Club, Non Executive director of NHS Brighton and Hove, Deputy Chairman of Shoreham Port Authority, and Governor of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

Going down 1 per cent of UK financial services companies said their volumes fell in the three months to March Sales of organic products fell 5.9% to £1.73 billion in the UK in 2010, according to the Soil Association, although the trend suggests an increase this year

In Numbers 75 per cent - the reduction in car exhaust greenhouse gas emissions that could be achieved by 2030 through the widespread adoption of electric cars, according to pressure group WWF-UK

BUSINESSEDGE 43


MP VIEW

Striking an optimi in tough times MP Francis Maude strikes an optimistic but realistic tone when asked about the economic health of his constituency, aware that it has undergone tough times but also sensing renewed confidence.

A

n experienced politician, the MP for Horsham was first elected in 1997, and again in 2001, 2005 and 2010. He was Chairman of the Conservative Party from May 2005 until July 2007 and, following the formation of the Coalition Government, was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General.

constituency. It is an area with plenty of vibrant activity but I know there are wins and losses. We will lose businesses like the news that Novartis was moving away but there is also a lot investment coming through, particularly in the manufacturing industry. There is this belief that we do not manufacture but the UK has a larger manufacturing sector than France.

They are jobs which means he plays an important role in tackling some of the issues which he believes have constrained businesses. And he starts with a belief in the strength of the local economy.

“I think business is feeling more confident. I was recently at a breakfast meeting in Crawley and there was a sense among the business people there that things are starting to move. There is investment coming and the things we have been doing as a Government are starting to work their way through the system. However, I realise that there is more we can do and more that we will do.”

He said: “I am pretty optimistic for my

As the Minister for the Cabinet Office, he leads

44 BUSINESSEDGE

on areas including procurement, property, ICT, online delivery and restructuring and one of his big themes has been the idea of making the process of business easier for companies. He said: “We have been working to remove the unnecessary regulations and constraints that businesses face. We need businesses to tell us which regulations cause them problems and to do something about it.” Another of the Coalition’s initiatives was launched in February when Francis Maude joined Prime Minister David Cameron to unveil the Government’s Contracts Finder, a new online tool that displays details of all new procurement opportunities, tender documents and contracts for central government over £10,000. The idea was to remove some of the processes


istic note

A day in the life Being a Minister is a challenging and varied job. Francis said: “The difficult thing is that well-laid plans can be thrown out at short notice such as when a Cabinet meeting was quickly arranged before the Prime Minister’s emergency statement to the House on the UN resolution on Libya. “Weekdays often start with a breakfast meeting. Lunch, usually soup and a sandwich at my desk, during a meeting, might be followed by more meetings or maybe chairing a committee or the Cabinet Office Board. I may make a speech at one of the many conferences I’m invited to as a Minister and I also hold briefings for backbench colleagues on Cabinet Office business. “Days often wind down with an invitation to a Parliamentary reception – usually by a charity wishing to raise awareness of an issue or celebrate the work of their volunteers. There is no ‘typical’ day.”

that deterred businesses seeking to bid for contracts with government departments. Francis said: “I hope that this will help small businesses. Small businesses found themselves unable to bid for Government contracts or believing the myth that they could not do so. By simplifying the system, we hope to see more small companies supplying services and products to the Government. We hope that measures like this will make a lot of difference.” But tackling the rules has only been one part of the story and one of the biggest things that the Coalition did in its early days was announce the scrapping of regional development agencies to be replaced with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise

Partnership was proposed to replace SEEDA and encourage investment in an area taking in West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, the Gatwick Diamond area, the eastern part of Surrey and the London Borough of Croydon. Although Francis argues that it is far too early to assess exactly what its impact will be, he does believe that the LEP presents a more effective alternative to the old regional development agency. Francis said: “I think that the regional development agency was too bureaucratic and its area did not make sense, this idea of the South East stretching from Thanet and the New Forest to Banbury in Oxfordshire. I do believe that the LEP has a more coherent area and a strong economic rationale behind it and it is also business-led. I see this as a real opportunity.”

He believes that Chambers like Sussex Enterprise also have a key part to play as the economy recovers and they support businesses seeking to take advantage of the new optimism. Francis said: “They do play an important role and I talk to them on a regular basis.” Although he strikes an upbeat tone, Francis Maude acknowledges that the economy is far from through its difficult times as the impact of public sector cuts start to bite. He said: “I think there is definitely more pain to come but I am also optimistic because I think some of the things that we are doing are working their way through the system and starting to make a difference. We have moved to streamline processes and I think things are beginning to move.”

BUSINESSEDGE 45


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NEWS

How business can keep the cashflow flowing In times when profits are being squeezed, cashflow becomes all the more important, especially to small, owner-managed businesses.

a

But while the supplier-business is trying to get its invoices paid as FEATURE quickly as possible, the customer is trying to pay as late as possible. It’s a state of tension that leaves many businesses worrying how to make sure invoices are paid promptly but at the same time retaining its customers by keeping them on-side. “It comes down to making sure that problems don’t arise,” says commercial law expert Jonathan Waters of Stephen Rimmer LLP. “This means clear, fair and reasonable terms of business and taking care to make sure that the customer knows them.The customer must also be clear about the price. And if the charge or fee is based on time, the supplier must keep customers informed of time spent and reminded of what that means in terms of cash. It’s worth looking at interim billing as well, as it helps both the supplier’s cash flow and avoids a large debt building up for the customer.” For many businesses, getting bills paid on time is a mixture of carrot and stick, so it is important that the terms of business contain sanctions for late payment by providing for reasonable compensation and interest on the debt.

Charity sponsorship A great opportunity has arisen for Sussex businesses to pledge sponsorship to a much valued local charity, Brighton & Hove Gymnastics Club, situated in Hove, in return for high impact advertising/PR exposure reaching 800-plus members/families and a chance to make a real difference to the local community and its children’s lives in the process. The 25-year-old club, with 13 British Gymnastics (BG) qualified coaches, prestigious ‘Gym Mark’ accreditation and with a highly credible owner (Ann Martin: senior gym coach, tutor, national BG assessor), is seeking funding to safeguard the charity’s long-term future and to further enhance the facilities for its members. Please contact us today to discuss how your business can make a direct contribution to the lives of the existing and future generations of children attending our club and to learn more about your return (ROI). Contact Duane Lacey at Optimum Resource Group to discuss/confirm sponsorship commitment on: 0845 3058145 or email: duane.lacey@optimumresourcegroup.co.uk

Other top tips from Jonathan include: Deliver invoices promptly; an invoice delivered a month or more after the work is completed or the goods are supplied can cause irritation; The invoice should state when it is due for payment: the customer’s accounts department cannot be expected to be familiar with the supplier’s terms of business; If the invoice is not paid on the due date, an efficient credit control system must kick in and must operate like clockwork. Start with a gentle reminder and move up through the gears; If the debtor is solvent but is likely to defend the claim, the creditor should contact a solicitor to discuss the options. These might include court action or mediation. This needn’t be an expensive process - see Stephen Rimmer LLP’s advert on page 6; Finally, when chasing another business or a public sector body for payment, the creditor has a statutory right to interest and compensation, even if their terms of business say nothing. Under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts

(Interest) Act 1998, interest is payable on debts that are not paid within 30 days of the due date at 8% above the Bank of England base rate. In addition, compensation is payable on a scale from £40 for debts under £100 to £100 for debts of £10,000 or more. Jonathan Waters added; “Credit control starts with clear, agreed terms of business that provide effective tools for enforcement. Clear terms of business are the foundation of good customer relations and should be given the priority they deserve. This type of document also needs to be reviewed on a regular basis, as both business and the law change. An expert can ensure that they are unambiguous and will achieve the desired result. The second key factor is to obtain as much information about the business as possible, who are you dealing with? What assets do they own? Have you had problems previously? Information about assets can help you assess the risk of a problem developing in the future, and also means that if you do need to pursue people or business debtors through the courts you can do so quickly.”

Geo-Environmental and the University of Brighton win innovation funding Geo-Environmental and the University of Brighton have won funding from SEEDA to work on a joint-project to advance the methods and techniques of geotechnical and environmental investigations. The study will explore whether Portable X-Ray Fluorence (PXRF), a technique which analysis the chemical properties of a material by looking for heavy metal contamination, can be used more widely. Geo-Environmental’s Technical Director, Jonathan Tingle, said “Current investigation techniques that use boreholes and laboratory samples only provide small datasets in small portions of the site. Contamination could therefore be missed which may have to be remediated later in the development cycle at much greater expense. PXRF could mitigate this problem by providing much larger datasets at a fraction of the cost of an increased scope intrusive investigation.

Despite the acceptance of PXRFs a valid technique by the Environment Agency and its successful use in major sites, such as the Olympics and Heathrow Terminal 5, there is still a general reluctance for the technique to be used on smaller sites.” Professor Andy Cundy, Assistant Head of School (Research), School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton agreed “The University has done a number of projects using the technique and as the technology improves it yields ever better results. With the availability of green-field sites becoming increasingly scarce in the South East, developers will have to resort to building on potentially contaminated sites and this technique could have real benefits.” If you would like to know more, please call Geo-Environmental on +44 1273 699399 or email mike@gesl.net.

BUSINESSEDGE 47


NEW MEMBERS

Ardingly-Arks

CCF Tapes

Expert Thinking Ltd

Harry Jackson Pest Control

Animal Housing

Christian Charity

Sales & Business Consulting

Pest Control

17 College Road, Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TU Mark Cottington, Partner T: +44(0)1444 891145 E: ardinglyarks@btinternet.com www.ardingly-arks.co.uk

30 Crescent Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1QG Ralph Page, Manager T: +44(0)1243 862621 E: sales@ccftapes.co.uk www.ccftapes.co.uk

Claygate, New Town Road, Storrington, West Sussex, RH20 4JJ Ben Fryer, Director T: +44(0)7779 996171 E: ben.fry@expert-thinking.co.uk www.expert-thinking.co.uk

29A Wallace Avenue, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 5QX Simon Lambert, Owner T: +44(0)1903 247775 E: info@hjpestcontrol.co.uk www.hjpestcontrol.co.uk

Autism Sussex

Centurion Scientific Ltd

Charity

Exporting laboratory equipment, medical

Sussex House, Tills Courtyard, 19 High Street, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0AE Richard Brown, Chairman T: +44(0)1424 773366 E: enquiries@autismsussex.org.uk www.autismsussex.org.uk

The Old Stables, Church Farm, Stoughton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 9JL Pam Ritchie, Admin T: +44(0)2392 631225 E: pam@centurionscientific.co.uk www.centurionscientific.co.uk

B2B Club

Choi for Life

Networking Site

Community interest

The Club House, East Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, HP5 1DG Tom Shilliday T: +44(0)1494 240159 E: tom@web-clubs.co.uk www.b2bclub.co.uk

10 High Street, Rottingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 7HR Eugene Butcher, Owner T: +44(0)7888 888210 E: eugene@choiforlife.com

Banner Executive Ltd Oak Tree House, Uckfield Lane, Hever, Nr. Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7LR John Adkins, Director T: +44(0)1342 850967 E: john.adkins@bannerexec.com www.bannerexec.com

Blue Click Training 11 Fursefeld, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 2RE Ann Clark, Director T: +44(0)1243 827881 E: info@blueclicktraining.co.uk www.blueclicktraining.co.uk

C & J Marine Ltd Boating products Clay Lane, Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 3JG Wayne Strickland T: +44(0)1243 785485 E: wstrickland@cjmarine.co.uk www.cjmarine.co.uk

Camco Design Ltd Building Services Consultancy 6 Downview Road, Barnham, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 0EE Roy Campbell, Managing Director T: +44(0)1243 551796 E: roy@camcodesignltd.plus.com

Capital Corporate Finance Current Asset Finance Broker 54 St. Lawrence Avenue, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 7JG Ross Smith, Director T: +44(0)1903 536933 E: ross.smith12@virgin.net www.capitalcorporate.co.uk

48 BUSINESSEDGE

Cova Security Gates Ltd Perimeter Security Unit C1, Sussex Manor Business Park, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9NH Richard Lawrence, Director T: +44(0)1293 553888 E: ritchie@covasecuritygates.com www.covasecuritygates.com

Da Costa Coaching Ltd Business Coaching Apt 8 Corsica Hill, College Road, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 1JX Robert Da Costa, Managing Director T: +44(0)7775 644588 E: robert@dacostacoaching.co.uk www.dacostacoaching.co.uk

Document Workflow Solutions

General Aviation Simulation Ltd Aviation Simulators Orrell House, Winterpit Lane, Mannings Heath, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6LZ Roger Cato, Director T: +44(0)1403 741901 E: roger_cato@btinternet.com

Great Cape Adventures Ltd Sailing 12 Claremont, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1HA Richard Fryer, Director T: +44(0)1424 201747 E: info@GreatCapeAdventures.co.uk www.GreatCapeAdventures.co.uk

Green Ways Countryside Management Ltd

3 Savill Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 2NY Jamie Langdon T: +44(0)1444 482811 E: info@idealbreadbin.co.uk www.idealwallclocks.co.uk

Internet Islands

Bewick House, 8 Kings Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8EA Karen Jack T: +44(0)1903 610680 E: info@greenwayscm.co.uk www.greenwayscm.co.uk

33 Bentswood Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3PN Peter Western, Owner T: +44(0)1444 458437 E: laptop@westerninternet.co.uk www.internetislands.co.uk

Grosvenor Park Finance Head Office, Gildredge House, 43 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN24 5PP Jeremy Cornford, Consultant T: +44(0)1323 647070 E: jc@gpi-invest.com www.gpi-invest.com

GWP Architects Ltd

Suite C, 55 Victoria Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9LH Peter Ryan, Joint Managing Director T: +44(0)844 800 4822 E: pryan@dwsl.co.uk www.documentworkflowsolutions.com

Fairfield House, 49 Fairfield Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8QB Graham Whitehouse, Managing Director T: +44(0)1444 239019 E: grahamw@gwparchitects.co.uk www.gwparchitects.co.uk

3rd Floor, Queensberry House, 106 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XF Mary Howard, Solicitor T: +44(0)1273 271858 E: mhoward@englegal.co.uk www.englegal.co.uk

Ideal Wall Clocks Wholesale and Retail Trade

Website Hosting

Architects

Eng Legal

3rd Floor, Queensberry House, 106 Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3XF Darren Hickman, Managing Director T: +44(0)1273 317180 E: darrenhickman@heedconsulting.co.uk www.heedconsulting.co.uk

Rural Contractors

Xerox concession/digital archiving/ scanning

Legal Courses

Heed Consulting Ltd Financial Crime Specialists

Halnaker Stoves & Fireplaces Ltd Heating and Ventilating Unit 11, Temple Bar Business Park, Strettington, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0TU Lara Matthews, Director T: +44(0)1243 773247 E: info@halnakerstoves.co.uk www.halnakerstoves.co.uk

IT Lines Software Development Computers & Internet 14 Oldbury Close, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 5JZ Martin Lines T: +44(0)1403 241671 E: martin@ITlines.co.uk www.itlines.co.uk

Italk Affiliate Telecommunications Ltd Telecoms Providers Unit 6 Gemini Business Centre, 136-140 Old Shoreham Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 7BD Karen Wood, Manager T: +44(0)7775 951324 E: karen.wood@italktelecom.co.uk www.italktelecom.co.uk

James Chase Solutions Recruitment 18 Bond Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1RD Phil Lewis, Director T: +44(0)1273 355145 E: phil.lewis@james-chase.com www.james-chase.com


NEW MEMBERS

John Whiting Architect Architects 14 Bates Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 6PG John Whiting, Director T: +44(0)7818 443753 E: jw@johnwhiting.co.uk www.johnwhiting.co.uk

Julian Durand

Mamma Boons Home Of Good Food Deli 42 Trafalgar Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 2QB Alison Boon, Proprietor T: +44(0)1403 249817 E: alisonboon1@sky.com

Mary Atkinson

Independant Chartered Accountant

Therapist Service & Therapist Teacher

Green Gages, Upper Station Road, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9PJ Julian Durand, Accountant T: +44(0)1273 492105 E: julian@chantlerkent.co.uk www.chantlerkent.co.uk

The White House, 2 Lavant Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 5RQ Mary Atkinson, Proprietor T: +44(0)1243 779600 E: maryatkinson@clara.co.uk www.maryatkinson.org.uk

Kalamazoo-Reynolds

Moja Marketing

Automotive Solutions & IT Services

Marketing

14 Beechers Road, Portslade, Brighton, East Sussex, BN41 2RG John Addison, Consultant T: +44(0)7890 740157 E: johnaddison@kalamazoo.co.uk www.kalamazoo.co.uk

PO Box 135, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 8BW Kirsty Toozs-Hobson, Director T: +44(0)7900 805 402 E: kirsty@mojamarketing.co.uk www.mojamarketing.co.uk

Larkin Engineering Ltd Steel Fabricators & Erectors Ghyll Industrial Estate, Heathfield, East Sussex, TN21 8AW Trevor Larkin, Director T: +44(0)1435 865120 E: office@larkins.eclipse.co.uk

LMS Computer Services Ltd

Nicola Furner Architects Architects 5 Manor Terrace, Potters Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1JR Nicola Furner, Owner T: +44(0)1273 470230 E: n.furner@nicolafurnerarchitects.co.uk www.nicolafurnerarchitects.co.uk

Norstar Magnetics

Computer Services

Health

3 Castle Mews, Tarrant Street, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9DG Luke Mead, Managing Director T: +44(0)800 610 2121 E: luke@lms-uk.com www.lms-uk.com

36 Red Admiral Stree, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 5YJ Alan Cooke, Proprietor T: +44(0)1403 251733 E: mail@norstarmagnetics.com www.norstarmagnetics.com

London Cool Ltd Air Conditioning 7 Meadowbrook Industrial Centre, Maxwell Way, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9SA Mikayla Wates, Admin T: +44(0)1293 615666 E: mwates@londoncool.com www.londoncool.com

LWS Creative Web Design Park Bottom, Chalks Springs, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0AA Paul Froome, Marketing Director T: +44(0)1903 790100 E: paul@lwscreative.co.uk www.lwscreative.co.uk

O’Keeffe & Co Legal Solutions Ltd Will Writing and Legal Solutions 4 Forest Barn Mews, Forest Lane, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3FD Mark O’Keeffe, Director T: +44(0)1903 262987 E: m.okeeffe@btconnect.com

Park House Hotel Country House Hotel Bepton, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 0JB Rebecca Crowe, Manageress T: +44(0)1730 819000 E: rebecca@parkhousehotel.com www.parkhousehotel.com

Paul Palmer

Techtrans Systems Ltd

Quality Assurance Consultancy

Art & Design

21 Shooting Field, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3RQ Paul Palmer, Director T: +44(0)7969 562 516 E: paul@paulpalmer.ws www.prpalmer.co.uk

Unit 8, The Workhaus, 18a Arthur Street, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 5FD Arash Kaynama, Director T: +44(0)1273 779307 E: studio@arashandkelly.com www.arashandkelly.com

Pentagon Instruments Ltd Manufacturer of instrumentation and control products Unit 4 Wayside, Commerce Way, Lancing Business Park, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 8SW Trevor Cummins, Managing Director T: +44(0)1903 765225 E: t.cummins@pentagoninstruments.com www.pentagoninstruments.com

Petley Wood Equestrian Centre Riding Schools, Livery Stables Petley Farm, Marley Lane, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0RE Julie Padmore, Proprietor T: +44(0)1424 871677 E: info@petleywoodequestrian.co.uk www.petleywoodequestrian.co.uk

SmartSec Virtual Assistant Business Services Shene, Nightingale Lane, Storrington, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 4NU Natalie House T: +44(0)7795 983926 E: va@smartsec.org.uk www.smartsec.org.uk

Smile While You Dial Sales, telephone skills & client care training 14 Beacon Oak Road, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6RY Louise Carter, Owner T: +44(0)1580 766841 E: louise@smilewhileyoudial.co.uk www.smilewhileyoudial.co.uk

SoftServ Consultants Ltd Sage Consultants Robinswood House, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 7LE Steve Tees, Managing Director T: +44(0)1825 740690 E: steve.tees@softservconsultants.com www.softservconsultants.com

Solar Clubs Ltd Solar Panels Cherry Hinton, Watermill Lane, Beckley, East Sussex, TN31 6SH Nick Hanna, Director T: +44(0)1797 253485 E: nick@nickhanna.co.uk

Terra Firma Garden Specialists Unit 8, North Crescent, Diplocks Way, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3JF Kevin Highly, Managing Director T: +44(0)1323 841836 E: terrafirma@o2email.co.uk www.terrafirmasussex.com

The Childcare Solution Childcare Avondale House, 63 Sydney Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1QD Freyja Hanmore, Director T: +44(0)1444 453566 E: freyja@thechildcaresolution.com www.thechildcaresolution.com

Treasure Trails Sussex Leisure 1 School Road, Upper Beeding, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3HY Eileen Holroyd, Manager T: +44(0)1872 263692 E: sussex@treasuretrails.co.uk www.treasuretrails.co.uk/sussex

Wabi Restaurant 38 East Street, Horsham, East Sussex, RH12 1HL Martin Lock, Marketing T: +44(0)1403 788140 E: reservations@wabi.co.uk www.wabi.co.uk

WSI 4 Business Success Internet Marketing 8 Nutham Lane, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 9GG Peter Waller T: +44(0)1403 800100 E: pwaller@wsi4businesssuccess.com www.wsi4businesssuccess.com

Xpediency UK Ltd Manufacturing The Old Granary, East Street, West Chiltington, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 2JY Cathy Sims, Financial Director T: +44(0)1798 812 081 E: cathy@xpediency.com www.xpediency.com

BUSINESSEDGE 49


THE LAST WORD

THE LAST WORD… Each edition we invite one of our contributors to answer some key questions we all want to know the answers to. This time it’s the turn of John Peel OBE Chairman, Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership

1

Which words or phrase do you most often overuse? C’mon you guys (apparently)

2

Karaoke song of choice? The Pearl Fishers’ Duet - last performed in Tokyo

3 4

What’s your biggest regret? Giving my kids their inheritance too early When and where were you happiest? SCUBA Diving with my extended family off the island of Roatan (Belize)

5

When was the last time you lied? Yesterday (Son’s second engagement party)

6

What talent would you most like to have? Two more notes – baritone to tenor.

50 BUSINESSEDGE

7

What quality do you most admire in a person? Tenacity

8

Which virtue is the most overrated? Discretion

9

Early mornings or late nights? Late nights – hangover from student days

10

Deal or no deal? Definitely deal

11

Tell us a secret. I have yet to change a nappy – but the time is coming.


Celebrating 15 years of great local radio for West Sussex.

Bigger and Better than ever… and we have the figures to prove it. The latest listening figures are out and Spirit FM has more people tuning in than ever before and is the most listened to commercial radio station in West Sussex. Plus according to the Sunday Times we’re also Number 1, part of the Best Company to work for 2011. There really couldn’t be a better time to advertise with us – call the sales team on 01243 773600 for more information.

Spirit FM is proud to be part of the UKRD Group, voted the Number 1 Medium Sized Company to work for by The Sunday Times in 2011

Spirit FM – It’s how true local radio should be – proudly serving West Sussex


Business Edge #3  

Packed with up to the minute business news and in-depth interviews with prominent Sussex personalities Business Edge is committed to celebra...

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