Page 1



01 MARCH 2010

businessmatters Quarterly Magazine of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce

Climate change...


Are green shoots...


employee wins appeal

shading recessions true legacy?

Showcasing your low carbon...

expertise and solutions


West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce


businessmatters Chester Office Willow House, Park West, Sealand Road, Chester CH1 4RW Telephone 01244 669988 Fax 01244 669989






30 Registered Company No. 173634

Contributing Editor John Dean & Francis Griss

Production & Design Distinctive Publishing 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Telephone 0191 4788346

Advertising Telephone 0191 4788300

Disclaimer Distinctive Publishing or West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and MYCCWest Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Front page image Aleksandar Rodic



005. NEWS














West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Something New! Welcome to the first of our new look quarterly magazine, we hope you like it! 2009 was an extremely tough year and although hopeful optimism marks the start of 2010, many industry experts including our own in BCC predict another very tough 12 months ahead. The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber view is that it is more important than ever for businesses to be given the support needed to be able to thrive and prosper in a stable and sustainable environment. During my time here it is clear that it is imperative for our region to have a strong and vibrant Chamber to provide a business support network and strong private sector representation. It is the absolute focus of everyone involved in this Chamber to ensure that is delivered in 2010 and beyond. The Chamber provides a single independent “voice of business” that enables clear communication to local authorities to ensure the core policies and infrastructure delivered provide what businesses require for a vibrant sustainable business economy. For more information on our new “voice of business” forum turn to page 6. The Chambers vision is to provide a high value business support service; we have been working hard behind the scenes during 2009 to look at all aspects of our business to identify how we can enhance what we offer. We have begun to introduce several new exciting products and features and will introduce these continually throughout this year, information on some of our initiatives on training and new features are contained within this magazine In 2009 we ran over 50 events across West Cheshire and North Wales. We have already run over 15 successful events and again this year, it is our commitment to run over 50 events in 2010. We believe in this difficult economic climate it is more important than ever before to provide this support network for local business. In addition to the business growth club events, we will be holding a Golf Day, Summer Cocktail Party, Go Karting event and of course the prestigious Annual Dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel – further details of each event in this magazine. We are looking forward to tackling the challenges presented in 2010 and would encourage all members to explore what the Chamber has to offer to gain maximum value and benefits from membership. Welcome to the region our new Super League Rugby team – Celtic Crusaders, we wish them every success for the coming season, great news for Wrexham. Congratulations to Peter Hawkins and the Cheshire Jets reaching final of BBL Trophy another fantastic achievement for a great family Club. Final note, I would encourage all members to give your feedback on any element of this Chamber from how we communicate with you, the events we run and the products we offer, we welcome any feedback which enables us to shape this business to be the best it can be in serving the business community in this region. You can call any of the membership team on 01244 669988 or e-mail I wish you all every success in meeting the challenges of the year ahead. Mike Jones Interim Chief Executive


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

Big challenges facing economy despite end of recession Commenting on the preliminary GDP figures for the fourth quarter 2009, published by the ONS, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “This is good news, but clearly growth is anaemic, and it certainly means that the economy is far from being out of the woods. “It is essential that the government demonstrates an unwavering determination to support wealth-creating companies in 2010. Additional business taxes must be avoided, and the 1% increase to employers’ National Insurance contributions, planned for 2011, should be scrapped. ”Unless the private sector is given the freedom to create jobs and wealth, the UK’s economic recovery will be slower than it should be, and we will face the serious risk of a double-dip recession.” David Kern, Chief Economist at the BCC, added: “These figures are disappointing and well below most analysts’ expectations. But, for the second quarter in a row, the GDP figures confirm the more realistic assessment signalled in our Quarterly Economic Survey, which clearly indicated that any recovery will face serious obstacles. “The main aim now must be to ensure that the modest recovery consolidates and slowly gathers momentum. It is critical for both the government and the Monetary Policy Committee to pursue policies that make it possible for business to invest and export. Regulatory burdens must be removed wherever possible, and access to finance improved. A double-dip recession must be avoided at all costs.”

Unless the private sector is given the freedom to create jobs and wealth, the UK’s economic recovery will be slower than it should be, and we will face the serious risk of a double-dip recession.


Hope for recovery in 2010 exports within the manufacturing sector were particularly encouraging. British exporters are likely to benefit from the weak pound which will strengthen Britain’s trade position globally, and help rebalance the economy away from the public sector. I would like to take this opportunity to personally commend British businesses for their resilience, and also thank Chambers for their continued, and much-needed support to the business community during these difficult economic times.

By Neville Reyner CBE DL, President of the British Chambers of Commerce Happy 2010 to all Chambers and members. I hope you all, like me, are looking forward to an eventful and exciting year ahead. We recently published our fourth quarter 2009 Economic Survey results, which had responses from over 5,400 companies. Although we are not quite out of the woods yet, the results were promising and reinforced the latest GDP figures, confirming that the UK is now out of recession after the economy saw growth of 0.1 per cent in the last quarter. The improvements in employment and

So, what is in store for the BCC over the coming months? During 2010, the BCC will reinforce its strategy around the five themes of governance, international, accreditation, policy and commercial services, which will further strengthen our relationships within the network. We are making good progress with the Annual Conference, which will take place at Bafta in London on 18th March. To date, we have an impressive list of speakers lined up including the likes of Lord Mandelson, Ken Clarke MP and France’s Economy Minister, Christine Lagarde. It should be a prestigious event, and we hope to attract a lot of interest from business and the media alike. We are also in discussions about the forthcoming party conference season and how best to make sure our presence is felt at each event. This year, the Conservatives are

in Birmingham, Labour will be in Manchester and the Lib Dems in Liverpool, so we are working together with the relevant Chambers to plan our own events in each city. It will be particularly interesting this year, as it will be the first party conference season after the General Election in May, and we are looking forward to seeing what the outcome will be. In the meantime, we will continue to focus on our three campaigns - tax and regulation, infrastructure, and trade - to make sure our views on these subjects are heard at the highest level of Government. Finally, I would like to congratulate the BCC on reaching its 150th anniversary this year. We now serve over 100,000 businesses across the UK, helping them grow, generate wealth and create jobs in their local communities. However, we are not alone in our celebrations. Leicestershire Chamber and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber are also turning 150 this year. Liverpool Chamber is entering its 160th year and Isle of Wight is now in its centenary year. A well deserved congratulations to you all. The BCC would not have been able to achieve this milestone without the help and dedication of the Chamber network, and we look forward to building upon these relationships over the coming months as we move from recession to recovery in 2010.

Media group’s TV bid The publishers of the Chester Standard and the Chester Leader are one of three bidders short-listed to win a pilot scheme to provide TV news in Wales. Given ITV’s decision to withdraw from regional news provision in the long term, the Government is planning to run three pilot schemes, one each in Wales, Scotland and Tyne Tees/Borders to try new ways of providing news at regional, local and hyperlocal level. The Government will fund a consortia of media companies to provide local news content across a number of different platforms, including the television slot currently occupied by ITV regional news. The UTV and NWN Media partnership promises to create a dynamic cross-platform news force delivering content for television, radio, newspaper and online services branded as WALES LIVE. David Faulkner, Managing Director, NWN Media said: “We are delighted to get through this first

stage and very enthusiastic about working with our partners UTV to build a news model that meets the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) criteria to provide Wales with a relevant and innovative news service. Our daily and weekly print titles already have a reputation for excellent grass roots content and a genuine local relevance in the towns and villages they serve. In addition we have invested significantly in recent months in re-launching our online websites.” NWN Media is a multi-media publisher focusing on newspaper, magazine and internet publishing and is a family owned business that has been bringing news to the regions of Cheshire North Wales and the Borders for over 150 years. The company’s newspapers portfolio includes the The Leader circulating in Chester, Flintshire and Wrexham and weekly papers in Cheshire, Mid Wales and Shropshire.

David Faulkner

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Chairman’s Note: Managing Directors Forum The MD’s Forum has been formed by the Chairman of the Chester, Ellesmere Port, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce & Industry Limited to promote a common focus amongst SME’s to deliver wealth generation, employment, and prosperity to the region. It brings together MD’s of diverse businesses interests across the region, along with senior public service executives, and other influential interested parties.

The importance of Chester providing a commercial centre for North Wales and the considerable inter-trading that goes on was highlighted; along with the natural synergy with Ellesmere Port, the Wirral and Vale Royal – Chester being a place for people to shop and socialise. While East Cheshire looks to Manchester, much of West Cheshire looks to Chester. If Chester prospers then the “knockon” impact will benefit the whole region.

Theme / Focus

Public Sector & Private Sector partnership

The focus of the first meeting in September was to explore the general issues impacting on the business environment in the region. The debate concluded by focusing upon business concerns regarding poor infrastructure, the lack of cleanliness on our streets, and the level of alcohol related incidents; a particular citing was the fouling of the streets in Chester.

The public sector would enjoy clarity as to whom it consults in the private sector – so that decisions can be made with confidence, and plans that are executed can be seen through to fruition (multiple private sector views create uncertainty during decision making, and can be obstructive when plans are executed and objections are later raised). The meeting agreed that the nub of the discussion was three fold:

The January meeting developed these themes and in general explored the environment, the political outlook, and the short and medium prospects for business in the region of West Cheshire & North Wales.

Anti-social behaviour is the critical cause of lowering the “standards” of Chester, and impacting adversely on the infrastructure, appearance and cleanliness of the city and its streets. It was cited that some of the problems arise from the inappropriate location of some hospitality businesses. It was agreed that there is scope to explore exerting more control over the location and zoning of businesses that are the source of some of the anti-social behaviour (i.e. larger drinking establishments and night-clubs).

Summing up the theme of the meeting – there is a strong belief in the region, expressed both in the meeting and through continuous anecdotal evidence, that business confidence is quite good despite the depressing economic environment. This confidence is driven by decisive action business managers are taking to react to continuous change and fluctuations in revenue.

With discussion covering a wide range of disparate issues, “focus” is critical on a manageable number of simple and clear objectives.

Chester It was clear from all parties that Chester is critical to the well being of the region. It is a unique jewel, an icon, and a magnet for tourists. All agreed that it was in a state of slow decline; however it was not too late to address the key issues in order to resolve this. Chester has enjoyed a reputation as a fine shopping venue and an attractive city to visit, however in recent years it has fallen from favour on many counts. In addition it was discussed by all that the University in Chester is a key asset to the City and one which should be acknowledged and built upon to drive the wider cultural and economic benefit. At the Cheshire West & Chester Council presentation in Northwich on 18th January 2010 the importance of establishing Chester as a “must see destination” as part of the Atlantic Gateway was emphasised. The importance of Chester as the significant city in the region and as a keystone to the success of the region was recognised by all.


The need for clear leadership and an agreed vision – a vision that could be achieved in a step by step manner and progressed over a sensible period of time. Such a vision appears to be completely lacking. In summary, Chester should set the standard of environment for the West Cheshire & North Wales area, and should do this by investing in social standards, through focus on these three points. The economy was discussed. In summary, those businesses represented reported that they were “quietly confident” but that it was difficult to objectively identify where that confidence is derived from. Business can be brittle, orders, leads and opportunities breaking away, but then the position can be recovered in a short time – thus numbers appear to be achievable, but uncertainty always exists about the route for delivery. Understanding and empathy by

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

local authorities of the reality of the financial constraints having to be met by working people (and those on fixed incomes) and the impact of the severe economic downturn on the reduction of take home pay should reflect in, for example, a freeze on Council Tax.

Public Sector Spending The situation with public sector spending, and public sector cuts, appears to be both unresolved and unclear pending the outcome of the general election. It was highlighted that whilst there is still significant scope for further savings across the public sector nationally, at the local level both the police and local authorities continue to make significant progress in driving through efficiencies whilst maintaining and improving services. There was a clear understanding that redundancies within the public sector are inevitable, however this dos not mean that monies to support new business opportunities will not be available. One key ingredient in achieving more will begreater collaboration between public and private sectors. This would need decisive action, and continuous measuring. All businesses have made significant cuts in the last year or more, and have continued to achieve their goals. This best business practice (as many private companies are clearly demonstrating) suggests that the public sector should be able to raise their game, improve efficiency, and tackle the substantial costs such as pension funds that have emerged over the last thirty to forty years (having got out of control). There is an urgent need for these issues to be addressed, it is long overdue.

Output Further conclusions will have to wait until after the General Election, when the government of the day can give firm direction on policy. The private and public sector need to focus on the prevailing economic priorities of the next ten years, while business can assist in giving direction to government at a local and national level as to what it considers to be a reasonable approach on a business case for funding and improving public services – but it is for government to harness business in this matter. The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber will continue to drive this forum forward as a defined voice for business, particularly harnessing MD’s expertise on a quarterly basis.

Next Meeting Quay Hotel, Deganwy, Wednesday 28th April 2010


Putting corporate Tyrer Law events at the Fore Nantwich based Business solicitors, Tyrer Law, have moved to unravel complex legislation which puts the obligations of company directors under spotlight.

The specialist law firm has put together an ABC guide which should help Chamber members at the helm of companies avoid the pitfalls of falling foul of the Law. Its Principal, Andrew Tyrer, said: “For the first time, the obligations of company directors owed to their company have been codified under Part 10, Chapter 2 of the Companies Act 2006, finally fully implemented into UK Law just a few months ago. This means that there is now a transparent system of law to measure performance, to judge the standards of directors and to provide a framework for seeking legal redress through the Courts where those standards fall short of what is expected of business leaders. “It should be remembered, therefore, that a balanced approach will be taken by the Court and a director will not be punished where he has acted honestly and reasonably and ought to be excused.” The 2006 Act places on all directors the obligations to:

promote the success of the company as a whole act within their powers exercise independent judgment

exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence avoid conflicts of interest.

Tyrer Law is one of the few Law Firms of its kind in the UK to have been accredited with the Law Society’s practice excellence standard, Lexcel. Its clients range from fully listed Top 100 FTSE companies to SMEs.

Businesses across the North West now have a new and fun option for corporate events. Following the highly successful launch of Supa Golf at Blakemere Craft Centre in Cheshire during 2009, local business owner Andrew Risk is launching new corporate packages for the 2010 season. Supa Golf features slightly larger clubheads and balls providing the ideal activity for customer days, team building events or social occasions as no previous experience is required and all clubs, balls,bags and carts are provided by Supa Golf.

“Andrew Risk: The emphasis is on inclusive and fun”

“Everyone is looking for value for money these days, and here at Blakemere we are able to offer a full package tailored to individual requirements including Supa Golf, conference facilities and catering in the new Coach House Restaurant,” said Andrew.

“Unlike traditional golf, Supa Golf is totally inclusive as it can be played by anyone whether or not they’ve played golf before. All of your customers and employees can participate whilst having a fun and sociable time.”

Make a note in your diaries now. Supa Golf will be hosting an evening networking event on Thursday 20th May. An ideal opportunity to bring a guest and try Supa Golf for yourself, followed by a buffet and further networking opportunities.

Evans Easyspace Evans Easyspace has celebrated its 10th birthday, having started on 1st February 2000. During this time, the company has grown into one of the UK ‘s leading provider of small offices, fully serviced offices, small workshops and self storage units – all of which are let on fully flexible easy in, easy out terms. There are now 54 Evans Business Centre across the UK providing more than 2.2 million sq ft of workspace contained within 2,800 units, which are let predominantly to SMEs. The company has expanded and

diversified throughout the last decade and many centres now offer meeting rooms, virtual offices and touchdown offices along with adjacent self storage facilities. Evans Business Centre Chester is one such multi-purpose facility offering a variety of business services. Ideally located on Chester West Employment Park the centre was officially opened in March 2008 and boasts a total of 43 office and 23 workshops, having the capacity to provide jobs for more than 250 people – just a small proportion of the 8,500 people Evans Easyspace believes are working within its centres nationwide.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Charitable giving and Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of those buzzwords that we tend to hear a lot these days. For Most organisations, the motivation comes from the inner need of those who have more, to do what they can to provide for their community. Many chamber members are excellent examples of good CSR, they provide employment opportunities in their community and invest in their people. They recycle their waste products and endeavour to make a positive impact in the lives of those they work with both as customers and suppliers. What then about charitable giving? In times of ever shrinking Government budgets and financial difficulty, charities will look ever more to the business community for support of their causes. Many business people feel that as they have achieved so much through hard work and good fortune that they should give generously to those in the community who have been less fortunate and in some cases unable to lead normal lives. Business people may receive a great number of requests for money and donations to a variety of very well meaning and worthy causes. Many do donate whatever they are able in an ad hoc arrangement others have a very structured approach to charitable giving, even going as far as to give their staff time off to volunteer at community and charity

events. Even then, a small business may only be able to support one or two charities in a meaningful way.

Charitable Trust for the year up to October 2010 are: B.I.R.D (Brain Injury Rehabilitation & Development)

The Chamber has sought to address this issue. Charities have long benefited from the generosity of Chamber Members and the Chamber actively engaged with a variety of Charities to provide opportunities for members to give to those causes closest to their hearts.

CHICS (Children’s Cancer Support) Diabetes UK Help for Heroes Kidney Research UK

These opportunities would be presented in a staggered fashion with each Charity having an opportunity at a different Chamber of Commerce event. The success of this programme has lead to a large number of charities joining the Chamber and benefiting from the Chamber products and services as well as the altruism of Member Companies.

Multiple Sclerosis Society National Osteoporosis Society National Society for Epilepsy Hospices in West Cheshire and North Wales

To continue to support the needs of an ever growing group of Charity Members, the Chamber has introduced the “Chamber of Commerce Charitable Fund”. The fund was launched at the 2009 Annual Dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel in October, and supports eight individual charities and a ninth charity, made up of the regions hospices.

Throughout 2010 there will be opportunities for Chamber Members to support the trust. These will be promoted in this publication as well as through the Chamber’s events communications. The Chairman and Board of Directors encourage all members to support this new arrangement, giving business the opportunity to improve the prospects of many in our region.

In August 2009 Chamber members were invited to nominate the charities closest to their hearts and the final selection was made by the Chamber Chairman after a consultation with the Board of Directors. The Charities supported by the Chamber of Commerce

For more information Call 01244 66 99 88 or email

Ruth Othen can be contacted on 075 300 08081 or

Planning your marketing for 2010 Now has never been a better time for your company to improve on its brand awareness, systems and efficiency. When a company chooses who they wish to place new business with, they choose a company who make an impact, stand out from the rest, offer something a little different, give trading confidence, and demonstrating an energy to succeed. When there is an upturn in the economy, we need to be ready to take those phone calls and be a step ahead of competitors. Ruth Othen, Marketing and Media Consultant, said: “During a quiet time at the end of December, I decided it was a good time to refresh my literature, website, and embrace

social networking to assist my business and my clients. It was a very useful exercise as it gave me time to offer a wider service to my customers and so I can target specific market sectors for business.” Ruth offers marketing services to a variety of clients nationally, and now concentrating on two areas of expertise – Corporate Event CoOrdinator and Franchise Consultant. She said: “As a sole trader, it is vital to work closely with other like-minded people and I am fortunate to have many trade allies to offer a comprehensive and bespoke package to my clients with the confidence that they have the best skills available.”

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Changes to VAT system

Climate Change Employee Wins Appeal

A judgement was recently handed down by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in which the Tribunal confirmed that a belief in man-made climate change and the resulting moral imperatives is capable, if genuinely, held of being a “philosophical belief’ for the purposes of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations. The employee in question confirmed before the original Employment Tribunal, from whose decision the appeal was generated, that;

From 1 April 2010, if you have an annual VAT exclusive turnover of £100,000 or more, you will have to submit your VAT returns online and pay your VAT electronically. Also, if you register for VAT from 1 April 2010 onwards, you will have to file on line from the start, whatever your turnover. Nothing else has changed; it’s the same form and the process is secure. Doing your return online also helps reduce errors, provides automatic calculations and with an on-screen acknowledgment that it’s been received you don’t have to worry. What’s more, its available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can do your return at a time that suits you. If you’re using HMRC Online Services for the first time, you will have to register for an online account.

For more information go to For further help, watch the video guide on the basics of VAT at


“I have a strongly held philosophical belief about climate change and the environment. I believe that we must urgently cut carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change. It is not merely an opinion but a philosophical belief which affects how I live my life, including my choice of home, how I travel, what I buy, what I eat and drink, what I do with my waste, my hopes and my fears. For example, I no longer travel by aeroplane. I have eco-renovated my home, I try to buy local produce, I have reduced my consumption of meat, I compost my food waste, I encourage other people and I fear very much for the future of the human race given the failure to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale.” The Appeal Tribunal Judge, sitting alone, determined that this set of beliefs did fall within the definition of the Regulations and that the Employment Tribunal decision could not be interfered with in this regard. The Appeal Tribunal decision in this case,

(Grainger Plc vs. Mr T Nicholson) once more demonstrates the breadth and scope of these particular regulations. The intention of the law is that discrimination against a person on the grounds of religious or, as in this case, philosophical belief is to be protected. This decision allows Mr Nicholson’s case to now go forward to determine whether or not he was discriminated against on the grounds of this belief in the way his employment terminated by reason of redundancy. The case will be heard before an Employment Tribunal which will need to decide whether the dismissal decisions that were taken by Mr Nicholson’s employers were based upon the grounds of his belief in catastrophic climate change. It may or may not be the end of the world as we know it but this case once again confirms the wide range of considerations to be taken into account during a selection process in a redundancy situation. For further information please contact 01455 852028 or email

Supersite makes its bow On 1 February, the Welsh Assembly Governments Flexible Support for Business (FS4B) website will become the FS4B Supersite. This will provide Welsh businesses with an unprecedented level of tailored online information and support. (go to http://fs4b. for a summary of what the Supersite will provide).

It will be provided from the same address as the current FS4B website - However, the site will have a different look and feel including changed branding and strap-lines.

The Site will provide a raft of guides, tools, transactional services and directories which will be of great value to: businesses and citizens; and business support advisors, relationship managers and customer service staff.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

If you have any enquiries, or would like to know more about the Supersite, please e-mail Supersite@ or call 03000 6 03000 asking for the Supersite team.

Looking to transform your organisation to deliver more? We have a track record of working with blue chip and public sector organisations to develop a culture of learning and improvement. We develop individuals, leaders and teams to maximise effectiveness. Our customised blended learning programmes maximise impact and minimise time away from the job. Our materials can be used by in-house staff and can be built around awards from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) or Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Visit our web site to learn more For a free consultation on how we can help e-mail us at To speak to us directly telephone 0844 6698505

Our mission is to connect regional businesses with the knowledge, expertise and specialist research available at Glyndwr University. We support the growth of businesses by facilitating long lasting relationships between our academics and industry. We offer: • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – a UK-wide programme that enables businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by forming a Partnership with an academic institution. This enables businesses to access skills and expertise within the University. A KTP is part-funded by a Government grant. • Academic Consultancy – a wide range of consultancy services including material testing and analysis right through to language translation. • Training & Development – tailor-made training solutions for business and a diverse range of short courses. • Business Networks – meet with experts from the University and business, identify new opportunities and share knowledge and experience.

For further information visit or call 01978 293 482

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine


Book your next corporate event at

The real golf game


everyone can play!

Supa Golf is the new and fun version of golf EVERYONE can play. Supa Golf is ideal for any corporate event including CUSTOMER DAYS, TEAM BUILDING events or SOCIAL occasions, as no previous experience is required and all equipment is provided by Supa Golf. Full packages available including conference facilities and catering. Blakemere Craft Centre, Sandiway, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 2EB

01606 884160

UNEDAU I’W GOSOD, SIR DDINBYCH UNITS TO LET, DENBIGHSHIRE UNEDAU / UNITS A8, A9 & A11 – TREM Y DYFFRYN Adeilad swyddfeydd newydd sbon wedi ei adeiladu’n arbennig ac a gwblhawyd yn 2008. Mae pob swyddfa â chegin fach a thoiledau hygyrch. Rhwng 1350 - 1400 tr sg / 125 - 130 mtr sg


SWYDDFA 1 – CROWN HOUSE Adeilad fframwaith coed o’r 16eg Ganrif wedi ei ailwampio yn 2005. Mae’r swyddfa â chegin fach a thoiled hygyrch. Maint: 788 tr sg / 73 mtr sg

Brand new purpose built office accommodation completed in 2008. Each office with kitchenette and accessible WCs. Between 1350 - 1400 sq ft / 125 - 130 sq m

OFFICE 1 – CROWN HOUSE 16th Century timber frame building refurbished in 2005. Office has kitchenette and accessible WC. Size: 788 sq ft / 73 sq m

Am fanylion pellach cysylltwch â: Carolyn Evans Ffôn: 01824 708094 Ebost:

For further details please contact: Carolyn Evans Tel: 01824 708094 Email:

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine


20 Questions Interview Name: Ian Wade Job Title: Managing Director Company: Modern British Taverns Lives: Chester Q1.) What brings you to the industry?

I have always been in the leisure industry. Straight from University I ran record shops & labels. Then promoted club nights & events. Then into the licensed industry with style bars, then lounge bars & restaurants. Now in the pub industry. My business ventures change with my lifestyle. I work in the environment I would be socialising in & consider myself very lucky.

Q2.) What advice would you give to anybody wanting to get in to the leisure industry?

Be prepared to work hard & long hours. Train staff properly to give the best possible customer service.

Q3.) What is the most important thing you look for in a new recruit? Positivity.

Q4.) If you could employ anybody from the world of Business who would it be and why?

thankfully successful. Winning the awards to back this up, but more importantly seeing lots of repeat customers & new ones as well!

Q8.) What do you always carry with you to work? My BlackBerry.

Q9.) Would you say you live for work or work to live? Work to live so I can provide for & enjoy my family life.

Q10.) Who is the most famous person you have ever met – what were they like? Bruce Willis – v. cool! In 5757, the bar in the Four Seasons Hotel, New York.

Q11.) Who in your view is the leisure industry role model and why?

Alan Sugar, I like his style. He listens to advice & is prepared to take counsel, but the final decision is always his own.

Paul Salisbury from The Lovely Pub Co in the West Midlands. Consistent quality throughout whilst always being innovative & maintaining standards year after year.

Q5.) As a business person, describe your three main qualities?

Q12.) What is your biggest achievement?

Q6.) And your worst quality?

See Ring O’ Bells Q7 & also building, operating & then selling 52 Degrees North a Birmingham based lounge bar & restaurant, that was voted Best Bar in the country in 2000.

Positive, fair, decisive.

Don’t like to delegate & try to do everything myself.

Q7.) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Opening the Ring O’ Bells in Christleton & seeing that my vision for it was right &

Q13.) What was your first job and the amount in your first pay packet? Waiter – about £20!

Q14.) If you could chose to work for any company in the world, which would it be and why?

One of the large hotel companies, Jumeirah or Four Seasons. To see how a massive organisation works & the travelling involved.

Q15.) If you won the lottery would you retire?

To a point, but I would keep a few fingers in pies! I would like to travel more.

Q16.) Do you make time for lunch every day? Oh yes!

Q17.) What is a normal day for you? Every day is different & I love to meet & greet customers. Also, getting to know my staff at all levels within the business.

Q18.) If you could work in a completely different field, what would it be? Sports journalist or barrister.

Q19.) If you could turn the clock back, what would you have changed about your business career? Nothing! Always looking forward. I have learnt by mistakes & I think things that are meant to be will be.

Q20.) What hobbies do you have?

Spending time with my family, my wife Karine, son Max, daughter Sophia & Cockerpoo, Fudge. Cricket, football (AFC Waverton Under 7s & Middlesbrough) & golf as well as the gym. Training for my Kilimanjaro Charity Trek in September for Christleton based charity, Children Today.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Are green shoots shading recession’s true legacy? From business leaders to bankers and MPs to the media, making sense of the volatile economy has become something of a national sport in recent times.

Almost 60% of all businesses seeking financial support from banks in the past year were turned down, leading to 20% resorting to private finance.

Britain is said to be moving out of recession and, for some local businesses, the difficult economic times have provided real opportunities to diversify, expand and take a fresh look at the business plan. Others have experienced depression, job losses and even collapse.

In the survey of 1,045 directors, a quarter said that they had tried to access finance over the last year with more than half reporting that their application had been rejected by their bank.

So as the hoped for ‘green shoots of recovery’ now begin to emerge, experts are cautioning that the real legacy of the downturn should not be overlooked. As Senior Partner at Chester-based McLintocks Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, John McLintock has run a successful practice in the City for 26 years and weathered many an economic storm. “The past couple of years have been among the toughest I can remember,” he said. “We are fortunate that, despite the gloom and doom, our practice has continued to develop but I know that others have suffered,” said Mr McLintock. “We have worked hard to support our clients, many of whom have been with us from the start, advising them about their bills and taxation liabilities and helping to structure payments where possible. “Insolvency practitioners have not been as busy as one might imagine. Many businesses have done their best to soldier on through the downturn but I am concerned that we are only now beginning to witness the real effects of this recession.” According to new research from the Institute of Directors (IoD), one in five UK businesses is reported to be financing its operation using credit cards.

“The fact that over half of all businesses seeking finance last year were turned away by their banks is totally incompatible with the banking sector’s position on the state of lending in the UK,” said the IoD’s director general, Miles Templeman. The banking industry responded by claiming the survey sample was too small to gain an exact picture but the IoD is predicting unwieldy repayments and unmanageable debt for many firms in the future. “Most businesses had enough funding in place prior to the recession to get them through but are now looking to borrow again,” explained Mr McLintock. “However, the post-recession climate is very different and banks are not lending like they once did. “They say they are open for business but the reality is that companies, particularly the smaller ones, are finding it very hard to get finance.” For those industries particularly badly hit by the shrinking economy, the shortage of financial backing is stifling growth even further. Advisors at McLintocks say a significant number of exciting local construction prospects have recently been hampered by the lack of ready finance to support them. “These are good building propositions which would have had no trouble securing backing previously, but in the current climate they cannot progress,” said Mr McLintock.

If you would like to review your finances, without obligation, please call John McLintock on 01244 680780 or email 14

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

“It’s not surprising that businesses are turning to personal finance solutions but the rates of interest are high and will be harder to pay off.” One area of finance where businesses have found a sympathetic ear is at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It has been praised for the support it has offered to small businesses during recent times but political uncertainty and the pressure of rising budget deficits look set to change that. Financial experts have noticed a hardening in HMRC’s stance on taxation payments of late, resulting in previously straightforward payment plans becoming increasingly difficult to arrange. Many companies facing large tax bills are suddenly finding themselves with fewer options and shorter timescales in which to pay. “I am a natural born optimist and I do believe we are moving on, however I feel we need to be realistic about the challenges continuing to face businesses and prepare ourselves for a tricky couple of years ahead because the financial situation is far from normal,” said John McLintock. Experts at McLintocks advise businesses to undertake a thorough spending review, looking at all items of expenditure. “Taking stock of your financial affairs is essential to keep spending under control and prepare for the future,” explained Mr McLintock. “The difficult times have taught us to be much more focused on what may be ahead and to be well prepared, which is no bad thing.” McLintocks Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, based at Chester Business Park, offer initial consultations free of charge.


Can I first say how delighted I am to be working with the Chamber to develop innovative, quality training to meet your ever changing needs. Growing your business through your employees has never been more challenging or rewarding. I am passionate about personal and therefore corporate development after seeing evidence of what motivated staff can achieve. I would be happy to work with you to take your business to the next level you aspire to. A variety of open courses and bespoke interventions are available to you as part of the Chamber service. Having started my career as a Science Teacher many moons ago, I set up my own consultancy and bespoke learning services in 2000, sharing some of the transferable skills acquired along the way from a background in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. I personally specialize in unique marketing solutions (including how to present yourself or your company for greatest success); business development and innovative programs to assist team building and learning. The intention of the new training service from the Chamber is to bring in experts from different fields, so please look out for the announcements and dates to be sure you do not miss an opportunity to achieve bigger and better results in your organization too. We can only provide what you need if you tell us what that is, so expect a call soon as we wish to work more closely with you to build strong and fruitful business’ across the Chamber’s territory. Looking forward to meeting you soon‌..

Helen Smith

(Helen holds a B.Sc and an MBA and is an accredited Coach, NLP Practitioner and a trained Facilitator).

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



One Day & Half Day Open Courses Fit for Business Thursday February 25th or March 4th This interactive workshop provides an opportunity for business leaders/sales staff to take time out to plan and develop a practical sales strategy. Assessing the competition and required growth rates, reviewing essential activities with roll-out logistics, will provide clear milestones for you and your staff. This is a very company focused workshop allowing you to leave with your personalised plan of action. If you have never attended this workshop, you will wonder why not.

Increase your Personal Effectiveness Thursday 25th March Personal effectiveness is an essential part of our lives, but there is a need to consider how to become personally effective. This is not a luxury; it is a must to succeed in our daily activities. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Whether you work for a large company, run a household; manage your own company, or work within a charitable organisation, it is vital to make the most of opportunities as presented. As most people aspire to be the best at what they do, it makes sense to spend some time discovering what is personal effectiveness; how to get it, and what changes are needed to achieve optimum effectiveness. The aim of this workshop is to enable Team Leaders/Managers to utilise their time more effectively and apportion it to the right activities, thereby embedding this learning process, through example to your staff. These skills minimise stress and enable you to effect change with greater success. An understanding of how we can make ourselves more effective is fundamental to our personal well being and our company’s future.

Delegation Skills Tuesday 6th April Delegation remains one of the critical management processes which, if performed badly has significant negative impact on the achievement of tasks and staff morale. Done well, it builds innovation, trust and motivation. This one day course will discuss the definitions, the barriers to delegation, and provide tools and techniques, including dealing with difficult team members.

Managing People and Performance Tuesday 13th April Do you get a headache every time you think about managing people and their performance? Are you dreading the thought of having to deal with people who don’t perform as well as they should? Getting the message across about what you expect people to do, and how well you need them to do it, is just one of the essential requirements for managing people and their performance. Gathering evidence, measuring what is being achieved and giving feedback are also important management skills. And what happens when performance isn’t all that it should be? How do you deal with that constructively? It’s not always easy but we can show you how! Using the right approach for different situations, this course is for new and experienced managers who want to make the most of the valuable and costly resource available to them (people!).

Managers as Coaches Thursday 15th April Management is about getting things done through the efforts of other people. Managers have a big responsibility to organise, lead, direct and control their resources so that the right things get done and get done right. But, as any manager knows, it’s not easy and the “just do it!” approach doesn’t always work. In the current business climate it is very important to get the best from employees to keep the business on track and meet its objectives. There has never been a better time to introduce managers to the amazing power and impact of coaching in the workplace!


To book call 01244 669988 Email

This course is for any manager, at any level, who needs to get the best from their employees. No matter what type of business you are in, or the size of your team, if you manage people and have targets to achieve, this course could help you to transform the way your people perform.

Powerful Presentation and Public Speaking Skills

Building High Performance Teams

Presenting to groups is one of the most stressful experiences for many people. The fact is that speaking in public is the number one phobia in the world today. This poses a dilemma, in that most presentations are not just about distributing information, they are also about building or losing reputations.

Thursday 15th April Team working is the established methodology in most organisations and is an essential part of a manager’s remit. This workshop is an indispensable, practical guide to leading teams with expertise, developing skills to project manage; establishing trust between team members, maximising and measuring performance. A power packed day will provide you with a choice of practical templates and ideas to take back to your workplace.

Being a Highly Effective Manager Friday 23rd April

Friday 28th May

Leadership and Management Skills Thursday 10th June To ensure success in business, every manager needs to work on developing their leadership and management skills. If you fail to share your vision for the business, provide a sense of direction, set an example and inspire your people, how can you expect them to follow you? And when it comes to management, are you able to organise, direct, motivate and support your staff? Do you have what it takes to get things done with and through the efforts of other people?

This course covers how to lead, how to empower and how to be a responsible manager. ‘Observation is the best teacher’ therefore managers must display the best management attributes. This course will develop skills to improve all aspects of your daily management style.

This course is for new and experienced managers who need to demonstrate strong leadership and manage individuals and teams.

Project Management   

Friday 11th June

Friday 30th April         At the heart of a successful organisation, is effective project management. This one day course will introduce basic project principles along with simple tools and techniques for monitoring performance and reviewing plans. A two day course is also available providing more advanced project management techniques. Attendees will work on live project issues and with documents they can take back into the work place and use in their businesses.

Managing Change Within Your Organisation Thursday 13th May Anyone who has ever been involved in change knows it can be an uneasy task due to the many aspects that need to be carefully considered. This course covers how to cope with change and lead systematically through elements of the change process. A big part of the change process is knowing how to cope personally, and how to assist your colleagues for the benefit of your organisation.

Developing a Marketing Strategy Friday 14th May At the conclusion of the course, you will have been able to identify all the essential elements of a marketing plan. You will have created a list of data requirements and designed a workable framework for you. You will be able to relate to all the marketing concepts and know how to apply them in your industry/service or trade. You will also have fun!

Conducting Staff Appraisals Tuesday 18th May Managing performance is always a challenge for managers. Collecting evidence about how people are doing and giving constructive feedback is time consuming and not always easy. Recognise the value of using formal appraisal schemes and find out how to assess performance and give feedback. This course is for managers at all levels who use, or are considering using, formal appraisal schemes to manage people and performance.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

Telephone Selling Skills Using the telephone effectively has become an essential part of business. This participative workshop gives you the tools to develop your telephone skills to meet your needs.

Team Building Tuesday 15th June Do your people work together in effective, cohesive, co-operative teams? Are they individually and collectively achieving great results for your business? Teamwork doesn’t just happen by accident. It requires careful nurturing and the right kind of intervention. Discover how to build and maintain winning teams that will guarantee success. This course is for new and experienced managers who need to build strong, capable and effective, winning teams.

Problem Solving and Decision Making Friday 25th June This is a step by step process that helps you gain the information, experience and judgement in solving complex problems and make prudent decisions. There are a number of stages to the process:

Analysis: Looking at the whole picture, selecting priorities and the right people to resolve the issues Clarifying the components of the analysis as appropriate for the task in hand by narrowing down issues into workable pieces Identifying potential problems and opportunities that may arise: via a systematic process to identify problems and develop contingency plans and capitalise on opportunities Performing a situation appraisal How to avoid panic and act rationally when a crisis arises, and ensure the plan of action is the correct one How to avoid wasting additional money and resources by tackling the wrong issue This workshop is designed for managers at all levels, from supervisors, middle managers to top executives. Employees and support staff who participate in problem solving in their units are also encouraged to attend.


Customer/Client Care Tuesday 20th July (Half Day) In today’s challenging business environment, excellent customer/client care is essential but so many people get it wrong! Do you care about your customers or clients? Do you listen to what they have to say about their needs and expectations from your products or services? Without loyal customers who will spread the word to others about your business, how can you expect to survive? Develop a strong customer focus, invest time and effort in delighting them every time and watch your business grow.

people first requires a command of the Self. You will become aware of the deep rooted thinking patterns behind your behaviour, and learn to use a range of techniques to make positive changes. We use these change tools to then assist you in your selling and marketing techniques.

recognise and correctly handle minor and major disciplinary issues, grievances and sickness absence.

Disciplinary, Grievance & Sickness

Confidence Building

Thursday 12th August Absence Management

Tuesday 17th August

Handling disciplinary matters and grievances in the workplace can be complicated and daunting for managers, at all levels. Properly handled, issues can be effectively resolved to the benefit of all concerned and harmony can be maintained. However, get it wrong and not only can matters spiral out of control, but there is a real risk of the employer ending up before an Employment Tribunal. Absence due to sickness is another huge headache for managers. Every year, millions of business days are lost in the UK through sickness which has a direct impact on business performance. So what can managers do about all this? Quite a lot, as it happens. Discover how to

This course is for anyone, at any level, who has direct contact with customers/clients.

Selling and Marketing with NLP Friday 30th July We begin by giving you tools to create a heightened awareness of the leader within. Leading, inspiring and engaging other

This course is for any manager, at any level, who wants to feel more comfortable about managing disciplinary, grievance and sickness absence matters.

No matter who you are or what you do, do you sometimes feel that your confidence could do with a boost? Do you ever look at supremely confident people and wish that you could be like them? Well, the good news is that you can build your confidence. Confidence and self belief are core life skills that will help you to improve your performance and deal with challenging situations. We can all use a little more confidence at times! This course is for people who feel intimidated or inadequate in certain situations and who would like to build their confidence and increase their self esteem.

On site programmes Being a Finisher Complete

you to our unique and highly practical change process thereby successfully engaging everyone in the methodology. This process is easily and effectively rolled out to the whole organisation.

Learning how to encourage people to expect and embrace change is key to the success of any organisation. Change requires a healthy openness to team working. Any transition in working practices will be better supported when teams are working well together, and integrating with other teams.

Half Day best run on site Do you have staff who never seem to get things done, or have to bring in help all the time to complete a task? Maybe you need to send them on this short effective course to ensure they have the skills and understanding to apply back at work. Knowing how to be a finisher completer, enables us all to work more efficiently, prioritise tasks, and follow through on projects and activities.

The three stage process provides a comprehensive, people and business focused solution to implementing change across your organisation. When you take the time to prepare the way for change, preparing the people and giving them the skills and tools to enact the process, it can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. The process can gather real momentum and create change at a faster pace than you ever anticipated. 

To facilitate this we offer ‘team learning’ events aimed at increasing the awareness of differences, knowing how to utilise individual strengths, and planning steps in the change process. The next step is to identify the people who will become the champions of change. We will work closely with you to identify these people and train them in the skills required to help people through the change process.

Leadership through Excellence (5 x days) Leadership has changed as so too, business and individual team members. There is now a greater need for innovative leadership and management tools.

Stage 1 - Team Learning workshops Run in-house Content subject to the current state of team working

Your champions will be responsible for filtering the messages throughout the organisation, engaging hearts and minds, developing a creative culture, encouraging ideas, problem solving and utilising talent where it is needed most. They will be responsible for generating team work and creating a culture for continuous improvement.

To be competitive in a commercial world, requires you and your staff to embrace these challenges and opportunities daily. Top leaders in any organisation lead by example; top performing teams follow and develop their ideas, outperforming their competitors.

Stage 2 - Champions of Change Selected champions attend our open Leadership programme to acquire high level facilitation skills

Stage 3 - Moment of Change Workshops

Brain-storming ideas, having meaningful conversations about creating the future, and feeling proud of their achievements. A well designed change programme will act quickly to connect people at all levels, using plain language not business speak.

This innovative and exciting workshop examines in depth, the latest concepts in leadership and team development, such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and behavioural leadership.

Run in-house Involve people in creating the change In addition to the above programmes, the Chamber has a wide range of experts for bespoke and tailored programmes. Please do not hesitate to call your local Chamber to discuss your needs in person.

How can you achieve this? Once the champions have been identified and trained via our Leadership programme, the next step is to bring other people on board. It is your people who compete, not your company, and when you value their contribution and engage them in the process of change, then positive results will follow.  We will help you design a programme to achieve this; by introducing

This programme can be run at a time to suite your business needs.

Coaching and Facilitation This is a customised course for teams and organisations who want to change, or in the process of change.

T: 01244 669 988 E:

Software courses Date 1 March 3 March 5 March 8 March 8 March 9 March 9 March 9 March 10 March 11 March 11 March 15 March 15 March 16 March

Course Excel 2007 Access XP Word XP Outlook 2007 HTML Excel XP Outlook HTML Excel 2007 Visual Basic Fireworks CS4 Fireworks CS4 Word Access

Level Advanced Advanced Intermediate Introductory Introductory Intermediate Advanced Advanced Advanced Introductory (2 days) Introductory (2 days) Advanced Introductory Intermediate

Retail Price £195* £195* £195* £195* £225* £195* £195* £225* £195* £450* £450* £225* £195* £195*

Chamber Price £180* £180* £180* £180* £200* £180* £180* £200* £180* £380* £380* £200* £180* £180*

Date 16 March 18 March 19 March 22 March 22 March 22 March 25 March 25 March 26 March 26 March 29 March 29 March 30 March 31 March

Course MOS Excel Core MOS Excel Expert Access 2007 Outlook I Excel Flash CS4 Crystal Reports Word Flash CS4 Crystal Reports Outlook 2007 Project Project Project

Level Core with Exam (2 days) Expert with Exam (2 days) Advanced Introductory Introductory Introductory Introductory Intermediate Advanced Advanced Advanced Introductory Intermediate Advanced

Retail Price Chamber Price £445* £380* £445* £380* £195* £180* £195* £180* £195* £180* £225* £200* £225* £200* £195* £180* £225* £200* £225* £200* £195* £180* £195* £180* £195* £180* £195* £180*

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



When it’s good to get together The Chamber of Commerce strives to provide regular opportunities for businesses to network and create new opportunities. We have a regular programme of weekly networking events held throughout West Cheshire and North Wales and the chamber has become renowned for is the Social networking event. At social events, members have the opportunity to network and promote their business more subtly in the convivial atmosphere of a Golf Day or Black Tie Dinner. This type of event creates a very different type of opportunity for delegates and many very lucrative business proposals where first initiated at a Chamber social event. Most importantly, however, the Social events are fun, the Chamber team and events partners endeavour to make each social occasion an event to remember. Whether your taste is for Gala Dinners of Go Kart Racing, there will be an event in the Chamber’s social calendar to suit you.

Social events Ladies Luncheons AGM



Cocktail Party

13th July 9th September

Annual Dinner

With the green shoots of spring upon us and nature abounding with signs of growth, now would seem like the perfect time to look at your marketing and sales efforts for 2010. This year is set to be a tough year for business but one with more opportunity than 2009. Cautious optimism backed up by resilient and cost effective sales and marketing activity should see many small companies return to growth as the economy slowly expands during 2010. One of the most effective ways for an SME to grow its customer base remains the ever popular networking meeting. Customers acquired through referral at these meetings are that much more loyal and usually require a much lower investment in the sales persons time as they are warmed up and receptive. In 2010 the Chamber plans to host 60 networking meetings throughout West Cheshire and North Wales, providing ample opportunities for Chamber Members to meet, promote their business and benefit from the knowledge and experience of other Members. “`Having moved from the Midlands to Chester, networking at the Chamber events has helped me meet like-minded business owners and professionals, develop good friendships and generate leads for new business. The networking events always give you an opportunity to share your business message and help other people find the business, resources or support they are looking for.` Gary Spinks, Creative Director, Cornea Consulting


Chamber Business Breakfast - Ellesmere Port Holiday Inn


Chamber Business 2 Business Lunch - Chester Ramada Hotel


Chamber Business Breakfast - Northwich Saddler’s Inn


Business Advice and Networking Event - Evans Easy Space business Centre

Joint event with Evans Easy Space, West Cheshire College, Business Link, Federation of Small Business and Flintshire County Council


Chamber Business Breakfast - Chester Mollington Banastre


Chamber Evening Networking - Flintshire St David’s Park Hotel


Young Chamber brings you “The Winning Edge” The Business School, Chester University

Hosted by Young Chamber West Cheshire College in association with West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, West Cheshire College and Chester University

12 May

Go Kart Racing

Golf Day

Networking Events

24th September


Chamber Business Breakfast - Ellesmere Port Holiday Inn


Chamber Business Breakfast - Northwich Saddler’s Kitchen


Chamber Business Breakfast - Chester Mollington Banastre


Chamber Business Breakfast - Wrexham Ramada Plaza hotel


Chamber Evening Networking - Ellesmere Port Holiday Inn


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

For more information on chamber networking please visit or call 01244 669988.


driving customers to your website

We look after your website, leaving you to look after your business clicksseo’s experienced industry leading experts offer tailored solutions for your business that will:

• Generate lifelong sales • Deliver quality leads • Maximise your return on investment clicksseo have a large knowledge base and proven methods using specialised state of the art software. We understand your website is unique and this is why we deliver customised bespoke packages based on your own requirements and budget. Each package is simple, easy to understand and has measurable performance, including:

• pay per click optimisation and management • search engine optimisation We deliver transparent personal bespoke SEO services direct to you. One of our experts is assigned directly to you and is contactable should you require anything. Please contact us for a free unbiased opinion on your website and what we can do for you.

The Old Bakery | Duke street | Ruabon | LL14 6DE Telephone: 07973 501 853 | Email: web:

Capita Symonds is one of the UK's largest and most diverse multidisciplinary consultancies operating in the building design, civil engineering, environment, management and transport sectors. With over 4,000 staff in over 60 UK offices we offer an unrivalled scope of services and a unique blend of professional and technical skills to schemes of all types and complexities. For further information contact: Allan Smith, Chester office, 01244 687925, Paul Terry, Colwyn Bay office, 01492 539200, successful people, projects and performance

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine





What is Globe?

Benefits of this mission

This biennial event, which is an exhibition and conference, typically attracts over 10,000 participants from more than 70 counties. Globe 2010 promises to be the most spectacular business of the environment event ever held, with the biggest ever UK attendance

The mission offers Northwest business free, priviledged entry to Globe 2010. Throughout the mission and exhibition there will be experienced professional support, networking opportunities and help with the arrangement of 1:1 business meetings.

The Trade Fair will have the largest number on record for exhibitions and pavilions, both nationally and internationally. The conference will also accommodate many VIP speakers covering themes, which we expect to be reflected around the Trade Fair.

For more information or to register your interest in this mission please contact Jonathan Shaw on 0161 875 2337, email or alternatively send a fax to 0161 875 2234 20

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

DillamoreAd:Layout 1 17/02/2010 16:15 Page 1

by Robin Dillamore

A General Election is approaching and it is widely agreed that the next Government will have to make tough choices. Some commentators suggest that a combination of public sector cut-backs and tax increases will be necessary, leading to a decade of adversity. However, times of uncertainty can also be times of opportunity – for those businesses that understand the times and are able to adapt. Smaller businesses have the advantage of being more flexible, better placed to spot and make the most of niche markets, and able to reduce their cost base more quickly if necessary. There will also be opportunities for some to start their own business for the first time. We have a lot of experience in assisting new business start-ups, and have written a helpful and informative guide which is available for free download from our website. In this article, we have drawn on our experience of helping and advising small and medium-sized enterprises to set out 12 ways in which you can help make your business “recession-proof”.

Dillamore & Co Ltd Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers Robin Dillamore Director

T: 01978 752000 E:

1. Create time and space

Make regular room in your schedule for time to think creatively – about the ‘big picture’, the future and ways to grow and develop. Be imaginative and draw upon others who think differently from you.

2. People are important

Identify people who are key to the success of your business. Strengthen your relationships with them – give time to this. When people know you value them, they will go the extra mile to help you too.

3. Know your own business

You will need timely and accurate information about how the business is doing – both financial data and feedback from staff and customers. It is worth investing in this – quality information inspires quality decisions. Visit to read the remainder of this article.


big THE


Chris Naylor

Managing Director, Peckforton Castle. At just 31 years of age, Chris Naylor is managing director of the family-owned, luxury boutique hotel Peckforton Castle, which is located in the heart of Cheshire. The Naylor family acquired Peckforton Castle in 2006 when it was operating at almost a quarter of a million pound loss and has since set about transforming the hotel into a thriving business. There have been plenty of tough challenges along the way. The fact that Peckforton Castle is a Grade I listed building – described by English Heritage as the only intact, medieval style castle in the country – presents a challenge to refurbishment projects and infrastructure, while the economic downturn has, of course, presented its own difficulties. Despite that Peckforton Castle is a highly regarded, up and coming North West hotel and its future has never looked brighter. Here, he discusses the challenges involved: We acquired Peckforton Castle knowing it was a struggling business, but we saw the potential. Not only was the venue operating at a very unhealthy loss, but it didn’t have the best reputation in the area. We decided to buy it after I got married there in 2005. I could see the potential immediately. Back then Peckforton Castle was regarded as just a wedding venue, but I saw the chance to really expand the business offering and turn the Castle into a leading North West hotel.


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine


The first challenge was to refurbish the hotel to a high standard to compete with some of the excellent establishments in the area. As we’re close to the main cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and North Wales the competition is tough, despite the fact that Peckforton Castle is a unique and magical venue. We spent over a million pounds on a refurbishment project in 2006 and started to introduce new revenue streams to include attractions for leisure and corporate guests, in addition to the wedding market.

more than 190 civil ceremonies and weddings a year. In addition we’ve grown the number of leisure bookings with some special packages and increased the sleeper-dinner ratio at the same time. We’ve introduced a lot of team building activities such as falconry – we have a zoo licence and a collection of exotic birds of prey – and archery, abseiling and off road driving and we’ve offered various incentives to the corporate market. As a small hotel we can be flexible and we find the corporate and wedding markets, given the current economic climate, have responded very well to this. Peckforton Castle also lends itself very well to themed events, such as medieval banquets, and we’ve found there has been a high demand for our special events. At the same time as growing income streams, we’ve also been working hard in the fields of education and conservation. We regularly welcome parties of schoolchildren to the Castle to learn about the birds of prey and our full-time falconers also travel around local schools to give talks. Some of our special themed events are very popular with the local community and we’ve found this and the education and conservation element of our work has helped improve the venue’s reputation.

The additional bedrooms will be a great benefit to the business and the brasserie and beauty treatment rooms came about after listening to customer feedback. We receive fantastic reviews for the 1851 Restaurant, but guests said somewhere less formal to watch some television and have a sandwich would be useful, while brides said they’d appreciate somewhere to be pampered before their big day. We’re investing £1.5 million in the renovation and the new facilities will be fully launched in July 2010, after which time we expect to see our business grow even further.

The recession Just as we were starting to find our feet in 2007 we realised the outlook for the economy was bleak and then we were faced with the credit crunch of 2008 and the recession of 2009. As we all know, many industries were badly hit by the downturn, including the hotel industry and if there’s less money in people’s pockets they’re often less likely to splash out on luxury breaks. Despite being more attractive to guests from Europe and North America as a result of the stronger euro and US dollar, the luxury sector, where we sit, saw dramatically fewer bookings.

Peckforton Castle bucks the trend Despite these depressed figures, we have actually seen a fantastic growth in business and we bucked the downward trend. In fact we’ve seen our business grow so dramatically that we’re operating at almost half a million pounds profit. That’s quite an achievement in such a tough, competitive market. Much of our success is down to the fact that we’ve introduced – as mentioned briefly earlier – various new revenue streams and we always insist on the best, whether that’s in our recruitment policies or when sourcing produce. Peckforton Castle has always been a popular wedding venue, but we’ve managed to grow the wedding side of the business to hosting

bedrooms, plus a brasserie and two beauty treatment rooms. This is no easy task given we’re working with a Grade I listed building and we’ve had to consider a colony of 150 bats who live with us! We’ve also had to ensure that guests aren’t disturbed by the building work, which we’ve managed to do thanks to the fact that the work is taking place indoors in an area of the Castle that is currently hidden from public view.

Other great boosts to the business have been the awards we’ve won. Visit Chester & Cheshire crowned us Small Hotel of the Year 2009 and our 1851 Restaurant was awarded 2 AA Rosettes. We’ve also recently won a Taste Award from Visit Chester & Cheshire. These are all fantastic accolades and are a great indication that we’re getting it right and going places. And we plan to go even further.

Continued growth and investment We had approval last year for a refurbishment project to convert a section of the Castle that’s not currently in use into an additional 10 ensuite bedrooms, taking us to 48 luxury, en-suite

We don’t intend to stop there either. We want to work more closely with our local community to build on and preserve the heritage of Peckforton Castle and we’re really keen to build on our success with education and conservation. Of course, none of this would be possible without the great team we employ and the recruitment and retention of high calibre individuals has been a key strategy. Our customer service levels are outstanding and we invest in our employees’ with ongoing training and support. We’re often referred to in the media as ‘a leading North West hotel’ and while we may never be the biggest in terms of number of bedrooms, we certainly aim to be the best. We’ll do that with our high achieving team, unique offering and zealous attention to quality and detail. Only the best will do to be the best and our unique combination of medieval style and contemporary charm certainly seems to be hitting the right spot with our guests.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



jobs market PICKS UP

After months of gloom surrounding the economy, the good news is that many companies are now considering taking on new staff. A survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the industry’s umbrella body, shows that 94 per cent of UK employers are not planning any more job losses. Indeed, one in five are expecting to increase their permanent staff over the coming year and the REC’s January JobsOutlook showed one in ten businesses planning to hire staff in the next three months. The majority of employers (75%) expect their head count to stay the same but even with these employers job opportunities will arise as they seek to develop their businesses. Such factors provide a huge boost to the recruitment industry, which specialises in helping businesses select the right people, a function which is ever more important at a time when there are so many jobseekers on the market.Using a professional recruitment company takes the pain put of the process because such businesses handle everything from the advertising of posts to the analysis of applications. At a time when business people must be 100 per cent focused on their companies, having someone to deal with all the paperwork and administer the processes is a real benefit.


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

Recruitment companies also help businesses conduct the interview process, advising them on what to look for and how to select the best candidate. With more people on the market than a year ago, that is another reason why bringing in a specialist company makes sense. This area is blessed with a number of excellent recruitment companies, whose teams understand the jobs markets in which they work and who can bring great experience to the process. Such people are crucial to the recovery of the economy from recession and professional recruiters working in the field have confirmed to REC that there is a new optimism in the jobs market. They are reporting that not only are companies seeking to expand but that there is a new fluidity on the market with people prepared to switch jobs to further their careers as the economy picks up. Contrasted with last year where people tended to stay in their posts, this offers more reason for optimism.


The road to full employment will be slow but the trend of increasing employer confidence and a return to hiring is now established. The REC research also suggests that more employers are now prepared to replace departing employees instead of operating at low staffing levels.

Jobcentre Plus has the right options for you to advertise your vacancies today.

Roger Tweedy, the REC’s Director of Research, said: “This is positive news for job-seekers and confirms the stabilisation of the labour market and which overtime will result in better jobs figures. The REC was the first business organisation to predict that we would not reach the three million unemployed; we now estimate that the figure will peak at around 2.8 million in the middle of this year.


“The road to full employment will be slow but the trend of increasing employer confidence and a return to hiring is now established.”

e-mail your vacancies at any time to

Among organisations ensuring that employers and potential employees find each other is Jobcentre Plus, which offers professional, modern and free Vacancy Advertising Services to ensure that jobs are noticed by the right people.

Over the phone

Its services are designed for businesses that demand flexibility and reliability. Whether you want to fill one vacancy or many, Jobcentre Plus can help companies reach the talent they need by bringing jobs to more than two million people each week. Furthermore, to help make your next recruitment decision an easy one, Jobcentre Plus are offering £1000 for every person that you recruit, who has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months or more.

Create, view and update your jobs yourself through Employer Direct online, giving you total control of your vacancies anytime that suits you.

Register a vacancy with us over the telephone on 0845 601 2001. A textphone service is available for people with speech or hearing impairments on 0845 601 2002 or fax them to us on 0845 601 2004. From the moment your vacancy is registered with Jobcentre Plus it will be visible to applicants through Jobcentre Plus, the UK’s No1 Recruitment website and our local outlets. Currently, more than 1,500,000 job searches are carried out every working day. Anyone viewing the vacancy information will see your details and will be able to contact you direct in the way you choose e.g. telephone, letter or CV.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Wrexham – Working together Wrexham’s Business Support Team has set up a new office in the heart of the Business Community on Wrexham Industrial Estate. The team consists of a number of dedicated and experienced Business Professionals who have the knowledge and skills to support businesses whether they are looking to invest, expand or could benefit from support to develop for a successful future. Wrexham’s business community consists of everything from small indigenous operations to major multi-nationals and world class companies, which have chosen to locate here. A great many organisations have made substantial investments in the area and the fact that they continue to thrive and maintain their commitment to Wrexham demonstrates that, as a location, it provides a business environment in which they can prosper, flourish and feel confident enough to expand and re-invest.

BUSINESS SUPPORT ‘Wrexham has a reputation for being ‘Business Friendly’ and has much to recommend it as a business location. Wrexham has a good mix of commercial units and a diverse labour force’, says Councillor Rodney Skelland, Lead Member for Regeneration and Corporate Governance. Any company, large or small, contemplating a move to Wrexham will find, in the Council’s Economic Development Department, a group of dedicated professionals supporting inward investment into Wrexham, as well as supporting existing business. They will do their very best to offer a full package of support and assistance including:

Economic Development Department

Commercial Premises

County wide property search facilities Investment advice and support Information and assistance on financial packages Local and regional knowledge and expertise Links to other services

Adran Datblygiad Economaidd

Adeiladau Masnachol

Cyfleusterau ar gyfer chwilio am eiddo ar draws y sir Cyngor a chefnogaeth i fuddsoddi Gwybodaeth a chymorth am becynnau ariannol Gwybodaeth ac arbenigedd lleol a rhanbarthol Cyswllt i wasanaethau eraill

n Advice and assistance in identifying and applying for possible sources of funding n Access to a team of experienced and knowledgeable professionals, who will offer you a confidential advisory service, without cost or obligation n Site and building searches and liaison with local property agents and developers n Help with training and recruitment n Access to local and regional contacts and agencies n Research and information gathering service n A named contact who will deal with all your queries ensuring that you receive practical help, tailored to your specific needs

Location: Economic Development Department Wrexham County Borough Council 3A Redwither Tower Redwither Business Park Wrexham Industrial Estate Wrexham LL13 9XT Tel: 01978 667300 Email: business


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

For further information: Economic Development Department tel: 01978 667300

Am ragor o wybodaeth: Adran Datblygiad Economaidd ffôn: 01978 667300


Business Credit Cards With the growing popularity of small business credit cards and ever changing interest rates, now is the time to learn the 5 steps to effective small business credit card management. We’ve entered into a new age of credit for small business. New opportunities apply but credit debt still needs to be approached with caution. Over 2/3 of small businesses use a credit card for expenses with only 40% using a business credit card exclusively, as indicated by a Tower Group report. Should you use a small business credit card over a personal card? Yes. With prudent use and management, your small business credit card can provide many benefits including:

Advantages of Small Business Credit Cards Avoid Co-mingling: Mixing your business and personal transactions creates potential tax and money management problems. By using a small business credit card, you will let HMRC and anyone else know you are serious about your business. Easy Itemization: Tracking your business expenditures at year-end can be a nightmare for small business owners. Many credit card companies will provide you with a year-end statement summary with your transactions itemized and categorized. Why worry about a shoebox full of receipts? Organize your bookkeeping process with a small business credit card. Build Business Credit: A small business credit card provides a newly established business the

opportunity to build business credit. This will be useful in the future as your business grows and you need capital in the form of credit lines or loans.

3. Pay Online: Save time and extra costs by paying your small business credit card online versus paying by teller at your local branch or mailing in your payment.

Special Rewards: The competitive credit card and business market has led to the development of reward and discount programs for small business credit card users. Discounts and rewards range from office supplies and travel to software and phone services. Take advantage of using the credit card to lower your expenses.

4. No Cash Advance: Reduce credit card fees and interest costs by not using the cash advance feature on your card. Cash advances incur more fees and costs. Use your business account debit when you need immediate funds.

Manage Employee Spending: Another plus to small business credit cards is the ability to provide cards for your employees with preset limits. Just make sure you monitor their spending on the separate statements you receive. A small business credit card is like most financial instruments - responsible use of credit can help your business - misuse of your business credit makes you personally liable in most cases and has the potential to destroy your business and dreams. Use these small business credit card tips to effectively manage your credit.

5. Avoid Late Payments: Late fees and high interest rates quickly erode the merits of using your small business credit card. Be responsible by paying off your business credit each month. Treat your business credit card ownership as a privilege and you will avoid the disastrous effect of credit card mismanagement. Apply the same level of responsibility as the rest of your business and you will enjoy many more years of profitable business growth. When looking into what business credit card suits your business, why not give the Chamber a call. We have a business credit card designed specifically with the SME in mind. With the Chamber of Commerce business credit card Companies with fewer than 50 employees can save 10% on their Chamber membership renewal. The account has no annual fee so there will be no surprises.

5 Steps to Effective Small Business Credit Card Management 1. Limit Card Hopping: Signing up for multiple cards to take advantage of deals can have a negative impact on your credit rating and make managing your cards more difficult. 2. Use Grace: The majority of small business credit cards offer a 54-day grace period before you have to make payment on your purchases. Improve your cash flow using a credit card instead of checks.

For more information and to apply please visit the chamber website or call 01244669988

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



MP Andrew Miller joined catering Apprentices at West Cheshire College as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

Apprenticeships - your chance for a Golden Hello Employers in the Chester and Ellesmere Port areas are being encouraged to find out more about the benefits of taking on an Apprentice – and possibly benefit from a £2,500 ‘golden hello’ to help them take on new 16 to 17-year-olds. The National Apprenticeship Service is offering 5,000 ‘golden hellos’ nationally, but the offer is only available until March 31, 2010. West Cheshire College is one of the leading providers of Apprenticeships in the region with more than 300 Apprentices currently in place across 25 different job sectors including accountancy, construction, engineering, hair and beauty, business administration, childcare, IT and warehousing & distribution. Commercial Services Manager Jayne Smith said: “We have worked closely with local employers for a number of years to develop

Apprenticeships which meet their business needs and research clearly demonstrates the success of the programme. “Apprenticeships provide a high-quality alternative route to career success for individuals and give employers the right people with the right skills for their business. “In the current circumstances it’s even more important to keep training so that local employers are ready to build up our local economy once again.” Apprentices are employees who earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff in businesses to gain job-specific skills. They also receive training to work toward nationally recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of the Apprenticeship, the Apprentice’s ability and the industry sector.

To find out more about taking on Apprentices call the College’s Employer Hotline on 01244 670499 To find out more about ‘golden hellos’, visit


West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine


L-R Tony Wilson, Senior Partner and Peter Jackson, Managing Partner.

2010 marks Bicenentary for law firm Hill Dickinson International law firm Hill Dickinson is celebrating its 200th year in business, an important milestone for the firm, which was founded in Liverpool in 1810 by Edward Morral. The firm plans to celebrate its bicentenary with a series of events and with a major charity drive, which will take place over the next two years.

“Clients are our heritage and they are essential to our future. We now look forward to the next chapter of our development and to contributing to the future prosperity of our clients, our people, our communities and the cities in which we operate.” As part of its planned community activity, Hill Dickinson will be running a charity drive to coincide with its 200th year celebrations, with the firm aiming to raise £200,000 for projects local to each of its UK offices.

In addition, the firm will be hosting a series of events throughout 2010, Throughout its 200 years Hill Dickinson has played a vital role in many high including client events at high profile venues such as Manchester Art profile cases, most notably acting on behalf of the owners of RMS Lusitania Gallery and Chester Cathedral. and RMS Titanic. Hill Dickinson also has two Christmas events planned in the impressive The firm also helped make history by hiring one of the first women in atrium at the firm’s Liverpool office and at The Philharmonic Hall in Britain to qualify as a solicitor. Liverpool, when a bespoke score of music especially commissioned for Hill Dickinson’s 200th year will be performed. Senior Partner Tony Wilson said: “As we embark upon the celebrations of our 200th year at Hill Dickinson, we are very proud of our development into Hill Dickinson has won the National Law Firm of the Year Award at the a highly successful, contemporary firm, which is built upon the strength of 2010 Legal Business Awards. The firm scooped the national publication’s our historical roots and our client partnerships. accolade for the second time at a ceremony in London. “The firm has come a long way since 1810, when the Liverpool office was Key factors taken into account were the firm’s merger with Middleton Potts, first established. Since then, additional offices have opened in London in 1929, in Chester and Manchester in 1997 and in Piraeus in 2006, and we sustained growth, improved financial performance and increased market are extremely pleased that we were able to announce the opening of our share across its key practice areas. For this category, particular credence Singapore office in 2009, just prior to our bicentenary. was also given to client feedback in support of the original submission.

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



Making a healthy difference for your employees and business

Available to all members of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber Primary Health Plan supports a healthy outlook for both your business and your staff. The Plan can help your business to reduce absenteeism and related costs, improve staff recruitment and retention, improve staff morale, motivation, and productivity, encourage proactive employee healthcare and reduce the risk of stress and musculoskeletal related litigation in conjunction with a robust stress policy and line-manager training.

can claim tax-free lump sums towards the cost of everyday healthcare including dental, optical, therapy treatments (physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic treatment and homeopathy) and specialist consultations.

Even More Than Cash Benefits Employee healthcare covered from as little as £1.10 per week The Chamber Plan offers three levels of cover £1.10, £2.20 or £3.45 per employee, per week and provides 100 per cent reimbursement on all cash benefits, up to set limits. No medical is required to join and all pre-existing medical conditions are covered for employees (except Personal Accident benefit). In return for employer-paid weekly premiums, employees who are permanent UK residents

The Plan includes a scanning benefit, which provides fast access to MRI, CT and PET scanning facilities. These state-of-the-art machines can provide diagnosis to detect conditions early at a treatable stage, including serious illnesses such as heart disease, brain disorders and cancer. What’s more, the Plan also includes access to a 24-hour freephone counselling and advice line and up to six face-to-face counselling sessions, as well as Personal Accident cover.

A GP telephone consultation service, which provides employees with access to telephone consultations with a GP 24 hours a day, every day, wherever they are in the world, is also available on the Plan. The Plan also includes a health club concession benefit, which provides employees with access to concessionary membership deals at a wide range of UK health and fitness clubs. An online A-Z health information service is also available for employees and their resident family.

Cover for Kids – Only 15p per week Employers can also purchase additional cover for employees’ dependent children for just an extra 15p per employee, per week. This provides a range of healthcare benefits including dental, optical, therapy treatments and specialist consultations.

For more information about the Chamber Primary Health Plan contact Westfield Health on 0845 602 1629, visit or email 32

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine


New Members Coulter Hurst & Co Ltd Moffat House 14-20 Pall Mall LIVERPOOL L3 6AL 0151 2377344

Mandore 6 Erw’r Llan Treuddyn MOLD CH7 4PE 02030 914453

Dailycer Ltd Fourth Avenue Deeside Ind Park Deeside CH5 2NR 01244 286500

Mold Golf Club Cilcain Road Pantymwyn MOLD CH7 5EH 01352 741513

Green Root Offsets 3 The Nock Backford CHESTER CH2 4BQ 01244 851796 IEC Connect Ltd Regus House Herons Way Chester Business Park CHESTER CH4 9QR 07534 661609 Maj Ltd Old News Rooms 1-2 Bridge Street CORWEN LL21 0AB 01490 345005 Malcom Gaskill Inspection Services 16 Pheasant Way Winsford CW7 1PX 01606 863575

Gary Sharp Osteopath 2 Meadows Lane Handbridge CHESTER CH4 7BH NBH Media Ltd 216 Tower Street Brunswick Business Park LIVERPOOL L3 4BJ 0151 703 0507 Premier Care Plus LTD St Andrews Park Queens Lane MOLD CH7 1XB 01352706246 Quality Hydraulic Power Limited Taylor House Minerva Avenue CHESTER CH1 4QL 01244 393500

For more information on chamber membership contact 01244669988 or visit

Remploy Ltd Po Box 185 WARRINGTON WA5 2GE 07977 436148 Rise & Shine Training & Coaching 14 Dryersfield Boughton CHESTER CH3 5RQ 07884 431988 Samarind Ltd Parkway Business Centre, Parkway Deeside Industrial Park Deeside CH5 2LE 01244 288281 Serco Welfare to Work One Caspian Point Cardiff Waterside Pierhead Street Cardiff Bay CARDIFF CF10 4DQ +44 (0) 2920 444010 Spring Board Safety Services Turnberry Avenue WREXHAM LL13 9GG 07805 112019 Transform Window Films 1 Hugmore Lane Llan-Y-Pwll WREXHAM LL13 9YE 01978 664049

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine



New leader named

Carwyn Jones has become the First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales, taking over from Rhodri Morgan. This follows on from Carwyn’s election as the Leader of the National Assembly Labour Party on December 1 followed by a vote for Assembly Members. It was also announced that Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones retains his position as deputy first minister and the minister responsible for the economy and transport.

St John Ambulance launches health and safety basics course for SMEs

Do you know if your business is meeting its legal requirements for health and safety? According to St John Ambulance, worryingly over 15% of businesses have never carried out an assessment to determine risks within the workplace and therefore how to protect staff. The organisation has launched a new course across the North West aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) understand the basic processes involved in making their workplace legally compliant. In 2008/9 there were nearly 105,000 injuries which led to absence from work - around two fifths were caused by handling, lifting or carrying and nearly a quarter were due to tripping or slipping. The nation’s leading first aid and health and safety organisation is encouraging SMEs to learn how to ensure good practice and prevent workplace accidents. The new St John Ambulance Health and safety basics course is accredited by the British Safety Council and successful completion of the course results in a BSC certificate. The course is available across the country and includes:

Health and safety legislation

Overview of what a company needs to do to remain compliant

Overview of risk assessments and basic procedures

Introduction to the language of health and safety

How to stay informed of latest changes

Ongoing support from a designated SJA health and safety expert via email

Do you have a new job that you want people to know about? If so, contact John Dean on and we can get you on this page.


Richard Evens, Training and Marketing Director at St John Ambulance says: ‘In the last year there have been over 1100 cases of

West Chester & North Wales Chamber of Commerce Magazine

businesses being taken to court because of health and safety failings, resulting in 87% being convicted. The repercussions can be immense, not only in terms of the safety of their employees but also legally and financially. ‘Health and safety is certainly not something that should be skimped on but we realise that smaller businesses can find it daunting when faced with the prospect of dealing with risk assessments, protocols and legal obligations without having the same resources as large companies. Our Health and safety basics course will help clear up any confusion and ensure employers become proficient in this area and understand how their business can comply.’ Julie Nerney, Chief Executive, British Safety Council (BSC) said: ‘As a leading awarding body for health and safety qualifications, the BSC is delighted to be working with St John Ambulance to provide assessments for this brand new course. All businesses, large and small, have a legal obligation to protect employees from accidents and illness at work. The St John Ambulance Health and safety basics course teaches business owners and managers how to identify and implement the correct health and safety management systems for their business and to keep workers safe.’ St John Ambulance trains nearly 600,000 people in first aid and health and safety each year. Prices for the Health and safety basics course start at £270. The next course in Chester will run from 19-20 August. Chamber of Commerce members are entitled to a 10% discount off St John Ambulance courses in the North West. For details of St John Ambulance courses in the North West, which can be delivered in house or in one of the organisation’s training centres, call 0844 770 4800 or visit

Business Matters #01  

Business Matters is the official magazine of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce specifically designed for Chamber members, but...