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THE SUN RISES OVER PETERBOROUGH ISSUE 09


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FO REWORD

FOREWORD EAST ANGLIA LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WITH OPTIMISM AND RESOLVE

n the words of Stefanie Thorne, director of business engagement and entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk: “So much has changed that business can’t and won’t be the same again. Now, we can only innovate and look to the future.” Indeed, the pace of digital innovation has been so turbo-charged by the pandemic that today’s students are looking to a future that is markedly different to the one that lay ahead of them just 12 months ago. We get a flavour, this issue, of what the university is doing now to nurture and develop their entrepreneurial ambitions.

HM Passport Office, DEFRA and the Rural Payments Agency have already seen the light and moved to Peterborough. Now the development partnership behind this most ambitious of city makeovers has an even bigger fish in its sights. I ask you, from the entrepreneurial, Londonoverspill hotspots of the west to the multi-million pound windfarms of the east, and the tourism-rich attractions of the north to the nationally important ports of the south, is there a more vibrant, go-ahead region than East Anglia? I don’t think so.

Farmers, meanwhile, are squaring up to the additional demands 2021 has introduced into an already challenging field. They are key contributors to the health and the wealth of the nation due to the vital roles they play not just in food production, but in land guardianship, job creation, export and – crucially going forward – the green economy. But as Gary Ford, the NFU’s regional director for East Anglia, tells us, farmers are fighting for their livelihoods with one arm tied behind their backs. Some serious ‘levelling up’ in terms of the services and support they receive is a must. We also take a look at the vision for Peterborough 2050, a £600m masterplan that is already beginning to pay dividends for this well-connected city just 85 miles from the City of London.

Helen Compson Editor, East Anglia in Business

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issue 09

CO NTE NTS

CON T E N TS

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Foreword 03 East Anglia looks to the future with optimism and resolve.

Infrastructure 06|07 £264m invested in bridging the gap between east coast communities. New infrastructure projects are regarded as being of national significance.

Peterborough 2050 08|12 A £600m masterplan has been devised to ensure that what is probably the UK's fastest growing city keeps pace with the 21st century expectations of entrepreneurs and residents alike.

Trade and Export 14|17 In February, UK in a Changing Europe, an authoritative body based at King’s College London promoting independent research into the complex and ever evolving relationship between the UK and the EU, published a comprehensive report entitled Brexit & Beyond.

Levelling up rural Britain 20|23 The NFU has published a report, entitled Levelling up Rural Britain, which outlines a vision for maximising the contribution farming can make to job creation, exports and the green economy.


CO N TENTS

Editor Helen Compson helen.compson@distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Design Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 580 5990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Advertising Distinctive Publishing, 3rd Floor, Tru Knit House, 9-11 Carliol Square, Newcastle, NE1 6UF Tel: 0191 5805990 www.distinctivepublishing.co.uk

Social

Digital Innovation 26|27 The pandemic has acted like a rocket booster for digital innovation, such has been the forced pace of change over the past year. Assuredly, today’s students are looking to a future that is different to the one that lay ahead of them just 12 months ago.

Digital Innovation 28|29 Research from Siemens Financial Services estimates the potential value digitalisation offers manufacturers in the East of England.

East Anglia in Business @EAinBusiness

News round-up 30|31 Board members of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority have unanimously voted to approve 22 new project proposals, totalling £4.1 million in grant funding, under the Market Towns Programme for Fenland, Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire.

Environmental Investment 34|35 East of England’s unique chalk streams to benefit from £300million of fast-tracked environmental investment

East Anglia in Business www.eastangliainbusiness.co.uk

Distinctive Publishing or East Anglia in Business 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 East Anglia in Business.

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IN FRAST RUCTU R E Far ra ns C a m br id ge s hi re

£264M INVESTED IN BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN EAST COAST COMMUNITIES New infrastructure projects are regarded as being of national significance

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ork has started on two new bridges that promise to bring big economic benefits to communities on the East Anglian coast.

The Third River Crossing in Great Yarmouth is being managed by Norfolk County Council, and the Gull Wing project in Lowestoft by Suffolk County Council. The projects are just 10 miles apart and have a combined cost of £246m. The UK Government acknowledged the two bridges as nationally important infrastructure projects, with the Department for Transport committing a total of just over £170m to the builds. In Great Yarmouth, the construction is a joint

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venture between Farrans Construction and BAM Nuttall, and in Lowestoft it is the sole responsibility of Farrans. Road closures for both projects have already been implemented as preparation work gets underway. Buildings are being demolished to pave the way for the Third River Crossing and utility trial holes are being excavated for the Gull Wing. Neil Rogers, Project Director at Farrans Construction, said: “These projects are both at the heart of local towns, and we’re looking forward to supporting residents and businesses throughout the construction period and beyond. “We will do this with employment and apprenticeship opportunities, as well as inviting local companies to bid to be part of the supply chain.”


IN F RASTRU CTURE

Far rans C ambr id ge shi re

Community engagement teams would be working with local residents, businesses and school children, and both Farrans and BAM Nuttall had participated in National Apprenticeship Week at the beginning of February to highlight the opportunities available on these two nationally significant infrastructure projects. “Large construction projects like these are fantastic opportunities to show younger generations the positive difference made to where they live, as well as inspiring them,” he said. “We might even find some budding architects, engineers and designers of the future.”

Coun. Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “I’m delighted to see work on the long awaited Third River Crossing get underway and the commitment BAM Farrans have made to supporting the local economy.

“Both these projects are now more important than ever as we seek to help the regional economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the East Anglian coast, with these much-needed schemes now underway. The Government has committed to levelling up across the country and with these two major projects, we are now starting to see this happen in our region.

Large construction projects like these are fantastic opportunities to show younger generations the positive difference made to where they live, as well as inspiring them

“As well as providing jobs, it will make it much easier for people living and working in the borough to get around and provide crucial support to the town’s key industries, including those linked to the offshore energy and maritime sectors, tourism and manufacturing.

“The Gull Wing will create local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities in Lowestoft and the Waveney area. Local people regularly emphasise the importance of the Gull Wing. It is great news that I shall now be able to tell them that the talking is now over, and the work has begun.”

Although similar in many respects, the Third River Crossing and Gull Wing are unique projects and will move at different rates throughout their respective construction periods. If everything goes to schedule, they will open to the public in 2023.

FARRANS CAMBRIDGESHIRE New Cambridge House Bassingbourn Road Litlington, Royston Cambridgeshire SG8 0SS Tel: +44 (0) 1763 850600

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PET E R B OROUG H 2 05 0

THE SUN RISES OVER PETERBOROUGH

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PETERBO RO U G H 2050

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PET E R B OROUG H 2 05 0

This is the Vine Library and Cultural Hub that's planned for the city

A £600m masterplan has been devised to ensure that what is probably the UK's fastest growing city keeps pace with the 21st century expectations of entrepreneurs and residents alike. HELEN COMPSON reports.

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o get the measure of modern, thriving Peterborough you need only look at the success of Fletton Quays.

Mid-way through a £120m redevelopment, the 6.4 hectares that stood nigh-on empty for 40 years today boasts four river-side apartment blocks, a new Hilton Hotel and a gleaming office complex now home to Peterborough City Council itself. And this particular project is just one element of a much wider, £600m master plan currently being rolled out by a collaborative partnership busy turning its ambitious vision for Peterborough into reality. Peterborough 2050 is a blueprint fit for the 21st century, replete with the high quality residential and commercial property and cultural, retail and green space that will ensure this city, but 85 miles from the heart of London, continues to be an attractive place to both live and work. Fletton Quays is a standard-bearer for the city, demonstrating its not so hidden potential, said Tom Hennessey, chief executive of Opportunity

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Peterborough, the city council’s investment arm. “With the new government hub, that is a thousand jobs that are going to be based at Fletton Quays, but we don’t see that as the end,” he said. “It is just the start. “The success there is a catalyst to discuss opportunities with the Government for further investment in the city.” HM Passport Office, DEFRA and the Rural Payments Agency have already seen the light and moved to Peterborough. Now the development partnership has an even bigger fish in its sights – the Civil Service. Steve Cox, the council’s director of place and economy, said: “Businesses are moving out of London and we know government can operate from Peterborough, so we want to see them invest more forcibly in the city now by moving a department here. “We are only 39 minutes from Kings Cross and with the quality of the office accommodation and service facilities we can offer, it is a better prospect for a civil servant used to working in London.”


PETERBO RO U G H 2050

In Peterborough, prime office space could be rented for a quarter of the cost of London prices in new, beautifully landscaped complexes well served by transport infrastructure. Among the eight key sites identified for redevelopment in Peterborough 2050 are Station Quarter, used by five million rail passengers a year, and nearby North Westgate. Easily accessible locations for anyone getting off the train from London, a total of £380m is being sought to reinvigorate their collective commercial, leisure and residential offer. There is strong investor interest. Tom Hennessey said: “There are businesses that want to invest in our city, certainly. We had an investment event last October at which we showcased the work already taking place, as well as the overall development framework. “We had a really strong turnout on the day and a lot of interest has been expressed since then. Much of that comes back to confidence being key. The council has set out what it wants to achieve and then set about marrying up land acquisition with investors and the financial vehicles needed. “The easier it is for investors to get a return on their money the easier the decision is for them, and the

confidence the city is showing in itself is crucial.” Last year, Peterborough was among the first handful of 101 qualifying towns nationwide to be awarded a grant from the Government’s Town Fund. In keeping with the fund’s aim of enhancing cultural offer in support of high street recovery, the £22.9m Peterborough received is being spent both on improving existing visitor attractions and building some exciting new ones. They include a new library and cultural hub christened The Vine, a Bronze Age museum designed to be of national significance, and an Olympic grade climbing facility at Nene Park. The public realm and connectivity for pedestrians will also be improved in key locations, including the installation of a new footbridge that will provide a link between the Embankment district – where a brand new £30m university is currently taking shape - and Fletton Quays. Scheduled to open in September 2022 with an initial intake of 2000 students, ARU Peterborough (managed by Anglia Ruskin University) has a tremendously important role to play going forward, said John Holdich, who has just retired as leader of Peterborough City Council.

Aspects of a design for a new railway entrance and surrounding land that will aim to give visitors to Peterborough a good visual welcome to our city and a clear architectural route guiding them into the city centre

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PET E R B OROUG H 2 05 0

“There are some fantastic projects going on in Peterborough and the university is one of them,” he said. “It will help build skills among the people of Peterborough and in the process meet the needs of businesses looking for a highlyskilled workforce.”

COUN. JOHN HOLDICH Leader of Peterborough City Council

The university aims to have 12,500 students on roll by 2037, contributing handsomely to Peterborough’s reputation as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Perhaps it is the fastest - Milton Keynes appears to be the only other contender for the title.

had so impressed the 99 potential investors who attended the showcase last October. “We are looking for £600m to £700m in investment and it does seem to be there.

Businesses are moving out of London and we know government can operate from Peterborough, so we want to see them invest more forcibly in the city now by moving a department here.

John said it had been the development team’s outwardlooking, forward-thinking vision for the Peterborough they wanted to see in 2050 that

“People want to come to Peterborough. We have people and businesses in Europe wanting to come. We asked them why and they said ‘because you show ambition’.” However, this native of Peterborough - a councillor for the best part of 50 years and fiercely proud of his home town – couldn’t resist adding: “People are always surprised at how much we have here already, how many wonderful visitor attractions and green spaces and cycle ways.

“Do you know Peterborough?”

Fact file: The eight key city sites set for regeneration:

STEVE COX Director for Place and Economy at Peterborough City Council

1 Station Quarter. £300m has been earmarked to reinvigorate this key city gateway used by more than 5m passengers each year. 2 North Westgate. Outline consent has been granted for an £80m, mixed-use scheme that will burnish the area’s commercial, leisure and residential offer. 3 Northminster. More than 150 dwellings and retail units, along with public realm enhancements, will be created in a £90m development.

TOM HENNESSY CEO at Opportunity Peterborough

4 Rivergate. Plans are being drawn up for a residential and retail development that will enhance another key gateway to the city centre, Embankment and Fletton Quays. 5 Peterborough University. £31m has already been invested in establishing the new campus, which is due to open in 2022. The primary subject focuses will be business, technology and engineering in a curriculum geared to the growth sectors in the regional economy.

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6 Embankment. Peterborough United Football Club is conducting a feasibility study of a £50m proposal for a new 20,000 capacity stadium and conference centre. 7 Middleholme. This 40 acre site to the east of Embankment has been identified for residential and leisure usage. 8 Fletton Quays. The £120m development of the 6.4 hectare site, which is already home to Peterborough City Council, began in 2017. It includes four new apartment blocks and a new 126 bedroom Hilton Hotel.


ADV ERTORI AL

BUDGET FOR INVESTMENT AND RECOVERY AGREED A budget for recovery has been agreed by Norfolk County Council to support communities, the economy and the environment. A £439 million net revenue budget, a £102 million boost for roads and infrastructure and a 3.99 per cent Council Tax rise have been agreed, at today's full council meeting. County council leader Councillor Andrew Proctor said: “This budget not only protects the vital services that we deliver and people value but also sets us on the path to recovery.

“This budget sets out to deliver a better future for Norfolk, to see our residents our communities and businesses all begin to flourish again.” Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Andrew Jamieson, highlighted the Covid and other cost pressures facing the council and said: “We are protecting vital services, investing to tackle flooding, and making as much provision as possible for potential shocks from Covid - all without needing to propose the full five per cent Council Tax increase. “Looking to the future as we emerge from the pandemic, cabinet will continue to advocate strongly for Norfolk and press Government for our fair share of funding and to bring forward long needed reforms.”

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T RADE AN D E X PO RT King's College London

SOCIAL SCIENTISTS REFLECT ON OUR POST-BREXIT FUTURE In February, UK in a Changing Europe, an authoritative body based at King’s College London promoting independent research into the complex and ever evolving relationship between the UK and the EU, published a comprehensive report entitled Brexit & Beyond. Over the course of more than 70 essays, the authors analyse the impact of the break-up on much of life in the UK, from internal public policy to external relations, with chapters on public opinion, UK politics, the Union, the constitution and the law in between. Here, we publish the foreword, written by the organisation’s director, Prof. Anand Menon, and one of the essays, Economics of Trade, by Dr Ingo Borchert and Dr Mattia Di Ubaldo.

OUR UNDERSTANDING OF BREXIT IS JUST BEGINNING By Prof. Anand Menon Brexit is done. The formal negotiations are over — even though the Trade and Cooperation Agreement paves the way to many further negotiations between the UK and the EU. The interminable arguments and parliamentary wrangles over what Brexit might mean in theory are over, but our understanding of what Brexit does mean in practice is just beginning. UK in a Changing Europe was created to make research-based evidence accessible to those interested in UK-EU relations in the context of the referendum. Subsequently, as the process unfolded, we have drawn on the expertise of social scientists to explain the negotiations and their implications.

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Now the UK is finally able to embark on its new course, we believe that the need for social science to play a role in informing public and political debates is as great if not greater than ever. The contributions that follow underline the scale and scope of the agenda that confronts the United Kingdom as it prepares to grasp the opportunities and confront the challenges resulting not just from the decision to leave the EU, but also some of the long-standing issues that predate the referendum but which Brexit has made even more imperative to address. This collection is meant both as a guide to the issues that will loom large of the months and years to come and as a signal that we intend to deploy the best social science research in order to understand and address them.


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T RADE AN D E X PO RT King's College London

ECONOMICS OF TRADE By Dr Ingo Borchert & Dr Mattia Di Ubaldo WHERE HAVE WE COME FROM? Within the EU’s Single Market, UK manufacturers could be assured that what was lawfully produced at home could be sold in any other member state, with no further checks at the border. UK firms in financial or creative industries, or professionals providing legal advice, could move and establish themselves in other EU countries with a degree of freedom and flexibility unparalleled in any other trade agreement. Consumers also benefited from more product choice and easy access to services when in other EU countries. Combined with geographic proximity, the Single Market and the Customs Union resulted in the EU being the top trade partner of the UK: the EU receives 42.5% of UK exports (46% of goods and 39% of services), while 51% of UK imports (53% of goods and 49% of services) originate in the EU. Overall 3.7 million jobs are associated with UK exports to the EU, not least as part of supply chains that extend beyond the EU to third markets.

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

(top) DR INGO BORCHERT & (bottom) DR MATTIA DI UBALDO

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The UK Government decided that Brexit meant leaving the Customs Union, the comprehensive rules of the Single Market, and instead renegotiating FTAs with third countries. This ‘disintegration shock’ will affect UK GDP, trade, and labour and capital markets. There has already been an impact since the referendum, with UK investment and consumption below what they could have otherwise been due to revised expectations of future prosperity, UK services companies setting up EU subsidiaries to retain access to the EU market but not vice versa (EU investment in the UK declined), lower labour demand and fewer entries into exporting by those

UK firms that are more at risk of facing higher tariffs with the EU. On 24 December 2020, the UK and the EU reached an ‘agreement in principle’ on the text of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including an FTA that will provide for duty-free and quota-free trade of all goods. At the same time, frictions will arise in number of areas, not only because of the need for ‘rules of origin’ or meeting EU requirements on food safety and product standards. The scope for trading services is severely curtailed compared to the Single Market; for instance, audio-visual services are excluded from the terms of the draft agreement, UK airlines will no longer be able to serve two airports within the EU, and passporting rights for trading financial services will cease to exist. Overall, therefore, this UK-EU FTA will avert a ‘no deal shock’ but it will not deliver anything resembling intra-EU trading conditions. The cushioning effect of the FTA on UK value added trade is estimated to be 20-25%. Put differently, most of the losses in trade and income would have occurred anyway because of the exit from the SM, which addressed nontariff barriers. The position of Northern Ireland (NI) will be different to Great Britain (GB) because its trade remains aligned with EU rules. This implies the need for customs formalities and checks for goods flowing from GB to NI, as well as for EU tariffs levied on products at risk of moving into the Republic of Ireland. These barriers will negatively affect firms engaged in NI-GB trade, notwithstanding a recent agreement between the UK and the EU on the details of how the Protocol will be implemented.

WHERE ARE WE HEADING? A major pro-Brexit argument has been the possibility of negotiating ambitious new FTAs. The UK has so far concluded ‘continuity agreements’ with some EU partners, covering 13% of UK trade,


TRAD E AN D EX P ORT King's College London

Now the UK is finally able to embark on its new course, we believe that the need for social science to play a role in informing public and political debates is as great if not greater than ever.

PROF. ANAND MENON PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN POLITICS AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS AT KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

and an FTA with Japan, accounting for another 2% of UK trade. Other agreements are being negotiated (with the US, Australia, New Zealand, and the CPTPP bloc), in addition to the deal with the EU. Will these FTAs compensate for the losses of leaving the Single Market? The available evidence says no. There are four main issues. First, the Single Market establishes deep integration that cannot be recouped with FTAs, even ambitious ones. Second, the share of trade with individual partners is small compared to the EU. Hence, to just break even, every one per cent drop in trade with the EU due to higher trade costs would require a much higher increase in percentage terms under a new FTA with a partner that accounted for less of UK exports. Third, the UK is a much smaller player in trade negotiations (equivalent to only 15% of EU GDP) and may therefore be unable to obtain as many concessions from new partners as the EU. That said, the UK might strike deals better tailored to its specific interests. Finally, negotiations are complex due to the difficulty of finding common ground on ‘behindthe border’ issues, such as regulatory measures, technical standards, and qualifications for

professionals. Tariff reductions have little bite, as many are already low (except in agriculture). With the growing importance of e-commerce and digital services, nearly every digitally enabled services trade transaction (and many goods transactions too) are linked to data flows, making digital trade provisions vital. Yet, the provisions on data protection in the UK-Japan FTA are more lax than what the EU requires to allow personal data to flow across countries: this brings the UK closer to the standards in the CPTPP agreement, but raises worries about how the UK will align itself to the EU. More generally, diverging from higher EU standards to secure trade deals with ‘key partners’ is likely to lead to long and complex negotiations, or to impose costs on producers asked to comply with multiple sets of rules. Most importantly, the UK is attempting to cut its losses from the break up with its neighbour by reaching out to large but faraway trading partners. Yet countries naturally trade more with markets that are large, geographically close and culturally similar. These ‘gravity’ forces are the main drivers of international trade, implying that the tight integration with the EU cannot be replaced by an ambitious trade policy directed towards Australia, Canada, Japan or the US.

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MH A L ark ing G owe n

MHA LARKING GOWEN LAUNCH NEW BUSINESS INSIGHTS CHAT PODCAST SERIES Local chartered accountants and business advisors are pleased to announce the launch of their new podcast series Business Insights Chat, where the team interview successful business owners and leaders from a variety of sectors throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

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ach week, our special guests will share their views, insights and experience in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will discuss what drives them, their experiences, and what they are looking forward to, as well as how they’ve had to adapt in the face of lockdown restrictions. These conversations are a unique insight into the thoughts and processes of some of our region’s key business leaders, running hugely successful and renowned businesses, and each week, the guests are asked to impart their best piece of advice for other leaders, as we move towards the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. In the series launch, partner, Ian Fitch, talks to the Managing Director of Turners (Soham), Paul Day. You will be familiar with the bright orange and red logo of Turners driving up and down the A14, as one of the most prominent logistics and haulage companies in the country, with a turnover of over £450 million, and over 4,000 staff. Hearing how the man at the top of a company like this prioritises fairness is a fascinating insight into what it takes to be the best, and how you can also become a championship table tennis player at the same time! Future guests also include the CEO of Purcell, Mark Goldspink; Oliver Paul, co-owner of the hugely successful and popular Suffolk Food Hall; and Susannah Rendall, MD of the Boxford Group, which owns Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa, amongst other ventures. Purcell is an architectural firm which has worked on Big Ben and other famous landmarks, while Oliver Paul offers a fascinating insight and refreshing look into why Suffolk, in particular, really is underrated and under-used. Oliver said, “It’s been a pleasure to be involved. Our thanks to MHA Larking Gowen for what they are doing with this content, it is very thought provoking and has also given me a moment to step back and think about our own business. No doubt this podcast will have elements people can really reflect on and apply to their own business”

Ian Fitch said, “It’s a privilege to interview such high calibre business leaders and learn how they have overcome challenges and what has driven them to succeed. Their down-to-earth advice and thought-provoking insights will inspire, encourage and motivate many other business leaders and owners.” These conversations are not to be missed, and whilst they will no doubt inspire the leaders of tomorrow, they will also provide food for thought for those already leading teams and businesses of their own.

MHA LARKING GOWEN www.larking-gowen.co.uk

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts, or visit www. larking-gowen.co.uk/lginsights

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LEVE LLI N G UP RU RA L B R ITA IN NFU

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LEV ELLIN G U P RU RAL BRI TAI N NFU

FARMING ADVANCES THE HEALTH AND WEALTH OF THE NATION The NFU has published a report, entitled Levelling up Rural Britain, which outlines a vision for maximising the contribution farming can make to job creation, exports and the green economy. Here, Gary Ford, the union’s regional director for East Anglia, tells us more. By HELEN COMPSON

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armers are squaring up to the additional demands 2021 has introduced into an already challenging field, says Gary Ford, but significant ‘levelling up’ is needed to give them a fair chance of succeeding.

Much like the rest of England, around two-thirds of the region’s farm businesses have already diversified, embracing alternative uses for their buildings and land, to supplement their decreasing income from agriculture.

And the stakes are high given that agriculture is the cornerstone of rural economies, not least in East Anglia.

But as the Levelling up Rural Britain report launched at the NFU’s annual conference, held at the end of February, makes very clear, farmers are fighting for their livelihoods with one arm tied behind their backs.

“Agriculture and horticulture are hugely important not only to the economy of East Anglia – the region is the bread basket of the country,” he said. “The industry here is diverse and diversified in terms of agricultural types, from field crops to the broad acres of winter wheat to the peats of the Fenland. “Besides the myriad of crops grown in the region, we are also the largest producer of poultry meat, the largest producer of sugar beet, very significant in terms of egg production, and we have sheep and cattle too, so yes, we are critically important to the economy of East Anglia.”

Two deficiencies constricting business growth are the poor access to reliable broadband in rural areas and the onerous nature of the planning system. Gary said: “The poor connectivity of rural broadband is often an issue for our members, as we saw during our virtual conference. We had members who were struggling to join or struggling to stay connected, dropping out and then trying to get back on. “It’s one thing to use broadband to dial into a conference, as important as that was for our

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LEVE LLI N G UP RU RA L B R ITA IN NFU

Fact file The UK currently exports £14.5bn worth of food and drink to the EU. This includes: Lamb: The UK currently exports 34% of its lamb production. Of that 94% goes to the EU, worth £377 million in 2019. Beef: The UK currently exports around 18% of its beef production. Of these exports, 84% goes to the EU, worth £404 million in 2019.

members, but it is a whole different matter if you need reliable broadband to actually do business – it is a requirement today to be able to transact online.” When it came to the current planning system, all too often it prevented or slowed down farm modernisation, diversification and the building of homes for farm workers. As such, the Government’s Planning for the Future White Paper published last summer afforded a welcome opportunity for reform.

Dairy: The UK currently exports 7% of its dairy production, including milk, cheese, cream, butter and milk powder. Of these exports, 80% goes to the EU, worth £1.3billion in 2019.

The streamlining proposed would certainly help the poultry meat sector that was such an integral part of East Anglian agriculture, he said. “We have seen a three per cent year on year growth in chicken consumption, because it is affordable and versatile. It represents 50% of meat consumed in the UK and we know British people want to see more British food on their shelves

Poultry: The UK exports 19% of its total volume of poultry produced. 70% of UK exports go to the EU, worth £192 million in 2019.

“But trying to get planning permission for new poultry units is a huge challenge at the moment. It is complicated, time-consuming and expensive, all of which delays investment by farmers.”

Barley: The UK currently exports around 22% of its total barley production. Of that, 88% is exported to the EU, worth £230 million in 2019.

The laboriousness of planning applications was also a problem when it came to tackling the water shortages farmers experienced in what was a ‘water-stressed’ region. While the industry had won the concession to capture winter surface flood water, many farmers had been subjected to expensive and frustrating

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LEV ELLIN G U P RU RAL BRI TAI N NFU

Fact file Farming in the East of England: The NFU region comprises Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Luton, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea, and includes The Broads National Park. The average farm size was 118 hectares in 2018, when the English average was 86 hectares. The predominant farm types in 2018 were cereals farms, which accounted for 50% of farmed area in the region, and general cropping farms, which covered another 34%. The total income from farming fell by 23% between 2014 and 2018 to £697 million. The biggest contributors to the £3.3bn output were: poultry meat, £557m; wheat, £537m; fresh vegetables, £368m; pigs, £240m, together accounting for 51%.

delays in getting permission to build the water storage facilities they needed to do that. “Water availability and routine access to it are essential when you are reliant on it to irrigate your crops,” he said. “If you haven’t got water, you haven’t got a business.” Now, post-Brexit, one of the biggest concerns of all was the impending lack of seasonal workers needed to harvest and package crops and process meat. The industry was largely reliant on non-UK labour to fill the 80,000 roles each year and while a Government pilot scheme designed to ease the way for such recruitment had been extended for another 12 months and expanded to allow for 30,000 appointments, that still left a major shortfall. “We need a permanent solution,” he said, “because otherwise we will go from one year to the next not knowing if we will have sufficient labour and, again, that will have an impact on the confidence to invest.” Likewise, the wheels of trade with the EU needed to be re-oiled. Brexit had certainly ushered in the additional bureaucratic burden expected. Gary gave the example of the trade in seed potatoes, the subject of significant levels of export to the EU. Simply sending them to Northern Ireland was a problem now though, due to the new checks and balances outlined in the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The NFU had been working hard to ameliorate the situation, but that too had proved a challenge, given how late in the day the trade deal had been agreed. “Christmas Eve! And then trying to get crops inspected between Christmas and early in the New Year to allow chipping potatoes to go into Northern Ireland … ,” he said. However, the NFU and the industry as a whole were looking to the future positive in the knowledge they would continue to make a hugely valuable contribution to the health, wealth and wellbeing of the nation. Increasingly focused on achieving a truly sustainable food supply while at the same time maximising the carbon storage possibilities of the land under their feet, farmers were on the front line in the battle against climate change. “The NFU has set an ambition for British farming to reach net-zero by 2040 and our farmers have taken this challenge head-on,” said Gary.

GARY FORD NFU Regional Director www.nfuonline.com

“It is encouraging to see so many farmers in East Anglia taking the pledge to help meet the target. We have an enormous opportunity for the UK to help lead the green recovery.”

www.nfuonline.com/nfu-online/news/nfureports/levelling-up-rural-britain/

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ADVE RTOR I AL I ndi go S wa n

DELIVERING CUSTOMER CARE DURING COVID-19 With teams being forced to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, additional strain has been put on leaders to ensure customer service is still of the highest quality despite having to manage staff remotely.

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n order for customers to feel minimal disruption, teams need to remain engaged, effective and productive in their new working environments - a whole new set of challenges to overcome. Indigo Swan were recently recognised for the care they give their customers. Not only did they win the ‘Customer Care’ category at the Norfolk Business Awards 2020, they were also crowned ‘Best Customer Service – SME’ at the TELCA awards. 2020 came with both its challenges and its positives, but for the Norwich based energy consultants, their focus always remained the same and that was to provide the best level of service and keep their customers happy. With that in mind below are a few of their key tips to help you ensure your customer service doesn’t suffer during these challenging times.

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So how can we successfully care for our customers whilst adapting to new operations and finding new ways to meet their needs? Now more than ever businesses are looking for more information, guidance, and support to help them navigate through the challenges that lay ahead of them. They want a resource and partner they can trust, that makes them feel safe when everything seems uncertain, and that offers support when so much seems overwhelming. Reach out to customers and offer genuine support where you can. Get to know them on a personal level as well as in a business sense. Every interaction you have with them will help to build trust and every communication can influence whether they return or recommend you. Spend time looking at their needs and difficulties to see where you may be able to help them.


ADV ERTORI AL I ndi go S wa n

We’ve found at Indigo Swan, by having these conversations with our own customers, we have been able to find solutions to their specific problems which at times has meant a new offering or a change to a service we already provide. This flexibility and willingness to adapt has helped us retain business and provide new, exciting products to prospects giving us an edge over competitors. Revisit your Client Experience Journey. This is something we do every couple of years. The primary objective is to get an in-depth understanding of your client’s journey and where you can add additional value. Unpick the processes your customers go through and identity any pain points. This will then allow you to implement any developments that are needed to improve their experience. You want the way your customers engage with you to be seamless and effortless. Iron out any kinks before they cost you their loyalty. Where possible, be open and transparent. Transparency makes up a large part of trust and it’s vital to understand its importance when nurturing relationships with your customers. We recognise this need, which is why we are completely open in the way we charge our customers and ensure they understand how we recover the cost for our services. We never want them to confuse the cost of their energy with the cost of our service. The energy industry is unregulated which means there are no guidelines on what the appropriate amount is to charge customers. This means that brokers can charge however much they want and don’t have to be upfront with these costs. Unfortunately, we hear time and time again about businesses who have been stung by hidden fees by a broker, once they have signed into a contract with a supplier, because the Broker hasn’t provided a clear breakdown of the costs. It’s also important to be contactable. Make sure you have someone on the end of a phone to speak to your customers should they wish. Emails can be easily misinterpreted, and sometimes more positive connections can be made by taking the time to speak with someone over the phone. As a company, we always promote human connections. We spend quite a bit of time talking over the phone with our customers, about their energy requirements and how we can help them reach their goals. Our customers have found our business as usual approach during lockdown beneficial. They know they will always be able to speak to someone should they have any concerns. Our ethos has always been to have an honest and open approach. We work hard to nurture relationships built on strong foundations of integrity and trust. We don’t want to be the cheapest or the biggest energy consultants in the UK we want to be the very best. Use feedback to improve processes and efficiencies. Think about the best time and touchpoints to

contact your customers, to ask them how they found the service you provided. It won’t always be what you want to hear, but by actively seeking comments from your customers you might discover some quick wins you weren’t already aware of. There may be elements that take longer to fix, but at least if you are aware of them you work towards improving these pain points for your customers. Give your staff somewhere to voice their ideas and make sure they know they are being listened to. Sometimes ideas and innovations fail, but don’t sweep them under the rug –dig deep into the data and it’s there where you might find your most valuable lessons. We believe that happier employees mean more satisfied customers. Which is why we work hard to nurture an environment where our employees feel valued and empowered. We encourage team members to be themselves at work and appreciate the diversity this brings.

INDIGO SWAN Email: hello@indigoswan.co.uk Telephone: 01603 625522 www.indigoswan.co.uk

We are proud to be a collection of thoughtful, innovative and intelligent people, and that’s why we treasure ideas. Our ‘Brain Box’ is where any member of staff can submit an idea they think would be good for the company. As we have adapted to this new way of working, they have submitted ideas to improve their environment when working from home, make changes to processes and even think about plans for when we return to the office. These are just a few of the ways you can provide care for your customers. If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact Indigo Swan.

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D I GI TAL I N N OVAT IO N Suf fol k Uni ve rs i t y

UNIVERSITY PREPARES THE WAY FOR TOMORROW’S WORKFORCE The pandemic has acted like a rocket booster for digital innovation, such has been the forced pace of change over the past year. Assuredly, today’s students are looking to a future that is different to the one that lay ahead of them just 12 months ago. By HELEN COMPSON.

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n the words of Stefanie Thorne, director of business engagement and entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk: “So much has changed that business can’t and won’t be the same again. “Now, we can only innovate and look to the future.” With overarching responsibility for the university’s collaboration with the business community at large, Stefanie’s remit is wide-ranging. It includes the management of the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre, a business start-up incubation hub launched in 2016, and the 3D Productivity Suite under the same roof.

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brings skills in, but highlights and produces opportunities for students going forward.” Practical and very grounded, Stefanie and her team help provide the solid foundations upon which apprenticeships, business start-ups and, indeed, the ongoing employability of alumni in later life are built. Apprenticeships are key to what she does and there are around 500 apprentices at the university, looked after by a core team of five staff. “A recent Government announcement, made in a White Paper, states that apprenticeships are seen as key to recovery,” she said.

While the latter usually supports the use of industry-standard 3D printing for prototyping and testing product design, during the pandemic its focus has switched to production of visors for healthcare professionals working on the frontline.

“Here at the university, we have a part to play in supporting apprenticeships in the East, developing the local workforce, particularly but not exclusively, in the health sector.

She also has responsibility for the careers team that nurtures both the aspirations of students and the good will of employers willing to chip their knowledge and skills into the mix. “We work hard to connect what we teach with the practitioners working in the field,” she said. “That not only

“We also develop entrepreneurial skills, supporting students interested in setting up a business - a games hub is one example. We teach students how to create learning and gaming programmes and there’s been some real success in the past couple of years, with students winning competitions and commercialising their games.


D IG ITAL & IN N OVATI ON Suf fol k Un i ve rsi t y

“And we support our alumni and their lifelong partnership with the university. It is important we provide support in later life around employability and for them to continue to engage with our strengths and academic offer.” Business entrepreneurship and business engagement at the university come under the banner of ‘knowledge exchange’, in recognition of the fact it is very much a two-way street. The university is as determined to make an impact on local, regional and national communities as it is to bring the real-world experience of business entrepreneurs onto campus for the benefit of students. The university is a big business in its own right, of course, and as such it too had to adapt swiftly to the rigours of Covid. It moved its teaching programme online within one week of going into the first lockdown. “The way we all do business is changing enormously,” said Stefanie. “The speed of innovation is evident in the current vaccination programme and the work that has been done on addressing the pandemic. “People have had to do things innovatively, using digital technology in a manner they might not have thought they were capable of previously. “Moving away from face-to-face business meetings and doing it all online has been a learning curve, but that has enhanced the ability to have a broader reach. At the university, we now have people joining our business breakfasts from Scotland. That wouldn’t have happened before the pandemic.” People who were previously excluded from events, perhaps because of time or geographic constraints, could now engage, joining online meetings with much greater ease.

Society did need face-to-face meetings to begin again, the better to foster the relationships that helped businesses thrive, but there was no doubt about it, digital networking was here to stay. She said: “Recent experiences have made people recognise that digital innovation provides the solutions we need going forward – it will be part of the recovery for the whole country. “Some things will have gone from offices now, such as physical paperwork, and we won’t return to the simple provision of events. We will be looking instead at how to maintain a broader reach into our local communities and beyond.” It was more important than ever that colleges of further education, universities and employers collaborated in building skillsets and maximising employment opportunities, particularly for those in the low-skill base she felt would be hit hardest by the pandemic. Effective partnership was a must. Would-be employees also needed to appreciate the value of ‘soft skills’ - the outside interests, the great attitude, the confidence and the flexibility – that complemented any CV. They could make themselves valuable employees with the right approach to a job.

SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY www.uos.ac.uk

Stefanie said: “I don’t think we can underestimate how challenging the labour market is going to be in the next couple of years. Like everyone else, students have had to learn to change and adapt and be more flexible during the pandemic, but that can only be to the good. “There will be a point at which we look back and see how far we’ve come and what we have learned from this past year. “It will need reviewing though: what has worked well, what have we learned and what has reached more people further afield?”

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DI GI TAL & I N N OVAT IO N S ie me ns F i n a nc i a l S er v ices

DIGITALISATION HAS POTENTIAL TO ADD £2.6BN TO EAST OF ENGLAND REVENUES Research from Siemens Financial Services estimates the potential value digitalisation offers manufacturers in the East of England.

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ntitled Digitalisation Productivity Bonus: Manufacturing in the East of England, the report estimates that manufacturers in this region stand to gain £2.6 billion from digital transformation and the resulting improvements in manufacturing productivity. This equates to around 6% of total revenue for manufacturers in the region. These efficiencies, although not estimated here, can also be realised throughout the supply chain. As the UK faces a period of sustained significant economic crisis, this greater productivity and agility will help manufacturers in the region cope with the market disruptions.

NELI IVANOVA Siemens Financial Services new.siemens.com/uk/en/ company/about/businesses/ financial-services.html

Digital technology (also known as Industry 4.0) is enabling manufacturers to improve performance through increased manufacturing productivity, improved planning and forecasting, enhanced competitive capabilities and greater financial sustainability. In the East of England, the manufacturing sector boasts the fourth largest regional output in the UK, producing 8.2% of the UK’s total output.

The average ‘Bonus’ percentage range was applied to the total annual revenue of the manufacturing sector in the East (revenue data derived from official third party sources). To overcome the obstacle of investing in Industry 4.0 technology, specialist financiers have developed a set of smart financing tools that enable the transition to new-generation digital technology in a way that is affordable, sustainable and is designed to alleviate the manufacturer’s cash flow and working capital pressures.

Manufacturing is viewed as a powerhouse sector for the regional economy in the East of England, creating opportunities in both domestic and international markets.

The food and drink industry, for example, achieved exports generating £1.7bn in the year to March 2019. Although the exact building blocks of productivity differ between industries and regions, increasing that productivity - to either produce the same number of products for less or more products for the same - has a clear and calculable positive effect on costs and margins. This positive effect has been labelled the Digitalisation Productivity Bonus. The paper draws on a statistical model, developed by SFS, which estimates the Digitalisation Productivity Bonus in the East of England to demonstrate the

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potential gain from Industry 4.0 for manufacturers in the region – even through the current economic difficulties.

Aligning payments to commercial outcomes is particularly important during an economic period where all expenditure has to deliver an exceptionally clear and tangible link to business benefits. The paper explores these specialist financing methods, including machinery & technology financing, retrofit finance, software finance, outcomes finance, digital enterprise finance and working capital

solutions. Neli Ivanova, Sales Manager, Industrial Equipment, at Siemens Financial Services in the UK said: “Manufacturing is viewed as a powerhouse sector for the regional economy in the East of England, creating opportunities in both domestic and international markets. “For the region to continue competing at this level investment in Industry 4.0 is essential. “Understanding increased productivity as a measurable value from digitalisation can help manufacturers to make the business case for sustainable investment in equipment and technology upgrade.”


D IG ITAL & IN N OVATI ON

S iemens Fin anc i al S e r v ice s

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NE WS ROUN D U P C a m br id ge s h i re & Pe terb oro u g h Com bi ne d Author i t y

MARKET TOWNS FOCUSED ON COVID RECOVERY WIN MILLIONS IN COMBINED AUTHORITY GRANTS AND PARTNER FUNDING Board members of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority have unanimously voted to approve 22 new project proposals, totalling £4.1 million in grant funding, under the Market Towns Programme for Fenland, Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire.

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anging from smart technology to improve digital connectivity, electric-car charging, places-to-dwell with space for social distancing, town walks, enhanced river frontages, to ‘Love Huntingdonshire’ pop-up stalls, a bike kitchen, and new loos, these imaginative projects have active travel, greenspace, people and business centred ideas at their very heart – ensuring a new way of safely welcoming people to town centres, supporting communities and their local economy. Of these 22 proposals, fourteen projects have come forward from Huntingdonshire, six from Fenland, and two from East Cambridgeshire, focusing

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investment on the towns of Wisbech, Whittlesey, Ely, Soham, St Ives, Huntingdon, March and Ramsey. These newly-approved proposals join the fifteen projects previously approved by the Combined Authority Board, which has resulted in just over £8.9 million in grant funding and attracting an additional £11 million of match investment. Board members heard how these project proposals would help the town centres and high streets bounce back strongly from the effects of Covid-19, but also support the wider regeneration and sustained growth of key market towns.


N EWS RO U NDUP C ambr id geshire & Pe terb oro u g h Combine d Aut hor i t y

Councillor Jon Neish, deputy leader, Huntingdonshire District Council said: “Speaking for Huntingdonshire District Council, we really welcome this capital money from the Combined Authority. It’s really exciting, the number of programmes we’ve put forward, and the council is really pleased that all the plans we submitted have passed the independent assessors’ threshold. This investment will obviously further support our town centres in this particularly difficult time.”

“But we have also invested over £700k into the city centre of Cambridge which will see pedestrianisation and café culture brought into the Piece area, which I think is very exciting, and similarly, we’ve invested about £800k into the Peterborough city centre for the Cathedral Square area to allow people to have that different kind of experience from visiting our cities. That will stand in great stead over the summer as, we hope, the vaccine kicks in and people are able to get out and visit and spend their money in our economy again.

Councillor Steve Count, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council said: “I want to reflect on the success of this programme. It's been a long while since those people who live in the towns can remember any sort of attention paid to them, they lose to the cities who always seem to attract government funding, always at the front of the queue. This original programme is saying ‘Look, these towns cannot be ignored in this way, there’s economic growth there, they just need to be supported. And you put out the call to ask for the best ideas and they did come forward in their droves.”

“I think the challenge is there and it’s right that we don’t drop the ball on this and we continue to put investment into our towns and our cities and into the centres of them and we will continue to lobby government where we can to get the funding in as we have done with March and the £25 million that came into Peterborough earlier on.”

Board members used the market town item on the agenda to discuss investment across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough generally, in cities and villages, not just towns, especially in the light of the effects of the Covid virus within the community.

Cambridgeshire has eleven designated ‘market towns’ in the scheme, Mayor Palmer addressed how the Combined Authority had invested widely in other areas of the county through other routes.

It's been a long while since those people who live in the towns can remember any sort of attention paid to them, they lose to the cities who always seem to attract government funding, always at the front of the queue.

Following a call from Councillor Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, for more joint working on rejuvenating the county’s towns and cities, Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough James Palmer said: “I totally agree, and we have been working with not just Cambridge City Council and Peterborough City Council but the district councils as well to make sure that part of this response is Covid-related because there’s clearly a need for people to congregate, people will still want to visit cities and towns and they want to be entertained there. It’s just that entertainment may not be in shopping nowadays, it may be in other areas. This is our market town strategy – and I thank Cllr Bailey (East Cambridgeshire District Council), Cllr Neish and Cllr Boden (Fenland District Council) for the work they have done in their councils to support this scheme. This is very much about what we can do in the short and the long term to transform our market towns.

“This item is, of course, about market towns, and South Cambridgeshire doesn’t have market towns – the market town is effectively the city of Cambridge itself. However, through the Business Board, we have invested £55 million into the economy of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough over the course of the last year, £17 million of which was into the economy and businesses of South Cambridgeshire – and I visited some of those businesses myself. We will continue to work to do whatever we can to support and grow our economy. We’ll be looking forward to getting back out doing that over the summer I look to the to the government, at the success of last August’s Eat Out To Help Out and I’d hope very much that there are similar schemes from central government this summer because, the likelihood of going abroad is limited, so supporting our local economies is absolutely something we should be doing.”

MAYOR JAMES PALMER Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk

The next tranche of market town proposals will come before the Combined Authority Board for consideration in March.

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ADVE RTOR I AL Open CRM

2021: THE YEAR CRM SYSTEMS TAKE OVER THE WORLD Ok…so taking over the world is a bit strong. But if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that people and businesses can and will adapt to change, but they need the right tools.

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nd we think CRM systems are just one part of a whole toolbox that businesses will need over the next 12 months.

The challenges businesses face COVID-19 and lockdown have been the biggest challenge most businesses have ever faced. The shutdowns and lockdowns have meant a workforce constantly in flux, never knowing exactly what the next day was going to bring. But that workforce stepped up. They started working from home, learning new software and skills, and did everything they could to keep the economy (and their company) moving forward.

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And, sad to say, it’s not over yet. 2021 is going to be another year of lockdowns and shutdowns. As such, businesses have been spending the last several months making strategies and budgets to help them not only cope, but thrive over the coming year.

Setting a budget Generally speaking, revenue for most businesses is down (or stagnant) compared to last year. But interestingly, about 85% of European businesses surveyed by SpiceWorks (for their State of IT survey) are planning on increasing or keeping their current IT spending budget.


ADV ERTORI AL O p e n CR M

Gartner backs this up, saying that IT spending decreased or stagnated in 2020, but looks to increase worldwide by a projected 4%. And enterprise software (including CRM) investment is expected to grow by 7.2%!! John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner, suggests that this spend is down to a combination of need and trust. Businesses need software to keep their business going (and hopefully to grow it). They saw how well Cloud-based software functioned throughout 2020, keeping their workforce productive. Recognising the likelihood of continued disruption to “normal” ways of doing business, management teams all over the world are responding by planning their spending.

Making a strategy This spending will, of course, not be made blindly or recklessly. Business leaders are looking to update their infrastructure and change business processes as a response to a change in the way we all work now. Some businesses are talking about a permanent shift to remote working, either for their entire workforce or just selected individuals or teams. Others just want the option available for their disaster planning processes, recognising that, while remote working isn’t for them, there is a strong chance that future lockdowns will require it.

than ever before. Just as important they want to understand how to control access to their data using our permissions model as well. We’ve also found that our existing customers are coming to us with plans to expand their use of CRM. They may be replacing an old system that was exclusively desk-based rather than in the Cloud. Or they’ve got departments who could do with being more efficient. Some have even added whole new processes to their business that need integrating to their CRM system.

CRM taking over the world? One of the big trends that we as an industry are expecting over the next 12 months includes an increased adoption of customer service (or HelpDesk / Ticketing) systems. There’s also the expectation of an increase of focus on digital marketing.

Some businesses are talking about a permanent shift to remote working, either for their entire workforce or just selected individuals or teams. Others just want the option available for their disaster planning processes, recognising that, while remote working isn’t for them, there is a strong chance that future lockdowns will require it.

With all this in mind, you’re looking at about 49% of businesses looking to invest in software and/or cloud services, specifically to cater for this shift. In shifting to a Cloud based software and system, there is a real focus both on the requirements of the team and the security of the systems being used. A recent survey by Flexera found that around 83% of businesses view security as their biggest concern when shifting to the Cloud.

And we can certainly back this up. We’re seeing a change in the questions new potential customers are asking us during system demonstrations. People want to know more about the security of our system and infrastructure

Although there are standalone systems that will let you manage these specific needs, there is a real benefit to keeping them within a CRM system like OpenCRM. The main win is the continuous flow of information between the people managing these systems and the rest of your team. Letting salespeople see whether someone has recently raised a ticket, asked a question, or just clicked on a link in a marketing email can help them tailor their next phone call.

GRAHAM ANDERSON CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems.

And vice versa…if an agent on your customer service desk knows someone has recently signed an order or has an outstanding invoice, they can change their response to any complaint or question. This kind of end-to-end solution is better for making sure your whole team is “singing from the same songsheet”…and can save your business money by saving time, reducing how many systems you are using and ultimately delivering better customer service. If you’d like to learn more about OpenCRM or see more information on the stats discussed in this article, please head over to www.opencrm.co.uk.

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E N VI RON ME N TA L INV EST M E N T A n g l i a n Wate r

EAST OF ENGLAND’S UNIQUE CHALK STREAMS TO BENEFIT FROM £300MILLION OF FASTTRACKED ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT Anglian Water given green light to bring forward hundreds of river schemes

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oday, Anglian Water is announcing plans to fast track £300 million of investment specifically targeted at environmental improvements, river restoration projects and wetland treatment schemes. As part of the Government’s green recovery plans, the water company has been given the green light by Defra to begin work on more than 200 environmental schemes, a year earlier than

planned. Much of the work will support the region’s unique chalk stream habitats and will come at no extra cost to customers. The projects are part of Anglian’s Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP). Totalling £800million between 2020 and 2025, the company’s investment in protecting and enhancing the region’s environment is more than double that of the previous five years.


EN V IRO N M EN TAL IN V ESTMENT A ng l i an Wate r

The water company will undertake a raft of schemes aimed at reducing the amount of phosphorus that enters the environment through the water recycling process. Chemicals like phosphorus come from urbanisation, domestic products like detergents, as well as from human and animal waste. They are particularly hard to remove from wastewater without using extensive, carbon-hungry treatment processes. Other projects will focus on river restoration schemes across the region, including tributaries of the chalk rivers Lark and Little Ouse in Suffolk, and rivers Wissey, Gaywood and Heacham in Norfolk. Typically, restoration projects reinstate natural river features such as meanders, gravel beds and riffles to encourage native species and increase biodiversity. Peter Simpson, CEO for Anglian Water, said: "This is fantastic news for our region’s environment. By taking this decision a year early Government has given us more time to maximise the environmental benefit in some of the most sensitive parts of our region. “Balancing the demands of our customers with the needs of the environment is something we take incredibly seriously. As we begin to plan our recovery from COVID 19, our responsibility to bring environmental and social prosperity to our region has never been clearer. This is our opportunity to focus resources on enabling the

greenest recovery possible, something we know is so important to our customers. “We know this work will have a significant and positive impact on chalk stream biodiversity, and the local communities who enjoy these special water courses. We estimate these schemes will support around 600 jobs in our supply chain. “Through partnerships with environmental organisations like Rivers Trusts and Wildlife Trusts, we hope to take forward the 34 treatment wetlands and various river restoration schemes in the list.” Anglian’s flagship treatment wetland is located on the River Ingol in North Norfolk. The scheme was completed in 2018. The site was the first of its kind in England, created in partnership with the Norfolk Rivers Trust. It works as a natural treatment plant for millions of litres of water a day. Used but treated water passes through the wetland to be further filtered and cleaned by the wetland plants before it’s returned to the River Ingol.

ANGLIAN WATER www.anglianwater.co.uk

This additional, natural filtering process further improves the quality of water being returned to the river, benefiting the whole of the river. Aside from having a practical purpose the wetland is a huge biodiversity asset, attracting breeding birds, amphibians, bats and water voles to the local environment. In 2018, Anglian identified opportunities to create up to 34 more sites across the region.

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ADVE RTOR I AL I nte l l i ge nc i a

INTELLIGENCIA TRAINING REVEALS NEW BEHAVIOURAL DETECTION ANALYSIS PROGRAMME Intelligencia Training has announced the addition of a drama-based, online programme in Behavioural Detection Analysis.

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s the UK’s leading provider of intelligence and security apprenticeships, Intelligencia Training recently recognised the need for the provision of training within Behavioural Detection Analysis.

INTELLIGENCIA www.intelligenciatraining.com

Launched in collaboration with parent organisation, Intqual-pro, the new online programme presents an opportunity for those working in this crucial area of expertise to engage in compelling, distance training, with key learning outputs embedded within a unique filmed drama. Relevant to any organisation involved in crowded public spaces, such as those across retail, entertainment and travel sectors, the new online programme aims to provide parity of knowledge and skills in the basics of good Behavioural Detection Analysis.

The key aim of the programme is not about increasing suspicion, but about increasing awareness. Delegates will gain a general understanding of anomalous behaviour and what makes things ‘odd’, empowering them to act upon observations and gut feeling.

“This rewarding programme builds upon the success we have engaging with an ever growing number of Government agencies, public sector departments and the security industry, the ability to further develop the specialist skill sets required to operate in these sectors is a huge advantage.”

Nick Atkinson, Commercial Director of Intelligencia Training, commented: “This rewarding programme builds upon the success we have engaging with an ever growing number of Government agencies, public sector departments and the security industry, the ability to further develop the specialist skill

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sets required to operate in these sectors is a huge advantage.”

By involving each trainee in the role of Behavioural Detection Analysis, organisations are able to build a robust culture of risk mitigation – enhancing the ability to both spot and act upon anomalous behaviour, as well as improving overall customer service.

The Behavioural Detection Analysis programme has been a welcomed addition amongst Intelligencia Training’s portfolio of established offerings across Intelligence Analysis, Counter Fraud Investigation and Financial Services Risk/Compliance. For more information, contact info@intelligenciatraining.com or visit www. intelligenciatraining.com.


ADV ERTORI AL I ntel li ge nc i a

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ADVE RTOR I AL I nt qu a l P ro

VIRTUAL TRAINING LAUNCHED TO SUSTAIN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY PROFESSIONALISATION Intqual-pro has launched a new series of virtual training programmes to support continued professionalisation across the intelligence, cyber and safeguarding communities.

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s organisations continue to operate remotely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Intqual-pro, a global leader in the delivery of intelligence and security training, has adapted the delivery of their programmes to allow those across the communities the opportunity to achieve high-quality, role relevant training in a socially distant learning environment.

knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively in their role, whilst in-person training programmes remain on hold.

The launch of virtual training in these fields has been important to ensure intelligence and security professionals can continue to develop the

Commenting on the new Virtual Machine course, Mark Burton, Director of Operations at Intqual-pro, said: “This programme has evolved

Intqual-pro have recently announced dates for their Intelligence Operations, Intelligence Management and Internet Research & Investigation programmes, as well as new course in the application of a Virtual Machine for Research & Investigation.


ADV ERTORI AL I nt q u a l P ro

as a result of multiple client’s feedback from our Internet Research course. The ever increasing need to have a platform that can be used for a single line of enquiry and provide an audit trail for research and investigation will provide utility, increasing efficiency and effectiveness of an analyst’s work. Much time and effort have gone into producing a programme that shows how a suitable virtual machine, an appropriate browser and a number of relevant tools can be put together to meet an organisation’s requirements when using online resources. The aim is post attendance, delegates will have a functioning virtual machine, operating system with a number of tools relevant to their role installed and running. There is the added benefit of quarterly catch-up workshops where delegates can share experiences, successes and be bought up to date regarding latest applications and updates to current tools.”

similar roles throughout high-profile organisations from both public and private sectors. The programmes delivered by Intqual-pro represent some of the UK’s leading and first vocational qualifications in their specialist fields. These include: The Higher Diploma in Intelligence Operations, which quickly became the UK’s leading vocational qualification in Intelligence Analysis; the Level 3 Internet Research & Investigation, which was the first recognised qualification within this discipline; and the Level 6 Diploma in Intelligence Management, the first Level 6 qualification specific to Intelligence Managers that can be achieved outside of a university setting.

There is the added benefit of quarterly catchup workshops where delegates can share experiences, successes and be bought up to date regarding latest applications and updates to current tools.

Delegates attending the virtual training courses can expect to gain parity of skills with those in

INTQUAL PRO www.intqual-pro.com

Current and ex-serving military personnel have also been invited to join Intqual-pro's virtual training series using their ELCAS credits, following the training providers recent approval to join the Ministry of Defence’s Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme.

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NEW VIRTUAL COURSES LAUNCHED TO SUPPORT THE WATER & ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRIES DURING COVID-19 Learning & Development Associates (L&DA) have revealed the launch of two new online short courses, adapted from their larger classroombased programmes, and developed to assist the water and environmental industries in leading innovation and managing risk and resilience.

S

ince water industry regulator Ofwat’s announcement in 2017 that water companies would be required to put innovation at the heart of their business plans, followed by PR19’s outcomes, the subject has been an increasingly key theme. Covid-19 represents a further material challenge to the water industry’s service provision capabilities. It adds to the spectrum of risks against which Ofwat expects organisations to display ‘resilience in the round’. The corporate, financial, and

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operational risks facing each organisation require that they mount an enterprise-wide response. Only by developing the right leadership, skills and systems can organisations maintain stakeholders’ trust and prosper. Together with their associates, L&DA recognised both the opportunity and the need for expert, company bespoke training. The courses, Leading Innovation within the Water and Environmental Industries and The Management of Risk and Resilience will address the numerous challenges


ADV ERTORI AL

L e ar ning & De velopment A ss o c i ates (L &DA )

faced by organisations in the sector and provide employees with the knowledge and understanding to successfully apply appropriate techniques within their organisation and cooperatively across the sector. The launch of these courses is timely. Ofwat recently revealed the details of their innovation competition, which includes £200m of funding aimed at uncovering new affordable solutions to long term challenges. This fund is part of their wider strategy, ‘Time to Act, Together’, which discusses the challenges that water and wastewater services face, including climate change and population growth. Covid-19 compounds those challenges, particularly to the achievement of organisations’ common and bespoke regulatory performance commitments. Acquiring competences to identify, correctly characterise and robustly manage risks and opportunities is fundamental to achieving successful outcomes. L&DA are confident that their training will assist companies to drive awareness of: leading innovation; implementing risk and resilience good practice; and how to build organisational cultures to deliver these initiatives. Employees will gain an understanding of how to apply principles and processes within their specific roles and their contribution to achieving personal and organisational objectives.

where risks and opportunities exist has risen in importance. It is essential that businesses have a workforce that understand these risks and the contributions individuals’ actions can make toward improving organisational resilience. Since ‘more of the same’ will be insufficient to meet increasingly challenging objectives, embracing risk as opportunity also needs to enter peoples’ thinking. Seeking opportunity through innovation is not without risk, so the two courses are complementary.” The Leading Innovation within the Water and Environmental Industries course will take place over a two-day period, with learning outcomes split into two core agendas – The Introduction to Innovation & Water Industry Drivers and the Application of Innovation Techniques & Building a Business Case.

To meet the growing challenges facing the water and environmental industries the need for organisations to have a strong innovation culture and structure is more important than ever. At the heart of this is a well-trained, motivated workforce equipped with the knowledge and understanding of innovation techniques

Simon Buckingham from Learning & Development Associates commented: “To meet the growing challenges facing the water and environmental industries the need for organisations to have a strong innovation culture and structure is more important than ever. At the heart of this is a well-trained, motivated workforce equipped with the knowledge and understanding of innovation techniques”. Glenn Jackson, Managing Director of Learning & Development Associates added: “To meet the long-term resilience challenges facing the water and environmental industries the need for all staff within the organisation to recognise

The Management of Risk and Resilience course takes place over three days with numerous activities being covered. Examples include: regulatory perspectives, risk tolerance and strategic, tactical, and operational resilience.

L&DA Visit https:// learninganddevelopment. associates/ or contact enquiries@ learninganddevelopment. associates for more information.

Employees are the best people to address the challenges faced by the water and environmental industries. These courses allow organisations to equip, mobilise, and empower employees’ aspirations, talents, and enthusiasms. The reward for individuals arises through their ability to make stronger, more informed, and more confident contributions to delivering organisational success. Learning & Development Associates has substantial experience in designing and developing flexible role-focused, bespoke interventions, which provide learners from varied backgrounds with the necessary skills to better understand the principles involved in both courses at a level appropriate to their roles.

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BE E VE RYW H ER E D i g i t a l Ma r ke t i ng

BREAK THROUGH THE NOISE Digital marketing shouldn’t be scary. At Be Everywhere, we understand how complex today’s marketing landscape is portrayed, which is why we thrive on helping our customers to find their digital voice.

O

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Strategy

BE EVERYWHERE www.be-everywhere.co.uk

We help you to directly reach and engage with your target audience and customers through email marketing campaigns, that are both tactical and GDPR compliant

By thoroughly profiling your business, we implement a bespoke digital marketing strategy, clarifying the objectives, messaging, channels and audiences of your campaign.

Analytics

Social Media

"Working with Be Everywhere has assisted us in taking a more strategic and holistic approach to communications across our social media channels."

Across a range of social media channels, we strategically help your brand to promote itself and build engagement, influence and trust with relevant audiences.

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Content Marketing From social media messaging to blogging and press releases, we replicate your brands tone of voice and research your industry to create compelling and targeted content.

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Email Marketing

From content performance to audience and engagement, our analytics give you and your business a deeper insight into your activity and helps to strategise digital growth.

Testimonials "A testament to a great media package that I can't fault! A heartfelt thanks from my team." "I would happily recommend them to anyone wanting to get more exposure through social media." “They are proactive, full of great creative ideas and are always there when I need them." Let us help your business find its digital voice. Get in touch for an informal and informative chat – info@be-everywhere.co.uk 0191 850 5990 or visit www.be-everywhere.co.uk


Find your digital voice! Engaging your brand with audiences that matter.

www.be-everywhere.co.uk | E: info@be-everywhere.co.uk | T: 0191 580 5990


Choose an energy consultancy who cares about their customers. Indigo Swan - proud to be No.1 in Norfolk for customer care.

IndigoSwan energy contract enthusiasts Email: hello@indigoswan.co.uk | Telephone: 0333 320 0475

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East Anglia in Business 09  

East Anglia in Business is designed to generate collaboration, sustainable growth, competitive advantage and to build links with businesses...

East Anglia in Business 09  

East Anglia in Business is designed to generate collaboration, sustainable growth, competitive advantage and to build links with businesses...