East Anglia in Business 12

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GREENTECH: OUR KEY TO FUTURE PROSPERITY ISSUE 12



FO REWORD

FOREWORD AFTER THE HYPE, THE HARD WORK CONTINUES he hype around COP26 (last year’s highly publicised global climate conference in Glasgow) has evaporated as quickly as it began. But now that the world’s politicians and ecocelebrities have turned their attention to the next ‘big thing’, the genuine decarbonisation groundwork continues behind the scenes, not least in our region – which I am proud to say continues to be a real trailblazer in the sector. For instance, did you know that the East of England produces 52 per cent of the UK’s total offshore wind generation? Or that Cambridgeshire is the regional leader in renewable energy regeneration? A study by think tank Green Alliance puts Cambridgeshire comfortably in first place when it comes to its impressive solar and onshore wind usage. And while it might be hard to believe in these gloomy depths of winter, Suffolk and Norfolk are also taking full advantage of the eastern sunshine. Nearly 80,000 houses across the region now boast solar panels.

region’s green energy success story can be found at green-alliance.org.uk/EofE_renewables.php. Of course, there are still sizeable stumbling blocks on the road to a successful net zero future, chiefly local skills shortages. As Tom Stacey from ARU so eloquently points out in his commentary on page 12 and 13, the region needs to be able to invest in people as much as technology. Electric vehicles (EVs) may be the darlings of the green energy movement, but we don’t just need ‘clean’ power to get them going. We need the skills and knowledge to keep them going too. Tom points out that by 2030, there will be a staggering shortfall of over 35,000 technicians for EV maintenance. And while universities such as ARU are real champions of quality training and innovation in green energy, local businesses continue to encounter real problems in accessing Greentech funding and support at ground level. With National Apprenticeship Week fast approaching, let’s hope that Greentech will be at the forefront of the government’s skills agenda for years to come.

The Green Alliance study also unveils St Edmundsbury as the top local authority for renewables in the region, with a staggering 110 per cent of its electricity consumption coming from ‘green’ resources. Much of this is in the form of biomass and waste, supplemented by solar panels. In fact, the region currently has more than a gigawatt of solar capacity installed, with a similar capacity of offshore wind out at sea (not included in the study’s county or local authority rankings), which is enough offshore wind to meet the electricity needs of one million households, ten times the size of Norwich. More details about our

Karen Southern Editor, East Anglia in Business

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issue 12

CO NTE NTS

CON T E N TS

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Foreword 03 After the hype around COP26 (last year’s highly publicised global climate conference in Glasgow) the hard work now continues, with our region at the forefront.

Green Issues 12|13 Bridging skills gap is key to our Greentech revolution.

Green Issues 06|09 Norfolk’s green economy has received a huge skills and investment boost with the approval of a controversial new wind farm.

Green Issues 10|11 As large companies make huge commitments towards net zero and carbon reduction goals, clean energy specialists Opergy look at ways SMEs can take realistic steps to prepare themselves for a sustainable energy and cleaner technology future that can make a tangible impact.

Finance 16|17 Making Tax Digital: change is on the horizon. From April 2022, all VAT registered businesses will have to keep digital records and use appropriate software to submit their tax returns.

Training and Development 20|21 From Cambridge UK to Cambridge US: The Great Resignation bites deep. Workplace motivator Cassandra Andrews explains why firms are facing the ‘big quit’.


CO N TENTS

Editor Karen Southern karen.southern@distinctivegroup.co.uk

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

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

Training and Development 22|23 Suffolk hopes to become a recognised centre for ICT and digital technologies in industry, with the opening of a £9.6m facility dedicated to research and engineering.

Training and Development 26|29 Building better bridges – how Ingleton Wood is tackling the construction skills gap

Social East Anglia in Business

Regional Infrastructure 34 | 35 Exports in the East of England boomed last year, with manufacturing sales reaching nearly £18bn.

Legal 36|37 Businesses across the country could soon be subject to new anti-terrorism legislation, as part of a government commitment to improving public safety. Local security expert John Dolan looks at the implications for businesses in the East of England.

@EAinBusiness East Anglia in Business 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.

Regional Infrastructure 30 | 32 Locally collected food waste, coupled with an upgraded anaerobic digestion plant, is creating a sustainable energy solution for businesses and homes in the Norfolk town of Attleborough.

Digital & Innovation 38 | 40 Productivity East is a new centre for engineering, technology and management focused on improving productivity and addressing manufacturing global challenges.

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GR E E N I S S UES Norfolk Boreas

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G REEN ISSUES

Norfolk Boreas

NEW NORFOLK ZONE CELEBRATED AS ‘LASTING LEGACY’ Norfolk’s green economy has received a huge skills and investment boost with the approval of a controversial new wind farm.

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GR E E N I S S UES Norfolk Boreas

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he Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm could produce enough energy to power two million homes, and cable laying is expected to begin in late 2023. Approval is still being considered for sister project Norfolk Vanguard. Swedish energy giant Vattenhall is behind the scheme – collectively known as the Norfolk Zone – which will cover over 1,300km² and include up to 300 wind turbines. Norfolk Boreas has been designed for a coordinated grid connection, using 4x1.5 metre-wide cable duct trenches to transport the electricity produced by both projects. A phased approach to construction will also see cable works completed in short sections along the cable route, and quick land restoration to minimise environmental impact. Vattenfall spokesperson Danielle Lane said: “This announcement and decision is a multi-billion-pound boost to the UK’s climate change progress, and keeps the East of England at the forefront of the green energy revolution. There will be a wealth of supply chain opportunities for companies, as well high skilled green jobs, coming directly to Norfolk. This project, alongside its sister project Norfolk Vanguard will be a world leading example of what well-coordinated energy delivery looks like, whilst making sure that low-cost renewable energy is produced for UK consumers.”

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“We look forward to start work in the New Year with local communities, UK suppliers and our partners in Norfolk to bring this project to fruition and unlock its huge potential.” East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) also welcomed the news, with chair Martin Dronfield saying, “This massive new development will bring new jobs to the region, both for our young people and also for our existing workforce transitioning from other sectors. “It will bring investment to our region as the supply chain clusters around the projects’ delivery hubs and our ports are developed, and it will leave a lasting legacy in our regions for years to come. “EEEGR recognises the disruption that the development will cause in some areas of our region and applauds the efforts of Vattenfall to mitigate this disruption to people’s lives and to the local environment. “Of course, EEEGR also recognises that the effects cannot be completely removed and that there will be a price to pay to achieve the projects’ goals and, as such, we continue to support the efforts of the government’s Offshore Transmission Network Review to find a lasting solution to the effects of the current radial system of connecting wind farms to the National Grid."


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Norfolk Boreas

Martin Dronfield, chair of EEEGR.

The scheme has proved controversial because of disruption to the environment, heritage and tourism. The Planning Inspectorate had recommended that it should not go ahead, citing the negative impact on marine life, birds, and internationally designated ecological sites, as well as the local community. In response, Vattenfall announced a £15 million investment in community projects – the largest funding input by an offshore wind developer in the county.

Danielle Lane, from Vattenhall, the company behind Norfolk Boreas.

Dr Catrin Ellis Jones, from Vattenfall, said: “People in Norfolk recognise that society needs to make changes to prevent climate change accelerating dangerously. This includes action at community and individual levels. As good neighbours in Norfolk, we want to support communities to make that change happen in their community and connect to what they love about Norfolk.” The first round of funds from the Norfolk Zone Community Benefit Fund will be announced when cable laying begins.

NORFOLK BOREAS group.vattenfall.com/uk/ what-we-do/our-projects/ vattenfallinnorfolk/norfolkboreas

The centre of Norfolk Boreas is about 94km north east of Great Yarmouth

It will bring investment to our region as the supply chain clusters around the projects’ delivery hubs and our ports are developed, and it will leave a lasting legacy in our regions for years to come.

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GR E E N I S S UES Operg y

PRACTICAL FIRST STEPS FOR SMES TAKING THE GREEN ROUTE With the noise around COP26 showing no signs of diminishing over the last couple of months, the need for action is as prevalent as ever.

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s large companies make huge commitments towards net zero and carbon reduction goals, clean energy specialists Opergy look at ways SMEs can take realistic steps to prepare themselves for a sustainable energy and cleaner technology future that can make a tangible impact. Managing Director Johnathan Reynolds comments. It’s no secret that the climate crisis has hit a critical point, and the recent COP26 summit brought the need for accelerated action to the global stage.

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But what is the reality of that for SMEs? For large businesses with greater resources the path can seem clear, but for smaller businesses where time, money and people are further and fewer between it can feel like a mammoth task. At Opergy, we are well-versed at helping businesses to actualise their clean energy futures, introducing them to practical and accessible steps they can take to address their carbon footprint, and understand where they should focus in the immediate to longer term.


G REEN ISSUES

Operg y

Often, the first step smaller businesses can take towards their clean future is ensuring they use the wealth of data available at their fingertips. This data can help businesses to develop clear pathways to net zero, understand their carbon footprint and even access new and emerging technologies. Research and high-quality data will be key to businesses looking to clean up their operations following COP26. And it’s important to ensure any take-aways implemented are done so in a joined-up way across the entire business. Ensuring an integrated approach will make the biggest impact on your carbon emissions. A companywide strategy could include supporting local communities, and linking up with wider regional projects that can further your impact.

throughout their company as well as making the most of new and existing opportunities. Earlier in the year we kickstarted Net Zero East, a sister-venture to Hydrogen East launch in Summer 2020. Our team have begun compiling a range of practical insights, comprehensive digital tools, and guides on how SMEs can begin their own net zero journey.

Whether you’re simply looking to address your carbon footprint or harness the opportunities that will arise as the energy transition progresses it is important to understand how you can apply practical steps to your business in context.

With programmes such as the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Fit 4 Offshore Renewables available to businesses, there is a wealth of resources out there. Opergy are proud to support the F4OR programme, offering cohort businesses our expert knowledge on offshore wind, how their business can weave clean energy

Whether you’re simply looking to address your carbon footprint or harness the opportunities that will arise as the energy transition progresses it is important to understand how you can apply practical steps to your business in context.

Despite all the resources, data and projects available, making sense of it all and finding the time to do so, can be difficult for SMEs. Even with a desire to learn, it can be daunting to navigate and create unnecessary barriers to those willing to make the change. My advice would be to seek out some expert help or find someone who can mentor you in your journey to a cleaner future.

JONATHAN REYNOLDS Managing Director opergy.co.uk

No matter the stage of your journey, it’s clear that now is the time to take action.

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GR E E N I S S UES B r id g i ng S k i l l s Ga p

BRIDGING SKILLS GAP IS KEY TO OUR GREENTECH REVOLUTION When we think about the decarbonisation sector, it is clear that the East of England is leading the country.

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hether it’s the huge amount of offshore wind generation in the North Sea and its associated support industries (The East is home to 52% of the UK’s total offshore wind generation - eeegr.com/sectors/offshorewind), or the significant growth in solar farms (theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/28/solarfarm-proposals-for-east-of-england-morethan-double), if you’re based in our region, the opportunities to succeed in this sector are plentiful and growing every year. However, we need to not just generate clean electricity, we also need to power vehicles with it too. Vehicles are the greatest contributor to air pollution in the UK (uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/ causes), so the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is both essential and inevitable. Here in the East, we have almost doubled our rate of EV adoption between 2020 and 2021. But how can we best support this electric vehicle revolution, what are the challenges, and how can we capitalise on the opportunities?

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There have been some great examples of forwardthinking action by local government and business, perhaps one of the most obvious is Gridserve’s ‘Electric Forecourt’ in Braintree, Essex, which is the UK’s first fully-electric service station. This vision of the future has 36 spaces for electric cars to charge (in as little as 20 minutes for some cars), along with an airport style lounge, co-working spaces, coffee shop, supermarket and even a post office. Gridserve’s second electric forecourt (which will be the third of its type in the UK) is shortly to open near Norwich, further showing how the region is a key mover in our Greentech revolution. In addition to this, we are home to electric truck manufacturer Tevva, and are conducting cutting edge research into decarbonisation and Greentech at our Universities, for instance the Global Sustainability Institute in Cambridge and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia. The challenges in moving away from fossil fuel usage and into renewables also presents some significant barriers for our businesses and


G REEN ISSUES

B r id g ing S k i lls Ga p

education providers. Here at Anglia Ruskin University we are working on a project to support SMEs in their shift to this new green way of working. From the data we already have, it is clear that one of the problems is providing the skills needed to enable staff to work on this new tech. One of our partners in this project is Artisan Electrics, a Cambridge-based electrical contractor. Jordan Farley, the Managing Director of Artisan, wanted to work with ARU after discovering there were no training places (within a reasonable timeframe) for his apprentice electricians anywhere in Cambridgeshire. His firm’s work involves a substantial number of installations of electric car charging points for homes and businesses in the area, and business is booming. However, without the staff with the skills to install the points (and other Greentech such as solar panel installation), we cannot drive forward the change, and the lost opportunities here are measured not only in revenue, but also carbon emissions. It is clear we need to invest in people, as much as we do the technology.

now. However, again, like with the electricians needed, training an EV technician is also proving challenging as education providers simultaneously need to bring their equipment and curriculum up to date. When faced with sector-wide challenges such as these, businesses often look to local and national government for policy and support programmes. So what are government doing to help out? It is clear that we can see signs they are getting serious about supporting the lowcarbon economy, and we have seen some shifts in areas like grants to install domestic EV chargers which are disappearing for owner occupiers. What the government would be wise to do here is to funnel these funds into support for businesses and education providers to help train the next generation of Greentech workers. Innovation support grants are an area that again, government are focussing on Greentech and decarbonisation, less perhaps to close the skills gap, but certainly by getting businesses to focus in this area, they will to a certain extent be forced to upskill to remain competitive and deliver new products and services.

Perhaps the most important thing is to embrace this change – the recent COP26 summit showed us that governments around the world realise that a decarbonisation agenda is the only way we can protect our planet.

It is not just the power to ‘fill-up’ EVs we need to enable, it is the knowledge and skills around fixing and servicing them too. Darling of the EV industry Tesla have pushed well into our region from their initial London focus - a service centre in Chelmsford, along with sales centre in Cambridge and another location to open in Norfolk, join a plethora of ultra-fast Supercharger locations opened by the firm in the region in the last two years. Within the more established automotive service providers, from small local garages, to the more visible large dealerships you find in out of town retail areas, we are seeing a distinct shortage of skilled staff to work on the cars too. The Institute for the Motor Industry (IMI) is predicting that there will be a shortfall of 35,700 technicians by 2030 to service electric cars. IMI’s analysis of salary data for 2020 also shows an earning premium of more than 10% – £3,700 per annum – for EV qualified vehicle technicians. If you are thinking of a career as a vehicle technician, it would surely seem very attractive to get those EV skills right

So maybe, the final word on how we continue as businesses in our region to embrace and accelerate the transition to a new, low-carbon way of working is to think about what we can do to help and be competitive? Firstly, do look at the help that Universities can provide in the region – there is funding for decarbonisation, and practical help that can be given to businesses, especially SMEs, and this comes in a number of forms – the websites of all the regional Universities have details on them. Industry bodies as well are offering help to businesses, and the IMI mentioned earlier have a campaign running around skills shortages in automotive, so if you’re in this sector, it is worth looking them up. Perhaps the most important thing is to embrace this change – the recent COP26 summit showed us that governments around the world realise that a decarbonisation agenda is the only way we can protect our planet. Whilst there is a lack of skills training available, a lack of understanding, and support for this transition could put us back years and is harder to fix than providing more training to those who need it.

TOM STACEY Tom Stacey is a lecturer in Project, Supply Chain and Operations Management, at the Faculty of Business and Law, Anglia Ruskin University. aru.ac.uk/business-and-law

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GR E E N I S S UES C le a n E ne r g y Te ch

BUSINESS RATE WIN FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECH Solar PV, energy storage and other clean energy technologies will be exempt from business rates rises from April 2023, in plans unveiled in the last Budget. The move is in response to pressure from the likes of the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Property Federation to introduce new investment relief and encourage British businesses to adopt green technologies. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed to providing business rates exemptions and relief in England for eligible green technologies to support the decarbonisation of non-domestic buildings. The move complements the government’s final report

on its review of business rates, which gives more detail on how it will look to drive renewable energy generation and storage from 2023 until 2035. Eligible technologies include rooftop solar PV, battery storage that is used in conjunction with renewables, and electric vehicle charging points. However, despite similar lobbying from the renewables sector, there is currently no sign of cutting VAT levels for technologies such as solar PV, heat pumps and domestic batteries.

Eligible technologies include rooftop solar PV, battery storage that is used in conjunction with renewables, and electric vehicle charging points.

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G REEN ISSUES C l im ate A cce le rator

FIRST CLIMATE ACCELERATOR FOR START-UPS LAUNCHES IN CAMBRIDGE The UK’s first Climate Accelerator is working with start-ups on innovative solutions to address climate change.

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llia Future Business Centre runs free support programmes, and is the first UK partner of EIT Climate-KIC to offer the six-month intensive Accelerator in Cambridge. The programme involves start-ups with innovative solutions which demonstrate potential for scalable impact, for example in carbon removal, adaptation, technology or a relevant social or environmental enterprise.

panel and audience of entrepreneurs, industry leaders and funders. EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and works with more than 450 global partners. Allia has supported small businesses for over 22 years, running an Impact Accelerator in Cambridge for five years.

EIT Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and works with more than 450 global partners.

The Climate Accelerator provides intensive coaching and mentoring from industry experts and specialist workshops, plus tools and methodologies for estimating and validating climate impact. Most importantly, it will introduce companies to a global network of investors, supporters and partners. The programme will culminate in a pitch day in front of a judging

It was awarded funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) last year to support hundreds of local businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The new funding enables it to deliver free programmes in both locations until June 2023.

For more information about the Climate Accelerator, and to apply for the next course, visit bit.ly/ClimAcc

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FIN AN C E

L a r k i ng G owe n

MAKING TAX DIGITAL: CHANGE IS ON THE HORIZON From April 2022, all VAT registered businesses will have to keep digital records and use appropriate software to submit their tax returns. From 2024, this digital tax system, known as Making Tax Digital (MTD), will expand even further to include those who currently complete Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) as self-employed and/ or who receive income as landlords. While this will be a big change for some, the transition to Making Tax Digital is being reported, by a good proportion of VATregistered businesses, as simplifying tax returns, making it easier to manage tax payments, and reducing the margin for error.

What is Making Tax Digital and when do the new rules apply? MTD is the HMRC project to make tax administration more efficient. The new Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) rules were due to come into effect from April 2023, but this has been delayed to 6 April 2024, due to the pandemic. General partnerships won’t be required to join MTD for ITSA until the tax year beginning in April 2025. We’re still waiting for the date, on which all other types of partnerships will need to join, to be confirmed.

For example: if a sole trade business, which comes under the new MTD ITSA rules, has a 5 April year-end, their first quarter will end 5 July 2024. They’ll have one month to file, creating a deadline of 5 August 2024. So, their first year’s returns would be due as follows: Return

Due date

Period covered

1st quarter

5 August 2024

6 April 2024 – 5 July 2024

2nd quarter

5 November 2024

6 July 2024 – 5 Oct 2024

Self-assessment year-end

31 January 2025

Financial year 2023/4

3rd quarter

5 February 2025

6 Oct 2024 – 5 Jan 2025

4th quarter

5 May 2025

6 Jan 2025 – 5 Apr 2025

Self-assessment year-end

31 January 2026

Financial year 2024/5

It’s important to note, that tax payment dates remain unchanged, although you’ll be allowed voluntarily to pay your tax as you go along. You might be wondering what this means if your current accounting year-end doesn’t align to these dates. HMRC have been consulting on their proposals to simplify the rules under which profits are allocated to tax years using basis periods. They are progressing with their plans and the changes will be implemented in preparation for MTD. The basis period reform will mean MTD quarterly updates will be aligned with each other and the tax year.

Making Tax Digital ITSA eligibility

Getting ready

MTD ITSA will apply to the self-employed and landlords with annual business and/or property income above £10,000. It’s important to note that from April 2024, MTD for self-assessment will apply to:

If you’d like to discuss preparations for these new rules, including compliant software, visit larking-gowen.co.uk, or email enquiry@ larking-gowen.co.uk

gross income or turnover, not profit the total income if an individual is self-employed and a landlord. From our initial research, HMRC will be using the turnover from the 2022/23 tax year to determine if an individual will have to report from April 2024. In addition, new businesses will be required to join MTD ITSA from the April after they file their first self-assessment tax return. Some groups are exempt from MTD and there are limited exemptions that can be applied for including disability and access to internet.

How will the new digital compliance rules work? Businesses that come under the new rules will need to sign up for MTD ITSA and keep digital records if they don’t already do so. From 6 April 2024, business income and expense updates need to be submitted quarterly: 5 April / 5 July / 5 October / 5 January. However, you can elect to move these to 31 March / 30 June / 30 September / 31 December, with income finalised at the end of the tax year and a final declaration made rather than a self-assessment tax return.

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More details can be found on the Government website at www.gov.uk/government/publications/impact-of-makingtax-digital-for-vat

William Wadsley

LARKING GOWEN larking-gowen.co.uk

This article is designed for the information of readers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice.


Corporate tax advice from our team of experts Our dedicated team of corporate tax accountants will help you with advice and planning, and take care of all compliance issues. We’ll advise on capital expenditure to minimise your tax bill, and take care of all taxation matters for your employees. larking-gowen.co.uk

Committed to you.


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com R e cove pa ny r y L o a n S che me

RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME EXTENDED A vital lifeline has been thrown to smaller businesses with the extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

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A list of lenders accredited by the British Business Bank can be found at britishbusiness-bank/ourpartners.

However, from 1 January, the following changes apply:

It’s important to note that the Scheme aims to improve the terms on offer, but if a lender can offer you a commercial loan on better terms – without requiring the guarantee provided the RLS – you should consider that instead.

ver £1bn has already been offered through the Scheme, which now runs until 30 June 2022. The finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including managing cashflow, investment and growth.

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the Scheme will only be open to small and medium sized enterprises with a turnover of less than £45m;

the maximum amount of finance available will be £2 million per business (maximum amount per Group limited to £6m); and

the guarantee coverage that the government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70%.

RLS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility. But remember that, as the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt. Full details at british-business-bank.co.uk/ ourpartners/recovery-loan-scheme/forbusinesses/


F IN A NCE co o de n t a x

WHAT A DIFFERENCE ONE EDITION MAKES! Since the last edition of East Anglia in Business two significant things have happened. Firstly, HMRC and the Office for National Statistics have published their review of the R&D Tax Credits Scheme for the tax year ended 31 March 2020 for returns processed by 30th June 2021. Secondly, Rishi’s budget announced that following consultation the schemes would be “modernized” to include cloud servers and data as eligible costs from 1 April 2023. Having given with one hand, he took with another by announcing that the R&D Tax Relief schemes will be realigned to reduce the benefit of having R&D work performed overseas. It Is not clear whether costs from overseas would be excluded or suffer a cap on their inclusion, such as a reduction of the 65% allowance for subcontracted R&D that exists today. As far as the ONS figures are concerned, there is more positive news.

Estimated claims have continue to rise Up to 30th June 2021, HMRC estimate that there had been a total of 85,900 claims filed for the year to March 2020 of which 76,225 were under the SME Scheme, so 9,675 were Research and Development Expenditure Credit claims of which more than half (5,305) were from SMEs as subcontractors or who had been the beneficiaries of grants or subsidies for their R&D activity. The scheme has delivered £7.4bn of R&D Tax Relief support to claimant companies, who between them have spent more than £47.5bn on R&D. The number of claimants has increased by 16% and the amount claimed in total has increased by 19%. It will be interesting to compare these figures with next year’s for the period of the pandemic, our experience tells us that there has been significant interest in Research and Development Tax Relief as companies have come out of the other side of the pandemic, keen to secure additional cashflow from legitimate claims. Of the £7.4bn claimed, £4.4bn has been claimed under the SME scheme making the average SME Scheme claim worth around £57,700, with the median claim a more realistic comparator for first time claimants being £21,500. 63.5% of the £4.4bn paid out for SME scheme claims was for payable tax credits, in exchange for surrendering a tax loss.

The three largest sectors for claims remain as Information and Communication, Manufacturing and Professional, Scientific and Technical, between them they make up more than 63% of the claims and more than 69% of the value of claims.

Why is it relevant to my business? We know from our own experience that despite the high volume of claims from companies in Sussex and the South-East, there are a large number of companies who are significantly involved in Research and Development activity who are continuing to miss out on claiming for projects that they either undertake in house or subcontract out to others. This is borne out by the statistics, where In the previous year to 31 March 2019, they show that there were nearly 20,000 new claimants. The provisional number of new claimants to March 2020 Is just over 10,000, we suspect this is merely a timing difference and not the result of “peak new claimants”. With the ongoing challenges around recovery in a post-COVID-19 world, you should really be looking into whether you can be making a claim! What would your company do with the cash if you were claiming the median tax saving of around £21.5k, or the average saving of around £58k? How would those plans change if you found out that your claim was more than £100k?

It’s never too late to start A significant tax saving can make a huge difference to a business. If your company has a December 2019 year end, you have until the end of this calendar year to make a claim, but realistically, you have until the week before Christmas for it to be submitted. It takes us about two weeks from initial discussion to prepare a claim for a highly motivated company. Why not contact us to find out whether you can be a part of the statistics next year? You can book a free, no obligation #FindOutinFifteenMinutes discovery call with our Director, Simon Bulteel on www.calendly.com/Simon-Bulteel What’s the worst thing that can happen if he says no after those 15 minutes? Now compare that to receiving a refund of overpaid tax! Book a call now!

Where and who are the largest claimers? The bulk of the claims have come from Companies with their registered office in London and the SouthEast, 35% of the claims and 49% of the value of claims have come from our region.

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T RAI N I N G AN D D E V E LO P M E N T T he Gre at R e s i g n at ion

FROM CAMBRIDGE UK TO CAMBRIDGE US: THE GREAT RESIGNATION BITES DEEP Workplace motivator Cassandra Andrews explains why firms are facing the ‘big quit’.

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he stats are eyewatering. A million job vacancies in the UK and a whopping 24 million resignations in the US since last spring as ‘the big quit’ continues to impact the workplace, and send recruitment and HR specialists into meltdown. There’s no doubt that keeping colleagues engaged and retained is tough right now, but as Cassandra puts it, you have to start with the groundwork – why people are motivated to do their job in the first place. Cassandra, who grew up in Lode, Cambridge, set up her global motivation business 18 months before the pandemic hit and truly believes the key to recruiting and retaining the right talent is to understand what gets them out of bed in the morning. This involves deep-diving into the motivational traits of every individual and then pulling the right levers to ensure they feel valued and connected in the workplace.

She continues, “I’ve just returned from America where I’ve been working with a number of organisations including the fabulous leadership team at Harvard University, which ironically is in a place called Cambridge, so it didn’t feel like I was actually that far from home!”

My Map shows I love freedom and autonomy, which is why I run my own business! Other motivators include having a strong sense of purpose, coming to work for the social aspect, wanting to be in charge and being creative and innovative.

She explains, “Never before has the engagement of employees been so crucial. Covid has reminded us all that people are our most valuable asset, but motivating them, particularly in these turbulent times can be challenging”.

“Too often, organisations put in broad-brush mechanics, failing to realise that every human is wired differently and therefore have different motivators. My role is to root out what is important to every member of the team, how they wish to be managed, recognised and rewarded, so that individuals genuinely do feel empowered and love their job”.

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Cassandra’s clients come from a range of industries and geographies, but have one thing in common… a goal of making their workplace a better place to be.

“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses being proactive around their people. No longer does even the most generous benefits package cut it – employers need to put in the extra yard to ensure every individual’s motivators are well nourished if they are to retain their people, which of course translates into increased productivity, happier customers and better profits.

“Talking to many business leaders in both the US and UK there has been a real sense of bemusement this year. 2021 began with mass lay-offs and uncertainty for so many employees. Now the tables have turned, with employees quitting and creating real challenges around staffing levels for their employers. “Of course there’s no easy fix, but we’ve all seen the studies for many years that show individuals wish to be treated as such. We must respond to this and offer them the type of workplace experience they crave. This begins with their motivators.”


TRAIN IN G AN D D EV ELO PMENT T he Gre at R esi g n at ion

BIOG Cassandra Andrews owns a global motivational and engagement company. She has also worked across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk, in a broad range of industries. She is an accredited Business Practitioner of Motivational Mapping and Certified Practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming. cassandraandrews.com

Cassandra uses methodology known as ‘Motivational Maps’ based on extensive research into the nine human motivators we all have, but in different levels of intensity.

“Motivational Maps unravel what makes us tick, so employees understand themselves better and managers can work with their teams more effectively and without conflict.

She concludes, “My Map shows I love freedom and autonomy, which is why I run my own business! Other motivators include having a strong sense of purpose, coming to work for the social aspect, wanting to be in charge and being creative and innovative. There are nine and it’s totally fascinating.

“It’s fantastic to see so much appetite for employee motivation, both here at home and in America. We know the challenges of employment and retention are unlikely to get any easier by themselves any time soon, so I feel blessed to be able to help so many unique organisations globally.”

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TRAIN IN G AN D D EV ELO PMENT D i g i Te ch

DIGITECH CENTRE OPEN FOR LEARNING Suffolk hopes to become a recognised centre for ICT and digital technologies in industry, with the opening of a £9.6m facility dedicated to research and engineering.

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he DigiTech Centre at BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham, is a joint project between the University of Suffolk and BT.

Its specialist high-tech laboratories provide the base for cutting-edge learning in digital skills, and facilities are open for use by university staff, students and local businesses. Adastral Park is BT’s global Research and Development centre, playing a pivotal role in telecommunications research such as the commercialisation of single-mode optical fibre and the recent development of the world’s first quantum networks. BT spokesperson Lisa Perkins said: “This is a major milestone for us at Adastral Park as this new centre will help supply a rich pipeline of new technology talent, which will not only be of huge benefit to BT, but the entire region.

access to students graduating with these key skills right on our doorstep. University deputy vice-chancellor Professor Mohammad Dastbaz added: “In a rapidly developing technological age, we want the DigiTech Centre to be a state-ofthe-art ‘solution centre’ for SMEs and other businesses as well as research and knowledge transfer hub.

The Centre will have specialist laboratories in AI, Data Science, Network Security and Cyber range and will make Suffolk a recognised destination for industry-focused ICT and Digital Creative study programmes and an internationally recognised destination for continuous professional development in digital technologies.

“There is also a growing demand for people with skills in new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science. The courses and scholarships offered through the University of Suffolk will mean that we will have

“The Centre will have specialist laboratories in AI, Data Science, Network Security and Cyber range and will make Suffolk a recognised destination for industry-focused ICT and Digital Creative study programmes and an internationally recognised destination for continuous professional development in digital technologies.” The Centre also received funding from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Chair C-J Green said: “Ipswich is recognised as having a vibrant digital creative hub and students at the DigiTech Centre will have the opportunity to become part of the Adastral Park community.”

DIGITECH uos.ac.uk/digitech

The facilities span the University’s Waterfront campus in Ipswich and BT’s Adastral Park. Details at uos.ac.uk/digitech

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LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH AN APPRENTICE National Apprenticeship Week returns on 7-13 February 2022 under the banner ‘Build the Future’.

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he theme is more relevant than ever given the UK’s ongoing skills shortage, with over 1200 online and live events showcasing how apprentices make a real difference to business. However, the event wouldn’t exist at all without you, the employers. Now into its 14th year, NAW has welcomed participation from businesses of all shapes and sizes. And while the last couple of years have been far from normal, employers and apprentices are showing dogged determination to keep student learning on track. Did you know? You can also use apprenticeships to upskill and retrain your existing workforce. Full details about NAW’s activities will be published at apprenticeships.gov.uk in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here are some tips about making the most of apprenticeships – and helping your apprentice make the most of their time with you.

Will they need additional learning? Have you chosen a training provider? Does your commitment statement list your apprentice’s learning outcomes and roles and responsibilities? What’s the next step when the apprenticeship is complete? All apprenticeships in England must be managed through the government’s online service. You need to set up an account to: Access funding Set up and approved apprentices Advertise on Find an apprenticeship (this page is very popular, receiving over eight million hits every month). Liaise with training providers Give feedback on training

Upskilling your workforce Hiring an apprentice is easier than you think! apprenticeships.gov.uk offers lots of advice about financial support and help available from the government.

What are your responsibilities?

For example, an experienced employee may be keen to get a formal qualification in their specialist area, or someone really wants to learn something new and progress into a different role. It’s a great motivational tool, and is proven to boost employee performance and retention.

What support do you have planned for the apprentice?

Find out more at apprenticeships.gov.uk/ employers/upskilling-your-workforce

There are a few key questions you need to ask yourself before taking on an apprentice. What funding is available?

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Apprenticeships from level 2 to level 7 (equivalent to a degree) are available, which can be designed by you to reflect the knowledge and skills that your business needs.


WORKING WITH EMPLOYERS TO DELIVER APPRENTICESHIPS We offer two HNC Level 4 apprenticeships! HNC ENGINEERING (LEVEL 4) (pathways of Electrical/Electronic & Mechanical) HNC CONSTRUCTION (LEVEL 4) • Small group sizes • Work based assessments • Flexible delivery • Taught by industry experts • 30+ years experience of offering HNCs • High levels of tutor contact, professional guidance and individual support KELVIN BRADY

HNC Engineering Level 4 “For anyone thinking of doing an HNC course, I’d say, “just do it”! I would never have accomplished some of the work I’ve achieved without the help of this course and the tutors. “

ANTHONY RICHARDSON HNC Construction Level 4

“I did not find returning to learning difficult, but whenever I have had any questions, I have found the lecturers are always very helpful if I have any concerns. The facilities are very good, in particular the purpose-built University Centre for higher education courses. The tutors are excellent and the online resources available through the CWA LEARN platform are also very good for distance learning”

01553 815 600 employers@cwa.ac.uk

cwa.ac.uk/employers

Developing Skills Through Learning


T RAI N I N G AN D D E V E LO P M E N T I ng le ton Wo o d

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TRAIN IN G AN D D EV ELO PMENT I ng le ton Wo o d

BUILDING BETTER BRIDGES – HOW INGLETON WOOD IS TACKLING THE CONSTRUCTION SKILLS GAP Did you know the construction industry needs 217,000 additional workers by 2025 to meet rising demand? That’s over 4,000 new recruits each month, according to Construction Skills Network research. Architects, technicians, project managers and IT support are all needed.

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onsider too: retirements, retention and upskilling your workforce to stay ahead of new trends, technology, legislation and government targets.

“Apprenticeships give you diverse workforces and form a key part of our People First strategy. We are also committed to lifelong learning for all our multi-generational teams.”

Construction will play a vital role in our economic bounce back following the pandemic. Huge infrastructure schemes such as electric vehicle charging, sustainability projects like offshore wind farms, and retrofitting buildings to reduce emissions are all essential.

The education sector knows that work remains to remove “outdated stigma” over vocational qualifications. A new breed of degree apprenticeships could pave the way. Launched in 2015, apprentices study at university and work part-time without paying tuition fees.

Schools, hospitals and local authorities also need to invest in ageing premises. Amid such challenges, it’s reassuring to know large employers like Ingleton Wood, a property and construction consultancy based in Norfolk and across the East of England, are tackling the notorious skills gap that has long bedevilled the industry to fire up productivity. “We build bridges with schools, colleges and universities, and grow our workforce with homegrown talent,” said Holly Sutherland, Apprenticeship Coordinator at Ingleton Wood.

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Holly believes more universities are now “realising the many rich benefits that apprenticeships provide”. The Practice offers degree apprenticeships for budding architects, engineers and surveyors in association with London South Bank University and Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford. “These apprentices get the best of both worlds,” Holly added. “They learn cutting-edge theory from leading universities and gain invaluable real-life practical experience from our teams.” Ingleton Wood drew £40,000 from its Apprenticeship Levy pot last year, potentially rising to £70,000 in 2021/22. They have 15


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I ngel ton Wo o d

Curtis Huggins is studying towards an Architectural Technology BSc (Hons) degree at Ingleton Wood’s Norwich office.

Priyanka Shah, studying towards a Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship at Ingleton Wood, was a finalist at the 2021 RIBA President’s Medals international student awards.

apprentices: in 2021, five started and two graduated. Many apprentices aspire to become mentors of the next generation – like Priyanka Shah who completes her four-year Level 7 Architecture Apprenticeship at the Practice’s Norwich office in 2022. “It’s been a challenging but amazing experience and I wholeheartedly recommend this pathway,” the 27-yearold said. “The quality of my work has vastly improved through being surrounded by experienced teams who give me constant feedback and encouragement.”

on becoming a Partner. “I’m improving my skills and personal development, and receive fantastic support,” he said. Architect and Partner John Dixon said: “We constantly evolve to meet the changing needs of the market.”

Sustainability and energy-efficiency are our biggest priorities and as a Practice we need to invest to help our clients achieve their sustainability targets.

Priyanka, a finalist at the 2021 RIBA President’s Medals international student awards for her London Zoo thesis, added: “I’ve built up my confidence with client presentations and I’ve developed my time-management by organising my weekends and evenings to study.” Fellow Norwich rising star Curtis Huggins, 26, is studying towards an Architectural Technology BSc (Hons) degree – and has already set his sights

Architect and Partner John Dixon.

The planned upskilling in Passivhaus design, a growing standard of sustainable design approach, is a recent example of how ongoing investment in his teams will help to address the Norfolk skills gap. “Sustainability and energyefficiency are our biggest priorities and as a Practice we need to invest to help our clients achieve their sustainability targets,” he concluded.

INGLETON WOOD ingletonwood.co.uk

For more about apprenticeships at Ingleton Wood, email recruitment@ingletonwood.co.uk

About Ingleton Wood Ingleton Wood is a leading multi-disciplinary property and construction consultancy with offices in Cambridge, Norwich, Colchester, Billericay and London. Details at ingletonwood.co.uk

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MAN R E GI ON UFACT AL IURING N F RAST RU CT U R E S mi va ri le Pr t A gel l iFaince n a nce

SUSTAINABILITY IS AT CORE OF ATTLEBOROUGH’S NEW GREEN GAS SUPPLY

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REG IO N AL IN F RASTRU CTURE Pr iv ile ge F i n a nce

Locally collected food waste, coupled with an upgraded anaerobic digestion plant, is creating a sustainable energy solution for businesses and homes in the Norfolk town of Attleborough.

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onstruction work at a Norfolk-based anaerobic digestion (AD) plant will provide households in the south-east town of Attleborough with 10MW of biomethane per hour – enough to supply 4,000 homes, and guarantee green gas for most of the year. Marc Graham is project development manager at Privilege Finance, which specialises in projects that reduce carbon emissions. He is leading the development, and explained that the AD process breaks down organic materials such as food waste, crops and animal waste, in the absence of oxygen, to produce biogas and digestate. Marc said: “Biogas is a renewable source of energy, while the digestate can be used as a biofertiliser on farmland. “Processing food waste using AD contributes towards a circular economy, by creating energy from waste. The technology has been recognised by the government as a key contributor to reaching net zero targets, by helping to decarbonise the heating sector, while producing a sustainable source of energy.”

The project

Marc Graham, of Privilege Finance, is leading the project. The £17m upgrade is set to be completed in May 2022, with gas expected to start being piped directly into Attleborough town two months later. The existing AD plant will remain fully operational, providing electricity to the national grid and powering the entire site.

The Attleborough site is already home to an AD plant which uses agricultural waste and feedstock crops to generate electricity. Mr Graham explains that the upgrade project will allow a broader range of feedstocks to be processed.

What does this mean for the people of Attleborough?

“The developments at the plant include four new digestion tanks, a food waste reception hall and a depackaging unit, to allow packaged food waste to be accepted.”

Once the new AD tanks are fully operational, the biomethane produced will supply 4,000 Attleborough homes and businesses with green gas all year.

The plant will also see the addition of a gas upgrader to remove CO2 from generated biogas to produce biomethane. This system enables gas to be pumped into the town.

Mr Graham pointed out that, in the UK, household gas supplied by the gas grid is typically derived from various sources, so there is no guarantee that the gas powering a home boiler is actually from a renewable source, even if you are paying for a renewable gas contract.

Marc added: “The project will use local food waste to produce biomethane gas, using waste which would otherwise be going to landfill or transported out of the county for processing. “The digestate biofertiliser will be used by local farms to improve soil quality and add nutrients.”

“By exclusively piping gas from the AD plant into the town, Attleborough locals can be sure that their homes and businesses are being provided with locally generated renewable energy,” he said.

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MAN R E GI ON UFACT AL IURING N F RAST RU CT U R E S mi va ri le Pr t A gel l iFaince n a nce

This anaerobic digestion (AD) plant will supply ‘green gas’ to the town of Attleborough for most of the year

“Despite this huge change to the gas supply, homeowners will not notice any difference during the transition to green gas, as the biomethane molecule is identical to that of natural gas, its fossil fuel equivalent,” he adds.

PRIVILEGE FINANCE

This timely expansion ties in well with the legislation changes coming into force in 2023, regarding the compulsory requirement of separate food waste collection in England.

“The plant is designed to have the capability to process both commercial and domestic food waste into energy but can also utilise agricultural waste. That capability allows flexibility in the sense that there will always be organic waste to process, and so a reliable energy source for the town.

Marc continued: “Local food waste collection not only provides feedstock for the AD plant, but also reduces transportation and haulage requirements, again contributing to reducing overall carbon emissions, providing a sustainable approach to energy generation and reducing disposal costs to businesses and councils.

“The development works are a really exciting opportunity for the town of Attleborough and it demonstrates how a sustainable approach to supplying gas can be implemented in local towns. Hopefully, we will see projects like this replicated across the country in subsequent years.”

“The UK alone produces around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste annually, and globally food waste contributes to between 6-8% of carbon emissions every year. That’s why utilising food waste and generating sustainable energy is crucial for decarbonising our planet.”

privilege.finance

A waste management solution The expansion of the plant will provide Norfolk businesses and residents with a local food waste facility which has the capacity to process 100,000 tonnes of waste per annum. Local residents and businesses can sustainably dispose of their food waste, with minimal carbon emissions from road transport, while helping the environment by reducing methane emissions.

Privilege Finance specialise in funding projects which reduce carbon and mitigate against climate change. Their work has seen over one million UK households being powered by green energy. “The project at Attleborough is especially exciting for us to develop and fund, as the upgrades are enabling a true circular economy approach,” Marc concluded.

The UK alone produces around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste annually, and globally food waste contributes to between 6-8% of carbon emissions every year. That’s why utilising food waste and generating sustainable energy is crucial for decarbonising our planet.

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NEWS

NEW OWNER FOR PRISM ELECTRONICS Contract electronics manufacturers Prism Electronics have been acquired by FC Group Invest Ltd. The Swedish-UK investors aim to continue the Cambridge manufacturer’s sustained growth, following the co-founders’ retirement. “As part of our succession planning, we wanted to ensure Prism’s future would be in good hands. We’ve taken our time to identify FC Group Invest as the right people to take the business forward,” said outgoing managing director David Aspinall. Since establishing in 1991, Prism Electronics has become one of the leading names in UK contract electronics manufacturing, delivering printed circuit board assemblies for specialist and high-tech products.

Fredrik Johansson, co-founder of FC Group Invest, added: “My colleagues and I are delighted to have acquired a company with such a highly skilled workforce and first-class reputation. Our business plan is about continuity and stability, followed by development and growth.” Announcements on future plans and Prism Electronics’ continued investment in its capabilities are anticipated in 2022.

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M AN U FACTURI NG REG IO N AL IN F RASTRU CTURE E x p or t s

BOOMTIME FOR EAST OF ENGLAND EXPORTS Exports in the East of England boomed last year, with manufacturing sales reaching nearly £18bn.

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n fact, the region was one of the UK’s top exporters, according to Export Dividend report from Barclays Bank.

UK exports were worth a staggering £176bn to the economy last year, with four regions – including the East of England -- accounting for more than half these sales. Despite ongoing economic turbulence, Barclays’ research showed most manufacturers are emerging from the pandemic with revenues intact. Over a quarter of companies surveyed (particularly SMEs) said they had achieved better growth in 2021 than in a ‘normal’ year. The study also revealed a bullish mood among exporters, despite lingering concerns over Covid and supply chains. Admittedly, a number of tough challenges remain: rising labour costs is cited as the most common one, followed by supply chain disruption, and driver shortages. However, manufacturers are finding innovative ways to circumvent supply chain upheaval by diversifying their global supply base, setting up overseas warehouse space, or bringing the supply chain to the UK (onshoring) or closer to home (nearshoring). Manufacturers’ most desirable markets may be in flux, but UK products are very much in demand in growth markets such as China, India and the UAE. Europe remains a significant trading partner, although the bank’s research shows a significant number of manufacturers seeking new customers beyond the EU. The US retains its place as the top overseas market, but current exporters are most likely to trading in Canada, India and Latin America. Regional firms are very supportive of the proposed freeports at Felixstowe and Harwich, which will allow manufacturers to import materials without the usual tariffs. Ninety-three per cent of firms surveyed in the East of England said they plan to make use of the freeports once open. Based on the number of firms planning to export for the first time, Barclays estimates that the region could make further big gains in the coming years. Mike Freer MP, Minister for Exports, said: “2022 will be a 5-star year for UK trade, with ambitions for 80 per cent of UK trade to be covered by existing and new trade agreements by the end of the calendar year, alongside the launch of talks with India, Mexico, Canada, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.”

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LEGAL

Pe l S e c u r i t y

NEW ANTI-TERROR LAW COULD AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS Businesses across the country could soon be subject to new anti-terrorism legislation, as part of a government commitment to improving public safety. Local security expert John Dolan looks at the implications for businesses in the East of England.

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he Protect Duty has been proposed in response to the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017, which killed 22 people and injured many more. The mother of one of the victims, Martyn Hett, fought to bring in legislation (originally named Martyn’s Law) requiring crowded public spaces and venues to consider the risk of a terrorist attack and to take steps to protect the public. A consultation period on what businesses feel the Protect Duty should look like ended in July 2021 with about 2,500 responses. The government has analysed these responses and it is anticipated that a bill will be put before Parliament towards the end of 2021, which will then become law next year.

The Protect Duty could therefore affect locations or events such as town centres, village fetes, educational premises, theatres, concerts, pubs, clubs, coffee shops or anywhere where the public attend. Businesses and venues would be expected to carry out risk assessments and identify proportionate mitigation measures to deal with a terrorist attack.

The new Protect Duty will exponentially expand the sphere of likely people, events and locations that will need advice and guidance and businesses and venues are being warned to begin preparations.

The legislation will apply to any Publicly Accessible Location where more than 100 members of the public have access, as well as any large organisation employing 250 or

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more staff (Local Authority or Shopping Centre for example) that operate at any publicly accessible locations.

The new Protect Duty will exponentially expand the sphere of likely people, events and locations that will need advice and guidance and businesses and venues are being warned to begin preparations.

Cursory guidance will be available from local Counter Terrorist Security Advisors (CTSAs) – a national network of individuals working for


L EGAL

Pel S e c ur i t y

John Dolan of Pel Security

the National Counter Terrorist Security Office (NaCTSO).

navigate security protocols in the confusing and daunting field of counter-terrorism.

However, to be adequately prepared to meet government guidance in the Protect Duty, businesses and venues will be required to have produced robust plans, risk assessments and protocols that demonstrate adequate safety measures for all members of the public.

“Expert advice and expertise will be required to support businesses in the region and help to build on basic advice from NaCTSO.

Specialist support and advice will be available for businesses in the East Anglia region from companies such as PEL Security, which was set-up in response to the Protect Duty legislation. Company director John Dolan said: “The new legislation will undoubtedly cause many organisations concern, in order to successfully

“The Protect Duty will require considerable work and effort from organisations as it comes into effect. As a former CTSA working across East Anglia, I understand local needs and requirements and know that it is possible to introduce these new security protocols in a stress-free manner with the right support and advice.”

PEL SECURITY pel-security.co.uk

See more at gov.uk/government/consultations/ protect-duty

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D I GI TAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N

Pro duc t i v i t y E a s t : Uni vers i t y o f E a s t A ng li a

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D IG ITAL AN D IN N OVATI ON

Pro duc t iv i t y E a st : UniversiPro t y oduc f Etaiv sti tAy nEgalista

Productivity East is located at the University of East Anglia Credit: Neil Hall

MAJOR NEW HUB FOCUSES ON SKILLS, PRODUCTIVITY AND ENGINEERING Productivity East is a new centre for engineering, technology and management focused on improving productivity and addressing manufacturing global challenges.

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ased at the University of East Anglia, it brings students, academics and businesses together to find innovative ways to support the region’s manufacturing and technology sectors. The £7.4m centre will help businesses discover practical solutions and innovations, with facilities including a CAD studio and robotics laboratory, plus the latest technology in 3D printers and CNC lathes and milling machines. Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Our manufacturing sector is worth £5.2bn and underpins productivity and innovation in other areas, so this facility is

an investment in a vital part of our economy and will enable us to grow and compete nationally and internationally. “UEA is one of the region’s key delivery partners and this project, in the Priority Place area of Norwich, has been designed to improve productivity and innovation, with students, academics and businesses working together to discover practical solutions to current and future challenges.” Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Prof Fiona Lettice added: “It’s a very exciting occasion for the University, opening both a new

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DI GI TAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N

Pro duc t i v i t y E a s t : Uni vers i t y o f E a s t A ng li a

Facilities include a robotics laboratory

home for the School of Engineering and a major new facility for the regional manufacturing and engineering sector. “Productivity East is the result of years of collaborative working with NAAME and significant finance contribution from the New Anglia LEP. We are very grateful for the support of these and other key partners. We look forward to continue working with them and regional businesses to meet current and future productivity challenges.” The new hub was supported with £4.5m funding from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal with government, and devised in conjunction with New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering (NAAME). Jamie Thums MBE, NAAME Chair and Chief Operating Officer at Lintott Control Systems said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see NAAME’s intrinsic contribution to the vision of Productivity East

come to fruition. The facility will be a key player in improving productivity in the area, helping to address skills gaps and offer creative solutions to meet global challenges. It’s a significant and exciting moment for the region.” Tech East has also been a key delivery partner in its development. Tech East’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Robinson added: “The opening of this new facility represents a really exciting time for Tech East and our community. The state-of-the-art equipment and links to the School of Computing Sciences at UEA represent a major step forward in advancing technology and technology related companies in the region.” Productivity East will offer a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme to address skills gaps alongside offering updates on key themes and concepts from expert academics and industry leaders. More details at uea.ac.uk/ groups-and-centres/productivity-east

PRODUCTIVITY EAST: UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA uea.ac.uk/groups-and-centres/ productivity-east ___________________ Productivity East is currently running a survey about industry

“Productivity East is the result of years of collaborative working with NAAME and significant finance contribution from the New Anglia LEP. We are very grateful for the support of these and other key partners. We look forward to continue working with them and regional businesses to meet current and future productivity challenges.”

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training needs and pressing skills gaps at: forms.gle/ wJcTKzHukFzq5rFy7


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


DI GI TAL AN D I N N OVAT IO N E pi Ce nt re

Centre manager Kelly Boosey and Chris Kelly of Jacobs Allen Accountancy, who run a drop-in clinic at the The EpiCentre.

EPICENTRE DEFINITELY MEANS BUSINESS Co-working space The EpiCentre has celebrated its first year as a hub for entrepreneurs.

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wenty businesses now occupy space at the centre, which provides support for growing enterprises in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

EPICENTRE epicentrehaverhill.co.uk

The centre, in Haverhill, opened in November 2020, when the country was deep in lockdown. It operated as a vaccine centre for six months, before embracing the business community with participation in various festivals and exhibitions. Manager Kelly Boosey says: “Instead of waiting for businesses to come to us we made a concerted effort to engage with the wider community, emphasising the Business Support package that is available when signing up as we are more than just space.

“The strategy has paid off and now we have 20 companies occupying The EpiCentre drawn from all areas of business. Our laboratory space has been particularly popular with a significant number of companies using the wet lab facilities. A notable business start-up has been CodiKoat that produces anti-viral coatings for numerous surfaces and has attracted the interest of government in its fight against the spread of COVID.” Latest sign-ups are US firm Analog Devices Ltd and start-up office supplies business Pegasus Office Solutions.

Our laboratory space has been particularly popular with a significant number of companies using the wet lab facilities.

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Why Choose Modern Office? Your Office, Your Home, Your Future Choosing the right office furniture for your company is exciting and fun but it can also be a daunting exercise for any size business. Modern Office offers many solutions to meet the requirements of your dream office layout. We offer a number of services, helping you to create the perfect space for your office, where employees can thrive. We start by looking carefully at the overall picture, taking into account not only the design and creative needs of your organisation, but all the finer details too. Style and appearance, colour scheme, fabric and finish are all fundamental, but these days it is also imperative that your office furniture meets a detailed array of ergonomic and safety requirements. With over a quarter of a century of experience in this field, Modern Office is the complete solution to all your business furnishing needs. Whether you are looking for stylish office chairs, practical office storage or an exquisite conference table, we are sure to have something for everyone.

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