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Island usiness



FUTURE PROOF New beginning for

MedTec Design Services

THE INTERVIEW Justin Gentleman, Captiva Homes

Over 50s Start Me Up success R & D Tax Credits for your business Hillbans Pest Control


Member news and events


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In this issue...

02 10


News Business news What are R & D Tax Credits? Brendan Treacy

FOREWORD WELCOME TO THE MARCH EDITION OF ISLAND BUSINESS As ever, we have a packed issue for you, celebrating the success of the Island’s business community. This month our Company Profile features MedTec Design, a long established Island company that has evolved significantly in recent years, with a new team leading the business. Working in the tech sector means that their business is constantly adapting to a fast moving marketplace. Elsewhere in our issue we talk property development with Justin Gentleman from Captiva Homes; there’s also an insight into how your business might be able to benefit from Research and Development tax credits.

Editor Tom Stroud tom.stroud@iwchamber.co.uk

We also reflect on the success of a programme delivered by the IW Chamber which has seen the creation of more than a hundred new Island businesses, formed by people aged over 50. You can also find out more about the Chamber’s plans for the rest of the year, with the launch of a bigger Expo 2020 and a brand new Mastermind programme. Enjoy your magazine!


Advertising Amber Beard amber.beard@iwchamber.co.uk


16 20 22 24 26

The Interview Justin Gentleman

Profile MedTec Design Services

Appenticeships Spotlight Over 50s Start Me Up Notes to Self Sandra Knowles - Hillbans Pest Control

Patrons Spotlight IFPL & MHI Vestas

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520777

Printing & Design Crossprint A Newsquest company


Island Business Magazine – Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the IW Chamber of Commerce. The IW Chamber of Commerce and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here. Island Business magazine is printed by Crossprint, an ISO 9001 registered printer based on the Isle of Wight. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


MARCH 2020


Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce



Life-saving design breakthrough for Spinlock

Integrating a quick release harness system into a lifejacket has been hailed as a major breakthrough for Cowes manufacturer Spinlock. The lifesaving design has been rewarded with use by the top performance teams and races, including being employed in the custom lifejackets for each of the 70 crew taking part in the elite Volvo Ocean Race. “To have achieved this industry first in safety design is testimony to the determination and expertise of our team,” says James Hall, from Spinlock.

Accreditation boost for Island Tea & Coffee Co

“Falling overboard is something people don’t want to think about and that’s why no one has been brave enough to tackle the problem effectively before.” The design concept was tested over 3 million cumulative miles in the most gruelling ocean-going challenge in the world. Feedback from the Volvo Ocean Race crew and analysis of the jackets was used to refine the system.

Speedy upgrade for Costa outlets by WRS Island based EPOS solutions company WRS Systems has recently upgraded systems in 259 Costa Coffee stores across the country. WRS worked closely with delivery partner Celestra to make sure all terminals were commissioned without any disruption to trading. The project was completed within a reduced timeframe, at some of Costa’s busiest stores and in the run-up to the important festive trading period. The task was led by WRS Systems IT Director Chris Jackson and Richard Hawkins, Implementation Manager with support from WRS Systems Operations and Logistics teams. Up to 18 stores were upgraded each evening, with the project being completed in a little over 30 days and ahead of schedule. “Great job, thank you so much to everyone involved,” said Phil Scully, Group CIO at Costa. “Great team effort in a short timescale and very well executed. This will make a massive difference to our stores.” WRS Systems are recognised as the sole EPOS provider to Costa Coffee, supporting over 4,000 terminals across the Costa estate.

The Island Tea & Coffee Company has received Safe and Local Supplier Approval. The lengthy process means that their freshly roasted coffee beans are officially recognised as being produced in a safe and legal manner. SALSA is required by large scale buyers and retailers and the accreditation will open up new markets for the Rookley based business. “Island Tea & Coffee Company enjoyed great growth in 2019 and this is a great way to kick off 2020, keeping pushing forward as a business and for the Island,” says managing director Jon Carter. “We trebled our supply to Morrisons stores across Hampshire last year. We also saw similar growth across the Island and Hampshire at local cafes, restaurants, hotels and offices. “This accreditation now opens the doors for us to supply our freshly roasted coffee to other supermarkets across the UK. It also demonstrates to our local customers that they are purchasing not just the freshest but also the best when it comes to roasted coffee.”


WRS Systems and delivery partner Celestra upgraded 259 stores for Costa Coffee, without any disruption to business.



Parking charges go up as Council encourages people to “shop local” Parking charges are set to go up across the Island as part of reforms by the Isle of Wight Council. Fees will broadly be raised by 20p per hour Islandwide, ahead of a detailed review of parking charges which is due to report in May. Esplanade parking is also being reviewed, with seasonal fees at Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor extended to all year round — as in Ryde currently. Charges will be introduced at Cowes seafront, including Gurnard. The authority is proposing to maintain free parking in Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor high streets to support the business community in those areas. Newport High Street is the only high street on the Island where motorists pay to park. New plans will see the introduction of a £1 fee for a 30 minute period. The minimum stay is currently one hour at £1.50. The move is aimed at supporting businesses and boosting local trade. The Isle of Wight Council said the tariff was aimed at people who wanted to pull up, nip in one or two shops and then be on their way again. Councillor Ian Ward, cabinet member for infrastructure and highways, said: "We want to do as much as we possibly can to help our local businesses thrive against the challenge of online shopping by encouraging people to shop local. We hope our proposals will generate more passing trade and promote a higher turnover of spaces which we know is so important to improving the vitality and viability of the high street."

Smart Island Live returns in May Smart Island Live is back for 2020. The environmental and sustainability event for the Island’s business community will be taking place at CECAMM, East Cowes on Thursday May 28th 2020. Last year saw 212 registered delegates from 146 different businesses attending, from the Island, mainland and across the globe. “We had fantastic feedback from those who attended last year,” says Smart Island Live founder, Vince Wedlock-Ward. “They took inspiration on ways to make their businesses more sustainable and cost-efficient in environmentally-friendly ways. We have plenty of ideas to build on that success this year.” CECAMM’s managing director Richard White is delighted to be hosting Smart Island Live again. “We see this event as connecting perfectly with the aims around CECAMM, opening up opportunities for students, promoting careers and partnerships in the technology and sustainable sectors. Doing business in smarter ways.” Early Bird Delegate tickets are priced at £10, including entry to the event, inspiring and inspirational speakers and the opportunity to sit in on business support seminars. Find out more at www.smartisland.live. Richard White (left) with Vince Wedlock-Ward

Fortis Energy’s decade with IW Chamber

Fortis Energy director Matt Rice (left) with IW Chamber’s CEO Steven Holbrook

Congratulations to Matt Rice and all at Fortis Energy in Ryde who have notched up ten years of membership of the IW Chamber. “It’s been a busy ten years,” Matt says. “We’re continually growing, investing in staff training and working with both Island businesses and national companies. We’re currently working with Future Isle of Wight to help businesses and organisations to reduce their energy costs. We’re looking forward to sponsoring the lunch again at the Chamber’s Business Expo 2020.”

MARCH 2020



Tour of Britain is “fantastic opportunity” for businesses The UK’S biggest cycle race, the Tour of Britain, could make its Isle of Wight debut next year. Subject to sponsorship being raised, the Island could host the final stage of the international event in September 2021. Proposals to bring the showcase event to the Island have been approved by the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet. The costs associated with hosting the Island stage are expected to be around £340,000 but the benefit to the local economy could be as much as £4 million. Final negotiations will now take place with organising company SweetSpot with a view to entering into a contract. Councillor Wayne Whittle, Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, said: “The Tour of Britain would provide a significant economic boost to a wide range of sectors on the Island such as accommodation, hospitality and retail. Not only would being Tour of Britain host be a significant coup on an economic level, it provides a fantastic platform to showcase the Island as a must-see tourist destination.” The council aims to meet most of the costs through sponsorship and the Cabinet also agreed to appoint a third-party company to secure funding.

New ownership for JR Zone

Council leader Dave Stewart said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for local businesses to get their name out there and associated with a prestigious international event. With the Tour broadcast to over 190 countries with a global audience of 30 million viewers, I’m confident the Island’s business community will seize this fantastic opportunity.”

Wayne builds his own furniture business IW Furniture is a new and independent company specialising in delivering quality and affordable furniture to the Island. Founded by IW Chamber member Wayne Rose, the business started life as a website but in response to demand it quickly grew, by adding a local showroom, last year. “IW Furniture not only ensures your furniture gets to the Island and your door, but we’ll also come and build it for you too,” Wayne explains. “Have you noticed that the majority of furniture suppliers on the mainland charge extortionate amounts to deliver to the Isle of Wight, or don’t deliver here at all? All too often large deliveries end up stuck in Portsmouth or Southampton and leave you with an extra cost to get your dream bed or sofa. I had just such an issue myself and I was sure there was a better way to do things.”

Customers at Newport’s JR Zone can look forward to a year of progressive change and improvements. The soft play centre in Newport is now owned by Kate Holbrook and Sandra Knowles, two Island mums who have countless hours of first-hand experience in various entertainment centres. The new owners want to make the indoor play centre fun for children of all ages, parents and corporate groups alike. Kate is planning to bring her experience of the world-class centres she visited when bringing up her two girls in Dubai. “Whilst it’s clearly essential to deliver a first-class experience for the children, equally important is to deliver that first-class experience to the parents. It will be my focus to make JR Zone a place parents are as keen to visit as their children.” Sandra is extremely excited to bring her experience of successfully growing and running an Island company into a new and very different business sector. “I have so many ideas of how to enhance the JR Zone experience for everyone. I can’t wait to get stuck in.”




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MARCH 2020



Accreditation success for 5 Star Pest Control David French from 5 Star Pest Control is celebrating passing the BPCA Certificated Field Biologist examination. It represents the highest vocational qualification and builds on David’s earlier successes, passing his advanced level in pest control and winning the Charles Keeble Award in recognition of the highest pass mark in that year. “This qualification represents the culmination of several years of hard work,” David says. “Our USP is technical expertise and there is so much more to pest management than the old fashioned ‘rat catcher’ image. It was the hardest examination I have ever taken, even after months of preparation. Qualifications like this demonstrate the value of the pest control industry.” The demanding 3 ½ hour examination included formal questions, scenarios and insect identification. 5 Star Pest Control carry out BRC and SALSA biologist audits for the higher-level food producers on the Island. BPCA training Manager, Karen Davies said “We were really pleased at the British Pest Control Association, to be able to help David take the next step in his pest management career.”

Pilot scheme helps businesses to be ‘Dementia friendly’ A Mountbatten pilot scheme to support Island businesses to be dementia friendly has been hailed a great success. The ‘Dementia for Business’ session was delivered by Mountbatten’s dedicated education and training team. Dementia is now the biggest cause of death in the UK and, as experts in supporting people at the end of life, Mountbatten is committed to continuing to lead on developing suitable services for our Island community, as well as supporting and educating partners to deliver care to those who need it. The first group who benefitted from the session were from Precision Painters and Decorators, Hose Rhodes Dickson, DWP, Island Roads and Minted Cleaning Company. Linda Prendergast, Education and Learning Facilitator/Practitioner at Mountbatten said: “With the number of people living with dementia set to rise by over 1 million by 2025, it’s so important that we consider how it can have an impact on the daily lives of people living with the disease. The organisations that have trained with us have told us that they will now be more aware of the needs of customers who show signs of dementia, making sure they empathise and take time to be patient.” Any businesses which would be interested in taking part in future Dementia for Business training can contact the Education and Training Team at Mountbatten on (01983) 529511.

From left, Tracy Chapman from DWP, Samantha O’Rourke from Island Roads, Stephen Ambrose from Island Roads, Olivia Lewis-Marlton from Hose Rhodes Dickson, Sally Gwilliam from DWP, Matthew Mew and Wayne Jones from Precision Painting and Decorating and Rosalie Rogers from Minted Cleaning.

Charlotte joins the team at BCM Rural property specialist BCM has welcomed planning consultant Charlotte Howlett to their growing professional team. Charlotte is well known through her previous role with planning consultants Hepburns, a company that BCM has a close association with. David Long, Partner at BCM comments: “I am really pleased to welcome Charlotte to the BCM team. Charlotte further enhances our professional service skills and our commitment to providing the best advice to rural property owners, landowners and property developers.” This latest appointment follows BCM’s move to its new Red Barn offices at Cheeks Farm, Merstone, recently celebrated with a special event attended by Charlotte and over 70 guests.




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MARCH 2020

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Business stays at the Seaview Hotel

New treatment at Ryde Physiocare The New Year arrives and with it resolutions come and go, but maybe this year yours is to try and sort out a better you? Perhaps giving yourself time to improve your physical health and wellbeing? Setting aside you-time to fit in the exercise programme you promised yourself last year! Or it may even be time to get a physical problem fixed? If you have been suffering with a tendon or soft tissue problem and are fed up with it restricting your daily life then maybe it is time to seek help? PhysioCare has an exciting new treatment for 2020 - Shockwave Therapy - that could help.

The Seaview Hotel has a long tradition of welcoming corporate and business guests and offers great corporate rates tailor-made to your needs. There’s a wide range of accommodation including contemporary rooms, suites and a self-catering cottage for longer stays, all with complimentary Wi-Fi. “We want to offer our corporate guests the best possible value as well as hospitality. The aim is to make your stay feel more like a home from home. We understand that after a busy day of travel and meetings you need to rebalance and feel relaxed. We hope that you come to view the Seaview Hotel as your personal club and coastal retreat,” says Diana Chiverton, Hotel Operations Manager. The hotel is a welcome counterpoise after a long day at work. It’s filled with heritage charm and renowned for excellent customer care. The restaurant has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand and 2 AA Rosettes and breakfast chef Paul Sundborg certainly knows how to make a perfect full English to set you up for the day. The location is great too, minutes from the coastline, it’s ideally situated for a power walk or run alongside the sea. Call the hotel for further information.

It is a non-invasive treatment in which acoustic shockwaves are passed through the skin to the affected area. The shockwaves stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms to help repair the damaged tendon taking tissue from a chronic state to a more acute state, and in doing so, providing a boost to the healing process that may have gotten ‘stuck’. In the past you would have had to travel to Southampton to see a consultant or physiotherapist for this treatment, but you can now be seen at PhysioCare’s clinic in Ryde. If you have health insurance, Physiocare are authorised Shockwave Therapy providers for companies such as Aviva, Axa and Bupa, amongst others.

New boutique bridal store for Susie Aylott Award winning Island based Susie Warner Bridal Accessories have launched a unique luxury boutique in the historic heart of Newport. After trading online successfully since 2016, expanding the business to include a bricks and mortar store on the high street was the obvious next step for the designer brand. Perfect for Island brides and socialites, Susie Warner’s breathtaking accessories marry vintage glamour with modern romance, and the new boutique has been designed to inspire customers with an outstanding experience. Customers are given an exclusive 'behind the scenes' glimpse into the creation of exquisite hand made luxury accessories with the in-store studio, and encouraged to try on an array of headdresses, fascinators and jewellery in a relaxed and welcoming environment, reinforcing the brand's ethos of providing exquisite products with outstanding customer service. With a treasure trove of glittering bridal headdresses for brides, an array of accessories and gifts for bridesmaids and a new range of colour coordinated fascinators designed especially for wedding guests and socialites, plus a bespoke design service, this unique luxury accessories boutique caters for every social occasion from weddings to Royal Ascot.




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MARCH 2020





Council consults on housing strategy The Isle of Wight Council has published a draft housing strategy, setting out policies on housing supply, homelessness, affordability and housing for vulnerable people including young people, people with disabilities and extra care housing for older people. The five year strategy will be used by the council and other bodies to plan and provide housing to meet the needs of the Island’s growing population, currently at around 140,000. Challenges identified include the problems faced by young people trying to afford accommodation on the Island; and the growing numbers of older people who may find themselves in homes unsuited for their needs.

Outstanding Natural Beauty, is one of the most beautiful and attractive places to live and visit in England. “The Island currently faces a unique opportunity to address its housing needs for the future. We will deliver a sustainable and ambitious housing strategy that reflects our Island status and the needs of local people and businesses, and allows our unique local heritage of landscapes and communities to thrive.” To read the draft housing strategy and give your views on the document, visit the website: https://iwightinvest.com/housing-strategy/

Paul Thomas, assistant director of the Isle of Wight Council’s regeneration service, said: “The Isle of Wight, a UNESCO Biosphere and Area of

7k for UKSA raised by WightFibre’s Star Wars screening WightFibre’s John Irvine has presented Ben Willows of UKSA with a cheque for £7,158. The two CEOs were flanked by a Shadow Scout Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper and TIE Fighter Pilot from the 501st Isle of Wight Garrison, standing in front of the Princess Leia Dinghy at UKSA’s base in Cowes. The money has been raised by supporters of WightFibre’s charity premiere screening of Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker, attended by more than 290 VIP guests in December. The latest donation will fund 240 places for year 6 children from across the Island to spend half a day at UKSA with their school, taking part in a sailing or watersports session. It brings the total raised by WightFibre for the UKSA ‘Test the Water’ programme to nearly £15,000. “We are very fortunate to have the ongoing support of WightFibre,” says Ben Willows. “It helps us to keep running this important programme and to continue to make a real difference to young people on the Isle of Wight. This event is a brilliant platform for us to talk about our charitable work here on the Island and raise money for local children to come to UKSA, so a huge thanks to WightFibre for hosting this event once again.”

Island businesses back Brightbulb’s festive fundraiser Island charity the Wight Brainy Bunch has been presented with a cheque for £3,100 by Brightbulb Design, thanks to the support of 84 Island businesses. More than 3,000 mince pies were sold and delivered by the design agency in a single day. All the pies were donated by supermarkets, the Travel Counsellors and other supporters of the event. Workwear provider IDML supplied branded marathon t-shirts for the team whilst Leslie’s Motors supplied a branded electric vehicle to deliver the pies alongside two branded London cabs. “The Island was full of mince pie loving businesses,” says Brightbulb’s Matt Jeffery. “Hovertravel sold their mince pies to commuters for extra donations. Each member of staff at Carisbrooke Shipping set their own marathon around the office to earn their mince pies. We turned up at IFPL to a resounding cheer and applause. We parked the cabs up for a communal street party between the offices of PC Consultants, Hillbans Pest Control, Peekaboo and IOW Jobs.” The Wight Brainy Bunch helps Island families affected by brain tumours with their travel to Southampton, counselling, specialist equipment and memory making breaks. Brightbulb Design’s Shane Smith, Adam Hayles, Fiona and Matt Jeffery and Vicky Escandell alongside the Wight Brainy Bunches Mark and Kat Grimes.





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THE INTERVIEW - JUSTIN GENTLEMAN Out on a shout: Captiva Homes’ Justin Gentleman (left) and James Pink

Justin Gentleman Captiva Homes Captiva Homes is a housebuilding business owned by James Pink and Justin Gentleman, who have been working together for almost 18 years. During that time they have built many homes including Springfield Court, Seaview; Cavendish Close, Bembridge; Princess Court and The Saunders in East Cowes, and Beatrice Court in Shanklin. James and Justin are Island people and are actively involved in the local community including roles as lifeboat crew.

Are property developers viewed with a certain amount of cynicism? Do they have an unfair public image?

The sales suite is now open for Phase 1 of West Acre Park with 86 homes already underway. How big will the development get?

We appreciate as developers we need to be really transparent with our plans. There are certainly myths surrounding developers, but often these are fuelled by people’s fears. We are not a national housebuilder; we are proud to be a local company and as a consequence we are able to be more sensitive and responsive to local housing needs. We are pleased to be able to support the wider community, sourcing materials and workforce locally wherever possible.

Our future plans include around 465 additional much-needed homes, of which 35% will be affordable, as well as community amenities such as a GP surgery and an extension to the local allotments. As part of this scheme we will be providing 25 acres of beautiful, landscaped parkland for local people and visitors to enjoy, complete with a café and community hub, which would become the largest park in Ryde.

The Island needs investment and progress, but it also needs protection and responsible development. This is the premise we had in mind when we developed the West Acre concept for Hope Road in Ryde. Island living is unique and that’s very special, something which we’re proud of.


Our plans will help to meet the housing requirements for our Island now and for future generations, and we have designed some of our homes to grow with families and give them the opportunity to extend easily in the future. We aim to construct 50 to 60 homes each year, ensuring a realistic long term programme of sustainable deliverability. The fact that the development also includes community infrastructure is very THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


important to us. The parkland concept should ensure West Acre Park develops into a lively and engaged community where people can enjoy the great Island outdoors on their doorstep. Excellence is our benchmark and that is always our aim. National housebuilders have been developing on the Island at an average density of 29 homes per hectare, whereas West Acre will provide more parking, larger gardens, better plot spacing and larger open spaces at just 18 per hectare.

What sort of responsibilities do you think a developer has? Developers create permanent marks on the landscape so it is important that the developments we create are sensitive to their surroundings. We build homes and it is important to us that our homes are constructed with the customer’s needs at the forefront. We are incredibly passionate about this unique and stunning part of the UK that we call home. Our developments form part of our own wider neighbourhood and we therefore want to feel proud of them as we live amongst them for years to come.

How can developers work to support sustainability?

needing replacement or further investment in the future, which we believe provides our customers with the best approach toward sustainability whilst our homes remain competitive within the market. The homes at West Acre Park will be of timber frame construction, with frames manufactured on the Island by Sydenhams Timber Engineering. As a modern method of construction, it offers a wealth of benefits; a timber frame home is very thermally efficient and will ultimately save you money on your energy bills. Furthermore, the timber is sustainably sourced, with the raw material being grown faster than it is used.

How do you see property developments impacting positively on the wider economy? Whilst we appreciate that initially people’s concern is that new developments impact them negatively, it is important to consider the wider picture with regard to the Island’s economy and housing needs. We are proud that our developments benefit the Island economy by offering employment to local trades, and by sourcing building materials locally wherever possible we are impacting positively on families and households who may never even live in one of our homes.

As developers we are always looking to the future. We are currently investigating ways to improve the energy performance of our homes, in order to minimise our customers’ energy consumption and expenditure. We are also exploring “Passive House” construction, its costs and benefits.

With all our developments we take into consideration the impact on the local infrastructure. For example, at West Acre Park we are required to provide circa £1.6m to improve educational facilities in addition to contributions toward footpaths and connections, highway and junction improvements and wildlife protection.

We have a strong belief in a ‘fabric first’ approach when it comes to development. ‘Fabric first’ focuses on insulating the exterior structure to better retain the heat within. By taking this approach the insulation has a whole lifecycle cost rather than

Another key factor is affordable homes; last year only two were provided on the Isle of Wight so these are absolutely vital for the Island. We are proud to be providing 30 affordable homes within Phase 1 of West Acre Park.

Cavendish Close, Bembridge

MARCH 2020

Springfield Court, Seaview




What are Research and Development Tax Credits? Brendan Treacy explains This is a scheme that every company should know about because it could be a huge benefit. It’s free and there is no risk! It’s a UK Government scheme, started in 2002, to encourage investment in innovation by giving tax incentives back to companies via the corporation tax system. A common myth that many companies believe is that the scheme doesn’t apply to them. It’s only for companies with laboratories and people in white coats. Not so. R&D Tax credits can apply to any industry or sector and the scheme is open to any UK limited company. There are two routes into the scheme, one for SMEs and one for bigger companies. SMEs benefit most and the definition of SME is pretty big: Turnover up to £100M, up to 500 staff or a balance sheet worth up to £86M. There’s some adjustment to these limits if you are in a group structure or have associated (partner) companies. Grants may also affect eligibility. So, what is “R&D” for the purposes of the scheme? Well there are plenty of detailed explanations in the tax legislation but basically it means any development that leads to an advance in science or technology. That covers a great deal of ground. It’s pretty easy to check if what you do is eligible, just ask someone to come and check for you - for free.

What’s the typical benefit? If a company is investing in R&D it can enhance its qualifying expenditure by 230%. Companies benefit by obtaining significant tax reductions, or by receiving actual cash from HMRC (at 14.5% of surrendered losses), which is more typical if they are loss-making or have a small level of profit. Let’s take an example: A-Float Limited make specialist buoyancy equipment for the maritime industry. Their last year-end was 31 December and they made a small profit of £20,000 (as prepared for their tax return). During the year they spent £50,000 on developing a new automated system, which they hope to have in production in the next 18 months after it completes testing. Ordinarily they would expect to pay Corporation Tax (CT) of 19% on their taxable profit which would be £3,800.


By making a successful claim for R&D tax credits their R&D expenditure of £50,000 is multiplied by 230%, giving an additional virtual spend of £65,000. That amount is then deducted from their existing taxable profit, so, instead of having a taxable profit of £20,000 they now have a tax loss of £45,000. Not only do they save the £3,800 CT bill, but they can also claim 14.5% of the remaining £45,000 tax loss as a cash credit of £6,525 – which comes in the form of a cheque from HMRC. That makes a total benefit of £10,325.

How do I make a claim? Once you have a pretty clear idea that you are doing something that is within the tax definition of R&D, then the next step is to work out what is the “qualifying expenditure”. There are rules for what is allowable and what is not allowable and from April 2020 there is also going to be a cap on the total that is allowed in any year. There is a two year period after each year end in which to make claims, even if you have missed doing so already. The claim process includes: • Writing a technical narrative (justifying the R&D definition) • Identifying the correct total qualifying R&D cost per tax period • Applying the correct R&D enhancement rates • Adjusting tax computations and tax returns to include the R&D claim • Dealing with any questions HMRC may have Most companies will either ask their accountants to do this work or use an R&D tax specialist, who will work with their accountants. As with tax in general, there are many ins and outs but that should not deter companies from claiming. They rarely need to do more than provide the information and let the experts do the rest and avoid any common errors. Brendan Treacy lives in Cowes and is a partner in the national practice R and D Tax. The company has over 1,200 clients and has, to date, handled R&D Tax claims of £128 Million. Find out more at www.randdtax.co.uk. Brendan is offering free assessments to IW Chamber members. He’s also running a free seminar in April about R&D Tax credits – see p32 for more. THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


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MARCH 2020








MedTec is a firmly established Isle of Wight business, delivering design, draughting and engineering services since 1981. Recent years have been eventful, with the family business moving to the next generation in 2017. With new owners and directors, in a new building in East Cowes, the business has entered the next era. Tom Stroud talks to owner and director Dan Carley about redefining a tech business with heritage. “When we took the business on, we had to make it work,” Dan says. “We really didn’t have a choice. There was little money in the bank. The previous owners were retiring and they wanted to sell their shares. We made the decision to take the reins and it was a new beginning for the business.” Dan has owned MedTec Design services since 2017, along with his fellow owner directors Andrew Durrell and Chris Hooper. The employees bought out the remaining shares owned by Dan’s father in-law and Andrew’s father, meaning that the business transferred to a new generation of family members. “It put us in a bit of a dilemma. In effect MedTec was a start-up that you've not decided to start up! It was a brand-new business in many respects but with a long history. We had to re-evaluate everything. None of the business plans that we inherited were relevant anymore as many of the previous contacts had moved on themselves. We even toyed with changing the name, which derives from the proximity of the river Medina and the Technical nature of what we do, rather than anything to do with medical design. The new leadership team injected some new services and gave MedTec a new lease of life,” Dan says. Founded in 1981 MedTec began on the drawing board, literally, providing draughting services. The business evolved to take in two dimensional computer designs, then to 3D modelling. The business struck hard times when there was a crash within the oil and gas sector. In 2017 it was time for the new team to go back


to the metaphorical drawing board and re-evaluate how best to move the company forward. MedTec currently employs seven people, providing design services for a wide range of sectors including renewables, marine, architectural, composites and the MOD. They work with organisations or inventors who lack their own in-house design facilities, as well as providing a support service to those whose own staff are overloaded. As a tech business they’re constantly moving with the demands of the sector, embracing 3D printing, CGI and using the latest software packages available. Their clients are split equally between the Island and the mainland. The local network is strong for MedTec and they have a lot of repeat business from some of the largest companies on the Island. “We can assist at any stage of the design process,” Dan says. “Our strap line is ‘from concept to creation’ and we can make an idea a reality. We work very closely with our clients, who might come to us with a sketch on a napkin and they could leave with an actual real life part, ready to take to market. We test, advise on costs, produce a 3D model and the manufacturing drawings as well as marketing material too. Sometimes projects last a week, others can take a year. We pride ourselves on being very reactive and being available when our clients need us most.” The team has high standards and MedTec has been awarded ISO9001 certification and recognition from local authorities THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


“Some of the stuff we do here is just incredible. The projects we work on vary so much but the team’s skillset and our experience mean we can adapt and transfer that knowledge. We have a design community at MedTec, not a workforce, we all bring something different to the table, and can assist from concept to creation.” Dan Carley, MedTec Design Services

MedTec’s new owners and leadership team. From left, Daniel Carley, Andrew Durrell and Chris Hooper.

for quality in business. MedTec was also recognised at the 2019 IW Chamber Business Awards, with a nomination in the Manufacturing Business of The Year category. “Just being nominated along with IFPL and MHI Vestas was an achievement for us,” Dan says. Raising the profile of the new-look business is a priority for Dan, who now works at a more strategic level, away from individual projects. “We've been members of the IW Chamber for 35 years but a lot of current chamber members wouldn't really have remembered MedTec before 2017. We're an Island business but we'd lost a lot of awareness of what we do. I knew we needed to get the name out there again. We've been putting a lot of effort into that side of things now and people are starting to recognise us as a company again. I'm loving networking at the moment and shouting about MedTec.” Dan and the team are excited about what 2020 holds for the business. The last few years have seen some accelerated learning about running a business which is now bearing fruit, with clarity about where they want to be.

“We do have growth plans,” Dan says. “I'd like us to have more of mainland presence. It would be great to raise our staff numbers and offer more apprenticeships to local students. We would like to see some of our bigger clients utilise our turnkey solution offerings. Having more of a mainland client base may allow the company to iron out the peaks and troughs we experience, and that security means that we can do more work on the innovation side of the business. These projects are more demanding but on a personal level are more rewarding, it is infectious getting caught up in a client’s enthusiasm and we are extremely proud when we can turn their vision into a reality.” The new look company has also made sense of its heritage, looking to the future with a nod to the past. “We would never discard the history of the company,” Dan says. “We all worked for the business in the past and it instilled certain values in us. All of the old directors were very good mentors and they taught me a lot about business. It’s really important to me that we continue the legacy. We've been given this opportunity and I would love MedTec to continue for another 30 years.”

MARCH 2020




Gigabit Island from WightFibre represents a £50m investment in the Isle of Wight’s Digital Infrastructure and has become the largest civil engineering project undertaken on the Island in over 20 years.

15,000 homes are ready for service in Newport, Cowes, East Cowes and Ryde, which includes over 2,000 homes and businesses already taking advantage of connection to the new network. A number which is set to increase to over 30,000 homes by the end of 2020 and 58,000 by the close of 2021, the final phase of 11,000 homes scheduled to be completed through 2022. A project that makes the island one of the best connected places in the world, through Broadband, that put simply – just works. Achieved through a digital infrastructure that is second to none, making Digital Island possible and all the benefits this brings for businesses and homes across the island. When completed in 2022, the Gigabit Island project will have seen 500 kilometres of trenches dug, containing 5 million meters of duct and a staggering 750 million meters of fibre-optic cable. Enabling over 69,000 homes and thousands of businesses across the island to receive a broadband service second to none. Unlike the full-fibre networks offered by others which use fibre to the local cabinet and then shares the fibre to a business or all homes in a street, Gigabit Island provides high capacity fibre from the exchange, and importantly, dedicated fibre to each individual home or business. Making it a truly futureproof network fit for the 21st Century, capable of delivering speeds of 1Gb (1,000Mb) or faster to businesses and homes. The project launched in 2018, following an initial £35 million investment from Infracapital, including funds from the government’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund. Gurnard


"Just 10 years ago, few of us could imagine just how much we would all be using and relying on the internet at work and home. The Gigabit Island full-fibre network provides the ability to service the island's broadband demands for decades to come, elevating the island into the front line of the digital economy." John Irvine – CEO of WightFibre.

Pines, part of WightFibres existing network was the first to be upgraded to full-fibre, followed by the pilot area of Staplers, Newport. The rest of East Cowes and Newport soon followed, with many areas across these towns now completed, including Cowes. Work is currently underway to connect Wootton, Ryde, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin to the network, with completion of these areas expected by the end of 2020. The first area in Ryde went live on the 31st of January which included the Union Street and 900 residential properties. Later this year will also see work to THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


connect East Wight and Ventnor commence. Alongside this, extensive planning is already taking place to connect areas of West Wight to the new full-fibre network, including some of the island's more rural communities not previously served by WightFibre, made more difficult by the island's unique geography.

As with all projects there are challenges that restrict working hours and the limit of works together with reinstatement across some areas. To mitigate these, WightFibre have invested in funding a full time inspector who works closely with Island Roads to check that all works are carried out and reinstated correctly. Gigabit Island from WightFibre provides a ‘step-change’ opportunity for island businesses wanting to take advantage of this new full-fibre, ultrafast, future-proof broadband network; to improve business communications, productivity, innovation, engagement and to extend their business presence on the internet as they start to break down geographical barriers. Analysts agree that there is a direct correlation between broadband speed and economic growth. Making the island increasingly attractive to new business start-ups together with more established businesses that will now start or consider relocating their businesses to the island. For homeowners it delivers the increase in speed essential to watch videos, on-demand services, browse and play games faster than ever before and on multiple devices across the home. It also provides the connectivity for security devices, heating systems, lighting, smart speakers and more.

To read more about Gigabit Island and find out when you can get connected visit www.wightfibre.com/why-full-fibre/ or call WightFibre on 01983 24 24 24 to sign up today.

Supporting this is WightFibre’s ‘Because we care’ ethos, a commitment to customer care that goes beyond the ordinary and a key foundation to the success of Gigabit Island. Based in Cowes the team use their local knowledge and work directly with customers to discuss requirements or resolve any issue. With up to 2,000 homes and businesses being connected to Gigabit Island each month and to further support the roll-out of Gigabit Island WightFibre has invested in a store on four wheels. As, when it comes to technology people actually like to see it and experience it first-hand, before they buy. The WightFibre mobile store does just that, by bringing the full-fibre experience directly to businesses and members of the public. MARCH 2020





Izzy Bowles from Wight Building Materials

Wight Building Materials apprentice urges more women to consider engineering careers An apprenticeship with Wight Building Materials has given 23-yearold Izzy Bowles from Godshill a firm foundation on which to develop a career in engineering – and she is urging other women to consider careers in the traditionally male dominated world of engineering. The ‘learn while you earn’ approach of apprenticeships has given Izzy a strong start to her career, with an apprenticeship in Business Administration leading to a works administrator role with the company.

College for the finance and engineering departments, Hovertravel has developed a new relationship with South Downs College to create apprenticeship programme for Hovertravel Handling Agents.

Island businesses access degree apprenticeships at University of Portsmouth The University of Portsmouth is helping hundreds of students to earn while they learn after overseeing a large growth in degree apprenticeships in just over three years.

And Wight Building Materials has continued to support Izzy’s professional by supporting her to study for a foundation science degree in Mineral Extractives Technology through the University of Derby.

The University can reveal the number of degree apprenticeships has grown from 7 students starting a Chartered Manager degree apprenticeship in September 2016, to a total of 608 across 17 apprenticeship programmes in February 2020.

“When I was at school I never thought I would be working in an environment where a hard hat and orange high-viz trousers were the norm, but the apprenticeship opened my eyes to the opportunities a career in engineering could offer,” said Izzy.

The University of Portsmouth is working with a number of employers on the Isle of Wight including The Tomato Stall, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Go Internet.

Wight Building Materials is currently supporting two young people on mechanical and electrical apprenticeship schemes through Aggregate Industries. As part of the scheme they travel to Leicester every six weeks for training towards professional qualifications. The current apprentices will complete their schemes in June and go into full time roles at Wight Building Materials. The company is considering plans for further apprentice recruitment in the future.

In a degree apprenticeship, students combine working for a company and studying towards a university degree, helping them earn a wage while gaining on-the-job skills and a relevant degree qualification. Omar Lakhssassi, Business Development Executive for the University of Portsmouth said: “There has never been a better time to consider Degree Apprenticeships. With just a 5% contribution towards course fees, The University of Portsmouth are providing an affordable way for Island employers to access Higher Education for their staff".

Hovertravel appoints three new apprentices Three new apprentices have joined the commercial team at Hovertravel. The new recruits will have responsibility for helping to drive enhanced customer engagement, to extend Hovertravel’s successful e-commerce activities and to support the growth of the company’s groups business. Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, said: “Sophie, Ollie and Dean have already proved their worth to the business, by helping us to better engage our customers over the busy festive season – in person, on the phone and online. We have strengthened our commercial resources for 2020 to ensure that we build on the unique appeal of our hovercraft for our customers around the globe and on both sides of the Solent.” Hovertravel is a long-term supporter of apprentices, with nine current employees who progressed from an apprenticeship to a permanent job. Alongside their existing relationship with Highbury


From left to right: Sophie Harris, Dean McKnight and Ollie Wilson



To s p e a k t o o n e o f o u r e x p e r t s p l e a s e c a l l u s o n 0 1 9 8 3 5 2 7 8 7 8

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MARCH 2020




OVER 50S START ME UP PROGRAMME Since 2015 the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce has been providing essential help and advice through the Over 50s Start Me Up programme. It’s part of the Age Friendly Island campaign, an exciting partnership funded by the National Lottery through the BIG Lottery Fund, making the Island a great place to grow older, whilst tackling social isolation. Business mentors Lynda and Fiona have been helping people aged over 50 who are looking for a new direction, perhaps who had been made redundant or in the early stages of retirement. Hundreds of people have attended the free sessions and in the last five years more than a hundred new businesses have been created with the assistance of the programme. The results are remarkable, smashing the original target of establishing 20 new businesses, creating and sustaining employment opportunities for 40 jobs. As well as creating more than 120 jobs, the new businesses have also delivered very personal results for the individuals involved. The wider network created by the programme has brought together working relationships and in many cases mutual friendships. “Redundancy, early retirement and unemployment can cause social isolation for people over 50, who find they need to work longer than anticipated due to the increased state pension age,” explains business mentor Fiona. “It’s particularly true for women, who have had the age extended by seven years. The project aimed to give them a reason to leave the house, network with others, build structure and develop a routine. In addition, the aim was to build confidence, well-being, quality of life and give them a disposable income. “When people reach their 50s a number of life events can lead to them feeling ‘invisible’ or overlooked by society. They may have left full time employment, their children have left home and they may feel that they are not contributing to the community. Working from home, whilst initially sounding like the ideal situation, can very quickly become lonely and isolating. The main aim therefore was not necessarily to address existing


isolation and loneliness but to prevent it from happening in the first place.” Mentors Fiona and Lynda are both over 50 and have been selfemployed for over 20 years. Their many years of experience, including running projects for the Prince’s Trust, Chamber of Commerce, Business Link and the European Social Fund, made them perfectly placed to deal with the very varied candidates. Their start-up sessions and workshops provided practical advice and friendly support, helping with advice on bookkeeping, HMRC, marketing and sales, social media and presentation skills. They also provided a personal ‘sounding board’ for ideas, assisting with building self-confidence and self-esteem. “Without Lynda and Fiona the project would not have been as successful,” explains project manager Sharon Whiten. “They provide a person-centred approach to each individual participant, ensuring their personal circumstances and specific needs are considered, empowering them to make their own choices. “Regular follow-up meetings, in a place of the client’s choice, ensured focus and accountability, maintaining motivation. Informal networking opportunities allowed participants to make new business and social connections in a safe and welcoming environment, always supported and guided by the mentors.” The Over 50s network quickly grew as a result of the programme, with initial participants setting up their own businesses, who were then able to trade with other fledgling businesses. People who might have been daunted by looking for a bookkeeper or marketing advisor were able to connect with a business that had already been through the programme. THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


“I felt as though everyone else starting up in business was young. The 50+ programme made me feel a lot less isolated and that I wasn’t mad for wanting to try.”

275 people attended the Start Me Up Workshop

191 people have received mentoring

125 new businesses started up, creating 131 jobs

246 people attended specialist workshops or events

520 people have attended the monthly network events

Numerous friendship groups formed

1 winner and 1 Highly Commended at IW Chamber Business Awards

The Over 50s businesses also attended the IW Chamber Business Expo each year, in growing numbers, as the network expanded. By 2019 the project had been so successful that the businesses were able to fill their own branded 50+ marquee on the day, meeting with hundreds of Expo attendees. The fast track success of the programme also saw a change in focus. “In the last two years it has really been about allowing the Over 50s to ‘give something back’,” Sharon explains. “The BIG Lottery wanted us to help younger people to learn from older people. We wanted to show that older people could have the confidence and the capability to share their experience.”

“I had been employed in my industry for 35 years. Without the Start Up workshop and on-going mentoring I don’t know if I would have had the confidence and knowledge to succeed.”

The Isle of Wight Lottery is a not-for-profit organisation run by the IW Chamber of Commerce. It offers interest free loans with an emphasis on job creation. As part of the scheme, young people would be allowed to borrow up to £5,000 interest free over two years to start up their own business. A panel of Over 50s Start Up businesses would then review the applications, interview the candidates and decide if the loan would be approved. One of the Over 50’s would then be chosen to act as a mentor to the young person over the life of the loan repayment period. “It’s been a win-win situation,” Sharon says. “The loan recipients have benefited from the insight and experience of the Over 50s network, who have enjoyed being able to add value and feel included in the process of starting new businesses. “On day one many of our participants would have scored quite highly if they were asked about whether they felt anxious or socially isolated. With the benefit of being part of the programme they now feel like they've turned a corner. Lynda and Fiona were like friends as well as business advisers. I’m so proud that as well as creating jobs the scheme has provided new opportunities, companionship and real stories of personal growth.”

MARCH 2020



Notes To Self Sandra Knowles Hillbans Pest Control Ltd

Sandra is a director of Hillbans Pest Control on Nicholson Road in Ryde. Hillbans Pest Control won the Excellence in Customer Service Award – Micro Business at the 2019 IW Chamber Business Awards.

What was your first job? I got my first job at 12 years old after convincing Harcourt Sands that I was 13. A group of my school friends worked throughout the summer holidays as bedmakers. It allowed us to earn our own money and feel more independent – even if we did just spend our wages on ice skating and shellsuits. I was very proud of my purple and turquoise number! The job itself was actually quite fun, working with your friends at that age involved a lot of joking around so I’m sure we were not ideal employees. I’ve had various customer focused jobs since which have given me valuable skills and experience that I still find useful today. I also left a career in education to take on Hillbans Pest Control with my husband, Patrick, in 2016.

What have you learned about business? When we took over Hillbans Pest Control we turned it into an Isle of Wight family business. It’s my first time owning a business and in those four years I’ve definitely learned a lot! Coupling running a business with raising three rumbustious boys is no easy feat. Patrick and I have had to learn quickly how to operate a successful business but it’s been very rewarding and definitely worth all of the sleepless nights. The main thing I’ve learnt is that it’s important to surround yourself with the right people. It may be difficult to delegate at first but hiring great people and trusting them to do their job is key. A successful and happy team creates a successful business with happy customers.

What have you learned about yourself? The journey has been a huge learning experience for me and I have often found myself pushed beyond my comfort zone. I’ve learnt from this that I can embrace challenges and tackle them head on. I’m resilient and never turn down opportunities to


learn and improve. I would consider myself a ‘people person’. Interacting with customers and networking with my peers are areas that I really enjoy. There has been a lot of personal and professional growth throughout the years and although I have accomplished a lot, I am looking forward to embracing more learning as myself and Hillbans Pest Control progress further. I’ve also learnt that I’m a lot tougher than I first thought. I used to cry over a broken nail and now as a pest control educator I deal with some situations that would make people squeal!

Is the Isle of Wight a different place to do business? The Island is unique in the way that everybody is connected and everybody knows everybody! Word of mouth spreads fast. If you do a great job for a customer and they tell their friend or relative then before you know it you’ve gained more business. There’s a real tight knit community feel to the Island which is a bonus for businesses, we regularly receive calls from people who have been referred to us from previous customers. A good reputation is all of the advertising you need. Building up good relationships and gaining repeat customers is also a lovely feeling. We have become great friends with lots of our customers which makes our work really rewarding. The Isle of Wight is also an amazing location to work in and I’ve been to some wonderful places including stately homes and National Trust properties.

What advice would you give your younger self? Just keep going and be yourself! Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be successful overnight. Things take time but if you have patience, stay true to yourself and have the right people around you everything will come together in the end. I live by the mantra that you only get one opportunity in life, so don’t turn it down! THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT


MARCH 2020




by Geoff Underwood, IFPL, CEO IFPL is an innovative award-winning company specialising in the design and manufacture of passenger interface solutions to the global In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) industry. Simply put, that means when you’re onboard a plane and you plug in your headphones or charge your phone, the chances are we’ve made the audio jack or charger!

We are passionate about everything the Isle of Wight has to offer and use local supply chains wherever possible. Our spend on the Isle of Wight is a significant part of our annual budget. In addition, IFPL is a proud supporter of The WightAID Foundation. WightAID provides regular grants to charities across the Isle of Wight, and we can be sure that our donations make the maximum possible impact to the lives of many people here on the Island.

Today IFPL provides the largest portfolio of proven IFEC products and services in the sector. The range includes USB data and power solutions, Long Life and Rapid Fit audio solutions - to name a few! IFPL has a team of more than 70 based in Calbourne, ranging from administration roles to business development, design and engineering roles.


We’re really proud to have won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise twice and this is testament to the dedication and commitment shown by our workforce. We are unique in our ability to combine industry leading innovation with manufacturing excellence; through a comprehensive inhouse capability that enables our clients to work closely with us in transforming ideas, from concept to prototype and then delivered as industrialised, certified and production ready solutions. Working at the cutting edge of technology in the aerospace industry has always held great interest for me. Technology moves fast and working here gives us the opportunity to deliver advanced niche product to airlines around the globe.

I founded IFPL in 1996 after a successful career with GEC Marconi working on Inflight Entertainment Systems. IFPL’s large manufacturing facility is based just outside of Calbourne and has extensive product design, R&D and manufacturing capabilities. We’re proud to supply the world’s leading IFEC manufacturers and airlines who have come to rely on us to provide inspiration to the enhancement of their passengers’ experience; delivered through our innovative product design and proven reputation for reliability.

roles including business development, management, administration and finance.

There are a wide range of opportunities at IFPL and we are passionate about retaining island talent and helping individuals to grow their careers and aspirations with us. Ongoing professional development is crucial to long-term careers with us and we’re really proud to have a workforce that is delivering innovative products to a global audience. We have a range of engineering roles at IFPL including head of design, product engineer, product designer, development manager, operations manager and production operatives. Plus, other

We’re looking forward to demonstrating our innovative products at several key events around the globe and continuing to expand the business. Our major industry exhibitions will be held in Hamburg and California and it will be great to showcase the Isle of Wight’s engineering and design capabilities!

IFPL’s Geoff Underwood




the efficiency of our newest blade (that measures a staggering 85 metres), orders continue to rise seeing the production team busy and global installation beginning in 2021.”

A strategic partnership between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas Wind Systems, led to the formation of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind in 2014. Laying besides the banks of the River Medina the vision was to transform develop offshore wind into commercially viable alternative and sustainable energy resource for the benefit of future generations. James Luter, Senior Factory Director, tells us that it is this vision that has inspired the team, spurred success and led to industry acclaim. “We began our journey five years ago with 70 employees with a prototype blade transitioning into repeatable production product. Today we employ 750 people and produce blades in excess of 80 metres long for a growing UK and export markets. “With just one revolution our blade on a turbine can power a typical household for 29 hours. To put that into perspective, one turbine needs to rotate 302 times to power your house for an entire year. That’s a mere 23 minutes of operation”. Both industry recognition and market demand have risen at a remarkable rate in a short space of time. James adds “It’s a highly competitive industry and we are always striving to develop more efficient and powerful turbines. Given

MARCH 2020

MHI Vestas’ James Luter

James readily recognises the heart of such success rests with the talent in the team. “The growth and success would simply have not been possible without their dedication, hard work and talent,” James says. “With such rapid growth a bespoke composites training programme was essential. This was designed, developed and delivered by our Training Partner Mark Blow.”

also extends to NVQs in Composite Engineering, as well as an accredited Management Training Programme. Telling statistics close James’s take on the current situation. “The industry has grown through the government’s commitment to deliver a net zero emission on greenhouse gases by 2050. Wind is the future and we know that the development of the turbines is only going to grow. It's not only a job for today, but it's also a job that delivers for our children's future as well. In 2018 renewable energy was powering 20% of the National Grid. Within the next few years it will be 30 percent, if not 40 percent, going even further.” As we break into 2020, and navigate our way into the next decade, and closer to a carbon neutral environment, all the indications suggest that the future looks bright for MHI Vestas.

As the requirement to develop training grew, MHI chose to collaborate with the Isle of Wight Colleges CECAMM Centre in East Cowes. “This investment means that we now operate a bespoke facility to teach our employees how to work with composites and to train in them our processes, so that they can learn the skills they need to make blades that turn at 200 mph,” James explains. Investment in people isn’t limited to composite production. Professional training




Expo, Bronze Patronage and Mastermind

IW Chamber membership update By Steven Holbrook, IW Chamber Chief Executive

2020 continues to be a very full year for the Chamber with an exciting range of new initiatives set to launch in the coming months. We are constantly challenging ourselves to find new ways to offer value to the wide range of members that we represent. The revamped Bronze Patron scheme is being developed to build on the successes of the Silver Patron scheme launched this time last year – I look forward to updating you more on this in the coming months. Expo 2020 has launched with a new increased size, meaning we can accommodate a further 20 businesses as we try to keep up with demand. We even have a new afternoon boat cruising networking event being developed, building on the popularity of the Cowes Week event last year. A key part of our Membership is the micro and small businesses and we have been brainstorming hard to develop a new product to add real value to this sector. The result of this deliberation is Mastermind. Mastermind is a brand new IW Chamber initiative bringing together groups of small business decision-makers to solve shared issues and problems in a structured environment.


We are incredibly proud to be offering this scheme which is totally new to the Isle of Wight. It is designed to answer questions that are universal to all businesses but often more difficult to answer for smaller ones such as – “Who can help me with this? What do I do next?” The simplest answer is that the best person to help with an issue is most likely found within a group of people who have already been through it and best understand the difficulties and constraints - but also the opportunities - of being based on the Island. It is about peer to peer learning and growth in a structured group of complimentary people. Each Mastermind group will consist of five members and an external chair who will meet up throughout the year in a mutual mentoring capacity with each group dictating the direction of discussion and areas to be focussed on. By utilising the different expertise and experiences within the Mastermind group, answers will be found that might be elusive or problematic on an individual basis. It is a fantastic opportunity for new learning, sharing best practice and resolving issues. The group will act in complete confidentiality and everyone must fully participate in the meetings so that the

entire group achieves genuine benefit from their engagement. Mastermind isn’t simply a discussion forum. We have all been to those before and they tend not deliver meaningful learning or development. All that happens is that the loudest voice in the room leaves feeling happy that they’ve had their say. Everyone else leaves feeling bored from having to listen to that person. Mastermind is very different. The group will set goals and will hold members accountable for the actions they say they wish to take. A very quick and probably over-simplified example could be that a member of the group hasn’t changed utility supplier for five years but thinks it might be a good way to save money. The action could be to research the different options and make the change so that they can report back at the next meeting about the best ways to do it. One person’s research and experience helps the group as a whole. This is what Mastermind is about – a group of committed members who understand that the whole is often more the sum of the individual parts. When you think about it – isn’t that the basis of the IW Chamber as a whole? Together we can achieve more.



West Acre Park is an exciting new development situated on the outskirts of Ryde. West Acre Park is a unique collection of two, three, and four-bedroom homes, including bungalows, where every aspect of modern living has been taken into consideration with a traditional and picturesque design and feel. This much sought-after location, with local schools within walking distance, has a rural countryside feel yet is just a stone’s throw away from the award-winning white sands of Appley Beach. In addition to an expanse of sandy beaches which stretch right along the town, Ryde boasts a great selection of boutique shops, museums and galleries for you to visit along with its superb hovercraft and passenger ferry links making it an ideal place for commuters, firsttime buyers and families to call home! Captiva Homes’ attention to detail means these homes at West Acre Park have been designed to include bright and airy free-flowing kitchen diners, family-friendly open spaces with larger front and rear gardens, quality en suite bathrooms and even the opportunity to extend your home over time.

Our Show Homes and Sales Suite are situated off Hope Road in Ryde and we are open to the public Thursday - Monday 10am until 5pm. Due to high levels of interest we recommended booking appointments in advance.




Chamber Members New


WightTricks Limited

Smooth Accounting

Prettyr Ltd.

Age UK Isle of Wight

Wight Photographer

Bembridge Powerboat Training

Jack Up Events

Diametric Technical Ltd

Biscoes Solicitors

Inns of Distinction

Elis UK Ltd

Dale Culshaw business.hsbc.uk dale.culshaw@hsbc.com 07387244284

Jeri Williams smoothaccounting.co.uk info@smoothaccounting.co.uk 01983 897345

Jo Dare ageuk.org.uk/isleofwight/ amy.gallop@ageukiw.org.uk 01983 525282

Sue McLagan powerboat-training.com sue@powerboat-training.com 01983 778077

Joe Newnham diametric.co.uk sales@diametric.co.uk 01983 300598

Martin Bullock innsofdistinction.co.uk info@innsofdistinction.co.uk 01983 873572

Robbie Bates wighttricks.co.uk wighttricks@gmail.com 07813659327

Chantelle Air prettyr.co.uk sales@prettyr.co.uk 01983 472966

Ian Plested wightphotographer.co.uk ian@wightphotographer.co.uk 07838411216

Sarah Moss jackupthesummer.co.uk info@jackupevents.co.uk 07876631456

John Hoey biscoes-law.co.uk jhoey@biscoes-law.co.uk 01983 615615

Sharon Byant Elis.com sharon.bryant@elis.com 01983 405111

Want to join the Chamber? Call the team on 01983 520777 or online iwchamber.co.uk 30



The Lifeboat


Black Rock Insurance Services


Julia Tanner Art

WRS Group Ltd

Laura Morris thelifeboatcowes.co.uk thelifeboatcowes@ciatgroup.co.uk 01983 292711

Alexandra Jewett Blackrockinsuranceservices.co.uk alex@blackrockiw.co.uk 01983 760377

Julia Tanner juliatannerart.co.uk juliatannerart@yahoo.co.uk 01983 651905

Join the

June Copeland-Trenwith mindchanger.co.uk june@mindchanger.co.uk 07879496660

Richard Bull wotuwant.co.uk rick@wotuwant.co.uk 07974 890462

Patrick McCarthy patrick@wrsgroupiow.com 07912228735



Being a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is a great business decision! Membership starts at less than £3 a week and entitles you to a huge range of business support, exclusive events and member discounts.

IW Chamber members have access to these four essential services:

ChamberHealth & Safety ChamberHR ChamberTax ChamberLegal

These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents. Not only that but you are protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.

All these services are included in your membership fee.

Don’t delay…join today! MARCH 2020



Being an

IW Chamber member

means you’re well connected! Every month we offer a wide range of opportunities for you to network with like-minded Island businesses. It’s a great way to meet new customers and clients, to promote your business or to catch up with existing contacts. Our monthly Friday Business Networking Breakfast is long established as a great way to meet business

people over a Full English breakfast, along with a guest speaker on a relevant subject. You can also try our monthly Tea and Toast informal networking sessions which are free to attend. Our three venues are Artisan in Ryde, Caffe Isola in Newport and the Slug and Lettuce in Newport. For full listings see www.iwchamber.co.uk/events

Thursday 5th March 2020

Tuesday 17th March 2020

The Subtle Art of Delegation

Tuesday Tea & Toast Networking

Delivered by Alex Tana

Slug & Lettuce, Newport | 7.30am – 9.30am | FREE

IW Chamber Offices, Newport | 9.30am – 12.30pm | £5 admin fee

Meet members for informal networking in a great location. It’s free to attend, with hot drinks and toast for everyone.

For most businesses delegation should be an essential component of an efficiently run and dynamic organisation. Yet the reality in practice is that for most businesses delegation seems to be one of the most challenging and difficult things to do. This course will be looking at why this is the case, what is the real problem at the core of the issue and what we can do about it to solve it.

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Understanding the Difference between a Logo and a Brand

Friday 6th March 2020

Delivered by Nosy Marketing

Business Breakfast

IW Chamber Offices, Newport

Newclose Cricket Ground, Newport 7.30am – 9.30am | £15 per person Our guest speaker this month will be Zoryna O’Donnell of L&M Plus Consulting who will be talking about building resilience to stress.

Monday 9th March 2020

9.30am – 12.30pm | £5 admin fee A lot of businesses think that they will get a lovely logo designed and their products will start selling like hot cakes… wrong! In this course we will share 10 tips with you which, if followed, will help your business to mean something to your customers – allowing you to sell your products and services not based on price but based on problem solving and an emotional attachment you’ve formed with your customers.

Brilliant Blogging to Boost Business

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Delivered by The Magpie Anthology

Mental Health at Work Course

IW Chamber of Commerce, Newport 10.00am – 3.00pm | £30 per person The workshop will cover everything blogging from snappy headlines to concise messaging and structured sentencing to punctuation and grammar brush ups. Learn how to get your message across in under 250 words, how to take an attention grabbing picture and how to keep your reader engaged.


Delivered by Good Skills Training IW Chamber Offices, Newport 9.00am – 5.00pm | £99 +vat per person The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RQF) is the ideal introduction to understanding mental health in the workplace.



Thursday 26th March 2020

One-Day Business Start Up Course IW Chamber Offices, Newport 9.30am – 4.00pm | £5 admin fee (available to non-members) We offer a one day business seminar aimed at people who are starting a business. Get the tools you need to take your idea from the drawing board to the real world. This course is designed for those with a business idea through to those who have been in business for six months.

Thursday 26th March 2020

Evening Networking at Caffe Isola Caffe Isola, Newport | 6.30pm – 9.00pm | £15.00 per person

Join us for evening networking and coffee at Caffe Isola. As both a local producer and successful cafe and retail business, hear all about Caffe Isola’s journey in coffee and business as well as watch live roasting demos to see what it takes to produce truly high quality coffee. Includes a welcome drink and a flavoursome Italian stuzzichini buffet, enriched with fresh and seasonal Isle of Wight ingredients.

Friday 3rd April 2020

Business Breakfast Liz Earle, The Green House Ryde 7.30am – 9.30am | £15.00 per person Lynn Ellsbury, Head of People and Operations at Liz Earle, will be our guest speaker this month. Lynn will be discussing Resilience and Managing Business Changes.

Book your place now! Go to www.iwchamber.co.uk

MARCH 2020



IW Chamber PATRONS Our Gold Patron

Our Silver Patrons

Our Bronze Patrons

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01983 812576 physio-care.com

Call today 01983 812576 PhysioCare has a strong Island reputation for its quality of care and exceptional customer service with:


JOIN ONLINE IT’S CLICK & EASY iwchamber.co.uk/iwlottery



Wide ranging specialities available from 5 senior physiotherapists including, musculoskeletal, spinal work, clinical Pilates, neurology, respiratory and gynaecological rehab. Hands-on treatments including acupuncture, ultrasound, Kinesiotaping, Shockwave Therapy, exercise rehabilitation and more…

e: manager@physio-care.com

Same or next day appointments available. Don’t wait for weeks in pain!

A friendly Practice Manager who can answer any query, ensuring the appointment is placed with the right physiotherapist for the problem. Largest Island coverage – clinics in Ryde, Cowes and Gurnard.

Island-wide home visits available



MARCH 2020



President’s View By John Allen, IW Chamber President

What does ‘net zero’ mean for your business? In 1989 when I was working as a journalist I was unexpectedly offered a new job. I became the Science and Environment Correspondent for commercial radio news provider Independent Radio News. Science was my home territory, but I had to rapidly absorb the environment issues of the day. Two massive global themes at that time were the hole in the ozone layer and global warming, or as we more commonly referred to it then, the ‘greenhouse effect’. This was very much the conversation around the proverbial dinner party table in Islington but less so in the general population. The problems of CFCs and the ozone layer were tackled and in 1996 CFCs were banned in the developed world. Global warming was much harder, requiring people to make significant changes to their lifestyles. Last year saw a massive change in public attitude towards climate change as well as broader environmental issues, helped along by the activities of Extinction Rebellion and the Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg. Often the most vociferous advocates for the environment are our children, who

are constantly reminding us when we do things that are not best for the environment and it is fair to say that public attitude has completely turned around, requiring businesses to think more about the environment. In June the UK became the first major economy to pledge to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, and there are now moves to bring that forward. Alongside this a new description came to the fore, Net-zero. At last month’s British Chambers of Commerce Southern Assembly, which I attended, Net-zero was a recurring theme around the table, and it is clear that it is firmly on the radar for business. Even the oil and gas industry have produced a blueprint for how they can be largely netzero by 2035. Some changes that can be made for the benefit of the environment will be quite small, but symbolic. In my own experience, at Ventnor Winter Gardens about a year ago it became apparent that customers did not find plastic drinking straws acceptable anymore, so we responded by changing to paper ones. I did toy with using pasta, but thought that was too much of a gimmick. Others are larger: in my self-catering business I have changed the energy supplier for all of my properties to be net-zero. My supplier assures me that all of their electricity

comes from renewable sources and they take steps to offset the gas that I use. They are currently one of the smaller suppliers, but a little cheaper than the big guys, so I am sure they will find this a winning business model, and I am now able to use this as a marketing message. On a larger scale Wightlink is significantly ahead of the curve with their hybrid Victoria of Wight vessel, which had already been in service for nearly a year when the government published the “Clean Maritime Plan” which requires all new ships ordered from 2025 onwards to have zero-emission capability if aimed for our waters. So, 30 years on, if thinking about the environment has not been a major theme for your business, now is the time to give it priority. Not so long ago caring for the environment was seen as a cost. In 2020 it is an opportunity.


ISLAND BUSINESS MAGAZINE Every month Island Business magazine spotlights the people and companies that are making the news on the Isle of Wight. If you’ve got a story to share with the Island’s business community, start with Island Business. Every edition is emailed directly to thousands of Island business people and the physical edition is racked across the Island at high footfall locations. It’s also directly mailed to all Chamber members. If your business is growing, investing, celebrating, winning awards, appointing new staff or marking a milestone then get in touch. Send your news stories to the editor, tom.stroud@iwchamber.co.uk. Find out more about advertising, marketing opportunities and how we can help you to raise your profile by emailing amber.beard@iwchamber.co.uk




MARCH 2020


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