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Island usiness

Incredible Journey Company Profile Isle of Wight Campervans

Feature Health & Wellbeing The Interview Stuart Dyer, Godshill Model Village Spotlight Recession Beaters




June 2012

In this Issue...

President’s Foreword


ello and welcome to the June edition of Island Business magazine – one of several products published by your Chamber of Commerce – that embraces all sectors of business associated with the Isle of Wight. As you would expect from this time of year, this month features a strong tourism feel with articles on one of the Island’s longest standing attractions as well as a relatively new, but very successful, niche enterprise that has already attracted national interest and press coverage. This month’s main feature is on the health and wellbeing sector, of which the Chamber is an active participant with its health outreach and smoking cessation programs. We are now, of course, right in the middle of the holiday / Jubilee / festival / Olympics melee and it will be very interesting to see the effect on the Island’s tourist trade once the dust has settled. Of course, we hope that we will be seen as a ‘safe haven’ by those who haven’t got caught up in the frenzy and, dare I say it, the hype surrounding the really big events. The alternatives of the cycling and walking festivals along with our outdoor summer shows and traditional holiday attractions will, I think, become a great pull to many people. Just keep your fingers crossed for good weather! We should never forget though that our Island is about much more than tourism - with many world leading (and world beating) companies based here.

The newest of the Royal Navy’s ships are equipped with radar from here, current and future generations of aircraft have components built here, some of the most popular computer games are designed here, and our marine and manufacturing sectors enjoy a fantastic global reputation.


News Business news from the Island, and beyond

04 09

Independents Day Two page special: Celebrating independent retailers

Experts View From Glanvilles


The Interview Stuart Dyer, Godshill Model Village


Company Profile Isle of Wight Campervans


Feature Health and Wellbeing


Spotlight Recession beaters


Chamber News Member benefits, new members, events


Island Action The Chamber: tackling Island issues

Despite difficult economic times, membership of the Chamber continues to grow and our work with young people, new businesses and different industry sectors are our central pillars. The simple, consistent message is that we are here to ensure the sustainable economic development of the Isle of Wight. As a not for profit organisation, we still operate as a commercial enterprise, but use any surplus for the promotion and economic development of the Island. Your support through joining the IW Lottery and taking space in our Tourism products and Island Business magazine make these aims possible and I thank you for doing so. To wrap things up, can I wish you all a very pleasant summer and hope that you enjoy the events and activities that you attend. Steve Porter President, Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry

Island Business Magazine Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry Editor Kevin Wilson

Design Aaron Rudd Creative

Managing Editor Zoe Stroud

Advertising Sales Mary Collis

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.

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520 777

Certified as FSC mixed sources - ideal when an environmentally friendly paper is required. Island Business magazine is printed by Crossprint, an ISO 9001 registered printer based on the Isle of Wight.


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012



Chamber Health has been commissioned by NHS IW to deliver stop-smoking support to Island residents for three years.

Her first customer when she set up the hire business at her home in Cowes was a woman in her 80s, but since then it has become an automatic port of call for women of all ages looking for evening wear for a cruise, or students dressing up to the nines for the school Proms.

Recruiting quitters A new community NHS Stop Smoking Service has been launched on the Island.

Designs of the times

Smoking is he leading cause of death and illness in the UK, and there are 24,000 smokers on the Island.

Offshore application by end of next year A joint venture has been formed between Eneco Wind UK Ltd (Eneco) and EDF Energy to hold the exclusive development rights to the Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Project, part of The Crown Estate Round 3 Offshore Wind Programme.

Ten years of Posh Frocks has been a whirlwind for Lora Peacey-Wilcox. Now she’s wondering if it’s time to hang up.

Research shows that smokers are four times more likely to quit with professional support. Chamber Health offers five weeks support, with four weeks free nicotine replacement therapy. It provides services in the workplace, as well as the community, with groups at Southern Vectis and Orchards, and clinics at The Dower House and Cowes surgeries,for registered patients. It also has clinics Monday to Friday, with late opening on Thursdays, until 6pm, at Mill Court in Newport.

Times have certainly changed. In the early stages, one of her biggest problems was trying to deal with dresses being returned with cigarette burns, and the most popular dress sizes were 12 to 16.

The team consists of the Stop Smoking Programme CoOrdinator Debbie Cant and two stop smoking advisors Hayley Snow and Lynn Burford.

Now Lora says cigarette burns are a thing of the past, and the most popular dress size has gone up to 18.

Contact Debbie Cant on 01983 554545 for more information.

“Designs have changed, too,” she said. “Women want more bling, and more intricate features. They are so much more confident, too. Black tie events are much more common, and many more people seem to go on cruises, so the demand for my posh frocks remains very good.”

The Crown Estate, owner of the seabed and a partner in the project, awarded the area (known as Zone 7), to the west of the Isle of Wight, to Eneco in 2009. This followed a tendering process designed to allow around 32GW of offshore wind power generation to be developed in UK waters by 2020.

Lora has a stock of around 3,000 dresses, some of which are for sale.

Biltong bags portas

The proposed development could deliver between 900MW and 1200MW of capacity in the northern part of the awarded area, a site which covers 76 square miles. This is enough power to supply between 615,000 and 820,000 homes, and will prevent the production of approximately 1,186,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Eneco and EDF Energy will carry out a programme of consultation with the local community, and plan to submit a planning application at the end of 2013.

“I still wash every dress myself, and the dresses still cost £40 to hire,” said Lora, who has been a Cowes Town Councillor for 13 years, and an Island Councillor since 2005, and serves on many voluntary groups as well.

Paul Fry is the first winner of WP Recruitment’s Temp of the Month award.


The award is based on client feedback, and Paul won last month after getting glowing reports for his temporary assignment at South Boats Group. The winner gets a 13 week subscription to the Isle of Wight Lottery. Kate Thomas, Recruitment Manager at WP Recruitment, said: “We thought this was a great way to reward our candidates. It gives them a chance of winning a big prize, and might also encourage them to stay in the IW Lottery for the future, knowing that the subscription goes back into the Island economy to help create more jobs for local people.”

Isle of Wight based biltong maker Nick Greeff presented a personalised bag of all his flavours to retail guru Mary Portas at the Palmer and Harvey (P&H) Pro-Retail Show in Telford. Mary Portas said her son had loved biltong since a visit to South Africa. She said he came back after a trip when he was 8 addicted to it, she researched the product and realized it was really good for him. Mary Portas stopped at the stall twice to chat to Nick and Sarah about their biltong. Peter Cross her business partner offered his expertise as they develop the brand. Isle of Wight Biltong was invited to the trade show as part of the P&H Plus Extra small supplier initiative which is promoting small producers on a national basis.

Lora with one of the newest Posh Frocks in her collection.

“I am celebrating 10 years in business, but time has certainly flown by. Now I’m thinking that my life has got so busy that it’s time for someone else to take over. I keep wondering how much bigger it could grow if it was based in proper High Street premises rather than my home. I think I’ve taken it as far as I can.” Posh Frocks won an award in the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Awards a few years ago, and she said being part of its business network had been very important. “It is a strong network and I have had a lot of support from it over the years,” she said. “But now - as a wife, mother and dog owner, voluntary worker and Councillor – I think the business needs someone with more time and energy than me!”


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012

Celebrating Sandown! When the going gets tough …

The national campaign, organised by Skillsmart Retail, champions the local retailers who make the UK’s villages, towns and cities so special.

Nicky Parker, a director of Ladies Realm, and a member of Sandown Business Association, said:

Joining Forces

“I feel it is about valuing good sales staff, but more than that, about showing our customers how Nicky Parker, Ladies Realm we value them. Independent retailers really care about their business, because it really is their business!

The UK’s Retail Champion and the Island’s Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to urge independent retailers to celebrate Independents Day. Independent shops make up about 60 per cent of all town centre stores. The campaign aims to encourage shoppers to buy at least one item from their local, independent shop on that day, and retailers in Sandown are already gearing up to make the most of the opportunity. Clare Rayner, retail expert and UK Retail Champion, said: “Independent retailers are what make each of our towns unique - without them our towns would be clones, with all the same fascias. They add vibrancy, diversity and often provide a route to market for smaller brands who might otherwise never reach the consumers. Usually offering more attentive, personal service, it’s no wonder smaller retailers are often described fondly as our friendly, local, independent...

“What I would like to achieve through this, is to show local people what Sandown has to offer. Between us we have a vast range of products and services, and are often a better price. This day is our chance to show this, how we listen and how we go that extra mile, and hopefully entice customers back in to the town regularly.

“The Isle of Wight is such a beautiful place. And in the summer, what better location is there for retailers to really showcase the best of what they’ve got for both the locals and the tourists! “ Kevin Smith, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, said:

Island Independents Day On Wednesday 4 July, shoppers will be encouraged to buy at least one item from their local, independent shops to celebrate Independents’ Day 2012.

“We know that local people as well as visitors love the variety of shopping on the Island, and much of that is down to the fact that they can find things here that are different, and enjoy the traditional values of service that seem to be disappearing elsewhere.

“This economic climate is the hardest we at Ladies Realm have ever had to trade in. But the independent shops in Sandown are celebrating in style! There will be discounts, raffles, special offers and gifts to shoppers on the day. “We are proud to be independent, offering personal service and listening to what our customers want. But it is vital to our town that Sandonians shop locally. The expression use us or lose us has never been more pertinent.”

Those celebrating in Sandown on 4 July include: The Post Office. 19 Beachfield Road 10 per cent discount on cards + gifts Keats. 44 Beachfield Road 10 per cent discount The Rock shop. 1 High Street Glory Art Glass. Melville Street 10 per cent discount

Get involved… Kevin Smith, Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

“Independent retailers are the life force of our high streets, and there are many examples of shops that have done well and continue to do well in the face of all the challenges. “It’s great to see businesses in Sandown coming together in this way, and we think that’s a great example for other towns. “We’ve seen encouraging signs elsewhere on the Island with retailers coming together to sell themselves, so let’s all get the message out that our independent shops are among the best in Britain, not just on 4 July, but all year round!”

Independent retailers wanting to take part in the event can find out more, and pick up ideas for promotion, by checking out the campaign’s facebook page at Let us know! If you do decide to take part, please let us know, and we’ll spread the word through the Chamber website and our magazine facebook page at

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Lullaby Lambs, 28b High Street discount and raffle Ladies Realm, 43-45 High Street 10 per cent discount

Upstairs Downstairs, Pier Street spend £30 and get a voucher

Fields Menswear, 47-49 High Street discount or free gift

Rapanui, 1 High Street free tea and give-aways

Instep, 51 High St 10 per cent discount;

Olde Worlde Antiques. 3 High Street 10 per cent discount

Bliss Ice cream parlour, 36b High Street free topping on ice-creams;

Memory Lane, 7 High Street 10 per cent discount

Wight Office Equipment, 36a High Street free ice-cream at Bliss;

Puddleduck,13 High Street free gift Daisy’s Bakery, 9 High Street Sandown Jewellers, 17 High Street Fresh café. 2 High Street 10 per cent discount Taste Buds. 4 High Street discount and raffle Sandown News. 12 High Street Wight Balloons, 24c St Johns Road 10 per cent discount;

Sandown Pet Stores, St Johns Road 10 per cent discount

This list was correct at the time we went to press, but there may be some changes. The best way to find out is to go down to the shops and find out!

Bags of Sandown, 28a High Street 10 per cent discount

B J Meats, Melville Street 10 per cent discount

The Floral Workshop, 24c St Johns Road;

Small print

Ditto, 26b High Street free tea

Bygone Days, 21 High Street 10 per cent discount Vanity Fayre, 27 High Street tombola window LR- Bed, Body & Beach, 29 High Street 10 per cent discount

Present Times, 38a High Street Garden Gems, 38c High Street discount Barrow Boys, York Road free strawberries and cream, and raffle Bellamy’s Bistro, High Street special for the day Trevillion Jewellers, 73 High Street gift voucher Not Just Denim, 75 High Street 10 per cent discount Harmony DIY, Albert Road Buttie Box, Albert Road special for the day Sandown Bay Gifts, 87 High Street free gift Wight Discount Stores, High Street Art2artz, High Street Baileys, 97-101 High Street 10 per cent discount

The Clearance Shop, 37 High Street 10 per cent discount

P&J News, 113 High Street 10 per cent discount (not tobacco goods)

Rachel’s, 39 High Street 20 per cent off gifts and leather goods

Island Girl, High Street 10 per cent discount

This’n’That, Wilkes Road raffle

Silver Graphics, St Johns Road 10 per cent discount Curiocity, High Street

Charles, 20 High Street





The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012


The Events Venue with a Difference

Victoria Brook sailed back home from her honeymoon to find she’d won a belated wedding present, courtesy of the Isle of Wight Lottery.

Cowes Yacht Haven plays host to some of the most prestigious events in the boating calendar and our Events Centre now provides the ideal venue for over 150 functions a year. This unique and superb waterside location offers the flexibility to cater from 80 to 800 people, be it a seated corporate conference, concert, or night of fun and entertainment.

Crossprint advert

The Events Centre can be partitioned and tailored to suit any occasion, ensuring even smaller affairs are still rich in atmosphere.

Victoria’s IW Lottery gift

Offering a complete management service with full conference facilities and equipment, we’ve quickly gained a reputation for exceeding expectations.

Call us today for a free tour and discover why.

The complete sailing experience

Victoria, who lives in Sandown, was delighted to discover she was the first winner of the Lottery’s new £4000 top prize. And having just enjoyed a Canary Islands cruise, Victoria had no problem deciding what to spend her winnings on: she will be enjoying an extra special holiday next year, too.

A double good idea

She signed up for the Isle of Wight Lottery when it began around 10 years ago, because she wants to support local business.

Joining the Isle of Wight Lottery last year ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’, according to 70 years old Malcolm Hollyman.

“That’s very important to me because I run my own business as a consultant for Cambridge Weight Plan,” she said. “And of course there is the added bonus you might win some money!”

And last week, after winning a £2,000 prize for the second time, he is even more convinced it was the right decision. Malcolm, who lives in Binstead, said he signed up for the Isle of Wight Lottery because it supports Island businesses and was amazed to win once, let alone twice in such a short space of time.

Isle of Wight Lottery organisers have increased the amount of prize money, giving subscribers opportunities to win much more cash.There is now one weekly prize of £2,000, which changes to £4,000 on the last Wednesday of each month; £10,000 on the last Wednesday of July; and £10,000 on the last Wednesday of January 2013. For more information about the Lottery, go to

“I signed up straight away,” he said. “It only costs £1 a week. So, even on my pension, what’s £1 a week these days?”


Vectis Yard, High Street, Cowes Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, PO31 7BD Tel: 01983 299975 Fax: 01983 200332 Email: Scan for more information

hether an experienced or novice sailor, our sailing days provide fun and enjoyment on the water at affordable prices for you, your clients and colleagues.

Sailing is all within sight of our picturesque Clubhouse where you can come ashore for lunch and enjoy the Club’s hospitality, soaking up some of the best sea views on the south coast.

Based in the sheltered waters of the Solent, Sea View Yacht Club, Isle of Wight, home to the Mermaids, enjoys spectacular views across the Solent to Portsmouth harbour.

Our Mermaids are modern 26’ yachts but of classic design, all painted in unique colours. Available from April to October and appeal to both the beginner and experienced sailor .

Visit for more information Call us on 01983 564999 or email MERMAIDS our fleet - your team


Malcolm worked as a draughtsman for Westland in Yeovil, but was made redundant 20 years ago. He worked on contract at GKN on the Island and decided to stay. He keeps busy by sequence dancing three times a week, and also through his membership of the Model Engineering Club. Malcolm said: “I’ll be putting the money towards a holiday, and anything left over will go towards my bank balance!” Isle of Wight Lottery organisers increased the amount of prize money from last month, giving subscribers opportunities to win more cash. There is now one weekly prize of £2,000, which changes to £4,000 on the last Wednesday of each month; £10,000 on the last Wednesday of July; and £10,000 on the last Wednesday of January 2013. For more information about the Lottery, go to Project1:Layout 1



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Island Business.indd 1

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The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012

chamber health


Smart bus He said the company already has an extensive network of fibre optic cable in the ground, and was preparing to make full use of it.

WightCable on the fast track New WightCable CEO John Irvine says the company is gearing up to set the pace on high speed data services.

Youth Contract boost for Isle of Wight jobseekers


mployers of all sizes from all sectors – private, voluntary or charity – can now take advantage of the Youth Contract, a £1 billion package of support to help employers recruit young talent into their businesses. There is new funding for existing initiatives, like the National Apprenticeship Programme, sector based work academies and Work Experience - schemes that employers have said work well for them. And there’s also a new Wage Incentive, a cash subsidy paid directly to the employer, of up to £2,275 for every 18-24 year old young unemployed person that an employer takes on. The job must last for at least 26 weeks, and the employer must be able to demonstrate to the Work Programme Provider that the job could lead to a permanent position. The Wage Incentive is only available where the employee works 16 hours or more per week and must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

Employers can apply for one of the 160,000 Wage Incentives anytime over the next three years, so employers can plan now what talent they might need to grow their business. Employers receive free recruitment support from a choice of local Work Programme Providers and their Jobcentre Plus, who will work with the employer to find them eligible young people to interview. Once a match has been made, the Work Programme Provider will give the employer a simple two page claim form to complete. The employer can claim the relevant payment after 26 weeks of employment and smaller employers (with fewer than 50 employees) can choose to claim some of the payment sooner to help cash flow and cover initial start-up costs. For more information on the Youth Contract, or to offer someone a Work Experience placement, call Kerrie Honey at Jobcentre Plus on 01983 273166, or go to www.

After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, John joined IBM as a programmer analyst, before specialising in data networking technologies. John, who launched the UK’s first voice over broadband service, Broadband Telephony, also worked for BT and Verizon Business. He said his blend of technical and commercial experience had shown the importance of bridging the gap between technology that is clever, and technology that is useful.

The new Southern Vectis key smartcard means regular bus users can use it to travel on the Island, and for its sister companies, Bluestar, and Wilts and Dorset.

The shop also sells a mix of Island products and gifts with a sustainable theme – including solar powered toys – and ‘keep cups’.

The company said the new key system will make it easier for passengers to buy discounted travel packages.

Will said: “We are the only place this side of London to sell these cups, which means people can have their name engraved and then qualify for cut price coffee every time they come back here and fill it up.”

The hope is that, as with the Pensioner’s Concessionary Travel Scheme passes that use the same system, fewer cash transactions on the bus will help speed up boarding times and reduce delays at busy bus stops.

Rob Drake-Knight, who started the company with his brother Mart, selling t shirts, said: “We have made our name for producing clothing that is sustainable,

Full information on the key card is available by visiting www.islandbuses. info/thekey


Fast growth

Eco clothing brand Rapanui is extending its reach with the opening of its new shop and café in Sandown High Street.

Around five per cent of small businesses in the Solent play an extraordinary role in boosting the local economy, according to a new report by Santander Corporate Banking. The 250 fast growth businesses created 6,500 jobs during the difficult trading period of 2007 – 2010.

working on the principle of the circular economy. People do think more about what they buy, and we wanted to reflect that in our shop.

Common factors included strong teamwork and relationships; youthful leadership; high levels of ambition; and a proactive approach to cash and credit management.

Experts View: Glanvilles The answer is blowing in the wind

Will Amery has shipped in from Bristol, where he was a champion barista, to manage the shop – and serve Rapanui’s own brand coffee.

Overlooked relief


nheritance Tax (IHT) Business Property Relief (BPR) is a much overlooked relief for anyone who does not run their own business.

However it is a relief that is available to anyone. Basically, 100 per cent relief from IHT is granted to anyone who holds shares in a trading company which is not a PLC, without the need to be involved in the business or to hold a minimum number of shares .

Portsmouth-based Raymarine is offering a free weather briefing for Round the Island Race competitors.

The shares must be owned for two or more years to qualify.

It will be held at Island Sailing Club on 29 June at 6pm, hosted by Libby Greenhalgh,

This gives rise to a number of IHT saving opportunities such as:

Competitors can also sign up to receive forecasts via email and SMS at

Investment in shares on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as such qualify for 100% BPR.

Free video updates will give daily analysis of the weather patterns as they build, set against tidal predictions which competitors can use to start to build their tactical strategy ahead of the race.

Example: Fred has £1,000,000 in savings as well as a house worth £750,000. He is 88 and in reasonable health. Fred could gift his £1,000,000 to his children.

However, he would lose access to the money and the income from it and he would have to live another seven years for the gift to be outside his IHT estate. If he invested the £1,000,000 in AIM shares he would still have access to the shares and share income and after only two years the whole lot would be exempt from IHT – a saving of £400,000! Investment in a child’s company. Example: If Fred’s son had a trading business he could buy shares (carrying income rather than voting rights) worth £200,000 from Fred. Again these would be exempt from IHT after two years and Fred would retain access to income and capital. If he had gifted the money to his son he would have needed to survive the gift by 7 years and he would have lost access to income and capital of the monies gifted. Contact 01983 527878 email or go to


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012

SHOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS, GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Our MBA will provide you with the opportunity to develop your strategic problem-solving skills whilst mastering the latest business research knowledge and practice. We offer extensive involvement with real organisational issues embedded in an innovatively designed, AMBA accredited, programme. To find out more about our wide range of degrees, come along to one of our regular open evenings – details of which can be found at T: 023 9284 8200 E: Project4:Layout 1



The Interview: Going beyond customer satisfaction KEVIN WILSoN MEETS STuArT DYEr, oF goDSHILL MoDEL VILLAgE

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Make sure you’ve signed up or you could miss out bigtime


Join at or call 01983 529888

When Stuart Dyer walked into his first job as an RAF physical education instructor, he worried whether he could cope with some of the tough, battle hardened men in his charge. Then one of them gave him a single word of advice: Listen. Twenty five years later, Stuart owns and runs godshill Model Village with his wife Penny, and he believes that advice still holds true both for him, and the Island’s tourism industry. “We’ve increased turnover by 30 per cent since we bought the business from Penny’s father eight years ago,” he said. “And much of that is down to the fact that we listen to our customers, and to our staff.

“Having a motivated workforce makes a massive difference, and if the Isle of Wight is looking at how to improve as a holiday destination, I can’t help thinking that this would be a good place to start. “Here at the Model Village, the business has been going for 60 years, but we never talk about customer satisfaction: we talk about customer excellence.” The attraction notches up footfall of around 80,000 a year, and between 70 and 80 per cent of visitors have been before. Stuart takes his turn on the rota for working in the ticket kiosk and insists that the customer comment book is read by staff every day. “Penny and I have travelled a lot, and we have seen some amazing examples of how to do excellent customer service,” he said. “We try to bring that to our venue, but the important thing is that if you haven’t got the right people on your team, your business will fall flat on its face.”

“Having a motivated workforce makes a massive difference, and if the Isle of Wight is looking at how to improve as a holiday destination, I can’t help thinking that this would be a good place to start.”

“We’ve had a great response, especially from younger members of the team, who often see that things could be done differently. We tell them we’re not just employing their hands, but their brains too, and they have come up with some brilliant ideas that make the service better.

Stuart’s background also includes a spell selling kitchens to builders and developers, but he said his watershed moment came when he took a job as a training consultant in London, which led him to travel the world coaching executive staff.

“It taught me about people management, and how it can make such a difference to business performance,” he said. “I try to lead by example. I tell myself I’m not paid to have a bad day …”


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June June2012 2012



“We have done some paid for advertising, particularly on the Island, which was really good at getting our name known.

Incredible Journey

Sarah guy, Isle of Wight Campervans

If Sarah and Paul had paid for the column inches that have been written about them, it would add up to a six figure sum.

Paul said: “We have always worked in a service environment, so we like to think we appreciate the importance of customer service. It’s all right having a great product, but we needed to back it up with lots of publicity so people knew about us, and high standards of care. It was also important to us to be able to quote one price, with no extras to catch people out.”


Sometimes in life, you just know when something is right. It can be a coming together of circumstances, or just an instinct, and when it happens in the world of business, the rest of us are left wondering: ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ It seems to have happened for Sarah guy, who had an inspired moment seven years ago when she and her husband Paul sold their car to buy a classic VW campervan, then set to work on a business plan. Seven years down the road, Isle of Wight Campervans – based on the outskirts of Shanklin - is a regular in national media, attracts a large number of ABC1s to the Island, and is destined for further expansion. But it wasn’t an overnight success. Sarah, whose background is in floristry, and Paul – who owned a hairdressing business – wanted to start something new that would fit in with raising children. Sarah was finishing a college course in reception and management, and felt it was time to make a change.

She spent around a year working out every detail of the new business, including insurance, maintenance and repair, changeover days, and promotion. And when she was finally satisfied, the first hire took place. Sarah said: “It is basically a very simple idea, but something inside me told me it would work. We could remember hiring a camper in Australia with nothing included at all. I just thought it would be perfect to provide all the essentials, make sure the vehicle was in top class condition, and then concentrate on giving everyone the best service possible, so the whole experience was positive. “One of the key things was the quirkiness of it. People love the classic VW campers, and we just thought they would be the perfect partner for the quirky and beautiful Isle of Wight.” Sarah and Paul certainly picked a winner. They now have 12 vehicles in the fleet, and plan to increase that to 15 this year; are opening an online store and a shop in Ventnor, called At Sarah’s House; and are launching a range of merchandise. They also hope to build a new reception/office, and are looking at options to establish a depot in Cowes to be nearer the ferry terminal.

The price includes fully comprehensive insurance for the first named driver; fresh linen and towels (covered & plumped duvet, sheet & pillow, hand & bath towel per person); teatime hamper; childrens backpack; crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, kettle, and coffeepot, folding chairs & table, unlimited Isle of Wight mileage, full AA roadside recovery, bike racks, customer car parking, and Outwell side tents with an extra bedroom and living area. Customers can travel as foot passengers on the ferry, and be met at the terminal with their campervan ready for the road, fitted with bike racks. Some are surprised to find they can get the train in London, right through to Shanklin Station and pick up their campervan there around two hours later. So getting here is easy enough. Sarah’s trick has been to attract customers in the first place, and she set out to do it without spending a fortune on advertising. “Once we’d got our first year out of the way, and knew we had a good product, I started sending write-ups to magazines,” Sarah said. “eventually, we got something published in Coast magazine, and since then we have had an amazing amount of coverage.” The wall in the office is covered with proof: a three page article in the Times; two pages in the guardian; two cover images in Coast; a feature in Marie Claire … It’s an impressive scrapbook and all achieved without an enormous marketing budget.

Sarah was also quick to offer free use of her vans to travel journalists visiting the Island. “They were here to write about the Isle of Wight, not about our company, but they enjoyed the experience and it would pay off later when they told their colleagues, or gave us a mention,” she said. “Persistence has been the key. Bit by bit, the word spread, and we have lost count of the number of articles that have been written about us. We have been on television, too. It seems to have captured the imagination of a lot of people, and it helped us reach our target market – the relatively affluent young families in the Home Counties.

“We have done some paid for advertising, particularly on the Island, which was really good at getting our name known. We don’t advertise as much now, but we do have reciprocal arrangements with other Island tourism businesses, including campsites and activities.” It’s all about building an image and targeting the right people, and the vans themselves are important players. They all have names and bright distinctive colours – Compton was the first one they bought, and Oliver is coming up to his 40th birthday this year. Penelope, all in pink, is an increasingly popular choice. Other members of the fleet include Sir edmond, Primrose, ermintrude, Florence, Woodstock, Seaside and Sunny. Isle of Wight Campervans was once asked to supply a vehicle for a funeral, but declined the offer. Continued on page 14


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012


‘The Isle of Wight and VW campervans go together like fish & chips.’ Coast Magazine, February 2010

The whole fleet is usually booked out during the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival, and the new V-Dub Festival has helped maintain levels of interest in this relaxed way of getting to know the Island. The vehicles have long lives. They average only around 4,000 miles a year … after all, you don’t need to drive far to get round the whole Island. They are maintained by two local mechanics, and on the rare occasions when anything goes wrong, Paul and Sarah keep a van in reserve that can be quickly delivered so customers can continue their holiday. Sarah said: “We will drive out ourselves and help people if they need it. I remember someone phoning up to say their airbed had collapsed, so we drove round with a new one for them. “The important thing is to deliver what you promise, and if there is a problem, find a way to work it out.” The formula isn’t magic, but the initial concept certainly seems to be. Sarah’s eye for style and attention to detail helped earn her a NatWest/everywoman award for business in a rural community last year. One of the prizes was the support of a public relations company which has opened up even more coverage in media including Countryfile, Mail on Sunday, the guardian, Times, and Telegraph. “The real secret seems to be the appeal of the lovely classic vans and the lovely Island environment,” said Sarah. “We know from feedback that people who come here from the London area love the fresh air and space and freedom this type of visit gives them. Our job is to give them a quality experience.

“It’s a whole Island thing, and we use Island suppliers for just about everything. That mutual support has been very important. “Our season started in February this year, despite the awful weather, so now we’re hoping for a good summer.” Coast magazine summed up the situation pretty well in an article two years ago: ‘The Isle of Wight and VW campervans go together like fish and chips.’

legal services for individuals and businesses

WORRIED ABOUT INHERITANCE TAX? If you would like to minimise your potential Inheritance Tax (IHT) burden contact Claudia Roberts, Partner Solicitor and Chartered Tax Advisor at Glanvilles. Claudia has a wealth of experience in helping her clients reduce their estate’s exposure to IHT to ensure they can pass on as much as possible to the next generation. Glanvilles provide a professional yet caring and sympathetic service to ensure our clients’ wishes for the future are met precisely. As part of this service, we are always pleased to liaise with any of our clients’ accountants, stockbrokers and financial advisors whenever it’s appropriate.



Wills, Trusts & Probate Services


• Tax Planning

• Advising the elderly

• Wills

• Probate & Estate Management

• Trusts

• Court of Protection proceedings

• Powers of Attorney

• Changing ownership arrangements

The Courtyard, St. Cross Business Park, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5BF

contact us to arrange yours!

01983 527878 Glanvilles are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA number 507970

Claudia Roberts Partner Solicitor and Chartered Tax Advisor


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012



“It’s no coincidence that the top uK companies have the most active commitment to the health and wellbeing of their employees...” Michael Holley, Clear Lantern

Fit for Purpose

“This business has been here for around 25 years, and we bought it five years ago,” she said. One of the main pressures is keeping up to date with legislation, and trends in health. Recent legislation from europe has drastically reduced the number of herbal remedies on offer, because of the requirement for each one to be licensed. That meant manufacturers had to pay a high fee for each product, and so those that weren’t such big sellers were dropped.

Michael Holley, Clear Lantern

Owen has worked in the outdoors since he was a boy in South Wales, and says he is now looking to recruit more staff to cope with demand.

KEVIN WILSoN LIMBErS uP WITH A LooK AT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEINg SECTor owen Burson, Isle of Wight Adventure Activities

Keeping healthy in mind and body is high on the list of most people’s priorities, but does that necessarily make it a sound business proposition? We took a vitamin supplement and set off round the Island to find out …

The centre, at Freshwater Bay, offers kayaking, as well as coasteering, archery, and – new this year – mountain boarding. The centre attracts stag and hen parties, who particularly love coasteering: basically, clambering round the rocks and following the coastline at high tide. But, increasingly, adventures are attracting families. Owen said: “It’s especially nice to see whole families doing activities together. People of all ages find it challenging, but it can inspire and motivate. It makes people feel good mentally and physically.”

The company started life as a base for sea kayaking: Owen is also an inspector for the British Canoe union and runs coaching sessions.

New recruit Aston Rose-Kirby joined the business on an apprenticeship through uKSA, and has introduced the new mountain boarding activity. He said the health and wellbeing sector was a rapidly changing world and it was important to keep up to date with the latest health and safety training, as well as maintaining skill levels.

He said: “We did offer other activities but our branding was all wrong. We changed things around last year, including a name change, to reflect the fact that we offered much more, and since then we have been rushed off our feet.”

“People like safe danger,” he said. “It’s our job to give people a great experience, but also to keep them safe, and it is great to see people getting such a rush. We only introduced mountain boarding a few weeks ago, and already it is becoming as popular as kayaking.”

Owen Burson, of Isle of Wight Adventure Activities, says business has never been better.

He said: “Let’s face it, there can’t be many places better than the Isle of Wight to enjoy the great outdoors.” Just down the road in Freshwater, West Wight Leisure Centre is a charity run on business principles. Manager, Clare griffin, said: “We are adding value all the time. This year alone, we have introduced seven new exercise classes, including the new Bokwa system. And because our gold members have free access to all of them, as well as the pool and gym, it has led to a 20 per cent increase in gold membership.

“Things like this make it quite difficult to keep pace,” said Doreen. “And the next piece of legislation is likely to place a limit on the strength of vitamin supplements, so we will have to keep an eye on that, too. “Our stock is constantly changing to reflect demand and interest, and we installed a computerised system recently to help us keep on top of that.

“At the moment, there seems to be a run on beetroot juice because research showed it was used to aid sports recovery, for example. “There is a steady interest from customers in health, and a lot of awareness about what is available, so we have to be knowledgeable. It helps that we have staff here with more than 20 years’ experience, and I am certainly learning all the time!” Doreen’s regular customers are supplemented by visitors in the holiday season. She said: “The recession has affected us, and we have responded to that by seeking out bargains for people, as well as trying to make sure we source what people want. “We shop around ourselves and it means we can offer products at very low prices. People are sometimes surprised to find that we can stock it cheaper than national internet suppliers or High Street chain stores.” Continued on page 18

“We cater for all ages, and there is no sign of a reduction of interest in keeping fit. It’s important for us that anyone can find something to suit them, so at some times during the week we will have little children in one room doing an exercise class, and next door will be our easy Does It class for older people who can do their exercises while sitting down. “People are always looking for new challenges, and new things to try, so we do have to keep an eye on the latest trends.” The Centre is now working on a new five year business plan, which will include proposals for enhanced catering facilities, an expanded range of activities, and more events. Doreen Malcolm, of Shanklin Health Store, used to run a hotel in Ventnor and a tea room at Luccombe, with husband Ian, but she has always had an interest in health.

Excercise classes at West Wight Leisure Centre


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012


“Ice skating gives you good aerobic exercise, but it also teaches you posture, which helps boost confidence, and it’s a social activity, too, so you meet people.”


Teri Smith, Isle of Wight Dance and Figure Skating Club

Teri Smith, Isle of Wight Dance and Figure Skating Club

Fit for Purpose Michael Holley, of Clear Lantern, worked as a global finance manager for a pharmaceutical company, and was travelling all over the world on business. “It wasn’t very good for my health and stress levels!” he said. “But I was struck by the powerful effect of some of the training and development courses I attended. I studied and gained qualifications in my own time, then took the opportunity to leave after a company reorganisation. “I set up Clear Lantern a year ago and moved to the Island, partly for the lifestyle and the environment.” Now Michael offers one to one coaching in areas such as boosting confidence and stress management, as well as training courses in skills such as presentation and communication. Neuro Linguistic Programming is one of the techniques he uses. He says it changed his life, and is convinced it can make a difference for everyone. Michael said: “It’s no coincidence that the top uK companies have the most active commitment to the health and wellbeing of their employees and I’m hoping that some Island businesses might be interested in finding out what I can do to help.

For example, people working in the tourism sector know the importance of always projecting a positive image and delivering good customer service, and the techniques I use would be very useful. “It’s not an easy time to be starting a new business, so it is a real marketing challenge. I have taken space at Cowes Chiropractic Clinic and that has proved a good way of getting introduced to possible clients. I have also joined the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce because it offers such good networking opportunities. “The impact of personal development and mind training is well known in sport, and I want to bring the same benefits to people in business – whether that is a management team, or a group of employees, or a small business.”

Terri said: “We cater for people of all ages and levels of ability, and we find that there are many benefits. Ice skating gives you good aerobic exercise, but it also teaches you posture, which helps boost confidence, and it’s a social activity, too, so you meet people. “We’d like to see more businesses booking team sessions here at the Arena: it’s a great way of building team spirit, and it’s the sort of activity that enables people to feel a real sense of achievement. “We’ve noticed an increase in the number of adults who want to give it a go, and it’s definitely never too late to learn. Part of the appeal is that it can be done as entertainment, as a technical sport, or as part of a team, and there is an artistic side to it through moving to music.”

ess n t i F d n a

at the Heart of the Community Monthly membership from under £20

01983 752168 West Wight Sports Centre, Moa Place, Freshwater, PO40 9XH Registered Charity No: 273334

And while we’re on the subject of sport, the Island is home to the smallest ice skating club in the country. Terri Smith, Head Coach for the Isle of Wight Ice Dance and Figure Skating Club, based at Ryde Arena, has travelled the world as a professional stage skater and is a passionate advocate of its health benefits. Formed in 1993, the club has around 100 members and the ice rink is 44 metres by 22 – as compared with competition rinks which measure 60 x 30. even so, its synchronised skating team is ranked 15th in the world, and some of its figure skating members are in with a chance of making the national team this year.

Coaching for change

Effective communication

Professional development


Public speaking

Providing Group Training Courses & 1-2-1 Coaching

Mountain Boarding Contact: 07769 325938

clear lantern Professional Coaching, Training & Development




The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight



June 2012


Phil gray, Debbie Bates and Barry Moorman, Pertemps

“We refuse to recognise recession. It is all about being positive and responding to change.” Debbie Bates, Pertemps

By carefully growing in all sectors, ITg are not only protected from the worst effects of recession, but are able to turn global wealth and investment into secure jobs for Islanders and to plan for the future.

Bucking the Trend

Debbie Bates, Senior Consultant at recruitment agency Pertemps said activity in 2012 had been the best since the office opened 12 years ago. She pointed to a 70 per cent increase in placements in the engineering and industrial sector as evidence that the Island economy is on the up. Consultant Phill gray said the branch had also recently signed a sole agency agreement with a large Island business which is looking to recruit on a large scale.


They say that every recession breeds some winners and some losers. Sometimes it’s as simple as being in the right market, but those that are doing well also seem to believe that there is more to it than getting lucky. They believe there are a few basics to get right if you want to buck the trend. The key for Bob Stewart of ITg is not to keep all eggs in one basket. The business is split between equipping the Island with the latest technology – phone systems, cabling, IP connectivity – and working internationally for the cruise industry and the super-rich who want the best for their homes and yachts.

Bob Stewart, ITg

Bob set up the company 25 years ago. He qualified in electronics after losing his job in the printing industry, and has experienced steady growth ever since.

He said: “We have never suffered during recessions: the cruise business seems to keep on expanding, and we also have public sector contracts. “But it’s also been about building a reputation for honesty, reliability and expertise. Word of mouth is a very powerful medium, and while it obviously is very important on the Island, it is also relevant across most industry sectors. “So we try to combine the old fashioned virtues of quality local service with partnerships with some world leading technology companies, and strategic partnerships. For example, we have partnered with a Midlands-based organisation which will lead to significant growth in that region, and the opening of a new technical base in Worcestershire.” The night before our interview, Bob got a phone call confirming a new contract with Royal Caribbean Cruises for phone system supply and maintenance, worth an estimated £500,000 a year. ITg is also working on fitting out the new cruise liner Horizon for Spanish company Pullmantur Cruises, and has just installed a cabling system in a £40 million villa complex in Sardinia.

Debbie said: “We refuse to recognise recession. It is all about being positive and responding to change. People looking for work need to be flexible, but businesses do, too, and we have improved our offer to clients to make sure we offer value for money without sacrificing levels of service.

“The slump in house sales meant that many estate agents moved into lettings,” she said. “And that added up to a lot more competition, especially last year. But our approach was not to simply cut prices. We charge the right price that means we can maintain high levels of service that we believe set us apart.”

“Quality is the key for any business, but especially for those facing difficult times, says Saskia Taylor, of Crocker Lettings.

“Last year was more challenging for us,” she said. “There was a lot more competition, but I welcome it. It keeps you on your toes and I am pleased to say that we still managed to grow.”

Saskia – who was born in the Netherlands and worked in South Africa, helping to set up the Durban Dolphin area – moved to the Island 30 years ago and got involved in the property market when Peter Crocker retired and sold off his estate agency and lettings businesses in Saskia Taylor, Crocker Lettings two chunks around eight years ago. She became equal partner in the lettings business within a year, and now, with a sleeping partner, is running the company. Since then, the number of properties on the books has quadrupled, and Saskia says it is all down to word of mouth.

Mike Ellison, Essential Signs and print “There are opportunities out there, and our “We have built a reputation approach is to get to know our potential based on the service we candidates and their strengths, help them to offer both to tenants and develop, and then work closely with client landlords,” she said. “We do companies so we can make the perfect match. not set out to be cheap, but “Recruitment is a competitive business, but we we do work on a one to one have built our reputation over the years and basis and have the flexibility we find that our clients stay with us.” to offer bespoke packages.

Pertemps is a national company, and Barry Moorman, Director, said there had been no evidence of a recession for the last two years. “We have had our best two years since the company was founded 50 years ago,” he said. “We’re not talking about recession. There are too many negative headlines. Of course, some businesses are suffering, but it is definitely not as bad as the headlines seem to be suggesting.

Crocker Lettings has a team of five people, with two associates, and Saskia plans to keep growing year on year.

“Our philosophy is to be open. We keep our clients informed, and we show people respect. Professionalism is so important, but in the end, the really important thing is to do what you say you will do. If you don’t, you will lose business. It’s also good to remember that we all make mistakes, and to be prepared to own up to them and offer a solution.”


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight

21 23

June 2012


the leading island provider of communication technologies for 25 years. Fully accredited main dealers for NEC, Panasonic, Shoretel & IPCortex. Providers of cutting edge connectivity including telephone lines, broadband, SIP Trunks, EFM and Leased Lines. Expert structured cablers fully certified in ADC Krone, Nexans, Hellermann Tyton, Excel and advanced Fibre Optics. Seven island-based engineers providing unmatched installations, rapid technical support and maintenance for all telephone systems.

58 Dodnor Lane Newport Isle of Wight United Kingdom PO30 5XD T F E W

+44 (0) 1983 533033 +44 (0) 1983 533034

Leading island provider of hotel hospitality PBX systems from NEC and Shoretel. Local clients include: Isle of Wight Schools and College, Isle of Wight NHS, Isle of Wight Council, Waitrose, Gurit, GKN, Doctors surgeries, local yacht clubs and many local businesses. National clients include: P&O, Cunard, Carnival UK, Princess Cruises, Royal Carribean Cruises, BP, and many others.


The Chamber sends out around 1,000 packs a year to new members and those renewing membership. The cost of posting the traditional printed version of the pack went up dramatically after this year’s increase in postal charges. Producing it on CD not only means a saving of 45 pence every time, it also means that more useful information can be included. Kerstine Andrews, Membership Officer of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry, said: “We’re now including a copy of the Chamber logo for members to use, and an up to date copy of our member to member discount scheme, along with all the other information about benefits and services and how to access them. “We took the increase in postal costs as an opportunity to make savings in our printing costs too, but also to improve the service we provide to our customers, and we are urging all Island businesses to consider doing the same.”

Member Benefit Saving money and thinking smarter is always a good idea, and the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry believes it has just about the best offers available to help any business. Money-saving benefits available to the growing list of Island businesses that have signed up to membership include: Free Legal Advice Line: Chamber Advice Line is a free 24-hour telephone advice service, available every day of the year. Free Legal expenses Insurance: Free Chamber Legal expenses Insurance includes £50,000-worth of indemnity cover. Legal expenses Insurance enhanced Cover: This Policy can be purchased and covers areas such as restrictive covenants, debt recovery and contractual disputes. The excess applicable under the free membership benefit is automatically waived as well. Discounts on Tourism Marketing Publications: Chamber tourism members will receive discounts on advertising in tourism guides produced by the Chamber of Commerce and also on the Chamber’s tourism website Debit and Credit Card reduced processing rates: The Chamber has negotiated competitive terms with Lloyds TSB Cardnet for processing payments via Debit and Credit Cards, which includes a dedicated corporate account support team. STD BOARD 130x185mm

20725 IOW>MH>18.04.12

Business to Business Member Discount Scheme: A scheme offered by fellow members, giving discounts on business related activities including van hire, website design, security services, Island travel discounts, and more. Chamber Connect: Chamber Connect is available to all members and allows access to a wide range of discounts and cost saving services across the Accredited Chamber Network. You are also entitled to the discounts secured by the British Chamber of Commerce: Connection across the Chamber Network: discounted access to executive lounges at uK and International Airports; discounted Priority Pass Membership for access to 450 executive Lounges around the world; discounted rates on award winning Corporate events and Hospitality. More details at Associate Membership of Tourism South east: Isle of Wight Tourism Chamber members receive a 20 per cent discount off membership fees. email Marketing Programme: An easy and effective way to get messages out to customers, clients or members, using highimpact emails. For more information about all the benefits and services provided by the Island’s Chamber, contact

E s SE N ar T TIO Ye US C M RA 60 T g 12 AT in 20 at br 52 le 19 Ce

New Members Isle Book It Victoria Sutton Activity and Leisure Services 01983 756487

Raggy-Tag Ltd Tori Trimming Retail 01983 612054 AWI Business Centre, Cothey Way, Ryde, Isle of Wight. PO33 1QT

Small world, big adventure • Lovingly reproduced 1/10th scale models of Godshill, Shanklin and more.

• Free re-entry to the attraction valid for a week.

• Old Vicarage Shop • Nearly two acres of the offering a wide range most intricate landscaped of great value gifts for gardens on the Island, children and adults alike. with over 3000 carefully tended varieties of trees • Picnic area giving and shrubs. an opportunity to stretch out on the • The Nammet Hut grass and enjoy provides refreshment on the atmosphere fine days, with hot and (just ask for a rug!) cold drinks, cakes and cream teas.

Islanders Season Ticket £5 Wight Wedding Days aims to provide a comprehensive online directory of the wedding industry products and services available on the Isle of Wight. We want to showcase Island businesses and make it easier for brides and grooms to organise their wedding day. Wight Wedding Days also aims to inspire and keep you informed of current wedding trends.

LoveCoffee Abi Chiverton Cafe/Bar 01983 532082

Contact Kerstine to find out more about Chamber membership: kerstine.andrews@

High Street, Godshill, PO38 3HH, Tel: 01983 840270

20 Mayfield Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight. PO33 3PR

Somerton Business Park, Newport Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. PO31 8PB Local people helping local people in crisis. The Isle of Wight Foodbank launched its first Distribution Centre in July. Since opening our doors we have distributed just over 12 tonnes of food to people in crisis here on the Island, none of which would be possible without the continued support of churches on the Island and other loyal supporters.


Coffee bar

Model Village Entrance & Old Vicarage Shop

01983 562233

Katie Radburn

115 Pyle Street, Newport, Isle of Wight. PO30 1XA

Adult £3.75 Child £2.75 Senior £3.50 Family (2+3) £12


01983 292040

01983 863001

Open Daily 10am March - October

Penni Frankling

Charities and Charity Shops

Wight Wedding Days

The wonder of daily life in every detail

Precious Cargo

Hannah King

The Esplanade Hotel

07985 316817

at the Model Village and Gardens

Isle Of Wight Foodbank

Manufacturer, distributor and retailer of baby comfort blankets and related products.


Shanklin Chine and Old Village in miniature


June 2012

Kevin Thornton Accommodation 33 The Esplanade, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. PO37 6BG The Esplanade Hotel in Shanklin is a beautifully appointed, family owned and managed beachside hotel, with fabulous panoramic views across Sandown Bay. We have an excellent reputation for a friendly atmosphere, great service and quality fresh food. The Esplanade Hotel is superbly situated on the beach in the ever popular resort of Shanklin, and is a fabulous location for Isle of Wight holidays or short breaks. While we are merely a few steps from the sandy beach, the Hotel also provides a central base for the many fine coastal and countryside walks that are available in the area. We are conveniently located close to the picturesque Shanklin Old Village, which is just a few minutes’ walk, and we are within 20 minutes’ drive to the best of the Islands theme parks and attractions.

IF Mackinnon & Co. LLP Iain Mackinnon Financial services 01983 282925 mary.spradbery@ifmackinnon. Ardmair House, 2 Union Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight. PO31 7TP Merchant Banking and Corporate Finance

Baby shop selling prams, pushchairs, highchairs, cots, clothes, car seats, bath, gifts etc.

Powered Now Benjamin Dyer Business services 07595 301468 7 Britannia Way, East Cowes, Isle of Wight. PO32 6EG Powered Now is a technology product company focused around small business billing and invoicing. Our innovative new platform enables SMEs reduce business administration, improve operational efficiency, look professional and most importantly get paid faster.

Blanket coverage Tori Trimming’s new baby was the inspiration behind a business that has now gone global. Tori designs and makes comfort blankets that are so good, even adults want them.

The business began eight years ago when Tori had a comfort blanket made for her baby daughter, and the idea quickly caught on. After around two years research and planning, Raggy Tags was born. A few years later, Tori and her family moved to the Island, and she is now looking to work with more local businesses. “The products are assembled by hand here,” she said. “Now I want to bring manufacturing here from the Midlands, but I need to find a local business that can handle the cutting process.” Raggy Tag products use only Liberty fabrics, and Tori says they are much in demand from smaller, high end independent shops all over the world. “We are the only company that manufactures everything in the UK,” she said. “And we find that our customers appreciate that. Every single product is rigorously tested, too, so we exceed all the safety standards required of baby products. “Adults buy them for babies, of course,” she said. “But many adults also collect them because they love the fabrics. We had one request to produce a horse blanket, but I don’t think we want to move into that market just yet! “Our focus is to keep extending the range for babies. We now produce gift sets with bonnets and bootees, and we have introduced larger blankets and teddy bears, too. We find that lots of children still have their Raggy Tag – many like to keep them because they are soft and tactile, as well as being aesthetically appealing. “The business has grown organically, and we love living and working on the Island. We joined the Chamber of Commerce as part of our commitment to the Isle of Wight, and also because we want to connect with more local businesses.” Raggy Tags makes around 25,000 items every year, and Tori says future plans may include a new range of baby clothes. For more information, go to


The Business Magazine for the Isle of Wight


June 2012

Events 7 June

7 September

High Five Chamber Networking The Eight Bells, Carisbrooke.

Business Breakfast Meeting The William Coppin, Newport.

From 5pm

7.30am – 9am

Come and win business with us!

An excellent networking opportunity to meet and present your business to other members while enjoying a full english breakfast.

The new latest Chamber of Commerce Networking event for 2012. every other month, we will be holding a relaxed and informal after work networking evening, enabling you to meet with many other businesses.

Places limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. £5.00 per person

Just turn up from 5.00pm – no booking required.

21 September

We look forward to meeting you there!

2012 Charity golf Challenge osborne golf Club, East Cowes

26 June

In aid of the earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Employment Law Event Chamber of Commerce Board room, Newport.

Teams of 2 - £65 + vat per team

Play a round of 18 hole golf First Tee off at 1.00pm

9.30am – 12pm

Dinner and Presentations 7.30pm

As you prepare for the economic growth, now is the time to meet our experts who will guide you through staff management issues.

Charity Raffle

Free to Members

If you would like to take part please contact the Chamber office on 01983 520777 or email

6 July

23 October

Business Breakfast Meeting The William Coppin, Newport.

Chamber Laser Quest Jr Zone, Manners View, Newport

7.30am – 9am

6.30pm – 9.30pm

An excellent networking opportunity to meet and present your business to other members while enjoying a full english breakfast.

The only indoor laser gun arena on the Island.

Places limited so please book early to avoid disappointment. £5.00 per person

2 August High Five Chamber Networking The Eight Bells, Carisbrooke.

Come and enjoy a fun way to network by competing in this laser quest. Interactive laser gun wars in a massive 3 level arena with smoke and special effects. Places will be limited so booking essential! Price includes a finger buffet. £6.00 per person

From 5pm Come and win business with us! The new latest Chamber of Commerce Networking event for 2012. every other month, we will be holding a relaxed and informal after work networking evening, enabling you to meet with many other businesses. Just turn up from 5.00pm – no booking required. We look forward to meeting you there!

Check our online calendar at for details of all business events.

Call for more export support A British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey shows that smaller firms need more support to trade with high-growth markets. The survey of more than 8,000 businesses suggests that uK exports are held back by a focus on traditional or mature markets at the expense of larger, faster-growing economies. The eu remains the most popular destination for exports. When asked where they export to, 88 per cent of respondents sell their products or services to the eu. This compares to 47 per cent of businesses that export to BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and 55 per cent to other Asian and Middle-eastern markets such as Thailand and Saudi Arabia. However, while nearly three-quarters of large firms trade with BRIC countries, only a third of micro firms do business in these fast-growing markets. The survey also asked exporters where they see the greatest opportunities for growth in the next twelve months. Two-thirds of large exporters see the BRIC economies as providing the most export growth, but this falls to around half among medium-sized firms, and a third of micros. More smaller businesses believed that the eu offers the greatest opportunities for export growth. The results showed businesses that belong to an international group or supply chain are 50 per cent more likely to see growth opportunities in the fastest-growing, emerging economies, than those that don’t. The transport, manufacturing and education sectors are the most enthusiastic about opportunities for growth in developing economies. export sales among uK firms are hindered by several barriers, from languages and cultural differences to overseas public sector procurement rules. Overall, regulation and export tariffs top the list of barriers for exporters.

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The Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry has recently reviewed the way it gives a voice to its tourism members and the wider industry. This has resulted in the newly formed Tourism Advisory Board. Members of the group will be able to feed directly into the new Destination Management Organisation and make sure that they can represent the various views of the tourism industry to help develop both the Island’s annual marketing, as well as encourage businesses across the sector to improve customer service, and invest in staff and product development. Communication will be paramount and to that end, plans are being made to hold short meetings for each sector before and after each season, as well as regular email contact between the Chamber and their members. Matters already being dealt with include the Island’s sunshine record publicity, the new Residents’ Festival, self-catering rubbish collection challenges, the pros and cons of extending the uK coastal path designation to the Island and continuing to look at ways to extend the holiday season with special events. It was agreed to invite the Cross Solent transport company representatives to attend on a regular basis as well as aim to have regular discussions with the soon to be appointed Marketing Manager for the DMO.

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Simon Dabell continues to chair this revised representative group, and David groocock will also attend in his role as Chamber Director and president-elect. The following people have volunteered to act as their sector representatives and will be attending regular meetings to be held throughout the year. Chairman Simon Dabell Vice Chairman David groocock Serviced Accommodation – large Chris Quirk Orchardcroft Hotel 01983 862133 Serviced Accommodation – small Sally Beston Snowdon House 01983 862853 Self-Catering Accommodation Mark Curtis Wight locations IW Self-Catering Association John Allen Holiday Parks Phil De Beer Park Resorts Ltd Caravans Peter Adams Waverley Park 01983 293452 Attractions Del Curtis Amazon World Leisure Activities/Education activities Rob Ashley PgL IW Tourism retail & catering Wayne Whittle Matrix Retail Ltd 07768118766 Niche Tourism Helen Cunningham Vintage Vacations 07802 758113 other Peter Colling Tourism Se 023 8062 5450

16/5/12 08:45 Page 1 islandbusinessmagazine






The June 2012 edition

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