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connect Sheffield City Region Chambers of Commerce


Swinging into the party season Top tips for a celebration to remember PLUS: Yorkshire Ambassadors programme relaunched

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Contents Summer 2021 12

Making Connections 4

James Muir, Chair of the SCR LEP, on the strength of the LEP’s partnerships

Business News 7

Northern Powerhouse funds local firms


Partnership gets out of the blocks

10 Full fibre rolled out in Rotherham 11

Larger premises for filter distributor

12 Plan to shape the future of Doncaster 15 Yorkshire ‘Ambassadors’ to support the region’s recovery 16 Innovative savings for brewing firm


19 OUTCO launch search for new staff 20 One giant leap for local hospice 23 Safeguarding historic artefacts 24 Second location for Danish cafe 26 Shop ‘appy with new online tool 29 MRC investment for university 30 Delays to rail plan is “unacceptable”

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The SCR Chambers 35 Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Coming together to face the challenges 41 Doncaster Chamber Chamber welcomes new patron

Features 61 Made in South Yorkshire The purpose of signage 64 Protective packaging perfect for your needs 66 Corporate Christmas Top tips for planning the work Christmas party

47 East Midlands Chamber Local firms tap into the power of giving back 53 Sheffield Chamber A new home for the Chamber

Sector Focus 70 Legal Law firm steps up to support walk 73 Corporate Hospitality Events firm to deliver awards night 74 Finance Mechan lifts Underground upgrades to new heights 76 Manufacturing Mechan lifts Underground upgrades to new heights 79 Skills & Training University skills on offer at college Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 3

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Making Connections

Welcome... Chamber Connect James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, on the growing strength of the LEP’s partnerships

New partnerships help businesses take flight his continues to be a very challenging year for businesses. The LEP and its partners are pulling together to ensure that our business community can access the level of support they need to survive and thrive in this challenging environment. Partnerships between the LEP and many individual businesses and groups are being strengthened, with ever closer working between the Chambers of Commerce, Company of Cutlers, the Federation of Small Business, the Confederation of British Industry, and a host of sector and city partnership groups. Earlier this year, I was delighted to welcome Dan Fell, CEO of Doncaster Chamber, onto our LEP Board as the representative for South Yorkshire Chambers. This newly strengthened relationship is already demonstrating real value as the Chambers and LEP work more closely together, convening, advocating, delivering support and working with regional stakeholders. The LEP and its partners recognise that investors want to locate in areas where there is a skilled workforce and that, in order to create jobs, we must tackle our skills deficit. The recent success of the South Yorkshire’s Chambers of Commerce in its bid to pilot a new Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) in


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South Yorkshire shows our partnership working at its very best. The bid, which was backed by all of the region’s MPs, the LEP and MCA and a range of other partners, could transform skills supply, employment prospects, and business productivity across the region. This targeted pilot will work closely with colleges and other providers to offer skills solutions for employers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) related industries. Dan Fell pointed out that the collaborative approach to the bid demonstrates the ability of ‘Team South Yorkshire’ to create positive outcomes for businesses and residents. The LEP is working with partners to create more high-value jobs with real career potential, so that more people in our region can access jobs that are better paid and more secure. Last month, when the Government published its new Innovation Strategy, it came as no surprise that the Secretary of State chose to launch the scheme here in South Yorkshire. This region’s trailblazing partnership with businesses and universities at the AMRC has helped to attract world-leading firms such as Boeing, McLaren Automotive and Curvalux. The Government’s new Innovation Strategy sets out plans to cement the UK’s position as a

world leader in science, research and innovation. We have scores of innovative businesses ready to invest in South Yorkshire, creating thousands of jobs, and we will be calling on Government to back our region with an investment to unlock this untapped potential. Throughout this pandemic, Sheffield City Region Growth Hub has been helping businesses navigate the support available to them, providing advice and guidance, and distributing millions in grants to those hit hardest by restrictions. As a direct result of our region’s Renewal Action Plan (RAP), businesses can now benefit from strategic one-to-one guidance delivered by a team of our expert Business Support Advisors based at the four local authorities – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Businesses can benefit from an in-depth diagnostic and may then be eligible to access further specialist support, such as cashflow insights, HR, supply chain management, legal, business growth, logistics and health and safety. There’s no denying the hard work needed in both our recovery and renewal over the coming years, but this is an opportunity for us all to pull together to deliver the development our region needs.

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connect The Official Publication of

Sheffield City Region Chambers of Commerce

Front cover: Christmas parties at Doncaster Racecourse See page 66 You can read the latest issue of Chamber Connect and view back issues online at:

Published by

Kemps Publishing Ltd Kemps Publishing Ltd Unit 8, The Courtyard, 707 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3DA 0121 765 4144 Managing Editor Laura Blake Designer Lloyd Hollingworth Advertising 0121 765 4144 Printers Buxton Press

‘We have scores of innovative businesses ready to invest in South Yorkshire’

The next issue of Chamber Connect will be available in November 2021 CHAMBER CONNECT is produced on behalf of Sheffield City Region Chambers of Commerce by Kemps Publishing Ltd and is distributed to members without charge. The Chambers and the publisher are committed to achieving the highest quality standards. While every care has been taken to ensure that the information it contains is accurate, neither the Chambers nor the publisher can accept any responsibility for any omission or inaccuracies that might arise. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Chambers. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format without prior written permission of Kemps Publishing Ltd. PRIVACY NOTICE: Kemps Publishing Ltd process personal information for certain legitimate interest purposes, which includes the following: • To provide postal copies of this publication to Chamber members and Kemps' customers; and • To offer marketing and promotional opportunities within this publication to Chamber members and prospects. Whenever we process data for these purposes, we always ensure we treat your Personal Data rights in high regard. If you wish to, you can visit to view our full Privacy Notice and to learn more about our legitimate interests and your rights in this regard.

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Chamber Connect

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Northern Powerhouse funds South Yorkshire firms outh Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) has revealed that 116 businesses across South Yorkshire have collectively secured more than £31m worth of investment from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), in addition to £24m attracted as private sector co-investment. Since the start of the pandemic, just over £14m has been deployed as part of driving the region’s growth and innovation and supporting businesses through the economic impacts. NPIF is a collaboration between the British Business Bank and ten Local Enterprise Partnerships situated across Northern England, including South Yorkshire. It is designed to support new and growing SMEs, create jobs and encourage and attract additional private sector investment. The Fund is a key part of the Government’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ vision, which aims to help reduce the North/South divide and create economic prosperity in the North of England on part with London and the South East. Mayor of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) Dan Jarvis said: “We are pleased to be working alongside the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to support South Yorkshire businesses. Since 2017, 116 businesses in our region have secured a combined total of £31m worth of investment, with the fund leveraging just under £24m from the private sector and in turn creating 477 jobs. This is having a significant impact on driving growth and prosperity in the region.” Funds received through the NPIF helps businesses working across various sectors from manufacturing, engineering and construction to financial, hospitality, retail and education, plus others, to make key investments that will help them grow. This includes purchasing new equipment, relocation, expansion, staff training and recruitment, research and development, marketing, introducing new services and enhanced management processes. Businesses that have so far benefited from NPIF support in South Yorkshire include Sheffield based technology manufacturer Tribosonics, Steps Rehabilitation, Televideo, Airship, Azzure, and Tinsley Bridge also in Sheffield, Barnsley based Pet Supplies Warehouse, Libertine in Rotherham and Togel and Barnsdales, which are located in Doncaster. Libertine was the first company in the region to receive an NPIF equity investment, with

Business News


£770,000 secured in 2019. The funds have enabled the company to build and demonstrate a number of prototype ‘intelliGEN’ smart engine modules incorporating its e-machine and control technology, engage with automotive manufacturers and further develop the business. More recently, Tribosonics secured £1.1m from the Fund to expand its 23-strong team with the addition of 10 new staff and invest further in product development. The company embeds sensors within bearings and other moving parts to create ‘intelligent components’ which can monitor friction and wear and tear to help other businesses extend plant life, prevent critical failures and reduce energy use. Neil MacDonald, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member and NPIF Strategic Oversight Board Member, said: “Our specialisms in industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing, digital and healthcare, combined with a wealth of skills and strength in innovation, means South Yorkshire offers a great level of investment potential. We’re extremely pleased that this is being recognised more than ever and our partnership and collaboration with the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has resulted in so many businesses across the region benefiting from financial investment and support.” Through its annual Small Business Equity Tracker, the Sheffield-headquartered British

‘Yorkshire and the Humber remains a hotbed for innovation’

Business Bank’s has also reported that the number of equity investments in companies across the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber reached £146m in 2020, a 145 per cent increase on the previous year. Ken Cooper, Managing Director at British Business Bank, said: “Yorkshire and the Humber remains a hotbed for innovation, with many strengths such as advanced manufacturing, tech and life sciences, making it well placed for equity investment. While the latest figures are moving in the right direction and help address regional imbalances in access to finance, more needs to be done to support ambitious businesses in our area.” Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank. For more information, visit For information about funding available to South Yorkshire business, visit Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 7

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Business News

Partnership gets out of the blocks ame Kelly Holmes Trust and Westfield Health launched a three-year charitable partnership, initially focused on improving health and wellbeing among young people in Sheffield, with big ambitions to expand programmes nationally. The two organisations have shared their plans, including the delivery of schools based mentoring programmes, young people’s leadership programmes, and a UK wide fundraising challenge, with a group of regionally based businesses, who they will engage and inspire to support their vision to create positive social change for young people in the area. Ben Hilton, CEO Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said: “As part of our partnership with Westfield Health, we are committing to inspire young lives in Sheffield to lead happy, healthy lives. Ensuring that we work within and connected to the five-year Move More Strategy to ensure we work where there is greatest need, we are collaborating with local organisations and stakeholders, prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion and enabling leadership everywhere. “Our athletes will directly mentor 600 young people in both school and community settings, to unlock their potential, and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. These young people will become Health and Wellbeing advocates and ambassadors and will, in turn,


The Starting Blocks challenge

swim, cycle or walk the distance back to where their story began. A Starting Block is the person, place or moment that inspired you to become who you are today. Participants choose their own challenge, set their distance and timescales and share their experiences on social media. The Trust believes all young people must have the opportunity to find their Starting Block in life and is encouraging people to #gobacktogiveback. The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust are kickstarting The Starting Blocks Challenge with some of their world-class athlete mentors taking on their own unique and personal challenges, recognising that person, place or moment that inspired them. Olympic swimmer James Kirton will be cycling between the seven different swimming pools in the Barnsley area he swam at as a junior to say thanks for the opportunity to join the Borough of Barnsley swimming club as an eight year old which led to him becoming an Olympian.

‘We are committing to inspire young lives in Sheffield’

inspire thousands of primary school children.” With 10 schools participating in a mentoring programme and a further training for young leaders planned in Sheffield, the partnership is set to produce a long lasting positive social impact from the outset. The event also marks the launch of the Trust’s largest ever fundraising challenge, The Starting Blocks Challenge. Powered by Westfield Health, the challenge is designed to inspire participants to celebrate their unique and individual ‘Starting Block’ in life and raise money for the Trust. A shared and shareable experience, participants are encouraged to run,

To find out more and get involved, visit visit and follow the five simple steps to taking part.

GEODIS moves into new Doncaster site GEODIS, a leading global logistics services provider, is making a significant investment in a new site at Gateway 4 in Doncaster, creating new jobs for the region. GEODIS has recently signed a lease on a brand new 411,470 sq.ft logistics facility adjacent to Junction 4 of the M18, within close proximity to the well-established industrial site West Moor Park Networkcentre. With over 41,000 employees covering 168 countries around the globe, GEODIS designs and delivers tailored supply chain management solutions to overcome its customer’s logistical challenges whatever their complexity. Stéphanie Hervé, GEODIS’ Chief Operating Officer Western Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: “We are being supported by Business Doncaster and a number of partners on the recruitment of local talent, ranging from graduates through to experienced supply chain operatives. We are also working with Business Doncaster on our building fit out to ensure local businesses have the opportunity to bid for work.” “As a company we are constantly striving to make our customers’ supply chains more sustainable, while being faster, 8 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

The investment will create over 150 jobs

better and more competitive. “Finding the right operating sites and the people that fit this approach is key to our growth and the success of the companies we work with – Gateway 4 is a perfect solution.”

Cllr Glyn Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Business, Doncaster Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a well-known, global company such as GEODIS choosing to base themselves in Doncaster. It really is testament to

Doncaster’s strong reputation as a great place to live, work and invest and the support we can offer. “The creation of over 150 jobs will be a real boost to the borough’s economy, offering a welcome number of opportunities for local people.”

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Business News

T: 0800 0448999


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Business News

Full fibre rolled out in Rotherham otherham’s Full Fibre network rollout has reached another milestone, with the first residents now connected. CityFibre is investing £29m to bring the fastest and most reliable digital connectivity to the town. Construction work began in July 2020 and, once complete, the network will be within reach of almost every home and property in Rotherham. The network is now completed in parts of Kimberworth, Bradgate and Deepdale, with the first customers now live and able to access gigabit-capable internet services. The first ISP to offer services on Rotherham’s CityFibre network is purebroadband. Adam Roebuck, the first resident to sign-up for purebroadband’s gigabit-speed broadband, said: “I’ve probably got the fastest broadband in Rotherham and I love it. When I first heard CityFibre were building a new broadband network across the city, I couldn’t wait. I registered my interest on the CityFibre website and even sent a few emails just to ask about when it might be coming. “I’m over the moon with the speed and reliability of the service as my previous 4Mbps connection struggled to manage multiple devices, especially at peak times. I went with the 200Mbps upload and download service and even with all nine of my devices connected I have never dropped under 190Mbps!” Natalie Ward, City Manager at CityFibre, added: “I was so pleased for Adam when I heard he was going to be our first customer in Rotherham. He immediately recognised how transformational a


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Full Fibre connection can be and so it’s fantastic that he is now reaping the benefits. “People just can’t believe how much faster it is, both for downloading and uploading, and what they are set to gain from the increased reliability.” As progress continues, CityFibre is committed to keeping local businesses and residents fully up to date on plans for each community, as well as highlighting the benefits that access to full fibre will bring to all. Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and register their interest at

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Business News Larger premises for filter distributor An Ilkeston filter specialist has come through the pandemic in a healthy state, taking increased orders that has resulted in a move to larger premises and hiring extra staff. AB Components is a wholesale distributor of quality filters and filtration accessories – from halfinch square items for garden machinery to seven-foot-high units to deal with dust in food preparation. In 2008, the company relocated its warehousing, sales and accounts to the Manners Industrial Estate, moving round the corner into larger premises in 2014. Earlier this spring, it moved again to a larger unit on the estate at Mercian Park, doubling its footprint from 6,000 sq ft to more than 12,000 sq ft with purposebuilt offices, conference facilities and storage at a cost of £150,000. Company Director James Edgar said: “While other companies were shutting or furlough staff because of the Covid restrictions, we carried on with full working and actually grew. “This is because additional companies needed more filters for their businesses and ordered more supplies.

James Edgar

“We hope that the health problems caused by viruses will encourage more people – both businesses and individuals - to buy our products for their premises and homes.” The company sells air purifiers for anything from small rooms to whole buildings – some business premises don't have windows that people can open for fresh air – and filters for motorbikes, cars, trucks, tractors, diggers, fridges and even hot tubs.

The filters, which are sourced from 150 suppliers across the world, all have the same purpose – either to stop harmful particles getting into the environment or causing damage to complicated and expensive machinery. AB Components claims they eliminate at least 99.99% of airborne pollutants, including viruses, bacteria pollen and dust, from the air – which is particularly important for people with allergies and breathing problems.

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Business News

Plan to shape the future of Doncaster moves closer he Local Plan which sets out how Doncaster develops, protects and improves the environment and enhances people’s quality of life is moving towards approval and adoption. The Government wants to see all parts of England covered by an up to date Local Plan to set out a vision and a framework for the future development of an area. Once in place, Local Plans become part of the statutory development plan. The statutory development plan for the area is the starting point for determining local planning applications. The council has received the final report from the Government appointed Planning Inspector. This means the examination of all the planning policies and proposals is complete and the inspector approves to the plan. The key planning document, which guides future development


in the borough to 2035, will now head towards getting Full Council approval later this year. Cllr Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Culture and Planning, said: “We are moving ever closer to getting our Local Plan adopted. It will help decide what is developed and where in the future. “It’s going to shape the look and feel of Doncaster for future generations and guide where developments can take place, what new transport schemes we need and which parts of the borough remain as open space and countryside, protecting and enhancing our natural environment.” The Local Plan has looked at

‘It’s going to shape the look and feel of Doncaster for future generations’

flood risk, countryside, Green Belt, transportation, conservation and heritage. It has identified the potential development sites needed to support economic growth and meet future housing needs. Consideration has been given to the content of Neighbourhood Plans being developed by local communities and supported by the council as these are important and

will be used to further guide development in the relevant neighbourhoods. Extensive consultation took place as part of the planning process with feedback received from over 1,200 people and businesses. This was fed into the plans. More information, including the inspector’s final report, is available at:

Gala Tent competition captures nation Some of the team from Rotherham-based Gala Tent have been on a tour of the UK, personally delivering unique printed gazebos to schoolchildren whose designs had captured the nation’s imaginations and gained the most votes in the company’s design-a-tent contest, which had gone viral on social media. Well in excess of one hundred designs were submitted across April and May, from primary schools across the UK, with the company directors quickly increasing the prizes on offer from one to three to ensure children from different age groups could be rewarded for their effort. Six designs from each age group were shortlisted after a full afternoon of judging by company CEO Jason Mace, alongside graphic designers Samantha Davison and Bethany Liversidge, before the designs were put out for a public vote on Facebook. The contest quickly gained huge momentum with teachers and parents canvassing through local press and radio stations to gain support. Around 20,000 votes were cast over the space of a week, and schools from Suffolk, The West Midlands, and Nottinghamshire were the eventual winners.

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Isabel’s winning design

Gala Tent then quickly got to work on producing the prizes, which were a top-of-therange Gala Shade Pro 50 gazebo with unique printed covers worth close to £700 each, and when they were ready, the marketing management team of Ryan Bracha and Nathan Lord set off on a mission to hand-deliver them, along with personalised goodies for the talented youngsters themselves. Seven-year-old Sophie from Suffolk’s Carlton Colville Primary School was the first recipient

of a prize. She won the youngest age group category (Reception Class, plus Years 1 and 2). In the Years 3 and 4 age group, nine-yearold Freya from East Markham Primary School near Newark, Notts, achieved a massive 3,200 votes, becoming the most popular design of the whole contest in the process. The eldest children’s category (Years 5 and 6) was won by 11-year-old Isabel, at Coventry’s Earlsdon Primary School, who will leave a lasting legacy with her tent, as she’ll be heading to secondary school after the summer break. The contest was launched by Gala Tent to coincide with Children’s Art Week in early July, and was intended to bring some much-needed cheer to youngsters who have had a very difficult year-and-a-half during the Covid-19 pandemic. Company CEO Jason said: “It’s been a strange time for children, who have been forced to go against their natural urges to be tactile and they’ve had to remain distanced, as well as spending a lot of time at home when they’ve been supposed to be at school. We wanted to do something that might give them good memories of this part of their lives.”

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Business News

TecSec Services are a Sheffield-based IT & risk management company formed over 15 years ago by Morton Bell (Managing Director) and Phill McManus (Technical Director). The firm specialises in IT support services including disaster recovery, cyber security, cloud services, connectivity and compliance services. In 2018, TecSec became the first Sheffield company to achieve and become a certification body for Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus and IASME Gold. This was augmented by ISO27001 in 2020.

Morton Bell

NEBRC and EMCRC, they are endorsed by 12 police forces across the North East and East Midlands, including Northumbria, Cleveland, Durham, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside, as well as Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire. Technical Director Phill McManus said: “Identifying and solving problems for clients has always been a focus for TecSec, and this can range from security to connectivity solutions around clients WAN (wide area networks) and LANs (Local Area Networks) through to the delivery of enterprise level solutions for the SME market. This is part and parcel of what keeps the industry exciting for us. “A recent client request was for instant secure internet to be installed into a new office, before any other service could be provisioned. We needed to create a secure unit that would enable our client to move into new premises and immediately have secure Wi-Fi access for their staff to access their hosted servers and also to provide separate connectivity for their customers.

Leila Beresford (Office Manager) & Phill McManus (Technical Director) holding their ISO27001 certificate after first achieving in June, 2019.

TecSec are now in a unique position to provide IT & risk management services to not only local and national companies, but also to international offices. They cover a diverse range of sectors ranging from manufacturing and pharma to professional and highly regulated industries, and have implemented and certified most of their clients to these standards. As a further recognition of the security focused services provided by TecSec, and as a part of their work as a Trusted Partner to both the

Example of the Office-in-a-box solution, provided by TecSec

“We did this based on the thinking of the Blue Light services, providing remote and mobile access to the internet with a uniformity that allows them to connect seamlessly wherever they are. We called the solution ‘Office in a Box’ and we can use this in multiple other scenarios, such as pop up offices, remote outreach sites, building sites and of course disaster recovery scenarios.”

If you would like to know more about any of the services provided by TecSec, or would like to discuss any IT, Comms or Security related issue please call 0114 223 8000, alternatively email

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Business News

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Business News

Yorkshire ‘Ambassadors’ to support the region’s recovery W

elcome to Yorkshire, the region’s tourism marketing agency, has today relaunched a Yorkshire Ambassador programme to help support its objectives over the next few years. The Ambassadors, drawn from all areas of Yorkshire, will support a range of different sectors within the wider economy as the region continues its post-Covid recovery. Led by, Philip Bolson, owner of Mr B Hospitality, and former General Manager of the Grand Hotel in York, Ambassadors will represent all four corners of the county from North, South, East & West Yorkshire to promote the region as a place to Visit, Live, Work & Study. As experts within their field, the group will act as thought leaders in their respective sectors whilst also bringing opportunities to life by representing Welcome to Yorkshire and the county of Yorkshire at events throughout the year to demonstrate support for all that is happening in the region. James Mason, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, explained the reasoning behind the initiative: “The idea of Yorkshire Ambassadors isn’t a new concept and we still have many people who are associated with Welcome to Yorkshire that act as Ambassadors every day. But after a really difficult few years, we thought it was worth relaunching this initiative with a fresh approach and with people who have played a significant role in supporting both the organisation and county over a very challenging period. Anyone that has been an Ambassador or Patron before should still consider themselves a key figure in our past, present and future. We need all the support we can garner and look forward to seeing them at events later this year.” Philip Bolson, Chair of the Ambassador group and the driving force behind hospitality business mentor Mr B Hospitality, stated that, “throughout my career, my focus has been on developing high performing teams, building partnerships, being curious, keeping things simple, and ‘getting things done’. I hope to bring this attitude and experience to my role as a Welcome to Yorkshire Ambassador.” Paul Vinsen, Hotel & Tourism Advisor at The Hull, Humber & East Yorkshire Hospitality Association,

Welcome to Yorkshire Ambassadors

The full Ambassador list is not exhaustive but includes the following: • Nicky Chance-Thompson DL - Chief Executive Officer at the Piece Hall Trust • Richard Stubbs - Chief Executive Officer of the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) • Abbi Ollive - Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard • Dr Amir Khan - GP and television presenter • Sharon Watson DL - CEO and Principal at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance • Hannah Cockroft MBE DL - Paralympian, multiple-winning gold medallist • Paul Vinsen - Hotel & Tourism Advisor at The Hull, Humber & East Yorkshire Hospitality Association • James Mackenzie - Head Chef and Owner of the Michelin starred restaurant Pipe And Glass Inn, near Beverley • Debbie Dobson - Director of Sales at Dakota Hotel in Leeds • Fiona Gardham - Tourism and hospitality consultant and owner of award-winning Bed and Breakfast The House at Hawes In addition, Günther Peeters, based in Belgium, will act as a European Ambassador. Having studied at the University of Hull, Günther describes himself as a “passionate Yorkshire fan” and carries out missionary work in Northern Europe. He is currently Managing Director at Dutch professional football club FC Eindhoven.

declared that he was looking forward to “making a contribution to our industry in which I have been involved all my working life”.

Abbi Ollive, Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard, said: “I am hugely passionate about encouraging as many people as

possible to experience all that Yorkshire has to offer. Our beautiful region is ideally placed to be the backdrop to the happiest of memories and the more I can contribute to help tourism recover in a post-pandemic world, working with the team of ambassadors, the better!” Fiona Gardham, owner of The House at Hawes, a luxury B&B in the Yorkshire Dales, said: “There is no greater privilege and pleasure than helping people make memories that last a lifetime from their visit to Yorkshire.” In addition, the organisation formed a Tourism Recovery Task Group earlier this year chaired by The Piece Hall Trust’s Nicky Chance-Thompson. She added: “Bringing together key figures from both the public and private sector, the group feeds into national agencies and policy makers with regards to the ongoing challenges and opportunities that exist as the region deals with the Coronavirus pandemic. The Ambassador group will play a vital role in amplifying the challenges and opportunities the county faces.” Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 15

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Business News

Innovative savings for brewing firm urphy & Son – an international The laboratory at Murphy & Son professional brewing supplies and consultancy business – says it has saved almost £100,000 over the past three years after making a commitment to product development and innovation. The Nottingham-based business, which has supported the world’s leading breweries for more than 130 years, is well known for its forward-thinking liquor treatments and has recently made progress towards a number of product advancements. These advancements include testing levels of sensitive proteins and tannic acid when creating a more sustainable cloudy consistency for beverages, working towards the production of vegan beer, and manufacturing its renowned remodelled layer board for transporting stock more efficiently. Charles Nicholds, Managing Director at Murphy & Son, said: “Innovation and technical support are incredibly ‘We are important parts of our business. constantly “We are constantly striving to develop and bring new products striving to to the market, improve our own develop and bring manufacturing processes and help the industry with beverage new products to storing methods. the market’ “Now more than ever, it’s claim an enhanced tax essential that we stay ahead of the deduction for qualifying curve and put time, money and expenditure incurred, with the resources into developing our offering as a ultimate policy aim of increasing company.” cutting-edge research and wealth creation R&D tax returns – which were secured by across the UK, by companies in the UK. accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young Murphy & Son’s projects have benefited from Nottingham – have played a key part in the additional tax relief on 130% of all costs success of its projects, helping secure funds to attributed to its R&D efforts – including lab continue its innovation. equipment and consumables, product trials and This corporation tax relief was introduced by testing, and staff costs. Government in 2000 to incentivise SMEs to James Simmonds, Partner at UHY Nottingham invest in advancing their overall levels of and head of the firm's national drinks sector knowledge and capability by allowing them to group, said: “By identifying all aspects of the


business’ recent projects that qualified for research and development relief, we’ve been able to supply the company with essential funds to ensure the brewery sector continues to progress and innovate – despite the difficulties that have recently fallen upon the industry following Covid-19.” Charles added: “UHY’s services have ensured that we can continue to extend our research by helping us to benefit from the Government’s R&D initiative and save money on key costs across the business. We’ve worked with the UHY team for three years now and look forward to working closely with it for the foreseeable future.”

Local leaders in launch of Plan for the North South Yorkshire leaders recently hosted the Parliamentary launch of the Plan for the North, an important new report – backed by over 40 Council Leaders and Metro Mayors – that sets out the scale of the challenge required to deliver on the Government’s commitment to levelling up, and the practical steps required unleash the North’s full potential. The launch brought together 40 Northern MPs, council leaders, mayors, peers and business representatives to hear from academics and local leaders on the levelling up agenda and to join a cross-party discussion on an area of policy that is right at the top of the current political agenda. Speaking at the launch, South Yorkshire Mayor and Barnsley Central MP, Dan Jarvis MBE (pictured) said: “If you live in

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Barnsley, you’re much more likely to be hungrier, poorer and sicker than someone living in Belgravia. “This deep-seated inequality is a moral disgrace, and it’s holding the whole of our country back. “The question of how we tackle this inequality – and unlock the North’s enormous economic and social potential – sits right at the heart of the debate around what levelling up should look like.

“Our Northern communities need a coherent plan; the investment to underpin it; and the local leadership to make it work on the ground. The Plan for the North is a step towards realising that ambition.” Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones CBE said: “Now more than ever, the time is right to permanently remedy the social, educational and economical inequities in the north. The pandemic has keenly highlighted the vast differences in support including financial and opportunities between the south and the north. Doncaster is a borough of immense opportunities and we want to play our part in improving the quality of life for our residents and the fortunes of South Yorkshire and the North.” Leader of Barnsley Council, Sir Steve Houghton MBE, said: “The

plan for the North kick starts a much-needed conversation that makes sure we give people living and working in places across the North, like Barnsley, Blackburn and Bedlington, the best future possible. “The North needs a 20-year strategy that sets out the short, medium and long-term actions. Over that period, we must have a consistent policy and investment plans that fund public services adequately and recognise the deprivation that has occurred in areas like Barnsley through lack of proper investment from the government. “With the right long-term investment, devolution of budgets and decision-making, we can drive forward prosperity and infrastructure across the North creating a positive impact for our residents.”

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You can show your employees and other companies that you care about your employees’ wellbeing, especially financial wellbeing.

2 You can help your employees build up savings easily as they are deducted from wages and paid into their credit union account. 3 You can help your employees to access ethical, affordable loans if they need one, with flexible terms and friendly trusted service. 4 You can help to reduce absenteeism due to worries about finances, and improve productivity by having happier, healthier employees. 5 Your employees can join and run their accounts online, all the employer has to do is send the payroll deductions across with a list.

7 Research shows that “Payroll deduction appears to be an effective mechanism for attracting non-savers, and converting them into regular savers” (Financial Inclusion Centre, February 2021). 8 You know your employees’ savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and are using a regulated, safe, experienced organisation. 9 You are encouraging your employees to have a separate account for savings to reduce the temptation of drawing savings too often from their regular bank account. 10 Research also shows “longer standing payroll scheme members appear to have greater financial resilience” (Financial Inclusion Centre, February 2021).

6 You can be sure that you are also helping to build your employees’ savings while repaying any loans, improving their financial resilience.

W: E: T: 0114 2760787 18 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

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OUTCO launch search for new staff in Doncaster UTCO, the UK’s leading outdoor estate compliance experts, has embarked on a recruitment drive in Doncaster and the surrounding area, following record growth and major new contract wins. With its unique service offering, based on a full range of technology-enabled infrastructure, winter and grounds compliance services, the firm has enjoyed an impressive 100 percent growth in turnover over the last 18 months, despite the hugely difficult trading conditions. OUTCO CEO, Andy Barry, said: “The business has gone from strength to strength throughout the last year, with substantial investment, major acquisitions, and a complete rebrand. As such, we have experienced significant growth with customers who are keen to ensure that their outdoor estates are safe, compliant and accessible all year round.


“OUTCO currently manages more than 7,500 sites, for some of the UKs biggest organisations, including Tesco, BP and the NHS and we strive to give our clients’ peace of mind that their assets are being taken care of and are in good hands with great people looking after them to the highest professional standards. “As such, we are currently seeking people who share our customer centric philosophy and have the drive to co ntribute in a fast-paced high-growth environment.” In order to support the company’s ambitious growth plans for 2021 and beyond, OUTCO is looking to strengthen its surfacing teams in Doncaster, with more than 25 new job opportunities available, including Site Managers, Contracts Managers, Contracts Coordinators and a Quantity Surveyors. Visit:

More than 25 new jobs are available at OUTC0

Campaign success helps expand team The success of a Sheffield campaign to tackle loneliness among older people has prompted SCCCC to expand its team. Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care (SCCCC) launched a campaign to recruit more telephone support volunteers after revealing a growing waiting list of older people desperate for support. Now the charity has appointed Lynn Smith as an extra Volunteer Co-Ordinator after a surge in support swelled its volunteer army to almost 200. Lynn said: “I wanted to work for SCCCC because I was deeply moved by the difference the charity makes to the quality of older people's lives - no one should feel lonely in this day and age. “Our volunteers do a fantastic job of reaching out to support isolated, older people in our citymany of whom have fascinating stories to tell. “In doing so, they gain so much themselves new connections, new skills and the happy feeling of knowing just an hour of their time has brightened someone's day.” Despite the success of its appeal, SCCCC says

The campaign generated a surge of support

it still has isolated, older people in need of company and support in some postcodesespecially S2, S5, S6 and S12. “Although the recent campaign generated a fantastic response from the public, we’re always on the look out for more people to support our work.

“Volunteers able to conduct face-to-face visits are particularly sought after- as our those who can speak alternative languages, including Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu or Arabic and those of African and Caribbean heritage,” said Lynn. Last year SCCCC warned that the city’s loneliness epidemic would only get worse as long, cold weeks of lockdown lay ahead for thousands of over 65s – many of whom have no friends or family they can call upon for support. The charity cast its net wide in a bid to attract new volunteers to support its loneliness busting work – with anyone in South Yorkshire eligible to help out. Volunteers who came forward and successfully completed their induction and background checks are now spending an hour a week telephoning an isolated, older person. SCCCC hopes that telephone calls may become friendly visits in the future, as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Email: Call: 0114 250 5292 Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 19

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One giant leap for local hospice team from Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts has put their best foot forward to take on One Giant Leap for a much-loved charity. The team of 21 fundraisers from all four of Gulliver’s UK parks took on the One Giant Leap challenge, walking from Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath to their newest theme park Gulliver’s Valley in Rotherham, to raise vital funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield. The 25-mile, nine-hour adventure was also a way for the Gulliver’s team to come together and mark the one-year anniversary of when Gulliver’s Valley opened in July 2020. Dean Kimberley, Director of Guest Services at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort, said: “Our wonderful walking team walked from Gulliver’s Kingdom to Gulliver’s Valley to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, which is a fantastic charity. “We know what a difference Bluebell Wood makes to the lives of families who need their care and support and that kept us going throughout the day. We were so pleased to raise this amazing amount of money to support this fantastic charity and want to thank everyone who supported us. “It was such a wonderful opportunity for our teams to get together to help support a local charity, and to mark the first year of Gulliver’s


The Gulliver’s walking team

‘We know what a difference Bluebell Wood makes to the lives of families’

Valley being open for business. It’s been a year like no other so we were really excited to be able to do this to support Bluebell Wood. Thanks also to Guide My Walk Ltd who helped plan our route and guide us on the day!” Jason Gossop, Regional Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re absolutely

delighted that the Gulliver’s team chose to fundraise for us and took on this nine-hour challenge – what a team! “We’d like to thank the intrepid team for their One Giant Leap. We’re looking forward to continuing working closely with them in the future.” To sponsor the Gulliver’s team visit:

Inspec Solutions nominated for top award Inspec Solutions Ltd are incredibly pleased to be nominated for SME Employer of the year by Sheffield Hallam University for the Sheffield City Region Apprenticeship Awards. These awards recognise and reward both the apprentices and their employers that are excelling across the Sheffield City Region, covering Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley & Rotherham and Derbyshire and Worksop. Inspec Solutions Ltd have been recruiting Degree Apprentices to develop new talent since 2017 and currently have seven Degree Apprentices working full-time while studying for a BEng (Hons) at Sheffield Hallam. For an SME, they believe that this shows a huge commitment to apprenticeships. They regularly attend Degree Apprenticeship Fairs to promote their opportunities to young people and parents and have recently joined the 5 club. Jane Stockton-Wood, Apprentice Mentor, said: “Our apprentices have excelled in their university studies and have integrated fully into the team. All of them have been involved in various projects with a range of clients, which has added huge value to the business.” In addition, Inspec Solutions have a proven track record of 20 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

recruiting women apprentice engineers, which shows a fantastic commitment to diversity in a maledominated industry. Anita Kudelko, Apprentice Engineer, said: “I will gain degreelevel academic and practical skills in Control Systems Engineering and

I will graduate with several years of industry experience I wouldn’t get on a traditional learning route.” Mark Ritson, MD, added: “Sheffield is a hub of incredible talent, and by offering our degree apprenticeships in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, we’re

providing an unparalleled standard of technical education alongside a competitive wage. The benefits to both apprentices and employers are clear; they bring a new perspective and future talent to the business whilst being committed, passionate and eager to learn.”

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When you’re in the market for a business coach, it can be hard to know who to choose. With a unique approach tailored specifically to your business, Joanne Wharam might be just the person you’re looking for - especially if you’re an employer. As a professional coach, Joanne has 15 years of experience under her belt. In 2013, she founded SMARTSUPPORT for Business, which brings something entirely new to the table - a comprehensive approach to coaching that looks at building resilience in both the business and the people behind it.

much more successful. That’s why SMART also supports the design and implementation of employee management processes, including how to carry out effective appraisals, as well as services that focus on management and leadership development.

SMART’S methods unlock the full potential of the business by putting the focus on the individuals working within it. By using tools such as DiSC Analysis and offering a range of services geared toward employee engagement and wellbeing, it’s able to boost motivation and productivity in the teams themselves.

As well as its long-term services, SMART lends its expertise to businesses that need short-term solutions and support. For example, if you’re going through a period of change in your business, SMART can help you to balance employee engagement, productivity and profitability effectively.

The idea behind this is that happier staff leads to a healthier business- one that’s

It’s time to maximise your business and minimise its limitations visit: today and unlock your business’ true potential.

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Ramtech's technology provided 24/7 fire and emergency monitoring to the construction site at Nottingham Castle

Safeguarding historic artefacts A

The extreme likelihood of fire damage occurring on job sites is widely lmost a millennium’s worth of heritage and some of Nottingham’s recognised. Latest figures from the Home Office show that between April most treasured artefacts have been protected during the £30m 2018 and March 2019, fire and rescue services attended 365 fires on redevelopment of the city’s castle – thanks to technological construction sites in England – increasing from 333 in 2014/15. innovation by city-based firm Ramtech. Andy added: “Ensuring the heritage of Nottingham Castle was After three years of closure for extensive refurbishment and preserved, as well as protecting the lives of construction conservation works, Nottingham Castle reopened to the public workers, was key. However, safeguarding 953 years of on 21 June. ‘Being involved history from the risk of fire during a significant Castle Marina-headquartered Ramtech, which designs and develops wireless solutions, worked in partnership refurbishment was a challenging undertaking, especially in such an with Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Castle as the castle site is particularly complex.” important project Trust to provide a tailored fire detection and alert system WES3 is a wireless fire, evacuation and emergency during the renovation programme. alarm system that has been engineered to deliver the for Nottingham Lead contractor G F Tomlinson specified Ramtech’s highest standards of legislative compliance, while has been a EN54-compliant WES3 technology and REACT system, meeting the unique fire safety challenges of construction which provided 24/7 fire and emergency monitoring to the sites. privilege’ construction site – minimising the risk to lives, mitigating site It links with REACT – Ramtech’s next generation of clouddamage and protecting irreplaceable assets. based wireless fire safety systems – enabling site management Andy Hicks, Managing Director at Ramtech, said: “Being involved teams to have complete control of communications. in such an important project for Nottingham – and using our expertise Sara Blair-Manning, Chief Executive Officer at Nottingham Castle Trust, and innovative solutions to keep lives safe, and protect the city’s treasures – said: “The Ducal Palace and its grounds posed a complex site that had to be has been a privilege. considered not only in relation to personnel safety, but ultimately the “We were founded in Nottingham, we’re based in Castle Marina and we protection of over 1,000 years of history. The completion of the renovation are currently celebrating our 30th anniversary, so it feels like a birthday gift safely has allowed us to open as soon as Covid-19 restrictions have allowed to be able to showcase how far we have come by working on a major and to finally unveil unique treasures that will secure Nottingham as a global landmark in our home city.” tourism destination.”

SEND students benefit from leadership project Active Fusion’s Unified Leaders project continues to give SEND children the opportunity to participate and engage with sport, with Coppice School delighted with the results. The project, in association with BBC Children in Need and sponsored by Doncaster Business for the Community, aims to develop the essential life skills and health of children with SEND through physical activity. The students who have taken part in the project have experienced opportunities to enhance their leadership skills, alongside their teamwork abilities with a specialist Active Fusion mentor. Chris Medwell, Head of Post-16 at Coppice School, has praised the practicality of the project, seeing his students excel and gain valuable life skills to take with them into the world of employment.

A Coppice student volunteering at a Fusion Camp

He said: “The Unified Leaders course has been such an enriching experience for our students, they have developed a whole range of skills that can be transferred across the curriculum, skills that will prepare our students for adulthood.

“It is important that children and young people have opportunities to participate and engage in sport. The impact the project has had on their mental health is unquestionable, but it has also built on softer skills, such as self-esteem and confidence.” Coppice School were determined to make the most out of the project, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by Active Fusion. A host of young people have gained valuable experience volunteering at camp. Chris added: “All of the students have benefited from participating in the Unified Leaders project. “This has been an amazing opportunity for the young people, one that could not have happened if we hadn’t participated in this project. I would highly recommend other schools to take part.”

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Second location for Danish cafe heffield’s Danish-themed cafe Hygge is set to open a second venue in the city centre following the securing of new premises in the £70m New Era Square scheme. Sheffield-based commercial property specialist solicitors Mason Thomas Law negotiated the deal in only two weeks on the 180sqm unit on Boston Street in New Era Square with landlord New Era Developments, on behalf of owner Alex Moore. The speed of the deal has ensured that Lykke will be one of the first eateries to open in New Era Square and will benefit from the hundreds of students expected to make the move to the development this summer. Cathy Thomas, Director and Solicitor of Mason Thomas Law who acted on behalf of Alex, said: “Normally deals such as these take around six-eight weeks to complete so I am delighted that we were able to complete in only two weeks. Both myself and Alex made sure we were fully available throughout the negotiation period, and this ensured a swift process and will achieve Alex’s goal of a summer opening for Lykke. My team and I can’t wait to visit.” As well as indoor seating, Lykke, boasts a large outdoor area and will create up to 25 jobs once fully operational. Lykke will be one of the first food and drink businesses to open in New Era Square. The scheme, which fronts St.Mary's and the inner ring road, is home to more than 700 student flats which will benefit from retail/restaurant units all located around a central landscaped square. Alex Moore said: “New Era Square is a fantastic new pedestrianised space which I am excited to bring Lykke and our Danish concept of a relaxed multi-function work, meeting, eating and drinking space to it. “I am confident New Era Square will become the new go-to eating and drinking destination in Sheffield.”


Andy Yang, Jessica Bell and Alex Moore

Once open Lykke, like its sister venue Hygge Cafe, will offer full table service. Alex, who moved to Sheffield eight years ago, opened Hygge Cafe in 2019, just six months before the pandemic hit. He said: “As a small independent business we have been very grateful for the grants throughout the pandemic. They have enabled us to survive and now grow the business. It has been very hard to watch fellow hospitality business owners struggle in the pandemic, but now that restrictions are being lifted, I am very positive for the sector in Sheffield.”

Co-ops to play role in economic recovery The Sheffield City Region is the first region to partner with the Ownership Hub to grow resilient and inclusive businesses through employee and worker ownership. As Covid restrictions ease across England, focus moves to the economic recovery of businesses hit hard by the pandemic. In light of this, a new national initiative aiming to support businesses, advisers and regions to grow employee and worker ownership has been launched. The Sheffield City Region is the first region to commit to growing the number of worker and employee owners in this way. Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity. Not just because it gives us the chance to boost our support for co-ops and employee ownership, but because it will help to weave the thread of co-operation through our plan for economic recovery and renewal in South Yorkshire. “It is an integral part of a greater effort to not just create a more dynamic, productive and resilient economy, but to reform its structure – to change the system in a way which makes it fairer, more inclusive, and better able to serve the aspirations and needs of the people of South Yorkshire.

“It complements other threads of that vision – linking support for wider ownership to reformed procurement, incentives around investments in companies, the creation of a business charter, community wealth building, stronger devolution and democracy, and a just carbon transition.” The Ownership Hub is a partnership between the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and Co-operatives UK, as part of their campaign to create more than a million good jobs by 2030 through businesses giving employees a stake and say. There are around 1,100 worker and employee owned businesses in the UK. Together they contribute over £40bn to the UK economy and provide more than 200,000 jobs. Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “The benefits of giving employees and workers a stake are well evidenced. “While the growth of employee and worker ownership is accelerating, we needed a new approach for a chance for it to grow at scale and deliver impact in economies and communities, so we are delighted to launch the Ownership Hub and welcome Sheffield to blaze a trail for other regions.”

‘This is a hugely exciting opportunity’

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A testament to the success of employee ownership is Gripple, a market-leading manufacturer of wire joining, and tensioning devices headquartered in Sheffield. Set up in the 1990s, ownership was transferred to the employees in 2011 and today the business is a global success, employing more than 670 employee owners, manufacturing 6,000 products and exporting 85% of its trade to 80 countries. Hugh Facey, founder of Gripple, said: “I have been able to step back from the business which is now run by employees who have moved up and will keep it alive for future generations through employee ownership. Our employee’s owners are committed because they personally have shares in the business - this leaves us in a great position to innovate and grow. “We are a global business - 85% export - but rooted in Sheffield, so we are delighted that the Sheffield City Region will be leading the way in growing employee and worker ownership as part of its economic strategy.” Working intensively in geographic areas, and tapping into existing business networks, the Ownership Hub targets business founders at start-up stage to consider forming worker cooperatives, businesses that are looking at succession to consider employee ownership, as well as supporting professional advisers to build their knowledge to support employee or worker owned businesses.

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We offer an amazing bank of courses either online or face to face:

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We are proud to offer a brand-new venture:

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T: 0114 2484445


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Shop ‘appy with new online tool n online marketplace that enables Doncaster residents to browse, book and buy from their local shops and businesses has launched. connects local businesses to residents and is a free initiative introduced by Doncaster Council to support them in response to the pandemic. To mark its launch, a special event took place on 2 July in Doncaster town centre where ShopAppy vouchers were handed out to lucky people and various entertainment was lined up. Cllr Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing and Business, said: “We are providing to our businesses for free so they can show what they do and offer to a bigger audience. We are doing this to promote local shopping. We already have lots of businesses signed up but we do encourage our local independents right across the borough to sign up and tap into another way to attract customers. “It will help our shops with their online promotion, raise their profile by getting their name out there and drum up more custom. It’s an easy way for them to start promoting and selling their products and services online. “It’s also quick and easy for residents to see what is available locally from the comfort of their own home at any time of the day or night. They can


buy what they need and want from various local shops at one convenient website. With just a couple of clicks, their shopping is ordered. They can then go and collect it or, in many cases, have it delivered to their door. “ShopAppy is going to be make a big difference. We urge our businesses to sign up and we ask Doncaster residents to use the website and buy local. This is your online, local business community. Let’s do it for Doncaster businesses.”

‘With just a couple of clicks, their shopping is ordered’

Dr Jackie Mulligan, founder of ShopAppy and high street taskforce expert said: “It has been great to see this scheme roll-out thanks to a great collaboration between the council, us and local businesses. Many people turned to local businesses during lockdown, now it is easier to make that positive shift in behaviour permanent – shopping local is for life, not just for lockdown so if we want to live in vibrant places, we need to support the businesses that make them vibrant – in Doncaster will

make it easier for us all to do just that.” enables local businesses to set up their own mini website, where they can sell their products to local people and have them click and collect. This helps drive footfall to Doncaster’s many local shopping areas. Alternatively, people have the option to have shopping delivered to their home. It will benefit local independent businesses, especially those who don’t currently sell products online, and for those already online, provides a local channel to share their products with the people most likely to come into town in person.

Period of record growth for Mattress Online Online retailer Mattress Online has announced record business growth for the last 12 months, driven by a surge in sales during the pandemic. The Rotherham-based retailer, one of the UK’s fastest growing businesses, has seen turnover soar to £34.5m. Both turnover and profit have increased by more than 200%. Mattress Online is now the largest online independent mattress retailer in the UK and has an excellent reputation for customer service, market-leading choice, and consistently high product reviews. Profits have been reinvested across the business and the team has swelled from 38 to 61 over the past year. Chief Executive Officer Steve Adams has added to an already strong leadership team, with recent key appointments including Michael Jervis as Head of Digital who was previously at Jet2, former Morphy Richards

26 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

marketing manager Annaliese Curtis as Head of Marketing, and Craig Roberts as Head of Finance from Exemplar Health Care. The foundation for the new senior team was laid just before the pandemic with the appointment of Chief Operating Officer Martin Eastwood from manufacturer Silentnight. Founder and CEO Steve Adams said the entire company had risen to enormous logistical challenges posed by the pandemic. He said: “For a company that delivers products directly to customers’ homes, the level of safeguarding, staff training and the internal and external communication during this period has been huge. Our staff have responded in the most fantastic way and I’m

incredibly proud of them. We are thrilled to have been able to reinvest profits to support the ongoing innovation and future growth of the business.” Steve is now turning his sights on delivering the next phase of growth. “As a company established in 2003, we’ve got a strong infrastructure and supply chain,” added Steve. “This is helping us expand into bricks and mortar and we are strategically planning to open more stores when many retailers are closing down. Physical stores are not dead and I believe Mattress Online can offer the next day delivery and competitive prices you get from our online offering in a more traditional setting.”

‘We’ve got a strong infrastructure and supply chain’

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MRC investment for university T

he University of Sheffield has been awarded a share of £79m to train the next generation of researchers to tackle major health problems facing people in the North of England and around the world. The Discovery Medicine North (DiMeN) partnership builds on strong and longstanding collaborative links with the Universities of Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Leeds, and now also includes the University of York. This new Medical Research Council (MRC) investment will provide novel research and training opportunities across healthcare priority areas, including infectious disease, antibiotic resistance, cancer, and diseases of ageing. The partnership will recruit 120 PhD students over the next three years, supporting talented scientists of the future and collaborative research projects across the North of England. Each university is providing generous match-funding to enable this investment and the partnership will generate exciting opportunities to work with industry partners for patient benefit. Professor Stephen Renshaw, Sir Arthur Hall Professor of Medicine at the University of Sheffield and Director of the MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Programme, said: The increased number of students coming to the partnership is a real indication of the strength of research and research training within DiMeN. We are privileged to have such strong research across the five institutions and to be able to tap into so much passion for postgraduate research training. “This award will enable us to put more brilliant young scientists into some of the best laboratories in the world, making discoveries that will make a real impact on the understanding and treatment of disease.”

‘The partnership will recruit 120 PhD students over the next three years’

For more information about how MRC supports doctoral training, please visit the UKRI

Finance firm adopts vulnerability charter Future Life Wealth Management has become one of the first financial planning firms in Britain to adopt the Personal Finance Society's (PFS) new financial vulnerability charter. The pledge demonstrates the Renishaw-based firm’s longstanding commitment to providing the best possible service for every client it works for. The new charter aims to support the profession to better recognise and address the various forms of consumer vulnerability, improve client outcomes and increase access to financial advice. Director of operations Keeley Woodcock said: “Protecting vulnerable clients and being sensitive to their individual requirements have always been priorities for us. “When we discovered that the PFS was creating the financial vulnerability charter, we

immediately wanted to demonstrate our commitment and we were delighted when we were subsequently among the first financial advisers in the country to be accepted.” Future Life Wealth Management offers a bespoke financial planning service to generators of wealth – typically business owners, executives and professionals – and to receivers of wealth, such as inheritors, divorcees, widows and retirees. The PFS is the professional body for the UK's financial planning profession, which aims to lead the financial planning community towards higher levels of professionalism through technical knowledge, client service and ethical practice. Keeley added: "The charter is about how we treat people and how we do business. "We've always treated all our

Keeley Woodcock

clients – including those who can be classed as vulnerable – with the utmost respect. "For example, we regularly send colleagues on dementia awareness training courses which ensures that they can identify any clients in need of additional support or

guidance quickly and appropriately. "Our role means that some clients can be in a position of dependency on us. They trust us to act in their best interests - and this is what the entire team at Future Life Wealth Management is committed to." Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 29

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Business News

Delays to rail plan is “unacceptable” outh Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis says it is unacceptable that the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan is now not going to be published until the autumn. The Integrated Rail Plan will set out the Government’s plans for rail investment in the North and Midlands, including on the HS2 Phase 2b eastern leg and Northern Powerhouse Rail. Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “We’ve now been waiting for eight months to see the Integrated Rail Plan. This ongoing delay is completely unacceptable. As a consequence, we’re being asked to make impossible decisions about vital rail links, such as that between Sheffield and Manchester Airport, without even seeing the government’s list of rail investment projects. This continued delay further fuels the suspicion that what is being planned falls far short of the promises that were made. Indeed, after a certain point, delay starts to send a strong message of its own.


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“I struggle to see how this government can claim to be serious about ‘levelling up’ the North, when there are so many question marks about something as basic as improving rail connections between our towns and cities. “We desperately need the Government to provide clarity on their plans for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail serving our region. They’re prolonging the uncertainty for businesses and people living on the proposed HS2 route in the North.”

Mayor Jarvis is calling for clarity on HS2

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Business News

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Business News

As the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on businesses continue to ease, many employees will be glad to see the back of remote working – particularly those who are less keen on digital workspaces like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The transition to these new methods of working has highlighted a vital truth, however: in order to maintain stability during uncertain times, employers must be confident in the digital literacy of their workforce. This has led to an increase in demand for specialised training programmes, particularly in areas where a digital skills gap is prevalent. For those seeking to upskill their employees Independent Training Services (ITS), with the support of European Social Fund (ESF), Sheffield City Region LEP and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) are offering an array of fully-funded courses designed to boost digital literacy and IT skills. Businesses up to 250 employees who fall under the Sheffield City Region area can enrol onto a range of digital courses through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, which is commissioned by the ESFA and delivered

in partnership with the Sheffield City Region LEP. Those in Barnsley, Rotherham and elsewhere in South Yorkshire with a workforce of any size can access the same training through the European Social Fund (ESF) Advancing Digital campaign. As a proud partner of both programmes and an experienced provider of commercial training, ITS are perfectly placed to help you upskill and futureproof your workforce. All our digital skills courses can be provided for individuals or groups, delivered at your business premises, in our classrooms, online or using a blend of these approaches to suit you.

Stephen Hepworth, Managing Director of ITS, has a proven track record of delivering programmes aimed to boost employability and longevity in business. He said: “The SSW and Advancing Digital campaigns are a fantastic opportunity for employers in South Yorkshire to assess the digital abilities of their workforce, identify any gaps in knowledge, and fill those gaps”.

“It’s more important than ever for businesses to move with the times – continued professional development, especially when it comes to IT and digital, is a huge part of that.” Stephen Hepworth At no extra cost to you or your employees, ITS can offer:

Digital Skills Workshops: • • • • • •

Microsoft Office training, including Excel, Powerpoint, Teams and Sharepoint Adobe programmes programmes Cyber security GDPR training ECDL (European Computer Driving License)

Qualifications up to Level 2: • IT User Skills • Digital Skills for Employment • Digital Marketing

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Business News

To browse courses in more detail visit: Alternatively, you can chat to the friendly ITS team by emailing: or calling: 01226 216 760

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Chamber Connect

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The SCR Chambers Barnsley Office T: 01226 491421 Rotherham Office T: 01709 386200

E: W: Twitter: @brchamberuk

Coming together to face the challenges T

he last 12 to 18 months have been very challenging for us all. However, we have seen a grit and determination from the local business community, which is fantastic to see. The Chamber have been working very hard to keep you informed on decisions that have been made nationally and how they impact us at local levels. We will continue to do this as we make progress coming out of the pandemic. Membership has stabilised and I am proud to say we have maintained excellent levels of over 1,000 members and continued to service our members to the best of our ability. Our retention rate remains high and that is testament to the Chamber team who have worked tirelessly on contacting members regularly to offer our support and updating them on the fantastic benefits included in the membership. On behalf of the Chamber Board and staff I would like to say thank you to each member and Patron for continuing to show support by embracing the changes we have made and adapting to the different ways of working. We have had to adapt the events programme to ensure we continue to offer members opportunities to network, build relationships and raise their profile. The relationship with our neighbouring Chambers has been excellent as we have worked collaboratively on many regional business support projects and hosted some excellent events including the city region networking, which continues to attract 80-plus businesses from across South Yorkshire. We have also collaborated on educational webinars focusing on topics such as sales, marketing, health & wellbeing and working from home. There are positives to take away from the last 18 months. It has opened our eyes to the ways we work, and we have all shown a true spirit. It has been an uncertain journey and I am convinced that if we work together and continue to show the determination that we have done over the last 18 months, we will come through this positively and play our part in growing this fantastic region. Thank you for all your support, let us continue to work together and thrive.

‘There are positives to take away from the last 18 months’

Best wishes, Shane Young, Head of Commercial & Partnerships


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The SCR Chambers: Barnsley & Rotherham The chamber helps its members by focusing activity in 5 key areas: 1. Protecting your business 2. Raising your profile 3. Growing your network 4. Representing and sharing your views 5. Saving you money

Two new services from Air Centric ir Centric is delighted to announce the launch of two new separate entities – Air Centric Controls and Air Centric Ventilation. The firm already has a long established history and reputation for the supply, install and maintenance of commercial air conditioning systems. The HVAC industry is constantly evolving and most notably Air Centric’s customers’ and partners’ requirements were transforming along with those industry advancements. It became apparent that there was a need for a ‘full end-to-end HVAC service’, that would be proficient and certified to design, supply, install, maintain and repair all aspects of any commercial HVAC solution. Hence the launch of Air Centric Controls and Air Centric Ventilation, along with the firm’s existing offering of air conditioning. Due to the pandemic, ventilation and air quality have become hot topics. The law states, ‘employers must make sure there’s an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation, either


‘Our customers’ spoke, we listened. It was evident our customers were looking for a ‘one-stop-shop’ or full end to end service to manage all their HVAC requirements. There was a notable frustration at the prospect of dealing with too many providers for different aspects of their HVAC solution, we wanted to address that challenge and provide a solution. We always strive to exceed our customer expectations. Sticking to our company motto ‘quality in a service, is not what we put into it, it’s what our customers’ get out of it’ Rob Smith, MD, Air Centric

natural or mechanical) in enclosed areas of the workplace’. This law has not changed during the pandemic. As restrictions are being lifted, and more people are gathering in indoor spaces, the need for adequate ventilation is of paramount importance. The launch of Air Centric Ventilation couldn’t have happened at a more appropriate time. Air Centric’s team of experienced CIBSE members, low carbon consultants, energy assessors are proficient and certified to advise, design and deliver expert Ventilation solutions. As CIBSE low carbon consultants, they can offer BRUKL, BEEEAM & EPC advice if needed. Air Centric have also just launched a new website To celebrate, they are offering Chamber members a 10% discount on all Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) packages. For more information, contact Sales Manager Clare Curtin on 07926 128 874 or by email

New management system for Chamber A system upgrade for Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce has removed the admin burden, reduced manual process and improved remote working capability. An investment in NetSuite Financials and CRM introduced a software solution to manage client relationships and produce monthly financial management reports. Carrie Sudbury, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Having one system to manage client relationships, with financials connected, is revolutionary for us. All the manual reporting we spent hours on each month is gone, it’s fantastic for the team.” The NetSuite ERP and CRM system was recommended and implemented by Kinspeed, a BRCC member and NetSuite Solution Provider Partner. To determine optimal configuration and perfect-fit usability, Kinspeed completed an audit of BRCC’s systems, processes and objectives. With remote working a priority and intensive use of CRM to manage memberships, a cloud ERP solution was ideal, with NetSuite capturing and storing data in a single secure system, accessible from anywhere with internet access. BRCC are confident that NetSuite will adapt to future growth and process adaptations – the software system is scalable and easy to customise or add modular functionality. With its true cloud base, infrastructure upgrades are easy 36 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

and regular, with no version lock, guaranteeing the Chamber always operate on the current version. Kinspeed provided a full implementation and project management service, including training and support. They ensured the team were engaged from start to finish, securing a high level of acceptance for the software change and delivering value from day one.

Glen Banks, Managing Director at Kinspeed, said: “We were delighted to help the Chamber upgrade their software; NetSuite has freed every member of the team from unnecessary tasks. Their new system will help them focus 100% on supporting local business.” The full case study is an interesting read and Kinspeed are worth talking to if you have any business management system needs.

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Looking forward to the return of events By Andrew Denniff, Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Chief Executive hat a delight it is to eventually talk about and profile our forthcoming events calendar planned for the second half of the year. The mainstay of any Chamber’s activities has always been the impressive events that we look to stage throughout the year and 2020 removed that opportunity, not only for us, but also had a huge impact for the great number of associated businesses that work across the hospitality and leisure sector and indeed the many thousands of people that are employed by them. In this edition we have highlighted some of our major plans for 2021 and I do hope that you will take the opportunity to reengage with customers, clients and colleagues, whether that is in a relaxed social setting or at any of our business-to-business networking events. We will hopefully be “dipping our toe” into a couple of smaller, informal networking sessions over the summer months but once we get into September, we have highlighted some of our higher profile regular activities, all with that added spice and sparkle to change from the usual formats.


Chamber Means Business, September Now in its eighth year Chamber Means Business once again puts local businesses in the spotlight. After many months of zoom calls join us for face-to-face contact with exhibitors and

Rachel Nunn welcoming members

colleagues at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Thursday, 16 September. This event is completely free to attend, with over 50 exhibitors from a wide range of industries and sectors all showcasing the very best of our region's businesses and we anticipate more than 300 visitors on the day. Bringing together businesses and individuals from across the Sheffield City Region to promote their business, gain inspiration, learn the latest skills and provide excellent networking opportunities (remember to bring plenty of

business cards) this is a must attend event for any business. Are you already in business? Then this is an excellent opportunity for you to expand your business connections and discover new opportunities to grow your business all under one roof. Our keynote speaker is James Mason, Chief Executive Welcome to Yorkshire. For more information and to register visit: Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 37

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The SCR Chambers: Barnsley & Rotherham

We’re here to support your business Membership of the Chamber is about supporting your business and helping you to flourish and grow in today’s markets.We welcome all businesses large and small and understand that the needs of businesses can be very different.

Innovative and enterprising firms awarded Queen’s Awards T he Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK business. Officially announced on the Queen’s Birthday every April, the Awards are designed to recognise and encourage outstanding achievements in enterprise. The Queen’s Awards scheme was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965 with the first Awards made in 1966 under the original title, The Queen’s Award to Industry. Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce are proud to announce the winners from the chamber’s network of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021. The 2021 winners are Naylor Clayware in the International Trade category, AESSEAL® in the Innovation category and Marsden in the Innovation category. Pipe manufacturer Naylor Clayware has been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its high-performance products which are used in demanding applications around the world. AESSEAL®, a mechanical seal manufacturer with its Head Office in Rotherham, has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for a specialised mixer


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seal of the type required in vaccine manufacture and other complex industrial operations. This is the 12th Queen’s Award received by AESSEAL plc and the 14th for the AES Engineering Ltd. Group. The Short Canister Mixer Seal which is the subject of the latest award is the world’s first Zone 0, 1 and 2 range certified mixer seal, based on a modular platform and is capable of sealing the most difficult applications in the world by design. Rotherham-based Marsden a medical device company which helped an A&E nurse to realise the potential in her idea to administer potentially life-saving treatment has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. The award was secured by Marsden in recognition of the work the company has undertaken in developing a unique Patient Transfer Scale, which is used to provide accurate weight measurement. Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.

AESSEAL® wins another Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation

AESSEAL®, a mechanical seal manufacturer with its Head Office in Rotherham, has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category for a specialised mixer seal of the type required in vaccine manufacture and other complex industrial operations. This is the 12th Queen’s Award received by AESSEAL plc and the 14th for the AES Engineering Ltd. Group. The Short Canister Mixer Seal which is the subject of the latest award is the world’s first Zone 0, 1 and 2 range certified mixer seal, based on a modular platform and is capable of sealing the most difficult applications in the world by design. AESSEAL® is the last remaining UK manufacturer of a full line of mechanical seals after their largest competitor moved its UK manufacturing base to the Czech Republic a decade ago. While mechanical seals are a relatively hidden component of global manufacturing processes they are also vital. The best sealing technology makes a major contribution to the reliability, profitability and environmental performance of industrial applications. Without mechanical seals there would be no power generated, no refining, no fine chemical industry and a very limited pharmaceutical industry. Managing Director and founder Chris Rea said: “Without a shadow of doubt a Queen’s Award is the greatest single honour that can be bestowed on a business. “Part of our drive for excellence has been the motivation to be able to fly a Queen’s Award for Enterprise flag continuously since 1989 and now we will have the right and privilege to be able to do so for the next five years. “Although this is a time of celebration it is also a time of mourning and reflection. The late departed His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, chaired a committee in 1965 which led to the creation of the Queen’s Award for Industry as it was initially called. The very positive and motivational impact this initiative has on myself and my colleagues is incalculable. “The morale and motivation of people is a huge ingredient in the success of any enterprise and the injection of both that our organisation gets from the receipt of this award will help drive the business to be the best that it can be in the future.”

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The SCR Chambers: Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber Events A calendar of events designed to engage both members and nonmembers and enhance their business. For full booking information on all Chamber events visit:


Marsden secures Queen’s Award for Innovation A Rotherham-based medical device company which helped an A&E nurse to realise the potential in her idea to administer potentially life-saving treatment has been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation. The award was secured by Marsden in recognition of the work the company has undertaken in developing a unique Patient Transfer Scale, which is used to provide accurate weight measurements when a patient is admitted to hospital. Launched in 2018, today, the Marsden Patient Transfer Scale is used in 65% of all NHS Trusts across the UK and also sold worldwide. The innovative product was developed when a nurse called Gillian Taylor witnessed first-hand the discomfort and delays to treatment caused when medical staff attempted to weigh immobile patients using traditional hoists. When a patient suffers a stroke or is diagnosed with sepsis it is vital for medication to be administered as quickly as possible. However, before treatment can begin a patient must be weighed to identify the correct dosage required. It was recognised that cumbersome hoists could lead to delays in the time taken for a patient to receive treatment. Drawing on her nursing expertise, Gillian was determined to do something to try and solve the problem. NICE Guidelines require every patient to be weighed when they are admitted to hospital and reviewed regularly during treatment. Gillian hit on hit on the idea of combining a weighing device with a patient transfer board, used when moving a patient from a trolley to a hospital bed after looking at the thin weighing scales she used in her kitchen. After developing a prototype of the invention, Marsden was approached for help in realising the potential offered by the unique product which enables accurate weight readings to be taken within a matter a seconds, helping to reduce delays in life-saving medication being administered. Marsden refined the design and secured the vital Class III certification, enabling the product to be sold in NHS and EU hospitals. Today, the Patient Transfer Scale can weigh patients up to 250kg (39 stone) and provides accurate readings up to 500g and following its launch, the invention is today being sold around the world. Mark Holdaway, Chief Executive Officer, Marsden, said: “Marsden has a long history of innovation in the healthcare sector and when we were approached with the original idea, we knew it could potentially be a product which would change the way in which patients were treated across the world. “We felt the Patient Transfer Scale could act as a catalyst towards driving positive change within a healthcare environment.”

City Region Networking (online) Date: 7 September Time: (9am – 10.30am)

Naylor win Queen’s Award for Enterprise Pipe manufacturer Naylor Clayware has been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category for its high-performance products which are used in demanding applications around the world. Naylor Clayware is a division of Naylor Industries plc, a fourth generation family business based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Clay pipe production is an activity which has been associated with the Naylor Group since its foundation in 1890, but as the needs of the construction industry have evolved, so too has the Naylor product offering. The development of high-performance clay pipe systems for trenchless installation and handling hot or corrosive effluents has led to areas of worldleading technical expertise. The company supplies challenging schemes across the globe, such as where surface activity precludes digging a trench or where process plants emit aggressive chemicals. Its Denlok trenchless pipe has been particularly beneficial internationally in allowing authorities to install or upgrade sewers in fast-growing metropolitan areas where it is impractical to dig up the roads without dramatically disrupting daily life. International sales growth of these highperformance products has led to the company being awarded the Queen’s Award for International Trade; indeed since developing these ranges, the company’s products have been supplied onto every continent and into 65 countries worldwide. Naylor CEO Edward Naylor, who has been running the business since 1993, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award. We’ve got a fantastic team: from long-servers with decades of experience through to young and enthusiastic apprentices and this really is a wonderful recognition of all their hard work over so many years.” He added: “We’d also like to thank our international network of agents and distributors who work tirelessly in flying the Naylor flag across the globe.” Now in its 55th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.

Our popular City Region Business Networking Event is back (online). The three South Yorkshire Chambers are working together to bring you a unique networking event. This event is free for Chamber members and £10+VAT for nonChamber members. Membership of the Chamber is all about helping your business to grow and what better way to meet new businesses and make new contacts from across the area than at the City Region Business Networking Event. To book visit:

Chamber Race Day – St Leger Festival Date: 10 September Time: 11.30am – 6pm Join us for the penultimate day of the iconic Festival, now known as Donny’s Day, which attracts some of the most prestigious racing of the week. The Cusworth Chalet is positioned in the centre of the course, overlooking the Winning Post and provides a superb dining and social and networking experience, positioned at the very heart of the action and offering unbeatable views of Doncaster’s straight mile. To book visit:

Celebration for Business Date: 12 November Time: 6pm till late The Chamber of Commerce wants to provide an opportunity for our members and businesses throughout the South Yorkshire region to get together and celebrate the strength of our business community. We could have chosen to do a traditional awards event; however, the past year has been about us all working towards a common goal and so we have decided to invite you all to come together to relax and enjoy each other’s company for an evening of great food, wine and exciting entertainment. To book visit:

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Chamber Connect

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The SCR Chambers: Doncaster Chamber Membership As a Doncaster Chamber member, you have access to support services that will help you cut costs, raise your profile and grow your business. T: 01302 640100 E: W: Twitter: @DNChamber

Find out more:

Doncaster Chamber welcomes new patron: Concorde BGW C

oncorde BGW is an award-winning design, build and maintenance specialist with an impressive portfolio of outstanding projects in a variety of settings throughout the UK. Their clients range from pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels through to offices, universities, and schools. Jade Dyer, Business Director at Doncaster Chamber, said: “Doncaster Chamber is delighted to have Concorde BGW on board as patrons. They

play a big role in business and employment within the Doncaster area and we are very excited about the significant contribution their patronage will bring to the Chamber as we continue to inspire businesses.” Speaking about the partnership, Katrina Hill, Marketing Manager at Concorde BGW, said: “We have been very pleased with the support we have received from the Chamber since joining and with the positive impact they are making in the

business community and beyond. This is a very natural progression in our business relationship, and we look forward to the new partnership. We have already seen the benefit of being partnered the Chamber which has helped us get to know other businesses in Doncaster through networking and direct introductions. We can’t wait for our next networking opportunity and hope to meet and share ideas with likeminded businesses looking to raise the profile of the local area.”


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The SCR Chambers: Doncaster International Trade Services We provide a comprehensive package of International Trade Services to help your business succeed in international markets.Whether you’ve not even considered importing or exporting, or are looking to expand your current business activity, our qualified specialists can offer professional advice and assistance.

For more information visit

Youth Hub to help young adults new Youth Employment Hub is set to help 18-24 year olds in Doncaster claiming Universal Credit to get the support they need to find work. The project is a partnership between Doncaster Chamber, Doncaster Council, and Jobcentre Plus, and is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Flexible Support Fund. It will tap into additional support and expertise from a variety of other partner organisations and employers. Over the next nine months, the Hub will help a minimum of 250 people to get the right skills, personal development and careers support to help them find work, training or selfemployment. The initiative commenced in July and follows a successful first phase of the Youth Hub between December 2020 and March 2021. As Covid restrictions are lifted the Hub will be delivered out in the communities where it is needed, alongside online and telephone support. The primary base is at Doncaster Civic Office in Doncaster town centre. The young adults will benefit from advice and help from a range of sources including webinars, masterclasses, group sessions, recruitment academies and one-to-ones. Suzy Broadhead, Education Director at Doncaster Chamber, said: “By working in


Major investment for Stainforth Success for Doncaster’s second Towns Fund bid means Stainforth will benefit from a £21.6m transformation. There will be improvements at the train station, the creation of a hub in the town centre, enhanced roads and streets and the headstocks will be turned into a prime heritage site with wonderful green space and new commercial opportunities. Dan Fell, CEO of Doncaster Chamber, said: “This is very welcome news and a once in a generation opportunity to invest into Stainforth’s economy and communities. I was delighted to act as the Vice Chair of the project board that created this successful bid. “Enterprise, jobs and education are at the heart of this project, which also takes into consideration the deep community consultation that was undertaken to inform Stainforth’s Neighbourhood Plan. I am confident that this project, along with the game changing Unity development, will help to facilitate a new era of opportunities for SMEs and residents in the North of Doncaster.”

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Youth hub offering one-to-one support

partnership, the Youth Hub will enable us to provide tailored support to young people from across Doncaster to give them the skills and confidence to find that first job, while supporting

our local businesses to benefit from a young workforce with the required skills needed to continue to grow their business and support growth across the economy.”

St Leger Homes offers support to Armed Forces St Leger Homes are proud to announce that they have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. This commitment will see the local housing provider continue to give ongoing support to those who have sacrificed so much to defend and protect our nation. The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge to show respect and support to serving and former members of the armed forces and their families. Those leaving the armed forces often find that there are many barriers in their way when it comes to finding work, education and housing in the civilian world. As part of the covenant, St Leger Homes have committed to helping people overcome this by providing additional support to those employees and potential employees who have served their country so selflessly. St Leger Homes already offers current and

former members of the Armed Forces a guaranteed job interview if they meet all of the essential criteria required for a role - this is similar to the provision that they give to people with a disability as part of being a Disability Confident employer. The Armed Forces Covenant takes this support even further by also granting leave to spouses and partners of those employees who are going on deployment. Dave Richmond, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “St Leger Homes have always been proud to welcome a wide and diverse range of people into our organisation. I am delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and show our commitment to supporting those who serve our country. The pledges that we are making as part of the covenant stand alongside the work we have done in recent years to provide accommodation for homeless veterans.”

‘I am delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant’

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The SCR Chambers: Doncaster

Leading the way in green business eadquartered on Bentley Moor Lane in Adwick-le-Street, SYNETIQ is a thriving Doncaster business, having made the final at the 2020 Doncaster Business Awards, as well as being included in Yorkshire Business Insider’s 50 Most Exciting Companies list for 2021. Now shortlisted in this year’s BusinessGreen Leaders Awards in the categories of Circular Economy Project of the Year and Leader of the Year categories, SYNETIQ is competing against photography giants Canon and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, with the winner of each category announced in London on 22 September. The national awards ceremony is a celebration of the best of the green economy, bringing together many inspiring businesses and individuals that are striving towards a sustainable, net zero emission landscape. The exciting news follows SYNETIQ’s announcement in May of ‘Our Road to Tomorrow’ – their mission to be the most


trusted and sustainable business in its sector. This included commissioning a study into the true CO2 footprint of its operations, and the CO2 savings that can be achieved by using green parts in automotive repairs – highlighting the environmental benefits of integrated salvage and recycling. Over the last two years, the business has helped clients avoid 5.5 million KG of CO2 through the supply of green parts alone – the equivalent CO2 of powering 662 homes for one year. “SYNETIQ embodies the circular economy with a business model consistent with the waste hierarchy,” said CEO Tom Rumboll. “By utilising the four Rs approach of reduce, reuse, remanufacture and recycle, our integrated approach ensures that, where possible, vehicles are kept in life and, when

they can’t be put back on the road, are compliantly dismantled to maximise reuse and minimise environmental impact. “It’s amazing to be shortlisted. I’m extraordinarily proud of all the hard work that has brought us here and of our colleagues across the entire business, as we lead the way in creating a vehicle recycling industry we can all be proud of.” In June 2021, SYNETIQ became the first in its industry to achieve Bronze Carbon Literacy status. In achieving bronze status, SYNETIQ has proven its commitment to understanding carbon footprint as an organisation, to educate 40% of its workforce to become carbon literate, and to maintain a low carbon culture within all levels of the organisation.

‘SYNETIQ embodies the circular economy’

Frederika Roberts

Shortlist success for learning resource Help for a better night’s sleep

Charity awarded £250k to deliver wellbeing project Doncaster-based Sleep Charity has been awarded over £250,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to support a new wellbeing scheme, The Sleep Talkers Project. The two-year project will aim to improve the wellbeing and health of 3,750 beneficiaries and 1,250 Sleep Talker volunteers by providing sleep intervention, delivered in the community by trained sleep champions.

The Sleep Charity campaigns to improve sleep support and access to high quality information, raise awareness of the value of a good night’s sleep and promote understanding around the complexities of sleep. Its work is built around the belief that sleep is a vital component of health and wellbeing, and that everyone living with sleep issues should have access to effective, consistent, evidence-based support.

A free learning resource created by Doncasterbased entrepreneur Frederika Roberts (aka The Happiness Speaker), was shortlisted in the TES Schools Awards’ new ‘Home Learning Resource of the Year’ category. “I was stunned and delighted when I was contacted by TES a few weeks before the Awards ceremony and notified my resource had been picked out of all the amazing resources on the TES Resources site and been shortlisted alongside five other resources for this award,” said Frederika. The TES Schools Awards are held every year to celebrate the achievements of schools and their staff across the UK. This year, a new category was introduced into the Awards to recognise TES authors who uploaded home learning resources during the initial school closures in 2020. Coronavirus – seven wellbeing activities for seven days can be downloaded from Summer 2021 CHAMBER connect 43

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The SCR Chambers: Doncaster Opportunities Doncaster We connect business with education to help Doncaster's students succeed. Find out more:

New premises for NCM Auctions oncaster-based NCM Auctions has recently relocated to new premises at Kestrel Court near Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Following a rapid period of growth and recently recognised as one of the fastestgrowing companies in Europe – ranked number 336 in the Financial Times 1000 – the ambitious move is a crucial next step for the fast-moving, forward-thinking auction company. The 13,500 sq ft unit includes warehousing and storage space alongside a purpose-built


Pragma celebrates major milestone In July Pragma celebrated 20 years of business in Doncaster. The firm has now grown to employ 10 people who provide advice and support to industry and the legal profession. Pragma specialises in understanding all aspects of health and safety and their work includes providing guidance, evidence and training in relation to workplace exposures including asbestos, noise, vibration and chemicals.

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office area. The team are now working from a stylish and inspiring open-plan workspace that contains flexible breakout areas, meeting and video conferencing rooms, media suite and a company gym. Founder and CEO Emma McSkelly said: “As a company, we’ve seen rapid growth – nine years ago it was a two-person team working around my kitchen table. Now we’re looking for a head office that can accommodate 20-plus employees. At the same time, this space needs to provide short and long term storage for a vast range of auction lots,

The team at Pragma

allow the team to manage on-site collections and offer the versatility to undertake live, online and hybrid auctions. That’s no small ask for any space, and after lots of searching, it became clear the only way to get something that worked for us was to build it ourselves.” NCM Auctions help organisations solve the problem of what to do with surplus business and commercial assets. They provide businesses with a sustainable and ethical way to dispose of surplus assets, find the right buyers and ensure their clients get the maximum revenue return.

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The SCR Chambers: Doncaster

Chamber Events A calendar of events designed to engage both members and non-members and enhance their business. For full booking information on all Chamber events visit:

A simple step to controlling outgoings he outlook is tough; however here’s one simple step to control your outgoings. We have all heard about how the high street is under immense pressure, with smaller retailers taking the brunt of the impact of challenging trading conditions. The shift to online shopping, rising costs and the reduction of footfall in town and city centres have already heavily impacted the retail sector, and that was before the monumental impact of the pandemic which accelerated these challenges. Small and medium sized shops and independent retailers are particularly feeling the brunt of these pressures, as they tend to have fewer resources and rely more heavily on regular cash flow. And the light at the end of the tunnel may be some way off for a lot of retailers, as they struggle to reopen amid complex restrictions. The short term outlook is looking tough; however there are ways in which all business can start to take control of their finances.


Here’s something which can help Many businesses are looking for ways to save money and maintain a healthier bottom line. The good news is that getting a smart meter for your business is a small change that could make a big difference. A smart meter can support businesses to take control of their energy bills as they enable accurate, not estimated billing – helping to take the stress out of budgeting. Owning or running a small retail business is hugely exciting, challenging – and busy, and we are all looking for ways to work smarter not harder. Smart meters send your gas and electricity readings directly to your energy supplier so you don’t have to!

Manage your environmental footprint It is also important to bear in mind that it’s everyone’s responsibility to become more conscious of their environmental impact. Regardless of the size of your team, we all should be aware of how much energy we’re using and a smart meter is a simple way of doing this. A smart meter is a positive step in taking control of business outgoings and if your firm has 10 employees or less your business could be eligible. To find out more please speak to Doncaster Chamber. You can also contact your energy supplier or broker.

St Leger Ladies Day (Sponsored by Orb recruitment) Date: 9 September Time: TBA Venue: Doncaster Racecourse, Leger Way, Doncaster, DN2 6BB Price: Members: £270+VAT, Non-members: £300+VAT Exclusively available through Doncaster Chamber – The St Leger Ladies Day package gives you the opportunity to network with senior decision makers from businesses throughout the region in the Club 1776 track side marquee.

Chamber Business Enhanced Netwalking Date: 22 September Time: 11am-3pm Venue: Doncaster town centre and Wool Market, Market Place, Doncaster DN1 1NG Price: Bronze Members: £15+VAT Silver Members: 4 x tickets per year included to enhanced networking Gold Members: 2 x tickets per event included to enhanced networking Non-members: £25+VAT Embracing the challenges of a year of lockdowns Doncaster Chamber are pleased to offer a series of regular 'netwalking' events at various venues around Doncaster. Enjoy a networking walk around a planned route to showcase the best Doncaster town

centre has to offer before finishing for a networking lunch at The Wool Market. Networking sessions offer guests the chance to build new connections, long-term business relationships and knowledge share.

Doncaster Business Awards Date: 16 December Time: 6pm–12am Venue: Doncaster Racecourse, Leger Way, Doncaster, DN2 6BB Price: Members: £85+VAT Non-members: £115+VAT The prestigious Doncaster Business Awards is the largest business awards in Yorkshire. After a challenging year we look forward to welcoming the business community back to our live 23rd awards on Thursday 16 December 2021 to celebrate the very best of Doncaster's business community.

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Chamber Connect

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The SCR Chambers: East Midlands East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) T: 0333 320 0333 E: W: Twitter: @EMChamberNews

The Chamber is the largest business representation organisation in the East Midlands.With a growing membership of more than 4,300 businesses, it represents the interests of businesses across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

The next step in corporate giving

Local firms tap into the power of giving back wo-thirds of East Midlands businesses now engage in social or community activities – with an increasing number seeing the benefits of giving back, according to research by East Midlands Chamber in partnership with the University of Derby. It found the proportion of companies involved in CSR activity has grown from 60% in 2017 to 66% in 2020. However, there are significant discrepancies between large firms and SMEs, with those not engaged in charity activity citing a lack of time and financial resources. The Chamber unveiled the report, titled Growing Back Better – East Midlands Businesses’ Approach to Community Engagement, at its CSR Summit in May, in which it launched a new-look EMComingTogether campaign to raise awareness of the positive impact businesses are having on their communities. Director of policy and external affairs Chris Hobson said: “The impact of the pandemic has been uneven in terms of the communities most impacted and, as the economy recovers, there is a chance to demonstrate how we can grow back better. “While the biggest drivers for giving back among organisations are emotive, we’re beginning to detect that it’s becoming a more important part of business strategies. Four in 10 were seeking to build their profile and a quarter viewed it as an opportunity to develop staff. “In fact, when asked on a scale of one to 10 how important community activity was to them


achieving their overall strategic objectives, the average score given was 5.8. This suggests it’s not just something that people view as a nice thing to do, but is an integral part of their wider business purpose. “Our EMComingTogether campaign will show how it does make business sense as we seek to break down the barriers to community engagement for our region’s companies. But we also want to demonstrate how we can get more businesses doing more varied activity in a more impactful way – as this can only benefit everyone.” In the survey of more than 400 businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, nine in 10 large companies were engaged but the figure was 65% for SMEs, and just under 50% for microbusinesses. The most common reasons for engagement in micro and small businesses were a personal link with a cause or altruism. In medium companies, there was a willingness to build community links, while staff development was slightly more prominent in large firms. For those not engaged, the most common reason given in previous surveys was a lack of resources, being too busy or lack of interest. But in the most recent survey, the vast majority of respondents said they were “unsure”, suggesting broader awareness is needed across the region about what firms can do to make a difference. Chris said: “Businesses that currently don’t engage in CSR need more support to understand the benefits of doing so and where to start, particularly the smallest companies.”

‘There is a chance to demonstrate how we can grow back better’

Going “beyond raffle prizes” and establishing long-term relationships is the recipe for successful community and social engagement among businesses. This was the view of a group of East Midlands business leaders as they discussed how firms can make more meaningful impact in their local areas. Senior representatives from companies including Capital One, Futures Housing Group and Morningside Pharmaceuticals joined the debate at the Chamber’s CSR Summit. Jess Barnett, owner and brand director of Nottingham-based food gifting business TTK Confectionery, said her company’s CSR activities began with being bombarded by requests to donate its products for raffles. But it has evolved to go “beyond the raffle prize” by identifying key issues it wants to tackle, including deprivation, unemployment, addiction and mental health issues. It works with Nottingham organisations including addiction recovery charity Double Impact to offer work experience and permanent employment to service users, while it has supported young people’s charity Base 51 in its web development, marketing and recruitment. She said: “Our CSR activities are now based around one key goal – to be a responsible and sustainable company focusing on our local community. You shouldn’t be ashamed to shout from the rooftops about your CSR work because it can be part of your strategic growth.”

TTK Confectionery founders Jess and Martin Barnett

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The SCR Chambers: East Midlands

Your Chamber The go-to place for answers in business

Strong growth, but beware of growing pains The results are in for the Chamber’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2021 after responses from more than 400 businesses between 17 May and 8 June. Director of Policy and External Affairs Chris Hobson (pictured) gives an insight into the results.

State of the Economy Index 400 354 368




379 377 386 383 276






S0E Value






279 248


392 355 362



335 290 254






199 152


95 17


Q3 2020

Q4 2020





Q2 2021

Q1 2021

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However, it’s important to note this does bring with it some potential growing pains. As workforces increase, we’re also seeing an uptick in businesses reporting difficulties in recruitment. Six in 10 attempted to recruit in the quarter and, of those, 62% struggle to fill roles. These difficulties were particularly acute for skilled and professional jobs, but were also present across less skilled role types. Pressure on prices is the biggest issue to watch, with a net 49% anticipating increases in their prices over the coming quarter. The biggest pressure is coming from raw material prices (60%), particularly for manufacturers, but pressure is also coming from

Q1 2018

Skills and pricing issues

Q4 2017

Q3 2017

Q2 2017

Q1 2017

Q4 2016

Q3 2016

Q2 2016

Q1 2016

Q4 2015

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Q1 2015

although it should still be noted a quarter of all respondents saw access to cash worsen. While there remain certain sectors for whom the roadmap has been slower to reach them and are still in need of support, the overall picture is one of strong growth and strong prospects for future demand and activity.

‘The overall picture is one of strong growth and strong prospects’

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Q4 2014

Q3 2014

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Q4 2013


Q3 2013

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irst things first, the overall performance in the second quarter of the year is incredibly encouraging. Building on the recovery seen in Q1 2021, growth across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire – both in terms of activity and sentiment – continued to strengthen as the Government roadmap for re-opening progressed across the past three months. Our State of the Economy Index – a measure of regional economic health – is now at a level not seen since Q3 2018. Domestic markets performed particularly strongly for both sales and orders, while overseas markets were stronger for advanced orders than in-quarter sales. Employment has also increased, with a net +20% seeing their workforces grow over the past three months and net +41% anticipating growth for the coming three months. Encouragingly, following a year of cashflow deterioration, as more businesses have been allowed to open and confidence has grown, a net +7% reported a cashflow improvement over the quarter,

other overheads (42%), including energy costs, and, related to this previous point, pay pressures 18%.

Confidence is back on track So not all plain sailing. However, problems associated with growth are immeasurably more preferable than those associated with decline and businesses overall will be encouraged with where the economy currently is, particularly given where we were six months ago. Indeed, looking ahead to the next quarter, investment intentions continue to grow, for both plant, machinery and equipment (net +17%), and training (+23%), while overall sentiment for future improvements in turnover (net +62%) and profitability (net +41%) also trend upwards quarter-on-quarter. It is important the roadmap continues with no more delays, and measures such as social distancing, test and trace, and restrictions on international travel are eased or modified to take into account the fantastic vaccine rollout so more businesses can operate at full capacity. The scars on the economy from the past 18 months of operating conditions won’t heal overnight, but we are now back on the right track. Businesses and decision-makers must remain vigilant of those issues that might yet act to hinder growth and incorporate these into their planning.

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The SCR Chambers: East Midlands Chamber lends voice to HS2 plea HS2 is about “much more than a new railway” and should be viewed as a catalyst for levelling up, according to chief executives at the four largest Chambers of Commerce along the route – as they urged the Prime Minister to deliver the project in full. Scott Knowles (pictured) at East Midlands Chamber and the leaders of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce – whose organisations represent more than 14,000 businesses combined – claimed the highspeed rail project “remains fundamentally misunderstood” as only a transport investment. In a joint letter to Boris Johnson, they said HS2 would bring strong economic growth to each of their areas and called for the “speedy confirmation” of its delivery in full and as planned.

In the letter, the leaders say: “We believe that HS2 remains fundamentally misunderstood. “In many quarters, it is still viewed as being purely a rail investment project sitting within the Department for Transport. “The various reviews done to date – and in which we have wholeheartedly participated – have approached it almost universally as being solely about transport investment, judging it through this singular lens with regards to cost/benefit analysis. “Such an understanding of HS2 is hopelessly flawed. While even with this narrow focus the project still more than stands up to scrutiny given capacity constraints, connection shortfalls and the need to upgrade transport to green, clean alternatives, we cannot emphasise enough how HS2 is about much, much more than a new railway.”

Digital project helps small businesses get online he online revolution has been a key feature of the pandemic – and now small and microbusinesses in Chesterfield can embrace these digital trends in an innovative new support scheme. The Chesterfield Digital High Street project helps those reliant on bricks and mortar to transition into an online world by creating highly visible e-commerce websites equipped with the latest forms of payment, such as Apply Pay and Google Pay, and modern shopping concepts like “click and collect”. Funded by Chesterfield Borough Council and delivered by East Midlands Chamber, it aims to support small outfits in sectors such as retail, hospitality and leisure, which have been hit hardest by lockdown restrictions, to become more resilient. Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at the Chesterfield-headquartered Chamber, said: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on small and microbusinesses in sectors such as retail,


hospitality and leisure. While we’re all looking forward to a return to normality as we come out of lockdown, it’s crucial these SMEs are futureproofed by creating modern websites to embrace some of the consumer trends that were already noticeable pre-Covid.” The support available to businesses via the programme includes access to a Digital High Street adviser with specific e-commerce and online skills, who will work intensively with at least 120 businesses to help them develop and maintain their new or existing digital presence. Grants of £2,200 – covering 100% of costs – will also be awarded to 50 of these businesses to help them set up an e-commerce website that is search engine optimised, with the package also including web hosting provision for a year and digital training. Applications can now be made for the Chesterfield Digital High Street project at

A kickstart for fledgling escape room business Robbing banks and investigating paranormal activity is the name of the game at a new Chesterfield venue – which has used the Kickstart scheme to bolster its team. Chesterfield Escape Rooms, which opened in May, has used the Government-backed employment programme – aimed at 16 to 24year-olds on Universal Credit or at risk of longterm unemployment – to hire six games masters among its 16 employees. It applied for funding to create the initial sixmonth placements via the Chamber, which is a Kickstart gateway organisation and has worked with Chesterfield Borough Council to engage businesses about the scheme’s benefits. Nick Hogan, who owns the escape room business, said: “The younger generation is tomorrow’s workforce and unless we give the opportunities to succeed, our businesses won’t survive.” Deputy chief executive and Kickstart lead Diane Beresford said: “Businesses taking part are playing a vital role in their communities by supporting and preparing our future workforce, while they also benefit from a relatively risk-free opportunity to trial new roles that could lead to future growth.” Businesses interested in applying for a Kickstart scheme grant should contact Pieter Eksteen on or 0333 320 0333 (Ext 2241).

Scheme to reduce city centre crime Up to 2,000 businesses in Chesterfield and Staveley can now sign up for free to a Chamber-run scheme that helps to reduce town centre crime and anti-social behaviour – as new figures show the cost of crime is rising for retailers. Retailers, hospitality venues and other companies can access Disc, an online crime information-sharing system that connects businesses with local police forces, as part of the Derbyshire Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP). Jackie Roberts, BCRP Manager at the Chamber, said: “The Disc portal is an integral part of crime reduction strategies as it makes it so much easier for businesses to share intelligence about incidents.”

Chesterfield market place Photo courtesy of Matt Jones Photography/Destination Chesterfield

To get involved with the Derbyshire BCRP email

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The SCR Chambers: East Midlands

Putting your business needs at the heart of our strategy Top firms driving the region’s growth he contribution businesses across the region make to UK plc has been spelled out in detail in this year’s East Midlands Top 500 Companies index. The full list – which ranks the region’s top businesses by turnover – was compiled using data from Companies House. Combined, the companies have a turnover of £94bn and employ more than 455,000 people. The research, compiled by academics from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), the University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University, and sponsored by Bradgate Estates, allows us to see the range and strength of firms across the three counties. The top 20 firms are national and international players, which support tens of thousands of jobs and pump billions into the economy. For the first time this year, all 20 have turnovers of more than £1bn. Just like last year, Nottingham-based Boots UK remained in the number one position with annual revenues of £6.8bn. Next came Leicesterbased luxury car dealer group Sytner, followed by Barratt Developments in Coalville, the Nottsbased Pendragon car dealer group and Leicestershire retailer Next plc. As well as the Top 500, the research team looked at the changes that have been made in the region’s biggest sectors such as manufacturing, logistics, technology and retail, as well as emerging niches. Professor David Rae, of DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School, who leads the project, said: “There are a few changes at the top of the list, but 55 new firms have joined it and the same number dropped out. “It is interesting to see who these growing firms are. We also look at changes in the major business sectors in the region, compared with the first East Midlands Top 500 published in 2020. The index is becoming a valuable baseline for economic recovery from the pandemic.” Following publication of last year’s inaugural Top 500, DMU collaborated with East Midlands Chamber to improve available intelligence about the region’s businesses, which could ultimately promote investment opportunities. Scott Knowles, chief executive of the Chamber, said: “The East Midlands is the engine room of the UK’s economy. “The East Midlands Top 500 Companies index sets this out in vivid detail, showcasing the huge contribution our region makes to UK plc, and the strength and depth of our business community. “It’s the second listing of its kind and while many of the top positions remain stable, it’s interesting to observe which companies have climbed the table and those that have fallen.” As the index is based on company accounts, it


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inevitably lags current company performance by around two years, since companies have up to nine months after their year-end to file their accounts. It covers the period from June 2018 to June 2019, just six months before the first case of coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, and before Article 50 triggered the UK’s official

withdrawal from the European Union. It excludes public sector organisations and businesses with operations in the East Midlands that are subsidiaries, or have their registered offices elsewhere. The full East Midlands Top 500 Companies 2021 list can be downloaded at

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The SCR Chambers: East Midlands

Chamber Events For full booking information on all Chamber events visit:

Generation Next Awards winners revealed at inaugural ceremony he most promising young business talent in the East Midlands has been celebrated in the first ever Generation Next Awards. Kate Walker (pictured), a Loughborough University graduate who founded ExpHand Prosthetics to make affordable and bespoke 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children in 2018, was crowned the Generation Next Future Leader at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Avit Media director Ash Stanley on 16 July. She was one of seven award winners at the inaugural event, part of East Midlands Chamber’s new Generation Next network for young professionals and business leaders aged under 35. It was held in conjunction with headline partner the University of Derby. Other honours included Apprentice of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, a Breakthrough Award, Excellence in Innovation and Technology Award, Community Award and Customer Service Award. The Chamber’s Director of Resources and Generation Next lead Lucy Robinson said: “Generation Next is a really exciting new initiative from the Chamber and we’re delighted to have held our first major event, which was a fantastic showcase of the amazing young talent we have across the East Midlands. “Our winners are an incredible advert for our region’s entrepreneurial instincts and we can’t wait to continue supporting them as their careers develop.” Fraser Stretton Estate Agents, GBS Apprenticeships, Hardy Signs, Loughborough College and Nottingham University Business School were partners of the Generation Next Awards and the Generation Next network, alongside the University of Derby. Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the University of Derby’s College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, said: “Celebrating the success of young people through these awards demonstrates the huge talent that exists across all areas of employment and enterprise.” Generation Next was established by the Chamber last year as a network for young professionals to make connections, build new skills and advance their careers. A board of 13 “champions”, consisting of young people in the East Midlands business community and two University of Derby students, lead the network.


EMC director of resources Lucy Robinson, president Eileen Richards MBE and Avit Media director Ash Stanley

Generation Next Awards 2021 winners Breakthrough Award (Sponsored by Nottingham University Business School) Winner: Daniel Jones - Professional Heating Solutions Finalists: Holly Daulby - Honest Communications, Max Poynton, Jacob Watts and Matthew Bond - Project D, Kate Johnson Rate Social, Junyi Xiao - W&W Trading and Consulting

Excellence in Innovation & Technology Award (Sponsored by GBS Apprenticeships) Winner: Tony Buck - EyeSiteView (Division of Oasis Studio) Finalists: Rikan Patel and Tanrik Patel Business 2 Business

The Community Award (Sponsored by Hardy Signs) Winner: Charlotte Robey Turner – Leicestershire Cares Finalists: George Hanvere and Elliot Dipper Paragon Law, Nisha Pahuja - Charnwood Regency Guesthouse Limited, Katie Gilbert TTK Confectionery

Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Loughborough College) Winner: Coral Guard – GBS Limited

Finalists: Chloe Newton - BEDE Events, Chris Guard – GBS Limited, Chloe Deville Hardy Signs, Olly Torrence - Purpose Media

Entrepreneur of the Year (Sponsored by Fraser Stretton) Winner: Max Poynton, Jacob Watts and Matthew Bond - Project D Finalists: Trent Peek - CCM Group, Holly Daulby - Honest Communications, Jordana Chin - Nutri2Go Ltd, Aaron Gent – Aroment

Customer Service Award (Sponsored by East Midlands Chamber) Winner: Jenna Hadfield - Banner Jones Solicitors Finalists: Beth Bearder – Keebles, Rob Spence - Paragon Sales Solutions, Emily Marriott Order Blinds Online, Evie Margetts - Corporate Architecture

Generation Next Future Leader Award (Sponsored by the University of Derby) Winner: Kate Walker - ExpHand Prosthetics Finalists: Edward Morley - Rise & Recline, Harry Dodge - Far-UK, Leah Binney - TTK Confectionery, Theo Kirk - Express Recruitment

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Chamber Connect

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The SCR Chambers: Sheffield

Supporting our members

T: 0114 201 8888 E: W: Twitter: @sheffchamber

Our region’s businesses will lead the way in the recovery and Sheffield Chamber will be right beside you every step of the way. Supporting business. Connecting business. Representing business.

A new home for Sheffield Chamber upporting local business, Sheffield Chamber is delighted to open a new city centre hub at Cubo Sheffield. The new co-working space, which is a vibrant addition to Sheffield’s Heart of the City development project, will be the primary base for Chamber membership. Offering a fresh, modern, and welcoming place for businesses to visit the Chamber team to catch up, learn and collaborate. The Chamber’s current home, located in the John Banner Centre in Attercliffe, is being refreshed and transformed into their chief base of operations for International Trade. Remaining an easy drop off and pick up point for the Chamber’s International Trade clients. Matt Jackson, President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “When I commenced my presidency in 2019, the theme I set for my term was ‘Chamber of the Future’ - and new office accommodation was an important item on the agenda. A real opportunity for us to drive this vision forward. “We needed our workplace to reflect the modern vibrant Chamber we are and fully cater to the needs of our customers and staff. “Our new hub at Cubo delivers. It is a place in easy reach to all, that we are proud to call home and invite our members and clients to. It also sits us in the centre of the fantastic re-development work being done by the council to bring new workplaces, shops, restaurants and social spaces to our city centre. “The new co-working also delivers on the needs of our Chamber staff. Workplace wellbeing is extremely important to us and Cubo is a place where our people want to be - open plan and filled with natural light, that helps increase productivity and moral (not to mention


The Chamber teams first meeting at their new premises

the in-house barista and rooftop bar – other fantastic bonuses).” Nick Patrick, Head of International Trade at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, added: “As conversations started around where we should call home, the location of our office was of huge importance to us. Many of our international clients are based in the east of the city and make frequent visits to us to drop off or pick up documentation. It was extremely important that doing this remained accessible and as easy as possible. “Having two hubs was the solution. And I am delighted that Sheffield International Trade will be remaining at John Banner. We are also getting a makeover – new paint, new furniture and a breakout area for members of the team to meet with clients in a relaxed and friendly environment.” Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City

‘Cubo is a place where our people want to be’

Council, said: “There’s lots of fantastic regeneration happening across our city centre and it’s great to see Sheffield Chamber moving to the Cubo development. It’s another vote of confidence in the Heart of the City scheme. Our ambition has always been to deliver a new commercial district in the city centre and with important organisations like the Chamber joining HSBC and CMS, this ambition is quickly becoming a reality. “By providing an increased business community right at the heart of the city centre, it will help support local shops, hospitality, cafés and bars, as well as attracting more investment and businesses, which is key to our recovery following the pandemic.” Rebecca Brough, Executive Director at Staton Young, added: “We are delighted that Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has taken space in Cubo. Having initially worked here on day passes, they have now made the move to one of our larger private offices. This demonstrates the quality of the venue and the flexibility we can offer key businesses like the Chamber.”


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The SCR Chambers: Sheffield We are a community. Working together to make businesses stronger. Whatever the sector, shape or size of your organisation, we want you to be a part of it. Visit:

How R&D tax relief can ease cashflow concerns s businesses adapt to life postlockdown, many companies are looking for simple, quick and effective ways to improve cashflow. How would a Government grant in the form of a reduction in your corporation tax liability, or in some cases a direct payment from HMRC, help you boost cash flow now and achieve your business growth aims in the long term?

A Jason Martin, Energy Manager at Professional Energy Purchasing

Building a roadmap to help reach net zero Over the past few years, we’ve seen a global tide of momentum with individuals and governments declaring climate emergencies and setting net zero carbon targets. In the UK, we have pledged to slash emissions by 78% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2035, bringing us more than threequarters of the way to the net zero target of 2050. This means a seismic shift in replacing fossil fuels such as oil and gas to cleaner energy sources like wind farms and solar energy. For many businesses trying to reduce energy costs and emissions it’s an ongoing challenge, especially if significant investment is needed. And despite Government incentives such as the super deduction tax, a lot need practical help in developing their net zero roadmap. Chamber Energy Partner, Professional Energy Purchasing (PEP), has been working with local businesses to define what a net zero carbon strategy means to them. Jason Martin, Energy Manager at PEP, said: “Businesses need to define their own carbon-cutting pathway which is appropriate for them. We’ve been using our experience and expertise to help a range of clients to understand their emissions, set targets and develop action plans for achieving them. This has given us an indepth understanding of the carbon footprint for a range of sectors. “To achieve net zero carbon, we must monitor and reduce every aspect of energy and resource consumption. This will involve everyone in each business taking responsibility and committing to ensure targets are met.” Call: 0114 327 2645 Visit:

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Support through R&D tax relief R&D tax relief was introduced almost 20 years ago but HMRC statistics show only a small proportion of eligible companies make the claims to which they are entitled. The same statistics show that less than £400m of the £5.1bn paid out in R&D relief in 2018/19 went to companies in Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands. Nevertheless, R&D remains an important part of the UK’s recovery plan, with the Government keen to increase investment in R&D. This is great news for companies looking for additional support, as accessing R&D tax relief can be a quick, efficient way to get cash back into your company.

What is R&D tax relief worth? The relief is worth almost £25k in corporation tax saved for every £100k of qualifying spend. If a company has losses for tax purposes, which can often be the case for start-ups and for companies investing in future growth, HMRC can in some cases pay a credit to the company worth up to nearly 19% of the qualifying spend.

R&D tax relief is largely underclaimed because companies do not realise they are eligible

Who can claim R&D tax relief R&D tax relief is largely underclaimed because companies do not realise they are eligible. One of the main reasons that the relief isn’t fully claimed is because the level of innovation required is often overestimated – it’s not just for scientists in laboratories but applies to companies in all sectors. If your company is engaged in product or process development or improvement, speaking to an R&D expert can determine your eligibility.

How to claim R&D tax relief R&D claims are made via the company’s tax return and, if the company is due a cash payment from HMRC, HMRC aim to pay this within 28 days of the claim being submitted. If you are struggling with cash flow or a lack of funding to grow your company, we would advise exploring the possibility of claiming R&D tax relief. Seek advice from an R&D expert who can work with you to assess your eligibility and prepare your claim while saving the company’s time and resources.

About Radius Radius specialises in helping businesses claim their full entitlement to Government-backed tax reliefs for innovation and is proud to be R&D Tax Relief partner to the Sheffield, East Midlands, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham Chambers of Commerce. Radius has helped clients save over £18m in R&D tax reliefs in the last six years and has never had a claim amended by an HMRC enquiry.

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The SCR Chambers: Sheffield

Ant and Dec prize joy for youngster unny Scholes-Ogram is jumping for joy after her mum won a haul of prizes including a dream bedroom from a Sheffield Chamber member on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. As part of the prize, which included a car, two holidays and a new boiler for their home, mum Fiona Scholes-Ogram won a dream bedroom makeover for little Sunny. The new stylish bunk bed, mattress and accessories were supplied and delivered by Mattress Online with the Rotherham company quickly turning Sunny’s bedroom into the perfect place for a sleepover with friends. Mattress Online, the UK’s largest independent mattress retailer, was one of the advertisers featured in the Win the Ads game on the ITV entertainment show. Mum-of-three Fiona, who lives at Heworth, York, entered the competition in which she had to answer topical questions to win star prizes based on recent ITV adverts. “I’d forgotten I’d entered but then I got a call. It was filmed virtually because of lockdown and I appeared on a big screen behind Ant and Dec with lots of other contestants. I couldn’t believe it when they called my name. I’ve never won anything in my


‘It’s transformed Sunny’s bedroom and looks amazing’

Sunny in her new bedroom

life so when I actually won, I was really shocked.” Fiona could choose anything from the Mattress Online website up to a certain value and decided to get a fantastic Three Sleeper Wooden Bunk Bed and mattress. “It’s transformed Sunny’s bedroom and looks amazing,” added Fiona, who said she always knew she would play on and go for the “all or nothing question”. “I made sure I did some reading up about the news. As soon I heard the Beyonce question though I knew I had read about her collection of Grammy Awards and was confident I had the answer!”

Mattress Online Chief Executive Officer, Steve Adams

Fiona was right, she did know the correct answer and went on to win a whole host of amazing prizes including a new Nissan car, two holidays including a safari booked for July, a much-needed new boiler for the family home, new television, and of course a new bed, mattress and sleep accessories. Mattress Online Chief Executive Officer Steve Adams said: “We were really pleased to help Sunny turn her sleepover bedroom into reality. “The Mattress Online team did a great job delivering and building Sunny’s new bedroom. It was a great team effort for a really lovely family.”

Ways to cut down on your energy usage Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close contact services have made a welcome return in recent months, bringing much-needed services back to towns and cities across the UK. While the impact of the pandemic is still being felt, business owners and managers have embraced the changes and adapted to new ways of working to protect their clients, their staff, their business and their bottom line. Energy is a key expense for hairdressers, beauty salons and other close contact services which makes it a crucial area for these businesses to save money and take control of their finances. Anyone who manages a business knows the importance of embracing changes, both big and small. A small change like switching to a smart meter could make a big difference to your business. Now more than ever, it is important for business owners to know how much they are spending to keep track of unnecessary energy waste or additional costs. A smart meter could give businesses additional visibility over energy use and costs to make it easier to identify where changes and savings can be made.

Mind the planet and your pocket Sustainability is a key focus for many businesses across Great Britain and a smart meter is a step in the right direction, to help business owners and staff cut down on energy waste and make their business more sustainable.

A smart meter could help your business save energy, time and money Working around clients’ schedules means that time is precious for business owners. Smart meters send your gas and electricity readings directly to your energy supplier saving you time too! Firms with 10 employees or less could be eligible and installations can be arranged at a convenient time to ensure minimal interruption to your business and your clients. Are you thinking about getting a smart meter installed in your business? Make an appointment with your energy supplier or broker today and see if you are eligible. To find out more visit

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The SCR Chambers: Sheffield

What we do Our mission is to lead the way in making Sheffield the best place in the UK to start, grow and run a successful and sustainable business.

The State of UK Trade even months on from the end of the transition period and with the focus on economic recovery from the pandemic, it might seem to some that the issue of Brexit has faded into the background. But many businesses, and their customers, are still dealing with the reality of the significant changes ushered in on 1 January. Tens of thousands of small and medium sized exporters have spent months grappling with the blizzard of new red tape and costs of getting goods to firms and people in the EU. The introduction of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) with Europe has created a whole new range of operational procedures - whether that’s dealing with import VAT, customs declarations, or safety and security certificates. Although the situation for outbound goods at GB ports has been better than the Government’s own reasonable worst-case scenarios, there is still inconsistency in the way customs rules are applied on arrival. Some of that has been mitigated by welcome, although temporary, easements such as on proof of origin of goods. However, in October and January inbound GB border and customs controls will begin to apply to goods being imported from the EU, involving billions of pounds in new customs and regulatory business compliance costs downstream in sourcing and supply chains. Some of these costs are short-term, others involve deep structural changes to business operations. Between the first quarters of 2018 and 2021, trade with the EU fell by around a fifth.


The BCC’s Trade Confidence Outlook for the first quarter of this year found that 41% of almost 3,000 responding companies said export sales had fallen. The ongoing pandemic and the new UK-EU trading terms were the key drivers of this.

Next steps and what to prepare for… As an AEO accredited Customs Broker, Sheffield International Trade Centre (SITC) continue to support businesses with difficulties brought around by Brexit. With additional easements soon set to end, businesses need to keep abreast and prepare for the upcoming changes that will occur. These include: • Delayed declarations for imports according to the 175 day easement. • Standards and Markings - From 1 January 2022 CE standards will no longer be recognised. UK manufactured goods must pass and be UKCA marked. For products, companies may have to have a legal representative in Europe. SITC will be hosting their next International Trade L!ve event on 7th September, which will provide detailed information on this. To register free visit • REX (Registered Exporter System) and paperwork from EU suppliers – From 1 January all EU suppliers to the UK must be REX registered. SITC are here to support businesses navigate these changes and offer a full suite of services to

Nick Patrick

help. Including full declarations, issuing of transit documentation, customs compliance audits, as well as other consultancy services relating to UKCA marking, Quotas, Duties, VAT, and Customs Authorisations. Commenting on the support delivered to Wolstenholme Machine Knives, Craig Bunday, Purchasing Administrator, said: “Sheffield Chamber of Commerce has been providing an outstanding service, in organising and processing customs documentation for Wolstenholme. From the start, they have provided help, support and guidance on what information was required, when and how to process. Without this service we would have struggled through the Brexit process.” SITC are here to help. For your questions answering and for more information visit, email international@ or call 0114 201 8888. Written by William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce and Nick Patrick, Head of International Trade at Sheffield International Trade Centre.

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The SCR Chambers: Sheffield

Chamber Events A calendar of events designed to engage both members and non-members and enhance their business. For full booking information on all Chamber events visit:

City Region Business Networking

Simply Business. Online Networking


Date: Time: Venue: Cost:

7 September, 2 November, 7 December Time: 9:00am–10:30am Venue: Online Cost: Members: Free Non-members: £10+VAT

15 September 9:30am-10:45am Online Members: Free Non-members: £10+VAT Network, build relationships and generate leads to ensure your business gets the right visibility at our popular Simply Business Networking event. Meet fellow Chamber members in a relaxed environment and hear the latest updates from Sheffield Chamber.

Membership of the Chamber is all about helping your business to grow. Join us at this monthly event to meet potential clients from across the region, in an informal online environment. Via breakout rooms, we will ensure you have the chance to network with all attendees.

President’s Garden Party Date: 9 September Time: 6pm–12am Venue: Kenwood Hall & Spa, Kenwood Rd, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1NQ Cost: Members: £50+VAT Non-members: £60+VAT

International Trade Live: Ask the experts #3 Date: Time: Venue: Cost:

7 September 10am–11am Online Free for all

Join us at our third edition of International Trade L!ve to discover, discuss and gain insight to the topics that are impacting global business. Stay abreast of the changes your business needs to be aware of, gain answers to questions or concerns your business is facing and access support and resource to ensure your business keeps trading successfully through 2021 and beyond!

We are Sheffield. A city full of amazing people, communities, and businesses. And after a year like no other, let’s celebrate… The President’s Garden Party is your opportunity to join us, President Matt Jackson and other leading figures, to celebrate our city. A chance to connect (and re-connect) with colleagues and friends. Looking over the beautiful grounds of Kenwood Hall, you will be treated to gourmet street food, speciality drinks and fabulous live entertainment. Let’s celebrate business resilience. Let’s celebrate the power of community and collaboration. Let’s celebrate Sheffield. Join us in raising a glass…

Upcoming Leadership and Growth Masterclasses! Exclusive to Chamber members, our Leadership and Growth Programme is designed to equip your team with the knowledge and skills needed to accelerate your business growth, in this ever-changing world we live and work in. Upcoming masterclasses include:

Key Account Management with Plan Grow Do Date: Time: Venue: Cost:

21 September 9am–10am Online Free (members only)

Social Media with Plan Grow Do Date: Time: Venue: Cost:

23 September 9am–10am Online Free (members only)

Tariff Free Trade – Global Britain Explained Date: Time: Venue: Cost:

9 September 11am–2pm Online Free for all

Since the end of the transition period, the UK Government has signed trade agreements with over 80 countries and has the aspiration to agree deals with many more… Join us at this webinar, where we will help businesses understand what these agreements can mean for your international trade plans.

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Chamber Connect

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Chamber Connect

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Feature: Made In South Yorkshire

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Feature: Made In South Yorkshire

The purpose of signage By Visual Group Ltd

f you want your business to succeed, it needs to be visible. Signage is a simple yet very effective way to inform your target market and thereby increase sales:


• It will increase awareness of your store • It will let people know the different products or services you offer • It will alert people to special promotions you are running. The more people are aware of your presence and what you have to sell, the more chance you have of selling to them. When you have professionally made signage you are presenting a professional space. If you want to increase your sales for your business, it is important to pay attention to your signage. Without a sign your business is invisible and with a sign, it is the first thing customers see and can make or break that first impression. There is nothing worse than walking into a building that does not have appropriate or professional signage, such as incorrect spelling and grammar and faded, weathered or out-dated signs. Research studies show that signs are effective in changing and influencing behaviour and there is a strong link between signage and store footfall. With many businesses saying that by changing the design or enhancing visibility of their signage they saw a positive impact on their sales. The main purpose of signage is to communicate information, but today signage can and is achieving so much more. In this article we take a look at all the different purposes signage can have and how it can help your business.

1. Advertising and marketing Many companies use signage as a successful way to advertise and make a brand stand out. And branding does matter – strong, consistent and coherent designs represent your brand and create trust. Your business premises offer so many opportunities for valuable advertising real estate. From shop windows, hoarding boards to your commercial premises sign being visible all from passing traffic. The more traffic you have passing by, whether by foot or by vehicle, the more valuable this space is to you and advertising your business.

‘Without a sign your business is invisible’

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Feature: Made In South Yorkshire 2. Enticing customers Many retail and hospitality businesses use signage to entice customers by creating curiosity and encourage customers to venture inside. People do make judgement and will judge your business or the environment by how it looks and makes them feel. So signage is an important feature that can play a larger role in the character of any premises.

3. Direction For larger locations/premises, directional signs or wayfinding signs are important to guide staff and visitors. For someone visiting, getting lost or not being sure where to go can cause anxiety, frustration and give an unprofessional impression. Clear directional signage not only shows visitors and staff where to go, it creates a sense of calm and feeling of being well-organised, reinforcing and positive impression.

4. Health & safety Signage is vitally important for communicating health and safety information across all types of premises and all businesses. More recently, we are now seeing Covid-19 safety communications displayed prominently in many shops and offices.

5. Appearance Signage can be used to enhance appearance both externally and internally. From hoarding to disguise walls and fencing through to offices, we are seeing more interior design incorporate signs into their schemes, particularly signs that display the company’s vision and values to reinforce the businesses’ image. If you are in a service-led industry, such as law or finance, you need to portray trust and reliability. If you are selling goods, it is about quality and service. When you have professionally made signage, adding these touches to your interior will help you present a more professional space and create an appealing atmosphere.

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Feature: Made In South Yorkshire

Eaton’s facility supports its market-leading emergency lighting and fire safety products, which offer more than 50 years of expertise in the UK built up through a brand heritage that embraces Menvier, JSB, Crompton and Cooper. With manufacturing capabilities including metalwork, assembly and electrical testing, the facility produces emergency lighting luminaires and central power systems for the UK and export markets with a commitment to deliver solutions that protect people and property across the globe. The site is also home to a centre of excellence for key UK support including finance, product management and technical functions.

Eaton’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. We provide sustainable solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently, and more reliably. Unit E • St Modwen Park • Doncaster

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Feature: Made In South Yorkshire

Protective packaging perfect for your needs By Richard Pulfrey (pictured), Managing Director, Storopack s a leading global supplier in the protective packaging industry, Storopack believes products deserve the best protective packaging available. Their innovative and sustainable solutions include air cushions (AIRplus®), paper pads (PAPERplus®), foam pads (FOAMplus®) packaging systems and Loose Fill (PELASPAN® and PELASPAN® BIO). They are all designed and manufactured to safely transport products whatever the distance travelled, or the mode of transportation used, guaranteeing the product is always protected. The family-owned company dates right back to 1874. Today, from its base in Metzingen, Germany, Storopack operates from 68 locations throughout 19 countries, employing over 2,513 people, and as a family-run company Storopack takes sustainability very seriously. Currently over 30% of its products are made from renewable or recycled materials and by 2025 this will increase to over 50%. In January 2014 it opened its second UK production site in Brackley, Northamptonshire to keep up with the business growth. To support its customers Storopack’s team of service technicians regularly maintain packaging systems through their in-depth product and system knowledge and technical expertise. They provide a speedy and personal service around the world. During the pandemic the supply chain and the logistics industry played a critical role ensuring distribution and deliveries remained constant for


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vital industries. Storopack’s protective packaging materials are a necessity for businesses involved in distributing essential products including pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, food and drink, cleaning and hygiene materials and veterinary supplies. Playing a key role in the supply chain, it remained open throughout Covid-19 and continued to work closely with its distribution partners.

The Storopack five step process With its tailor-made solutions and flexible protective packaging products Storopack aims to continuously improve the productivity of its customers’ packaging processes. It does this by looking beyond just the product specifications when making recommendations to customers. This is the Storopack consultative process. There are five steps in the process; optimal protective packaging and ergonomic procedures, which combine comprehensive consulting, technical expertise, and innovation in order to develop the right solution for its customers and create added value. The company has always been at the forefront of R&D within the industry and supplies a huge range of sustainable products made from recycled or renewable raw materials, and its packaging systems use the latest technologies to deliver the most fast and efficient in-the-box packaging for its customers, all available for inspection in its brand-new showroom.

Sustainability goes beyond packaging products Storopack are members of Alliance to End Plastic Waste, whose mission is to allow no plastic waste to enter the environment and clean up existing plastic pollution. All Storopack’s locations worldwide, have committed to the objectives of Operation Clean Sweep setting themselves the goal of preventing any plastic particles used at production facilities from finding their way into the environment through water. As such, they are making an important contribution to preventing granule loss in the plastics value chain. Through the locations of their MoldingDivision in Germany, they are a certified member of the Zero Pellet Loss initiative of the German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films. In 2018 Storopack started a long-term partnership with the international nonprofit foundation Big Blue Ocean Cleanup and is an exclusive sponsor of the coastal cleaning program. Big Blue Ocean Cleanup makes an active effort to raise awareness of the current state of the world’s seas and is dedicated to protecting marine life and sustainability for clean oceans and coastlines – with initiatives dedicated to cleaning beaches, removing plastic from the ocean, offering training courses and informing partners, as well as the general public. In addition to financial support Storopack also plays an active role. Storopack employees voluntarily take part in beach cleaning initiatives in the UK and across Europe removing micro plastics and small plastic particles from beaches.

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Feature: Corporate Christmas

Top tips for planning the work Christmas party By Paul Stewart, Hotel and Events Marketing Manager, Arena Racing Company ast year, Christmas was almost non-existent, but this year the party season is set to return – albeit cautiously. However, if you’ve been tasked with organising your office Christmas party night out, the clock really is ticking and with many factors to think about, you really do want to find an organisation that can deliver a safe, enjoyable and all-inclusive package with great food options and entertainment. One such venue is Doncaster Racecourse, which this year is offering the kind of lavish, decadent entertainment we never thought we’d see again as once again. For the weekends leading up to Christmas, their Christmas LIVE! shared party nights will make you feel like a movie star; from the moment you step off the red carpet (glass of bubbly in hand) and into a world of cabaret, music, acrobats and performers, you’re guaranteed a festive evening you and your colleagues will never forget. But before all of that happens, you need to rally together co-


worth checking availability for your group size with the venue. You can often provisionally hold your space for a day or two as well. It’s also worth checking what you need to confirm your booking; will they invoice you, is there a deposit or do you settle up on the night?

workers and friends and try to pin people down to a date everyone’s happy with. And there’s the cost and getting deposits. As the party organiser, we know this can be a thankless task, so here is a step-bystep guide to make things easier:

1 Budget 5 Finalise your plans

Get a clear budget from the boss upfront - either per person or for the whole event. It’s also worth clarifying what’s included and whether people pay for their own drinks on the night or if there will be a tab. Either way, the more detail you can give, the more appealing and value for money it will seem.

It’s now time to present this to your manager to get the party confirmed. Make sure you’ve got the menu to show them, a brochure and the cost per person, plus highlight any extras like transport and drinks that would be an additional cost. On the Doncaster Racecourse site, there is a download of the brochure which includes menus, costs and pictures from previous party nights so you get a very real sense of what’s in store.

2 Set the date Rather than having lots of different dates for people to choose from, it’s much simpler for the organiser to offer a single date around the office or, if you’re being generous, a choice of two. Once decided, send an outlook diary invitation to get the date provisionally held in people's diaries and help you manage attendance.

3 Practicalities Location: if you’re looking for a party for one office or multiple locations, you need to ensure the venue is convenient for everyone to get to. Travel & accommodation: do you need to organise transport or will people be making their own way there? Is anyone travelling far that would need accommodation? Organising a mini bus or taxi for a small group is pretty straightforward and for larger events you can likely negotiate a discount on hotel rooms and transport. Accessibility: does anyone in your group have specific accessibility requirements that you need to consider? Most venues will have this information on their website.

6 Send details It’s time to send out your official invitation for people to accept which includes all the details about your Christmas party. Make sure you’re telling people everything they need to know – timings, menu (including vegetarian and dietary options), dress code and entertainment. It’s also worth highlighting what is being covered by the company and what isn’t so people know any costs there may be to contribute to. Remember to put a deadline for RSVPs! Finally, it’s the day of the Christmas party. With this amount of organisation and a venue that places you in very safe hands, you can relax and let the party begin!

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Feature: Corporate Christmas

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Sector Focus

The latest news from Sheffield City Region businesses operating in the Legal, Corporate Hospitality, Finance, Manufacturing and Skills & Training sectors.

Law firm steps up to support walk heffield’s Taylor&Emmet LLP played a pivotal role in a forthcoming sponsored walk to raise funds for local legal advice services. Clinical negligence solicitor, Samantha Sims, was part of the organising committee for the 2021 Sheffield Legal Walk and she was joined at the event by around 20 of her colleagues. The walk was held to raise funds for organisations that support those who need legal help, but cannot afford it, in order to improve access to justice for the most vulnerable in society. Held on 24 June, the 10km trek wound its way through Sheffield, starting at the law courts on West Bar and taking in picturesque Endcliffe Park and the Botanical Gardens, before finishing at OHM in Sheffield’s West One Plaza. The team from Taylor&Emmet were joined on the walk by fellow solicitors, barristers, local judges, universities and other legal professionals from across the city. It also had a number of lead walkers, including Lisa Haythorne, President of Sheffield and District Law Society, the region’s High Sheriff and Under Sheriff, Martin McKervey and Colonel George Kilburn, District Judge Robinson and Natalie Cosgrove, President of the Yorkshire Union of Law Societies.


Samantha Sims

The Sheffield legal community raised money for Yorkshire Legal Support Trust and the Access to Justice Foundation, which benefits charities that provide free advice on issues, such as debt, housing, family law, domestic abuse and employment. Demand for free advice centres has increased recently, while the funding they

receive has reduced. They prevent families being made homeless and help older people access support, whilst also assisting women and children who have been trafficked for domestic servitude or prostitution. Organiser Sam was involved with the event through her work with Sheffield Junior Lawyers Division, where she sits on the committee. She was assisted by two Taylor&Emmet trainee solicitors, Martha O’Toole and Amy Parsons, who helped to rally participants, ratify the route and organise a raffle to raise further funds. Prior to the event Sam said: “We are looking forward to the Sheffield Legal Walk after the event was unable to go ahead in 2020 due to Covid. It returns at a critical time for the advice sector, which is dealing with unprecedented demand caused by the pandemic, exacerbated by a lack of resources and staff to deal with enquiries. I am really pleased so many of my Taylor&Emmet colleagues are supporting this fantastic cause.” The walk was a great success, despite the restrictions still in place. In total, £4,008 was raised – Taylor&Emmet was the top fundraiser, donating £980 and will receive the Sheffield and District Law Society Fundraising Cup as a result at the Sheffield Law Society Dinner.

Lupton Fawcett secures STEP accreditation again Yorkshire law firm Lupton Fawcett has achieved Platinum Employer Partner accreditation for the second time from STEP – the worldwide body for professionals specialising in private client work. STEP members are lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and other professionals. The organisation has more than 20,000 members around the world. Platinum Employer Partner accreditation is the highest level awarded by STEP within its Employer Partnership Programme and is for three years. The Programme accredits trust and estate businesses’ learning and development provision. Lupton Fawcett was awarded the accreditation in recognition of its initiatives which demonstrate the importance it attributes to staff training, career development and learning and development procedures. Amanda Simmonds, Senior Associate in private client at Lupton Fawcett where she heads the Business Families team and is deputy worldwide chair of STEP, said: “Many of our private client team are members of STEP in recognition of its commitment to promote high professional standards among trust and estate practitioners. We are proud to have achieved the highest standard of this highly respected, global and multi-disciplinary body - the award endorses the expertise Lupton Fawcett offers across all aspects of private client law.”

‘The award endorses the expertise Lupton Fawcett offers’

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Amanda Simmonds

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Sector Focus:Legal

To find out more visit: Email:

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Sector Focus:Corporate Hospitality

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Sector Focus:Corporate Hospitality

Events firm to deliver awards night Events specialist AYRE Event Solutions has strengthened its relationship with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust after being asked to deliver its annual Proud Awards ceremony in Rotherham this November. The awards ceremony will be a fully in person event set to take place at Magna, Rotherham. With 500 attendees expected to be in attendance, the ceremony will be a chance for teams and individuals to be recognised for all their achievements across the last 12 months. There will be a total of ten awards categories presented on the night The new contract strengthens the working relationship between the two organisations as AYRE has worked with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust on three previous awards dinners. AYRE has also supported with staging,

set lighting and sound advice for in person events in 2018/19 and assisted with the delivery of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust virtual awards in 2020 including hosting in AYRE’s studio space and managing all technical elements of the broadcast. Commenting on the upcoming project, AYRE Managing Director

‘This year’s annual awards feel extra special’

Chris Ayre said: “We’re delighted to be asked to work on another event with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust this year. Our working relationship has gone from strength to strength since we were first introduced back in 2018. “This year’s annual awards feel extra special with the pandemic and the amazing work everyone across the NHS has done for us all. We’re really excited to be a part of this celebration and to be able to help the organisation celebrate and recognise their

team’s contributions over the past 12 months.” Emma Parkes, Interim Director of Communications from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really excited to be working with Ayre again for our annual award ceremony. This will be the fourth year of working with them and they have always helped add that special touch to our event. This year is as important as ever as we hope to be able to celebrate our hardworking NHS colleagues in person again.”

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Sector Focus:Finance

Finance firm takes on challenge S

taff from Dronfield independent financial planners, Belmayne, are preparing to tackle Yorkshire’s three highest peaks to raise charity cash. The team of six is in training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, to benefit the Belmayne Foundation, which is supporting four local charities. Belmayne’s Three Peaks team comprises Partners, Jon Stevens and Martin Birch, Financial Planner, Chris Pond and his partner, Isabelle O’Leary, Tracey Knight and Laura Birch. Their adventure will take place on 12 September and will see them scale 5,200 feet of ascent up Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. All money raised from the challenge will be split equally between the Belmayne Foundation’s nominated charities for 2021, FareShare Yorkshire, Pathways of Chesterfield, Nenna Kind and Helen’s Trust.

‘I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far’ Martin Birch said: “We are excited to finally be preparing for our first big fundraiser of the year. We will be setting off before dawn in our attempt to scale all three Yorkshire peaks in one day and hope to complete the challenge in around 12 hours. We know small charities have suffered greatly from the Covid restrictions and we hope

Belmayne’s Three Peaks team (left to right): Martin and Laura Birch, Tracey Knight and Jon Stevens

our efforts will make a real difference to the four supported by the Belmayne Foundation. I would like to thank everyone who has

donated so far and encourage as many people as possible to add their backing - it will really spur us on!”

Visit: to sponsor Belmayne’s Three Peaks Challenge. Visit: Call: (01246) 298181 Twitter: @belmayneifa

L-R: Lisa Butterworth (Marketing Manager), Richard Walker (Head of Audit) and Jamie Kelly (Head of Taxation)

Expansion for Parsons team Heads of tax advisory, audit and marketing have joined the fast-growing team at Parsons Chartered Accountants, bringing the total head count to 36. The new appointments support the expansion of the firm’s portfolio of services and its growing Yorkshire client base. Richard Walker joins Parsons as Head of Audit, bringing over 10 years of experience in the field. He is responsible for maintaining high quality audit standards, nurturing client relationships and leading a specialist team in servicing the growing client base. Jamie Kelly is appointed as Head of Taxation, managing the firm’s established tax compliance service, which guides clients through their annual tax returns and self-assessments. Marketing Manager, Lisa Butterworth, joins Parsons with almost 20 years of experience in the commercial, third and public sectors. Commenting on the appointments, Managing Partner Ian Parsons said: “Increasingly, clients are demanding not only assured financial compliance from us but also our expertise in seeing beyond the numbers to advise them on the overall financial health of their businesses. These new appointments give us the in-house skills to comprehensively address that demand.” 74 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

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Sector Focus:Finance

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Sector Focus:Manufacturing New centre creates jobs A company that has been at the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 is to create up to 1,000 new jobs after agreeing to purchase a new manufacturing centre in Nottinghamshire. Derby-based SureScreen Diagnostics plans a phased increase of its workforce up to 1,300 after moving into the new site at Sherwood Business Park, in Annesley. The expansion follows an order for tens of millions of antigen tests for Covid-19 from the UK Government. Director David Campbell said: “This is a huge step to increasing our capacity to meet demand, but also to establish one of the best lateral flow manufacturing facilities for the future. “It’s important that we build a platform in the UK to be ready for future healthcare needs, including possible future pandemics and we believe this facility will help to do just that.” Since Covid-19 first emerged in late 2019, SureScreen has developed antibody and antigen tests that have been exported to 53 countries and dependencies in every corner of the world. Their accuracy was deemed to be excellent, and, as a result, 20 million were ordered by the UK Government for its national rapid testing programme. Orders for both tests prompted an increase in people from 60 to more than 300 over the course of a year. But with SureScreen's new site, based near junction 27 of the M1, it believes headcount will grow rapidly given the high levels of demand. Alastair added: “This year is our 25th anniversary, and we’ve always been immersed in scientific innovation, motivated by the chance to improve people’s health.”

Mechan’s lifting jacks

Mechan lifts Underground upgrades to new heights ail depot equipment specialist, Mechan, is delivering one of its largest ever orders of lifting jacks to London Underground’s Acton depot. A total of 44 jacks have been manufactured at the firm’s Sheffield headquarters for the west London facility, taking the total number of its flagship products in use there to 68. The ten-tonne mobile jacks will work with 16 existing units, supplied to Acton in 2017. They will be housed in the site’s new train modification unit (TMU) and used to repair and upgrade London Underground vehicles. In the first instance, they will assist with an ongoing project to reduce increasing maintenance costs and improve the reliability and efficiency of the Central line fleet. Mechan’s 44 new jacks have been designed to the same specification as the 16 existing units, with moving anvils and a base that allows them to be transported around the depot by pallet truck, for added versatility. They are due to be commissioned at the end of May.


Modifications to the older jacks were made last year, so they will all work in synchronisation, using the firm’s innovative Megalink control system. Lindsey Mills, Mechan’s Sales Manager, said: “Our jacks will be situated on two roads in Acton’s state of the art TMU, giving maintenance teams unrivalled flexibility to raise trains of any length without decoupling, saving valuable servicing time. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with depot staff, forged over many years and they appreciate the quality of our products and aftersales care.” Mechan has also undertaken wiring modifications to the first eight jacks it supplied to Acton in 2015, retrofitting the Megalink control system, so they too can be used with the latest order, if required. Call: (0114) 257 0563, Visit: Twitter: @mechanuk

Manufacturer moves into new premises Clean Power Hydrogen Group Ltd, the Doncaster manufacturer of the unique Membrane-Free Electrolyser™, has signed an agreement to lease new premises. With ambitious plans to build up to 1GW per annum, Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2) has signed an agreement to lease a 29,000 square feet state-of-the-art building in Doncaster. The company will be producing the MFE220 and MFE440 Membrane-Free Electrolyser™ at 76 CHAMBER connect Summer 2021

the new manufacturing facility. Jon Duffy, Chairman & CEO, said: “With growing interest in our membrane-free technology and following the recent orders from Octopus Hydrogen, NI Water and AFCryo for our MFE220 1MW electrolyser, and an everincreasing pipeline of orders, the time had come to find larger premises. With our aggressive growth plans, this move will enable us to scale up our production. It will also mean we can

expand our R&D department while also having our corporate headquarters in the same building.” Located close to Wheatley Hall Road, north of the city centre, the new premises is just 400 metres from the current building at Marrtree Business Park. Anticipating the move will be completed by August 2021, the company will be continuing its recruitment drive, which could see another 200 jobs created.

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Sector Focus:Manufacturing

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Sector Focus: Skills & Training

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Sector Focus: Skills & Training

University skills on offer at college arnsley College’s Health, Science and Social Care Professions students have been given the opportunity to further their knowledge of university-level study by Course Leader, Claire Gedney. Claire’s students are all preparing to embark on a higher education journey into the healthcare industry and she hopes to ensure all her students earn the highest grades possible in their current Level 3 study programme at College. Referencing and citations are amongst the variety of universitylevel research methods Claire is using in her teaching to best equip her students for their futures. By practicing this way of working, students are gaining the skills and knowledge required to think critically and make informed choices. Claire’s students now have the ability to interpret and retrieve relevant data from graphs and tables and include epidemiological context which looks at incidence, distribution and the possible control of diseases relating to health in their work. Claire said: “These transferable skills will not only ready them for university but for employment within the health sector. While the development of research skills is a challenge for students, once established, this skill always encourages that inquisitive mind, to always follow up thoughts with research and to make informed decisions, a transferable and extremely useful skill for life.


A Health, Science and Social Care Professions student

“At college we are committed to transforming the lives of students, staff and communities so I always tell my students that the harder you work for something, the better the reward will be when you achieve it.” Dale Karim, Teaching and Learning Coach at Barnsley College, added: “Claire’s work with our Health, Science and Social Care Professions students is a true reflection of the type of

experience-led delivery that we are so proud to offer at Barnsley College.” For more information about the Health, Science and Social Care Professions courses available at Barnsley College, or to apply for a course starting in September 2021, visit, email or call 01226 216 123.

Barnsley College's Health, Science and Social Care Course Leader, Claire Gedney

Sheffield Hallam is shortlisted for award Sheffield Hallam University has been shortlisted for a UK Social Mobility Award in recognition of its work to advance social mobility through higher education (HE). In addition to educating more students from underrepresented backgrounds than any other UK university for five consecutive years, Sheffield Hallam leads South Yorkshire Futures (SYF), the biggest university social mobility programme in the country, and is host of the national Civic University Network. The Network enhances the ways in which universities maximise their local impact, including improving education for school pupils and adult learners. Sheffield Hallam has been shortlisted for the University of the Year award for its work to proactively promote social mobility by improving access to HE, delivering wraparound support services for current students who require extra help to complete their studies, and providing leadership as an anchor institution in the region. Around 65% of Sheffield Hallam’s 30,000

students carry one or more of the ‘widening participation markers’, such as being from a disadvantaged or underrepresented background or a vulnerable group. Ninetyseven per cent of Hallam students are from state schools and colleges, and over half are the first in their family to attend university. The university’s widening participation team works with 1,100 local educational settings and engages more than 60,000 young people every year to talk about the benefits of HE, targeting specific postcodes and groups

considered disadvantaged or underrepresented. It is also co-host of HeppSY – a Uni Connect programme funded by the Office for Students – to provide impartial higher education advice to learners from vulnerable groups. Professor Sir Chris Husbands, ViceChancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam University is proudly a university of its place - we recognise our responsibility to support our local communities through all that we do. From our outstanding record on improving access to higher education to people from all backgrounds, to our groundbreaking educational programme South Yorkshire Futures, we are supporting regional social mobility through our actions and leadership. “Sheffield Hallam’s mission is to transform lives and I am delighted our efforts have been recognised by the UK Social Mobility Awards.” The winners will be determined by an independent judging panel and will be announced on 14 October 2021.

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Sector Focus: Skills & Training

Programme seeks professional mentors he Chesterfield Property and Construction Group has welcomed Chesterfield Borough Council’s drive to increase skills and diversity across the sector. The group has now called for more construction and property professionals to join a sector specific mentoring programme in local schools and colleges. Group members Whittam Cox Architects and construction company Robert Woodhead Ltd are supporting the successful Women in Construction mentoring programme which was established earlier this year by Chesterfield Borough Council and D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub. Organised by Destination Chesterfield, the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sector to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield. Andrew Byrne, Property Development Director of Devonshire Property Group who hosted the recent Property and Construction Group meeting, said: “We have identified the improvement of skills and diversity within the Chesterfield construction and property sector as a key focus for the group and Chesterfield over the next 12 months as we work with the town to help it realise its ambitions to become a place to live, work and invest both now and for future generations.” Speaking at the event, Corinne Hall, a Chartered Architect and team leader at Whittam Cox Architects who is currently mentoring


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Heather Watton and Corrine Hall

Chesterfield College mature student Heather Watton, said: “Diversity is key in addressing the skills gap and enhancing the quality of our built environment. This is a sector that I love working in and being a mentor to women is helping to revolutionise the way in which females perceive the construction industry.” Originally trained in hairdressing and beauty as “it just wasn’t the done thing for girls to go

into construction”, Heather is now training to become a quantity surveyor and studying a BTEC advanced certificate in Construction and the Built Environment at Chesterfield College. She hopes to become a mentor herself once qualified. Heather, who has always had an interest in construction from watching her father renovate properties, explained: “Having a mentor has really boosted my confidence and empowered my decision making. I actually started to believe that I could make it. Corinne has listened to me and guided me all the way. I didn’t know what a mentor was at first, but now I hope that one day I am also able to become a mentor and be someone who can impart my own experience to someone in need.” The Women in Construction mentoring programme works to help diminish the misconceptions of gender specific roles within property and construction. A targeted mentoring program has been put in place to highlight the many different roles available within the sector, that may not have been a consideration before, driving forward inclusivity. It offers school and college students the opportunity to work with female leaders from across a broad range of disciplines in the property and construction sector where women currently make up just 14% of professional roles. For property and construction professionals who wish to find out more about becoming a mentor or would like to get involved, email

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Sector Focus: Skills & Training

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Profile for Kemps Publishing

Chamber Connect Q3 21  

Business magazine promoting the Sheffield City region Chambers of Commerce

Chamber Connect Q3 21  

Business magazine promoting the Sheffield City region Chambers of Commerce

Profile for kemps

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