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Lee Mansfield, Managing Director/ Publisher

Simon Skinner, Clare Fermor, Group Director/Editor Operation Director

Jenny Ardagh, Deputy Editor

Thomas Allen, Features Editor

James Marchant PR Account Manager

Lou Dobson, Sales

Elliott Mansfield, Sales

Geoff Diamond, Sales

Harriet Weston, Production Manager

Amy Watson, Amelia Wellings, Production Designer Financial Controller


Kieran May, Xero Expert at Blue Sky Books

Mike Chapman, Senior Manager, Knill James

Samantha Dawkins, Partner, Edward Harte LLP

Jonathan Gilbert, Partner at Gilbert & Cleveland Estate Agents

Simon Bulteel Director, Cooden Tax Consulting

Christina Ewbank, ACES Facilitator

Spring has officially sprung! And with this comes a new tax year, bringing new legislation, new worries and new business. The past month has been politically huge, with the 2016 budget released by George Osborne and the uncertain discussions over whether the UK will leave or remain in the EU. A ‘Brexit’ vote could be on the horizon, which leaves a lot of small and medium sized businesses in the lurch. But, a new study reveals that many businesses don’t in fact know how a Brexit vote would affect them, or indeed how being in the EU benefits them. This month, we discuss the impact that a Brexit vote could have, talking to business owners across Sussex, asking MPs their opinions and collating the facts for readers to make their own decision. This will be one of the biggest decisions of our lives, so let it be well pondered. Our bi-monthly NatWest and SBT roundtable sessions continue, and this month we headed to Crawley to discuss innovation and growth in the professional services sector and in technology. See pages 16 – 23 for an edited transcription of the discussion and head to our website for full video footage. Our reviews this month include the South Lodge Hotel and Edendum restaurant in Brighton – both highly recommended - and, as usual, the motoring section enlightens car enthusiasts, whilst providing all the biggest news in the industry. We also look to dispel some of the myths surrounding apprenticeships and ask M2 Computing apprentices about their experience. The Big Futures Show provides a great platform for young people to explore their options too (see pages 42-43). Elsewhere this month we look at occupational health, news from the chamber as well as national and local news, mis-sold financial services and feature our usual Ask the Expert section and Made in Sussex: this month, MyTeamSafe. Enjoy your April read! Jenny Ardagh - Deputy Editor 3


Issue 399














Cover: Simon Bulteel, Director, Cooden Tax Consulting Photo Credit: Phil Burrowes of Avant Commercial Managing Director/Publisher: Lee Mansfield 01323 819 007 Group Director/Editor: Simon Skinner 01323 819 017 Operations Director: Clare Fermor 01323 819 007 Sales: Lou Dobson 01323 819 007 Elliott Mansfield 01323 819 012 Geoff Diamond 01323 819 013 Deputy Editor: Jenny Ardagh 01323 819 011 PR Account Manager: James Marchant 01323 819019 Production Manager: Harriet Weston 01323 819 010 Production Designer: Amy Watson 01323 819 018 Subscriptions: Linda Grace 01323 819 015 Accounts: Amelia Wellings 01323 819 007 Published by Life Media Group, Unit1, Swan Barn Business Centre, Swan Barn Road, Hailsham, BN27 2BY Printed by Berforts 17 Burgess Road, Ivyhouse Lane Hastings, East Sussex, TN35 4NR 01424 722733 All material in this publication is strictly copyright and all rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. The views expressed in Sussex Business Times Magazine do not necessarily represent the view of Life Media Group LTD. Every care is taken in compiling the contents but the publishers of Sussex Business Times Magazine assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from the participation in any offers, competitions or advertisement contained within Sussex Business Times Magazine. All prices featured in Sussex Business Times Magazine are correct at the time of going to press. Copyright Life Media Group LTD 2016 ©


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View the latest local and national business headlines.

Spending it

Look stylish in the office with SBT’s top picks of shoes, accessories and clothing

Finance: Finacial Downfall in Disguise

Mis-sold finance has become a huge issue within the UK - what are the FCA doing to combat this and how can the issues be further resolved?

NatWest Roundtable

This month we headed to Crawley to discuss professional services, and the growth of technology.

EU Referendum

How would leaving the EU affect businesses and what are the benefits of remaining?

Cover Feature: Cooden Tax Consulting

Save £000’s with R&D Tax Relief - We spoke to Simon Bulteel from Cooden Tax Consulting to understand more about how this tax relief works...

Occupational Health

Wellbeing is an abused term but it simply means mental and physical health We give five ways to improve workplace health in your small business

Sussex Business Events

We review the Business Expo 2016 and preview the Big Futures Show 2016.

Tried and Tested in Sussex

SBT offers our review of South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, with its 17th Century style refinement, Michelin star dining and excellent business facilities.

Chamber News

All the latest news and events from ACES.




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Fo ca

Vi Ste Cr


Simon Skinner reviews the Volvo V60 Cross Country D4 Geartronic Lux Nav.


Ask the Experts

Local Sussex business experts advise on relevant issues.

Made in Sussex

This month’s home grown hero is My Team Safe.

Of (5. on


Bus of 9 and you Gro Fin



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SBTLocal News Local Jobs Board Shortlisted as the Best in the UK! LoveLocal, based in Brighton has been shortlisted in a leading national award for the second consecutive year, ‘Best job/careers board’ 2016 Recruiter Awards for Excellence. The shortlist for the 2016 Recruiter Awards for Excellence is judged by industry, professional and financial experts. The winners will be announced on May 4th. Gary Peters, Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted again and extremely proud of our growth and success since 2010. We have another exciting year ahead of us with the launch of our ‘Be the Change’ programme in partnership with HumanUtopia and more concentrated efforts to ensure local employers are much better connected with the local job market and the future workforce generation.”

£260K Arts Council Grant Boost for Creative and Digital Businesses A partnership of organisations led by the University of Brighton has been awarded £266,610 by Arts Council England to boost local creative, digital and Information Technology businesses. The university will work with organisations to lead Arts DRIVA (Digital Research & Innovation Value Accelerator). Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Through its strong partnership with Brighton University, Digital Catapult and Gatwick Airport, the Arts DRIVA project will enable the development of a larger, stronger Creative Digital Information Technology sector. This will demonstrate the impact the arts can have within the local economy. We’re excited to be able to fund such an important project.”


Manor Royal Event Showcases Business Success Manor Royal BID has kick-started 2016 by hosting its annual showcase event with 120 local companies, business owners and policy makers attending. Guests participated in an interactive question and answer session, with more than 61% saying they were satisfied with Manor Royal as a business location and more than half thought it had changed for the better in the past year. The top issues facing Manor Royal were cited as: improving the standards of appearance of the business district, taking action to address parking and transport issues, and providing more eating and meeting facilities. Steve Sawyer, Executive Director of the BID said: “The theme for this year’s event was celebration.

We wanted to showcase those companies located on Manor Royal who are celebrating major milestones or anniversaries. It was also a good excuse to remind people that Manor Royal Business District is celebrating its own 66th anniversary this year!”

Richard Place Dobson Unveils New Contemporary Image Richard Place Dobson (RPD) Sussex based Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, has announced that it has undergone a total brand review and redesign. The rebrand, managed by Creative Pod, will be gradually implemented across all of RPD’s platforms throughout 2016, finishing with a full website redevelopment. Matthew Tyson, Director at Richard Place Dobson, said: “It is an exciting time for RPD. As the firm evolves and continues to grow it is important to us that our image properly conveys the qualities of the firm. We are very excited about the future and the new and

evolving services we offer. The whole team enjoys working with our clients and business partners and the new brand will bring energy to that. It is a sad day to say goodbye to the ‘three wise men’ but they have now reached retirement age!”

Funding Offered to Help Businesses Grow and Create New Jobs Companies in East Sussex are being offered help to grow and create new jobs through East Sussex County Councils ESI4 scheme, which is being delivered by Locate East Sussex. The scheme is funded by East Sussex County Council and by loan repayments from previous funding rounds. There are currently three funds made up of grants and loans that are available to businesses in East Sussex,

the Business Growth Fund, the Upgrading Empty Commercial Property Fund and the Business Incubator Fund. Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “The funds we can offer businesses in East Sussex will enable economic development across the county and I urge businesses to get in touch with the Locate East Sussex team to find out if they are eligible for a grant or loan to enhance their business in 2016.”

SBTLocal News Caroline Ansell Opens New Bank in Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell has cut the tape at the doors of the first bank to open in Eastbourne in a generation. Handelsbanken in Ivy Terrace will be offering relationship banking to individuals and businesses in the area under the direction of branch manager Neil Hooper. Caroline said: “It was a privilege to open a branch of a major European bank here in Eastbourne and very satisfying to know there is a new source of finance available for businesses in the constituency that could help

unlock the obvious potential that exists here. Many local firms tell me how difficult it is to raise finance to expand, especially since the financial crisis, so this is good news for business and I very much hope that in the years to come it will translate into growth and jobs.” Manager Neil added: “I am delighted and honoured to be heading up a very experienced team in my local town, and also that Handelsbanken has decided to invest in Eastbourne itself.”

Beaming Launches Security-Grade Internet Connectivity for Multi-Site Businesses Beaming, a Hastings based specialist business ISP, has announced the launch of a new private cloud network for multisite businesses ensuring data communications between remote locations. ProtectNet Plus provides users with the ability to switch instantly between multiple business broadband and mobile network carriers in the event of a service failure. Sonia Blizzard, Managing Director of Beaming, comments: “Recent failures at big name

ISPs are a timely reminder that no single provider can guarantee 100 per cent connectivity and just how vulnerable businesses that rely on the internet are to outages. ProtectNet Plus overcomes this challenge by offering seamless connectivity across a variety of wired and wireless data carriers to provide a backup to the primary path. We’ve been trialling the service with a number of users for the last six months with zero downtime.”

DMH Stallard Completes Speedy Deal for Cophall Parking Gatwick Sussex law firm DMH Stallard has completed a significant deal for the owners of Cophall Parking Gatwick Ltd - a family business with three decades of experience in providing sophisticated car parking solutions at Gatwick Airport. Jonathan Grant, the Partner at DMH Stallard responsible for managing the sale, explained: “We have a great working relationship with Cophall Parking

Gatwick, but that’s not to say that this project didn’t come with its challenges. The nature of the deal required the sale of both the business and the land, but required careful planning to preserve an area of land for our client that neighboured the site sold. We also had to satisfy the buyer’s requirements for site access and that our

Sussex Chamber of Commerce Joins Forces with Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce

The Sussex Chamber of Commerce has formed another affiliation with Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce becoming the fourth town in Sussex to confirm its partnership with the Sussex Chamber. Under the affiliation initiative, town chambers and Sussex Chamber both retain their independence, whilst giving the county chambers a louder voice to represent businesses locally, regionally and nationally. Billingshurst Chamber of Commerce represents a growing group of over 80 local companies. With this affiliation, members will benefit by being able to take part in national British Chamber of Commerce surveys to influence government policy. Sussex Chamber Chief Executive, Ana Christie said: “There is a huge opportunity for the whole chamber network across Sussex to really come together. The network of chambers can be far stronger and far more cohesive than it has been. Sussex Chamber has the opportunity and the responsibility to start to bring chambers together for the whole of the county.”

client had right of way over the retained land.” Emma Beasley from Cophall Parking Gatwick, commented: “We had no idea how difficult projects like this can be to coordinate. DMH Stallard supported us through the whole process and approached every query and challenge positively, finding a solution for us quickly and efficiently.” 7

Spring Essentials Look stylish in the office with SBT’s top picks of shoes, accessories and clothing





























Money Matters

Budget 2016: Key Points for Sussex Businesses The Budget on March 16th was anticipated to include a distinct lack of surprises, and was hoped to deliver on the help that small businesses need to thrive. On first look, both prospects may have been met. SBT gives an overview of the budget and what some of the bigger announcements mean for your business

The Budget, announced by Budget Chancellor George 2016 Osborne on Wednesday 16th March at 12.30pm set out a number of changes and adaptations. Nothing too out of the ordinary was sprung upon Britain, and with the uncertainty of an EU referendum looming, this was possibly a tactical move for the Conservative government. So, who came out on top? Well, it seems that the Chancellor has been listening to the estimated 5.2 million small businesses across the country,


with lower corporation tax, reduced or even abolished business rates and cuts in stamp duty on commercial property (a 0% rate on purchases up to £150,000, 2% on next £100,000 and 5% top rate above £250,000). Business rates have often far exceeded the amount of corporation tax a small business pays, so the announcement that the annual threshold for 100% relief on business rates for small firms is set to rise, sent waves of joy through 600,000 small businesses who will pay no business rates at all from next year. Philip Johnson, Director of Locate East Sussex, said: “Businesses throughout East Sussex will welcome the permanent

reforms to business rates – which will take more small firms out of the regime. Changing the uprating mechanism from RPI to CPI is also something which businesses have been calling for. Companies of all types will also be encouraged by the greater clarity and simplification of the Government’s energy policy.” Mike Chapman, Senior Manager, Corporate Tax, Knill James Chartered Accountants also commented on the budget announcements: “The Government continues to seek UK inward investment and the announcement of a reduction of the headline corporation tax rate to 17% from 1 April 2020 makes

Money Matters

the country an even more attractive location for overseas subsidiaries or multinational headquarters, with easily the lowest corporate income tax rate of the G20 economies. Even the proposal to accelerate the timing of corporation tax for larger companies, those with taxable profits in excess of £20million, has been put back by 2 years to April 2019.” This is good news all-round, both nationally and locally for Sussex. But, what did the Chancellor miss? Crawley based commercial property consultants Vail Williams’ response to the Budget was that the small business rates relief was too little too late and failed to consider the bigger issue: “Disappointingly, the Chancellor has failed to address the promised wholescale review of national non-domestic business rates. The details of the much anticipated ‘root and branch’ reform of the business rates system did not feature in today’s budget. As a consequence, we are can only assume the new ‘Check, Challenge, Appeal’ apart from Southampton regarding process will be implemented for the sugary drinks.” 2017 Revaluation.” Alongside a general high in We spoke to the Sussex Chamber employment numbers, there was of Commerce the very afternoon of mention of the 1 million jobs having the budget announcement. David been created in the North, but not the Shepard, Chairman and Ana Christie, South. David and Ana warned: “Although Chief Executive stated that the budget today’s employment figures are positive looked to be a positive one for Sussex the Chancellor downgraded the UK’s Businesses with no additional burden productivity forecast for the community. and businesses have They commented: “The Chancellor has to be careful that new “In general this effectively declared employment does is providing a not just increase breathing space war on international costs and therefore for businesses in tax avoidance. The decrease global the run up to the weapons include competitiveness.” EU Referendum More good news, and together with a restrictions on royalty on the other hand global uncertainty payments, interest was on the topic and volatility is payments and use of Entrepreneurs’ creating a great of losses” Relief and tackling deal of business international tax insecurity.” - Andrew Watters, Senior Tax avoidance. Lorna They both Partner at Thomas Eggar Sizer, Senior Manager added their Personal Tax, Knill disappointment James Chartered Accountants said: over a few overlooked points though: “The Government is apparently making “We are really disappointed on behalf a complete U-Turn to reinstate the of the South East that there was Entrepreneurs Relief tax rate of 10% a complete focus on investment on the value of goodwill transferred and devolution in the North, Wales, on the incorporation of a business Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia and the or partnership. This change is to be Midlands areas of the country with no backdated to 3 December 2014, the mention of the South East or Sussex

date on which the relief was withdrawn and is a clear statement that this relief should not have been withdrawn in the first place. Andrew Watters, Senior Tax Partner at Thomas Eggar praised George Osborne’s statements on tackling tax avoidance – a topic, which has been top of the list in many a debate recently and one that SBT has covered extensively. Andrew said: “The Chancellor has effectively declared war on international tax avoidance. The weapons include restrictions on royalty payments, interest payments and use of losses. This means it will be harder to pay royalties or interest to group companies outside the UK to reduce taxable UK profits. It will be harder to set losses against profits and harder to avoid a UK footprint when doing business in the UK.” The overall conclusion is that the budget stayed within the safety net that Britain needed ahead of June’s big decision, and supported those who had been making noise. Philip Johnson concluded: “In a period of uncertainty, it is positive that the Chancellor delivered a stable Budget that is promoting continued growth, particularly for SME businesses. Companies have been concerned about the increasing burden they are facing and it’s good to see the Chancellor is backing business to grow the economy out of the deficit.” 11

Money Matters

Financial Downfall in Disguise

Mis-sold finance has become a huge issue within the UK for both the consumer and small to medium-sized business, with hidden fees, complex terms and conditions and simply bad advice provided. What are the FCA doing to combat this and how can the issues be further resolved?

“The regulatory and redress bodies have increased the prominence of mis-selling issues in financial service firms and £22 billion has been paid out in PPI compensation since 2011”


‘Mis-selling’ has been defined by the former Financial Finance Services Authority as ‘a failure to deliver fair outcomes for consumers’, including providing customers with misleading information or recommending that they purchase unsuitable products. Examples of financial mis-selling can include: missold pensions, mis-sold mortgages, interest rate swaps, risky investments or timeshare sales. And, let’s not forget the big one for consumers: PPI. We have all had the calls, asking: ‘Have you been mis-sold PPI?’ Although nine times out of ten, these are nuisance calls – and this is an issue in itself – Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is possibly the most prominent example of misselling for individuals, but commercial finance such as loan pricing for SMEs follows closely behind. This leads to all

manner of problems within individual and commercial finance, but what can we do about it? The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has the lead role in promoting good conduct in financial markets and regulates about 70,000 firms in the UK. It is their job to ensure financial services don’t mislead customers. However, although The FCA has made multiple interventions to affect firm and individual behaviour - including introducing restrictions on bonus structures through the remuneration code, and imposing mis-selling fines totaling £298 million from April 2013 to October 2015 - a recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that it has no way of knowing whether its activities are in fact reducing the overall scale of financial services misselling to customers, be it individual or commercial clients. At present, commercial finance offered to limited companies falls outside the scope of the Financial Conduct Authority

Money Matters

(FCA) and is unregulated. Providers are, in essence, free to employ opaque tariff charges, hide fees in complex terms and conditions, and make it difficult for firms to compare the cost of finance. As a result, individual customers as well as SMEs are often misled and end up paying far more than they should, sometimes with a detrimental impact on profitability, growth and local employment. In 2014, mis-selling accounted for 59% (2.7 million) of customer complaints to financial services firms and the bugbear, PPI alone accounted for 2.3 million complaints in 2014 – 51% of all individual complaints. The FCA’s information on complaints to firms however does not identify when the alleged mis-selling that prompted complaints took place, leading them nowhere in the pursuit of combating the issue at the source. Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office said: “Mis-selling of financial products remains a major problem for Britain’s consumers. The regulatory and redress bodies have increased the prominence of misselling issues in financial service firms and £22 billion has been paid out in PPI compensation since 2011. Legislative restrictions limit my access to information that the FCA holds on firms making it impossible to draw definitive conclusions on its approach. The information my staff could see, such as customer complaints, does not show any clear reduction in the extent of misselling. The FCA cannot be confident that its actions are reducing the overall level of mis-selling,

and it has further to go to show it is achieving value for money.” Overall, banks’ handling of complaints has been poor also, requiring ongoing action from the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service (the Ombudsman), which aims to resolve individual complaints between consumers and businesses. Despite working on improvements, there has been no noticeable fall in the level of complaints about mis-selling upheld by the Ombudsman in the past 5 years. Many individuals fail to receive full compensation, mainly because of a lack of awareness or reliance on claims management companies. The Ombudsman has found that many don’t pursue a complaint because they believe that it wouldn’t achieve anything, or that it would be too stressful. Commercial finance, such as loans, is integral to the growth and profitability of SMEs, both locally and nationally, so the gaps in FCA information combined with the scamlike complexity of some finance services’ terms and conditions makes for a rather large issue for companies simply looking for the best financial options available. Victoria Raffé, former Director of Authorisations at the FCA said: “The lack of protection and transparency for Limited companies seeking finance within the current regulatory regime is a real concern - government and others must consider the potential detrimental impact this has on SMEs.” An investigation into SME banking by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently concluded that ‘the generally

“Business owners want to focus on developing their business not wading through terms and conditions to try to work out what financial product is right for their business” - Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business

bespoke nature of SME loan pricing… has meant that it is difficult to carry out an equivalent analysis of prices on SME lending products.’ The #APR4SMEs Campaign, started by SME overdraft provider, Growth Street encourages providers of commercial finance to, by law, carry clear and accurate details of Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on their financial promotions, in all forms. The idea is that the availability of this standardised price metric (including all associated charges, fees and additional costs, expressed as a single percentage) would enable businesses to take all relevant costs into account when comparing finance options. Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business, which is supporting the campaign, says: “Business owners want to focus on developing their business not wading through terms and conditions to try to work out what financial product is right for their business. Although it is limited, APR is widely understood and will help businesses to make informed decisions.” If you or your business has been affected by mis-sold financial services and you also think APR enforcement would help to combat it, you can sign a petition on the #APR4SMEs campaign website. The website also includes an APR calculator tool which exposes the true cost of commercial finance for small businesses. Being more aware of this issue could save your business a lot of time, money and trouble. 13

Money Matters

Doubts Over National Living Wage

A new report warns that lack of clarity on the National Living Wage rate reaching £9 by 2020 could put business investment at risk

A new report released at the end of last month by the Social Finance Market Foundation (SMF) think-tank, in partnership with Adecco Group UK & Ireland, warned that employers need greater clarity on the future of the Government’s National Living Wage (NLW) if they are to invest in measures to improve productivity and offset the cost of the new rate. There are currently two stated goals for the National Living Wage: • An ‘ambition’ for the rate to hit 60% of median wages in 2020; and • An ‘objective’ that the rate should reach £9 by 2020 However, current uncertainty over earnings growth in the future has fueled a belief that it may not in fact be possible for 60% of median earnings to equate to £9 in 2020. In July 2015, the OBR forecast that 60% of median earnings would equate to a cash target of £9.35, but this was downgraded to £9.30 (November 2015), to £9.16 (January 2016) and then to £9.00 (March 2016). The report, ‘The New Going Rate: the impact of the National Living Wage


on UK employers’, argued that the Government’s twin target for the NLW rate (introduced on 1st April 2016) risked creating uncertainty and potentially undermining business investment and its own objective of increased productivity and skills. Nida Broughton, SMF Chief Economist and co-author of the report, said: “The scale of the challenge for employers posed by the National Living Wage is immense. Lack of clarity on the new National Living Wage rate to 2020 will only make it harder for employers to plan ahead and make the vital investment needed to meet the Government’s vision of a high productivity, high wage economy.” Drawing on analysis of the Labour Force Survey and the Workplace Employment Relations Survey, the research described the nature of the challenge facing employers. Key findings from the report suggested that workplaces most severely affected by the introduction of the NLW have higher wage bills than other employers – meaning that it will be difficult for them to absorb the costs of higher hourly wages – and many operate in highly competitive markets, where raising prices to offset the cost of the NLW may not be viable. Alex Fleming, Managing Director and Board Member at Adecco Group UK & Ireland agreed, stating: “The challenge for employers is to absorb this new rate in a way that does not have a significant impact on their bottom line and workforce.” Additionally, the

“Workplaces most severely affected by the introduction of the National Living Wage have higher wage bills than other employers – meaning that it will be difficult for them to absorb the costs of higher hourly wages”

Money Matters

working with the British Business Bank to look at how to temporarily expand access to finance schemes such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee. Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “This report is right to say that the new National Living Wage poses risks to many businesses, who face an uncertain economic environment and other high up-front costs. In the face of these concerns, the government must make a clear commitment to avoid overburdening firms when it comes to future increases in the National Living Wage.”

introduction of the NLW comes at a time when employers are facing significant other regulation and costs, including auto-enrolment of employees into workplace pensions and the Apprenticeships Levy. The report also suggested that the introduction of the NLW to 2020 presents the UK with a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to drive innovation and new business practices. This includes increasing levels of capital and business investment in technology and machinery, areas where the UK economy has historically underperformed. It would also necessitate the addressing of the widespread problem of skills under-utilisation in UK organisations. In turn, this should also involve changing human resource management from a high churn, low-skills operating model towards an

approach that maximises the latent skills of workers and attaches greater value to career and skills development. The report went on to propose a couple of key policy recommendations: 1. Implementation of a new ‘Transition Finance’ Given the speed of wage change and the challenges faced by employers, the report recommended that the Government should consider implementing new ‘Transition Finance’ to aid productivity investment between 20162020. This ‘Transition Finance’ could assist organisations - especially smaller employers - as they seek to invest in skills, new technologies and more efficient work practices to help them adapt to a rising wage bill. This could include

2. Clarity over ‘objective’ Secondly, the Government should provide certainty to employers and clarify whether the ‘objective’ for the NLW to reach £9 by 2020 would still stand if this cash figure were above its target of 60% of median earnings. Nida Broughton stated: “Employers will have to grasp the opportunity to improve productivity in their organisations by investing in skills and new technologies – and to do this above all they need certainty about the task ahead.” Alex Fleming agreed, “Businesses operating in the UK demand one thing from Government. Certainty. Certainty about the investment decisions they make. And certainty about the wages they are required to pay […] The Government needs to be clear on the rate that they are expecting businesses across the UK to pay, so that they can properly plan for the future.”

For more information about the living wage visit: 15

NatWest & SBT Roundtable:

Growth and Innovation in Technology & Professional Services NatWest Bank and Sussex Business Times have come together to bring a dedicated series of roundtable discussions to Sussex and the surrounding community. This month we headed to Crawley to discuss professional services, and the growth of technology The Panel: Jenny Ardagh: Deputy Editor, Sussex Business Times (Chair) Daryl Gayler: Regional Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest Andrew Clinton: Managing Partner, asb law Matt Turner: Founder - Young Start-Up Richard Heap: Partner, Head of Technology Media & Telecoms, South Region, RSM Steve Arundale: Head of Professional Sectors & Financial Institutions, Commercial Banking, RBS/NatWest. Jason Fry: MD of PAV IT Jonathan Grant: Partner, DMH Stallard James Wright: Partner, Deloitte



Professional Services in Crawley

What is the current climate in Crawley within the professional services sector? Richard Heap: I can obviously talk well on the accountancy market – there are the big four based here, so it’s very well serviced by the big accountancy firms as well as some local firms. This means that, although different firms have different focuses in the market (local or international), it’s competitive; more people have come into the market in recent times, particularly on the smaller end of the market. Andrew Clinton: I think Crawley is clearly the heart of Sussex. We have

offices in Kent and it’s a completely different environment there. Most of the professional services organisations that service this region will be based in Crawley. In terms of Law, you’ve even got two very good firms represented here. Until fairly recently, there hadn’t been a big law firm in this region, but there’s been a recent merger announcement which will create a top 20 Law firm on our doorstep – that’s quite an interesting move for the South East. It is indeed a competitive market and one of the issues for us is the proximity to London. Individuals can go to London easily from here and earn a lot more money. Now, this can work both ways: you can lose talented people to London, but you can also pick people up who wish to come out of London. Do a lot of professionals come specifically to Crawley over going to London? Is it attractive for young professionals?

In Partnership with

Matt Turner: I would say, no. The interesting thing is that around 95% of professional services in Crawley don’t actually promote the fact that this is where they’re based. Crawley seems to have this stigma attached to it from a professional services perspective because everybody is scared to call it Crawley, so they call it Gatwick. Steve Arundale: Mainly because Crawley was never a big business centre on its own. It’s a relatively a new hub, so we don’t have hundreds of years of history as a business community in the centre of town. That’s, I think, why that stigma is there. Daryl Gayler: I am a Crawley boy born and bred, so I feel quite passionately about Crawley. I merrily commuted into the capital for 23 years before realising there was such a vibrant professional services community in Crawley itself, because you only really heard about Crawley when people were talking about Gatwick or perhaps some of the inner, more challenging neighbourhoods. But trying to run a banking business where you have the major accountancy firms, the major legal firms, the valuation firms and indeed the competitor banks on your doorstep, does make it a lot easier actually - I think it’s a fairly unique scenario and something which Crawley should really shout about more. Isn’t Crawley in fact quite ideally placed, between Gatwick and Brighton, with an easy commute into London? Daryl Gayler: Certainly communication -wise it is, yes. It’s about half an hour on the train up to London, and now with the motorway down to Brighton, it’s all very easy if you choose to drive also. There’s also always been that benefit of having Gatwick so close you can fly in and fly out to wherever you need to easily. So, geographically, it is very well placed. The challenge is more around some of the stigma associated with the Gatwick area but I think the professional services market here is a really strong suit for Crawley. Matt Turner: It’s different though. If you compare it to say the Northern industrial towns, like Leeds and

“Crawley works as a professional business centre because people build bigger teams here, have their central resources, do their training, their IT, but if you look at where the business is actually done, it’s spread around quite a wide part of the region” - Matt Turner Manchester – which have a similar centre – they would have most of the businesses based in the town itself. We don’t have that. Crawley works as a professional business centre because people build bigger teams here, have their central resources, do their training, their IT, but if you look at where the business is actually done, it’s spread around quite a wide part of the region. So, if you need to get to Surrey, you need to get to Brighton, the south coast, Hampshire, Kent – it’s a big area to cover. Richard Heap: It makes it quite unique. I’ve been in London for the past 15-20 years and Gatwick is very different to anywhere else. When we talk about Northern towns, or even Southampton, Reading and Guildford, they’re all their own little centres. But here, I find myself driving all over the place. Andrew Clinton: From a client perspective, I think London is less relevant than it was perhaps 10 years ago. One of the interesting things we were talking about yesterday is why do

we call ourselves a regional firm? We have an office in the region but actually our client base is national and international, and so its convenient to be here, with the industrial estate and the airport, but if you segmented our client base, a large proportion of it would have nothing to do with what is 5 miles from this office. Daryl Gayler: Sometimes, we find that it’s a lot easier to attract people at the later stage of their career because actually the work-life balance is so much better than in London. We do lose a lot of people in their young adulthood who do want to go and have that London experience – and we would actively encourage that – and when looking at the more senior roles, we find that people having worked in London are blissfully unaware of some of the opportunities to work regionally in meaningful roles. It’s finding those people and unearthing that talent that’s the issue. When we do find those people, they really enjoy the mix of client contact, having a meaningful role whilst still striking a good work-life balance. 17

NatWest Roundtable

James Wright: I actually chose to come down from the nNorth and came to Crawley. I get a far wider breadth and depth of things to do here in Crawley than I did in the North, because of that regional client base. However, how do we attract people and let people know that this is the case?

to rejuvenate the square because I think that will make a big difference, as that will permeate out. Anyone looking to find employment, or looking to live might well be put off by the way it looks now – it’s not the best advert for the area, and that’s a shame because there are a lot of good opportunities here.

Well, that’s the question. How would we encourage people to choose Crawley over say London or Brighton? What benefits would you showcase?

The Hyper Connected World

Jonathan Grant: A rebrand. There was a plan for the redevelopment of the town centre, which got pulled. The idea of that was a good one, trying to get more restaurants, bars and venues for young professionals, so I think there are some fairly straightforward things like this that could happen that would start to raise the quality perception of Crawley as a place to live and work. That would take time though.

Jason Fry: I think it’s safe to say that pretty much every business relies on some kind of connectivity: to be able to share and trade information, and to be able to interact with its customer base. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen improved internet connectivity around the country for people living at home, but it hasn’t necessarily seen an improvement for businesses in a lot of areas. I know that Crawley has been subjected to the struggles as well. As the world moves more into a hyper-connected state, the importance of having good quality infrastructure in place, to be able to access data and communicate, is vital.

Daryl Gayler: The heart of it is the town centre, and the Queen’s Square does look pretty tired now. You can see the way it has changed over the past 30-40 years, but when you go to other areas you can see that they have done it better. Somehow Crawley has got to find a way

How important is superfast broadband?

Jonathan Grant: We tend to now have our servers and Internet connections looked after centrally, so it’s less of an issue for us, but it is a definite issue for the business that we look after. As far as I gather, the Manor Royal businesses use their own superfast broadband – they went and found the sites where they needed masts, they negotiated with the landowners and they got it sorted. Businesses in Burgess Hill, for example though have a real problem because they don’t have that access to superfast broadband and it really inhibits them. Matt Turner: My business is in Manor Royal and residing there, you all pay into a kitty, meaning you do get extra infrastructure and services and can accelerate a lot quicker than elsewhere. It means that everybody in that district is paying into a business BID fund, but they exist across the country and it’s a really good way of getting things done in unison. Richard Heap: The biggest impact I see is that people work from home, and if they’re in the countryside, they often just


“The biggest challenge though is that their staff are being duped into handing over sensitive information quite easily, which then leads to some sort of fraudulent activity” - Jason Fry

© Adam Hollingworth Photography

In Partnership with

cannot connect to the internet. Even I was surprised at that, but actually there’s a lot of Sussex that are affected by slow internet speeds and inefficient connections. Matt Turner: I think for the SME sector in particular, when your ISP has a problem, the business literally stops. One afternoon, our internet at Basepoint went down, and every business’ account systems, CRM, marketing platforms, emails and HR platforms are all in the Cloud, so the businesses just ground to a hault. We take it for granted. How big is the issue of cyber security and how can we tackle online fraud?

Matt Turner: People don’t realise how big cyber security is and that wiping your data sometimes doesn’t really mean its wiped. This is just going to become a bigger and bigger problem, and it’s the client’s data that they want. But it’s little things also like educating your staff. I don’t allow my staff to put on social media that they’re going on holiday because in a bigger business, someone on the outside could use that information to gain trust and infiltrate. Jason Fry: The human factor is the biggest issue at this point. The security systems and technology are actually quite good at standing up to an awful lot and most businesses have a good level of defense. The biggest challenge though is that their staff are being duped into

handing over sensitive information quite easily, which then leads to some sort of fraudulent activity. We are getting quite a lot of reports of this from our customers: fishing and whaling. Daryl Gayler: The level of sophistication is really quite concerning. We used to get maybe one issue with fraud every 3 months, but now we are getting 4 or 5 a month. We host regional customer service days and we would pick topics such as the international trade, where you’ll struggle to get 20 clients to a meeting. But when we ran one on fraud awareness, we had 97 clients attend and we have since run them across each of our commercial offices. We always get between 80 and 100 clients – so the level of interest is incredibly high. 19

NatWest Roundtable

Matt Turner: Has anyone heard of Cyber Essentials? It’s a government run scheme to get you accredited for cyber security. Any business in the UK that trades with central government has to be Cyber Essentials approved. Within the next 12 months, any business working on any local government projects will have to be approved too. From every point of view, even if just for insurance purposes, this is a great scheme.

organisation providing enough awareness to that employee about how they should be acting with information?

Andrew Clinton: A recent survey of the top 200 law firms asked the question, ‘have you suffered an internet security issue?’ and 66% of them responded yes. If two thirds of top 200 law firms have suffered an incident, that really gives you an indication of the scale of this. The vulnerability goes beyond employees – “LLPs don’t get tax you’re absolutely right credits on R&D and about educating them, the amount of time but as we move forward, we are spending we need to think about on innovation, new collaboration on the ideas, new services internet. You’re going to have third party suppliers and new products and a whole network equals a lot of oney of other people, so the without tax relief” whole issues spreads.

Jason Fry: I think the government does have a bigger part to play. The report last year was that the UK lost £27 billion to financial crime. I don’t really see much central government activity though, which is a huge shame because they could communicate to all businesses quite easily, and create a simple audit for businesses to check how secure they are and actually a lot of firms invite third party vendors into their systems also, so it needs to extend to them. There’s a large discussion around employee status as well from a legal perspective because at the end of the day it’s the employee that’s being duped and where do they stand from a legal perspective within that business? Is the


Daryl Gayler: I think for me the big concern is not so much for the bigger businesses, and the damage it does to their brand because they will survive. But it’s actually the SMEs that tend to get done for £25,000 and that could potentially spell collapse. Small businesses really come under pressure on the back of mistakes that staff have made, and even with the best efforts to educate them and build security into

the systems, there is still that element of human error. Do professional services need to up their game in terms of investment in technology (R&D)? Andrew Clinton: Yes, certainly they do. If you look outside of professional services typically people spend quite a lot of money on research and development. Most organisations have an R&D budget, but there won’t be many law firms that do, so there’s a mindset shift required and an issue within the model itself. There’s a difference between the mindset of an investor and the mindset of a partner, and I think for professional services – particularly law firms moving forward – we will have to think about our business a lot more as investors. One of the real disadvantages that has come to light when you research it is LLPs don’t get tax credits on R&D and the amount of time we are spending on innovation, new ideas, new services and new products equals a lot of money without tax relief. Daryl Gayler: My concern with the idea around R&D is that it does take investment in technology and people’s time. Both of those cost money, so in an environment where costs are challenging, some of those budgets around investment could be under pressure. It

In Partnership with

James Wright: Just to put some of that into context, we run a CFO survey where we look at bigger businesses to get a tone of what people are doing. Over the last 12 months or so, this appetite for things growing the balance sheet is down to 35% from 70% - so halved in terms of capital spend etc. When you look at the priorities of these businesses, 44% are looking to reduce costs whereas only 17% are looking at more investment – which is now, so as you say, that’s worrying. There is some level of uncertainty at this point in time, but generally we are in a good market however, already things like payback times are stopping people from investing.

The Changing Future With the immediacy of technology, customer demand is essentially

24/7 – how can businesses continue to keep up with the 24/7 demand whilst still providing an efficient and personal service? Daryl Gayler: Equipping your team to work smartly and remotely is key. Businesses must invest in decent mobile handheld devices to give their employees access to customer queries and information out of traditional office hours – that’s a base level requirement now. Customer demand isn’t getting any easier and they want access to your teams when they want or need it. Even for our sector, which has more traditional hours in terms of the way people work, there is regular demand for out of hours and our staff need to be able to turn it around very quickly, particularly with exclusive transactions with tight deadlines. So, good quality IT support, good quality handheld terminals, the ability to log on when needed and high speed internet access are all things that are key for staff to be able to provide that 24/7 customer service. On another note, the single most important thing for any of our customers though, is having that face-to-face contact with their relationship managers. What has always been important to our customers is exactly that. It does depend on the business, but for our customers, being able to talk through their personal accounts with someone they know and

© Adam Hollingworth Photography

worries me that the kind of issues that what we’ve been talking about today, particularly around cyber security and online fraud, and around the need for R&D investment is happening whilst the economic climate is actually quite good. If the economy gets worse again, some of these budgets will be cut back and this could lead to an even greater level of exposure. That’s an issue for a start up, for an SME and for a larger business. 21

NatWest Roundtable

trust – despite all the things we’ve been speaking about – is still the single fundamental most important thing that drives their satisfaction with us as an organisation. Jonathan Grant: What you can’t do, I think, is have experienced people in the field talking to clients, giving them what they need in terms of a direct answer or advice without good systems behind them. The systems need to be fast and efficient – there’s a much more flat system now in law. You don’t have half a dozen lawyers between senior partner and client, you typically have one or two, but you have a bunch of processes that allow you to deliver the service much quicker. I think that’s really where the customer demand is. Andrew Clinton: It has to be personal; it has to be bespoke. The demands are now significantly more onerous and the whole world has changed. As a law firm, we used to expect our clients to fit around how we did things, but there’s a fundamental shift that’s occurred which means that we must fit round the buyers of legal services now and so people are starting to consider things like service design and delivery. There’s not one answer, but the complexity of it is the driver for consolidation because there’s a lot of cost that goes into a fragmented market and if you consolidate that market, the unrealised profit tied up in

all those duplicated processes will be huge. Steve Arundale: I think the consumer is dictating the price now. That’s fine but I think businesses have to have predication almost based on the price point and customer demand. In the UK, the average person doesn’t hold legal services, they don’t hold a will; they see lawyers as being expensive. There’s a massive untapped opportunity there if you can get the price point and delivery right. Jonathan Grant: I think lawyers are becoming a lot more similar to banks now, as we’ve got a group of Relationships Managers (or similar) who are customer facing and who talk to clients and try to open up the process a bit. They encourage clients to talk to them whilst reassuring them that they’re not charging until something has been agreed. To engage with clients and be available 24/7 is what we want. But, behind that, there is a system that’s running – and the banks do it on a much bigger scale.

Developing and Sustaining Talent

How do we keep the skills required in the rapidly developing world up to date – filtering through from businesses to education bodies and vice versa?

“One of the biggest issues with say 15 – 16 year olds is that they’re not well versed in using a telephone because they haven’t needed it. You can teach them industry specific skills, but not the more personal things” - Matt Turner

Steve Arundale: As a country, we are very good at producing talented people out of university – they are all very technically capable but actually that type of work will be industrialised through IT, or at least part of it. So, we need to focus more on educating our children to do different things in different ways. The mundane work that people do now won’t be done in the future, which will actually free up lots of time for people to interact with clients, work towards prospects and business will be done in a different way. We will pay far more attention to training people in the right way, in social skills rather than technical skills. Andrew Clinton: I agree entirely. We have a responsibility to engage with the people who are educating young people, to make sure the skills that they’re learning are relevant for not just today but for the foreseeable future. Matt Turner: Even if you look at the here and now with education, what students are being taught at school level is often completely irrelevant to what actually happens in business. One of the biggest issues with say 15 – 16 year olds is that they’re not well versed in using a telephone because they haven’t needed it. Now, although it is technically more advanced for them to text or email you, it is still vital for them to be able to pick the phone up and speak to you. You can teach them industry specific skills, but not the more personal things. Jason Fry: I would like to see the universities and colleges reaching out to some of the local businesses. I have tried to engage with certain colleges, to give talks to students, as I feel like


In Partnership with

Daryl Gayler: I think it’s improving. Universities do recognise the importance of turning out graduates who have that blend of skills. They have far more placement courses than ever before, where you have to do a year in industry. Similarly, in the professional services industry, there’s much more openmindedness in taking school leavers rather than university leavers. Certainly this year, I have 9 apprentices coming into my business, and we haven’t done that for a number of years. I’ve also done some work with Coast to Capital, they really strive to connect business and education so I think there is willingness - it’s bridging the gap between the two, apprenticeships and placement schemes are a way of doing that. James Wright: We are a pretty big employer of graduates and school leavers. We do summer vacation schemes and we have recently partnered with Thomas Bennett Community College, to do just the things that you’re talking about: careers fairs and letting students know what business actually looks like and what the difference is between modern day business and what you learn in the classroom. Jonathan Grant: The old regime where people used to spend the first 5 years doing accountancy audit and spending a lot of time going through people’s records and gradually learning is gone. It’s all going into the artificial intelligence and clever technology systems that gives you a very quick summary of information. So I think that the way that we train our staff is going to change rapidly and people aren’t going to be able to just tick along because the demand for rapid development within the company will grow.

© Adam Hollingworth Photography

that’s an opportunity to go in and look for talent as well as educate, but I would like to see more effort on the education body’s part in connecting with businesses, understanding what they do and paving the route for their students.

are keen to establish a series of precedents and standard contracts which they can exchange together, negotiate and change. So, you almost don’t need a lawyer stepping between you as someone supplies one series of changes and you have a standard series of responses. Now, somewhere along that path someone needs to make a decision, so you do still need a level of human contact, advice and experience but you can cut out a lot of the time consuming costs. Richard Heap: Personal tax returns are all going online, so there’s going to be a lot more people doing their own personal tax. In the next couple of years we have a lot of junior staff that will process tax returns - they won’t be needed anymore, but you still need

that higher level of advice for the more complex situations. Andrew Clinton: A lot of what lawyers do is putting structure into unstructured environments, reading and understanding things. So if computing can do that for us, then there’s a whole raft of things that traditionally junior staff do that will disappear. The advisory part won’t go anywhere, as that experience and judgement can’t be looked up on the internet and it’s too high level for computers, but then where do those people come from at the top if there aren’t any juniors? Jonathan Grant: The job profile in 20 years time will just look completely different.

Which Roundtable Topic is Next? Entrepreneurship and StartUp Business Ventures: Supporting Us, Supporting Them When? Second Week of May

Does AI present a real threat to jobs?

Where? Brighton Entrepreneurial Spark Hatchery, Preston Road, Brighton

Jonathan Grant: One way or another, it’s the same thing being done with a different tool. So, one of the ideas of artificial intelligence in Law at the moment is that bigger companies

Get in touch with us on 01323 819007 if you’d like to be involved in the next roundtable. We are also looking for audience members, so email to show your interest 23

Park House

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So what would a day of hospitality at food and takes in unrivalled views of Brighton Racecourse look like? the course, the Parade Ring for that Guests can choose to take a last moment before the horses hit the complimentary shuttle bus up to the track and, once the race is underway, course from members can Brighton station follow the thrills “We want to ensure or park in our of the race with complimentary uninterrupted each person visiting parking facility. views of the the racecourse this Upon entry they will Winning Post be greeted by our year receives fantastic from the terrace. friendly local team So why not service, enjoys great and escorted to their gather a group food and leaves private hospitality of friends, family, suite with unrivalled colleagues or feeling that they had views of the clients and hire an amazing social racetrack, the sea your very own and the city below. private suite experience” Personalised hostor take a seat led service enriches at Silks. With the delivery of a limited collection of packages starting at only £60pp you are private suites with a tantalising new menu sure to get a great day out for all! and beverage selection, and exclusive outdoor balconies. Book now with Stephanie or Judy We also have the option of Silks on 01273 603580 or www.brightonrestaurant for smaller groups. An elevated to secure your dining experience, our restaurant is a place – We are looking forward to hotspot for good locally sourced seasonal welcoming you.





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21/03/2016 10:53

IN OR OUT: That is the Question The EU referendum on 23rd June 2016 will be one of the most significant votes of our generation, but with not enough information on the impact of a ‘Brexit’ vote, many remain undecided. How would leaving the EU affect businesses and what are the benefits of remaining?

On June 23rd 2016, we will all be making a decision: in or out? Insight Whether to remain in the European Union or leave will be a significant choice for the UK to make, but people all over the country are still unsure as to the consequences of that choice. Not only is this a dangerous prospect, but it is also surprising, given the magnitude of this task ahead of us. This is a decision that will change the way that people live their lives; the way that businesses run their companies; how we as a country trade our goods and services; and even how we travel. A recent report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) revealed the results of a snap poll from over 4,000


small business owners on the UK’s membership of the EU. The research found that 42% of small business owners were still unsure of their vote, stating that they could be swayed over the UK’s membership of the EU. The findings implied that new information was the key to changing their minds, however at this point, just over half (52%) of members surveyed said they do not feel informed about the EU referendum at all. When asked what members needed to make an informed decision, almost half (48%) said they needed more details as to the economic impact of leaving versus remaining in the EU on the UK; 38% noted they needed more detail on the administrative burden of complying with regulation; and 33% asked for more detail on the cost of EU membership. Another recent survey of 470 UK-

wide owner-managed businesses commissioned by accountancy firm, Moore Stephens found that 60% of SME owners, at this point in time, would vote to stay in the European Union, with only 17% supporting a ‘Brexit’. Andrew Henshaw, Partner at Moore Stephens South commented: “Ownermanaged businesses are concerned that future growth will be disproportionally hit by a UK exit as they would no longer compete on a level playing field in the EU. Economic and political uncertainty is already impacting trade for some SMEs, and there is a fear that leaving the EU could severely destabilise business growth in the long-run.” Andrew explained the dangers of leaving the EU: “The pound is already under pressure following London Mayor Boris Johnson and other political

In or Out: That is the Question

heavyweights coming out this week in support of ‘Brexit’ – which could lead to volatile financial markets in the run-up to the referendum. A ‘Brexit’ is also likely to rekindle the Scottish independence debate which SME owners predict will further impact business – as we saw in the run up to the referendum in 2014. Small businesses currently benefit from unrestricted access to the large European market and many could find increases in tariffs and potential trade restriction difficult to overcome, stifling international growth potential.” Not all SME owners object to leaving the EU though. Business owners are tempted towards the ‘Brexit’ vote, in some cases simply due to the seeming tax benefits it creates for SMEs across the UK. But is it all benefits, or are there also hidden negatives? The loss of free trade agreements is one of the biggest dangers of a ‘Brexit’ vote and there may be more complications with crossborder jurisdiction also. Andrew Watters, Director, Thomas Eggar explained: “In the event of ‘Brexit’, the UK will of course be free to do exactly what it wants on tax. However, one area of tax where there will be less control is where the amount of tax payable in any one jurisdiction is as a result of cross-border transactions. “Much of the tax planning by large international companies relies on mismatches between the rules of different jurisdictions. The EU made a statement earlier this year about work being done with national governments to have a more ‘joined up’ approach to counter this sort of tax avoidance. If Britain is not part of the club, it will be more difficult to be part of such cross-border initiatives.” Ease of trade is one of the biggest benefits of remaining in the EU, with import and export activity a main contributor to the overall economic growth of the UK. The EU as a bloc is by far the UK’s largest trading partner, accounting for 45% of exports and 53% of imports of goods and services in 2014. Both the Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition government and the previous Labour government stated that over three million jobs are linked, directly or indirectly, to exports to the EU. Equally, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has estimated that 3 million jobs in Britain are linked to trade with the rest of Europe – a fact that pro ‘remain’ campaigning websites, such as Britain Stronger in Europe, strongly pronounce. There are major worries among

UK-based (but international by nature) businesses about a ‘Brexit’ vote diminishing that free access to trade within the EU, particularly between the UK and France. However, some believe a membership of the European Economic Area would allow companies to access the key benefits of Europe without having to deal with EU bureaucracy – similarly to countries like Iceland. David Glass, Partner at Thomas Eggar shared his view: “My strong impression (particularly based on discussions with other members of the French Chamber of Commerce in GB) is that there is real concern amongst French businesses trading with and/or having operations in the UK that a ‘Brexit’ could mean the raising of trade barriers by restricting freedom of movement, goods and services and by the imposition of discriminatory anti-foreigner tax legislation. “I have received comments from non-EU clients that they would consider putting their investment plans for the UK on hold if there were a ‘Brexit’ because

Top areas small businesses say will influence how they will vote in the EU referendum: 1. EU governance (e.g. EU decision making); 75% 2. Free movement of people (e.g. of EU labour, travel, tourism); 70% 3. Cost of EU membership; 69% 4. Administrative burden on businesses as a result of complying with regulation; 68% 5. Economic impact on the UK; 64% 6. Trade with EU Countries; 53% 7. Access to the Single Market; 49% 8. Trade with non-EU Countries; 48% 9. EU funding; 42% 10. Competition; 35% they would no longer be able to regard the UK as a ‘gateway’ to Europe. By the same token, I believe that French business would see a ‘Brexit’ as a reason for strengthening their domestic operations or diverting their overseas 27

In or Out: That is the Question

investment away from the UK. I have even had one UK client telling me yesterday that they would consider relocating to France or Switzerland if the ‘Brexit’ took effect. There is no doubt that the French business in the UK would prefer the UK to ‘Bremain’ than to ‘Brexit’.” The main point in all these debates – specifically the debate to leave the EU – is that the future is worryingly uncertain, in particular for UK businesses. The question is, do we take that blind risk? The UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond commented on where a ‘Brexit’ vote would leave us: “A vote to leave on June 23rd would trigger a two year window, under the terms of the Treaties, for the UK


to negotiate the terms of our exit from the EU. And in the meantime, we will be able to offer British businesses no assurance at all about their future access to EU, or for that matter, to other markets. We will have nothing to say to American, Japanese, Chinese companies looking for a base in which to invest to supply the EU market. Our economy would literally be on hold, whilst our competitors, including our European competitors, forge ahead. And at the end of two years, there is no guarantee at all that we would have reached agreement, but our exit would be automatic unless every single member of the remaining EU agreed to an extension. “Our access to the Single Market would cease. Our trading agreements with more than 50 markets around the world would lapse, with an immediate and negative effect on confidence, on growth, on investments, and on jobs. Years

of uncertainty for Britain, just as we are getting back on our feet.” David Cameron has made his stance on the EU referendum very clear, and is campaigning to ‘remain’ as best he can. On 23rd February, he set out his reasons for remaining in the EU as the best possible course of action, stating his belief that we would be ‘safer’ inside the reformed EU, and ‘better off’ in terms of jobs, livelihoods, investment and success: “This is the wealthiest, strongest market in the world, and we have privileged access, without tariffs, the ability to trade and invest right across the EU.” Many voters will be basing their decision on 4 key areas, as the Prime Minister pointed out in a recent letter to Donald Tusk: competitiveness within the EU, Eurozone changes, shifting power from Brussels and controlling immigration into Britain. Under pressure to revitalise the UK’s relationship with the EU and ensure a ‘remain’ vote, David Cameron agreed a deal in Brussels at the beginning of the year, which ensures that the UK can remain in the EU with a special status: outside the Euro; outside Schengen; with an opt-in on Justice and Home Affairs matters, an exemption from ‘ever closer

In or Out: That is the Question

So, what exactly are we voting on? The exact wording on the ballot paper will be: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Everyone on the electoral roll will then have the opportunity to vote for one of the following; ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ or ‘Leave the European Union’. The Electoral Commission proposed this question, which has now been approved.

Strategies OMB likely to

How much does the UK give to the EU and vice versa? An accurate figure from the Office of National Statistics is just under £250Million a week, or £13Billion a year. This takes into account the UK’s rebate. In 2015 the EU’s spending on the UK was £4.5Billion, meaning the net contribution was about £8.5Billion. The £55Million a day figure that is often quoted doesn’t take into account the UK’s rebate, and is based on all EU spending by government AND some other sources. A more accurate figure would appear to be £35Million a day in total with a net contribution of £23Million a day.

union’ and a new mechanism to limit access to our benefits system for EU migrants. Surely, this creates the best of both worlds; in the EU but with independent powers? But many disagree, saying that the ‘reformed’ EU won’t in fact make any difference to the issues we face. However, at the beginning of March, Philip Hammond spoke out on Mr Cameron’s negotiations, explaining the overall benefits it creates: “It will boost EU competitiveness by completing the European Single Market, prioritising international trade agreements, and cutting the burden of EU regulation. And it provides an emergency brake to limit access to our benefits system for EU migrants and gives us new powers to exclude criminals and to stop exporting child benefits at UK rates. I think that’s a good deal for Britain.” What do our local MPs think? It may be early days, with a lot of debating, contemplating and researching

to do between now and late June, but we got in touch with some local MPs to shed some light on their opinions on the EU referendum. Caroline Ansell, Conservative MP for Eastbourne said: “We are now only a few days into what is going to be an intense, complex and four-month long campaign. Like millions of others, I have not yet made up my mind how I will vote and I very much want to hear a great deal more before I do decide. I am also chairing an EU Referendum debate in Eastbourne in May where I will be listening to more views and I don’t see how I could effectively be involved in that event if I indicated now which way I am going to vote. I understand that people may want to know my opinion, but this is an extremely important issue that will have consequences for generations to come, and I want to be in possession of all the facts I can before going in to the polling booth on 23rd June.” Amber Rudd, Conservative MP for

What are the economic benefits of being in the EU versus leaving? Various studies have attempted to quantify the benefit or cost to the UK of its membership of the EU. This is a very difficult exercise and depends on a wide range of assumptions. Estimates vary significantly. For example, a 2005 study by the Institute for Economic Affairs found a cost of between 3% and 4% of GDP while a 2013 study by the CBI found a net benefit of between 4% and 5% of GDP. A 2015 study by Open Europe found that the cost of the 100 most burdensome EU regulations was £33.3 billion a year. Hastings was a bit more decided: “My decision is to vote to remain in a reformed EU. Staying in a reformed EU will make us stronger, safer, better off. I believe that the advantages of being in the EU outweigh the frustrations that are also part of being in it. Last Friday I attended an event for businesses of Hastings and Rye at the Hastings museum. These were entrepreneurs and owners of small local businesses, such as IT, hotels and 29

want clarity on whether in or out would security. Proprietors of these businesses be better for them. That’s like asking were quick to share their views with me 20 different economists a question and that we need to stay in the EU. They expecting the same answer. There will be told me that their success depends on plenty of facts available but, ultimately, continued membership. Their success everyone will have to make their own provides local employment, which means judgement. jobs and financial security for working Her conclusion was to give some people and their families. This is the core uncontroversial of my support for advice to all: staying in the EU – “Make sure you are jobs and security. “Make sure you are registered to vote. She added: registered to vote. This could be the “Now I know that this is not a view This could be the most most important vote you make in held by everyone. important vote you your lifetime.” There will be plenty It seems that of employers who make in your lifetime” information really is find the additional key here. No matter regulations of - Amber Rudd, Conservative MP for Hastings what your position, being in the EU are there will always be greater than the arguments for and opportunity. They against a ‘Brexit’ vote and, as a business would like to take the Brexit risk. There owner it is essential that you understand are honestly held differences of opinion the implications of both a ‘remain’ or in this debate. MPs and Ministers whose ‘leave’ decision. How will it affect your views I respect take different positions business, and more importantly the future to me. But having weighed it up, I have standing of the UK within the highly made my decision. Constituents have competitive world market? written to me asking for the “facts”. They


Staying within the UK map

Confidence amongst sectors

In or Out: That is the Question

SBT would love to hear your opinion on this matter. Tweet us @ SussexBusiness using #SBTEURef and see our ‘Brexit’ pros and cons list on our websites at

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Haywards Heath

Building the Foundations of Business Committed to helping small businesses and start-ups, Basepoint Business Centres have been the way forward for many companies across Sussex: giving them suitable office space and allowing them to grow

Basepoint Business Centres provide a wide range of quality, Advertorial cost-effective, dog friendly, managed and flexible office space designed to suit all companies. All their units are available on Easy-In, Easy-Out flexible 2 week rolling contracts and they can also offer longer term commitments from 6 month contracts to 5 year leases. The Business Centre group also offer additional services such as free membership, virtual office packages, call answering and on-site serviced meeting rooms. Basepoint are dedicated to supporting SMEs and start-up businesses and in addition to their range of business services, they aim to provide the right infrastructure and environment which encourages and nurtures business growth not only within their Centres, but also in the local business community. All of the


Basepoint Business Centres organise and host free networking events to enable local companies to meet vital contacts who can help grow and develop their business. Basepoint licensees can also benefit from their free business support service, MiBase. This 24/7 online service gives users access to experienced business mentors via live chat, factsheets and information, as well as giving access to events and training. On top of all of this, Basepoint actively promotes ways for members to work with each other, including a Licensee Directory* on the Basepoint mobile app. The Basepoint mobile app, which can be downloaded on Apple iOS and Android smartphones, offers a quick and simple way for anyone to find their local Centre, book meeting rooms on the go, get a quick quote for an office using the workspace calculator and find their nearest free Networking event. Basepoint currently operates 4 Centres in the Sussex region located in Crawley,

As soon as I entered the Basepoint Centre I knew it was where I wanted to have my office. The atmosphere is so vibrant and positive and all the facilities I could need are readily available. The networking events and wonderful co-tenants are just an added bonus - Fiona Monson, Solvency Solutions Haywards Heath, Newhaven and Shoreham. Basepoint Crawley, based on County Oak in Manor Royal is a popular Centre in the Sussex area and has had a high level of occupancy with many businesses moving and growing within the Centre. The most recent example is a company that initially started in a small 1 person office and has now grown to occupy


“The team at Basepoint Crawley are absolutely exceptional and always go the extra mile to help with all of my business requirements. The Basepoint team have also become a pillar of excellence within the local business community” - Matt Turner, Creative Pod 14 units. They are now able to take the step of moving into their own premises which is giving rise to an unusual and fantastic opportunity for new businesses to move into the Centre, with a variety of different sized units coming available in the Spring this year. For more information on Basepoint Crawley or to register your interest in this upcoming space please contact or call 01293 817721. The Newhaven Enterprise Centre, managed by Basepoint and located on Denton Island, is also happy to announce some exciting changes which will open the doors to several new businesses in the Spring. As part of the £2.5 million Newhaven Growth Quarter project, financed by the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, the Newhaven Enterprise Centre will soon offer an additional 8,000 sq. ft. of office and workshop space, with an emphasis on green, clean and marine technologies. Rebecca Gattinesi, Regional Manager for Basepoint, comments: “The extension at Newhaven Enterprise Centre will provide numerous local businesses in BikeMend Ltd is a mobile business and doesn’t need a full time office, so being a virtual licensee at Basepoint works very well. It separates the business from my home giving it a professional image, particularly where suppliers require a business address as a trading condition. Its convenient location means I can drop in between appointments to collect mail and make use of the breakout facilities. Perfect - David Payne, Bikemend Ltd


Crawley Newhaven with the high quality flexible space they need, and will offer local employment opportunities. There is a high demand for flexible business space across our Sussex Centres, including at our most recent centre in Haywards Heath which opened in September 2015 and has already reached capacity. It is encouraging to see so many successful businesses across Sussex growing and benefitting from the services Basepoint provide.” For more information on Basepoint Newhaven or to register your interest in this upcoming space please contact call 01273 615090. Our newest Basepoint Centre, John

Call us on 01753 853515

We recently decided to relocate our business, and were looking for a flexible facility that would meet our requirement for office premises, combined with a smart and professional meeting environment. The Basepoint Centre in Shoreham offered a comprehensive range of services at a competitive price, and as a result we decided to base our business with them. It gives us exactly what we need;­a smart, efficient environment, supported by friendly staff. A fine package! - Simon Jones, Garrett Axford 33


Thank you for the great networking events the Centre runs at Newhaven. Newhaven Enterprise Centre always has interesting speakers and attracts such a diverse group of business people from far and wide. At one of the meetings last summer and just by chance I introduced myself to someone as I was about to leave, that brief encounter ended up with the most valuable piece of work I have had in the last 5 years, wow! I always go networking with an open mind, seldom with an expectation of finding immediate work, although at that meeting I did! Mostly networking is about information gathering and feeling the business buzz; sometimes seeding ideas for myself and my business. Apart from actually delivering the services I promote, networking is the most important business activity I do. Even more special about the Newhaven hub is that it’s free, always being greeted with a smile, and having an excellent buffet lunch. - Mark Hosken, Openfileuk de Mierre House, is located on Bridge Road in Haywards Heath. The Centre, built in partnership with Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council, opened its doors on 1st September 2015, welcoming 19 business through the doors in its first week. For more information on Basepoint Haywards Heath please contact call 01444 849250. Basepoint Shoreham, located on the High Street in Shoreham-by-Sea, joined the Basepoint family in 2012. The Centre is home to 38 businesses across 49 units and has maintained high occupancy levels for the past 3 years. Roxanne Haid, Centre Manager at Basepoint Shoreham, stated: “Flexibility has been key to the success of the Centre with many licensees’ upsizing or downsizing at short notice in line with market demands.” For more information on Basepoint Shoreham please contact helloshoreham@ or call 01273 467585. Uniquely, Basepoint Business Centres is owned by The ACT Foundation, a leading UK grant-making charity,



dedicated to improving the quality of life of those in need. As such, each Centre is dedicated to fundraising for a selected charity and The ACT Foundation match funds any money raised by the chosen charity, up to the value of £10,000 per Centre. Basepoint Crawley currently supports The Olive Tree Cancer Support

Centre, Basepoint Haywards Heath is supporting The Golden Lion Children’s Trust, Basepoint Newhaven supports FitzRoy and Basepoint Shoreham is currently supporting Chestnut Tree House. *The Licensee directory is only available to active licensees and requires registration and authentication.

The Basepoint Networking Hub The Networking Hub is a free B2B networking event hosted by Basepoint in our business centres across the country. The events are open to all kinds of businesses and our aim is to give all those that attend the opportunity to meet new people, to build on existing business relationships and to generate new leads. The Networking Hub format is largely informal, with a brief talk from a local guest speaker. There is a complimentary light buffet lunch and plenty of opportunity to network with other attendees. Basepoint also provides a business card prize draw and a business 2 business exchange facility, where you can promote your business to other attendees.

Upcoming Networking Hub Dates Crawley - 12:00, Wednesday, 13 April 2016 Haywards Heath - 12:00, Thursday, 26 May 2016 Newhaven - 12:00, Thursday, 12 May 2016 Shoreham - 12:00, Thursday, 28 April 2016






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Save £000’s with R&D Tax Relief

Many UK businesses are missing out on Research and Development Tax Relief and throwing £000’s down the drain (aka paying it to those nice people at the HMRC). We spoke to Simon Bulteel from Cooden Tax Consulting to understand more about how this tax relief works... Simon Butleel is Director of Research Cover and Development Tax Relief at Cooden Feature Tax Consulting. They specialise in helping businesses and professional advisors to ascertain if they, or their clients, are eligible for R&D tax relief and undertakes the claim process for them. He has had some impressive results. “Recent claims vary from between £3k and £300k, so we have some very happy customers. They are naturally delighted to have kept that cash in their business! We have a 100% success rate after identifying a business’ eligibility,” says Simon.

Who can claim?

Your company must be incorporated and liable to pay Corporation Tax to be eligible for R&D Tax Relief (also known as R&D Tax Credit). Many creative, technology and manufacturing companies are eligible and it seems obvious that they will fit the criteria. But this tax relief is available to companies in a wide range of sectors. Simon added: “We have helped firms

in Brewing, Engineering, Insurance and other industries to claim this significant tax relief.” It’s worth investigating if your research and development activities will be appropriate for a claim. Simon also helps businesses with tax relief for patents and video games.

Who do you work with?

Simon explained that Cooden Tax Consulting works directly with business owners and Directors of innovative companies, as well as through professional advisors such as Accountants, Solicitors and Patent Attorneys. Professional advisory firms refer clients directly to Cooden Tax Consulting, or ask Simon to conduct a white label service for them for this specialist tax relief.

How do you achieve a 100% success rate?

Simon puts the success of client claims, along with the growth of his business that launched in 2013, down to expertise and personal service. He is an ACCA qualified accountant that was in practice for many years. This was followed by senior financial

roles with a top 5 global clinical research organisation and a motorsport engineering company. He is focused on R&D tax relief and a real specialist in this still widely under claimed scheme that launched in 2000. The small team deliver tailored reports and enjoy working with the SME market. They often highlight grant and loan funding available for their client’s next R&D project, as well as facilitate introductions between companies where there is a mutual benefit.

Say hello at Accountex 2016

Cooden Tax Consulting is exhibiting at Accountex at ExCel in London from 11-12 May. Visit them on stand A170 where you’ll see a british record holding electric bike. You could also meet the Director of Weald Technology who is now developing a more advanced bike, that he hopes will steal a world record from the US! A great example of an engineering challenge project eligible for R&D tax relief! Simon is happy to have an informal chat to explore whether your business may be eligible for R&D Tax Relief. It costs nothing but could save you thousands. Seems worth exploring doesn’t it? 36


Photo Credit: Phil Burrowes of Avant Commercial and Oset Bikes ©

Great taste of success with R&D Tax Relief for brewers of craft beers Great Taste of Success with R&D Tax Relief for Brewers of Craft Beers

It’s not just technology and manufacturing companies The Hackney Brewery is another good example of a that can apply for R&D Tax Relief. Entrepreneurial business that could examine recouping costs for R&D. brewers can now claim back thousands of pounds Brewers Tristram Stuart and Jon Swain spent time against costs connected with research and development developing Toast Ale. They source left over fresh bread projects. Brewing is a competitive industry which from artisan bakeries, then slice, toast and mash it, constantly has to address the public’s thirst for new adding the breadcrumbs to malted barley, a mixture of avours and products. In an environment like this, hops, yeast and water. Prots from the sale of the ale, It’s not just technology and manufacturing Master Brewer Chris Read spent “…a the sale of the ale, which is stocked opportunities to research raw ingredients and try out new whicharchives, is stocked in a number of different outlets in the lot of time researching brewing companies that can apply for R&D Tax in a number of different outlets in the production methods and tastecan combinations are almost looking for traditional maltUK, andgo hopto Feedback, Relief. Entrepreneurial brewers UK,an go environmental to Feedback, anorganisation environmentalthat inexhaustible. campaigns food waste.that campaigns to end food recipes and working out how best to to end organisation now claim back thousands of pounds against costs connected with research

evolve them for modern tastes”.


He went on to the Inventive development and development projects. Brewing is Simon Bulteel, from Cooden Tax Consulting, is then an R&D brewers can contact Simoncan at contact CoodenSimon Tax Inventive brewers and a competitive industry constantly at Tax Cooden Taxadvice Consulting for R&D Tax tax relief specialist. Hewhich recently discussedwork how with this his taxraw ingredients Consulting for R&D Relief at a blend of Galaxy, Simcoe and has to address the public’s thirst for Relief advice (www.coodentaxconsulting. relief can be applied to brewers of new various“arrived sizes with ( He works directly with Goldings Hops, alongside various lighter flavours and products. In an environment HeAccountants, works directly Solicitors with businesses, Craft Beer World. The Charles Wells Brewery in Bedford businesses, as well as via and malts, to create a traditionally bitter and like this, opportunities to research raw as well as via Accountants, and are a wonderful example of precisely the sort of project Patent Attorneys. Simon will ascertain if youSolicitors are eligible hoppy IPA with a soft, modern, tropical ingredients and try out new production Patent Attorneys. Simon will ascertain if that could and qualify R&D Tax Relief. Brewer for this specic tax relief and undertake the claim flavour.” methods tastefor combinations are Master you are eligible for this specific tax relief Chris Read spent “…a lot of time researching brewing you. He is undertake currently the processing a claim for a The Hackney Brewery isprocess another for good almost inexhaustible. and claim process for you. archives, looking for traditional malt and hop recipes and hop processor that also manufactures hop products example of a business that could examine He is currently processing a claim for afor Simon Bulteel, from Cooden Tax working out how best to evolve them for modern tastes”. brewing industry. Consulting has recouping costs for R&D. the Brewers Consulting, is an R&D tax relief specialist. hopCooden processor that also manufactures Tristram Stuart and Jon Swain spent time He recently discussed how this tax relief He then went on to the development work with his raw successfully helped businesses hop products forwith the claims brewingbetween industry. £3k developing source left can be applied brewersatofavarious Cooden Consulting has successfully ingredients andto“arrived blend of Galaxy, SimcoeToast Ale. They and £300k. overmalts, fresh bread sizes with Craft Beer alongside World. The various Charles lighter helped businesses with claims between and Goldings Hops, to from artisan bakeries, then slice, toast and mashWhich it, adding the Wells Brewery in Bedford are a wonderful £3k and £300k.raise a glass to that? business owner wouldn’t create a traditionally bitter and hoppy IPA with a soft, breadcrumbs to malted barley, a mixture example of precisely the sort of project Which business owner wouldn’t raise a modern, tropical avour.” of hops, yeast and water. Profits from that could qualifyfor R&D Tax Relief. glass to that?


100% Success No Claim, No Fee Call us on: 01424 225 345


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Five Ways to Improve Workplace Health in Your Small Business

Wellbeing is an abused term but it simply means mental and physical health. Ensuring wellbeing at work can have huge benefits for your businesses, beyond just employee satisfaction and can really make or break a business

A good wellbeing at work strategy encourages and Health enables employees to manage their own health and has massive benefits for employers. Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of good wellbeing; ensuring the highest degree of physical, mental and social health at work. “A dedicated OH service can get to know the culture within a small business and tailor their advice into practical support to help in the smooth day-to-day running of the business, minimising the high costs associated with absence through sickness and developing a workplace health strategy to manage health risks,” says independent Occupational Health Consultant and Business Health Coach, Jeremy Smith. However, wellbeing at work can still be a significant problem in both small and large organisations. Jeremy explains: “According to the Health &


Safety Executive, every year, across all industries, 1.5 million workers suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work. Evidence suggests that Occupational Health (OH) is often poorly understood and many small businesses don’t know where to turn when an employee becomes too ill to work. Many smaller employers rely on advice from the patient’s own GP and, although GPs do a fantastic job, their purpose is to advise their patients, not their patients’ employers.” A holistic view is often the best strategy for businesses in terms of workplace health and wellbeing, encouraging the right environment, the right culture and the right management style. However, the big picture is inevitably the sum of a wide variety of smaller details. Get those relatively minor elements right and they come together in an overall positive way and often result in employers attracting the right people. Here is a run-down of these often overlooked, but important elements:


Looking Long-Term

A statutory approach, whereby the employer ticks only the boxes they have to, is inherently short-sighted. You miss out on opportunities to fix issues at source, as they only become apparent when problems emerge – you’re late to the party, so to speak. Ultimately, try to be proactive rather than reactive: identifying issues early so they can be dealt with relatively simply. In terms of recruitment, it’s important – especially for small enterprises – that you employ the correct people; those who aren’t going to be taking sick leave every other week and who won’t kick-start a high employee turnover rate. Pre-placement screening (pre-employment is a bit ‘old hat’) can identify potential employee health issues beforehand, as it’s important for employers to avoid hiring those with large sickness absence history/ poor attendance record.

Occupational Health

Equally pre-placement screening can be used to assimilate disabled employees into the workplace. The disabled often have very simple expectations and a great work ethic, but face barriers from employers who presume the adjustments needed are greater or more involved than they actually are.


Don’t Make – or Act on Assumptions

It’s equally important for management never to assume they know what wellbeing needs their business requires. This has been a common mistake for small businesses in particular, who can then focus on entirely the wrong things. Rather, they should speak to their staff as often as possible, ask open questions and genuinely listen to the answers. When employees feel their opinions count and that their concerns are being addressed, they feel valued and their productivity improves as they engage more with their work. It’s worth doing this on an ongoing basis so as to build up a series of snapshots of perceptions and analyse your progress over time. Don’t be afraid of what you might hear – the more brave and ready you are to address issues, the greater the pay-off in terms of productivity and things like reduced absence.


Provide Training

Training is really valuable. When people are trained they are happier and more confident in their work and more efficient, so training courses and packages are great - but don’t stop there. View training as an ongoing process and follow up on it by finding out how staff feel about it afterwards. The trainee determines the effectiveness of any training - it is far better for an employee to tell you ‘I am now trained’ than it is for you to tell them ‘You are now trained’.

“When people are trained they are happier and more confident in their work and more efficient, so training courses and packages are great”


Investing Money in the Right Places

Your wellbeing expenditure needn’t be sizeable. Big outlays (such as those you might commit to with an incentive scheme) may be well meaning but don’t necessarily pay you back in terms of productivity or staff engagement. Smaller, more focused initiatives on the other hand, often pay impressive dividends. Making minor, positive adjustments to the physical environment can make a big difference. Simple things like fixing a draught or replacing a window pane can turn a dingy, cold office into a really nice place to work. It’s about the small details. Simply having an occupational health intervention process shows that employers value their employees enough to spend money on their support. This creates good feeling and inspires loyalty from staff.


Be Flexible

Small businesses should look closely at flexible working and whether it can work for them. Things like jobshare schemes mean you don’t compromise a certain function because the only employee with the necessary skills is on leave – their colleague covers, at least in part. When you allow people flexibility, they allow you flexibility too. They’re able to run the kids to school or to their dental appointments and they can deal with their lives the way they hope to. There are big mental health benefits – staff are less stressed, they’re at work and they’re more productive. To learn more about workplace health, or find an expert who can support and advise, visit the Better Health at Work Alliance website: 39

Checkatrade 2016 Business Expo held their 2016 Business Expo at the multi award winning Azur at the Marina Pavilion in St. Leonards on Sea
 The Checkatrade 2016 Business Expo was a B2B, B2C, B2E Events and B2G networking and exhibition event demonstrating the latest products and services available for today’s market.
Special guests included the Founder and CEO of Checka, Kevin Byrne, The Chairman of the Sussex Strategic Business Board and Ambassador for Locate East Sussex, Lord Brett McLean, Chairman of Rother District Council, Cllr Jimmy Carol and the Deputy Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers. 35 exhibitor stands marketed their products and services to those attending the Expo. The event was held during the National Apprenticeship Week and exhibitors from the educational


sectors included Sussex Coast College Hastings, Saxon Mount Academy and the Pestalozzi International Children’s Village Trust. Lord Brett said: “The Checkatrade. com Expo is a valuable annual event now in its 4th year which aims to connect businesses to other businesses, connect consumers with recognised businesses and helps to identify the next group of budding entrepreneurs. In addition it provides a great platform to connect Government with businesses and educational establishments at a local level”. CEO and Founder Kevin Byrne said: “ is delighted to sponsor the Expo every year as we want to become more actively involved with the community. We started off 18 years ago as a

very small business and now employ nearly 300 staff and are responsible for contributing almost £2.5 Billion pounds to the UK economy through our 20,000+ members. Our remit is to ensure that we protect the public and fellow businesses from rogue traders!” The event was hailed a huge success having hundreds of people visit the Expo and listen to Checkatrade. com founder Kevin Byrne present an informative and inspirational talk on what it is like to be a multi award winning real life entrepreneur. Lord Brett said: “ We are extremely grateful to and Sussex Business Times for their support for without them we would not be in a position to host such an amazing event!”

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Made In Sussex

The BIG Futures Show In its first year, the Big Futures Show is indeed going to be BIG, and preparations for 20th April are hotting up

“Exhibitors will be aiming to inspire and prepare tomorrow’s workforce, whilst helping students and their parents understand what they need to do to get to where they want to”


On April 20 2016, Business the first annual Big Futures Show will be Events held in Winter Gardens in Eastbourne. Organised by Eastbourne Education Business Partnership (EBP) and in association with Eastbourne Borough Council, the show is targeted at Year 9, 10 and 11 (14 to 16 year old) students, their parents and the wider community. The show aims to offer a variety of careers advice and learning opportunities for students looking towards their future, and equally offer potential employers a chance to exhibit what they do to their most important audience: the next generation of workers. A recent report by The Future Leaders Trust recently highlighted the challenges faced by coastal schools related to geographical, economic and cultural factors. Across the South East region, students often miss out from the benefit of national employability and skills events that are difficult to access. Equally, there

is a whole generation of students who simply don’t know their options when it comes to their future; what skills they need; how they learn those skills; and how they access the help they need to get where they want to be. The Big Futures Show will bring the benefits of these events to East Sussex students considering their futures, and open their eyes to the possibilities. With a catchment across southern East Sussex, the Big Futures Show will reach many thousands of potential visitors, providing those who attend with an impressive list of over 100 exhibitors including Sussex Business Times ourselves, employers, trainers and education bodies alike. Skills and employment opportunities on show range from art and creative through banking and the professions, construction and built environment, health and social care, engineering and electronics, public services, retail and personal services and many more. Schools from across East Sussex have booked in groups of year 9 to 11

The Big Futures Show

“This event provides a fantastic platform for support and getting the word out about your business to those that matter most: the future workforce” students, bringing the number of pre booked visitors to over 1600 - and counting. Pre-booked visiting students will be provided with a combined preparation pack and show guide prior to the event with lesson plans and additional content created specially for The Big Futures Show. Instead of taking home a bag of freebies after the show each student will be provided with material designed to help them summarise their visit – all far from the simplistic material often ensuring that ‘students are provided with high quality careers information and are fully aware of their choices following education’ by Ofsted or the DFE “Careers guidance and inspiration in schools” statutory guidance. Making sure that everyone is well prepared before the show there will also be briefings for teachers and school governors sponsored by the National Careers Service and hosted by The View Hotel in Eastbourne. Exhibitors will be aiming to inspire and prepare tomorrow’s workforce, whilst helping students and their parents understand what they need to do to get to where they want to; explaining what qualifications they are looking for and what training and apprenticeships they can offer in the workplace. Further and higher education and apprenticeships are well represented, with a range of Colleges and Universities on hand to explain and demonstrate where their training and qualifications fit in with employers’ requirements and what they are looking for in students, whilst other training providers can discuss the wide range of other possibilities that are on offer to young people today. Sussex Downs College, Plumpton College and South Coast College will all be keen to

show what they have to offer. There will be 4 different faculties from University of Brighton as well as University of Sussex and Brighton & Sussex University Hospital offering advice for those considering attending university. More than 15 training providers and many of the employers exhibiting have a wide range of exciting offerings for anyone thinking about apprenticeships also. Many of the exhibitors are planning to raise the interest levels with interactive displays adding to the visitor experience. As well as curricular development, there will be representation from a variety of organisations that offer young people personal development opportunities. The show has been hugely successful in its first year in terms of exhibitor bookings as well as student visitor bookings. Businesses find it easier to support one high quality regional event rather than being asked to support many small events by individual schools, so this event provides a fantastic platform for support and getting the word out about your business to those that matter most: the future workforce. The Eastbourne Herald has come on board as the Big

Futures Show Media Partner alongside other sponsors including, Eastbourne Borough Council, Sussex Downs College, National Careers Service, Faithorn Farrell Timms, The View Hotel, Sussex Coast College and L J Edwards Coaches. If you’re not already involved, be involved; in this show and in your children’s’ future.

Website: Facebook: BIGFuturesShow Twitter: BIGFuturesShow #BIGFS2016 43

Made In Sussex

Connecting Education with the Community

Young people are getting connected in the world of work through Sussex Downs College, who work in partnership with local companies to deliver apprenticeships, benefitting both the student and the wider business community

Sussex Downs College students are benefitting from the Educate strong partnerships that the College has developed with local companies, and to mark National Apprenticeship week, the students are speaking out about their experiences. From November 2015, local telecoms provider, Cavendish Communications embraced apprenticeship schemes, taking on three apprentices: Michael Parris and Chantelle Perrault, aged 17 in Sales and Holly Rowsell, aged 18 in Engineering. Mark Hollands, Sales Manager at Cavendish explained why they have taken on apprentices: “We decided to bring in a young generation of enthusiastic and passionate individuals to create a vibrant and exciting team. With all of our staff under one roof, we offer a wholly supportive learning environment for anyone looking to gain an all-round experience of the industry, and we wanted to give young people in our surrounding community this chance.” For Holly, the apprenticeship route was a logical one. She says: “I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in ICT, and I looked into apprenticeships after


apprenticeship; it gets you working in receiving careers advice. I have always your chosen industry with companies found learning hands-on works best for who want both experience and me and this apprenticeship ticked all the qualifications from their employees.” boxes.” Eastbourne accountancy firm, Mark worked closely with the Business Humphrey & Co. started implementing Development team at Sussex Downs apprenticeship schemes in 2012 after College in hiring the apprentices, from changes in University fees led them to initial meetings and advertising the realise quality students might opt for posts, through to the interviews, so apprenticeships rather he feels the support degrees. Since they give is second “An Apprenticeship than then, they have taken on to none. Alongside is a great two apprentices a year working at Cavendish experience that and, in 2015, Humphrey Communications, will put you in & Co. employed two the apprentices also good stead when Sussex Downs College complete coursework, it comes to breaking students: twins Lucas working closely with and Marco Belim, both college tutors, who into your chosen 19 years old. support them every step career path” Humphrey & Co. of the way. Partner, Paul Potter, Chantelle comments: said: “When we employed our first “Sussex Downs College has provided me apprentices, Sussex Downs College was with a great opportunity. The teachers the logical provider of choice as they are have been informative, supportive and local to us and offered the required AAT professional.” courses which other colleges were not As is the consensus across the board, running at the time.” Michael Parris urges anyone to consider The brothers applied for the positions an apprenticeship, explaining: “The at Humphrey & Co. during their last year apprenticeship scheme offered me the at the college where they were studying perfect chance to get the experience Business and Accounting. Marco, who and qualification I need to launch my is based in the dental/medical team career in sales. Seriously consider an

Sussex Downs College

at Humphrey & Co said: “We already knew from our AAT Level 2 Lecturer that university wasn’t a necessity if you wanted to get into the accounting profession. On top of that, the increased costs of studying a university degree made an apprenticeship the natural progression route after finishing college.” Lucas, who is working in the General Practice team, added: “It meant that we could continue working towards our professional qualification whilst gaining valuable, on-the-job experience at the same time, without any debt at the end of it!” Marco and Lucas have also felt thoroughly supported by Sussex Downs College throughout the entire process,

from application to interview. Marco says: “Our Business lecturer carried out mock interviews with us so we could practise our interview skills. This was invaluable to us both and we are so grateful for that.” When asked what advice they would give to someone looking into apprenticeships, Lucas and Marco have the following message: “Go for it! An Apprenticeship is a great experience that will put you in good stead when it comes to breaking into your chosen career path. The most important thing is to do your research – carefully. Don’t just settle for the first position that comes along; you have to be sure that the company you are applying to is a good fit for you, as the likelihood is that they will be doing exactly

the same thing when they are looking at your application.” Equally, companies working with Sussex Downs College have been delighted with the success and ease of the overall process. David Moorat, Managing Director at Cavendish, says: “We have all been very pleased with the way the apprentice programme has developed; there are so many positives to take out of it, in particular the added energy it has created within our existing staff. I would highly recommend the programme to any growing business.” As for Humphrey & Co., Paul says they will continue taking on apprentices. “The apprenticeship scheme is an excellent alternative to recruiting graduates, independent of any possible financial funding benefits. Apprenticeship schemes help to boost local employment and for us has promoted good relationships with Sussex Downs College who work closely with both the students and the employer to ensure the apprenticeship scheme benefits all those involved.” Sussex Downs College would be delighted to hear from any businesses that would like to engage with the college and local business community through apprenticeships. Please contact Rose Miller on 030 300 39474 or email if you would like to arrange a visit from an Account Manager to discuss your particular training needs. 45

Positive Outcomes for Apprenticeships

A recent study from Positive Outcomes has highlighted some of the benefits, but also a lot of the struggles of the current apprenticeship climate. SBT looks at the findings and speaks to M2 Computing apprentice, Tim Oelkers who dispels some of the myths and stigmas

“Many apprenticeship providers are keen to bring in the right talent at a young age in order to nurture their abilities”

Above: Jake Monckton and Tim Oelkers Opposite: Tim Oelkers


A study by Positive Outcomes recently found a number of Insight promising statistics when questioning 227 apprentices aged between 16 and 24 ahead of Apprenticeship Week 2016. For example, the study found that almost four fifths of apprentices get full time employment at the end of their apprenticeship, with a further 92% believing their apprenticeship will give them an advantage when going for a job. As part of the wider study, 77% of respondents said that they got a full-time job after finishing their apprenticeship, whilst a further 4% were offered a part time position. 92% of respondents believed that their apprenticeship would give them an advantage when going for jobs against others who hadn’t undertaken apprenticeships. However, there were some worrying findings revealed also. More than three fifths of apprentices didn’t know where to turn to for apprenticeship advice and

63% of respondents stated that they were previously unaware of where to find help, other than at school. Additionally, 22% of respondents feared that an apprenticeship pigeonholed them on a career path for life and 88% felt ‘wages were too low’. Another 41% were concerned apprenticeships ‘aren’t seen as a proper job’, whilst 30% assumed they’d be ‘earning more after going to university’. Kelly Ball, joint Managing Director of Positive Outcomes, said: “Apprenticeships have long been associated with the stigma of poor wages, and it’s clear that stigma is still firmly in place. People need to realise though that in 2016, this simply isn’t the case. Many apprenticeship providers are keen to bring in the right talent at a young age in order to nurture their abilities.” We decided to speak to an apprentice ourselves, to try to dispel some of this clearly widespread stigma associated with apprenticeships. Tim Oelkers undertook an apprenticeship with IT


Support Service, M2 Computing, based just outside Crawley when he was 21 and looking for full-time work. “I started at M2 in April 2014 alongside Jake Monckton. I was 21 and working part time and I wanted a full time position,” says Tim. “So, I started looking online and came across the QA Apprenticeships website, where I found the position at M2 Computing.” When asked about the accessibility of the apprenticeship scheme, Tim said: “It wasn’t difficult to find at all – I simply Googled what I wanted to find and it was there. From then, I had all the support I needed. I chose M2 because it looked like a good opportunity and it was the closest company offering apprenticeships to where I lived in West Sussex.” He added, however: “Perhaps it might be harder for some types of apprenticeships than others. I believe the information is there if you look for it, but the access could be improved. School is the best place to get advice on these sorts of things. I would urge anyone thinking of an apprenticeship to get advice from a careers advisor through their school or do what I did.” When asked about the stigma surrounding apprenticeships, in terms of low wages and the possible pigeon-

hole effect, Tim defiantly disagreed, saying: “I was paid a very healthy wage when I first started, and now that I have been promoted, I’m on an even better wage. I have developed skills, earned qualifications and done training just as in any other job. I have done training in anything from low-level IT and software skills to project management, so my options are actually pretty limitless. Apprenticeships really do set you up for life, whichever direction you choose to go in. I work with small and large businesses, getting a fantastic exposure in a range of tasks, also allowing me to get to know a broad variety of clients from different companies and develop trusting relationships with them. It just so happens that I want to continue working at M2 for as long as possible, but if I did want to move on, there would be nothing stopping me – in the field of IT or otherwise.” M2 Computing are now looking for new apprentices, to fill the same position as Tim. Tanya Haeffele, General Manager at M2 Computing comments: “We are delighted with the success of the National Apprenticeship scheme. Tim and Jake have received some excellent personal feedback from our clients and we couldn’t be happier with their progress. The business has grown over the past two years creating further vacancies, so it makes sense to bring some new young talent on board in the same way.”

When asked why someone should consider M2 for an apprenticeship, Tim praised the company and its staff, saying: “Right from the start the staff here have been welcoming, kind and helpful, supporting me throughout the process, training me and allowing me to learn on the job. It couldn’t be a better working environment, and it’s just a brilliant way to learn. With an apprenticeship, and specifically mine, the expectations were set out from the beginning, and it was very much a case of learning at your own pace, taking it slow and developing as you go. You get as much out of it as you put in really. There was no ‘status’ attached to me, but I gained experience and qualifications whilst also being paid a good salary and eliminating the debt incurred through university fees. It’s a winwin situation.” He concluded: “I wish to continue working my way up the ranks at M2 Computing, and hopefully one day get into project management. I would recommend to anyone to do an apprenticeship and specifically to do an apprenticeship with M2.” For further information on the new apprenticeships available at M2 Computing please call 01293 871971 or email 47

Lunch Review:

Edendum Edendum Brighton

Address: 69 East Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HQ Telephone: 01273 733800 Web:


Edendum, located among a longline of high quality Review restaurants in East Street in Brighton, is a café-meet-bistro restaurant with a strong passion for authentic Italian food. On entering, I was welcomed by Diego, one of the Founders of Edendum alongside his partner, Lorenza, both of whom I had met in August 2015 when they first opened. This is their first business and, considering the huge amount of competition in Brighton and the purist philosophy they endeavour to stick to, they have done exceedingly well for themselves. Diego and Lorenza are both natives of

Edendum produces the essence of Italy in all its dishes, and provides the perfect place to bring – and impress - a client or friend

Northern Italy and as such have brought their homeland tastes to British taste buds. When asked why Brighton, Diego answered honestly: “This is the best market. There are so many other high quality restaurants here so we knew our idea and food would be welcomed.” My guest and I perused the wine list – all Italian wine of course – and decided to let Diego choose a fruity red. This went extremely well with the first course, which was also recommended to us by Diego: a Gnocco Fritto to share. Diego explained that this was an extremely traditional dish in northern Italy, but something not many Brits would be aware of. Always wanting to try new things, I dug straight in and was amazed at the fresh flavours of the hams and

“All of the ingredients used in the dishes are from top quality, local and Italian producers, freshly put together on the premises”

range of cheeses in front of me, all served with pocket-sized deep-fried, savoury dough balls. We also tried the muchanticipated Girello Marinato – thin slices of beef marinated in honey, cinnamon and with a quince jam on top. All of the ingredients used in the dishes are from top quality, local and Italian producers, freshly put together on the premises by the three chefs they employ. Diego explained: “We put love into our food, marinating our meats for at least 15 days, and taking time over producing the best dough. We don’t use cream, as many English-Italian restaurants do, and we also make our own produce to sell.” He pointed to the shelves stacked with small jars of sauces, pickled meats, cheeses and packets of homemade pasta – all traditionally made by indepedent Italian producers. For the main course, I went for the homemade Gnocchi with toma cheese sauce and homemade basil pesto. My guest went with a seafood dish with

squid, octopus, sea bass, salad and homemade mayonnaise. This was the first time I had tried Gnocchi and it was melt-in-your-mouth, ultimate comfort food. It was rich, flavoursome and

thoroughly enjoyable. The mixed fish dish looked extremely appetising and every part of it was perfectly cooked. The homemade mayonnaise was fantastic! Although we were extremely full, Diego insisted that we try a dessert. So, reluctantly (he didn’t exactly have to force the issue), we ordered a tiramisu, which he then also insisted that we try with a glass of amaretto. From beginning to end, we were looked after by Diego, and his passion for good food and for his Italian roots were apparent throughout his demeanor and the dishes themselves. Even as we left, coming up to 3pm, there were still people pouring through the door simply to order a true Italian coffee, showing that this place really has struck a great middle ground between a restaurant and a café; laid back but with high quality food. I would go back to Edendum in a heartbeat, even if just for a coffee, or to have another tiramisu and glass of amaretto! 49

Hotel Review:

South Lodge: Horsham

SBT offers our review of South Lodge Hotel in Horsham, with its 17th Century style refinement, Michelin star dining and excellent business facilities

South Lodge Horsham

Address: Brighton Road, Horsham RH13 6PS Telephone: 01403 891711 Web:


It’s always refreshing to spend a night at Hotel a hotel that exudes not only character Review and history but also an abundance of comfort and impressive grace. The South Lodge Hotel, as part of the Exclusive Hotels chain, provided exactly this for my stay. Built as a home in 1883, the hotel has since been expanded into the 5-star dwelling it is today, set upon 93 acres of land. The ‘extensions’ on the original building are by no means obvious, however – the hotel has done well to keep the original style, actually using the exterior brickwork of the initial façade of the house within the reception area and new Michelin star restaurant. On arrival, I spent a few minutes admiring the view, feeling a little like a guest from a period drama. I eventually found the reception area – I must admit now that I got a bit lost on arrival due to parking in the wrong car park – and was shown to my room. I walked down an almost hidden corridor, past rooms that were each named according to the ‘Sussex Landmark’ theme of the ground floor wing that my room was also in (other wings have themes including flowers and equestrian). Stepping into

my room - one of the 89 suites available at the hotel - I was met with a huge living space with a grand four-poster bed, facing a huge window that looked out over the grounds and towards the South Downs. Additionally, I had a flat screen television (with sound system), two armchairs, a desk with a tablet for ordering room service, a dressing table with large mirror, an enormous wardrobe and an ensuite to rival most people’s bedroom alone – the bath even had its own television. Suffice to say, I was impressed. Everything was extremely well thought out with the guest in mind. The room offered personalisation at every opportunity; using my tablet, I had the choice of ordering a different set of pillows for my particular needs; I had an integrated light system, with buttons allowing me to turn on, or off, the reading light, wall lights, the ceiling light, spotlights and blue night lights. My ‘do not disturb’ option came in the form of a stuffed sheep toy – a very unique concept and one that suited the heritage of the grounds, which used to have sheep on them, extremely well. Although I didn’t actually use my sheep, or my catalogue of pillow choices, I appreciated the freedom of choice and inventiveness nonetheless.

On closer look at the rest of the hotel, I found a huge amount of meeting-room space and business facilities. There are 12 meeting rooms at the hotel, including video conference facilities with the latest AMX Enzo System and incorporated access to drinks bars, coffee machines and charging points. The hotel as a whole also has complimentary WiFi, which I found wholly reliable when researching for my next day’s meeting. This would certainly be a stress-free and impressive venue for business meetings, conferences or events: large or small. Once I had soaked up what my room had to offer, I made my way to the 2 AA Rosette Camellia restaurant opposite the that real taste of the earth meets the sea. reception area, lounge and bar. I was For main, I had the Venison loin – local greeted by my waiter, who told me he meat from Cowfold, just down the road was originally from near Cape Town in from the hotel - with baby parsnips, South Africa so, as such, he brought me creamed Savoy cabbage, pomegranate a glass of their finest South African red and chocolate oil. The pomegranate wine – which he promised would go well was a particularly good addition to the with my starter and main. dish – again, surprisingly – with the sweet I was then offered my breads for the crunch really bringing out evening – a poppy-seed the gaminess of the meat, white and a brown bread “The staff, which was tender and with red onion seeds and a extremely juicy. hint of marmite. Intriguing from my Pudding consisted as the hint of marmite arrival to my of a pear and walnut was, it definitely lived up frangipane with spices to its love-hate relationship departure, were and caramel ice cream. tagline. impeccably the dishes throughout To start, I went for the well presented, All the meal were wonderfully ‘hand dived’ Portland, courteous and presented and full of pan seared scallops with cabbage, apple and a approachable” flavour – I really couldn’t fault any of it. Price-wise, turnip and bacon jam. I believe the food was The scallops were cooked worth its cost and the whole experience impeccably and they melted in my mouth struck an ideal balance between with the sweet, almost buttery flavour of offering very high quality cuisine, with the apples and cabbage. The jam was relative affordability and a calm, unfussy especially good, complementing the fish surprisingly well and giving the whole dish atmosphere.

The Camellia was also where I had my breakfast, sitting in what had become my ‘usual’ seat, looking out over ‘my’ familiar view. I enjoyed a pot of tea, some toast and eggs royale with possibly the most rich and creamy hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted. Once again, everything on my plate looked pristine and appealing – and the taste reflected that. The staff, from my arrival to my departure, were impeccably well presented, courteous and approachable. I learned that guests and businesspeople alike come from far and wide to enjoy the hospitality and facilities that the hotel provides, and I can see why. Its placement, although it feels very rural, is actually ideally placed near to Crawley and not far from Brighton, allowing you the choice of a stroll in nature or a quick jaunt to town. This certainly is a 5-star establishment and I would recommend it to anyone – whether they wanted a romantic weekend away or a purely corporate afternoon of meetings. 51

The Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex

ACES represents 4,000 members across the County and you are automatically a member of ACES if you are a member of one of the Chambers listed overleaf. This entitles you to share your news stories in these SBT Business pages without charge

New Walking and Wine Tasting Tours in Sussex If you’re looking to do something new for the summer, combining outdoor activity with local food and drink, you will certainly want to know about the new tours from ‘Fizz on Foot’. This new ‘Walking and Wine’ tour company based in East Sussex offers some fantastic tours that take in the beauty of the South Downs, as well as introducing guests to the exciting world of English Sparkling Wine and our region’s fabulous vineyards. Most people will have heard about the top quality Champagne-style wines that England is now producing. If you haven’t, now is the time to get savvy, and what better way than to experience the wines for yourself and book one of the new guided tours with Fizz on Foot! Fizz on Foot puts together bespoke tours and packages for small and large groups, as well as corporate organisations looking to ‘celebrate’ an occasion, or a great way to reward your staff or clients. They are lots of fun as well. Fizz on Foot host a wide variety of guided walks or hikes, ranging from easy walks on flat terrain to more demanding and challenging hikes over hill and dale! Guides can adapt the walking tours to suit guest’s wants and fitness levels. The times of the walks are also adaptable, and depend on age, walking fitness and what else guests want to fit in during the day. Fizz on Foot can also organise picnic hampers with delicious local produce such as smoked salmon and cheese - all washed down of course with a bottle of fizz! If your tour takes you to one of several local vineyards, you will be treated to a tutored wine tasting of prize winning English wines, and then served a superb buffet lunch. Here are just some of the new Fizz on Foot Tours that guests can enjoy:


Lucy Ann Prideaux and Ian Shearer

Seven Sisters Hike with ‘Fizz on Foot’ Picnic Hamper - This day begins with a stunning cliff-top hike, starting and finishing at The Tiger Inn at East Dean. A smoked salmon or cheese and sparkling wine Picnic Hamper greets you at the end. Alfriston River and Cuckmere Haven Walk with Wine Tasting and Lunch – A lovely guided walk, followed by a trip to an award winning wine estate for a sparkling wine tasting and a lovely buffet lunch. Transport is then available for the return journey home. Tour of Alfriston with Wine Tasting and Lunch – A humorous tour of the pretty and historic village of Alfriston, with transport to a local award winning wine estate for a sparkling wine tasting and buffet or gourmet lunch. Transport is then available for the return journey. A hill-top walk from Alfriston to Charleston Farmhouse – This is a stunning hill-top walk with spectacular

views across the South Downs. At Charleston Farmhouse, guests enjoy a tour of the home of the famous ‘Bloomsbury Set, followed with coffee and a glass of fizz, together with a slice of homemade cake. Transport is then available back to Alfriston, Eastbourne or your train station. Mount Caburn Walk and Picnic lunch at Glynde – A stunning walk above Start-Up Workshop Glynde to Mount Caburn, extending across Downland to Lewes and back to the village for some English Sparkling Wine and Smoked Salmon or Cheese Hamper to enjoy. Transport is then available back to Alfriston, Eastbourne or your train station. If you want to find out more about Fizz on Foot or enquire about a bespoke tour for you and some friends or guests, then look at the website where you can also find some ready to book tours that will tempt you.

Chamber News

Think you can’t afford an HR Manager?... Think again!

A human resources specialist has hired an employment lawyer to help her expand her company, offering outsourced HR services to small businesses across East Sussex. Eastbourne-based Serena May has been running an independent licence of national company The HR Dept since January 2013. Recently starting her fourth year in business, and with 25 retained local clients on her books, she has now enlisted the services of legal adviser Lisa Martin. Serena is aiming to take Lisa on full time in a matter of months and has bought the licence to run the HR Dept in Brighton and Hove as well. “I’m going for it,” she said. “We’re aiming to become known as the best resource for outsourced HR services in East Sussex.

“We already cover Eastbourne, Lewes, Newhaven and the surrounding areas and we are taking on board Brighton and Hove too. “Lisa brings with her 10 years of private practise experience and is a great asset to the team. Her appointment will enable us to expand the business quickly and continue to provide quality support and advice. “I want to get Lisa up to full time work as soon as possible, then look at who else I need to recruit in six months or so. It might be admin support or more HR expertise but I’m certainly planning to take on more staff eventually.” For more information check eastbourne

£60,000 Win For KTP Start-Up A start-up company - Cyclr - launched as a result of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Brighton and has just won £60,000 from Creative England. Cyclr has developed a unique cloudbased marketing software system which automatically manages email

marketing campaigns. The Cyclr team have been working with academics from the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics to embed visual language programming and open cloud-based software architecture to enable the system to be more efficiently used by local companies.

What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)? KTP is a world-leading programme that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK’s rich academic resources. It’s a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university or college and a recently qualified graduate – known as an Associate. Each partnership lasts from twelve months to three years. The graduate carries out a strategic project in your business, with expert university academic guidance. Up to 67 per cent of the project costs are government-funded. If you apply to KTP and you’re successful, an Associate (supervised by the company and the university) will work in your company and help bring your plans to life. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership can involve refining or designing products, opening new markets, improving business, marketing or manufacturing systems and cutting costs and waste. To find out more about KTPs go to https: business-and-communitypartnerships Dr Aidan Delaney, the university lead for the two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership project said: “Cyclr builds on 20 years of research at the University of Brighton and shows how our work can be harnessed by local companies to grow market share and jobs.” This win is part of a larger fundraising push from Cyclr to drive forward the launch of their new unique software platform. The project team have already received strong local support but are keen to welcome further interest and investment.

To find out more about how you can get involved, see the website for a free trial and virtual tour. 53

Advert Nov_Layout 1 14/10/2014 12:38 Page 2

Chamber News

in East Sussex

Ellis Plans In Spotlight At Annual Event

TR Fastenings - Best Profits for 10 Years

Over 70 people on an increasing (AonTrifast descended the Company) share of larger Ellis headquarters in construction However, the DotCom crash in 2001 ounded in a small rented office at Eastbourne this the week projects devastated sales and profits inand just awe few top of Uckfield High Street in short months, and the Midlands factories 1973, Mike Timms and Mike Roberts for the annual Subaretwo encouraged had to be closed as the focus was intensified established their business after Contractor and Supplier by the support we into Asia. becoming disenchanted working for Open Day. are receiving from a large industrial group in A change of senior management in 2007 Birmingham The event was that restricted their creativity our supply chain and the 2008 recession resulted in the near and individualism. collapse of the Company, with 2008 revenues organised to give local partners. down to £84m with substantial losses, and in Theybusinesses focused on sourcing and selling and regional “Looking ahead March 2009 the two previous retired CEOs industrial fastenings to light assembly in the construction supply Diamond Jim Barker) were are seeing reallyand strong growth industries in the Southchain East at a time when ex we(Malcolm invited back by the shareholders to rescue long as three across as is stock deliveries the opportunity to hearcould howtake Ellis all areas of the business and the business. from the larger industry market developingweeks their workforce and explore are recruiting exceptional people leaders. Their core values were “look By 2010 profitability started to recover, as did opportunities for greater collaboration. to meet the demands of a rapidly professional, be professional, provide the share price. outstanding service, sell on value rather than Managing Surveyor at Ellis, Clive growing portfolio of sites in Sussex.” In 2011 a major automotive bolt the cheapest price, maintain dynamic cash Foster, said: “It was great to see so Ellis employswas 50acquired staff and their and manufacturer in Malaysia, management and motivate and take care many other businesses at the event. in Mayprojects 2014 a leading domestic appliance current include a new of your staff”. There are a lot of really exciting development of 10 apartments and developments taking place at Ellis, four terrace town houses on King and we are looking forward to forging Edward’s Parade in Eastbourne. stronger relationships with existing and new colleagues within the industry. For more information visit We are already working in the industry


Parker Building Supplies Awards Apprentices trainees and they Eight trainees at will be offered Parker Building further training in Supplies (PBS) have the future, so that been presented they can continue with certificates to develop.” for successfully Malcolm Diamond MBE and Jim Barker Meanwhile, completing their three otherinto PBS apprenticeship In 1978, manufacturing of specialist fasteners screw business in Italy was brought was started in Uckfield, with subsequent the Group. staff have been learning programmes. factories established in Northampton and awarded a Post The apprentices TR’s major customer sectors include Telford in the 80’s. Automotive, Domestic Graduate Appliances, Diploma spent 12 months In the late 80’s, IBM selected TR as their most Electronics and Distributors – all of which are in Independent learning the ropes eligible component supplier to be trained in enjoying organic growth. zero defect/on time deliveries to a new Merchant at the independent In June 2014, TR announced the best sales, facility that relied on “Just In Time” timber andassembly builders’ profits and share priceLeadership for a decade, now deliveries straight to their production line. with 1,150 staff spread and across 17 countries. Strategy. merchants, which compliance led to TR being a Successful Trifast Plc is based in Uckfield and along with singlepeople source supplier with IBM, which then Marketing employs 250 TR’s sales, distribution and manufacturing attracted other major telecoms at 24 branches across facilities employs over Manager, 150 staff on site. As the manufacturers to TR. The massive 1990’s surge largest local employer, the Company Pierce, Crowborough Branch the SouthinEast, including Eastbourne. sector carried it to a full LSE Jamie the electronics maintains close links with both the Uckfield listing a PLC in 1994 namedtheir Trifast. Manager, Lee Church and Purchase Seven of theastrainees received Chamber of Commerce a founder member 2000, sales turnover peakedprovider at £120m Ledger Jake Feek were all certificatesByfrom national training of the Assistant, Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex sales, and by 2001 three component (ACES) and the local Community College. presented with the accolades from the assessor, Alison Howe from Didac, and factories had been established in Singapore, The College is the main annual provider of ‘A’ Builders Merchants Federation the other certificate presented by Malaysia andwas Taiwan, with sales and Level candidates for TR’s 2 year NVQ(BMF) Business distributionManager, facilities in Southern Ireland, Studies Apprenticeship scheme. at Birmingham City University’s Winter PBS’ Operations Phil White, Norway, Sweden, USA, Holland, Hungary and Award Ceremony. for successfully completing the Freight Despite global uncertainty there is clearly China, plus eight around the UK. and a feelingwho amongst TR management Jamie, is also Chair of the Transport Association’s course on The Company had become global by staff that there are grounds for cautious BMF’s Young Merchants Group, said: transport and distribution. All trainees following its former UK based multinational optimism for the future continuing growth “I really the BMF, so ended to receive also received a bonustotolower recognise their key customers cost economies of theirrespect business as sales for year 2015 are forecast to reach overseas – mainly Asia and Central/ thisMarch diploma was fantastic for all three achievements. £150 million. Eastern Europe. of us. We were part of the first cohort Phil said: “I remember how I was on this new course and we are all encouraged to train and learn in my early going to continue our studies towards career and it was so important. We’re a merchant-specific Master’s degree.” delighted with the success of our eight


ACES Battle Chamber of Commerce Bexhill Chamber of Commerce 01424 842892 Crowborough Chamber of Commerce Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce 01323 641144 East Sussex County Council 01273 481570 Federation of Small Businesses 01424 754686 and Regional Office 01323 482018 Hailsham Chamber of Commerce 01323 310531

Hastings Chamber of Commerce 01424 205500 Heathfield Chamber of Commerce 01435 865858 The Institute of Directors 020 7766 8866 Lewes Chamber of Commerce 07917 382316 Locate East Sussex 0844 4159255 Newhaven Chamber of Commerce 0800 107 0709 Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce 01273 586222 Seaford Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 5331 South East Local Enterprise Partnership 01245 431469 Uckfield Chamber of Commerce 01825 722607 Wealden District Council 01323 443322

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Test Drive Volvo V60 Cross Country D4 Geartronic Lux Nav Regular readers of Sussex Business Times will be aware of Luxury how impressed we’ve been of late with the current offering from Volvo. Both the new XC90 and the excellent V40 D4 made it in to our ‘top 5’ from 2015. Praise indeed - and not undeserved. This is a brand that seems to have leapfrogged forward in terms of style and desirability in recent years. Trends which show no signs of slowing as we motor, (pardon the pun) into 2016. This month, I was treated to the delights of the V40’s bigger brother, the V60. My version is an all-white Cross

Country model, which gives a little more ground clearance than the rest of the range. A larger car than the V40, it doesn’t have the performance, speed, cornering or general agility of the V40, but it does make up for this in space. Don’t get me wrong, this car isn’t slow; the automatic gearbox has been touched by the hand of God and it pulses through the transmission without so much as a dip in performance. It’s good inside too, with leather trim and seats, smooth gadgets and plenty of style throughout, it’s a good place to be. With Volvo having broadened its range so vastly in recent years, I’m struggling to find the real point of this model. My question is, that with other

“The automatic gearing has been touched by the hand of God and it pulses through the transmission without so much as a dip in performance”

bona fide SUV type cars in the Volvo range, why do we need this version of the V60? Surely, with the improved viewing capacity coming from the raised seating position in a ‘regular’ SUV, say, the XC60 or 90, you gain more than just extra ground clearance. Who is this car for? It could be that there’s a certain clientele out there, who want to feel like they’ve bought into the SUV market, without (actually) buying an SUV, or are there more people worrying about


the ever-increasing amount of potholes appearing on our roads in the UK? Whoever they are and whatever their reasons, it’s still a great car and with it being the big brother of the V40, you know you’re getting a great motor, but with added room. As with every Volvo on the road, their endeavour to make all drivers as safe as possible is apparent. Aside from the reassuring weight of the car’s elements, it’s packed with all manner of features to keep you on the straight and narrow. 57

With auto-lane assist, distance gauges, parking remote and screens everywhere, you really do feel like you have a great big Scandinavian hand, helping you along, stopping you from being such a crap driver and possibly saving you if you are. It strikes me that the lane-assist mode has been almost without question,


designed for the illegal mobile phone user/driver. Nudging you back into your lane if you ‘accidentally’ drift over the line, it’s a feeling of quite unusual force that, actually, I found more of a danger when I grabbed the wheel and tried to correct the action. The rest though, is a blessing. Price-wise, the model that I had came

in at a not insignificant £42,120 including all of the additional frills that you tend to see with a review car, but that is a huge 36 per cent more expensive than the £30,195 list price of the entry-level model. To be honest, the frills make quite a difference in both comfort and performance, so as ever with cars in my opinion, if you can, you should. All in all, and aside from my model-forthe-sake-of-it confusion, this is another great strike from Volvo. I will be getting into the XC60 in a few weeks time and I’m keen to draw some comparisons between these two, (beyond the ground clearance). In short, this is a V60 that’s as good for the school run as it is for the country lanes. A spacious beast, with performance to outrun many a sporty hatch-back and just as likely to make it through our newly and affectionately named UK storms. It’s a winner.

Fuel Consumption: 49.6 mpg 0-62 mph: 8.9 seconds

Price: (as tested, including options/extras) £42,120.00

SBTMotoring News Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing Join Forces to Create Next Generation ‘Hypercar’ British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin and Formula One team Red Bull Racing have announced a partnership which sees Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Newey and Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman collaborate to produce a ground-breaking Aston Martin hypercar. Codenamed Project ‘AM-RB 001’, the new hypercar will combine the talents of Newey, widely noted as the most successful Formula One designer of all time, and Reichman, Aston Martin’s design chief since 2005. This new innovation partnership unites the world’s best aerodynamicists, composite experts and manufacturing masters. All the parties offer different elite capabilities and the combination of all of those skills, ensuring that Project ‘AM-RB 001’ promises to be an exciting

prospect for customers and enthusiasts around the world. Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer told SBT: “Formula One offers the ultimate global stage to build wider awareness of the Aston Martin brand. However, this partnership will deliver even more than that when the hypercar that Aston Martin and Adrian Newey are in the process of developing hits the road. “Between Q by Aston Martin

Budget 2016 for Business Motorists The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget statement on the 15th March. Jon Lawes, Managing Director of Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions commented: “Hitachi Capital is pleased to learn that fuel duty will be frozen for the next 12 months, for a sixth consecutive year. This is excellent news for individuals and businesses alike, especially when the Chancellor opened and closed his Budget speech with a statement on how we should ‘act now and not pay later’. We are also pleased to learn that company car taxation will not be radically changing in the next four years, allowing businesses and individuals to appropriately plan ahead. Whilst there was speculation of taxation being based on NOx emissions, remaining with the widely accepted CO2 based banding is a welcome relief. In contrast to this reassuring news, it was disappointing to learn of

a further increase to Insurance Premium Tax. A hike last year of 3.5%, which only came into force in November 2015, was increased by a further 0.5%. Although this is lower than was expected by some predictions, and the funds raised from the 0.5% increase will go to improving flood defences, many individuals and businesses are yet to see the increase in their premiums. “We are, however, pleased to hear of the support George Osborne is bringing to smaller businesses and infrastructure.” He added: “Similarly, it was reassuring to hear George Osborne’s support of micro and small businesses. Self – employed individuals will benefit from the abolition of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions and businesses will welcome reductions and cuts to business rates and Capital Gains Tax.

Advanced, Red Bull Advanced Technologies and project partner AF Racing AG, we are going to create a car that will excite and stir the imaginations of the car designers of the future and a global audience of sports car enthusiasts. “These are exciting times for Aston Martin and arriving hot on the heels of our DB11 launch earlier this month, this new partnership underlines that our brand really is racing again.” The modern Aston Martin Racing team, formed in 2005 has taken three class wins at Le Mans and will return to Circuit de la Sarthe again this June. To celebrate the partnership between Aston Martin, Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, the RB12s will carry the iconic Aston Martin wings logo throughout the 2016 season, making their debut at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.

UK’s Most Expensive Car Parking Spaces Revealed With UK house prices continuing to rise,, the UK’s leading online car parking market place, has revealed some of the UK’s most expensive car parking spaces for sale in cities across the UK. Topping the list, unsurprisingly, is London, where a space has recently been put on the market for £350,000. Offering significantly better value for money, north of the border in Scotland, a double garage is for sale in the New Town conservation area of Edinburgh for offers over £85,000. The highest cost parking space rental in Edinburgh listed on YourParkingSpace is much more affordable at just £195 per month. It’s not just UK parking spaces that are being sold for sky high prices. A parking space in central Manhattan was recently sold for $1million and a space in Hong Kong was listed a few years ago for $640,000. To find out more visit . 59

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SBT Ask the Experts is sponsored by




Mike Chapman, Senior Manager, Knill James Chartered Accountants goods that perform a function in their business, the opportunity to claim allowances when acquiring second hand property is often overlooked.

How are businesses missing out when buying commercial property? The acquisition of a commercial property gives the buyer a chance to unlock value through the working of the capital allowances regime. Many businesses are not taking advantage. Whereas taxpaying individuals and companies understand that ‘plant and machinery’ allowances are available on the purchase of capital


So, what is the deal? Every commercial property has qualifying plant and machinery embedded in it, including electrical systems, plumbing and air-conditioning systems, which can be subject to a claim in almost exactly the same way as loose plant and equipment such as computer systems. Can you provide an example of how it works? A company buyer acquires a highspecification office from a pension scheme for £1.2m. The approved HMRC formula places a value of £400k on the embedded plant & machinery even though the original cost of these 62

Is there a deadline on these claims? Changes to the capital allowances rules in 2014 have already narrowed the circumstances in which results such as that in the example can be achieved. It is now more important than ever that buyers enter into a capital allowances due diligence process before the property purchase is completed. Taxpayers who only address these issues when completing their annual tax return will almost certainly have missed the boat.

Jonathan Gilbert, Partner at Gilbert & Cleveland Estate Agents What does this mean for landlords? As a result landlords now have a duty of care to carry out and provide evidence of checks as to whether potential tenants have the right to rent property. Those that do not follow the new restrictions or cannot provide evidence of adhering to the rules can face fines of up to £3000.

What is Right to Rent? The government’s new right-to-rent scheme came into effect on 1st February 2016 as part of the Immigration Bill that passed in 2015. The aim of the new legislation is to ensure that only people with permission or a right to be in the UK have a right to rent property.

was only £330k and, if they were stripped out and sold, would be worth just £150k. At current rates of corporation tax the £400k of allowances that can be claimed will be worth £80,000 in tax savings, or nearly 7% of the cost of the property to the acquire.

What do landlords have to do? In order to comply with the new legislation, landlords or agents must obtain the original documents that allow the potential tenant to live in the UK, take reasonable steps to verify the documents are genuine and keep a dated copy in their records. These checks apply to any tenant aged 18 or over, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement. To ensure that

the new laws are carried out fairly, all tenants must be checked, it is against the law to purely check individuals who you believe are not British citizens. The increasingly complex changes in property legislation coupled with the hefty fines has seen more and more landlords opting for a letting agent to take care of their letting needs. Gilbert & Cleveland has a dedicated lettings team based in Chichester who are well informed on Lettings legislation and can offer guidance to help landlords understand their obligations. For more information or advice visit: or email:

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Kieran May, Xero Expert at Blue Sky Books from a computer, tablet or mobile phone app. It provides flexibility to create an invoice on the move, email this straight from the cloud to a customer and have the ability to have this paid online instantly as well.

What are the benefits of online bookkeeping? 1. You can access your data on any device anywhere With cloud bookkeeping software, users can access their data from any device with an Internet connection. There is no longer the need for business owners to be sat at one particular desk to update their records as they can log in securely


Landlord & Property Law Update There have been major changes in the law relating to Section 21 Notices and deposits within the last year. Here is a round-up of the key points for Landlords, Tenants & Agents. Provisions of the Deregulation Act, which can into force on 26 March 2015 mean: Where a Tenancy became a Periodic

2. Simple Bank Reconciliations Bank reconciliations no longer need to be a long drawn out process as online bookkeeping software can create a secure link to online banking to create what is known as a bank feed. The software even has the ability to code certain business transactions so reconciling takes no time at all. 3. Communication with your bookkeeper Having bookkeeping records in the cloud means a bookkeeper can review data at any time during the year and

can help spot any problems or issues as they arise. Both business owner and bookkeeper can be logged in at the same time, which ensures that any issues can be solved efficiently. 4. Online security A huge concern for business owners is online security, which puts many off converting to the cloud. However the benefit of choosing a certified bookkeeper that uses well-established software is that multiple firewall layers and network security protect their accounts. In addition, all accounting data is stored in the cloud so is kept safe and secure should any hardware be stolen. For more information or advice visit or email

Samantha Dawkins, Partner, Edward Harte LLP Tenancy Agreement on or after 6 April 2007, any deposit taken before that date now needs to be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. If the same occurred prior to 6 April 2007, any deposit taken in respect of that agreement now has to be protected. In the event that a Tenancy Agreement is either renewed or becomes a Periodic Tenancy then providing the parties, property and where the deposit was protected remains the same. Further provisions come into effect 1 October 2015. There is also now a Prescribed Form of Notice, which must be used for Tenancies commencing from 1 October 2015 and may be used for a Tenancy which pre-dates October. You will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice during the first four months of the Tenancy in relation to any tenancies which begin on or after 1 October 2015. If a replacement Tenancy is issued then

the four month period starts from the day on which the original tenancy began. The Section 21 Notice will effectively expire six months from the date it was served. In the case of Statutory Periodic Tenancies, proceedings must be brought within four months from the expiry of Notice date. The Landlord will have 14 days to respond to a written complaint from the Tenant about the condition of the property. If the Landlord fails to reply or replies by serving a Section 21 Notice or provides an inadequate response, the Tenant has the option of complaining to the Local Authority which must inspect the property. If they then serve an Improvement Notice or carry out any emergency remedial action, the Landlord will not be allowed to rely on any previous Section 21 Notice which has been served, and no further notice can then be served for six months.

0808 901 9042 63

Networking in Sussex



A presentation from Chestnut Tree House Linda Perry

Chestnut Tree House Networking at The Grand, March 2016 Over 60 people attended the first Brighton business networking breakfast hosted by Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice on Tuesday 8 March. Attendees from a large range of local businesses met to learn about the work of the hospice in the community. The charity’s Patron, Ambrose Harcourt, acted as MC for the event and guests included representatives from British Airways i360, Barclays Bank and The Coal Shed. The event was supported by The Grand Brighton, who provided a delicious full cooked breakfast. Guests were welcomed by the hospice’s new Chairman, Derwyn Jones, and heard from Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House, who gave a moving account of the care provided by the hospice to local children and families. Hugh Lowson, Chief Executive of Chestnut Tree House, said: “It was great to see so many Brighton businesses come along this morning to find out more about the care Chestnut Tree House provides, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes and we plan to reach more children and families in the Brighton & Hove area.”

Photography by Graham Franks ©

Welcoming and signing in guests Lucy Groenewoud and Alison Taylor

Chairman of Chestnut Tree House, Derwyn Jones Chairman of trustees


Sarah Laycock from Barclays, Pippa Atkinson and Sophie Shepherd from BA i360 and Juliette Macpherson and Alison Taylor from Chestnut Tree House

From E3 Group David Hill

Principal of Brighton Capital Management David Pegler and Chestnut Tree House Elizabeth Ganney

Lisa Peters of Bibby Financial Services

Alan Maher of Chestnut Tree House with Rob Lelliott and Sarah Laycock from Barclays















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Made In Sussex

Made In Sussex: MyTeamSafe

MyTeamSafe app enables you to easily check your team are safe: “When you’re on your own, you’re not alone”

MyTeamSafe offers a light touch, easy and cost Brand effective solution for Focus businesses wanting to look after their lone workers and prove their duty of care. It is based around a simple to use app, with text and email notifications, plus a central web dashboard. Owned and founded by Rob Little of HILLINGAR Ltd and based in Newhaven, East Sussex, MyTeamSafe is specifically designed to fill a gap in Lone worker systems, building awareness of the potential risks of lone working as well as helping businesses cover their duty of care. It is quick and easy to set up and use, ensuring both the Lone worker and business are in control. We deliberately made sure that MyTeamSafe is available to all, with clear subscriptions. This service is just as affordable for smaller ‘solo’ businesses, such as plumbers or freelancers, to larger businesses such as an office, warehouse or factory and even reps on the road and care workers. What was your background before starting MyTeamSafe and why start up your own business? I have over 30 years’ experience working in supply chain for large blue chip manufacturers and then wanted to bring the same level of benefits and opportunity to SMEs in Sussex, Kent and Surrey. I set up HILLINGAR Ltd to focus on supporting businesses to achieve their best end-to-end supply chain. We uniquely offer both on the ground support for people processes and systems combined with Data analysis, KPI’s and Forecasting. This


According to national statistics, more than six million people in the UK work either in isolation or without direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that put them at potential risk. Lone working is on the increase and we need to ensure that everyone feels safe. Is it important to keep the business local? HILLINGAR’s main client base is in the South East and MyTeamSafe was inspired to specifically keep local workers safer. Although this solution works everywhere in the UK (and internationally) we are a South East company, so offer a special discount for local businesses.

enables businesses to achieve their most effective physical operations, with the most efficient use of stock and cash. Where did the idea for MyTeamSafe and its ethos come from? At HILLINGAR I sometimes find myself leaving a client’s facility with one person left behind to lock up the warehouse or someone is working late. I don’t like the idea of people working alone so often offer to stay behind until they leave. So I decided to create the MyTeamSafe app so that lone workers could feel safer, as if something goes wrong someone will automatically be informed. By using MyTeamSafe, companies are also showing their duty of care to their lone workers. Is this business growing in East Sussex?

What sets you apart from other, similar businesses? There are alternative, costlier solutions, linking to 24 hour call centres and the police. But MyTeamSafe has been specifically designed, to keep the company in control, with a lighter touch solution, that is quick to set up and simple to operate. Even though MyTeamSafe has simple affordable subscriptions it still offers a market leading comprehensive, flexible and robust solution.

With MyTeamSafe it’s not difficult or costly to keep your staff safe and your business. Contact MyTeamSafe Website: Email: Tel: 01273 782182.














& INNOVATION’ SDC ARE CELEBRATING ‘CREATIVITY economy. Creative Industries bring in nearly £85b to our As the fastest growing sector in the UK, the de ributing to significant growth in this sector inclu Sussex Downs College Alumni who are cont gn Desi e Hous ra Ope l Roya er, gwrit ing singer/son a double Grammy and Ivor Novello award winn cate fi Certi re’s itectu Arch of ty with the Royal Socie Challenge winners, two Architects presented filmmakers, to name but a few. and s isher publ , of Excellence, fashion designers various creative departments at the College, With consistently high success rates from the College’s phenomenal creative output. what better time to celebrate Sussex Downs ing ’, will also reveal SDC Alumni living and work A special spotlight on ‘SDC Alumni in New York ss the Atlantic. in New York City with clients and projects acro ber the interesting and exciting careers of a num Join us from the 25th – 29th April to discover can take you! of our incredible students, and see where SDC

HIGHLIGHTS WILL INCLUDE: SDC Alumni Creates: Artwork, designs and visual references from alumni will be on display all week at both campuses. SDC Alumni Works: An opportunity to meet alumni with their own creative businesses, working in businesses locally or exploring other interesting routes to employment. Lewes: Tuesday 26 April 12.30pm – 2.00pm Eastbourne: Thursday 28 April 12.30pm – 2.00pm SDC Alumni Talks: An afternoon session of Q&A’s with Creative Alumni working in various areas of the Creative Industries. Current students, prospective students, parents and staff are all welcome. Lewes: Tuesday 26 April 2.15pm – 3.15pm Eastbourne: Thursday 28 April 2.15pm – 3.15pm SDC Alumni Performs: Details of surprise performances to be confirmed. Check website for details.

SDC Sign up: To join the SDC Alumni Association and take advantage of special Alumni offers and advantages, please go to the Sussex Downs College website. SDC Alumni News: Look out for SDC Alumni News and features in your local press during Alumni Week For more information or details about Sussex Downs College Alumni Week please contact: Nigel Allyson-Ryan, FRSA, Marketing, Schools Liaison & Alumni Coordinator, Tel: 030 300 39076 or 07787 534749, Email: Linkedin:

w w w . s u s s e x d o w n s . a c . u k / a l u m n i



Profile for Life Media Group

Sussex Business Times - Issue 399 2016  

SBT Magazine - 399 2016

Sussex Business Times - Issue 399 2016  

SBT Magazine - 399 2016


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