Ambition Issue 54 (September/October)

Page 1

PUBLICATIONBEST-2017AWARDSPRIDECIPR MAGAZINE OF NORTHERN IRELAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 ISSUE 54 £2.95 AFUTUREGREENER NIE Networks’ Director of Customer & Marketing Services, Ronan McKeown, on delivering a future network for all. 2022SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER INDUSTRYANDCOMMERCEOFCHAMBERIRELANDNORTHERNOFMAGAZINE 30/08/2022 13:34

At Dublin Airport, the growth and development of your business is important to us. That’s why we are constantly evolving our own, to help you go beyond. With a new runway open as well as world-class connectivity and all-day U.S. Preclearance, Dublin Airport is ready to connect you to the world.

COVER SPREADS Issue 54.indd 2

Fly direct from Dublin Airport to over 180 destinations.

Dublin ConnectingAirport.Irelandtotheworld.

MAKE US YOUR FIRST CHOICE FOR RECRUITMENT With 8 branches province wide, we provide a full range of recruitment solutions for both permanent, temporary and contract staff across the Professional, Commercial, Industrial and Healthcare sectors. info@first-choice-rec.com www.first-choice-rec.com CMYCYMYCMYMCK FC-GFX-AMBITION.v4.pdf 1 08/03/2021 11:52

4 TH 5 TH NOVEMBER 2022 AND FESTIVAL OF RACING PAGE02-03.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:22

DAY 1 THE WKD HURDLE DAY 2 LADBROKES GR ADE 1 CHAMPION CHASE LADIES DAY HOSPITALITY PACKAGES FROM PP£70 BOOK VIA DOWNROYAL.COM (028) 90 80 90 80 PAGE02-03.indd 3 25/08/2022 15:22

NI COMMUNICATIONSCHAMBERPARTNERSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 ISSUE 54 NI CHAMBER PATRONS 74 Platinum Jubilee Rug Unveiled at Ulster Carpets Contents Managing Editor: Christopher Morrow Interviews: Emma Deighan Publisher: Chris Sherry Advertising Managers: Lorraine Gill & Gerry Waddell Editorial Assistant: Joanne Harkness Email addresses: Christopher.Morrow@northernirelandchamber. com/ lorraine.gill@ulsterjournals.com / gerry.waddell@ulstertatler.com Websites: www.northernirelandchamber.com / www. ulstertatler.com Publisher: Ulster Tatler Group, 39 Boucher Road, Belfast, BT12 6UT Tel: 028 9066 3311 Printed by: W&G Baird, Antrim. Front Cover by: Paul Jervis. 4 PAGE4-5.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:26

NEWS: 08 Clanmill Housing Group Appoints New Chair 76 BT Renews NI Chamber Partnership 80 PAC Group to Invest £2M COLUMNISTS: 10 Kate Marshall 14 Geraldine Browne 18 Dr Laura McCauleyBradley24 Jane Shaw 40 Peter Russell 48 Joe Robinson 64 Bill Roy 69 Ciaran Lavery 70 Alan McKeown 77 Kenton Himan 88 Mark Owens 90 Aoife McDowell 96 John Campbell NI CHAMBER: 41 Chamber Chief’s Update 42 NI Chamber News 43 International Trade Training Courses 44 NI Chamber News 45 Learn, Grow, Excel Training Academy 46 NI Chamber & NIE Regional Networking Series FEATURES: 12 My Ambition is to... 16 Stairway to Seven 26 Expand and Deliver 30 Paving the Way to a Digital Revolution 34 A Different Approach 50 The Trusted Tax Advisor At a Glance 54 The Pursuit of Net Zero 60 Taking Off 66 Setting the Benchmark for Sustainable Growth 72 Powering Communities for Generations 74 Platinum Jubilee Rug Unveiled at Ulster Carpets APPOINTMENTS: 78 Hinch Distillery Appoints New Events Co-ordinator LIFESTYLE: 82 Business Class MotoringJames Stinson 92 Dine & Wine - Gavin Murphy 94 Fashion - Joanne Harkness6650726034 20 Cover Story PUBLICATIONBEST2017AWARDSPRIDECIPR MAGAZINE OF NORTHERN IRELAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 AFUTUREGREENER NIE Networks’ Director of Customer & Marketing Services, Ronan McKeown, on delivering a future network for all. 2022SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER INDUSTRYANDCOMMERCEOFCHAMBERIRELANDNORTHERNOFMAGAZINE 5 PAGE4-5.indd 3 29/08/2022 09:05

Female leaders are at the helm of influential organisations including NI Chamber, as well as others like IOD and CBI and for the first time, Northern Ireland’s Civil Service is also headed up by a female leader: Jayne Brady. However, a look at who is occupying C-suite positions in big companies illustrates a distinct lack of female leaders. Of our Top 100 companies, only five are led by women. Notably, four of the five are in the Top Sustainable,20. inclusive business growth demands that we do better for women at work. Our economic prosperity relies on addressing the root causes of the problem, because a key part of tackling our productivity challenges and addressing the labour and skills shortages which are hampering firms across the province lies in increasing the number of women in the ‘Levelling-up’workplace.forwomen in the workplace is one very important strand of a bigger equality agenda. Research from McKinsey & Company reveals that the most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform non-diverse companies on profitability.

‘Levelling-Up’ For Women In The Workplace

One of the most significant barriers to achieving that is Northern Ireland’s systemic childcare problem, which we know places a disproportionate burden on women. A 2021 report by Employers for Childcare found that for 44% of parents, difficulties in accessing or affording the childcare they need have impacted on their ability to work. This rises to 58% of mothers, compared to 27% of fathers. PwC’s 2022 Women in Work report referred to this as a ‘motherhood penalty’, where women raising children are disproportionally penalised in underemployment, slower career progression and lower lifetime earnings.

President’s PerspectiveEDITORIAL

Gillian NorthernPresident,McAuley,Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry

6 PAGE6.indd 2 26/08/2022 09:36

In

a recent interview I was asked about the significance of holding the position of NI Chamber President as a female in business. While I have never focused on progressing my career in gender terms, the importance of being a woman in this role is not lost on me. So, while I certainly don’t set out to position myself as a role model, I do feel a responsibility to use the platform to positively progress the role of women in the workplace.

Yet despite commitments in New Decade New Approach, Northern Ireland remains the only administration in the UK not to have a funded childcare strategy in place. This is something a restored Executive should deliver on at pace, to support families through the cost-of-living crisis, unlock barriers to the workplace for working parents, and meaningfully tackle the ‘motherhood penalty’ once and for all.

or wallLive Lo n alesOnline tolLive we create trusted connections with communities across Northern Ireland.

PAGE8.indd 2 26/08/2022 14:36

Flybe has announced an expanded winter schedule from Belfast City Airport that will see the airline fly to 12 destinations. New winter flights will commence on 30 October and include additional routes and frequencies from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport and Belfast City Airport to East Midlands.

Flybe Expands

Rushmere on the Market for £57 Million

Rushmere Shopping Centre and Retail Park in Craigavon has been brought to the market in a joint sale by Savills and CBRE NI in what will potentially be the largest commercial real estate investment sale in Northern Ireland in 2022. The shopping centre and retail park boasts a purpose-built, enclosed mall shopping centre with an adjacent open consented retail park and is priced at £57m.

Appoints New Chair

Belfast City ScheduleWinter

Cleaver Fulton Rankin has appointed four new trainee solicitors, investing in the future growth of its leading commercial team.

Clanmil Housing Group has announced the appointment of Maeve Monaghan as its chair. She is set to lead the Clanmil Board as the organisation delivers an ambitious five-year strategy focusing on building and maintaining high quality homes, providing a great customer experience for the people who live in those homes, and helping to build strong and sustainable communities.

The NOW Group’s Maeve Monaghan.

Jackson Whistle, Belfast Giants Netminder; Adam Keefe, Belfast Giants Head Coach; Ronan Hamill, Chief Executive Officer of the Jans Group and Mark Garside, Belfast Giants Defenceman.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin Appoints Four Trainee ClanmillSolicitorsHousingGroup

The firm’s Trainee Solicitor Programme offers trainees a unique opportunity to learn and develop their skills across a wide range of legal practice areas in a full service law firm. Each trainee will complete a two-year training programme, working alongside our skilled lawyers on a variety of cases and matters to provide support and accelerate their learning.

The Jans Group has announced a partnership with the Stena Line Belfast Giants for the 2022/2023 season. The Antrim-based company is sponsoring two of the Stena Line Belfast Giants players this incoming season,

Garside.DefencemanJacksonNetminderWhistleandMark

Titanic Belfast has become the first organisation on the island of Ireland to receive Silver Awards for the Green Tourism and Green Meetings accreditations. Green Tourism promotes greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate and the awards certification programme recognises the commitment of tourism businesses which are actively working to become more sustainable. The Green Meetings accreditation has recently been introduced as a new standard specific to meetings and events venues.

The latest trainees to join the firm include Anna Friel and Adele Patterson, both graduates of Queen’s University Belfast; Cara Smart, a graduate of Ulster University; and Edward Bergin, a Trinity College Dublin graduate in Law.

Anna Friel, Adele Patterson, Aaron Moore, Edward Bergin and Cara Smart. .

Maeve has worked in Northern Ireland’s community sector for more than 21 years and is currently chief executive of the NOW Group, a social enterprise that helps people with disabilities and learning difficulties into employment.

Jans Group Manufactures Partnership With Belfast Giants

NEWS 8

Titanic Belfast Wins SustainabilityAwards

Located in Caulside Drive, the Jans Group operates a number of companies – ETRUX, a commercial vehicle conversion, rental and leasing company; Jans Offsite Solutions, a manufacturer of luxury glamping pods, holiday lodges and houseboats and Jans Lifestyle, a company focused on campervan rental, sale and leisure activities including camping and paddleboarding.

loamazingtalamazingSameent,newok. www.honeycomb.jobs

I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes: “Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela

04 Learn from experience –capture your successes, take time to think.

Resilience can come in different forms. Physical resilience: there is huge evidence of correlation between our physical state and ability to deal with stress and challenge. Think about what works for you and make

ones and friends that can provide you with needed support, guidance and acceptance in good and bad times.

Finding the Courage and Energy to Continue When Things are Tough

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” J.K. Rowling

03

Be proactive, focus on the 20% that will give you a sense of getting “the right things” done.

05

01

Emotional resilience: this is the ability to manage our emotions – become aware of how you are feeling, go inward and acknowledge feelings of frustration, fear, anger and the impact that has on your physical and mental wellbeing. These are all perfectly normal feelings when we are under pressure, and unless we deal with them, they will show up in some way that may not be helpful. Recognising the emotions and accepting they are there is a great first step. Think about how you can use these emotions in a more positive way.

Without doubt, resilient leaders have the ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with disruptive changes and they adapt. They get focused, make decisions quickly and they use colleagues and friends as sounding boards. They bounce forward, not back from setbacks.

Surround yourself with the right people and stay connected.

Social resilience: one of the most important things to do when under pressure is to spend time with people you trust and admire. Who are your go-to people? The people that you know will give you energy, not drain you of it. Leadership is a lonely place and when things get tough, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of feeling connected. Prioritise building strong, positive relationships with peers, loved

My takeaways for you to build resilience:

PAGE10.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:21

This is particularly relevant in Northern Ireland. We have a lot of entrepreneurs with SMEs making up 95% of our economy and I believe what makes an entrepreneur is RESILIENCE. They are driven to keep going, despite the fear and uncertainty. They find new opportunities and accept and embrace the challenges using disappointments and the associated anger as fuel to keep going and to deliver.

As we continue to face the global challenges of rising costs and food and labour shortages, businesses are feeling the strain with many leaders having to reassess their business plans and work on controlling the controllables, which in some cases means cutting costs, reducing budgets and slowing growth plans to now focus on survival.

Winston Churchill once stated: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

As humans we have a built-in survival radar. The body gives us all kinds of warnings that we need to rest and refocus. We get signals from our body signposting us to what we may need to do to recharge and ensure we have the energy (and health) to continue. However, we have become very adept at ignoring those signals.

Mental resilience: is sometimes referred to as “mental fortitude”. Take time out each day to think! Set aside at least 10 minutes each day to clear your head. It sounds so obvious but it’s a habit that will deliver fruit. I’m a huge believer in writing things down – I hesitate to call it journalling as many have an allergic reaction to the term! Capture somewhere your successes (no matter how small), create a plan for each day and work with the 80/20 rule – 20% of what you do will give you 80% of your results. Work out what your 20% is – what are the most important things you can/ must get done today? There is no doubt when we feel more mentally in control, we make better decisions and this has a great impact on our emotional resilience.

a commitment to the habit of physical exercise. Do what you enjoy rather than something that feels like a task you have to motivate yourself to do.

10

Columnist

We can only change and manage that of which we are aware. Leaders need to have a strong understanding of themselves to successfully guide others through times of change and uncertainty. By paying attention to the signals your internal system sends you about your physical, mental and emotional energies, you can build resilience and lead well.

Listen to your body and take action accordingly. Take care of yourself.

02 Choose your attitude every day, remain hopeful. “This too will pass”.

Kate Marshall Coach Speaker, Author, Facilitator

PAGE7.indd 1 09/03/2022 09:30

In early 2022, a slow-motion Dromona advert for melted cheese (another of my passions) stopped me in my tracks – I had to find out who made it. That’s when I discovered Ardmore, a leading advertising and marketing agency. Their credentials spoke for themselves – the only Northern Ireland-based agency in Campaign’s Top 30 list of best regional UK agencies, listed in The Drum’s Top 100 independent agencies, and a shareholder in Worldwide Partners, a global network

My background in music and media has given me an appreciation for the skills of others, along with an understanding of how collaboration creates something spectacular – be it a musical ensemble, a radio or TV crew, or Ardmore’s team of client services and creatives.

It was serendipity. My two passions lined up perfectly, giving me my first taste of a career in media. While working in radio and TV, I joined JOE. ie, a Dublin-based digital publisher with an international audience. I worked with incredible brands and reported on iconic events, including Euro 2016, winning awards for our groundbreaking social coverage. After starting as Staff Writer, I finished my time there as Lead Creative and, following nine successful years and a global pandemic, I was looking for something new.

I’d love to write something like the next ‘Derry Girls.’ Is ‘Derry Boys’ taken yet? My ambition is to create something memorable and special that resonates with people. Whether it’s a one-on-one chat or something millions have the chance to see; if people react positively then I’m proud of my work.

Thankfully nobody did much digging into my CV when it said I was a “chef in an American restaurant”, or they’d have found this was a slight exaggeration of my teenage years working in McDonald’s.

specialist Built For Growth Digital to better capitalise on the fast-growing demand for eCommerce activity.

I guess it shows I’ve always been creative.Growing up I loved films and music, joining my first choir aged four and performing with Ulster Youth Orchestra throughout secondary school. While studying English and Music at University College Dublin, I gigged at weddings, recording sessions and The Late Late Show, accompanying stars like Andrea Bocelli and Sinéad O’Connor. Similarly, cinema had a huge influence in my life and an afternoon callout on Today FM for a Film Reviewer grabbed my attention as I was on my way to teach piano.

12 FEATURE ‘ PAGE12.indd 2 26/08/2022 12:20

Eoghan CreativeDoherty,Director, Ardmore

ISAMBITIONMYTO...

That’s what excites me about the agency. We hire people from all walks of life and backgrounds to bring different perspectives and thinking to our work. This year has seen the agency grow exponentially, and we recently acquired award-winning digital marketing

In my first week here I started with a Stena Line campaign, chatting to my ferry-obsessed aunt and uncle as a mini-focus group over a cup of tea in the kitchen. That’s the thing I love about ideas – they can come from anywhere or anyone and the privilege of my job is being able to take brands and find exciting new ways to tell their story. I believe that no matter what it is – picking which pair socks to wear or simply choosing your next film to watch – the right one will always jump out at you.

of 70 independent agencies in over 40 countries.Havingdone many celebrity interviews over the years – Robert de Niro was a particular favourite – it’s easy to tell who you click with. I’ve loved finding kindred spirits at Ardmore who adore reading, writing and creative ideas as much as I do - whether it’s a simple social post or a beautiful campaign that lasts long in the memory.

descartes.com/uk/cds | info@ descartes.com Are you CDS ready? Are you prepared for the upcoming changes in submitting customs declarations via CDS due to the Union Customs Code legislation introduced by the EU? We are ready to guide your company through those changes and our software solutions are CDS ready. Get in contact with our local customs experts to discuss how these changes effects your business. CUSTOMS CHANGES ARE HAPPENING IN ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES IN 2022

HMRC has set up a task force to recoup amounts claimed in error. They expect to recoup £2.3 billion and they expect employers to review their claims and return any amounts claimed in error. They will typically send a letter to the employer setting a deadline for response and asking for further information on the claims. The reviews can ask for details on every employee for whom furlough was claimed together with the calculations and payslips. This is just one example of what is involved in payroll calculations.

understanding of the rules and checks in place to ensure that they are being adhered to.

Geraldine Browne Director at BDO Northern Ireland

14

COMPLEXITY OF PAYROLL

Payroll: Much More Than Processors

The strapline during the pandemic of “Keep Britain Paid” from the then Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has shown how important the payroll function is to all businesses. It was no accident that payrollers were deemed essential workers during the pandemic. Payroll teams throughout the UK had to manage their way through complicated furlough calculations as businesses struggled to keep people paid. Payroll is now rightly recognised as a businesscritical Celebratingfunction.the payroll team’s contribution to the business should be on the agenda for all employers this month as we celebrate national payroll week. It takes place between 5 and 9 September 2022. It was first established in the UK by CIPP in 1998 to celebrate the payroll profession and to give it the recognition it deserves. As the NI lead of payroll at BDO NI, I have been reflecting on how we celebrate as a team (more on that later!), how much payroll has changed over the years and what we can expect to see in the future.

The above are just some examples of what is involved in paying employees. There are additional complexities, salary sacrifice arrangements, holiday pay calculations, health and social care levy and IR35 which demonstrate the added complexity.

NO SIZE FITS ALL

HMRC also enforces the NMW (national minimum wage) and the Government is “committed to cracking down on employers who break the law”. Many employers fall foul of the rules due to unintentional technical errors and the payroll team needs to have an

pay employees. In addition, the payroll function has become much more than payroll processing, and outsourcing allows the business to focus on the many strategic payroll tasks. We are also seeing requests for outsourcing on a more short-term basis as a business and have adapted to become much more agile and flexible in dealing with requests outside of the typical outsourcing model.

We are also able to draw on the expertise of our wider tax team to offer support on other questions outside the remit of payroll. This is particularly so when our clients are not UK based but require guidance.

PAGE14.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:19

Our client base in Belfast ranges from paying one employee to several thousand. In a typical outsourcing model, we work in partnership with our client to process the payroll. This was particularly evident during the pandemic as we worked in unison with our clients to ensure that all employees were paid. It is something I am particularly proud of, that we were able to quickly enable our team to work securely at home and that we delivered for our clients.

PAYROLL MUCH MORE GLOBALTHAN EVER The UK is also experiencing a workforce exodus as employees consider working abroad to work remotely. This impacts the UK payroll team as they navigate the complexity of retaining an employee on UK payroll. Whilst they may also have withholding obligations in the new country, employers have to understand their obligations in both countries and may be held responsible for ensuring that their employees’ tax payments are calculated correctly and that they comply with reporting requirements.

We at BDO Northern Ireland are able to assist employers in this area. We are a member of BDO Global which has more than 1,700 offices across 164 countries. We can work with our fellow BDO colleagues across the globe to assist with the complexities of the payroll processing for remote workers.

In summary, 2022/23 looks set to be an interesting time for the payroll sector. The increasing complexity of payroll, the globalisation of the worker and the talent shortages of payroll staff all lead to employers ensuring that they value their current payroll team. We will be celebrating this month to show appreciation for the work that the payroll team has done.

We are seeing more requests for outsourcing payroll as businesses reflect on how the pandemic impacted the payroll function. Sickness leave of key staff and the difficulty of recruiting payroll staff have led to businesses reassessing the risk of not being able to

If you would like to talk to us about any issues raised in the above article, or would like to find out more about our payroll services, contact Geraldine via Geraldine.browne@bdoni.com.

Columnist

Running a payroll is now a highly complex process with a vast array of regulatory and legislative changes. Payroll teams throughout the UK had to quickly understand the CRJS rules at the height of the pandemic. In total 11.7 million employees were furloughed at a cost of £70 billion.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone Life can often become repetitive, and this is never more apparent than in the workplace. Being comfortable at work is important, but there is a fine line between comfort and complacency. Set a target every year (or more frequently) to expand your skill set. Public speaking, professional qualifications, whatever it may be. If the thought of it makes you nervous, that’s okay. Give it a go – you don’t know what you are capable of until you try.

My seven steps for business success

In the absence of a plan, days can drift into weeks which can drift into months.  When you reach a target, celebrate it, but then set the next one – and break it down into a realistic timeframe with sub-targets, and make sure to regularly review against the schedule.  If you are behind, carve out time to catch up.  If you are ahead, don’t let it slip.

Team mentality

Collaborative problem solving leads to better outcomes.  People are more likely to take calculated risks that lead to innovation if they have the support of a team behind them.  Working in a team encourages personal growth, increases job satisfaction, and reduces stress.  If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

be organised, be prepared, be accurate, stick to your promises. Make these hygiene factors and productivity will increase.

Put yourself in your client’s shoes

Always seek feedback

Never be afraid to ask for feedback – from clients, from colleagues, from everyone.

Davy Private Clients UK, Davy UK and Davy Capital Markets UK are the trading names of J & E Davy (UK) Limited. J & E Davy (UK) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. J & E Davy (UK) Limited is a Davy Group company and also a member of the Bank of Ireland Group.

Have a plan, and stick to it

Contact T at T.Balendran@davy.ie

StairwaytoSeven

16 FEATURE PAGE16.indd 2 26/08/2022 12:21

When you put yourself in your client’s shoes and begin your dialogue from there, an immediate connection develops that stems beyond business and encourages loyalty. Take the time to listen to your clients, process what they say, put yourself in their shoes and act on their behalf. People want and need to know that you care.

Always strive to improve Continuous improvement is based on the idea that even when things are good, they could be better.  On completion of a task, it is good practice to reflect and ask yourself, and your colleagues – could that task have been achieved quicker, or to a higher standard?  Continuous incremental improvements help us to ensure that we are functioning as efficiently, effectively, and accurately as possible.

Asking for feedback is important because it demonstrates to others that you are committed to improving your skills.  Taking the initiative to get better at essential aspects of your work shows that you have the dedication and drive to succeed.

T Balendran, Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the FinancePersonalSociety

T Balendran is an associate director at Davy UK, a wealth management firm in Northern Ireland. Over the past 15 years, T has combined his degree in Mathematics with Actuarial Studies, his keen interest in the economy, and his desire to enable and educate clients to forge a career where he now assists over 100 clients – comprising individuals, corporates, charities and trusts –with their finances, with total assets under management of over £100m.

Attention to detail Don’t underestimate the importance of the little things. Turn up on time, be professional,

ACTIVELY PRACTICALLY, , THRIVEHELPWE’LLYOUAGAIN Close Brothers Commercial Finance provide asset based lending, invoice nance and asset nance solutions to businesses across Ireland. We can help you access the working capital you need. Contact us today on (0)28 9099 5701 / +353(1) 901 5224 or visit closecommercial nance.ie CBCF THRIVE AGAIN Ambition ad A4+5mm 02-2022.indd 1 08/02/2022 13:06:48

• SMEs may not realise there is a need for learning in the first place. The business of ‘doing’ every day means that opportunity to reflect on ‘how to do’ is often overlooked. It is important to take time and reflect on what is working or not. Think about productivity and business goals and ‘where you want to take your business’.

At Ulster University Business School we have the Help to Grow: Management programme, a practical leadership and management training course designed for small businesses across the UK to support business growth and advances in productivity and competitiveness.

The Northern Ireland economy is expected to return to pre-pandemic growth by mid to late 2022, according to forecasts by PwC. Interestingly, when comparing pre-pandemic economic output levels in Q4 2019, NISRA shows recent local production output increased by 5.2% and service output by 4.9%, although retail remains 1% below.

The programme focuses on a number of business priority areas including strategy, innovation, digital adoption, sustainable business, finance and marketing and the curriculum has been developed based on the needs and challenges of SMEs.

18

The cost to the business is £750 which is 90% government subsidised.

Columnist

As SME leaders face a raft of complex issues, the need for the right conditions and interventions to boost business confidence and unlock growth potential has never been more critical.

How can this be achieved?

Let’s take a look at some of the common obstacles preventing SMEs from embracing learning and development opportunities.

Unlocking Potential in Small Businesses

So why are SMEs important to the economy?

One way to unlock business potential is through greater investment in skills and knowledge. Enhanced skills and knowledge can inform different operational and strategic decisions to help businesses remain competitive and adaptable. However, investing in skills development and learning is often considered a secondary priority among small businesses, especially when wrestling with the day-today macro and micro challenges.

Running a small business can be challenging at the best of times, never mind against a backdrop of ongoing economic uncertainty, rising inflation rates, skills gaps and supply issues.

• ‘I’ve been in this business for years and know what I need to do.’ This is true so business owners need to know the ‘real impact’ on their business of investing time and resources in learning. The best advice is to ask questions of the providers so that you can ensure the course is aligned to your business needs and goals.

Coupled with this mixed economic landscape, SMEs, to varying degrees, are also facing significant challenges operationally including the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and rising global costs which are adversely affecting the wider business environment.

Notwithstanding these challenges, many SME leaders aspire to unlock their growth and productivity potential. In fact, SMEs may seek new approaches to counter the contemporary business challenges.

From day one, the focus is on applying learning directly to your business to deliver targeted impact and results specific to your needs. This bespoke programme is delivered in a hybrid mode, using online and face to face, over 50 hours so the time commitment is designed to work around your existing business.

Dr Laura Bradley-McCauley Senior Lecturer in marketing at Ulster University Business School

PAGE18.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:34

Dr Laura Bradley-McCauley, senior lecturer in marketing at Ulster University Business School, reflects on some of the common barriers to investment in learning and development in SMEs and how to overcome them.

• The financial cost of training can be difficult to justify especially in the current economic climate. Think about how much budget is available for training and funding opportunities. Networks, contacts and training providers are best placed to advise. Remember the key is ‘value-for-money’ which can only be achieved by matching ‘gap-learning-impact’.Finally,timeisaprecious commodity and freeing up time to learn in business is difficult. Identifying the time commitment and mode of delivery (for example, online, face to face or hybrid) in advance of signing up to a programme will help ensure that you can balance this.

For more information and details on the next available cohort, contact Dr Laura Bradley McCauley (lm.bradley@ulster.ac.uk) or visit www.ulster.ac.uk/helptogrow.

Often referred to as the backbone of the UK economy, SMEs are essential to economic growth and social development. Northern Ireland is regarded as a small business economy with over 123,000 small-medium sized enterprises, accounting for 99.9% of all private sector businesses – making it the region with the highest number of SMEs in the UK.

• Not knowing where to go to plug skills gaps can also prove problematic. If you don’t know what is out there and how to match it to an unknown skills gap then this may seem an impossible situation. This is where your network in councils, chambers, further education colleges and universities is critical to direct and guide you.

15 Sep Resilience and Wellbeing 15 Sep Presentation Skills 20 Sep Leadership Skills 20 Sep MS PowerPoint 21 Sep Facilitation Skills 21 Sep Competency Based Interview Skills 22 Sep Adobe Acrobat Pro 22 Sep Sage Cloud Accounting 23 Sep Creating Video on your Mobile 26 Sep MS Project 26 Sep GDPR Staff Awareness (half-day) 27 Sep Storytelling in Business 27 Sep Minute Taking 28 Sep PA Development 28 Sep Xero Cloud Accounting 29 Sep Design for Non-Designers using Canva 29 Sep MS Excel Intermediate OCT 22 04 Oct Conducting Investigations 04 Oct Fundamentals of Digital Marketing & Social Media 05 Oct Manager as a Coach 06 Oct Mailchimp Email Marketing NOV 22 08 Nov People Management 08 Nov Difficult Conversations 09 Nov Report Writing 09 Nov Meetings Masterclass 10 Nov Finance for Non-Financial Mgrs 10 Nov MS Word Advanced 15 Nov Credit Management 15 Nov MS Word Intermediate 16 Nov Practical Risk Management 16 Nov Tender Writing 17 Nov Developing Confidence 17 Nov Presentation Skills 22 Nov Time Management 23 Nov MS Excel Advanced 24 Nov PA Development Advanced 24 Nov Customer Service 25 Nov Proofreading 29 Nov Minute Taking 30 Nov Drafting Tender Documents 07 Dec Effective Communication 07 Dec Managing Change 08 Dec LinkedIn 09 Dec Event Management 12 Dec GDPR Staff Awareness (half-day) 13 Dec Xero Cloud Accounting 13 Dec Facilitation Skills 14 Dec Preparing Management Accounts 14 Dec MS Powerpoint 15 Dec Storytelling in Business 15 Dec MS Word Advanced JAN 23 09 Jan Design for Non-Designers using Canva 10 Jan HR Fundamentals 10 Jan Adobe Acrobat Pro 11 Jan Emotional Intelligence 12 Jan Sage Cloud Accounting 12 Jan Manager as a Coach 13 Jan Creating Video on your Mobile 16 Jan MS Project 17 Jan Credit Management 17 Jan MS Excel Intermediate 18 Jan Professional Selling Skills 27 Jan MS Excel Advanced 31 Jan Leading Self-Personal Effectiveness FEB 23 01 Feb Fraud & Cyber Security 02 Feb Report Writing 06 Feb Interview Skills for the Interviewer 07 Feb Difficult Conversations 07 Feb LinkedIn 08 Feb Finance for Non-Financial Mgrs 08 Feb Effective Communication 09 Feb HR Fundamentals 09 Feb Managing Change 16 Feb MS Excel Advanced 16 Feb People Management 21 Feb Developing Confidence 21 Feb Talent Management 22 Feb ProofreadingintheWorkplace 23 Feb Professional Selling Skills 28 Feb Resilience and Wellbeing 28 Feb Presentation Skills To view full range of courses visit W: aku.training Training will be delivered in classroom or online in agreement with participants. For full range of courses and bookings visit: W: aku.training *Course dates subject to change * NEW COURSES LAUNCHED Pre-registration now open for the following accredited training programmes. Register your expression of interest today at contact@aku.training to secure your place. PRINCE2® Foundation PRINCE2® ManagementPractitionerofRisk(M_o_R)® Foundation Management of Risk (M_o_R)® Practitioner Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)® Foundation Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)® Practitioner Better Business Cases APM Project Fundamentals (PFQ) Agile Scrum Master PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner AgilePM® Foundation AgilePM® Practitioner ‘All courses are available fordelivery’in-house 07 Sep Developing Confidence 08 Talent Management 13 Sep Proofreading 20 Oct Influencing & Negotiation 20 Oct Challenging Unconscious Bias 05 OctOct 14 Sep Professional Selling Skills 14 Sep MS Word Accessibility 13 Sep Equality and Diversity in the Workplace 08 Dec Google Ads (half day) 11 Jan Resilience & Wellbeing 20 Sep Whistleblowing 06 Oct Adobe InDesign 10 Oct MSP Practitioner 22 Nov Supervisory & Mgt Skills 29 Nov Hootsuite 23 Nov Fraud and Cyber Awareness 30 Nov Equality and Diversity in the Workplace Nov Emotional Intelligence Jan Adobe InDesign 20 - 23 Feb Agile Project Management 23 Feb 23 Feb MS Word Accessibility 28 Feb Wellbeing Proofreading 22 Feb Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

20 PAGE20-23.indd 2 30/08/2022 11:24

Director of Customer & Market Services, Ronan McKeown.

Networks is the owner of the electricity transmission and distribution networks in Northern Ireland, transporting electricity to over 900,000 customers including homes, businesses and farms.

Ronan tells us: “We are in the process of developing our new business plan to cover the next price control period out to 2031. This next price control is fundamentally different than all the ones before it, because there are a number of different things that are coming to a head, most significantly our journey to net zero. Another is the age of all the assets. Most of our network was built in the 1960’s so much of it requires replacement and that is coming at a time when there are huge demands being brought onto the network with such a fundamental shift in our renewable energy landscape.

“We are looking at things such as self-service platforms where customers are enabled to do things for themselves and have greater input. We have appointed a Digital Transformation Manager and we are building capabilities in that area. It takes a bit of time to get those skills

“It has opened my eyes to what is going on in the customer space and has made me realise how much of an impact what we do has on customers. It has been a great learning curve. As Director of Customer & Market Services, my role encompasses all customer-facing facets of the business.”Thekey

A NETWORKFUTURE FOR ALL

Their role is to maintain and extend the electricity infrastructure across Northern Ireland, connect customers to the network and ensure that their equipment is safe andAmbitionreliable.recently spoke with NIE Networks’ Director of Customer & Market Services, Ronan McKeown, to discuss their upcoming new business plan and Vulnerable Customer Strategy, which launched last year.

“It is a big change, even from an engineering perspective we have been used to planning and operating the network in a certain way. Through digital technologies we are increasing monitoring and visibility of what takes place on the lower voltage network allowing us to do more, with less. If we don’t embrace new technologies we would spend a lot more money making the network fit for purpose. Instead digitalisation allows us to be cost effective and innovative.”

“We believe there are three critical areas of reform needed to deliver those three areas of focus, including, tariff reform, smart metering and a review of connections charging. This will result in long-term solutions for delivering a renewable cost-effective network that is fair for all Ronan’scustomers.”approach to meet these demands on the network is to futureproof and invest in the network now. The aim is to allow customers to interact with the network in a way that they have never done before with major investment in digitalisation.

Customer service is at the heart of the business and with NIE Networks providing a service to every house and business in Northern Ireland it is important to set a high standard. The digital transformation will be a challenging development in the company but Ronan is confident that these new capabilities will be delivered.

SPONSORED FEATURE 21 PAGE20-23.indd 3 30/08/2022 11:24

AMBITION SPEAKS TO DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER & MARKET SERVICES AT NIE NETWORKS, RONAN MCKEOWN, ABOUT PROTECTING VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND ENABLING CUSTOMERS.

“Protecting vulnerable customers, easing how customers do business with us through digitalisation of our systems and enabling our customers to be more involved with and knowledgeable about their network and usage, are the three areas of focus now for our customer and market services division,” says Ronan.

Ronan has responsibility for the customer engagement side of the business plan with a particular focus on the customer, their role and their future within the plan.

“It is a constant journey to keep evolving and the next big challenge for us is in the digital space and how we embrace platforms and systems that enable customers to engage digitally with us.

“We want input from all our customers on our proposed plan, domestic, commercial and agricultural. Our consultation will allow everyone to have their say, positive

focus for Ronan and his team remains firmly on the customer and how a zero-carbon future will be delivered in Northern Ireland. NIE Networks is launching a consultation on their proposed new business plan in the autumn, which will see significant investment being spent on upgrading and transforming the network to facilitate the transition to net zero carbon by 2050.

NIE

and negative, to shape our final approach and collectively reach a net zero carbon future.”

A chartered electrical engineer, Ronan has held various roles within the organisation, including asset management and investment strategy, before becoming the youngest ever director to be appointed to the NIE Networks Executive Management team. Almost three years later he tells us how he has found this step change in his career.

22 PAGE20-23.indd 4 30/08/2022 11:25

“We have to recognise that there is always a role for the traditional ways of interacting with us and we will integrate those ways to sit in alignment with our digitalisation journey.”

“Our strategy recognises that there is now a need for a broader definition of vulnerability and that it should not solely be centred on those dependent on medical equipment. We recognise that there are a wide range of people that we need to be tailoring our services to. Our

“It is not only a transformational challenge for the business to get the granularity of data that shows what is going on at the extremities of the network, but also a cultural shift to get customers thinking about what is possible using digitalAlthoughtechnologies.”theadvancement of digitalisation is a priority for NIE Networks, Ronan’s aim is to ensure that no customer gets left “Providingbehind.agood service for everyone does not always mean providing the same service for everyone. For me, success looks like the majority of people in Northern Ireland being aware of the services that we provide, being able to connect with us in a way that suits them and NIE Networks having the systems, training and skills to meet different needs.

“We are a JAM Card friendly organisation, with over 90 per cent of our staff now trained to provide the highest standard of service to those customers with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier. It is all about having respect and approaching every customer with openness and patience to see how we can best help them.”

Identifying and helping those customers who need it though is not just about raising awareness, it is also about actively reaching out. NIE Networks’ meter readers carry out household visits four times a year, equating to 3.5 million visits annually. It allows the team to reach out in a faceto-face capacity, which is beneficial for both the business and customers.

NIE Networks will be launching a consultation for their next business plan ‘A Future Network for All’ in September 2022. Customers can find out how to have their say at www.nienetworks.co.uk

HAVE YOUR SAY

As well as the new business plan that is launching in autumn, NIE Networks will also be promoting their Vulnerable Customer Strategy, which was launched last“Sinceyear. implementing our first campaign last winter to raise awareness of the services we offer to those customers who may be vulnerable, we have seen a really positive upturn in how customers are engaging with our services. For example, we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of people that are registered on our Medical Customer Care Register so we are able to better support those that are dependent on electricity for healthcare needs.”NIENetworks has been ramping up their current commitments, as well as adding other services such as ‘Sign Live’ which allows customers who are deaf, or have hearing loss, to communicate with them in a way they couldn’t before. As the winter approaches they plan to drive even more awareness to the services. With the term vulnerable being so broad, Ronan explains the crux of who they are aiming to help and how.

“Part of my role is to ensure that those considerations are factored into our whole organisation and ensuring that decisions are being taken with every customer in mind. As we go through the energy transition, we must ensure that it is a fair and just transition and that we don’t leave any customer behind.

embedded, but we are confident in terms of our digital strategy and we are moving in the right direction.

“Last year the campaign involved lots of outdoor and radio advertising to alert customers that we are here to help. It was important though that we increased our ability to proactively identify customers who may be vulnerable, so we trained all our meter readers to recognise if a customer could benefit from our services and how to connect them with that support. That’s fundamental to our approach,” says Ronan.

SPONSORED FEATURE

Ronan believes that through protecting vulnerable customers, digitalisation of the network and systems and enabling customers to be more involved, will be transformational.“TheroleofNIE Networks is to directly facilitate the energy transition and decarbonisation of energy. I believe we can develop the digital solutions, as well as the people and skills within NIE Networks now to drive that forward, all while ensuring our customers are engaged and empowered at every touch point.

staff are trained to recognise broader vulnerabilities and we will over time keep developing the services we can offer to customers who need additional support.

“Ultimately, we will be a leader in helping Northern Ireland reach the netzero goals of the future through delivering a future network for all by bringing every customer on that journey and ensuring no customer is left behind,” he concludes.

SPONSORED FEATURE knowledgeablecustomersthroughhowcustomers,“Protectingvulnerableeasingcustomersdobusinesswithusdigitalisationofoursystemsandenablingourtobemoreinvolvedwithandabouttheirnetworkandusage,arethethreeareasoffocusnow.” 23 PAGE20-23.indd 5 30/08/2022 11:25

A healthy nervous system fluctuates between a sympathetic charge and parasympathetic charge, between action and rest. The sympathetic state allows us to mobilise, to increase our cognitive function, and to get ready for action.

It is all too common to want to fit in a long walk or have an hour-long gym session after work but find that life takes over and good intentions get squeezed out. When working with clients I like to offer the idea that we can do small things for a short time, in order to support our body and mind.

Columnist

When you are lost in an anxious thought take two minutes to orient to your environment. Turn your head, notice the pictures on the walls, the weather outside, the noises around you, or the contact of the chair underneath you.

Take a break from sitting at your desk to shake out each limb. A five-minute shake

Social engagement with people we like to be with is one of the best ways to regulate your nervous system. So try to make some diary time to visit friends, or even just to make a phone call.

can make a huge difference.

24

The important message is that small practices add up, nourishing you day by day so that you discover supportive pathways of strength and resilience that lead to greater ease and confidence in engaging with the challenges, stresses, and opportunities of everyday life.

Talk to people you love.

Shake your body

Have a little boogie while you cook the dinner.

Take a few minutes each day to record or notice three things you are grateful for. A gratitude practice has been shown to have a big impact on our mood.

Gratitude

Step outside, take a breath of fresh air If you can, take a step outside, notice your environment, and take a deep breath. You know it works when you’re in a stressful meeting so why not do it a bit more often.

Mindful moments

Move while you make your morning coffee

Friends or family

Movement is good for our body in many ways, including to help it to shift easily from a sympathetic to parasympathetic state. Try dancing, shaking your limbs or doing five squats or stretches while you wait for your morning coffee to brew.

Cuddle your pet dog or cat The act of stroking a treasured pet releases neurochemicals to reduce stress.

ABBA or Adele?

We each have different preferences, so notice which favourite tracks help you to let go. Is it Brahms or Beyonce?

Squeeze the back of your neck and your shoulders with your hand. This can give an instant feeling of release.

Instead of watching TV, take out your sketch pad if you have one, and draw something. Taking 10 or 15 minutes to draw or even doing some colouring will help your mind to switch off.

Sing while you drive to work. Sing in the shower. Sing in tune or out of tune. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that your neural pathways are being stimulated to reduce your stress.

Smell something nice Essential oils, coffee, a fresh orange, freshly cut grass. Take time to notice the lovely smells when they appear.

Draw something

When in danger it is the sympathetic state that allows us to fight or take flight. This is all OK unless we get stuck there through not enough unwinding time. We need to be able to switch off and allow our body to rest, digest, and recover through the parasympathetic nervous system.

Short breathing exercises

Have a cold shower in the morning. This doesn’t have to be long. Just a minute or two at the end of your normal shower routine.

HERE ARE 16 HACKS TO CALM YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM.

Self-massage

Jane Shaw The Elmfield Institute

Simple Hacks to Calm Your Nervous System

Listen to soothing music, that feels relaxing for you.

Take a deep breath and give a big sigh Any time, any place. A big sigh relieves tension.

Dance

PAGE24.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:34

Breathe in to three and out to five. Do this three times. It will only take a few minutes and will make a big difference to your nervous system balance.

In our busy western world, it is easy to have great intentions for healthier stress-free living but in reality it can be hard. Our nervous systems get busy and stay busy, often leading to increased states of anxiety and dysregulation or even burn out.

These practices may not sound like much but when introduced to your regular routine they can make a big difference. And they can be fun too!

Sing

So, for a fleet of of many, talk to us about the many can offer. the ideas emotive

emotive

innovation

Call us on 028 9084 9777 or visit fleetfinancial.co.uk/emotive Did you know EV sales in Northern Ireland were up more than 100% in 2021?* *Year-on-year figures. Source: Department for Transport With more and more people choosing electric or plug-in hybrid, isn’t it time you considered these for the future of your company?

Electric & hybrid vehicles can bring a lot of benefits to your business. With Fleet Financial’s offering, we are driving forward and change in the sector to help make sure your company is ready for the future.

one or a fleet

benefits and bright ideas

“Together we all set the foundations that made the business what it is today.”

Eamon says the company is now proud to boast the largest painting facility in the industry within the UK and Ireland, enabling them to offer the largest exstock product range in the market with 22

26 FEATURE PAGE26-28.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:33

Toomebridge-based Uform Group is on a roll, planning to see revenue grow to almost £100m over the next five years. Eamon Donnelly, CEO, tells Emma Deighan exactly why the 30-year-old kitchen component manufacturer and distributor is right to project such ambitious targets.

form was founded in 1993 as Oakwood Door Designs Limited by Eamon, his brother Paul, and his late father Eddie, who set a cultural precedent that he says the business still holds at its core today.

of bespoke handcrafted kitchen furniture for the premium end of the market. These products are promoted through the end consumer brand, Aisling Artisan Furniture.

Over the last 29 years, the company has evolved, outgrowing its original base in Magherafelt to expand its footprint to include an impressive 9-acre 225,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution facility in Toomebridge.

Eamon, Group CEO and a former Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, reflects: “When we commenced the business dad was very much the leading figure in terms of overseeing sales. He established the values within the business, which are still deeply rooted today. I looked after the strategic element of the business deploying strategies to generate and secure future growth and Paul was primarily operationally focused.

It has also become the market leader in the supply of kitchen door frontals, with a specific focus on ‘Paint to Order’ in Ireland, and is fast expanding its presence in the UK, which will form part of the planned growth projection it has earmarked over the next five years.

andExpandDeliver

Forming part of the Uform Group is also Buncrana-based company Andoras Ltd, which specialises in the manufacturing

The business’ core competence is its Paint to Order service which is delivered through automated robotic spray-painting technology and hand spraying equipment.

U

27 FEATURE PAGE26-28.indd 3 25/08/2022 15:33

It’s that team, he says, that is the heart of the triumphs it experienced during its timeline “as well as our vision of making sure we’re easy to do business with”.

He likens the operation to the fashion business, only for the home, with trending finishes, innovative styles and colours key to its “Whatsuccess. weoperate in is a fashion-driven industry, and what is critical to us is ensuring we have the right styles at the right price for our target audience, which is focused more on the middle, upper segment of the market.

In addition to door frontals, the Uform Group offers a range of accessories and complementary products.

He says valuing staff and keeping the lines of communication open, allowing their investment to be everyone’s investment strengthens the team culture. “We have this saying: ‘recruit A stars, pay A-star wages and expect A-star results’.”

“You need to know what you’re looking at,” Eamon asserts. “There’s a lot of manufacturer support and networking and interpreting that.

He says trends at the business are driven by innovation at leading European exhibitions and accent trends from other markets as well as colour influences from all the major paint manufacturers.

is sold through multiple channels including trade manufacturers, the residential contract market and a network of approved independent kitchen retailers which accounts for one of their biggest routes to market.

The company caters for other areas beyond the kitchen; from pantries, utility rooms, home office spaces and freestanding complementary furniture for living and dining areas, making the opportunities for customising designs and colours “endless”.

28 FEATURE

The company’s accounts show that it has benefited from the great domestic makeover during the pandemic and that legacy continues.

Part of those plans is also to grow the 335-strong team across the Group to 450, Eamon reveals.

“This can only be achieved through a positive and well-established culture. People run businesses and it’s those people who create the necessary infrastructure to service customers’ needs. Our culture within the Uform Group is deep rooted in every aspect of the organisation.”

“We are a market leader in what we do in Ireland, and in the UK we have around 5% of the market share. We are positioned for growth there but that will be based around new diversificationacquisitioncustomerandintootherproducts.”

Uform’s HR team focuses on four objectives which cover health and wellbeing, communication, learning and development and performance management, all with the aim of ensuring a workforce which is motivated, engaged, happy and rewarded.

“We’re a fashion house and it’s critical that we retain our position as leaders of product innovation, colours and design in order to provide a premium buying experience, and a product that provides value.”

“But if we take a closer look at the macroeconomics, there is still a lot of money on deposit in the banking system, and unemployment is at its lowest in almost 50 years. What there is, however, is that our targeted consumer channels are being more considered at this moment in time.”

of the market share. We are positioned for growth there but that will be based around new customer acquisition and diversification into other products.

Eamon adds: “Our mission is very simple: we want to enable our customers to create aspirational living spaces by supplying unrivalled products focused on the heart of the home and it’s our comprehensive portfolio of choice that allows us to deliver on this mission.”

“There are ongoing challenges and price pressures including energy, fuel and raw materials and that has been a real test. Most of the competition is sourcing raw materials and goods from Europe in the main but we have a champion’s league supply game and that’s something we’ve worked hard at developing to ensure we can buy in bulk and stock it.

door styles, 10,000 skus and £9.5m of Thestock. product

He explains how the company is in the final stage of a £3.4m investment which includes a new warehouse and two additional robotic spray lines which will help deliver increased capacity and efficiencies that will enable the delivery of the firm’s five-year projection.

“We are a market leader in what we do in Ireland, and in the UK we have around 5%

“Our vision is to be easy to do business with through extensive choice, quality and convenience, whilst offering a worldclass customer service. We’re considering bedrooms and everything behind a kitchen door or cabinet to be able to deliver on our vision so we’re very focused on what we need to do and how we are going to do it.”

Reflecting on the business climate over the past two years, Simon Oliphant, Uform Group managing director, summed up the company’s culture in a company comment. He said: “The circumstances have emphasised the need to create an even more dynamic and flexible environment, to counteract unforeseen challenges.

“We have nine people in our marketing and category teams who are solely focused on continuous product development and ensuring that our portfolio is marketed and presented in the most commercial, impactful way, both to our trade customer and to the end consumer through our Kitchen Stori brand.”

“We invest in people and nurture a culture which gives our people autonomy to make decisions and think outside the box and it’s this that helps us remain market leaders in our industry.”

“We’ve always understood our market and we’ve continued investing right across all aspects of the business including training and development.

PAGE26-28.indd 4 25/08/2022 15:33

Eamon says the company is very focused on its target market with growth high on the agenda.

SOLUTIONS FOR BUSINESS Install | Maintain | Repair With more than 35 years’ experience, BES delivers fast, dynamic & innovative solutions minimising downtime and keeping your business moving Tel: 028 9083 8030 • info@bessolutionsltd.com • www.bessolutionsltd.comRollershuttersSpeeddoorsSectionaldoorsSteelpersonnel doors Vehicle barriers & gates Loading bay equipment24/7 EMERGENCY RESPONSE SERVICE PAGE29.indd 1 25/08/2022 15:32

30 FEATURE

PAGE30-32.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:33

Director of Openreach NI, Garret Kavanagh.

Annachievement.”adds:“The digital future of Northern Ireland is extremely positive. The Openreach investment puts Northern Ireland in an enviable position well ahead of our near neighbours, as the most connected region in the UK and in Ireland. In fact, access to 1000 Mbps Full Fibre broadband in Northern Ireland is on a similar footing with global leading countries such as the Nordics and the Asia Pacific region.1 This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to take advantage of, while we are ahead of other regions.”

31 FEATURE PAGE30-32.indd 3 25/08/2022 15:33

With demand for online services continuing to increase, the role that Openreach Northern Ireland (NI) plays in keeping people and businesses connected has never been more important.

Paving the Way To A RevolutionDigital

Openreach, Northern Ireland’s largest digital infrastructure provider, continues to invest in the economic future of Northern Ireland (NI) with more than 80% of homes and businesses now able to get its next generation Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband – that’s four out of five properties.

The pandemic highlighted our reliance on fast and robust broadband. In fact, demand for broadband over the Openreach network doubled during 2020 and increased a further 20% during 2021.2

Full Fibre broadband is up to ten times faster than the average home broadband connection. For example, you can download a two-hour HD film in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea. And video gamers could download a 5-gigabyte virtual reality (VR) game in 1.7 minutes, instead of waiting half an hour with a traditional copperbased broadband line. The service is delivered over fibre optic cables running right to the property or business, which also means Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband is five times more reliable than traditional copper-based broadband connections. Greater capacity means more devices can be connected – so more people can get online at once without experiencing any slowdown, buffering or dropouts. And demand continues to grow, with more and more NI homes and businesses ordering a Full Fibre service.

Director of Openreach NI, Garret Kavanagh, commented: “What we are doing at Openreach has an important impact on the lives of everyone in Northern Ireland. Reliable broadband is now viewed like water and electricity. We’ve gone from the internet being a source of information to it being our primary channel for communication, work and education. And as NI continues to grow its global reputation as a tech hub with world-leading financial technology and cyber security clusters, we’re proud that our build programme is part of this – helping to make NI a leader within the UK and keeping the region at the forefront of digital

Chief Executive of NI Chamber Ann McGregor says: “Openreach is one of the biggest investors in infrastructure in Northern Ireland, continuing to lead the way in terms of its transformative broadband technology, and to achieve more than 80% coverage of the region is a fantastic

“Thetechnology.pastcouple of years have really accelerated already established trends where we’ve seen the use of online solutions becoming a significant part of our lives and businesses. For example, many

Keen to live out sustainable values in its own business, Openreach NI has also pledged to convert all of its diesel fleet to electric by 2030, aiming to achieve its ambition of net zero carbon emissions. Installing and maintaining the digital network is a huge operation, and with one of the largest van fleets on the road in Northern Ireland necessary for essential work every day, reducing its carbon footprint is a big focus for Openreach NI.

transactional services have moved online, and people feel much more comfortable and confident with things like paying using contactless technology, booking appointments through an app, or having a meeting using Teams or Zoom rather than face to face.”

The ambition which has been set out in the Department for Economy’s ‘Vision for the Economy’ embraces innovation to deliver ten times better economic growth, and with the current availability of gigabit capable broadband to residents and businesses, the opportunities for digitisation are enormous.3

support economic and social regional rebalancing as high-speed connectivity means people don’t have to live in large urban centres for high paid jobs or to access the best goods and services.

1. UK Trails as 10 Countries Pass 95 Percent Full Fibre Broadband Cover - ISPreview UK 2. Lockdown, sport and festivities – the story behind the UK’s record 2021 broadband use (openreach.com) 3. A 10x Economy (economy-ni.gov.uk) 4. The Socio-Economic Benefits of FTTH 32 FEATURE

“The digital future of Northern Ireland is extremely positive. The Openreach investment puts Northern Ireland in an enviable position well ahead of our near neighbours, as the most connected region in the UK and in Ireland. In fact, access to 1000 Mbps Full Fibre broadband in Northern Ireland is on a similar footing with global leading countries such as the Nordics and the Asia Pacific region. This is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to take advantage of, while we are ahead of other regions.”

them with electric vehicles. It’s important that we pay back to the communities we live in,” Garret says.

“We understand the need to act on climate change and we are committed to reducing our operational impact. We’ve created a dedicated Openreach project team, focusing on cutting fleet emissions and helping to identify alternative, cleaner technologies – actively looking to phase out diesel vehicles by replacing

The UK Government has set a target for the digital infrastructure industry to achieve 85% Full Fibre coverage by 2025. In Northern Ireland Openreach has already achieved 82% coverage and build work is continuing to extend the network further. Full Fibre technology will offer benefits to everyone right across Northern Ireland and now’s the time for individuals, communities and business owners to take advantage of all the possibilities this digital capability offers.

PAGE30-32.indd 4 25/08/2022 15:33

International benchmarks show that Full Fibre broadband coverage can accelerate economic growth. In Sweden, where there is similar coverage, studies have shown that those connected to Full Fibre broadband are 11% more active online, have more devices connected to the internet and have higher customer satisfaction levels. The same report shows 4.8% more start-ups in French municipalities with high levels of Full Fibre Garretaccess.4continues: “This Full Fibre technology will open up endless opportunities, enabling and encouraging the set-up of new businesses, products and services that we can’t even imagine yet. It will

Footnote: Employing more than 1000 staff, working across NI, Openreach manages and maintains an open access wholesale digital network with customer service levels independently regulated by Ofcom. More than 600 communication providers such as Sky, EE, TalkTalk and BT use the Openreach network to provide services to residential, business customers and critical national infrastructure.

“As more people continue to work flexibly, it will also support a more sustainable future, leading to fewer journeys and reduced CO2 emissions. A recent report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted a saving of 700k tonnes of carbon from reduced commuting as a result of upgrading the UK to Full Fibre.”

To

Located in the former headquarters of Harland & Wol where the world famous RMS Titanic was designed and built, the hotel is home to seven private heritage meeting rooms of varying sizes, including the awe-inspiring Drawing O ce One with views of the iconic Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.

Make your next event a memorable one by hosting it at Titanic Hotel Belfast, four times winner of ‘Northern Ireland’s Leading Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards!

Day Delegate Rates from £40 per person. Bespoke event, residential meeting, and private dinner packages available on request. find out more, please contact events@titanichotelbelfast.com or call +44 (0)28 9508 2000

www.titanichotelbelfast.com PAGE33.indd 1 25/08/2022 15:51

Although a historic venue, meeting rooms are equipped with the latest technology and modern facilities to accommodate your next hybrid or ‘in person’ meeting with ease.

Titanic Hotel Belfast Your Future Venue In a Heritage Location

Off the pitch, Ulster Rugby is a team of people looking to disrupt how traditional rugby clubs are run. Here, UR’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Stuart Martin, describes exactly how that looks.

34 FEATURE

When Covid hit the leisure industry, organisations could do one of two things: batten down the hatches and sit it out or take advantage of a break in everyday operations.

Johnny has big and – some would say – bold ambitions for Ulster Rugby, and paired with Stuart’s drive to “disrupt” and challenge the way the business operates, it would seem the club is onto something big, and different.

onset of the pandemic, the club pumped funds into many areas including new LED floodlights, new big screens, turnstiles and more to ramp up the fan experience. Since then, it’s been about peeling the business back to its core and rebuilding for a post-Covid world, which in some ways is very different to before, Stuart says.

A ApproachDifferent

PAGE34-36.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:51

“We’re in a unique position here in Ulster where we straddle two jurisdictions, which has its challenges, but also gives us the opportunity to do things differently, and that’s how we view being in Ulster and

“I see Ulster as a challenger to other clubs who might be more traditional in their outlook and their business operations,” Stuart says.

how we operate. We try new ways of working – some of those things work and some don’t, but at least we give it a shot,” he Prioradds. tothe

“When I came here there was no database, so we had little to no

Ulster Rugby chose the latter.

His CV is peppered with lengthy stints at places including Scottish Rugby and Scottish Golf. And he’s in good company with Johnny Petrie, the club’s CEO.

Stuart Martin, who has been head of marketing and communications at the organisation since 2019, is no stranger to the industry.

Photography by Dickson Digital.

PAGE34-36.indd 3 25/08/2022 15:52

35 FEATURE

“I see Ulster as a challenger to other clubs who might be more traditional in their outlook and their business operations...”

The Ulster jersey got an overhaul that allowed it to play more on its provincial identity.

PAGE34-36.indd 4 25/08/2022 15:52

“What we want to do is offer great value and unrivalled experiences from start to finish. Like all event-based businesses, you can tend to zone in on the big event and get consumed by match days, but that’s only around 3% of the week. What we’re doing the rest of the time to keep people engaged and help drive our commercial business off the field is equally important.

“But there is always work to do,” Stuart is quick to point out. “Where we are is a 60:40 men to women ratio – particularly when it comes to our digital audience – and that shows there’s a growing interest from women, and in the women’s game. We’ve made huge strides in that area over the last few years and that’s extremely important to us.”

“Our aim is to ensure fans have a great experience at Kingspan Stadium, regardless of how the team performs – that bit is certainly out of my control. Performance will undoubtedly have its peaks and troughs, so our job off field is to smooth those out by expressing our culture and values in a way that encourages fans to buy into something bigger than just the final result. That’s the “Ourattitude.HeadCoach

“That’s about thinking more broadly and being confident about what we believe is the right thing to do, rather

than just accepting things for how they are,” adds Stuart.

Stuart talks of the hardships presented to the club by Covid-19, which took it from being “the best supported team in the league, to having no income”.

“You need to get the balance right. You can only squeeze so much out of match days. Our business is so much more than that. We will continue to challenge the way things are done, innovating alongside our great family of partners to ensure we continue to drive a successful business off the field, so we can provide the necessary resources for success on it.”

New data is also being used to shape better audience experiences.

36 FEATURE

Dan McFarland tells the team to fight for every inch on the field and we try to relate to that off the field too, always striving to be that bit better than the competition. Dan also talks about squeezing every drop and learning at every opportunity so we do a lot more surveying of fans to ensure we take on board their feedback and criticism. It’s their club at the end of the day, so we need to be open minded and ready to listen,” he continues.

“It’s not just about Belfast, but the whole Ulster province,” Stuart continues. “It’s about what that means to people near and far, so we’ve brought in more references to the provincial crest, introduced the saffron colour a bit more and we’ve had a great reaction to that. We’re re-engaging people and going back to what we are, who we represent, how Ulster Rugby should be in the modern day.”

understanding of our fans. Now we have a database and that insight enables us to back up every piece of communication and every business decision we make. We have a more rounded understanding of our various audiences, and that enables us to have adult conversations both with our supporters and with our partners,” he adds.

These insights are beneficial to the existing partnerships the club has, as well as strengthening conversations with potential new clients.

Some of the team’s fruits of labour during the period extend beyond infrastructural work to the brand and image.

It has also successfully welcomed a wider demographic, including more families and women.

“While we’ve invested in all these tools for ourselves, to help us grow our business in a sustainable way, we’re now much better at sharing this with our sponsors.”

The Ulster Women’s team profile has also been boosted, with more coverage across digital media, more TV coverage and their jersey available in store for the public to buy.

“Then it became about staying relevant. We went off and did a whole lot of work, using the time wisely.”

Lawyers o ering domestic legal excellence and a truly international reach, providing the legal guidance you need in a fast-moving commercial world. Our outstanding connectivity with over 70 o ces in more than 30 countries (including 8 across the US and 11 in the UK) and full service coverage on the island of Ireland, enables our Belfast team to advise local clients from a unique perspective. We don’t just give advice: we solve problems, we help you manage risks, we open up opportunities and deliver outcomes that save you time and money. Find out how our legal team – now in Montgomery House, 31 Montgomery Street, Belfast, (+44 (0)28 9526 2000) – can support your growth and development ambitions, wherever you want to be. A unique position Local knowledge with global reach Peter Curran Partner, Commercial +44 28 9526 petercurran@eversheds-sutherland.ie2000 Deborah Archer Partner, Banking and Finance +44 28 9526 deboraharcher@eversheds-sutherland.ie2063 Matthew Howse Partner, Dispute Resolution & Litigation +44 28 9568 matthewhowse@eversheds-sutherland.ie2040 Gareth Planck Partner, Real Estate +44 28 9526 garethplanck@eversheds-sutherland.ie2060 eversheds-sutherland.ie © Eversheds Sutherland LLP 2022. All rights reserved. Client Commitment. Innovative Solutions. Global Service.

Ambition speaks to Auveen Sands, the new Chief Executive of the Ulster Orchestra.

Do you have specific plans and goals as your take over this role?

Was the company effected by the pandemic and how did you overcome that challenge?

Despitefoundations.thechallenges of Covid, the Orchestra remained very active as it switched to digital creativity, thus providing ongoing value to the community from its public sector funding. The Learning and Community Engagement (LCE) programme continued to work with partner organisations, schools, community groups and audiences to find ways to engage, connect and inspire people of all ages and those at risk of social exclusion. Outreach activity was delivered through a variety of methods including outdoor performances, DVD care packages, interactive online workshops and free online performances.

38

is a very exciting development for the organisation, as we will have our own community home to allow us to share joy and inspiration through music, whilst still giving concerts in the Ulster Hall.

What do you love most about your role?

How has the Ulster Orchestra changed during your time there? Since joining in 2014 I was instrumental in working to save the Ulster Orchestra from closure in 2015 and have worked closely with current Managing Director Richard Wigley as the Orchestra has achieved significant transformational change, culminating in a level of operational and creative resilience to be able to withstand the recent challenges of Covid.Today the Orchestra is in such a strong position and performed under the guidance of Daniele Rustioni at the London Proms to outstanding reviews. The Orchestra has also received high critical success from its recent recording of Weill 2nd Symphony/Violin concerto.

Working at the Ulster Orchestra becomes an integral part of your life. Although the work is challenging it is so interesting, diverse and worthwhile that it makes the experience of working at the Orchestra extremely satisfying. I particularly support the Orchestra’s belief that through learning and community engagement activities, we can help overcome traditional barriers to participation including health, disability, deprivation and distance. This will be an ongoing key priority for the Orchestra for which we are most keen to secure support.

TAKING UP THE ROLE

You have just taken up the role of Chief Executive, how do feel about taking on this new position?

I am very excited about the future. I am also very grateful to Richard who has transformed the Ulster Orchestra into a vibrant organisation which is well positioned to further excel in the classical world.

The Orchestra also continued to record consistently for the BBC, produced a digital series of classical concerts and successfully launched a collaborative singer-songwriter project, Your Song Now, culminating in the recording and commercial release of the CD Our Songs, Our Place, which featured the songs of nine local artists with arrangments written by Belfast-based composer Paul Campbell.

PAGE38.indd 2 26/08/2022 09:17

At the centre of these plans is the Orchestra’s move to Townsend St Church, which sits on the Peace Line. Our administrative team has already moved there in June and the Church is currently being tested as a rehearsal space for the Orchestra. We are already developing learning and community engagement projects to operate at the site and our focus will be to build and implement a strategy around Townsend. This

How did you first get involved with the Ulster Orchestra, was it a career you always wanted to pursue?

The pandemic was devastating as we were unable to do the thing that matters most – giving live concerts for audiences. This lost around £1m of our typical income streams from box office, commercial engagements, regional concerts, corporate sponsorship, advertising and Orchestra Tax Relief. Happily, this income was largely offset by the support we received from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Communities through additional funding as well as the continued financial commitment of Belfast City Council and the BBC. The organisation also invested in its fundraising functions which resulted in considerable success, most notably from Garfield Weston and Esmee Fairbairn

I joined the Ulster Orchestra in 2014 as Head of Finance and Operations. It was definitely a change in direction, given that my background was in banking for 15 years. However I have learnt about Orchestra Management from highly experienced individuals such as Trevor Green (orchestra management consultant to the UO 2015) and Richard Wigley, the current Managing Director (2016-2022).

As the Orchestra is in a positive position, evident given recent reviews of performances and recordings, it is time to significantly increase the Orchestra’s profile and reach. This will build on the momentum of our new Music Director (arrived immediately pre-Covid) Daniele Rustioni, an internationally-renowned musician who is a favourite at the world’s best opera houses, from Royal Opera House Covent Garden to Metropolitan Opera New York. This will also mean continuing to provide an innovative digital programme, honed and tested during Covid, that increasingly offers creative content that people want to consume, in formats and platforms that reach many more people. With both our live and digital content, the focus will be to reach people who haven’t yet discovered a passion for the Ulster Orchestra and to re-attract those who have drifted away due to the pandemic. This will deliver invaluable outcomes with long-term, positive impacts for the Orchestra and Northern Ireland.

SPONSORED FEATURE

BenefitsMEMBERSHIPCORPORATEPACKAGESTHEPERFECTPLATFORMFORYOURBUSINESS(variesonmembershiplevel) • Complimentary tickets to your choice of Ulster Orchestra concerts • Dedicated contact for ticket reservations • Access to Corporate Members’ area on concert nights • Opportunity for meet and greet with guest conductors and soloists Become a Corporate Member now! Contact Michelle Baird on michelle@ulsterorchestra.com or 028 9026 www.ulsterorchestra.org.uk/support-us/corporate-membership-scheme/0483 Whether it’s o ering prestigious client entertainment, networking opportunities or rewarding your sta , enjoy an exclusive, memorable VIP experience while also supporting Northern Ireland’s only symphony orchestra. As a charity, support from the business community is vital in continuing the work of the Ulster Orchestra both on and o the stage. Corporate supporters enjoy a close and mutually beneficial relationship with the Orchestra, finely tailored to meet ever-changing needs on both sides, be it a focus on community engagement, branding, client entertaining or business development. • Opportunity for bespoke events and corporate functions • Associated recognition and branding, on and o ine • Discount on advertising in concert programmes …and more CMYCYMYCMYMCK ULS Corporate Membership Scheme 22 A4 copy.pdf 1 24/08/2022 12:01

It is my firm belief that organisations have a huge responsibility to promote healthy practices in the best interest of employees and the organisation. It is something that has perhaps come to even more prominence due to the pandemic, but it is something that is here to stay and must be built upon.

A Healthy Workplace With BetterEmployeesHealthyPerforms

In early 2022, we commenced a threeyear programme called Healthy Place to Work, which is a global standard for healthy workplaces. This significant investment by the company is ultimately intended to ensure better organisational performance through improved workplace health. It is evidence-based and datadriven, and empowers our organisation with the tools and methodology needed to ensure a strategic approach to workplace health and wellbeing.

Mental Health as our charity partner in Northern Ireland. AMH is an NI-based mental health charity with a clear vision to change the lives of those living with mental ill health and promote resilience and wellbeing to future generations. AMH was chosen by our employees as our official charity partner. We work with AMH to take part in fundraising events that all of our team participate in and perhaps even more importantly, we work with them to enable our team to gain valuable knowledge and insights from the charity around mental health.

This model explores the workplace’s culture and how it is positively supporting the health and wellbeing of employees. But it also examines aspects of the individual employee’s personal health practices and behaviours.

This approach permeates every aspect of what we do as an organisation right through to our community initiatives and sponsorships. To this end, we have Action

PAGE40.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:56

On the physical wellbeing side, we have also recently partnered with Banbridge Cycling Club as the club’s first ever jersey sponsor. Banbridge CC is one of the longest established and biggest cycling clubs in Ireland. It is also a hugely diverse club with a wide range of members of varying abilities from different backgrounds. The partnership allows us to support a club that contributes very positively to health and wellbeing locally. It is also part of our approach to encourage our team to be physically active through for instance cycling and running, and aligns with our commitment to and promotion of the cycle to work scheme.

Peter Russell Managing Director Ireland of Telefónica Tech UK&I

aving a healthy workplace and healthy workforce has always been important. But thankfully there has perhaps been an increased emphasis on it in the business world since the onset of Covid-19. The stresses and pressures of the pandemic have brought it into sharper focus. So too has the increase in remote working, which brings new challenges for companies and employees around connectivity and the potential blurring of the lines between work and home life.

The Healthy Place to Work survey and technical platform provides the basis for an effective assessment of the company’s overall health and wellbeing strategy, benchmarked against a holistic model. This allows us to assess what aspects of our current strategy are working effectively, and what elements are underperforming and require redesign, additional resources, or complete change.

H

40

The reality is that mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £117.9 billion annually according to a new report published by Mental Health Foundation and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Adopting this twin approach allows us to accurately focus on the genuine drivers of employee health rather than adopting an event-driven, ad-hoc approach of wellness initiatives and guest speakers.

Our strategy has four pillars: Purpose, Mental Resilience, Connection and Physical Health. In short, this means that we strive to be a business that our employees identify with and feel connected to, where they find purpose in the work that they do, where they have the management support to do their job well and safely, and where they are supported to be mentally resilient and physically well.

A healthy organisation with healthy employees is the sweet spot for sustainable high performance and something that we aspire to achieve at Telefónica Tech.

Columnist

is also preparing hard for our annual Meet the Buyer with Bank of Ireland at the end of September. With almost 30 major buyers confirmed, that event is all about helping our members to ‘do business’ with potential new customers. The buyers we have lined up are interested in meeting suppliers in the local market, bringing supply chains closer to home and availing of the quality products and services which NI firms have to offer.

MembersNew * To become a member of NI Chamber join online www.northernirelandchamber.comatorphonethemembershipteamon02890244113

Allsizes.of

Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, NI Chamber

Atfuture.the

Thethere.team

am very pleased to use this month’s CEO update to formally welcome three new NI Chamber Patrons: Eakin Healthcare; Balcas and PwC. We are delighted to be partnering with each of them and thank them for supporting NI Chamber and our members through Patronage.

these have been carefully developed to meet the needs of our member businesses and help facilitate innovation, sales and business growth during what we know is a challenging and uncertain time. We continue to be here to help, so stay in touch, get involved and make the most of the support which NI Chamber membership offers.

Our full events calendar for the remainder of this year has just been published and is available online. In addition to the above, it contains a host of new learning and networking events as part of the Learn Grow Excel business support programme, covering topics like sustainability reporting, digital strategy and business growth, as well as a business breakfast for people in finance roles. Our international trade experts will also deliver an extensive range of training and events for importers and exporters of all

PAGE41.indd 1 25/08/2022 15:57

Additionally, September will see the launch of our new Public Affairs Forum, supported by Phoenix Natural Gas. This is a new member service, which will be coordinated and hosted by our own Head of Public Affairs, Stuart Anderson. Held quarterly, it will provide member companies with a business perspective on the legislative and policy landscape, covering the issues which are most pertinent to firms in Northern Ireland. The speaker at the first event will be former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith MP.

time of writing, preparations for our Festival of Business in St George’s Market are in full swing. The largest networking event of its kind in Northern Ireland, this flagship event is one of the highlights of our calendar year. It is set to be a really interactive, enjoyable way to meet new people, make connections and learn from a fabulous panel of speakers on the main stage. The event is designed to be a celebration with a fun, festival feel. We are really looking forward to it and hope to see as many of you as possible

• Cushon • EQUANS UK & Ireland • Exertis Ireland • Invest Barbados • My Mail Box Services • Platform Media • Roam Everywhere • Seating Matters • Team Air Power • TODD Architects • U105 • Wilson Agri NI Chamber Chief’s UPDATE 41 I

BT is one of NI Chamber’s longest standing supporters and we recently announced the renewal of a partnership which will see the company stay on as our Communications Partner for another three-year term. The partnership is a really successful one, because our aims are so well aligned. We look forward to working with BT to support our members’ business growth now and in the

further, Tanya Anderson, Head of International and Business Support at NI Chamber said: “Meet the Buyer is all about helping our members to ‘do business’ with potential new customers. We have secured a host of major buyers including CAF Rail, Coca-Cola HBC, Eakin Healthcare, Wright Bus and many others, who are all interested in meeting suppliers in the local market, bringing supply chains closer to home and availing of the quality products and services which NI firms have to offer. More than half of them are new to Meet the Buyer, so there are lots of fresh opportunities, including for those suppliers who have

PwC is New NI Chamber Patron

Hosted in partnership with Bank of Ireland, the flagship event is an opportunity to connect with potential new customers, pitch products and services and win new business. With more than 25 major buyers in attendance, it presents unprecedented access to procurement specialists through a bespoke matching service which is designed to ensure that mutually beneficial meetings take

“PwC is a significant employer in Northern Ireland and as the business has grown its presence here, we have developed an excellent relationship. The firm has always been extremely supportive of NI Chamber’s work and mission, so we are delighted that they have decided to strengthen these links further by becoming our newest Patron.”

Tanya Anderson (NI Chamber); Kevin O’Hara (CAF Rail); Niall Devlin (Bank of Ireland); Chris Wylie (CAF Rail) and Phil Murray (NI Chamber).

PAGE42.indd 2 26/08/2022 09:55

(PwC).HaffeyandChamber)(NIMcGregorAnnCara

“The event is also an excellent networking opportunity, which will enable attendees to network with others, including people from outside of their own industries.”

Announcing the new partnership, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, NI Chamber said:

For more information on the event, visit the NI Chamber website.Meetthe

attended previously.

Explainingplace.

NEWS 42

“We are proud to employ over 3,400 people in Northern Ireland and are committed to supporting growth across Northern Ireland. We have a strong presence here across all our services and have grown our business significantly. By supporting NI Chamber as a patron we are further supporting their development of the local business community and economy. I have personally very much enjoyed representing PwC on NI Chamber for a number of years and know how hard the community works for the benefit of the economy and the people of Northern Ireland.”

As businesses look at options to develop strength, resilience and agility to protect against future shocks, new buying or supplying opportunities are key. These include dual sourcing of raw materials, increasing stocks of critical products and regionalising supply chains, all of which present many opportunities to win business. That’s why this Meet the Buyer event is an important opportunity for local SMEs. It provides unique access to buyers from well-known major business brands with significant buying power, and we’d encourage all local businesses to get involved.”

Cara Haffey, Head of Private Business and Head of Deals at PwC Northern Ireland and NI Chamber Council Member, added:

Buyers who will be attending to source new suppliers include Belfast City Council, Boomer Industries, CAF Rail, Camlin Group, Choice Housing, Coca-Cola HBC, Connex Offsite, Eakin Healthcare, Education Authority, Equans, Fibrus, Kane Group, McAleer & Rushe, McColgan’s Food, MJM Marine, Moy Park, NI Water, Nicholl Oils, NIE Networks, Nitronica, QUB, Translink, Ulster University, Unicorn Group, Wright Bus and Yelo.

Niall Devlin, Head of Business Banking NI at Bank of Ireland UK added: “At Bank of Ireland we understand the importance of winning business, particularly in the current inflationary environment and with supply chain issues at the forefront of many businesses’ list of challenges.

NI Chamber’s Annual Meet the Buyer will take place on Wednesday 28 September in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.

Businesses ‘Get On Board’ For Meet The Buyer

NI Chamber has announced that professional services business, PwC is the latest organisation to join its list of patrons.Asanew

Buyer with Bank of Ireland is delivered as part of NI Chamber’s Learn Grow Excel business support programme, which is also supported by SME Partner Power NI.

NI Chamber Patron, the firm joins a select group of leading businesses who lend their support to the development of the region’s economy and business community.

INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS International Trade Training Courses Whether you are new to exporting, want to up-skill or learn more about how new trading arrangements impact your role and business operations, NI Chamber can help. Book Now Visit www.northernirelandchamber.com Or contact Marta.Gajewska@northernirelandchamber.com to discuss your business needs. Customs Declarations on AccreditedCDS Trade Training ExportingSeriesUnpacked Export Documentation RulesSeriesof Origin Commodity Codes Incoterms 21 SEPT SEPT SEPT | NOV OCT | DECOCT - DEC NOV | DEC 6 DEC

PAGE44.indd 1 25/08/2022 16:00

Peter McVerry (U105); Fiona Simpson (Amazon Web Services); Christopher Morrow (NI Chamber); Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Councillor Gareth Spratt (Belfast City Council) and performers from Belfast Mela, who will be providing entertainment at NI Chamber’s Festival of Business on 14 September in St George’s Market.

Throughout the morning, there will be an opportunity for businesspeople to network and learn in a lively, interactive environment, whilst enjoying a festival atmosphere with entertainment, giveaways and a live radio broadcast.

The Festival of Business is free to attend. To register  www.northernirelandchamber.com.visit:

NI Chamber is set to host Northern Ireland’s biggest business networking event in St George’s Market on Wednesday 14 September 2022. With over 100 exhibitors and more than 800 attendees, the Festival of Business will have a carnival theme, celebrating and showcasing the quality, diversity and ingenuity of local companies.

Attendees will have the chance to hear from a stellar line-up on the main stage which includes Colin Hughes, Chief Executive of Four Star Pizza and Fiona Simpson, Head of Commercial NI at Amazon Web Services.

The event is backed by headline sponsor Dublin Airport, supporting sponsors, Amazon Web Services and Belfast City Council, as well as media partner U105.

Festival of Business Roars Into St George’s Market

Ann McGregor (NI Chamber) and Fiona Simpson (Amazon Web Services).

44

NEWS

SME PARTNER Learn Grow Excel Training Academy Whether your challenge is boosting sales, digital marketing, personal communication, sustainability reporting or developing your people, NI Chamber can help. Book Now Visit www.northernirelandchamber.com Or contact Catriona.Henry@northernirelandchamber.com to discuss your business needs. ReportingSustainabilityPresentationsPowerful TrainingDigitalB2BMasteringSalesStrategy LinkedIn and Video Content TrainingIn-HouseTraining 27 SEPT 29+30 SEPT 4 BESPOKEOCTOCT - NOV 9 NOV DELEGATES TOOK PART IN THIS TRAINING ACADEMY IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS OVER 200 SAID FULFILLEDTRAINING OBJECTIVESTHEIR 90% FOUND NEW WAYS OF WORKING THROUGH THIS TRAINING 92%

NI Chamber & NIE Networks Regional Networking Series EVENTS 46 1. Jonathan Campbell (NI Chamber); Andrew Devlin (NIE Networks); Kieron Kent (Technical Metals Group) and Petrina McAuley (NI Chamber). 2. Petrina McAuley (NI Chamber); Bridgene Keeley (Dunadry Hotel & Gardens) and Jonathan Campbell (NI Chamber). 3. Lynsey Agnew and T Balendran from Davy NI. 4. Dorothy McKee (Dorothy McKee Consulting) and Liam McNally (International Synergies). 5. Karen Sullivan from the Millennium Forum. 6. John McCamley from Kavanagh Kelly. 7. Andrew Devlin from NIE Networks. 8. Bridgene Keeley (Dunadry Hotel & Gardens) and Alan Greer (Historic Royal Palaces). 9. Kieron Kent from Technical Metals Group. NI Chamber and NIE Networks recently held the latest event as part of the “Regional Networking Series”. Almost 100 members of the business community attended the networking event which was held at the Dunadry Hotel and Gardens with guest speaker Kieron Kent from Technical Metals Group. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 PAGE46.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:01

Available in Small, Medium & Large The Magazine of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is now available to view on Issuu. www.northernirelandchamber.com/ambitionAnUlsterTatlerGroupPublication AMBITION PAGE97.indd 1 08/07/2022 11:27

Retirement shouldn’t be taxing.

However vague your retirement goals, it’s never too early to be planning ahead. Investec can help you build a robust and flexible retirement plan that will consider your future expenditure and the impact of inflation and make best use of tax allowances.

When you’ve worked for years to build your pension and savings, and have retirement in your sights, the last thing you want to do is pay more tax than you need to. For many people, there’s no escaping some tax in retirement. But, by utilising the allowances and reliefs available, it’s possible to significantly reduce tax charges on your retirement income.

Risk warning: The contents of this article do not constitute a actionpersonalrecommendationformaloradviceandnoshouldbetaken, or not taken, on account of the information provided.

A retirement plan which takes into account any gifts you want to make during your lifetime, or inheritance you want to pass on to the next generation. A plan which gives you the flexibility to cope with unexpected events and one that they’ll regularly review to help ensure you’re still on track.

New adventures or new ventures; whatever you’re planning it pays to get advice today.

48

Joe Robinson from Investec’s Belfast office has been helping people in the local area with their planning and investment needs for over a decade. Here, Joe outlines why planning for your long-term financial future has never been more important.

Retirement used to be reassuringly predictable. On your 60th or 65th birthday you left employment and had to buy an annuity with the money in your pension pot. Today, everything is different. With the introduction of pension freedoms, we don’t have to cash in our pensions at set ages and can take our money any way we choose. We’re also living healthier and more active lives meaning we can now decide when, how, and even if, we retire. But, with this freedom also comes responsibility, and for some, uncertainty.

It pays to get advice. The earlier you plan, the better your retirement will be.

“Research suggests people could end up paying up to 200 times more tax than inchoicesdependingnecessary,onthetheymaketherunuptoandthroughouttheirretirement.”(PensionPolicyInstitute(PPI)).

Suitable for individuals with a pension(s) value of £250,000 or more.

PAGE48.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:02

Know where life can take you. Investec’s role is to help you navigate life’s journey, to achieve financial freedom faster, unlock more opportunities and bring you the peace of mind of knowing where your money and life can take you.

Knowing when to retire. In retirement, timing is everything. Financially and emotionally, choosing the right moment to retire can make all the difference to enjoying your best years.

Life’s big retirement questions. What’s the best way to take an income in retirement? How much money will you need? Is now a good time to retire? Many of us don’t have a clear plan for our retirement years and often underestimate how much money we’ll need. Investec can help bring focus and clarity to these questions so you make the right choices for your future.

Joe Robinson Senior Financial Planning Director at Investec Columnist

Planning For Your Long-Term Financial Future Has Never Been More Important

WOMEN IN BUSINESS VOICES OF LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE GALGORM RESORT & SPA WED 9TH & THUR 10TH NOVEMBER 2022 Wed 9th | Executive Leadership workshop, networking dinner and retreat (Limited spaces available) Thu 10th | Full day conference exploring the theme: Everything starts with trust... Join Northern Ireland's female business leaders at the Voices of Leadership Conference 2022. BOOK YOUR PLACE AT: WOMENINBUSINESSNI.COM

50 FEATURE PAGE50-52.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:03

s the newly-promoted tax partner at KPMG in Northern Ireland, Sara Hamill has joined the leadership team of a firm which has established itself as an advisor of choice.

A

“We work very closely with the team coming through and make sure we let them know they’re adding value to the work they’re doing for clients as well as to the wider team. Everyone has their own style, and my job is to work with them to find their way and to encourage them to be themselves.”

KPMG’s recently-promoted partner Sara Hamill explains how the firm’s tax practice has built a market-leading position by caring for both its people and its clients.

Being given the freedom to do just that is something which the firm has very much encouraged, and it is a culture which Sara is determined to maintain and propagate throughout the business.

Working with some of the major corporate names and multinationals from across the island of Ireland, Sara said the tax practice has grown in number and breadth during that time to become the largest in Northern Ireland.

TrustedTheTaxAdvisor

Sara joined KPMG’s tax practice in 2006 having qualified at another firm and was made a director in 2017.

PAGE50-52.indd 3 25/08/2022 16:03

51 FEATURE

“People joke I’m a straight talker, and I am, but when I first started out I had to develop the confidence to be myself in a work environment. Once you start doing that you can do a better job and that is something I’m passionate about imparting on my team.

It is a privilege which Sara is relishing and one where she is determined to bring her honest and open approach.

During that time the Downpatrick native also got married and had three children, while beginning to focus on mergers and acquisition tax and building up an interest and expertise in the renewables sector.

52 FEATURE

Commitment to clients has, if anything, strengthened in recent years despite the switch to remote, and now hybrid, working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the initial change to working practices may have been challenging for companies, the hybrid way of working has galvanised the team in KPMG and allowed even greater collaboration with clients through a mix of inperson and online interaction.

As well as being focused on the professional development of the team and acting as a trusted advisor to clients, Sara is also passionate about the growth of the Northern Ireland economy, one which she sees as being primed for growth in the coming years.

“That is key for the development of our graduates and other team members who are starting out in their careers who benefit hugely from working alongside their peers and mentors. Hybrid working is welcomed but we have to make sure the next generation of leaders are nurtured in the same way we were.”

That view is based on the impressive performance of the local economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and a number of unique benefits which place it in an advantageous position. They include Northern Ireland’s dual market access to both the European Union and UK markets under the Northern Ireland Protocol and the added boost from a range of city deals which are drawing both public and private sector investment across the province. She also points to the benefits which the enactment of corporation tax devolution could have, by allowing the Stormont Executive to reduce the business tax to better compete with businesses across the island.

That service is something which the team prides themselves on.

“Our tax director group is mostly female, something which is a huge strength for the practice. Being able to act as a mentor for them and for females throughout the firm is a privilege for me and something I hope will help prep the next generation of female leadership within KPMG.”

However, she is equally committed to spending time in the office at KPMG’s Soloist building headquarters.

In her new role, Sara said she hopes to help her colleagues, clients and the firm take full benefit of those unique advantages and grow alongside the economy. With her impressive track record, there is little doubt that aim will be met with ease.

For the firm, the future of work is focused on the hybrid model and this flexibility has proven a positive for many, particularly those with young families or who live further away from the office. With three children and very much part of the Lecale community, it has certainly benefited Sara’s family. “Being able to base myself at home for part of the week means that I am now a regular spectator at my children’s sporting events and it also means we get to have breakfast and dinner together most days together,” she said.

Acting as a good role model for other females within the firm is also something which is very important to

PAGE50-52.indd 4 26/08/2022 09:59

“It is really important for us as a team to spend quality time working in the office together. It’s where we build working relationships with other team members, solve problems, exchange ideas and, most importantly, learn from each other.

“OurSara.tax director group is mostly female, something which is a huge strength for the practice. Being able to act as a mentor for them and for females throughout the firm is a privilege for me and something I hope will help prep the next generation of female leadership within KPMG.”

“When we advise clients, we rarely focus on just one piece of work. We tend to assist them across a spectrum of projects, very much acting as their trusted advisor. When it calls for it, we roll up our sleeves and get down in the trenches with them, working on any problems which come up.”

“When I joined the tax practice had 50 people and now we are more than 100. We are very lucky in terms of the quality of the team we have and the positive attitude they display. Everyone is willing to help and share their expertise, a trait which is really helpful when a client comes up against a problem or needs something done quickly.

“The whole team pulls together to help each other out and that means we’re able to provide the excellent service which our clients rightly expect.”

Ireland’s Original Kitchen Company Visit our Showroom: Shaerf Drive, Lurgan, County Armagh, BT66 8DD Book an Appointment: +44 (0)28 3832 3296 email: www.alwoodkitchens.commail@alwood.co.uk Alwood Page Ad.indd 2 09/08/2022 12:23

PAGE54-58.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:01

54 FEATURE

The Northern Ireland Executive’s Energy Strategy is an integral part of our roadmap to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. It outlines objectives including growing the green economy, replacing fossil fuel consumption and delivering savings.

It’s a group effort from across all departments but also one that falls on the shoulders of business leaders and consumers here.

The private and public sector don’t just have a moral obligation to clean up their acts, but soon it will be a legal

Northern Ireland boasts a solid share of businesses innovating in the world’s drive to Net Zero. From pioneers in the food and drink sector to architects of the decarbonisation of the maritime industry, innovation for a sustainable future is rife.

Manyobligation.ofNorthern Ireland’s key businesses are ahead of the curve when it comes to embedding Net Zero strategies into their operations and creating solutions for others to support their drive.

ZeroofPursuitTheNet

“The company has achieved energy savings for customers that range from £1.6m within 12 months to £4.6 million within four years. impressiveThey’restats.”

55 FEATURE

Northern Ireland, LoweConex has more than 35 employees with an ever-expanding team of innovative people continually reinventing innovative technology.

from a desire to innovate and solve this very real-world problem”.

LoweConex is one of those firms.  A patented, award-winning, cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) software platform and hardware solution, LoweConex “enables retailers and commercial property owners to implement intelligent automation at scale”.

A global business with a history that stretches 45 years, LoweConex has worked with the world’s leading brands.   “From Asda to Tesco, MoD to the NHS,” says Ian. “And what we identified was a shared challenge across every industry to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

Ian continues: “Where LoweConex really comes into its own is the technology’s ability to provide organisations with intelligent remote control of their assets at scale.

“LoweConex was developed to address environmental goals through intelligent control of high energy consuming assets. We’re proud to have been widely adopted by other mainstream retailers such as Morrisons and Co-op, whilst also becoming a supplier to other sectors such as fashion retail, property and Headquarteredhospitality.”in

“This has many benefits but perhaps none more so relevant in today’s climate than the impact this makes to target timelines. Thirty-six percent of retailers and 60% of grocers cite the time it takes to do what’s needed as challenging. With LoweConex we are able to utilise intelligent remote control to replicate successful energy saving initiatives across thousands of stores in an instant, allowing businesses to truly pick up the pace and make meaningful change today.”

That expansion is due to heightened demand for its product and that appetite will be sustained as we near the 2030 and 2050 carbon emission deadlines.

The company has achieved energy savings for customers that range from £1.6m within 12 months to £4.6m within four years. They’re impressive stats.

PAGE54-58.indd 3 26/08/2022 10:05

He explains: “With the growing volatility of the energy market LoweConex is supporting customers with a climate tech solution that cuts consumption across their assets, allowing retailers and commercial property owners to reduce carbon emissions while offsetting rising energy costs.”

Ian Lowry, chief operating officer at the business, says the tool “creates significant energy and carbon emission reductions that deliver accelerated sustainability achievements and substantial cost savings.”

Ian reveals: “Collectively we’ve saved over 27,009,558kWh in energy and over 5,672 tonnes of CO2 emissions.”

He says LoweConex, which is a brand within Lowe Corporation, was “borne

LoweConex

And the launch of a 100% electric vehicle and hybrid company car policy is imminent.

It provides a suite of services to workplaces including concierge in the wake of the pandemic.

“The incremental increase in sales of vegan and vegetarian meals we are already seeing across our sites is hugely encouraging and reflective of a change in consumer awareness and increased choice. Whether driven by concerns for the planet, health improvements or animal welfare, one thing is certain – veganism is a trend that keeps on trending.”

56 FEATURE

PAGE54-58.indd 4 26/08/2022 10:06

Here the company partners with a variety of sectors. It offers food catering to micromarkets, food lockers and even deliveredin solutions.

A new food waste prevention programme has also been deployed to more client sites covering 46% of raw material spent within its UK and Ireland business.

Claire Atkins Morris, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Sodexo, said the company announced that roadmap back in 2021 describing it as “ambitious, yet achievable”.

“A new food waste business.”itsmaterialcoveringtoalsoprogrammepreventionhasbeendeployedmoreclientsites46%ofrawspentwithinUKandIreland

Sodexo

we understand that plant-based meals have a lower carbon impact. We have set ourselves the goal of increasing the number of plant-based meals and recipes we supply to clients to 33% by 2025.

Over the past six months Sodexo has made significant progress with its Net Zero Clairetargets.saysit has progressed its commitment to procure 100% renewable electricity and it has conducted detailed energy efficiency audits across 98% of its direct operations.

Sodexo, one of the largest integrated facility management service providers with 430,000 employees, 500 of which are based in Northern Ireland, has its own Net Zero roadmap, with a target to reach that goal by 2045, five years before the Executive’s deadline.

Claire says the company’s Net Zero drive will be visible by its users, adding: “As part of our Net Zero commitment,

It will also engage its suppliers to understand its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

She said: “Since 2017, our commitments on climate change have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and this roadmap is on the same journey. Their rigorous approach has already helped us exceed the emissions targets we set after the Paris Agreement, giving me every confidence that we’re on the right track.”

“Elsewhere in the business Coca-Cola has achieved 100% renewable electricity in its NI division and it is nearly there across the rest of the island.”

PAGE54-58.indd 5 26/08/2022 10:08

2017 as a spin off from the Artemis Racing America’s Cup Team, its mission was to see how America’s Cup technology, particularly hydrofoils, could play a role in decarbonisation.

to our operators.”tocompaniesandindividualsfromrangingnexttothebevessels,electricwewilldeliveringfirstboatscustomersspringprivateferryport PAGE54-58.indd 6 26/08/2022 10:10

FEATURE 58 “With

What that vessel does is reduce the energy needed to propel a boat through water in what it calls a “disruptive electric propulsion system” also known as the eFoiler®.

Harnessing Northern Ireland’s strength in advanced manufacturing and engineering, we’re building a world-class maritime capability right in the heart of Belfast that has the potential to hit this challenge head on.

All of Artemis’ activity takes place at its headquarters in Belfast Harbour which is home to 70 employees. That figure is set to grow to more than 100 by the end of this year and a further 1,000 will be added to the team over the next ten years.

It also emits “significant particulate matter” and emissions will increase if not urgently reduced.

At present the global maritime transport sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 15% of nitrogen oxides, 13% of sulphur oxides, and 3% of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“As an Artemis eFoiler® propelled vessel accelerates, the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing the wetted area and therefore drag. Providing the double benefit of both increased speed and fuel efficiency, but most importantly, commercially viable range,” David explains.

“The market opportunity is huge.”

Commercial director at Artemis, David Tyler, explains how the business can play a role in that reduction: “To deliver on this mission, we have been developing a range of high-speed zero-emission vessels propelled by our transformative Artemis eFoiler® propulsion system, and recently launched the world’s first commercially viable electric foiling workboat.”

“With regard to our electric vessels, we will be delivering the first boats to customers next spring ranging from private individuals and ferry companies to port operators.”

TechnologiesArtemis regard

David adds: “The growing global desire to cut CO2 emissions from all modes of transport has finally begun to drive significant change within the maritime industry, and we have a real opportunity.

The company is also a consultancy providing design and engineering services to both commercial clients and high-performance sports teams including a number of high-performance sailing teams in the America’s Cup, SailGP and offshore circuits.

In the maritime industry, Artemis Technologies is literally making waves when it comes to decarbonising the Foundedsector.in

“We have also been receiving a lot of interest from other sports, to provide simulation and CFD services,” David reveals.

STILL IS. FIRSTCLASS DININGWAS TITANIC’SSIGNATURE. ENQUIRE NOW ABOUT EVENT AND VENUE HIRE AT TITANIC BELFAST VIA ENQUIRIES@TITANICBELFAST.COM TITANICBELFAST.COM

FEATURE OFFTAKING 60 PAGE60-62.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:17

Here he discusses how it has

TAKING PAGE60-62.indd 3 26/08/2022 10:17

challenges hit the travel industry.

The former commercial director of David Lloyd and chief commercial officer at London City Airport, together with his team, had his work cut out – building back custom after two years of unimaginable business

But the progress at the airport in the wake of the pandemic is evident in its evolution, says Matthew.

Matthew Hall stepped into the Chief Executive role at Belfast City Airport in the midst of the pandemic, in summer 2021.

airlines operating domestic and international flights.

Indeed the airline balance at the site has shifted. What used to be a one-airline dominant site (back in the day when Flybe was the anchor airline) has changed to become a multi-brand airport with eight

“Prior to the pandemic Flybe occupied around 80% of the flights but now we have eight airline customers and up to 21 destinations. Nineteen are domestic and that’s important to us, because nearly three quarters of journeys to and from Northern Ireland are to domestic destinations. We’ve built back with a broad portfolio of airlines and an extensive route network with more frequency and choice for customers.”

FEATURE

Matthew Hall stepped into the Chief Executive role at Belfast City Airport in the midst of the pandemic, in summer 2021.

“We are a very different airport now than what we were pre pandemic,” he begins.

Business travel, like capacity, is returning, albeit at a more gradual pace, but that is no concern to Matthew.

The airport has invested in new passenger assistants to support passengers, some of whom have not travelled for some time, and remind them of procedures and getting everyone through the security process as smoothly as possible.

“What we’re looking at is a more convenience-based airport. People want to get through an airport quickly and our job is to make sure we deliver the service as efficiently and as safely as possible, and also making sure passengers can get to and from the airport easily.

“We recently welcomed the findings of a report commissioned by London City Airport with WPI Economics in London that included specific Northern Ireland data that said six in ten business leaders here cited air travel as essential moving forward. It also said 73% of leaders expect to continue travelling and 98% would continue to use air travel over the next two years.”

One of the key additions to the airport this year has been the introduction of Emerald Airlines, the exclusive operator of Aer Lingus Regional services.

“We’re in a situation where our airline customers are more balanced,” Matthew continues.

“I saw a business that had a strong proposition but also one that can always be improved – we’ve already made some improvements and we will continually strive to enhance it over time.

62 FEATURE “We usetenwithLondonfindingswelcomedrecentlytheofareportcommissionedbyCityAirportWPIEconomicsinLondonthatincludedspecificNorthernIrelanddatathatsaidsixinbusinessleadersherecitedairtravelasessentialmovingforward.Italsosaid73%ofleadersexpecttocontinuetravellingand98%wouldcontinuetoairtraveloverthenexttwoyears.”  PAGE60-62.indd 4 26/08/2022 10:19

Reflectingsite.

The airport has also invested in some service-based improvements including the launch of a new Caffè Nero flagship store. It replaces Costa and is the largest coffee outlet in the airport.

“The phased return of travel has allowed us to recover gradually, which helps control passenger flow and ensures people will have a quick and easy journey through the airport.

£1bn – we see that coming back strongly. Business travel has always been resilient through other bumps in the road and the new connectivity we have will support that.”

“Business is building back really steadily and as of July we were at 70% of prepandemic volumes,” Matthew says.

Over Easter it also launched a new Italian-inspired restaurant, La Piazza. Creating over 15 new jobs, the restaurant adds to the existing food offering at the

It isn’t just the airline portfolio that has emerged differently in recent months, the customer profile is also changing, Matthew says.

“If you look at the contribution that business aviation has made in Northern Ireland – it was estimated to be around

Testament to that is its award for the UK’s Most Punctual Airport, as awarded by the Civil Aviation Authority in

June for Q1 2022 on time performance.

“The other important thing to us is to have the right network, to give customers choice and value, and we have that in place now, certainly more than any other airport in Northern Ireland and this puts us pretty close to Dublin in terms of the domestic network, frequency and proposition.

Today the airport offers that same strong link to London as it did in the past – up to 15 daily flights to three London airports –and up to five daily flights to Birmingham and Manchester as well as other popular domestic destinations.

In January it announced that it would expand out of Belfast City Airport, using it as a new base. Aer Lingus Regional offers high frequency routes to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.

“We expect to reach 100% pre-pandemic capacity, or more, by the end of the year and that steady return is being done responsibly to allow us to build back staffing levels on site throughout the airport.”

“The operations have been pretty smooth. It has held up and not suffered like others in our industry,” Matthew adds.

on business and the shape of the airport today, Matthew says: “When I look at our business, now having been here over a year, a lot of my original assumptions were sound in that I saw a resilient business capable of managing through unprecedented times, while not compromising on its strong reputation for customer service.

The gradual return of activity means the airport retains its pre-pandemic reliability and punctuality levels, allowing it to stand out from other airports and transport hubs that have been burdened with understaffing and high service demand.

In June the airline further illustrated its commitment to Belfast City Airport, which is conveniently situated just five minutes from Belfast city centre, by adding Cardiff and Southampton to its destination portfolio.

The balance between the leisure and business traveller is levelling off and that will see total Northern Ireland passenger figures almost double from 9 million annually today to 16 million by 2030.

“Coupled with an average security processing time of only six minutes, passengers can feel confident and reassured when they choose Belfast City Airport,” adds Matthew.

Located in the main concourse for arrivals landside at the airport, the store spans 2,100 square footage and is Caffè Nero’s first store in an airport in Northern Ireland.

Flybe is also back, under new ownership. Its return under that new parent company connects Belfast City with Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Manchester and BritishSouthampton. Airways,Loganair, Eastern Airlines and KLM as well as easyJet can also be seen gracing the tarmac airside further bolstering the increased choice and variety at the airport.

“We’re a very different airport today.”

What is a Charitable Trust?

Andrew Davison, Associate Solicitor.

PAGE63.indd 1 25/08/2022 16:11

• The Settlor can appoint themselves as a Trustee, permitting them an ongoing role in the administration of the fund;

• The Settlor’s specific intentions can be set out in a “Letter of Wishes”, to guide the Trustees when making decisions on behalf of the Trust;

For successful registration with the Charity Commission, the Trust will have to prove that its aims fall within one of the twelve

• By creating a Charitable Trust, a Settlor’s charitable legacy can be preserved, possibly over a period of many years.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME; GIVING.CHARITABLEOFESTABLISHMENTTHETRUSTSFORSponsoredFeature

Charitable Trust, it is possible to amend certain aspects of the Trust’s operation, in recognition of the Settlor’s original charitable intention;

When a Settlor has decided that they wish to create a Charitable Trust, the first stage is the preparation and execution of a “Trust Deed”, which identifies the causes that are to benefit and provides direction as to how the Trustees support those causes. Due to the nature of such Trusts, it is important that this Deed be prepared in contemplation of the guidance set out by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Once the Deed has been drawn up, the Trust must be registered with the Charity Commission to be awarded recognised charitable status.

Why establish a Charitable Trust?

• The Settlor may grant the Trustees a degree of discretion as to how funds are applied, which can allow the Trustees to benefit a wide range of beneficiaries in support of an overall charitable cause;

If you would like further information or have questions regarding the processes involved, please contact: Andrew E:AssociateDavisonSolicitorandrew.davison@carson-mcdowell.com

Registration as a Charity

• After the gift has been made to the

Once registered, the Trust must comply with the regulatory requirements of the Charity Commission, including submission of annual accounts, ensuring that the register of Trustees is kept up to date, and any other changes regarding the governance or operation of the Trust are recorded appropriately.

How is the Charitable Trust established?

Whilst the creation and administration of Charitable Trusts is becoming increasingly common for philanthropic donors, it is an area that requires careful planning and preparation. If you would like to explore this possibility in further detail, Carson McDowell’s Private Client team have a wealth of experience in the establishment of Trusts, and can provide detailed advice and assistance in respect of registration with the Charities Commission of Northern Ireland.

accepted charitable purposes (as defined in legislation), and satisfy the Charity Commission that these purposes give rise to sufficient “Public Benefit”. Due to the importance of registration for the successful operation of the Charitable Trust, it is vital that these requirements are borne in mind when the Trust Deed is being prepared.

As the name suggests, it is a Trust established to administer a single gift, or a series of ongoing gifts, exclusively for charitable purposes. Under the terms of a Charitable Trust, the person making the gift (the “Settlor”) transfers assets to the persons who will oversee the Charitable giving (the “Trustees”), with the direction that the assets are used for a pre-ordained charitable purpose.

For a variety of reasons, it is becoming increasingly common (for companies and private individuals alike) to consider making donations to worthwhile causes. However, an increasing number of charitable gifts are being given within the scope of a Charitable Trust. What are Charitable Trusts, and why are they being adopted on an ever-increasing basis?

On occasions I’ve decided to take the initiative to highlight and discuss some of the more challenging and uncomfortable aspects of personal and interpersonal realities.

Columnist

I

Given that I hail from a large extended family on my father’s side, there was a period when I seemed to attend a funeral at least once a month where the ‘sorry for your trouble’ cliché always got a very good airing.

Bill Roy Principal and Founder at BRC Partnership Ltd

It’s helpful that we live in an era when it has become more normal and so much more acceptable to be open about what is really going on; a time when mental and emotional challenges can be seen through the lenses of maturity, sensitivity and empathy. I am thinking particularly in this piece about the inevitability of bereavement. I would suggest though, we still have some way to go.

There are so many catalysts for leadership thinking, like poetry for example, in fact all of the arts and I’ve regularly reached back into these personal archives to bring challenging and sometimes random, surprising and occasionally uncomfortable illustrations on a wide range of themes.

Time for the emotionally intelligent, the empathetic and caring leader to step up.

Sorry For Your Trouble

By old men standing up to shake my hand And tell me they were ‘sorry for my trouble’.

I guess I’m highlighting in particular the need for high levels of emotional intelligence, especially on the part of those who have the responsibility of leading others. Beyond the pressure to deliver high-quality results, irrespective of the business context, we have a responsibility to win more private and public victories as Covey called them in his Seven Habits book.

t might be because I trained in Dramatic Art and English back in the day. A first degree that challenged me in so many creative ways. Or maybe it was because I had the opportunity to be shaped in theatre studies by the enigmatic Sam McCready, head of drama at Stranmillis College before he made the switch to Maryland University in the States. Whatever the reason, the arts have remained important to me through my varied career choices over the years and particularly over the past 20 years in my leadership development endeavours.

I’ve often reflected on the ways in which we are conditioned by family and social culture. In my case it was always a mystery to me as a teenager why the men (and it was predominantly men), family and beyond, seemed unable or unwilling to express any sort of obvious emotion at family funerals and were adept at a collection of well-worn clichés. Most of them gathered at the garden gate and had a smoke and a laugh.

We may have some way to go in terms of increasing our own internal or personal victories and perhaps one way of doing this is to embrace the reality of our own frailties, being open and honest about them. Choosing self-disclosure in a safe and trusted environment might be a good Surely,start.weall

As leaders we need to recognise that loss and grief are part of the fabric of people’s lives. I’ve met many leaders in my time who have admitted that they didn’t know what to say in such circumstances so chose to say nothing for fear of ‘making things worse’.

Surely, we all have times and seasons of feeling untethered and unsure. Perhaps we could lead by example when the time is right, be willing to exhibit a genuine vulnerability that might just ‘permission’ others to find the courage to say it as it is. Including how loss has profoundly impacted them, leaving them understandably feeling disconnected and disinterested, at least in the short term, in delivering results.

“It’s helpful that we live in an era when it has become more normal and so much openacceptablemoretobeaboutwhatisreallygoingon.”

PAGE64.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:11

You may remember Seamus Heaney’s ‘Mid-Term Break’ for example:

have times and seasons of feeling untethered and unsure. Perhaps we could lead by example when the time is right, be willing to exhibit a genuine vulnerability that might just ‘permission’ others to find the courage to say it as it is.

…I was embarrassed

A couple of years ago I was asked by a young team leader if we could spend time looking at strategies to help with the handling of bereavement and loss with team members. It was very interesting to see how many of her colleagues lined up behind her to say, ‘Yes, we would like to explore the options for helping others too’.

64

simplifies complexity

OPENNESS making IT easy. 0845 564 0665 zenithnetworks.co.uk info@zenithnetworks.co.uk

9 to 5 was acceptable when Marvin was in fashion.

We build great networks and that’s a fact, but our approach goes way beyond that. For us it’s all about building lasting relationships with our clients.

Whether it’s your complete IT help desk or just additional support for your IT department, we are there for you 24 hours a day. Our remote monitoring technology can fix problems before they even happen. But our promise to you is that when you’re working - we are too.

we believe

Marvin the robot.

66 FEATURE PAGE66-68.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:24

As Kilwaughter Minerals experiences a period of significantly increasing demand for its products, CEO Gary Wilmot spoke to Ambition about how development and sustainability go hand in hand.

GrowthForTheSettingBenchmarkSustainable

The increased demand is good news for the business and Gary told Ambition about some of their plans for further development, “tied as always to a need to grow sustainably”.

“The consequent emphasis on research and development has ensured we’ve responded to the needs of our customers to create differentiated products under our portfolio of brands.

67 FEATURE PAGE66-68.indd 3 26/08/2022 10:24

Despite what has been a challenging backdrop of harsh economic conditions, Kilwaughter Minerals has enjoyed a substantial rise in demand as it continues to expand its offering to the construction and agriculture sectors across the UK and Ireland.

The journey can only be achieved through sustained investment, Gary explained.

The money will fund a range of projects with a focus on improving capacity and efficiency, reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and enhancing its market-leading position in the construction and agriculture sectors.

Insulation brand, K Systems, is at the heart of the need for warmer homes and the government’s drive for a sustainable, fabric first housing stock. K Systems will bring three new products to market over the next 12 months as we aim to be the thought and innovation leaders in our segments.”

Based in Kilwaughter, just outside Larne, the company supplies a growing customer base with products such as through-colour renders, external wall insulation systems, soil health conditioning minerals and livestock bedding health solutions.

“We have a great mineral asset, Ulster White Limestone with unique properties that have allowed us to target and reach into new markets with an expanding portfolio. This strategy has naturally meant increased focus on our ability to get close to those markets and our ability to innovate.

The business recently announced plans to invest £4.7 million in capital projects over two years.

“As an example, our K Rend brand is the UK and Ireland’s leading through-colour silicone render and we launched a major new product into this segment in March of this year with several other products in “Ourdevelopment.ExternalWall

Investment

“At Kilwaughter, we don’t believe in standing still and that has been the case throughout the history of the company,” he said.

The initiative includes the construction of additional warehousing, updated site

Sustainability

Gary added: “We are committed to investing in our capital infrastructure on an ongoing basis as we seek to remain at the fore of our industries and lead the markets we serve.

Community

“The investments cover projects taking place across 2022 and 2023, each of them designed to enhance the experience of our customers and our people as we work to place them at the centre of what we do.

“As a business, we have pledged ourselves to taking positive action that will build better futures for our people, our customers, our communities and our environment.

It’s also the primary founder of the Queen’s University Belfast Pathway Opportunity Programme helping A-Level students transition to university life through practical and financial support, with a commitment so far of £750,000. To date, more than 600 students have benefitted from Kilwaughter’s contribution since the scheme’s inception in 2017, through bursaries.

Gary added: “As we continue to service growing demand in the development of our business, Kilwaughter is focused on placing sustainability at its centre, ensuring we make a positive impact on our communities and our environment that will create a legacy to be proud of.”

Kilwaughter Minerals CEO Gary Wilmot, centre, pictured with the company’s senior management team, from left: Adrian Alexander, Fiona Byrne, David Grace, Caroline Rowley and David Smith.

The investment in infrastructure to improve sustainability is not a new trend for Kilwaughter, but a legacy that has built up over many decades.

“As we continue to service growing demand in the development of our business, Kilwaughter is focused on placing sustainability at its centre, ensuring we make a positive impact on our communities and our environment that will create a legacy to be proud of.”

FEATURE

“Whether it’s energy conservation through close monitoring of production plant efficiency or the use of solar panels, efforts to minimise waste, or treating the local habitat in which we work with sensitivity, sustainability is a critical consideration. We expect those in our supply chain to hold to these same values.

facilities and production plant, and a new product blending plant that was completed earlier this year.

“We are also working to understand various complementary technologies such as those enabled by hydrogen as a fuel source, as they emerge over the coming years and we will intercept these as they become viable.

“We now employ over 200 people, the vast majority of whom live within the local area, while we support many hundreds more within our supply chain.”

PAGE66-68.indd 4 26/08/2022 10:25

Although much of Kilwaughter’s sales takes place outside Northern Ireland, as a leading exporter for the region, its roots are firmly within the Mid and East Antrim Borough.

68

“With demand for our products increasing, we necessarily plan for additional capacity and this always needs aligned with our commitment to sustainability. An example are our near-term plans to upgrade to inline drier technology which is designed to improve production capacity while delivering a significantly positive improvement in carbon emissions.”

Meanwhile, the business was named ‘Stakeholder of the Year’ at the 2021 Social Enterprise NI Awards for its two-decade partnership with Access Employment Limited (AEL), Northern Ireland’s first social enterprise firm, established to support those with disabilities, health conditions and social disadvantage into meaningful employment.

“Biodiversity is another part of our agenda and we have, for the second year running, planted wildflower spaces and our headquarters site is home to some 20,000 planted trees. We have also set ground aside for a range of ground nesting birds including grouse, curlew, snipe and golden plover.”

“Our Management Board is constantly thinking of ways that we can grow our organisation through expanding into new territories, creating new products or services, or reaching new customers. We are finding that our markets are now actively seeking partners that are proactively engaged in sustainability,” said Gary.

Gary continued: “We are very proud to be able to make the sort of announcements that we do on capital investments on a regular basis, which is investment occurring here in our community.

PAGE69.indd 1 26/08/2022 14:57

Currently undergoing a £600,000 transformation, the Dairy Farm store in Dunmurry will be the next revitalised store to relaunch, closely followed in September by Portglenone, which is receiving a £720,000 makeover and Omagh, which will launch later in the year following an investment of £730,000.

69 Ciaran Lavery heads up the Mid-Corporate Business Banking team for Bank of Ireland UK, having held a number of management positions with the bank since joining in 2013. The team is based locally in Belfast and looks after larger SMEs across Northern Ireland, with lending requirements typically between £3M and £20M. The team also specialises in development finance. Ciaran works with two longstanding and experienced business bankers in Chris Gibb and Simon Tolerton, who bring an extensive range of knowledge and experience to help support customers.

“While more and more businesses like the convenience of our online technology for their day-to-day transactions, we’re proud of our ability to combine technology with a local team, who work in partnership with businesses and stay central to their continued success. Working with some of Northern Ireland’s larger businesses, our local presence allows us to react quickly to customers’ needs and develop close connections to their advisors. It’s a privilege for us to help support and develop the financial wellbeing of businesses across Northern Ireland and beyond.”

With increasing consumer focus on shopping local and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, customers can expect an extended range of fresh, local produce in each of the new stores at great prices. Working with more than 3,000 local farmers and in partnership with over 150 local suppliers, Musgrave NI is committed to supporting the local supplier network across all its stores, buying £160m worth of local food and drink annually.

BY CIARAN LAVERY HEAD OF MID-CORPORATE BUSINESS BANKING NORTHERN IRELAND

“Throughout the pandemic our focus was on supporting businesses through the challenges they faced. Initially our attention and energy were very much on delivering the coronavirus government-backed lending schemes for businesses as well as offering new facilities or payment breaks. Several of the team’s customers, working on the “front line” during the pandemic, also needed additional banking support as they sought to provide products and services, such as vital PPE, during the worst of the crisis.

COLUMNIST

MUSGRAVE INVESTS OVER £3M IN SUPERVALU STORES OF THE FUTURE

Musgrave Northern Ireland has announced that the business has invested £3.2million in the rejuvenation of four SuperValu stores across Northern Ireland.

For further information or to engage directly with Ciaran or one of his team, please feel free to contact him at Ciaran.Lavery@boi.com or visit www.bankofirelanduk.com/business/business-team/.

The first of the four company-owned stores launched early August in Portstewart to great fanfare with local celebrity home cook, Suzie Lee, and Dave and Steve Flynn from The Happy Pear in Creatingattendance.six

Aligning with Musgrave NI’s sustainability commitments, the stores, which are part of the Group’s company-owned portfolio, are powered using green electricity and feature digital screens, energy efficient LED lighting and top-grade energy efficient refrigeration systems as Musgrave works to achieve its net zero ambition by 2040. In addition, the introduction of electronic shelf edge labels to the stores will save a combined total of 28,000 sheets of paper per year.

Sector success

“The team has a wealth of experience in supporting all of the many crucial sectors across Northern Ireland, with many customers trading globally. We also have extensive property expertise in the local market, covering a wide range of commercial and residential property investment and development.”

additional jobs in the local area, Musgrave invested £1.1million in the store which boasts a new hot and cold deli counter, a Moo’d Ice Cream bar and expanded in-store bakery. The revitalised store also now has a one-of-a-kind off-licence stocking premium wine, beer and spirits as well as a dedicated ‘Zero Zone’ with a wide range of alcohol-free drinks options.

Caroline Rowan, Head of Retail Operations at Musgrave Northern Ireland said:

Steve and Dave Flynn from The Happy Pear with Caroline Rowan, Head of Retail Operations at Musgrave Northern Ireland at the launch of the newly revitalised SuperValu Portstewart store.

With businesses now facing significant new challenges having just emerged from a pandemic, Ciaran shares some reflections, insights and thoughts.

Supporting Northern Ireland’s Mid-Corporate Businesses – Meet the Head of Mid-Corporate Business Banking at Bank of Ireland UK

Outside banking, Ciaran enjoys spending time with his family, is a keen sports fan and plays five-a-side football and golf.

“Our rejuvenated SuperValu stores are truly stores of the future. In addition to the £2.7million sustainability fund Musgrave NI has committed to empower SuperValu and Centra retailers to become net zero by 2040, we have also invested £850,000 in energy saving materials across these four rejuvenated SuperValu stores, making them as efficient and green as possible.”

“During 2022, we’ve seen a marked increase in business activity and a desire to get on with business again. Many of our customers have taken the

opportunity to accelerate innovation, adopt new technology and develop new ways of working to succeed in a post-pandemic world, and we are proud to be able to support them with their plans for the future. However, we are also noting an increase in demand for additional working capital facilities, as businesses try to deal with the rapid increase in energy and raw material costs, alongside supply chain issues and the resultant pressures this is placing on the levels of stock-holding required. The Mid-Corporate team has supported customers throughout, helping to deliver innovative funding structures to achieve positive outcomes.”

Some of the most popular guides on My New Business provide advice on trademarking, intellectual property (IP) and patents, while many entrepreneurs use the resource to learn more about financing their start-ups, and the site is constantly being updated to reflect the changing business landscape.

70

Deciding to start a business is a big deal… you need to put yourself and your business idea out there, test the market and then say to the world “this is what I have to offer” and ask customers to literally buy it.

History has shown us the value of start-up businesses and entrepreneurship, and now as we look to the future, supporting and growing entrepreneurship is a key driver in achieving innovation, job creation and economic growth.

entrepreneurial ecosystem to help local people get the support they need to successfully plan, start and run new businesses.

The website also signposts to useful services such as the ‘Go For It’ Programme which is delivered by all 11 local councils and Invest NI’s Business Information Centre which provides both emerging and existing businesses with access to market and industry research free of charge. This resource has proved vital for many entrepreneurs in the process of developing

It’s worth highlighting the importance of new IDEs as key contributors to regional economic growth and high value employment. These businesses usually take a little longer to get going, often requiring equity or debt funding in the early months and years, before they are generating revenues – but when they do, given that they are innovation-driven and differentiated from the competition, they have the potential for high and rapid growth and will help Northern Ireland realise the ambitions in our 10x Strategy.

Anyone thinking of starting a business should visit My New Business; this resource is a central, curated hub of entrepreneurial advice and support which provides free access to practical business guides, checklists, factsheets and videos. Ultimately starting a business is not easy but entrepreneurs with access to the support and connected network provided by the My New Business microsite will create thriving businesses, forging exceptionally rewarding careers, benefitting themselves, their employees, their families and wider communities.

PAGE70.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:29

We recognise that most people starting a new business are spinning several different plates, whether it is holding down a fulltime job while putting the foundations in place, or being CEO, Marketing, Finance and HR manager all at the same time. We recommend our My New Business microsite as the first port of call for anyone with an inkling of a new business idea.

No matter how big or small the business idea, a strong understanding of the market and confidence in your business idea is needed to take that leap of faith and become an entrepreneur.

Fortunately, Northern Ireland has a strong track record of entrepreneurship and a reputation for innovation; we appreciate the value of applying new ideas and innovative ways of thinking to solve problems or improve existing products and processes. Locally we have reaped the benefits of entrepreneurship going back as far as the shipbuilding and linen industries of the early 1900s to present-day industries such as life and health sciences, fintech and advanced manufacturing – and we must continue to nurture this entrepreneurial culture to ensure a prosperous future for all in Northern Ireland.

It’s widely accepted that the success of any economy is closely tied to the vibrancy of its entrepreneurs, but that all-important entrepreneurship doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it requires the support of a connected community, also known as an ecosystem.

Got a Business Idea? Get Started Now

their business ideas and strategies. Over recent months, budding local entrepreneurs have benefited from Invest NI’s growing involvement with national and international initiatives – in September 2021, working with Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI) and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSC NI), Invest NI provided support to enable seven local NHS employees to take part in NHS England’s Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme for the first time.

My New Business is part of NIBusinessinfo. co.uk (Invest NI’s free business resource website) which gives start-ups the information they need in an easy-toabsorb format that they can access when and where suits them. Users can access a plethora of guides, factsheets and tools which explain the steps of starting a business, including advice on naming your business, business planning and branding, raising finance and managing cash flow, marketing and branding and HR processes.

Columnist

Alan McKeown, Chief Transformation Officer, Invest NI

Invest NI aims to further build the supportive and connected community required to support our homegrown talent. We’re working with stakeholders across Northern Ireland to further develop the

Furthermore, a cohort of Northern Ireland stakeholders is currently participating in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme (REAP) which is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the NI entrepreneurship ecosystem encouraging the foundation and growth of more innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs). Participation in the programme will lead to the development of a “Regional Acceleration Plan” focused on further developing the support ecosystem for IDEs that have the potential to grow at pace and contribute significantly to the Northern Ireland economy.

But are entrepreneurs born, or it is something which can be learned, developed and nurtured? Some argue that entrepreneurs, and for that matter, leaders, are ‘made not born’. While this is a hotly debated topic, Invest Northern Ireland strongly believes that entrepreneurial skills can be developed, both in the world of work and through education, training and support, and that the earlier and more often these skills are practised, the sharper they become.

today. Call us on +44 28 9031 0655 or visit davyuk.co.uk

‘Together, we build a picture of your ideal future’

Associate Director, Davy Private Clients UK

Ireland Group.

authorised and regulated by the Financial

UK are the trading names of J & E Davy (UK) Limited. J & E Davy

Each of my clients has a different idea of what financial confidence means to them. When we meet we have real conversations about their life, their family and their hopes for the future. It can take many conversations to work out what their real priorities are. But when we get to a true understanding of their future goals, I can build a financial life plan to help achieve them.

J & E Davy (UK) Limited is a Davy Group company and also a member of the Bank

believe

the

We it’s our personal approach that delivers best outcomes for our clients. conversation

Let’s start the

Lisa Lucas

230 394383 Resize of Belfast ads_Lisa Lucas.indd 1 25/08/2022 16:53

UK, Davy UK and Davy Capital

Davy Private Clients Markets (UK) Limited is Conduct Authority. of

Leading the way in accessibility Although Power NI focuses on the

PForCommunitiesPoweringGenerationsowerNIislocallyrooted.Forover90years,it’sbeenalegacyprovider,trustedsupplierandlocalemployerdedicatedtoservingNorthernIrelandanditsvibrantcommunities.Apositiveforce,decadeafterdecade,investinginandsupportingmultiplelocalgroups,charities,initiativesandpartners.

William Steele, Power NI’s director of customer solutions, commented: “Our aim is to be as accessible as possible for all our customers. Power NI staff have worked extremely hard for the last 12 months to achieve the standard and it is also recognition of a lot of work over a number of Accessibilityyears.” needs and vulnerability take many forms and as part of this certification, Power NI staff are trained in the identification of customer vulnerability, inclusive design of products and services and data collection,

72 FEATURE PAGE72-73.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:21

protection and sharing. Assessing everything from bills, payment methods, staff training and flexibility with those who are struggling to pay, NI’s leading energy supplier understands that it has a duty of care to its customers to provide the most accessible and straightforward experience possible.

community through many charitable and strategic partnerships, their positive energy doesn’t stop there. As a people-first business, it is the first energy supplier in Northern Ireland to be awarded a British Standard for Inclusive Service Provision (BS18477), meaning that it is certified to provide a flexible and inclusive service to meet the needs of all customers, regardless of personal circumstance.

JAM Card-friendly and at the cusp of a new partnership with the NOW Group, Power NI’s commitment to accessibility continues to flourish into its business practice and beyond. The JAM Card, an acronym for ‘Just A Minute’, verifies that staff are appropriately trained to identify those who may have communication barriers or hidden disabilities and may just require some more time and care to attend to their needs. The company is working closely with the NOW Group to break down barriers to career development, encouraging participants to apply for job roles across Energia Group.

“Our people are what make us so communityfocused. It’s not a corporate tick box, it is the attitude and lifestyles of our staff that fuel the care we have for the community. We are all people with causes close to our hearts and that’s what makes our CSR work so genuinely special; it really matters to us individually and as an organisation.”

– Gwyneth Compston, CSR Manager

In addition to the company’s employee Helping Hands scheme and Brighter Communities fund, one of the most recent partnerships Power NI was proud to get behind was Elmer’s Big Belfast Trail in support of NI Hospice, which saw 70 individually decorated Elmer the Elephant statues dotted around Belfast city, each one uniquely designed by a local artist. Power NI’s sponsorship of an Elmer sits close to the team for more reason than one; as a long-time supporter of NI Hospice, the company was delighted to help the charity through an initiative that brought local art into the spotlight as well as boosting morale within the city through a free and colourful art trail for the summer.

Among its CSR activities, Power NI works in close partnership with Ulster Wildlife to restore and preserve precious peatlands across Northern Ireland. A lesser known, but just as important, aspect of our shared goals to reduce carbon and care for the environment, peatlands absorb twice as much carbon as forests worldwide; a message that Power NI feels strongly about bringing to the forefront of the conversation of a green future. The team has worked hard to build awareness of the work Ulster Wildlife does, while not shying away from getting their hands dirty volunteering in the Ballynahone Bog.

Laying the groundwork for a more positive future

When it comes to social responsibility, the staff of Power NI, part of Energia Group, are a true powerhouse for brightening and bettering their communities. Whether they are volunteering their time, helping to fundraise for charitable causes or putting ideas forward for ways to make life better through their work, there’s a large testament to be paid to the people behind the Power NI doors.

For more information on how Power NI is powering communities right across Northern Ireland, visit www.powerni.co.uk/community.

Power NI staff were actively involved in the trail’s activities, offering their time as volunteers and bringing their team spirit to a scavenger hunt against other local business sponsors!

People are the powerhouse of community – in and out of work

Power NI Marketing Manager, Amy Bennington, commented: “Volunteering with Ulster Wildlife is such a rewarding and important way to understand just how crucial it is to care for these environments, and we are so proud to be continuing this partnership.”

FEATURE 73

PAGE72-73.indd 3 25/08/2022 16:22

74 FEATURE

PAGE74-75.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:42

“It has been great learning from the designers at Ulster Carpets about how they turn art into rugs and carpets. It is something that I will never forget and I think I would like to be a designer in the future.”

Dundonald Primary School pupil Emily McMullan (11), was announced as the winner of the competition by Minister of State Conor Burns in June, and met with Ulster Carpets designers to learn how her design was being turned into a special gift for Her Majesty the Queen.

Speaking after the visit, Minister of State Conor Burns said: “It seems like only a few weeks ago when I was on the phone to Nick from a primary school in Bournemouth. I told him I’d had an idea and asked him to tell me honestly if it was crazy. Thankfully Nick and his team at Ulster Carpets are

Emily’s design, featuring some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landmarks such as Samson and Goliath in Belfast and the North Coast’s Giant’s Causeway, was woven into a rug by Ulster Carpets’

Speaking about seeing the rug, competition winner Emily McMullan said: “It’s amazing to see all of the places that remind me of home being made into a gift for Her Majesty the Queen. I still can’t believe that something I designed in art class is now being delivered to the Queen!

Platinum Jubilee Rug Unveiled at Ulster Carpets

T

The specially designed Jubilee rug will be delivered to Her Majesty the Queen as a gift from the children of Northern Ireland in her Jubilee year and Emily will also receive her own copy of the rug as a lasting memory of the important role that she has played in helping Her Majesty celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.

he winner of the Northern Ireland Office’s Platinum Jubilee design competition and Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns have returned to Ulster Carpets for the unveiling of a special Platinum Jubilee gift for Her Majesty the Queen from the young people of Northern Ireland.

Minister of State Conor Burns with competition winner Emily McMullan and Ulster Carpet’s Dalreen Buchanan.

Emily’s postcard to the Queen was chosen from over 2,000 colourful and creative entries, with primary schools across Northern Ireland offered the opportunity to take part in a unique design competition as part of this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

expert team, and unveiled by Emily and Minister of State Conor Burns at the manufacturing company’s Portadown headquarters on Tuesday 23 August.

“Little did I imagine then that it would be embraced so wholeheartedly by Northern Ireland’s young people. Yet the entries flooded in – over 2,000 from schools of every kind in every country. Emily, her fellow finalists and indeed every child who entered can be incredibly proud of their designs.

as open minded as they are creative. Nick said let’s do it. So the Platinum Jubilee Rug Competition was conceived.

FEATURE 75

“I am bursting with pride in what these wonderful young people – the future of Northern Ireland – have done and I thank them Groupsincerely.”Managing Director of Ulster Carpets Nick Coburn said: “It has been a great privilege to be involved in the NIO’s Platinum Jubilee design competition and to have the honour of manufacturing a rug for Her Majesty the Queen, particularly in the same year as we received the Royal Warrant.

PAGE74-75.indd 3 26/08/2022 10:42

“The designs created by schoolchildren from across Northern Ireland demonstrate the immense artistic talent that we have in our country. As we look to the future, it is reassuring to know that Ulster Carpets can transform this potential into the carpet designers of the future.”

“They have captured the natural and built wonder of this amazing place. Today I have seen the finished product and it is beyond my wildest dreams. We asked the young people to design a rug on the theme ‘a postcard from Northern Ireland’. What they did and what Ulster Carpets has produced is literally a gift fit for the Queen.

Minister of State Conor Burns with competition winner Emily McMullan and Ulster Carpets’ Dalreen Buchanan.

“It has been great learning from the designers at Ulster Carpets about how they turn art into rugs and carpets. It is something that I will never forget and I think I would like to be a designer in the future.”

BT has announced plans to bring up to 100 new roles to its new state-of-theart Riverside Tower office in Belfast.

Renews NI PartnershipChamber

Belfast Jobs Boost With Up To 100 New Roles

Welcoming the announcement, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, NI Chamber said: “BT is one of NI Chamber’s longest standing supporters, so we are extremely pleased they have decided to renew this partnership, which delivers so much mutual benefit for both partners and crucially, for NI Chamber members.

PAGE76.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:25

in Northern Ireland, added: “We are delighted to renew our long-standing partnership with NI Chamber and look forward to working together to continue to promote economic recovery and growth for businesses here.

BTNEWS

forms part of BT’s drive to expand its digital arm, which is responsible for leading its digital transformation and creating innovative new products and services.

including product management, software engineering, cloud, design, artificial intelligence, machine learning and agile Thedelivery.announcement

As one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, BT supports more than 7,200 jobs locally. Over the last year, it has launched a range of new products and programmes that form part of a long-term plan to help build a better connected and more competitive Northern Ireland.

Paul Murnaghan, regional director for BT’s Enterprise business

BT remains as committed to Northern Ireland as it has ever been, ensuring access to connectivity for businesses here when they need it most and advancing the continued roll-out of 5G. We are proud of the role that we continue to play in investing in research and innovation capabilities and as one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, we continue to provide opportunities for the considerable local talent that exists. Our ongoing multi-millionpound investment in our flagship Riverside Tower office also continues to position BT at the heart of local business and the economy here.

Ann (ChiefMcGregorExecutive of NI Chamber) and Paul (RegionalMurnaghanDirector of BT Enterprise).

“We share NI Chamber’s drive and commitment to support business renewal and growth following challenging economic times and appreciate its strong and guiding voice on behalf of the business community.”

As part of the process BT is focusing on entry talent including apprentices, graduates, women returners and others starting careers in digital.

“The partnership works because our aims are so well aligned. As one of the region’s most significant investors, BT is at the forefront of making Northern Ireland a digitally connected region and is helping to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to support sustainable business growth. That is a vital component in helping our members to grow locally and internationally, and for driving the development of the economy as a whole. Together, we are committed to continuing to working closely to support local companies now and into the future.”

BT has renewed its long-standing partnership with NI Chamber in a deal that will see the telecommunications company stay on as the membership organisation’s ‘Communications Partner’ for another three-year term.

The partnership will see BT support NI Chamber’s work across the province, as well as a number of flagship events including the President’s Banquet and Annual Lunch.

The tech and telecoms company will bolster its in-house digital workforce, which will see around 100 new specialised jobs brought to the city. The majority will be brought on board by April 2024.

BT already supports more than 7,200 jobs locally and is due to complete the refurbishment of its flagship Riverside Tower office in Belfast later this year. The multi-million-pound refurbished office will become a hub for up to 2,000 colleagues and is one of the company’s key locations in the UK.

The new employees will be appointed to highly skilled future-proofed roles

The company is working with organisations like Code First Girls and 10,000 Black Interns and knows its success lies in working with a diverse range of talent.

76

“We are determined to build on this success by utilising the support of Lookers Plc and its nationwide dealer group as we continue to deliver a mix of excellent customer service, technology and innovative products designed to support customers from SMEs to corporates and personal customer.

The next few quarters will undoubtedly bring about challenges, but we remain committed to lending and collaborating with businesses across key market sectors. We want to play our part in boosting economic growth throughout Northern Ireland and we do this by championing the people working hard to make this happen.

“And with local expertise across all makes and models of cars and vans, and our ever-expanding electric vehicle and hybrid offering, we are determined to sustain our reputation as a leading vehicle leasing company across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”

Damian Hughes, Managing Director at Fleet Financial, said: “Fleet Financial is delighted to be recognised as the UK’s Leasing Operator of the Year by industry experts.“Iwould like to thank our team for their hard work, dedication, and commit ment to delivering ‘Extra Comes as Standard’ to our loyal and ever-expanding customer base.

FLEET FINANCIAL DRIVES OFF WITH PRESTIGIOUS UK-WIDE INDUSTRY ACCOLADE

PAGE77.indd 1 26/08/2022 12:52

77

Mallusk based Fleet Financial, part of Lookers Plc, has driven off with a prestigious UK-wide accolade after being named 2022 UK Leasing Operator of the Year by industry experts.

A number of our large agrifood customers have invested in new plant and equipment and we have been pleased to support the team at Erne Eggs with a recent acquisition. When deciding how best to invest, it is important to weigh up the risks and this is an area our teams can assist with. Many of these risks are being driven by inflationary pressures but we are also seeing currency volatility and talking

In spite of all the noise and very genuine concerns about the current economic situation, when we look back over the first half of this year, business activity has been strong. While it’s unclear if this is a hangover from the pandemic or if there is a genuine, renewed appetite for growth, there does appear to be a strong focus on investment.

By Kenton Hilman, Head of Corporate and Property, Ulster Bank

begin to think differently about how they might mitigate against these rises. Investing now to lower costs in the future is an increasingly attractive proposition for customers and we are keen to encourage our customers to adopt greener, more sustainable business practices.

Businesses in the health sector continue to be buoyed by the ongoing health situation and despite the impact Covid has had on those in the tourism industry, the rekindled appreciation for the local leisure offering has contributed to growth in this area with companies such as the Hilton Group making significant investments in their portfolio.

The local contract hire, leasing and vehicle management company picked up the prize at the 2022 AM Awards after the successful roll-out of the business’ innovative ‘eMotive’ and ‘Your Preference’ product offerings.

The most obvious example of this is around energy costs and we are seeing many people

We see this as being the key to unlocking growth ambitions and are supporting customers who wish to expand through acquisitions and investment. Of course, there are a lot of risks to contend with and many businesses will not be exempt from the cost-of-living concerns currently facing consumers. But with a strategic outlook and a clear understanding of where you want to go, opportunities remain even against the backdrop of a challenging climate.

‘Your Preference’ allows non-business customers to use Personal Contact Hire to acquire a new car by selecting their make, model, mileage, and monthly budget.Fleet Financial employs 25 full-time staff at its Belfast headquarters and manages almost 4,000 vehicles for 1,300 clients across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“We are operating in a challenging and competitive environment, and to

Property, too, is experiencing a surge in activity despite interest rates going up and we have backed a number of significant developments in the commercial sector. Many of the conversations and inquiries we are having with customers from the property industry are focused on how they might de-risk themselves from inflationary pressures, which is where investment to bring down costs in the longer term might be a potential option.

With electric and hybrid vehicles accounting for over 65% of the Fleet Financial’s vehicle orders, the company launched its eMotive product in 2020 to support SME’s and corporate customers successfully transition to electric and hybrideMotivevehicles.helps businesses navigate some of the key considerations of making the switch to electric or hybrid, including financial incentives, mileage, charging, vehicle choice and costs.

receive this national recognition reflects the strength and growth of our brand and the innovative products that we offer.

For more information on Fleet Financial visit www.fleetfinancial.co.uk

UNLOCKING GROWTH AMBITIONS

more and more about how best to reduce the effects of such fluctuations. Effectively, these are old risk factors which may not have been an area of concern for some time, but their resurfacing has led to a number of customers wishing to talk through various options with us and tap into the expertise our teams can offer.

The launch of a dedicated ‘Your Preference’ personal leasing website in September 2021 has helped the business’ personal leasing division grow by over 70% with the site accounting for over 25% of its personal contract hire orders.

appointments 78

LAURA EDENS

Business Development Manager at NI Chamber

OONAGH DIAMOND

Business Development Manager at NI Chamber

BRITTANY LYN Paralegal in the Corporate Department at Cleaver Fulton Rankin

JULIE MCKEOWN (The Henry Group) to the Board of The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

PAGE78-79.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:27

NEWAPPOINTMENTS THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY

IN

JEN REA

RICHARD MILLIGAN

CHANELLEBAKESMORAN

SITA KARKI Earth Observation Project Manager and Technical Lead at Mallon Technology

Specification Consultant at AG

Specification Consultant at AG

Head of Marketing and Sales at the Grand Opera House Belfast

Sacha will conceptualise, plan and coordinate business and social events, in addition to coordinating weddings.

Elsewhere, with over 30 years’ experience in manufacturing and operations management within the engineering and construction industries, Gary McAreavey will take over the baton from Edel as managing director of Jans Offsite Solutions. Throughout his career, Gary has held a number of senior positions in many different sectors including aerospace, medical and plastics recycling and extrusion.

County Down Irish whiskey and gin distillery, Hinch, has appointed Sacha Donnelly as its new events co-ordinator. Sacha will join the 50-strong team at the business and is the first of several appointments to be announced. Hinch Distillery is planning to add even more members to its team including chefs and front of house staff.

TODD Architects Appoints New London Studio Principal

The Newry native’s appointment will see her identify and report on business opportunities, managing sales operations to reach financial and customer targets at what is one of the newest up-and-coming tourism locations here.

L-R Aislinn Strange (HR & Training Officer); Patrick Cross (Director) and Sacha Donnelly, (Events Co-ordinator) at Hinch Distillery.

GrowthTheCo-ordinatorAppointsDistilleryNewEventsJansGroupUnderpinswithKeyAppointments

The Newry native’s appointment will see her identify and report on business opportunities, managing sales operations to reach financial and customer targets at what is one of the newest up-and-coming tourism locations here.

Sacha will conceptualise, plan and coordinate business and social events, in addition to coordinating weddings.

Hinch

Tim Burgess.

Samantha Thompson (Head of Finance); Edel Doherty (Chief Commercial Officer) and Gary McAreavey (Managing Director of Jans Offsite Solutions).

PAGE78-79.indd 3 25/08/2022 16:28

Edel brings with her a vast amount of experience in the world of business and has been at the helm of a number of successful companies over recent years including Beyond Business Travel.

Antrim-based The Jans Group has appointed three key members of staff who will play integral roles in driving the company’s future growth.EdelDoherty, former managing director of Jans Offsite Solutions, has been appointed chief commercial officer and will oversee operations across the entire Group as part of her new role.

Meanwhile, Samantha Thompson, a chartered certified accountant (ACCA) with an MSc in Professional Accountancy has taken up the role of head of finance.

79

County Down Irish whiskey and gin distillery, Hinch, has appointed Sacha Donnelly as its new events co-ordinator. Sacha will join the 50-strong team at the business and is the first of several appointments to be announced. Hinch Distillery is planning to add even more members to its team including chefs and front of house staff.

The managing director of construction, refurbishment and fit out company, Gilbert-Ash, was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for services to the

opening in May 2021, the Northern Ireland site has sold over 80,000 lots. With stock type consisting of a wide range of consumer products; from furniture to appliances, fashion to tech –from customer returns, surplus and overstock goods, ex-display, and liquidation stock from leading UK retailers and manufacturers.

PAC Group to Invest £2m and Create 20 New Jobs

industry and to diversity and inclusion. Ray travelled to London, along with his family, for the ceremony which took place at Buckingham Palace on Friday 24 June.

FromFund.

John Pye SiteAnniversaryCelebratesAuctionsOne-YearOfBallymena

London.RayHutchinson

John Pye Auctions has over 50 years’ experience offering the largest volume and variety of stock to the secondary market. With auction premises of over 1 million sq. ft across the UK and Europe from eight retail sites to a portfolio of over 700,000 registered bidders, providing clients with a professionally managed exit route on all stock types to reach the maximum secondary market realisations for all assets.

and family.

The UK’s largest auction house recently celebrated its one-year anniversary at its new site in Galgorm, Ballymena.

PAC Directors Gavin Rankin, Iain Parkhill, Gordon Burns and Darren Leslie.

The £2m investment will see PAC Group work to enhance shop floor and backoffice systems, as well as supporting opportunities for young people.

Ray Hutchinson Receives OBE from Duke of Cambridge and is Named Construction Leader of the Year

There was a double cause for celebration for Ray Hutchinson as he recently received the OBE from the Duke of Cambridge, and a short time later was named Construction Leader of the Year.

NEWS 80

Just two weeks after the investiture, Ray was named Construction Leader of the Year at the prestigious Construction News Awards in

John Pye Auctions offers brand protection as well as being GDPR and WEEE compliant, supported by ISO and Environmental Agency certification.

Engineering company, PAC Group, is to invest £2m over three years and create up to 20 new jobs having acquired the plant and machinery of Barbour Engineering, following its closure.

PAGE80.indd 2 25/08/2022 16:28

To honour the anniversary, John Pye Auctions hosted multiple charity events alongside Mayor William McCaughey with all proceeds raised donated to the British Heart Foundation, Northern Ireland Hospice and The Royal Irish Regiment Benevolent

The engineering company operates to support and future-proof the industrial and commercial sectors in the UK and Ireland by offering exceptional service for a diverse range of specialist electrical and mechanical engineering applications and

Group and will continue to specialise in metal fabrication for the aerospace, utilities and the manufacturing sector.

Other plans for Barbour Engineering & Fabrication include a complete rebrand of the business and employing on-site teams with specialisms in fit-out, welding and fabrication.

Thesolutions.newly formed Barbour Engineering & Fabrication will be a subsidiary of PAC

WITH JAMES STINSON In association with BUSINESS CLASS MOTORING Supplement MOTORING. Leasing for Everyone 028 9038 6600 agnewleasing.com 13766.001 PRESS - Advertising ART.indd 4 02/03/2022 16:30

On the EV6 there are three driving modes – Eco, Normal and Sport –and no less than six brake settings, ranging from light touch to full-on regenerative, which harvests and returns power to the battery while allowing for single-pedal driving.

The future is electric and it’s cars like the Kia EV6 that are leading the surge. With the Soul EV and e-Niro, Kia already had a couple of decent EVs in its range but the EV6 is something entirely different. While those are normal cars adapted for electric, the EV6 is a totally new platform, tailor made for battery power.

Test drives are highly recommended, just to experience the way battery powered motors deliver their near instant, linear acceleration, which is completely thrilling for electric car virgins. And while tuned for a sportier feel than most BEVs, the EV6 still feels planted and comfortable to drive.

quick charging stations needed aren’t yet in Northern Ireland but they will come. Charge at home from a standard 7.7kW wall box and a full charge is reached in the regulation seven and a half hours.

Thanks to a sizable 77.4kWh battery, range is north of 320 miles on a single charge, knocking any thoughts of range anxiety on the head. And when needed, the EV6 is capable of topping up from 10% to 80% in just 18 Admittedly,minutes.thesuper

Electric cars are becoming mainstream thanks to new models like the Kia EV6, writes James Stinson.

Kia Leads the Electric Surge

All versions feature a curved, user-friendly 12.3-inch touchscreen positioned high up on the middle of the dashboard which leans towards the driver. It does a myriad of things, including directing you to the nearest charging station when required.

82 James StinsonLIFESTYLE 028 9038 6600 agnewleasing.com YOU NAME IT, WE LEASE IT. (It’s what we do best.) 4X4 HEV LCV MPV PHEV LWB SUV GTI EV Leasing for Everyone 13766.001 PRESS - Advertising v3 strips.indd 3 02/03/2022 16:38 PAGE82.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:55

ar sales have been falling in recent months but electric cars are bucking the trend. In the first half of 2022 sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are nearly 50% higher than last year, in a market where overall sales are 10% lower.

The cabin has acres of space front and back, helped by a flat floor and a sharp SUV-like silhouette. It looks distinctive and utterly futuristic.

Standard equipment is fairly generous and includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with daytime running lights, electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED indicator lights, automatic headlight control, LED rear combination lights with rear fog lights, rain sensing front wipers and a rear spoiler.

Consequently, the packaging is far better, with a bigger battery pack and more powerful motor, a spacious cabin and a decent-sized boot. It means the EV6 can go further and faster than those other EVs, and by some distance.

And despite weighing two tonnes, it’s no slouch. In 226bhp rear-wheel drive form, it will reach 62mph from a standing start in a spritely 7.3 seconds. The more expensive dual-motor 321bhp all-wheel drive

version takes this down to a fairly incredible 5.2 seconds.

The EV6 is so damn clever, you can even charge another electric car from it or run a few household appliances… like a TV, heater or cool box – something camper and caravanning-types will latch on to in a hurry.

They now account for nearly 14% of all new car sales. Add in plug-in hybrids and that rises to more than 20%. Diesels made up less than 6% of sales.

C

Prices start from £44,195 for the EV6 ‘Air’, rising to £51,695 for the all-wheel drive GT-Line S while the meagre BIK 2% tax rate will be tempting to company car drivers.

And that’s the thing about this latest generation of electric cars: they don’t look, feel or drive like conventional cars. They’re interactive and dripping with tech – they’re cars for the digital generation.

The line-up starts with EV6 ‘Air’, before moving up to ‘GT-Line’ and ‘GT-Line S’, with the latter two available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive form. A flagship ‘GT’ model, capable of a sub-four seconds 0-60 time, is set to join the range in the final quarter of 2022.

YOU NAME IT, WE LEASE IT. (It’s what we do best.) SUV GTI EV 4X4 HEV LCV MPV PHEV LWB Leasing for Everyone 028 9038 6600 agnewleasing.com 13766.001 PRESS - Advertising ART.indd 3 02/03/2022 16:30

Maxol recently started work on a big expansion of its Kinnegar service station, near Holywood, which will include Northern Ireland’s “first dedicated EV charging hub”. When complete, it will have four high-speed chargers servicing up to six vehicles at any one time. The EV hub will provide up to 200kW in power, the highest charge currently available to the public in NI. Rapid chargers will also be introduced at other Maxol sites.

network of chargers, is in the process of upgrading its network in Northern Ireland. Slower chargers will be replaced with new ones capable of charging at up to 200kW.

Volkswagen has started taking orders for its new all-electric ID. Buzz, with prices starting from £57,115.

The new ID. Buzz launches with three trim levels: Life, Style and 1st Edition. The entry-level Life starts at £57,115 and offers LED headlights, heated windscreen, ‘Buzz box’ removable storage, Discover Pro navigation and infotainment with 10-inch colour touchscreen, and wireless charging.

I

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is planning to produce up to 15,000 ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo vehicles this year. Once production is up to full speed, as many as 130,000 vehicles per year will be produced at the VW factory in Hanover. Order books for the ID. Buzz Cargo van will open soon.

In total, the company plans to install 1,500 new charging points before the end of 2024, including at six major ultra-rapid charging hub sites that will see drivers able to fully ‘top-up’ their vehicles in less than 20 minutes.

Public

Northern Ireland lags way behind Ireland and other parts of the UK when it comes to electric car charging points but significant investment is in the pipeline.

Priced from £61,915, Style adds the IQ. Light LED matrix headlights and adaptive interior ambient lighting and tailgate surround lighting, while the range-topping 1st Edition starts at £62,995 and adds 21inch Bromberg alloy wheels, Discover Max navigation system with 12-inch colour touchscreen and comfort seats with memory function.

PAGE84.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:54

And RoI-based EasyGo recently secured more than €15m in funding to add 500 Rapid Chargers to its EV charging network across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

But if you are planning a long trip or don’t have off-street parking or just want a speedy top-up you’ll need to find a working and available public charging point. At the minute we just don’t have enough of these in Northern Ireland.

ESB also plans to introduce charging on its network here. Some will baulk at the thought of having to pay for something that was free until now but it’s entirely necessary to allow as many people to use these chargers as possible.

All ID. Buzz variants are available with a two-tone paint option and feature a digital cockpit equipped with up to eight USB interfaces, including three USB-C ports for rapid charging supplied as standard,

Hello ID voice control and online functionality via We Connect and We Connect Plus.

The interior features recycled synthetic material and ‘leather-free’, in addition to the all-electric powertrain. The ID. Buzz is manufactured using sustainable components, with battery housings and wheel rims made from green aluminium and tyres from low-emission production.

f you own an electric car, you’ll do most of your charging at home through a dedicated wall box, for which there are subsidies and discounts from government and manufacturers. These will fully charge most cars overnight.

In recent months, however, there has been a raft of announcements that point to better times ahead. ESB, which runs the biggest

The ID. Buzz is Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ first allelectric vehicle and features a 77kWh lithium-ion battery, supplying 150kW (201bhp) to a rear-mounted electric motor developing 229ft lb of torque and capable of an all-electric driving range of up to 258 miles.

Charging Boost For NI 84 James StinsonLIFESTYLE 028 9038 6600 agnewleasing.com YOU NAME IT, WE LEASE IT. (It’s what we do best.) 4X4 HEV LCV MPV PHEV LWB SUV GTI EV Leasing for Everyone 13766.001 PRESS - Advertising v3 strips.indd 3 02/03/2022 16:38

Perhaps the biggest news is that Northern Ireland forecourt giant Maxol is starting to see the potential in offering fast electric charge points at its sites.

It’s All About the Buzz

And ESB isn’t the only one stepping up. Belfast-based start-up Weev has announced plans to invest £20 million in a new public charging network in over 350 locations across Northern Ireland.

These investments and others that are planned by councils, supermarkets and smaller operators should transform the landscape for public charging in Northern Ireland and help make electric cars that little bit more attractive.

85 Using a team of highly experienced doctors, nurses and technicians, our SEQOHS Accredited services include: • Pre-employment Screenings and Medicals • Sickness Absence Medicals • Safety Critical Medicals • Health Surveillance (Noise, Vibration, Respiratory and Skin) • DSE, Food Handler and Night Worker Screenings • Health Screening & Health Promotion Services (Stress, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Cholesterol checks) • Workplace Visits and Risk Assessments Service Delivery: With individual referrals to clinics across Northern Ireland including Belfast, Londonderry and Enniskillen, clinics are also available at client’s premises. Fitness For Work Medicals OHRD work with public and private enterprises of all sizes including insurance, pension and legal professionals. For further information, please visit www.ohrd.net or contact us at admin@ohrd.net10–12 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 6AA Business, Covered. Tailored insurance for every commercial sector. You probably know who we are, but you might not know everything we do. Like our business insurance that covers virtually every commercial sector including construction, haulage, hospitality, property, retail and professional services. We have a dedicated, local team of liability and risk experts, trusted by many of Northern Ireland’s largest organisations to provide tailored, robust insurance. Call them today to get your business covered. Part of the Prestige Insurance Holdings Group . AbbeyAutoline is a trading name of Abbey Insurance Brokers Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. PAGE85.indd 1 29/08/2022 10:11

No-one is suggesting a buyer enters into an agree ment in bad faith, but during times when cashflow can be crucial to survival, having a policy in place as a back-up could be the support you need to chart your own course to survival, should a partner go out of business.

At AbbeyAutoline to understand the risks and challenges associated with your specific business and advise you accordingly.

Their To find out how they visit

This year has seen a rapid increase in the demand for international travel. Dublin Airport has welcomed five new airlines so far this year and has had many airlines relaunch routes previously operated pre the pandemic. The most recent airline to launch a new route from Dublin Airport, is EgyptAir with a direct route from Dublin to Cairo, four times per week. Emirates has also returned to their pre-covid schedule from Dublin to Dubai, operating twice daily. There are currently 43 airlines operating from Dublin Airport connecting passengers across the island of Ireland to 180 destinations worldwide.

team of dedicated experts can help tailor policies to suit your business needs.

can help

86

This month hospitality chiefs reported that around three businesses are closing each week in Northern Ireland as the cost of keeping the doors open spirals out of control.Inchanging

DUBLIN AIRPORT WELCOMES PASSENGER DEMAND FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Daa, which operates Dublin Airport, said that passenger numbers are continuing to rebound faster as the year develops and as consumer demand for overseas travel increases.

A credit insurance policy gives you access to good quality information helping you make informed decisions when granting credit facilities to customers. It facilitates and credit lines to existing ones.

extend

times, it is important you keep abreast of any changing insurance requirements. A specialist policy worth considering in the current climate is credit insurance.Creditinsurance protects the policyholder in the event of a buyer becoming insolvent or defaulting on payment which in turn protects your cash flow.

CREDIT INSURANCE COULD PROTECT CASHFLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

Dublin Airport continues to see a steady growth of passenger figures with just over 3 million passengers passing through the airport in July alone, which was the first month which has exceeded 3 million pas sengers since September 2019, and currently sees traffic at 89% of 2019 levels.Most notably, this month Dublin Airport will see the opening of its second parallel runway which is 3,110 meters in length. This is a once in a generation piece of strategic infrastruc ture which will act as a new gateway into Ireland. Construction began on this project in 2019, and 1,323,623 m² of Topsoil later, this legacy piece of infrastructure is ready to become operational and welcome its first flight later this month.

www.abbeyautoline.co.uk PAGE86.indd 2 26/08/2022 14:10

growth with security and allows you to deal confidently with new clients

they take the time

As the cost of living crisis pushes some businesses and households to the brink, there are concerns that the worst may still be to come.

Electric Range

A FULLY ELECTRIC COMPANY VEHICLE CAN MEAN SIGNIFICANTSKINCARESAVINGSSIMPLIFIED

For more information on this please contact David McEwen (Head of Business Development) at Agnew Leasing on 029 8038 6600 or david.mcewen@agnews.co.uk

PAGE87.indd 3 26/08/2022 14:03

Allskin is a Dermatologist-led company with skin products selected carefully by Belfast Skin Clinic’s dedicated and highly experienced Dermatologists and Aesthetic Practitioners. They have tried and tested many products and selected the best, to provide what they consider to be, the best skincare ranges for all ages, budgets, and skin conditions.

As they move back to the classroom, they do so with excitement whilst ensuring everyone is safe and that the needs of those who prefer online training are still met.

Shop your skin type by visiting their www.allskinstore.comwebsite:

With more than 800 successful virtual programmes under their belts, the team of 60+ trainers are willing, ready and thrilled to be back to face-tofaceTheirdelivery.virtual courses were all exceptionally well received, and they maintained the highest levels of quality and interaction. Without doubt, there are pros and cons for both environments but ultimately physically learning together in a room was missed.

LEARNING TOGETHER AKUSAFELYTRAINING

See the huge range of training solutions to meet your individual and organisational needs at www.aku.training/public_schedule or call 028 9016 0587.

ALLSKIN

As we continue to see the number of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) on our roads an important question will be to consider if this type of alternatively fuelled vehicle works for you and your business. There are several key considerations to review all of which have implications and impact on suitability, these include.

87

We are now seeing BEV’s becoming available with increased electric ranges, over 300 miles in some cases. This means these vehicles could well suit many more drivers than early models where ‘range anxiety’ was a key factor.

Leasing costs

In practice BEV’s can appear to be more expensive than comparable Petrol or Diesel variants however from a whole life cost perspective both the driver & company can result in significant savings due to reduced Class 1 NIC from a company perspective and much lower BIK costs for drivers. At Agnew Leasing we are more than happy to accurately calculate these for you with a bespoke financial whole life cost model.

In recent years it was generally accepted that taking a cash allowance for some drivers could be cost effective and allow added flexibility. However, it may now well be the case that selecting the right BEV could be a more cost-effective option.

Clearly there are many considerations to take account of however at Agnew Leasing we understand how best to guide you and your business through the process of deciding which specific vehicles to select and how best to manage change.

Cash Allowance vs Company Car

PAGE88.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:54

In it together

While Northern Ireland offers fantastic opportunities to those seeking a career in the technology and software industries, the supply of skilled experts to take up those opportunities simply isn’t keeping pace. More worrying still, last month’s NISRA Business Innovation Activity Report showed us lagging behind the rest of the UK where it comes to core innovative activities such as developing new products and R&D.

If we successfully stem the skills gap, the rewards will be felt far beyond the tech sector. Digital technologies have already completely transformed our working, travel and shopping experiences. They can deliver transformation on exactly the same scale for our public services. Last month, Civica’s NorthStar innovation lab published its latest Perspectives report, highlighting some of the unrealised potential of connected devices. The ‘tech-celeration’ of society, combined with a cheaper and much wider range of devices, offers huge potential to fundamentally transform our relationship with public services, from healthcare to education. Northern Ireland is in pole position to exploit that potential, but only if we have the right people with the right skills.

“The virtuallyalreadyrevolutiondigitalhastransformedeveryaspectofourhomeandworkinglivesandtheeducationalenvironmentshouldreflectthisreality.”

Competitiveness begins in the classroom

88

The responsibility for addressing the skills gap does not, of course, lie solely with government. The tech sector has a crucial role to play. Last year, we at Civica were delighted to host Education Minister Michelle McIlveen and schools across Northern Ireland for the first ever NI Digital Awareness Week. We wanted to show young people that software is more than just coding and computers – vitally important though these things are. We wanted them to see the lifechanging impact that an app or cloud technology can have on everything from keeping us safe to protecting the planet. To cement Northern Ireland’s place as a tech trailblazer well into the future, we must win over hearts as well as brains.

To Keep Our Competitive Edge, We Must Win Over Hearts As Well As Brains

To make sure we’re generating a steady supply of skilled tech experts, we must go ‘back to school’. Right now, not enough schools in Northern Ireland are offering STEM subjects at GCSE level and amongst those that do, not enough young people are choosing to study them.

Northern Ireland, despite its relatively small size and population, is a tech trailblazer. We’re Europe’s number one destination for FDI in new software development, and the software sector, including my own company, Civica, employs over 30,000 people. As a region, however, we face the very real prospect of losing our edge.

and data scientists. However, we also need to bring in other subjects such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. These should be woven into every aspect of education, from teaching methods to the curriculum, to help foster positive attitudes towards digital learning from an early age. The digital revolution has already transformed virtually every aspect of our home and working lives and the educational environment should reflect this reality.

Mark Owens Managing Director (NI) at Civica

Columnist

Reaping the rewards

For the skills-hungry tech sector, subjects like Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provide a solid grounding for the next generation of software engineers

89

According to new research from Deloitte’s Digital Consumer Trends 2022 report, the proportion of consumers with access to smartphones (91%), smart TVs (64%), laptops (77%) and tablets (64%) has stopped growing, and for some devices declined, signalling a shift away from pandemic-induced technology habits.

Usage of devices such as phones, laptops and tablets has also begun to stagnate and decline. Some consumers are spending less time on their smartphones in the last year than they did previously. In 2022, 91% of consumers had used their smartphones in the last day, compared to 93% in 2021.

The research also found that 78% of consumers would prefer to meet friends in person most often. Only 7% would prefer a video call and only 5% favoured an audio call. The same preference for in-person meetings applies to first dates, relatives and work, as consumers opt out of using their devices when interacting with others.Leeconcluded:

Lockdown Tech Glee Ends As Device Fatigue And Cost Of Living Hit Device Usage

adoption has faced its first stagnation in Digital Consumer Trends history, falling one percentage point from 2021. However, Gen Z consumers continued to adopt new smartphones, with 96% of 16 to 19-year-olds now having ready access to one (compared to 92% in 2021).

a new set of challenges to maintain consumer interest. We are seeing greater variety of devices and services each year, and the challenge will be tailoring these offerings so that they can benefit, and be valuable to, all consumers.

Jodi Birkett, UK technology, media and telecommunications lead at Deloitte, added: “With many households looking to tighten budgets, technology companies and service providers are facing

Digital fatigue on the rise

“Technology companies will need to ensure that they can provide an accessible and diverse range of products and services, with ranges spanning from budget to premium, to serve all consumers.”

Paul Lee, Global Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications Research at Deloitte.

Conscious consumers reluctant to spend on tech With the rising costs of living on consumers’ minds, and consumer confidence at a historic low, 78% of respondents do not plan to increase their spending on technology devices this year, with 20% expecting to spend less on technology compared to last year. Similarly, 53% say their spending on subscriptions will not increase this year, while 23% of consumers have cancelled a subscriptionvideo-on-demand (SVOD) service in the past year as it was too expensive.Beyonddevices and subscriptions, 77% of consumers who play games on any device say they haven’t purchased in-game currency in the last year, with 67% not spending any money on digital content for games in the last 12 months.

“The rapid acceleration in adoption of devices and services across the last two years was a marker of how important technology is to our daily lives and keeping us connected to the things, and people, we care about most. Our devices will continue to play an important role in daily life, but we are likely to see an ongoing pattern of consumers being more conscious of how much they use their tech.”

Growth in the adoption of most digital devices has hit a plateau and, for some categories, has declined for the first time since 2011. This follows a record-breaking year for device adoption in 2021.

Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said: “During the pandemic, we saw a surge in the adoption of multiple types of devices, from smart TVs to video doorbells. This was an exceptional period during which time lockdowns shaped behaviours. The market is now reverting to a long-term trend, with static or slowing ownership levels for many device categories, as well as a growing gap between purchases of upgrades.

“Consumers are going back to spending more time socialising, leaving less time to spend with devices. In order for device manufacturers to retain consumer interest and stand out in an immensely competitive market, they will need to ensure that the time consumers spend of their devices is valuable and enriching. This way, when consumers decide to pick up their tech, the hardware, software, and services are of the highest quality and make for a top-tier experience.”

Four in ten (42%) consumers admit they wish they spent less time on their devices, with remorse about device usage highest (63%) amongst adults aged 25-34.

Laptops and tablets had the biggest drop-off in adoption rate across the last year, falling by two and three percentage points respectively. Of all device categories, only wearable devices enjoyed an uptick over the past year, with 41% of consumers having ready access to a wearable now, compared to 38%the year before.Smartphone

PAGE89.indd 3 30/08/2022 12:39

NEWS

US Consul General Paul Narain added: “As a global FinTech hub, Belfast has already generated almost 40,000 jobs in the financial and professional services sector. The city offers a compelling business case for US foreign direct investment and we look forward to working with Belfast City Council and other partners in building two-way trade and economic growth.”

PAGE90.indd 2 25/08/2022 15:53

Let’s Talk Tech

Aoife McDowell Sync NI Columnist

Microsoft Ireland Country Partner of the Year recognises and celebrates the partner company that best excellencedemonstratesininnovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft Technology, which eir evo employs, by providing endto-end communications, cloud, cyber security, and connectivity services to businesses throughout the island of SpeakingIreland.about the

Belfast hosts FinTech inward trade mission with US Consulate

Innovation and opportunities: The spotlight continues to shine brightly on Northern Ireland’s technology sector.

Business leaders met on Thursday 30 June in Belfast City Hall to showcase the city’s FinTech offer to a range of high-profile US investors.Co-ordinated by the US Consulate and hosted by Belfast City Council, the inward visit is the result of a successful pitch to bring the delegation to Belfast following their London programme.

Thecustomers.”Microsoft practice at eir evo has grown steadily in recent years to become one of the most critical business units within the organisation, with eir evo working closely with Microsoft to support businesses to propel forward through digital transformation. This shift has required both agility and deep technical understanding of the portfolio and has been achieved through using Microsoft Technologies as well as eir evo’s own innovation, experience and superb relationships.customer

ANGOKAcorridors.

90

The Future Flight Challenge aims to bring together technologies in electrification, aviation systems and autonomy to create new modes of air travel.

ANGOKA in central role to bring air corridors to UK

telecommunicationsBusiness and ICT solutions provider, eir evo, has been awarded the title of Microsoft Ireland Country Partner of the Year for 2022.

representatives from the US Embassy in London, Paul Narain, the US Consul General in Belfast and his team, the visiting delegation included senior leaders from a range of US Belfastcompanies.LordMayor Councillor Tina Black commented: “As well as outlining Belfast’s impressive economic trajectory, we’re setting out our ambitions for inclusive economic growth over the next decade, supported by the transformative Belfast Region City Deal. We aim to attract further inward investment to Belfast to help create better jobs, opportunities and quality of life for our residents.”

eir evo theCountryMicrosoftnamedIrelandPartnerofYear2022

Joined by Commercial Affairs

Chairman Steve Berry said these developments were considered science fiction only a few years ago. He added: “We have all seen those movies where they have highways of flying ‘cars’ in the sky, zipping effortlessly across cities. These are now becoming a reality and ANGOKA is at the heart of the revolution.”

Belfast-based cybersecurity specialist ANGOKA will play a centre stage role in a transport revolution whose significance has been compared to the advent of the railways in the 18th century. The firm has partnered with a number of projects in the UK Research and Innovation’s Future Flight Challenge in which air traffic corridors in the south of England have been designated for drones and unmanned aircraft. ANGOKA supplies the hacker-proof security for automated, teleoperated and unmanned aircraft using these

achievement, Martin Wells, managing director, eir evo said: “Today is an exciting day for the business and one that acknowledges the unrivalled expertise and broad skill set that is evident every day in eir evo. We look forward to continuing working alongside Microsoft and offering the highest quality service and ICT solutions across the Microsoft product portfolio to all our

Ulster SubscriptionTatlerOffer £20JUSTFOR12ISSUES! Includes FREEbottleofRapid fromBronzingMousseInsanityTanworth£24 FREE! Call our subscription hotline during office hours on 028 90 663311 (9am-5.30pm) or online: ulstertatler.com PAGE91.indd 1 29/08/2022 10:33

Gavin Murphy, head chef at The Old Inn, joined Galgorm Collection in June 2021.

• Season to taste.

From working in a restaurant for a summer school where he discovered his love for cooking to starting his career professionally in 1984, Gavin has a wealth of experience from time spent in hospitality in London, Dublin, Mayo, Fermanagh, Cambridge and more recently County Down, Northern Ireland. A day in the life of Gavin is a busy (but fun!) one, from meeting with the breakfast team and prepping for lunch service to completing orders, prepping for dinner and much more. When having downtime, you’ll find Gavin relaxing with a book, watching sports and spending time with his lovely cocker spaniel dog, Guinness. Gavin’s midweek signature dish would be a traditional Irish stew and he recommends a fish dish of your choice for special occasions; you can’t go wrong with that!

Gavin Murphy, Head Chef at The Old Inn

• 50g Baby Capers

When chilled, cut into squares measuring 7cm x 7cm and leave aside.

It has an intense green fruit aroma which brings out all the flavours of our locally sourced cod dish. It is a medium-bodied white wine which is easy on the nose and has hints of tropical fruits, apples, pears and gooseberry which leave a clean finish and make it a perfect match for this particular cod dish.

• 100g Baby Spinach

crust on each cod. Finish cooking in oven for 5 minutes at 190°C.

• 50g Flat parsley

• Divide the samphire and spinach evenly onto 4 plates.

The wine we have chosen to pair with the herb-crusted baked cod dish is from the Marlborough region of New Zealand: Mamaku Sauvignon Blanc.

• 200g Panko Breadcrumbs

Method to make the crust

• Mix all the ingredients in a plastic bowl and heat in microwave.

Add the spinach and set aside.

• 200g Unsalted Butter

• Meanwhile in the same pan used to cook the cod, add the samphire, butter, capers and lemon juice and cook for 30 seconds on high heat.

To assemble

• 100g Chopped Flat Parsley

To make the crushed potato

• 100ml Vegetable Oil

Ingredients for baby potatoes

Herb crusted baked cod, samphire, spinach & crushed potato – serves 4

• Put all ingredients into blender and combine to make a paste.

• 100g Chopped Chives  100g Melted Salted Butter

To cook the dish  Sear the cod on a hot pan with a little oil

• Juice of one Large Lemon

• Remove from pan and place one slice of

Dine & Wine

• 400g Baby New Potatoes (boiled) broken into small Pieces

Wine pairing

• 100g Samphire

• Divide the crushed potato evenly and place onto the samphire and spinach.  Place the crusted cod on top and serve

PAGE92.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:52

Ingredients (Serves 4)

• 50g Tarragon

• Remove from blender roll out between two sheets of parchment paper until 3mm thick and chill.

92 LIFESTYLE

• 600g Cod Fillet (skin on) cut into four even Pieces

Ingredients for the crust

• 50g Zest150gCoriander MeltedButter ofoneLemon

Belowskin.

Vitamin D is produced through the action of sunlight on the skin and a limited amount is derived from our diet. Some people are concerned that regularly using sunscreen leads to low vitamin D. However, the evidence suggests the risk of getting vitamin D deficiency from everyday sunscreen use is very low.

It is important to avoid tanning as well as burning. Tanned skin is damaged skin. Tanning leads to skin ageing in addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer. If you want to look tanned, I would recommend using a fake tan.

No. Sunbed use increases the risk of skin cancer. The SPF achieved by using sunbeds equates to using a sunscreen with SPF of 2-4.

Do I need to use a sunscreen here in Northern Ireland?

Sunscreens should block both UVA (star rating at least ****) and UVB (SPF at least 30, ideally 50). Studies have shown that people tend to use much less sunscreen than is used to calculate their rating in the laboratory. So the effective rating they have in everyday use is approximately 50 % of what it says on the tube! For this reason, I normally recommend using the highest factor available, usually factor 50. It’s important to find a sunscreen that you like and that suits your skin type. For example, if you have oily or acne prone skin you should use an oil-free sunscreen. If you need help choosing a sunscreen, have a look at the hand-picked selection on our online store, allskinstore.com

If you have any concerns about new or changing marks on your skin or just want a skin check, you can make an appointment at the Belfast Skin Clinic on 028 9066 7077 to see one of our dermatologists.

allskinstore.com

DR. PAMELA MCHENRY OF BELFAST SKIN CLINIC - ADVISES ON HOW TO STAY SAFE IN THE SUN.

cancer.andskinpreventsprotectionSunageingskin

What are the main factors which increase the risk of getting skin cancer?

The main factors include: having a pale skin colour which burns easily; a history of sunburns; a high number of moles and moles which are unusual in appearance; a family history or personal history of skin cancer; sunbed use; and regular sunbathing.

How should I protect my skin?

You should avoid tanning and burning at all costs, both from the sun and from sunbeds. The paler your skin, and the more moles you have, the more care you need to take. To protect your skin, you should seek the shade between 11 and 3 and cover up with clothing as much possible. Remember to protect your head, ears, eyes, and lips. Wear a hat and sunglasses and apply sunscreen frequently during the day. This will help reduce skin ageing as well as minimising the risk of skin cancer.

You can visit our online store allskinstore.com to view our selection of skincare products. Our SPFs are organised according to skin type, age and budget. If you are not sure what product to choose, you can fill in our online questionnaire and we will help you. At allskinstore.com, we have selected only products which we have tried and tested ourselves.

PAGE39.indd 1 01/08/2022 12:34

Dr Pamela McHenry is a Consultant Dermatologist and Medical Director of the Belfast Skin Clinic. She is passionate about preventing sun damage and helping people achieve healthy

she answers some of the questions she is frequently asked by her patients.

Does wearing a sunscreen all the time cause low vitamin D?

Yes, sunscreen should be applied every day to all areas of the skin not protected by clothing. Don’t forget the ears, neck and back of hands.

Is it alright to use a sunbed to get a tan before going on holiday to stop burning?

ENJOY THE SUN SAFELY

For more intormation or to book an appointment, please call us on 028 9066 7077 or visit our website at www.belfastskinclinic.com

If there’s SPF in my foundation/moisturiser, do I still need a sunscreen? Yes. It’s important to apply sunscreen every day. If you have to choose

What are the different types of sunscreen and which do you recommend?

18 Deramore Drive, Belfast, BT9 5JQ N. Ireland Approved by RQIA and all leading Insurance Companies

only one product to put on your skin, it should always be your sunscreen.

If I’m careful and don’t burn, is it ok to get a tan?

FUNKY KNITWEAR – Raspberry knit cardigan, £59.50, Oliver Bonas.

Joanne HarknessLIFESTYLE Autumn Trends

UlsterWomanTatlerEditor, JoanneHarkness, looks at autumntrendsemergingthefor2022. TAILORING –Blazer, £48, split front trouser, £28, V by Very. LEATHER –Leather blazer, £189, Browns.Joe ‘WELLIES’FASHION – Tella black boots, £195, London.Dune Fashion Page.indd 2 30/08/2022 10:06

MAXI DRESSES –Joyce Floral Maxi Dress in Dark Red, £69, FatFace.

BUCKLES – Black shoes with buckle detail, Dune London.

£120,

THE OUTDOORSGREAT –Paignton Gilet in Brown, £85 and Straight SelvedgeRinseJeans £89, FatSPARKLEFace.– Sequin blazer, £49.99, New Look. WAISTCOATS– RI Studio Waistcoat, £47, River

lawn green, £1,295, Mulberry. Fashion Page.indd 3 30/08/2022 10:07

ANIMAL PRINT– Bardot top, £18 Tu.

BOLDIsland.BAGS Sadie Rectangle bag in

A growing number of takeaways and cafes have pulled down the shutters for good. These are typically low profit margin businesses with little in the way of cash reserves. They also don’t have much scope to reduce energy use: the fryers and coffee machines still need to be turned on or else the business can’t

Urgent Energy Action Required

take the cash and you decide how to redeploy. And I will manage my best short-term, high-return investments as that happens.”

So, in that scenario, fossil fuel supply keeps tightening and prices don’t fall. That is obviously a troubling scenario for governments who don’t want to be seen to be inflicting high energy prices on their citizens while waiting for the promises of decarbonisation to come

Unfortunatelyexist.

Columnist

John Campbell BBC NI’s Economic & Business Editor

thinks that governments are going to have to lean into demand reduction and energy efficiency.

n the last couple of months the impact of energy price inflation has become increasingly visible on our high streets.

“What policy makers should do is reduce the demand for the things they want to get rid of and not subsidise that demand, even though in the short run, that’s quite painful,” he told Bloomberg.

THE LAST WORD PAGE96.indd 2 26/08/2022 10:57

As it happens, some of the key shortterm goals in Stormont’s energy strategy are around demand reduction. An energy efficiency pilot scheme is supposed to be announced before the end of this year.

Its most recent World Energy Investment asserts that “the lasting solutions to today’s crisis lie in speeding up clean energy transitions via greater investment in efficiency, clean electricity and a range of clean fuels”. That transition is happening to some extent.

I

In an ideal world, governments and businesses would coordinate a process where investment would shift smoothly from one sector to the other, protecting consumers, workers and security of supply. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world and the last year has started to illustrate just how difficult and haphazard energy transition is likely to

So that raises the question of what’s going to happen to the price of those fossil fuels which we’re still going to need in the immediate future? A conventional piece of market wisdom is that high prices cure high prices.

there is still more pain to come in the short term and a whole lot of uncertainty for the longer term. The longer-term energy plan in Northern Ireland, the wider UK and beyond is basically that we will transition away from expensive and polluting fossil fuels into cheaper and cleaner renewables.

Thebe.International Energy Agency (IEA) provides a treasure trove of statistics and analysis which help explain some of this. The IEA is an intergovernmental organisation set up after the 1973 oil crisis and acts as a sort of global think tank and policy advisor.

Or as the IEA has it, “investment to bring more clean and affordable energy into the system is rising, but not yet quickly enough to forge a path out of today’s crisis or to bring emissions down to net zero by mid-century”.

Mrgood.Brackett

The Department for the Economy says it is still slated for launch before the end of 2022, “subject to internal departmental financial and governance approvals”.

It is then supposed to inform the rollout of a longer-term energy efficiency programme. We wait to see if it will have the urgency and ambition which is now clearly necessary.

The IEA estimates that global clean energy investment is expected to exceed $1.4 trillion this year, accounting for almost three-quarters of growth in overall energy investment. But large as that figure is, it doesn’t get us out of our current hole where our economy remains largely reliant on expensive fossil fuels.

96

In other words, producers recognise rising prices as a signal for them to invest and produce, so increasing supply. That higher supply will eventually meet or exceed demand and so prices will fall again. But the energy transition may undermine that simple equation, creating what the leading energy market analyst Bob Brackett has described as “perpetual tightness” in some important commodities like oil.

Mr Brackett points out that commodity production typically involves a lot of capital spending and that the payoff for that spending can take years, perhaps decades. So policies aimed at eliminating fossil fuel over the next 30 years make the economics of new projects now look increasingly Asunattractive.MrBrackett told Bloomberg recently, the attitude of energy exploration and production firms could be one of “I don’t know when my industry is over. “But in the meantime, investors, you

“And it almost harkens back to Jimmy Carter, where he told the nation: ‘wear a sweater, reduce speed limits to 55’.” “So, there are lots of things you can do to reduce demand. We have not seen the political will to do that. And in fact, some of those efforts get mocked.”

Venyou_NI_CHAMBER_297hx210w_mm.indd 1 24/08/2022 13:1330/08/2022 13:34

venyou.co.uk

‘We anticipate your business needs today to deliver the right service’

Donna Linehan - Client Services Director Jonny Hill - Operations Director

TRANSFORM YOUR SPACE. INVIGORATE YOUR PEOPLE. COVER SPREADS Issue 54.indd 1

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.