Chamberlink New Year 2020

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Chamberlink Magazine

NEW YEAR/2020 NO.07

Kings’ School’s new £60m campus has the ”wow” factor

News and views from Chamber members

Members news

Kings’ certainly has the “Wow Factor”

The King’s School’s new £60 million campus has the “wow factor” according to visitors to the site including Macclesfield MP David Rutley, Sue Bowden, Chief Executive of North Cheshire Chamber, governors, councillors and representatives from local business. The tour of the new King’s Alderley Road campus took place as the finishing touches are added to the sections that have been completed. Sue Bowden, Chief Executive of the North Cheshire Chamber, said: “The scale of the project is staggering, it is absolutely fantastic and a credit to the contractor VINCI and King’s who are working so closely together. The economies of scale in bringing everything together onto one site will be enormous and the pupils that attend both now and in the future are extremely fortunate to be benefitting from this amazing, forward-thinking project.” Site Manager for VINCI Construction, Martin Horton, said: “The work load is now at its peak with 300 people working on the site and another 30 in the offices, coordinating operations.” “We are 18 weeks from the May 25 handing over date and are confident this will be achieved. We have divided the work into four phases and are now finishing phase one and locking down before going to the phases two, three and four.” “Phase one of the road widening scheme on the B5087 Alderley Road with the roundabouts at the Upton Priory crossroads is completed, as well as work on both the main entrances. All road works are on target to be completed by February 27, when there may be a few minor road resurfacing issues left.” Among the party was former Chair of Governors Arthur Dicken, who completed the initial feasibility study into King’s relocating to a single site. Now a Prestbury Parish Councillor Arthur said: “I remember those big decisions when you realise you are committing to a major change and now I see it near completion I can’t help but feel a little emotional. It’s a fantastic campus.”


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“Smart Home” specialist Somfy appoints Context Public Relations Connected home specialist Somfy, has appointed Context Public Relations to deliver its B2B & B2C PR and Social Communications, to support its ambitious plans for growth for 2020 across the UK & Ireland. Somfy is a market leader in providing Smart management solutions for homes and buildings globally, helping improving people’s daily lives for over 50 years. Developed with comfort, ease of use, security and sustainability in mind, Somfy’s innovations automate and connect rolling shutters, curtains and blinds, gates and garage doors, lighting and heating, alarms systems and more. Context will be responsible for delivering a comprehensive PR & social strategy, raising Somfy’s brand awareness in a rapidly competitive sector and expanding Somfy’s online profile across the UK & Ireland, reaching both consumers and businesses with an interest in Smart Home solutions. This new agreement follows a series successful account wins for Context in 2019. Sarah Boyle, Senior Account Manager of the Somfy account, said: “Somfy has established itself as a trusted provider in Northern Europe. We’re incredibly excited to be working with Margreet and team, and we look forward to playing a key role in helping the business achieve its goals. We’ve already had some strong results, and we’re looking forward to 2020 and beyond.” Margreet van Kinschot, Marketing Communications Manager for Northern Europe at Somfy, added: “This is an exciting time for Somfy, and we’re looking forward to working with an experienced partner to help further raise our profile across the UK & Ireland. Margreet added: “Context is knowledgeable about our sector and have been able to build a PR & social content programme in line with our objectives.”

Contents 4

Chamber events and networking


Chamber events diary


Welcome to new members


Member events diary


Huge celebration at Stockwell Safety


A streamlined solution to employment



law and HR matters for 2020


Look to the future with Concept Data


North East Cheshire Business Awards special four-page supplement


Tax planning for April 5


Fashionable fundraising reaches dizzy




Why is the Local Plan for Cheshire East


Coffee on the menu at Orbit’s


Tytherington Business Village


Appeal hits £3m for The Christie at Macclesfield


20 Don’t let office politics get in the way of business


The Mere wins Best Health Club Spa award

22 Macclesfield College celebrates exception year

23 Connecting your business with the Commonwealth

Items for the next issue of Chamberlink should be sent to by Friday 17 April, 2020 (please mark Chamberlink magazine) North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce & Enterprise Suite 2A, 9 King Edward Street Macclesfield SK10 1AQ Tel 01625 665940 Fax 01625 665941 email Editorial and advertising have been received from a variety of organisations and individuals and their content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Chamber. The contributions have been reproduced in good faith and the Chamber cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in relation to them.

Chamber patrons

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Chamber news

BREXIT Ready? A lot has happened in the world of BREXIT since our BREXIT Readiness support event at Alderley Park Conference Centre, but

the event was extremely well attended as businesses gathered to have some clarity on BREXIT risks and opportunities. The event included a practical and inter-active workshop to help delegates identify potential risks, and a panel of experts in

their field answered a myriad of questions at the end. Our thanks to Chris Bentley at Harts Chartered Accountants, Ian Mallon from Neon Freight, Ray Clark from Shaping Business, and Eve Lakin from Poole Alcock for joining us on the day.

Speed networking at The Lost & Found Our last speed networking event was held at The Lost & Found in Knutsford whose home is the iconic Old Town Hall building right in the town centre. Sixteen members spent 90 minutes doing their two-minutes pitches to everyone else attending, then relaxed over delicious canapes and a welcome glass of wine, and caught up with new friends met during the event. Laura King, manager at The Lost & Found, generously donated a “bottomless prosecco brunch” for two people for our NECBA Prize Raffle in aid of the Disability Information Bureau – wonder if the winners are still there!

Pre-Budget Consultation Breakfast with Cheshire East Council

The Chamber team celebrating Christmas at Macclesfield’s eagerly awaited PictureDrome

Our recent breakfast event at The Tytherington Club gave businesses the opportunity to hear a presentation on the Council’s Pre-Budget Consultation Report. Alex Thompson, Director of Finance & Customer Services, and Amanda Stott, Portfolio Cabinet Holder for Finance, IT and Communications, presented the Council’s financial plans as to how services will be delivered over the next four years and answered a wide range of questions from around the room.

Did you know the Chamber offers an Export Documentation Service? We can certify EU and Arab Certificates of Origin, EUR-1 and A.TR Movement Certificates. We can also authenticate signatures on invoices and other legal documents.


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Chamber news

Events Diary Could you make a difference by offering a taste of work? Wednesday 12 February Our networking breakfast will introduce you to the benefits of being part of the award-winning WorkTaste scheme run by The Rossendale Trust. Launched in 2013, WorkTaste provides work experience for people with learning disabilities. Businesses and community projects work in close partnership with the Trust to provide placements that typically last 6 weeks, and throughout the placement WorkTaste coaches provide 1:1 support and mentoring to the individual enabling them to learn and develop new skills and build their confidence in the workplace. The Rossendale Trust will be introducing you to businesses who have already benefited from WorkTaste and you will find out first-hand how easy and rewarding it is to offer someone with a learning disability a taste of work.

Behind the scenes at Amazon Friday 20 March See the magic that happens after you click “buy” on Amazon by joining our tour of Amazon’s fulfilment centre at Manchester's Airport City. In the mid-1990s, the Amazon warehouse and its office were one and the same. A handful of employees and one lovable dog shared the Seattle space, along with shelves and shelves of books. Over time, one warehouse became hundreds, and they are now called Amazon fulfilment centres. While they store millions of items and employ hundreds of thousands of people, Amazon fulfilment centres are a far cry from your typical warehouse. So what’s different? Well they are charged with fulfilling customer orders. In other words, Amazon warehouses not only store products but also serve as distribution centres where associates pick, pack, and ship orders quickly and efficiently. Amazon robotics, scanning machines, and computer systems in fulfilment centres can track millions of items in a day. Numbers are limited for this opportunity to see how the wheels turn behind the scenes before your purchases land on your doorstep ... so book soon to secure your place.

WorkTaste coaches will be on hand to answer all your questions and to explain how a placement could work for you and your business, and of course there will be lots of networking and light refreshments.

This is a free event and is open to North Cheshire Chamber members only - booking is essential please.

This is a free event and is open to members and non-members so spread the word but please book your place

Inclusion & Diversity – from an employer’s perspective Thursday 30 April

A networking "trip" with EveryBody@Alderley Park Tuesday 10 March The importance of health and wellbeing has never been more keenly promoted and work/life balance is so important to maintain your equilibrium and deal with daily challenges. One way to achieve this is to incorporate exercise and healthy living into your daily routine, and what better way than to spend some dedicated “me time” at a state-of-the-art, health and fitness facility right on your doorstep, where there is expert guidance is on hand to help you work out an exercise and fitness routine that suits YOU! Our breakfast event at the new EveryBody @ Alderley Park will introduce you to all this and more – it offers a brand new sports hall, gym , group fitness studio, immersive group cycling studio ‘Les Mills THE TRIP’, three tennis courts and a five a side all-weather football pitch, with a brand new 7-a-side and 11-a-side football pitch, cricket pitches and other outdoor recreation areas coming on board soon.

Our networking lunch is at The Bridge Hotel in Prestbury and our guest speakers are Rachel Gascoigne and Tracy West from Wickland Westcott who will talk on the subject of inclusion and diversity, and what it means from employer’s perspective. Embracing inclusion and diversity in the workplace is becoming an essential part of an employer’s responsibility. Organisations need to provide a working environment that allows people to be themselves at work, but this can bring many challenges. Helping employers understand sources of bias and how to overcome them is at the root of what Wickland Westcott do. Employers play an important role in developing and promoting a “strategic approach to inclusion” that helps drive appropriate employment practices, both in-house and for their clients. Working with leaders in the field of assessment, talent development, teambuilding, performance and succession planning, Wickland Westcott are actively committed to all aspects of equal opportunity and diversity. They keep abreast of best practice developments, and ensure their approaches are reviewed and refreshed regularly.

The event will start at 8.00am with a light healthy (of course) breakfast and networking until 8.45am, there will then be a talk from representatives at Everybody on health, wellbeing and fitness, the small changes you can make that have a big impact, and of course the fantastic facilities that are on offer at EveryBody@Alderley Park. The event will round off with a tour of the facility, and the opportunity to experience Cheshire East’s first immersive workout experience: ‘Les Mills THE TRIP’ for those who are up for the challenge!


This is a free event.

This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from “experts in their field”, and to make sure you are fully aware of your responsibilities as an employer.

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Chamber news

Welcome to our new Chamber members Cottons Hotel and Spa Manchester Road KNUTSFORD WA16 0SU 01565 650333 Steven Ogden

Award-winning Hotel part of The House of Daniel Thwaites group, with 138 contemporary rooms and a modern conference centre accommodating up to 200 delegates. Recently refurbished, spa and swimming pool and an AA Rosette Restaurant. The hotel is situated just outside Knutsford, minutes from the motorway network with complimentary car parking.

Macclesfield Town App GAWSWORTH 01625 300 123 Fabio Mazzieri

The exclusive local business listing app for Macclesfield, you can search where to go to eat, drink or exercise, what’s on, live train times, offers and much, much more. The Macclesfield Town App puts your business at the fingertips of thousands of local and visiting consumers. If it’s on in Macc, it’s on the Macc Town App !

Francis Fire Protection Services Limited 121 Chestergate MACCLESFIELD SK11 6DP 01625 365 199 Wayne Francis

Francis Fire Protection Services provide locally:

Stockwell Safety

• Fire Extinguisher supply, installation, servicing, and practical real fire user training (on and off site)

KNUTSFORD 01565 650 549 Astrid Raasik

• Fire Marshal-Warden training (on and off site) • Fire Risk Assessments and reviews • Fire Detection supply, installation, monitoring, servicing and system user training

Since 2011, we have been helping people to achieve industry recognised, accredited qualifications that increase their knowledge and boost their career prospects. We deliver classroom-based and online courses in health and safety and related topics. We also offer consultancy support for businesses and organizations who want to get health and safety right.

Franklyn Financial Management Ltd


St James's House 4-5 John Bradshaw Court Alexandria Way CONGLETON CW12 1LB 01260 291 825 Ian Cottrill

The Clink Restaurant Styal

Franklyn Financial Management (FFM) are a leading Wealth Management company based in Congleton. We offer a range of knowledge and expertise, together with years of experience, to tailor our financial management services to your individual circumstances, helping you reach and fulfil your own, or your business’s financial goals and ambitions.

The Clink Restaurant Styal work with female offenders who have between 6-18months remaining on their sentences to provide training and qualifications within a fine dining environment, along with support both pre and post release. The restaurant is open to the general public seven days a week and meeting facilities are also on offer.

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HMP Styal Styal Road STYAL SK9 4HR 01625 553 146 Catrin Aherne

Members Event Diary

Member Event Diary EVENT Macclesfield Town Business Networking delivered by Macclesfield Town App

NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety delivered by Stockwell Safety

Advice on Will Drafting and Powers of Attorney delivered by Thorneycroft Solicitors

Breakfast Brief on … How to increase profits with Management Information delivered by Harts Chartered Accountants

Concept Data Solutions free drop in … get ready for the ISDN switch OFF !

The automated Digital Workmate designed for SME’s delivered by Cevitr

The Business Club Lunch delivered by Harts Chartered Accountants and SAS Daniels LLP

Taittinger Champagne Dinner

Fire Marshal-Warden & Real Fire Practical Fire Extinguisher Training delivered by Francis Fire Protection Services



17:30 - 19:30 Wednesday 12 February 2020 Cost: £15 per person to attend More info and to book:

The Tytherington Club

Week 1: 17 – 21 February 2020 Week 2: 24 – 28 February 2020 Exam: 4 March 2020 Cost: £1295+VAT (10% discount for Chamber members) For future dates and to book visit:

Dorchester Way Macclesfield SK10 2JP

Cheshire Conference Centre 18 Hardcastle Road Stockport SK3 9DA

10:00-12:00 Tuesday 25 February 2020 Cost: Free of charge More info and to book at

Bollington Civic Hall

08:00-9:30 Thursday 27 February 2020 Cost: Free of charge More info and to book email

Harts Chartered Accountants

Palmerston Street Bollington SK10 5JX

Westminster House 10 Westminster Road Macclesfield SK10 1BX

8:00–10:00 Friday 28 February 2020 Cost: Free of charge More info and to book at:

The Bromley Centre

11:00 Tuesday 3 March 2020 Cost: Free of charge More info and to book at:

Online webinar

11:45-14:00 Wednesday 11 March 2020 Cost: £22 per person includes 2-course lunch More info and to book email

Hollin House Hotel

19:30 Friday 24 April 2020 Cost: £75 per person (20% discount for Chamber members) Members call the events team to book on 01625 583 033 and quote #Chamber; non members visit:

Alderley Edge Hotel Bar & Restaurant

10:00 – 14:00 Monday 27 April 2020 Cost: £65 inc VAT (10% discount for Chamber members) More info and to book at:

Crewe Hall Hotel

Bromley Road Congleton CW12 1PT

Jackson Lane Bollington Macclesfield SK10 5BG

Macclesfield Road Alderley Edge SK9 7BJ

Weston Road Crewe CW1 6UZ

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News

Cevitr - your local award-winning automation company 2019 was quite the year for Cevitr, your local RPA enabled Digital Workforce provider. Securing some recognisable clients across a variety of business sectors; construction, hospitality, law and finance within eighteen months of trading; whilst staying true to our roots with local SME’s taking advantage of our proposition. The business is growing with recommendations; as our reputation for quality, work ethic and trust grows, we put into production over 50 automated processes, expanded our team, moved to bigger offices in both Macclesfield and Farnborough and picked up awards! Along with picking up the NECBA Bronze award for Science & Innovation, Cevitr won the Excellence in Digital Technology category at the Inspire Business Awards. The annual awards programme, which is organised by Destination Basingstoke, received a record-breaking number of entries over summer 2019. Cevitr were shortlisted as finalists within two categories; Excellence in Digital Technology and Innovation Excellence. The judging panel visited our office in October, heightening the anticipation for the announcements made at the November ceremony. Winning the Excellence in Digital Technology award was a proud moment for Cevitr and certainly one of the highlights of the year for the Team. Continuing the excitement into the New Year, Cevitr are finalists in the North West Business Awards for Business Innovation and are looking forward to the announcement at the awards night in March, like our Digital Workmate Jo, there is no slowing down for 2020! Cevitr receive the Excellence in Digital Technology at the Inspire Business Awards (top) and the NECBA Bronze award for Science & Innovation (right).

Huge celebration at Stockwell Safety Health and safety consultancy and training provider, Stockwell Safety, have recently been awarded Gold by NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health). This is a huge achievement for Stockwell Safety, who are the only NEBOSH Learning Partner in Knutsford. Since 2011, they have been helping people to achieve industryrecognised, accredited qualifications that increase their knowledge and boost their career prospects. And they also work with organisations and businesses to help them to not merely comply with legislation, but to increase efficiency, enhance their reputation and achieve best practice standards. Their strong sense of pride in their work ensures their learners receive the best possible support and tuition to successfully complete their chosen course.


help to raise the competence of safety and environmental professionals as well as individuals at all levels in the workplace, and NEBOSH' qualifications are highly respected by governments, employers and learners. So being awarded Gold is a huge achievement as it means they greatly exceed the standards of the NEBOSH Learning Excellence Principles which are:

Stockwell Safety uses Chartered Health and Safety Practitioners with recognised teaching qualifications, backed up with considerable experience. They’re a recognised training centre for NEBOSH as well as the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

1. Ensure all learners understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from their Learning Provider

NEBOSH is a leading global organisation, which provides health, safety and environmental qualifications. Their internationally recognised qualifications

2. Create a learning environment that is engaging and encourages interaction that is appropriate for the course and type of delivery

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3. Provide accurate course materials and continually update and improve them 4. Ensure tutors are qualified, knowledgeable, competent and engaging 5. Give learners feedback on their progress and provide appropriate support 6. Review course delivery and learner feedback and action as necessary

For more information visit

Legal Eye

A streamlined solution to employment law and HR matters for 2020 In 2020, it's essential that your business is protected, but staying up to date with the latest employment legislation and HR regulations can often be a headache for business owners who are concentrating on growing their business. As business owners and managers, it's critical to keep track of your employees data including contracts and policies, as well as other vital information about your employees and your business as a whole. However, in an ever-evolving business landscape, this is all easier said than done, until now. Thorneycroft Solicitors have created two specific services designed to make HR headaches a thing of the past, whilst also protecting your business interests and providing your business with ongoing employment law and HR support that enables it to thrive for many years to come. The first package is HR Essentials, a self-service online platform that makes it a breeze for business managers and owners to manage day to day HR matters. This unique service is perfect for small or start-up businesses and ensures your business is compliant with the latest legislation in a convenient and streamlined solution that is available from just £99+VAT per month. Benefits of HR Essentials include: •

A secure online portal that is personal to your business

A library of key, up-to-date HR documents and tools

Quick and easy online management of your employee personnel files

Up to 1 hour of telephone HR advice per month

Regular HR updates

For those seeking a bespoke service, Thorneycroft Solicitors have created Employment Shield which is suitable for a business of any size and key benefits include: •

An audit of existing employment contracts and policies

Bespoke new or updated employment contracts and staff handbook

Unlimited advice on any UK employment law or HR matters

Bespoke letters for any matter on which advice is needed

Regular employment law updates.

If you're hoping to start the new year and the new decade on the right foot, can you afford not to have your employment law and HR matters in order? If you'd like to take advantage of either Employment Shield or HR Essentials, the Thorneycroft Solicitors Employment Law and HR team, led by Nicola Clarke, will be able to offer more advice and information about both services.

To learn more, contact Nicola Clarke by calling 01625 507 540 or email Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News

Look to the future with Concept Data Solutions Like many businesses in North Cheshire, 2019 proved to be a packed year for Concept Data Solutions! Along with moving offices from Crewe to Congleton, in September they announced the rename of their business brand from Eze Talk to Concept Data Solutions after 19 years. To mark this new era for the business, they welcomed a number of local businesses and the Town Mayor to a launch party in their new offices at the end of last year. Concept Data Solutions were also delighted to become a member of North Cheshire Chamber of Commerce for the first time. Mike Walsh, Director, comments: “It was a busy year for us last year, full of both change and exciting new opportunities. We are grateful to our business customers who continue to support us and have been happy to meet new connections through North Cheshire Chamber.” 2020 promises to be an equally dynamic year for both Concept Data Solutions and the telecommunications industry as a whole. On a personal level, Concept Data Solutions look forward to hosting their 20th birthday celebrations in the summer (further details and ticket information will be available closer to the time). 2020 also marks the year where BT are no longer taking orders or amendments to services applicable to any ISDN products (the traditional telephone network). This will mean businesses will have to switch to hosted or VoIP telephony if they haven’t already done so.

Mike Walsh adds: “We are fully focused this year in helping business with the switch from traditional ISDN lines to hosted. We know it can be a confusing process so we’re on hand to make it as simple as possible for local businesses.”

For more information on hosted (VoIP) telephony or for any of Concept Data Solutions products and services, please visit or call 0333 009 0836.

Head of leading family law firm welcomes new Stalking Protection Orders Safeguards for victims by making breaching an order a criminal offence will help those going through the divorce or dissolution process One of Cheshire’s most respected family law solicitors has welcomed the new Stalking Protection Orders, as they will help many people currently going through the divorce or dissolution process. Amanda McAlister, head of McAlister Family Law which has offices in Alderley Edge and central Manchester, said that stalking by one party of another was a not-infrequent occurrence in the separation process, and early intervention could put a stop to many potentially dangerous cases. “Many people mistakenly assume stalking is confined to celebrities being followed and harassed by their more extreme fans,” she said. “But it happens in the daily life of ordinary people, and as family lawyers, we see it in the breakdown of relationships when people are going through the divorce or dissolution process.


Chamberlink New Year 2020

“A particular worry is when the children of that relationship are brought into the situation, with one parent being followed to school at drop-off and pick-up times, for example. We are also seeing it take place on multiple social media sites as well as other forms of digital communication. “Early intervention, and the threat of criminal action, will be an enormous help to those in this situation,” added Amanda. The orders, which are part of the Stalking Protection Act (2019), will enable police officers to intervene earlier to protect victims. Under the new rules, police in England and Wales will be able to seek Stalking Protection Orders from the courts to prevent suspects from contacting their victims. Breaching the orders will be a criminal offence with offenders facing a maximum of five years in prison. According to the new legislation, which became operational on January 20, the Stalking Protection Orders (SPOs) will last a minimum of two years. Breaching the order risks a five-year jail term.

Amanda McAlister, head of McAlister Family Law

Victoria Atkins, Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability, said: “I am determined to make these orders as effective as possible. The Government will continue to work with police and others working in our criminal justice system to raise awareness of stalking and ensure frontline professionals have the knowledge and tools to deal with this harrowing crime.”

Business Awards Supplement

Another fantastic celebration of local business success … and what a celebration it was! Around 300 guests gathered at The Mere Golf Resort & Spa in November for the eighth North East Cheshire Business Awards. As always, the support for the awards has been fantastic … from the sponsors without whose help the event couldn’t happen, to the hundreds of businesses that entered, to everyone that came along to the event, to North Cheshire Chamber for pulling the whole thing together. Again the standard of entries was outstanding and showcases the entrepreneurialism and diversity that exists in North East Cheshire, and this event reflects and rewards everything that is great about being in business in Knutsford, Macclesfield, Wilmslow and all the smaller areas in between.

Guest speaker, Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Business Awards Supplement

As sponsor of the Business of the Year category, Justine Clowes of SAS Daniels LLP congratulated winner - Illingworth Research - for their focus on sustainability and strong strategy for continued future growth through a transformative approach for both its customer base and the business itself.

Start-Up Business of the Year sponsored by North Cheshire Chamber – Sue Bowden, Chief Executive, was delighted to present the award to Marie Spalding-Williams and Yasmin Bentley at Synergy Recruitment who had succeeded by putting people and localism at the heart of their business.

Congratulations to all our winners! And here’s who won what …

Waters Corporation sponsored the Science & Innovation category, and Martin Hallows presented this award to AER Electric … a fast-growing, forward-thinking and truly innovative business with big plans for the future.

Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Macclesfield College – Tracy Cosgrave presented the award saying there had been some fantastic entries but there could only be one winner … and that was Nick Wilkinson from Derek Gough Associates.


Chamberlink New Year 2020

Presenting the Workplace Health & Wellbeing award to Equilibrium Asset Management, judge Phil Cardwell said the winner not only secured a dedicated wellbeing resource, but demonstrate a high degree of understanding in the subject and the impact on staff development.

Small Business of the Year was sponsored by Williams & Crosby – W&C owner, Ed Williams, presented the award to winner Rob Smethurst at Pro-Football Academy who succeeded against some incredible entries.

Business Awards Supplement

Big Brand Ideas again sponsored the Best Creative Campaign and Jon Butler presented the award to Frank Smith from Context PR for its “Northern Fail” campaign which really stood out for its unique approach.

Thanks to our official NECBA photographer James Russell Photography

Melissa Bowers of Harts Accountants was delighted to present Team of the Year to Maxim Business Training who has achieved significant growth and increased quality in a sector that is nationally in decline, together with best achievement attainment in the north west. Charity of the Year – Disability Information Bureau, last year’s winner of this award, presenting to this year’s winner The Clink Restaurant Styal

Excellence in Customer Service was this year sponsored by Fabric IT, and MD Carl Enser presented the award to The Mere Golf Resort & Spa saying Gary Johnson and his team deserved the recognition for their outstanding and consistent commitment to customer service.

On presenting the Best Company to Work For category to The Rossendale Trust, Christine White of AstraZeneca said “this company has invested a significant percentage of its very tight budget to progressively improve the overall staff experience because it recognises the value a “great place to work” brings its employees.

Business Person of the Year sponsored by the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership – Chief Executive, Philip Cox, presented the award to Rachel Kay of Macclesfield College for her commitment, drive and resilience in transforming the College, in an unprecedented time of change, into what it is today.

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Business Awards Supplement

Prize draw boosts Disability Information Bureau Last year’s Charity of the Year winners, the Disability Information Bureau, were the beneficiary of the prize draw held on the night and over £2,500 was raised from the generosity of businesses and individuals donating to the raffle. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the fund raising by donating a prize – and there were some fantastic prizes like overnight stays with dinner at local hotels, meal vouchers, wine tasting, tickets for cricket, rounds of golf, food hampers, gym memberships … and our “piece de resistance” was a weekend with a Porsche courtesy of Porsche Wilmslow which was auctioned off for a very generous amount – thanks to everyone who supported the charity on the night and helped raise this fantastic amount. Laura Smith, CEO at DIB (left), said: “We were extremely proud and honoured to be awarded Charity of the Year last year. The Chamber and its members have been incredibly supportive and shown great generosity, kindly donating the proceeds of the Raffle and the Auction to help our much-needed services.”

Camera Ready Action!

Presenter, Susan Hanks, announced the Selfie of the Night competition early in the evening and encouraged everyone to pucker up and get camera ready! And our Selfie of the Night winner was BoxedRed Marketing their very creative take on their own name! Well done BoxedRed – and hope you enjoyed the fizz!


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Partying the night away!

A huge thanks to David Rutley (above) for congratulating all the winners and closing the formal part of the evening … and giving everyone free rein to get into party mood. A special thanks to our favourite singer, the fabulous Nathan Turner (right), who really knows how to get the party started!

SAS Daniels

Why is the Local Plan for Cheshire East important? The Local Plan is the Development Plan for Cheshire East. Its policies form a basis for planning decisions in Cheshire East for the foreseeable future. Some of the commercial areas identified for development include: Land off Gresty Road in Crewe for industrial/food process/storage and distribution developments; Land off the North of Glastonbury Drive in Poynton for sports and leisure development and; Land at Ilford Way, Mobberley for mixed-use development. The Local Plan is made up of four key documents:

What stage is the Local Plan up to now? The LPS was adopted in July 2017 and each of the other three documents are due to be implemented in 2020. The purpose of the SADPD is to ‘put flesh on the bones’ following the LPC. Once finalised, the SADPD will outline a framework planned up to 2030. The public consultation for the SADPD is complete and is now under review by planning inspectors before intended adoption in the second quarter of 2020.

Why are these relevant? The Local Plan provides a vision moving forward to clear the way for new residential and commercial development. Its importance must not be understated and it paves the way for opportunity and investment with the

intention of generating economic growth. In short, the Local Plan will shape the future of the landscape and in turn will affect us all. Our Commercial Property Law team can assist developers and landowners in maximising the opportunities made available by policies formed in the Local Plan, advising on residential schemes, mixed use developments or large scale regeneration. To find out more about the Local Plan, visit the Cheshire East Council’s website at:

1. Local Planning Strategy (LPS) 2. Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD) 3. Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document

If you require advice regarding a commercial or residential property opportunity, please get in touch with Steven Percy at SAS Daniels LLP on 01625 442158 or email

4. The Crewe Hub Area Action Plan

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News

Coffee now on the menu at Orbit’s Tytherington Business Village A coffee shop is the latest onsite amenity at Tytherington Business Village, Macclesfield’s leading business park. Already boasting convenient amenities including a Premier Inn hotel, Springwood pub, restaurant, a Subway store and Bright Horizons nursery, The Coffee Tree is a much-anticipated addition providing coffee and snacks for the needs of the surrounding business occupiers and residential area. Orbit Developments who own the site have made a conscious effort to find a trader who fits in with the ethos of the park, which prides itself on encouraging an environment of wellbeing and work life balance. And over the last twelve months, Orbit have provided complimentary yoga and mindfulness classes for customers, created an outdoor event space and installed bird feeders to encourage more wildlife. In addition, workers on the development can also enjoy a lunchtime walk on one of the many routes on and around the business village. Tim Ellis, Sales and Marketing Director at Momentum Instore, an occupier on site, recognizes the advantages of these new initiatives. He said: “The mindfulness classes that Orbit have put on are great! They are a good opportunity to take time out from your busy work schedule to reflect and focus on your own personal wellbeing and self-care. As a business, we focus on employee wellness as a priority, so recognize and appreciate the importance of classes like these – they’ve had a really positive impact on those attending.”


Chamberlink New Year 2020

Andrew Massey, owner, Coffee Tree (left) and Benn Dickinson, Leasing Surveyor, Orbit Developments

Benn Dickinson, Leasing Surveyor at Orbit Developments, commented: “Tytherington Business Village is nestled in 43 acres of mature parkland, so it seems only natural to help create a business environment that compliments this to the benefit of our occupiers. We are delighted that workers are taking full advantage of the park and these new initiatives and we welcome Andrew and the Coffee Tree to Tytherington, we wish him every success.” Owner of The Coffee Tree, Andrew Massey, said: “I have been looking for the right place to open a second shop for some time and am delighted to

be opening in this popular business village. I chose Tytherington Business Village as it’s local to me and offers a diverse working environment which I felt needed an alternative coffee shop experience. I hope the Coffee Tree will add something very positive to the current offering to occupiers and residents”. He added, “Orbit have been thoroughly professional in their approach and every question has been dealt with efficiently and with care. Special mention to Benn Dickinson who has been there from the offset,and has been a great sounding board and contact point”.

Financial Services

Tax planning for 5 April By Chris Bentley, Tax & Forensic Director 5 April, the end of the tax year, is now not that many weeks away and so it is an opportune time to consider whether anything should be done before then to legitimately maximise the use of valuable tax reliefs for the current tax year. This may be as simple as putting money in an ISA, but for many people there is a lot more that can be done, with a little thought, in the run up to 5 April. 5 April, the end of the tax year, is now not that many weeks away and so it is an opportune time to consider whether anything should be done before then to legitimately maximise the use of valuable tax reliefs for the current tax year. This may be as simple as putting money in an ISA, but for many people there is a lot more that can be done, with a little thought, in the run up to 5 April. In addition, this year we have a budget due on 11 March (the first since October 2018) and with a new government in power there are already rumours circulating of restrictions on reliefs. First among these is that entrepreneurs’ relief may be restricted or even withdrawn. This would increase the rate of tax on many capital gains from 10% to 20% and comes from a promise in the Conservative election manifesto to ‘review and reform entrepreneurs’ relief.’ It is therefore worth considering whether any gains on assets which would currently qualify for relief could, or should, be crystallised quickly. Secondly there is the usual speculation that tax relief on pensions will be restricted further, either by reducing the annual allowance of £40,000 or restricting higher rate tax relief on contributions made. Unless and until such changes are made, pension contributions are a very valuable tool for managing an individual’s tax position each year because they effectively reduce an individual’s taxable income for the year. This means that even a small additional contribution before 5 April can achieve an extremely high rate of tax relief where an individual suffers a high tax rate, for instance because they are subject to child benefit withdrawal (incomes of £50,000 to £60,000) or withdrawal of personal allowance (incomes of £100,000 to £125,000). For business owners, where any contribution is more likely to come from the company than be made personally, pension contributions are still well worth considering as part of your long term profit extraction strategy. It should though be noted that while we can advise on the tax consequences of making pension contributions, we are not financial advisors. As such we always recommend that separate (regulated) financial and investment advice is sought in conjunction with the tax advice we provide. Another area of pre 5 April planning where we work closely with financial advisors is in relation to tax efficient investments such as VCTs and EISs. These investments

provide a number of tax incentives, including an income tax reduction equal to 30% of the amount invested. But inevitably with this level of tax benefit, they are higher risk investments and come with strict rules, so anyone considering making such investments for the tax benefits is again strongly advised to seek financial advice. For those who prefer to invest in property, 5 April is also important as rental accounts are drawn up to this date each year. For costs such as repairs, where the landlord can – to a degree at least – choose which tax year to incur them in, this provides a tax planning opportunity. For example, it would be advisable for a landlord who expects their income to drop in 2020/21 to bring forward planned expenditure to just before 5 April so that it falls into the current tax year and achieves tax relief at a higher rate. On the other hand, many landlords will see their taxable incomes increase in 2020/21 as the new rules restricting tax deductions for interest costs will be fully in force from 6 April. This could be a reason to choose to delay planned expenditure until shortly after 6 April to achieve a tax deduction (and a bigger tax saving) in 2020/21. Finally, significant changes to capital gains tax on residential property are also expected to take effect from 6 April 2020 (see article in autumn 2019 Chamberlink). Although it is now unlikely in practice to be possible to complete a third party sale of a property before 5 April unless one is already in process, it might be worth considering gifting a property to a family member (for example), to crystallise a gain in the current tax year and so lock in the currently more favourable tax regime. However, anyone considering this as a tax planning strategy should take advice as there are many potential pitfalls and should also be aware that even if these pitfalls are avoided, there may well be a tax charge (but with no cash proceeds) in January 2021. Chris Bentley heads up the specialist Tax and Forensic departments at Harts Accountants. For further information contact Chris on 01625 669669 or email Chris Bentley

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News

Fashionable fundraising reaches dizzy heights

King’s Sixth Formers put on the style to raise a stunning £13,500 for The Christie appeal to build a new centre in Macclesfield. Over the last 15 years, the fashionistas from the Macclesfield school have raised over £100,000 with the annual runway event that they plan, choreograph and execute themselves. They have even earned the school a place on The Christie’s major donors’ honours board. Now The Christie is building a new state-of-art cancer care centre in the town, King’s is stepping up its efforts even further and this was by some distance their best ever year. The Christie’s Community Fundraising Development Manager, Nichola Doran said: “We were delighted to be supported by the King’s School Sixth Form fashion show. More than 1,500 existing patients will benefit from world-class cancer care close to their home when The Christie at Macclesfield opens. Construction work will start in May 2020 and we are aiming to be operational by Autumn 2021.” This year the theme of the Fashion Show was ‘End of an Era’ with fashion from the ’60s through to the noughties modelled by the students.

Organiser Imogen Collinson, in Year 13, said: “A massive vote of thanks goes to the brilliant BooHoo, Pretty Little Things, London Persona and Nasty Gal for lending us all the clothes for the evening and to parents for donating so many fantastic raffle prizes. This year’s event was particularly large, with an even bigger fundraising target, to mark the school’s end of an era on our current sites.” The event played to a sell-out audience of over 250 family and friends in the Main Hall at Cumberland Street. Fellow organizer, Olivia Holder, concluded: “We ended the night with the long-standing dance-off between the girls and the boys. The girls flaunted their stuff to Fergie and Beyoncé while promoting a message of female empowerment, while the boys, after numerous occasions of reprimanding, took part in some ‘Dirty Dancing’. The event was a huge success and really brought the entire Sixth Form together, as all the sweat, tears and fake tan involved in raising money for such a great cause helped us bond together and make lasting memories." Well done you Fabulous Fasionistas!

Autac’s Everest challenge raises £11k for Prevent Breast Cancer Autac Products Ltd’s Managing Director David Lowe has completed his gruelling trek to the Base Camp of Mount Everest in support of Prevent Breast Cancer. It proved an unforgettable challenge as David describes: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to take part in such a life-affirming event. But boy, was it tough! “I consider myself relatively fit but every step was tiring due to the lack of oxygen. It was being part of such an incredibly positive and supportive group of people, and amongst such inspiring scenery, that lifted my spirits and energy levels each and every day. That and of course the memory of my sister-in-law Julie, who lost her four-year battle with breast cancer at the age of only 51.


Chamberlink New Year 2020

target) was a feeling of euphoria I’ve never experienced. Better still, our collective team of trekkers including local business people and Coronation Street actress Sally Dynevor, raised a collective £132k for the charity. Thank you to everyone who supported me and our team of trekkers. “I would certainly recommend the Everest trek to base camp to anyone looking to take a leap out of their comfort zone and, better still, to raise money for good causes at the same time.” The sun may have set for David on this particular adventure but he’s already on the lookout for his next challenge…any suggestions will be considered!

“At Christmas, Julie’s absence was all the more marked for our family and I, like my fellow trekkers, want to do all I can to prevent other families from suffering such loss.

To pledge your support to this Prevent Breast Cancer campaign, please visit David’s Virgin Money Giving page at: DavidLowe19

“Reaching Everest base camp and knowing that I had raised £11k for Prevent Breast Cancer (more than double my fundraising

More information on Prevent Breast Cancer is available at:

Members News

Appeal hits £3m for The Christie at Macclesfield

Fundraising for a new state of the art cancer centre in Macclesfield is on track, with news this week that the appeal has now reached the £3m mark thanks to the generosity of the people of Macclesfield and surrounding communities. The Christie charity is aiming to raise £23m towards the cost of the new centre which will transform cancer care in East Cheshire, providing Christie care closer to home for more than 1,500 existing patients a year. Head of fundraising at The Christie charity, Louise Stimson said: “This is a fantastic start to our fundraising for The Christie at Macclesfield. I am very encouraged by the amazing support and generosity of local people for this vital project. So many people have told us why they are passionate about bringing The Christie to Macclesfield. I want to particularly thank The Macclesfield Express and Silk FM for their support.

Hundreds of events in 2020 “There will be hundreds of fundraising activities and events in 2020 giving people the opportunity to get involved with and support the appeal. We’d love as many people as possible from East Cheshire and beyond to help us achieve our goal.” Dr Andrew Sykes, the lead consultant for the project added: “I can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone who has already helped us to raise £3m so far. Not only will the new centre provide world class cancer care closer to home for patients but it will also enable us to improve patient treatments. For example, patients who we know will get a better outcome by having both chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the same day will be able to get this at the same site in Macclesfield and we will be doing frailty assessments to provide extra support for any older patients who need it to enable them to successfully complete their course of treatment.”

Left to right: John Wilbraham (Chief Executive of East Cheshire NHS Trust), Dr Neil Bayman (lung cancer consultant at The Christie), Kath Senior (Director of Nursing and Quality at East Cheshire NHS Trust), Charlotte Preece (Christie charity fundraiser) and Laura Hulme (Christie charity).

The new centre will bring together essential cancer services into one purpose-built unit delivering local specialist access to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, holistic support and information services, outpatient care, palliative care, and a wider range of clinical trials. While some cancer care is currently available in Macclesfield, many patients travel to The Christie in South Manchester for their appointments. For some patients, this can mean a journey time of two hours which puts tremendous pressure on patients and their families at an already stressful time. The new centre will accommodate around 40,000 patient visits each year for existing patients from areas of Cheshire, North Staffordshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire. Planning for the new centre has taken into account East Cheshire’s ageing population and the predicted increase in demand for specialist cancer services in future years. Work on the two storey building is expected to begin in May 2020 with the aim of opening during autumn 2021.

For details of how you can support The Christie at Macclesfield fundraising appeal, go to

Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News Specialists in averting conflict, North West Mediation Solutions has some tips to keep the office a friendly and productive environment. We all know that office politics are an unavoidable part of office life, but when healthy discussions turn into conflict you could find your business is paying the price. Not only does this type of conduct impact the productivity of all parties involved (and thus profitability) but it has wider reaching implications such as low morale, higher staff turnover, absenteeism, poor teamwork – all in all a toxic environment. Whilst every situation is unique, the following tips should help prevent the healthy debate from getting out of hand.

1. Job description Ensure that each employee knows exactly what their role is and what is expected of them.

2. Office structure Employees need to know where they are in the hierarchy. Create a flow chart of who their line managers are, and who manages their line managers. This will foster a feeling of belonging to a team, where everyone knows their role.

3. Office etiquette It’s a good idea to ensure the rules of the office are clear to all. For example the length of breaks permitted, clothing, what can be cooked in the microwave (fish anyone?!). Make these ‘rules’ clear so they know what will and will not be tolerated.

Don’t let office politics get in the way of business 4. Seek out areas of potential conflict By identifying areas of potential conflict you can minimise the disruption by nipping issues in the bud. It could be that a job role change or a different shift pattern is required.

5. Training staff Conflict often grows from resentment or feelings of inadequacy. Take time to train your employees – given them the resources to fulfil their role. Encourage conflict resolution training so they can understand what their triggers are and how to diffuse negative situations.

6. Alternative Dispute Resolution The last thing you want is for an employee to feel they have no option but to enter into the formal HR process or grievance procedure. Have an Alternative Dispute Service available to the employees – one that isn’t hidden away but one you are proud of and one that employees take seriously. You should encourage employees to report complaints and issues early on so situations don’t escalate.

Victoria Greenwood of North West Mediation Solutions

Whilst you can implement the above to help prevent conflict, conflicts will arise. You can deal with these situations through mediation – a process for resolving disputes where a third party facilitates a settlement. It is future focussed rather than looking back at who was right or wrong and looks at solving problems so that they don’t happen again.

Looking for a wedding venue … you’ve found it! The Alderley Edge Hotel Bar & Restaurant is renown as one of the best Cheshire hotel wedding venues in the area and Lucy Wilson, Wedding & Events Office Manager, has recently been awarded “North of England Wedding Co-ordinator of Year 2019” & “UK Wedding Coordinator of the Year 2019” nominated through “Wedding Dates”. Lucy has been at the Alderley Edge Hotel for over two years and since she was appointed the Wedding & Events business has gone from strength to strength, in no small way due to her wealth of knowledge within the hospitality sector. Working with Wedding & Events Co-ordinators, Laura and Lian, she has built a strong team who work extremely closely to ensure every bride and groom have a customer experience journey that exceeds their expectations, and they go above and beyond to create a magical day. If you are looking for a venue for your big day, talk to Lucy – she’ll probably try and talk you into her favourite photography effect – colour smoke bombs – they look amazing on photos! And videography has to be a must! Lucy commented: “I thoroughly enjoy my role here at the Alderley Edge Hotel and have really found my niche. The feedback I get from happy couples and event organisers is wonderful, and quite overwhelming, and that what drives me to continue to do what I love!”


Chamberlink New Year 2020

Wedding & Events Office Manager Lucy Wilson (centre) with Wedding & Events Co-ordinators Laura and Lian

Members News The Mere Golf Resort & Spa has won the award for Best Health Club Spa at this year’s Good Spa Guide Awards for the second consecutive year. Spa partners of The Good Spa Guide were entitled to nominate themselves for up to three categories, which were shortlisted by The Good Spa Guide team. All the finalists were sent marketing materials to encourage guests to select their favourite spas from several categories in a public vote. The Mere received the highest amount of entries for the award of Best Health Club Spa.

The Mere wins Best Health Club Spa 2019 award

The Mere’s Health Club & Spa offers two fitness studios with over 60 fitness classes a week, state-of-the-art gym, expert personal trainers, a 20m indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool and thermal zone and a range of luxury spa treatments from product houses Aromatherapy Associates and Natura Bissé. Health Club & Spa Manager, Martin Davies, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded Best Health Club Spa at The Good Spa Guide Awards for the second year running. We continue to deliver a great experience for all our guests and they certainly seem to agree!”

New year brings new opportunities for the DIB It’s been a whirlwind two years for the Disability Information Bureau. Awarded NECBA Charity of the year in 2018, and celebrating 25 years at the heart of the community in 2019, 2020 brings with it a renewed impetus to strengthen its reach and make even more of a positive impact for disabled residents of Cheshire East and those with long-term health conditions. Although we are only just into the new year, there have already been several exciting developments to share. First off, the DIB has been selected as one of the Co-op’s chosen charities which they will support via their 5+1 membership scheme over the next 12 months. The 5+1 scheme means that any Co-op member who purchases Co-op brand products from Co-op food stores, funeral care or legal services, can earn 5% for themselves to spend, and a further 1% for one of the Co-op’s chosen charities. Community Fundraising Manager, John Boardman, says: “For this to be a real success we need to encourage colleagues, family and friends to sign up to be a Co-op member, this is easy and only costs £1. As a member you can then go online and select to support the DIB with your 1%.” Please see: Secondly, the DIB is proud to formally announce its partnership with Macclesfield Audi which will see them doing some in-house fundraising and awareness raising for the DIB and supporting with community events. Should you wish to learn more about becoming a corporate supporter of the DIB and the benefits this can bring for your organisation and employees, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Community Fundraising Manager, John Boardman via

Thirdly, since the inception of its Community Cars initiative in July, the DIB is proud to report that it has facilitated over 400 journeys for vulnerable and isolated residents of Cheshire East who are unable to use public transport or taxis due to mobility or medical reasons, helping them maintain their independence. If you would like to learn more about volunteering as a Community driver or getting involved with any of our other projects please call us for a chat on 01625 613111 or email Finally, from Chief Executive, Laura Smith, and everyone at the DIB, we would like to wish you all a Happy and successful New Year. Chamberlink New Year 2020


Members News

Kings … first on the planet! The King’s School has been recognised as the first school on the planet to set up a Merit First Council to champion the United Nations’ sustainable development projects. Currently working in 20 different countries worldwide with plans to extend their reach globally, The World Merit Charity aims to empower young people to build a better future. King’s has been collaborating with them for last 18 months, working in the local community to support sustainable development through a wide range of challenging projects. As the first school to set up a Merit First Council, King’s will now be showcased as a leading example to other schools and youth organisations worldwide. Chief Executive of The World Merit Charity, Marlou Corneilssen, who visited King’s and presented them with an award, said: “We are trying to create a more equal world, which doesn’t focus on how much money someone has but on what they can offer to sustain this wonderful planet. Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as our guide, we plan projects on a local and national level that create positive impact striving for a more sustainable future and a better world for all.” She added: “The King’s pupils are unstoppable and relentless in their support of our goals and we are delighted to make King’s the first ever school to win our top schools’ award.” The King’s School pupils have worked with Cheshire Streetwise to help the homeless, supported local foodbanks, held an eco fashion show, raised money for The Christie Hospital, collected litter and recyclable plastic around the town, raised money and donated clothes to DoubleJoy orphanage, and donated sanitary products to combat period poverty.

World Merit CEO Marlou Corneilssen and Community Engagement Officer Carlo Steemsman are pictured with King’s project leaders Freya AmbreyBrosnahan, Lottie Woods, Niya Alias and Annabel Townsend. King’s teacher Isobel Lally, who set up the King’s School’s World Merit Council with her colleague Lianne Hughes, said: “The pupils are inexhaustible and want to get involved in any way possible to support sustainable development.” Lianne added: “This generation has woken up to the crucial issues facing mankind and, as my generation knows only too well, it’s not before time.”

Macclesfield College celebrates exceptional year Macclesfield College had a fantastic year in 2019 with lots of successful occasions. It enjoyed a 10% increase in applications, apprenticeship achievement rates were 7% above the national average, a 60% growth in financial income from its employer arm, Maxim Business Training, and gathered a trio of award wins and the launch of three significant academy partnerships. It is the best overall performance of the past five years and reflects a continued focus on quality since the college was awarded its ‘good’ Ofsted rating in 2017, which was followed by a ‘good’ financial health rating earlier this year. Innovation is at the heart of the organisation and the Macclesfield Manifesto, launched in April, delivered an additional 100 apprenticeship opportunities for local young people in just 100 days. The Macclesfield Health Academy, in partnership with the Local Trust, was nominated and shortlisted for NHS ‘Partner of the Year’ awards. The partnership developed specialised training to support internal progression and learners on the Level 3 BTEC qualification, spend two days per week within the trust gaining valuable industry experience to address skills gaps. September saw the launch of The Whites Chef Academy, headed by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Aiden Byrne which will provide skilled chefs to the growing Cheshire food and drink sector. Partnerships with Stockport County FC and Macclesfield Town FC have also increased learner numbers and will provide a range of skills identified by the local business community, whilst getting to compete in various footballing competitions.


Chamberlink New Year 2020

Other notable moments include exciting performances from our Performing Arts groups, including a scary flash mob on Halloween; two of our tutors embarking on a rewarding trip to China; a fantastic Christmas Carol performance by the Caravanettes and not forgetting the cheeky antics of Excitable Edgar and Kevin the Carrot, which saw us engaging with retailers John Lewis and Partners and Aldi via social media. Principal and chief executive, Rachel Kay, explains: “We’ve had an amazing year and we are really beginning to see the foundations we’ve laid over the past few years come to fruition. We continue to focus on quality and improving our offer to reflect the needs of the local community, working in partnership to give businesses the skills they require and providing young people with opportunities to succeed on their doorstep. “We’ve invested in talent, our facilities and worked hard to build partnerships across industry to ensure our offer reflects what is happening in businesses. Our reputation is growing and that is reflected in our application numbers.

“We won’t stand still however, the entire team is focused on our vision to become an ‘outstanding’ college and we will continue to work hard to achieve this.” Rachel Kay was named as NECBA Business Person of the Year, Maxim Business Training won Team of the Year and the college was named the East Cheshire Chamber Business and Education Provider 2019. Rachel has also been nominated by Apprenticeships 4 England, as an ‘Inspiring Woman’ within the Apprenticeships sector and Business of the year over £1million Silver award. The new year has seen an excellent start with brand new adult courses up and running as well as old favourites. Enrolment has been successful. Whites Chef Academy students have the opportunity to learn from Colin Starkey, Executive Head Chef at Alderley Edge Hotel and Restaurant. Finally, thank-you to all who continue to support us. We also look forward to welcoming many more on board. We hope to make this year another one to remember and we could not do it without you.

Chamberlink New Year 2020