Page 1

contact Together We Grow Stronger

June-July 2018



Welcome... Chamber president John McCabe Twitter: @John_fusionPR

Welcome to this summer issue of Contact, full of great news stories about our members and profiling some truly inspirational leaders. There was a host of successful businesspeople at the recent North East Business Awards, where I am delighted to say five of our members won top honours. Well done to PC Henderson, British Steel’s Teesside Beam Mill, Beamish Museum, AkzoNobel and WhiteWash Laboratories. With companies and organisations as successful as these, it’s no wonder our economic statistics are flying high. The last Quarterly Economic Survey results showed businesses in this region have grown their exports at the fastest rate for more than 11 years. The survey showed a continuation of this positive trend we’ve been seeing since late 2016 and business prospects look good. Given these strong figures for international trade, however, it is unsurprising that Brexit is a concern for companies. We are working hard to provide advice and certainty to our members and give support for life outside the EU. Our campaigning is also focused on getting a positive trade deal and frictionless borders with the EU, so we can continue to be a Global North East. Our employment figures were also something to shout about, with the highest rate of employment since comparable records began in 1992. I am also delighted the North of Tyne devolution deal is able to move forward with the announcement that the North East Combined Authority has agreed it can go ahead. We have seen great progress in the Tees Valley since devolution and expect similar benefits when economic investment can be tailored to the North of Tyneside’s specific needs. There is great potential in our region, and as you can see the future is shaping up very well indeed.

John McCabe, Chamber president EDITOR Jane Pikett EDITORIAL TEAM Dean Bailey Jane Hall Paul Robertson Contact is the magazine for North East England Chamber members. News and press releases should be sent to submissions@ ADVERTISING Colin Rutherford 01661 844 115 PHOTOGRAPHY Kevin Gibson Nicky Gibson Dave Charnley Gilbert Johnston Peter Skelton

Published by

Offstone Publishing Unit 1, Bearl Farm, Stocksfield Northumberland, NE43 7AJ 01661 844 115 On behalf of

0300 303 6322

©Offstone Publishing 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Offstone Publishing a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part. Although every care is taken, Offstone Publishing is not liable for resulting loss or damage. Offstone Publishing endeavors to respect the intellectual property of owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact us. Offstone Publishing does not guarantee the insertion of any particular advertisement on a specified date or at all.

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it

contact   3


“We thought it would be a good idea to start a bank. So we did...” Bridget Rosewell

60 Seconds: Adrian Waddell

Profile: Jon Chadwick

In the money: Bridget Rosewell


06 60 seconds

34 Profile

NE1's Adrian Waddell

Durham Gin's Jon Chadwick

08 In my view

38 Success

With James Ramsbotham

Business is Childs Play

11 Inbox

40 Special focus

News and views from the world of business

Manufacturing and engineering

12-22 News

47 Special focus

News from the Chamber and its members, including Partners and President's Club updates, award wins, commercial property and more

Independent schools

54 Motoring The E-list wedding car

28 Chamber policy

58 People

Preparing for Brexit

Movers and shakers across the region

30 Profile

64 Last word

Atom Bank's Bridget Rosewell

Accenture Technology's Allan King contact   5

60 seconds

Box-packing, to the army to NE1 in one easy lesson Adrian Waddell, the newly appointed chief executive of NE1 Ltd, the BID company for Newcastle, offers his take on life in a little over 60 seconds Adrian Waddell’s appointment to chief executive comes at an exciting time for NE1, with a packed programme of events and activities planned for 2018 and over £1.5bn of investment earmarked for Newcastle. Here's more... Q First of all, please give me your potted CV After training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, I joined the Royal Artillery and was in the Army for 25 years. When our children were a lot younger we wanted them to have a homebased upbringing. Soldiering wasn’t going to fit that, so I left. My last Army job was in Kabul, Afghanistan, and it was surreal downloading UCAS forms to apply to Newcastle University to study Fine Art. I loved every minute of being a very mature student, but after I graduated it didn’t take long to realise I wasn’t going to cut it as an artist so I started looking for a suitable role and was lucky to find it at NE1 Ltd. Q Tell me about your first day in your first job It was at the paper mill in Fourstones near Hexham, Northumberland. I’d just finished school, lived in Corbridge and rode a Honda moped, which used to go forever without filling up. Typically, on the day I started the job, it ran out on the way to work, making me late. This might have been a foreboding as I really didn’t enjoy working there. I sat on a conveyor belt packing giant incontinence pads into boxes for hospitals! Coincidentally, this first job experience provided me with amusing anecdotes I used to my advantage in later interviews to join the Army. That taught me there’s always an upside, no matter how dire things may seem. Q I’m meeting you for the first time in the pub. How will I recognise you? Tall, specs, possibly looking a bit out of place. And it’ll be a pint of bitter, unless it’s a really hot day when it might be lager. 6


Q What is the most important thing you have learned to date? Hire talented people with a good attitude and provide them with the direction and support they need. It’s a cliché, but a company’s most valuable resource is its people. Q Was there a turning point in your working life? When I was doing my art degree at university I ran my own arts-related business. I was pleased with progress until, like many other businesses, it hit a wall following the 2008 banking crisis. That was a turning point as I had to find something ‘proper’ to do, but I was pleased I’d made a start-up work, at least for a while. It’s left me with great admiration for anyone who, through personal effort, can issue an invoice on the back of something they’ve started themselves. Leaving the Army was also a major turning point. I was nervous about it, but strongly supported by my family and, whilst I’ve missed many aspects of military life, I haven’t regretted the decision. I was fortunate to join the team at NE1 and have enjoyed every minute since. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and excited about the future as we work on our next 5-year plan with a ballot later in the year. Newcastle is in a great place at the moment; we know there’s a lot to do and the willingness of our partner organisations, from the public and private sectors, to collaborate and achieve mutually beneficial goals is on a high. Q What are you really good at? That’s for others to judge. One characteristic from Army days is that I do all my own ironing and I have shiny shoes. Beyond that, identifying and hiring talented individuals…it’s all about the team. Q Do you have tattoos? No…but I’ve got scars from being careless with a penknife as a child.

Q Social media platform of choice (or none?) At work we make extensive use of social media it's a great way of letting people know about what’s happening. I do have some personal accounts, which I tend to use to find out about things more than do the broadcasting myself. Q Newspaper of choice and why? We get The Journal and The Times at the NE1 office. If I’m travelling or away with work I’ll usually buy The Independent or The Guardian. Q Dog or cat - and why? We have a dog at home. What a strange question - what is this supposed to say about a person? As the owner of Chisel, a bitsa, how could I answer anything other than dog. I can’t imagine our family unit without him! Q What has been your most satisfying role? On a personal level, bowling in the (occasional) cricket team, where I think I'm included to entertain the locals and surprise the opposition! On a professional level, it is the projects we deliver and also seeing staff rise to challenges, grow and develop professionally. Q How would your closest colleagues describe you? Best ask them. I’d hope it would be as

someone they enjoy working with and helps them be better at what they’re doing themselves. Q If you were to have guests for dinner tonight, who would you invite? Dinner parties are private, so keep your nose out! What I will tell you is that it would be close friends who don’t live too far away and a maximum of six! Q If you were to set up a business tomorrow, what would it be? It would focus on designing a product for people. Creating something from scratch, from concept to manufacture, that people don’t just use, but rather feel value from what it delivers. I've no idea what that would be, but it would be interesting to try. Q What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made? My past is so littered with errors that it’s impossible to choose the 'best'! How we react to our mistakes (our own and others') become an important part of who we are and, in a wider context, they matter less than we tend to think. Q What would you be doing if you were not in your current role? Who can say? All I can hope is that it wouldn’t be too far from home and that I’d enjoy it as much as what I’m doing now. contact   7

60 seconds

Newcastle Motor Show

Quayside Seaside

Screen on the Green

The Bigg Market Project

Q How does the North East become and remain resilient? Resilience is an attitude of mind. From a business perspective I think this means a focus on quality and striving to do better. We’re waking up to the notion that we can achieve a great deal through our own endeavours – that’s why devolution, for example, is seen in a positive light. People and business are confident about their future here. As an example, the average salary for an IT specialist in Newcastle is over £40,000pa. We’re in the top three cities outside London for that and, as we all know, money goes further here than in the South East. And it’s a good place to live. That’s why people want to come here for work and to build businesses. Q You’ve got one wish. What will it be? I’d love to see the Northern Arc hyperloop scheme happen. A 30-minute journey between Newcastle and Liverpool would be fabulous. 8


If you’d let me have a second wish, could I pass my Grade 2 piano October? Q What do you want from the next five years? It’s about ambition. Copenhagen has a tunnel/ bridge to Malmo in Sweden, and they’re building a tunnel rail link to Hamburg. I’d like us to develop that level of self-confidence to go after some really big goals - the Northern Arc hyperloop between Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool. Sure, it’ll take longer than five years, but we’re an innovation hot spot. Let’s make things happen! Q What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Life without risk would quickly become pretty dull. It’s the possibility of failure, and how we respond, that provides the edge and makes sure we avoid complacency and keeps things interesting.

Commercial Profile

Appointment marks a real coup for Brewin Dolphin Brewin Dolphin, one of the UK’s leading wealth managers has strengthened its team in Newcastle with the appointment of an Investment Management Consultant, in a move that represents a significant coup for the firm. Douglas Montgomerie is working with one of the office’s four dedicated Investment Management teams, and liaising closely with the Financial Planning team to offer a complete package of services for every life-stage. Drawing on his enviable track record in the sector, and his commitment to reinforcing the importance of strong personal relationships and service delivery to clients, Douglas is tasked with raising awareness of Brewin Dolphin’s full range of services to individuals and the business community in the region. At 57, and with over 30 years’ experience in the banking and financial services sector, Douglas brings with him a wealth of skills and expertise to assist in growing the firm’s business across the North East. “I suppose I could have considered taking more time to spend on the golf course, or walking the dog, but I’m a firm believer that if you are in a position to make a difference to people’s lives then you should pursue that, and that’s exactly what Brewin Dolphin offer to their clients”, he said. “I came down from Edinburgh where I’d been working with Barclays in 1995 to manage the portfolios of high net worth clients in the North East. Twelve years ago I moved over to Yorkshire Bank, and it was then I first met with some of the team from Brewin Dolphin. I’d known of them before, when the company was Wise Speke, and was aware of their reputation as a highly respected firm with a long history in the region.” “I’d got to know Gary (Fawcett) quite well, and knowing that I was due to leave my role soon, he was keen to find a role for me to help support business development activity at a time when the scope of the services offered by the company were expanding.” Gary Fawcett is a Divisional Director in Brewin Dolphin’s Newcastle office, and appreciated the need to bring experience and knowledge to the team. He said, “People’s financial lives have become much more complex, and this has increased the need for trusted and expert advisers to take the strain from those who need help with their finances. “ I’m delighted to have Douglas on board. We already have a professional and well-established team who are well placed to help our clients deal with these current issues amongst the political and economic uncertainty, but having Douglas on board can help us access markets we’d not necessarily have

been able to pursue, and increases our capacity to tell people about how we can help them. His knowledge and enthusiasm are really valuable”. Brewin Dolphin was founded on the belief that the successful management of wealth takes an understanding of money but is rooted in an even deeper understanding of people. Individual and personal service is central to everything that they do. Whether looking to invest money, manage pensions and retirement, passing on wealth to the next generation, or protecting money from any number of life events, Brewin Dolphin offers help to anyone to make the most of their money. Douglas said: “I’m just thrilled to join Brewin Dolphin. We really value our level of service, and that’s the crux of a successful investment manager / client relationship.”

Email or call 0191 2797456 contact   9

In my view

Chamber chief executive James Ramsbotham has positive news to share

Chamber chief executive James Ramsbotham

We have had so much great news about our region recently with various success stories and positive statistics. Our employment figures were outstanding and hit a record high. The North East has been steadily improving over the past two years and I am delighted that we now have the highest levels of employment and lowest level, and rate, of unemployment since 1992. What an achievement by our businesses throughout the region: a clear indication of their passion to succeed. We now need the Government to take action so we can be certain this will continue by monitoring costs to businesses taking on staff and ensuring the education system is responsive to skills needs. Our Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) results were, on the whole, also exceptional. Our exports grew at the fastest rate for more than 11 years. The survey indicators also pointed to the highest growth level for nearly three years. Both the service and manufacturing sectors have reported growth and share similar levels of optimism about future profitability and turnover.

“What an achievement by businesses throughout the region�

10 contact

When I attended the North East Business Awards and heard story after story about outstanding companies innovating, recruiting and growing exponentially, I am not at all surprised by the QES figures. I offer my wholehearted congratulations to them all. Indeed, I look forward to taking some of the winners down to the annual British Chambers of Commerce Awards in London in the autumn. As well as the business awards, we also had a fantastic gathering of our region’s companies, large and small, at the recent North East Expo @Chamber Showcase. There were more than 200 companies exhibiting throughout the Falcons rugby ground and the feedback was tremendous from all who attended. It was the fourth year we have joined forces with Fresh Start Events. As usual, it was a first-class opportunity for our team to see many members face to face, as well supporting them to network with more than 1,400 people and potential customers. In my view, the physical infrastructure of our region is as important to our success as economic activity. Our high streets have suffered mixed fortunes over recent years and, to help learn from best practice, we have launched a research project with Chamber Partner

James Ramsbotham at the North East Expo @Chamber Showcase

Member Lichfields. The aim of this work is to breathe new life into town centres and spread positive ways of achieving change. Our work involves getting views from the many people and businesses about their local high street and gather constructive comments on how we can make positive improvements. It will focus on the physical infrastructure, buildings and some common issues to be tackled, such as absentee property owners who neglect the upkeep of premises, especially listed buildings. It will also examine the most effective way to use planning powers to encourage regeneration. Keeping to the infrastructure theme, Heathrow may seem quite distant from our region, but make no mistake, the next phase of development at this airport has huge potential for us. A Heathrow Business

Summit was held in Middlesbrough in May and offered excellent opportunities for North East businesses to be part of this huge supply chain. Finally, I am pleased that the North of Tyne devolution deal was approved to progress by the North East Combined Authority. It is the right decision and a major step forward to building the truly influential North East our members want to see. I could not sign off this column without paying tribute to Ross Smith, who has left the Chamber after 11 fruitful years. His contribution to the economic success of the North East cannot be under-stated and we, Chamber employees and members, all owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He leaves us all in a better place and we wish him every success in his next career with Northumbrian Water. contact   11

CORPORATE GOLF DAYS FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS The impressive Macdonald Linden Hall Golf and Country Club was built by merchant and banker Charles William Bigge in 1812. Today, it nestles in 450 acres of private grounds: the perfect country house hotel. Boasting several versatile function rooms and an 18-hole golf course, it’s the perfect venue for business events. Our stunning Northumberland countryside location and award-winning food and drink are ideal for weddings too. If you want a relaxing break in the country with extensive health club and spa facilities, not to mention luxurious accommodation, come to Macdonald Linden Hall. There’s something for golfers of every level at Macdonald Linden Hall’s 18-hole championship golf course. Not just a great golfing challenge, but you’ll find beautiful views of the North Sea or surrounding woodlands at almost every hole. Our team of golf specialists are on hand to discuss all your plans in detail and make sure everything goes perfectly on the day. Your corporate golf day means everything to you. Whether a reward for staff or an investment in client relations, our aim is to make your event a truly memorable and enjoyable experience. Here at Linden Hall Golf Club we offer a stunning setting that is not only a spectacular stage for your event, but is also supported by an expert team dedicated to ensuring your event runs like clockwork. ENJOY OUR EXCLUSIVE CORPORATE OFFER > Tournament registration > Strokesaver & corporate gift pack > Professional leader board services (VPAR) > Bacon rolls & freshly ground coffee > 18 holes of Championship golf > Longest driver & nearest the pin > 2 course hearty meal in our Linden Tree pub > Private room dining- Available

> Complimentary banner erection > Complimentary leisure club day pass > 10% off retail prices > Please note: This package applies to minimum numbers of 16 +. > Free banner advertisement available in Car Park and on course, on the day of play – please advise at the time of booking. > All the above for a unique rate of only £50.00 pp Inc Vat > For a shotgun/Two tee start a £5pp supplement required (Minimum of 50 players to qualify)

Longhorsley, Morpeth, Northumberland NE65 8XF Road-On A697 Rail-only 11 miles from Morpeth Station Call us now on 01670 500011 or email

Inbox Have you got something to say about Contact magazine or about business in general? Then this page is the place. Email your news, views, comment and gossip to

Big year for foundation

The UK’s largest Community Foundation is celebrating one of its best years to date as it reaches its 30th anniversary. The Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which was established in 1988, champions giving to make a difference to people and communities across the North East. Today, in its 30th Community Foundation chair anniversary year, the Fiona Cruickshank OBE and CEO Rob Williamson Gosforth-based charity has revealed that 2017-2018 has been one of its most successful years to date. From April 2017 to the end of March 2018, the Community Foundation awarded 1,789 grants totalling £7.7m to help 943 community groups and 234 individuals across the North East. This included 299 grants in County Durham and the Tees Valley In the last 12 months, the Community Foundation’s team has dealt with one grant application an hour.

Happy 100th

Venator has celebrated a century of manufacturing at its site in Venator’s Birtley facility has Birtley, Gateshead. celebrated its 100th anniversary The facility, which opened in 1918, produces metal carboxylate and zinc additives for the paints, coatings, inks and cosmetics industries. Phil Wrigley, Vice President, EHS and Manufacturing Excellence, said: “Reaching a 100th anniversary is a huge milestone. With our manufacturing facility at Birtley, our white pigments facility at Greatham and our global headquarters located at Wynyard, this achievement serves to highlight our longevity, success and commitment to the North East.”


Have you been keeping an eye on social media? Here's a taste of what you've been posting recently NEEChamber Events (@NEEChamberAsh) Very busy launch of the North East Business Woman of the Year Awards. Award entries open http://www. Dinner is 16 Nov @HiltonNewca @aqueenofevents @NEEChamber Esh Group (@esh_group) The day has arrived #BMSNE2018 Mock Interview Day - over 800 students from across the North East, 120+ business partners from across 25 different sectors. Good luck to all the students taking part! #northeast The Chamber (@NEEChamber) Has a not spot ever left you in a bind? Help us to target the places where poor mobile coverage leaves users stranded so we can work with industry to improve #ShareYourNotSpots START UP (@NCLStartUp) @NOVELTEAdrinks once more going from strength to strength! Congrats guys! #startedatNCL Newcastle Building Society (@NewastleBSoc) Our community fund grant recipients have been announced! Head over to our website to find out which local charities and community groups were successful #Connecting Communities #Charity #Community

STEM boost

Scientists of the future are being supported with a £2,000 donation from Billingham-based pump distributor and manufacturer, Tomlinson Hall. Tomlinson Hall has given the £2,000 it received for being named Engineering Firm of the Year 2018 at the North East England Process Industry Cluster Annual Industry Awards, to Billingham South Community Primary School to support STEMrelated projects.

Club steels a makeover

A team of nine young people taking part in the Prince’s Trust Team Programme have helped to revamp facilities at a Middlesbrough youth club thanks to a £1,500 contribution from a community support fund run by UK Steel Enterprise. The Sacred Heart Community Centre in Linthorpe Road is now the base for youth clubs run by the Hemlington Detached Youth Work Project (Linx), offering a wide range of activities from sports and arts-based sessions to cookery. contact   13


Esh Group staff

Queen’s Award for Esh Group Construction leader Esh Group has been recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its outstanding work in supporting communities. Judges were impressed by Esh’s significant commitment to helping young people develop employability skills through its range of education programmes. Each year Esh supports the development of more than 15,000 students across more than 200 schools. Chief executive Andy Radcliffe says: “It’s great recognition for our group, and the team of talented people that work hard to ensure we add value to the communities in which we work.”

Top honour for Port of Tyne The Port of Tyne has been named Port Operator of the Year in the prestigious Freight Transport Associations (FTA) Multimodal Awards. The award recognises excellence in air, road, rail, maritime and freight forwarding services. Now in their third year, the awards are organised by the FTA in association with Multimodal, the UK and Ireland freight transport and logistics exhibition. Shortly before the awards, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Andy McDonald visited the port, touring the latest development of a new wood pellet terminal, part of one of the largest construction projects in the UK. He also learnt more about the potential of the Port of Tyne Enterprise Zone sites. 14 contact

OFSTED PRAISE FOR KIRKLEY HALL Halls of residence at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus near Ponteland have been judged ‘good’ by Ofsted, with leaders singled out for their vision and action plan, and residential and college staff praised for working well together to help students achieve academically. THE IT CROWD Businesses can now tap into a pool of tech apprentices thanks to a new talent programme designed to bridge the digital skills gap. RAW Digital Training has teamed up with DurhamWorks to create the new Digital Talent Service, taking unemployed 16-24-year-olds and giving them workready IT skills. More than 100 learners from Co Durham have now had expert training from industry leaders. £1.4M DEAL FOR CANCER DETECTION Kromek has been awarded a threeyear £1.4m project by Innovate UK in partnership with Newcastle-uponTyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to deliver a Molecular Breast Imaging device to improve the detection of breast cancer.

l-r Steven Smith, managing partner Quantum Law, Kieron Goldsborough, MD, Narrative

In the market-ing

Narrative has been appointed marketing partner for Newcastlebased Quantum Law LLP to support the firm’s ongoing business growth. The appointment will see Quantum Law benefit from Narrative’s full-service offering, which includes PR, creative, advertising, digital media and marketing strategy.

Funding advice Law firm Ward Hadaway has played a major role in advising on the creation of a new £120m fund to help support the growth of hundreds of businesses across the North East. Experts from the firm's Corporate and Commercial teams provided legal advice on the £120m North East Fund. This continues the firm's long association with the region’s investment funds, which dates back over eight years to the original establishment of the JEREMIE 1 programme and covers a total of almost £300m funding for businesses.


Newcastle-based Lord Hire Centres equipment hire operation has been announced as a winner in the 2018 Executive Hire Show Passionate Hirer Awards. The company was nominated in the Outstanding Multi-Depot Hire Company category, from 708 outlets throughout the UK and Ireland.

with a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship from Northumbria University

New Knowledge. New Skills. New Thinking.

Architect* Chartered Manager Chartered Surveyor Senior Compliance/Risk Management* Senior Leader MBA* Senior Leader MSc Strategic Leadership* Solicitor*

contact   15

*subject to approval and validation


Partners update I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H

It’s been a busy couple of months at the Chamber’s President’s Club. We welcomed Lord Adonis as our keynote speaker at the Spring Chamber President’s Club lunch. He delivered a provocative speech on a number of subjects which included Brexit, education and North East devolution. Our thanks to Gateshead College for its sponsorship of the lunch. Congratulations to President’s Club members who were successful at the North East Business Awards: Akzo Nobel – Winner Manufacturing Award Beamish Museum –  Winner Tourism Award British Steel – Winner Apprenticeship Award Well done to the other President’s Club member finalists who won their regional heats: Sterling Pharma Solutions Ltd; Fairstone; Quorn Foods; Cleveland Bridge Brewin Dolphin offers President’s Club members a free, financial planning review. For information email James.Cartmell@brewin. 16 contact

With Tom Warnock, Chamber partnerships manager Chamber Partners form an exclusive group from a range of sectors across the region, working closely with us to maximise their impact on the North East

The year continues to fly along, with Chamber Partners busy working hard to improve the economic climate in the region. April and May’s awards season brought some fantastic achievements. Port of Tyne was victorious at the Freight Transport Association’s Multimodal Awards, taking home the coveted Operator of the Year award. Special congratulations go to Esh Group, which was selected for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise as part of Her Majesty’s 92nd birthday celebrations. Our Partner lunch series in April saw Paul Mason from Innovate UK join us at St James’ Park. He talked positively about the North East, and how the business investment arm of the Government is committed to funding growth in our region. In May, leading economist Justin Urquart-Stewart joined us, giving us a lively take on the regional landscape. In terms of current Partner projects we held a roundtable led by Go North East, discussing what Corporate and Social Responsibility is, what it means for businesses and their employees and how to make it more accessible for North East SMEs to engage with. Look out for a report on this later in the year. Our work with Lichfields on the Town Centre Retail Environment has captured the imagination of chamber members. We’ve held roundtables from Berwick down to Middlesbrough, with national chains such as Greggs, Specsavers and Intu attending, as well as small businesses keen to voice their views. And we are mid-way through a social media campaign with Sage Gateshead to lead up to the Great Exhibition of the North. Look out for our video clips and interviews.


Reach the heart of the North East business community with our multimedia offering Contact magazine leads the way with business news and insight, but you can reinforce your message and generate new business with:

Leaflet insertions Leaflets are a great way of reaching potential clients and we have exclusive offers for Chamber Members

Contact E Bulletin Reach over 6,000 subscribers to the fortnightly Bulletin - Banners from only £200 for Chamber Members. Get your message directly to key decision makers in the region.

Coming in our August/September issue An in-depth Focus on Marketing and PR

Please contact Colin Rutherford for more information. t: 01661 844 115 e:


Reward your hard working team or wow corporate clients RAFT BUILDING • POWERBOATING • WHITE WATER RAFTING & MORE For more information on corporate and teambuilding days visit:


contact   17


Raise your profile

Arcinova staff working at the company’s 15,000m2 facility.

Super 60% for Arcinova

with Member to Member offers Share your offers and get your business noticed. The Chamber website has over 16,000 hits each month. Upload your offers in the member area, and view a full list of Chamber member offers at

Contract R&D organisation Arcinova has announced a major growth in global sales. The Alnwick company, which provides integrated end-toend solutions and standalone services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies has seen its sales increase by nearly 60% from 2016 to 2017, from £5.3m to £8.4m. The company has attributed this growth to a major increase in clients, from 50 in February 2016 to more than 125 over 22 countries in less than 24 months. CONTACT YOUR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Untitled-10 1

19/03/2018 10:57:12

Teesside Rachel Thompson - tel 07833 480 474 Twitter @NEEChamberRachT Northumberland & North Tyne Claire McCabe - tel 0191 374 6487 Twitter @NEEChamberClare

‘Press’tigious Print


Newcastle Lynsey Fairless - tel 07834 444 627 Twitter @NEEChamberLyns Gateshead & Durham West Victoria Barrett - tel 07912 478 961 Twitter @NEEChamberVic Sunderland & South Tyne East Coast Julie Charlton - tel 07980 25 991 Twitter @NEEChamberjac1 Darlington and North Yorkshire Susan Anderson - tel 07736 799 727

#SPECIALISTA4&A5PrInTErS 01924 220633 18 contact

Presidents Club - Senior Relationship Manager Michelle Ord - tel 07392 317 728 Twitter @NEEChamberMiche International Les Dixon - tel 07850 740 645 Twitter @NEEChamberLes


The Muckle LLP Corporate Team

Done deals

The North East has bucked the national trend in deal making for the first three months of 2018, recording a 6% jump in activity in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market. The region featured in 57 deals worth a total £248m in Q1, its 6% jump in activity comparing to a 29% drop in the number of UK deals overall. Only once in the last four years has the North East recorded a higher volume of deals during the first quarter of the year. Muckle LLP has again maintained its position as the region’s most active corporate legal dealmaker, advising on nine deals during this period. Mincoffs was ranked second with seven deals, Square One Law was third with six, while Hay & Kilner was eighth. The data is derived from Experian MarketIQ’s independent research, which tracks M&A deals valued at over £500,000 at regional and national level.

BID for support NE1 Ltd, the Business Improvement District Company for Newcastle city centre, has unveiled its plans for a third term. In advance of its renewal ballot in September, NE1 has published a consultation document outlining its priority areas for action over the next five years and reviewing the impact of NE1 projects delivered to date. The focus of the five-year plan is based on its founding principle of keeping business interests at the top of the political agenda. Priorities include: working with partners to raise awareness and perceptions of the city at a regional, national and international level; lobbying for increased investment for Newcastle’s regional, national and international transport links; and developing NE1 events that have a proven return on investment including Screen on the Green, Newcastle Pride, and the Newcastle Motor Show.

NEWCASTLE COLLEGE FIRST Newcastle College has become the first in the region to achieve Quality Standard in carer support.The Carer’s Federation accreditation has been awarded in recognition of the college’s support provision for young carers. ROUTES TAKE OFF Four new destinations have been added to Newcastle Airport’s summer offering. Six new flights are serving Bodrum in Turkey, Enfidha in Tunisia, Dubrovnik in Croatia and Halkidiki in Greece. The airport has also released its vision for its 100year anniversary with its Masterplan 2035, which aims to deliver improved connectivity, economic benefit, support an increase in inbound tourism and deliver an excellent customer experience. STUDENTS ENDORSE TEESSIDE Teesside University is riding high in an influential league table compiled on student feedback. The Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018 has seen Teesside rise to 15 out of 126 in the University of the Year category - up 51 places on last year.

Ideas aired South Tees Development Corporation has hosted a VIP delegation from Heathrow as part of its bid to become a logistics hub for the London airport’s proposed expansion. The airport’s representatives were taken on a tour of the Development Corporation to show the opportunities available at the 4,500-acre area, which includes the former SSI steelworks site. The team from Heathrow, led by Expansion Programme Director Phil Wilbraham, also met the area’s business stakeholders, including PD Ports, Redcar Bulk Terminal and British Steel. Logistics hubs will help to make sure that businesses from across the UK can be part of the supply chain for Heathrow’s new third runway. At these hubs, components of the airport will be pre-assembled before being transported to the London site. contact   19

News Region in line for £8m Rugby League World Cup boost The North East economy could be in line for an £8m boost following the Tees Valley’s bids to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. The bid is being put together by a partnership of Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough Football Club, Middlesbrough Council and Darlington Mowden Park RFC, which has hosted the New Zealand All Blacks, with head coach Steve Hansen calling their facilities “outstanding” and “one of the best in the world”.

Jessica McCabe, acting head of conference and events, and Emily Taylor, PR and communications manager, both Sage Gateshead, receive the award from Kirsty Allsop and Allan Lambert, VisitEngland Advisory Board member

Sage Gateshead strikes gold Sage Gateshead has won a top tourism award, taking gold in the Business Tourism category at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2018. Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland said: “The standard of the hundreds of applications we received this year was extremely high and that’s why Sage Gateshead’s accolade is a testament to their excellent work.” The judge’s comments included: “The

famous Geordie welcome is apparent from all staff and the Sage really is a place that they and the country should be proud of. It is a cultural destination that puts Gateshead, the North East and England firmly on the business tourism map.” In 2016/17 conferences and events at Sage Gateshead generated £6.7m of economic impact to the region by attending delegates.

Is your confidential information in safe hands?

When you dispose of confidential data/documents, who do you trust? The bin men? Your waste collection company? DON’T! Trust the region’s leading specialists in secure data destruction. Call us now for your free, no obligation consultation

Tel: 0191 482 42 71 Earlsway, Team Valley Trading Estate Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE11 0RQ Fax: 0191 482 4214 E-mail: 20 contact


P&O boost for port P&O Ferries plans to lift capacity on its Zeebrugge-Teesport route by almost 25% in order to create a gateway to Scotland. The ferry and logistics company currently carries more than 100,000 freight units a year to Teesport from its continental hub at Zeebrugge. Customers will benefit from P&O Ferries' plans to increase the capacity of its ships combined with the introduction by PD Ports of a new rail service to Mossend in Scotland. The timetable of both services will be fully integrated so that freight can be moved from one to the other with minimal delay. Frans Calje, Chief Executive of PD Ports, added: "PD Ports is at the centre of an increasingly important logistics hub based at Teesport. We have a strong and historic partnership with P&O Ferries and we are supporting this expansion by providing additional capacity through even more investment in our rail services to Scotland."

Lynas celebrates largest contract win to date Teesside civil engineering firm Lynas Engineering is celebrating its largest contract win to date. The commission by Middlesbrough Council to deliver civil engineering works on the A66 Cargo Fleet roundabout and its surrounding area is the Redcar firm’s largest single project to date . MD Rob Lynas says: “For a young Teesside engineering consultancy that has been in business for less than two years, the achievement is a real testament to the strength of our team and the quality of civil engineering we’re delivering. To be recognised for these skills is something we’re incredibly proud of.” Formed in 2016, Lynas was started from the bedroom of its current MD and has since grown rapidly to become one of the region’s most innovative civil engineering consultancies.

Start the next chapter of your marketing career in July

The CIM Marketing Leadership Programme is for experienced marketers, business owners and consultants who want to advance their leadership abilities and improve their strategic decision making. It is a flexible course equivalent to a Master’s degree providing the opportunity to build knowledge and skills within a network of like-minded professionals. nesma is 1 of only 7 study centres across the UK to have been selected to deliver this course.

nesma delivers courses in the North East, Cumbria, Scotland, and in-house.

Talk to us about what you want to achieve. T: 07900 223721 E:

WWW.NESMA.CO.UK contact   21

Knowledge Contact

Don’t put off your Brexit planning

Arlen Pettitt, Chamber Knowledge Development Manager

As someone who is notoriously indecisive, I have to look on with awe at how slowly the Government’s Brexit preparations are moving. While I’ll acknowledge I’m quite capable of spending months weighing the pros and cons of different Ikea coffee tables, that’s nothing compared to the two years and counting it’s taken the Cabinet to agree our negotiating position on an issue as fundamental as the Customs Union. Businesses can’t afford to be so sluggish in their strategic planning and with the post-Brexit world now just three quarters away, it falls well and truly into the realm of the short-to-mid-term. With clarity from Government not forthcoming, it’s important for businesses to be proactive where they can be – reviewing their supply chains, understanding their workforce needs and their exposure to changing customs processes. The Chamber’s Business Brexit Checklist – available on our website – is designed to help businesses start asking the right questions and start taking positive action, even before we know the details of our future relationship with the

“Businesses can't afford to be sluggish in strategic planning”

22 contact

European Union. Recent research by the British Chambers of Commerce found one in three exporting or importing businesses (33%) who know they will be affected by the implementation of new customs procedures are yet to start planning for changes between the UK and the EU. Similarly, 29% know they will be impacted by delays and congestion at UK or European ports after Brexit, but they haven’t begun work to mitigate those impacts. For those who rely on just-in-time deliveries of materials and components – 36% of traders according to the same survey – this disruption can have a significant impact. The Brexit Checklist covers some of the key components of this disruption and while it can’t give you all the answers – every business is different after all – it can give you a framework to shape your Brexit preparations. The process of Brexit preparation doesn’t need to be far removed from routine strategic planning – assess the current situation, look at strengths and weaknesses and where you may need to take remedying action, for example through one of the Chamber’s customs, payments or Authorised Economic Operator courses.


l-r Ian Gilthorpe (Square One Law), Chris Oliver, Anthony Oliver, Catherine Hambleton (Fred Williamson & Sons Ltd) and Ashraf Ali (Square One Law)

New look

Fred Williamson & Sons, one of the North East’s best-known and long-standing decorating supplies and interior design businesses, has been acquired by growing national independent company C. Brewer & Sons. The shareholders of Fred Williamson & Sons were advised on the sale by commercial law firm Square One Law. The acquisition marks Brewers’ entry into the North East market and is the culmination of a longterm relationship between the two businesses.

Port of Blyth

Profit growth at Port of Blyth Port of Blyth has released performance figures that confirm another year of success and growth, including encouraging financial results that are among the best in the Northumberland port’s 135-year history. The port has recorded a turnover of £20.6m alongside an adjusted operating profit of £1.32m, while in anticipation of growth over the next five years, total investment in 2017 climbed to more than

£4m. Port of Blyth welcomed a number of high profile new tenants in 2017, such as market leaders DeepOcean and Global Marine Group, which contributed to both rental and operational income. In addition, the installation of EDF Energy Renewables’ Blyth Demonstrator Offshore Wind Farm led to the French energy giant’s renewables business creating an operational base at the port’s South Harbour terminal.

contact   23

Chamber AGM & Member Showcase 2018 20 September 2018; 10:00-14:30 The Grand Marquee, Wynyard Hall Don’t miss out on one of the region’s biggest annual networking events. The Chamber AGM is an excellent opportunity to grow your network by meeting hundreds of other Chamber members from across our great region. With presentations from our CEO and President, at this hugely popular annual event we hear from a regional business who have recently enjoyed national success. This year our guest speaker is Nagma Ebanks-Beni, Director at Prima Cheese Ltd. Exhibition Spaces: Following on from huge successes in 2016 and 2017, members once again can showcase at a very reasonable rate. For registration and more information visit Event sponsor


Going for growth Commercial legal firm Endeavour Partnership has been appointed to the combined Tees Valley Combined Authority’s advisory panel where it will provide legal advice on areas including property development, planning, construction, employment and contracts, tax and data protection. Managing partner Paul Bury says: “We are incredibly proud. We were able to demonstrate that we have the experience and strength to provide legal advice on some of the most exciting regeneration projects the region has seen for years and this is a clear demonstration of the combined authority backing local business."

Get connected The North East’s universities are joining forces under a £3.9m scheme to connect businesses with research to encourage growth and job creation. The Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) will see Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities work directly with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new services and products for the market.

North East Business Awards Thirteen outstanding companies fought off stiff competition to win the North East Business Awards 2018 supported by North East England Chamber of Commerce. Company of the Year was won by Northumberland engineering and construction company Merit, which is currently working on contracts including the Royal Albert Hall. Five of the winners are Chamber members, including the winner of the Export Award P C Henderson, which designs and manufactures hardware for sliding and folding doors, and British Steel’s Teesside Beam Mill, winner of the Apprentice Award. Beamish, the Living Museum of the North clinched the Tourism and Hospitality Award, WhiteWash Laboratories won Small Business, and AkzoNobel took the Manufacturing Award a few months after its new £100m facility was opened. The Heart of the Community Award was won by Hebburn-based Keepmoat and Big Little Toys was the Best Creative Company. Newcomer of the Year was won by Middlesbrough’s Prosafe Engineering and the Let’s Grow award was given to Flame Heating Group. Applied Scientific Technologies took the Innovation Award, Lingotot Digital Technology and Houghton International was awarded the Services Award. The winners go on to the British Chamber of Commerce awards in the autumn. contact   25

Commercial Profile

RGS Students enjoy continued success through the Engineering Education Scheme In recent years our entries into the Engineering Education Scheme (EES)  have been extremely successful, with our students impressing the judging panels, winning trophies and being put forward for various other national competitions including The Big Bang Fair. Our 2017/2018 entrants continued our tradition of putting strong teams into the competition, and both teams can be very proud of their efforts and achievements, with the Nissan Trophy returning to RGS. Both teams were set projects by  Nissan. The first of our teams,  Hamish Burnett, Rajiv Mistry, Rohit Singh and Shriram Ruppa Geethanath (all Lower Sixth), designed and produced a bolt distribution system for the production line at Nissan. This production line builds both Leafs and Qashqais, with the cars sequenced in any order. The piece of kit built by the boys supplies the operator with four of the correct bolts for whatever type of car that is in front of them. The unique system uses a light gate to count the bolts and then presents them to the operator to easily pick up. The system uses a  Poke-Yoke  or fool-proofing tool (a requirement of the brief ), so the operator wouldn't be able to fit the incorrect bolts to the car. This system designed by the team absolutely fitted the brief they were given, and the judges were suitably impressed, rewarding the team with best overall project. Coming in a close second was our other team, Lauren Robson, Darina Andriychenko  and  Naini Mandal  (all Lower Sixth).  They designed and produced a system to dispense exactly 12 bolts or eight nuts for the operator of the Infinity training jig. Similar to the boys system, it had to use Poke-Yoke techniques. The girls' system used an electromagnet to lift the nuts and bolts and a load cell to count them, with the electromagnet being moved by a system of motors. The whole assembly was controlled using an Arduino. The girls' design certainly impressed the judges panel and they were awarded with a second place. Both teams will now test their products further and continue to showcase them in more competitions. 26 contact

EES winning group

EES runners up

Royal Grammar School, Eskdale Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 4DX Tel: 0191 281 5711 Website: Twitter: @RGSNewcastle Facebook: /newcastleroyalgrammarschool

newcastle Royal Grammar School

surprisingly different For more information visit

contact   27


l-r Richard Wilson of Dodds Brown, Geoff Hogg of Linthorpe Developments, and Richard Brown of Dodds Brown at the TeesAMP site

TeesAMP progresses

Site investigations are underway on land where the new £55m TeesAMP (Advanced Manufacturing Park) will be located in Middlesbrough. TeesAMP will offer 180,000sqft of accommodation across 10 buildings in its first phase, with potential for up to 1,000 new jobs. It is the result of a partnership between Cleveland Property Developments, Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority. Middlesbrough Council has provided £12.5m investment for the project while Tees Valley Combined Authority has provided £7.6m. The site is already home to the UK’s first Offshore Wind Validation Centre delivering research and validation services for offshore wind tower manufacturers, as well as for the oil and gas, subsea and other industrial sectors.

Why just read Contact when you can be part of it? • 7000 copies of the magazine are delivered direct to key business addresses across our region. • Influence the north east’s key decision-makers with your message • Back it up with the regular Chamber E-Bulletin-which reaches 6000 email addresses every two weeks. • Contact is the region’s most widely read commerce magazine and offers your organisation a great route to potential new business.

Please contact Colin Rutherford for more information.

email: 28 contact

t: 01661 844 115 e:


Commercial Profile in association with

Sunderland firm scoop major parenting award A creative company which helps educate children with its geography themed gift packs, is celebrating an award win as well as moving to new premises. l-r Peter Bowden and Dickon Wood at St Nicholas Building

£19.3m city centre deal A landmark Newcastle building has been snapped up by a London investor in a £19.3m deal facilitated by Knight Frank. The Newcastle-based commercial property estate agent has bought the Grade II listed St Nicholas Building on behalf of investment company Mayfair Capital. The 65,000sqft property is one of the first two assets purchased for Mayfair Capital’s recently launched TG Thematic Growth Fund. Following the purchase, Knight Frank Newcastle’s property management team has also won a national contract to look after the property along with several others which are part of the fund. Over the last few years the building opposite St Nicholas Cathedral, has undergone significant investment, turning it into one of the most prestigious office buildings in the city.

l-r Paul Taylor, SME Programme Manager at the Materials Processing Institute, with Jonathan Simpson, Director of Connect Property North East

Growth process

Ambitious North East SMEs are being offered the chance to move into fully functional units developed by the Materials Processing Institute at its Tees Valley campus. The Middlesbrough-based research and innovation centre is letting a range of 100-5,000sqft units, including office, laboratory, workshop, and scale-up facilities to SMEs in the region. Connect Property North East has been engaged by the institute to market the units.

(L-R) Fiona Waistell & Christina Armstrong

Geo Journey managed to beat off top competition, winning the MadeForMums gold award for best subscription box/ service. The firm was set up Christina Armstrong, who recently recruited her sister Fiona Waistell to help market the business. Based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in Sunderland, Geo Journey offer a subscriptionbased service for children with educational gift packs – starting off with an adventure kit containing a journal, passport, souvenir, map and stickers. Speaking about the firm’s major achievements, Christina explained: “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the email and it said we had won gold. “We’ve worked really hard on making our products the best they can be so to have this recognition is brilliant. “Continued business growth meant it was essential to relocate from our home office into a larger and more accessible space. “And with sales going so well we can now afford to spend some time working with local schools to develop the product. “We want to use this award as a stepping stone to grow our business even more."

Find out more about our Business Community T 0191 516 6066 contact   29


In focus Chamber international trade director Julie Underwood outlines the launch of the new Chamber Brexit Working Group Realising the complex scenarios around the potential Brexit outcomes, the Chamber is pulling its resources together to form a group with a clear focus; to shape and help provide members with practical assistance on how to navigate the business repercussions from Brexit, secure their businesses and continue to grow. The group will share and disseminate intelligence and knowledge, gauge feedback from members and deliver a strategy including services and activities to support members’ own plans for their businesses. With less than one year until the UK formally withdraws from the EU, there is an extensive, and ever growing, list of issues that will affect our members’ business: but there is a lack of guidance, or clarity of support from HM government departments as to what they are. OUR MISSION • Developing and communicating business intelligence and needs • Collating the views of members and delivering a series of Brexit Impact Support Workshops to around skills, supply chains, buying and selling from the EU and how Chamber Membership can help mitigate against Brexit impacts • Informing our lobbying position For more information or to access support please contact julie.

30 contact

Glow Creative, partner, Georgina Wilczek (far left, back row) and her business partner Claire Elliott (second left, back row) with their team

Overseas trip leads to new contracts Opportunities to export around the world have been set out at a series of events and visits, with a Durham marketing business already reaping rewards from a German trade mission. Organised by North East England Chamber of Commerce and the Department for International Trade (DIT), a recent Berlin trade visit was particularly beneficial for Glow Creative. Georgina Wilczek said: “We joined the mission to Berlin to offer international marketing strategy, copywriting and translation services to German companies. A number of our staff are fluent in German and it gave

us a perfect opportunity to use our full skillset. As a direct result, we have been introduced to several new contacts who are helping us to establish a more permanent foothold abroad.” Julie Underwood, Chamber international trade director, added: “There have been excellent success stories from our trade missions over the past few months, not just from Berlin but China and Boston were also very positive for North East firms.” The Chamber organises opportunities for businesses new to exporting as well as those who are experienced, who may want to trade with a range of different countries.

North East Life Sciences Sector open for business Overseas Department of International Trade (DIT) staff from countries as diverse as Canada, Israel and New Zealand are helping spread the word about the North East’s impressive investment opportunities in life science and pharmaceuticals. The 15 representatives visited global life sciences firm, Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, and heard about

A delegation of international trade experts visited Newcastle

the key skills and export opportunities to Europe which have underpinned the company’s success in the region. This was followed by an opportunity to meet representatives from NETPark, Science Central and the Centre for Ageing and Vitality.

Northumbria strengthens European presence The team from PC Henderson picked up the prestigious Export Award at the North East Business Awards

Hat-trick of awards for PC Henderson Door hardware manufacturer PC Henderson is celebrating after picking up three awards for its export achievements. The Bowburn-based firm has won the Export category at the North East Business Awards after triumphing in the regional heats. PC Henderson is also the current North East Exporters Awards SME Exporter of the Year. MD Trevor Cossins says: “Exporting on the scale that we do isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work from a dedicated and passionate team – which we’re lucky enough to have. To be presented with three awards in the past year for our exporting achievements is a huge achievement for us and something

we’re immensely proud of. Listening to our customers and taking a tailored approach to each market has been the key to our success and has resulted in us now trading to 70 countries worldwide, and our exporting sales accounting for over 65% of total business sales.” PC Henderson has been driving its expansion into new geographic markets with recent focus on the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and UAE. The company’s outstanding export strategy has seen its sliding and folding door hardware specified across the globe in hotels, restaurants, offices, shops, homes, and warehouses as well as agricultural, industrial and educational buildings.

Optimism high for international trade Exporters in the North East are buoyant about their 2018 trade prospects with a net balance of 20% expecting overseas sales to increase, according to a Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank. This is on the back of a strong end to 2017 in which a net balance of 27% said their international trade had increased in the second half of the year. Around two in five (41%) of the region’s businesses

now export their goods or services – up nine points from 32% and edging above the national average of 40%. While some are facing new challenges, with 43% of North East exporters deciding to focus more on UK sales in light of Brexit, most are optimistic about what lies ahead.

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has expanded its international presence through a partnership agreement with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). Collaboration between the two universities will include offering Northumbria Masters programmes in both Business and Project Management from September 2018. The UK-accredited postgraduate courses will be delivered at AUAS by Northumbria academics working with AUAS colleagues. Academics will explore further collaborations.  

Stark warning A new report published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in association with PwC Research warns that the UK's SMEs are naïve to the exporting challenges created by the country’s exit from the EU. The report, Export Ready, reveals that seven in ten UK exporters expect to increase exports over the course of the next three years. Yet the majority of those interviewed have failed to develop a specific export strategy and are instead passively waiting on orders from existing customers. contact   31


Brexit ready: supply chains launch Jack Simpson of the Chamber’s Policy Team outlines the Chamber and Square One Law’s project to prepare for Brexit This June, the Chamber will launch its Brexit Ready: Supply Chains project with Partner member, commercial law firm Square One Law, at Fusion Hive. 2018 will be a defining year in British history, with Brexit politically well underway and negotiations moving onto trade and the future framework of the UK-EU relationship. But, with only a year to go, the Government has entered a rough patch, suffering a series of defeats in the House of Lords and struggling to maintain control in the Commons. We cannot use Governmental ambiguity as an excuse to delay our own Brexit preparations. The North East is a leading trading partner to Europe, sending a higher proportion of goods to the EU and reliant on pan-European supply chains for both jobs and production. Any radical changes to our trading relationship with the EU will certainly hit the North East hardest and business must get ready now, to mitigate the potential impact, and capitalise on the new opportunities. The Brexit Ready Supply Chains campaign aims to help members prepare their business and supply chains for Brexit. Through our research we have identified four key areas: Access to Market, Access to Labour, Access to Finance and Regulatory Issues. To aid members, we have broken these topics down, and produced a “Brexit Business Flowchart” to help members visualise their plan, identify challenges and prepare effectively. Access to Market represents all the potential challenges members could face in the post-Brexit 32 contact

environment, from Tariffs, to Border Checks, to Rules of Origin. As the Government analysis highlighted, the North East is the most vulnerable region to Brexit, therefore, members must be prepared for new Barriers to Trade post-Brexit. Executing a logistics audit and applying for Authorised Economic Status are two examples of good business practice and would go a long way in making supply chains Brexit Ready. Labour issues are high on the agenda, more so now in light of the recent Windrush scandal. As a business community we have a role to ensure that EU nationals are welcome, and wanted, in the North East, even a simple gesture of committing assistance to help EU nationals gain Settled Status. London has dominated the Brexit financial debate, however, concerns over SME Access to Finance must be recognised. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the region suffered from a withdrawal of funding, both public and private, as Northern investments were considered riskier than those in the South. We cannot let this happen again, and we urge members to diagnose their financial health, build strong banking relationships and search for potential alternative financers in the post-Brexit environment. Regulatory issues could be a real headache. Government has committed to remaining in certain agencies and in recognising patents and trademarks, however, this has not been reciprocated by the EU. Members have expressed concern that their products are under threat if the EU refuses to recognise the standard of their goods, so Government must work

❝Any radical changes to the EU trading relations will certainly hit the North East hardest❞ to ensure regulatory alignment in the new relationship. Neil Warwick, Square One Law’s Head of EU and competition law, who has become a prominent Brexit figure in the region, reports on the projects research: “We hosted a closed roundtable session and half a day Summit with around 150 regional business leaders to act as a consultation for the project. It was a shocking revelation, as preparation was polarised, businesses either had no preparation whatsoever, or were planning to invest in mainland Europe. “We are now seeing serious pressures on supply chains, who are now being expected to carry 25% more stock, and will

result in cash flow, logistics and storage problems. The picture is therefore still one of uncertainty. “We have re-evaluated our research and are now completely focusing on persuading business to prepare contingency plans and lobbying government to understand the very real and immediate pressures members are feeling." Brexit Ready: Supply Chains will be launched on the June 7 at the Fusion Hive, Stockton-on-Tees. To register your interest please contact jack.simpson@neechamber. and keep an eye out on the Chamber website for details. contact   33


Putting a bomb under banking Durham-based challenger bank Atom has thrown a spanner in the works of traditional banking with its bid to transform the way we deal with our finances. New chairman Bridget Rosewell talks to Jane Hall about breaking the grip of the big four Bridget Rosewell is the antithesis of the clichéd high-flying businesswoman. We’ve all seen the default image: power suit, towering heels, expensive jewellery, full makeup, unsmiling face. In contrast, Rosewell looks like she’s about to head out for a leisurely walk around the park. The new chairman of Atom strides across the foyer of the bank’s headquarters in Aykley Heads, Durham in trainers, relaxed jodhpurstyle trousers, brown sweater and a cream pashmina draped artfully around her shoulders. She’s carrying a bottle of water and wears a warm smile as she holds out her hand in greeting. It later emerges that the brown jumper is a Rosewell creation (“I like to sit in front of the television on an evening and knit,” she reveals), and that she’s not a fan of heels and formal clothes unless the occasion genuinely calls for it. This relaxed approach is mirrored by Atom’s 300 staff, who all seem to dress as casually as Rosewell, and the fledgling bank’s choice of head office at the environmentally sensitive Rivergreen Centre with its rammed earth wall, exposed concrete, timber and glass. As Rosewell sits chatting on a modernist leather couch in a light-filled corridor just off the main reception area, staff passing stop for a quick chat (everyone seems to be on first name terms with her), while others lounge on modular sofas, their fingers click-clacking away on laptops. As the new kid on the financial block, Atom 34 contact

has turned traditional banking upside down in a consumer-centric and thoroughly modern way. Set up at the end of 2014 by Anthony Thomson, who stepped down earlier this year to be replaced by Rosewell, Atom’s fresh approach to finance seems to have caught both the public and investors’ imaginations. The challenger bank which currently offers fixed rate savings products, mortgages and business banking loans, has already attracted 20,000 customers, raised £400m of equity capital through the private and institutional investors - including the Spanish-based bank BBVA, Woodford Investment Management and Toscafund Asset Management, which between them have around a 90% stake in Atom - and taken £1.3bn in deposits. Of this, £1.2bn has been loaned to UK homeowners and SME businesses - evidence that Atom, which is the first of a wave of UK-based, smartphone and tablet-focused challenger banks that are throwing away the rulebook – sees itself as a key financial contender. Certainly, chairs don’t come more impressive than Rosewell. A highly regarded economist and entrepreneur, her specialist experience includes economic development; risk, transport and agglomeration economics; development evaluation; infrastructure; forecasting; financial services; and policy analysis. She has advised public and private sector clients, including the Government, on major strategic issues and between 2002-2012 was

contact   35

Profile chief economic adviser to the Greater London Authority. Rosewell is one of the founders of Volterra Partners, established to apply leadingedge mathematical and statistical techniques to solve economic and business problems. She is chair of the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency); a non-executive director of both Network Rail and Ulster Bank; a senior adviser at Volterra Partners; and a commissioner with the National Infrastructure Commission, looking at the future of public services, cities, and local finance. Her services to the economy saw her receive an OBE in the Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours list. She has been involved since the beginning with Atom. In 2012 Rosewell sat on the North East Independent Economic Review. “Out of that came the conclusion that the North East economy needed a bigger variety of business initiatives which would work across the whole of the region and help provide some finance deals that were lacking in the local community, as well as attract serious people and money into the region. “We thought it would be a good idea to start a bank, so we did,” she adds, as if this were the most ordinary thing in the world. Rosewell believed the banking industry needed a shake-up. She believed there was “a fairer, more transparent, open way that offered a better deal for customers.” There was never any intention of basing Atom anywhere but the North East and, while the bank has a small London office, there are many advantages to its location, Rosewell says. “We have on our doorstep very highly regarded universities where we can develop partnerships and which give us access to good, highly qualified people. “And by not being in London, we are able to think differently about banking as we are not in the City bubble. There is a different atmosphere.” Interestingly, Rosewell doesn’t necessarily see other challenger banks as Atom’s competition. “Our competitors are Barclays, HSBC, Natwest; it’s not Virgin,” she explains. “If you take a look around, you can see that the other banks coming into the marketplace are either positioning themselves as a niche offering or taking the technology approach and really building on that rather than a bank. “We’re sitting in the middle of that and we see ourselves as a real challenger to the bigger 36 contact

banks. We want people to feel that there are alternatives. We like to say that we are both a bank and a tech company.” Brand recognition is now at 25%. Are they all tech-savvy 20 and 30-somethings? “No, definitely not,” says Rosewell. “They’re everyday progressives - people of any age who are happy to conduct their business with a tablet or smartphone. The typical age of our savers is actually 52, the oldest is in their 90s. “There is a certain amount of ignorance which I am trying to dispel. The big four view us as a tiddler. It is my job to make sure we are taken more seriously than that. Our business model is built on investment and development of technology with clear and simple product and service principles. This low cost, flexible infrastructure allows us to not only offer good value products to customers, but to approve applications quickly. Our record for a mortgage approval is 11 seconds.” Rosewell is an easy person to chat to, also

❝There is a certain amount of ignorance which I am trying to dispel❞

incredibly driven with a lust for learning. It was the latter that saw her take her first steps towards a career in economics when she left Wimbledon High School to study at Oxford. The daughter of an accountant, she says she grew up “always expecting to run my own business of some description. “When I was at school, I decided I wanted to do something different to the subjects we had been taught, so I went to Oxford and did a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. This was followed by a master’s degree in economics. “I became fascinated by how the world works, how you can make it better, how you can improve it, and how things can be managed more efficiently.” She stayed in Oxford to teach at the university until she had an epiphany about some of the underlying assumptions of economics, one of which was that you only care about yourself, not other people.

So, she set up her own businesses. “I enjoy problem solving and I don’t like being told what to do. That combination leads you into being your own boss.” Rosewell says women still face an issue at senior levels, especially coming through the middle years. “One of the big challenges here is attracting women into technology. The UK has one of the lowest female workforces in STEM. To help tackle this we have signed a deal with the Prince’s Trust to provide 500 local people with STEM skills and practical support so they will be equipped to lead the businesses of the future.” Still reasonably new to her role as chair, Rosewell is looking forward to supporting the Atom workforce, and building successful relationships with stakeholders. She may be more comfortable in trainers, casual wear and knitting of an evening, but it looks like the business suits and party clothes will be getting more of an airing. contact   37


38 contact

Getting into the spirit of business Jon Chadwick went from spreading the National Health Service’s alcohol awareness message to launching Durham Distillery. Five years on, the gin and vodka business is expanding with a distillery, visitor attraction and a move into whisky production. Jane Hall finds out what else is in the mix The first thing that confronts you as you turn into the Riverside Industrial Estate at Langley Park, Co Durham, is a huge sign for Diggerland, the construction-themed adventure park where kids of all ages can ride, drive and indulge their passion for earthmovers, dumper trucks and JCBs. To get there you have to drive past a series of nondescript, prefabricated buildings. A swift right turn just before you head into Diggerland brings the car to a stop outside units 2F and 2G, the very ordinary home of a quite remarkable business that for the past five years has been a key driver in the craft spirit boom sweeping the country: Durham Distillery. It is in this unprepossessing location that the bestselling Durham Gin is made in a 400-litre copper still called Lily. Named after Durham Distillery founder Jon Chadwick’s 18-year-old daughter, Lily is also responsible for producing the equally popular Durham Vodka, which sits alongside a cask-aged gin and two liqueurs. The traditional copper still is a thing of beauty, with her own distinct personality and style which shines through in the five spirits the distillery produces at its modest 1,100sqft HQ five miles from Durham city. Lily deserves to be seen, admired and written about and there is no shortage of requests for an audience from dewy-eyed gin and vodka lovers. But neither the unromantic Riverside Industrial Estate or Durham Distillery’s cramped unit are geared up for receiving visitors. So

instead Lily stands quietly working her alcoholic alchemy in a small room alongside a handful of fermenters and tanks, with only Chadwick and head distiller Jessica Tomlinson on hand to marvel at her efforts. All that is set to change, however. Durham Distillery is on the move and adding to its portfolio of high-spirited products. Following an investment of more than £500,000, the endeavour is – subject to planning approval – relocating to new premises in the Riverwalk complex in Durham, which is undergoing a £30m redevelopment of its own. The distillery has taken 4,000sqft of space on the ground floor of the former Gates Shopping Centre on Durham’s riverside in view of both the UNESCO-designated cathedral and castle. There will not only be a new and bigger distillery to cope with increased demand for the gin and vodka, but room to welcome sightseers with daily tours on the cards. And in a North East first, Durham Distillery will be adding whisky to its repertoire, with the first batch ready to drink in 2021. The new project, which is expected to open this autumn, will create up to 20 jobs and see drink production increase from around 40,000 units a year – which includes 700ml bottles and smaller gift packs – to more than 100,000. Having been born and raised in Durham, it is a dream come true for Chadwick who, it has to be said, makes for an unlikely liquor baron. Prior to turning his hand to producing ‘mother’s ruin’ he worked for 12 years in contact   39

Profile the higher echelons of the NHS and the Government in roles including responsibility for the health infrastructure at the London 2012 Olympics and educating the public about the dangers of alcohol misuse. This gamekeeper turned poacher’s stance is that you can’t stop people imbibing, and it comes down to drinking less and choosing better-quality drinks. The idea for making his own gin came when Chadwick visited the east coast of America and its Ivy League university towns, where he enjoyed some of the output from the nation’s burgeoning craft micro-distilleries. He noted they were very different from their English cousins. “They were more urban, more accessible, more stripped back and a lot more imaginative,” he says. “I could see a lot of similarities between the east coast of America and the east coast of England, and the link between the famous universities, like Yale and Harvard with their craft beers, struck a chord with me, so I decided to launch Durham Gin celebrating my home city. I see Durham as the Harvard of England.” He felt it was time the spirit market was shaken up and stirred. “If you had gone to my dad’s New Year’s Eve party in 1979, there would have been a table with bottles and cans of Blue Nun, Mateus Rose, Bacardi, Carling, Skol and Gordon’s gin. “Five years ago, people were still buying a bottle of Gordon’s in the same way they had in the 1970s. The market still looked and felt the same as the 1970s, apart from a couple of new entries like Sipsmith and Bombay Sapphire. “There was room for change. If you think of how coffee has moved on from Mellow Birds to Starbucks and the growth in the bottled water market, the way we drink has been radically transformed. “I saw a unique opportunity to start disruptive innovation in the white spirits sector.” Whether by chance or shrewd planning, or perhaps a combination of the two, the gin market “went crazy.” Chadwick believes gin and vodka sales will continue to grow with customers increasingly seeking out quality and knowledge “rather than novelty, much like the way the wine market developed in the 80s and 90s.” Durham Distillery is now stocked nationally, and its gin and vodka is on the shelves of Morrisons stores across the North East. The 40 contact

❝We intend to be around for decades❞ supermarket deal means bottling has had to be outsourced to a North West firm. But the liquid contents is very much Durham born and bred, with even the natural spring water coming from a farm near Bishop Auckland owned by former Blyth Spartans and Newcastle United striker, Alan Shoulder. Chadwick is proud that Durham Distillery was the first such enterprise of its kind when he set it up in February 2013, with the first bottles of gin coming on to the market a year later – or so he thought. “I had the chief fire officer come out to the unit, and I was chatting to him about how we were the first gin distillery in the North East since Henry VIII. He said, ‘Well, you are the first legal one! You aren’t even the first in this postcode.’” Illicit gin and whisky production was once commonplace across the North East, and reached epidemic proportions during the time of the Jacobite uprisings in the 1700s. It’s why

distilling equipment has to now be registered with HMRC “in case we go running off into the hills to illegally start making our own spirits to raise money for an army,” Chadwick says with a chuckle. As the distillery moves into the potentially lucrative whisky market, Lily will be joined by two new and larger stills, the biggest of which will hold 1,000 litres. It is likely it will be called Sachin, after Chadwick’s 13-year-old son, who has himself been named in honour of former Indian cricketer, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. Going into whisky making – like the introduction of Durham Vodka and the caskaged gin back in 2015 - was an obvious route to take, given Chadwick’s passion for distilling. Fans of the spirit are being offered the chance to be among the first to own and taste a bottle, case or cask of Durham Whisky through buying into a series of special packages named after the city’s famous bridges, including Prebends

and Elvet, with prices ranging from £45 to £3,250. As yet Chadwick is unable to say what the whisky - on which distillation is expected to begin this autumn – will be like. “Part of the fun is that nobody knows. It is the alchemy of whisky. But it isn’t going to be very smoky or peaty as we aren’t in a smoky or peaty part of the world. “The geology and geography of Durham is closer to the Scottish Lowlands, so Speyside. The barley is going to come via Muntons in Suffolk and Simpsons Malt in Berwick, so we will be getting the most local we can along with Durham spring water, and from there we will have to start building the flavour.” The new Durham city centre site will see Chadwick finally realise his dream of running a true American-style urban micro-distillery. “It is not going to be some romantic ivy covered sandstone distillery in the heart of the countryside, but concrete, and chunky and urban. We intend to be around for decades.” contact   41


Nursery school for business Kay Wilson meets a young entrepreneur for whom business is Childs Play A fierce determination to succeed resulted in the founder and MD of Childs Play Private Nurseries working around the clock and even answering emails while in labour. Her son, George William, is now two and the businesses she has established in the meantime are thriving, like the children in the nurseries. To call 29-year-old Laura Davies an entrepreneurial powerhouse is an understatement. She has developed three businesses and a community enterprise project, driven by a passion to help those less fortunate than herself. Her interest in childcare began when she was 14 and she helped out at her younger brother, Samuel’s after school club. This experience started her interest in the early years and how beneficial it could be for children. After studying childcare and education qualifications at college and university she began working in a local nursery. By 17 she was appointed Deputy Manager before being named Nursery Manager. Her promotion continued with five years as manager where, alongside the nursery owner, she helped raise the nursery’s Ofsted grade to Outstanding. At this point in her career Laura knew she wanted to start her own nursery but the plans didn’t materialise as she had hoped, shortly after she found her now Ferryhill site. She said: “I had always wanted to have my own nursery and do things my way but I felt too young to have the responsibility of being an employer. My mum Karen and Auntie Julie really encouraged me to explore opening the Ferryhill nursery.  I was 23 and it felt like a huge step but thanks to them, I took it. We had four children and one member of staff at first. I had my vision for Childs Play and knew what worked and now we have 19 members in my team at Ferryhill and an Outstanding grading from Ofsted and won multiple awards and accolades.” 42 contact

She is now an Ambassador for the Princes Trust, attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH Prince Charles and received Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in the North East Businesswomen Awards. The growth of the company accelerated at the turn of this year when she took over and transformed two existing nurseries in Chester le Street and Seaham, one of which had been identified as Requiring Improvement. A true indicator of her drive and commitment to excellence is for the Ofsted evaluation for the two new nurseries in her portfolio “I want Outstanding and know how to get it," she said. Only the best will do, not just for her own satisfaction but for the children, family and staff as well.

Commercial Profile

Strong results for BMC’s finance team BMC Recruitment Group’s finance division has reported a record year, after investing in the team and growing the business to effectively exceed growth targets. The results build on BMC Finance’s phenomenal success across the recruitment market, BMC has seen a high demand for its services across the businesses’ key sectors and with some of the North East’s largest businesses as clients such as, Nissan, Sage, and Proctor & Gamble, with high profile candidates alike, its success highlights the requirement for a search consultancy that can deliver personable, high energy and specialist recruitment expertise to its clients. BMC’s Finance division has grown significantly and is fast becoming the go-to recruitment provider for accountancy and finance recruitment solutions. The Finance team is led is by Managing Consultant, Craig Chamberlain, commenting on the success of the team, he said: “BMC Recruitment Group is an extremely ambitious, forward-thinking business and what we have achieved as a team is remarkable.” Craig joined the business in July 2017, and specialises in practice accountancy recruitment. In less than 8 months at the business, Craig was promoted to manager, recognising his steadfast approach to recruitment. Working with clients such as Bellway, RSM, and NCG, Craig brings over a decade of finance recruitment to BMC and boasts an impressive network of practice professionals and clients alike. The business recently announced the launch of a new risk and compliance division which will provide clients with risk and compliance recruitment solutions, a growing market within the regulated industries, signifying BMC’s plans to grow, regionally and nationally. Managing Director, David Blair, said: “We’re very confident of our market position and in the strength of our team. We have four very experienced Finance Consultants, each enjoying the best periods of their career, and in addition I, and our Commercial Director, Phil Harvey, are both chartered accountants who have held a variety of roles across practice and industry. As a collective team, our networks are extensive and we offer significant added value for candidates and clients alike through the depth of our experiences.”

From left to right: BMC’s Senior Consultant, Sophie Goymer, Managing Consultant, Craig Chamberlain, Associate Director, David Lovenbury, Managing Director, David Blair and Senior Consultant, Nigel Spurr.

For more information about BMC Recruitment Group visit: contact   43


Engineering & manufacturing This month we look at how the region is facing up to the challenges and opportunities in one of its most important sectors

44 contact

Sunderland firm soars to £12m A Sunderland-based civil engineering firm is on track to grow its annual turnover from scratch to beyond £12m within three years of its launch, as a result of customer demand from as far afield as Qatar and Dubai. Global Partnering Solutions (GPS) started out in January 2016 as a two-man band offering highway and infrastructural design services to local authorities. Having since diversified, built up a team of 16 and grown a national client base, the firm expects to see turnover surpass £12m this year. Milestones so far include being chosen - alongside major global corporations – to be on the suppliers’ framework for infrastructural work required in Qatar before the 2022 World Cup.

We have the power Turbo Power Systems (TPS) has joined forces in a national consortium, which includes the University of Newcastle, aiming to deliver an exciting new project called Smart Hubs. The hubs are car park installations comprising solar photovoltaic canopies, electric vehicle charge points and energy storage. These are interconnected with the electric grid using smart power electronic devices to intelligently manage energy demand and supply. The global market for electric vehicle infrastructure is expected to see an annual growth rate of over 27% during 2016-2026.

The first cohort of students are making promising progress in Northumberland College's state-of-the-art STEM Centre

Northumberland College opens £2.5m STEM Centre Engineers, scientists and technicians of the future are making the most of Northumberland College’s new £2.5m state-of-the-art STEM Centre. The striking new building at the college’s Ashington campus is home to specialist science and technology workshops with dedicated facilities that include a class 10,000 clean room, Digital 3D imagery equipment, nanotechnology, microscopes, specialist chemicals, and fab labs where budding product designers and entrepreneurs can access the latest in digital fabrication equipment for prototyping. With the addition of new equipment at the college’s existing Technology Park, the course offer has been expanded to include forensic and biomedical sciences, advanced manufacturing, 3D design, cyber security and network engineering. Northumberland College’s STEM Centre Manager, Gordon Crombie, said: “Our students have access to industry-standard equipment. This will help to address skills shortages within science, technology, engineering and maths, so students gain real experience for the benefit of themselves, the region and local economy.”

Plastic fantastic A budding inventor’s appearance on a popular daytime TV programme has seen order books boom for a North East-based plastics manufacturer. Washington-based Omega Plastics is benefiting from its customer Andrew Brooks’ appearance on Channel 4’s Buy It Now. Andrew's design for Pokito inventor Andrew Busby with Omega Plastics MD Gary Powner the Pokito collapsible travel cup captured the imaginations of all three of the show’s retail panellists, including JML chief executive officer Ken Daly, Firebox MD Kristian Bromley and Ideal World MD Fran Busby, securing a contract for 1,400 units, which has fed directly back to Omega Plastics. Omega Plastics MD Gary Powner says: “We have been working closely with Andrew from the beginning to provide a full turn-key solution for the Pokito." contact   45

Commercial Profile

The 13 BIG QUESTIONS that will be answered at Innovation Festival ‘18 Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural Innovation Festival, Northumbrian Water Group is bringing its Innovation Festival back to the North East this summer. The Innovation Festival will see major national and global companies working with innovation experts, other businesses, local universities, schools and members of the public to come up with and explore innovative ways to help change the world. The Festival will see teams from headline sponsors IBM, BT, Ordnance Survey, O2, Interserve, CGI, Explain Market Research, CBI, and Durham and Newcastle Universities line up alongside experts from the likes of Isle Utilities, Big Bang Partnership, Oracle, Mott McDonald Bentley, Rolta and a host of other partners, and work together to create ‘bright ideas for a better tomorrow’. 2018 sees the whole event doubled in size compared to 2017 and it’s hoped that the festival will lead to some real-world innovative solutions and changes that can be brought to life – like the Newcastle Moss Tree, the water Refill campaign and the artificial intelligence projects – all of which are projects that came out of IF17 and that are making a real difference to the world right now. The water company has announced the 13 questions that the crack teams of experts will be getting stuck into during the festival: 1. Starting from scratch - How do you create the ‘perfect’ water company? – led by IBM 2. Going deeper underground – Can we build an underground map of the UK? – led by Ordnance Survey 3. Smart Objectives - Smart devices are filling up our homes. How can we improve customers’ lives by making the most of Smart technology? – led by CGI Group 4. Fans for life – How to build advocacy with our communities and customers – led by Explain Market Research 5. ‘Testing the water’ – How can the use of Digital Twins improve our future? – led by Newcastle University 6. Moving on – What will the future of transport look like? – led by Northern Gas Networks 7. Green planet - How can we become a carbon positive company? – led by BT 8. Smiling happy people power – How can we create a happier more productive work force? – led by o2 9. Building blocks – How can innovation and tech improve Design, Construction Operation and Maintenance? – led by Interserve 10. Vision of the future - How can we improve the lives of people who are visually impaired? – led by CBI and Northumbrian Water 46 contact

11. Every drop counts – How and why do we need to save water? – led by The Big Bang Partnership 12. Blue Planet: Teenager sprint – How can we reduce the impact of single use plastics? – led by Isle Utilities 13. Fighting flooding – How can we reduce the risk and build for the future? – led by Durham University Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water Group Information Services Director, said: “The Innovation Festival is back for 2018 and it’s going to be even bigger and more ambitious than last year! “We have some of the most innovative and creative minds from across the globe taking part in this celebration of creativity and we’ve set them one, pretty major and important, task – to try and change the world…so not that tough then! “Last year saw some truly amazing ideas come out of the festival and into fruition and I can’t wait to see what this year brings. It’s going to be a fantastic event for everyone involved, the North East region and hopefully the whole world!” The festival will be held between July 9th and July 13th at Newcastle Racecourse. For more information visit

To find out more about careers at Northumbrian Water, which was voted the UK’s top utility company in 2017, visit For further media information, call 0191 3015678.


Focus on STEM By Jane Hibbert BSc (Hons) Senior BIM author, NBS I was on a career path to become a PE teacher until my electronics teacher opened my mind to a realm of jobs I had never heard of before. As the world turns digital, new technology is creating new jobs and new ways of working. I have been going out to speak in school assemblies, parent/ teacher and skills events to show people how construction has turned digital. I try to show that careers which are a progression of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects are the underpinning of modern day society. A revolution in education will drive evolution in the industries, but this is only going to happen if companies and professionals within STEM sectors take time to show the students what they can do. Only 13% of the people working in STEM occupations are women. We must change this. It took just one person to turn my attention to STEM and the benefits of an engineering path, so I believe I am due to return the favour to other young people. My employer, NBS, has supported me with this and we work directly with schools within the North East to educate the young talent and show them what being part of the STEM uprising can look like.

Dai Hayward, CEO of award-winning Micropore Technologies and Sarah Thorpe of UK Steel Enterprise

Magnificent 7,000 An award-winning high-tech micro engineering company is the 7,000th business to secure an investment from UK Steel Enterprise. A £100,000 second investment from UK Steel Enterprise is enabling Micropore Technologies, based in Redcar’s Wilton Centre and winner of the 2018 NEPIC Award for Innovation, to take its unique membrane emulsification process from laboratory to full scale-manufacture.  UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, has now supported 7,000 UK businesses in its steel areas, including Tees Valley, with £94m of investment, creating 77,500 jobs. UKSE also provides office and workshop space for 2,500 businesses and has given £10m to support community groups and projects.

Ford expands training scheme Engineering giant Ford Group has expanded a training scheme designed to boost uptake of apprenticeships and help the region’s manufacturing industry build sustainable workforces. Last year Ford joined forces with Gateshead College to run a six-month traineeship which prepares young people with the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to start an apprenticeship in this sector. An initial group of 32 students have completed the Ford Engineering apprentice Rhys Donald scheme, which has now been extended to include two programmes to cater for people with different skills levels. Of the first group of students, four have embarked on an apprenticeship at Ford Engineering, while others have been taken on by various engineering firms around the region including Spincraft, Millfield Components and Ambic. Geoff Ford MBE, chairman at Ford Engineering, said: “I will continue to bang the drum for apprenticeships and that’s why I’m thrilled to extend this training programme with Gateshead College.” contact   47

Ready for a


We live in rapidly changing times. Technology has revolutionised our lives while climate change and energy regulations look set to do the same. As a result, what is designed today may be unsuitable for tomorrow. This can be both costly and disruptive to industry. To mitigate the effects of technological, environmental and social change, WSP integrates Future Ready thinking into all its designs and proposals. This ensures that whatever we design today is well placed to serve the needs of tomorrow, transcending change and ensuring maximum possible value and minimal disruption for our clients. Underlying Future Ready are the skills of our engineers and consultants who observe trends, make predictions and design accordingly. This is not about looking passively into a crystal ball – if only that were possible – but more about making intelligent assessments of past behaviours, current trends and future potentials. As part of this our business units have identified the key trends that they believe will have most impact on industry. No one can deny the pervasive influence of the internet which has transformed industry and will continue to evolve. As the Internet of Things (IoT) – increased connectivity between wireless equipment, appliances and instruments – gathers pace, it is likely that installation costs and technological complexity will reduce. We are constantly abreast of the latest developments and can ensure you are fully briefed on critical issues such as data safety and security – as they develop. Fuel, energy and other utility costs could continue to rise. Along with climate change, they will have a profound effect on industry, as will the falling costs of renewable energy. So how should construction and industry optimise their operations to comply with changing environmental events and legislation? Future Ready enables our clients to take the long-term view, which may require forgoing the lowest capital cost as this often proves more expensive in the long term.

Climate change will bring more rain, raise sea levels by 1m and increase average temperatures – reaching 40°C in London by 2080. All this will influence the norms that are used in design but how will business be affected? We advise clients on projected rainfall levels, flood risk and the associated impacts on drainage system design. We can do this because we are conversant with the latest environmental legislation and trends; this empowers us to offer the best Future Ready advice to clients, ensuring our designs are compliant and future proofed. As the UK seeks to specialise in high-value manufacturing, industry will change. But building new process plants or adapting existing ones is costly. Rising costs of materials and manufacture dictate flexible, easily reconfigurable layouts which allow rapid changeover between product and process changes, and enable recycling of equipment at life-cycle end. Furthermore, the intelligent layout of facilities can lower materials handling costs. Our expertise in modern plant design ensures we propose Future Ready facilities that include simple, smooth, logical flow lines that are easier to adapt and allow the reuse and recycling of equipment. For example, one of our recent lab designs gave the client flexibility in the choice of laboratory equipment. At the end of its life, the lab would be needed for other functions but avoiding costly refit work and the associated material waste. Our team devised a modular solution allowing eight equipment locations to be fitted-out with all services and utilities (power, air, gases, water, data etc). This means the lab is now not only flexible in its current use – any item of equipment can be used anywhere – but should, in future, the client require sections of the space for other purposes, all utilities are already in place. In these ways, Future Ready helps clients appreciate how trends will affect their businesses, how to plan for them and how to extract maximum value and flexibility. This will help ensure that the passing of time becomes an asset not a burden.

WSP is a world-leading consultancy of experts and strategic advisors. We have over 2,000 professional services and consultant engineers in the North of England, with offices in Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Northallerton. For further information on how we can support your organisation to be Future Ready, please contact, or for industry-specific Future Ready queries contact

contact   49


A team member at Arcinova

£1.5m grant

Contract Research and Development Organisation Arcinova has announced the award of a £1.5m Innovate UK grant for the development of new flexible modular manufacturing technologies; a project which is set to demonstrate the operating feasibility of world-first innovative continuous production tools. The project, which will span a three-year period, will be undertaken in collaboration with a team led by Professor Mike George, with Professors Pete Licence and Sir Martyn Poliakoff at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the project is to develop a continuous, flexible modular manufacturing technology platform which will enable Alnwick-based Arcinova to handle increasingly complex chemistries with more discreet manufacturing steps. The platform will be used in manufacturing operations where manufacturing inventories need to be kept low and product purity needs to be maximized, where manufacturing throughput and efficiency are maintained at a high level and equipment changeover can be rapidly facilitated to cope with low batch numbers. Arcinova provides both integrated end to end solutions and standalone services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies. 50 contact

Weight lifting on the river The deep-water heavy lift vessel Aegir has undertaken a number of highly complex heavy lifting operations at the Port of Tyne’s Northumbrian Quay in North Shields. The 4,000 ton heavy lift capacity vessel operated by Netherlands-based Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) was in the river for around two weeks, during which time a number of wind turbine jackets were transported down river from Smulders Projects UK in Wallsend. The jackets, which measure between 68–81 metres high and weigh 1,300 tons, have been constructed by Belgian-owned Smulders UK as part of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off Aberdeen in Scotland. Steven Clapperton, Port of Tyne harbour master and director of health and safety, environment and marine, said: “These are complex marine activities, using this substantial vessel of around 50,000 gross tonnes, which can be seen for miles around. The size of the ship, with its 4,000 tons revolving heavy lift crane, and the complexity of the operation make the Port of Tyne’s Northumbrian Quay ideally placed to handle this work, due to its deep-water and close proximity to open sea.”

Ford expands training scheme A Sunderland thermal systems business is celebrating after forming a strategic partnership with a major US company. HTUK, based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), has secured a long-term relationship with US-based Watlow – the world’s largest industrial heating manufacturer - to become a Walter Taylor and Alan Pearson of HTUK distributor. Established in 2001, HTUK is an integrated thermal solutions provider. It supplies and installs industrial heaters, temperature sensors, controllers, insulation and system assemblies and specialises in designing and manufacturing complete thermal systems. MD Alan Pearson says: “Watlow has big ambitions to be a billion-dollar company by 2023 and we’re very happy to be part of its journey.”

Commercial Profile

Keeping commercial projects away from lawyers Alan Grisedale, a partner in the commercial contracts team at Muckle LLP - the North East’s leading independent law firm, shares advice on avoiding legal issues on complex commercial projects. You may think this a strange title for an article written by a commercial contracts lawyer, but helping businesses avoid risks, claims and (hopefully) other lawyers is what we seek to achieve. A number of steps need to be properly considered to avoid a potentially major and costly fall-out between two or more of the key players in any complex commercial contractual arrangement. That’s why the right advice is key from the start. AGREE CONTRACTS EARLY Most manufacturing projects do demand a complex array of interlinked obligations to be drafted. In my experience the fewer cooks the better and focusing on the purpose of these contracts is key. Set out the rights and obligations of everyone involved. Who will do what, when and for what price? It is risk allocation. The more clearly that is done, the easier it will be for the parties to understand what risks sit where and have to be managed. That risk assessment is important for many things, especially price. That might sound blindingly obvious but, consistently, I see problems with projects that could have been resolved, had the key issues been addressed at the start. It’s all very well engaging expensive lawyers but none can truly provide a ‘get out of jail free’ card. It’s better to spend time with advisers getting clarity and understanding into your contract terms from the off. WORK WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE  Care in the contract procurement process can be undone if the key players simply aren’t up to the task. This risk is one of the hardest to manage but proper due diligence can help secure the right people, not just the right company. Remember human beings do the work, not companies, and we are fallible. Placing an obligation on someone to do something is not tantamount to a guarantee that they will actually do it, but contract terms need to address this as far as possible. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR TERMS I don’t believe in just putting your contract in a drawer once it’s signed and forgetting about it until you need to refer to it. Many contracts for complex projects encourage you to continually reference what’s been agreed. Even then, progress can be held back because notices and

communications aren’t regularly maintained or supplied at all during the course of the project. Simple human error, in other words, can cause enormous problems and land a project in hot water. It’s important not to take your eye off the ball from start to finish because trying to excuse the failure to take action after the event is, at best, incredibly uncomfortable. Getting the right advice up front can make a huge difference to how smoothly a project runs and how cost effectively it is completed.

If you need some help or advice with your commercial contracts, call Alan Grisedale on 0191 211 7956 or email @MuckleLLP contact   51

Commercial Profile

Murgitroyd and Inov-8: a relationship that has led to global success Dr Tom Olbrich European Patent Attorney at Murgitroyd - a global firm of European patent attorneys and trade mark attorneys - and James McKay, Product Director at all terrain footwear, apparel equipment specialist inov-8, share how their working approach highlighted a new product idea that needed patent protection. Dr Tom Olbrich, who is based at Murgitroyd’s Newcastle upon Tyne office, isn’t your typical patent attorney; in his native Germany he spent a few years in the special military forces, where he competed in athletics and bobsleigh before going on to achieve a number of degrees. This has Dr Tom Olbrich European enabled him to specialise in a Patent Attorney at Murgitroyd range of subject matters from electrical engineering and physics, particularly computerrelated subject matter, medical devices, sports equipment, semiconductors and power tools. He also has a novel approach with all of his clients where he offers regular complimentary meetings to understand what’s new in the company, what they are working on and get to grips on any queries they may have. It was during one of these meetings with inov-8 that the topic of a graphene shoe came up. inov-8 had teamed up with The University of Manchester to become the first-ever company to incorporate graphene into running and fitness shoes. Despite being the thinnest material in the world, graphene is also the strongest and is 200 times stronger than steel. It’s also extraordinarily flexible, and can be bent, twisted, folded and stretched without incurring any damage. When added to the rubber used in inov-8’s G-Series shoes, graphene imparts all its properties, including its strength. A unique formulation makes these outsoles 50% stronger, 50% more stretchy and 50% more resistant to wear than the corresponding industry standard rubber without graphene. James says: “Off-road runners and fitness athletes live at the sporting extreme and need the stickiest outsole grip possible to optimize their performance. For too long, they have had to compromise this need for grip with the knowledge that such rubber wears down quickly. “Now, utilising the groundbreaking properties of graphene, there is no compromise. The new rubber we have developed with the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester allows us to smash the limits of grip. Our lightweight G-Series shoes deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.” Tom reflects: “James dropped it into conversation about the work they were doing with The University of Manchester 52 contact

on the use of graphene. And I instantly knew that this was something they needed to protect, but it wasn’t something that they had yet considered.” It was agreed, following a meeting with Ian Bailey, CEO of inov-8, that they needed to file a patent quickly. James comments: “Tom was great; he was straight on the case and worked closely with the professor involved in the project at Manchester University to put the case together. “Product innovation is a number-one priority at inov-8. And Tom understands this and takes the time to get to know us and our products.” Tom echoes this and explains that: “I invest time into the companies I work with to build a trusting relationship and will often test and feedback on their products. Having this deep understanding and confidence in the client and products helps me to do my job to the best of my ability. “In fact, in our regular meetings we often discuss ideas and I can provide clear guidance on what they should and can protect and what they can’t. My well rounded experience means I can also offer a technical perspective of ‘will it even work’.” This isn’t in the job spec of a patent attorney but it’s something Tom enjoys doing as it keeps his job interesting and clients appreciate his input. “I can talk to Tom freely about all parts of the business and use him as an impartial soundboard at times. It’s one of the key reasons we’ve continued to be a client for the past six years,” offers James. At the end of 2017 the patent was filed and inov-8’s graphene-enhanced footwear was revealed as a product to watch for this year with great coverage in the BBC and Runner’s World. Murgitroyd, is a global firm of European patent attorneys and trade mark attorneys. Its Newcastle office specialises in IP advice and support for the mechanical, physical science, electronics and engineering, charities, creative, media and entertainment sectors. They have been working with Inov-8 since 2011.

If you would like to discuss protecting your IP more information can be found at or you can request a meeting with one of our patent and trade mark attorneys on +44 (0) 191 211 3550

contact   53


The E list The world (or at least those of us who are a bit sad and love a royal wedding) gasped when newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drove to their evening wedding reception in an electric blue battery-powered Jaguar E-Type. Jane Pikett looks at the most beautiful car in the world, gone green When the world’s hottest A-list couple (George and Amal notwithstanding) chose a silverblue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero for the short drive from Windsor Castle to their evening wedding reception at Frogmore House, most viewers gasped at the car’s looks rather than its environmental creds. Formerly owned by musician Toby Smith, the keyboard player with Jamiroquai who died last year, the car, which had been fitted with a number plate carrying the date – E190518 – was a perfectly elegant partner for the lovely couple. It even matched her ring – an emerald-cut aquamarine stunner which previously belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. But E190518 is no ordinary E-Type. This is a zero-emission battery-electric-powered version of the 1968 Series 1.5 E-Type Roaster, complete with cutting-edge electric powertrain delivering 0-62mph in a very zippy 5.5 seconds. The reborn Concept Zero model, unveiled last year and worth around £350,000, represents Jaguar’s stylish bid to future-proof classic car ownership, combining the renowned E-type experience with enhanced performance through electrification. It not only looks like the classic E-Type, its performance also beats the original. Its 0-62mph in 5.5 virtually silent seconds is about 1 second quicker than the Series 1 E-type. Its trademark almond-shaped headlights mirror the signature styling of the original yet they are LED, and its 40kWh battery can achieve around 170 miles on a single charge. Harry and Meghan are not the first to employ an E-type for a high-profile wedding. James Matthews and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa (née Middleton – a friend of Harry through

54 contact

the Duchess of Cambridge, his sister-in-law) followed the theme on their wedding day in 2017 when they travelled in the oldest surviving E-type Series 1 Roadster, built in February 1961 and registered as 77RW. Somewhat less green than Harry and Meg’s choice, it has a 3.8-litre straight-six developing 265bhp. Doubtless, they thought they had at least matched the efforts of Prince William when he borrowed his father’s vintage Aston Martin DB6 MkII to drive his new wife home from Buckingham Palace in 2011, but Harry and Meg’s choice beats both of them. Restored and converted at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, not far from where the E-type was born, an electric powertrain developing 220kW has been specially designed for the E-type Zero. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions and similar weight to the XK six-cylinder engine used in the original E-type and weights 46kg less than the original. “Concept Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification,” Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, says. “This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. Our aim with Concept Zero is to give classic Jaguars a sustainable future in changing environmental and economic conditions.” Interestingly, Harry and Meghan’s car is lefthand drive, a feature which some royal watchers attributed as a nod to Markle’s American heritage, which sounds lame to us, but it’s the best we can come up with. Whatever the case, this is surely the most beautiful version of the most beautiful car in the world, as befits the world’s most beautiful newlyweds. Bravo!

contact   55


Electric avenue Citroën is celebrating the 50th birthday of its Méhari cabriolet with an exclusive E-MEHARI Art Car designed by leading name Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. The new E-MEHARI is a playful nod to the Méhari of 1968 - a quirky 100% electric 4-seater available in hard top and soft top. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac is a visionary designer who, by way of his conceptual creations, removes barriers between the arts and fashion.

Boost for Volvo's fab 40 Volvo Cars has announced it is to expand production following overwhelming demand for its new XC40. The car maker has received almost 80,000 orders for the award-winning small SUV and is expanding production in Europe and China in order to meet demand. Production will be expanded at its Ghent manufacturing plant and Volvo Cars will add XC40 production capacity at its Luqiao plant in China in the first half

CITROËN C3 PureTech 82 manual Flair

of next year, underlining the popularity of this year’s European Car of the Year. In addition, the company has also announced today that it will capitalise on the popularity of its new smaller models with the introduction of new models on its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), replacing the current V40. “The XC40’s success has surpassed even our highest expectations,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars.

From only


+ VAT deposit

+ VAT per month

£169 £169 10,000 MILES PER ANNUM


Official Fuel Consumption in MPG (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km); Highest: Citroën C3 Range: URBAN 65.7-46.3mpg [4.3-6.1L/100km]; EXTRA URBAN 88.3-67.3mpg [3.2-4.2L/100km]; COMBINED 78.5-57.6mpg [3.6-4.7L/100km]; CO2 emissions 93.110g/km. MPG figures are achieved under official EU test conditions, intended as a guide for comparative purposes only, and may not reflect actual on-the-road driving conditions. *Terms and conditions apply. All rentals are subject to VAT at the current rate. Vehicles must be registered by 29th June 2018, subject to any price adjustment by the manufacturer, interest rate movement or changes to Government Excise Duty. Quotation is for Business Users only and is subject to status. guarantees may be required. Should the contract mileage be exceeded by over 30% then the excess pence per mile shown will be doubled. The 50% blocking of input VAT may apply to certain elements within the services included in the above service rental. The 50% blocking of input VAT applies to RLF and Contract Management included in the above service rental.


56 contact

Telephone: 0191 5168822

T H E A L L- N E W V O LV O X C 4 0


EVERYTHING YOU NEED, NOTHING YOU DON’T From convenience to performance, from smart storage to smart technology, the New Volvo XC40 was designed for simplicity. SMART SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE: I NTU ITIVE TO U C H S C R E E N AN D VO I C E C O NTR O L | S MARTP H O N E I N T E G R AT I O N | W I R E L E S S C H A R G I N G | H A R M A N K A R D O N P R E M I U M S O U N D | S MART STO RAG E S O LUTI O N S

TA K I N G O R D E R S N O W S T A R T I N G F R O M £ 2 7, 9 2 0 W E S S I N GTO N WAY, S U N D E R L A N D S R 5 3 H R Te l: 0191 516 28 0 3

E m a i l: k a rena lla n@millnor thea st .c

w w w. m i l l n o r t h e a s t . c o . u k Official fuel consumption for the New Volvo XC40 range in MPG (l/100km): Urban 31.0 (9.1) – 49.6 (5.7), Extra Urban 47.1 (6.0) – 61.4 (4.6), Combined 39.8 (7.1) – 56.5 (5.0). CO2 emissions 166 – 127g/km. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. Preliminary data. Please contact us for the latest information. contact   57


Steel role for Diane

Taking the Crowne

Diane Parker has joined UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel subsidiary that supports growing businesses with investments and managed business premises, as an administrator. She is based at UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park at Redcar.

Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter has appointed James Doyle its new general manager. The hotel is proving to be a key driver in the regeneration of the Stephenson Quarter, which Clouston Group believes will create 3,000 jobs once the mixeduse development is complete.

Changing lives National charity Changing Lives, headquartered in Gateshead, has made two appointments to its senior leadership team. Andrew Wilson joins the charity as COO, having previously spent over 10 years at Sage Group, and Cherri Blissett is appointed executive director of integration.

Super-tech UK headquartered OEM HTL Group has appointed Bob Fogerty group technical director. Formerly group training director, his new role will allow him to extend a technical support platform - to help develop HTL’s OEM product range with the in-house design team and externally to support clients with technical queries. 58 contact

Leading innovation The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has appointed Alan Welby to the post of innovation director. He joins the LEP from Liverpool John Moores University, where he was Director of Research, Innovation and Partnerships.

Hall for two Gisborough Hall has appointed Karl Rochford to run the two AA Rosette Chaloner’s Restaurant as well as the more informal G Bar and Bistro, while Amy Baker has been appointed operations manager. Gisborough Hall became a fully independent selfmanaged hotel in April 2017.

New partner Kelly Jordan has been promoted to partner at Muckle LLP. A specialist in restructuring and insolvency matters, she has worked with the major UK clearing banks, insolvency practitioners, LPA Receivers and corporate entities on a regional and national basis.

Jacqui Henderson, chair of governors, and Ian Clinton at Northumberland College’s Ashington Campus

Principal named Northumberland College has appointed Ian Clinton OBE as principal. He has spent nearly 25 years as a principal in colleges across the country and whilst principal at Blackburn College achieved the second only Ofsted Outstanding Award in every category in the country - the first large college to do so.

Melanie takes over Teesside-based Nicholson’s Transport has appointed Melanie Farman as new business director to oversee the next phase of the firm’s growth. Nicholson’s Transport was set up in 1987 by David Nicholson and currently employs 45 staff with a turnover of approximately £4.5m.

Barbara Gubbins

l-r Jamie Martin,Steve McNichol and Martin Hulls

You spoil us ambassador!

Martin hands the reins to Martin UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway has appointed corporate lawyer Martin Hulls as managing partner, taking over from Jamie Martin, who takes up the post of senior partner. Hulls has led the firm’s 26-strong corporate team for many years and has played a critical role in the firm's continued strong financial performance as finance partner. Martin, meanwhile has been at the helm for over two decades, where he has charted its growth from a £6m firm with a

workforce of less than 100 to a £36m+ operation, employing in excess of 470 people. During that time the firm has added to its original base in Newcastle by building significant bases in Leeds and Manchester. Martin will move into a new role as the firm's senior partner, working closely with Steve McNicol, who recently joined Ward Hadaway's senior team as strategic business development partner.

Jesmond Dene House boutique hotel has appointed Barbara Gubbins as corporate ambassador. She stepped down as chief exec of County Durham Community Foundation at the end of 2017. Jesmond Dene House has developed an outdoor wedding space with circular stage, BBQ pit and bar area, and Barbara has recently trained as a celebrant so she will be performing the hotel weddings, vow renewals and naming ceremonies.

In the NEPIC hotseat Regional industry cluster NEPIC has appointed Mark Kenrick as chairman. Kenrick is currently chief executive of Teesside headquartered px group and was previously chief executive of Wilton-based PET manufacturer Lotte Chemical UK. He originally joined the NEPIC Board in 2015 as vicechair, having served on the firm’s Leadership Team since 2006. Speaking about his new role, he said: “NEPIC is one of the most wellknown and respected cluster organisations in Europe. It is at the forefront of bringing everyone involved in the process value chain together.”

Head man Michael Tippett is to become the first male head at Newcastle High School for Girls. Currently senior deputy head at the school, he will move into his new role in the next academic year, taking charge of the largest independent girls’ school in the region which educates 780 pupils aged 3-18. NHSG opened in 2014, following the merger of two girls’ schools, Central Newcastle High School and Church High School. It is one of 25 schools within the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST).

Michael Tippet

l-r David Thomas and Jonathan Luke

Done deal Two well-known regional dealmakers have stepped up to senior management roles at regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers. David Thomas has been named as the Newcastle-based firm's investment director, while Jonathan Luke has been promoted to portfolio director in recognition of their contribution to NEL winning contracts to manage two of the five funds which make up the new £120m North East Fund Supported by The European Regional Development Fund. contact   59

Events Chamber Exchange

Chamber Showcase @ NE Expo May 2, Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park

June 14, in association with Durham Business Club, Radisson Blu Durham, 11:00-14:00, FREE This is the Chamber's flagship networking event encouraging an exchange of experiences, ideas and offers between members. A round-table networking event with two table changes held the second Thursday of each month across the region. The first table 'Sharing a Success' – delegates are encouraged to share a recent business success. The second table 'Discussing a Challenge' – delegates are encouraged to discuss current or recent challenges, how you may have overcome this challenge or if someone is facing a current challenge, those around the table are encouraged to offer advice and guidance. Chamber staff will lead each table.

Richard Swart (Berger Group) and James Ramsbotham (Chamber)

Emirates stand

North East Growth Hub stand

Brewin Dolphin stand

Nexus stand

Baltic stand

Venue sponsor


Chamber Exchange July 12, Blackwell Grange, Darlington, 11:00-14:00, FREE

Cybershelter stand

Raithwaites Estate stand

Newcastle Racecourse stand

Launch of WIN North East Business Woman of the Year Awards April 19, hosted by Hilton Newcastle Gateshead

Venue sponsor

Joanna Feeley (Trend Bible), Allison Raper (Teesdale Cheesemakers), Nickie Gott (She’s Gott It) and Jemma Morland (EMG Solicitors) 60 contact

Kerrin Smith (Durham Constabulary)

Linda Hitman (Exclusive NE)

Presidents Club Business Leaders' Lunch April 26, in association with Brewin Dolphin, sponsored by Gateshead College hosted by Beamish Hall

Eamonn Leavey (Chamber), James Ramsbotham (Chamber), Lord Adonis Judith Doyle (Gateshead College) and John McCabe (Fusion PR)

Gillian Curry and Morven Smith (Co Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue) and Andrew Jackson (Durham University)

Lord Adonis

Chris Rodgers (Wardell Armstrong LLP) and Meenu Malhotra (Malhotra Group)

Alex Henderson (NewGen Creative)

Chamber Exchange

April 12, sponsored by Village Hotel and Circle Cloud

Michael Povey (Circle Cloud) and Stuart Nicol (Newcastle Building Society)

Kerri Smith and Karen Dobson (Village Hotel)

Lisa Proud (NUFC), Julie Finlaw (Stroke Association) and Dave Deacon (Quorum Fleet Solutions)

Chamber Tees Review and AGM March 28, sponsored by Teesside University, hosted by Gisborough Hall

James Ramsbotham (Chamber), Michael McConnell (PD Ports), David Grant (DTV Airport), Warren Harrison (Teesside University)

Michael James (E-Strands) and Deniece Wanly (Eleven Arches)

Brian Beaumont (Waltons Clark Whitehill) and Nigel Williams (Endeavour Partnership)

Kevin Strachan (Steel River Consultants) and Julie Wallin (Arver Commercial)

contact   61




Chamber Exchange

Chamber Golf Day

Radisson Blu, Durham June 14, 11:00-14:00 FREE

Linden Hall, Northumberland, June 20 11:30-19:00 £150+VAT

Inspiring Females Conference 2018

in association with Durham Business Group


0300 303 6322


Area Meetings
















27.06 - REDCAR & CLEVELAND 08:15-10:00 • TBC FREE










Flagship 06.09 - CHAMBER ANNUAL DINNER 2018 18.00-00.00 • DURHAM CATHEDRAL








08:15-10:00 • TBC

06.07 - NORTH TYNESIDE 08:00-10:00 •TBC FREE 12.07 - SOUTH TYNESIDE 08:00-09:30 • TBC FREE


Skills, Knowledge and Information Network


08:15-10:00 • MIDDLETON LODGE

Ramside Hall, Durham July 19, 15:00-15:30 FREE


16:00-17:30 • TBC











** Global member price £240+VAT. Foundation Award in International Trade: Global Member Cost: £640.00+VAT (3 courses) £800+VAT (4 courses) Standard Cost:  £900.00+VAT (3 courses) £1000+VAT (4 courses)

62 contact

Partnership the name of the game for new Chamber Annual Dinner One of the region’s most prestigious events is changing The Chamber has joined forces with one of region’s icons to host the first dinner ever to be held within the nave of Durham Cathedral. All 625 tickets sold out in weeks with profits supporting Foundation 2020, which aims to achieve a £10m target for all-important restoration work to preserve the building’s fabric for future generations. This new Annual Dinner brings Chamber members together from across the North East, breaking with years of tradition holding dinners in the north of the region and the Tees Valley. The event is proving to be a spectacular showcase of how Chamber members, of all shapes and sizes, can work together. A huge logistical challenge, the event will be supported by Franks the Flooring Store, Gateshead College students and BaxterStorey – all helping create something that was previously thought impossible. Another significant joining of forces is Chamber Partners Gateshead College and Newcastle International Airport as headline sponsors, with Heathrow sponsoring a spectacular Drinks Reception in the Cathedral Cloisters. Judith Doyle CBE, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College, said: “We are delighted to support the North East England Chamber of Commerce by sponsoring this prestigious inaugural dinner at Durham Cathedral. It promises to be a wonderful occasion and a fantastic way to celebrate our region’s success stories in one of the

most iconic heritage venues in the country. We are proud of our strong partnership with the Chamber, which cements our deep-rooted connection with the local business community.” Nick Jones, chief executive officer at Newcastle International Airport said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. Durham Cathedral is a wonderfully unique location and the evening promises to be a great opportunity for businesses in the North East to come together and celebrate the outstanding work that takes place across the region. “Last year, Newcastle Airport celebrated one of its most successful years. Almost 5.5m passengers travelled through the terminal and there was significant investment in the terminal and technology used to deliver a customer experience that has been recognised with a number of major awards, including best in our category for customer service in Europe, Airport of the Year at the North of England Transport Awards and fifth in a list of happiest airports in the world. "I very much look forward to celebrating these achievements and everything else that is great about the North East with colleagues from across the region.” Find out in our next edition of Contact how one of Europe’s greatest buildings is being transformed for one night only. Such a fusion from across Chamber membership really shows that Together we Grow Stronger.

contact   63

Event sponsor

Chamber Golf Day 2018

Venue sponsor

Wednesday June 20, 2018 11:30 - 19:00 MacDonald Linden Hall, Northumberland This informal golf day is designed to bring you and other businesses from across the region together to share ideas and develop contacts and business opportunities in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Members Price: ÂŁ150.00 +VAT for a team of 4. For more information visit or email

power up half page ad.indd 3

25/05/2018 12:20:59

Event sponsor

Chamber Inspiring Females Conference 2018

Venue sponsor

Thursday 19 July 09:30 - 15:00 Ramside Hall, Durham Now in its sixth year, the Chamber Inspiring Females Conference aims to inspire and connect women in business across the North East of England. The conference will feature speakers and panelists, highlighting success stories and tackling the issues that will help ensure the role of women in our business community continues to accelerate in years to come. Price: Free to Chamber members To view the agenda and register: visit or email

power up half page ad.indd 2

64 contact

25/05/2018 12:20:44

Last word

Inspiring the next generation This summer’s Great Exhibition of the North will showcase the region’s current strengths in everything from design to technology, energy to health and celebrate achievements of the past. Allan King, MD of Accenture Technology, explains why it is backing the event

Allan King, Managing Director, Accenture Technology, Newcastle Technology Centre

The summer of 2018 will be one to remember for the North of England. The Great Exhibition of the North is England’s biggest event in 2018. Hosted in NewcastleGateshead, the Great Exhibition will be a three-month celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit. It will bring to the fore how the North’s inventors, artists and designers have shaped the world, and are building the economy of tomorrow. The event is an affirmation of the North’s position in England, and the wider world, as a hub of productivity and innovation – and it’s an event that we at Accenture are proud to sponsor. For those of you who don’t know, Accenture is a leading professional services company providing a broad range of expertise and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Over the years, we’ve put down deep roots in the North East. In fact, our Newcastle Technology Centre is one of our most important European facilities and spearheads many initiatives

"We believe the exhibition will provide a catalyst for innovation"

around deployments of leading-edge technologies, such as data engineering, deep analytics and artificial intelligence. Consequently, we feel a true part of the North Eastern business community, and we want to repay some of what the region has given us over the years. That’s why we are committed to helping develop talent in the region and reversing the brain-drain to London. It’s also why we’re throwing our support behind the Great Exhibition of the North. We believe the exhibition will provide a catalyst for innovation in the region by showcasing the North’s creative leadership, and inspiring a new generation of original thinkers to take up the baton. We’ve therefore worked closely with the NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI), the lead delivery partner of the Great Exhibition of the North, to create a programme of activities that will help the event achieve its goals and provide a foundation for the region’s future success. There are three key activities. We have supported North East based software development agency, Shout, as it designed and developed an engaging and informative ‘wayfinder’ app that contact   65

Last word

Great Exhibition of the North opening event, imagery by EYELEVEL

will allow visitors to navigate the 30 exhibition venues on either side of the Tyne, including world class music venues, museums, outdoor spaces and iconic landmarks. Shout is internationally recognised for its software development expertise, and the app will be right at the heart of the Great Exhibition of the North, providing maps and information as well as a fun gamification element for children and grown-ups alike. We’ll also be lending a hand at the Family Expo in early August. Our aim at the expo is to build a lasting legacy for the exhibition by sparking the interest of young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. Visitors to the expo will interact with and program robots, create a web page, and see how 3D printing innovation in the North is second to none. These activities support the Great Exhibition of the North’s aim of inspiring the next generation of young people to design, invent and create tomorrow’s world, and mirrors our own 66 contact

belief that developing talent and creating employment opportunities is crucial in driving the region’s future economy. Finally, we’ll showcase technology at three other events throughout the exhibition: the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit, where we will talk about the rise and future of artificial intelligence, and using design thinking to bring students and SMEs together to meet the Government’s four grand challenges; the 1Up North Gaming Conference where we will demonstrate a compelling ‘extended reality’ solution; and we will also take part in a showcase at the Emerging Tech conference, focused on the future of travel. The Great Exhibition will actively engage local communities and innovative businesses across the North, enhancing the profile of this key region nationally and internationally, and inspiring the next generation of inventors, artists and designers. It’s an exciting future for the North of England, and one Accenture is proud to be a part of.

I’m easily connected to my London customers.

Connect to the World via Amsterdam, Dubai, Heathrow, Brussels and Paris. Book now at

We mean business for your business We are specialists in providing commercial vans and business cars including converted vehicles, contract hire, leasing as well as other finance options.

Business specialist buying advice

Dedicated business demonstrator vehicles

We offer collection and delivery

Free courtesy cars when booked in advance

Affordable and competitive funding solutions to suit your business

Comfortable customer waiting area with free Wi-Fi and refreshments

Quotes fully tailored to you

Full servicing and maintenance facilities on site

Call Town Centre Automobiles’ Business Centre Manager, Mark Johnston on 0191 5168822 for more information or a quote tailored to your business needs. Town Centre Automobiles - Sunderland, Ferryboat Lane, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, SR5 3JN


0191 5168822

Contact magazine - June-July 2018  
Contact magazine - June-July 2018