Business Time in Essex Autumn 2022

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Expert legal services and independent financial advice in Expect more care and expertise for all your commercial needs Call us on 0800 013 1165 Issue 25 | Autumn 2022 Griffin Chapman celebrates 80 years of accountancy service – page 30

So, when we talk about Building Better Futures our vision is: To defy the norm of business failure statistics and help 100% of our clients not only survive more than 10 years but also create a genuine asset to pass on to another generation

2 Wood and Disney Lodge Park, Lodge Lane, Langham, Colchester, CO4 5NE 01206 233170



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Building Better Futures by its very nature involves the creation of assets. The most successful people focus first on accumulating business assets before they can reap the benefits of that success personally. Those business assets may be intellectual property, tangible assets, the best team, the best systems or perhaps the most important thing for long term survival, CASH. Recessions occur regularly every decade or so, but the survival rate of small businesses is staggeringly poor with 20% failing in the first year, 60% failing within five years and less than 30% still being in business after ten years. This is backed up by Companies House data which tells us that the average age of UK companies is just 8.4 years and over 72% of the register are under ten years old.

Wood and Disney are a tech savvy firm of chartered accountants who focus on building a better future for our clients, their families, their teams and their communities by giving jargon-free, pragmatic, best practice business advice.

We use our skills with numbers and experience in business to make a real difference to our clients’ lives knowing that as business owners you cannot rely on the government to look after you and therefore you are driven to achieve financial freedom in whatever form it represents for you.

Over the past four decades we have created a process called Your Journey to Freedom® with over 500 tried and tested resources and tools. This process is a best practice process for established businesses where the owner has either reached a plateau or has exploded with growth and is fearful of losing control. wood and disney The Advisors to Ambitious Entrepreneurs

3 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 BusinessTime in Essex is published PJRColchester-basedbyCommunications. Publishing Editor Peter Sales Vivienne Richardson 01206 843225 Designed and Produced by Print Acumen Ltd 0345 340 3915 Mailed out by The DS Group 01255 221322 To advertise or feature in the next issue of BusinessTime in Essex, contact Peter or Vivienne as detailed above. Reliability in a changing world W ELCOME to the autumn issue of BusinessTime in Essex which, with our accompanying Sustain Essex supplement, once again brings you more than 100 pages of news, views and information on the UK’s most vibrant business county. At the time of me writing this (and probably at the time of you reading it unless you’ve been relaxing in sunnier climes and belatedly catching up) we’re eagerly awaiting news of a new Prime Minister. Never a dull moment these past few years, is there! If, as expected, Liz Truss takes the hot seat, at least we can look forward to some good news on the corporation tax front with her promise to scrap the proposed six per cent rise –because we can always rely on a politician’s promise of course. Anyway, best steer away from politics.

Turning to things we can rely on, and the wealth of wisdom to be found in the following pages. I consider myself very fortunate to be the hub of so many informed and educated spokes homing in on this magazine, the spokes being the plethora of contributors who feed these pages with their knowledge and informed opinions. I readily confess to being the ultimate jack of all trades, master of none – but boy, is it a fascinating role to play when you are able to learn so much from so Inmany!this issue, we have a four-page special (35-38) from the skills team at Essex County Council looking at what is being done to tackle the seemingly omnipresent skills shortage, we take a look at what city status may hold for Colchester and what it’s already held for Chelmsford (40-43), we turn the spotlight on the latest up-andcoming entrepreneur in our Young Guns series (31) and look into whether employers should be supplying their employees with healthier food (5) – and that’s just for starters (no pun intended).

Then of course, you’ll hopefully enjoy the accompanying Sustain Essex supplement, complete with a Big Green Interview with Essex Wildlife Trust chief exec, Andrew Impey. So, enjoy the read and if you have any comments or suggestions for what we should be covering in future issues, do call me. We’ll be back with our winter issue on December 1. In the meantime, don’t you have some Christmas shopping to do!

Publishing Editor

4 If you need assistance with selling your business speak to Tracey. the key to selling your business preparationis hereforgood 01206TRACEY.DICKENS@BIRKETTLONG.CO.UK217326

Azmaira Maker, Clinical Psychologist, weighs in on the benefits of providing food at work, saying: “In providing high-quality and healthy food, an organisation aims for healthy and alert employees who have the right kind of fuel in them to keep them performing at their “Whenbest. employers pay attention to this aspect of wellbeing, they do more than just rack up benefits for employees. They also open the doors of the organisation to several associated benefits ranging from goodwill to a healthier and more engaged workforce.”

The kind of food offered is a key concern for employees without restrictions too, as the survey shows work canteens can often be too restrictive or expensive to enjoy. However, there are still clear benefits to enjoying food as a team at work, as the survey found that 22% of employees enjoy eating in a social atmosphere, while one in ten consider regular team lunches to be a great work perk.

“The provision of onsite/discounted food for employees during working hours is not a new one but actually, if introduced in the right way and meets employees needs/wants, it can offer some great outcomes for both parties. It can be a cost-effective solution to lunchtime for employees, it can help reduce absenteeism in the workplace, employees can have increased energy levels and productivity (especially if food choices are nutritious!) and also a competitive HR tool for recruitment. So, all in all, a win-win!

Food for thought fromcanteen survey

Despite clear benefits behind catered lunch breaks, the survey also revealed half (55%) of employees have never had their employer cater for Providingthem.quality, nutritious food not only has health benefits; it can also have HR benefits.

The Canteen Spend Study, from Just Eat for Business, surveyed more than 200 office workers to reveal their attitude towards food provisions at work - including work canteens and in-office delivery - and identify what aspects they enjoy and what they’d change.

With many workers around the UK settling back into their office routines, the focus has once again shifted to what employees eat for lunch, and how it impacts their health and wellbeing.

And with one in five employees finding it difficult to be healthy at work due a lack of high-quality and varied meals provided by employers, the emphasis is on improving food Theseprovisions.issuesare evident when it comes to office canteens, as a fifth (22%) of those surveyed wished that their canteens offered healthier options, while 59% felt that the quality of food offered could be improved. This has clear implications for those with restrictions or allergies, as the survey revealed 15% of employees don’t have their dietary requirements met in work canteens.

ONE in five employees have reported they find it difficult to be healthy at work due to poor food provisions, a nationwide survey has revealed.

For further information, go

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“Through Working Well, organisations can access free support to help those looking to make healthy lifestyle changes, including to their diet. This includes an online weight management programme and six-week Managing Health programme, as well as a Food for Thought Lunch and Learn session.”

Working Well provides a range of free workplace health support to organisations across Essex. Lyn Mowforth, Working Well’s Workplace Health Improvement Manager, has noted big changes in workplace practices and canteen provision since the programme’s inception in 2011.

“However, as with everything these days, there are tax, national insurance and reporting obligations for employers providing meals for employees. Factors which have to be considered include the value of the meals, if they are in a workplace canteen open to all staff and if they are paid for through employee accounts or vouchers. So, it’s always worth discussing plans with your HR and finance team before making a decision on what to offer and how!”

“In our experience, in-house workplace canteen provision has been steadily reducing and replaced by staff kitchens where staff can store and prepare their own lunches. Even considering the post-Covid shift towards hybrid and remote working, our staff surveys consistently identify the main changes employees want to make to their diet are reducing unhealthy snacks, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and healthier lunch options. We see a consistent trend towards employees skipping breakfast and low levels of self-reported hydration. All of these factors will have an impact on employee health and wellbeing, mood, concentration, and “Organisationsproductivity. offering food on site can play a part in helping people to make healthier choices by increasing the variety of healthier and affordable options available and ensuring all dietary requirements are catered for. Even if organisations do not have a canteen, other initiatives can be effective, like offering free fruit, making advice about healthy eating more readily available (i.e allergies, IBS, Coeliac, Diabetes, healthy cooking sessions or sharing healthy recipes), and joining in with national awareness weeks and events such as Allergy UK, IBS Network, Coeliac UK, British Dietetic Association, Diabetes UK.

Sarah McKee-Harris of Chelmsford-based HR and recruitment firm, Kingswood Group, commented: “With the war on hiring talent continuing, employers are actively on the lookout for ways to entice top talent into their business and of course identify ways to keep them in the business for longer. They are thinking ‘outside of the box’ for innovative ways that are effective in achieving both goals.

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“We urge any Essex-based business, with an interest in being part of this massive project, that hasn’t as yet registered to do so as a matter of urgency.”

For further information, please visit co.uksizewellcsupplychain.www.

But the good news for Essex businesses is there is a clear route to assistance with funding issues – the BEST Growth Hub, which offers free and impartial business support and advice to businesses in Essex.

businesses.Essex-based Business ownersFurthermore,financetowhereadmittingofawareness,whenwerebusinessItworld.businessunderstandingmakers500commissionedplatform,launchpadStartMyBusiness,thepollingofUKCEOsanddecisiontoobservethefinancialandawarenessofownersinapost-Covidwasrevealedthatyoungerownersinparticularthemost‘outoftheloop’itcomestotheirfinancialwith57percentownersundertheageof35theydonotknowtoturnwhenitcomesacquiringexternalbusinessorfunding.61percentofallsurveyeddonotknow

Jacinda Love, Business Navigator at the BEST Growth Hub, said: “As the Bank of England warns of a recession and interest rates have the biggest increase in 27 years, businesses now more than ever will be looking for business and financial support.

a desire to better understand financial processes. In fact, 49 per cent said they want to learn how to manage their cash flow more effectively, whilst 38 per cent said tracking the financial health of their business was the area they wanted to upskill most in the immediate future.

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As part of the research, it was also revealed bank account apps are the most popular service used by owners to track the financial position of their business, with 55 per cent relying on such apps. In tandem with banking apps, half of CEOs rely on accounting software, whilst 37 per cent incorporate Excel spreadsheets into their financial tracking process.

“We are hearing from a lot of businesses that they are now scared to borrow and are leaving financial planning as a last resort rather than it being top of their agenda. However, experience shows that during the pandemic the businesses that didn’t have the correct financial processes in place were often the ones that struggled the “Themost.Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), which originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the pandemic, has recently been extended to 2024. The new RLS is an indication the Government is keen to support businesses with the Government underwriting 70% of lender liabilities. The British Business Bank, which will administer the RLS scheme, has also commented that interest in the Start-Up Loan Scheme continues to be strong which has been confirmed by one of their accredited lenders, Backing Essex Business.”

The BEST Growth Hub, which works closely with the British Business Bank and Backing Essex Business, is part of a national network of business hubs offering new and existing businesses help with finding the most suitable type of business support available in their area. Its team of NavigatorsBusinesscanhelpbusinessesidentifyrelevantprogrammes,initiativesorfundingschemescurrentlyonofferandcanhelpaccess them. Businesses interested in finding out about grants, finance, funding, skills support, training, workshops, networking, mentoring and more can contact BEST Growth Hub for more details by visiting,www.BESTGrowthHub@orcalling3034864.

Business owners unsure how to access business finance, says new research Sizewell opportunitiesC

THE positive decision in July to award the development consent order for the new Sizewell C nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast is good news for the Essex business scene.

Ashley Shorey-Mills, Head of Suffolk Chamber’s Sizewell C Supply Chain Portal, said: “For many years, the Sizewell C Supply Chain Portal, which is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, has been the pivotal resource for companies interested in preparing themselves for this exciting project. We have more than 2,000 companies now registered with us. We are working closely with them to ensure the supply chain is fit and ready to take advantage of the commitments of £4.4bn for our local and regional supply chain, as well as the legacy of skills and opportunity.

HALF of ownersbusinessBritishdonot know the best option for financing their business, according to recent research – but there’s good news for

8 care and expertise for all your commercial needs Expert legal services and independent financial advice in Essex Expect more Call us on 0800 013 1165 Offices Chelmsford,in: Brentwood, Bishop’s Stortford, Saffron Walden, Royston and Cambridge Tees is a trading name of Stanley Tee LLP regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Registered in England and Wales number OC327874. Tees is a trading name of Tees Financial Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales number 4342506.

Essex has an extensive rail network, with most services currently operated by either Greater Anglia or c2c. There are frequent services into London from all around Essex as well as to parts of other counties including Suffolk, Norfolk and AsHertfordshire.wellasthe rail networks, Essex has some good road networks. The M25 runs across the bottom end of the county and provides access to Kent and southern England via the Dartford Crossing. The planned improvements with the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will speed up journeys for both business and private traffic, the M25 also connects to the M11 which provides a link between Cambridge and London and runs alongside London Stansted Airport.

As Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, reminds us, Essex is a very well-connected county in which to carry out business.

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Essex Chambers of Commerce has links to all of the above bodies and others including the county’s MPs, government departments and agencies, local authorities - and is part of the British Chambers of Commerce at a national level. Essex’s economy is continuing to develop and Essex Chambers of Commerce is well-placed to support businesses which want to share in the benefits of that growth.

AS the UK comes out of the Covid pandemic and adjusts to life outside the European Union, Essex is wellplaced to help businesses grow their markets in the future. Its proximity to London means it is popular for both businesses wanting to set up new operations or relocate to somewhere with lower overheads and enjoy a more relaxed way of life.

Essex is well-placed internationally with ports in Harwich, London Gateway and Tilbury. The latter two have come together to create the Thames Freeport with links to fast-growing business areas in Thurrock, Basildon and Southend, plus support from major companies in South Essex. Not only will there be greater opportunities for trade routes from the UK around the globe, but opportunities for development of new technologies including electric and hydrogen power.

In addition to the ports, Essex has two airports, London Stansted in the west of the county and London Southend Airport in the south. Both have started to flourish after Covid and Essex Chambers of Commerce congratulates them both on the announcement of new routes.ForthosebusinesseswishingtoWhetherinternationally.needforone-stopTradeourinternationally,tradeInternationalTeamisashopanythingyoutotradeyouare a new exporter or an established one, Essex Chambers will be able to help you. Our Chamber Customs is our agent,customsownclearancetraining and advisory service delivered though Chambers of Commerce across the UK. We differ from other customs broker services by being able to harness the reach, expertise and knowledge of the British Chambers of Commerce network to offer an unbeatably fast, reliable and fully compliant service. Chamber Customs is the only customer broker with direct links to all air, sea and land port terminals in the UK. By being a fully accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce network, Essex Chambers has links to 75 overseas networks so we can work both globally and locally to provide businesses with everything they need to succeed trading all around the world.

Our county benefits from having two universities, Essex University based in Colchester and Anglia Ruskin in Chelmsford. Both offer a variety of degree courses and have good links with the business community. University of Essex has a flourishing Innovation Centre and Anglia Ruskin University offers a Med Tech centre. Further education is catered for by a number of colleges including South Essex College which has campuses in Basildon, Southend and Grays. They again work closely with businesses and offer a variety of So,coursesthereyou have it - and guess what?

10 MORE THAN JUST BUSINESS SPACE.... Managed workspaces from 14 79 sqm (150 to 847 sq ft) to let on a flexible and competitive term with easy access to London Stansted and Chelmsford PHONE ADDRESS Ongar Business Centre, The Gables, Fyfield Road, Ongar, Essex CM5 0GA SUPPORT Access to practical support, expert advice and networking opportunities AFFORDABLE Easy in/easy out licenses or leases Flexible to suit you EMAIL £ contact@ongarbusinesscentre co uk 01277 368200 body a H E A D I N G - 1 A GROW YOUR BUSINESS! F R E E B U S I N E S S S U P P O R T T O M O V E Y O U R B U S I N E S S F R O M R E C O V E R Y I N T O G R O W T H Business Support Group2Grow Up to 12 hours of free professional advice on finance, marketing, and recruitment Financial Services Providing loans of up to £150k for business growth and an accredited delivery partner of the recovery loan scheme (RLS) Rapid results peer group and 1 2 1 mentoring Bringing business leaders together, and facilitating them to make the perfect connections for their growth ambitionsFully funded by Essex County Council Contact us www backingessexbusiness co uk essex@ldbgroup co uk 0800 970 8981

receive structured training to achieve globally recognised qualifications and certification, plus ongoing coaching to translate potential into performance. Blending formal training with social and experiential workplace learning activities provides the most effective combination for long-lasting performance improvement.

Buy, build, or borrow? Invest in withbusiness’syourfutureACL It’s easier than you think to recruit new employees and support your existing employee development... To see how our apprenticeships can help your business grow, visit or call 01206 932 446 Apprenticeships

In the context of a red-hot labour market, it is increasingly apparent employers are often having to choose the best available candidates rather than those who fully meet the brief. More than half of employers surveyed report difficulties hiring due to the lack of candidates with the preferred level of skills, qualifications, or Thisexperience.provides a dilemma. No-one wants to turn away business, but how should organisations approach resourcing given these limitations?

Both buy and borrow approaches are limited by the availability of skills at an affordable price, so build becomes the optimum solution by widening the pool of talent available and providing a clear roadmap to increased skills availability.


Buy, build, or borrow is a straightforward decision-making matrix that can help Essex business leaders to approach this topic. Should we build capability by developing the skills of our existing people? Should we buy new skills by hiring fresh talent into the organisation? Or should we borrow these skills on a short-term basis through contract workers or Beyondoutsourcing?these three core options, there are a series of secondary considerations that can optimise how each organisation uses the skills available to it. Is it possible to automate tasks or roles affected by skills gaps? Can tasks be performed remotely? How do we retain those with the most important skills? How do we maximise the contribution from key performers and rising stars?

At Pitman Training, we are collaboratingincreasingly with our clients to answer these questions and help expand the range of skills available to them. This partnership approach

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From a commercial perspective, the overall balance of salary, talent acquisition and skills development costs can make this an attractive proposition for addressing talent and skills shortages, improving Locally at Amazon in Tilbury, Pitman Training is supporting the creation of the next generation of software developers and data analysts. This approach provides Amazon employees with high quality tech education on a flexible part-time basis so they can progress to more sophisticated roles within their chosen career path.

If your business has a talent and skills challenge that needs a fresh approach, we’re here to help. An exploratory conversation with our workforce development specialists can help identify whether we’re at Pitman Training in Essex, looks at the options for creating a team with the skills needed to do their job well.

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Secondly, non-business trips. Yes, a car is undoubtedly convenient but there are always options – it’s just that convenience tends to make us not think of the options.

13 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 IT began, as many of my thoughts do, as a bit of a random one – counting up the cost of running a car and mumbling obscenities under my breath. Well, I think they were under my breath.

Could withoutwheelyyoudoacar?

Shopping can now be delivered to your door, restaurants/cinemas/etc can be reached via a taxi (added benefit you can have a drink!) while nearby towns can be reached via train – OK, you got me there.

But the more I thought about it, the more I started to convince myself I could be onto something – could I live my life without a car? At first the very idea seems quite preposterous: how can you run a business and enjoy an active social life without a set of shiny wheels? But the more I started analysing it, the more the idea began to gain I’mcredence.notsure what started this internal mental debate – it might have been receiving a £500 bill for two brake discs and pads, it might have been hitting the £150 mark when filling my diesel tank from empty or it might have been the annual insurance renewal popping into my in-box. Probably a combination of all these plus the likelihood of four new tyres looming on the horizon. Of course, the immediate reaction to all these little bundles of joy is to mumble and moan but ultimately accept there is little alternative. After all, not having a car would be like not having a Costa outlet within 200 yards of wherever you happen to be located – absolutely unthinkable. But is it? I lease my car and if I add up all my ofsetbenefitthatguessaassociatedcar-costs,conservativewouldbehavingtheofa wheels at my beck and call sets me back around £750 a month – and this is a Skoda Kodiaq we’re talking about, not a top of the range Merc. That’s probably more than many people’s monthly mortgage payment.

So, just how essential is it to have a £750 a month cost sitting there. Well, you just can’t do without it, you might cry. Perhaps so for some – but then I really fine-tuned the internal debate in my mind. Firstly, business trips – surely, it’s a must? Well, actually, not really. In truth (if my accountant is reading this, please look away now), I now do very few business trips – and most of those I do engage in are far from essential. Ask yourself, how many of your business trips are really essential, and how many do you do just out of habit or the desire to get away from the office politics for a few hours?

I enjoy walking (it’s actually often quicker getting around Colchester on foot than it is by car anyway) and I have a cycle gathering car for. And when the need arises when you really could do with a set of wheels, there are many companies, such as Zipcar, now offering car rental services by the minute, hour or day, from £6 an hour.

Looking at business life with Editor, Peter Richardson

I’m convinced not having a car would make most of us become far more oganised, eliminating many of the not really necessary journeys we currently embark on. Think of all the benefits: first and foremost, saving most of that £750 a month, improving your fitness with the extra walking, embellishing your green credentials no-end and, most of all, finding something more enjoyable to do with your Sunday morning than wash the bloody car! So, bottom line, will I have the courage of my convictions and ditch the wheels? Well, I have 18 months remaining on my current lease contract so still a bit of pondering time ahead. Mind you, by all accounts, it’s wise at the moment to start planning your next car move about a year ahead if you don’t want the car ownership decision taken out of your Ifhands!Iwas a betting man, I suspect I will ultimately succumb to habit and convention and retain a set of wheels – but the jury remains out. I’ve certainly given myself food for thought and I wonder how many others are dining from the same thoughtIs it doable, to live without a car? If anyone has and taken the great to hear yourexperiences.thoughts/

14 Develop your business Every partnership starts with a conversation Start the conversation with us today 21-22--16568 Business Time in Essex Advert_190x265mm_Autumn 2022_RIDO.indd 1 02/08/2022 09:17

Managing projects through the entire process

As previously mentioned, a continuous overview of the project helps in building an understanding of how the project progresses and creates the ability to spot risks early on. Because of the many components of a project, it is useful to be able to examine each status update as the project progresses. It is also important everyone has access to these status updates, so each member knows what is currently happening and can allocate their time more efficiently, also ensuring handovers between members becomes more effective. Creating a clear overview of status updates for everyone will also make it easier to complete milestones and deadlines on time as everyone will be aware of the expectations.

Afterwards, it is important to assess the project. What went according to plan and where there is room for improvement. Doing this will be useful when taking on the next project, as you will have learned from your previous experiences. Making sure you have saved information throughout the process will make it easier to go back and make an analysis for the future.


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Do you want to know more about how to manage your projects efficiently? Contact us and we will help you find out how to spend your time right.

As the project progresses, the partition of activities also creates a better overview and allows you to derive information such as on what activity most of the time was spent. It can also make it easier to spot issues in activities that are taking longer than predicted or where time is possibly spent on the wrong things.

Heading towards the finish line, the project is not completed – not even when it is done.

F you have ever managed a project or worked in one, you know there is a lot more that comes to it than what is originally planned. It is the art of balancing each member of the team, every activity within the project and keeping up with deadlines and goals. Not to forget, it is the art of delivering fruitful results for everyone involved. It is not unthinkable that this balancing act can become a complicated process. Without a functioning procedure from start to finish, the project is at risk of becoming less efficient, more costly and deliver worse results with consequences for both the organization and its clients. The key is to do it right from the start! The process of a project is not a straight line from start to finish. It is useful to divide the project into different activities in order to create a logical order and to make sure that everything gets accomplished. That way, it becomes easier to delegate tasks and to create a successful collaboration between team members. All at the same time as it gets easier to plan the workflow and allocate the resources.

AIXR: Centre for Immersive Innovation June saw the launch of a planned project for Colchester, The AIXR Centre for Immersive Innovation, to be built on the site of the former bus depot in Queen Street. This new centre will become a world focus for all immersive innovations – the Metaverse.


New Town Centre Datacentre

5G pilot Funded by the Government’s Town Deal, Colchester will also be adding a 5G layer to its digital infrastructure. An early project using 5G’s faster mobile broadband speeds and larger capacity could see some of the major historic events in Colchester’s history being interpreted and displayed for a 21st century audience using immersive technologies. The new AIXR Centre for Immersive Innovation will also see an early deployment of 5G.

A new Digital Skills Hub is being planned for the former Wilson Marriage Centre. This would enable local people to access digital skills training and then offer these skills to the jobs market across Essex. People will be able to progress int Higher Education, apprenticeships, and flexible options to take online courses. There are also other significant digital skills opportunities with Colchester Institute, the University of Essex, and Signals. In this way Colchester could see significant growth in tech jobs as there will be a ready source of skilled people. Where there are people there is the opportunity to encourage and support collaboration. The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) is fostering

Formed in Colchester by Daniel Colaianni, who studied at the University of Essex, AIXR is an internationally respected voice in the immersive industry. It is associated with global tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Oculus, hp, and Nvidia. Its purpose is to educate the world about XR – extended reality, and what it can do for business. The new centre will position Colchester as a global focus for all immersive innovations in the XR industry and will form AIXR’s base of international operations, institutionalising the technology for decades to come. It will be one central location, open to all within the community who want to learn about XR, grow within XR and connect with the most passionate people within the immersive world. Work will begin on the Centre in 2023 with opening planned for 2025. Open-Access Fibre and Gigabit+ Broadband Colchester has long been a leader in investing in its digital infrastructure. The town has already secured more than £50m of government and private sector investment, to build a large, open-access fibre network across much of the urban footprint. Gigabit connectivity is available in all the major residential and business clusters, with planned expansion closely interlinked with the exciting 5G and AR/VR programmes now taking shape. Link to Telehouse in London

A new town centre industrystandard datacentre has been built that forms the inter-connect and handover points for the entire network. This facility provides an interconnect point for the links to London, a very dense network of fibre covering the town centre, and links expanding out to Colchester’s suburbs. It also enabled the installation of a new, fully modernised digital CCTV platform to improve community safety. Colchester Borough Council has itself invested heavily in the technology platforms and key infrastructure, alongside DCMS, the foreign direct investors and the South East LEP.

However, there have also been several million invested in digital infrastructure, the sectors and developments associated with this industry which makes it an ideal time to assess what this could mean in terms of Colchester’s Thecompetitiveness.pandemichas driven technological growth. Companies turned to tech solutions to survive multiple lockdowns by serving their customers in a different way and there’s every sign this step-change will continue. Colchester is poised to capitalise on this with some seriously ambitious projects with equally serious private and public sector investments going into them.

Digital Skills Hub and Collaborative Networks

Could ‘tech’ be the new

Long known for being the Romans’ capital, a garrison town, has always been associated with its heritage in one way or another. for a possible new identity based around

Established in 1988, Telehouse is London’s leading colocation data centre provider. London is one of 26 Telehouse locations around the world and is the primary home of the London Internet Exchange (LINX) which is the main hub of the internet in the UK. Colchester’s first Digital Strategy (201722) saw the build of two, very high-capacity direct links to Telehouse. This overcame a key barrier to better connectivity in Colchester (lack of affordable backhaul to London) and, like the other digital assets, is available on an open-access basis to operators needing links to Telehouse.

TBusinessTimeeditionsummerof in highlightedEssex the £19.2m programme.TowntheColchestercominginvestmentintofromGovernment’sDeal


Tim Robinson, Chief Executive of TechEast, the regional body responsible for accelerating growth of the digital and tech economy, said: “Year after year ‘team Colchester’ is adding strategic new elements to its digital tech infrastructure and its new Angel network is already playing a key role in dealflow. As befits one of the UK’s newest cities the range of digital skills support, startup incubators and plans for cross-sector innovation hubs is impressive and creates the conditions for the next wave of startups to form and then scale”.

• Connected – home to a city-wide open-access fibre network

The aim is to develop a physical facility for this which would enable interaction between industry, providers, commissioners, and endusers with combination of demonstrator space, community, and networking space, with a smaller section set aside for traditional office / laboratory space. This is a pipeline project which could impact on the UK’s increasing care needs.

CareTech Test Facility North Essex has an ageing population with rapidly increasing care needs. The initial concept for this hub was a Care Tech “testbed facility” to enable researchers and entrepreneurs to test and develop new Care Tech products in an actual care-giving environment. This could be a physical hub, virtual or a hybrid combination.

Alongside the Innovation Centre is Studio X, the home of Essex Start-ups, the University’s Enterprize Zone projects and unique facilities like the 360˚ Virtual Reality Projection Space. Studio X is a space for students to develop business ideas, for entrepreneurs to connect with the University and for Essex to showcase its research in the creative and digital sectors.

“Each one of these projects places Colchester even more firmly on the map for the success and growth of its creative sector and vindicates our determination as a council to promote the creative and digital sectors as strategic priorities for growing the economy and investing in the future of the borough.

Colchester is:

• Contemporary – as one of the UK’s newest cities, Colchester will increasingly have a outlookforward-looking

identity for Colchester? and a place where oysters are cultivated, Colchester’s identity another. But what of its new city status? Does this pave the way around ‘tech’?

• Cost effective – Colchester offers excellent vale as a base for business

• Competitive – Colchester’s digital infrastructure already puts it ahead of other places

• Capable – Colchester has a rich talent pool of tech skills

“We are confident further investment and growth in Colchester's creative and digital sectors will continue to deliver numerous tangible benefits for residents, businesses and visitors alike, from job creation and opportunities for young people to the quality of life Colchester offers.”

• Close – to London, the coast and countryside; it’s a great place to live.

17 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 these networks in collaboration with key stakeholders such as the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) and its business support work.

Innovation Centre and Studio X Based at the University of Essex, the Innovation Centre provides start-up working space for around 50 tech enterprises. Run by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s largest innovation centre operator, the Innovation Centre is the core of a dynamic and innovative cluster drawing on and driven by collaboration between business and the world-leading computer science skills at the University.

Taking a view across these projects, it’s easy to see Colchester has many of the ingredients fundamental to a tech cluster. A strong university majoring in computer science, data analytics, business leadership, incubation facilities at the Innovation Centre on The Knowledge Gateway, a burgeoning creative sector and significant investment and delivery in a digital infrastructure.

It is also growing its own tech talent too and this, combined with flexible office space and significant housing growth and culture, heritage, sport leisure, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars and easy access to the coast and countryside, makes a compelling Colchester prospectus to attract further inward investment from all kinds of technology firms. Such improved connectivity will enable the Internet of Things - devices and appliances connected together, 5G will bring much faster and more capable WiFi, improved cybersecurity, enable Blockchain technology development and sector specific tech Butdevelopments.inthetech world, it’s often a breakthrough product which defines a link with its location. By nurturing and enabling tech start-ups and facilitating growth, skills and digital infrastructure Colchester is putting itself in a very strong position to become better known as a ‘tech city.’

The evidence points that way...

• Creative – Colchester was ranked 8th in the UK for creativity according to a NESTA/Creative England report in 2016

University of Essex Ranked first in the UK for its Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), which bring together the needs of businesses with the university’s knowledge and expertise. The University of Essex is in the UK top 10 for computer science and is host to the Institute for Analytics and Data Science as well as the UK Data Archive. With students from around 140 countries, the university is one of the most international academic communities in the world. Through its computing expertise, it is also changing people’s lives and underpinning tomorrow’s must-have Councillortechnologies.David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are an ambitious, commercially-minded council, excited by what is underway already. Our tech and digital sectors are continuing to attract multimillion-pound investments.

• Community – there’s a rich tech ecosystem developing

18 INVEST, DEVELOP & GROW BUSINESSYOURWITH ForAPPRENTICESHIPSmoreinformation: Call 01245 265611 ext. 3010, email or visit Our current programmes include: · Accounts or Finance Assistant · Advanced and Creative Hair Professional · Assistant Accountant · Business Administrator · Carpentry and Joinery · Customer Service Practitioner · Customer Service Specialist · Digital Marketer · Early Years Educator · Early Years Practitioner · Engineering Manufacturer · Engineering Operative · Hair Professional · HR Support · Information Communication Technician · Installation Electrician · Professional Accounting or Taxation Technician · Teaching Assistant · Team Leader or Supervisor We work with over 300 employers and offer over 20 leading apprenticeship programmes. We recruit each apprentice with care and can help you complete all the necessary paperwork.

19 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

50s reconsider their situation but they are now finding it hard to get back into employment as many businesses are seemingly unwilling to recruit an older person.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced recently multi-million packages to increase jobcentre support for jobseekers above the age of 50, with more one-to-one support to help them get into, and progress in work, boosting their earnings ahead of retirement. This increased support will be boosted by 37 50PLUS Champions covering every district across England, Wales and Scotland who will work with local employers to help them realise how their recruitment could benefit from the talent of older workers. Mid-life MOTs will also be available in Jobcentres, targeting those thinking about retirement and engaging them to take stock of their skills and finances, and consider taking out!

Businesses currently facing labour shortages who restrict their recruitment pool and whose recruitment policies may be actively preventing those aged 50 or above from being considered for vacancies, may not only be discriminating on the grounds of age but, importantly, are missing a valuable recruitment pool.

Gemma Todd, Senior HR consultant at Essex-based HR specialists, Kingswood Group, stresses the benefits to employers of fishing in the 50+ recruitment pond.

50 not

For older workers to be able to return to the workplace and contribute to a business’s success, there should be targeted, individualised back-to-work support to address the particular challenges this group faces in the labour market. Businesses should be exploring what support they can give to encourage them back to the workplace, such as revised workload distribution plans, strengthened flexible working rights, training (both on and off the job), carers leave, and Employerscoaching/mentoring.whobecome ‘age-friendly’ are taking positive steps towards ending bias against older workers when recruiting, are supporting staff with health conditions and creating a culture where people of all ages work well together. They do not see age as a barrier to opportunities in the workplace and

inactivity, which refers to people who are not in employment and who have not been looking for work recently, rose for the above-50s by 1.4% post-pandemic, more than any other age group. Many left either because of ill health (theirs or their dependants) or early retirement. However, many older workers felt driven out, as their needs to be developed, supported and/or upskilled were

THE 50+ age group represents a large and essential part of the UK labour force. However, since the 2020 pandemic, the numbers of people aged 50 and above dropping out of the workforce completely and becoming economically inactive rose markedly. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 14.1 million workers aged 50 and above out of work between March and May 2021, compared to around 13.9 million in the previous quarter. This drop in the above-50s working, according to organisations such as the TUC, is damaging to the wider economy and is placing additional strain on organisations facing labour shortages across the EconomicUK.

20 Kevin Auchoybur is the founder and managing director of R&D Advisors. Here he explains the task ahead for British business in the postBrexit paradigm. It was in an article earlier this summer, menacingly entitled “Stagnation Nation”, that The Economist explored “Britain’s productivity problem”. The piece set out how it is “long-standing and getting worse”. The newspaper’s associated leader article even termed it “a chronic British disease”. It attributed part of this decline in productivity to a lack of business investment by UK companies when compared to their peers in France, Germany and America. In each of those countries, investment comfortably exceeds 20% – with the French achieving close to 25% – of gross domestic product (GDP). In Britain, it is around 17%. There was worse news still in the analysis of the country’s investment in researchand-development spending. In the United States, home to trillion-dollar tech firms like Microsoft, Google, Meta and Apple, it is close to 3.5% of GDP. In Germany it exceeds 3% and in France it is around 2.3%. In Britain it has not been above 2% since the 1980s and still languishes at 1.7% today, less than half that of the US. Year after year, the R&D gap Despitewidens. being home to four of the world’s top-20 universities and both of the top two for research, according to Times Higher Education, Britain is failing to live up to its centuriesold reputation for world-leading Butinnovation.thisisnot the picture I see when travelling the country to assess the work being conducted by British Ibusiness.havethe enormous privilege of undertaking ground-level reviews of the new products and processes that companies of all sizes are developing. And I can attest that the UK remains a vibrant laboratory of forward thinking. So what is going wrong? Why is this work not being reflected in the OECD’s comparative figures? Well, I think I have an inkling. The OECD draws its figures for the UK from the Office for National Statistics. This in turn applies internationally recognised standards for calculating aggregate R&D expenditure from business enterprise, higher education, government and private nonprofit Determiningorganisations.whateach of them spends rests on surveys being conducted. And even the OECD itself concedes that there could be “discrepancies” in reporting the data from country to country. “Differences may exist between national practices and the international norms laid down,” it says in its Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data

To find out more about how RDA might be able either or 033 33

BRITAIN’S444LIGHTBULBHowsheddingwilltransform productivity © The Economist Group Limited, London (June 9, 2022)

21 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 on Research and Experimental Development. But from my own experience, I think there are other differences too. How R&D is defined varies from business to business. But it should not. The definitions of R&D are very clear. The activity must satisfy five criteria, every time it is undertaken. It must be novel, creative, uncertain and systematic and it must be transferable and/or be reproducible. Essentially, that is it.

“The government has an ambitious target to raise total investment in research and development to 2.4% of UK GDP by 2027,” it wrote. “R&D tax reliefs have a key role in incentivising this investment by reducing the costs of innovation.”

Achieving that goal would represent raising total R&D becauseThisisambitious,years.thirdUKacrossinvestmenttheentirebyalmostawithinfiveThatisbutitalsofeasible.isinpartthesame policy paper has made the process more accessible too. Companies now have not one but two years in which to make a claim after the year the activity took place in. There is also the opportunity to claim for data and cloudcomputing costs for the first time. Even companies that are not a going concern can under certain circumstances now file claims. These are welcome measures. Successful tax-relief claims will boost companies’ coffers enough to have the confidence to address the second prong of our productivity problem – business investment. What is now required is for firms to really examine their operations to identify where they are investigating and investing in new products and processes. They can either do that alone or enlist the support of a specialist tax agent to lend expertise to what can sometimes be a daunting process. Select the agent wisely and your business could be in line for a windfall it might otherwise miss out on in relation to R&D work it legitimately Inundertakes.short,itis very clear that achieving the UK’s R&D goal will go a long way towards fixing the “productivity problem” in this socalled “stagnation nation”.

able to help your business grow, contact them on 444 026, or visit their website, BRITAIN’’s productivity problem

Yet when my team and I go into UK firms who are performing dozens of projects that comfortably clear those hurdles, they are frequently unaware their work constitutes R&D. Several have even been told by big-brand professional advisors that what they are doing is not R&D. That is unhelpful not only to the companies they are misguiding but also to UK plc at Becauselarge. fundamentally they are misunderstanding the definition of R&D. They are also misunderstanding the potential in British business. And, most damagingly, it means their clients are missing out on the generous tax relief the government offers firms who can demonstrate the legitimate R&D they do. Despite these issues, the good news is that the government remains utterly committed to bringing the UK into line with its international peers. In its July policy paper entitled Research and Development Tax Relief Reform, government reiterated a key objective of the UK’s industrial strategy.

Kevin Auchoybur

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Break clause: a break clause allows a party to terminate the lease early. This gives one or both parties an early exit route if required. Your solicitor should have a detailed understanding of the intricacies of negotiating break clauses and the preconditions that should (and shouldn’t) apply to successfully exercise the break clause.

THE commercial lease can be a key asset of a business, and it is important to negotiate lease terms that are reflective of your business’s needs and risk profile.

Repair obligation: the repair obligation is an essential aspect of the lease because it will be used as the reference point for the tenant’s liability to maintain and repair the property both during and at the end of the lease when the property is handed back to the landlord. Tenants will generally budget for rents, business rates, utility and insurance costs but the repair obligation exposure can often be overlooked. In particular, this can result in significant financial liabilities at the end of the lease when the landlord considers the extent of any ‘dilapidations’ at the property. This needs to be considered carefully before the lease is signed.

Kush Birdi, Managing Partner of Birdi & Co Solicitors, summarises key tips for tenants to consider when negotiating their commercial lease.

Rent reviews: rent reviews are commonly included in leases – particularly where the term is longer – and tenants should be familiar with the rent review clause and looking to optimise their legal position at the lease negotiation stage. It is important to know when the rent review dates are and to diarise these. Also, note that many leases contain rent review clauses that provide for an ‘upward-only’ rent review. Rights to transfer the lease or sublet: many commercial leases will allow a tenant to transfer the lease to another business or to sub-let with the landlord’s consent. The landlord can impose conditions, setting out reasons why they may refuse consent, but these must be reasonable. Some of these conditions may include the new tenant being in a good financial position or for the outgoing tenant to guarantee the incoming tenant’s responsibilities.

23 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Five top tips for negotiating a commercial lease for tenants

A key point to consider is that the landlord’s solicitor will usually draft the lease (in favour of the landlord of course), so it is your responsibility to consider asking for modifications that offer a fairer balance between the parties. Here are five top tips for tenants to consider: Term of the lease: it is important the term of the lease aligns with the needs of the business. A longer-term may be suitable for an established business or for a business that needs specific premises. A shorter lease may be preferable for a start-up business, or for businesses that don’t require a fixed space or require flexibility. In either situation, a tenant will prefer the lease is protected by ‘security of tenure rights’ which gives the tenant a right to renew their lease on same terms (subject to some exceptions).


Park comesdreamanConsultingCity-Americantrue

25 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 01206 511792 / 07535 509 988 MAINTENANCE&CLEANINGCOMMERCIALPROPERTY No fuss, no drama – no dirt 01206 511972 or 07535 509988 Ours is a one-stop shop for all your commercial and property cleaning needs. We do the dirty work, leaving your business the chance to shine. • Offices of all sizes • End of tenancy cleans • Student accommodation • Air B+Bs, including linen service • Flat management • Experienced fully insured staff • Bespoke scheduling Office End Tenancyof Industrial Kitchen Contact Topflite Office Schools End Tenancyof Industrial Kitchen Shop & Retail CommercialOther IT is not very often business fundamentals established 25 years ago are not only as relevant today but have proved more relevant in the fast paced, rapidly changing and highly demanding business environment today. Even more satisfying when it is related to the service sector in a post-pandemic world where employer demands are everThatincreasing.wasthe case for Juliet Price, whose business plan or dream was sketched and crafted whilst visiting her parents in Park City UTAH in 1997. The gap identified 25 years ago by Juliet was, to her, obvious. HR was a complex subject dominated by highcost lawyers or large national outsourcing agencies that were at best faceless and, at worst, silent in terms of forming personal relationships and offering tailored solutions. This was to become the USP that proved to drive Park City’s 25-year growth and development, providing a personal, tailored service as a true business partner, delivered by employed, qualified and motivated HR Thereprofessionals.wereno cost-effective service providers in the marketplace for SMEs in the Colchester and Essex area. Outsourcing was growing but quality providers were few.

One year later the model was so popular the same foundations were used to develop health and safety services, again delivered by employed professionals, with the team embedding themselves into the client’s culture and management teams.

With compliance and day-to-day operational solutions being managed by Park City’s strong consultant and back-office team, it was a natural progression to provide clients with the best training available across both HR and health and safety. Thus, a third service level was developed ensuring clients also had the ability to increase their own team's competence and confidence in managing critical business issues.

In 2007 in the face of the financial crash, many service providers stripped staff out of their overheads and replaced their service with digital portal-based systems, creating low-cost DIY solutions for HR and even health and safety. Park City did the opposite, investing in its front-line consultant team and continuing to provide face-to-face Parksupport.City remained at the top of the value and cost chain, and Juliet and the team knew it was the right place to be. It proved essential through the pandemic where all clients benefited from personal contact, face-to-face, albeit via video link. That personal approach supported all clients both in business terms and emotionally through a challenging prolonged period. Tailored solutions unique to the client were as important as the HR approach, more so for health and safety, as businesses needed policies and procedures unique to their needs and not an off the self-service one size fits all approach. Park City’s philosophy proved to be increasingly popular as client reach went beyond Essex, supporting businesses across the south-east, East Anglia, and London.

Fast forward to today, Park City’s services and operational processes reflect contemporary business needs, with digital solutions and platforms available for data management, people management, communication, training and health and safety systems.

Sarah Davis from South Essex based Gen Savvy explains...

26 Straight talking, honest marketing that takes businesses to the next level.

Creating content about the things your audience is searching for online will improve your search rankings and ultimately help you to drive more traffic.


Sarah Davis,Founder of Gen Savvy




• Build credibility and trust with your prospects and customers • entice customers to perform an action, conversion or submit an enquiry.

Creating content that is tovaluableyouraudience will drive organic traffic growth. Content online sticks around for a while, so the content you create will continue to drive organic traffic for months and years to come.

Content Marketing works, it’s estimated that around 82% of marketers actively use Content Marketing as part of their overall strategy.

• educate your audience about the products and services you have to offer

In short, Content Marketing is an inbound strategic marketing tactic that focusses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract, excite and drive profitable conversion from a clearly defined audience. Businesses need to be showing up in the search results pages online. This is where your audience is looking for more information on the products or services you have to offer.

Gen specialise in inbound marketing solutions designed to increase awareness, generate leads and grow your business... get in touch to see how we can help you grow. used to are savvy to messages and do not respond to in quite the way they used to. So how do get in front of the audience without

0203 488 Social media paid advertising Email WebsiteMarketingDesignPRGraphicDesign LeadCopywritingSEOBrandingGenerationvisitourwebsiteFree competitor SEO ranking audit. Quote #BizTimeAutumn22 Taren’tmarketingRADITONALtacticsaseffective as they

pushing Marketing,messages?marketingContentofcourse!


What Is Marketing?Content

Why Is MarketingContentImportant?

Content marketing is designed to answer your audience’s questions and helps to build trust and credibility in the service you have to offer. When done well, Content Marketing can develop relationships, improve conversions, and generate leads.

Why every business should have Not sure what Content Marketing is or how you could be benefiting from it?

be. Audiences

Use MarketingContentto:

Content Marketing and the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT)

#6 – You’ll achieve better rankings on search engines (SEO) Google reads online content much like we do, so if you’re creating high-quality content that is relevant to your audience, it’s likely that you will reach favourable positions in the search results.

Did You Know… Your customers consume around 10 pieces of content before deciding what and where to purchase.


Content Marketing in practice...

The planning, creation and publishing of Content Marketing is a lot more cost-effective than other forms of marketing such as advertising, or video content. Plus, one of the best things about Content Marketing is, it’s there for the long-haul, and will continue to drive traffic, generate leads, and raise awareness for a long time to come. Want to talk about a MarketingContentstrategyforyourbusiness? We can help! Drop us a line on or 0203 488 1260 and chat to one of our savvy marketing team today. Purchase

#7 – Your audience is asking for it Have you heard of the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’? This is the research phase buyers go through to learn all they can about a product or service before making their purchase, thus making it the ideal time to target your audience with content.

#1 – To generate leads for your business An audience that consumes you content makes them likely to buy from you. Call-to-actions placed within your content can also be very successful in generating new business leads for your sales team. The quality of leads generated from the content you create will also be better.

27 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 have a Content Marketing strategy

#2 – To educate your audience Content Marketing is an effective way to educate your audience about your products and services. Around 60% of the buying decision is made online, so it is important to get across all the features, benefits, and everything else across in your content.

#8 – You’ll position your company as one of authority Sharing original, quality content will lead to your business becoming through leaders within your industry and be considered industry experts.

#5 – Your social media channels will perform better Not only will you see your follower count increase, but engagement will also improve. Quality content will attract your audience, encourage clickthroughs and ultimately be a channel to help you drive traffic more effectively.

#9 – To create an online community and brand fans Consistently serving valuable content and providing your audience with the answers they are looking for will ultimately build a network of brand fans or advocates. These people are likely to recommend you to anyone that approaches them with a question that they know you can answer.

10 Reasons To Start A Content Marketing Strategy

The internet has changed things, and it has had a huge effect on how people research and shop for products or services online.

We implemented a content marketing strategy for retail design agency, Three Point delivering unbiased content in response to common customer questions and desirable keywords. This content drives traffic to their website and has increased their number of monthly inbound leads.

Developed by Google, the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is identified as part of the ‘new age’ shopping behaviour, where extensive research is performed online before making a purchase. Having access to the extensive content and purchasing information leaves buyers feeling empowered, and if they’re not satisfied, they won’t stick around and wait for you to provide it.

What they say... “Implementing a content marketing strategy has helped us to achieve top positions on Google for some highly competitive keywords! We would highly recommend it if you’re looking to increase awareness of your business and generate new business enquiries.”

Consume content whitepapersDownload(articles)&eBooks videosWatchreviewsRead Ask networkyour ARTICLES CASE STUDIES Search

The Zero Moment of Truth is the stage of the buyer journey when your content should be answering all their questions, demonstrating your experience and credibility, and driving conversions that lead to Contentpurchase.that responds to the ZMOT includes articles, whitepapers, ebooks, product explainer videos and customer Itreviews.isestimated that 60% of the purchasing decision is made during the Zero Moment of Truth, so content marketing can play an important role in putting your business in front of your target audience at the right time.

#10 – It’s cost-effective

#3 – To raise brand awareness High-quality content will propel your brand to audiences in a number of different places. Creating content on all the topics that your audience is interested in will see you popping up in more than just search Contentengines.Marketing is a great way to raise awareness of your business to a much broader audience.

#4 – For credibility and trust Creating content enables you to build a purchase.whenyoutime,rightcontentquestionsByyourrelationshipuniquewithaudience.answeringtheirwithvaluablethatshowsupattheplaceandattherightyouraudiencewilltrustandlikelyapproachyouthey’rereadytomakethat

One solution is for employers to use apprenticeships to construct meaningful career pathways and progression routes. Many businesses struggle to unlock the full potential of apprenticeships. Understandably, employers can be hesitant when it comes to committing to an investment in time and resources, both financial and training. Apprenticeships can help broaden participation within the workforce, improve retention and be used to upskill existing staff members. The benefits of apprenticeships are maximised by better defined career pathways which show clear and visible progression and destination routes.

A growing number of young people are investigating vocational routes into employment as a method of securing work. There is an increasing awareness among young people that apprenticeships can open up career opportunities, provide in-depth training and support while achieving recognised qualifications and status.

Throughout the years, there have been a number of misconceptions and attitudes surrounding apprenticeships as a training route. Concerns about time away from work and business impact are often at the forefront of our discussions with employers. In reality, apprenticeship programmes provide a flexible training method that can cater for learner requirements and shift patterns.


Amanda Drew, Director of Apprenticeships and Business Solutions at Colchester Institute, explains how apprenticeships can be the answer to recruitment and retention challenges. makes different. are the heart of security and which is why we ensure all of are maintained and exceed industry standards. Fisk’s service extends to maintaining systems in all different

Several recent Government initiatives have highlighted the need to provide adult learners with ongoing training, enabling adults to develop their job and career prospects by gaining the skills required by the economic demands of their region.

A lack of awareness of the number of roles that can be undertook and trained through an apprenticeship is another common theme we encounter. Within a business, apprentices can progress from team leader/supervisory programmes into management roles or advance in more specialist areas such as procurement. Employees want to see the future opportunities and progression available to them. By offering clear progression routes and training programmes at different levels, organisations can generate a more defined talent pipeline for their personnel and future management, identifying and supporting the new talent needed to achieve future growth plans.

tangible career pathways through an apprenticeship for both new and existing workers will provide a solution to many of the challenges currently facing employers.


Whilst apprenticeships have traditionally been thought of as the first rung on the ladder for young people starting their career, in reality they provide a basis for continuing career progression for workers of all ages.

By embedding apprenticeship programmes into a strategic approach that stimulates workforce growth and develops skills, apprenticeships can be used to develop in-house talent and improve Deliveringretention.


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SECURITY SYSTEMS Fisk Group provide the latest and most intelligent security systems integrated into your establish ment, ensuring round the clock security and safety for you. Our team can provide state of the art security solutions. FIRE SAFETY Protecting against fire hazards and risks, keeping your commercial property guarded and reduce fire risks. Assessing, installing, main taining – Fisk are here to ensure your business is Fully compliant. SYSTEM MAINTENANCE Functioning systems

Attracting and retaining talent through apprenticeships

OMPANIES are struggling to attract and retain talent. Across most industry sectors, employers are having to confront an ever more competitive job market, with vacancies outstripping the current number of people looking for work.

The pandemic transformed online shopping habits, driving the surge in e-commerce sales and subsequent shift towards a digital economy. The turbulence of the economic re-alignment and recovery have highlighted a number of perceptions about the lack of career development opportunities and high-quality training available in many industries. This represents a roadblock to recruitment and retention. So, what can be done?

Charlie Rogers, Operations Manager at Pasini Leisure, said: “Backing Essex Business provided us with funding for our expansion with the brewery project next door, and that funding really stopped the project taking the whole thing under. We’re eternally grateful for that.”



Ready to help you get your business to where it needs to be, Backing Essex Business is waiting to hear from you. Visit

Backing Business – a year in review

Understanding the importance of collaboration and peer support, a popular element within the Backing Essex Business support repertoire has been the Group2Grow Peer Network Programme. Bringing together business professionals from a variety of industries and backgrounds, Group2Grow across eight twohour sessions helps business leaders to overcome challenges by utilising the experiences of the other cohort members, and that of the experienced business coach hosting each session. 117 businesses across 13 cohorts have already completed the programme, with recruitment for the last remaining groups in progress. Feedback from these sessions has been overwhelmingly positive, with participants feeling reassured and re-invigorated to take their next Abigailsteps.Brockwell, from Big Bear Cider, said: “The Group2Grow programme came at an ideal time for us. We had just launched our first retail canned products and had reached a point where we needed focus on our next steps. The programme has helped me take a step back from my day to day and really think about our strategy and how we are going to take the business on its next growth journey.”

SEPTEMBER traditionallyisa time for change and what an exciting time for Chelmsford College! Not only are we about to welcome a new Principal, David Warnes, to our college but we’re also creating a brand new business unit as part of our wider Project Future plans, ambitions and strategy. We’re working towards supporting more local Essex employers so they can upskill and grow their businesses. We’ll continue to promote, deliver and champion apprenticeships but we’re also making an even greater commitment to T levels, launching another five T levels in management, IT, media, engineering and health during the next 18 months. We would love to hear from you about what matters most to you in your business, as we invest in and develop our commercial and adult training. The training we plan to offer will be responsive to our communities’ needs, dynamic, specialist, far-reaching and innovative. In short, we hope to bring our wealth of experience from our teaching and learning provision to date, to apply it within a business context. As we strive to serve and support our local employers in our mid-Essex region, our focus will increasingly be on digital skills and technology. We’re very excited to announce that from this Autumn, Chelmsford College will be part of the South East Institute of Technology. The Institute of Technology (IoT) will focus on Level 3 and 4 courses and apprenticeships in construction and engineering and will include a dedicated computer-aided engineering laboratory featuring a CAD suite, virtual/augmented reality and rapid prototyping and 3D printing. This new venture joins forces with partners from industry and Further and Higher Education. Employer partners include DP World London Gateway, Tilbury Port, Morgan Sindall Construction, Leonardo, Stansted Airport, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Chartway Group and Wine GB. Further Education partners include South Essex College, Harlow College, Mid Kent College, East Sussex College Group, Plumpton College and Logistics Academy East of England. University partners include University of East Anglia, Anglia Ruskin University and Canterbury Christchurch BeingUniversity.part of a new IoT will enable Chelmsford College to stay at the forefront of technology, teaching and delivering training in technology for our learners, helping them to develop the skills needed to be ready to join your workforce. As we start our autumn term, we’re looking beyond our academic years into the future. We will be using local market intelligence, commercial findings and carrying out our own research to inform and shape our next steps. This term we will be launching Industry Insight Panels, employer business breakfasts with a difference, focused on sharing best practice and new ideas through collaboration and networking. Breakfasts will be free and hosted by the college at our Princes Road campus. You are warmly invited to attend, please call Crispin Coulson on 01245 293055 or email events@ to register your interest and find out more.

ESSEX onimpactthetheBusiness,Backingsupportbusinessservice,Essexreflectsonpast12monthsofservice,andtheithasachievedthelocaleconomy.

Changes, invitations and new technology at Chelmsford College



29 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Fully funded by Essex County Council, and delivered by Let’s Do Business Group, Backing Essex Business provides free dedicated advice, guidance, and support to businesses looking to grow, improve productivity, develop new products or services, or to consider their options for the future and develop a longer-term business Supportingstrategy.

a range of needs, from staffing and financial support to marketing and supply chain management, support is being delivered through a variety of programmes including Peer 2 Peer Learning, workshops, and up to 12 hours of free 121 business support, from experienced specialists. Now having completed the first 12 months of the programme, Backing Essex Business has supported 298 businesses, in achieving their current goals and raising finance. Through its guidance and signposting, 104 businesses have been able to innovate through new products and services, and 460 jobs have been created and safeguarded across the county.

Partners Dan Aldworth, Claire Edwards and Tom Maddocks.

THE beautiful riverside grounds of Le Talbooth in Dedham provided the perfect setting for Colchesterbased accountancy firm, Griffin Chapman, to celebrate its 80th anniversary in June. The anniversary celebration had originally been planned for June 2021, this being the actual 80th anniversary of the firm, but these plans had to be postponed due to the 130pandemic.attendees, including the partners and staff of Griffin Chapman and clients of the firm, enjoyed an aperitif and Le Talbooth bar b q. Dan Aldworth, Senior Partner, thanked clients and staff for their loyal support and charted important developments during the firm's history including contributions made by earlier partners of the firm. He also congratulated Carolynn Pissarro on her recent retirement as Senior Partner of Griffin Chapman after 32 years of loyal service and thanked her for her significant Clairecontribution.Edwards was also congratulated upon her appointment as a Partner of the firm joining Dan Aldworth and Tom Maddocks at the Guestshelm.heard about Griffin Chapman's commitment to being an independent professional firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors and of their longstanding and proactive membership of the UK 200 Group. Based at Apex 12, Old Ipswich Road, Colchester since its move from the centre of Colchester in 2012, Griffin Chapman has a thriving Family Business Sector, Charities and Education Sector, and Private Client Department. The firm enjoys being proactive within the local business and professional community and also supports local charitable initiatives.



Celebrating anniversary in style


Dan and Sarah – ready to roll.

He may have only formed Clacton-based Outline Media Productions early last year, with fellow director Sarah Drage, but the company is already making a name for itself within the leisure and tourism sector, with a number of Essex local authorities among its early clients.


DAN Hugo readily admits he is happiest with a camera in his hand – but that won’t stop him finding the time to build his relatively fledgling

Recent video productions involving those long days have included the reopening of the Royal Hotel in Clacton and a tourism promotional video for Uttlesford District Council.

31 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

For 25-year-old Dan, launching his own business has been on the radar from the time he left college. The intervening years saw him gain valuable experience working in the film industry as a cinematographer on a number of short films and then the recently released feature film, April, now available on Prime Video. He also worked with Hollywood director, Greg Masuak on the film, Morris Men. Much though he enjoyed his time on filmsets, the entrepreneurial flame was burning bright within Dan. “From an early age, I loved playing around with cameras and filming just about anything. When I went off on my skateboard, it was with a videocamera in my hand, and it was the filming that really took my “I’veinterest.always looked up to entrepreneurs and all the time I was filming and editing, I was wondering how best to make money from it. The answer, I decided early on, was running my own business. It was just a case of getting the right experience behind me first,” he So,said.after spending five years building up his skills set, he launched Outline Media Productions with Sarah. They acquired premises for their studio in Clacton – a very useful contradeal arrangement with an early client – and took those first tentative steps to what Dan is confident will be a video production company which will not only service its own clients but will provide decision“Wethetoservicesoutsourceandpersonnelotherbusinessesinsector.tookanearlytospecialisein

the leisure and tourism industry as I feel positioning ourselves in a specific area is key to our successful growth. We also pride ourselves on taking the time and trouble to listen to clients to hear what they actually want from their video production – it’s amazing how many companies don’t!” said Dan.


“It’s a fantastically rewarding job but actually running a business has been eye-opening. Having the freedom to dictate the shape and direction of the business is great – what’s not so enjoyable is all the accounting side and thinking about the tax!” said Dan.

Young Guns is a regular feature in BusinessTime in Essex which turns the spotlight on young up and coming entrepreneurs who could become business tycoons of the future. This time it’s Dan Hugo, founder of Clacton-based Outline Media Productions.

Let the goodtimes roll!

Another key business decision has been to take young people from college and offer them training. The company currently has eight young people it is helping train and calls upon their services as and when the job

I are both passionate about offering young people opportunities. We’re not exactly old in the tooth ourselves, but we feel it is important to nurture young talent – it’s an integral part of our business ethos,” added Dan. He readily admits his working week currently encompasses seven days– but you don’t build a business empire idly watching the world go by. “I love filming with a passion, but my week is split between that and the all-important sales work. We’re looking at taking on a sales person but, until we do, it’s a case of burning the candle at both ends of the day.”

on October 6.


Allistair said: “We will also be examining how to use offline marketing in conjunction with online marketing, so businesses can have the greatest chance of success in reaching their markets. I’ll be talking about how businesses can create online marketing by using the curated branding produced for their offline marketing campaigns. There will also be a focus on how to source leads, as well as how businesses can understand who their clients are, and how to use this information in their marketing.”


The DS Group is a print, media and marketing company with more than 20 years of experience.

masterclassMarketing offering key tips

HE Clacton-based

T DS Group be hosting a marketing at the Hotel in Colchester

32 for youJoinedServicesLegalup and businessyour When it comes to your legal needs, one benefit of working with FJG is that we offer a full range of legal services. We can help with Business LPA, Commercial Property, Construction Law, Conveyancing, Corporate & Commercial matters, Dispute Resolution, Employment Law for employers and employees, Family Law, Landlord and Tenant services, Planning and Wills, Life Planning & Probate providing joined up thinking that keeps all of your legal affairs with one trusted firm. Contact us today, at one of our offices, to make an appointment. Legal advice with a conscience. | | Offices across Essex, Suffolk and London Billericay 01277 623132 102 High Street, Billericay, Essex, CM12 9BY Braintree 01376 552828 76-82 & 86 Coggeshall Road, Braintree, Essex, CM7 9BY Chelmsford 01245 890110 16 Baddow Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0DG Clacton-on-Sea 01255 323103 73 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 1SD Colchester 01206 835300 Charter Court, Newcomen Way, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 9YA Frinton-on-Sea 01255 514100 20 Connaught Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9PW Holland-on-Sea 01255 818900 104 - 106 Kings Avenue, Holland-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 5EP London 0845 543 5700 Tallis House, 2 Tallis Street, London, EC4Y 0AB Sudbury 01787 373387 6 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2ET

Allistair added: “The DS Group invites any of our existing clients to attend, as well as any other local businesses that would like to learn more about online and offline marketing. We hope everyone will find the masterclass to be educational and enlightening.”

The event will be a chance for the DS Group’s existing clients, as well as prospective new ones, to hear the company’s managing director, Allistair Hunter, discuss online and offline marketing strategies and how they can benefit customer-facing Asbusinesses.acompany specialising in print marketing and production, it will be explaining the logistics of direct mail marketing and how it can give businesses the tools to create offline marketing.

At the event, Squarestar Digital will also be speaking to the attendees about digital marketing. It will also be discussing the more complex strategies that can be implemented to increase search engine optimisation, so businesses can reach the largest possible audience for their business.

Allistair Hunter


After the seminar discussions, there will be a Q&A session taking place which will offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions to members of The DS Group and Squarestar

TheDigital.masterclass will be taking place between 10am and 12pm, and there will be pastries and drinks provided for the attendees on the day.

WE are only human! We often hear this used in all sorts of circumstances but, for some strange reason, HMRC does not accept this as an excuse.

• all the while minimising the client’s tax or VAT liabilities. Mostly this is being done in the background and the client is often completely unaware.

• contact you about any more complex issues that arise

• review or calculate work in progress

33 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Every year, HMRC publishes an estimate of the tax gap, which is the difference between the tax collected and that which is theoretically due. HMRC believes this tax gap is in excess of £35billion, representing more than 5% of total tax liabilities. This is not just from businesses deliberately underdeclaring their income and HMRC lists the following as causes of this huge loss to the Treasury: failure to take reasonable care £6.7bn, error £3.7bn, miss-interpretation of complex transactions £5.8bn, use of avoidance schemes £1.5bn, evasion £5.5bn, the hidden economy £3bn, and organised crime £5.2bn. Non-payment of taxes adds another £4bn to the overall loss. It is worth at this stage looking at a couple of terms used. Tax evasion is always illegal. It is where people deliberately do not declare something and, therefore, they do not account for the taxes they owe. Tax avoidance used to be thought of as legal, but the latest definition suggests if it involves bending the rules of the tax system to gain an advantage Parliament never intended, it is artificial and not in the spirit of the law. This would include excessive or aggressive use of a tax avoidance scheme. However, tax mitigation or tax planning involves using tax reliefs for the purpose for which they were intended and is therefore legal.

• review for tax adjustments and make sure everything legitimate is claimed

And of course, there are many combinations in between so the important question is: how can you compare accountants when you don't know which set of accounts you are paying for?

• consider the impact of obsolete or slow-moving stock items


• review the balance sheet and profit and loss entries • make obvious corrections to reduce potential future risk of HMRC enquiry

Does this matter you may say? That depends on how confident you are you have not inadvertently underpaid HMRC. Let’s take a simple example of a set of accounts. Your first problem is there is a difference between preparing a set of accounts and …. preparing a set of accounts. Yes, I really said that twice. Some accountants take a client’s numbers, put them into tax production software and simply press ‘go’, on the basis they are prepared from the client’s records and all risks lie with the client. Their fees will be the cheapest because they are spending the least amount of time and care on your financial affairs. An accountant like this will not sort out your tax problem if HMRC comes knocking. Other accountants (and this is where we fit in) will:

• consider revenue recognition and its impact on profit

• provide for doubtful debts

We are all

Peter Disney, of Colchester-based accountancy firm, Wood and Disney, stresses that, even in harder times, there are positives to be taken from the seeming endless negatives.

• write down or scrap any relevant fixed assets

Of the tax gap of £35billion, error and failure to take reasonable care, which are the inadvertent ones most likely to affect small businesses, amount to £10.4 billion so almost 30% of the whole. HMRC has also estimated the tax gap into so-called customer groups and the small business group supposedly accounts for £15.1bn, 43% of the total. Sadly, the conclusion is that small businesses are a big target for HMRC enquiry and in fact an easy target because they can seldom afford to employ tax barristers to fight their corner. Often the answer given by small businesses is ‘my accountant sorts that out’ but unfortunately the term accountant is not regulated, and anyone can call themselves an accountant without formal qualifications and often with little experience. As chartered accountants, we have to prove our competency through some of the toughest exams set and are continually assessed to ensure we stay up-to-date. Some accountancy bodies are merely subscriptionbased and have no such tests.

• look at accruals and prepayments

We are only human refers not just to you but to accountants as well, so Wood and Disney has developed a whole series of ‘financial success systems’ which we use to reduce the likelihood of our clients getting stuff wrong, including accounts, bookkeeping, VAT, payroll, tax returns, company secretarial plus all manner of review systems for ourselves to ensure we maintain the professional standards set by our institute, the ICAEW. Following these systems ensures we cover all of the possible risks and as a result we are confident to be able to offer Tax Investigation Fee Protection Insurance free to all of our clients.

A12 Margaretting bypass - start date autumn For more information, please go to our websites

National Highways Customer Contact Centre

A12 junction 25 Marks Tey to junction 26 Stanway


A12 concrete road reconstructions

@ THE A12 road is an important economic link. It provides the main southwest/north-east route through Essex and Suffolk, connecting Ipswich to London and the M25.

A12 junction 25 Marks Tey to junction 26 Stanway – start date end of August 2022 Work will take place under a ‘contraflow’ system. This means that full road closures will only be required at the beginning of each phase of work when we set out our traffic management. By working under contraflow, we’ll be able to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction for the majority of the construction period. The speed limit will be reduced to 50mph.

The A12 road is an important economic link. It provides the main south-west/north-east route through Essex and Suffolk, connecting Ipswich to London and the M25.

The A12 road is an important economic link. It provides through Essex and Suffolk, connecting Ipswich

A12 Margaretting bypass - start date autumn 2022 For more information, please go to our websites at: National Highways Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000,

As part of our upcoming concrete reconstruction works along the A12 corridor, we have two schemes of works that will shortly be starting. Both schemes will involve reconstructing the carriageway and completely removing the concrete road surface and some of the foundations, before rebuilding the road and resurfacing it with lower noise surface. This will provide safety benefits and a smoother ride for road users, as well as providing a 40 to 50-year lifespan that’ll be easier and quicker to repair in the future.

As part of our upcoming concrete reconstruction works along the A12 corridor, we have two schemes of works that will be starting shortly. Both schemes will involve reconstructing the carriageway and completely removing the concrete road surface and some of the foundations, before rebuilding the road and resurfacing it with a lower noise surface. This will provide safety benefits and a smoother journey for road users, as well as providing the road with a further 40 to 50-year lifespan that’ll be easier and quicker to repair in the future.

Contact us Throughout the scheme, we will continue our ongoing engagement with our customers, providing them with regular information and updates. This includes using multiple channels, such as their scheme specific webpage, public information events, letters to residents, e-newsletters and through social media. For more information, call the National Highways Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000, or email info@nationalhighways. Or follow us on Twitter @HighwaysEAST

Major improvements to the A12 A message from A12 concrete

A12 junction 25 Marks Tey to junction 26 Stanway – start date end of August 2022

Around half of the old-style concrete roads will either have repairs or will be replaced during the next five years.

More information about the scheme, can be found by visiting the website

As part of our upcoming concrete reconstruction schemes of works that will be starting shortly. Both carriageway and completely removing the concrete before rebuilding the road and resurfacing it with benefits and a smoother journey for road users, to 50-year lifespan that’ll be easier and quicker

The East region has the highest concentration of concrete roads on our road network, including the A12, A14, A120 and M11.

A12 Margaretting Bypass reconstruction scheme – start date autumn 2022 During the works, the carriageway will be reduced to two lanes in both directions and the speed limit will be reduced to 40mph. A number of slip roads will need to be closed so the work can be completed safely and efficiently. This work is likely to cause delays on the A12 during peak morning and evening times. For more information about the scheme, please visit the website

For information on business support, inspiration and much more, join the Ambitious Essex network ambitiousessex @ambitiousessex

Successful first yearfor Backing EssexBusiness

Paul Tonkinson, Director of Pasini Leisure, said: “We had faced one of the most challenging years in our history as a local and independent operator of craft bars and pubs, but we Monkey Brewing. Backing Essex Business played a significant part in supporting and enabling us to come through the pandemic with confidence intact."

In the next four pages, we take a look at how Essex County Council is tackling this key challenge.

issue 25 : Autumn 2022

For more information on the Backing Essex Business service and what is can do for your business, visit co.ukbackingessexbusiness.www.orcontact

BACKING playedBusinessEssexhasacritical role in supporting the survival and growth of more than 600 businesses during the past 12 months, helping to secure and create more than 460 jobs and enabling business in Essex to access more than £1m This free to access service, fully funded by Essex County Council, delivers a package of support to businesses - including Peer 2 Peer Learning, workshops and up to 12 hours of one to one business support - from experienced Backingspecialists.Essex Business provides a range of support, from staffing and financial advice to marketing and supply chain management. The service is also able to provide loans for business growth, as an One such local company to take advantage of financing available was Pasini Leisure based in Colchester. The business wanted to expand and grow its brewery during a rough economic period and turned to the Backing Essex Business service for guidance.

Developing a suitably skilled workforce to cater to the demands of Essex businesses has been a challenge for a number of years now.

Apprenticeships are a way of training and educating a new generation of employees to your business needs. For years apprenticeships were often associated with trade industries.



The changes in the apprenticeship scheme now provide more opportunity for businesses to secure funding from another organisation. Any organisation with a payroll of more than £3m must pay a levy of 0.5% of their pay bill. This levy is then used to pay for the cost of apprenticeship

For Essex to have the right skills to support our businesses and economy, we need to invest in training and developing residents.

In recent times many have struggled to attract suitable candidates and a lack of appropriate skills is often the issue for many employers.

36 ACONCERN for many employers is recruitment.

Theretraining.are levy paying organisations across the UK who are not fully utilising their funds. All unspent levy goes back to the Treasury, resulting in businesses and communities missing out on vital training and upskilling Essexopportunities.CountyCouncil’s Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service (EALTS) provides a fully managed service, supporting levy organisations to share their unused levy with non-levy paying organisations in Essex, to pay for their apprenticeship training costs. The service to date has helped create more than 400 new apprenticeships in Essex How does levy transfer work? Organisations who pay the apprenticeship levy can ‘gift’ (share via levy transfer) up to 25% of their levy to support another organisation and enable them to offer an apprenticeship to either a new or existing member of staff. Gifted funds can only be used to pay for the training and assessment cost of the Aapprenticeship.levypayingorganisation can specify which organisations they ‘gift’ their levy to, such as by sector, geography, values, or priorities. However, and this is worth considering, if a levypaying organisation places too many criteria on sharing their levy, this could limit the number of opportunities they could potentially support. By reverse, the wider the criteria for sharing their levey, the more opportunities there will be that an organisation could potentially support.

The gift of levy

For support an speak the Essex Apprenticeship Transfer



In recent years apprenticeships have changed and new apprenticeships are being created that cover a wider range of skills and industries. Gone are the days when apprenticeships were only for school leavers. Apprenticeship routes are now a great way for non-school leavers to start a new career or for employers to upskill existing staff, plug skill gaps and fill vacant positions.


Essex County Council’s sector development strategy identifies the top five growing sectors. These are construction, clean energy, digi tech, life sciences and advanced manufacturing and engineering. Growing these sectors will also help to achieve a target of net zero carbon in Essex by 2050, and we know more than 10,000 jobs in green construction are required in Essex to help the county be more sustainable. Find out more about the growth sectors by reading the full report at development-strategyuk/plans-and-strategies/

37 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 The EALTS service works with large organisations across the UK to fund apprenticeships in Essex and has already secured more than £2million in levy pledges. Nicola Drury, UK Apprenticeship lead for Amazon, said: “We are so excited to be able to continue our support of small businesses across England with the Amazon Apprenticeship Fund. Apprenticeships are crucial for the development of skills, regardless of age and background.” There are many benefits from gifting including: • fulfilling your Corporate Social Responsibilities by supporting your local community • helping grow your supply chain and building new relationships in your industry • retaining levy within the local economy • increasing skills for the future. Benefits of hiring an apprentice include: • motivating and developing existing staff • improved staff retention • upskilling existing staff • growing your own workforce • increasing your social value through local recruitment • keeping your organisation up to date. To find out more about levy transfer, email levytransfers@ or visit www. Why not fund an apprentice to increase skills within one of Essex growth sectors?

levy transfer

Advertise employment and training opportunities for free on, Essex Opportunities

The Level 2 Award in Understanding Domestic Retrofit offers a solid foundational understanding of what domestic retrofit is. Aimed at anyone looking to start their retrofit career as well as those looking to improve their understanding, the course includes detailed domestic retrofit needs and requirements, health and safety, protection of the retrofit workspace and common installation practises. The PAS2030 Accreditation for businesses has a support value of £2,000 and enables businesses to work on publicly-funded retrofit projects. There are £113m of these projects across the southeast in 2022/23, and there are vacancies available now for suitably certified residents and accredited businesses. This is a big business opportunity for Essex – but if businesses here do not take up the opportunity and embrace it, there is a real risk the skills, jobs and benefits to the economy will be lost to Essex as firms from far and wide will come to do the work and take the benefits back with them. We know we have some amazing businesses which can do this work and residents who could do more if they see the opportunity and seize it.


to compete in this market. The Government is investing heavily in retrofit projects making homes energy efficient as it begins to ramp up its decarbonisation drive. Schemes like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) amount to around £2 bn of work per year nationally. Anybody currently working in this sector or thinking of working in it in the future would benefit from holding the Understanding Domestic Retrofit qualification. For a business to be eligible to work on these projects, it must be PAS 2030 certified and Trustmark accredited. Essex County Council (ECC) is committed to supporting Essex businesses to maximise the benefit and opportunity locally of Retrofit. We are supporting SMEs to overcome the barriers that prevent them from upscaling and upskilling, most specifically by helping them to achieve accreditation under Trustmark for energy efficiency ECC is providing the opportunity for residents and businesses to train and become certified in retrofit by providing a fully-funded suite of training. There are two Retrofit pilot schemes in Essex which have received £703k from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. Whilst priority has been given

To apply for these opportunities, visit the Retrofit academy,

Get fully funded training to gain PAS 2030 certification and Trustmark accreditation or a retrofit qualification

RETROFITTING adds new technology or features to homes to make them energy efficient. As Essex works to reduce co2 emissions and become Net Zero, retrofitting our homes and commercial buildings plays an important role in this. We need businesses with skilled workers accredited to deliver retrofit to achieve this.

Introduction to Finance, First Steps to Start up Success, Low Carbon Support, and Digital Skills and Cyber Security online sessions, as well as sector-specific advice for firms who deal with imports and/or exports, or are looking to start.

“There is specific support on topics such as finance, debt support, and import/export, as well as more general help to get the most out of your enterprise. You don’t have to take my word for it – the feedback from businesses who have benefited from this support speaks for Maldon-baseditself.”

eco clothing brand, Koala Chess Art, signed up for support from Colbea, including the digital skills course. It described the help as, “brilliant, some of the most straight-forward and practical business courses I have been on”, and said it gave them “the tools to help improve the business, or know where to look for advice”.

39 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Councillor Lesley Wagland, NEEB Chair, encouraged businesses to take advantage of the help available. “This support is completely free to businesses in mid and north Essex, and is a great way for you to grow your business,” Councillor Wagland said.

Meanwhile Claire Jennings, of Claire Jennings Counselling & Hypnotherapy, said thanks to the support she received from Colbea, “my dream of establishing my business is about to become a reality”.

FREE support offered to firms by a council partnership can help turn your business dreams into a reality. That’s the feedback from one business owner, who took up support fully funded by the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB). NEEB is a partnership of Braintree, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford district councils, Colchester Borough Council, Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council working together to drive forward economic growth.

To find out more about the fully-funded NEEB business support programmes and to sign up, visit Recoverycountry,,askillsprogrammeforlocaltohelpdevelopaworkforcecapabledrivingforwardeconomicgrowthinthewashighlycommendedinthe2022UKGOAwards,celebratingtheverybestachievementsfromacrossthewithintheCovid-19ResponseandAward(LocalGovernment)category.

BEST Growth Hub helps firms navigate and access business support available on the market, depending on their needs, while the Let’s Do Business Group provides finance and debt management support to help you take your firm to the next level.

An example of the two organisations working in tandem recently resulted in numerous business opportunities being maximised for one Meanwhilecompany.Colbea is funded to provide an

On completing the First Steps to Start Up Success course, Claire added: “The trainers are incredibly knowledgeable. They help you identify risks and pitfalls without you needing to make them. Having undertaken these courses, I now feel able to move forward with confidence to set up my own Councillorbusiness.”

Wagland added: “Hearing how useful this funded business support has been is fantastic. I hope it inspires you to consider how you might benefit too.”

Free support can turn your business dreams into reality

The free business support programmes, on offer to firms based in the NEEB area, are run by BEST Growth Hub, Colbea, and Let’s Do Business Group.


At this milestone it is appropriate to reflect on the impact city status has had on Chelmsford and how much it has thrived as a city. Since being granted city status a decade ago, Chelmsford has experienced exceptional growth. This growth doesn’t just relate to Chelmsford’s population which has grown by 7.8% from around 168,300 in 2011 to 181,500 in 2021, but also refers to the developments that have taken place within Chelmsford. Major investments have been made during the past 10 years including the construction of the new Riverside Ice and Leisure facility, improvements to health care facilities, the creation of new schools and a new School of Medicine at Anglia Ruskin University – a £20m state-ofthe-art facility and another first for OtherEssex.significant developments to take place since city status was granted include enhancements to the public realm to ensure Chelmsford offers what is expected and required of a 21st century city. This investment has included a £15millon package of cycling, public transport and highway improvements across Chelmsford. Additional public realm

THE Colchesternewswelcomedthat has been granted city status this year comes as grantedayearscelebratesChelmsfordtenofbeingcity–astatusin2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond celebrations.Jubilee

In May, in a move which took many by surprise, Colchester was granted city status. In the following four pages, BusinessTime in Essex looks at what this could mean economically for the UK’s first – and now newest – city, starting with an examination of what it has meant for near neighbour, Chelmsford, as it celebrates ten years of being a city.

Like all parts of the UK, Chelmsford has been hit hard during the past couple of years with the outbreak of Covid-19. The pandemic impacted significantly on Chelmsford’s economy and had far-reaching consequences. Businesses experienced lost income, cash flow issues, premises closures and reduced productivity. As a direct result of Covid-19, Chelmsford saw several business closures, both of small and larger chains and franchises. This had the knock-on effect of seeing a greater number of people claiming unemployment benefits – to a level which had not been previously witnessed in Chelmsford since 1994. However, despite the challenges faced, Chelmsford’s communities pulled together and demonstrated once again how strong, diverse and resilient they are. Opportunities have been seized and recovery embraced as Chelmsford looks to the future.



Today in Chelmsford housing delivery is exceeding 1,000 new homes annually and economic growth is continuing, adding to the £3.6 billion Chelmsford contributes to the Essex and UK economy each year. Yet, Chelmsford refuses to rest on its laurels and continues to build for the future. Chelmsford’s current Local Plan, which runs from 2020-2036, sets out provision for 14,500 new homes and one million sqm of new employment floorspace. A review of the Local Plan to 2041 is now underway. Major developments for the years to come are already progressing well. A new Garden Community to the north of Chelmsford is well underway. During the next few years, Chelmsford will see the delivery of the first new railway station on the Great Eastern Main Line in 100 years and a new Chelmsford North East Bypassboth key components of the new Chelmsford Garden Community. Within the city centre, the pedestrianisation of Tindal Square at the top of the High Street will be finished by the end of the year and the development of a new neighbourhood known as Chelmer Waterside to the east of the city centre, bringing forward a further 1,000 homes and commercial development, is underway.

A waterside development to the east of the city centre.

Similarly, Colchester has long been a leader in investing in its digital infrastructure. The town already has Ultrafast broadband and has secured a further £48m from private investor, VX Fiber, to expand this service out into communities during the next five years. It will also be adding a 5G layer to its digital infrastructure which could see some of the major historic events in Colchester’s history being interpreted and displayed for a 21st century audience. And with a new Digital Skills Hub being planned, Colchester could see significant growth in tech jobs.

City status is a place marketing opportunity and is an opportunity beyond designing a new logo. It can enable a conversation with communities of what kind of city Colchester could and should be and how it differs from others. It can facilitate an exploration of the brand values the city has and should have in future and continuing its story as a place. This is the essence of the place – its values - shaped by people and events in its history and the hopes and expectations of its residents today to enhance its identity, distinctiveness and civic pride.

Colchester: where now for Britain’s first and latest city?

“It’s important to capture the aspirations of Colcestrians – particularly young people, as this is their future.” David King added. “They will care about jobs and opportunity and we are determined to give them a city that gives them reasons to stay. Colchester is already very good at attracting inward investment.

FRIDAY May 20 was another Red-Letter Day in Colchester’s long history: city status thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s announcement that Colchester would be granted city status in her Platinum Jubilee year.

This month, September, Letters Patent will be presented - the written order issued by the Monarch which grants rights and confirms the town’s new status. A Royal visit will follow, most likely Spring 2023. In the meantime, the team in Colchester is busy working out what this new status could mean for the largest and fastest-growing district in the county.

Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “The conversation about Colchester has long been framed around the importance of its history and heritage, from the first Roman capital to market town to the re-set of the present day. City status presents an opportunity to re-frame the conversation; to take a future view; to raise our gaze and discuss the kind of place it could and should be and how we might work collectively to realise its true “It’spotential.anopportunity, done well, to address some of the physical and emotional impacts and losses experienced by so many in our communities, from the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. The award of city status will encourage us to celebrate the past, present and the future. It will enable us to work with communities and partners to deliver events and celebrations, music, dance, and re-enactment to help others see the quality of life we offer, in the knowledge the council and businesses of every kind need to recruit and retain as we transition to new ways and places of working and a more creative and digital economy emerges.

City status offers a fresh opportunity to shine a light on us, to draw attention and investment. We have an important past, an impressive present and an exciting future and we will do all we can to ensure all of us have a role in shaping it.”

Leader of Colchester Borough Council, David King.

“We will take our time to explore the economic and societal potential and how best to exploit it. There has been shared learning from Chelmsford and Southend. We recognise the need to be pragmatic, working with the grain of what’s already in place or in the pipeline, being sensitive to the current socio-economic situation, being inclusive. Taking time to plan and deliver Aswell.Colchester’s emerging new economic strategy makes clear, it has been a place with ambition for many years. And with significant growth still to come, there’s an opportunity to reimagine regeneration projects in a new light.

Existing project pipelines, such as the £19.2m Town Deal programme, can be reframed with partners in the context of city place shaping. Already Colchester’s new digital hub status has been confirmed with the announcement of the new international AIXR Centre for Immersive Innovation to be in Queen Street.

2023 sees Colchester hosting a new exhibition: ‘Gladiator’, with items on loan from the British Museum complementing Colchester’s own nationally recognised Roman collection. This alone lends itself perfectly to a city visit but when considered alongside Colchester’s many other attractions, such as Firstsite being the current National Museum of the Year, and the significant investment in new hotels around the borough, it’s easy to see why VisitBritain is already working with the VisitColchester team on planning a ‘New UK cities’ campaign and how Colchester is ready to welcome new visitors.

41 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

42 DISCOVER EVENTS, RESTAURANTS, SHOPPING OFFERS, AND SO MUCH MORE.... INCOLCHESTER FIND OUT MORE StayINCOLCHESTER.CO.UKuptodatewithwhat’s happening in Colchester on the only website dedicated to promoting the city centre. @INCOLCHESTER

“InColchester celebrates the unique and attractive features of Colchester city centre including its rich Roman and medieval history, its leisure businesses, events and so much more. Colchester is well deserving of city status from its inofandTherestaurants.recommendedMichelintheatresartswinningaward-cinemas,retailindependentofgreattherecityaalone.offeringWithincompactcentre,arearangeassets:shops,centres,andrangequalitybusinessesColchester speaks for itself but if history is more of your thing, there’s plenty of that too, with one of the earliest and best-preserved Roman walls in the country, castles, and medieval towers.”

Exciting times ahead for the city

“Ascity.withcomplementednowtoit’sthesettlementsrecordedincountrysowonderfulseeitsstatusbeingthetitleofaBID,weare always working on incentives to help encourage visitors to come into the city centre and support local businesses. This includes funding events and launching projects like the Colchester Gift Card which can be spent in more than 55 businesses in Colchester with a digital option for even more “Thechoice.BID also leads on annual events such as Christmas in Colchester with a GardenColchestersuchannualtowecampaignmarketingdedicatedandhavebegunlaunchmoreeventsastheFestival which acts as a great month filled with activities for the summer Colchester’sholidays.”citystatus is set to be official from September 12, with more celebrations and events following in 2023. You can get involved in September, celebrating Colchester’s new city status by visiting

Short Wyre Street Archway designs by Nicola Burrell. High Street Parklet installed and maintained by Our Colchester BID. Attractive Colchester Street located just off the High Street. Colchesterof

43 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

In addition to collaborative working with Colchester Council, local stakeholders, and authorities, the BID delivers a wide range of projects across the city of ProjectsColchester.forColchester delivered by the BID include the four parklet installations on the high street, the new wayfinding installation on Short Wyre Street and the Colchester Town Centre Business Awards. The BID also has a consumer brand called InColchester which focuses on promotion for businesses and events happening in the city Samcentre.Good, BID Manager,said:

A new B2C marketing campaign will be launched in September, from the InColchester brand, to coincide with the official date of the new city status to celebrate what Colchester is and can be to visitors and residents. Businesses and residents will be asked to get involved by telling the BID Colchesterwhatis to Samthem.added:

THE Our ofmembersmoreactingprofitbusiness-ledbusiness-fundedDistrictImprovementBusinessColchester(BID)isanon-organisationasavoiceforthan480BIDinthecentreColchester.

“The new city status for Colchester is something that will bring great benefits to the area. Colchester is one of the oldest

In September, we are launching the second cohort of our popular public course: Employment Law Essentials for HR Professionals, which runs across the year and provides delegates with 12 in-depth, half-day sessions on topics ranging from employment contracts and policies, to equality diversity and inclusion through to managing performance and disciplinaries, redundancy and even TUPE.

The pandemic also brought a worrying decline in mental health for a large number of employees. Mental health problems are often invisible disabilities and managing an employee who is suffering is a highly complex problem, requiring a great deal of empathy and skill. Mental health can have a bearing on performance and workplace conduct as well as on levels of sickness absence. Managing this sensitively, while balancing the business’s commercial interests, can be a minefield, but it all begins with raising awareness for employers and Onmanagers.ourShaping Excellence courses, we not only impart our legal knowledge but also, and more importantly, focus on sharing learnings from the practical experiences of our trainers. We teach delegates about the Equality Act 2010, bringing it alive by giving real life examples of racial harassment or disability discrimination claims that we have advised clients on in our practises. We are always looking out for labour market trends and new issues that will affect our clients and feed these into our course content.

Transforming businesses with performance-focused training ����� ������������������������� PRIOR to the pandemic, remote working and hybrid working were the preserve of a small minority of employees. However, many of us in the past two years have got used to, or found benefits from, remote working. While COVID-19 related restrictions have now been removed, employees do not want to relinquish remote working entirely. The Office for National Statistics has recently published the results of a survey, which indicates 84% of workers who worked from home during the pandemic want a hybrid approach to work in the future. This poses a new problem for organisations, particularly given this has coincided with the ‘great resignation’ - 2021 rates of quitting were at historic levels. Existing employees and candidates alike will be looking closely at what an employer says about remote working, both contractually and in any hybrid working policy. The pitfalls here are plentiful. Many organisations are putting managers at the heart of their hybrid working approaches, but are these managers really equipped to deal with the many competing interests at play within their teams? Are they aware of the possible risks of discriminating in their approach to permitting or denying a team member the option of working remotely?


Tackling employmentpost-pandemicchallenges

Birketts offers a range of employment law training courses via our Shaping Excellence training team, focusing on areas where people managers and HR professionals routinely interact with employment law.

The post-COVID 19 workplace is a new environment with new challenges for HR professionals to navigate. Birketts’ Jonathan Shevlane explains how they can help.

LARKING Gowen has announced news of its new conference for 2022.

“The farming industry is at a massive crossroads right now, largely because of major changes in the sector post-Brexit, together with the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme and the effects of climate change,” states Bruce Masson, the Larking Gowen Partner who originated the concept.

• Jo Churchill, Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds, current Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

of Immigration Senior Counsel OFFICES ACROSS ESSEX AND SUFFOLK

The Autumn Farming Conference is a brand-new event for farmers, growers, landowners and those involved in the agricultural sector and impacted by legislation, such as those in retail, the supply chain, manufacturing and beyond.


• Izzi Rainey owner of a farm-based textile company, talking on diversification

Chaired by CLA East Director, Cath Crowther, the event will include presentations by experts from across the farming sector on a range of topics, providing practical advice and an opportunity to meet others in the sector.

New farming conference will help an industry facing major change

• Stuart and Rebecca Mayhew, founder members of Regenerative Agriculture Community East (RACE)

All profits from the conference will go to YANA Rural Mental Health Support - a much-admired organisation working with those in the sector.

• Emma Hayley from YANA (You Are Not Alone)

• Steven Rudd, Larking Gowen’s Head of Farms and Landed Estates.

The event is being organised and hosted by Larking Gowen, a major regional independent accountancy partnership and one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms, in conjunction with the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.

• Jason Cantrill, a Partner at Ceres Rural

The conference will include presentations, case studies and Q&As from the following experts and leaders in their fields:

• Alec Smith, Director of Sentry Ltd

45 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 Ellisons Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA Number 49336 THE ONLY EAST ANGLIAN SOLICITORS TO BE RECOGNISED FOR THE SPECIALISM OF BUSINESS IMMIGRATION ADVICE

Sohan Sidhu Graeme Kirk & Head

“The impact of these and other factors has been amplified by the terrible situation in Ukraine, which no-one could have predicted and will have a significant global impact for the foreseeable future. Farmers and rural enterprises have been severely impacted, so are looking for guidance and ideas. To help them plot a way forward, we have brought together a compelling group of speakers whose talents and experience span a range of complementary fields.”

Further details of the Autumn Farming Conference are available at http://www. and tickets can be booked online. The event will take place on Tuesday October 4 at Trinity Park, Ipswich, and offers a fantastic opportunity for those in the sector to network and learn.

46 • &Financedebtsupport • adviceImport/export reduction • Advice start-upsfor • Carbon • Finding further support • Digital skills & e-commerce To learn more visit: now in mid and North Essex, covering: Turn your business dreams into reality Having undertaken these courses, I now feel able to move forward with confidence Claire Jennings, of Claire Jennings Counselling & Hypnotherapy


back better

Phil Holding, managing director at Horizon Construction, said: “We are noticing a real gear change of interest in Essex. As a Colchester-based construction firm, we are suitably positioned to deliver solutions within the region, so therefore, are looking towards suitable local businesses involved in construction to ably assist us.

Essex County Council’s 20-year growth strategy for the county’s construction industry (published in April 2020) described Essex as ‘a large and mature construction sector, generating £4.7bn per annum in gross value added and making a net contribution to wider regional growth beyond its boundaries’. It anticipated the pipeline of construction activity in the county in the next 20 years as ‘significant’.

Horizon Construction believes there are now encouraging trends in Essex’s theitsgrowth.maincommercial2010.recordsmonthlyMayfollowingstronglyNovemberandbeenconstructionNationalaccordingenvironment.constructionAsbackground,totheOfficeofStatistics,theUKindustryhasexperiencingrenewedcontinuousgrowthsince2021,reboundingsincethedeclinetheCOVIDpandemic.2022recordedthehighestindustrygrowthsincestartedinJanuaryMorerecently,theprivatesectorhasbeenthecontributortoindustryNewworkhasbeenatstrongestsinceJune2021andgrowthindexisbacktoa pre-pandemic level.

“Essex is an attractive location for developers. The reasons include its location and access links to London and surrounding counties, wider transport links such as air and sea/commercial ports, its demographics, and opportunities in under-fulfilled services for specific consumer groups, such as housing and “Athealthcare.thestart of this year, a leading care home provider in the UK asked us to deliver their first care home in Essex (Braintree). We are aware of

Building forEssex construction

47 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Horizon Construction has experienced a record number of new business enquiries since the end of 2021 across its sectors healthcarecommercial,(automotive,education,andresidential).

A growing representation of these are either from Essex-based developers or those wishing to build for the first time in the region. It has also emphasised growing its network of quality local businesses that can provide specialist trades, skills and supplies.

residential scheme (£18m) in Wickford to create affordable and sustainable housing. This project will also comply with the client’s employment directive of using at least 50% of local subcontractors (within 20-mile Theradius).”construction industry in Essex has a large base of skilled and specialist trades, and ONS data (2019) shows the region has a significantly higher proportion of skilled trades than the national average. The overall size of the industry, in terms of jobs, has remained fairly consistent since 2004, fluctuating between circa 60,000 to 80,000 jobs – one of the largest pools of construction workers compared to surrounding counties. Data is still being gathered to access the impact of COVID and Brexit on the current level of jobs, but the number of micro businesses (less than 10 staff) has been growing during recent years. The worldwide shortage of essential construction materials during 2020-21 produced many complications for businesses involved in construction. Price increases dramatically impacted project programmes and budgets. Planned projects were typically cancelled or postponed. So, factoring in the cost of COVID, the end of Government support, and the high cost of materials, construction firms are now tackling financial challenges. There was a 142% increase in insolvencies in the construction sector in February when compared to the same month last year (source: Insolvency Service). Therefore, it is not surprising to see firms during the past 12 months building better relationships with their supply chain to ascertain more certainty and trust in operations. Phil commented: “There are huge benefits of working with local businesses,constructionwhichisnot a new phenomenon, but now has growing importance due to recent events. Horizon Construction has placed this importance as a core strategy in the business. Alex Scarfe, a commercial consultant for the firm, has been part of building a strong base of local relationships with businesses. We are also looking forward to inviting local businesses to our next construction and property event in October.”

The future is bright for the region’s construction activity to provide solutions to the communities, organisations and environment it serves. Construction firms have been fundamentally changed following recent events, however, there will always be one constant, which is construction will remain a relationship business.

WE all know we live and work in one of, if not the best counties and regions of England. Our andenvironmentandpartindustryconstructionplaysacentralindeliveringmaintainingthewelovewishtolivein. ‘Building back better’, a slogan used by the Government in recent times, could not be more appropriate for the region’s industry following the impact of COVID on people’s lives and livelihoods. If we have learnt anything from the past two years, our relationships with people, including how we conduct ourselves, are ever more important. This also applies to how businesses are developing and forging new relationships, working together to create innovative solutions to fulfil aspirations of living in a more sustainable and healthier climate. Therefore, the performance of our region’s construction industry directly impacts the place we like to call Colchester-based‘home’.

“We advertise with BusinessTime in Essex so we can reach top entrepreneurs and business professionals in Essex. We’ve found the business magazine and website to be of a very high standard. It’s incredibly well-produced and provides a balanced view of important, relevant news and insights.”

“We have been advertising in BusinessTime in Essex for over a year now and I can see my business is becoming more widely known across the county, confirmed by the networking events I attend. I hadn’t advertised in magazines before, but Editor Peter Richardson has made the whole process very easy. Thank-you BusinessTime in Essex for helping me develop my business locally.”

Robin Lodge | Lodge Associates

Sarah Hamilton | Chelmsford College “Business Time Essex puts us at the forefront of our target market’s mind. The B2B exposure helps us target new clients and assists our business growth. The networking opportunities created are priceless.”

of online,Essex,readersbusiness-focuseddecision-making,20,000acrossinprintandeveryissue

BusinessTime in Essex is now the largest and most successful regional B2B print and online magazine in the country, with an ever-growing number of the county’s businesses using it to promote their message. Find out more from our media/info pack at

Quite simply, the best and most cost-effective way of putting your business in front

Don’t just take our word for it – here’s what a few of our many happy advertisers have to say…

48 So if you’d like to be an active part of the next issue, rather than be on the outside looking in, contact Editor Peter Richardson on 01206 843225 or 07778 067614 – or email him at

Thomas Maddocks | Griffin Chapman Accountants

James Young | Colchester Amphora

“I just wanted to say how excellent the finished magazine looked. We really were pleased with the final look of our elements, and the magazine was a really interesting read.”

When paying into a SIPP from a limited company, you could make employer pension contributions directly from your company. Your limited company SIPP pension contributions can come from pre-taxed income so by paying money directly into your pension, rather than paying in from your salary, you could gain greater tax efficiencies.

an employer we recognise the importance of investing in new skills to enable the future growth in business Fläkt Woods Limited

Extracting profits in the mosttax-efficient way

49 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

These arrangements can invest in shares listed on any HMRC-recognised stock exchange, investment funds such as unit trusts and open-ended investment companies (OEICs), deposit accounts with any UK authorised financial institution, as well as commercial property including land.

Also, if you are a higher rate taxpayer, you can pay money straight into your pension instead of declaring the income as profit and taking it out as a dividend.

1 Apprenticeships are designed to connect businesses and people to inspire learning, development and creativity. At Colchester Institute we provide a range of high-quality dynamic professional development apprenticeship programmes for specialist functions including Management,

The pension schemes available to directors are attractive in that they are able to hold a much wider range of assets than workplace and personal pensions. They can be arranged on a personal or a group basis.

James Appleby, Managing Director, Tees Wealth Management, explains how pension contributions should be seriously considered when looking at ways of extracting profits from a company in the most tax-efficient way. Quality Management, Human Resources (HR),

For some businesses with specific needs, it may be that a Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS) is more appropriate. These arrangements offer a ‘pooled’ approach for up to 11 members meaning that as a director of an SME you can combine resources to purchase commercial property whilst retaining your own ear-marked fund.

In a limited company, contributing to a pension can bring significant tax advantages. Contributions can be treated as an allowable business expense and offset against your company’s corporation tax bill.

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) offers more control to a director and a wider investment universe than workplace pensions or personal pension plans.

Procurement and Project Management. Our apprenticeship services to employers We support our employers by offering: • Recruitment service • Digital account service • Relationship management • Employer events, webinars and networking opportunities • Personalised service Want to know more? If you would like to find out more about taking on an apprentice, our team will work with you to assess your business needs and find the most suitable options for you. Tel: 01206 712043 Email: Home Business and Professional Apprenticeships

YOU’VE invested time and effort building up your business so, the question now is: how do you extract the profits in the most tax-efficient way? The simple answer is pension contributions.

Both SIPPs and SSASs benefit from the ability to be able to borrow up to 50% of the net assets of the scheme, which is another useful feature when considering commercial property investments.

If you run your own business, you can make personal contributions to a pension or you can make contributions through your company, with both options bringing significant tax advantages. For company directors, there are numerous benefits of doing so in terms of tax and control such as a range of sophisticated options available to them over and above those offered by a default Auto Enrolment employee scheme, contributions for directors can be made by the company as an employer contribution, directors can control the timing and amount of contributions and pension contributions are deductible against corporation tax.

Entrepreneur’s Relief offers an attractive tax benefit to individuals (subject to certain criteria) and is available on business sales at 10% up to a value of £1m. It’s worth remembering this money has already been subject to corporation tax.


50 Wednesday 5 October 2022 The Brentwood Centre Doddinghurst Road, Brentwood CM15 9NN

Guest Speaker sessions

51 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Contact the team at or check out our website: You can also follow our LinkedIn page:

It’s free: workplace training is expensive, but there’s no charge for our training and eLearning; it can be accessed and reused as often as is required. It can be shared with all your employees. As long as you have internet connection, your employees can quickly access the learning of their choice.

THE services.forfeaturedcollaborativebasedandeliveredoutcomesbyEssex-communityhavebeeninaNHSplanimprovingCovid

Read the report in full at

Community Collaborative case study features in national guidance report

• Guest Speaker sessions • NEW Managers Mental Health Awareness eLearning (45 mins) that provides a short introduction to recognising and supporting colleagues: delivering essential information fast.

The Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative (MSECC) is a collaboration of three organisations that were previously working in silos. The Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT), North-East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) and Provide Community came together with a mission to work together to share skills, best practice and innovation in capability and delivery.

The collaboration has significantly improved the quality and efficiency of care, improved access to a range of services and removed the postcode lottery. MSECC has driven a new era of sharing best practice, collaboration and innovation that has been shared and recognised at a national Thelevel.newly published NHS plan for improving long COVID services sets out the framework for deploying the £90 million committed by the NHS for long-Covid services during the 2022/23 financial year.

Efficiency: since eLearning adapts to the individual learner, the time required to complete a course or learning can be very different and shorter because there is no ccommuting time to venues or time spent juggling your diary. It allows your employees to choose the topic and learning that best suits their needs. Having employees undertake long training sessions decreases work productivity, cuts into business hours, and increases budget spending, but does not guarantee full compliance or comprehension.

Free workplace health support for organisations in Essex

What is micro learning? Relatively small, focussed learning units consisting of condensed learning activities (usually 1-10 minutes) available on a range of devices: PC, tablet, smartphones etc. Evidence suggests using different media formats supports diverse learning styles.

PROVIDE Community has been shortlisted for a national award for ‘Driving Efficiency through Technology.’ The annual Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards is an incredibly competitive and prestigious healthcare award. The awards aim to shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements delivered across the healthcare sector. In 2021, Provide Community was highly commended at the HSJ Awards for ‘Community Provide of the Year.’ The 2022 winners will be announced later this year.

Sign up today!


• KWIQ eLearning (5-15 mins)

Evidence suggests shorter periods of learning will be absorbed and retained better. Micro sessions can help to reduce mental fatigue, by breaking learning down into more manageable lessons. Learners can pause and continue their learning, and it also provides the opportunity to check on their performance or re-play a section. Training courses utilising different forms of media will help keep learners more captivated and engaged.

“An outreach van goes to communities to offer health checks and diagnostic tests in this mobile clinic for adults, children and young people, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, spirometry and other tests for breathlessness, electrocardiography.6-leadTheteam is also working with local teams to provide information on smoking cessation, social prescribing and local facilities.”

IN an increasingly busy workplace, it is hard to find time to complete training, whether mandatory or academic, but many organisations are missing out on valuable learning opportunities for their workforce.

• Blended Learning (a mix of short, independent eLearning and Live “virtual” sessions)

We offer regular sessions aligned to national campaigns, giving you the opportunity to ask the experts directly, and fully understand the support and services offered. The My Story sessions, allow staff and mental health first-aiders to hear about people’s reallife journey of recovery to enhance their understanding and knowledge.

“The Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative has pioneered a successful outreach model to give residents in hard-to-reach areas access to high quality proactive and preventative care for post COVID syndrome and its symptoms.

Working Well offers a range of learning sessions that fit into your working day:

Mark Heasman, CEO of Provide Community, said: “Co-production is where our collaborative model comes into its own, drawing on multiple strengths, best practice and lived experience to deliver the most effective and consistent care.”

The MSECC case study is presented on page 20, explaining how, ‘the NHS in mid and south Essex reaches deep into communities to offer a proactive and preventative model of long COVID care.’ The model features as an example of best practice and highlights the great work the MSECC teams are undertaking. The case study continues:

Wherever you work, our innovative, multi-media sessions are engaging and will help your employees learn and remember information better, which means they will be able to recall and apply the concepts learnt. The advantages: Flexibility: they can be fitted around your day, at a time that suits you, i.e. on your commute to work, between meetings, they can be paused, replayed or restarted. Providing your employees with learning to support health and wellbeing, virtual workplace or management skills.

52 Expert support and advice whenever you need it. We’re committed to delivering timely accountancy and business advice at every stage of your financial journey. Whether you’re a large organisation or an individual, our experts take the time to get to know you, your business and your long-term goals. Committed to you.

Business fortnight tochampion Tendring firms

“We recognise businesses are the life-blood of our local economy and that is why we are holding this fortnight, covering a vast range of topics, to not only take a moment to celebrate what is good, but also look at how we can work together to grow our economy.

THIS autumn, Tendring District Council is holding a series of business events to champion different sectors and fantastic hidden businesses from across the area.

“Tendring Means Business – that is not only our approach, but also the name of our first event in the TENDRING4GROWTH Business Fortnight. A breakfast event, taking place on Monday, October 3 we will hear from keynote speakers Paul Milsom from Milsom Hotels, Allistair Hunter from DS Group, and Tom West from RentMy.

Best piece of career advice you’ve given…

People buy from people, so be confident, believe in yourself and try to be the best version of you possible. Your two perfect dinner guests, one business, one pleasure… Jordan Belfort and Paolo Di Canio.

The secret of running a successful business is… Look after and reward your staff, trust your intuition and remember that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Cllr Mary Newton, Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Growth at Tendring District Council, said: “There is an event for everybody. We are fortunate to have such a variety of sectors operating in Tendring, from tourism to manufacturing, and farming to energy generation.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what might you likely be…

A retired entrepreneur, living on a yacht in Lake Como, Puerto Banús or Monaco. If you had a magic wand and could change one thing in business, it would be… Reduce the working week from five days to four. Hobbies/interests…

Prepare for business meetings, do your research, arrive early, dress smart, when negotiating always under-promise and overdeliver, never agree to something you know that you cannot deliver.

End child poverty

The column which proves you can mix business with pleasure, with Nick Brown, Client Relationship Manager, Essex Chambers of Commerce In no more than 100 words, detail your career to date… Originally from London, I worked in the City of London and Canary Wharf for two major UK banks before moving to Dubai, UAE working for the largest publisher in the Middle East. I relocated from London to Essex in 2016. I have been working and residing in Colchester ever since. I joined the Essex Chambers of Commerce as a Client Relationship Manager in 2019, managing multiple businesses across the county. I have a strong operational strategic mind set and have proven to be a very successful client facing Account Manager, building and maintaining key client relationships. I represent hundreds of local businesses in Essex, from SMEs up to large conglomerates in both the public and private sector. I am passionate about Colchester, I actively support the local business community and am proud of its innovation, ambition and creativity. Childhood career ambition… I am sport mad. As a child I played football and American football (even before the NFL was popular here in the UK). I was the school basketball captain and ran at district level in the 800m. I always wanted to be the quarterback for the Miami Dolphins or play for West Ham United.


“Meanwhile, our ever-popular skills fair returns to the Princes Theatre on Thursday, October 6, with residents invited to try their hand at various jobs and careers within key sectors across Tendring. This is always a fun event as attendees can really get stuck in and “Weekpractical.twobegins with a topic close to my heart, a Women in Business event, followed by a workshop on reducing your carbon footprint to encourage local firms to get green. There are also events on green energy and Freeport East, a Field to Fork drop-in for businesses, while the fortnight ends with an invite-only celebration event of all that is great about Tendring business.

“Events are free, but we do ask that attendees book in advance so we can plan for numbers; and some events can be joined virtually for those who cannot make it in person. I hope we see plenty of people come along for some – or even all – of the TENDRING4GROWTH Business Fortnight events, which are really not to be missed.”

Favorite ever book/TV programme/film/ meal/country visited…. Mr Nice/Luther/Love, Honour and Obey/Pie n Mash/Malaysia. Tell us something about you that might surprise people… I have a diploma in Health & Safety Management. At the time I was the youngest person to have achieved this qualification and was presented with an award at the House of Commons. If I ruled the world, the first thing I’d do is…

“Furtherfortnight.details on each event are available at, with more information being added the closer we get to the TENDRING4GROWTH Business Fortnight.

Best piece of career advice you’ve received…

To be the best dad possible by providing support and guidance to my two sons, Finlay and Callum, so they can have the best platform in life, West Ham United!

“This will include, for the first time ever, our own business awards being presented to firms which have excelled in Tendring, with categories aligned to our events during the fortnight. Nominations closed recently for these, and our judging panel will be reviewing these ahead of the business

53 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

The TENDRING4GROWTH Business Fortnight will see seminars, networking events and a skills fair take place, with a total of nine events being held across 11 days in October. It builds upon a successful Business Week held in 2019.

“The following day we will explore the burgeoning tourism, cultural and creative sectors in the district, while on Wednesday we are hosting a seminar on being part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme – in which I’m proud to say Tendring District Council has just achieved a Gold Award.

54 Whatever your goals, our team of experts can support your business to thrive. Contact us to find out more: T: 01473 326 400 E: W: Public Relations EventPublicEngagementStakeholderMediaManagementReputationRelationsAffairsManagement Digital Social EmailDigitalBuildWebsiteSEO,ManagementMediaUX&CRODesign,&ManagementAdvertisingMarketing Marketing Strategy & Planning Content PhotographyVideographyBrandingCreation&Design& Our services impactcommunicationsAward-winninginclude:forandinfluence. GP1544 Genesis PLMR Advert v4.indd 1 13/05/2022 09:58

Nobody likes nasty surprises that occur after the event, and that is particularly true when purchasing a business. Solicitors with expertise in transactional work will ensure the right questions are asked about the business and an appropriate contract negotiated to give you comfort that, from a legal perspective, the business is a sound purchase and includes all that you expect.

Birkett Long has helped many business owners through the process of sale or purchase. Our aim is to ensure you have effective, safeguarding contracts in place, maximise value in your business and make decisions that work towards your own longterm goals.

Buying and selling a business - preparation is key

Selling a business

Among the key aspects for consideration is how best to sell your business. Is it appropriate to sell the business as a whole or separate it into different parts? Advice from your accountant and/or a business sales agent or valuer will help identify where the value lies and how to maximise it. Your solicitor will guide you through any restructure needed to get the business in line for sale, advise you of the preparation you need to do in order to maximise value (business value will be boosted by efficient operations and processes, with up-todate documents and policies that make for seamless contracting with staff and customers), guide you on employment law issues arising from the transaction and negotiate a suitable contract that ensures you give only appropriate warranties and limit future liability in relation to them. They will also assist you (alongside your accountant) with tax and investment planning – these considerations could affect decisions you make about your exit process and should be part of the early planning stage.

Buying a business

The same degree of attention is required when selling a business. Early planning will allow owners to capitalise on their hard work and ensure the best value is obtained for their business or shares in it.

Tracey Dickens, partner and head of the commercial department at Birkett Long solicitors, offers some sound advice on preparing for the sale or purchase of a business.

If you plan to purchase shares in a company, or you want to sell your shares, there are certain important aspects of which you should be aware. Here, I set out some of the most relevant points and outline how we can help you with the process.

From a legal perspective, the purchase of a business will either be for the business itself - such as a partnership - or the legal entity that operates the business, in which case the transaction will be via a purchase of shares. Your solicitor will advise you on the legal due diligence you should undertake before committing to the purchase, confirm the property ownership arrangements, e.g. leasehold or freehold, and deal with the lending requirements of your bank or arrangements for funding via investors.

55 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 • Awards Ceremonies & Dinners • Company Away Days • Exhibitions • Filming & Photography • Hybrid Meetings | 01245 605500 |,thespectacularroomsinHylandsHouseandcontemporaryGrandPavilionprovidetheperfectsettingforyourbusinessevents. WHETHER you are considering an exit from or entrance into a business, preparation is key!

56 We work with employers to develop the workforce of the future. Apprenticeships | Upskilling courses for your employees | Adult learning | Work experience & Industry placements • Maximising workforce efficiency • Boosting business productivity • Creating a more committed and satisfied workforce • Identifying future talent Apprenticeships – Commercial – Logistics – Work Experience –,yourpeopleandyourfutureworkforce

The college hosted an event to showcase its Taking Teaching Further (TTF) programme to representatives from The Education & Training Foundation (ETF) and the Department for Education (DfE). The TTF programme aims to recruit experienced professionals from industry and business into further education teaching roles. These professionals are able to bring their wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the classroom to enhance students’ learning experiences.


So far, the college has recruited 23 skilled professionals through the scheme in areas such as engineering, construction trades, business and finance and health and science.

Jenny Jarvis, Interim CEO of the Education and Training Foundation said the visit was ‘really inspiring’. She said: “What has been achieved at South Essex College is impressive. Attracting 23 skilled professionals from industry to become teachers is no mean feat. “What struck me most about South Essex College’s engagement was how it had thought carefully about the wraparound support that would be required to ensure it was effective. It had, very clearly, gone the extra mile”

Jayne Sheehan, Vice Principal Growth, Innovation & Employer Engagement at the college, said: “We are very proud to receive this recognition from City & Guilds. The End Point Assessment in apprenticeships is a fairly new concept to training providers and the fact that the college is achieving great results is testament to the high-quality apprenticeships we Megannoffer.”

McKinnon, Regional Business Manager at City & Guilds, said: “It was a pleasure to present the college with a special plaque to celebrate this occasion. We are delighted to mark the quality of their apprenticeship congratulationsprovision,andwell done to the team involved.”

A SOUTH Essex College fashion student has been mentioned in an international article about fashion stars of the future. Global higher education website, Study International, put together a list of fashion students and graduates who are ‘killing it with their Mollydesigns’.Martha Neill, Level 3 Fashion Design student at the college’s Southend Campus, has been featured for her LGBTQ+ advocacy. This inspires her designs through colours and genders to create playful pieces. She’s in good company on the list featuring alongside students from top creative universities such as Central Saint Martins in London and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California, MollyUSA. said it felt ‘unreal’ to be mentioned in the article. She said: “I still can’t believe it, with the number of global designers and fashion content available online it feels crazy to have been included.”

For further information on careers in further education teaching, contact

The college’s Assistant Principal Curriculum, Nikki Kelly, has spearheaded the campaign and said: “This project funded by the ETF has enabled us to offer enhanced support and guidance to people from industry who are wanting/considering stepping into teaching. It is a fantastic rewarding career to pass your skills and knowledge to the next generation of employees.”

The City & Guilds Excellence in End-Point Assessment Award has been given to the college for a number of distinctions achieved across a variety of apprenticeship standards. The quality mark represents excellence in Business and Motor Vehicle apprenticeships.

SOUTH recognisedCollegeEssexhasbeenbyCity & Guilds for its high quality provision.apprenticeship

SOUTH College’sEssexdrive to recruit

“The support you get is fantastic. I get one-to-one sessions with a teaching and learning coach, plus there are lots of regular development sessions to enhance skills such as teaching methods.”

An apprenticeship is the perfect alternative to university or college for many people, it’s a great way to gain skills, knowledge and experience in a career sector while earning and learning at the same time.

The visit also allowed the ETF and DfE representatives to hear from some of the recruits themselves who shared their experiences. Petrit Shala joined the college through the TTF scheme. He was previously Operations Manager at the Port of Tilbury but is now a lecturer in IT teaching on both BTEC and T Level programmes. He said: “I was delivering IT training but I knew the place to make a real difference was in education. I wanted to help shape future generations and the Taking Teaching Further scheme has allowed me to do it.

57 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

College’s drive to get industry professionals into teaching praised

City & Guilds recognise college’sapprenticeship successRisingfashioncollegestarhas a bright future

HE need to acquire a sponsor licence to employ someone to work for your company from outside the UK is not a new thing, but since Brexit, it is required for citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland as well as other areas of the world.

Secretarial Our secretarial team will keep things running smoothly for you. Preparing agendas for upcoming meetings, distributing meeting papers ahead of time and promptly completing the minutes. We can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.


Secretarial Our secretarial team will keep things running smoothly for you. Preparing agendas for upcoming meetings, distributing meeting papers ahead of time and promptly completing the minutes. We can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Actuarial Clear, understandable advice is essential if trustees are to effectively manage the liabilities in their scheme. Your Scheme Actuary will guide you through the process of actuarial valuations and negotiations with the sponsoring employer Administration The day to day running of your scheme is arguably most important as this is the aspect that members see. It therefore needs to be efficient, timely and personal. Administrators need to be familiar with the particular features of your scheme rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach.

To satisfy the legal requirement for trustee knowledge and understanding, we provide training for new and experienced trustees, either as stand alone events or within trustee meetings. We can also use our experience of trustee boards to provide a “governance check” or recommendations of best practice.

ActuarialNovus&Administration Lodge Park Lodge ColchesterLanghamLane Essex CO4 5NE Tel: 01206 233547 Fax: 01206 233548


Clear, understandable advice is essential if trustees are to effectively manage the liabilities in their scheme. Your Scheme Actuary will guide you through the process of actuarial valuations and negotiations with the sponsoring employer

Consulting Our consultants will help you navigate the maze of new regulations, guidance and codes in the pensions field. They can also help with benefit changes, buyouts and corporate transactions involving pension schemes.


The day to day running of your is arguably most important as aspect that members see. needs to be efficient, timely personal. Administrators need familiar with the particular your scheme rather than adopting size fits all” approach.

Trusteeship To satisfy the legal requirement for trustee knowledge and understanding, we provide training for new and experienced trustees, either as stand alone events or within trustee meetings. We can also use our experience of trustee boards to provide a “governance check” or recommendations of best practice.

A sponsor will also need appropriate governance to monitor sponsored employees and a specific individual assigned to manage sponsorship in the business.

As an example, for health and care worker visas, the annual salary can be a minimum of £20,480 provided certain criteria are met. However, there are other job roles within the health and care sector that require different pay levels. This complexity of different jobs needing to meet different criteria means it can be a huge advantage to have legal assistance to make sure your application for a sponsor licence is completed correctly and will deliver the results you need.

Actuarial Clear, understandable advice is essential if trustees are to effectively manage the liabilities in their scheme. Your Scheme Actuary will guide you through the process of actuarial valuations and negotiations with the sponsoring employer

Administration The day to day running of your scheme is arguably most important as this is the aspect that members see. It therefore needs to be efficient, timely and personal. Administrators need to be familiar with the particular features of your scheme rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach.

Trusteeship To satisfy the legal requirement for trustee knowledge and understanding, we provide training for new and experienced trustees, either as stand alone events or within trustee meetings. We can also use our experience of trustee boards to provide a “governance check” or recommendations of best practice.


Ellisons has a team of Immigration and Employment specialists able to guide you through the process of acquiring and maintaining a sponsor licence, to ensure your business objectives are achieved without fuss and complication. Or, if you find yourself with an ongoing issue around a sponsor licence application, Ellisons can help find a resolution or help with challenging a sponsor licence suspension or revocation.

Novus Actuarial & Administration LLP Registered in England and Wales No. OC308419 Registered Office: Lodge Park, Lodge Lane, Langham, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5NE

Actuarial Clear, understandable advice is essential if trustees are to effectively manage the liabilities in their scheme. Your Scheme Actuary will guide you through the process of actuarial valuations and negotiations with the sponsoring employer

Sohan Sidhu, Partner and Head of Immigration at Ellisons Solicitors, explains the intricacies of acquiring a sponsor licence for overseas employees.

ActuarialNovus&Administration Lodge Park Lodge ColchesterLanghamLane Essex CO4 5NE Tel: 01206 233547 Fax: 01206 233548

Consulting Our consultants will help you navigate the maze of new regulations, guidance and codes in the pensions field. They can also help with benefit changes, buyouts and corporate transactions involving pension schemes. Secretarial Our secretarial team will keep things running smoothly for you. Preparing agendas for upcoming meetings, distributing meeting papers ahead of time and promptly completing the minutes. We can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

The Home Office can refuse applications for businesses to become a sponsor including for those employers who have unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences (or other crimes, such as fraud or money laundering) and those who have had a sponsor licence revoked in the past 12 months. There are, however, cooling off periods and therefore specific advice should be sought on individual circumstances.



Consulting Our consultants will help you navigate the maze of new regulations, guidance and codes in the pensions field. They can also help with benefit changes, buyouts and corporate transactions involving pension schemes.

However, some groups are exempt, such as Irish citizens, those with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and those with indefinite leave to remain in the ToUK.get a sponsor licence in the UK, you need to apply online and pay the licence fee, which varies depending on the size of the business.

Lodge Park Lodge ColchesterLanghamLane Essex CO4 5NE Tel: 01206 233547 Fax: 01206 233548

Lodge Park Lodge ColchesterLanghamLane Essex CO4 5NE Tel: 01206 233547 Fax: 01206 .novusactuarial.com233548 Novus Actuarial & Administration LLP Registered in England and Wales No. OC308419 Registered Office: Lodge Park, Lodge Lane, Langham, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5NE

How to get a sponsor license in the UK

Secretarial Our secretarial team will keep running smoothly for you. agendas for upcoming meetings, distributing meeting papers time and promptly completing minutes. We can ensure that falls through the cracks.

Trusteeship To satisfy the legal requirement for trustee knowledge and understanding, we provide training for new and experienced trustees, either as stand alone events or within trustee meetings. We can also use our experience of trustee boards to provide a “governance check” or recommendations of best practice.



Novus Actuarial & Administration LLP Registered in England and Wales No. OC308419 Registered Office: Lodge Park, Lodge Lane, Langham, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5NE

If your business is eligible, you will also need to make sure the job you intend to sponsor an employee for is suitable. The job must be of an appropriate rate of pay and skill level, as well as meeting the other criteria needed for their Differentvisa.types of job have varying requirements to fulfil around levels of pay or skill level, so you may need advice to be sure that the job role you are looking to sponsor an employee for meets all the criteria.

The day to day running of your scheme is arguably most important as this is the aspect that members see. It therefore needs to be efficient, timely and personal. Administrators need to be familiar with the particular features of your scheme rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach.

Consulting Our consultants will help you navigate the maze of new regulations, guidance and codes in the pensions field. They can also help with benefit changes, buyouts and corporate transactions involving pension schemes.

Novus Actuarial & Administration LLP Registered in England and Wales No. OC308419 Registered Office: Lodge Park, Lodge Lane, Langham, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5NE


EaccountancySSEX-BASED firm, Rickard Luckin, has been recognised by Best Companies, the incompaniesthespecialist,employeeindustry-leadingengagementasoneofbestmedium-sizedtoworkfortheUK.

One of the Class of 22, Audit and Accounts Trainee, Louise Caldon, said: “The reason I chose to join Rickard Luckin was primarily because of the opportunity that it provided in being able to learn everything from the very beginning, and being someone who hasn't done any work in this field before, this was very appealing. I also wanted to have a change from things that I had done before and start a new Another,career.”

AS Rickard Luckin continues to recruit talented people to build and strengthen its team for the future, it has announced its ‘Class of 2022’, which this year consists of an impressive ten students. To continue the specialist service the firm of chartered accountants and tax advisers provides for its clients, the new student intake has seen Charlie Seagrave, Louise Caldon, Rob Thresher, Tom Clow, Luke Robinson, Joe Corrigan, Jack Hutchins, Fiona Walton, Jodie Chong and Sam Mayers all start their career journeys with the Directorcompany.Terri Smith said: “As well as looking forward to watching the class of 2022 develop and grow, we are excited to see what the new students can bring to Rickard Luckin as the company continues to drive the business forward and help clients to realise their potential and achieve their aims. The desire to offer an extensive range of knowledge and expertise to our clients is the reason behind our continuous drive to invite the very best people to join the team, and with that, the firm welcomes its class of 2022 to the Rickard Luckin family.”

Rickard Luckin named one of the best placesto work in the country

• 7th Best Accountancy Firm in the UK (up from 8th)

• 38th Best Company in the East of England (up from 67th)

• 76th Best Medium-Sized Company to work for in the UK (NEW entry in the national listing).

59 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

The latest results showed that as well as retaining the firm’s 1 star, ‘very good’ level of employee engagement, Rickard Luckin featured in three Q2 2022 categories:

Tom Clow, added: “Coming from a non-accounting background, I chose to study with Rickard Luckin because of its fantastic reputation as a training firm, which was massively important to me in my journey. Furthermore, the office has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and with the progression opportunities laid out so clearly from day one, Rickard Luckin feels like a great place to be!”

Steve Revill, Managing Director at Rickard Luckin, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. Best Companies is recognised as the standard in workplace engagement, and this latest set of results reflect of our dedication to create a supportive environment where our people can develop and thrive. Not only have we maintained our Best Companies 1 star accreditation, recognising we take workplace engagement seriously, we have also made significant progress in the regional, national and sector Best Companies lists. “We have built a very special culture during many years by staying true to our core values of passionate, personal and professional. This recognition stands us in good stead as we continue to invest in improving the employee experience to make Rickard Luckin the employer of choice for those looking to start or develop their career in a progressive and forward-looking firm of accountants and tax advisers. We have set ourselves the challenging goal of being a 3 star Best Company, with world-class levels of employee engagement, and we continue to work hard to create an environment where our people can feel proud to work, develop and make a difference. During the past few years we have really focussed our collective efforts on creating the right conditions and environment to empower the whole team to come to work as their best possible selves, drive our organisation forward and help our clients to realise their potential and achieve their aims.”

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your business will keep it looking its best. Your office furniture, equipment, and technology are expensive investments.

Colchester-based Topflite Commercial Cleaning & Property Maintenance co-owner, Karen Reynolds, certainly believes cleaning is a far more valued service post-Covid, with company bosses placing a much higher priority on getting in the right cleaning “Ascompany.abusiness owner, you have many concerns and responsibilities. You probably don’t have time to worry about cleaning, but you realise it is very important. That’s why it’s best to let the professionals handle the “Ourjob.

mission is to take away the stress of managing your own business cleaning, save you the money from recruiting cleaners in-house, as well as taking away the headaches of sickness, training, equipment and so on. Our professional service can be tailored to your personal requirements and is fully flexible, so you can focus on what you do best - running your business. From end of tenancy cleans to full office cleaning services, we are fully trained and understand the importance of cleanliness within your business and of us providing a service tailored to your cleaning “Duerequirements.tohighdemand in staycations, we have an increase in air B&B enquiries. Owners find it can be a headache to organise regular cleaning, but we take the stress away by managing it for them,” said Karen.

“First impressions are always key in life. When a customer walks into your business, it should look clean and inviting. It’s one of the first things a customer notices about any business. They should see shining floors, organised work areas, and clean bathrooms. Customers notice these things, and they will not return to a business that looks or smells dirty. A clean business signifies order and professionalism. It also shows you care for your business and everyone who comes through your doors. A clean business demonstrates your concern for the health and wellbeing of your employees and customers alike.

Leave cleaning to the professionals LOOK AFTER YOUR BUSINESS SUPPORTING YOUR STAFF Wellbeing in the Workplace Do you know the cost to your business of ignoring drug or alcohol-related issues in your workforce? Open Road offers education, training and treatment services in your workplace. Contact us to find out about: Light touch staff awareness sessions Training for managers • Drugs testing Individual treatment plans Policy development & health promotion Individual Placement Support Do you have vacancies to fill? Could you give someone in recovery their place on the employment ladder? We can help! Have a chat to us about what IPS offers you and how you can make a difference to people getting their lives back on track, as they support your business. 01206 Our mission is to empower a diverse range of individuals, families and communities to lead healthy and more meaningful lives, free from addiction, offending behaviour and disadvantage, to ensure healthier, happier lifestyles. Registered Charity No. 1019915 Since 1990, Open Road has supported people of all ages who misuse drugs or alcohol and struggle with addiction. We raise awareness about the signs of addiction in friends, colleagues and family. Each year we help over 11,500 people across Essex and Medway. A ColchesterA Colchester Red carpet arrival | Arrival Drink 3 course festive dinner | Selfie Mirror Station Dancing & Party until midnight Red carpet arrival | Arrival Drink 3 course festive dinner | Selfie Mirror Station Dancing & Party until midnight Saturday 3rd December Thursday 8th December Saturday 17th December To book your corporate party call 01206 573948 or Private rooms available upon request, please contact for further details. CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN STYLE AT COLCHESTER TOWN HALL CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN STYLE AT COLCHESTER TOWN HALL

60 KEEPING your business clean and sanitised is more important than ever. From making a great first impression to preventing the spread of illness, a clean business is a great investment.

“The pandemic has reinforced the importance of a healthy workspace. Now, more than ever, your employees deserve the cleanest possible work environment. Maintaining a clean workspace gives them peace of mind to come to work each day. A dirty work environment contributes to the spread of germs.

“Ongoing cleaning services are key for preventing issues before they become a bigger problem. Keeping carpets and floors clean and sanitised can prevent mould, mildew, water damage, and other issues.

Using the wrong products or equipment can damage your cabinet surfaces, furniture, and floors. With professional commercial cleaning companies, you don’t have to worry about these issues,” added Karen.

“Some business owners worry about the costs of commercial cleaning. They may try to delegate cleaning jobs or even do the cleaning themselves. This is a bad idea.

WORK startedhason a major £10.7m office development at Parkside on the Knowledge Gateway research technologyandpark on the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus.

“They can benefit from close links with the university, including our research community and students, alongside our campus facilities including our award-wining Jamespark.”

The Grade A, 41,571 sq. ft. office is the largest headquarters style office currently under construction in the eastern region and will be ready in 2023. The building is designed to be as flexible as possible so it can accommodate a large anchor tenant or be sub-divided into smaller units.

University of Essex’s Colchester Campus.

SELEP previously provided Growing Places Fund (GPF) loan funding to support the earlier phases of development at Parkside, including a £3.25m GPF loan to support the initial phase of the development.

The new building will offer more opportunities for businesses wanting to move to the university’s Colchester Campus and take advantage of links to the University’s research community, graduate and student talent pool, campus facilities and business networks.

For more information Registrar Bryn Morris was joined on a tour of the site by representatives from contractor R J Carter including Director of R G Carter Southern James Wilson and Colchester Borough Council cabinet members including Deputy Leader Cllr Adam Fox, who is also Portfolio Holder for the Local Economy and MrTransformation.Morrissaid:“Seeing the latest, most ambitious phase of Parkside starting to take shape is extremely exciting for the university. This shows the level of ambition we have for the Knowledge Gateway research and technology “Wepark.have a region.theourinfantasticandandacrosscommunitygrowingofbusinessesParksideOfficeVillagetheInnovationCentrethisbuildingoffersaopportunitytobringnewtenantswhosharevisionofdrivingforwardeconomyoftheeastern

SELEP also provided £2m in LGF support to the Innovation Centre, Knowledge Gateway, which opened in Spring 2019. The Innovation Centre is a partnership with leading operator Oxford Innovation and is designed to attract and support new and growing innovative businesses. These companies can then potentially move on to the Parkside Office Village to grow further, creating a sustainable business eco-system across the University site.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) awarded the University of Essex a £5m funding package from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) for Phase 3 of Parkside.Oneofthe purposes of the project is to help retain highly skilled workers within the local economy who would otherwise move away from the area.

Major Parkside development now underway at Universityof Essex

The university has ambitious plans for further development of Parkside and is looking at creating another similar-sized building focusing on health technology and wellbeing, including ageing and assisted living, preventative health technology, and data analytics for health.

61 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Cllr Andrea Luxford Vaughan, Cllr Pam Cox, Cllr Adam Fox, University of Essex Registrar Bryn Morris, Director of R G Carter Southern James Wilson, Project Manager John Turpin, Senior Quantity Surveyor Murray Pease and Senior Contracts Manager Ian Powell.

Wilson, General Manager and Director from R G Carter added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with the University of Essex to deliver this exciting development. The groundbreaking ceremony is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the start of this innovative project, providing exceptional facilities that will positively impact the university campus, local businesses, and support wider economic growth across the Thisregion.”isthelatest and largest phase of Parkside Office Village located on the Knowledge Gateway research and technology park at the Colchester Campus. Parkside is a hub for small and mediumsized enterprises which value the campus location and building connections with the University.

Find out more employment-law-business/together4/ Together4/ Perfectly combines employment law advice with an extensive HR support service

The Together4/HR Buddy membership is just £149+VAT per month and is offered without contract or break fees.

Buddy members have full access to a comprehensive library of fully maintained and regularly updated, employment documents HR/employment information sheets and downloadable (and editable) templates covering key HR/employment law policies. In addition, Buddy members have direct access to advice about those documents or their application from one of our expert employment lawyers together with discounted rates for in-house and offsite training services.

There is no minimum tie-in period; the agreement has to work for both TSP and you, and if it does not, it can be brought to an end. TSP also offers a free 7-day trial with full access so why not try before you buy?

Combining employment law and HR services can make sense Jolyon Berry is the head of the employment team at Colchester-based legal firm, Thompson Smith and Puxon. Here he explains how combining bespoke HR and employment law services not only makes a lot of sense but can be surprisingly affordable.

The HR Partner membership is just £300+VAT per month for organisations with less than 250 members of staff.

The new Together4/HR and Employment Law Service from Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) however, shows this assumption to be very wide of the mark.

• Two membership packages available • Over 200 HR templates • Over 200 pages of HR guidance • Access to an Employment Lawyer • No minimum tie-in period • Free 7 day trial

62 It might be assumed that, an integrated and extensive HR and employment law service provided by expert employment lawyers, would be prohibitively expensive.

For businesses who are looking for something more, our Together4/HR Partner membership provides full access to the comprehensive library of HR documents, policies and information, discounted rates for in-house and offsite training services and additional support from employment lawyers who will advise on any day to day employment matter arising. This combination has proved invaluable to TSP clients finding themselves managing grievances, disciplinary or capability issues or for those with busy HR teams who need advice on more technical aspects of their work.

TSPs Together4/HR clients say that the combination of online HR documents, policies and information, together with access to expert employment lawyers, delivers ‘the best of both worlds’ and delivers ‘real value.’

Find out more on our website £10,000


Shaunna left school at 15 with no GCSEs, but her goal was to become a primary school teacher. At the ceremony, she said: “Without the support of ACL to get my maths and my science qualifications, I wouldn’t have got onto my access course, and I wouldn’t have gone to university, so it’s played a big part.”

Celebrating success GRANTS OF UP TO

The Supporting Others award was won by Sam Railton, who takes several courses at ACL throughout the week, including English and Maths, and Running a Creative Business. He is enthusiastic about the courses he is taking and has also signed up for courses next year. Upon receiving his award, Sam said: “I feel ecstatic. I didn’t know I was going to win this award. It feels amazing. I can’t get over this.”

IT Apprentice, received the Learning in the Workplace award. Her line manager Stuart Oldham, CEO of Clear Thinking IT, said: “We decided to take on an apprentice because we were a young business trying to grow and needed access to young talent. Celia, since she started her apprenticeship, got stuck in straight away. She has instantly benefited the business by taking technical calls and helping to provide a fantastic service for our customers.”

Mayes has completed many courses at ACL and received the Lifelong Learning Award. She said: “Every course I’ve done has been life-changing. The parenting course where I learnt about proactive behaviour management completely changed the atmosphere in my home, and we’re a much happier family as a result.” Going on to talk about career prospects, Helene added: “I had no idea where I wanted to go, so my tutor suggested I did the This is Your Year course. As a result of the course, I have a five-year plan. I’m going to be a counsellor with the help of AnotherACL.”recipient of the Lifelong learning Award was Shaunna Bond who studied Maths Level 2 and a combined Science GCSE.

The awards ceremony shines a light on those who have achieved outstanding things during their time at ACL. Awards include Personal Growth and Achievement, which recognises learners who have improved their social or learning skills, while the Supporting Others award is given to people who have provided exceptional support to their fellow learners. More than 30 awards were handed to ACL Essex learners. Here are just a few of their Celiastories.Toms,

Amanda Rawlings, Commercial Manager at ACL (Adult Community Learning) Essex, shares some wonderful success stories from this year’s ACL annual awards ceremony.

Mira Lolliyee received a Personal Growth and Achievement Award. Upon completing her Health and Social Care Level 3 course, Mira aspires to take up an apprenticeship in Occupational Therapy and believes ACL has helped by providing a stepping-stone in her Helenecareer.

issue 25 : Autumn 2022 ON July 6, ACL Essex held its Annual Achievement Awards ceremony, at the Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford. These events are an opportunity for us to recognise our staff and learners and celebrate their amazing achievements.

64 HIRE LTD A name you can trust in customer own insurance rentals. You can call to discuss your wants and needs with a knowledgeable member of staff to check out our competitive prices and availability of the vehicles currently in the Fisk Group Hire’s fleet. For further information, call 01621 731400 www.FiskHire.Group • Part of the FISK Group, a family-run Essex business for more than 40 years • Our van hire services could not be simpler.

65 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Join us for this seminar and short workshop on how supporting biodiversity can help SMEs and vice versa including: what is biodiversity and why does it matter? how can habitat restoration help an organisation? Net Gain Biodiversity for construction / site development breakout groups to identify actions for attendees.

Join us for a set of short talks from our panel on: what does it all mean? The basics of sustainability and its jargon why your customers are making it part of normal business simple actions to adapt and survive the good news - it helps you! Followed by a live Q&A session.

I help clients benefit from the opportunities in change and sustainability, avoid the risks they bring while solving the tricky problems of unsustainability and make their businesses better at the same time.

Join us for some more light-hearted exploration of what the Circular Economy and Circular Society means with some hacks for a more sustainable festive period. Guest speakers with Q&A throughout for the guests. who is Ellen MacArthur? what does Circular mean? hacks to avoid the Xmas ‘stuff’ overload. Visit to book your place.

I bring technical expertise and business insight from 10 years in sustainability consultancy, on top of 20+ years of industry, innovation and project delivery. I have supported organisations in multiple sectors, from rail franchises and insurance, to not-for-profits and SME manufacturers.

Biodiversity for SMEsWednesday November 16

ESSEX Chambers of Commerce has teamed up with expert sustainability consultant, Dr Julie Winnard, to bring you our Sustainability School for SMEs. This includes a series of events and seminars designed to support SME businesses manage the risks and opportunities coming out of the sustainability revolution. Our aim is to develop support services for our members, particularly companies who may not have their own resources to begin work in this area. Sign up to the Sustainability School for SMEs Seminars to find out more.

A Circular ChristmasWednesday 14th December

Surviving Sustainabilitythe JungleWednesday October 12

Sustainability is the buzz word at the moment - but what does it really mean for your business?

I love that this makes organisations, their products and services better and stronger, whilst creating a fairer society and supporting planetary Iecosystems.willhelpyou find what you need in your energy and other data, and support you to pick ways to decarbonise your business and improve your other eco and social impacts, in ways that are really effective, support your ethos and avoid greenwashing.

Introducing Dr Julie Winnard from Haynard Ltd

I support directors and boards, managers, sustainability staff, facilities, energy and R&D engineers - anyone in fact - at SMEs and established companies learning these new skills, as well as green and social entrepreneurs.

IMPRESSIVE PROPERTY AUCTION IN ESSEX High sales success achieved at Dedman Gray Already in 202

Development Opportunity: a former Odeon Cinema in colchester town centre with potential for residential and commercial redevelopment

Buy to Let Investment: a two bedroom flat currently let producing a gross income of £7,800 per annum and a 8.2% yield of the guide price.

Mixed use Investment: a freehold ground floor lock up shop and first floor two bedroom flat producing an income of £25,200 per annum


One thing for sure is that not all properties are best sold by auction but, for the right ones, it really can prove to be the most satisfying outcome delivering a strong price and within a short time scale. Mike Gray is Managing Director of leading south Essex estate agency and auctioneers, Dedman Gray. Here he looks at how property auctions have flourished during the Covid pandemic and why auctions might be a very viable option to the conventional rote when selling your property. 2.

Auctions become a favourite alternative S months, the auction world has learnt to adapt and has continued selling properties to cash buyers despite not being able to hold the traditional auction in a busy hotel room/ function suite.


*plus fees Guide Price -

Auctions become favourite alternative SIMILAR to many this process as many sellers Valuations now being carried out for Lots in our October auction Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree, Clacton, Suffolk Brentwood, Billericay, Romford, Thurrock, Grays, Southend, Basildon, Rawreth, Hornchurch. Ground Rent Investment / Probate Cases / Properties with Structural Defects / Development Land Greenbelt & Agricultural Land / Commercial Premises / Freehold & Leasehold Properties / Industrial Warehouses / Buy to Let Investments / Renovation Projects / Short Leases Southminster Clacton-on-Sea Colchester Hornchurch Thorpe Le Soken Colchester West Bergholt Clacton-on-Sea Hertfordshire Plaistow, London Guide Price - £550,000 *plus fees Guide Price - £95,000 *plus fees Guide Price - £180,000 *plus fees Guide Price - £450,000 *plus fees Guide Price - £550,000 *plus fees Guide

development Opportunity:

Re a vacant freehold former police station and library on a plot of 0.38 acres considered to be ideal for

Commercial Investment opportunity: a freehold detached former care home considered to offer potential for other uses subject to planning

re development.

Another misconception is that the for-sale price is sometimes low via the auction route.This has certainly proved not to be the case in recent years.There are many examples where a property is sold by auction for a much higher price than ever expected and certainly at prices that would not necessarily be achieved if the property had been sold in the traditional way by private treaty.Auctioneers can offer further advice and guidance as to how and why this sometimes happens.

Development Opportunity: a detached barn in a village location with planning permission for the development of a residential dwelling. Refurbishment Opportunity: a vacant freehold three bedroom semi-detached bungalow with planning permission for side and rear extension.

If are looking to sell much more contact auction team on 311010. Price £2,100,000 £675,000 Price - £1,500,000 fees Guide Price - £475,000 fees Guide Price - £360,000

If an catalogueauctionhas a selection of different kinds of opportunities, then a broad range of buyers often come running and this could include private thoseandcompanies,investmentindividuals,buildersdevelopersandperhapsjustwanting to try their luck on buying a vacant property that gives them a project to really get stuck into.



66 75 issue 20 : Summer 2021



Development Opportunity: two detached barns on 1 acre plot in a popular village with planning permission for conversion to residential dwellings

Refurbishment Opportunity: a period style three bedroom semi detached property located in clacton on sea offered with vacant possession


land, investments, vacant or occupied commercial or residential properties, garages and

Commercial Investment: a large freehold building fully let producing an income of £147,500 approximately per annum. a 9.8 % yield of the guide price. Refurbishment Opportunity: a detached period cottage with surrounding moat on a 1.7 acre plot in a popular rural location in need of improvement.

*plus fees Guide

Commercial Investment: two detached freehold buildings and car park partly let producing an income of just over £70,000 per annum.

*plus fees

The upside to the on-line live streaming is that buyers from further afield can now bid at auctions without the need to travel to the venue, as was the case in the past. Selling property by auction has been an alternative method for more than 40 years.There has often been misconception with this process as many sellers felt auctions were only appropriate if the property had structural damage, needed major refurbishment or had been repossessed.They considered it was the most suitable route for properties that were unmortgageable. During the past ten years, it has been proven that the process can be the best route of sale for many different scenarios and is of particular interest to those wishing to sell a wide range of different property assets. These include various property types such as greenbelt land, tenanted properties, open sites or land for development, with or without planning consent, HMOs (houses of multiply occupancy) and lock-up garages. This wide range includes both commercial and residential properties, whether vacant or being sold as an investment with a rental income.

Mike Gray is delighted to announce that our July auction was one of the biggest auctions ever held in Essex. with many lots selling for much higher than the guide

Next Auction 5th October 2022 Clacton-on-Sea Leigh-on-Sea Guide Price - £110,000 *plus fees Guide Price - £675,000 *plus fees

Many buyers and sellers are choosing the auction route due to the speed of a transaction and cutting to the chase with buyers. If they identify a property they wish to purchase, the buyer usually acts quickly and contracts will exchange within a matter of days of seeing the property. This speed and swift action attracts many sellers who wish to reach an early conclusion in the sale of their asset.

Anotheraltogether.attraction that has brought an increase in the number of people buying and selling through the auction process is the simplicity of on-line streamed auctions, which has become very popular with buyers further afield. For many years, we have all thrived on the busy auction room on the day but, with on-line streamed auctions, applicants do not have to use up their time travelling to and from the auction room, only to find they are beaten to the post and out-bid on the day.

Selling property by auction has been an alternative method for more than 40 years.There has often been misconception with this process as many sellers felt auctions were only appropriate if the property had structural damage, needed major refurbishment or had been repossessed.They considered it was the most suitable route for properties that were unmortgageable. During the past ten years, it has been proven that the process can be the best route of sale for many different scenarios and is of particular interest to those wishing to sell a wide range of different property assets. These include various property types such as greenbelt land, tenanted properties, open sites or land for development, with or without planning consent, HMOs (houses of multiply occupancy) and lock-up garages. This wide range includes both commercial and residential properties, whether vacant or being sold as an investment with a rental income.

IMPRESSIVE PROPERTY AUCTION IN ESSEX High sales success achieved at Dedman Gray Already in

Another misconception is that the for-sale price is sometimes low via the auction route.This has certainly proved not to be the case in recent years.There are many examples where a property is sold by auction for a much higher price than ever expected and certainly at prices that would not necessarily be achieved if the property had been sold in the traditional way by private treaty.Auctioneers can offer further advice and guidance as to how and why this sometimes happens.

67 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

Tand, with changes to the market conditions and with a nudge on interest rates, this will continue to be the case.

Time can sometimes be taken up as we recommend all buyers thoroughly carry out due diligence including having a survey on the property, and getting their solicitor to check out the legal pack. Having gone through this process, interested parties can still be out-bid by other eager buyers and the research process has led to missing out on the property

Mike Gray is Managing Director of leading south Essex estate agency and auctioneers, Dedman Gray. Here he looks at how property auctions have flourished during the Covid pandemic and why auctions might be a very viable option to the conventional rote when selling your property. 2022.

Continued success in Auction with £8m + summer sale

Mike Gray is delighted to announce that our July auction was one of the biggest auctions ever held in Essex. with many lots selling for much higher than the guide prices.

Mike Gray, Managing Director of leading Essex auctioneers, Dedman Gray, looks at why auctioning has become a popular choice for both house-buyers and house-sellers.

One thing for sure is that not all properties are best sold by auction but, for the right ones, it really can prove to be the most satisfying outcome delivering a strong price and within a short time scale.

Going, going..... gone !

75 issue 20 : Summer 2021

Legal packs prepared by sellers’ solicitors include a schedule of special conditions which clearly sets out the terms in which the property or investment is being sold. This offers clarity, speed and the chance of a straightforward no-fuss transaction.

Auctions become a favourite alternative SIMILAR to many industries during the past 15 months, the auction world has learnt to adapt and has continued selling properties to cash buyers despite not being able to hold the traditional auction in a busy hotel room/ function suite. The upside to the on-line live streaming is that buyers from further afield can now bid at auctions without the need to travel to the venue, as was the case in the past.

If an catalogueauctionhas a selection of different kinds of opportunities, then a broad range of buyers often come running and this could include private thoseandcompanies,investmentindividuals,buildersdevelopersandperhapsjustwanting to try their luck on buying a vacant property that gives them a project to really get stuck into.

If you are looking to sell land, investments, vacant or occupied commercial or residential properties, garages and much more – contact our auction team on 01702 311010.

c2c is in the process of introducing 12 five-carriage Class 720 'Aventra' trains. These will help boost the current fleet of 74 four-carriage Class 357 'Electrostar' trains which have served the route for more than 20 years. With the communities the network serves continuing to grow, these new high-capacity trains will support the capacity increase required. The 720s will provide significant uplift in the peak with a key growth area the Tilbury loop, Chafford Hundred and Ockendon.

Once the new trains join the fleet, they will support upgrade work and new-look Fenchurch Street and Barking stations, as well as community projects and initiatives across the route. Such initiatives will also be key in establishing partnerships and securing opportunities along the c2c line. Rob said: “c2c plays an important role in local communities so our message to businesses across the network is to speak to us! That is an open invite. We can be a real enabler and we very much want to be a leader in promoting East London and southeast Essex as a great place to live and work.”

We’re committed to our communities, saystrain boss

68 ROB Mullen took on the role of markingwithDirectorManagingatc2cinMay,theappointmentareturn. He worked for the operator in 2007 as a Route Performance Manager, before quickly gaining his Depot Driver competence and joining the Driver Management team. Rob then spent three years as a Senior Driver Manager based at Shoeburyness depot. Since then, Rob has held numerous roles at UK rail firms Great Western Railway and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Following regional and general management roles at GWR, Rob served latterly as Operations Director, delivering the modernisation of the Great Western mainline through infrastructure and electrification schemes, as well as introducing new rolling stock. Most recently Rob was Train Services Director at Thameslink and Great Northern, part of GTR. He’s returned to c2c at a crucial time for the rail industry, with widespread political and public focus on rail reform, industrial action and recovery post-pandemic. While there are certainly challenges to be tackled, Rob is firmly focused on the future for c2c’s customers, communities and colleagues.

“We know these areas are continuing to grow and when we consider working age population figures, as well as new housing developments, these trains will pick up all those extra people,” said Rob. “We need WiFi and power on our trains. Our customers expect this so our new 720s are a step in the right direction in delivering a modern service that satisfies current needs and wants.”

Unfortunately, in recent months c2c has been blighted - along with the rest of the country’s train operators - by industrial action. “Ultimately this causes significant disruption for our customers and heavily impacts our relationship with them. They trust us to deliver a service and when we are prevented from doing so, that trust is damaged,” said Rob. “On top of this, at c2c we’ve faced additional challenges with maintenance and subsequently short-formed trains due to additional industrial action at our train partner, Alstom. We didn’t talk about this publicly for some time as we wanted to give them the time to resolve the dispute, but unfortunately the impact on our customers continued for too long so we had to explain this.” As a result, c2c now has much more stringent contract management measures in However,place. there is a lot to look forward to for the most punctual train service in the UK, with the addition of new trains later this year a key step in modernising the network.

c2c has consistently been one of the best performing train operators in the UK in recent years, delivering record punctuality of 96% on time trains in 2020/21, despite the challenges presented during Covid, and regularly tops industry customer satisfaction Robsurveys.said:

“When I think about my vision for c2c, it really is limitless. I want a modern, high-performing, ‘turn up and go’ operation that meets the needs of our customers, our local economy but also one that puts the environment front and centre of the way we do business. The only way we’ll achieve this is by having colleagues who are empowered to support their customers, act on ideas and are representative of the areas we serve. We’re routinely the most punctual operator in the UK and we get the best customer satisfaction scores but I want us to raise the bar; that means better accessibility, net zero, wayfinding and greater security.”

“It’s really important we continue to deliver a strong service as we focus on attracting customers to the network, not just following the pandemic, but away from our biggest competitor - the car. With train travel the most sustainable option, and a multitude of deals and flexible tickets on offer - such as the flexi season ticket which was developed to reflect new working patterns embraced during the pandemic - we are offering a reliable, green and value-for-money option for those travelling for work, education and leisure.”

Rob Mullen – limitless vision for c2c.

Tat-Hean Gan, TWI’s Director of Innovation and Skills said: “We are delighted to be hosting this new centre at TWI. The centre combine’s ARU’s organisational, behavioural economics, logistics and workplace research expertise, and application of social science within the context of Industry 4.0, with TWI’s knowledge and implementation experience in systems, software development and integration, including using artificial intelligence, machine learning, data capture and other new Thetechnologies.”Industry4.0 revolution demands changes in design, products and services across sectors that require new management, new organisational techniques and the knowledge to realise the potential benefits of digital technology. This ‘human dimension’ however, is all-toooften neglected by policy makers and ARIC’smanagers.focusis on the digitisation of products and services, as well as infrastructure solutions, new business models and transformative management, to drive innovation and sustainable economic growth within local regions and internationally. Its research and development also reflects the wider environmental issues being addressed by society and industry, such as the drive for net zero and more circular economies. This exciting initiative will be the first social science Innovation Centre based at TWI and will play a key role in delivering ARU's wider strategic research theme of sustainable futures.

The new Innovation Centre is based at TWI’s Cambridge headquarters. It carries out research and development programmes that will advance the next generation of business models and tools to help commercialise technologies which address societal challenges. This jointly funded centre is moving forward quickly, striving to establish itself as a world leader in industrially relevant digital transformation and innovation management research.

ARIC was founded in 2021 and is an ongoing strategic partnership between ARU and TWI Ltd. TWI was established more than 75 years ago and is one of the largest, independent, not-for-profit, membershipbased research and technology organisations globally. Its research and development spans engineering, materials, structural integrity management and joining techniques.

To learn more about ARIC please

Gary Packham, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Anglia Ruskin University, said: "ARU prides itself on its innovative and entrepreneurial research, and the digitisation of products and services will continue to transform the economies of the future. This partnership with TWI plays a big part in ensuring businesses in our region have access to expertise which can really make a difference in helping them to Thesucceed."Innovation Centre supports businesses in grant bidding activities and delivering research projects to generate growth and impact. A recent example of this is the Up-Skill project, funded by the Horizon Europe framework programme, which is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the nature of job transformations in the context of the 4th industrial revolution, estimating and mapping emerging occupations. It involves the establishment of an Industry 5.0 platform for future skill requirements, improving the critical understanding of the ‘black box’ of new jobs creation. This €5million project will be made up of 13 partners across Europe, including SMEs and larger enterprises such as Ford TheUK. key strength of the ARIC is creating partnerships and a successful theeconomicinnovationtherebytoIndustrialbothinadoptiontomakeorganisations,talentDrawinginitiativeleadingsaid:Robertaccelerationtechnologydrivebyresearch,environmentcollaborativewithsubstantialimpactandadoptionindustry.Thiswillinturnnewregionalresearchandcapabilityfortheofdigitaladoption.Cooper,ARIC’SDirector,“ItisanhonourtobethisexcitingnewbetweenARUandTWI.onthecomplementaryofthesetwoIbelieveARICcanasignificantcontributionthesuccessful,effectiveofdigitaltechnologiestheworkplace,assistingregionalSMEsandTWIMembercompaniesincreasetheirproductivity,contributingtoandsustainablegrowthforourregion,UKandinternationally.”

69 issue 25 : Autumn 2022

ARU launches new Innovation Centre to revolutionise research

ANGLIA research.educationandinnovative,communitiestransformingpassionate(ARU)UniversityRuskinisaboutlivesandthroughinclusiveentrepreneurialand

It tackles global issues across 12 research areas, from climate change to mental health, educates students from more than 185 countries and has helped more than 2,000 business to grow and perform better. It is now reaching for new heights with the Anglia Ruskin Innovation Centre (ARIC).

There will also be a focus on how to source leads, as well as how businesses can understand who their clients are, and how to use this information in their marketing. The masterclass will also include a Q&A Session.

As a company that specialises in print marketing and production, we will be explaining the logistics of direct marketing and how we can give our clients the tools to create offline marketing. We will also be examining how to use offline marketing in conjunction with online marketing, so that businesses can have the greatest chance of success in reaching their markets.

To register your interest please head to or scan the QR code. We look forward to seeing you.

The masterclass will be taking place between 10am and 12pm, and there will be pastries and drinks provided for the attendees on the day.

The DS Group invites you to an exclusive masterclass on all things direct mail and digital marketing with our MD Allistair Hunter.


70 01255 442799

71 issue 25 : Autumn 2022 PODCASTBUSINESSESSEXBROUGHTTOYOUBYInthelatestepisodeoftheEssexBusinessPodcast,wehearfromRickardLuckinandFamilyBusinessUnited,whohave teamed up to find the oldest family firms across Essex and celebrate family businesses throughout the county. RECENT EPISODES INCLUDE: EPISODE TWENTY-FOUR: PASSING IT DOWNCELEBRATING FAMILY BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT EPISODEESSEX TWENTY-THREE: HOME, OFFICE OR HYBRID - WHICH WORKS BEST? EPISODE TWENTY-TWO: ENERGISE YOUR THINKING TO SAVE ON COSTS Visit or subscribe directly from your usual podcast content provider by searching ‘Essex Business Podcast’ For business owners and leaders that are looking for practical advice, tips and inspiration from peers and professional advisers across the county and beyond. Business Time in Essex - Inside back cover - A4 - August 2022.indd 1 01/08/2022 09:24:50

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