Platinum Business Magazine issue 40

Page 1

The Largest Circulation Regional Business Publication in the UK.

ISSUE 40. 2017

DAVID DAVIS Brexit: Our future in his hands!


Health & Wellbeing of the SE economy



Exclusive interview with Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate

MOTORING Mustang 5-litre Infiniti Q60S

GDBA 2018 The Launch





THE BIG STORY DAVID DAVIS Who is the man charged with the biggest task of a generation - leading the UK’s Brexit negotiations?









Shadow Foundr are combining the fun of crowdfunding with a serious private investment network

A unique opportunity to bypass the gatekeepers

Over 20 pages dedicated to the economic health of the South East, with contributions from EMC, NatWest, DMH Stallard, Kreston Reeves, Carpenter Box, Grant Thornton and Sussex Chamber of Commerce

To conclude our survey feature, we interview the CEO of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate

6 Local & National News 14 Shadow Foundr - Investments 16 Lloyds - Funding Case Study 18 Meet the Buyers 20 Morrisons Solicitors - A move to the Future 23 Sussex Economic Forum 25 Si Conroy - Avoiding Procrastination 26 The Big Story - David Davis 34 The Economic Survey 54 Interview with Stewart Wingate 58 Business Destination - Mallorca 65 Education - Gatwick School 66 Education - Brighton College 68 Education - Hurst College 69 Sussex Business Awards 71 Planning Christmas Parties 72 Christmas at… Sandown Park 73 Christmas at… i360 75 Christmas at… Plumpton Races 77 Brighton Chamber Summit 78 NetXP Expo review 80 Awards - The Bahbas 82 Motoring - Mustang 5-Litre 84 Motoring - Infiniti Q60S 87 Charity News 88 Table Talk - And So To Food 90 Table Talk - Wine 92 Women in Business Excellence 94 Chambers of Commerce 100 Anger Management 102 Institute of Directors

Mallorca is more than just a party island, reports our travel editor Rose Dykins

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Platinum Business Magazine is owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group.






At a Glance


2018 2018 1 0 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y

1 0 TH A N N I V E R S A R Y

DISTINCTIVE CREDIBLE PRESTIGIOUS Join us as we celebrate 10 years of business excellence The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards celebrate people who have shown innovation and inspiration in their work, and have demonstrated a real commitment to the sub-region. Celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary, the awards have become one of the regions premier business occasions - celebrating the best of the best across the Gatwick Diamond region.

For more information and to download an entry form, visit:




Issue 40 - 2017

A word from the Editors As we head into Q4, there is much to be worried about and as much to be joyful about. We take a look at what is what in our Economic Survey – a snapshot, if you will, of the health and wellbeing of the South East economy with some interesting results. We chat with Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate about how the airport manages to service over 46 million passengers on a single runway and speculate as to what this major Sussex employer could do if it had two runways. We look at that tired old chestnut, Brexit and profile David Davis and the rest of the team from both sides of the table in a battle royal over the future of the UK. Maarten returned from his Adrenaline Junkie week and it has taken so long to get the smile off his face that you will have to wait for the next issue to hear all about it and Ian has been chatting to a fascinating new company, Shadow Foundr and as he is keen to point out, no, he did not misspell it. NatWest’s senior economist looks at the possibility of an interest rate hike and EMC explain why now is a great time to sell your business. DMH Stallard prove the point with all the news of their take-over of Rawlison Butler. Rose convinced us to send her to Mallorca on the basis that it is a great business destination – hmm! And Maarten has been assaulting the tarmac of our roads in a 5.0 litre Mustang and Ian was nearly hospitalised from laughing when they took that away and delivered him a Fiat 500! AND FINALLY, we cannot resist boasting. We know we reach over 300,000 readers in print and now we have had the independently audited news that we now have 468,800 readers on-line. That is nearly a million readers across our four publications. With the amount of Champagne consumed, the Fiat 500 will not be leaving the Platinum garage any time soon.

Maarten & Ian Platinum Business Magazine October 2017

The Team

Maarten Hoffmann – Director

07966 244046

Ian Trevett – Director

07989 970804

Lesley Alcock

Amanda Menahem

Kate Morton

Business Development Director

Food & Drink Editor

Copy Editor

Rose Dykins

Beth Nash

Travel Editor

Digital Manager

Sarah Walker-Bennett Amanda Harrington Event Photographer

Head of Design



LOCAL NEWS WELBEING CELEBRATES NEW EASTBOURNE HEAD OFFICE Telecare provider Welbeing, the first point of call for many people who need help to live independently, has grown dramatically since its launch in 2005. The firm now employs 170 people, receives more than a million alarm calls per year and supports 80,000 vulnerable adults.

Helen Moore & Mark Bannister (both Welbeing), Cllr David Tutt, Steve Smith (Welbeing), Stephen Lloyd MP & Robert Cottrill (Eastbourne Borough Council)

Inevitably it has outgrown its offices and has now opened a new headquarters at the Technology Business Park in Moy Avenue. Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne & Willingdon, unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. Steve Smith, Welbeing’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is very pleasing to see the increase in staffing levels and the benefits our presence brings to the local community. That growth in staffing levels both here in Eastbourne, as well as at our second call centre in Norfolk, has enabled us to win new contracts, positioning us as one of the largest telecare companies in the UK. Stephen Lloyd MP added: “I know Welbeing very well and have been following their journey from the beginning. The investment which has been put into this fantastic company is coming back two-fold and they can keep growing because they’ve got the resources. I’m genuinely impressed with what they have achieved and will continue to watch with great interest. I’m delighted with their success.”

A SIGNATURE MAKEOVER Sandman Signature Hotels unveiled its latest multi-million pound investment in the UK hospitality industry at its London Gatwick hotel in September. Attended by more than 100 guests, the event marked the culmination of a three-year top-down transformation of an iconic seven-storey site into a luxury hotel brand – and coincided with the rapidly expanding hospitality group’s 50th anniversary. A total refit saw the hotel re-imagined primarily for the corporate guest and executive travel buyer. All 151 of the four-star bedrooms are now equipped for longer term stays with a microwave, fridge and laptop safe. “Gatwick is not only a major gateway into the UK for business visitors, but also a busy hub for domestic flights, supported by good transport infrastructure, including fast access to central London,” said Sandman Signature Hotels’ UK-based MD Mitch Gaglardi.

The Sandman Signature team with MD Mitch Gaglardi and Mayor of Crawley, Cllr Brian Quinn

“There is also a vibrant international business community that has grown up around the airport. To our mind, that makes it a natural choice for a hotel operator such as ourselves, focused on providing a four-star experience for the corporate client.”

❝ 6

An acceptable level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job

General Manager Inga Gadisauskaite was previously involved in the launch of the group’s flagship north of England site, created out of the Scottish & Newcastle brewery building. She added: “We owe a huge thank you to our many local contractors for working with us on this amazing project and allowing the hotel to remain open with minimum disruption to staff and guests”.


NEW CRAWLEY HOME FOR GRANT THORNTON Crawley Mayor, Councillor Brian Quinn, has opened the new offices of leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK. The dynamic new space, located in St. John’s House in the centre of Crawley, offers a contemporary hub for business professionals to meet, connect and access expert advice. Moving away from the traditional concept of working, the space is designed to harness the power of collaborative working, with Grant Thornton bringing together mid-sized businesses, enabling conversations and adding meaningful value to discussions. Ellen Walsh, Practice Leader at Grant Thornton, Crawley said: “Grant Thornton is a vibrant, forward thinking firm and we see our role at the heart of UK growth. As a trusted adviser and convener, we can bring together other dynamic organisations to share valuable thinking and ideas. Our innovative new spaces in Gatwick and in other locations build on this idea to positively change the way midsized firms do business.”

BUSY MONTH FOR ABIGAIL The corporate team at DMH Stallard have been involved in 20 regional M&A deals that have been completed over the last nine months. In the last month Corporate Partner Abigail Owen has played a significant role in two completed deals. Trade Skills 4U, the UK’s premier specialist electrical training provider is planning to open new centres across the UK following private equity investment, turning adults with little or no relevant experience into qualified electricians. The investment deal with Palatine Private Equity will see the business, that has headquarters in Gatwick, West Sussex, add to their existing training centres in London and Warrington. Abigail led the team advising the shareholders of Trade Skills 4U. She said: “This is an exciting business that is enjoying steady profit, growth and delivering very positive social impact. This investment will move the business to the next level.” DMH Stallard has also completed the sale of the Morton Michel Group, the UK’s leading childcare insurance specialist, to the PIB Group. Founded in 1964, Morton Michel insures 24,000 childminders and nannies, 9,000 nurseries and pre-schools and 5,000 out-of-school clubs and holiday play schemes, as well as numerous other social and voluntary groups connected with childcare. Abigail again led the team advising the shareholders of the Morton Michel Group, and said: “This transaction provides an exit for the current shareholders putting the Morton Michel Group into the hands of the PIB Group who will continue to grow the business on the sound base it has and provide that additional investment needed to take it to the next level of growth and reinforce its position as the preeminent provider of insurance to the childcare sector.” The other advisers to the shareholders of the Morton Michel Group were James Simpson of IMAS Corporate Finance and Malcolm Coomber and his team of Clarkson Hyde Accountants. PIB Group was represented by Dickson Minton WS based in Edinburgh.



LOCAL NEWS B&CE TRANSFORMS COMMUNITY CENTRE Over the summer months Dorman’s Community Centre in Gossops Green was renovated by staff from B&CE, alongside local suppliers and volunteers, to create a bright and welcoming space for people in the local area. B&CE undertook the refurbishment in just six weeks as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, giving the centre a brand new look including a new kitchen, art room, and games store room. Those attending the opening event included Crawley MP Henry Smith, Mayor of Crawley Brian Quinn, and Crawley Town Footballer Mark Connolly, whose daughter uses the centre. Dorman’s Community Centre is home to Crawley Community Youth Service, a local charity which encourages young people to get involved with the community. Following the re-opening of Dorman’s, Dave Savage from Crawley Community Youth Service, said: ‘‘I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s been involved in the project. Dorman’s is a community centre to be proud of, providing vital services for local people, young and old but it was in serious need of a makeover. “Thanks to everyone involved, we can continue to encourage and support local people and their families to make a real difference in their lives.”

FINAL TURBINE INSTALLED OFF THE COAST The last of 116 wind turbines has been installed at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. Each turbine consists of an 80 metre tower, weighing approximately 200 tonnes, with three blades, each measuring 55 metres in length.

The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management

Chris Tomlinson, Development and Stakeholder Manager for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, said: “We’re especially proud to have achieved this remarkable feat, installing all 116 turbines ahead of schedule in just over six months. This major milestone sees the safe installation of all physical components visible above sea level, representing the full extent of the wind farm. “We now look forward to Rampion’s first generation of electricity later this year and to working towards completion and full operation in 2018.” The farm will power the equivalent of around half the homes in Sussex.



NEW MANAGER AT THE MONTEFIORE David Eglington, The Montefiore’s new hospital managing director, is delighted to be back in Hove after spending four years in Dubai as regional clinic director for Mediclinic Middle East. “I used to live in the area and I love Brighton & Hove, so do my family,” he says. “There is nowhere else in England we would rather live.” Now he cycles to work having dropped his children at local schools and spends his spare time with his family watching Sussex Sharks and Brighton & Hove Albion. As hospital managing director, David sees his new role as two-fold: “To ensure our team of staff and consultants deliver cutting-edge, best practice healthcare and to be recognised as the independent provider of choice in our region. “If our patients receive safe, high quality care and are happy with the service, the business growth will come naturally as they will be prepared to recommend us to their family and friends.” The Montefiore Hospital is part of the Spire Healthcare group.

A WAVE TO EAST GRINSTEAD Wave Leisure Trust Limited (Wave) is the new operator for the East Grinstead Sports Centre (EGSC). Commenting on the new addition to the Wave portfolio, Duncan Kerr, Wave’s CEO said: “We are very excited to be taking on the operational management of East Grinstead Sports Club and working with the team, trustees,partners, affiliated dlubs and our members to deliver a high quality facility for everyone to enjoy. “Our initial investment will be in the EGSC Team and we will work to provide a consistent and cohesive service level whilst we listen to the members’ ideas, our team’s thoughts and where the trustees think the Club needs to develop.”

Jeff Morris, Chair of the EGSC Trustees (left), Wave’s CEO, Duncan Kerr (centre) and Treasurer of the EGSC Trustees (right) at East Grinstead Sports Club.

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

LOVELOCAL CONFERENCES LoveLocalJobs are holding their first ever LoveLocalTalent conference on Oct 6th at the Old Market Theatre in Hove. Already over 100 businesses have signed up to attend including RBS, Canon, Amex, Hastings Direct and Chelsea FC. The focus for the event is about the future of our workforce and how to attract and retain talent, with a core focus on the next generation/millennials.

For details and tickets, go to and search Love Local Talent Conference



NATIONAL NEWS SUPERMARKET SWEEP Lidl has snatched Waitrose’s crown as the UK’s seventh biggest supermarket, figures show. The German-owned discounter grew its market share to a record 5.2% in the three months to mid-August, said number crunchers at Kantar Worldpanel, with Waitrose achieving 5.1%. Aldi (which has a 7% market share) and Lidl have targeted Waitrose’s shoppers by launching upmarket ranges at budget prices. Tesco saw overall sales grow by 3% but its market share fell to 27.8%, while Morrisons increased sales by 2.6% as its market share dropped slightly to 10.4%, whilst Sainsbury’s sales rose by 2% as its share fell to 15.8%. Asda sales were up 1.4% during the quarter, and Waitrose’s market share held steady at 5.1% as it increased sales by 2.8% year on year, but the Co-op’s sales declined by 0.4% as its market share fell to 6.3%. Lidl’s latest bid to lure custom is a fashion range by supermodel Heidi Klum which launches next month, with prices from just £4.99. The top ten biggest supermarket chains in the UK • Tesco (27.8% market share) • Sainsbury’s (15.8%) • Asda (15.3%) • Morrisons (10.4%) • Aldi (7%) • Co-op (6.3%) • Lidl (5.2%) • Waitrose (5.1%) • Iceland (2.1%) • Ocado (1.4%)

BLOOD MONEY A supermarket in London is trialling a biometric payment system that uses the unique vein pattern in fingertips to pay for goods. Costcutter said it would consider rolling Fingopay out more widely if the test, at Brunel University, was successful. An electronic reader maps the user’s finger veins, generating a unique key. During registration, users need to link their finger pattern to their credit or debit card and then they can pay for goods without the need to be carrying any cash or cards. The technology has been developed by electronics giant Hitachi, with biometric payments company Sthaler licensed to roll it out in the retail sector.

❝ I work hard because millions on welfare depend upon me.

Nick Dryden, chief executive of Sthaler, said the system would appeal to young people. “Today’s millennial generation now expects a higher level of ease, security and efficiency from the way that we pay,” he said. James Budkiewicz, assistant director of the commercial directorate at Brunel University London, said that it would give students “the opportunity to take cash off campus, benefiting not just customers, but our retailers too”.



GOLDEN GIRL The first statue of a woman to be built in Parliament Square has been given planning permission. A bronze casting of leading suffragist Millicent Fawcett will be unveiled next year to coincide with the centenary of women winning the right to vote. The statue will be designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing - the first female sculptor to have work displayed in the square. The Mayor of London said: “This will be one of the most momentous and significant statues of our time.” Ms Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897, aged 50. The organisation used peaceful tactics to campaign, including non-violent demonstrations, petitions and the lobbying of MPs. The statue will portray Ms Fawcett holding a placard reading “courage calls to courage everywhere”. The new statue will be paid for using the £5m fund announced in this year’s spring Budget to mark next year’s centenary of the first British women to get the vote.

The difference between the Pope and your boss is that the Pope only expects you to kiss his ring.

BURGER OFF Gourmet burger joint Byron has hired City advisers to work through a “cash management” plan that could include shutting underperforming branches, according to reports. The chain, which is owned by private equity firm Hutton Collins, has brought in advisory firm KPMG in recent weeks as it works to cut costs, and KPMG is being lined up for further possible restructuring work if the company’s problems worsen, according to reports.

Byron has been hit with a triple-whammy of sterling-related price inflation, a rising national living wage and increasing rents and business rates. In addition to those stresses, burger chains also face consumer fatigue as competition ramps up, and they are said to be less successful on food delivery apps like Deliveroo. The posh burger chain opened in 2007 with an aim to serve “proper” hamburgers, and it now operates from 70 sites across the UK. Last year, Byron made pre-tax profit of just £194,000 on revenues of more than £80m, and insiders said the firm had paid the price for expanding too quickly. Earlier this year, the firm announced it had hammed up its management team with the addition of Nick Young, former Pizza Express boss, as chief operating officer, and at the end of 2016 the company revealed Dalton Phillips, the former boss of supermarket chain Morrisons, would be its new chairman.



NATIONAL NEWS SMART MOVE Alphabet’s Google has struck a $1.1bn (£822m) deal with Taiwan’s HTC to expand its smartphone business. Google will not take a stake in the firm, but some HTC staff will join the Silicon Valley giant. The Taiwanese company was once a major player in the smartphone market but has struggled to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Google expects the deal to close by early 2018, provided it gets the all clear from regulators. Under the deal, Google will acquire a team of people who develop Pixel smartphones for the US company and receive a non-exclusive license for HTC’s intellectual property. According to HTC half their smartphone research and development team - about 2,000 people will go to Google. HTC currently manufactures Google’s smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, and the company will release updated versions of the devices next month.

SHOP TILL YOU DROP Retail sales in the UK exceeded expectations towards the end of the summer despite prices soaring by as much as 5% over the past year. The boost came despite the fact that prices rose across all sectors over the previous year, with fuel and clothing hardest hit. New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the volume of goods sold in August increased by 1% compared to the month before, well ahead of the 0.2% growth which was predicted. Overall sales increased by 2.4% compared to August 2016, marking the 52nd consecutive month of annual growth.

You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising budget is big enough

The strong performance comes despite the fact that price inflation is creeping up towards the 3% mark in the UK, making goods and services in the UK more expensive. Customers also looked to be searching for deals outside of the traditional shops and supermarkets, with non-store retailing such as Amazon and ASOS, reaping the benefits and reporting a 15.5% increase in sales volumes. “Today’s retail sales figures indicate that consumers are showing an impressive resilience in the face of the ongoing real pay squeeze,” said Ruth Gregory, from Capital Economics.



BT GO HOME… BT is poised to scrap around half its remaining 40,000 phone boxes over the next five years - the telecoms giant has set out a target to rip out barely used booths between now and 2022. Phone box use peaked in popularity in 1992 when there were 92,000. But the advent of the mobile phone has seen their usage plunge. Payphones - including those in the 7,000 traditional red boxes - still handle 33,000 calls a day. But more than half lose money and a third do not have a single call made in any given month. It costs BT £6million a year to maintain payphones, with some being vandalised and other used to organise drug deals. Gerry McQuade, head of BT’s wholesale unit which runs the pay phones, said: “Very few of them make any money as it stands. In aggregate, it costs us more to collect money than the phone boxes generate.” The company has made attempts to find other uses for them - with some housing miniature libraries and even art galleries. But around 2,400 phone boxes are designated as Grade II listed buildings and there are strict rules restricting which pay boxes can be removed. Where there is no other payphone within 400 metres, BT can ask the local authority for permission to remove it. If the firm receives objections from the local authority, it is prevented from going ahead.


We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

The former boss of GCHQ who resigned suddenly from the British spy agency earlier this year has resurfaced in the insurance sector with a mandate to spot new cyber crime techniques. Robert Hannigan, who set up the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) during his two-and-a-half year stint at the intelligence agency, has been hired by Lloyd’s of London insurer Hiscox to advise on emerging cyber threats and new criminal techniques. The high-profile appointment follows a string of major cyber security breaches that have resulted in rising demand for cyber insurance. Insurers are fighting against banks and other financial institutions to hire those with cyber expertise as hackers grow increasingly sophisticated and find fresh ways to break the system. “The risks that cyber criminals pose, both to businesses and individuals in the UK, are significant and sophisticated,” Mr Hannigan warned, adding that insurers must “evolve their understanding and defence against cyber crime.”



FOLLOW THE INVESTORS Crowdfunding has revolutionised the alternative investment sector

Heath Lansbury

Jason Kluver

and its simplicity is quite seductive. Use the power of the crowd to fund great new businesses and projects. Although it may be fun to invest this way, do you really know what you are investing in? Rather than follow the crowd, isn’t it wiser to follow experienced investors? Shadow Foundr provides an investment platform that combines an active private investor network with a crowdfunding element. Two of the founders of the business, Jason Kluver and Heath Lansbury, explain to Ian Trevett how the model works.


he Shadow Foundr website looks, to all intents and purposes, like a typical crowdfunding platform. You are invited to click on an image of an interesting, growing business, under which is a running total of how much has been invested, plus a percentage figure of how close the business is to reaching its target investment. But never suggest to Jason Kluver or Heath Lansbury that they have a crowdfunding company. “We’re an investment platform,” corrects Jason, “and we have an offline network of almost 600 seasoned investors. We try and embrace crowdfunding and educate the crowd to invest smartly and wisely into these companies because a lot of the time we’re seeing the crowd just following the crowd, a bit like lemmings, and they’re not really understanding the basic fundamentals of investing into these start-ups.” Heath adds, “We didn’t want to become a 100% crowdfunding platform because sometimes you can get too automated and in this industry you need to have an offline and an online presence. “People don’t want to be putting £10,000 into a company without speaking to anyone. From our previous experience, we learnt that having an offline private investor network adds real value. Our strapline is: “Don’t just follow the crowd, follow the lead of experienced investors”. “After we conduct our due diligence on an investment opportunity, we’ll put it to the private investor network first,” says Jason. “If they’re happy with it they’ll invest into it. Once we reach at least 30% of the investment target, we’ll put it on the platform for the


crowd to follow, although in almost all cases the investor network will take far more than 30%.”

Our strapline is: “Don’t just follow the crowd, follow the lead of experienced investors”

As the team at Shadow Foundr are seeking initial investment from experienced investors, they have to do their homework and due diligence. In fact, of all the businesses they look at, they typically only take on about 7%. With such a high bar, it is interesting to ask what Jason and Heath look for in a start-up or

growing business. Jason replies, “We’re not looking at business at too early a stage. Probably the first and foremost thing that we look for is the quality of the team involved. There are so many young people out there with great ideas for apps and gadgets but they don’t have any commercial experience to carry them through. We look for scalable opportunities. “Generally they’re in the tech and renewable sectors. We’re not looking for a coffee shop chain or craft brewery, although some of those have done very well. We’re looking for opportunities that can be scaled globally or that are truly disruptive.” “You have a gut feeling,” says Heath. “Over time our radar has become very finely tuned and we can look at something and within five minutes we’ll know it’s just not for us. We know what our investors like. Renewable energies are attractive because

Interview risks associated with engaging in investment activity. We also welcome people who have been a member of an Angel Group or an investment group.”

of the government quotas and subsidies. The CleanTech sector is only going to get bigger, and there is a bit of a niche in renewables that can be reached because the banks generally won’t lend to companies in those early stages.” In some ways the Shadow Foundr team could be compared to the panel on TV’s Dragon’s Den, with businesses looking for investment in exchange for equity - and always the thorny issue of how much the company is valued at. Some of the selfcalculated valuations can be optimistic in the extreme. Heaths takes up the point, “If we don’t challenge the entrepreneur then we’re not doing our job. By the time it gets to our investors, they know that we’ve done our job. The valuation is the key in our sector. If you can’t justify your valuation then we can’t raise the money for you. We are very investorfocused and we get returns.”

lend to the high-risk start-up sector. If we’re going to tap into private money we needed to educate people on tax breaks, covering both the upsides and downsides and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Over the last seven years, it’s been a reassuring and nurturing process.” And they are on the lookout for new investors. Jason says, “To be part of the network there are criteria. You’ve got to be a high net worth individual with £250K of net liquid assets, or you should be certified or self-certified as a “sophisticated investor” as assessed by an FCA authorised firm as being sufficiently knowledgeable to understand the

Over recent years, Shadow Foundr have begun to develop secondary markets on some of their chosen businesses, to allow more liquidity for the investors, though in most cases the investors tend to prefer to keep their investment. One example has been Chayora, which is one of only a very small number of international companies which holds the necessary licenses to build and operate data centres in China. Shadow Foundr have arranged four rounds of funding which have raised £2,153,056. The share price has increased from USD $160 to USD $2000. To allow investors to cash in, a secondary market was established, but of the 55 private investors, 45 opted to stay with the company as the investors believe it has a very bright future.” So where next for Shadow Foundr? They have a team of 15 with offices in London, Brighton and Loughborough. Where will they be in five years? “Hopefully on a beach in Barbados!” says Heath. “We are building a brand not just in Brighton, Sussex and South East England but around the UK and eventually, globally.

We’re looking for opportunities that can be scaled globally or that are truly disruptive

On the other side, who exactly are the investors - and are there spaces for more? Heath answers, “We’ve both worked in the investments sector for a long time and we have built up a good network of contacts. We know a lot of property investors from our last couple of ventures, and although the sector is different, the core principles are the same. We realised we needed to tap into that private money because the banks weren’t going to




Jamie and Ayshah with Paul Green from Lloyds Bank


n optometrist and opticians has opened in Tunbridge Wells with a state-of-the-art consulting room, thanks to funding from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Edney & Edney has refurbished a former hairdresser’s premises, installing a brand-new consulting room with the latest screening equipment, alongside a boutique showroom, with the help of a £120,000 loan from Lloyds Bank. Opening in October, the luxury store is already having to re-forecast its turnover estimates after enjoying unprecedented success, with 140 patients on its books. Run by husband and wife duo Jamie and Ayshah Edney, who together have over 40


Over the past six years we’ve increased our net lending to SME’s by 30% while the market has contracted by 11%.”

years’ experience in the eye care industry, the business aims to offer customers a different optometrist service. The store sources artisan eyewear from across the globe, including Germany and Italy. The independent opticians also work with luxury fashion houses to

provide eyewear from established designer brands. Alongside this, Edney & Edney offer screening for common eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. The business is now looking to hire a local trainee optician and hopes to extend its customer base across the wider region by growing its reputation for high-quality service and eyewear. Jamie Edney, Co-founder of Edney & Edney, said: “We want to offer our customers a highquality eyewear service, from start to finish. It’s so important that patients can receive a thorough eyecare consultation and can choose from the best eyewear available on the

Finance market. That’s why we’ve installed state-of-the-art screening equipment and consulting room in-store which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Lloyds Bank. “We’ve had such a great response to the store and glasses, which is especially rewarding as a family business. We take our time to help customers choose the best design for them. Seeing them leave with a shiny new pair of glasses and a huge smile on their face is what it’s all about for us.”

That’s why we’ve installed state-of-the-art screening equipment and consulting room in-store which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Lloyds Bank.

Paul Green, Senior Relationship Manager for South East SME Banking, added: “Jamie and Aysha have created a unique business in the heart of Kent. They’re enjoying such early success due to the winning combination of vast industry experience, first-class equipment and their attention to customer service.

“It’s been a pleasure to enable the business to offer high-class eyecare services to customers. Supporting businesses like Edney & Edney is all part of our commitment to helping Britain prosper. Over the past six years we’ve increased our net lending to SME’s by 30% while the market has contracted by 11%.”

SUPPORT FOR SMES Lloyds Banking Group is committed to helping businesses of all types and sizes, giving them the funding and support they need to grow at home and abroad. We have set out our pledges in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. In 2016 we supported more than 10,000 first time exporters, grew our lending to small businesses and helped 120,000 start-up businesses in their next phase of growth. Since the start of 2011, we have grown our net lending to SMEs by 30% whilst the market has contracted by 11%. To see the latest supporting businesses factsheet please visit:


18th October 2017 THE ARORA HOTEL, CRAWLEY

Don’t just Meet the Buyers get yourself connected The Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers Programme brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues.

For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their procurement professionals.

From June 2017, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes.

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Business Event

MEET THE BUYERS A Unique Opportunity On 18th October 2017, Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers will bring local, regional and national buyers together with businesses from across the region.


ith just a few weeks to go, Platinum Business Magazine met with the sponsors, Paula Aldridge of Gatwick Airport, Rosemary French of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative and Lise Sorensen of Crawley Borough Council, to discuss how Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers works and how anyone reading this magazine can take part.

How is the 2017 Meet the Buyers different from previous years? Rosemary French (RF): In previous years, Meet the Buyers has focussed on construction and infrastructure. These sectors are still important and will be represented in 2017, but we are looking to create more opportunities in other sectors. For 2017, our 17th year, we have introduced 5 separate Zones to reflect different business needs and types in the Region. These Zones are: • Business Services – to include Professional, Financial, Digital, Education • Manufacturing and Innovation • Public Sector and Utilities • International and Advisory Business Services • Construction and Infrastructure

What are the Buyers looking for? Lise Sorensen (LS): All the Buyers are looking to expand their network of local suppliers to help them cut costs, gain efficiencies and to bring their supply chain closer.

Paula Aldridge (PA): The types of products and services include: catering, environmental, health & safety, and security services. They are also looking for brickwork, groundwork, metalwork, fabricating, fixings, fastenings and fire safety. But the list is almost endless.

How can businesses take part? LS: To find out if there are matches for you, go to www. and complete the online form (Suppliers tab). If we can match you with Buyers looking for what you sell, then you’ll be invited to buy a ticket for the day. Once you’ve paid, we’ll generate your individual Buyer Appointment diary. RF: Once in the room, don’t just Meet the Buyers, get yourself connected

What else is going on? PA: We are part way through a series of free seminars that are providing insights for the attendees. These seminars have been very well attended so we urge any of your readers to register now. There is further information on the website with two seminars taking place after the event itself to help attendees continue with their discussions with Buyers. RF: I’d just like to say this a fantastic opportunity for so many different businesses to gain access to procurement teams within some of our biggest businesses and we look forward to meeting you on the 18th October. · 01293 813889 · @gdMeettheBuyers

BUYERS TO DATE INCLUDE: • Balfour Beatty • Beard Construction • Crest Nicholson • Kier • Raven Housing • Sunninghill Construction • Thakeham Homes • Willmott Dixon • Airport Facilities (Marco) Ltd • Omniserve • Elekta • Manroy • Thales • Varian • B&CE • Crawley College • Gatwick Express, GTR • Southern Water

Local Authorities including: Crawley, Horsham , Mid Sussex, Croydon and West Sussex County Council, The Home Office

On hand to give you advice: • Business Navigator Service from Coast to Capital LEP • Council of British Chambers in Europe • Department for International Trade • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry

Seminars: Digital & Social Media Marketing – Oct 25th 2017 What do You Say After You’ve Said Hello? “It’s not rocket science it’s neuroscience!” – Nov 14th 2017 Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2017 is sponsored by Gatwick Airport, The Gatwick Diamond Initiative and Crawley Borough Council


Workspace Design

MOVING FORWARD Why Morrisons Solicitors have invested in a new headquarters…

Studies show that companies who invest in providing a comfortable and positive workspace receive a significant boost in creativity, morale, motivation, and teamwork, as well as having a positive impact on the wellbeing of the team.

Paul Harvey

These gains can have a significant impact on the company’s ability to attract and retain talent, as well as having a huge knock on effect on the service they provide to clients In the summer of 2016, Morrisons Solicitors commenced a project to find a new space for their head office in Redhill that reflected the firm that they had become – a modern, forward thinking law firm.

Ross Wilkinson

Morrisons chose to move into a brand new, state of the art building in Redhill called Prospero, and they engaged with a leading office design and build business to create the office. PBM caught up with Paul Harvey, Morrisons’ Managing Partner, and Ross Wilkinson, WorkPlace Creations’ Managing Director, at Prospero. How would you describe the move to Prospero?

both in terms of our strategy and vision for the future, and also our personality.

Paul Harvey (PH): I think it’s a real statement about the type of firm that we are. Our clients confirm that we provide an outstanding service and high quality advice to them, but the presentation may have been slightly lagging behind and this move enables us to bring these elements into alignment.

I’ve always held the belief that delivering excellent service begins internally. If you have a happy, engaged and committed team, those

What was the most important consideration when a choosing a new home? PH: Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, location. We have had our HQ in Redhill and Reigate for almost 300 years and we remain committed to the businesses and residents in the area. Secondly, we recognised that we needed a space that allows us to service the needs of our clients but also reflects who we are as a firm,


qualities will be projected outwards naturally – both through the quality of the work we do, and the way in which we deliver that work. Teamwork is a really big part of our culture, it’s integral to everything do. Moving from an office spread over 3 floors to being on one floor will improve collaboration on a day to day basis.

What features are included in the new office? PH: Firstly, for our clients and visitors, we wanted to be agile in the way in which we can engage and communicate with them – whether that’s face to face in our office, or virtually by video conference. So in addition to a suite of state-of-the-

art meeting rooms, we have created quiet working pods, and a more relaxed area where both our teams and our clients can continue to work, have less formal meetings, take a call, or just to get a change of scenery. People spend a significant portion of their lives at work so it was really important to create an environment that makes that time as comfortable, enjoyable and as productive as possible. I strongly believe that the space we have created will inspire and motivate our team to be even better – and that attitude will be reflected externally in the way we deliver our services to our clients.

What was the design brief? Ross Wilkinson (RW): When I first met with Paul, it was clear he wanted to create a modern and agile working environment, and to break down some of the barriers between departments, teams, and clients – a space where everyone can collaborate and share facilities.

Workspace Design But also, the office should be more than just a place to work – it should be fun, it should be exciting, and it should be a space of social interaction. Being able to support a healthy work-life balance and the wellbeing of the teams was also key. So in addition to spaces where people can get away from their desks, the building has shower facilities, changing rooms and bike racks that help Morrisons promote a healthy lifestyle and more options for getting to and from work. Paul wants his team to be proud of working at Morrisons, and turn round to clients, friends and family and say “I am working for a great company” - and that creates business opportunities as well.

What influenced the design of the specific areas? RW: First impressions. We wanted the first thing you are met by when the lift doors open to be a modern, professional and welcoming look and feel. We didn’t want the reception to be just a waiting area; it should be a place where you could also use to have a brief informal meeting with somebody, if it wasn’t a sensitive topic. In addition to a suite of excellent client meeting rooms, we also created a combined client and staff café area. So if you are a client and you are early for a meeting, or you need to do something before you head home, you can use this space to log on, have a coffee and do what you need to do before heading off. The client then sees Morrisons for what Morrisons represents - a transparent and welcoming business, with a team of people who are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do. In the open plan office area, the key design feature is the spine, which runs straight through the middle of this area. The spine is an “enabler” that staff can access from either side. This provides a shared space that eliminates duplication of office facilities, and provides easy access to centralised services. We have also integrated a video conference facility at the far end in an internal meeting room, and a training area that can also serve as a hot desk area for staff visiting from other offices. The other thing I would say is that we have tried architecturally to use the framework of the building to reinforce the Morrisons brand. And that’s not just using corporate colours and logos throughout, but it’s about making statements about the business, the core values, and the vision. This gives everyone an understanding of who the firm are by telling them that this business has structure, it’s got a vision, it’s got ambition, and it values its people. Finally, it’s not just about what we create on the inside. Prospero has been designed to a supreme standard of sustainability, including electric car charging points. Internally, everything that we have done in this space has been with sustainable products - and that’s been really important in all of our considerations.

What are your thoughts on the completed project? PH: I love change, I love innovation, I love moving forwards, I’m very ambitious for this firm and it’s been a really exciting project for me. I think this is just the start of the next phase in our development as we continue to grow, to expand upon the services that we provide and to attract the best quality lawyers. RW: From our point of view it’s quite a sad day because we are coming to the end of something that we have created. The best projects are when clients take a proactive approach in delivering a project. The Morrisons team have been involved throughout and as a result, we finished the project on time, on budget and we have created a great working environment where everyone is really looking forward to coming in and using the space. Our success will be measured by everyone using the space and the business continuing to thrive. Morrisons is a great business who I’m sure will grow from strength to strength.


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Business Event

BUSINESS TALK Sussex economic growth, Brexit, Business, Education and Employment

16th & 17th November 2017





THE COUNTY’S LARGEST ECONOMIC FORUM CONFERENCE HURRY! BOOK your tickets for the 16th November Gala Business Dinner and for the 17thNovember full day Conference NOW!



Carrot Events are proud to introduce Sussex’s very first Economic Forum taking place in November 2017 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. The two-day event will see many high-profile keynote speakers including economists, cabinet members, politicians, local government bodies, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce members, local and international businesses, universities and a variety of other institutions on the panel for each of the four strategic and major debates. Sussex’s economic growth and development is strategic to the success and stability of our county and will be the main subject matter in this first of a kind conference. The lavish Gala Business Dinner will open the conference on Thursday 16th November with one of the UK’s top business magnates as the evening guest speaker. The conference will take place the following day on Friday 17th and offers all attending delegates the opportunity to engage, listen, learn and participate in several county-wide important issues that impact Sussex’s economic growth. Furthermore, the conference offers the chance to network with the crème de la crème of the Sussex business world in an event that will be engaging, informative, thought-provoking and memorable.

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For more information about the conference or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email

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CEO Fight Club


The Key to Time Management, Focus and avoiding Procrastination By Si Conroy, owner of Scarlet Monday


run ultramarathons. Defined as anything longer than a marathon, in reality most competitive ultramarathons (‘ultras’) are either 50 or 100 miles long. Non-stop.

I read that if your body could cope with running 30 miles, it could cope with 100 miles. The challenge was your mind. That was what got me hooked. Most commonly, from about mile 50, a voice in your head starts asking you why you’re doing this. It tells you to stop and lie under the nearest hedge. It wages war by throwing up every reason why you should end this madness now. Yet this voice comes from the same head that has already (typically) committed to, and run, a training programme leading up to the race of c.1,000 miles.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin. – Mother Teresa

What is the solution to stopping? Simple: continuing. One foot in front of the other, however painful (within hospitalisation reason) but absolutely in defiance of the voice in your head. What has this got to do with solving time management, focus and procrastination problems? Again, it’s simple. Get in the habit of doing. Setting our goals and knowing what we should do is hard, but starting is harder. The voice in our head implores us to do more planning, read more books in preparation, find better systems and write ever more detailed to-do lists. They worry about the ‘what-ifs’ and the ‘what’s-in our email inboxes’. Eventually they’ve convinced us that tomorrow or next week or next month is a better time to start. We know that we should just start. But we don’t because we’re not in the habit of just starting. We’re habituated to procrastinating.

1. Decide what you should do. Variants on this solution all come to the same conclusion: do the most important thing first every day. What is difficult is not doing the slightly less important things through to downright procrastinating on Facebook or cleaning the oven. Warren Buffett (second wealthiest person in the US, fourth in the world) uses a 25/5 method. He writes down the top 25 things he must do. Then highlights the most important five things. Then only does the five and actively avoids the other 20 until the five are complete. But makes sure he re-runs the 25/5 process before starting on the remaining 20. 2. Do it. Develop the ‘habit of doing’ using BJ Fogg’s ‘Tiny Habits’ methodology. Dr Fogg PHD is director of the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. He identified through experiments with over 40,000 people that the best way of introducing a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit. So if we know we should do our most important thing first every day, we just need to identify something else that we habitually do first every day. We need to associate a reminder about the thing we must do with the thing we already do, and then do it as soon as we do the thing we are habituated to. Writing a book? Write a paragraph as you drink your first cup of coffee in the morning, having been reminded by sellotaping a biro to your coffee jar. Launching a new business? Do the next most important thing before you allow yourself to open your email app. every morning. Remind yourself by hiding the email app. in a desktop folder called ‘Take the next most important new business action’. Sound silly? Maybe not as silly as the things you do when you procrastinate. Anyway, let me just check Facebook or my email again before I get on with that important life goal....

So let’s keep this simple with two tools: Si Conroy specialises in helping business owners set and achieve stretching goals: sales, profit & capital/ dividend value realisation. Trained at PwC and owner of and, Si practices what he preaches across a number of businesses in which he has invested. · @siconroy


The Big Story

BREXIT: Our future in their hands

David Davis and Michel Bernier


he question on many people’s lips is ‘just who the hell is David Davis?

He now has one of the most important jobs of this generation - namely, to negotiate the deal to remove the UK from the European Union. This could be regarded as the most important negotiation in modern history for our country and yet what do we really know about the man? David Michael Davis was born in 1948 and has been the MP for Haltemprice and Howden (no, me neither!) since 1997 and was previously the MP for Boothferry (no, me neither!) since 1987 and is now a member of the Privy Council. Davis was raised on a council estate in South London and after attending the local Grammar school in Tooting, he went on to gain a Masters Degree in business at the age of 25 before joining Tate and Lyle where he served as a senior director for over 17 years. After entering politics in 1987, the then Prime


Minister John Major appointed him as Europe Minister in 1994. In 2016, following the EU referendum, Theresa May appointed him as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.

Britain’s EU membership is an issue Davis has been thinking about for “the thick end of 30 years.

So our future, and that of the entire United Kingdom, is in the hands of this man. Sure, parliament will get to vote and Labour will play their silly games but what this man comes home with at the end of the day will be the deal we live with for decades. Is he up to the

job? Is he actually a Remainer or a Leaver? The EU has put up Michel Barnier to fight their corner and it is thought in some corners that he has been ordered to make our departure ‘painful, expensive and messy’ to deter any other states from following our path. Of course, one can see the sense in this approach as, if it is an easy and fruitful departure, there are other states that will charge for the door in a heartbeat but this approach will be totally counter productive for both sides. Barnier is a former French government minister, who was handpicked by François Hollande, the former French president, to lead the Brexit negotiations. It should be remembered that the UK has always had a ‘pinikity’ relationship with the French and there are so many past prejudices coming into play here that it will be tough to separate the wheat from the chaff.

The Big Story Barnier is concerned about the progress of discussions and has urged the UK to start “negotiating seriously”, as the third round of talks with Davis began in Brussels. He said he welcomed the British government’s position papers, which he had read “very carefully”, but standing beside Davis he added that he wanted the UK to come clean on how much it was prepared to pay in terms of an exit bill. “We need UK positions on all separation issues. This is necessary to make sufficient progress. We must start negotiating seriously. We need UK papers that are clear in order to have constructive negotiations. And the sooner we remove the ambiguity the sooner we will be in a position to discuss our future relationship through the transitional period.” However, Davis refuses to spell out what he thinks the UK could be liable to pay, despite having admitted Britain has “obligations” from its 44 years of EU membership. European leaders have agreed unanimously that the UK must make sufficient progress on three separation issues before talks can progress to trade. Barnier’s mandate means the UK has to reach an agreement on the financial settlement, the Irish border and EU citizens’ rights before discussing a future relationship with the EU.

His former chief of staff at the Brexit Department launched an extraordinary tirade against his old boss saying he had witnessed him being “drunk, bullying and inappropriate”.

The European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, repeated this message recently, when he told an audience of EU diplomats he was disappointed by the British government’s approach to the negotiations.

David and Doreen Davis

“I have read with all necessary attention all the position papers drawn up by the UK government but none of them really give me satisfaction, so there is an enormous amount of questions that need to be resolved,” he said. Davis has repeatedly said the EU timetable is “inflexible”. As he entered the talks, he repeated his call for the EU to show “imagination” about the organisation of the talks. “For the United Kingdom, the week ahead is about driving forward the technical


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The Big Story discussion ahead, across all the issues. We want to lock in the points where we agree, unpick the areas where we disagree and make further progress on the whole range of issues. In order to do that we require flexibility and imagination from both sides.”

negotiations, not only for the sake of the country but for his own barely concealed desire to one day be Prime Minister. Would he consider running for the leadership again? “I imagine there are narrow circumstances where I might” was his reply.

Davis returned to London after hours of talks with Barnier and a day of briefings with UK officials. More than 100 British officials are expected to take part in this third round of talks, dedicated to the three divorce issues and technical problems such as the status of goods crossing borders after Brexit day.

Britain’s EU membership is an issue Davis has been thinking about for “the thick end of 30 years.” Initially in favour of membership, he came to believe in leaving the EU having decided that attempts to reform the Union never work. “Einstein once said doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. And I’ve decided not to be insane anymore.”

The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, 21 months before the end of the sevenyear budget agreed with David Cameron. But the budget payments would not cover all of Britain’s liabilities, in the eyes of EU negotiators. Brussels thinks the total Brexit bill is much higher, with estimates of about €75bn, including the UK’s share of pension liabilities and unpaid bills.

Einstein once said doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. And I’ve decided not to be insane anymore.

So far EU member states agree that the UK should pay for what are deemed “British liabilities” and are in no rush for a divorce deal in October. One EU diplomat said many countries were ready to wait until the end of the year for the divorce deal, rather than the early autumn as the British had hoped. “We are ready to let the October deadline pass by.” So here we are with incredibly tough negotiations for many years to come with the party on the opposite side of the table having so many axes to grind that it will be a wonder if anything is ever agreed. In an exclusive interview with Prospect Magazine, Davis rejected the idea that the European Union will seek to punish Britain: “It’s highly unlikely—you’re talking tiny fractions of a per cent—that the EU will stick to a punitive line.” Not when “we are Germany’s fastest growing market—we’re their biggest export market within the EU.” It is important that he succeeds in these

He continued: “It took the EU nearly 6 years—70 months—to do a free trade deal with Singapore. Not a very complicated country. It took New Zealand 11 months to strike its deal with Singapore. The EU is like a sumo wrestler: it doesn’t move very fast!” Davis is not without his detractors. His former chief of staff at the Brexit Department launched an extraordinary tirade against his old boss saying he had witnessed him being “drunk, bullying and inappropriate”. In a stream of early-morning tweets, James Chapman made a series of astonishing claims about the man leading Britain’s negotiations to leave the EU, including that he: • “Leered” over Labour MP Diane Abbott while allegedly “drunk” • Has been “working 3 day week since day one” • Keeps former Ukip leader Nigel Farage on “speed dial” • Could get easy rides in BBC interviews because of close relationships with top presenters • Conducted extraordinary outbursts against foreign leaders Mr Davis was branded “disgusting” and “misogynist” by Labour MPs after a leaked text message showed he had suggested MP Diane Abbott was not attractive enough to kiss. A spokesperson for Mr Davis said at the time he was sorry for any offence caused and that the message was a “self- evidently jocular and private exchange with a friend”. Davis now faces the new parliamentary term with MPs and peers back in Westminster, slightly tanned and with pencils sharpened. They’re all set to scrutinise the government’s flagship Brexit legislation, the Great Repeal Bill, which was officially put to parliament on September 7th and there is set to be a battle royal. Davis will set out the government’s position in the Commons before the bill


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The Big Story

is debated. Here are four Brexit topics you might want to brush up on:

How’s the economy doing? There’s good news and bad news. A recent survey of British manufacturers says firms are exporting more to the EU than they were this time last year. It’s been suggested that a weaker pound – which makes UK exports relatively cheaper abroad – is behind the rise. But the fact that sterling is struggling also pushes up the cost of everyday items for British consumers. Inflation is now at 2.6% – up from just 0.8% in June 2016 and firms are still worried about falling demand for their products from UK customers. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that business investment in the UK economy grew by just 0.1% between the first and second quarter of this year and spending by consumers didn’t grow at all in that time.

The EU is like a sumo wrestler: it doesn’t move very fast!”

What’s happening with the divorce bill? One of the toughest questions in the Brexit debate is who owes what when we leave.

In July, Nigel Farage, one of the foremost proponents of Brexit, said that the UK wouldn’t have to pay the EU anything after 2020. We fact checked him on this at the time, and showed that his argument didn’t stack up. His employer, LBC, later made clear that his comment was “not accurate”. In recent days, the issue of what we could owe the EU after Brexit has surfaced again. Michel Barnier, said recently that there had been “no decisive progress” on the question. David Davis fired back, claiming that the EU were not being as “flexible and pragmatic” as Britain. So as yet, we don’t know what the divorce bill – if one materialises – will look like.

What do we know about migration? The number of EU citizens leaving the UK is already up, and the number of new arrivals is down. Last month, we looked at the most recent data, which shows a 40% fall in net migration from the EU since the Brexit vote. What’s less clear is what will happen to the three million EU nationals who want to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit. The government said in June that after we leave the EU, “we will create new rights in UK law for qualifying EU citizens resident here before our exit”, and that “qualifying EU citizens will have to apply for their residence status”. Once an individual qualifies under that system, they will be given indefinite leave to remain. But in an article co-written by

fellow members of the European Parliament, one of the EU’s key Brexit coordinators, Guy Verhofstadt, described the UK’s offer to EU nationals as a “damp squib”.

Mr Davis was branded “disgusting” and “misogynist” by Labour MPs after a leaked text message showed he had suggested MP Diane Abbott was not attractive enough to kiss

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said in July that most of the cabinet agrees that EU citizens should be free to work in Britain during the “transition period”, which could last a number of years.

What’s going on with the European Court of Justice? In August, the government set out its position on what our future relationship with the European Court of Justice might look like. In many ways, the government’s papers raise more questions than they answer. Interestingly, they leave open the possibility that ECJ rulings could find their way into UK law after Brexit.


The Big Story

Here is a sneak peek at both sides of the table: Michel Barnier, European Commission Chief Brexit Negotiator A politician with a wealth of experience in national and European politics, former French Minister and Commission Vice-President Michel Barnier will lead the Commission’s Taskforce for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the UK. The appointment was badly received amongst elements of the UK press, as Barnier is mostly remembered for his role as Single Market Commissioner (2010-2014), during which time he brought forward a number of legislative initiatives for the financial sector, such as the establishment of the new banking union as a response to the financial crisis. In his long political career Barnier has held portfolios in national and European politics including foreign affairs, agriculture, regional policy, institutional reforms and internal market and services. He is very well connected, both at EU level and amongst individual Member States. Given his past experience with the UK, his appointment by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was seen as a sign the EU was prepared to adopt a tough stance during the negotiations. Barnier will officially begin his work from 1st October, following which it will be become clear whether the Council or the Commission takes the lead role in the negotiation process.

Didier Seeuws, Council Special Taskforce Chief Negotiator A Belgian diplomat and former advisor and later Chief of Staff to previous Council President Herman Van Rompuy (2011-2014), Seeuws has been a diplomat since 1989, having worked in Washington on economic and trade affairs, as well as in the Belgian Permanent Representation to the EU, where he was Deputy Permanent Representative. With Donald Tusk taking over the Presidency, Seeuws was appointed as the Director of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. The appointment of Seeuws to his current role was seen by the European Commission as a ‘power grab’ on the part of the Council, following conflicting legal advice on which organisation should take the lead. The Commission will nevertheless be closely involved, especially as a repository of expertise, whose knowledge of legislation and the Treaties is far superior to that of the Council. A key concern of the Commission was, reportedly, that the Council might give the UK greater flexibility during the negotiations, which could set a precedent for other countries considering leaving the EU. If that was indeed a concern, the appointment of Michel Barnier to lead the negotiations on the Commission’s side has certainly conveyed that message.

Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament chief negotiator on Brexit A veteran politician and a familiar face both inside and outside the EU - in itself a rarity - Guy Verhofstadt’s appointment made immediate waves, despite the fact that the European Parliament will most likely have the least power in the Brexit negotiations. One of the few politicians in the European Quarter who can demonstrate charisma and a flair for oratory, Verhofstadt is an avowed federalist. The current Leader of the centrist ALDE group of Liberal MEPs, Verhofstadt has been involved in politics since the early 70s, first as a student. In 1978 he was elected in the Belgian Parliament and served three times as Belgian Prime Minister (1999-2008). He has been an MEP since 2009. His appointment made waves and was seen as a provocation in the eyes of his Eurosceptic parliamentary colleagues. Nigel Farage, with whom Verhofstadt has often hotly debated in the European Parliament, stated that “Guy Verhofstadt hates everything we stand for, which should mean a much shorter renegotiation,” while leader of the ECR political group of Tory MEPs Syed Kamall called the appointment “a stitch-up”. Despite all the noise, it is unclear how much actual power and influence the Parliament will have in the Brexit negotiations. The Constitutional Affairs Committee will take the lead on behalf of the Parliament and it is expected that a special task force on Brexit will be set up, which Verhofstadt will lead. It can also be expected that the Parliament, in choosing a strong personality to lead the negotiations on its part, is hoping to be more influential in the Brexit process. This comes following the wrangling between the Commission and the Council over which gets to lead on the process.


The Big Story

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union A veteran politician and a former Tory leadership candidate, David Davis is strongly Eurosceptic and is seen as belonging to the right of the Conservative Party, although he is on the progressive side when it comes to issues such as civil liberty. Davis made a comeback (his last frontbench post as Shadow Home Secretary was in 2008) in Theresa May’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, a newly created position immediately dubbed ‘Brexit Secretary’. His appointment a clear overture by Mrs May to the Leave camp. Earlier this year, Davis elaborated on his views on what relationship the UK would have if it left the European Union. Writing for the Daily Telegraph, he rejected the idea that the UK would have to adopt a Norwegian or Swiss model, noting that the country would negotiate a bespoke deal to suit its circumstances, adding that this is what countries like Norway and Switzerland had done. In an article for Conservative Home, he emphasised the need for an export-led growth strategy and expressed his belief that Brexit would enable the UK to “take back control of trade”, as striking free trade deals would be less rigid without the need to find a compromise among 28 states. In the same article, he was also in favour of the UK taking its time to trigger Article 50 in order to develop its negotiating strategy, also consulting broadly among stakeholders. Davis has built a reputation as a highly competent political operator and will certainly be a hard negotiator in the process of the UK’s disentanglement from the EU.

Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs The appointment of the colourful former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to the role of Foreign Secretary was seen as the first surprise appointment of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Cabinet. Johnson, one of the leading figures of the Leave camp in the EU referendum campaign, saw his party leadership bid abruptly stopped after his referendum ally Michael Gove announced his leadership candidacy. The Foreign Secretary will not only be a key negotiator in coming to a deal with EU member states, but following the referendum, can also be seen as senior voice of the Vote Leave Campaign in cabinet. Success in his new, high-profile, yet challenging post, could mean that Johnson’s leadership ambitions might make a comeback.

Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox has returned to the frontbench as a favourite of the Tory grassroots – illustrating Theresa May’s efforts to unite her party. The remit of his new department will be interesting, as traditionally the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) ‘sells’ the UK to other nations Dr Fox’s appointment demonstrates Mrs May’s consideration that maintaining these trading relations is critical to making Brexit work. The Brexit department will be delivering the EU trade deal, so Dr Fox may be charged with producing frameworks for trade deals which the PM will sign off. However, this leaves the FCO in something of a grey area, possibly creating tensions between Dr Fox and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson where their responsibilities potentially overlap.

Oliver Robbins CBE, Permanent Secretary Oliver Robbins has been made Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the EU, responsible for supporting EU negotiations and establishing the relationship between the UK and the EU. As Permanent Secretary he will provide the most senior support to ministers and the wider European and Global Issues Secretariat. A well-known face within the Civil Service, he originally joined as a graduate entrant in 1996 and has spent time in HM Treasury and Downing Street. Robbins was also Director General of the Civil Service from January 2014 to September 2015, and Deputy National Security Adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron. Prior to his latest appointment, Robbins was Second Permanent Secretary for Borders, Immigration and Citizenship, an apparent sign that Oliver Letwin – the ‘Brexit Minister’ of the new unit in the Cabinet Office – is going to prioritise free movement of people in the negotiations process. Robbins is a highly experience Civil Servant, with government and international negotiating experience that makes him suited to the challenging tasks ahead.



Brexit survey report – July 2017

IS YOUR GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? By Julian Clay, Strategic Sales Consultant EMC Management Consultants


n the Queen’s speech of June this year, the Government set out its plans to deal with the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. This involves setting up an independent trade policy to manage life after Brexit. There has been much debate on the merits of a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit and many options have been considered. This includes looking at the merits of a Customs Union or Free Trade Agreement. The fallout of these discussions which must be completed by March 2019 leaves businesses in the UK and the South East in a peculiar position. That is, we don’t yet know the economic fallout or the economic position during this transition. How does that stack up in relation to business confidence? We have seen a slowdown in the housing market this year, which is often an indicator of how the economy will fare in future months. However, there has also been a modest rise in growth of 0.3% in the second quarter of 2017 which has pushed the pound up against other currencies. In order to test business confidence we asked a number of business leaders in the South East about they felt about their company’s chances for growth and security over the next year. The results may surprise you!


Particular points of interest included: • 59% of those surveyed thought that they would see an increase in revenue of over 10% next year • 77% thought that their company was likely to recruit new employees in the next year • 68% were looking to increase their existing employees’ salaries in the next year • 86% thought that networking and referrals were the most effective type of marketing • 73% of companies used ‘internal resources’ as their preferred method of getting investment • 91% said that their top aspiration next year was increased profitability • 68% of people said that there was no business plan currently in place to deal with any potential economic slowdown (caused by Brexit) • 45% said that their company had no succession plan in place (should something happen to either the Managing Director or CEO)! What does this show? A high number of those surveyed were surprisingly optimistic about their own company’s prospects over the


next 12 months, in particular when it comes to employing more people and paying them more. Part of this was based on existing and expected contracts and short term levels of demand. Others had introduced new products and services which had been successful over the past year and which were forecasted to do well in 2018. This positivity is supported by the high numbers who were looking to increase revenue and profitability next year as well as increase salaries for staff. However, 68% of those surveyed had no business plan and only 45% of those surveyed had a succession plan in place. This implied that there could be a lack of realism in some of the survey’s answers if you think about the potential unknown economic situation. Also, according to the survey’s results, without the current Managing Director or CEO in charge there may not be a robust leadership team to cope with an economic downturn. With the exception of Brexit, when people were asked what they would consider their biggest company challenge in the next year, the answers included: • ‘Client retention due to the takeover of other businesses that we are looking to buy or have already bought’ – Roger Christmas, Group Finance and Strategy Director, Bennett Christmas Insurance Brokers. • ‘Price rises of materials which can eat in to our profit margins. With Brexit, this may be an unknown factor in the next couple of years and therefore involves uncertainty and risk for us even at a time of continued growth’ – Mark Tulley, Group Sales Director, Gemini Print. • ‘We are looking at opening up larger opportunities to increase single sales order value. This is something that remains our biggest challenge in the current economic climate’ Pete Small - Managing Director, Logo Sports. • ‘We need to overcome challenges that include us working smarter as a company in order to reduce the element of competition. This will help us become sharper’ - Nicholas Parrish Managing Director, Wightman and Parrish.

• Our biggest challenge relates to cost control which affects our margins. Because we are a food based company, the cost of buying food can change. This needs managing in order to help us increase our profitability’ Kathy Taylor - Sales & Marketing Manager, Sodexo. This type of feedback does raise some of the key challenges for businesses, some of which the Government are looking at and which will affect our trading relations with EU partners as well as EU residents living and working in the UK. It includes: • Terms of trade with the EU and non-member states • Rules, standards and regulations • The labour market • Funding (for businesses) With this in mind you would expect many companies who took part in our survey to be either cautious or pessimistic. However, what is interesting about the results is that they are more optimistic than the British Chambers of Commerce predictions and that of a study by the Harvard Kennedy School (in conjunction with the Policy Institute at King’s). The latter stated that the Government and individual companies tend to ‘exaggerate the opportunities and downplay the risks’ of leaving the EU. The number of companies who reported an increase in sales in the UK has fallen since 2015. With this in mind the results of our survey show that while confidence is high among many companies in the South East there are some areas that business leaders might want to review and tighten up. These areas include sales revenue and profit forecasts, risk assessment, business planning and succession planning. But what is a positive element to the results is the confidence that many business leaders feel in relation to Brexit and the possible options it entails for the British economy. With this in mind, it bodes well for the future!

EMC Management Consultants Tel: 01273 945984 Rochester House, Rochester Gardens, Hove BN3 3AW












1. What is your current annual revenue turnover in the past year? · Less than £2 million ✔ · £2 million - £5 million · £6million – £10 million ✔ · Over £10 million 2. What increase in revenue if any, do you foresee in your company over the next year? · A decrease · None · 0 – 5% ✔ ✔ · 6% - 10% · Over 10% 3. How likely are you to recruit new employees in the next year? ✔ ✔ · Very likely · Not sure · Unlikely 4. Are you looking to increase your existing employees salaries in the next year? · No ✔ · Not sure ✔ · Yes 5. How confident are you during Brexit negotiations that they won’t affect the growth of your company? · Confident ✔ · Not sure ✔ · Not so confident 6. Which investment routes have you relied upon most? ✔ · Internal resources ✔ · Bank lending · Private equity · Other resources 7. In terms of the financial focus of your company, which of the following best describes your aspirations in the next year? ✔ · Increasing profitability ✔ · Maintaining your current position · Reducing costs · Other 8. Are you looking to export your products or services in the next year? ✔ ✔ · No · Not yet but we are preparing for it · Yes · We already do 9. Do you have a detailed business plan in place showing how you will grow your company or how you would cope if there was an economic slowdown? ✔ ✔ · Yes · No 10. Have you got a succession plan in place? ✔ · Yes ✔ · No · NA Client retention due Price rises of 11. With the exception of Brexit, what would you to the take over of materials which consider to be the biggest challenge facing your other businesses can eat in to our company in the coming year?










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Diesel scrappage, i.e. Government regulations which that we are looking profit margins. With could affect our to buy or have Brexit, this may sales revenue and already bought. be an unknown profitability factor in the next couple of years and therefore involves uncertainty and risk for us even at a time of continued growth.



Recruitment, Regulations from because it is one the Financial of the largest Conduct Authority. challenges facing a smaller business.

Dealing with a workforce going forward preparing to make reductions. This will help to reduce costs and some efficiencies have been made which means we need to look at some HR issues in relation to this.





























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8 2 1 4

0 ✔ ✔ ✔

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11 3 0 1

14 1 0 0

10 0 1 4

5 10

5 8 2

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We need to overcome challenges that include us working smarter as a company in order to reduce the element of competion. This will help us become sharper in the way we manage the elements of compettion in our market.

My biggest challenge is probably is related to cashflow. I have control over how I grow my business but I need to keep the same type of control over how much revenue I generate and how much expediture is invested or spent.

Continuing growth and pushing new products through to being standalone profit makers.

Growth within a competitive market place as competition is becoming more active. This makes it harder to create growth. But to achieve this we need more investment in the business,

Generating new sales, with the size of our businness, everythinng else works very well. We have the support, finance and back office working well. We are looking to grow new sales and this is something we will be looking to do in order to increase our customers.

We are looking at opening up larger opportunities to increase single sales order value. This is something that remains our biggest challenge in the current economic climate.

Recruiting the right people in the right positions. As we grow we need to be mindful of ensuring that the growth of the business allows us to incorporate growth to be supported by people that can allow us to confidently continue to move forward.

✔ We need to continue our success in the Brighton office to grow the number of companies and individuals who want to take advantage of our new approach to managing the office space. Our biggest challenge is to maintain our current focus and hard work.

3 2 10

8 2 5

12 1 2

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2 1 5 7

Regardless of Brexit, we will continue to grow our business and plan as far as 20 years ahead. Therefore our aim is to exceed our current record breaking 46 million passengers a year and, of course, we will continue to lobby for the second runway that can only be a tremendous boost for the South East economy.





t's not new to suggest that using GDP as a measure of a society's success has run its course. Grant Thornton has recently launched a Vibrant Economy Index that aims to measure how the whole of society is being enriched, based on their belief that our economy should benefit society as a whole. For each of these we have put together a basket of national statistics that together aim to measure these objectives. We have given each of the six objectives equal weight – Prosperity We have an economy that is producing wealth and creating jobs.

Dynamism and Opportunity Our economy is entrepreneurial and innovative, with a skill sets that can drive future growth.

Inclusion and equality

on the basis that what makes a place vibrant depends on a balance between all of them. Vibrancy is multi-dimensional: places are vibrant in different ways. The most vibrant place will not necessarily be the one that has the highest average score across the six baskets – a place with a lower average score but a balanced equilibrium across all areas may be more vibrant.

Health, well being and happiness

Resilience and sustainability

Community, trust and belonging

Everyone benefits from economic growth. The gap between richest and poorest narrows, regional disparities reduce, and there are opportunities for all.

People are healthy and active, leading fulfilling lives which provides individual prospects.

Our economy has a neutral impact on the natural environment and our built environments are resilient places we want to live in.

Vibrant communities have a lively and creative cultural life, and a clear identity that all its people are proud of. People feel safe and engage in community activities.

• Includes: • Indices of Multiple Deprivation – Average score • Inequality score • Child poverty (score) • Housing Affordability • Employment rate (%) • Fuel poor households (%) • Unemployment over 5 years (%) • Working age population claiming benefits (%) • Housing benefit claimants (%) • Homelessness • NEETs • Unemployed inequality (ethnicity)

• Includes: • Sports participation (%) • Life expectancy at birth (male and female combined) • Diabetes prevalence (%) • Overweight, including obese, adults (%) • Child obesity in year 6 • Happiness (score) • Anxiety (score) • Life satisfaction (score) • Life worthwhile (score) • Mean hours worked differential

• Includes: • Indices of Multiple Deprivation- Air Quality score • Waste recycled • CO2 emissions per capita (kt CO2) • Energy consumption (all fuels) (GwH) • Households on LA waiting list (%) • Total dwelling completions (total) • Total planning applications (total) • Proportion of new residential addresses created in National Flood Zone (%) • Previously developed land housing density (p/ HA)

• Includes: • Valid votes turnout (%) • Violent Crimes (per 1,000 pop) • Living alone, aged over 50 years old (%) • Cultural amenities score • Community asset score • Ethnic diversity score

What does a Vibrant Economy measure? • Includes: • Total GVA (£m) • GVA per job (£000) • Average workplace earnings (£) • Employment in Knowledge driven sectors (%) • Businesses with turnover over £1 million (%) • Businesses with turnover over £100 million (%) • Foreign owned businesses (%)


• Includes: • Business formation rates • Residents qualified to NVQ 4+ (degree level) • Knowledge workers (%) • Pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C (%) • Employment in higher education (%) • Employment in research and development (%) • Patents granted (per 100,000 pop)

Vibrant Economy Index



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Cambridge Oxford Richmond upon Thames South Cambridgeshire Guildford Wokingham Windsor and Maidenhead Vale of White Horse Winchester Reigate and Banstead

East of England South East London East of England South East South East South East South East South East South East

109.48 108.54 108.00 107.89 107.87 107.44 107.27 107.17 106.78 105.82

33 80 106 201 278

Horsham Crawley Brighton and Hove Worthing Hastings

South East South East South East South East South East

104.21 102.17 101.25 99.12 96.55


108 103.5 99 94.5 90






105 100 95 90 Horsham


Chichester Brighton & Hove Eastbourne Wealden



105 100 95 90

Tonbridge & Malling Canterbury Maidstone


Surrey Heath Epsom and Ewell Spelthorne










Prosperity Index

1 2 3 4 5

Westminster Tower Hamlets Camden Islington Southwark

London London London London London

128.64 125.81 119.42 118.83 118.61

6 7 19 26 33

Crawley Runnymede Mole Valley Elmbridge Surrey Heath

South East South East South East South East South East

226 239 242 267 307

Adur Wealden Lewes Arun Hastings

South East South East South East South East South East



Dynamism & opportunity index



1 2 3 4 5

Cambridge Oxford Westminster S.Cambridgeshire Vale of White Horse

East of England South East London East of England South East

134.14 118.75 117.55 117.47 116.27

116.00 113.21 107.33 106.55 105.94

13 22 28 38 54

Runnymede Reigate and Banstead Brighton and Hove Surrey Heath Chichester

South East South East South East South East South East

111.15 107.60 106.60 105.21 103.84

97.40 97.12 96.98 95.95 93.61

172 229 237 251 283

Worthing Crawley Hastings Spelthorne Adur

South East South East South East South East South East

98.30 97.07 96.80 96.44 95.58



HEALTH, WELL BEING & HAPPINESS Inclusion & Equility Index



1 2 3 4 5

Hart Wokingham Elmbridge Waverley Surrey Heath

South East South East South East South East South East

109.93 108.74 108.55 108.54 108.51

7 8 9 11 13

Mole Valley Epsom and Ewell Woking Mid Sussex Tandridge

South East South East South East South East South East

139 159 208 218 300

Crawley Arun Eastbourne Brighton and Hove Hastings

South East South East South East South East South East

Health, Well Being and Happiness Index



1 2 3 4 5

St Albans Winchester Richmond upon Thames Guildford Mid Sussex

East of England South East London South East South East

111.54 111.43 111.04 110.13 110.01

108.00 107.92 107.83 107.54 107.47

9 10 12 14 24

Horsham Reigate and Banstead Waverley Mole Valley Elmbridge

South East South East South East South East South East

108.78 108.64 108.44 107.68 106.31

101.62 100.88 98.51 97.95 92.58

170 212 226 261 278

Arun Hastings Runnymede Brighton and Hove Worthing

South East South East South East South East South East

100.07 98.21 97.50 95.96 94.90




Resilience & Sustainability Index




1 2 3 4 5

Wiltshire Croydon Barnet Cornwall Leeds

South West London London South West Yorkshire/Humber

113.42 112.14 111.18 108.54 109.53

36 58 59 82 83

Horsham Chichester Arun Waverley Reigate and Banstead

South East South East South East South East South East

274 278 281 309 320

Eastbourne Lewes Crawley Wealden Adur

South East South East South East South East South East


Community, trust & belonging Index



1 2 3 4 5

Oxford Camden Richmond upon Thames Southwark Windsor and Maidenhead

South East London London London South East

116.36 112.24 112.16 111.52 110.70

105.59 104.33 104.23 103.15 103.14

21 22 34 41 44

Surrey Heath Elmbridge Brighton and Hove Runnymede Mole Valley

South East South East South East South East South East

107.12 107.10 105.84 105.37 105.21

95.72 95.57 95.50 91.64 85.01

146 161 169 194 199

Worthing Hastings Adur Wealden Arun

South East South East South East South East South East

101.00 100.32 100.03 99.23 99.06



KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON Business confidence in the South East falls, despite increasing sales and profits, says Richard Spofforth, Partner at Kreston Reeves.


usiness confidence in the South East has fallen as businesses adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach following increasingly uncertain Brexit negotiations with the EU, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW). The quarterly ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor, a survey of 1,000 chartered accountants in business leadership roles, reports that business confidence across the South East has fallen into negative territory, as businesses are adopting a more cautious approach despite a backdrop of improved sales, turnover and profits. The survey asked: “Overall, how would you describe your confidence in the economic prospects facing your business over the next 12 months, compared to the previous 12 months?” A score of +100 would indicate a ‘much


more confident’ outlook and a score of -100 a ‘much less confident’ outlook for the year ahead. The survey reports a position of -10 for the third quarter of 2017, down from a positive

• Input prices, such as raw materials and fuel, are growing significantly faster than last year at 3% this quarter, compared to 0.9% in Q3 2016

score for the second quarter of the year.

• Profit growth is predicted to rise to 4.9% from 4.5% over the past 12 months

Accountants, financial and business advisers Kreston Reeves has analysed the ICAEW’s Business Confidence Monitor data for the third quarter of the year, as part of shaping the advice and support they give to the clients across Kent, Sussex and London.

Survey highlights include: • The latest Sussex business confidence index stands at -10.1 • Sales growth is up 4.8% year-on-year • Domestic sales and exports are expected to grow by just over 4% in the year ahead • Turnover growth is helped by an increase in selling prices at 1.8% compared to 0.4% a year ago

• Capital expenditure is anticipated to rise by 2.1% over the next 12 months

Rather than hunker down, businesses should look to invest in talent, new products and services, exploring the opportunities that will undoubtedly exist in a post-EU Britain

ECONOMIC SURVEY Our analysis of the ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor data for the third quarter of 2017 paints an interesting picture. On the face of it, businesses look to be doing well, with particular gains in work in the manufacturing and transport and storage sectors: turnover, growth, profits and expenditure are all increasing. Yet businesses say that they are less confident today about the future than they were earlier in the year. The successes that businesses across the South East are reporting in this survey in terms of increased sales and profits are likely to be due to the planning and activity of businesses over the past 12-18 months. And business are seeing the rewards of earlier activity. In addition to the increasingly uncertain Brexit negotiations with the EU, the muddied General Election will have added further frustrations for businesses, many of which will still remember very clearly the financial crash of a decade ago. The reported fall in confidence is based on hopes and fears for the coming 12 months. Businesses crave certainty, where they can control costs, such as wages and protect profits. For many, the recent sudden weakening in sterling is making future planning and investment hard. That little

Businesses crave certainty, where they can control costs, such as wages and protect profits. For many, the recent sudden weakening in sterling is making future planning and investment hard.

material progress appears to have been made on in the Brexit negotiations will leave businesses nervous, particularly those with strong European connections.

Brexit will inevitably lead to us being a more self-contained nation and there is a time adjustment for this to happen. Businesses for now need to ‘keep calm and carry on’ and look beyond the next few months. Rather than hunker down, businesses should look to invest in talent, new products and services, exploring the opportunities that will undoubtedly exist in a post-EU Britain. And this is where good advisers to businesses can really help. At Kreston

Reeves, for example, we will spend time with businesses helping them with their business planning, forecasts and practical cashflow management. This will include scenario planning with business owners on how different futures might affect their business, stress testing around exchange rate exposure and the rising costs of imports, and also the impact of potential interest rate rises. Government too needs to articulate what transitional arrangements there will be for businesses across the South East, helping instil a greater degree of confidence to underpin spending decisions. We simply cannot wait until 2019 to see what kind of economic and trading landscape we will be working in.

Richard Spofforth is the Sussex regional managing partner at leading accountancy, business advisory and financial services firm Kreston Reeves. He can be emailed on

business. tax. wealth.



The British Chambers of Commerce

0% +25%


–25% +50%














...of manufacturers reported improved ...of service firms reported improved domestic sales in Q2 2017, unchanged domestic sales in Q2 2017, down from from Q1 2017 +22% in Q1 2017 0% –25%

Export Sales

0% –25%









...of manufacturers reported improved export sales in Q2 2017, up from +26% in Q1 2017











...of service firms reported improved export sales in Q2 2017, up from +10% in Q1 2017











North East




Northern Ire

East Midlands



East of England







South East


In the manufacturing sector, the regions which saw the largest percentage balance of firms reporting improved cash flow were the West Midlands at +13%, followed by Northern Ireland at +7%, and Wales at +6%. The regions and nations which saw the lowest percentage balance of manufacturers reporting improved cash flow were the North East at -10%, the South East at -6%, and the North West at +1%. | @britishchambers












...of service firms expect to grow their workforce over the next three months, down from +23% in Q1 2017 0%


–25% +50%




...of manufacturers expect to grow their workforce over the next three months, up from +24% in Q1 2017








–25% +50%


+2% South West


...of service firms intend to increase investment in training, down from +18% in Q1 2017








...of manufacturers intend to increase investment in training, up from +18% in Q1 2017


West Midlands





Yorks & Humber

North West




Employment Expectations



The percentage balance of manufacturers reporting improved cash flow is at its lowest level in four years. The below heat map shows the breakdown of this indicator by UK region:




0% +25%




...of service firms expect their prices to increase, down from +32% in Q1 2017






...of manufacturers expect their prices to increase, down from +47% in Q1 2017



–25% +50%




...of service firms reported an increase in their workforce in Q2 2017, down from +15% in Q1 2017






...of manufacturers reported an increase in their workforce in Q2 2017, down from +19% in Q1 2017






–25% +50%

0% +25%


0% +25%



Employment Growth

0% –25%


Domestic Sales




...of manufacturers are confident turnover will increase in the next 12 months, up from +44% in Q1 2017









...of service firms are confident turnover will increase in the next 12 months, up from +39% in Q1 2017

Supporting you and your business every step of the way To find out more about the full range of accountancy, business advisory and financial services that help our clients achieve their business and personal goals, please contact: Paul Roe, Partner, Horsham office T: +44 (0)1403 253 282 E: Offices across London, Sussex and Kent



CONFIDENCE IS AS CONFIDENCE DOES This month MHA Carpenter Box Partner, Chris Coopey, highlights his experience of the current market along with his own general understanding of the state of business across Sussex and beyond.


hen Platinum asked us to think about how we’re doing, it gave us the opportunity to look back and into the future. Like most businesses, MHA Carpenter Box has put together a strategy – the base document was first drafted in 2012 and has been updated annually ever since. Of course, strategy documents are fairly easy to come by; the trick is to make sure that the strategy is implemented. Whilst we’re not perfect, strategy figures highly in each of our quarterly KPI meetings and generally, we do get things done.

At home with MHA Carpenter Box A growth strategy first penned in 2012 is obviously at risk of being overtaken by economic and political events, and we face growing challenges in both areas. Inevitably, (and who isn’t bored of hearing the term) Brexit throws up the ‘unknowable’. None of us understand the terms of our departure from the great European experiment, so planning for that is fairly speculative in the extreme. In relation to our business at this point in time, we think the numbers speak for themselves. Over the past 10 years we have, through planning and a smidgen of luck, managed to grow our business fairly spectacularly. We’ve moved from being perceived as a typical high street accountancy firm to one with a regional, national and global capability. That’s not only great news for us but also for our clients, who benefit from being able to easily access expertise whatever their issue or opportunity and whatever their sector. An early appreciation of the role of technology in our world also saw us getting comfortable with the cloud and the opportunities it brings, well before most of our competitors. We are now heading towards our 2020 financial goals with a business headcount of around 155, including this year’s largest


annual intake of trainees (12) to date. Our model is simple: we want to help our clients to succeed by giving them the best business advice based on our understanding of and experience in numbers – including accounting, tax and audit, as well as in independent financial advice through our sister business, Carpenter Box Wealth Management. Of course, we are in a very privileged position. The relationship that we enjoy with each of our clients means that we know how business is faring generally. More often than not, we will be in conversation with either the business owner or the management team that runs it. Although each sector has slightly different issues, there are themes. When dealing with the issue of Brexit, most people that we talk to take the same attitude as do we and are just getting on with it. For the most part getting on with it means that business is fairly good but there are struggles. At the top of the list is a fundamental difficulty in finding good-quality staff. This

seems to be pervasive and although finding experienced and highly qualified staff is the most difficult with next to full employment in the region, it’s becoming difficult to recruit at any level. A further barrier is the lack of commercial space which is preventing businesses from growing. If a business can’t find suitable premises to enable growth it not only frustrates the business concerned, but also puts a block on a smaller business utilising vacated space. Lack of investment in infrastructure, especially around roads, continues to have a negative impact. Austerity seems to be misapplied when it risks the very growth that could help end it. Summing it all up, business confidence at MHA Carpenter Box is pretty high and our strategy for growth seems to be working well. And our understanding of the views of many of our clients is that despite all of the uncertainty, political and economic, business is pretty good and they remain optimistic.




ME manufacturers in the region are more confident around revenue growth, despite Brexit uncertainties, skills shortages and production cost rises. So says this year’s MHA Manufacturing & Engineering annual survey report which is supported by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and which will be the subject of the next Manufacturing Engineering & Technology Alliance (METALL) meeting on October 19th at South Lodge Hotel, Horsham. Philippa Oldham, who heads Manufacturing and Transport for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, will pull out the main findings of this year’s report with particular reference to the South Coast and Gatwick Diamond. As ever, Philippa will also be looking into the crystal ball and bringing to bear her experience and knowledge of Westminster to give insight into government thinking and the likely next move around the Industrial Strategy. Amongst this year’s finding were that: • 69% of manufacturers reported revenue growth over last 12 months – up 10% from last year. • 78% of manufacturing businesses predicting revenue growth over the next 12 months. • 94% expect further increase in production costs and a growing number of businesses see these being passed to customers. • Brexit uncertainty is a significant barrier to growth. • Nationally, 20% of respondents stated that they have lost staff or are at risk of losing staff from the EU because of Brexit. Locally, the figure is closer to 30%. • Three quarters of manufacturers say they cannot recruit appropriately skilled staff and have called for government action to expand skills training at all levels of education. • Manufacturers are starting to understand Industry 4.0 opportunities and are looking to government for more tax breaks to help them to accelerate the necessary investment. At the last METALL meeting, when Sir John O’Reilly was joined by Maggie Philbin

and Professor Andrew Lloyd, the ability of businesses to find and recruit suitably skilled

news. Investment seems to be the key to the conundrum of skills shortages and rising costs.

staff was identified as one of the main barriers to achieving business growth over the next 12 months, a problem compounded by staff losses as a consequence of Brexit. This factor sat above more general concerns and uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on the future trading environment and, more broadly, global economic conditions.

By providing the right incentives, government has a key role to play in supporting and promoting the investment in automation, innovation and skills development that we need. With the finance sector in London at real risk post Brexit, the manufacturing and engineering sector should be front and centre of the government’s thinking if the UK’s economy is to thrive and grow. It’s therefore no surprise that businesses are keen to see a serious effort by Westminster to really commit to driving an ambitious Industrial Strategy forward.”

MHA Carpenter Box Partner, Chris Coopey, who heads the Manufacturing Group at MHA, said of the report findings: “The resilience and optimism of our manufacturers and engineers highlighted by our survey is a massive positive for the UK in this most uncertain of worlds. Despite the challenges they face, such as skills shortages and the increasing costs of raw materials and components due to the large drop in the value of the pound, the sector remains buoyant.

METALL is a free to attend forum for manufacturers and engineers and is sponsored by MHA Carpenter Box, asb law and CBSbutler. For more details and to sign up, visit

The skills shortage is already being exacerbated by the loss of both skilled and unskilled staff from the EU. Though apprenticeships are becoming more popular, they will not match demand, so we need to make more using less labour by utilising technology. The fact that the principles around Industry 4.0 are beginning to figure in the sector’s thinking is therefore very good



WILL INTEREST RATE TALK TURN TO ACTION? By Sebastian Burnside, Senior Economist for NatWest


he Bank of England wants you to know that it’s thinking of raising rates. Not only the two members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who voted for rates to rise earlier this month, but also the rest of the committee. So what’s prompted this change of heart, barely a year after the MPC cut the Bank Rate? The two most important factors are inflation and the labour market. Inflation is currently 2.9%, some way above the MPC’s target of 2%. In normal times that overshoot itself would be reason enough to raise rates, but these are far from normal times. The weakness of sterling has pushed up prices of imported goods, artificially raising inflation. Measures of domestically generated inflation are far weaker, so it isn’t inflation


today that’s bothering the MPC, but what it expects to happen to prices in the future.

Average wages today are worth less than they were back in 2008 in real terms, it’s hard to see how raising interest rates is going to help with that

To understand its fears there you have to turn to the labour market.

Plunging unemployment is obviously a good thing but the recent history of the UK’s labour market has been all work and no pay. Unemployment is at a 40 year low of 4.3% across the UK, and an even more staggering 3.2% in the South East. And yet the rewards are meagre. Pay growth is barely above 2% and a long way below inflation. This is what the MPC expects to change. Job growth is so strong that the Bank of England thinks a pay rise is coming. It expects that to turn into inflation in short order, keeping inflation above target long after the exchange rate impact fades. That’s what its forecasts say, at least. But we have been here before. Mark Carney brought “forward guidance” to the Bank of England. His predecessor, Mervyn King, always refused to talk about what he

might do in the future so Carney’s attempts to guide people’s expectations are still a fairly young experiment. The MPC is careful never to make any promises, but that didn’t stop the Treasury Select Committee comparing Carney’s commentary to an “unreliable boyfriend”. So will this time prove different? Only time will tell, but it is peculiar that 10 years on from


Plunging unemployment is obviously a good thing but the recent history of the UK’s labour market has been all work and no pay.

the start of the financial crisis the MPC should be so keen to pre-empt an acceleration of wages and get in ahead of any domestic price pressure. Average wages today are worth less than they were back in 2008 in real terms, it’s hard to see how raising interest rates is going to help with that.

THE SOUTH EAST AND LONDON REMAIN THE BEST PLACES TO START A BUSINESS Over half of the respondents to the latest NatWest Entrepreneurship Monitor believe that the South East and London are the best places to start a business. However, across the country only 17% of people think now is a good time to start a business, hitting a record low. The NatWest report also shows the proportion of people wanting to start their own business has dropped from 39% to 14% since the UK voted to leave the EU. The reasons range from less people believing that they have the ability and skills to set up their own business - dropping from 42% to 36%; a feeling that it is too risky – 34%; and fear of failure - 58%. Encouragingly, young people are much more likely to want to start up their own business. However, this desire is not being turned into action as the ambition gap in young people is almost double that of the general population – 20% compared to 12%. Results show they are also much more likely to perceive barriers to starting up, are concerned more about risk, failure, accessing start-up money and not having the right skills. Against this backdrop, and two years on from the hugely successful launch of the Brighton Entrepreneurial Spark hub, NatWest has opened the doors of its Regents House innovation centre in Angel to London’s first ESpark hub, the world’s largest free business accelerator. The hub will be home to more than 100 of the capital’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, who will be given free office space and facilities, business advice, entrepreneurial enabling support and access to business and support networks.

Gordon Merrylees, NatWest’s Head of Entrepreneurship, Alison Rose, NatWest’s CEO of Commercial and Private Banking, Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO and Ross McEwan, NatWest and RBS CEO




NOW’S THE TIME TO DO IT! The M&A market is alive and well, boosted by favourable conditions for both buyers and sellers. So, take advantage of it while it lasts advises Nik Askaroff, CEO of EMC Corporate Finance and three-times winner of the South-East Dealmaker of the Year Award


ixty years ago this summer, the then Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, famously declared that “most of our people have never had it so good.” He may well have been right at the time. The country was enjoying a post-war economic boom, with wages, exports, investment and production, particularly in the heavy industries such as coal and steel, all rising. Set against the recent austerity of the war years, it must indeed have seemed that the good times were well and truly rolling once more. Of course, nothing lasts forever, and the intervening decades have seen the usual cycles of relative boom followed by, as on the most recent occasion, not-quite-but-almost bust.

Of course, for every owner wanting to sell there needs to be a company willing to buy.

❞ At the moment, the economy in general is in something of a hiatus – neither flourishing nor ailing – as we await the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. But there are markets where things are moving at a reasonable pace. Mergers and acquisitions is one of them. I wouldn’t go so far as to echo Macmillan’s now infamous statement, but it’s fair to say that throughout my 25-plus years of advising owner-directors


on how to maximise the sale value of their businesses, I have rarely seen better opportunities for them to do so than those currently prevailing. That’s because several important factors have come together to make the market attractive to both sides. The Daily Telegraph recently ran an article headlined “UK companies braced for 12 months of rampant M&A” whilst a report by accountancy giant EY found that 51% of UK firms expect to actively pursue mergers and acquisitions over the next year. Our experience bears out both predictions. Whilst the year started relatively sedately

after 2016’s strong performance, it has picked up hugely over recent weeks. We’ve already completed a number of excellent deals and our pipeline of work is longer than it’s ever been since we started in 1989. Business owners, particularly those at the smaller £5m-£50m end of the market, are cottoning on to the fact that there is a window of great opportunity open to them at the moment that may not be there for very much longer. One of the key factors influencing their decision to sell now rather than wait is the ultra-low rate of tax they will have to pay on the sale proceeds. Entrepreneurs’ Relief is currently set at just 10%. But politicians

ECONOMIC SURVEY from each of the parties have been making noises about the possibility of raising it or, even worse, scrapping it altogether – an unpalatable prospect to say the least! With many entrepreneurs reliant on the sale of their business to fund their retirement, Entrepreneurs’ Relief can make a significant difference. Another important consideration is that valuations are holding up strongly despite what Deloitte’s head of UK Advisory, Paul Lupton, has described as the “fundamental uncertainty arising from Brexit.” Experian’s half-year report showed that, whilst the number of transactions fell by 14% year-onyear, valuations rose by a whopping 51%. Much of that will be accounted for by big-ticket deals such as China Investment Corp’s £10bn-plus acquisition of London-based Logicor from Private Equity firm Blackstone. But even at the smaller end of the market, we are seeing plenty of deals being done at topend valuations. Of course, for every owner wanting to sell there needs to be a company willing to buy. And, fortunately, there are a number of very good reasons why there is currently no shortage of businesses looking to expand by acquisition.

One of the key factors influencing their decision to sell now rather than wait is the ultra-low rate of tax they will have to pay on the sale proceeds

Organic growth is still possible, particularly among companies which can take advantage of current exchange rates to boost export sales. But for many, acquisition is becoming the preferred route to growth, either as a way of diversifying or consolidating within a particular market. With money cheaper than it’s ever been, and plenty of lenders prepared to support the right deals, there are opportunities galore for ambitious companies or, indeed, for management teams wanting to take over ownership of their business. The fall in the value of sterling has also made UK companies attractive to overseas buyers. Two of our three most recent deals had a European or trans-Atlantic dimension.

John Fellowes, Ian Fletcher-Price, Bubba Watson and Nik Askaroff. Celebrating the Fellowes investment in Posturite negotiated by EMC Corporate Finance Firstly, Sussex Travel Clinic Limited, in Hove and Worthing, was bought by Vaccination UK Limited, a subsidiary of Denmark’s Danish Doctors Vaccination Service (DVDS). Then, a short while later, Fellowes, the US-headquartered global manufacturer and marketer of business machines and office accessories, acquired a 20% stake in Berwickbased Posturite Ltd, the UK market leader in the manufacture and supply of ergonomic office equipment. Both companies stand to gain hugely from the deal. For Posturite, a company founded in 1991 by CEO Ian Fletcher-Price on the back of a single product – an adjustable writing slope – knocked up in his mother’s garden shed, it offers a major boost to its ambitious plan to double the size of the £25m-turnover business over the next three years.

The fall in the value of sterling has also made UK companies attractive to overseas buyers.

growth organically and through acquisition, the partnership with Posturite brings it new products, opportunities and capabilities focused on accelerating its growth in the important workplace wellness category.

But even at the smaller end of the market, we are seeing plenty of deals being done at top-end valuations.

These two deals are typical of what we’re likely to see much more of in the months ahead. Of the transactions we are currently negotiating, many involve overseas buyers. All the time the pound remains at its current low level, this is likely to be the norm rather than the exception. As Steve Ivermee, author of EY’s M&A report, stated: “That the UK remains a top destination for domestic and global companies to do deals is a measure of its continuing attractiveness.” Long may it continue.

And for Fellowes, which recent launched its Thrive 2020 plan designed to deliver



TAKE TWO Leading law firms DMH Stallard and Rawlison Butler merge

Richard Pollins (left) and Clive Lee (right) with colleagues at the DMH Stallard headquarters in Crawley.


op 100 law firm DMH Stallard and regional law firm Rawlison Butler have merged.

Trading under the DMH Stallard name, the merged firm now operates from Crawley, Horsham, Guildford, Brighton and London. It brings the number of partners at DMH Stallard to over 70 and creates an overall team strength of nearly 350. Turnover for the combined mid-market firm is forecast to exceed £30m in 2017/18, two-thirds of which will be in Sussex and Surrey. Richard Pollins, Managing Partner of DMH Stallard, said: “I was delighted how smoothly the merger process went. This was our largest merger


since 2005 when we merged with Stallards, and it took a huge amount of planning and preparation. All of that hard work has enabled our teams to integrate quickly and they are already working very closely together. “These are very exciting times indeed for DMH Stallard as we reinforce our position as the leading mid-market law firm in the South East, and extend our scope and capabilities, not only regionally, but in London and internationally too. Our clients will see a real benefit from the merger over the coming weeks and months”. The merger with Rawlison Butler is the third during Richard Pollins’ tenure as Managing Partner, following the two mergers in 2015, the first with Guildford law firm AWB

Partnership and then Ross & Craig Solicitors in London. Clive Lee, Managing Partner of Rawlison Butler, said: “We believe the merger with DMH is excellent news for Rawlison Butler and its clients, enabling us to offer a wider range of services, building on the depth of expertise already provided. We share their drive to deliver excellent client service in the midmarket and, like them, we have many of the top lawyers regionally. “This merger creates a new legal powerhouse in the region with its core in the Gatwick Diamond. That is very exciting for all our people and I’m sure will be well received by the clients of both firms and the market generally.”



Strong corporate deal activity for 2017

he corporate team at DMH Stallard has reported a significant increase in mergers and acquisitions in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

20 regional M&A deals have been completed over the last nine months, including Change, Grow, Live, the drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity’s acquisition of the national business, Lifeline Project (in administration), which secured over 1,000 jobs; the sale of Unity Media PLC to the Mark Allen Group; and the sale of the Morton Michel Group, the UK’s leading childcare insurance specialist, to the PIB Group.

“Momentum has built through 2017 and our current deal roster suggests there will be plenty more deals completed before the end of the year.” Jonathan Grant

Jonathan Grant, Head of Corporate at DMH Stallard, is in no doubt about what the high levels of activity are down to, he said: “Our focus has and will continue to be mid-market deals in Sussex and Surrey, but delivering this many M&A deals requires a high quality partner group, supported by a strong team. “The quality and value of our deals is also increasing significantly. Abigail Owen and Kate Norgett have both had a very strong year, both bringing invaluable connections and reputation. Following the merger with Rawlison Butler, Danos Athanasi is a great addition to the team, bringing with him that firm’s well established corporate contacts and connections, and extending our influence in Worthing.



MH Stallard has achieved a top ‘Band 1’ ranking in the newly launched Chambers High Net Worth Guide for their work with private clients.

Chambers has been ranking the best legal practitioners since 1990, and is considered one of the foremost sources for information about the world’s lawyers. DMH Stallard’s private client work includes estate and succession planning, advice on inheritance tax and capital gains tax mitigation, estate administration and the drafting of wills. The team also advises on trust matters, including the establishment and management of trust structures. Lawyers at the firm handle lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection applications.

and thorough,’ and praise his ‘excellent manner with clients’. Another said, ‘Robert, in my opinion, has fantastic client rapport and gravitas whilst having acute technical knowledge in private client law,’ adding that, ‘he's particularly strong on trust and tax work, as well as the more complex will structuring as well.’ Richard Pollins, Managing Partner of DMH Stallard, said: “It is very satisfying to be recognised in the Chamber High Net Worth Guide. We take great pride in providing the highest quality service to our UK and international private clients and this ranking is welcome recognition of that.” Robert Knight

The well-known and respected guide praises the team as ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘very efficient, organised and with a calming influence’. Robert Knight, Partner at DMH Stallard, receives special recognition as a ‘notable practitioner’. Robert assists clients with succession planning, trust and tax issues. He advises on the mitigation of inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and often acts as an executor of estates. He works with individuals, families, trustees and beneficiaries on trust matters. Sources for the guide describe him as ‘knowledgeable, conscientious






by Ana Christie Chief Executive, Sussex Chamber of Commerce

he British Chambers of Commerce recently carried out an annual workforce survey in partnership with Middlesex University London. Over 1,400 businesses responded to the survey which revealed that pensions auto-enrolment, the National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy have increased the cost base of businesses, and could lead to reduced opportunities for investment and wage growth. 96% of businesses surveyed were SME’s, 29% operate in the manufacturing sector, and 71% operate in the services sector.

4 in 5 businesses hit by rising employment costs Three quarters (75%) of businesses report an increase in costs, as a result of pensions auto-enrolment, with nearly a quarter (23%) indicating a significant increase.

likely to respond by raising prices or adjusting employee pay growth and wider benefits. Increasingly, manufacturers are looking towards greater use of technology and automation. There comes a point at which rising employment costs can no longer be absorbed through reduced profits. Based on the forecast that the National Living Wage will increase to £8.75 per hour by 2020, 38% of respondents said in response that they would raise prices of products and services, with a further 25% expecting to reduce pay growth.

Raise prices of products and services Reduce pay growth for staff Reduce staff benefits such as bonuses etc. Scale back recruitment Recruit workers on flexible working contracts Reduce hours worked by staff Increase investment in automation Scale back investment/growth plans Recruit under 25 workers and/or apprentices Reduce staff training budget Redundancies Other Reduce pension contributions


My business will not take any action

David Williams, Director of Corporate Engagement at Middlesex University London, said: “Businesses are facing the challenge of maintaining profitability while remaining price competitive. This is a tough balance to achieve during what is an uncertain period, and we are seeing many start to tighten their belts and pull back investment. We need to up our productivity to enable us to compete globally in a post-Brexit Britain, so it is important when making difficult choices, that the development, up-skilling and retention of the workforce is high on the list of investment priorities, and that businesses get the support they need to do this.”

Businesses are under increasing pressure from the burden of employment costs, and this will influence the choices they make and outcomes for employees. Higher employment costs impact on the bottom line and reduce the resources available to invest in the business and its people. The survey shows that two thirds of businesses will need to take action in response to proposed increases in the National Living Wage over the next three years. Firms are most


The rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) in April of this year has increased employment costs for one-in-two companies (50%) in the UK. There appears to be a North-South divide, with firms in the North of England (55%) and the Midlands (51%) more likely to be impacted by the National Living Wage than firms in the South (43%). For the UK to remain an attractive and competitive environment going forward, action is needed to prevent unsustainable rises to the cost of doing business. The British Chambers is calling on the government to ensure no new upfront costs or taxes – which sap investment, growth and recruitment potential – are imposed on business for the remainder of this parliament.

Clients are our business Dedicated to your success DMH Stallard is a full service, award-winning law firm that is passionate about winning and passionate about client care. It’s not by chance that we have one of the highest levels of repeat business in the industry.

For Business

For You

We make it our business to know your business, delivering results and adding value whether you’re an established market leader or an ambitious start-up.

Working for you and with you, our exceptional personal law service will help you plan, protect and achieve the very best outcomes for you and your family.

Award winning service from a firm who is there for you every step of the way








FLYING HIGH Brexit or no Brexit, new runway or not, Gatwick Airport is planning for long-term growth, as CEO Stewart Wingate explains in an exclusive interview


fter years of fielding questions on whether or not Gatwick will get the green light to build the much-needed new runway, Stewart Wingate has found himself being repeatedly asked a totally new question. Quite simply, how has the airport been affected by the result of the Brexit referendum as a key gateway to Europe, Gatwick Airport could be seen a bell-weather for the UK economy in general. So how is business? “We’ve never been busier,” says Stewart. “We publish all of our results every month, and month in, month out we continue to hit new passenger volume records throughout the year and we have increased our connectivity across the globe. Since the referendum we’ve had a very, very busy time and we’ll grow again this winter.”

Without capacity, airlines will now have to go and look for the next best alternative, which may be the UK or it may be a different country, or even a different continent.

Perhaps even more revealing than the increase in passenger numbers is the remarkable increase in cargo volume, which has risen by 25% in the last year. In fact, both the rise in cargo and passengers can be attributed to the same dynamic - Gatwick is now attracting more and more long-haul routes - and longer journeys usually means larger planes.

Stewart concurs: “Cargo volume in today’s world tends to follow the long-haul. So if you start having more success in long-haul routes, as we’ve done, then you’ll start to see significantly more cargo activity. “Some of our long-haul carriers are having load factors (ie seat sales) close to 95%. The other part of the equation is what cargo can you get into the belly of the aircraft?


Long-haul planes tend to spend longer on the ground for refuelling and cleaning because they’re bigger, which means you have time to load and unload cargo. On the European flights the turn can be just 30 minutes, whereas a long-haul plane might take three to four hours on the ground. It’s a critical element of the economics of the route.”

One factor in the change of emphasis has been the growth of long-haul low-cost airlines such as WestJet or Norwegian, operating with the new fuel-efficient Dreamliners: “You can now fly you Boston for £139 or £149, New York for £150, San Francisco will probably cost you £200, Singapore about £300. It’s transformational.”

ECONOMIC SURVEY competition at Gatwick and Stansted.” Seeing as the report was only published two years ago, the forecasts do seem nonsensical.

❝ The other factor according to Stewart is the upgrading of aircraft on other routes: “Earlier this year, EasyJet announced that they were upgrading their fleet order with Airbus to include A321 neos. What’s the significance of this? It roughly means 50 seats more per aircraft. We’ve already seen this with Emirates, for example, going from a 777 fleet, which they had six or seven years ago, to now having a full A380 fleet. The 777s can hold a maximum of 396 passengers, while the A380s can hold up to 853. “We’ve had such a success on long-haul growth and what you tend to find is, success breeds success and we now have pent-up demand.

Our commitment is to upgrade the rail station irrespective of expansion. We’d like to see a rail station that’s fit for purpose at Gatwick, as we continue to invest heavily in the airport.

“When you’re in that situation where you’ve got people who we have courted globally, who we know would like to fly into Gatwick to serve the London and South East market, but we haven’t got a slot, then we are in a frustrating position. As a business person that means you’re in a situation where you can’t actually satisfy the demands of those airlines. The issue for the region is that those airlines will already have ordered the aircraft because there are long lead times on the aircraft, so they’ll now have to go and look for the next best alternative, which may be the UK or it may be a different country, or even a different continent for that matter.”

The Runway Debate Continues Conversations about growth at Gatwick inevitably return to the airport’s campaign for a second runway, which seemingly appears almost impossible after the 2015 report by the Airports Commission opted for Heathrow as it offered greatest strategic and economic benefits. Stewart, however, remains optimistic, partly because the projections for growth at Gatwick, which formed a key factor in the findings, were so far off the mark. Stewart says: “We have said for years now that the forecasts that have been used to look at this issue are woefully underestimating not only the potential of Gatwick but the actual situation on the ground. With the second runway in 2040, Gatwick would have grown, according to the estimates, to 46 million passengers per year – but actually we’re already at 45 million with a single runway. Likewise, it was claimed that Gatwick would get to 48 long-haul routes by 2050 with a second runway, but we’re already at 63. “I understand the forecasts were based on passenger preferences dating back to 2008 which was before the full break-up of the BAA monopoly and the full enablement

The government recognises, when it comes to Brexit, the number one issue that they’ve got to sort out are the rights to fly between the UK and Europe and also between the UK and North America.

So is the battle between Heathrow and Gatwick still on.? In fact, Stewart advocates a different outcome: “Our position on Heathrow is, let us just compete with them and let them compete with us. The marketplace in London and the South East is big enough for the two of us to have a really good competition and you get more choice overall. I think you will get better value fares for passengers, regardless of whether you’re travelling on business or for leisure. In the post-Brexit world, when we want to reach out to the world, why on earth do we not want to just throw the doors open to the world and have the whole variety of flight options available to residents of the UK. “From Gatwick’s perspective we’ve made clear to the government that we’re available. As the government themselves said, our scheme is financeable and deliverable, and our investors are quite prepared to go ahead and invest to do it. “If we did the full scheme it would cost £8 billion but it’s a phasable scheme where we


More destinations than any other UK airport


Source: OAG schedules 2016

ECONOMIC SURVEY can build the first £3 billion’s worth, then the second phase which is a further £3 billion and then we build out the full scheme. It’s a very flexible scheme, and if we do it, it means that we will keep the airport charges to less than £12, which is about half of what Heathrow’s charges are today.”

The Brexit Factor As Brexit edges closer, the travel industry looks on nervously and for Gatwick, the impact will be felt in both the business and tourist sectors. The days of Gatwick being regarded as a bucket and spade airport are long gone. Now one in six users of the airport are travelling on business. Stewart confirms the increasing trend towards business travel. “We’ve got the likes of British Airways, EasyJet and Norwegian flying from virtually all of the major European cities where you want to go and do trade. The carriers cater for this market. If you travel Norwegian you’ve got free WiFi on board; if you travel with EasyJet you can have your EasyJet Plus card which gets you through premium security and gives you speedy boarding. “With an eye to the future when it comes to Brexit, one of the things that our industry is driving very hard is to really push the Brexit negotiating team to get the matter of traffic rights for air transportation sorted out at the earliest opportunity; because whilst we’ve had record-breaking figures since the referendum, what we want to do is to continue that growth. “I don’t think it’s in the industry’s interests to be alarmist. We’ve had the opportunity to meet, as an industry, with our government and the good news is they recognise when it comes to Brexit the number one issue that they’ve got to grapple with and sort out are the rights to fly between the UK and Europe and also between the UK and North America. With other countries we will put in place bilateral agreements, so nothing changes there. But, of course, these are the two biggest markets, so the issues have to be resolved. “The thing that the industry has impressed on government is that the lead time for the product that the airlines sell is very long indeed. For example, tickets for planes that fly in the summer season of 2019 will start to be sold as early as the autumn of this year. It’s an issue which is really quite pressing, not just for the UK government but also for the EU side because commitments are being made. “Our expectation is that it will get sorted out, it’ll be one of a number of issues that, as

and when the negotiating teams get to it, they will have to figure out because surely it’s got to be in the interests not just of the UK but also of the Europeans. “We haven’t actually Brexited as yet, so when I talk to business people across the area, often the way that it’s characterised in the business community is that Brexit still lies ahead. It’s getting closer with every day that passes, of course, and as it gets closer then the uncertainty attached to Brexit is the thing that can affect business confidence. For certain businesses so far, like the airport, we’ve seen very, very positive statistics and financial performance within our businesses.”

In the post-Brexit world, when we want to reach out to the world, why on earth do we not want to just throw the doors open to the world and have the whole variety of flight options available? Future Confidence

Whatever happens with Brexit and the proposed new runway, Gatwick has the confidence to invest in the future. “We’ve invested £1.9 billion in Gatwick during my time here,” says Stewart. “I’ve been here just short of 8 years – that’s a heck of an investment that we have made and it’s a heck

of an investment that our shareholders have supported. “We are now looking at upgrading the railway station to improve the connectivity. Outside of London, if you just look at the UK to the south of Birmingham New Street, our rail station is the busiest. With seven platforms we really do have a busy rail station and we’re now in quite advanced discussions with Network Rail and the Local Enterprise Partnership in putting together a package which should see about £130 million invested in upgrading the rail station. There will be a bigger concourse area and will see easier access to and from the platforms and the 12-carriage trains that we’ve now got with the upgrades of the rail carriages for the Gatwick Express and Thameslink. “Our commitment is to upgrade the rail station irrespective of expansion. We’d like to see a rail station that’s fit for purpose at Gatwick, as we continue to invest heavily in the airport. We’ll invest another £1.2 billion over the next five years upgrading the facility – we’d like to put some of our funds to work in upgrading the rail station. “The keys to success for us are better service levels, continuing the strong levels of investment in the infrastructure so that we get a better built environment for passengers to travel through, and to continue our marketing efforts, not just with the airlines that we currently enjoy excellent relationships with but also with airlines from around the world to try and get the connections to the longhaul routes. That remains our focus and our strategy to deal with the transition.”


Travel - Mallorca

Shake hands in...

MALLORCA Puerto de Palma de Mallorca

Forget package holidays and Brits abroad, there are many sides to this Balearic destination. Rose Dykins reports on plans for boosting business travel to Mallorca.


hen checking into the BH Mallorca hotel, instead of being handed a room key card, a scannable laminated orange band with the hotel’s address printed on it is clamped round my wrist. The following day, I attend a blingy onsite pool party, where a toned dancer in a gold one-piece writhes around in a giant floating martini glass, and former contestants from the reality TV series Love Island pour shots into glitter-cheeked revellers’ mouths. At dusk, thousands gather at the hotel’s music arena to mosh along to live performances from Craig David and Tinie Tempah, before heading two minutes down the road to the debauchery of Magaluf’s strip. At 7am, I’m awoken by


someone repeatedly hollering “Scotland!” outside my window. When I arrive at the front desk to check out, a staff member simply whips out a pair of scissors, cuts my wristband in two, and off I go.

capital of Palma de Mallorca the best place to live in the world, even suggesting that it makes a feasible “commuter destination” to London (a two-hour journey by plane).

Of course, there’s much more to Mallorca than the hedonistic resort of Magaluf. Although it brings in the crowds, its notorious party scene can overshadow people’s perceptions of Mallorca as a whole. Those in the know – including the 17,000 or so British expats who call it home – adore the Spanish island for its picturesque towns and beaches, its climate, its off-road adventure activities and its easy-going, friendly atmosphere. In fact, in 2015, The Sunday Times named the Mallorcan

Outsiders may also be less familiar with the island’s competitive offering for corporate travellers. “The meeting and incentive business is not something new to Mallorca,” says Csaba Boda, executive assistant manager of the Park Hyatt Mallorca, a five-star hotel that opened in the north of the island last year.” It was always part of our business, especially for four and five-star properties that were only trying to cater for traditional holidaymakers, but to stay

Travel - Mallorca open all year round. And this is only possible if you have conference facilities.

A typical shopping square, Palma de Mallorca

“Certainly from June, the occupancy of the island’s hotels increases so much that they are not easily able to offer availability for incentive groups. But still, the focus for corporates lasts for the entire year, and there are some opportunities for incentives in the summer months as well.”

The term “smart island’ may not be one you automatically associate with Mallorca, but sustainability and sensible development is definitely on its agenda

Recently, Mallorca has taken some big steps to further attract the interest of international meetings and events planners. Perhaps the most important development over the past three years is the increased connectivity of the Balearic island via low-cost carriers and legacy airlines alike. These include British Airways, which now flies to Palma de Mallorca throughout the year from Heathrow, London City, Stansted and Manchester. Meanwhile, Norwegian, Easyjet, Monarch and Thomas

Cook all offer routes to the Mallorcan capital from Gatwick. “There are many more flights to the island than before,” says Boda. “Previously, event planners often had to charter their own flights, or find solutions from numerous airlines. Now it’s easier to receive corporate groups from the UK, from German-speaking countries, France and Scandinavia.” What’s more, there are plans for a further €229 million investment in Palma de Mallorca’s Son Sant Joan airport. The third-busiest airport in Spain - after Madrid and Barcelona - the gateway to Mallorca is often rammed with lengthy queues of people at passport control. And the airport experienced its busiest ever day in July, with more than 180,000 passengers

and almost 1,100 flights in just 24 hours. With its annual passenger numbers predicted to rise from 26 million to 28.5 million by 2021, Son Sant Joan airport needs to grow. It will increase its hourly number of flights from 66 to 80 (so a plane will take off every 45 seconds). Its development plans comprise of increasing the surface area of the terminal to improve passenger comfort; adding additional corridors, moving walkways and escalators; renovating one of its runways and modernising its luggage-handling system. The end aim is for the airport to be able to accommodate up to 34 million passengers each year. Aside from aviation, Mallorca has been working hard to give its hotel offering a muchneeded facelift fit for international business

The Mallorca coastline


Travel - Mallorca guests. (see box below). “Many five-star hotels have opened here, but rather than small boutique properties, we’ve gained hotels with more than 100 rooms and conference facilities,” says Boda. “And all of them have proper marketing and sales structures for spreading the news that Mallorca is an excellent destination for incentives.” An emblem of its ambitions, the Mallorcan capital gained its first convention centre in April. Operated by national hotel chain, Melia, Palau de Congressos is set along Palma’s Paseo Maritimo seafront, just ten minutes from the airport. Designed by Spanish architect, Francisco Mangado, the long, cubic yet flowing structure is intended to represent a “beached fish”. Complete with a “hanging garden”, a restaurant with a sea-view terrace and plenty of natural light, Palau de Congressos is ready and able to welcome 2,400 delegates for a congress.

The historic town of Calvià

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

The Sunday Times named the Mallorcan capital of Palma de Mallorca the best place to live in the world, even suggesting that it makes a feasible “commuter destination” to London

Park Hyatt, Mallorca

Also in April, the Mallorcan town of Calvia hosted the first ever international Smart Island World Conference. More than 400 international experts – island leaders, governments researchers and universities – came to Mallorca to debate and devise new ways for island nations to develop and secure their future prosperity, and the same conference will also return to Mallorca next year. The term “smart island” may not be one you automatically associate with Mallorca, but sustainability and sensible development is definitely on its agenda. For example, Mallorca is planning to shut down its most carbon-emitting coal and gas power station in stages by 2020. Meanwhile, the Balearic islands – Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – are working to increase their combined renewable energy facilities so that clean sources comprise 10% of all the islands’ energy by 2020. In addition, at a time where many European destinations are tackling over tourism, and trying to strike a balance between welcoming the world and retaining their local culture, Mallorca makes for an interesting case study. With demand on its services increasing, and many avenues of tourism to explore, Mallorca needs to use its space wisely. Its future will certainly be interesting.


MALLORCA: INCENTIVES IN BUCKETS AND SPADES • Arguably the biggest golf destination in the Mediterranean, there are an impressive 27 courses on the island. • Scuba diving, sailing, speedboat rides and watersports can be arranged for corporate groups. • The mountains to the west and north provide wild surroundings for group hiking and cycling trips. • For culture, Mallorca’s villages and towns - such as Calvia, Deia and Arta – are relaxing to explore on foot, and home to beautiful examples of Moorish and Roman architecture. • For team building, it’s possible to arrange treasure hunts that involve kayaking, caving and snorkelling your way to a hidden chest, with a drone following along to capture your efforts on camera.


The OffiM cial Surrey Chambers ofGCommerce A AMagazineZ ISSUE 38. 2017

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THE GREAT TRAIN FIASCO The view from Southern & the RMT

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In Cranleigh & Epsom

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Set in a valley to the northeast of the island, this beachfront five-star hotel has 142 rooms and suites, a spa and meeting facilities. “Our high-ceilinged ballroom can hold up to 200 people and has the latest high-tech equipment, daylight and a terrace for welcome cocktails,” says Boda. “The hotel also has a conference centre with eight board rooms, which are all connected by a typical Spanish garden and a private restaurant with an open show kitchen. We can also offer private dinners on the beach.”,com


This rural medieval estate is just ten minutes from Palma de Mallorca. Its rustic, air-conditioned dining rooms and tiki torch-lit terraces make memorable spaces for dinners for between ten and 1500 guests, and the in-house team prepares excellent cuisine that gives traditional Balearic dishes a contemporary twist.


A 20 minute drive from Palma de Mallorca, this exclusive seafront luxury resort has nine well-presented event spaces, from boardrooms to a 224 sqm room for keynote speeches or banquets. There are four restaurants – one with a Michelin star – a spa specialising in Chinese medicine, a golf academy and 125 airy rooms and suites.


Dating back to the early 17th century, this sandstone tower of this fortress-turned military museum has spacious walled courtyards for open air drinks receptions or concerts. Its galleries presenting weaponry through the ages can also be hired.


This four-star Puerto Azul Suite hotel is particularly popular with cyclists during spring, and would be ideal for a physical corporate retreat. Its 148 rooms were recently refreshed, plus there’s a tranquil outdoor pool area, and the nearest beach is 100 metres away.







he choice of schools is greater than ever before with parents now considering state funded academies and free schools alongside independent schools for their children. One group of schools in Sussex offers something different for those parents. Aurora Academies Trust operates six schools across Sussex and Brighton which are state schools funded directly by the Department for Education, rather than by local councils. They are free to attend and non-selective. In 2016 Aurora was one of the highest performing trusts in the country for progress in reading. Aurora was founded as a charity in 2012 and took over 4 primary schools that year: King Offa Primary Academy and Glenleigh Park Primary Academy in Bexhill on Sea and Oakwood Primary Academy and Heron Park Primary Academy in Eastbourne. In 2014 it opened a brand new all-through school called The Gatwick School in Crawley. In September 2017, City Academy Whitehawk in Brighton became the sixth school in the trust. As well as having a focus on serving local communities, Aurora has a global perspective through its partnership with Pansophic Learning, an international education company. Pansophic runs state funded charter schools in US and also owns private schools in Switzerland, Uganda and Dubai. Pansophic was founded in 2014 by Ron Packard, a leading education entrepreneur, and is based in McLean, Virginia. Pansophic provides the innovative humanities curriculum by Aurora which encourage the study of different cultures around the world. Martha Burnige, Trustee of Aurora and Executive Vice President of Pansophic explains the benefits of international collaboration. “Whilst all of our international schools operate in different local contexts, excellent teaching, first class professional development and high quality leadership are universal themes in our schools. We want pupils in the UK to develop deep links with their counterparts overseas which will help them to seize the opportunities provided by globalisation.” Aurora is particularly proud of The Gatwick School which is located in the Manor Royal Business District. Its proximity to the airport and to national and international businesses has provided the links with

employers as well as exciting opportunities to see how technology is used in the workplace. The school building is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment to provide state of the art facilities. When full it will have 1020 pupils. The Gatwick School is one of growing number of “all-through” schools which cater for pupils from the age of 4 to 16. Tim McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of Aurora, is a supporter of this new style of education “As a former secondary headteacher I know the transition from primary to secondary school can be difficult for some children. At The Gatwick School we have seen first-hand the benefit of educating primary and secondary pupils in one school setting. Although they are not taught together, the pupils have some joint assemblies and the older ones enjoy helping the younger ones with their reading. We are able to use the expertise of the specialist secondary teachers for the benefit of the younger pupils and are able to track the progress of pupils from reception class through to GCSEs.” Aurora also takes the pastoral care of its pupils very seriously. The personal development and welfare of The Gatwick School’s pupils was recently judged to be outstanding by Ofsted inspectors who particularly liked the student leadership group, made up of younger and older pupils. Inspectors stated that “these opportunities help pupils of all ages to develop the skills that will help them to become future leaders”.

For more information about Aurora schools, to attend an open day or to arrange a tour, please contact Tim McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, at



AN EXPERIMENT IN EDUCATION A new Experimental Suite has been built at Brighton College with the aim of disrupting traditional learning methods and looking to the future.


hey say the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. And this applies to your schooldays, too. Whether the last time you sat down to double maths Thatcher was in power or you just left the classroom a few year ago, one thing is for sure – teaching and learning methods will have changed. They have to because the world does and so do pupils – how they interact with people, how they absorb information and what the world expects of them when they leave their schooldays behind them is very different from every generation before. That is why, this autumn, pupils at Brighton College streamed back into school after the summer break to find work had finished on a ground-breaking new creative learning


centre whose whole design (the work of world-renowned architects Hopkins, think Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth and Dubai World Trade Centre) and purpose has been created to fit the changing face of education.

The teacher can very easily get access to every pupil as an individual. There is no ‘back row’ effect.

A new 22-classroom hub for maths, economics, history and politics, the top floor

of this bright, airy building is a double-size suite devoted to experimental teaching. This area will be overseen by the school’s newly appointed head of creativity Thomas Godber, whose remit is to research the educational methods of other countries and cherry pick those he believes will best suit our bright, engaged pupils. The experimental suite is kitted out in such a way as to use cutting edge design to enhance teaching and accommodate creative learning techniques. The school is looking to create an environment that mimics dynamic workplaces of the future. Think the Googleplex. For example, all pupils will sit in chairs that are flexible enough to rock slightly (which studies show aids concentration) and that have wheels to speed up moving into

Education smaller groups for “constellation” learning. Mr Godber will oversee a whole raft of new initiatives, some of which were picked up by head Richard Cairns whilst observing classes in high-achieving Singapore. Mr Godber says, “We are throwing out some of the old, traditional notions that children have to sit in straight lines and listen for hours on end. One of the subjects taught in our experimental classroom will be Presentation Skills, because we think being able to effectively communicate will be crucial in tomorrow’s job market, and we will have cameras and microphones so that pupils can play back their performance and critique how they did.” The sound and lighting equipment serves a dual purpose in that experienced teachers can review lessons from younger members of staff and provide helpful input and advice to help teachers improve professionally. No detail has gone unscrutinised to see how teachers can enhance the children’s learning – right down to the inclusion of special overhead lighting that can match different teaching approaches. A collaborative Microsoft Surface Hub has been installed too which allows pupils and teachers to write on it, like a traditional whiteboard, as well as allowing real-time chat with subject experts (perhaps an economist explaining interest rates or an MEP live from Brussels), accessing the web or any other software the teacher wants to use. Deputy headmistress Jo-Anne Riley commented on the space: “The pupils have quickly got used to the new flexibility and openness created by the innovative furniture. They can work in teams, pairs or alone and quickly switch between formats by simply turning their body or desk. As the teacher moves around the room, pupils can easily track

them and turn their attention to a pupil or group giving feedback. The ability to always be able to move as a teacher means pupils focus much better as the lesson is automatically divided into sections of ‘work’ punctuated with changes of position which help them to reset their concentration. The teacher can very easily get access to every pupil as an individual, there is no ‘back row’ effect and I have found pupils naturally take up the position of a gentle horseshoe so they can see the maximum amount.” This focus on the buildings where children learn is a natural extension of the headmaster’s policy to continually innovate. This began 11 years ago when he took up post and altered the curriculum so that all pupils from the age of 4 onwards would learn Mandarin, in a bid to expand their educations in a less Euro-centric and more global way.

The school believes children’s educations improve when they look outwards to the world, and are not cloistered away behind closed doors.

Since then, a raft of innovations has been put in place, all of which we believe will become mainstream in years to come in education. Our entrepreneurship programme sees pupils in Year 9 sent off with a ten pound note in seed money and told to multiply it many times over via a business idea, the proceeds going to an African charity devoted to helping children. The idea behind the

programme, quite apart from raising money for an excellent charity, is to stimulate the part of the children’s brains that focus on bright ideas, risk-taking and believing that no matter how young you are, your ideas are valid and worth pursuing. Extending this philosophy, pupils’ business brains are challenged again in Year 12 when they team up into house groups and are asked to pitch business ideas Dragons-Den style to a panel of judges. Three winning teams are rewarded with a cash prize in order that they can roll out their business plan for real. The school also believes children’s educations improve when they look outwards to the world, and are not cloistered away behind closed doors. That is why it buddies up each sixth former with a pupil of the same year group in the east London school, the London Academy of Excellence. The LAE sits in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country with a hugely diverse ethnic mix. All the “buddies” in this arrangement benefit from meeting each other and learning about each other’s backgrounds and interests – many continuing their friendship long after their school days are over. The position of Brighton College, in the heart of the cosmopolitan area of Kemp Town, also allows the school to immerse pupils in their community – this is very much a part of the Brighton College education. From weekly visits to care homes and children’s centres to taking part in the annual Pride festivities (the school fielded the first sixth form float in Pride’s history this summer), children learn soft skills that no amount of classroom hours can offer – how to communicate, relate and empathise with others. Little wonder that in September the school was named the most forward-thinking school in England by The Week magazine.

Thomas Godber


Education News



urst College recently opened their doors and facilities to Harlequins Rugby Club for a special training day. There was already a link with the club as former Quins player Jordan TurnerHall is the Rugby Professional at Hurst.

a professional sports team prepares,” said Hurst’s Director of Sport, Rob Kift. “It also gave the school’s coaches and staff an opportunity to learn from the professionals, including ex-England forwards coach Graham Rowntree.”

The day started with shocked looks all round as Hurst students were joined at breakfast by the Quins squad, including England players Joe Marler, Danny Care and Chris Robshaw – as well as former Hurst students Charlie Matthews and Charlie Piper. Following breakfast, the squad went about their training in normal fashion, beginning with coach and player meetings.

Following their day of training, the players enjoyed a hog roast and barbecue whilst mingling with students, parents and coaches.

During breaks from lessons, Hurst students rushed to the side of the rugby field to watch their heroes train. “This training day provided a great opportunity for our students to meet and talk to professional rugby players and coaches and to see, first hand, the way in which

Rob and Master-in-Charge of Rugby Jack Emmerson were delighted to be able to host the Quins and saw this as another initiative to help raise the profile of rugby at the college. “Rugby at the college is on a real high at the moment and this will inspire our teams even more. All at Hurst would like to wish Harlequins all the best for the coming season and we look forward to welcoming them back in the future,” said Rob.

Dance is the hidden language of the soul

Rewarding children for: Confidence, Curiosity, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Commitment and Craftsmanship* For a private tour, please call our Registrar on 01444 483528 or visit *Claxton, G. and Lucas, B. 2015. Educating Ruby. Carmarthen, Wales: Crown Publishing.












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Christmas Events



he holiday tans may have only just faded, but taking the time now to book your Christmas party will mean you’ll have a slick, well-organised, festive celebration. Here are our six top tips to help you get ahead of the game: • Planning ahead is key: the best venues, and even the best deals, can be snapped up with an early booking. It also allows you to spread the cost if you are paying some of the bill up front. It’s a daunting prospect sifting through the hundreds of venues and menus and finding the right one for your company. Ask your staff, get a feel for what your colleagues would like. You can’t please everyone, but you can work with a general consensus. You might be surprised by some inventive suggestions. • Setting the date early is a good way of ensuring most people are available to attend. Check out the consensus on a few possible dates with staff first and go with the majority for maximum attendance. Sending a ‘save the date’ email out early will help to ensure a good turn-out.

Entertainment can make or break your event, so some carefully planned surprises can lift your teams’ spirits and add to the party atmosphere, plus it’s a great way of ironing out any awkward small talk.

• Work out your budget and stick to it. If the budget is tight, you might want to consider venues offering shared parties. A table at a bigger event may be a good way of offering some entertainment without blowing the budget. Maybe you can buddy up with other companies in the same

building to create a bigger event with a shared cost. It’s always good to save a bit of the budget for any unexpected costs. Consider the food and drinks bill. Be clear about what is included. Is there free wine with a meal and a pay bar after that? Make sure staff know, and remember that a big part of the offering is a thank-you to staff for their hard work throughout the year. It won’t boost morale if you ask for a contribution. It’s better to do something less fancy, but cover the cost. • Food and drink: festive drinks to get your crew in the party spirit are a great way to kick-start the evening. If you are worried about a certain contingency using up the drinks budget with excessive rounds of Jäger bombs from the off, consider drinks vouchers, or limit freebies to wine and beers. Food is usually expected at the Christmas do, so do organise a menu tasting prior to booking so you can sample the quality of the food on offer. Consult with the chefs and your staff to ensure there are vegetarian options and that other dietary requirements can be catered for. The food is an important part of the event, so making

sure the venue is used to catering for large numbers is another must. There’s nothing worse than the whole evening falling flat because the food and/or service is awful. • Entertainment can make or break your event, so some carefully planned surprises can lift your teams’ spirits and add to the party atmosphere, plus it’s a great way of ironing out any awkward small talk. Musicians or magicians working the room, circus acts, casino tables and giant games are but a few of the many options for adding some entertaining sparkle to your event. You’ll want to consider music, too. A small dance floor is always a plus. • Thank-you speeches and awards: the Christmas party is a great time to let your staff know how well they’ve been doing. Pick some serious and funny awards to present to staff to let them know how much they are appreciated.


Christmas Events

FORGET MISTLETOE AND WINE Sandown Park is introducing Mistletoe and Stein for Christmas


is the season to say prost! as Sandown Park Racecourse introduces its Bavarian Christmas Party ‘Mistletoe and Stein,’ which will take place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd December 2017.

Sandown Park will transform its Esher Hall into an authentic, traditional Bavarian beer hall for the two nights with live music from its resident oompah band Die Dorf Fest Kappelle! Dan Smyth, Regional Business Development Executive – London said: “We’re making this a truly immersive festive experience for guests and would really encourage for them to dress up and get involved in the festivities. We’re excited to host this new concept for Christmas celebrations here at Sandown Park.” Tickets for Mistletoe and Stein are £39 per person and include: • Stein of lager on arrival • German food basket and large pretzels • Entertainment from Oompah band ‘Die Dorf Fest Kapelle’ • DJ and disco to finish the night In addition, Sandown Park will also host private Christmas parties and it’s more traditional sharer party nightChristmas with all the trimmings on selected nights throughout December.



mistletoe and stein



CHRISTMAS PARTY Beats, Beer and Bratwurst


TO BOOK VISIT SANDOWN.CO.UK Terms and conditions apply. Visit website for details

Event Venue

STARRY NIGHTS Put some sparkle into this year’s Christmas party by hosting it at British Airways i360 and take in the festive lights of Brighton.


here’s nothing like a great party to kick off the festive season, so the popular Starry Nights shared Christmas parties at British Airways i360 are back - designed specifically for groups wanting to enjoy the atmosphere of a larger event. The British Airways i360 beach building will be decked in festive lights, and as guests arrive they will be given a warm welcome before boarding the glass observation pod for a night-time flight. They’ll watch in wonder as the festive lights of Brighton and Hove spread out beneath them, while delicious canapés are circulated at 450ft. Back at beach level the evening unfolds with a seated two course meal and DJ entertainment until late. British Airways i360 is conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye.

Starry Nights packages include: • Flight on the British Airways i360 pod with canapés (drinks can be purchased at the Nyetimber Sky Bar on board) • Two course meal with a choice of main and dessert • Half a bottle of wine per person at the table • Mince pies with tea or coffee • DJ music until late Starry Nights Christmas parties are available on selected dates between Saturday 25th November and Friday 22nd December 2017, from 7pm until late. Price £62 + VAT per person. Book now at

Private parties Looking to book a private Christmas party? Packages are also available for exclusive lunch or evening Christmas events for between 10 and 480 guests. Book early to secure your preferred date by contacting our events team on (01273) 448370 or

Menu Canapés

Smoked salmon, blinis, lime gel Turkey mousse, brioche, cranberry chutney Goats cheese and chestnut bonbon (v) Compressed beetroot with balsamic (v)


Roasted turkey ballantine, filled with sage, onion and chestnut stuffing with roasted potatoes, carrot purée, glazed sprouts and honey roasted parsnips, served with all the trimmings Steamed plaice paupiette, stuffed with a seafood mousse, wilted spinach, roasted golden beets fondant potatoes, served with salsa verde Caramelised butternut roasted apples and Ashdown Forrester tart, with chard coulis (v) Cranberry and Cointreau popcorn cake with mince pie ice cream


Traditional Christmas pudding, brandy cream, confit fruits

After Dinner

Mince pies with tea or coffee


Starry Nights Christmas Parties

Take to the skies for a Christmas Party like no other

Find out more or book online


01273 448370

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects

Event Venues

RACE TO GET FESTIVE The best place to entertain this Christmas.


lumpton Racecourse offers the perfect place to bring a team for a festive celebration. Recently crowned “Best Place To Entertain Clients” in the Lewes District Business Awards, the racecourse offers fine dining, a great atmosphere and a memorable day out.

This year sees two festive themed race days in December – gates open at 11:00am on both Monday 4th and Monday 18th December. Guests can take to their table immediately and enjoy a welcome drink while they browse the day’s complimentary racecard. A freshly cooked three course lunch will follow, using, where possible, locally sourced ingredients. The table is yours for the day, meaning your party can come and go between courses to watch the runners sail over the final flight of fences and race to the finish. Businesses can make the day more memorable by adding their own stamp to the raceday – see your business in lights on the big screen positioned on the final furlong, or place an advertisement or special message in the racecard. To make the day extra special, why not consider race sponsorship? This will see your business take the title of a race, have a full-page colour advert in the racecard, a big screen advert and of course, branding

and product placement. As well as all of this, you will get access to the Parade Ring to judge the Best Turned Out horse for your race and return after the race to present the trophy to the race winner, before enjoying complimentary champagne with the winning connections.

Contact the racecourse today to discuss how to make Christmas truly special for your business! Call 01273 890383 or email

Celebrate Christmas with your team at Plumpton Racecourse! December Raceday

Monday 4th December Dine in the course-side Plumpton Marquee with welcome drink, three-course set lunch and racing for just £60 per person inc. VAT.

Christmas Raceday

Monday 18th December Dine in the course-side Plumpton Marquee with welcome drink, three-course choice lunch and racing for just £66 per person inc. VAT.

Book now to avoid disappointment! E: T: 01273 890383


Join us for a glittering evening of celebration at Worthing Pavilion

10 NOVEMBER 2017

Get your tickets now!


Business Events

EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN It’s time to get your ticket for Brighton Summit


s well as three exciting keynote speakers at this unmissable business event of the year, there will be five excellent workshops, an Unknown Hour (what could possibly happen there?!), and four stimulating speakers. This is the fifth year that Brighton Summit has been held and each year it becomes more popular. The theme this year is ‘Embracing the unknown’.

a new restaurant and ask themselves “Will this one be different? Will they like us?”, they’ve learned to trust their ability to deal with the unexpected.

Mike Dicks

Now Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce have announced two new speakers…

Andy and Pranee Laurillard from Giggling Squid

Pranee started her first Thai restaurant in the Lanes in 2002, opened Giggling Squid in Hove a few years later and then persuaded her husband to leave corporate life and join her running the family business. Since then the Giggling Squid has grown massively. They now employ around 400 people and operate 21 Giggling Squids across 13 counties. The business successfully completed its first private equity funding round in 2015 and it is now, by most measures, the largest Thai restaurant brand in the UK. Pranee and Andy tell their story from growing one Thai resturant in the Lanes to an international brand, offering tips from their experience. They will explain that leaping into the unknown is better than not leaping at all. Why it is always good to think big, because when you scale it down to real life it will seem a lot easier. That rushing and taking short cuts is the fastest route to failure. That a partner who is different from you can complete the missing jigsaw and that you should never be shy to admit things you don’t know. Be inspired to make your own leap by this success story. They comment that after 21 sleepless nights, every time they open

Mike Dicks has had what is best described as a ‘portfolio career’ and a life of creating anecdotes about himself. He has variously been a salesman, TV and digital producer, lobbyist, and most recently an author and illustrator. Mike lives by the sea in Hove with his dog and co-author, Scrabble. They have two books available (Mike&Scrabble and Mike&ScrabbleToo) Mike says that his personal life and business life are pretty much the same thing these days, and he discovers new unknowns every day, from meeting or discovering new people to being confronted with new ideas or opportunities. Since he decided to follow his instincts and attempt to be happy, he’s managed to embrace these new unknowns and make them part of what he does. Don’t miss out. Embrace your unknown. Brighton Summit is a full-day event being held on Friday 13th October at The Clarendon Centre in central Brighton. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and from all sectors who do business in or with the Brighton and Hove area, as well as entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and those thinking of setting up in business.

To get your ticket and see the full programme visit


Business Expos

EXPLORING THE EXPO The Mid Sussex Expo was a day of revolutions, says Sonny Cutting in his post-event wrap.


he event was a day of revolutions; a day revolutionising B2B tradeshows, a day revolutionising the dreariness of expos, a day that began with Penina Shepherd’s ‘Freedom Revolution’. Eager, and clinging to their cups of coffees, exhibitors were asked to join Penina in the seminar room so that the Network Xpress Burgess Hill event could be technologically transformed into a virtual tour by the wondrous 360 Dynamic. From every angle, the room was photographed in order to be painstakingly and accurately stitched together to create a virtual reality tour… of which will be coming soon. Less than an hour later, exhibitors were released back into their home for the day, alongside keen-eyed guests. 60 exhibitors, with passion about what they do, were ready to take on the world of Burgess Hill business. The winner of the best stand was awarded to Fay Millar of Brighton Cakes, with Hunters Estate Agents taking the runner up prize. The golfing theme of the Network Xpress expo had been adopted readily by exhibitors, with fantastic themed stands throughout, not to mention the chance to play and win at the exclusive mini golf tournament. As conversation flowed, more also visited the seminar rooms for exclusive, engaging and enjoyable talks from Natalie Montagnani, Amanda Geel and Neil Tomlinson. The customer experience award was introduced to the expos by Sonny Cutting in 2015, due to his previous jobs with BT, which had him deal with customers on a daily basis. Inspired by his own experience, a special award was set up which highlighted companies who offered the highest level of customer service and who went above and beyond. BBA Couriers in Burgess Hill won the coveted award and were given a glass award and a bottle of bubbly as a thank you. New start up, Rutherford’s Bailiff and Collection Services, were handed the runners up award, received by owner, Michala Rutherford. We have our premier sponsors to thank for


Fay Millar of Brighton Cakes, winner of the ‘Best Stand Award’ and winner of the 'Customer Experience Award’, James Butcher of BBA Couriers in Worthing. such a great experience - Platinum Business Magazine, Paper Plus UK, Pile Tech, and of course our partner sponsors, Clear Water Safety Group, Worldpay, 325 Productions and Clean Kill. The two charities that we supported and helped raise awareness for were the Disabilities Trust and Time 4 Children. And on that note, Sonny has agreed to become a Trustee for Time for Children and will be supporting their

charity for Mid Sussex with a new website and marketing support. Thanks to Net XP’s close relationships with different companies, the site will soon have case studies showcasing Merranti Recruitment, Worldpay, Time 4 Children and McMillan Wealth Consultants. The story has just begun… find out more about Net XP by visiting

Born in South London, Sonny Cutting was a Brighton local from the age of 16 and has lived in Hurstpierpoint for the past 17 years. Today in the sleepy little village of Hurstpierpoint, he lives with his wife, Andrea and their four-year old twins, Jack and Charlotte. Sonny is the managing director of Sussex Pages, The Business Marketing Network, a local digital marketing company which he set up after leaving BT as a new media specialist after eight years of service.


















Sponsored by:

Featuring guest speaker

Bob Wilson, OBE Legendary Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper and former TV broadcaster










Special Guest Speaker Bob Wilson, OBE

Annual Sporting Charity Lunch

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01273 330044 1967 - 2017


Business Awards



he winners of the 12th annual Brighton & Hove Business Awards (BAHBAs) were announced on 14th September at Proud Country House. The sell-out event was attended by over 300 guests from around 100 different Brighton businesses and included the MP from Pavilion, as well as the city Mayor, Councillor Mo Marsh, and Chair of the Economic Development & Culture Committee, Alan Robins.

Three companies from the City took home a brace of gongs – Mooncup Ltd was awarded The Best Place to Work and The Green Business Award, while the newly re-furbished Saltdean Lido won The Award for Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism and The Best New Kids on the Block. Taking home the most sought after accolade of The Judges Award for Best Business of the Year, as well as The Professional Services Award, was HOP

Consulting Ltd.

Overseas healthcare professionals Work the World, which made the shortlist three times, was presented The Award for Business Beyond the City. Managing Director of the Year 2016 finalist – Danielle Plowman of Ellie Ellie walked home with the title this year, with James Dempster of Cobb Digital named as One To Watch. Phil Green, Director of MDHUB, presented the Outstanding Brightonian award to Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club which was collected by the Club’s Executive Director and a previous winner himself, Martin Perry. Phil said, “Our winner tonight has taken Brighton beyond the UK and put us on the map of Europe. In fact, on 13th August we estimate that there were around 70 million people around the world who were chanting the name of Brighton.

“With an arena voted the best new stadium in the world in 2012, a world-class training facility, a multi-award-winning charitable arm, exceptional club and team management, the future looks bright for our Outstanding Brightonian.” The media sponsors for the night were Platinum Business Magazine, Juice 107.2 FM, Title Sussex and The Argus. Sponsors included MD Hub, University of Brighton, Red7, Healys, Churchill Square and NatWest who join City Cabs, Yelo Architects, Graves Jenkins, Cardens Accountants, Martin Searle Solicitors and Robinson Low Francis. The awards are supported by The Big Lemon, B&H Chamber of Commerce, Gemini Print, Brighton Business Curry Club, Proud Country House, Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance.

2017 WINNERS 1.



THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AWARD Sponsored by Martin Searle Solicitors WINNER: Koru Architects


THE GREEN BUSINESS AWARD Sponsored by Green Growth Platform – University of Brighton WINNER: Mooncup Ltd


HOSPITALITY, LEISURE & TOURISM Sponsored by Red7 WINNER: Saltdean Lido




THE BEST EVENT IN THE CITY Sponsored by Juice 107.2 FM WINNER: Martlets Hospice

THE AWARD FOR BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE Sponsored by Yelo Architects WINNER: Bluebird Tea Co. THE FASTEST GROWING BUSINESS AWARD 8. Sponsored by NatWest WINNER: Avalara 7.


THE AWARD FOR BUSINESS BEYOND THE CITY Sponsored by Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce WINNER: Work the World THE BEST NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK 10. Sponsored by Healys WINNER: Saltdean Lido THE BEST PLACE TO WORK 11. Sponsored by Graves Jenkins WINNER: Mooncup Ltd THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AWARD 12. Sponsored by Cardens Accountants WINNER: HOP Consulting Ltd THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR 13. Sponsored by Robinson Low Francis WINNER: Danielle Plowman, Ellie Ellie THE JUDGES AWARD FOR BEST BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 14. Sponsored by The Argus WINNER: HOP Consulting Ltd OUTSTANDING BRIGHTONIAN 15. Sponsored by MDHUB WINNER: Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club 9.

Business Awards
















The 2017 Winners

Presenter, Paul Zenon



MUSTANG by Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann


or the first time in history you can buy a right hand-drive Mustang. This means nothing to some and an enormous


Finesse is not this car’s forte. If you want

of the door. The V8 really is the only engine

a superbly built car with all the bells and

to have and, to be frank, is the entire point

whistles, go shopping in Stuttgart. That is

of this car - power! There are two body styles

amount to those that have an interest in

not what this car is all about. It’s about brute

- the fastback and the convertible with a six-

huge horsepower American muscle and

force, a butch road presence and a laid back

speed auto box or a six-speed manual with a

want something a tad different in the

cruise with the Beach Boys playing and an

real honest to god manual stick.

company car park.

elbow casually resting on the door. Ok, not

Now l know what you are thinking. It will be all grunt and no finesse and will never get around a corner. But you would be wrong. The new rear suspension has transformed the car’s stability and ride control and, for the first

quite so romantic on a wet Wednesday in Crawley but we can all dream. This is a car that has not been out of production since its launch in 1964 - it has a cache all of its own. Let’s start on the outside. It is a very good

The interior is reasonable but if you are used to German build quality, you might be somewhat disappointed, but then this is a Ford so get over it. It all works, is all quite well bolted together and aside from some cheap plastics, there is not too much to moan

looking car. The lines are right and it sits on

about. Fords Sync3 infotainment system works

its haunches in a very aggressive manner. The

very well and with 9 speakers and USB and

corners - unless it’s wet or snowy in which

engine choices are a 5.0-litre V8 or a ridiculous

Bluetooth connectivity, it has all it needs.

case, gird your loins and pucker up as this front

2.3-litre eco-boost. Can you imagine boasting

When you open the doors at night you even

mounted V8 with rear wheel drive will spin

in the pub that your new Mustang has a 2.3

get a pony projected onto the ground as

faster than a hotpoint.

eco-boost engine - they would laugh you out

you alight. Subtle it ain’t. The rear seats are

time in US history, will actually make it round



small and two adults are going to get very

that V8 is really required to get you up the

friendly on a long trip but then this is the

road but it is a hoot. Revving it does not

curse of all coupe bodies.

produce fireworks but a steady throbbing

I had my time addicted to American

from the rear end. Open the taps, and it

muscle way back when and it really is quite

howls its way up the road. Not past any

surreal to be sitting in a Mustang with the

petrol stations mind you but up the road

steering wheel on the correct side.


Now to the entire reason this lump

And now we come to its major selling

of metal exists at all - the engine and

point. This 5.0-litre V8 legendary Mustang

performance. It is quick off the line in an

can be yours for only £38,000. Really, how

obese kind of way but 60mph in 4.8

do they do that? Less than forty grand for

seconds is none too shabby and it will

a V8 Mustang. Of course, you can have the

pull hard all the way through the rev

2.3-litre for £33,645 but really, why would

range to 140mph. It’s not subtle but


there is little like it on the UK roads today.

So it’s remarkably cheap, has oodles of

It has character and for that sometimes

character, more than enough grunt and will

you have to sacrifice. It weights 1745kg so

go round corners. What’s not to love?

TECH STUFF Model tested: Mustang Fastback 5.0 V8 GT Engine: 5.0-litre naturally aspirated Power: 415 bhp Performance: 0-62mph 4.8 seconds Top speed: 155 mph Economy: 20.9 mpg combined Price from: £39,595 As tested: £41,680




and beyond

By Maarten Hoffmann, Motoring Editor


t is a very rare occasion that l receive a car for review that l have never driven or even sat in before but that occasion arrived recently when an Infiniti arrived on the drive. I know nothing about this marque and therefore come at it with no preconceived notions or thoughts, which is rather refreshing. Infiniti is the luxury arm of Nissan as Lexus is to Toyota and, as most of my readers will know by now, l do not have the greatest affection for Japanese cars I find them flat, dull, uninspiring and a tad boring . Don’t get me wrong, they are incredibly reliable cars and sell by the truck load but they just don’t float my boat. I might now have to review my thinking now that l have spent the last week with the Infiniti Q60S as this is a surprisingly good car. First impression is that it is a very handsome car with good lines and proportions. There are


so few on the road at present that it gets quite a few stares from people trying to work out what it is and therein lies its immediate appeal. They are not common and therefore you do feel as if you are driving something a little bit special. That might change after this review but then Nissan really don’t want it to be a secret l guess. The point here is that as good as its rivals are, and they are very very good, it can be difficult to find your car in a car park if you drive an Audi A5, Mercedes C-Class or BMW 4 series as there are so many of them. Drive the Infiniti and you will have no trouble

It is a very rare occasion that l receive a car for review that l have never driven or even sat in

finding your car and you will be pretty content when you do.. My car is the 3.0-litre Sport Tech with a 7-speed auto box and all-wheel drive and l really cannot complain about its get up and go. 62mph arrives in a very respectable 5 seconds and it will power on to 155mph in great comfort. It boasts a Bose sound system with 13 speakers, Bluetooth, dual touch screens, 360 degree cameras, Sat Nav and all the other bells and whistles you would want. Most importantly, it has no bloody annoying stop/start function that drives me to distraction. The cabin is well laid out but with some oddities. For example, the centre console that houses everything including two screens is slightly angled towards the passenger. This is either ridiculous or it is a trait of being a lefthand drive car that has had the wheel changed over but little else. Also, the two screens sit there as if they have had an argument, as they


TECH STUFF Model tested: Q60S Sport Tech Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo Power: 400 bhp Performance: 0-62 5.0 seconds Top: 155 mph Economy: 30.1 mpg combined Prices from: £46,690.00 As tested: £47,780.00 both do different things but do not look as if they were designed to be together. I also found the radio controls quite fiddly to use and l often judge this by watching my kids work them, as young teenagers, they can work all tech with a speed that defies logic and they stated “This radio system is rubbish Daddy”. Next to the cutting edge systems offered by Mercedes and BMW, this will not do in this very tough sector.

First impression is that it is a very handsome car with good lines and proportions.

One clever little item is the world’s first ‘by-wire’ fully electronic steering system called

the Direct Adaptive Steering system, which removes the direct connection between the steering wheel and the steered axle, and the makers claim it offers smoother and more responsive handling. Interestingly, l didn’t know l had it until l started writing this and to be frank, l didn’t notice any discernible difference. It does drive very well and feels well planted and l did what l always do - l found the Sport plus button, ripped it off and threw it out the window and it really does have an impressive turn of speed. The suspension seems firm but acceptable, steering is accurate and you could drive all day without problems. There are quite a few high tech annoyances such as the multitude of warnings that you are about to crash or deviating from your lane and if you don’t pay attention, it slams the brakes on. The one that was most annoying is the constant droning buzzer that tells you the door is open

when the engine is off and you are exiting. As l have turned the engine off and am getting out of the car, l KNOW the blasted door is open! My final moan is the boot, as if it has been raining when you open it, it dribbles water all over the contents. Such a simple design fault that one might of expected a massive manufacturer such as Nissan to have fixed. That said, all in all l liked this car. There are very few alternatives to the teutonic dominance on our roads and this is a very good alternative. It’s not as good but then it will mark you out as slightly different from the crowd. The major problem for Infiniti is, as always, the competition. At £46,000, it is around the same price as the new Audi A5 and £7,000 more expensive than the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 4 Series. It’s good but not that good but l still liked it and would certainly consider it if l were shopping in that sector.


For pleasure For business For fun


01273 55 55 55 86

Charity News

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY A number of local solicitors have generously agreed to waive their will writing fees for appointments made in October, in aid of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice. Throughout the month, local solicitors are offering a limited number of appointments to help write or update a will. Instead of paying the solicitor for their professional advice, they are asking for a suggested donation to Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex and South-East Hampshire. Around two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have a will, but it is the only way to be certain that loved ones are provided for. Chestnut Tree House’s Will Writing Appeal allows individuals or couples to write their will whilst helping to raise money for local children with life-shortening conditions. Rosie Last, Development Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House explains more: “We are really grateful for the support of local solicitors and hope that the appeal will prompt people to make or update their will.” “It costs £116.79 per hour to provide all of Chestnut Tree House’s community services, which allow children with life-shortening conditions and their families to receive care in their own home, so the suggested donations of £100 for a single will and £150 for a joint will could make a real difference.” The charity also hopes it will prompt people to consider leaving a charitable gift in their will. Chestnut Tree House currently cares for over 300 life-limited children; the care provided to 1 in 4 of these children is made possible thanks to gifts in wills. Rosie continues:“Gifts left to Chestnut Tree House in supporters’ wills are a crucial part of our current and future income. Such gifts are a very special way of helping the hospice and allows our supporters to continue making a lasting difference to the lives of local children and their families, even though they are no longer here to see the benefit.” Solicitors across the region are taking place – from Eastbourne to Portsmouth and from Worthing up to Crawley. Anybody who would like to take advantage of this offer can contact their chosen solicitor any time from the beginning of September and book an appointment to take place in October, quoting ‘Chestnut Tree House Will Writing Appeal’. For more information, including the full list of participating solicitors please visit or you can contact the charity on 01903 706351 or

SNOWMAN SPECTACULAR FUNDRAISING BALL Preparations are well underway for Chestnut Tree House’s 10th Snowman Spectacular Fundraising Ball, which celebrates a decade of association with their friend and Patron, Raymond Briggs’ beloved character, The Snowman™. Taking place on Saturday 2nd December at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the ball is the biggest event on the charity’s fundraising calendar. Chestnut Tree House would like to say a special thank you to Green People and Leaders, who are headline sponsors of the 10th Snowman Spectacular Ball. Thanks also to Classic Consulting, Creative Pod, E3 Group, ECE Architecture, Gemini Print, Gusto Wines, Hilton Brighton Metropole, Juice 107.2, Oliver & Graimes, Platinum Business Magazine, Shoreham Vehicle Auctions, Signature Flight, and Sussex Life for sponsoring this year’s event. The Snowman™ Spectacular Ball is already sold out, but there is a waiting list. Please visit for more information or to register your interest. If you can help by providing good quality auction lots and presents for the Christmas gift grotto then Chestnut Tree House would love to hear from you.

If your company would like to get involved with supporting Chestnut Tree House, please contact the Corporate Fundraisers on or visit for more information.


Table Talk

And so to Food by Amanda Menahem


ast month I didn’t get out much as I was immersed in the launch and early weeks of Pascere restaurant. Normal gluttony has now resumed, and I frequented a number of new places and some old favourites. Vincent, co-owner of Plateau popped in to Pascere one night and rather drunkenly commented that I hadn’t been in for a while. He mentioned that they have taken on a fantastic new chef. This was enough to remind me how much I love the place. So, one lunchtime I decided to check out the new menu and indeed it was lovely. The crispy lamb breast had me thinking about it for days. La Fourchette in Second Avenue, Hove is a bit of a neighbourhood gem (if you ignore the loud bored rich men who seem to frequent the bar area) and provided a lovely midweek lunch when my mum visited. Classic French bistro done well. My hunk of pan fried hake on Provencal vegetables did not disappoint.

I was hesitant about the first element of the menu, a Carlingford oyster with elderflower and Jersey cream, not being a fan of oysters (I really don’t get the fuss - give me a scallop any day). I couldn’t imagine how this would work, but it did.

On the subject of French cuisine, I discovered Petit Pois, a French small plates bistro on Ship Street. I have been several times to try different menu items. The menu is divided into nibbles, the usual meat, fish, vegetables, cheese and charcuterie, the latter of which I sampled and was impressed by the quality and generosity. The goats cheese croquettes, are literally balls of goats cheese deep fried in breadcrumbs. So if like me, you like slightly warm, soft, tangy goats cheese, then these are for you. The snails and frogs legs on a neighbouring table looked great. The duck rillette was the only disappointment - bland


Charcuterie at Petit Pois and gloopy. A sirloin of beef was beautiful - a perfectly cooked thick strip of meat on a bed of well-seasoned wilted spinach and a couple of handmade chunky chips, crispy and fluffy with a good béarnaise. On another occasion, a duck dish was less successful with an overly sweet sauce and a celeriac dauphinoise, which didn’t seem to taste like celeriac. My friend, however, declared her pigeon sublime giving me immediate food envy. The scallops were a nice dish as were the stuffed squid with a rich bisque (despite being accompanied by plain white rice which I thought strange). It’s good value, casual and centrally located - and also

one of the few places that serves food all day on a Saturday. Murmur was up next, the much-anticipated second restaurant from the increasingly famous Michael Bremner of 64 degrees. Despite being accompanied by my beloved cousin’s unruly children (ugh), I nevertheless enjoyed the short rib beef skewers with chilli mayonnaise and the buckwheat salad with roasted beetroot. The grilled fish looked amazing on a neighbouring table and I am definitely going back to try it. The setting is stunning, under the arches, right on the beach overlooking the West Pier with the recent art

Table Talk installation adding extra shabby chic glamour, especially when lit up at night. The real highlight of the month was dinner at the Little Fish Market. It’s taken me a long time to get round to visiting, despite all the huge praise and accolades. My dining partner Jeremy, himself a hotelier and lover of good food, had raved about it on a previous visit and was keen to return. We kicked off with a fabulous Cava, once served at the famous El Bulli, and a fine start it was too. I was hesitant about the first element of the menu, a Carlingford oyster with elderflower and Jersey cream, not being a fan of oysters (I really don’t get the fuss - give me a scallop any day). I couldn’t imagine how this would work, but it did. A slurpy, creamy, refreshingly salty, sweet mouthful. At this moment I knew this was a chef to be utterly trusted. Next up, a miso glazed mackerel, spring onion and yuzu mayo. Nicely charred mackerel given an umami boost courtesy of the miso. The bream next, with baby gem, tomato and sea vegetables. A perfectly cooked piece of bream, crisped skin and yielding flesh with a divine cream and oyster sauce, a nod to classic French cooking. Next up, the halibut with a crab ravioli, girolles and a creamy sweetcorn sauce. Finally dessert, a sable biscuit topped with a sphere of strawberry parfait with a clotted cream and strawberry ‘tartare’ and strawberry puree. An elegant, luxurious finish. All of this was washed down with a Chablis Premier Cru. Duncan Ray, the chef proprietor, with his impressive credentials and yet so humble, really is a local food hero.

Bream at Little Fish Market

Miso glazed Mackerel at Little Fish Market

As I type, I’m just back from a five day juice fast in Somerset which has been a necessary (evil) intervention.

An impromptu late lunch at Fourth and Church reminded me why it is rightly in Brighton’s top 20 best restaurants listing. The menu is regularly changing and when I visited, a cauliflower dish, both pureed and roasted, stood out. As did a lovely roast apricot dessert with ricotta and biscotti - simple, classic. You can trust anything you order here.

The month ended with two Brighton and Hove Food Festival events. First, the return leg of the chef exchange event covered in last month’s issue, with chef Michael Bremner partnering with Craig Jones from St Lucia at Hotel du Vin. Every dish was impressive but the seared tuna dish and braised ox cheek really stood out. It exemplified the kind of event that Brighton and Hove Food Festival do so well. The following night, back at Hotel du Vin, we celebrated the launch of chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma’s new venture, The Spice Circuit. Many of you will know Kanthi as the co-creator of the hugely popular Curry Leaf Café. He is now branching out on his own with pop-ups and collaborations across Sussex (including a special fine dining collaboration at Pascere restaurant on 6th November - look out for details).

Lamb Breast at Plateau

This excellent night was a great sign of things to come from chef Kanthi and The Spice Circuit. Phew it certainly feels like I made up for lost time this month and as I type, I’m just back from a five day juice fast in Somerset which has been a necessary (evil) intervention. More about that next month…

Seared Tuna at the Chef Exchange


Table Talk

Think you don’t like New Zealand Sauvignon? Gerry Higgins of VineKing, urges us to think again.


n the mid-eighties, the New Zealand wine makers brought their excellent Chardonnays to the UK for tasting. Australian Chardonnays were massively popular in the UK and the Kiwis were keen to get a piece of the market. However, it was not the Chardonnays but their Sauvignon Blancs which grabbed everyone’s attention. They were fruit driven Sauvignons, full of gooseberry, tropical fruits, asparagus and the harder to sell tasting note of cat pee. I can even remember a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the nineties, which had a label with a cartoon of a fiendish looking black and white tom peeing on a gooseberry bush. I can’t remember the name of the wine but knowing the Kiwis, there is every chance it was called ‘cat pee on a gooseberry bush’. They often added a little Semillon to the mix to give it an even richer kick but were still allowed to call them Sauvignon Blancs. They became a staple of every wine list, a must-have for a party and if you could find a bottle of the much sought after wine of the moment, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, then you shared it with your privileged friends. Happily pointing out that while Cloudy Bay Sauvignon was expensive for a New Zealand Sauvignon, it was the same price as a pretty dull Sancerre. The herbaceous and mineral notes of Old World Sauvignons were dull companions for the new flavours we were producing in our kitchens. Australian Chardonnay became so wrong, their overuse of oak became a sneering indictment and the ABC (‘Anything but Chardonnay’) club raised a glass of champagne to their fall. Australia tried to fight back with unoaked Chardonnay and melon notes in their wines, but it was a lost cause and Chardonnay for the wider market was tainted.


Marlborough fatigue is starting to sneak in to the UK. People are turning away from the full, ripe flavours of New World Sauvignon and back to the herbaceous and mineral Sauvignons of the Old World. New Zealand, though, have been quicker off the mark to see the changes in vino fashion than the Aussies. They have pushed on their Chardonnays, have some very specific terroir pinot noirs and played with Riesling, and to a lesser degree of success Gewürztraminer. Possibly, and more significantly, the top Sauvignons have looked to balance new world fruit with Old World minerality. Kevin Judd the former chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay has truly shone the way. When LVMH took over Cloudy Bay and Kevin chose to pursue his own project of Greywacke, he could see the writing on the wall. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2016 This, whatever the company, is a great wine. It does have elderflower, gooseberry and bacon fat on the nose but it also has acidity and great balance. And this is now considered once again to be one of the most sought after wines in the New Zealand Sauvignon range. At just under £20 it is tremendous value and reminds me that it would be a mistake to dismiss all Sauvignons from NZ because so many of them are over ripe and over done.


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Business Awards

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very shopkeeper knows that the increase in online shopping can sentence a business to a slow and painful death. This in turn can lead to job losses and an increase in the ugly, empty shop fronts in a town centre. Buying online sends money elsewhere, often to a foreign economy, so how do you persuade shoppers to buy in your town? The answer is very simple, you create an attractive shopping environment where people want to shop. Legal & General are investing £85 million in a new shopping centre in Eastbourne called The Beacon. This centre will create an environment where people want to be; however, to make sure this centre does not suck the life out of the surrounding streets and independent shopping areas, it is important that Eastbourne raises its game to reflect the Beacon’s shining example far and wide. So, this autumn, Eastbourne is on course

Battle Chamber of Commerce


Bexhill Chamber of Commerce 01424 842892

Crowborough Chamber of Commerce

to join over 270 other towns, cities and streets across the UK to become a Business Improvement District (BID). The aim is to create that environment where shoppers want to be.

So what is a BID and how does it work? A BID is a business-led and business funded organisation that is formed to improve a commercial area, normally, but not exclusively, a town centre. In a BID, the ratepayers of a defined area decide and direct how they want to improve the area to increase footfall, improve sales and improve the general environment of the area. And, over the next five years, Eastbourne plans to raise over £1.5 million to invest in improving its town centre. A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on the Business Plan for the area. The ballot is controlled legally and all businesses

Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce 01323 641144

East Sussex County Council 01273 481570

Federation of Small Businesses 01424 754686 Reg Office: 01323 482018

are balloted over a 28 day period. There are already BIDs in Hastings, Brighton, Worthing and Bournemouth and each focuses on different priorities as defined by their business community. BIDs came to the UK in 2005 and can run for up to five years. If they wish to continue, they must go through a renewal ballot to secure another BID five year term which Brighton has done successfully twice. Many focus on increasing events, marketing, floral planters, winter lighting, Christmas lights, street ambassadors and security wardens to bring the pizzazz back to shopping in town.

How is it funded? A BID is funded by a levy charged to all businesses in the BID area based on the rateable value of the business. In Eastbourne, £300,000 is expected to be collected every year for five years.

Hailsham Chamber of Commerce 01323 310531

Hastings Chamber of Commerce 01424 205500

Heathfield Chamber of Commerce 01435 865858

ACES this investment,” said Stephen Holt, Business Development Manager for the non-profit Edeal Enterprise Agency, and one of the founding members of the BID steering group. “These consultations have ranged from big, multinational retailers, to small one-man bands. The BID steering group has met with businesses in cafés, solicitor’s offices, banks and in one memorable case, a store cupboard; we have been so determined to gather the thoughts of all business people and ensure that our plan is right for the town. And we were delighted to hear the overwhelmingly positive response the BID received including ‘its democracy in action’ from one local solicitor.”

Why Eastbourne?

time and time again.

As a result of more than £175m of inward investment, the town will be transformed with an expanded shopping centre, bringing with it new retailers and restaurants. The town’s conference and theatre facilities will be developed and there are ambitious plans for the seafront and improved leisure facilities.

Ashley Pugh from W. Bruford Jewellers, a major independent retailer in the town centre, summarised that: “Eastbourne has a bright future and a real opportunity with the investment being made. The BID process will give us the ability and the finance to make both physical and strategic changes to bring the town centre into the 21st century.”

Yet the past five years have seen the high street change dramatically with some major names disappearing from the shopping scene, and a national decline in footfall. To compete against online shopping, business leaders believe the town centre needs to create a visitor experience that brings people back,

What will the BID do?

Lewes Chamber of Commerce 07919 382316

Locate East Sussex 0844 415 9255

Newhaven Chamber of Commerce 0800 107 0709

Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce 01273 586222

Seaford Chamber of Commerce 0800 881 5331

“It’s important to understand that we won’t be taking over the Council’s responsibilities – one of the legal requirements for a BID is that we sign an agreement with the local authority to ensure a baseline of services. The important thing is that the BID is business led, which means we are in control of our funding, our projects and ultimately our future.”

South East Local Enterprise Partnership 01245 431469

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce 01825 722607

Wealden District Council 01323 443322


The Institute of Directors 0207 766 8866

“Over the last two years, we have held a number of highly successful consultation meetings with local businesses to hear their thoughts about our evolving town centre, and the unique chance we have to capitalise on

“Our business plan pulls no punches! It highlights the concerns we’ve heard about the fears of a two-tier town centre, the need for exciting events all year round and for additional street security. Yet, it also provides solutions – with a few highlights including funding of street ambassadors, winter lighting, planters, the return of our amazing Christmas lightshow Neon Noel and other popular events.”



Stephen Holt finished: “Our BID steering group contains representatives from all business sectors and areas of the town. From charities to multi-nationals, restaurants, pubs, solicitors and hotels. We have heard the concerns of the business community and they are telling us that they support our plans for the future. They know that this is our chance to control something really special, and with that, along with the BID, our town will go far.” To be a BID town, all ratepayers are given the opportunity to vote with a majority of both the rateable value and the votes cast needed to secure a successful campaign. So how is Eastbourne looking for a “YES” vote this autumn?

ACES The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex

THE GREAT TRAIN FIASCO The view from Southern & the RMT

Issue 5. 2017


Jeff Bezos, Amazon

ROLLING THUNDER Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé



Full details about the Eastbourne BID along with a copy of the BID Business Plan can be found at


THE BUSINESS JET ENGINE Prepare to take-off



“Two of our steering group members actually confessed to voting against a BID in a neighbouring town,” Stephen Holt said. “But they have since been convinced of their success and want to help us develop our own BID. They realised that a BID can improve the town and protect its future. In fact, the majority of BIDs actually increase their YES vote during their renewal ballots.”


We are very proud of our new magazines for ACES. The new magazine will be distributed all over East Sussex. Make sure you pick up your copy. For more information about advertising and editorial sponsorship, contact or call 07966 244046 and we have discounted members rates. The second issue is out now and in general distribution right around the region


ARE YOU READY FOR GDPR? By Dianne Lambdin, Director of Chichester Chamber of Commerce & Industry and The Sussex HR Hub


n 25th May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will establish laws across the EU that protect the data privacy rights of EU citizens. As the lead-up to implementation gathers pace, businesses will be bombarded with advice on what they need to do to avoid potential fines for noncompliance. However, I don’t believe panicking people with threats of huge fines is helpful - my advice would be to focus on what’s important - your GDPR planning should be specifically tailored to the key areas of risk you face. An advantage of GDPR is to reduce complexity by ensuring that a single set of rules will apply across the EU. But where do you begin when GDPR impacts on all parts of your business and all types of data? Start by looking at what you already have in place as not everything in GDPR is new - you could find that much of your knowledge and processes from the existing data protection laws could be utilised for GDPR. See where the gaps are, assess your risk and focus on what’s important. You’ll need to consider GDPR from several perspectives including legal, technical, security and employment.

In recruitment, if you use automatic profiling to filter CVs, you’ll need to notify candidates and, if they object, have an alternative method with human intervention instead. Overall, the rules around ‘consent’ will be much tighter and raise questions about how free

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 9th October - Networking Chamber Monthly Meeting 11th October - The Chichester Business Breakfast in conjunction with Chichester College 19th October - Business Supper Club with Chichester BID 7th November - Speed Networking with Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

The rules on Subject Access Requests (SARs) will change too, reducing the time you have to respond and cutting out fees. I also believe that a consequence of the abolition of employment tribunal fees could result in an increase in SARs as they are often used to gather information prior to litigation. It’s a simple process but one people aren’t always aware of and that’s when things can go badly wrong! My advice is to take a sensible, systematic approach to GDPR across all parts of your business, involve your employees and ensure the new systems become part of the way you do things. CCCI will be holding events in early 2018 to help businesses plan for GDPR.

JOIN CHICHESTER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY FROM JUST £99 Membership benefits include: • Events and networking • Policy and public affairs • Workshops and training • Business advice and services • New business opportunities

8th November - The Chichester Business Breakfast in conjunction

Join us now at

with Chichester College


From an HR perspective (which is what floats my boat), the way you collect and process data about employees and job candidates will be changing BIG TIME!

employees really are to give or withhold consent. And how will you respond to employees (or ex-employees) if they demand their ‘right to be forgotten’?



NEW WISEUP2 PROGRAMME FOR AUTUMN How can you improve your knowledge?



he Better Business Show is back on Thursday 1st February 2018 and stand bookings are now open but going fast.

The easiest way is to learn from an expert which is exactly what the WiseUp2 workshops offer. A session costs £35 for Chamber members and £75 for non-members and includes:

This year looks to be even bigger and better, so don’t miss out, make sure you’re part of this exciting event. Book early to avoid disappointment and take advantage of the Early Bird offer running until 30th October 2017.

• A focused session lasting two to three hours on a specific subject

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the local business scene

• Sessions led by professional trainers who are experts in their field

• More stands for more local businesses

• A small group of up to eight delegates guaranteeing a personalised experience

• Showcase YOUR business and network with the best

• An interactive session to aid learning and allow the delegates to exchange ideas

• Exhibit and promote your business

What do attendees say? • “An excellent and very clear trainer, great to have hands on practice!”

• Get involved and get noticed

• Share your success at this unmissable day

More details on this unmissable event at www.

• “Our needs were taken into consideration all throughout the workshop.” • “Not long enough - it was so good!”

All sessions run at the Sphere Business Centre from 9.30am - 12.30pm. • A little bit of marketing can go a long way Thursday 28th September • Xero: Every cloud has an efficient lining! Wednesday 11th October

Networking breakfasts and lunches

• You can’t sell to everyone, who can you sell to? Friday 3rd November

20th October 7.30am - Introduction to GDPR from Irwin Mitchell.

• A beginner’s guide to company formation, contracts and debt with Bennett Griffin Wednesday 15th November

30th November 12.00pm - Lunch with the Bank of England

• Working smarter for better productivity Wednesday 22nd November

Impulse Leisure Lancing, 12.30pm 13th October, 17th

For more details and to book your place visit

Dining Out Club


Issue 4 2017


The chamber view


Have you seen the new Chamber Connect magazine? This was launched at the Better Business Show and the fourth edition is out now. Contact the office for more information on our exclusive member offers for advertising.


The results are in


The race is on




• Microsoft Outlook secrets to success Wednesday 18th October



For information on advertising contact or call 01903 203484

Prepare for the new data protection regulations.

Chamber Hub - FREE networking events November, 15th December

10th October - Aqua 14th November - Calcutta

Quiz Night 8th November - Get your teams together!

Chamber Christmas Party Night 6th December - Three course meal, entertainment and a band

Christmas Drinks 18th December - Book your place now at

What to expect at Brighton Summit... Our opening keyote speaker Daisy Cresswell, co-founder of social media company, Liberty842 Your choice of four expert workshops, from business strategy to the future of marketing Unknown Hour - expect the unexpected... Hear from world renowned economist Guy Standing Choose from a selection of four thought-provoking interviews from speakers with unique business journey’s Our closing keynote speaker, Ciro Romano, founder of the Love Supreme Festival ...with plenty of networking and delicious food and drink to keep you moving.


Anger Management




n my day, and possibly yours, universities were free of charge based on the fact that a well-educated work force would pay their way in the increased taxes they would pay over their lifetime. There seems to be a sound logic in this as long as one takes the long view. Unfortunately, the way politics is run at present, the long view is until the next election! Today, the allowable annual charge for tuition is £9,250 per year therefore not only saddling the next generation with a lifetime of debt but also teaching them that debt is good and acceptable. Philip Hammond is now considering a reduction in this amount bringing it down to £7,500 pa. This, of course, is not considered due to any altruistic reasons or out of warm and cuddly concern


for the students but to head off the tsunami of criticism that is flying around over the ludicrous increase in pay for many of the vicechancellors.

Universities have failed in their moral responsibility Sir Anthony Seldon

Last week, the Guardian published a survey that showed that in the five years since the Conservative/Liberal coalition government allowed a tripling of the tuition fees, 44 universities increased their vice-chancellors pay by more than 20%. On average across the

sector, their pay went up by 15%, at a time when academic salaries as a whole had actually fallen in real terms. Harmony on campus is hardly enhanced by the fact that the average VC salary is now £250,000. In the vein of saying anything that might possibly get him elected, Jeremy Corbyn stated at the last election that he would find a way to write off these existing student debts. He was ‘gone fishing’, apparently, when asked where he would find the £100 billion required to do so. Worse than this is the fact that a time bomb is brewing. A recent report by the highly respected Institute of Fiscal Studies concluded that three-quarters of student debt will never

Anger Management be paid back. A percentage of this is the lack of will to repay but much is down to the fact that many graduates will never earn enough to trigger the obligation to pay. This in turn emphasises the tragic point that many of these so-called degrees are worthless in terms of getting young people into the sort of jobs to which they aspire, and which would generate the level of income that would enable them to repay their tuition debts in full.

This in turn emphasises the tragic point that many of these so-called degrees are worthless in terms of getting young people into the sort of jobs to which they aspire

Sadly, this is not surprising since the mad objective of the Blair regime to get 50% of young people into universities has been achieved only by said universities admitting, in their thousands, those who, to put it politely, are ill-suited to the groves of academe. Two years ago, a survey showed that almost 3,700 students had been admitted to universities across the country with qualifications equivalent to three Es at A-level – or worse. Students have become cash cows to enable universities to expand and build fancy new buildings whilst paying ridiculous salaries to vice-chancellors who would of continued in their roles at their previous salary. This is to lose sight of the very reason such establishments exist in the first place and why the UK previously held an enviable reputation

around the world for first-class education. They are there to teach the next generation and not to be run as a corporation that has to answer to shareholders for any decrease in profits. A grotesque example was provided by the Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who callously slaughtered and mutilated innocent people at the Ariana Grande concert in May. He spent two years at Salford University having previously been on a course ‘for people who are exceptionally low level’ and a tutor had described him as ‘very slow, uneducated’. Yet this murderous lazy misfit was handed almost £15,000 by the statefunded Student Loans Company to help fund his degree at Salford University. Is this not the definition of madness? As the former head of Eastbourne College recently observed, given the scant contact time students have with their professors, their tuition at £9,000 a year works out to about

£30 an hour: ‘At the independent school where l was head, if we had charged £30 an hour, annual fees would have been more than £60,000.

Vice-chancellors have lost sight of how badly this reflects on universities in the eyes of the public

But could there be light at the end of the debt tunnel? Buckingham University, which in 1983 became the first private sector university in the country, therefore it takes no state subsidies. Buckingham degree courses are completed in two years, rather than three and annual holidays of 13 weeks, rather than the public sector’s 22 weeks. As its prospectus notes: ‘This means less debt, more focus’.

Last year, Buckingham ranked first in the UK for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide. Perhaps not surprisingly, Buckingham’s own vice-chancellor, Sir Anthony Seldon, has some sobering word for his peers in the public sector and accuses them of having ‘failed in their moral responsibility: Vice-chancellors have lost sight of how badly this reflects on universities in the eyes of the public. We have not shown the collective leadership nor the individual leadership we should have done’. What’s to bet that their own pay won’t come down even if Hammond does cut the amount universities can charge but at least such action would benefit both students and taxpayers.


Institute of Directors


By Dean Orgill, Chair of Sussex IoD and Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter •


f you own or run a business that is the sole provider of a product or service totally unique to you, then you are extremely fortunate, not only in general, but also specifically because you will be able to ignore the rest of this month’s musings. Most of us, however, are involved in businesses that provide either products or services that are offered by other businesses, if not in exactly the same format, then probably something very similar. Of course we all like to think that what we offer is superior from the competition. In reality though, how many of us are able to unequivocally demonstrate that competitive edge to potential clients or customers so that they instantly realise the superior nature of our offering and buy from us on that basis. More likely we have to stand out on our brand, to convince people that dealing with us will mean that they will receive better customer service, be part of an exclusive club or will have more fun – whatever we think will be more likely to attract our own particular


target market. We can spend significant money – literally any amount (the sky is not quite the limit) in trying to portray a particular image. But we can then all too easily undo all of that beautifully crafted image by having an unwelcoming reception area, sending out sloppy literature, not dealing with job applicants in a friendly and respectful way (regular readers may recall an earlier column on that particular bete noire) or any number of small but potentially significant contacts with clients or customers that could impact on the impression so lovingly and expensively crafted. There is of course the potential for every single contact with the buyer of our product or service to have an impact on their perception of you. In fact it may be more accurate to say that every contact will have an impact. The result may be positive or negative, but even if it is thought to be “neutral”, arguably that is simply reinforcing the perception already in place. What can you do to ensure positive

responses as often as possible? Quite simply, why not put yourself in the shoes of your customer? Whilst we may all be in business relying upon selling products or services, we are all also buyers of other peoples’ products or services. What makes us buy from one seller and not another? What puts us off one provider, or makes us like another? Is it really a beautifully shot TV advert, or is it how warmly they greet us on the telephone and remember that we are returning customers? “Brand” today is everything, not only in the sense that reputation can make or break, but also in that it is everything we do and project. In this respect a well worn philosophy changes and we should sweat the small stuff - small stuff matters.

JUST A THOUGHT What is the most memorable brand experience that you have had?

Diesel engines definitely have a future.

Ultra Low Emission Zone & Congestion charging

Diesel Scrappage Scheme 2017 - Proposals NO

• NO

No confirmed diesel scrappage plan.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is an area within Central London which will require all vehicles to meet exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or pay an additional daily charge to travel

The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the same area as the current Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ), and was planned to come into force in September 2020, however, it’s now proposed to launch earlier, in April 2019

Diesel vehicles that have been type approved as Euro 6 already meet ULEZ emissions standards

Scheme would Initial trial of10 cities before possible nationwide rollout. Scheme could be brought in within two years.

15,000 Euro1-5 diesel & Euro 1-3 petrol vehicles, out of 37 million cars on the road, may be replaced. Government scheduled to unveil ‘Clean air zone’ plans by 31st July 2017. EU6 diesel engines not planned to face penalty zone charges.

Our modern diesel-engined cars would not be affected by this draft scheme which targets older vehicles fitted with technology that has been replaced.

• This includes every new Mercedes-Benz car on sale today

Mercedes-Benz has invested €3 billion in the development and production of a completely new diesel engine family. This new family of engines embodies over 80 years of Mercedes-Benz diesel know-how. It marks the start of an engine family that achieves new benchmarks in terms of efficiency, emissions and environmental compatibility. All of our current engines feature the cleanest technology we’ve ever used. Latest diesel engines - 13% better fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than predecessor engines

All current Mercedes-Benz Cars meet Euro 6 standards

Euro 6 is the sixth incarnation of the European Union directive to reduce harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts

Mercedes-Benz of Basingstoke Mercedes-Benz of Poole

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