Surrey Business Magazine - issue 39

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infLUenceRs foRUm International Trade no Jab no Job? ioT Even the fridge can hear you! THe bUiLdinG bLocKs of innoVaTion Nigel Lambe, SINC CEO moToRinG Mercedes E400 Cabrio enTeRTain aT THe Rac


ISSUE 39 jUne 2021







01483 735540



J U N E 2021





Welcome Chamber CEO, Louise Punter's welcoming words 6 join Surrey Chambers of Commerce 8 Surrey Chambers events 10 Surrey Chambers news 12 Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner Introducing Lisa Townsend 14 the royal automobile Club Fancy having a do at the RAC?




70 Horsted Place Hotel A victorian Gothic masterpiece

media groUp

60 it Security: never assume ITHQ: if your fridge is listening, your security may be compromised


62 Be a Superhero For Chestnut Tree House






21 Back in check dMH Stallard on Employment Law and business immigration

44 'no jab, no job' Mayo Wynne Baxter tackle the legal


20 Sussex Business awards 26 Surrey Business awards

59 natwest entrepreneur We Are Fetching


27 please don't go! dMH Stallard also talk about the issue of colleagues returning from holiday and needing to self-isolate


22 natwest South east pmi®

39 making the most of excess cash How best to make your money work, as advised by Haines Watts

34 BAHBAs 2021 The finalists for the 2021 Brighton & Hove Business Awards are revealed

42 Things I have learned... always possible share what's to be learned after speaking to 400 business leaders during lockdown


48 trade and business with europe post-Brexit Maarten Hoffmann chairs a discussion on future trading with the EU – and the rest of the world

36 international mobility Kreston Reeves on what senior execs need to do in order to work in the UK


40 Business recovery How MdHUB's 'Peer Learning' could help your business


64 the building blocks of innovation Sussex Innovation CEO Nigel Lambe explores what we can learn from past innovation strategies



72 Mercedes E-Class400

67 a-level economics Hurst College on why this subject is so much more than just an exam

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 Platinum Media Group.


SURREY CHAMBERS – WORKING FOR YOU There have been some very happy faces on social media recently as hospitality venues have welcomed customers back into their premises. The number of weddings planned in the next few weeks is massive! Meanwhile, we continue to feedback to government on things that still need to be addressed. We have recently published new survey data which shows that the vast majority of responding businesses (78%) have no plans in place to require evidence of vaccination from customers, suppliers or employees. This research shows that government must quickly clarify what measures will be required for businesses to maintain safety standards after we reach the final stage of the roadmap on June 21st. In particular, they must resolve the ongoing debate around the use of vaccine certification, providing clear and decisive guidance to business allowing them sufficient time to plan.

Update on Skills work

As we went to press last month Surrey Chambers was bidding to government to lead on a Local Skills Improvement

Plan trailblazer. In order to get upto-date feedback, we came out to the business community and within a few days received 150 responses. The areas of skills demand with the highest priority were customer service, professional services and digital, and we were able to highlight this in our report. With regard to barriers to accessing skills we received a rich set of information, which we will be sharing with skills providers as we go forward, regardless of whether we are selected to run a trailblazer. Anyone keen to be part of a skills action group should contact us.

Looking after the planet

Ahead of COP26, the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, taking place in Glasgow from November 1st-12th, and as part of the Chamber Network worldwide, we are amplifying the net zero message. We are encouraging all businesses to sign up to the official SME Climate Commitment via the UK Business Climate Hub which provides businesses access to assets and promotional materials to publicise their

❛❛ In particular, they must resolve the ongoing debate around

the use of vaccine certification, providing clear and decisive guidance to business allowing them sufficient time to plan. ❜❜


pledge, so they can show prospective customers evidence of their climate credentials. They will also be included on the UK Business Climate Hub's list of businesses who have signed up and have the chance to feature in the campaign. Reducing emissions can lower businesses’s running costs, save them money and attract new customers – ultimately helping them maintain a competitive advantage locally and globally. As members of the Surrey Climate Commission, we will be planning a number of activities over the coming months and hope that many Surrey businesses will join in.

loCal SUpport for BUSineSSeS

can support young people and these opportunities are being pulled together within Youth Hubs across the county. We will be promoting these hubs as they open, and the first one was the reigate, Banstead & Tandridge hub, where I met Mims davies MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment, who was keen to talk about our Kickstart success and other government initiatives. Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540,, @surreychambers

Kickstart continues to flourish with nearly 600 placements now approved and 130 matches in place. The feedback from employers and young people is proving to be really positive. There are a number of other ways that businesses

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE... Platinum Media Group enjoys the largest circulation of any business magazines in the UK, reaching over 720,000 readers across the South East and this includes 468,000 online readers. If you can’t wait for the next issue then jump onto our social media platforms and join the conversation.

@platbusmag platinum publishing group


Join The chamBer


dON’T JUST JOIN – Join in! Why being a member of Surrey Chambers of Commerce is good for business, locally, nationally, and globally

Surrey Chambers of Commerce is a local hub to access a broad offer of business support, we are: n an independent SME n a non-profit organisation n a private limited company n owned by its members. n committed to supporting Surrey businesses. At Surrey Chambers of Commerce, we have solutions to help your business to: n connecT through events, introductions, and wide-reaching social networks, spanning the globe. n sUPPoRT essential services such as HR, H&S, legal and tax cover included in your membership fee plus exclusive low-cost benefits and access to funding. n PRomoTe To help grow your market, your profile, and your bottom line. n RePResenT We feed YOUR views to government, hold them to account and push for change. We are uniquely placed to help businesses of every size and sector, from micro-one-person businesses to our county’s largest employers, we are all


in it together, locally, nationally, and globally. Chambers is the only business support network that helps British businesses build relationships on every level. So, no other membership organisation can compete! Did you know there is a wider international community too? British Chambers of Commerce represent our members in over 40 countries around the globe. We call this our Global Business network (GBn).

do yoU import or export goodS and ServiCeS? woUld yoU like to Start?

SUrrey ChamBerS of CommerCe iS not a government department

Every Chamber of Commerce and its members are represented centrally by British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). We are all apolitical and independent of government. However, the BCC provides a respected voice to the business communities they represent. Based in Westminster, this ensures our priorities and concerns are heard in the corridors of power. Policymakers and parliamentarians regularly seek out our opinions. It is thanks to this lobbying activity that we have been helping to shape the UK’s business agenda for more than 160 years.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce offers International Trade advice and services. Including customs declaration certification and documentation. So, if you import or export goods and services; or if you would like to start then contact us on 01483 735540.

❛❛ Our focus is local,

our influence national and our reach global ❜❜

email: sarah.butcher@ visit: Call: 01483 735540


SURREY CHAMBERS EXECUTIVE PARTNERS Projectfive Contact: Steve Coburn Tel: 01276 455455

Haines Watts Contact: Daniel Morgan Tel: 0208 5495137

Charles Russell Speechlys

Contact: Rebecca White Tel: 01483 252525

Taylor Wimpey Contact: Antonis Pazourou Tel:01494 558323

Royal Automobile Club Contact: Emily Goodyer Tel: 01372 276311

RSM UK LLP Contact: Jon Da Costa Tel:02032 018729




have yoUr Cake and eat it afternoon networking

June 23rd 2021 14:30 - 16:30 Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere, GU27 3bQ Surrey & Hampshire chambers of commerce invite you to Have Your Cake and Eat It! An afternoon tea networking afternoon for businesses located on the Surrey and Hampshire borders. click here to book

maximiSing SaleS effeCtiveneSS for yoU and yoUr team

July 1st 2021 13:00 - 14:00 event Location: zoom Paul Glynn from Sandler Training takes you through some counterintuitive ideas that will help you maximise your revenue generation from your current contacts. You will leave with at least three ideas you can implement to increase your chances of sales success. click here to book

SUrrey teChnology forUm: ai in the workplaCe

July 6th 2021 12:00 - 14:00 seasons café, Guildford cathedral, Guildford, GU2 7UP We are delighted to welcome back our Surrey Technology Forum. At this event we aim to bring together a panel of keynote speakers from various business sectors, offering businesses an insight into how the future of technology will be changing in the workplace. click here to book



eSCape BreakfaSt

July 8th 2021 07:30 - 09:30 Hartsfield Manor, Betchworth, RH3 7AA Surrey Chambers of Commerce are delighted to bring you the east surrey Coffee and Professional Engagement breakfast series, connecting businesses throughout Surrey, with a particular focus on the east of the region. click here to book

SUrrey yoUng profeSSionalS networking

July 15th 2021 18:00 - 20:00 The Guildford Harbour Hotel, Guildford, GU1 3da Surrey Chambers of Commerce are bringing new life into our Surrey Young Professionals Networking Evening! We are taking 2021 by storm and mixing up with some new venues! We’ve all been new to an industry before; new to a company, new to a social scene, new to networking. click here to book

BUSineSS BiteS networking lUnCh

July 16th 2021 12:00 - 14:00 event Location: Yvonne arnaud Theatre, Guildford, GU1 3UX Welcome to Business Bites - a networking lunch with a guest speaker and an interesting topic of choice. dipping into our vast pool of members and all their knowledge, we have decided to present Business Bites, with various of our members presenting a variety of business-related topics! click here to book



chamBers NE WS vISION ENGINEERING dEvELOP YOGA PROGRAMME For ITS GloBAl HQ & r&D SITe IN GUIlDForD Surrey Chambers member, Vision Engineering, a privately owned 62 yearold manufacturer of optical and digital instrumentation, has 125 staff working at its global HQ & R&D site in Send, near Guildford. Vision has developed a well-resourced and well-managed staff development programme, which alongside training and development, includes an in-house gym and table tennis, a woodland walk path in the grounds, and celebrations with snacks and music of the different nationalities and cultures that work in the company. The company has also developed a yoga programme, which has been run for the past three years by Lisa Parkin, a

200-hour qualified yoga instructor, who is currently training to be a yoga therapist. The yoga programme, which is free to staff, takes place towards the end of the working day, averaging about 10-14 participants. Lisa’s classes are mixed ability and able to integrate beginners very easily. Lisa commented: “My Vision Engineering classes contain a mixture of all abilities and genders, who can present with a range of conditions, including aches and pains from sports and work, as well as stress from their day to day lives. The classes start at 4.30pm, and most come bustling in straight from the factory or offices. My main focus is to help them to relax and de-stress, settling them into the class before utilising easily-

adaptable yoga poses accessible for all that can help to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness” Lisa Parkin can offer a range of corporate yoga services, which are related to the composition of the people attending, what the Company hopes to achieve, and the location (face to face, virtually, or a combination of the two). Lisa can be contacted by email:

SURREY RESEARCH PARK APPOINTS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIvE Surrey Research Park, home to over 4,000 jobs and contributing over £620m in value to the UK economy, has announced the appointment of Grant Bourhill as its Chief Executive. Grant Bourhill joins Surrey Research Park from the University of Leicester, where he was Chief Executive of Leicester Science Park. He is highly esteemed across the Science Park sector and widely recognised as the driving force behind Space Park Leicester. Dr Malcolm Parry, founder and incumbent CEO, retires after 40 years of service, leaving a legacy of a Science Park built to be twice as large as the average Russell Group Science Park, generating phenomenal jobs and economic prosperity.


Grant Bourhill commented: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Surrey Research Park. It is an honour to take charge of a vibrant community of 170 high-tech companies, supporting thousands of jobs in the park and the wider area. It is testament to Malcolm Parry’s work and leadership over 40 years that the team have created such a superb asset that contributes so

significantly locally and nationally. I am proud and humbled that this is now moving under my care. I look forward to working with our tenants, the University, the Surrey business community and partners as we strive to add even more value to the economy and foster business and academic collaboration to drive economic prosperity and innovation even further.” The University of Surrey has a proud history of using its diverse strengths across space, cyber-security, artificial intelligence, telecommunications technologies, and health, all of which are strongly represented by its businesses on the Park. With a background in academia and business, Grant will be tasked with increasing the collaborative opportunities between the University and businesses on the Park.

neWs GUiLdfoRd diGiTaL HeaLTH HUb LaUncHes To cReaTe a cenTRe of eXceLLence Guildford Digital Health Hub (“GDH”), a new initiative backed by Guildford borough council, has been launched to put Guildford and south west Surrey on the map as a centre of excellence for organisations of all sizes across multiple sectors which are driving innovation in and around digital health and wellbeing. The aim of GDH is to support new and established enterprises in their ambitions to collaborate, to innovate, to grow and to bring their digital health solutions to market at a local and national level. It will also provide a collective voice to help influence the national agenda and to challenge the status quo. The founding members of GdH are alloy business innovation, bravand, business south, charles Russell speechlys, consentricare, enterprise m3, Guildford borough council, Play Well for Life and the University of Surrey. bill Palmer, chair of GdH and a founder and co-ceo of Consentricare, commented: “Our launch event was a great success, attended by a wide range of industry professionals and business leaders operating in this rapidly evolving sector. We are now looking forward to growing our membership and delivering true value for all involved, through sharing experiences and networking opportunities, providing support to those just starting out, signposting sources of funding and investment and cross-pollinating ideas and concepts across market sectors.” director of strategic services at Guildford borough council, Dawn Hudd says: “Digital Health and telemedicine, which provide care for patients through online services and digital technology, have great potential in the borough and we fully support the initiative. We have a growing number of healthcare start-ups with digital products as a key part of their offering in our borough, and we are keen to support these companies to understand how we can best connect them with the NHS and other healthcare providers. The Digital Health Hub is a huge opportunity to put Guildford on the map and bring major economic and social benefits for the future.” for further details, please visit or contact

HOW SURREY EMPLOYERS CAN BEST dEAL WITH MASS JOB APPLICATIONS n Largest drop in employment since 2009 Financial Crisis sees 730,000 employees fall off payroll in three months of Q2. n Some new vacancies are attracting hundreds of applicants in just a few hours. n A robust process will help you get to the best candidate whilst protecting against discrimination claims. As the many apply for the few job vacancies, employers may well feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants. Martine Robins from The HR Dept Woking & Guildford shared some advice for managing mass job applications. Martine began: “How we manage the recruitment process is incredibly important both for the individual applicant who’s desperately seeking work and for the good name of the company. Recruitment done properly is time consuming and you want the best possible person to fill the role. “One way to limit the number of responses is to ensure that your job advert clearly sets out the qualifications and experience that are essential to the role. The more specific you can be the better, whilst of course avoiding any discriminatory requirements such as age or gender. This is a strong first line of defence for discouraging unsuitable applicants and protection against claims of discrimination. Ultimately, you should have a manageable shortlist for face-to-face interviews and it is helpful to have more than one person as part of the process to give a balanced view and help avoid unconscious bias. “Don’t forget that each application, no matter how poor, represents someone who needs a job and has spent time applying to you. Inject some empathy into your process by replying to everyone - it is good manners - even if it is just with a well-crafted prewritten email. For bespoke advice on recruitment as well as redundancy, get in touch.” for enquiries, please contact martine Robins from The HR dept woking & Guildford, at martine.robins@hrdept. or on 01483 603001.


policing surrey

Introducing Your New Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey

Lisa Townsend

This is my first column as your new Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey and I am really excited about working for residents and business owners across the county over the next three years, to make Surrey a safer place for us all. During my election campaign, I pledged to keep residents’ views at the heart of my plans for the future and that includes all those in the business community. The last year has been a difficult period for everybody and I know that many businesses and their employees have suffered, so I am keen to strengthen your relationship with policing in the coming weeks and months ahead. A little about me – I started my career as head of business relations for the Conservative Party, and then spent a number of years in the House of Commons. I have since held senior positions in public affairs and

communications, most recently as Head of Media and Communications at The Institute of Directors. I live in Runnymede with my husband and have been a Surrey resident for 12 years. I want to be really visible to the residents we serve so I will be out and about in our communities as much as I possibly can to meet people and listen to their concerns. There are a number of key issues that residents of Surrey told me are important to them such as tackling antisocial behaviour in our communities, improving police visibility, making the county’s roads safer and preventing violence against women and girls. I have discussed the issue of retail crime with business owners in Surrey and look forward to following up these conversations now that I am in post. I also want to spend time getting to know the policing teams across the

❛❛ I want to be really visible to the residents we serve so I will be out and about in our communities as much as I possibly can to meet people and listen to their concerns ❜❜


county that are doing a fantastic job in keeping people safe and getting their views on how I can best support them as PCC. Residents across the county have told me they want to see more police on our streets and I look forward to working closely with the Chief Constable to see where we can improve our service to the Surrey public. One of the first big tasks I have to complete is to set a new Police and Crime Plan for the county which will set out my priorities for the next three years. I have been clear that I want to make sure residents’ priorities are my priorities so I am really keen to hear what everyone thinks and will be seeking the public’s views over the coming weeks. The Surrey public have put their faith in me by electing me for this role and I want to ensure I do everything I can to repay that and help make our streets safer. If anyone has any issues they want to raise about policing in their local area – please do get in touch. Equally I am eager to know what else I and Surrey Police can do to make life easier for businesses across the county so I look forward to hearing any ideas you may have.


Importing? Exporting? We can help take the stress out of customs declarations for your goods ChamberCustoms is the customs training, advisory and brokerage service delivered through Surrey Chambers of Commerce and across the UK Chamber network. Our customs declaration service is for UK importers and exporters, of all sizes, in every region of the United Kingdom. With direct links to the HMRC Customs handling system and all inventory linked ports, we can guarantee that your goods, no matter where they enter or leave the UK, will be cleared for onward transportation smoothly.

We offer:

A high level of compliance and assurance for customers Confidence on tariff and data entry to remove fiscal risk; backed by the technical expertise of the market leader in this sector A wealth of international trade experience and expertise from across the trusted Chamber of Commerce network Contact the ChamberCustoms team at Surrey Chambers of Commerce now l 01483 735549 Helping traders to keep on trading



enTerTain royally The Royal Automobile Club is one of the world’s foremost private members’ clubs, offering first-class facilities across two distinctly different clubhouses, built on the foundation of being the United Kingdom’s oldest motoring organisation Whether your event is an intimate dinner party, a business meeting or a special occasion, our professional team will take care of every little detail so you can focus on what is truly important, your guests. With eleven diverse banqueting rooms across two clubhouses as well as the Motor House at Woodcote Park, you are certain to find the ideal space for your event. The Club’s Executive Chef along with his on-site food and beverage team have designed a range of menus to suit every occasion using the finest ingredients to truly delight. Just 16 miles from London, exchange your everyday working environment for a breath of fresh air at Woodcote Park. The Clubhouse and estate are set in 350 acres on the Surrey downs, offering outstanding service and a tranquil country club setting for idyllic events and outdoor activities. If your event is over several days, why not stay longer, with 22 individually decorated bedrooms on site, each with a distinctive country style and décor. The Cedar Room, the largest of Woodcote Park’s banqueting rooms, is surrounded on two sides by floor-to-


ceiling French windows, opening out onto the beautifully manicured Cedar Lawn. The perfect choice for a summer function or conference, guests can enjoy the fine weather and gather on the terrace for an aperitif before a dinner or to finish after a full day meeting. The cedar Room boasts diverse room, with several room partition choices and marquee hire available on the Cedar Lawn to increase entertainment space.

These adjoining rooms can be used in conjunction to accommodate larger events or breakout space. Motoring remains at the heart of the Club today, which can be seen in our Motor House, a popular event space in the summer, home of the Royal Automobile Club’s heritage vehicles, including automobiles from the RAC patrol fleet and annual london to Brighton veteran Car Run. Hold your meeting or event between April and the end of September in this historic setting, for that added something that guests will truly remember. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Woodcote Park in our classic dining room, with its motoring trophy cabinet and walls lined with fine old leather-bound volumes. The Library boasts pleasant views over the golf course and Cedar Lawn and is the perfect room for both board meetings and private dinners.

For smaller occasions or business meetings, our Oaks and derby Rooms on our first floor, boast fine views over the vast Woodcote Park golf courses.

please note that all events and functions held at the Club require a member sponsor, if you are unaware of a member connection but are interested in our spaces, please state this when enquiring. for more information or to book please contact, Stephanie grove, Sales & marketing executive via email stephanie.grove@ or telephone 01372 229 632.


Our focus is you Outstanding legal advice for individuals, families and businesses.

For business We make it our business to know your business, working with you to add value and to deliver tailored legal services with energy and creativity whether you’re an established market leader or an ambitious start-up.

For you Your family’s security and wellbeing are your priority. And we have the legal skills and knowledge to support your plans and the challenges life brings.






Our success depends on understanding your needs Please call or email to discuss how we can help you: 03333 231580


XXXXXX Business


Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies when you join Surrey Chambers of Commerce, your company details automatically get listed on this page alongside fellow new members. what a fantastic way to let the Surrey Business community know you are out there and ready to get those all-important connections.

heidi’S virtUal aSSiStant limited t/a Smartpa

markey StUdent property limited t/a StayletS

woking mind

100 wayS in 100 dayS ltd

07956 844677 contact: Heidi Maguire

07860 340739 contact: diana Chan

07791 620556 contact: Oliver Williams

07976 522671 contact: Sue Skeats

welleSley ConStrUCtion ServiCeSa3

01277 822452 Mike Tiplady contact: Irina Hriplivii

iZZy pr

07798 555397 contact: Michelle Perkins

All new Chamber members are entitled to a one-off 50% discount for a company profile within this magazine. Contact for more details

If you are looking to join Surrey Chambers, then please do get in touch with either: or or call 01483 735540. We look forward to hearing from you!





Business Jab In The Back 40% of AstraZeneca shareholders have rebelled against the company after the proposed bonus rise for Pascal Soriot, their chief executive. Under the new decision, Soriot is to receive a maximum share bonus of 650% of his £1.3 million base salary, this being a 100% increase from the pre-vote level. The pay increase comes in spite of the company’s promise to sell the Covid-19 vaccine at cost. However, this isn’t the first shareholder rebellion because of pay hikes for Soriot. In May of 2018, 37% of shareholders opposed a £9.4 million pay package for the chief executive, an increase that was considered “far too high” by John Farmer, an investor in AstraZeneca.

NEWS BULLETIN RSM Named Most Active in the South East

❛❛ The Commons,

faithful to their system, remained in a wise and masterly inactivity ❜❜ James Mackintosh, 1791

RSM’s corporate finance team has been named most active M&A financial advisers in the South East for the first quarter. RSM advised on 53 completed deals in the first quarter of 2021, with 19 of these being in the South East, placing them third on the national League table. Experian, who provided the data, recorded a total of 1,712 transactions, an increase of 52% from the middle of 2020. This increase brings transactions back to a level similar to before the pandemic. Kirsty Sandwell, partner and head of corporate finance at RSM, has stated that “the deals market has recovered well” and that “looking at the transactional activity as a predictor of business sentiment, the data is encouraging.”

Landmark Ruling For Animals For the first time in UK law, animals are to be recognised as sentient beings in a new set of animal welfare measures. These measures also come with a ban on live animal exports, a $448 million market in 2019. The crackdown on live animal exports is predominantly focussed on preventing animals leaving the country for slaughter or fattening purposes, something that has been called for by animal rights groups for several years. Executive director of Humane Society International/UK says that this decision “Will play a critical role in tackling global environmental and public health challenges such as climate change”.



❛❛ A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself ❜❜ Jim Morrison, 1967, lead vocalist of The Doors

Digital skills shortage Mark Wright, 2014 winner of The Apprentice and owner of digital marketing company Climb Online, has expressed concern over the lack of digital skills in the UK’s work force. In an interview with the BBC, Wright said that “Right now, I have 14 roles immediately available and over the last month, we’ve had one application”, a comment that is indicative of the wider issue.

Exports Rise March saw a 2.1% rise in the UK’s GDP, this arriving in the final month of the first quarter, helping to pull back against a harsher economic retreat. With economists expecting a negative growth of 1.7% to occur in the first quarter, the contraction of 1.5% appears as a win for the economy, staying the fears of a double-dip recession resulting from pandemic paralysis.

With LinkedIn predicting 150 million new technology jobs being created in the next five years, it’s no wonder that former cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell also shares Wright’s fears, claiming that the UK is at risk of being “left behind” if we don’t rise to meet this new demand.

These figures can be in no small part influenced by the bounce back of UK exports to the EU. Following January’s 40.7% decline in exports to the EU, February saw a 46% increase with March following up with a further 9.9% increase. Though for many sectors exports still remain low.

Amazon Out Of The Woods

Amazon has won a battle with the courts over £250 million in back taxes that it had been ordered to pay Luxembourg. The European Commission ordered Amazon to repay the funds, claiming that the company had been given special treatment that wasn’t fair. However, the latest ruling from the EU’s General Court overturned the order, claiming that Amazon had received “no selective advantage”.

❛❛ Doubt is an

uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one ❜❜ Voltaire, writer

£4.4m COVID-19 Recovery fund launched by SELEP South East LEP (SELEP) has launched a £4.4m Covid-19 Recovery Fund programme, focussing on boosting economic recovery in the South East. The support ranges from business guidance and advice to assistance for those who have been made unemployed or redundant. The programme is made of two main funds, the £2.4m COVID-19 Business Support Fund and the £2m Skills COVID-19 Recovery Fund, both being used to invest directly in areas across the South East that have been most affected by the pandemic. Each of these funds is split into multiple packages, offering a tailored level of support for the best outcomes. The COVID-19 Business Support Fund's segments focus on working with and supporting businesses throughout the South East. This is in contrast to the Skills COVID-19 Recovery Fund's focus on individual development rather than business development. South East LEP Chief Executive Adam Bryan said that combined, these funds will "provide a much-needed boost for business and individuals in the SELEP area."





Company of the Year SME Business of the Year Business Innovation of the Year Growth Champion Award International Business of the Year Large Business of the Year Start-up of the Year

Best Customer Service Business Pivot Award Businessperson of the Year Community Hero Award Employer of the Year Micro Business of the Year Professional Services Award




Back in check

The UK’s stringent right to work check process was amended last year as Covid took hold. Employment law and business immigration specialist Emma Collins looks at what to expect as we move along the roadmap

Employers may continue to use the adjusted process until June 20th, but should develop an internal policy for conducting right to work checks, carefully balancing the COVID-19 risks and compliance with immigration legislation.

In response to COVID-19, an adjusted right to work check process was put in place in March 2020 allowing employers to conduct checks over video calls with job applicants and existing workers, and by reference to scanned copies or photos of their right to work documents sent to them by email or a mobile app: a significant concession given that the normal requirements stipulate that the employer must receive and check the originals.

Much to the relief of UK employers, the Home Office has recently confirmed that it will not require them to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between March 30th 2020 and June 20th 2021 (inclusive). Employers will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check undertaken during this period was done in the manner prescribed in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

These temporary measures* will cease on June 20th 2021, and thereafter employers will revert to physical document checks in the presence of the individual, or by video link, as set out in legislation and guidance. Therefore, with effect from June 21st 2021 employers must either: n C heck the applicant’s original documents, or n Conduct an online right to work check, if they have received a share code from a (prospective) employee eligible to use the service.

For employers who are concerned about this upcoming change the following approaches will reduce the need for face to face checks: n If the individual is willing to send their original documents by post, it will still be possible to conduct a manual check via a live video link; measures to securely receive, review and return original documents must be in place. n If the individual holds a biometric residence permit, biometric residence card or is an EEA national who has been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, the online right to work checking service can be used remotely. Of course these options do not alleviate all concerns. Some individuals may understandably prefer not to post such valuable documents, and not all individuals are eligible for the online checking service (British nationals, for example, do not qualify).

No retrospective checks for COVID-19 adjusted checks

*Home Office guidance on temporary measures can be found at https://www.

Emma Collins is a solicitor in the Business Immigration team at DMH Stallard and can be contacted on 01293 558545 or by email to


economy Recovery gains momentum amid easing restrictions


SOUTH ® EAST PMI Latest UK regional PMI ® data from NatWest signalled substantial growth in the South East’s private sector activity. The headline NatWest South East Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures the monthon-month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – rose from 59.0 in March to 61.4 in April, signalling a backto-back expansion in the South East’s private sector. April data revealed a sustained expansion in new orders placed at private sector firms in the South east. The latest uptick quickened from March to the sharpest in over seven years. Firms overwhelmingly linked the upsurge to the relaxation of COvId-19 measures and the reopening of clients.

At the sector level, expansion was broadbased. Manufacturers recorded a noticeably quicker increase in new work than service providers, however. Fuelled by greater output and new order volumes, private sector firms in the South East remained widely upbeat about their growth prospects for the year ahead. The degree of optimism was the second highest on record, surpassed only by that seen in the previous survey period. The easing of virus-related restrictions and greater international demand also supported optimism in April. Private sector firms in the South east added to their staffing levels in April, extending the period of job creation to two consecutive months. The rate


sa, >50=growth since previous month 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 2001











Sources: natwest, IHS Markit


› K E Y F I N DI NG S n Marked expansions in output and new orders n Staff numbers rise at strongest rate since February 2015 n Input price inflation quickens to 12-and-a-half year high

of growth was marked, and the strongest since Februar y 2015. According to panel members, expectations of greater demand following the further relaxation of COvId-19 restrictions encouraged firms to add to headcounts.

economy › C OM M E N T Stuart Johnstone

Managing Director, London & South East, Corporate & Commercial Banking “Boosted by easing virus-related restrictions in both domestic and international markets, firms in the South East recorded robust growth in output during April. The uptick was among the sharpest in the series as businesses and their clients continue to reopen after what was a lengthy period of closure. Moreover, a convincing expansion in headcounts leads us to believe this is just the start of the recovery with restrictions easing further in May. “An area of growing concern, however, is the inflationary pressures which have built especially over the last few months. The pandemic has had severe repercussions on raw material availability and global supply-chains. Firms will hope these issues are soon resolved but realistically, we are likely to see sharp price pressures and transportation bottlenecks persist until COVID-19 measures ease across the globe.”

Private sector employment also rose across the UK as a whole, although at a slower pace than in the South East. Adjusted for seasonal influences, the Outstanding Business Index posted above the 50.0 neutral value for the

second month in a row. The rate of expansion was solid but eased slightly from that in March. Capacity pressures were often linked to a surge in demand and shipment delays. At the sector level, goods producers

noted a much quicker rise in incomplete work than service providers. Average cost burdens faced by private sector firms in the South East rose at the start of the quarter, as has been the case since last June. Moreover, the rate of inflation quickened to the sharpest since August 2008 and was the fifth-strongest in the series. Respondents often mentioned higher staff, raw material and transportation costs while others linked higher prices to material shortages. Sub-sector data indicated manufacturers recorded a much sharper rate of inflation than service providers. April data highlighted another robust rise in selling prices charged by private sector firms in the South East. The rate of inflation was in line with that seen in the previous survey period and was marked overall. Panellists linked the increase to the partial pass-through of higher input costs. Average selling prices rose at a quicker rate in the South East than that seen across the UK as a whole.


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Contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation Visit or call 01372 471550. Copyright © 2021 Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, All rights reserved. The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you might not get back the full amount invested. Partridge Muir &Warren Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Company number 952508. Registered office: Aissela, 46 High Street, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9QY. Tel: 01372 471550 Telephone calls may be recorded.

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legal Given the fluid ‘traffic light’ system for overseas holidays right now, Will Walsh looks at a delicate question that many employers may be facing

Please don’t go!


An employee has a holiday booked to a country on the government’s amber list for international travel; they are still planning to go, but won’t be able to do their job properly during a quarantine period when they return. Can you, their employer, prevent them from going by cancelling their holiday leave?


You can refuse to allow an employee to take specific days off as holiday, but be mindful of other potential consequences before deciding to go down that route.

Firstly, check the wording of the employment contract. If there’s nothing specific about cancelling holiday, then the Working Time Regulations 1998 allow you to refuse holiday by giving the employee notice that is at least twice as long as the number of days that you are refusing (eg. if you are cancelling a one week holiday, two weeks’ advance notice is required).

be particularly relevant: if you were aware of the destination and authorised the holiday, it would be all the more unreasonable to cancel it. In those circumstances, at the very least the employee will expect compensation for the cancelled booking.

Remember that your employees must be allowed to take their statutory annual holiday entitlement in each year, so you may not be able to cancel holiday at the very end of a holiday year if that would then leave them short.

The actual problem that an isolation period will create is also relevant: the context of your decision is very different if their isolation is simply inconvenient, rather than rendering the performance of their job impossible.

While you may be able to cancel holiday, be careful that your actions do not breach trust and confidence, which could give rise to a claim for constructive dismissal. Any conversations about the holiday before it was booked may

An alternative approach may be better. If their work cannot be done from home, you could advise that any extended period off work will also come out of their holiday entitlement, or will be unpaid leave. While you would need to

exercise caution, you could make it clear that any extended absence will be treated as an unauthorised absence and therefore a disciplinary offence. Once the impact of the extended absence is made clear, the employee may well consider an alternative destination.

Will Walsh is an Employment partner at DMH Stallard. He can be contacted by phone on 01293 558540 or by email at





Sir Simon Stevens

health in our time By David Bagnall

Sir Simon Stevens has come to be known as one of Britain's most influential, and controversial, NHS CEOs of recent years. Born in Birmingham on August 4th 1966, he was marked as an outstanding student, receiving a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford University, studying PPE. He was elected president of the Oxford Union and became friends with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Following the completion of his degree and a one-year stint as an economic analyst in Guyana, Stevens began his career as a health care manager running hospitals, health commissioning organisations and primary care both in Britain and internationally. Few would have known that he would continue to be embroiled in the world of healthcare for most of his working life to date. Fro m 19 97-20 01 S teve ns was appointed as a policy adviser to the Secretary of State for Health, a position which was filled by Frank Dobson and then later Alan Milburn. In parallel to his role as policy adviser, Stevens also sat as Labour councillor for Brixton, in the London Borough of Lambeth from 1998-2002, indicating that his advisory role was driven by more than just career progression. As policy adviser, Stevens became closely associated with the development of the NHS Plan 2000, a ten-year plan from the Blair ministry that set out commitments to an increase in funding for the NHS, along with a general rise in staff, beds and

NHS centres. However, within the plan lay controversial intentions to incorporate the private sector into the NHS through independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs). These new privately run treatment centres were contracted to provide solely NHS elective procedures, for profit, creating a higher capacity within the system to reduce existing waiting lists. The main aim of introducing the private sector to the NHS was far more fundamental than simply reducing the wait times for elective surgeries, it was about maintaining the social contract that underpinned the National Health Service's existence. At a time where greater por tions of middle - class

patients were opting out of state-provided health care in favour of faster, private alternatives, the idea that the NHS was paid by all and used by all came under threat. Incorporating elements of the private sector allowed the NHS to increase its capacity and treat more patients, allowing more patients to return to state-provided health care and buy into the social contract, whilst at the same time stemming the growth of the newly rising private healthcare sector.


big story

Sir Simon Stevens has come to be known as one of Britain's most influential, and controversial, NHS CEOs of recent years. Born in Birmingham on August 4th 1966, he was marked as an outstanding student, receiving a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford University, studying PPE. He was elected president of the Oxford Union and became friends with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Following the completion of his degree and a one-year stint as an economic analyst in Guyana, Stevens began his career as a health care manager running hospitals, health commissioning organisations and primary care both in Britain and internationally. Few would have known that he would continue to be embroiled in the world of healthcare for most of his working life to date. From 1997-2001 Stevens was appointed as a policy adviser to the Secretary of State for Health, a position which was filled by Frank Dobson and then later Alan Milburn. In parallel to his role as policy adviser, Stevens also sat as Labour councillor for Brixton, in the London Borough of Lambeth from 1998-2002, indicating that his advisory role was driven by more than just career progression. As policy adviser, Stevens became closely associated with the development of the NHS Plan 2000, a


NHS Plan 2000, and by involvement Stevens, opened the floodgates to allow future politicians and parties to further privatise the NHS ❜❜


ten-year plan from the Blair ministry that set out commitments to an increase in funding for the NHS, along with a general rise in staff, beds and NHS centres. However, within the plan lay controversial intentions to incorporate the private sector into the NHS through independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs). These new privately run treatment centres were contracted to provide solely NHS elective procedures, for profit, creating a higher capacity within the system to reduce existing waiting lists. The main aim of introducing the private sector to the NHS was far more fundamental than simply reducing the wait times for elective surgeries, it was about maintaining the social contract that underpinned the National Health Service's existence. At a time where greater por tions of middle - class patients were opting out of state-provided health care in favour of faster, private alternatives, the idea that the

NHS was paid by all and used by all came under threat. Incorporating elements of the private sector allowed the NHS to increase its capacity and treat more patients, allowing more patients to return to state-provided health care and buy into the social contract, whilst at the same time stemming the growth of the newly rising private healthcare sector. However, despite being created with the intention of making the NHS more appealing to the public, NHS plan 2000, and by involvement Stevens, opened the floodgates to allow future politicians and parties to further privatise the NHS internally. The clearest example of this alarming trend was the Health and Social Care Act 2012, an act that established an official policy of competition within the NHS and removed the responsibility for the health of citizens from the Secretary of State for Health. In 2001 Stevens was promoted to health

finance policy adviser for Prime Minister Tony Blair, where areas of focus included reducing waiting time targets, extending competition and patient choice and the creation of foundation trusts. Stevens held this role until 2004 when he went on to work in UnitedHealth Group as vice president, a company that he had had frequent dealings with as Blair's adviser. UnitedHealth Group is a major US-based health company, offering healthcare products and insurance services internationally. In 2020 the company's market value was $332.8 billion, making it the second-largest healthcare company by revenue and the largest insurance company by net premiums. Joining UnitedHealth in 2004 opened Stevens' career to new heights, and new controversies. Stevens' appointment to the company came at a time where UnitedHealth Group were launching a new European company, UnitedHealth Europe, which he was to be the President of. The mission of this new branch was to "serve European public health systems" by supporting their efforts to improve patient care, an area that Stevens had become familiar with during his time advising the Blair government. However, the transition from Blair's health policy adviser to president of a newly expanding private health and insurance company drew heavy criticism, particularly from those who had opposed the reforms which Stevens had devised in NHS Plan 2000. Just four months after Stevens' employ-

❛❛ These concerns led to Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull barring Stevens, for a limited time, from lobbying for further contracts ❜❜

ment, concerns were being noted in internal Department of Health documents that US companies, including UnitedHealth, were mounting sophisticated lobbying operations with access to ministers. These concerns led to Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull barring Stevens, for a limited time, from lobbying for further contracts for UnitedHealth Group. However, this

set-back, together with being labelled as another sign that the NHS was becoming further privatised, seemed to have little effect on the resolve of UnitedHealth Europe to continue to push into the European health arena. In an interview in 2007, Stevens reaffirmed his interest in the development of the NHS, stating that what people would like is for "the pieces of reform being brought together and seen through". He also moved on to justify his focus on the American health system, commenting "for all its problems, there is often an ability in the States to innovate faster and really test new models of care", a sentiment that resonated deeply with his previous NHS reforms to introduce a higher level of competition to drive innovation. Following a successful career as president of UnitedHealth Europe for two years, and a three-year stint as the CEO of Ovations Inc, a UnitedHealth subsidiary, Stevens became president of the G l o b al H e al t h D i v isi o n wi t hi n


Big story UnitedHealth Group. In his new position he would manage international operations, growth and M&A in 123 countries worldwide, more than half the globe. From the beginning of his employment as president of the Global Health Division to his departure, UnitedHealth group almost doubled its yearly revenue from $71.5 billion to $130.4 billion. Whatever opinions of Stevens' previous actions one might have, nobody can disagree that to manage and thrive in such a position requires a level of dedication and administrative skill that few possess. During Stevens' latter years of employment by UnitedHealth he also spoke on behalf of the Alliance For Healthcare Competitiveness, a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership lobby group. In one of his representations for the group, he stated that "The worldwide need for health care in ageing populations will lead to a demand for goods and services that can drive sales of American insurance, medical devices and record-keeping technology". Whilst it is undeniable that in his capacity as president of the Global Health Division Stevens focus was on furthering the expansion of private health care companies and their entrance to new markets, it would be untrue to say he performed his role without consideration for patients' wellbeing and quality of care. In the same speech as the previous quote, he commented "This is about making it easier for patients around the world to benefit from things that have demonstrably worked", a way of thinking that had served Stevens throughout his life, data over sentiment. After 10 years in the front seats of one of America's largest health providers, Stevens finally returned to the old familiar NHS, though in a markedly different position. Simon Stevens, at the time not a knight, was to replace Sir David Nicholson on April 1st 2014. Said to be chosen for his years of experience in healthcare globally and familiarity with the NHS's values by Sir Malcolm Grant, another former NHS chief, the stage was set for what will be remembered as one of the most turbulent

other leading NHS staff. The decision came with the intention to be closer to ministers and other national health bodies, a contrast with his predecessor, who opted to spend most of his time in the administrative headquarters in Leeds. However, before even entering the offices he had agreed to take a voluntary pay cut of 10% in light of "NHS spending pressures", an attempt to show that he was in the same boat as everybody else now. A gesture that did little to calm the fears of those who had marked him as an agent of privatisation. periods in the NHS for decades. One of Stevens' first moves was to commission office spaces in NHS bases in London for himself and several

❛❛ If the NHS's response to the pandemic has been exemplary, then it has been in no small part due to Sir Simon Stevens's influence ❜❜


For his first major act as the head of the NHS, Stevens released the Five Year Forward View in October 2014, a policy document that laid out clear plans for the future of the NHS. Key among these plans was to majorly increase government financing of the NHS, the report made it clear that the government would have to increase funding by £8 billion by 2020, a target that would allow £22 billion in annual savings by 2021. The call for a higher level of funding was celebrated by all, other than politicians,

big story EU nurses, doctors and care-workers over the years. The dedication that Sir Simon Stevens showed to the NHS's mission to increase its funds was finally politically recognised in 2019 as Theresa May co-published the NHS Long Term Plan, also known as the NHS 10-Year Plan, with him. Finally the NHS budget was to increase by £20 billion a year by 2023, or 3.5%. However, despite the apparent victory many criticised the plan for being lower than the average rise of 4% in developed countries worldwide. The plan was also heavily criticised for not addressing the shortages of clinicians, with the Financial Times commenting "Nothing much will change until the NHS begins to fill an estimated 100,000 vacancies". One thing that did come out of the NHS Long Term Plan was an end to one of Stevens' more controversial legacies. As earlier mentioned, NHS Plan 2000 paved the way for the Health and Social Care Act 2012, opening up the NHS for a policy of competition. The Long Term Plan put an end to the explicit policy of competition within the NHS, finally absolving Stevens of the charge that he had intended for competition to take a hold of the NHS entirely. and would be echoed throughout his tenure as the head of the NHS, mainly due to government's failure to provide. Funding wasn't the only element of the Five Year Forward View, integration of primary and specialist care, physical and mental health services, and NHS and social care played a large role in the document. The intention was to connect local care practices to cut inequalities and to improve the health of the population. From April this year the whole country is covered by the Integrated Care Systems, largely due to the pandemic acting as a catalyst to drive the process.

able. Though Stevens' rejection of the Brexit proposal was on a greater level than just the financial side, he also commented that the NHS had seen "enormous" benefits from the 130,000

It seems strange now to think that the start of 2019 was under a year away from the beginning of a global pandemic that would envelop the world for 17 months, and counting. At the time it was impossible to know that there would have been a pandemic, if we had there

In 2016, in the upheaval that was the Brexit referendum, Stevens weighed in on the political stage, stating that Brexit would be "very dangerous if at precisely the moment the NHS is going to need extra funding actually the economy goes into a tailspin and that funding is not there". He was talking about the fears of the post-Brexit recession and how he found it unlikely that the promise of £350 million weekly would be achiev-




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By Tom Boniface, Private Client Tax Senior Manager, Kreston Reeves

International mobility

What do businesses and senior execs need to keep in mind if coming to work in the UK? The UK’s immigration regime and tax policies, that continue to be in place in a post-Brexit world, are designed to attract the brightest and the best of the business world and they appear to be working. In 2019, before the Covid pandemic stopped international travel, a record 28,734 businesses registered as sponsors allowing them to recruit overseas nationals. But, says Tom Boniface, when businesses bring senior executives into the country, careful thought and planning is needed if those individuals are to avoid paying unnecessary tax. And that planning should start before the individual steps off the plane. Firstly, a business and the relocating executive will need to consider the remuneration package. Whilst an employee in the UK will have to pay PAYE and National Insurance contributions, the benefits and relocation package that accompanies senior appointments will often have considerable tax implications. It is not uncommon for the relocation and benefits package to cover the cost of renting a home, school fees, a car or transport on top of the salary paid. How these are structured will have tax implications for the individual.


In certain jurisdictions such ‘benefits’ may not be considered part of the employee’s taxable remuneration. However, in the UK they generally are, unless certain conditions are met. This means that where the benefits package includes the above, the employer should not fall foul of the UK tax regime and report these correctly.

Individuals coming to live in the UK may be able to benefit from the favourable remittance basis regime. The provisions within this regime can protect an individual’s non-UK situated wealth from lifetimes taxes during the early years of their arrival in the UK. However, they are complex and require careful planning to ensure maximum tax efficiency.

If the package requires the individual to pay for their own accommodation, will they rent or buy? If they choose to buy, how will they secure a mortgage if it is needed? Arriving execs often fail to realise that it is more tax efficient to bring cash into the country before they arrive than when they already have feet on the ground.

Secondly, the length of stay in the UK will also play a significant role in the amount of tax that individual will pay, as too will any periods of work-related travel. The UK government recognises that many inbound executive placements are for a limited time period and, as such, offer several valuable tax reliefs. For work periods of less than 24 months, senior execs can claim Detached Duty Relief (DDR). The relief allows, for example, the cost of accommodation to be offset against income tax. This is often overlooked and particularly beneficial if living in London where rents are often high. The claim must be made on an individual’s self-assessment tax return. They are able to offset the costs of accommodation and work-related travel and


❛❛ When businesses bring senior executives into the country, careful thought and planning is needed ❜❜ subsistence against their income. This will reduce their exposure to UK tax. When a senior executive is based in the UK but spends time travelling for work, they should consider Overseas Workday Relief that allows an individual to shield salary earned overseas from UK tax authorities. Pension contributions will also need to be considered, particularly given the UK’s autoenrollment regime. Those working for a short period of time will often choose to opt out of the regime given the challenges and tax implications of accessing that pension when outside of the UK. Thirdly, the individual will need to secure the right kind of visa to be eligible to work in the UK, usually a sponsored visa. For business owners, an entrepreneurs’ visa may be the most appropriate route. In

most instances, employers are likely to make visa arrangements on behalf of their staff.

It is recommended that senior executives working in the UK for any period of time take independent and specialist advice on their tax position. Whilst a business and its HR team will look to take much the stress of a move off the shoulders of its staff, they will not necessarily fully understand the tax impact of their actions. An unexpected and unnecessary tax bill.

If the senior executive on placement to the UK decides to return home after a few years, there is likely to be few if any ongoing tax implications. However, if the individual chooses to stay for longer periods of time or perhaps wishes to settle permanently in the UK, there are likely to be considerable tax implications, particularly inheritance tax. HMRC considers an individual to gain a deemed-domicile for all tax purposes after 15 years, but the rules are not hard and fast. It is all too easy for an individual choosing to stay in the UK see their worldwide assets fall into the UK inheritance net without planning and consideration.

There will be further technical content on the topic of international mobility from Tom Boniface following our Finance focus webinar on June 10th at 9:00am. Register your place at Tom Boniface, Private Client Tax Senior Manager at Kreston Reeves. T: +44 (0)330 124 1399 E:



7 SEPT 2021 WE’RE BACK FOR 2021! It’s never been a better time to stay connected, so after the huge success of our 2019 show, the fastest growing Surrey Business Expo is heading back to Epsom. We provide a professional, open and friendly platform for start-ups, SME’s and large businesses to network, build relationships, gain new knowledge and keep up to date with the latest products & services.



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hoW To make The mosT of eXcess cash in your Business By dan Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher The pandemic has been an incredibly tough time for everyone and many businesses have suffered as a result of lockdowns. However, there are also those who have thrived and are entering this next phase of re-opening with excess cash in their business. I don’t have a set formula for when cash becomes excess and have found that most owners have a gut feel for when planning should be started. The priorities of each business owner will be different but in the main we are seeing three groups emerging: n Those who are looking to grow and develop their business n Those who are looking to maximise personal wealth n Those who are looking to exit. foRecasTinG needs To be UndeRTaKen Whatever your ambitions it is vital to undertake forecasting to understand what is truly excess cash and what you should keep back in your working capital. Many businesses are far more prudent following lockdown and have a much bigger focus on keeping a rainy day fund. Worst case scenario planning should be undertaken to give you a gauge of what cash you can afford to spend and what you need to hold on to.

GRowinG YoUR bUsiness For business owners who have growth as their goal, there are two routes you can take. Organic growth which will mean investing in equipment, people and products or growth by acquisition.

years you can increase your allowance for this year. You can also make contributions on behalf of your family members which can be useful for protecting generational wealth, subject to their role in the business.

The new Super deduction scheme which allows businesses to claim 130% capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments makes new equipment an attractive option for many owners.

Alternatively, you could extract the cash via a salary or dividends. It’s important to watch out for the tax on this although it could be beneficial to have the cash now if tax goes up over the next few years. The money could be invested into an enterprise Investment Scheme (eIS) which offers attractive tax reliefs for example. There are a few forms of EIS so it is important to discuss your options with an advisor.

There are also other opportunities presented for businesses who can pivot their offering, particularly if they tap into a new sector where businesses have struggled during lockdown. Highly skilled people may now be open to conversations about moving and they could help you tap into these gaps in the market. However, organic growth can be slow. A smart acquisition can help you achieve your growth goals quickly but careful planning and due diligence needs to be undertaken to ensure a smooth transition. Maintaining a high cash reserve within your business is vital here to allow you to strike when the right opportunity presents itself. maXimisinG PeRsonaL weaLTH For some owners growth will be taking a back seat to allow them to focus on their personal wealth. One of the most tax efficient ways to extract cash from the business is through pensions making the most of the £40K yearly allowance. If you haven’t utilised this over the preceding three

PLanninG YoUR eXiT For some business owners the challenges presented over the last year have made them fall out of love with their business and their focus has now shifted to exit. If this is the case for you then maintaining a strong balance sheet will be important when it comes to valuing your business. This can be done by using excess cash to invest in tangible assets for the business e.g. equipment, property or other physical assets. Reaching optimal Enterprise value normally takes place over a few years so early planning is important. Utilising excess cash isn’t straightforward and will depend hugely on each business owner’s personal goals. Speak to an advisor who can act as a sounding board and assist you with careful planning. This can help you efficiently manage your money and make it work for you.

for more information: t: 020 8549 5137 e:


Business recovery

I know you won’t believe me but the highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others Socrates

The Socratic method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions.

powerful learning opportunity for everyone involved in a discussion. And that is exactly what lies within the value of Peer Learning and why it is so valuable in many areas of our lives, at school, our communities and particularly in business. It allows individuals to listen and learn from one another in the broadest sense, approach problem solving, taking action and reflecting on the results – in a confidential environment.

Asking somebody “and what do you think? “can very often be an extremely

The MDHUB have been running peer learning groups to support business

So, what exactly does a quote from an ancient Greek philosopher have to do with Peer Networks? Quite a lot as it happens.


owners and the growth of their businesses since 2002. Our early clients included Giles Palmer – originally from Runtime Collective, who went on to set up the phenomenally successful Brandwatch, Neilsen Holidays and Ricochet Films, who are now part of Warner Bros. Today we are privileged to work with growth businesses throughout the UK which include Ridgeview Wine Estate, Andy Sturgeon Garden Design, DMH Stallard, Mooncup, Temple Group and Cheesmur Building Contractors.

Business recovery So why is peer learning more important than ever in today’s business environment?

Employees often expect their MDs to have all of the answers, after all that is why they are in that role isn’t it ? Nobody has all of the answers to everything and often MDs put huge pressure on themselves by thinking that they “should know” or at least “sound like they know” when asked a question. This in itself can amplify the feeling of isolation that many business owners experience. Being able to participate in a small confidential peer session of Managing Directors to present, discuss and resolve issues, is vital not just for the business growth but for the MD’s personal growth as well. The arrival of the global pandemic in the past 14 months in the UK has seriously demonstrated just how powerful peer learning has been for business owners. The MDHUB ran 100 online peer workgroups in the first 100 days of the pandemic, with over 200 peer workgroups delivered during this time via our MDHUB Membership and our partnership working with the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) network . The MDHUB team are particularly proud of the partnership work that we have been undertaking with the Coast To Capital Growth Hub and the delivery of

the peer networks programme to support 88 business owners during the depths of the pandemic. Our workgroups are all facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, so we really understand the highs and lows of running a business and the challenges that are faced. “MDHUB has reassured, empowered and inspired me moving forward with my business during an incredibly challenging time.” We are delighted to say that we have been delivering a new national peer networks programme for the Coast to Capital Growth Hub for 110 Business owners from June 2020. This programme is fully funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

❛❛ The enthusiasm

and energy shown by each and every MD and CEO speaks volumes for the whole MDHUB Concept ❜❜

Rod Scott Founder & Chairman, Waer Systems

How does the programme work?

Peer Networks is delivered through a series of confidential and high impact peer sessions, with each cohort led by a trained MDHUB facilitator. The programme provides each participant with 18 hours of facilitated peer group support plus a minimum of 3.5 hours of one-to-one support. All applicants go through a selection panel where care is taken to curate the best fit for the programme and the cohorts going forward. Once allocated to a cohort, each participant will be required to commit to all of the confidential, facilitated peer sessions which will typically be 2-3 hours in length with up to 11 people and organised over a 6-8 month period. All sessions will take place online either via Zoom or MS Teams for the time being.

Are you eligible for the programme?

The programme is available to any SME business in the Coast To Capital Area that has: n Operated for at least one year n Has at least five employees n A turnover of at least £100,000 n The potential to scale up n The ability or potential to export n This programme is fully funded by BEIS

To apply, complete the application form which will be found at If you are interested in finding out more about the MDHUB, please visit Email MDHUB Directors: Fiona Shafer: or Phil Green:



By Richard Freeman CEO, always possible

What I have learnt from 400 business leaders in lockdown March 2020. I was due to host a Future Skills Summit, with guest speakers from across the UK holding plenaries on the circular economy, the Internet of Things and the changing workplace. I was also facilitating a two-day summit on big data and tourism, in partnership with the University of Brighton. As Programme Director for Essex 2020, over 1000 events stretched ahead bringing together big engineering firms, artists, libraries, teenage hackers – you name it – to celebrate science and creativity in misunderstood towns. But by the 23rd, I was suddenly very available. And quite frightened. Much of my professional life has revolved around creating spaces for people to scale new ideas or deepen connections with the communities they serve. It took a little while to recalibrate and to fully understand that the spaces we now needed to occupy were digital ones. The upside is that the always possible team could spend time with more people, giving advice and practical support – but mainly just listening. A year on, and I can be more reflective about the different, and complex, decisions over 400 teams and executives have been making in the sectors


we work with, from construction to the arts, to hospitality, retail, tech and more. If it’s possible to distil some of the insights into four lessons, regardless of sector or size, it is these:


Never underestimate your team People tend to pull out the stops in a crisis. And the past 12 months has pushed leaders to re-evaluate the value, wellbeing and capacity to innovate of the people around them. Nearly always finding a previously untapped well of ‘can-do and mend’. We’ve been asked to help with restructures and shifts to home-working, but the genuine joy is seeing people fall back in love with their work when they can give themselves permission to do things differently; to step back and be reminded of their core mission. “We just feel so useful to our customers again”, one tech COO told me – and that energy is infectious.


Get an external sounding-board Ambition + fear x decision-making = noise. And we’ve been hearing over and again that many small business owners are getting tinnitus from the shrill push and pull of what they’re told they should be doing. From making spaces Covidsecure to launching new digital products, we’ve learnt there is not a single new process that doesn’t benefit from some critical friendship. And it doesn’t need to cost the Earth. Across Sussex, programmes such as the Business Hothouse; the BRITE programme and all of the local growth hubs have been providing fully funded support. In East Sussex, we’ve been r u n nin g th e > B R E A K T H R O U G H programme for female and ethnic minority founders, as well as giving access to over £1m of growth grants to a range of SMEs as part of the South East Business Boost.

❛❛ It took a little while to recalibrate and

to fully understand that the spaces we now needed to occupy were digital ones ❜❜



Create an evidenCe-BaSe of opportUnity In the thick of Brexit and the pandemic, ‘uncertainty’ has become the watchword. So the requests we have had are for help rebuilding knowledge of the market, of what customers actually need, of business and investor confidence. Targeted mini research projects are essential at getting teams back on track and putting their energy in the right places. And new resources like the Brighton Business & IP centre can help with that.


Break down yoUr prioritieS into now, next and later Through providing 1:1s, workshops and grants to over 400 businesses across the UK, the always possible team have perfected a way for businesses to navigate the next 12 months. Whether for a whole business or for a particular product or idea, the key is using engineering techniques that ensure it isn’t a mountain to climb, but a series of small mounds. always possible is looking for just 100 ambitious businesses to be part of a special post-traumatic growth community, benefiting from a new style of mentoring, research and action planning that actually works.

to register your interest in free or low cost access to post-Covid planning support and a unique network of peers – visit



The mantra of

no-jab no-job In many respects the vaccine is seen as the answer to the problems that we have with respect to the coronavirus pandemic. Is it really a panacea? Do we require compulsory vaccination for all those attending the workplace?

By Martin Williams, Partner. Head of Employment Law


There is nothing in law that requires individual employees to be vaccinated to attend work, even for those who work in the healthcare sector. This does not mean to say certain employers will not seek to require their employees to have a vaccination to attend the workplace. This has been the case in the social care sector,

and this is one area where the government is conducting a consultation on the possibility of mandator y vaccinations. It may be that the government will look at this issue more widely. Rumours have been circulating but there will be resistance to such a move. The recent Queen’s Speech did not mention anything about comprehensive legislation being introduced to mandate vaccination in the employment context. Indeed, employment matters were ignored with the expected Employment Bill failing to appear.

legal If matters are to be left up to individual employers, one must look at the context for any stipulation for workers to be vaccinated. With many employees working remotely there is an alternative to the workplace setting where the role is not location specific. As moves are made to get more people back into places of work employers should make sure that the health and safety of employees is paramount.

other measures are in place. In the end a balance will have to be struck.

Vaccination may not give a 100% guarantee that an individual will be safe from contracting the virus and, equally, that

❛❛ It is possible that some employees will feel

peer pressure from their colleagues about not getting vaccinated. This could result in somebody resigning and claiming constructive dismissal ❜❜

they will not pass it on. If there is to be any compulsory vaccination requirement for the workforce, employers will have to consider whether it is necessary. As of writing, it is expected that social distancing restrictions will be lifted in the latter half of June, though this may not be confirmed until the middle of June. The resurgence of the virus in the guise of the so-called Indian variant means that restrictions could be

in place for some time. In any event, any responsible employer will want to be cautious, bearing in mind the duty of care they have towards those they employ. It is not surprising, in a situation where people fear getting ill, that some workers may feel that they do not want to work in proximity with someone else, unless that person has been vaccinated, even if

It is possible that some employees will feel peer pressure from their colleagues about not getting vaccinated. This could result in somebody resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. Equally, it could be that employees will refuse to work with those who are not being vaccinated. Context will be all important. It may be that some people will argue that they are being discriminated against. The general roll out of the vaccination is according to age and medical condition. It could be argued that a requirement that somebody receive the vaccination to work is discriminatory by reason of age. There may also be discriminatory issues because of someone having a philosophical belief that vaccinations should not be made compulsory. One would have to look at the basis for that thinking and whether it was a cohesive, serious, or cogent reason for doing so. Additionally, consideration would have to be given as to whether such an argument is worthy of respect. Will an employer want to introduce vaccinations knowing that they could be a prospective test case? It seems likely that employers will avoid introducing a “no-jab no-job” stipulation unless there is a very strong need for doing so. In the end, with vaccination, we do not necessarily have a panacea for all that ails us.

If you would like advice on an Employment Law issue, then please call us on 0800 8494101 and speak to a member of our team.


Business & IP Centre Brighton & Hove

Gil Kahana Founder of ChattyFeet

startIng up? Start Here! Brighton & Hove City Libraries, in partnership with the British Library, are transforming the way ideas grow into successful businesses. We’re supporting a thriving community of bright and inspiring people by partnering with local libraries all over the UK. It is free to join and open to everyone.

The BIPC provides access to a range of business databases, business literature and guides to support your business information needs. Whether you are just starting out, need advice on protecting your intellectual property, or are ready to take the next step in your journey, we are here to help.

Business & IP Centre (BIPC) Brighton & Hove, based in the Jubilee Library in central Brighton, supports entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business.

We’re bringing business inspiration and support to more people than ever before with resources available in the Jubilee Library, with the addition of select libraries across Sussex in the upcoming months.

Our ServIces Workshops/Webinars

One-to-one advice

Legal and accountancy clinics

Intellectual property (IP) and trade mark advice

Free access to online databases

Links to useful start-up websites

Networking opportunities

All services are provided free of charge to the local community.

Intellectual Property You may not have thought that you have intellectual property (IP) that you need to protect, or it’s something you can think about later. Most businesses rely on some sort of ‘know how‘, idea or way of doing things, that distinguishes them from their competitors. To be successful and grow your business, understanding what it is that is unique about you is crucial. That’s where we come in. There are many different sorts of IP and we can help you identify the type you need to know about and how to protect it. Copyright Copyright is an automatic right that does not need to be registered. It applies to the expression of an idea such as literature, music or art. Patent A patent protects your invention and lets you take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports your invention without your permission. Registered designs Registered designs protect the look and appearance of a product. Designs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. If someone else has already registered or disclosed your design or a similar one, it is not available. Trade marks A trade mark is any sign used by a trader to distinguish their goods and services from those of others. It must be both: • capable of being graphically represented • capable of being distinguished.

Get In touch To find out more about how we can support your business, if you have an Intellectual property query or need advice on how to research a new business idea, drop us an email and we’ll get back in touch. @BIPCBtnHove Business & IP Centre Brighton & Hove


INFLUENCERS FORUM International Trade & Brexit We are living through times of unparalleled change. The pandemic has tested the resilience of our institutions, our companies and ourselves as individuals in ways we had never imagined. As we start to recover from this period of intense disruption, we will see what returns to normal – and what has changed forever. What hasn’t changed in the importance of international trade and investment in the UK’s overall prosperity. Trade and investment create jobs and increase productivity by bringing the world's best technology and ideas to the UK, as well as providing access to export markets for our own companies. In 1980, the UK accounted for over 6% of the global market for exported goods and services. By 2019, that had shrunk to less than 4%. For this Forum, we bring together a group of influential experts to debate, discuss and inform on the subject of International Trade and Brexit.


influencers forum finance



ceo, PVL UK & middle east

senior Partner, Kreston Reeves

nick set up PVL in 2000 from scratch and now employs 50 staff. PVL is the biggest manufacturer of reflective vehicle safety markings to UK emergency and security fleets, and an established export market with partners in Europe and the Middle East.

Andrew has significant experience working with both national and international businesses. He leads the firm’s international team and is a Board member of Kreston International, of which Kreston Reeves is a leading member. Andrew chairs the Kent Corporate Finance Alliance steering group and is a non-Executive Director of Locate in Kent.

Through diversification we are known for our capability with a wide range of materials that enable us to brand every surface. 01444 810 180


Leader of the international Trade department, surrey chambers of commerce Gary leads the International Trade Department at Surrey Chambers of Commerce, a position he has held since 2015, providing support to businesses across Surrey on international trade matters. He has been at the forefront of the Chambers response to Brexit, providing businesses with information, support and guidance and providing valuable feedback to the British Chambers of Commerce and government. +44 (0)330 124 1399

LESLEY ALCOCK commercial director, Platinum media Group

Lesley is a marketing professional, having spent many years with Capital Radio in London and the Observer newspaper, and was instrumental in the launch of the Observer Magazine. The Platinum Media Group is the largest circulation business publishing group in the UK, reaching up to 720,000 readers each month across three titles. 07767 613707



Adam Williams is a Partner at awardwinning law firm, DMH Stallard. Adam heads up the firm’s Business Immigration team, and has a wealth of experience advising businesses on the immigration aspects of international deals and the movement of workers across borders.

Maarten Hoffmann is the facilitator for the Platinum Influencer Forums

Partner, dmH stallard

The Platinum Publisher 01483 467 413 01483 735540



What are you seeing to be the problems with international trade due to Brexit? GH: From what we are hearing from our members and businesses that we are supporting within areas such as documentation and customs, is that there is still a lot of confusion out there. There are still a huge amount of challenges regarding both Covid and Brexit, with some sectors coping particularly well, but others that have been decimated.

Are you finding that companies are stopping their export business because it’s become too complex? GH: We are finding that a lot of businesses are ceasing to trade with Europe, or finding new markets, markets that they probably wouldn’t have looked at before Brexit. The far east is starting to pick up, along with eastern Europe as well. We are also noticing that there is a lot of interest in South America. Fortunately, for some of these countries we already have trade agreements which makes things a lot easier for companies. AG: The first thing is that businesses crave certainty, and you quite rightly mention that we’ve had not only Brexit but also Covid, meaning there is a lot of uncertainty right now. I would agree that we are also seeing clients seeking new markets, particularly with the rise of the Asian markets. Britain has done a lot of trade with Europe in the past and clearly still wants to continue that history, but there have been a lot of obstructions because of Brexit. From what I’ve seen this isn’t stopping them from trading, but forcing them to find new ways of doing so.



Do you think this will be a permanent change, or do you think that Europe will wake up and look to smooth this out? NB: I think that the main thing to consider currently is that there will be an adjustment period. Who knows how long that will be? We’ve entered a stage of ‘Long-Brexit’ where we will see the true affects of Brexit. For us, we can’t currently say if prices have drastically increased or not because the shipments we have coming in were priced pre-Brexit, the only difference is that the time has increased for everything to get done. What we do know is that we are now out, Brexit has happened and we have left the single market. I think that provides some level of certainty. AG: I agree, this is what has been happening throughout 2020, people were unsure about what was going to occur in the long term, but now that we know we are out, we can start to develop our markets accordingly. AW: This is much the same with the movement of people as well, however the timeline is slightly different. Due to Covid, borders have been closed and businesses have been occupied with other things, but now that they are opening back up again businesses are wanting to send teams out to other countries to do business. The difficulty is that each member state within the EU is able to have a different definition of what counts as business, when talking about travel. There isn’t a blanket set of rules that we can look to, and we are still in the middle of sorting out exactly where we stand with each nation, making this a much more long-term problem.

Does this not make it extremely difficult to send employees out to countries when we are dealing with 27 different sets of rules? AW: Absolutely. We don’t yet know where the landmines are, we find it very difficult to deliver certainty just yet. The agreement we currently had was reached in December, EU member states simply haven’t had the time to get their heads around how they want to interpret it. For the Schengen visit visa, the EU has had years to sort it out, but for business visits it’s a different matter, like Nick said I think we will be moving into a Long-Brexit. Many companies are recruiting in the Republic of Ireland as a jumping-off point to enter Europe, but the problem there is that the UK is losing employment to Ireland and the prices are going up, so it’s not a be-all and end-all solution. NB: We’ve experienced many of the problems that have just been mentioned. We wanted to send a team out to oversee a project in an EU member state, but we weren’t able to be sure that they could make it. There was never something wrong with our supply chain or our ability as a company, it was about whether our workforce would be able to make it or not, and our answer was that we simply didn’t know.



Well how about bringing people in from the EU, how complicated is it now to bring in a new employee from Europe? AW: There is a relatively steep learning curve, but the major difference is that there is just one set of rules that we have to work with rather than 27, that makes it a lot easier. Currently our rules are static and we are confident that they are going to stay the same as well, which is an added layer of certainty. Having said that, it’s a trust relationship between UK businesses and the Home Office and Immigration. If you enter into a sponsor licence arrangement that’s on the basis that you act a certain way and you have certain compliance regimes in place. The risk factor starts at what might happen next after people arrive and you end up having a compliance visit, if you didn’t report that your employee hadn’t turned up for work within ten days and they find out, you may lose your licence. The more reliant we are on the licences, the greater the risk as more of our workforce has the potential to be stripped away from us. We can up-skill you so you can manage it on a risk based approach though, there’s just another level of oversight that we haven’t been dealing with before Brexit. Again this comes down to that long-term view and where the complexity lies, and whether planning needs to be made for potential employees. The more we do with you now, the less we need to do tomorrow. We’ve also got a situation where we are negotiating from a position of weakness with countries outside of the EU, they know that we need their market because we’ve lost our contract to the largest trading block on the planet.

There doesn’t seem to be a fix for this and the options are becoming smaller and smaller. With all this in consideration, there must be a major issue for SMEs? GH: This is certainly challenging. Though, I’m more optimistic that we have some of the leading industries in the world, particularly when looking at tech industries. I think that because of this we do have a level of strength, we do have what businesses and countries want. Yes, there will be sectors that don’t fall into trade deals and that will lose out. Made in Britain has always been a fantastic plan, it’s internationally renowned. We are having discussions with India and the USA right now, some of the largest markets out there, we have to look at that as a good thing.


Historically the UK has been a good supplier, however when you put a barrier in there it doesn’t take much for someone to turn around and find another outlet. We’ve already lost the financial hub to Holland, Heathrow has already lost the world’s busiest airport status, how do you stop the slide? AG: You say that, but the ICAEW business confidence monitor says that the financial services haven’t suffered over the last year. Certain sectors have and will continue to thrive going forwards. If we look at the country regionally, the South East has managed to maintain itself over the last year, and with the move towards digitalisation it’s building up a huge manufacturing base. I think that we’ll see a rebuilding of our primary economy and Britain will simply have to look at what sectors it wants to be famous for nationally and internationally. AW: I think that I agree in terms of being able to build out of Brexit, and that some of these issues we are facing currently are just teething problems. However, there are wider issues that are seemingly unlikely to change, especially with the movement of people and the knock-on implications for business and the British brand. Our government doesn’t seem to have any appetite to enter into deals that will considerably open up our borders for workers coming in. This might be a problem when looking at those Indian markets that have been mentioned already, if we aren’t able to make a visa deal to loosen the restrictions on visa checkups, then my fear is that that will impact our ability to make lasting trade relations.


NB: I think you’re right, we do have a chance to rebuild our primary economy, especially when it comes to digital manufacturing. Covid has made so many people stay, and want to stay, at home to work which has freed up so much unused office space. If we can just convert that space into robotic tech factories, I think that would be a huge opportunity for our economy. I get the feeling that the government is pinning it in the USA, I think that as the one of the biggest markets in the world and one of our closest allies, but I’m just not that sure if the USA are willing to do the same deal with us, we are much smaller. GH: Something that I think we should be looking into is the developing countries, like Guyana and Nigeria. They might not be the biggest markets in the world but they are developing at a rate that is far faster than any other. We now have the ability to negotiate with them one-to-one rather than as a massive trading block, this will get the deals done so much quicker. If you look at the Canada deal that the EU did, that took three to four years which was quick for the EU. This breakage gives us so many opportunities to get into those developing markets. AW: We definitely aren’t a juggernaut anymore, we have that flexibility that other nations don’t have when negotiating. AG: Exactly. Something that amazes me is the power of the entrepreneur, and how versatile they can be in terms of penetrating those markets, even without a deal. Roughly 98% of the UK’s economy is made up of SMEs, Brexit is just another hiccup, businesses have hiccups, we will find a way around this.



Something that we haven’t yet touched on is certificates of origin, what is the situation with that and how complicated has it become? GH: The main difference is that rather than something having a European Community Certification of Origin, it’s a UK certificate of origin, that’s literally it. There is no problem with that being recognised in Europe or the rest of the world, There has been a change in terms of preferential rules of origin, these are things such as EUR1 forms, and what we are finding is that a lot of businesses are falling foul of the rules of origin within that trade agreement. This falls down to three rules, the first being that the goods have to be manufactured in the UK or have a transformation in the UK, they have to leave the UK and they can’t leave any other country, they have to meet the specific product rules within the trade agreement if there are any. What we see is that a company will send something in from Europe and pay no tariffs on it, do a little to it, and then send it back to Europe where their customers will have to pay duties on it. AG: This is unless you go through a Freeport. The Freeport allows you to change the goods within the Freeport environment and then send it on to another country with a lower tariff. This opens up the potential to have a manufacturing base within a Freeport if you are adding value to it. There still will be a tariff, it will just be lower. GH: We have also gone back to carnets in countries like France and Belgium, so goods that are in a nation temporarily may also see a charge. NB: I think one of the biggest things that government can do currently is encourage entrepreneurs to exploit the opportunities that are arising in this confusion. So many people don’t know about these new issues and we need that guidance from the government to really guide us through them.



I think that’s very interesting, do you think that the government understands entrepreneurs and how to help them through this period? AW: There does seem to be a disconnect between the campaign trail and the entrepreneur. You still need that connection between government and entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to international matters. NB: I fear that they don’t. I think that often the determination and the hard work that is put in by many entrepreneurs go unrewarded. I also find it particularly sad that so many SMEs aren’t heard by government and so many of their concerns go unsolved. GH: This is why you have the likes of the Chambers of Commerce and the CBI. You need to speak to those and discuss the issues you are having with your business. We represent over 2000 businesses and we are talking to the UK government on a regular basis via the Chamber of Commerce. I highly recommend speaking to your Chamber of Commerce if you’re reading this to have a higher level of action taken on your issues. There are also International Chambers that are able to help you in Europe and around the world. I would strongly encourage getting in contact with them as well.

Is there anything that we can look to as business owners that will be able to help us with some of the major problems that we are facing? AG: There are huge amounts of people that have had to pivot their careers over the last year. We are seeing that a large number of people are re-inventing themselves to take advantage of new areas that are popping up because of Brexit and Covid. Are you suggesting that there will be a wastage of certain markets and a transformation into others? NB: There will always be changing and mixing of markets, Covid and Brexit act as a catalyst for this. The question now is not what can help us cling to what we have, but where can we go next? We need top-down leadership to allow our markets to seize those opportunities that are arising. AW: I think that’s right, our options are either to compete locally with the larger importers or do something different. The problem is that so many are unsure about how to compete with the giants like Amazon in these new markets. To be able to fully make use of them we need that support. AG: I agree, and the voice of the entrepreneur is a campaign that needs to be taken nationwide. I feel we are at a time where we can make radical suggestions as we are in a state of change. It seems that the new generations are influencing our organisations like no other generation before and we have the opportunity to harness that way of thinking and create some major gains out of it.


influencers forum

Are there any positive outcomes to come out of Brexit to do with international trade? nB: It’s over, we are out and the level of uncertainty is lower than before we left. This means we are able to start to move forward, the positives are that we can group as a nation and support business opportunities and drive markets abroad. We can exploit existing areas as well as develop and mould new areas under this new status quo. ag: I think that as a nation we will become stronger and build greater resilience. I think it will force us to look at areas like productivity. I think that we will have to look at new ways of doing business, particularly in automation and the digital sectors. I think that this has made us pivot and take stock to come out of this stronger. With Brexit and the pandemic there’s an opportunity to get over hurdles that it may have taken you ten years to do so without these drivers. aw: There is an opportunity in any level of uncertainty, I think that what is important is our ability to trail blaze in member states with good British products and services, being bold and brave and going to those outposts and talking to them to say that there must be a way to work together. There are opportunities even though there are boundaries. Bringing people in isn’t as hard as it may seem, so there is an opportunity there as well, it will require up-skilling but we are relatively certain that that is something we can learn and be stable with. gh: What businesses have to remember is that there are a lot of countries in the world, far more than just the 27 in the EU. There are opportunities with each of these other countries. We have our future in our hands and businesses will have to mould that to whatever they want.

A fascinating discussion full of information on how to deal with the issues we face and an apt one-liner from Andrew who called it 'Long-Brexit', a crib on the Long-Covid stories we all hear of. The Brexit problems have been masked by the pandemic but as we hopefully come out from under that burden, we begin to see how prepared or otherwise the government is in dealing with the Brexit trade issues. There is a way to go but hope is on the horizon and for further information, get in touch with one of our experts.


To feed the most vulnerable we needed great service from our bank Joshua Owens-Baigler Director, Angelina Restaurant

At NatWest, we approved a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan for Angelina Restaurant in Dalston. This not only enabled them to keep their staff on, but to provide around 500 meals a day to local vulnerable people. Search NatWest Business

Here to support you Security may be required. Over 18s only. Subject to status. Business use only. Any property or asset used as a security may be repossessed or forfeited if you do not keep up repayments on any debt secured on it.

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point and the best opportunity to commit to her business full time.

We Are Fetching was founded by Rachel Beech, to save parents time and stress by helping them to co-ordinate afterschool childcare through their trusted network of friends. The We Are Fetching platform gives complete visibility of who is authorised to take care of the user's child as well as providing updates to the school on who is going to be collecting that day.

during one particularly snowy day, Rachel received a surprise email from her child’s school, informing her that the school was closing at midday and that she would need to pick up her child before then. With work commitments in the way, Rachel had no other option but to reach out to a network of parents on WhatsApp and arrange for another parent to collect her child for her. Having already been struggling with re-organising her workday and working evenings to pick her child up at the end of school, Rachel found herself questioning the possibility of making sharing lifts a

❛❛ so far, We are

fetching has yet to be turned down by a school and has received really good feedback from its users ❜❜

So far, We Are Fetching has yet to be turned down by a school and has received really good feedback from its users. Rachel hopes to continue to implement further features to the app, such as adding in a drop off function which is integrated with the registration system at school. Further, she hopes that We Are Fetching can be used to eventually replace the outdated paper register system and provide live updates for when a child is absent / out of the school.

permanent change. doing so would give her 2-3 days per week back without the stress of the afternoon school run, freeing up valuable hours in the day each week. After numerous coffees introducing the idea to some fellow parents and the school, the idea soon took off and Rachel had set up the basic idea of We Are Fetching. As Rachel began to build her business idea further in her spare time, she found that she was beginning to struggle to manage both the business, her work and childcare at the same time. As Rachel approached the end of the year, she realised that this was a significant turning

Rachel’s ultimate moon shot for her business is for it to become the most used childcare solution in the world. She hopes to break the competitive UK parenting culture, where parents would rather pay for a nanny than ask for help, and replace it with a collaborative one where people are comfortable keeping a track of debts between help.

Contact information email: we-are-fetching




How to stay secure when even your fridge can hear you Internet of Things now has many names: Internet of Operational Things, or Industrial Things. Perhaps the most fitting term for our hyper-connected world is Internet of Everything. By Scott Nursten, CEO, ITHQ Any home could now contain a smart fridge, smart watch, Alexa device, fitness tracker or a doorstep camera... We can order wine, control our lights and monitor our body fat with voice activated tools that once belonged in science fiction. But all this convenience comes with a trade-off: every connected device is also a potential attack vector. However, in real life as in fiction, the shiny, convenient side of tech is the focus, rather than the inconvenience of losing your data or worse. The most disturbing case recently involved Cayla dolls – toys that, via Bluetooth, doubled as child monitors and could be easily hacked by phone from 50 feet away. Researchers discovered someone could watch, communicate and share footage of kids, through the very device designed to reassure parents of their safety. German Telecom watchdog, Federal Network Agency, designated the toy a spy and banned it. All Cayla dolls must now be certified destroyed in Germany, or owners face a €25,000 fine.


aSSUmption + trUSt = maSSive SeCUrity iSSUe

Because they are so convenient, we trust our smart devices to the point where we assume they are secure by design. The distance that trust must stretch is the entire length of its supply chain. IoT supply chain security is so pressing, that ENISA, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, published a lengthy report in November 2020: Guidelines for Securing the Internet of Things. Every aspect is covered, from conceptual design to end user delivery and maintenance. In conclusion, the need to ‘take a comprehensive and explicit approach to security’, is listed, amongst others. Assuming a device is safe is extremely dangerous – and we’re not only talking hacking. Alexa records often, even when you don’t ask it to. Samples of your voice are captured and analysed in the cloud, to improve the service you receive. If you work in regulated finan-

cial or legal services, for example, often under NdA, imagine a sensitive call being recorded. Then imagine it shared in the public arena. Every time you use a connected device, you are putting trust in the entire supply chain involved in IoT. If your device is from Microsoft or Apple, you’re not only assuming those singular organisations are safe, but that the millions of people collectively working for them, their suppliers, delivery and maintenance people are trustworthy too. This is a big mistake.

if you work in ❛❛ regulated financial or

legal services, for example, often under nda, imagine a sensitive call being recorded. Then imagine it shared in the public arena ❜❜


network. The same goes for printers and any other connected device. Users of Eufy security cameras reported being able to access other users’ accounts, allowing them to view both live and recorded video. They could also control others’ cameras. eufy says this bug is now fixed. The critical takeaway here is that cameras should not be placed in personal spaces or rooms where confidential information is discussed. Better still, use them outside only.

Zero trUSt

The only safe way to use a connected IoT device is to assume it is not trustworthy. Making your staff aware of the attack surface anywhere they may work is critical and should be part of your cyber resilience strategy. You can have top security tools on your corporate network and devices. If your staff work in their hyper-connected homes, your data can be compromised. Educate them. The more IoT devices in their home or your office, the larger the attack surface.

there are no iot SeCUrity StandardS

Another need identifi ed in the eNISA report is to ‘leverage existing standards and good practices.’ Unlike with other consumer items, there is no BSI or international standard badge for IoT goods. If a part is made in China and then travels into Korea for use in other devices, it crosses borders and standards. None of them are being uniformly security tested because no such standard exists. It will undoubtedly emerge in the future but until then, we have to rely on what we already have.

next month’S topiC ai – is iT moRe a and i?

yoUr SeCUrity Camera, the potential attaCk veCtor

Any connected device can become an attack vector, with security cameras a particularly potent example. Cameras are shipped with default usernames and passwords, which are mostly available online. Using only a normal web browser, it’s incredibly easy to access cameras all over the world. In the hands of a skilled hacker, your security camera can become a key to your physical premises and, via their connected Linux servers, a ‘ jump host’ onto your

People say their passwords out loud, or discuss highly sensitive projects – and someone could be listening in. What about biometric data? If you have cameras and voice-controlled devices in your home, your image and voice pattern – now critical elements of personal Id and access to many protected platforms – are being stored somewhere. do you know where?

QUeStionS for it

n How are we ensuring our staff are cyber aware? n Can you show me proof that all IoT devices are being monitored, scanned and tested? n What is our protocol around remote working and home IoT devices?

for more information, feel free to get in touch with me at



Be a Superhero for Chestnut Tree House On Friday June 25th 2021, during Children’s Hospice Week, your local children’s hospice is calling on you to take part in Superhero Friday! Chestnut Tree House is asking you to get involved and support all the heroes who need hospice care – now and in the future Be a superhero for children like Jacob

Everyone – of all ages and abilities – is invited to take part in Superhero Friday, and it’s simple to get involved. All you need to do is dream up your very own superhero-themed activity or challenge and help raise vital funds for local children and families. You can have a superhero mufti day at work, be a super boss and give your team the afternoon off in return for a donation to Chestnut Tree House, have a super-themed bake sale on your lunch break, or hold a virtual superhero themed quiz with colleagues – the possibilities are endless. It’s free to sign up and Chestnut Tree House has everything you need to get started.


Just like many eight-year-old boys, Jacob is a big film fanatic, loves spending time outdoors and splashing around in the swimming pool. “Jacob is a sociable little boy. Everyone knows him in our local community, he loves it when people come up to us and have a chat” says Mum, Elaine. “He is an absolute joy, has a wicked sense of humour and does great big belly laughs!” Jacob has Global Development Delay, meaning that he is significantly delayed in his cognitive and physical development. Jacob also has the highest grade of cerebral palsy, severe breathing issues and uncontrollable seizures. “He has no independent movement so he can’t do anything by himself.” When Jacob was two years old, the family were told about their local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House by a member of the hospital outreach team. The family then soon booked their first overnight stay at the hospice building near Arundel. “I don’t know what I was expecting, but the moment we walked through the doors we were

amazed. We could not believe how much care and love was there. It was fantastic. It was a huge eye-opener; we could see all the opportunities there for Jacob. And for us, it was the first time we could sit down and relax for a very long time.” As well as short breaks at the hospice, the family has Ruth, a Chestnut Tree House Nurse who visits them at home every month, allowing Jacob to get out and about to explore his local community, whilst giving Mum and Dad a well-deserved break. “I don’t know what life would be like without Chestnut. It would be awful. It would feel like something had been cut out of us. In many ways, they are our lifeline. It would be unbelievably sad for Jacob, he would miss out on so much. He is really happy when he comes back from his visits. He loves it.”

To find out more about Superhero Friday and how you can support families like Jacob’s – during Children’s Hospice Week and beyond, visit or email

seizing opportunities for growth webinar 10 June 2021 | 9:00am - 10:00am Look forward to a #brighterfuture. Focus on your business finances to achieve your growth plans. Our panel of experts will give you financial and business advice on how to make the best of the opportunities available.

Register here.

For more than accountancy, business and financial advice. Call: +44 (0)330 124 1399 Email: Visit:

The Building Blocks of innovaTion Sussex Innovation CEO Nigel Lambe explores what innovation really means, and what we can learn from successful past innovation strategies 2020 was a unique year in all of our lives and also in the evolution of every business enterprise. There was not a single organisation that will not have had to adapt, evolve and innovate to cope with a world that was never previously envisaged. Most enterprises have had to adapt and innovate in three key areas; their products or services, their business processes, and in many cases, their fundamental business models. They have needed to react in order to accommodate the restrictions placed upon us all, whether in response to the specific


Covid-19 regulations placed upon their industry, or to the changes of customers’ demands or desires brought on by the immense changes in everyday life. At Sussex Innovation, we understand that having a clear innovation process is critical to the success of any innovation initiative. However, we are also clear that selecting the best innovation process for a given problem is always situational. Up until the mid-1990s British Airways and virgin Airlines were brilliant innovators, continually outdoing each

other to improve the quality of their services and on-board experience. However, it wasn’t until Ryanair and easyJet (copying the innovations of Southwest Airlines) pursued a lowcost model, that the bigger operators realised they had been innovating down a path that the consumer didn’t particularly care for – and certainly weren’t willing to pay for any longer. They did manage to survive that industry transformation - unlike the computer industry, where every generational change in computer technology led to the almost total annihilation of every single incumbent producer. It is an astonishing fact that as technology moved from mainframes to minis and minis to PCs in the early years of the computer industry, truly innovative companies had a 100% failure rate in trying to repeat that successful innovation into the next generation of technology. In innovation, context is everything.

innovaTion the foUr ps of innovation

as outlined in managing innovation: integrating Technological, market and organizational change by Joseph Tidd and John bessant, there are 4 key areas that businesses can interrogate as they look for opportunities to innovate:

n Product innovation is the most familiar and recognised kind; whether an entirely new style of product that completely shakes up an existing industry (think of the original iPhone compared to the mobile hardware that existed before it), or incremental improvement within an existing product category (as seen with the one -upmanship between major smartphone manufacturers ever since).

❛❛ There is not a single

n Process innovation is an internal change that focuses on your operations, productivity or supply chains. It could mean creating efficiencies that have a huge impact on your variable costs and bottom line, such as the famous story of Henry Ford and the first mass-manufactured automobiles. Increasingly in recent years, process innovation has played into branding and public perception, with companies adopting more sustainable and ethical practices.

organisation that will not have had to adapt, evolve and innovate to cope with a world that was never previously envisaged ❜❜

n Position innovation is slightly harder to pin down, but can often result in the biggest shifts in the way a market behaves. It is about changing the contexts in which a company’s products or services are introduced, capitalising on the strategic advantages of the current business to unlock a new audience. A company like BIC - who went from manufacturing cheap and reliable pens into similarly cheap and reliable razors and cigarette lighters – are masters of position innovation. n Paradigm innovation is best thought of as a challenge to pre-existing business models, informed by the way consumer demands are changing. Changes to paradigm are responsible for some of the most famous ‘disruptive tech’ innovations of recent years, such as Spotify driving the shift in music consumers’ habits from buying one-off physical products to a subscription streaming model.

download the Sussex innovation white paper how innovation drives growth for a deeper dive into the process of innovation, practical examples of local start-ups harnessing innovation, and how to build an innovative business for yourself: if you’re an east Sussex Sme reshaping your innovation strategy for growth, take a look at the Bamboo Club peer networking programme, facilitated by the team from Sussex innovation. the Bamboo Club is part of the Business east Sussex pivot programme, managed by the Business east Sussex growth hub on behalf of east Sussex County Council and the South east local enterprise partnership:



80% of UK businesses know they should be talking about cyber but only 20% do.

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educaTion By Liam Agate, director of Academic development/ Head of Business and Economics, Hurst College

ECONOMICS A-LEVEL much more Than passing an eXam The UK economy saw its gross domestic product (GDP) fall by 9.9% in 2020, the sharpest annual contraction since GDP figures have been reliably collected in the UK, in the aftermath of the second world war. Clearly this spells bad news and is just one of the economic indicators that has tumbled in 2020 as a result of shock waves from the Covid-19 pandemic. But, despite GdP’s omnipresence in reports of the health of the economy, how many people can honestly say they understand what this figure actually means? Someone who would be able to explain the intricacies of GdP as a measure of economic performance would be your average A-level Economics student. Key to the study of the subject is understanding how measures of economic performance are calculated, and what changes in the measures mean for stakeholders in society. GdP is considered alongside, for example, the cPI (consumer Price Index) and rPI (retail Price Index) as measures of inflation, and the claimant count and Labour Force Survey measures of unemployment. These headlines figures are so regularly quoted by journalists and commentators – and often misquoted by politicians – and yet general understanding of the terms is patchy at best. By learning about each

measure's methodologies, students begin to get under the skin of what these figures really mean, and by studying their temporal patterns they are further able to place the current UK economic performance in a historic context, giving them insight that even the most engaged social media pundit often lacks. But it is not just how to interpret the facts and figures that economics students learn. Through the need to constantly evaluate their arguments, students are pushed into critically examining the inherently political nature of these measures. GdP is not the only measure of economic growth; it is a choice that has significant implications on what is and is not valued in society. The syllabus ensures students question the use of GdP as a measure of wellbeing, for example, inviting them to question the limitations of GdP’s focus on income. Students look to countries such as New Zealand where, under the leadership of Jacinda Ardern,

alternatives to GdP that better consider the impact on wellbeing are being used to measure the impact of economic policies. Or places such as Bhutan which has used Gross National Happiness as their headline measure of economic performance since 2008. Additional critiques covered in the A-level syllabus are GdP’s lack of concern for the distribution of income within society. The large amount of work, such as housework and care work, that is disproportionately carried out by women goes unrecorded when measuring GdP, and the disregard of the environmental impact that the pursuit of GdP growth entails. The more engaged students enjoy forming their own opinions on the usefulness of the measure. Some call for radical alternatives, and some defend the status quo. Some even go onto further reading, picking up diane Coyle’s GDP: A Brief and Affectionate History or Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics, to delve even deeper into the debate, and to set themselves up for an impressive personal statement as a gateway to studying economics at undergraduate level. Studying economics A-level is much more than passing an exam for inclusion on a UCAS form. The subject opens eyes to what is behind the data that is ubiquitous in political discourse and enriches a student’s ability to engage as citizens in democratic debate. The discussion of GdP above only accounts for the first two lessons of the course. Wait until we get to the lesson about the merits and demerits of higher rates of income tax!

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Cleankill thrives despite initial COVID-19 concerns At the start of a financial year when things were looking very challenging for Cleankill Pest Control, the company is proud to announce that in April 2021 its contract portfolio hit the £2 million mark

In March 2020 Cleankill staff were told that they could only attend emergency call outs under strict conditions. In the meantime, the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) lobbied the Government to ask for pest controllers to be considered as key workers. To ensure sufficient funds to run the business and to bridge any bad debts, the directors secured a Covid-19 Business Interruption Loan.

rather than retreating and reducing spending. “We looked at the pandemic in a similar way to the last recession. It was a question of burying our heads and holding fast or doing the exact opposite. So we took the decision to strengthen our sales team, increase training for

Despite not being able to carry out routine calls and losing income and having to furlough half of its staff during the height of the pandemic, turnover has been maintained and is now at similar levels to pre-pandemic. The secret, says Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates, is being proactive

Cleankill Directors Clive Bury, Paul Bates, Ian Miller and Jon Whitehead with the Gold Investors in People award that they have retained following a recent assessment


technical staff and focus even more on brilliant customer ser vice while increasing our advertising, marketing and PR activities - although all the exhibitions we had planned to attend were sadly cancelled. “Making sure we communicated strong messages about our team being highly trained and the most highly qualified in the industry was incredibly important during this difficult time for all our customers and potential customers.” During 2020 the Cleankill team continued with acquisitions by purchasing Total Care Pest Control. Other achievements included: retaining the company’s Gold Investors in People award; achieving Altius Elite Vendor Status for the first time; passing the Achilles Audit; winning the Gatwick Diamond Award for Best Green Business; Managing Director Paul Bates being shortlisted for Director of the Year London and South East and Technician Oliver Roe being shortlisted for Technician of the Year in the National Pest Awards 2021. In addition, Cleankill Pest Control was recognised in a recent global report published by Allied Market Report as one of the key players in the industry which, although the company’s turnover is far lower than household names mentioned in the report, is testament to the brand recognition the company is achieving. Cleankill is often approached for comment by radio stations and the national press about pest-related issues while publishing its own news about industry trends.

For more information go to or email for a free survey or price comparison.



Separating the work day

While lots of people love working from home, one of the more common complaints is that there is no separation between the working day and the evening at home without a commute. Having a dedicated home office space helps with this, giving you a specific place to work from so you can enjoy the rest of your home in your spare time without work always encroaching on it!

Increased productivity

Similarly, having a dedicated home office space can improve your productivity, helping you to get more done during the working day. Being able to shut yourself in a room away from the daily distractions of your home can help to keep you focused and on task.


A multifunctional space

While you may choose to have your home office just for working, it can also be a versatile space. Perhaps it could be a spare room for visiting guests? Or, maybe you could also store items such as spare bed linen or towels. When looking for a new property, it’s a good idea to think of all of the different uses a room could have in the future to suit changing lifestyles. This will also be useful when you eventually come to sell. While it may seem like a long way off, having a multifunctional space can be a real attraction for buyers.


No home office? No problem!

With remote working here to stay for many businesses, thoughts are turning to creating long-term office spaces in our homes. For many people, working at a cramped kitchen table just isn’t cutting it anymore, and they’re looking for a more permanent solution. So, what are the benefits of choosing a property with a home office space? Matt Cavender, from Cavender Estate Agents based in Guildford and Kingston-Upon-Thames, is here to talk about why you may want to consider it.

Even if you're not looking to move, you can create a home office space with a little creativity! A spare room, garden shed, or even a large cupboard can become a dedicated work space to give you a bit of separation from your daily life. Having a home office space isn’t just a practical option, it can also add plenty of value onto a home. If you’re looking for your perfect new property, get in touch with Cavenders. We have plenty of properties available to both rent and buy to suit all sorts of budgets and requirements.

Contact Details: Email: Phone: 01483 457728


HORSTED PLACE HOTEL A Victorian Gothic Masterpiece Our verdant South East has so much to offer the short break seeker, from fantastic glamping sites to splendid country houses. We try Horsted Place Hotel for our quick birthday break. By Tess de Klerk My partner, who has frequented many, many a hotel, spoke fondly of Horsted Place Hotel, set deep in the Sussex countryside. It clearly stood out in his mind after having stayed years before, therefore when the time came to book his UK birthday break, Horsted Place was first on my list. During normal times we would have flitted off to some exotic destination for a quick, sunny break, but I can say that the easy 30-minute drive from Brighton to our destination sure beat the


rush to the airport, airport queues and flights we would typically have had to squeeze in during a short break! Add to that the great expectations of a red hot summer, as predicted by those certain weather scientists more inclined to rosy outooks than their dreary counterparts, and I find myself, both delightedly and a bit reluctantly, saying that maybe, just maybe, being restricted to UK breaks only isn’t quite the disaster my melodramatic inner voice had me believing!

The Manor

Arriving through a private wooded area with bluebells in full bloom, the dramatic Pugin manor impressively appears. With its mullioned windows, intricate redbrick facade and turrets, it takes you back to a time when no expense was spared to construct homes as everlasting art. We were at reception a tad early but were warmly welcomed and invited to have a drink in the drawing-room while our suite was being prepared. A bit peckish, we decided on an early afternoon tea which I am pleased to be able to say is also offered as a gluten-free option. During summer months Horsted Place’s acclaimed English afternoon tea is served outside on the immaculate lawn overlooking the East Sussex National golf course and Sussex Downs.


Built in 1850 for Francis Barchard, a wealthy merchant trader, Horsted Place isn’t large by some manor house standards but it is large enough to offer 17 spacious rooms and suites, and cosy enough to create that feeling of enveloping luxury. It has a warm, country manor appeal with roaring fires in winter, gilt-framed paintings of surly ancestors and polished antique furnishings. At the heart is an elaborate staircase entwined with golden eagles, acquired from the Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace in 1851. As a former retreat of the Windsors, some suites are named after the royal occupants who favoured them and we were booked into the Edinburgh Suite, the Duke’s chambers back in the day. Our suite was understated but did not disappoint. I am immensely fussy when it comes to hotel cleanliness and I can say that the bathroom, specifically, was pristine.

❛❛ As a former retreat of the Windsors, some suites are named after the royal occupants who favoured them ❜❜

All accommodations favour the traditional country house style - muted florals, thick carpets and damask pelmets. Some modern bathrooms are less spacious than others, but deep baths are standard throughout.


Dining at Prava promises elegant surroundings and unpretentious, modern British cooking, which uses the very best seasonal produce, locally sourced wherever possible. We ordered the cod and lamb and we were both impressed by the

presentation and flavour. There is always risk in returning to a place once experienced as perfect and unfortunately, the service wasn’t quite what it had been years before but the waiting staff were friendly, tried their best but seemed overwhelmed. We put that down to ‘teething problems’ after reopening and they can surely be forgiven for that.


Guests can play croquet or tennis during summer and enjoy a stroll along Queen’s Walk, the monarch’s secret pathway to the local chapel or merely take in the gardens and surrounding nature. They also have free use of the spa and pool at the East Sussex National Hotel, a short drive away. Horsted residents benefit from special rates and tee times at its two championship golf courses too. Glyndebourne Opera House is six miles away.

In Conclusion

My partner arrived home saying that it felt as if he had been away for much longer than the one night and I concur. In the short time we spent at Horsted Place Hotel we felt relaxed, pampered and spoilt. The beautiful old manor house and grounds manages to quickly take you away from your day to day, back to an imaginary time of leisure and ease. A comfortable four stars.



mercedes e-class 400 By Maarten Hoffmann, Senior Motoring Editor The E-Class has long been a favourite of mine as larger than the C-Class but smaller than the S-Class so, just like Goldilocks and the three bears, it’s perfect.

obviously, calls on the allure of the AMG name but doesn’t come with a snarling V8. Never mind, this engine is plenty and coming from me, that’s saying something.

First we should deal with the slight confusion Mercedes Benz seem to enjoy sowing – this is not a 4-litre engine. Nor does the 300 have a 3-litre engine or the E-220 have a 2.2-lite engine! Confused? Yeah, me too but get over it as this is just the way they like to do it.

This model is matched against the Audi A7 Sportback and the Bmw 6-Series and, as the Audi is ugly as a dog, really only the BMW competes.

The E-Class 400 has a superb 329bhp, 3.0-litre v6 power plant and is the range topper until the full-fat AMG version makes an appearance. It’s available only in AMG Line trim, which, perhaps

The body is beautiful and stylish and rarely fails to impress and although the Bmw 6-Series is definitely more rakish, the Mercedes Benz is more stylish and refined. Proportionally, the new e-class Coupé is larger than its predecessor in every major dimension, which is no great surprise given their origins. This, then, is

The e-class 400 has a superb 329bhp, 3.0-litre v6 power plant and is the range topper until the full-fat amg version makes an appearance ❜❜



a 4.86m-long car that’s 1.86m wide in the body (2.07m including mirrors) and has a lengthy, 2.87m wheelbase. The suspension is a multi-link set-up both front and rear. Whereas most E-Class Coupé variants get coil springs as standard and air suspension as an option, this E400 has air suspension across the board. There are three air chambers in each spring strut at the rear of the car, and two at the front, with three levels of spring rate selectable from the driver’s seat. There’s continuously variable damping, too. As well as selecting the suspension stiffness, the E-Class’s drive modes let you choose how angry you want the engine, transmission and steering response to be. It is very fast in angry mode (my default) but also quite uncomfortable and jerky which is great if you are in a race but not so much on the road. It is plenty fast enough without it. With the 9-speed gearbox, it is as smooth as silk.


The interior feels luxurious with deeply bolstered seats with countless adjustments, and the dash is very well laid out and at your fingertips. You can even choose from 64 colour options for the


Tech sTuff model teSted: e400 4matiC engine: 3.0-litre v6 twin-turbo power: 329 bhp Speed: 0-60 5.2 seconds top: 155mph range QUoted: 36 mpg priCe from: £65,420


ambient light that surround the stylish metallic air-vents and, although most journalists hate the colours, l think they are rather cool. If you can, why not and at night, having selected pink, l felt warm and cosseted and relaxed. I am not a great fan of the faux black wood trim but horses for courses l guess. Front seat heating and electrical adjustment come as standard, but if you want seat heaters for the rear chairs or memory seats, you’ll need to dig into the options list. my test car was fitted with the £3,895 Premium Plus Pack (which adds, among other things, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive LEd headlights and Burmester surround audio system as well, so it’s not as bad value as it might look). Although if you crave memory seats most, then the £2,795 Premium Pack may be the better option, while the heated rear seats are also available as part of the £795 warmth comfort Pack, but you will need to opt for leather and

On the road, it has impeccable manners and the twin-turbo v6 engine is quiet and smooth. It idles almost noiselessly; produces greater low and mid-range torque than the atmospheric V8 this car might have had 10 years ago; and sounds sweet enough in its harder-working moments that you wouldn’t guess it was turbocharged. the Premium or Premium Plus Pack as well. Few could quibble with the E-Class Coupé’s standard on either material richness or perceived quality, both of which are excellent and give the car a tangible edge over its rivals from Audi and BMW on luxury ambience. As a coupé of course, there can be a squeeze to get into the back but touch the front seat and it effortlessly glides forward to allow egress and once there, there is plenty of room.

This model is matched against the audi a7 sportback and the BmW 6-series and, as the audi is ugly as a dog, really only the BmW competes ❜❜


Neither would you really wish for something more mechanically exotic. The power and torque to accelerate this big two-door to 60mph in 5.6sec has to be deemed sufficient in something not primarily intended to go fast – and the readiness to do it with such silken reserve only confirms this engine’s fitness for purpose. At a cruise, the shifts of the E400’s automatic gearbox are beautifully smooth and judiciously timed, and the fact that there are nine ratios in all makes the top one so long that the engine can spin well below 2000rpm at any sensible UK motorway speed. The E400 is stylish, smooth, comfortable and quick – what more do you need?


Mercedes-Benz of Guildford At Sandown, we pride ourselves on excellent customer service. Our dedication to customer care and quality stretches beyond the forecourt, with specialists always on-hand to help you at Mercedes-Benz of Guildford. Please be assured that we have always prioritised the safety of both our customers and staff. We have taken all the necessary steps to enable you to deal with our sales, service and parts teams safely and in full compliance with the latest government’s guidance. To speak to a member of our team today please contact us on 01483 916291.

Our Sales, Service and Parts departments are all COVID-19 compliant.

Appointments booked in advance over the phone or online.

Mercedes-Benz of Guildford Moorfield Road, Slyfield Industrial Estate, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1RU

Click & Collect is available for new & Approved Used vehicle purchases.

All documentation is contactless and signed electronically.

Home delivery is available for sales, service and parts customers.