Business Times Northamptonshire October 2023

Page 1

Business Times October 2023

Est. 1991


In print and online Business Times is published in Northamptonshire for the county’s business community


Invest in wellbeing to boost world economy. P2


MBO takes owners from work placement to boardroom. P5

‘A huge milestone’: Quarry firm seals £1.6m funding


emand for sustainable products for use in the construction industry is rising and a Northamptonshire company is expanding its services to keep pace after securing a £1.6 million funding package. Storefield Group has used the funding from Lloyds Bank to complete the acquisition of the 50acre Earls Barton Spinney quarry and to invest in a new ‘wash plant’ to clean aggregates excavated from the quarry to ensure their suitability for use in construction. The investment is part of the group’s expansion plans. It has grown its vehicle fleet by ten per cent and upgraded to bigger lorries to reduce vehicle trips. In the last 12 months, Storefield has grown from two main operating sites to four, with planning permission secured for a new former steelworks site to be regenerated into a recycling facility. Work is due to start next year. The company, whose head

Package enables aggregates specialist to speed up growth office is in Kettering, provides aggregates used in construction and landscaping, such as sand, gravel and stone. It also recycles materials recovered from live building projects so that they can be reused, avoiding overuse of quarries. Recycling in this way means the business saves 300,000 tonnes of useable materials from going to landfill, the company said. Project manager Emily Wright said: “Earls Barton Spinney is our first ever quarry and represents a huge milestone in Storefield’s journey. It means that we now have an end-to-end offering, digging up the materials, supplying them to our customers and also clearing excavated waste from their projects to be recycled and reused for new projects. And the new wash plant

means that we are doing this far more efficiently and sustainably.” After grading and separating the aggregates from the quarry, water used in the wash plant process is filtered into an on-site lagoon and refiltered into the plant to optimise water usage. Ms Wright said: “We know how important recycling and sustainability is becoming to our customers, who are mostly small businesses just starting to make a change. Being able to manage the waste from their projects and ensure it is put back to use, rather than into landfill, gives them the foundations on which they can go on to make an even bigger impact for the environment.” The majority of Storefield’s customers are small to mid-sized

home builders, with the business saying it supports the construction of 3,000 homes each year. This is alongside working on projects for infrastructure and utilities companies and supplying materials for small businesses, including renovators and landscapers. Storefield has previously worked on projects including London’s Olympic Park, as well as major rail infrastructure projects, with the aggregates coming from excavated materials supplied to local businesses. The group is targeting £20 million in turnover by the end of 2024, after recording a turnover of £12 million last year. Stephen Woolridge, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Regeneration and infrastructure projects, as well as home building, carry significant weight in driving economic recovery. Storefield is a good example of a business that has spotted a gap in the market and is moving to meet a growth in demand.”


Sustainability Matters... and business shows why. P11-14

Q& A

A benchmark for economic viability. P16

Nikki Wills, director of Wills Consultants. P19

Dr Johnny Wake, managing partner of Courteenhall Farms near Northampton, is one of six winners of the Bledisloe Gold Medal, presented to those making outstanding contributions to farming for food, people, the environment and profit by Royal Agricultural Society of England. Full story: Page 14.

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ntries for the 2023 Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards have officially opened. The awards are open to all businesses across the Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire area and those that show a ‘significant commercial interest’ in the area, not just existing Chamber members. Businesses must demonstrate excellence, specifically how they have made a pioneering approach to business as well as showing a commitment to furthering the prosperity of the area. This year, there are five categories up for grabs. n Services Business of the Year An outstanding business that provides a skilled service or expertise to customers. n Retail Business of the Year An exceptional business that provides goods directly to consumers. n Industry Award An engineering and manufacturing business that has demonstrated significant contribution to the area’s manufacturing industry. n Chamber Community Award A charity or business that has a significant

Pictured (from left): Chamber president Pritesh Ganatra; Tony Spooner, managing director of AJS Express which won two awards, and keynote speaker Richard Osborne at the 2022 awards ceremony community impact and/or contribution. n Excellence Award A business going above and beyond for its employees, customers and/or the community. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on December 6 at Harrowden Hall. Closing date for entries is October 31, with the finalists revealed at the Chamber’s Autumn Meeting on November 10 at La Luna in Silver Street, Wellingborough. Chamber president Pritesh Ganatra said: “These awards are a celebration of

excellence, innovation and dedication within our business community. We invite all hard-working and forward-thinking organisations to seize this opportunity and showcase their remarkable achievements. “Together, we will shine a spotlight on those businesses who truly excel in their fields and inspire others to reach for new heights.” n To enter the Wellingborough Business Awards, visit

Investment in wellbeing will boost world economy, forum told Ex-government adviser calls for organisations to put people first


hanges in the workplace important as technical mastery accelerated by the and health and wellbeing cost of living crisis, of workers is essential for the pandemic and the war success. in Ukraine, along with poor “I do think there is a management of people have different emphasis on what created unhealthy working leaders should do, what environments that are costing managers should do, but I Professor Anne-Marie Kilday the world economy nine per would agree with this quote: cent of its GDP, a former ‘People, not assets, make a world that is constantly workplace health advisor to organisations thrive,’ and that evolving, where the the government has told a really is the global message dynamics of the workplace going forward,” she said. conference in Northampton. are undergoing rapid change, The three-day conference, the significance of fostering Professor Dame Carol Black called for greater investment which drew more than 100 environments that promote in occupational health. There delegates from 22 countries, the wellbeing of employees, is, she told the Global Healthy brought together businesses and celebrating them cannot Workplace Summit held at the and organisations to discuss be overstated.” University of Northampton, steps to improve the health, Barry Crisp, marketing an increasing blur between wellbeing, and safety of their director for the Global Centre home and office. employees. for Healthy Workplaces and University of Northampton lecturer in marketing and Workers are seeking vice chancellor Professor more autonomy, emotional entrepreneurship at UoN Business Times small add 2019.qxp_Layout 1 19/04/2023 14:43 Page 9 intelligence is becoming as Anne-Marie Kilday said: “In added: “We were inspired by

the stories of the organisations that are leading the way in workplace wellbeing. These organisations are making a real difference to the lives of their employees and they are setting a new standard for what it means to be a healthy workplace. “The ideas and insights that were shared will help organisations all over the world to create healthier, safer and more productive workplaces.”

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Business Times | October 2023


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Business News Careers in the spotlight at college jobs fair


undreds of job opportunities in and around Wellingborough will be on show at a recruitment, careers and skills event hosted by Tresham College at its campus in the town. The event, on October 18, brings together some of the largest and most high-profile employers in the area who are ready to help potential employees to understand the training pathways which are open to them towards new or more rewarding careers. This follows a hugely successful opening event held at Kettering Campus earlier in the year, organised by North Northamptonshire Council, Jobcentre Plus and Tresham College. Cheryl Needham, the college’s head of adult and community learning, said: “Nearly 40 per cent of people are in low-paid work but could develop their skills and step up the promotion ladder with the right encouragement. We want to welcome them to meet employers who are looking to help them achieve their full potential.” The event takes place between 4pm and 6pm. Tresham College is part of The Bedford College Group, and will be advertising its own vacancies to visitors as well as talking to employers about training funding which is available for apprenticeships and continuing professional development of staff. Jobs with North Northamptonshire Council, The Bedford College Group and via Jobcentre Plus will also be promoted to people, together with those from other major employers. Also available are details of training opportunities such as apprenticeships, part-time courses and T Levels. Cllr David Brackenbury, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for growth and regeneration, said: “As a key local employer, we offer a variety of quality job opportunities for all skills and levels in a trusted organisation that values its staff and customers. “In addition to this, as the local authority for the key growth area of North Northamptonshire, we provide a wide range of support for our fantastic business community and are pleased to welcome and work with new businesses of all shapes and sizes, and those that are already wellestablished in the area.”

Family completes garden centre deal A family business with interests in construction, plant hire and building repairs has completed the acquisition of Wellingborough Garden Centre. The Howard family plan to rebrand the business after paying an undisclosed sum for the business. The Howard family are newcomers to the garden centre sector but were one of a total seven offers for the garden centre at Great Doddington off the A45. The sale was handled through specialist business property adviser Christie & Co., which had sold the garden centre on behalf of Wyvale in 2018. “The sale of Wellingborough Garden Centre reinforces the appetite for the garden centre sector, with a diverse range of purchasers, many who are not currently operating a garden centre, keen to enter the market,” said Christie & Co.’s director - garden centre and retail Tom Glanvill, who brokered the

Wellingborough Garden Centre deal.“During the marketing process, we received a wide range of interest and offers from seven potential purchasers and we are delighted to see the Howard family secure the

business. The site offers huge scope for growth and having spoken to the family about their plans, I am sure that the reopening of the café and other improvements will bring this garden

centre back to its full potential.” The Howard family hope that their wealth of experience in horticulture and landscaping will translate into continued success at the soon-to-berebranded garden centre. In a statement, they said: “We are extremely excited in our acquisition of the garden centre and the possibilities for development that come with it. We have visited the garden centre for many years and know the strong reputation for customer service and customer satisfaction that the team remaining in place have worked so hard to maintain.” Its immediate plans centre around refurbishing the café. “We want the already successful business to continue to grow while installing a community feel at the heart of the way we run the business,” the family’s statement said. “We will rebrand to reflect this, trading as Doddington Nurseries for the foreseeable future.”

£5m discounting facility backs business finance company’s plans for expansion


enaissance Asset Finance, a subsidiary of the private and commercial bank, Arbuthnot Latham, has confirmed its support for specialist SME lender One Stop Business Finance with the completion of a block discounting facility.

The Revolving Credit Facility, which was completed in August, backs the group with £5 million to help them achieve their growth objectives. The agreement is a strong endorsement of the development of One Stop Business Finance’s

commitment to investing in business growth, operations and risk procedures while offering a personal approach to commercial finance. Group managing director Andrew Mackenzie said: “Renaissance has invested considerable time in One

Stop Business Finance to get to understand our business. This has resulted in a mutual objective to build a long-term business relationship. In turn, this means that we can focus on sales growth knowing that we are fully funded in the medium term.”

Sophia Loren’s Rolls-Royce joins exclusive hotel programme


t is not the first Rolls- to use the most advanced Royce car to be technology available to transformed from petrol convey passengers in to electric technology. But perfect serenity, privacy few have the story behind and comfort.” this elegant Silver Cloud II. The car is to become Built in 1960, the car’s part of the Lunaz Hotel first owner was the actress Programme. Several Sophia Loren. Now it exclusive hotel operators has been converted to have already commissioned electric power by specialist Lunaz to convert classic upcycling company Lunaz models from Bentley and in its state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce to luxurious factory at Silverstone, ‘house cars’ used to where its technicians have transport guests to and removed the original petrol from airports and provide engine and replaced it with chauffeur service during a specifically engineered their stay. version of Lunaz’s own The vehicles will operate electric powertrain and in regions including Europe, battery. the Middle East, the USA “Every Rolls-Royce has its and South East Asia. own unique and fascinating The Lunaz Hotel story to tell,” said chief Programme also includes executive David Lorenz. bespoke chauffeur “In elevating this beautiful, training by Lunaz’s team historically important of chauffeurs, all former classic to fully electric motorsport professionals, power, we have remained qualified security protection absolutely faithful to its drivers or Police Driving original spirit and purpose: Curriculum instructors. n Read our exclusive interview with David Lorenz in Sustainability Matters: Pages 11-14.

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Business Times | October 2023


Property Portfolio Developer starts work on business park scheme

Consultant fired up by regional award



ew jobs are on the way to West Northamptonshire with the development of a new scheme of industrial and warehouse units at Kislingbury near Northampton. Construction is under way on the Bugbrooke Fields Business Park. The 13 units are available individually or combined and will provide high-quality accommodation ranging from 880 sq ft up to 8,800 sq ft. Each will have eaves height of between four and 5.6 metres and allocated car parking with an EV charging point. The site will also have an access-controlled gate and security lighting. Richard Baker, director of letting agents Prop-Search, said: “There has been a shortage of supply of modern units aimed at the smaller end and local market in the area and even further afield - with limited development in the last few years. “We have already seen a significant level of enquiries from businesses seeking new leasehold space as well as occupiers looking to relocate to the region.” Bugbrooke Fields Business Park is being developed by an experienced warehouse unit developer following its purchase of the 2.8-acre site. The new units are due to be ready for occupation in the spring.

Investor snaps up logistics park


he 55,000 sq ft Boundary43 urban logistics development in Brackley has a new owner. A private investor has completed the purchase of the scheme from developer Chancerygate for an undisclosed sum. Chancerygate development director George Dickens said: “This deal is the culmination of years of hard work and expertise to develop Boundary43 and will help satisfy the strong demand there is for prime urban logistics accommodation in the region.” The site, on the Buckingham

Road industrial estate, houses 14 Grade A units ranging from 2,100 sq ft to 19,200 sq ft. Each has achieved an EPC A and BREEAM Very good rating, are built with high-performance construction materials and benefit from electric vehicle charging points. 15 per cent roof lights to reduce CO2 emissions and occupational energy costs. Founded in 1995, Chancerygate is the UK’s largest urban logistics property developer and asset manager and the only one operating nationwide. The company has

around 2.65 million sq ft of urban logistics space under construction or ready for development across 19 sites ranging from Edinburgh to Chichester. Mr Dickens said: “The sale is also a testament to our product’s sustainability credentials, flexible sizing and proximity to key infrastructure and transport hubs, all of which are attractive to both investors and occupiers.” The scheme is now available to lease through JLL & Brown & Co and has been rebranded Boundary Park.

usiness consultancy Tinderbox has won the 2023 Best Business Consultancy Award for the East Midlands in the Wealth and Finance International competition. “It is great to receive recognition although what is most important is that we deliver for our clients – the factor that has won us this award,” said Tinderbox’s regional director Ian Taylor. “This success is down to our approach which differs substantially from many business consultancies and consultants out there.” Tinderbox have more than 150 top people around the country and has worked with almost 500 businesses over the past decade. “We cover all business disciplines and sectors with real practical experience and knowledge,” said Mr Taylor, pictured. “We can therefore deliver a practical programme which gives our clients a return on investment every time. We always get to the cause of the challenge or the potential of the opportunity.”

YES, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT... If you think you can’t get expert legal advice without it costing a fortune, think again. Review your contracts of employment and staff handbooks… for free In the last few years... There have been two key changes that may affect employment contracts and handbooks. April 2020 saw changes requiring employers to issue written statements including prescribed information to each new worker on or before their first day. The necessary detail require changed e.g. training information must now be included as must all forms of paid leave – including family friendly leave. Hybrid and remote working Another change is the shift in traditional working practices. Gone is the 9-5 office based role, for many replaced with flexible ways of working including hybrid working – potentially here to stay for the medium to long term. Do your contracts and policies adequately cover this? Further likely changes Restrictive covenants: potentially, changes will be made to the future enforceability of restrictive covenants. Check that your contracts provide sufficient protections


Business Times | October 2023

to your organisation’s information as you may find confidential information and (where applicable) IP clauses need updating. Contracts: are yours up to date? Unless your contracts have been revised to take account of the changes, they will not be legally compliant. This may not be an issue for those the organisation employed before April 2020, but it will be an issue for any new hires you have taken on, or you are planning to take on. In conclusion, can you be 100% certain your contracts and handbook reflect your current way of working? What is the cost? There is none – we don’t charge for the review (charges would only apply if you ask us to help update the applicable documents). Contact the Employment Team (EmploymentLaw@, or call 01604 876697 for further information to arrange your free review.

Jennie Jahina is a Partner and Head of the Employment team. A member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Jennie has 23 years’ experience as an employment lawyer and is an accredited CEDR Mediator. Specialising in all aspects of employment law, she routinely acts for both private sector organisations ranging from SMEs to multi-national companies and public sector organisations.

For Northamptonshire’s business news visit

Business News

So satisfying to see projects come to life: Colleagues champion construction careers


o celebrate Careers in Construction Month in October, a Northampton-based construction consultancy has launched a campaign to highlight construction as a profession. The Build A Career at Bhangals campaign aims to highlight the roles available in the sector through the words of those who have built a career at Bhangals. Bhangals Construction Consultants has come a long way since its conception in founder Parm Bhangal’s childhood bedroom more than a decade ago. Since then, it has grown to a workforce of more than 20, who carry out roles from estimation to full project management.

Pictured (from left): Harrison Baxter, Yasmyn Thorneycroft, Katie Newman and Kieran Rollings. Inset: Parm Bhangal

Operations manager Katie Newman is one who will be sharing her story as part of the campaign “Before I started my career in construction, I had no experience and this can be daunting,” she said. “However I have learned so much in the last four years which has

ultimately got me to the role I am in today. “The industry offers a wide range of job opportunities based on various skill sets so there are lots of different routes to go down. It also offers the satisfaction of seeing projects come to life and that can feel

very rewarding.” Estimating manager Harrison Baxter loves the fact that the sector is full of opportunity. “Construction can support many ways of thinking,” he said. “A logical thinker can be successful in aiding the planning and

programming of projects, whereas someone with a creative and precise eye for detail may enjoy crafting bespoke items for clients’ projects.” Estimator Yasmyn Thorneycroft has followed in her builder father’s footsteps. “We grew up on building sites and I was always intrigued by

the start right through to the end of the projects. Now I work in the industry, every day is different. One day you could be pricing an extension on a family home in London and the next day you could be pricing a school in Scotland. You learn so much.” When senior estimator Kieran Rollings left school, he completed a Level 3 in construction management and the built environment at college. “I would highly recommend a career in the construction industry as there are many different pathways where you can develop, grow new skills and take on new roles and responsibilities to further your career.”

Ex-students complete event company MBO From work placement to buy-out, S friends become business partners even years ago they arrived as events management students for work placements. Now Charlotte Disbury and Atlanta Benham have completed the management buy-out of their events business employer. The two University of Northampton graduates took jobs with the company, developed their careers and are now the proud owners of CJS Events, based at Pytchley near Kettering. They have taken over from former Metropolitan Police officer Kevin Shapland, who founded the business in 2004. He began by bringing police conferences in-house but soon developed a partnership with the events management team at the university’s Faculty of Business and Law taking on full-time work placements. CJS now has around 20 clients at any one time, in the public sector including the police and health service as well as private sector clients. Mr Shapland has gradually passed responsibility to the two women over the past two years. “I had approaches from a couple of third parties for the business but I thought that actually I had spent 20

years building this up, I did not want someone to take it on and tear it apart,” he said. “I would rather place it in the safe hands of Charlotte and Atlanta and assist them with mentoring so they are able to take on an established business at the ages of 26 and 27 and can take it to the next level. “I sat down with Atlanta and Charlotte and the rest of the team at the start of Covid and said our goals were to make sure the business survived and that they still had jobs by the end of it. But that was reliant on them being willing to adapt. “And because of their ability to adapt, we ended Covid with more clients than we started with. They came to us because we were quick to go online and have stayed with us now that they are going back to live events.” Taking on the company is a daunting prospect but one of Ms Benham’s life ambitions is to have her own business. “If I sit down and think ‘I’m a managing director,’ it

is a big concept to process,” said Ms Benham, who lives in Northampton. “But I am also confident Kevin would not have taken this step if he did not believe in us to carry on running the business for another 20-plus years.” Added Ms Disbury, who is from Swindon: “Sometimes I cannot believe it actually happened, that this is our life now and how much we have achieved. I am proud of everything we have done, going from university and building it up to this stage in six years. There is a bit of imposter syndrome. We are still doing events and our day-to-day jobs so in some ways nothing has changed but it has and we have to remind ourselves we own the company now.” Working with the University of Northampton has affirmed Mr Shapland’s belief in investing in the younger generation. “As a boss, I found you get some great ideas from students. Working with the uni also allowed me to help develop the curriculum and

Charlotte Disbury and Atlanta Benham are pictured with Kevin Shapland and CJS colleagues Elly Lacatusu (left) and Rachel Fletcher (right)

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any gaps in the knowledge of students on placement have been addressed as the course was updated. “When people first start with me, the first thing I say is that we are going to sit down in three months and I will want you to tell me what we could

be doing better, are there any other areas of improvement, because they will have a fresh set of eyes.” Of CJS Events’ new owners he added: “They are both absolutely dedicated to the job and to the profession. They have complimentary

skills - Atlanta is very meticulous, Charlotte is very creative, they make a great combination. “The challenge for them now is that they have gone from being friends and colleagues first to 50-50 business partners.”



SYWELL AERODROME, SYWELL, NORTHAMPTON T: 01604 801620 E: W: Business Times | October 2023


Business News

Building giant invests millions in 400-crane fleet upgrade Investment will boost efficiency B and support drive to net zero Council and SEMLEP join forces at exhibition


he South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Hub business support service teamed up with its counterpart at West Northamptonshire Council to promote the range of free business support available in the county at the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Exhibition. They manned one of around 70 stands at Franklin’s Gardens, home of Northampton RUFC, for the event which attracted hundreds of visitors. The council also highlighted its e-commerce and tourism app ExploreWN. Growth Hub manager Ruth Roan said: “It is always fantastic to connect with the hundreds of local businesses

from across Northamptonshire and share the wide variety of professional support available to help their business thrive.” Cllr Dan Lister, cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, added: “We are dedicated to delivering economic prosperity in West Northants and want to work in collaboration with as many partners and stakeholders as possible to achieve our vision. West Northants is the ideal location for investment and business growth and we will do everything possible to support businesses at all stages and of all sizes.” The finalists in the Chamber’s Northamptonshire Business Awards were also announced at the exhibition.

uilding materials distributor Travis Perkins has made a multi-million pound investment in new cranes for loading and unloading its delivery vehicles. The HIAB iX.162 HIPRO BSS-2 cranes are the first of their kind and will replace existing cranes on the group’s heavy side delivery vehicles in the Travis Perkins merchanting and Keyline Civils Specialist businesses over the next three years. Travis Perkins has ordered a total 400 of the cranes from manufacturer Hiab. They will improve sustainability, safety and efficiency for customers, the company said. The version of the HIAB iX.162 crane chosen by Travis Perkins is around 150 kgs lighter in weight than the previous model, which enables delivery trucks to increase payload and reduce fuel consumption. However, the new model is stronger than its predecessor, giving operators more flexibility and the ability to deliver heavy loads safely and

with greater accuracy. “These new cranes represent a significant investment,” said Richard Byrne, HSE & fleet director at Travis Perkins Group’s headquarters in Northampton. “They support our plans to innovate and grow and they cement our place as a leading partner to construction by serving our customers with improved safety and efficiency.”

All new cranes will come with a maintenance contract with Hiab, he added. “They also support our own commitment to net zero and the decarbonisation of our customers’ supply chain, a commitment we share with Hiab, whose values very much align with our own.” Safety and environmental factors are more important considerations for customers


Jennie Jahina is a specialist employment lawyer, helping all sizes and types of private sector business, and public sector organisations. Jennie deals with strategic projects (restructuring, compliance, business relocations and outsourcing/insourcing exercises), day-to-day operational and people management matters, and employment tribunal representation.

Agency welcomes new recruits to expansion plan


ecruitment agency Simon Acres Group, which specialises in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom sector, has added three new recruitment consultants to its payroll. Konrad Fibi has worked in recruitment for three years and joins Leah Bray and Michael Bayley at the

company’s head office in Kettering. Their arrivals are part of the company’s expansion of its building construction team, said managing director Simon Acres. “It has been wonderful to see them settle into their new roles so well,” he adds. “We are proud to be the go-

KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE PULSE OF BUSINESS IN NORTHAMPTONSHIRE or scan the QR code >> To feature or comment email:

when considering a purchase, said Gage Roberts, Hiab’s key account manager - UK & Ireland. “We are all very excited to get this unit out working in the field,” he added. “The new crane has an abundance of innovations that will all work towards this crane being the safest, most efficient and most productive crane in the industry.” The new 400 HIAB cranes will be rolled out from January and will be supplied to Travis Perkins and Keyline with HiConnect telematics in order to monitor the performance and safe operation of the crane. Alexander Gelis, vice president for sales and product management, loader cranes light and medium at Hiab, said: “We expect the crane operators to see immediate benefits. We look forward to working with Travis Perkins and bringing about real change to the wider UK industry.”

to recruitment agency for many businesses in the KBB and construction industries so it is important that we stay ahead of the curve for the businesses that put their trust in us.”

If you need help with employment issues, call Jennie on 0800 088 6004.

“I pride myself on providing practical and clear advice, striving for outcomes that save businesses time, money, stress and reputation… It’s what I do.”

n Pictured: Konrad Fibi, Leah Bray and Michael Bayley

Jennie Jahina Head of Employment

0800 088 6004

Business Times | October 2023


Business News

Joint venture: Choose the correct structure


s a business owner preparing for a joint venture, you and your potential partner will need to decide how best to structure the business arrangement, so that it provides the best platform for your mutual objectives. “Several factors will influence your choice of legal structure, including the scope of the project, its likely duration, the level of risk, taxation and funding,” said Tom Bodkin, a partner at Borneo Martell Turner Coulston. ‘The decision whether or not to incorporate should be made very carefully.’ The key choice will be whether to set up a new limited company as the vehicle for your joint venture. If you decide against a new company, the two main nonincorporated options are either a legal partnership or a more straightforward contractual arrangement.

The final option would perhaps be a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), which is akin to a hybrid between a partnership and a company, but this is rarer and most suited to scenarios where multiple individuals are actively involved as opposed to companies. The biggest advantage of setting up a new company is that the liability in the joint venture will be restricted to the capital and assets of that new company. This means that your respective businesses, as joint venture partners, will be broadly shielded from the majority of the liability arising from the joint venture. On the other hand, the limited company route is more burdensome from an administrative perspective, particularly if the joint venture is not going to be a long-term arrangement or is only to carry out a specific project. A simple contractual arrangement also does not

Tom Bodkin provide protection from liability, but it can be a highly effective and efficient way of structuring a short-term or project-based venture. Also, a contractual arrangement is the fastest way to get a new joint venture off the ground, so this is likely to appeal if time is of the essence. Finally, while a LLP does have the benefit of limited liability, it is not suited to a joint venture between companies owing to the lack of transferable shareholding and because individuals must act as agents of the LLP.

n If you are looking for legal assistance in connection with your joint venture, our lawyers will guide you at each step of the way from planning, negotiating, creating the structure, and then drafting and agreeing the required documents. For an informal discussion, contact Tom Bodkin at Borneo Martell Turner Coulston on 01604 622101 on 01604 622101 or email

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Business Times | October 2023


ajor work is now complete to connect a new rail to road freight interchange with the West Coast main line. Network Rail engineers worked nine days around the clock to enable future freight trains to travel from one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use passenger and freight routes to the new SEGRO logistics park in Northampton. The work has seen new track, points and signalling systems installed to connect the existing railway to new sidings at the underconstruction freight facility. When complete next year,

it will provide five million square ft of warehouse space and employ up to 7,000 people. The new railway connection, which will be used by freight company Maritime, will see thousands of tonnes of goods switch between rail and road beside Junction 15 of the M1. Once operational, four freight trains will serve the new Northampton interchange each day - with the capacity for more in future. James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “Connecting this new freight interchange to the mainline railway network

is a huge milestone.” The West Coast Main Line is one of the busiest freight routes in Europe, carrying 40 per cent of UK rail freight traffic. The interchange is due to be operational in 2024. John Williams, Maritime executive chairman, said: “Building and operating modern, inland rail freight interchanges enables us to deliver terminal to terminal rail solutions and highly efficient rail to door and door to rail services for our customers who are looking for long-term supply chain protection and sustainable transport solutions.”


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RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS Park owner partners with Jaguar on UK’s largest energy storage system


helveston Renewable Energy & Innovation Park in North Northamptonshire continues to be at the centre of technological innovation. The facility has now partnered with the UK’s largest car manufacturer to use secondlife EV batteries to store energy generated from the on-site solar installations. Jaguar Land Rover has teamed up with the park’s owner Wykes Engineering to develop one of the UK’s largest energy storage systems comprising second-life car batteries. The scheme will see residual capacity from secondlife batteries harnessed to store excess solar energy generated on site, which can then be supplied to occupiers of the Innovation Park or released back into the National Grid. Chelveston Renewable Energy Park currently generates up to circa 200GWh from the wind and sun - enough to supply around 24,000 homes with green energy. Used batteries from Jaguar I-PACE vehicles will be combined into large-scale energy storage systems that will be installed across the park.

The initial aim of the initiative is to store up to 7.5 megawatt hours - enough to power 750 homes a day - by the end of this year. David Wykes, managing director of Wykes Engineering, said that the partnership with Jaguar Land Rover could present a solution to potentially costly grid capacity issues. “One of the major benefits of the system we have developed is that the containers are connected to the grid in such a way that they can absorb solar energy that could otherwise be lost when the grid reaches capacity,” Mr Wykes said. “This excess energy can now be stored in the second life I-PACE batteries and discharged later. This allows us to ‘overplant’ the solar park and maximise the amount of power we generate for the area of land we are using.” Chelveston Renewable Energy & Innovation Park is located on a former airfield covering some 750 acres in the heart of the Oxford Cambridge Arc in North Northamptonshire. The park combines wind, solar, battery storage, green hydrogen generation and future peak lopping grid reinforcement/

on-site Renewable Energy Park. The Innovation Park can provide for up to 354,145 sq ft of floor space in buildings from circa 50,000 sq ft and is set to become a centre for businesses to accelerate towards a zero-carbon future. The first building on site is now available to let, providing some 84,500 sq ft including two storey offices at 11.2 metres high, four level access and three dock level loading doors and roof mounted solar. The I-PACE battery storage system redundancy technologies to deliver large-scale renewable energy supplies to the Innovation Park and National Grid. Advised and represented by

commercial property consultant Prop-Search, the Innovation Park offers bespoke buildings to occupier requirements with a direct wire power feed from the

n For more information on this project and the opportunities available, contact Prop-Search director Simon Toseland on 01933 223300 or email

Seeds of sustainability can make a business bloom Luke Simmons, of award-winning house builder Cora Homes, explains why the business is putting its commitment to future generations ahead of maximising its profits.


ur country continues to endure a turbulent economy as the bleak reality of the global climate crisis slowly starts to register with more and more people. Given the uncertainty of the markets, now might seem a strange time to consider implementing sustainable changes to your business - but it really is not. Almost one year ago to the day, we rebranded our business from Barwood Homes to Cora, signalling a shift to a profit-withpurpose business model that puts sustainability at its heart. Our commitment to creating amazing places has remained unwavering but we have recognised our responsibility as a housebuilder to create climate-resilient communities built for the future. And we put that commitment above maximising profit. That shift has seen us make numerous pledges, from halving our

carbon emissions by 2030 ahead of our ultimate 2050 net zero goals to stopping the installation of fossil fuel heating systems in our homes by 2025. But we know that actions speak larger than words. That is why we are delivering change now. Our first sustainability report, published in January, showed the great strides we have made so far as a business. That includes recycling 96 per cent of construction waste in the previous financial year, totalling 374 tonnes - the equivalent weight of 31 double decker buses. We also contributed more than £11,900 towards nature preservation around our sites and planted more than 9,000 trees and shrubs. We have partnered with organisations that share our commitment to creating a greener world and have acted ahead of government legislation to deliver biodiversity net gain on our developments.

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Find out more about Cora Homes, winner of the Sustainability award at this year’s SME Northamptonshire Business Awards, and the climate-resilient communities it is creating at

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Luke Simmons

Photo: Anna Lukala

We do not do what we do because of legal obligations. We do not do it because ESG is the buzzword that so many businesses are latching on to right now. We do it because we recognise the role we all have to play in combatting this crisis and protecting our future generations. Our commitment has seen us build a truly effective strategy that goes beyond box ticking exercises. Thankfully, this is something our

customers are fully behind and I am pleased to say these changes are having a positive impact within our business. The demand for sustainable homes continues to increase. Our customers know they are not only buying future-proofed, energy-efficient homes that save them money on their monthly energy bills. They are buying genuine, excellent quality. And that is reflected in our incredible customer reviews. We are now introducing offsite construction on select homes, significantly cutting carbon

emissions while providing the highest quality build. We have already received great feedback on these homes and are excited to invest further in this new technology. More developments are in the pipeline across the Midlands that we cannot wait to get started on. This is an incredibly exciting time for our business and it all started because we made that shift to a more sustainable model. To those yet to consider making the switch, I implore you to consider planting the seed and watching the benefits blossom.

Business Times | October 2023


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RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS Manufacturer strikes eco gold


taff at adhesive manufacturer Cartell UK in Corby are celebrating after the firm received a top rating from a worldwide sustainability rating platform. Ecovadis has awarded the company Gold Certification for its commitment to sustainability, responsible business practices and dedication to making a positive impact on the environment. Marketing and sales manager Rory Spick said: “Achieving the Gold

Certification places us in the top echelon of organisations dedicated to sustainable and responsible business practices. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team.” Now Cartell UK is planning how to improve its sustainability activity still further. “Our journey towards sustainability is far from over,” Mr Spick said. “We will continue to strive for excellence in our environmental and social initiatives.”

David Lorenz, founder and chief executive of vehicle upcycling specialist Lunaz, talks to Andrew Gibbs about his passion for classic cars, his heartfelt advocacy of sustainability and his determination to create a legacy for the planet and for his daughter’s and subsequent generations.

Shoe maker acts on waste


ritain’s oldest shoe manufacturer has praised the results of bringing in a waste management and recycling specialist to help the company to improve its recycling and carbon footprint reduction. Tricker’s, founded in 1829 and which has been manufacturing footwear at its current factory in Northampton since 1904, recruited Cawleys last year to overhaul its waste and recycling operation. 12 months on, the

manufacturer is celebrating a significant reduction in its waste miles and increased recycling, with produced waste either being recycled or reused to create energy. Cawleys installed its customer portal to enable Tricker’s to monitor compliance, assess its waste production and set improvement targets. “All this is helping us achieve our sustainability strategy and goals,” said Tricker’s product development and operations manager François Maldonnat.

Posts highlight new plastic rules


awleys has launched a campaign to help hospitality businesses and food retailers to understand the new rules regarding single use plastics. From October 1, businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single use plastic items in England. The ban includes all single-use items wholly or partially made from plastic, including cutlery, trays, plates, bowls and balloon sticks as well as some polystyrene cups and food containers. Organisations that flout the


ban risk being fined. Now Cawleys is releasing a series of social media posts and working with its clients to clarify the rule changes and to help businesses to prepare. Strategy and communications director Anna Cawley said: “We recognise the significant impact this will have on retailers, takeaways, food vendors and the hospitality industry. Our campaign is designed to help those businesses understand the ban, exemptions and avoid a fine.”

Business Times | October 2023


aiting beside his stranded car at the side of the road for the repair technician to arrive, David Lorenz had his ‘lightbulb’ moment. All his life he has held a strong passion for the classics and, as a committed driver, wanted to create a car that combines the beauty of a classic with the dynamics and usability of a modern car. His business vision was to deliver the answer to the burning questions of usability, reliability and sustainability. Turning that vision into a reality had been put into sharper focus by the birth of his daughter. A serial entrepreneur, he had steered an exit from his previous venture, a hospitality business. His focus was the potential mass redundancy of the two billion internal combustion enginepowered vehicles on the planet. His answer is Lunaz, a company that had grown to be one of the largest employers in the advanced engineering cluster at Silverstone and a world leader in both the renaissance of the world’s most famous classic cars and in extending the working life of commercial vehicles. “For Luna, my daughter, not to have access to a car like the Mercedes-Benz 190SL when she is of driving age would be a tragedy,” said Mr Lorenz. “Without building Lunaz, this is the reality she faces. I wanted to respond to the demands of those drawn to the beauty and romance of classic cars but reject them because the current proposition does not align with their sensibilities and lifestyle requirements.” The company name is a tribute to Luna. Mr Lorenz is focused on ensuring that the classic cars that have bred such passion for him today can be enjoyed by a generation for whom sustainability and relevance will steer every purchasing decision. “We have the opportunity simply by changing our purchasing models and by changing the way that we manufacture to save untold billions,” said Mr Lorenz, a passionate advocate of companies investing in their environmental, social and governance

ESG: Fundamental to what a company should aspire to be (ESG) in order to optimise their impact on the environment, society and the organisation’s performance. “In every area of life there is a strong focus on ESG. We are trying to be an assertive force for the automotive industry to deal with its fundamental problems. ESG is no longer a ‘nice to have’: it is fundamental to what any company should aspire to be.” Business has an important role to play in driving the sustainability agenda. “It is absolutely fundamental,” said Mr Lorenz. “There is an urgent requirement for every facet of the way we behave as human beings and as businesses to preserve the precious resources we have. Enormous progress is being made but there is much more we can do still.” His advice to organisations of all sizes is to squeeze every drop of use and value out of every part of the business. “Think about how you can sweat the investment you have already made. It saves money, it saves energy, it saves materials and it saves precious resources for the planet. The same applies in the home. Think about how you can be more efficient; create a culture of turning lights off, switching off air conditioning; use less wherever possible. I am a great believer in the effect of what may seem merely marginal gains. Do not dismiss the marginal gains in finding efficiencies in every area of your operation.” Lunaz became reality in 2018. The company hired the best engineering, design and manufacturing talent, handpicked from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, Formula 1, Jaguar, Volkswagen,

McLaren and Rolls-Royce by Mr Lorenz and his Lunaz co-founder John Hilton, a former technical director at the Renault F1 team. Those technical experts design, develop and manufacture Lunaz’s proprietary electric powertrain solution, flexible enough to be applied to a wide range of classic cars and now to the upcycling of commercial vehicles, beginning with local authority refuse collection trucks. The company is already working with waste management giant Biffa and Buckinghamshire County Council to upcycle their fleets to electric. Following the launch of the world’s first electric Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Range Rover and Jaguar sports cars, Lunaz secured investment in 2021 from institutional names including the Barclay, Reuben and Dallal families as well as former Manchester United and England captain David Beckham. “The growth of the Lunaz Group affirms the UK’s status as a leader in the development of clean-air automotive technologies,” Mr Lorenz said. “Firms like Lunaz which operate in the principles of the circular economy show that British industry can provide potent answers to the global need to transition to less impactful industrial practices.” The Lunaz Group has committed long term to the UK and specifically Silverstone as its global headquarters and aims to manage a network of manufacturing facilities placed close to its major global markets. The company is in discussions with European >>

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RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS Council signs up to Sustainability Accord


David Lorenz, pictured (left) at the Lunaz factory at Silverstone and (above) with investor David Beckham

>> governments and in the USA seeking to build long-term clean tech jobs growth. Currently 50 classic cars are in build at the Silverstone factory, each priced at between £400,000 and £1 million. The next batch of deliveries is expected early next year. The Silverstone factory currently employs around 175 highly skilled technicians, with plans to grow the payroll to some 300 as the work on commercial and industrial vehicles gathers momentum. “We want to prove that upcycling at the highest level is possible and practical,” said Mr Lorenz.

With the UK government set to ban the manufacture of new ICE-powered vehicles by 2030, the need for efficient alternative processes is as great as it has ever been, he added. “We do not think anything of getting on a train that has been running for the past 25 years or on a plane that has been flying for 20 years. We should be taking the same view on our vehicles, looking after them and updating them rather than replace with new. I want to create a legacy for my daughter and her generation. We have to look after the planet and we and future generations will all be better for it.”

est Northamptonshire Council has reinforced its commitment to sustainability by signing the Northampton Sustainability Accord. The Accord, unveiled following the University of Northampton Sustainability Summit in May, brings together stakeholders including local and national businesses, governmental and third sector organisations to move towards more sustainable practices. The Northampton Sustainability Accord recognises the significance of collective action in addressing shared sustainability challenges. It aims to establish a framework for collaboration among stakeholders to achieve mutually agreed sustainability goals. West Northamptonshire Council has committed to achieving Net Zero for its own emissions by 2030 and Net Zero West Northants emissions by 2045. Council leader

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, inset, said: “The Northampton Sustainability Accord reflects our deep and shared commitment to sustainability as well as our dedication to the work we need to do together to address our shared sustainability challenges. Like many other organisations across the country, we are aware of our climate impact and are dedicated to changing our relationship with the environment to make a difference today and for future generations.” Sustainability goes beyond climate change and the environment, he added. “It encompasses all forms of development and activity and therefore to be truly sustainable we must look at how we are developing socially, economically and environmentally. These cannot be looked at in isolation and must be considered as an interconnected whole and the Northampton Sustainability Accord,

along with the Sustainability Local Innovation and Partnership Agenda Hub, represents a huge step forward.” The council remains dedicated to pursuing solutions and working with all stakeholders to achieve its sustainability goals. It has made three key Sustainability Pledges: n To net zero its own emissions by 2030 and those of residents and businesses by 2045; n To take a community leadership role for sustainability; n To ensure all council strategies and policies are aligned to and contribute to the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Ebenezer Laryea, chair for the University of Northampton’s Sustainability Summit, said: “We are proud of the leadership we have exercised in working in partnership with WNC and others to mobilise the stakeholder community to agree the Northampton Sustainability Accord and take more robust action for sustainability.”

Advertisement Feature

Northampton Science Park reflects on its solar success In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, Northampton Science Park took a significant step towards reducing their environmental footprint and energy expenditure. They enlisted the expertise of Environmental Energies Ltd, based in Market Harborough, a renowned solar panel installation company , to harness the power of the sun effectively. Northampton Science Park’s primary objective was to diminish their reliance on the grid, aligning with their commitment to sustainability and cost-efficiency. This decision offered a number of benefits: substantial cost savings, a commitment to environmental responsibility, and an attractive proposition for potential tenants keen on sustainability. By generating over 110,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually, Northampton Science Park has significantly reduced its carbon emissions. This marks a substantial stride towards a more sustainable future. The financial benefits of this solar venture are equally impressive. With an annual energy equivalent of £44,000 (calculated at 40p per kWh), the savings are substantial. These savings not only offer immediate financial gains but also represent a sustainable, long-term investment.

Environmental Energies Ltd opted for Tier 1 panels and inverters, ensuring maximum efficiency and durability. This choice guarantees Northampton Science Park uninterrupted access to solar power for years to come. The installation boasts an impressive annual energy generation of 110,000 kWh, significantly offsetting the park’s energy needs. Equally remarkable is the swift return on investment, with a payback period of just three years. This means that the initial investment will be recouped quickly, leaving Northampton Science Park with years of virtually free energy. The entire solar panel installation project was completed within a mere three weeks, minimising operational disruptions at the park while maximising the advantages of clean, renewable energy. The collaboration between Environmental Energies Ltd and Northampton Science Park underscores the potential positive influence of solar energy on both businesses and the environment. This initiative has not only cut emissions and energy expenses but also demonstrated a commitment to a sustainable future. The case study serves as an inspiring example of how companies can make a difference while enjoying substantial financial returns through clean, renewable energy sources.

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Best practice is preserving a long and proud legacy


ommunity, legacy and sustainability lies at the heart of every decision made at Courteenhall Farms. Alongside its traditional activity farming beef and arable crops is a pioneering energy portfolio and a business that is leading the way on carbon in the agricultural sector. The business has changed markedly in the past decade since Dr Johnny Wake left his career to take over the running of the farm that has been in the family for more than three centuries. And such has been the progress that Dr Wake is one of six recipients of the Bledisloe Gold Medal, presented to those making outstanding contributions to farming for food, people, the environment and profit at the annual Royal Agricultural Society of England’s

Awards Day held this year at the Royal Windsor Estate. Dr Wake’s family has been in south Northamptonshire since the 13th century and has farmed at Courteenhall, near Roade, for over 350 year. “It is a real honour to be awarded the Bledisloe Gold Medal for Landowners and it is a testimony to the hard work of the whole team at Courteenhall,” he said. “We are a family-run business committed to farming as sustainably as possible, working with and protecting the environment and pushing the boundaries so we can be at the vanguard of positive change.” Since his arrival as managing partner, the estate has brought in a range of diverse and sustainable practices, investing in cutting-edge technology, increasing biodiversity

Dr Johnny Wake and soil health, maximising its use of natural fertilisers and reintroducing traditional Hereford cattle and rare breed sheep.

“We have a long and proud legacy to preserve and we are passionate about supporting the local community and protecting the environment for future

generations,” said Dr Wake. Other projects at Courteenhall Farms include renewable energy technology including multiple ground and air source heat pumps and solar thermal arrays, a rainwater harvest system and taking part in two pilot schemes to improve soil carbon. Dr Wake, a Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, also sits on the Country Landowners’ Association’s national policy committee and is a committee member of Wildlife Farms and Estates England. RASE chief executive David Grint said: “Dr Wake puts community, sustainability and legacy at the heart of every decision made, demonstrating an exceptional model of best practice and one which sets examples for estates across the whole of England.”

Advertisement Feature

Sustainability and looking after the planet is becoming a key factor in business decision-making at all levels. This is an important thing to keep in mind, particularly when purchasing office furniture. As this gives a business an opportunity to make a difference as well as enhancing their brand identity. Step forward iOTA Interiors. The Northampton-based company is well aware of its responsibilities to its clients and to the environment. That is why they are delivering furniture made totally from recycled materials through a trailblazing partnership with Dutch furniture manufacturer Vepa. iOTA Interiors clients are loving the Plastic Whale by Vepa range of desks, chairs, storage and office and boardroom tables on display at iOTA Interiors’ showroom at Quinton Green Business Park. The range is flexible, functional, stylish and comfortable… and is manufactured from PET bottles recovered from the canals of Amsterdam. The bottles are recycled to produce a unique material for this sustainable furniture. Once the products eventually reach the end of their life, they are broken down to be reused or to be upcycled into a new product once again. Nothing about an office refit or refresh should be a compromise - style is important but so is comfort. You need a room where your team feels


Business Times | October 2023

Refreshing the workplace, helping the environment productive and inspired but also one which impresses visitors when they step through the door. “The furniture looks stunning and we’re so proud to partner with Plastic Whale by Vepa to bring this furniture here,” said iOTA Interiors director Emma Walker. “Awareness is growing throughout the business community of the

importance of looking after our environment and we think it’s just brilliant that items as stylish, functional and good-looking as these, made from material that is among the world’s biggest environmental headaches – plastic bottles – are being manufactured and sold.” Emma and fellow director Daniel Walker

founded iOTA Interiors three years ago and have a growing reputation for delivering bespoke projects of all sizes and prices to their customer base. The business offers project design, space planning and believes they have the right products to met the needs of today’s workplace. Every project begins with a detailed consultation from which iOTA Interiors’ experts gain a full understanding of the business, people, the client’s brand identity and what the client is looking to achieve by investing in its space. iOTA Interiors then produces 2D plans and 3D visuals, giving the client their first insight into the potential of their space, by both enhancing their brand as well as creating a functional, inspirational workspace.. “It’s not just about how it looks,” said Emma. “We have to make sure that comfort, ergonomics and agile working are taken into account and it has to meet the health and wellbeing needs of your employees. Furniture can be a significant investment and so it’s important to look at all factors when you’re creating the office you want.”

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Advertisement Feature

EV salary sacrifice: An important benefit with sizeable savings With plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars now making up the lion’s share of all new vehicle orders, salary sacrifice schemes are leading the way as the cheapest form of EV funding. According to Steve Beadle, head of salary sacrifice at Grosvenor Leasing, who are based in Kettering and have been in Northamptonshire for over 40 years, company employees can drive an electric car for up to 40% less with salary sacrifice compared to a personal lease. And there are advantages for the company too. Grosvenor Leasing’s offering is risk-free, which is a key factor for businesses that are looking to quickly implement a scheme, as it comes with protection against

employees leaving the company, or going on extended sick or maternity/paternity leave. “Never before have we seen such swift uptake in a funding solution,” said Steve. “The reason is all down to the very low benefit in kind tax (BIK) on electric cars, which has resulted in salary sacrifice becoming by far the cheapest way to source an EV. “Put simply, if an employee decides to sacrifice a portion of their salary for an electric car, the amount of income tax and National Insurance contributions they pay will reduce. “Their employer then provides them with a fully funded, maintained and insured electric car, on which they will only be paying very low benefit in kind tax. This provides an immediate saving

compared to buying that vehicle or funding it through a personal lease and the employer also gains by making Class 1a NI savings as well as offering an additional staff benefit at no extra cost. “A unique aspect of our salary sacrifice scheme is that it is also risk-free as it comes with protection against employees leaving the company, or going on extended sick or maternity/ paternity leave. “This is a particularly important feature of our offering because it means companies can implement it with complete peace of mind. “It’s also very straightforward to put in place and with minimal input or administration it can be implemented swiftly - quickly becoming a very important staff benefit offering sizeable savings.”

To give a flavour of the potential savings of salary sacrifice compared to an employee funding a car through a personal lease...

n A 20% tax payer choosing a MG MG4 Hatchback 125kW SE EV 51kWh 5dr Auto on a 3 year lease, covering 10,000 miles a year would save £151.83 per month. n A 40% tax payer choosing a Cupra Born Electric Hatchback 150kW V2 58kWh 5dr Auto covering 10,000 miles a year over 3 years would save £201.62 per month. n A 40% tax payer choosing a Tesla Model Y Hatchback Long Range AWD 5dr Auto with 10,000 miles a year over 3 years would save £351.64 per month. | T: 01536 536 536 | E:

SAVE UP TO 40% ON ELECTRIC CARS WITH RISK FREE SALARY SACRIFICE Grosvenor Leasing’s Salary Sacrifice scheme for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles and Electric Vehicles can save your employees as much as 40% per month compared to a personal lease, with financial and environmental advantages for your business too. Risk Free and Minimal Administration It also comes with protection against employees leaving the company, or going on extended sick or maternity/ paternity leave, and there is minimal input required to put it in place. It means businesses can implement the scheme with complete peace of mind, and without being overwhelmed with lots of administration.

Benefits to Employees and Employers Employees sacrifice a portion of their gross salary in return for a fully maintained, taxed and insured company vehicle, at very competitive rates. The employer gains by making Class 1A National Insurance savings as well as offering an additional staff benefit, at no extra cost. With many exciting electric cars available, such as the Tesla Model Y, Cupra Born and Polestar 2 (all shown to the right), now is a great time to be offering a ULEV and EV Salary Sacrifice scheme.

For more information, why not speak to one of our Ultra Low Emission and Electric Vehicle Salary Sacrifice experts Telephone 01536 536 536 or email

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Business Times | October 2023


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Budget: A benchmark for economic viability


budget is one of the most, if not the most important document in your business, at least in the context of financial control writes Adrian Goodman, of PPX Consulting. A vital part of your performance evaluation which is, in itself essential to establishing control in your business - your budget provides a benchmark against which to compare your performance and assess the economic viability of your business. When I mention the word ‘budget’, people often associate it with spending restrictions. That is understandable when you consider that most people’s initial experience of a budget is some form of household budget. A shopping budget, for example, Christmas budget or holiday spending money. Similarly, big purchases such as houses and cars will normally have a budget assigned to them which cannot be exceeded. The reason for this is not hard to see. A household generally receives a finite level of income and is therefore constrained in how

much of that income can be allocated to different types of expenditure. In this situation it makes perfect sense to assign restrictions to avoid running out of cash. A commercial budget is a different concept entirely. Rather than restricting spend based on a fixed amount of income, the approach should be the best use of that income in the pursuit of MORE income. The focus shifts from restricting spend to optimising spend and in many ways the goal is to spend MORE money as long as that spending will generate sales or improve margins. For example adding another salesperson will hopefully lead to increased revenues, even though you will incur the cost of an additional salary. Upgrading your machinery may cost more in the short term but reduce running costs in the long term. Booking a stand at an exhibition may cost a lot of money but if it generates more profit than it costs, it s money well spent. The key to effective budgeting is to be realistic and practical. A budget is neither a forecast - which is generally the extrapolation of

a trend - or a target : what you hope to achieve if you really push yourself. It should not be optimistic or pessimistic; it should be the most realistic estimate of your expected performance based on the resources you have at your disposal. It should also be based on something you can measure: for example - expected sales volume x expected selling price = sales budget. This ensures that you will be able to analyse results later on and pinpoint the reasons why you fell short. After all, there are only two ways you can miss your sales budget. Either you did not sell enough volume or you sold it too cheap (or a combination of the two). Having this information in your budget will make your analysis and decision-making a breeze. To create a budget that will provide all this functionality takes time and patience. In some cases you may need to enlist the help of others in your organisation and sometimes it will take several drafts to get it right but all this time and effort will be worth it when you have a roadmap to success. Adrian Goodman is managing director of PPX Consulting and author of Achieving Profitable Growth, a guide to establishing financial control in business. 01536 856740

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Business Times | October 2023

Matthew Rigby-White


n today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the importance of digital marketing cannot be ignored writes Matthew Rigby-White, founder and chief executive of digital marketing agency Qoob. I have witnessed at first hand how digital marketing has transformed the way businesses connect with their target audiences, drive growth and achieve their goals. In this article, I share my insights into why digital marketing is indispensable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We live in the digital age where the internet has become integral to our daily lives. People turn to the web to search for information, connect with friends, and shop for products and services. For you, this presents an unparalleled opportunity to reach and engage with your potential customers globally. One of the most significant advantages of digital marketing is the ability to target specific audiences accurately. With tools like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Advertising, we can define our ideal customer profiles based on demographics, interests and online behaviour and target them with accuracy.

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Empowering local SMEs with video production (from left) Roman Stajila, Charles Grant-Salmon, Edward Grant-Salmon and Syed Ziaullah

Xtra, Xtra... read all about it


logistics firm in Northampton has rebranded following a recent acquisition. Crisis Logistics, formerly known as Crisis Worldwide Couriers, has renamed to Xtra Express Logistics following the acquisition of parcel and pallet company Action Express Northampton. Xtra Express Logistics will continue to operate from both sites in Hannington and Brackmills Industrial Estate and will offer a broader portfolio of same-day delivery, haulage, international, pallets and parcels, and warehousing services. Syed Ziaullah, who established Action Express Northampton in 1982, has joined the board of directors at Xtra Express Logistics alongside Crisis Logistics chairman Charles Grant-Salmon, managing director Edward Grant-Salmon and operations director Roman Stajila. Edward Grant-Salmon said: “Now, as we embark on this new journey following the

Action Express Northampton acquisition, it felt like the right time to rebrand.” The new name aims to reflect the extra services to both Crisis Logistics and Action Express Northampton customers and the new firm’s combined 60 years of knowledge and experience. “We have also been told for years by our customers that the reason they keep coming back to us is because we go that extra mile for them so the name just works and fits us so much better as a business,” Mr Grant-Salmon said. Crisis Logistics has grown exponentially in the last three years, culminating in a £25 million turnover in 2022. Since acquiring Action Express Northampton in April, the company has purchased ten new vehicles, including seven articulated lorries and three 18-tonne trucks. Future plans include growing to a £50 million turnover business and creating new jobs in Northamptonshire, Mr GrantSalmon said.

In today’s digital landscape, video content has become an invaluable tool for small and medium-sized enterprises looking to make a lasting impact on their target audience. Video gives a 157% organic traffic increase from search engine results pages yet 18% of people don’t know where to start with creating video content [source: Wyzowl]. Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and White Event Production are on hand to support start-ups and thriving organisations with their communication journey - be that internal or external marketing. Specialising in ‘white label’ production support, white services a breadth of organisations across most industries either directly - where the company looks to reflect the brand values of its clients - or indirectly as a silent production partner offering specialist skills to event agencies. It is through its 12 years of experience across many sectors, combined with the

variety of in-house services offered, that white has become a communications specialist and skilled partner to support companies grow and develop. Based in Linford Wood in Milton Keynes, with two warehouses of sound, lighting, vision camera and staging equipment, the dynamic team comprises technical producers, video directors, camera operators, motion graphic animators, web designers, event managers and AV technicians. Through its discrete ‘white label’ approach to supporting its clients, combined with organisation non-disclosure agreements, white is often restricted from sharing the great work that it has produced. white is therefore looking to extend its portfolio of projects that can be included as part of the project showcases on www. or by offering discounts to local organisations starting projects before the end of 2023.

To benefit from this special offer, and learn more about how White Event Production can support with any forthcoming event or content creation projects, please contact

Electricals firm appoints new directors


orthampton company Midshires Electricals has confirmed the appointment of sales director Jamie Faulkner and operations director Craig Rose. The two, pictured, who have worked for the firm for a total 36 years, will now be working alongside newly appointed company secretary Sarah Cameron. Managing director Ben Fountain said: “Their hard work, loyalty and

success in various sales and management positions in the

Traditional advertising methods like radio and television often come with hefty price tags and limited reach. Digital marketing, on the other hand, offers a range of costeffective options. Whether it is Pay Per Click advertising, content marketing or email marketing, digital channels allow you to make the most of your marketing budgets and achieve a higher return on investment. One of the most exciting aspects of digital marketing is the wealth of data it provides. With tools like Google Analytics, you can track the performance of your campaigns in real time. With these insights, you can continuously make data-driven decisions, optimising campaigns for better results. Digital marketing is not just about selling products; it is also about building and nurturing relationships with your audience. You can engage with your customers personally through social media marketing, blogging, and email newsletters, fostering brand loyalty and trust. It is about telling your brand’s story, showcasing your values and creating a community of brand advocates.

company has led them to their directorships.”

The digital landscape is dynamic and digital marketing strategies can adapt quickly to changes in consumer behaviour and market trends. Whether adjusting ad targeting parameters, optimising website content or launching a new social media campaign, digital marketing allows you to stay agile and responsive in this fast-paced environment. With the internet breaking down geographical barriers, you can expand your reach to a global audience without the need for physical locations in different countries. This opens up new opportunities for growth and market expansion that were previously unimaginable. As a marketing agency owner, I have seen how digital marketing has become the lifeblood of businesses in the last decade. These days, it is not merely an option; it is a necessity for staying competitive and relevant in a world where the digital realm shapes consumer behaviour and expectations. By harnessing the power of digital marketing, you can connect with your audience, drive growth, and navigate the everchanging landscape of this digital-first era.

To feature or comment email:

... as your events provider.

... as a white label partner.

Business Times | October 2023


Networking The business networking events this month across Northamptonshire

A group for networkers looking for referrals, introductions, opportunities and sales. A tried and tested model offering dynamic weekly online meetings and an experienced management team: Northants and surrounding areas Every Tuesday at noon. National networking Every Wednesday at noon. Contact Gary Thorpe for all events. Tel: 07963 766052 or 01536 333425.

If you are serious about growing your business, BNI works. Last year BNI members in the UK generated more than £482 million worth of business for each other. To find out how, visit a local chapter meeting and see for yourself. Each chapter has a personality of its own and finding where you fit best helps you get connected. Elite BNI (Kettering) Tuesday 6.45am-8.30am: Online Ignite BNI (Daventry) Tuesday 6.45am-8.30am: The Turnpike, Harpole Northampton Pioneer BNI (Northamptonshire) Wednesday 9.30am-11am: Online Pavilion BNI (Northampton) Thursday 6.45am-8.30am: The Old Northamptonians RFC, Sir Humphrey Cripps Pavilion, Billing Road, Northampton Prosperity BNI (Kettering) Thursday 6.45am-8.30am: The Kettering Golf Club, Headlands, Kettering Sterling BNI (Northampton) Thursday 11.45am-1.30pm: The Old Northamptonians RFC, Sir Humphrey Cripps Pavilion, Billing Road, Northampton Lighthouse BNI (Northampton) Friday 6.45am-8.30am: Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton Contact: Duncan Webster. e: duncan@ or call 07977 422220.

Regional sponsor: Business Times; Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce No fuss, no membership, pay as you go... The Business Buzz format is relaxed, informal,

conversational networking. Our town-focused events meet face to face, allowing visitors to build better and more robust relationships. These are complemented by regional virtual events. All Business Buzz events run 10amnoon. Brackley Buzz 1st Thursday: Paisley Pear, Northampton Road. Price: £8 + VAT. Northampton Buzz 3rd Wednesday: Fox & Hounds, Harborough Road. Price: £8 + VAT. NEW Towcester Buzz 4th Thursday: The Saracen’s Head, Watling Street. Price: £8 + VAT. Wellingborough Buzz 2nd Tuesday: Castello Lounge, Market Street Price: £8 + VAT.

Northamptonshire October 27 10am-11am: Online Hosted by Sally Wood, director of Sally Wood Consultancy Limited and FSB area leader for Northants, Leics & Rutland. To book and for details of other networking, support and webinar events online, visit

COFFEE & CONNECT October 10 12.45pm-2pm Online Informal networking hosted by the IoD Leicestershire & South East Midlands branch. Discussion subject: Future skills. Free event.. For more information and to book, visit or email

NNBN is a business membership organisation for all of Northamptonshire which aims to help businesses in the county to recover, build and grow for a brighter future.

Ian Taylor, host of the new Towcester Buzz networking group, meeting on the fourth Thursday of every month at The Saracen’s Head in Watling Street For more details, download the Buzz App or visit Book and pay at

The Business Community is focused on growth through collaboration and support with engaging and interactive meetings; both online and face-to-face. Monthly face-to-face (£16 - first meeting free): Northampton Breakfast 3rd Wednesday, 7.30-9.30am: The Turnpike, Harpole. Northampton Evening 4th Tuesday, 6.30-8.30pm: : Cheyne Walk Club MONTHLY VIRTUAL Price: £6 - first meeting free. Wednesday Breakfast 4th Wednesday, 7.30-9am. Thursday Breakfast 3rd Thursday, 7.30-9am. Friday Breakfast 2nd Friday, 7.30-9am

BUSINESS NETWORKING October 12 7pm-8.30pm: The Threshing Barn, Chester House Estate, Little Irchester, Wellingborough October 26 7pm-8.30pm Northampton Town Centre Hotel Informal networking event. Price: Free event for NNBN members; visitors £10. GET A HEAD START ON YOUR COMPETITION FOR 2024 October 18 9.30am-11am: Vulcan Works, Guildhall Road, Northampton More than 200 ways to market your business. Free event - NNBN members and non-members welcome. For more information and to book, visit

POLICYHOUR: DAME ANDREA LEADSOM MP October 6 9.30am-10.30am Online Q&A session with the MP for South Northamptonshire, pictured below. Free event.

The FSB has 2,000 members across Northamptonshire.

UK BUSINESS FORUM NORTHAMPTON 2nd Wednesday 5.30pm-9pm: Delapre Abbey, London Road A friendly, informal and relaxed networking event for small business owners. Each event features a short presentation on topics to support business owners followed by informal networking. UK Business Forums has been the home of small business community support and advice for nearly 20 years. Membership is not necessary but join for free and maintain the business relationship you make at our networking evenings through our free online business support forums. Free event. To book, visit

BUSINESS ROOM The Business Room is a one business area group for business owners, those in employed positions, MLMs and franchised businesses. KETTERING 2nd Tuesday 12 noon-2pm: Kettering Park Hotel & Spa NORTHAMPTON 2nd Thursday 12 noon-2pm: Sunn Inn, High Street, Hardingstone SOUTH NORTHANTS 3rd Tuesday 12 noon-2pm: The Fox & Hounds, Whittlebury WELLINGBOROUGH 3rd Wednesday 12 noon-2pm: The Stanwick Hotel, Stanwick THE CONNECTIONS CLUB - NORTHANTS Only open to business owners, influencers and decision-makers. NORTHAMPTON 1st Tuesday 11.45am-2pm: Delapré Abbey, Northampton. Contact: Barbara Hodgson 07504 946 585 / 01933 652884, email or visit

THE ACCOUNTABILITY CIRCLE Mondays, 10am Helping you get your things action list from ’To do’ to ‘Done! ‘ Price: £6 per meeting or £12 per month). Contact:


MAXIMISE YOUR MEMBERSHIP October 18 8.30am-10.30am Find out all about the benefits of Chamber membership. Free event WOMEN WITH VISION 11.30am-1.30pm Kettering Park Hotel & Spa Networking and lunch. The Chamber’s Women With Vision Networking sessions provide a platform to meet, connect, develop relationships and share best practice with other women in business. Price: £25 + VAT Chamber members; non-members £35 + VAT. To book on to Chamber events, visit

BUSINESS BEFORE HOURS October 12 8.30am-10.30am The Dovecote, Pury Hill Business Park, Alderton nr Towcester Sponsored by Moorgate Finance. Informal breakfast networking. Price: £10 + VAT Chamber members; non-members £20 + VAT.

Feature your networking group in future editions of Business Times. email details to Or scan the QR Code above. 18

Business Times | October 2023

For Northamptonshire’s business news visit


Feature: Q&A Where business people discuss their motivation, ambition, experience - and themselves. In the spotlight this month is Nikki Wills, co-founder of Kettering-based recruitment specialist Wills Consultants, which she established in 2014 and runs alongside her husband Simon.


I only got the interview because someone put my name down as Nicholas

What’s your earliest memory? I lived in Montreal in Canada when I was quite young, about aged three or four, and I remember skiing to school. The snow was so deep that one day I opened the front door and there was nothing but snow... I lived in Canada until I was around seven years old. It’s a beautiful country. Schooldays... The best of your life? School was horrid for me because my family moved around a lot. I went to a grand total of 18 different schools from aged five to 18 so I was always the new girl. There was nothing worse than being introduced to an established class as the new girl all the time. It was just awful but I soon made friends as children are incredibly curious and always wanted to know my story.

…and the worst and why? When I got the job as an architectural technician, I was up against nine men from private schools with their tubes of technical designs. I rocked up to the interview with an art portfolio full of paintings as DT wasn’t offered to girls at my school. I only got the interview because somebody had put my name down as Nicholas not Nicola and the two men on the interview panel couldn’t believe it when a girl walked in. I worked out on building sites, climbing scaffolding etc. in a very male-dominated arena and was usually the only woman on the construction site. There was building site banter that I was ill-equipped for and they once trapped me on a flat roof for two hours as a joke. It wasn’t very funny and I got into trouble when I returned to the office for being gone so long...

Who was your best friend growing up? It might sound tragic but I didn’t have one as my family didn’t stay in one place long enough for me to make ‘best’ friends. When I moved back to the UK, I met Michelle and we still meet up 30 years later. As a child, where was your best family holiday? I remember going out on a boat to Prince Edward Island and encountering a pod of whales which was wonderful then eating freshly caught lobster on the beach. As a child, what job did you want to do when you grew up? I wanted to be a Mountie. Living in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were extremely well regarded and I thought they had the best job ever. I loved riding horses and I thought what could be better than having a job riding a horse all day. What advice would you give to your 18-yearold self? Tap into that entrepreneurial spirit sooner and start your business earlier. Ignore the naysayers and have the guts to believe in your abilities. Also, remember that tequila is not your friend... Apart from marriage/children, what has been the best day of your life? Easy… 28th September 2021. The day my brother confirmed we were biological brother and sister. I’ve been on a DNA journey over the past two years and discovered I have a brother the same age as me. He was just the tip of the iceberg. How do you relax? I don’t relax - sad but true. I’m always on the go, however if I could choose my down time it would have to be something to do with water either on it, in it or under it. What’s your guilty pleasure? Shoes. I was talking to my brother about shoes and he was shocked that I have more genres of

I don’t care for possessions... it’s the people in my life who I treasure

What’s the best advice you’ve received in business? JFDI - Just flippin’ do it. What has been the highlight of your career so far? We were recently nominated and then won an award, it was a great evening and so pleased the whole team were there to enjoy it.

Nikki Wills, pictured with her husband Simon

My two-year DNA journey... and the happiest of endings shoes then he has actual pairs. What’s your perfect night out? A nice restaurant with my family maybe something Spanish. I have a sign in my kitchen that said ‘I love to hear those three little words – Let’s Eat Out!’ What’s your most treasured possession? I don’t care for possessions - it’s the people in my life who I treasure. If I had save something from a burning building, however, sadly it would be my laptop. Tell us a secret about yourself. Hardly anyone knows this - I’m mixed race. I have recently been on a DNA journey and discovered I am actually mixed race and that my father came from Guyana and my mother is Irish. It’s been an amazing journey. What are the first 3 things on your bucket list? To write a book. To learn to speak Spanish fluently. To master playing the piano.

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MY CAREER What was your first job? I was an architectural technician apprentice studying for my RIBA. Before that I was a groom in a stable but it was unpaid. They let me ride the horses for free instead. Why did you choose your particular career? I absolutely love dealing with people, seeing them on their journeys and hearing their stories. So many people in recruitment are so busy chasing the fee that they forget they are dealing with human beings who have aspirations and worries. What’s the best job you’ve had? My best job is what I’m doing now, without a doubt. I just love the team we have and where we are situated. I enjoy getting out of bed in the morning to do what I do.

…and the low point? The pandemic, we saw our clients and candidates suffering and some never recovered. It was an awful time. Who in business do you respect the most? My husband Simon. We are business partners and business opposites. I am creative, entrepreneurial, spontaneous, Simon is extremely analytical and regimented. It works. What annoys you the most in business? People who don’t do what they say they are going to do. We can spend a lot of time with a candidate and then they don’t turn up for an interview with no reason why. What’s the best thing/worst thing about where you work? The best thing and worst thing is the location. It’s great because we’re surrounded by fields and woodland, there’s free parking and no snack vans. It is at the top of a hill so can be tricky in winter to get to the office in icy conditions and there are no snack vans... What’s your career ambition? To continue to grow our business. What’s your worst fault? IT. Anything technical I touch goes wrong. What’s the best decision you ever made in business? Starting up our own business. Is there anything you regret about your career? Not starting my business sooner. I don’t believe in regrets - the life that you’ve lived gets you where you are today. A wise man once said to me you regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do.

Business Times | October 2023




Traffic jams can cost more than merely lost time


n June 2023, the government published a list of more than 200 companies that had failed to pay the national minimum wage, NMW, and with it comes potential reputational damage writes Joe Weston (inset), employment solicitor at Wilson Browne Solicitors. Many claimed their failure was due to oversights and misinterpretations rather than wilful disregard, which shows how easy it is for a company to inadvertently fall foul of the legislation and get ‘named and shamed’. This is a particularly tricky issue for the logistics sector - there has always been some debate around what counts as ‘working time’ for the purposes of NMW legislation. With increasing travel delays and with the government having considerable focus on the issue, it is important for logistics companies to

understand working time. Generally, time spent travelling for business reasons will be treated as working time, with the exception of travel between home and normal place of work or home and an assignment. However, questions creep in when a worker is delayed while travelling (for work). Despite employers having no control over the delays, they must still pay the national minimum wage on average, including those hours spent while stuck in traffic. This may not be an issue where the level of pay is beyond the NMW but employers would be well advised to review their drivers’ contracts and any relevant policies to ensure that there is no risk of underpayment. If the driver is not paid NMW for their entire travel time, even when stuck in traffic, HM Revenue & Customs has

enforcement measures available, including civil penalties and criminal prosecution. Drivers will also be able to bring claims for unlawful deductions from wages or breach of contract. In general, a driver of a goods vehicle should not drive for more than nine hours in a day and time spent in traffic will count towards a driver’s daily driving limit. Exceeding nine hours a day could bring criminal consequences, including fines and imprisonment. Drivers who complain may also have enhanced protection from detriment and, depending on their employment status, dismissal. n For further advice, contact Wilson Browne Solicitors on 0800 088 6004. Wilson Browne is offering a free review of a contract of employment or handbook to ensure that terms relating to pay and working hours are legally compliant.


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Business Times | October 2023

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Laboratory investment is set to inspire manufacturer’s R&D drive


n a momentous celebration, Cartell UK, a leading adhesive manufacturer, has marked its 15-year anniversary, a significant milestone in the company’s history. With years of dedication to producing high-quality adhesives and a commitment to continuous improvement, Cartell UK has emerged as a trailblazer in the industry. The occasion was made all the more special as the company unveiled its latest investment - a state-of-the-art laboratory, pictured above, that promises to revolutionise research and development efforts. Over the past 15 years, Cartell UK has grown from humble beginnings to a prominent player in the adhesive manufacturing sector. The company’s unwavering dedication to providing innovative solutions and exceptional customer service has earned it a reputation as a reliable partner for companies within the adhesives industry Throughout its journey, Cartell UK has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to innovation and research, which has been instrumental in maintaining its competitive edge. “Our clients have consistently favoured our adhesives due to their durability and versatility,” said marketing and sales manager Rory Spick. “Additionally, we prioritise environmental considerations by continually researching and implementing new and innovative procedures.” In an endeavour to further enhance their product offerings, Cartell UK has made a significant investment in a cutting-edge laboratory at its premises in Corby for research and development. The laboratory is equipped with the latest technologies, enabling Cartell UK’s research team to conduct indepth analyses and experiments on adhesive formulations. The new laboratory offers the perfect environment for their chemists and technicians to collaborate on projects that explore the frontiers of adhesive technology. It provides them with the resources needed to innovate and develop new adhesive products, tailor-made to meet the specific demands of various industries.

With this new facility, Cartell UK is well-positioned to lead the way in adhesive research and development for years to come. Recognising the critical role that skilled professionals play in pioneering advancements, Cartell UK has employed two highly skilled and experienced lab technicians to oversee the day-to-day operations of the state-of-the-art laboratory. The lab technicians brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team, ensuring that the research and development efforts are streamlined, efficient, and conducted at the highest standard. In addition to investing in advanced research facilities, Cartell UK has also responded to the growing demand for its products by expanding its manufacturing capacity. That has created more jobs for individuals passionate about the manufacturing industry. By bolstering their workforce, Cartell UK can now cater to larger orders, accommodate increased client demand, and maintain their commitment to timely deliveries without compromising on quality. Beyond technological advancements and growth, Cartell UK remains dedicated to environmental sustainability. As an adhesive manufacturer, they recognise their responsibility to minimise their carbon footprint and the impact on the planet. Cartell UK actively invests in eco-friendly production methods, responsibly sourced materials, and recyclable packaging options. By adopting sustainable practices, they continue to set a benchmark for ethical business operations within the industry. Cartell UK’s vision for the future is characterised by a relentless pursuit of excellence. The stateof-the-art laboratory will serve as a springboard for innovation and further cement Cartell UK’s position as a pioneer in the adhesive industry. Through its dedication to research, development, and continuous improvement, Cartell UK remains unwavering in its mission to provide adhesive solutions that empower industries to achieve remarkable feats.

For Northamptonshire’s business news visit


The one-stop shop for all your heating service needs


ctober 2023 marks the 24th anniversary for Griffiths Air Conditioning & Electrical Contractors, the Burton Latimerbased business that now involves itself in a lot more activities than the business name suggests. Progressively, over the year the business has expanded to be now

a provider of the full range of building and engineering services, meeting the needs of domestic, commercial and industrial clients throughout Northamptonshire and the seven surrounding counties. With modern town centre offices housed in a Grade II listed building that dates back to the 18th


Intestacy: Understanding the new law on statutory legacy


n the realm of estate planning and inheritance, intestacy laws play a crucial role in determining how a deceased person’s assets are distributed when they pass away without a valid Will writes Natasha Thorne, (pictured), private client solicitor at Franklins Solicitors. Recent changes to intestacy law have influenced how assets will be distributed when this happens. Intestacy statutory legacy is the minimum share of a deceased person’s estate that the law sets aside for specific beneficiaries, usually the surviving spouse or civil partner. This provision ensures that even if there is no written Will, certain individuals receive a fair share of the estate. Society evolves and so do family structures and financial circumstances. As a result, the existing legal framework must adapt. One recurring concern has been whether the statutory legacy is sufficient, particularly in cases involving substantial estates or financial challenges faced by surviving spouses or civil partners. In response, lawmakers have revisited these laws to better address modern concerns. Significant changes have been implemented from July 26 this year. When an individual passes away without a Will, their surviving spouse or civil partner will now receive a minimum of £322,000, in addition to personal possessions like clothing and jewellery. The rest of the estate is divided, with half going to the surviving spouse or civil partner, and the remaining half shared equally among any children. If there are no children, the entire

estate still goes to the surviving spouse or civil partner, consistent with the previous rules. Even with these recent changes, creating a Will remains a critical aspect of estate planning. Intestacy rules provide a basic framework but they cannot account for all situations. For instance, they do not address the needs of unmarried couples who live together. Imagine a scenario where an unmarried couple jointly owns a home. If one partner passes away without a Will, complications can arise, potentially leading to the sale of the property. Beyond asset distribution, a Will serves a more comprehensive purpose. It enables you to appoint guardians for minor children, specify bequests to individuals or charities, and designate trusted individuals or organisations to manage your estate effectively. While the law provides some default rules, having a Will is a prudent choice. It grants you the ability to direct the distribution of your assets according to your wishes and provides clarity and protection in various complex situations that may arise. Whatever your age, it is wise to consider creating a Will to ensure your loved ones are taken care of as you intend.

n Natasha Thorne TEP is associate partner for the private client department at Franklins Solicitors LLP.

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century, Griffiths are working with homeowners, architects, builders, plumbers and commercial clients who all appreciate the benefits of working with just one provider to

install all the services that today’s buildings require. Griffiths are a D1+-approved installer of Daikin air conditioning and heat pump systems, NICEICapproved electrical contractors and MCS certified installers of heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV. The company are Gas Saferegistered for domestic work, Polypipe underfloor heatingapproved installers and holder of several other certifications and accreditations relating to their work with plumbing and ventilation. Griffiths were the first Northamptonshire approved installers of heat pumps under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme back in 2008 and have carried out hundreds of heat pump jobs since then. With the government’s plans to phase out fossil fuel burning systems in new homes over the next few years, Griffiths are well placed to draw on their experience and to assist developers with the

design and installation of heat pump systems. Rooftop solar PV is as popular as ever, especially for commercial premises, with payback often just a few years. Griffiths are pleased to provide no-cost advice to anyone considering this technology. One of the main factors to ensure low running costs of air conditioning, heat pumps and ventilation is regular maintenance. The Griffiths service team carry out planned regular visits to a wide range of clients to make sure the installed equipment is running at its maximum efficiency as well as responding to any potential problems. n Contact Griffiths by telephone on 01536 420666, via www. or visit the Energy Efficiency Centre showroom at 111 High Street in Burton Latimer, open Monday-Friday 9am5pm.

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Our magazines and newspapers are delivered direct to homes and businesses. Call us today to discuss your advertising options 01908 465488. Northamptonshire’s Business Newspaper The magazine for Milton Keynes

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Business Times | October 2023



Pubs say ‘Cheers’ to the best in town

L Wellbeing festival: ‘We can’t wait to do it all again’


lans for a Mind, Body & Soul Festival next year are under way after the success of the inaugural event at Delapré Abbey in Northampton last month. Hundreds took part in yoga, pilates, sound baths, barefoot trails, star gazing and holistic wellbeing workshops. Holistic therapist Laura Hof, daughter of ‘Iceman’ Wim Hof, enthralled the audience with a talk on breathwork and ice baths. Eleanor Sier, head of engagement and interpretation at Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust said: “It was all about inclusivity, community, wellbeing, and Northamptonshire heritage and there really was something for everyone. It

was amazing to see so many people learning, relaxing and unwinding in our historic surroundings.” The Mind, Body & Soul Fest, organised by the abbey’s Delapré Wellbeing hub, is part of Delapré Abbey’s next application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The trust is working with performance coach Mr Shakir on the 2024 festival. “We literally moved heaven and earth to make it happen and it was incredible to see hundreds of people show up to give themselves time and love,” said Lucienne. “They reconnected with their minds, stimulated their bodies and awakened their souls - that is what high-performance and wellness is all about. We cannot wait to do it all again another time.”

andlords and landladies raised a glass with MP Chris Heaton-Harris as the winners of this year’s Daventry Pub of the Year competition received their awards. Held at the town’s Arc Cinema, the second annual awards evening recognised the achievements of local public houses in four categories. There was continued success for The Countryman at Staverton as owners Linda and Darren built on their success last year by retaining their title of Village Pub of the Year. Last year’s winner The Knightley Arms in Yelvertoft

was again named Best Dog Friendly Pub of the Year. The Best Beer Garden Pub of the Year award went to The Althorp Coaching Inn in Great Brington and micropub Early Doors received the Daventry Town Pub of the Year title. It is the second award this year for Early Doors, which also won Best Destination Pub or Bar at the Northants Life Awards. Among the guests was Emma McClerkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association. In her speech she said the industry employs around one million people and more than 1,200 in Daventry alone across 90 pubs.


new grants scheme aiming to help the fight against youth violence and knife crime in West Northamptonshire has been unveiled by the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and West Northamptonshire Council. Funding up to

£10,000 is available for community and voluntary organisations that have identified either new or existing prevention or intervention projects, including those that promote community safety, deter potential offenders



FROM £30 PER 1,000


Call 01604 935300 Business Times | October 2023

or provide support and resources to at-risk individuals or groups. Mr Mold, inset, said: “Communities are often best placed to make a difference and understand how best to prevent crime and support young people in their area. I am certain that investing in these groups will be a powerful tool in tackling violence.” Community and

voluntary groups are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to West Northamptonshire Council. “We want to make West Northamptonshire a safer place for everyone and working in partnership with other organisations and community groups is crucial to achieving this,” said Cllr David Smith, cabinet member for community safety and engagement and regulatory services.

Rotary Club seeks corporate members to join their work

direct to homes across


footfall, rising costs and reduced opening hours. “I am so pleased to see the industry bouncing back despite cost-of-living challenges. Pub of the Year has been a great reminder that it is now more important than ever to support our locals

Grants scheme boosts campaign against knife crime


Recognising that charity is serious business

“Pubs are at the heart of our communities here in Daventry,” said Mr Heaton-Harris, the town’s MP. “We all know how difficult the pandemic was for pub owners, many of whom contacted me to share concerns about falling

*£30 per 1,000 for orders over 10,001 leaflets. £40 per 1,000 for 10,000 leaflets or less.


otary Club of Nene Valley is holding an information evening as part of its drive to recruit new members. And the club is keen to highlight its new corporate membership offer, aimed at organisations that are keen to support their local community. Find out more at The Olde Cobbler pub in Kingsthorpe on October 16 or October 24, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Membership is open to individuals aged 18-plus as well as to companies and Rotary Club of Nene Valley is offering

a free three-month trial membership. “Rotarians come together to raise much-needed funds and to physically help the young, the old, the infirm, the homeless, in fact almost anyone or any organisation that calls upon us for support,” said Rotarian Geoff Yeowart. “To be able to continue to do this we have to recruit new members all the time. We are looking for publicspirited individuals who can spare a little of their time to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”

n Find out more at, email or call 07969 557930.

0800 088 6004 For Northamptonshire’s business news visit


DAVENTRY TOWN PUB OF THE YEAR Early Doors Runners-up: Chasers; Middlemore Farm. BEST VILLAGE PUB The Countryman, Staverton Runners-up: The Royal Oak, Crick; The Knightley Arms, Yelvertoft. BEST BEER GARDEN PUB Althorp Coaching Inn, Great Brington Runners-up: The Royal Oak, Crick; The Wheelwright’s Arms, Watford

so we can make sure they are here for generations to come.” Among the businesses supporting the event were Just the Business, The Arc Cinema, Brandprint UK, Rapido Print Solutions,

Little Beas Boutique & John Douglas Photography and NNBN. Cllr Jonathan Nunn, leader of West Northamptonshire Council, added his support to the Daventry licensed retail sector.

Recognising that charity is serious business To feature or comment email:

BEST DOG-FRIENDLY PUB The Knightley Arms, Yelvertoft Runners-up: The Wheelwright’s Arms, Watford; The Countryman, Staverton. Pictured (clockwise from top left): Early Doors; The Countryman; Althorp Coaching Inn; The Knightley Arms

Campaign aims to ease hardship plight


heart-warming initiative is set to brighten the lives of those facing hardship in Northamptonshire, thanks to a collaboration between law firm Franklins Solicitors, Northants Food Reach, Hope Centre, and His Church charity. The Pallets of Hope campaign aims to raise funds for a minimum 11 pallets of food, warm clothing, and gifts for individuals and families in need. The supplies will be distributed during the festive season having been distributed to Hope Centre’s locations across Northamptonshire by the end of November. Delivery points include n

Hope Centre’s Homeless Centre at Oasis House and the centre’s Community Larders. Through the invaluable support of His Church, an emergency goods redistribution charity, each pallet can be secured with a £500 pallet administration donation, which includes delivery. Each pallet carries a retail value of £2,500. “We are urging businesses to unite in this campaign to help ease the financial burden for struggling local families this Christmas,” said Franklins equity partner Andrea Smith. “Through our partnership with His Church charity, we are able to secure pallets of essential household items for a fraction of the retail cost,

meaning donations go much further.” Pallets of Hope aims to raise at least £5,500, which will enable the campaign to secure and distribute all 11 pallets with a combined retail value of £27,500. “Due to the rising cost of living, we have seen a drop in donations and at the same time an unprecedented increase in the demand for our services,” said Kyra Williams, marketing manager at Hope Centre. “This means that the support of local businesses and other community groups has never been more important so that we can continue to help as many people as possible, particularly through these coming winter months.”

To donate, visit

0800 088 6004 Business Times | October 2023


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