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The Official Magazine of Somerset Chamber of Commerce

April / May 2019

British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference 18 | FEATURE

5 | BUSINESS PARTNER NEWS: Floodlight assembly complete at Cooper Associates County Ground


Sam Evans becomes Hinkley Project Lead


The Chamber’s recent events captured in pictures

Over 40 business sectors and more than 32,000 employees represented


members across Somerset


Hosting approx.



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Bi-monthly Somerset Voice Magazine

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The most prestigious business awards in Somerset

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CONTENTS First Word 4 Business Partner News 5 Chamber News 6-8 Hinkley Supply Chain 9 Focus On: Recruitment 10-13 Members Area 14-17 Feature: #BCCConf 18-19 Business Partner Feature 20 Member Feature 21 #WellConnected Members News Business News Our Town Chambers


22-23 24-32 33 34

Disclaimer The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Chamber. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including, but not limited to, any online service, any database or any part of the internet), or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in the magazine, Somerset Chamber do not accept any responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains.

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Get in touch FIRST WORD Welcome to the April/May Somerset Voice magazine.

Marketing and PR

Scarlett Scott-Collins

Content Marketing Executive T: 01823 444924 E:

As we head into the new tax year (and as I write this introduction) we are still no clearer on the terms under which we’ll leave the EU… or indeed if we will leave at all. Annelise, Ritchie and Alistair attended the Annual British Chambers of Commerce Conference in London on 28 March where Adam Marshall, the Director General of the BCC, had some strong words for politicians, urging them to give businesses certainty. The Conference always pulls in some excellent speakers from business and politics, and you can read Annelise’s report on pages 18 and 19.

Annelise Cowie

The sector focus of this edition is on recruitment which, with record low unemployment levels, has never presented more of a challenge for employers across the region. We’ve collated advice on employer branding, employment law, utilising different demographic communities and vendor managed systems to give employers practical support on ensuring your business is properly staffed.

Membership Manager T: 01823 444924 | M: 07706 292143 E:

There’s also a Hinkley Supply Chain update and a case study on one of the local businesses benefiting from the HPC project. You can read all about the training contract awarded by the National College for Nuclear to Berry and Escott on page 9, as well as some fantastic good news stories from across the rest of the membership from page 24. Our Business Partner news also contains details of awards for Weston College, team news from Cornish Mutual and an update from Somerset County Cricket Club CEO, Andrew Cornish, on the completion of the floodlights at the Cooper Associates County Ground, which should have a significant positive impact on the county town’s economy.

PR & Communications Executive T: 01823 444924 E:


Ritchie Cridge

Jenn Chidley-Sanders

Member Engagement and Policy Manager T: 01823 444924 | M: 07872 063039 E:

Alistair Tudor

Head of Chamber Services T: 01823 444924 | M: 07912 054195 E:


Finally, you’ll see something of a teaser for the 2019 Somerset Business Awards on the back page. It’s the 15th year of the SBAs and we have lots to announce over the coming months, as we re-vamp Somerset’s most prestigious awards night – so watch this space! Thank you to all our sponsors for their support for what promises to be the best SBA ceremony in years.

Loren Gray

Stephen Henagulph

Brooke Gilbertson


Events Manager T: 01823 444924 | M: 07821 950379 E:

Events Co-ordinator T: 01823 444924 E:

Hinkley Supply Chain

Sam Evans


Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement T: 01823 443425 | M: 07525 809274 E:

Contact us to find out what benefits Somerset Chamber Patrons receive.

Natalie Beacham

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Alan Windsor

Hinkley Supply Chain Business Advisor T: 01823 443425 | M: 07519 116916 E:

Business Reporting & Information Officer T: 01823 443425 E:

General Enquiries

Kayleigh Gibbs

Senior Administrator T: 01823 444924 E:



Floodlight assembly work complete at County Ground The assembly work to install the floodlight pylons at the Cooper Associates County Ground is now complete and CEO Andrew Cornish has outlined exactly what this means, not just for the Club but for Taunton as a whole: “The lights will mean that we are able to play matches at more suitable times for our members and spectators. Our Vitality Blast matches will now be able to begin later at night rather than at 4.30pm. This is of obvious benefit to our fanbase, but will also add to the night-time economy of the town overall. It means that local businesses such as restaurants and bars will benefit from the fact that we’ll be attracting people here later in the evening. It’s important for us but it goes far beyond just the Cricket Club. “In 2017 the Daily Telegraph reported that the IT20 we hosted between England and South Africa that year was ‘worth around £1 million to the local economy’. That was just one match! This year we will be playing host to three sold-out matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup. These three fixtures will see thousands of supporters from all over the world descending on Somerset and, due to the nature of the sport, the majority of them won’t just be visiting for the day. They will be staying and spending their money in the hotels and guesthouses as well as the restaurants and shops. This will provide a hugely positive impact to the economy of the town and Somerset as a whole. “In addition to these International matches, six of our seven Vitality Blast matches will be played under the floodlights. These will help to boost the local economy, but they will also be a genuine spectacle! Cricket under lights in Taunton has to be seen to be believed.

completed in good order. We have worked closely with Taunton Deane Borough Council to ensure that all the required guidelines have been met at every stage of the procedure. “We have also been working closely with the local authority to ensure that the lights and masts have no negative environmental impacts on the wildlife in the region such as birds and bats. “Obviously there will be some parameters that we will be adhering to with regards to restrictions on usage. In year one we will be restricted to using the new lights on 26 occasions and that will change to 17 times in year two. This reflects the fact that a number of tests will need to be carried out in 2019. In addition to this we will be hosting a floodlit fixture in the ICC Cricket World Cup this year which will require the teams involved to be able to practice under the lights in order to recreate the conditions in which they will be playing. “In order to ensure that we don’t impact on our neighbours but can still guarantee that spectators leave the Ground safely, we will have the ability to turn the lux levels down so that we can lower the light intensity at the close of play. “The cut-off point for extinguishing the lights on floodlit matchdays will be 10.59pm, but obviously the matches will finish a good deal earlier than that in order for spectators to be able to safely exit the Ground with the lights still illuminated. “These lights present a real opportunity for both the Club and the town to be a part of something very special and I hope that everyone will embrace the results of this project and the possibilities that the development will present.”

“The floodlight masts themselves are 54 metres high, which alters the skyline of Taunton more than anything has done since the beautiful churches that surround the Cooper Associates County Ground were built. “I can assure everyone that all the necessary Health & Safety works have been carried out to the letter and that all the required planning processes were



CHAMBER NEWS Meet the Neighbours Lunch a huge success SOME 140 businessmen and women took part in ‘Meet the Neighbours’ networking event which was held at Deer Park Country House, Honiton – and were able to toast the occasion with a tipple of their choice thanks to drink sponsors Luscombe Drinks, of Buckfastleigh and Salcombe Gin. The hugely popular event, which was sponsored by Albert Goodman, was organised jointly by Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Devon Chamber of Commerce and Exeter Chamber of Commerce, attracted a wide variety of businesses from across the region. Derek Phillips, the Vice-President of Exeter Chamber of Commerce, welcomed guests to the networking lunch before Somerset Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Stephen Henagulph introduced Richard Bugler from Albert Goodman. “I’d like to thank Somerset, Exeter and Devon Chambers for putting on this superb event which Albert Goodman was very proud to sponsor,” said Mr Bugler. He added: “These two great counties share so many great characteristics such as entrepreneurial spirit, beautiful countryside and fantastic businesses and all were on show at the Meet the Neighbours event. “The Deer Park Country House proved to be a wonderful venue for some positive discussions and high-quality networking and my thanks also go to the hospitality team” The lunch was rounded-off with a talk by Stuart Elford, the Chief Executive of Devon Chamber of Commerce, who said businesses were more powerful when they spoke with a unified voice, such as that now provided by the newly formed alliance of accredited County Chambers in the region - the British Chamber of Commerce South West. “It was great to see the neighbouring Chambers and so many of their members coming together at such a fabulous event, which showed the power of the Chambers working in partnership. “Ultimately, bringing people together to create better business environments for everyone is what Chambers of Commerce do so well. It was a top event and we are already looking forward to the next one,” Mr Elford said. Mr Henagulph added: “This was our most popular Meet the Neighbours lunch for Devon and Somerset to date and it gave members from both counties an excellent opportunity to meet businesses from a range of sectors and to make important new contacts.”





Somerset Economic Update

British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, presentations on business growth and investment and a successful marketing strategy case study.

SPEAKERS from the Bank of England and Merchant Banking business Salamanca Group will be joined by Chamber of Commerce representatives to give a critical insight into the state of the Somerset economy and forecasts for the future at a half-day event in May.

The most recent Quarterly Economic Survey saw one of the largest response rates to date from Somerset businesses and the results are eagerly awaited.

The Somerset Economic Update, organised by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, is aimed at decision-makers and senior management from businesses across the region and takes place on May 23 at Haynes International Motor Museum, in Sparkford, near Yeovil. Guest speakers include Donna Kehoe, the Bank of England’s South West representative, David Bharier of the British Chambers of Commerce, Stephen Henagulph, the Chief Executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and a representative from Salamanca Group who are building the Gravity site at Junction 23. Together, they will present key information for Somerset businesses, including the Bank of England’s latest economic update, a report on the South West results of the national

The survey looks at a wide range of issues, including: home sales and orders, export sales and orders, employment prospects, investment, recruitment difficulties, cash flow, confidence and price pressures. The local results will help the British Chambers of Commerce to formulate the first national economic indicator of the quarter. The survey’s results are published in advance of official figures and other private surveys are closely watched by key organisations including the Treasury, the Bank of England, the Office of Budget Responsibility, the EU Commission and the IMF. The local results are a good source of data for businesses looking to understand the economic climate in Somerset. Places are limited at the Somerset Economic Update event and can be booked online via the Somerset Chamber of Commerce website at

Our newest Chamber team member Name: Annelise Cowie Department: Marketing Job title: PR and Communications Executive How long have you worked for the Chamber and what did you do before? I joined the Chamber in March 2019 after a brief spell with a local marketing agency. Prior to that I was the external communications manager at both Hinkley Point B and Hinkley Point C but my background is in local media. I’ve worked for more years than I care to remember in local newspapers and for broadcast media – from Shetland in the far north, down to Devon. But I’m Taunton born and bred, so I’ve spent most of my newspaper career in Somerset. Describe your role in just one sentence. I help to promote the good work of the Chamber, its members and business partners and the Hinkley Supply Chain Team, issuing press releases, liaising with media and stakeholders and writing articles for the Chamber website, newsletter and magazine. What do you like most about your job? Meeting people, learning new things and helping both my colleagues and our members. It’s always great to be able to shout about good news and I’ve always loved writing so this is the perfect job! How would your colleagues describe you? I hate to think – hopefully helpful and able to spell, probably a little bit sarcastic. Oh, and I drink too much tea and talk to myself at random moments, apparently. What would people be surprised to know about you? I was once on Blockbusters – the original version, not the latter-day imposter! I failed miserably (not a surprise) but I do treasure my Blockbusters dictionary signed by the lovely Bob Holness.




Change at the top for Hinkley Supply Chain A FAMILIAR face will be taking on a new challenge when she steps up to become the Hinkley Point Project Lead on behalf of Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

local firms benefit from the huge investment Hinkley Point C is bringing to Somerset, the South West and South Wales.”

Sam Evans, who is currently the Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement for the chamber, will become the Hinkley Project Lead in June, when Chris Langdon steps away from the role.

Chris said, it had been a privilege to work on the Hinkley Supply Chain project: “This has been a fascinating and challenging project and I have been delighted to be involved right from the start.

Chris has been the Project Lead for the Hinkley Supply Chain team since its inception in 2010 and has decided to step away from his role in order to grow his own business. Working closely with EDF Energy and key stakeholders over more than eight years, Chris has led the development of the local supply chain and helped to maximise the benefits to businesses in Somerset and the wider South West. Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said, “Chris had helped to ensure local businesses were at the forefront of the project to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point and thanked him for his commitment and enthusiasm. “Chris has made sure Somerset businesses have been at the centre of the Hinkley Point C supply chain and has helped to forge strong, productive relationships between local companies and those across the UK and further afield. “Sam will be able to continue Chris’ hard work, ensuring

“Working with a strong EDF Energy supply chain engagement team, who have demonstrated commitment to finding innovative ways for this very complex infrastructure project to engage with a local supply chain, has been a privilege. “There is always more we can do and I am sure the skilled chamber team in place will rise to the continuing challenge.” Sam joined the chamber as a Data Co-ordinator for the Hinkley Supply Chain in 2014 and has been the Head of Hinkley Supply Chain Engagement since 2017. Sam said, “I am looking forward to further developing the existing Hinkley Point C Supply Chain team and strengthening relationships with external stakeholders and partners. “Hinkley Point C is a huge project, not just for Somerset and the South West, but for the whole of the UK and it’s vital local businesses have a strong voice to represent them.”

Berry & Escott Win Contract With National College for Nuclear After Support from the Hinkley Supply Chain Team National College for Nuclear (NCfN) were looking to develop an innovative training system for future nuclear engineers, based on a twin flow loop of hot and cold water. The aim was to show both thermodynamic principles on a closed loop system (similar to a nuclear power station), and the challenges within a maintenance and replacement context. A representative system was needed that would simulate the principles and be realistic in comparison to the types of equipment the students could ultimately be exposed to at Hinkley Point C. The challenge was how to achieve this within a limited budget based on the originally commissioned design. The Hinkley Supply Chain Team assisted NCfN by identifying a range of South West based companies with the capabilities required for this project. An initial meeting between these potential suppliers and NCfN was then organised to discuss how they could support with the design, assembly, and supply of components. Berry and Escott were selected by NCfN to design and manufacture the initial mechanical elements of the system

and secured a contract worth approximately £300K with NCfN. Taking the design from concept idea, to approved 3D design, to successful manufacture and installation of the rig which will be a training aid for many future nuclear engineers. Nick Golding, Supply Chain Manager for the Hinkley Supply Chain Programme, said, “Berry & Escott have been proactive in engaging with nuclear opportunities for a number of years. They have been involved in 2 consortium groups; APEC for precision machining, and the Nucleus fabrication consortium. It is great to see the hard work they have put in starting to come through in terms of recognition and ultimately contracts.” Somerset Chamber of Commerce members, Berry & Escott Engineering, located in Bridgwater, are a flexible and highly innovative engineering company, they pride themselves on excellence in design, precision machining, and total turnkey ferrous and non-ferrous fabricated solutions, as well has their proven track record of outstanding customer service.


FOCUS ON: RECRUITMENT IR35 is heading to the private sector, but what will this mean for businesses and their workers? NRL’s Chief Operating Officer David Redmayne has the following advice. What is IR35? Also known as ‘intermediaries legislation’, IR35 is a set of rules devised by the government to effectively assess any worker who isn’t employed through a PAYE payment vehicle – this is commonly referred to as being ‘self-employed’. With self-employed contractors typically benefiting from lower tax resulting in several cases of misuse over recent years, IR35 evaluates if someone is legitimately working as an external contractor for the business, or whether their working arrangements and remuneration are similar to PAYE workers and as such should be taxed accordingly. Summarised in short, IR35 seeks to identify those contractors carrying out the same roles as a permanent employee and realign their tax contributions. How will this impact on my business? If you engage external contractors, the extension of this legislation to the private sector in April 2020 will mean these workers will need evaluating to see if they fall in-scope of IR35.

The contractor’s client, for example your business, is responsible for determining whether their assignment is inside IR35, however the final fee payer (often the recruitment agency who manages the contractor) must ensure the correct level of tax and national insurance contributions are deducted. Does this mean I should avoid engaging temporary labour? Not at all, as for many businesses that manage multiple projects for clients, self-employed contractors provide the flexibility needed to scale up operations. Whilst the impending government IR35 regulations may leave businesses concerned that they may be liable for any contractors incorrectly assessed, recruitment agencies managing these contractors will also need to ensure tax contributions are correct. That’s why at NRL we believe recruitment agencies should be working with clients to develop processes to de-risk IR35 for clients, ensuring comprehensive checks are in place – not just to accurately assess the assignment, but to clearly specify the requirements and restrictions of the role during initial scoping.

Employer Branding – How to win the war for talent Recruitment isn’t an HR function…. There, I said it.

However, if done well, a recruiter’s role is more aligned to your marketing function.

Gone are the days where posting a job specification based solely on what the employer wants from a candidate can be deemed a ‘job advert’. Attractive advert copy that engages your target candidate is essential, talking to them directly and letting them know why they should apply.

In the current difficult labour climate, businesses across the South West are struggling to recruit the talent they need to grow and deliver on their current commitments. There are more jobs than there are candidates and it’s unlikely this will get any easier over the coming years. Don’t panic – you’ve got this! You’ve been marketing your business already, so the same principles apply.

They say that a customer needs around eight touch points with your product/service brand before they buy from you. This could be for something as simple as purchasing toothpaste – so given that people spend so much of their lives at work, we must assume that a candidate needs to have even more touch points with your Employer Brand before they will apply.

Aim to be the ‘employer of choice’ in your industry and invest in your ‘employer brand’ in the same way you would your product brand. Understand your candidate base in the same way you understand your clients and offer them something attractive that they want to buy; the benefits package should match their expectations, the culture must meet their values, the role needs to present them with the challenge that they want.

Talk about your business and share insight into the culture as part of continuous dialogue so that passive candidates are becoming invested. Importantly, talk about your business to your target candidates in forums where they are present.

Ok, I accept that recruiters deal with people, and specifically are linked to whether those people become employees, being bound by law and legislation that HR would usually govern within an organisation.

Maybe you have all these things in place already – that’s great, but do your candidates know? You need to ‘sell’ your company and your career opportunities to them.

Candidate experience is a key part of your Employer Brand too. You must make sure that once someone has invested their time to apply, they receive a response quickly, feel welcome and comfortable during interview and are engaged with positively throughout the process. When you think recruitment, think marketing – not HR.


Whilst it can save money and seem like an easy option, it’s worth using several tools available to you to attract a wider pool of talent including social media, quality recruiter, advertising etc to make sure you get the very best person for the job. It’s not always easy working with family or close friends and equally if you take on a valued customer and it doesn’t work out, it can cause a wider issue.




Moving too slowly with applicants

An Employment Law Round-up If you snooze – you can lose! In a market where excellent people are harder to find and often several companies are competing over the same person, if you don’t move quickly enough to respond, interview, decide and offer you can lose them to another local company and miss out.

May 2018 saw the implementation 3. Gender pay gap reporting of GDPR, and further changes4to Lack of flexibility Employers in the private sector who employment law are set to come Many candidates are in full time employment and if employ orwould more employees on they are loyal and conscientious, 250 which you also into effect from April this year. In want, they may feel uncomfortable about disappearing April 5 2019 will need to report on during the working day. Remain flexible with when you accordance with these changes, can meet with them to givepercentage yourself the best chancegender of their pay gap securing the best. employers in the UK need to be aware annually, and publish reports on their of, and prepared for, all of the below: website and on Poor interview technique 5 1. Itemised pay statements extended This is your chance demonstrate why someone Increases in statutory family pay should choose to work for you and therefore you to workers need to consider how you also perform in interview. effect from April 7 2019, the Ensure everyone With interviewing is welcoming, friendly, From April 6 2019, workers will have professional and that the questions are appropriate and rate of statutory maternity, adoption, structured. A bad experience for the candidate can lead the right to an itemised pay statement. them to turn down your opportunity even if offered. paternity, and shared parental pay is This means that workers whose pay to increase to £148.68 per week. Forgetting todue sell yourselves varies due to time worked will6receive Good candidates want to know why they should choose an itemised pay statement detailing you over other companies 5. Increases in the national minimum in the area. During the process selection, don’t think you hold all of the cards and the total number of hours worked. ofremember wage to fully explain and wax lyrical about your 2. Auto-enrolment contributions

opportunity, benefits, what makes you great to work for.

With effect from April 1 2019, the national living wage is due to increase The minimum contributions that Poor communication to candidates from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour, and 7 organisations and their staff pay People have takenthe the time to apply for yourminimum role and in national wage will rise into automatic enrolment workplace some cases attend interview. Ensure you are courteous enough to advise from them of the£7.38 outcome asto it can£7.70 damage per hour, for pension schemes are set to increase your reputation to leave people hanging. Also, once a job workers aged between 21-24. Further is accepted, always send a timely offer letter / contract from April 6 2019; minimum employeroffer as this is their first experience of dealing with you and you information related to rate changes contribution will be 3%, and minimumwant to reinforce that they made the right decision. can be found at employee contribution will be 5%. Moving the goalposts 8 national-minimum-wage-rates.

6. Increase in statutory sick pay From April 6 2019, statutory sick pay is due to increase to £94.25 per week. Ultimately, these changes are going to have a massive impact on local businesses in a marketplace which is already struggling with candidate shortages in many disciplines, and no doubt this will be reflected in the hiring decisions of their managers. A recent report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggests that, overall, permanent placements are likely to increase rather than decrease; but, in the short-term, employers will not be planning any changes.

If a candidate has made it clear from the outset what their minimum expectations are or what they are currently being paid, ensure that you are upfront from the start about whether these are realistic. Offering less after the entire interview process can lead not only to the candidate turning down your role but also make them feel de-valued and aggrieved.

Eight Mistakes to Avoid When Recruiting Top Talent For Your Business Not having a clear idea of what you’re looking for In order to find the best person for the job, you need to be clear about the role that you are looking to fill and therefore the skill set of the person. It’s also important to have a clear specification about what sort of person would suit your existing team culture, etc. The old adage of “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you” applies here! Recruiting from a limited pool of friends, family & clients Whilst it can save money and seem like an easy option, it’s worth using several tools available to you to attract a wider pool of talent including social media, a quality recruiter, advertising, etc. to make sure you get the very best person for the job. It’s not always easy working with family or close friends, and equally if you take on a valued customer and it doesn’t work out, it can cause a wider issue. Moving too slowly with applicants If you snooze, you can lose! In a market where excellent people are harder to find and often several companies are competing over the same person, if you don’t move quickly enough to respond, interview, decide and offer you can lose them to another local company and miss out. Lack of flexibility Many candidates are in full time employment and if they are loyal and conscientious, which you would also want, they may feel uncomfortable about disappearing or taking time off for a job interview during the working day. Remain flexible with when you can meet with them to give yourself the best chance of securing the best candidate.

Poor interview technique This is your chance to demonstrate why someone should choose to work for you and therefore you need to consider how you also perform in interview. Ensure everyone interviewing is welcoming, friendly, professional and that the questions are appropriate and structured. A bad experience for the candidate can lead them to reject your opportunity. Forgetting to sell yourselves Good candidates want to know why they should choose you over other companies in the area. During the process of selection, don’t assume you hold all of the cards and remember to fully explain and wax lyrical about your opportunity, benefits and what makes you a great company to work for. Poor communication to candidates People have taken the time to apply for your role and, in some cases, attend an interview. Ensure you are courteous enough to advise them of the outcome as it can damage your reputation to leave people hanging. Also, once a job offer is accepted, always send a timely offer letter / contract as this is their first experience of dealing with you and you want to reinforce that they made the right decision. Moving the goalposts If a candidate has made it clear from the outset what their minimum expectations are or what they are currently being paid, ensure that you are upfront from the start about whether these are realistic. Offering less after the entire interview process can lead not only to the candidate turning down your role but also make them feel devalued and aggrieved.



The Social Recruiter The rise of social media has impacted every facet of running a business – from lead generation to marketing campaigns, customer feedback to marketplace management. The oncelinear way of finding your customer and keeping them loyal is now a battle for attention across multiple social platforms. The current job seeking climate is not only unrecognisable from 10 years ago, it’s historically unprecedented. With record employment levels and wage increases year on year we’ve now moved into the candidate desert, where multiple agencies are trying to turn the head of a diminishing candidate pool. Social media is the world’s greatest democratiser, and recruitment is still a relationship-first industry – so social media and recruitment should work hand in hand to connect businesses with the best and brightest in their field. But is the power of social networks really being harnessed in Somerset? Recruitment agencies should use the rise of social media to connect, earn the trust, and build a relationship with, their candidate and client communities, and in rural communities like Somerset social media is the vital way to connect with your community. However, to rely on the spread of social media as your only way of connecting with people is not wise. It has to be measured.

There are three key points that recruiters and recruitment agencies should remember when operating on social media in our unique region. Tone of Voice ‘Friendship marketing’ is the buzzword of the last few years, but be mindful of setting too casual a tone – you’re looking after someone’s career, not searching for vanity likes. Be professional, clear and above all respectful. Stay Relevant Keep afloat of recruitment trends, keep an eye on your community news and engage with local stakeholders online, but don’t be pushy – be enthusiastic about jobs growth but treating LinkedIn only as a sales generator is a sure-fire way to alienate your community. Multi-Channel Recruiter Every site has something to give, be it LinkedIn for the individual recruiter to source candidates, or Twitter for agencies to champion a networking event, so keep consistent across all formats and remember – every client is a candidate, and every candidate could be a client, so however you’re found make sure you’re consistent!

The Older Generation It’s no surprise that skills shortages is second on the list of concerns for IoD members, with 42% of those recently questioned saying it was causing them a major headache. The downside to good job figures is that it makes it harder for organisations to find the talent they need. But are we looking in the right places? And is ageism in recruitment, conscious or not, still a factor? Currently, only 64% of people aged 55-64 in the UK are in employment. If this were to increase by just 20% – matching Sweden’s record on employing older people – it would add about £80bn to GDP. In my experience of filling job vacancies, there are a number of reasons why this demographic is overlooked. Interestingly, small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are taking advantage of this workforce faster than larger businesses and organisations. They recognise the need for more flexibility in their thinking and how they operate the business to get the most out of it.

Helen Lacey, MD

I employ two people over the age of 60. They are never late, never call in sick and are always willing to go the extra mile. Older people tend to have better work ethic; they are used to routine and structure. This is something many younger people struggle with. Emotional intelligence is

another factor. Older people, by and large, deal well with constructive feedback on their performance and realise it helps with development. Many younger employees have yet to develop that maturity and can often take feedback as criticism. From a practical point of view, older employees are more settled and less likely to be looking for a ‘career move’ – so you get great work and life experience combined with stability. That’s good for the younger workforce too. They can learn lots from those who’ve already had their career and are willing to pass on some life lessons. Many are happy fulfilling roles less demanding than their actual ability, because they don’t want too much stress or pressure. As an employer, you may be able to get great experience for a very competitive salary compared to someone trying to climb the career ladder. Older people are also able to apply all the skills and knowledge they have acquired over the years to new ventures. We’re seeing a rise in the trend of older entrepreneurs embarking on their third or fourth career. In fact, the IoD has made proposals to the Government to introduce tax incentives to encourage people in later life to pursue their business ideas and invest in training. This may not be everyone’s first choice, of course. But keeping older people connected to the business world through consulting, mentoring, part time employment or even full time employment retains their skills for longer – and that’s a win-win for all of us.




The Limitations of Vendor Managed Systems The rise in vendor managed recruitment solutions for the engineering sector began around 20 years ago, and became the norm for large companies around 10 years ago. There are various models, such as Managed Service Provision (MSP) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), all of which follow a cost-reduction imperative with a process and compliance led approach maintaining quality standards. I have a business analysis background and I know from experience that well managed recruitment process optimisation can increase efficiency and save costs for any size of organisation. However, heavily standardised processes can also become a burden when they slow down critical value adding activities. We have been involved in a number of vendor managed frameworks in the public and private sectors, which have had different business models and varying degrees of success. They generally have a mix of the following characteristics: • Standardised service – this is the opposite of personal service, with features such a generic inboxes and enquiry management via reference number. SMEs often trade on personal relationships, which are broken by the vendor managed system. • Level playing field – essentially all suppliers are given all the requirements regardless of specialism. This disadvantages niche suppliers as they often don’t have the reach to offer candidates outside their specialism.

• Corporate branding – a master vendor’s corporate identity will often erase all visibility of the supply chain. The best systems retain visibility for performance monitoring, but most don’t. • Standardised processes - a process that is beneficial overall can still be inefficient for a particular case. For example, a master vendor process may boast a twoweek lead time on all baseline security clearances, but a motivated SME can push the same process through in a week for critical staff. • Standardised mark-up – these are often low, as suppliers are willing to trade percentage points for volume, but the strategy does not work for niche suppliers, as the volumes required seldom materialise. Our experience of large frameworks made us reassess how we engaged with customers and this, in turn, influenced our sales strategy. On the critical path, absolute quality of service is more important than marginal savings and agility is more useful than a rules-based system. In this context the generic process and compliance led approach of the vendor managed system is not always a benefit, and it is possible for SMEs like ours to play to their strengths and retain a direct customer base.





Cyber Security Workshop




Simply Networking, Bridgwater


This entry level half-day workshop provides an opportunity for small to medium size businesses to understand common cyber security threats. It will examine methods to counter those threats that are both cost effective and achievable. The workshop is aimed at businesses who wish to improve their cyber security defences, and/or wish to gain cyber security accreditation. No cyber security knowledge is assumed.

Have you ever wondered what your local and regional Chambers do for business? Want to meet other local businesses to raise your profile? This evening event offers an insight into Chamber networking events as well as the opportunity to meet other like-minded business people from the area. With thanks to Sponsors, the Mercure Bridgwater who will be serving Somerset inspired cocktails and canapés for guests.

Time: 9.00 Venue: Somerset Chamber offices Cost: £45.00 Members / £75.00 Non-Members

Time: 18.00 Venue: Mercure Bridgwater Cost: £5.00 Members & Non-Members In association with

Sponsored by



Somerset Chamber Lunch, South Petherton

14 May

We are excited to introduce our first ever B2B lunch, offering networking over two courses. If you are looking to meet like-minded professionals and raise the profile of your business, then this is the event for you. Time: 12.30 Venue: Frogmary Green Farm Cost: £22.50 Members & Non-Members

In association with

Somerset Economic Update: Investing in the South West

23 May

Join us for this key event, at which a series of key note speakers will present critical information for Somerset businesses. With an economic update from the Bank of England’s South West representative, a report on the South West results of the national Quarterly Economic Survey, presentations on business growth and investment and a case study from a successful, high growth organisation on their marketing strategy. Time: 8.30 Venue: Haynes International Motor Museum Cost: £30.00 for members and non-members In association with




*Prices are plus VAT unless otherwise stated Please note due to high demand, some of these events may be fully booked by the time of printing. Please note that all non-members are entitled to attend a maximum of two Chamber events. Should you wish to attend further events, you will be required to become a Somerset Chamber member.


Somerset Business Awards 2019 Launch

30 May

We’re inviting you to join us for a bubbly reception at the iconic Museum of Somerset to celebrate this year’s launch of the largest business awards in the county. 2019 marks the 15th year of the prestigious Somerset Business Awards, and this launch offers the perfect opportunity for you to find out more about the awards, in the company of this year’s judges and previous winners. Time: 18.30 Venue: The Museum of Somerset Cost: £15.00 for members and non-members


Somerset Young Professionals, Bridgwater

Sponsored by


MD & CEO Round Table Forum, Yeovil


This forum led by Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, is specifically for Somerset MDs and CEOs to discuss common growing pains and seek solutions in confidence. This is not just a networking event; this is a forum where you can share your business challenges and speak openly on issues affecting your business. Past topics have included: Staffing, Succession Planning, Apprenticeships and much more... Time: 12:00 Venue: Yeovil Innovation Centre Cost: £26.50

In association with

13 June

These events aim to encourage professional networking and relaxed socialising for younger business professionals at the earlier stages of their career. This event will outline the 5 ways to wellbeing and practical steps you can take to incorporate these into a busy working life. Time: 18:30 Venue: Somerset Film, Bridgwater Cost: £20.00



New Business Workshop: Recording your finances

26 June

Somerset Chamber understands how hard it can be to establish your business and make it a success. We invite all members who have been operating for less than three years to join us for this free workshop. This session is designed to provide an insight on how start-ups can understand financial accounts and utilise them to grow. If you feel that you do not fully understand how to record your accounts, or what different accounting reports mean, then this is a great opportunity for you. Time: 9.00 Venue: Somerset Chamber offices Cost: Free of Charge (Members only)

Sponsored by



New Members Welcome to our newest members of the Somerset Chamber.

Biznet Professional Translation & Interpreting Ltd Translation We do what it says on the package! High quality translations in over 50 languages into and out of English. We can help boost your exports by communicating in potential clients’ native languages. David Levin, 020 7565 0909

Calling All Businesses Events & Conferencing An exciting new Networking Group that helps bring Business, Charities & Community groups together. The platform provides great opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere where people from all walks of life and background can come together and explore potential ideas, opportunities, links, along with finding superb local skills and services. John Holden, 01823 432383

Clarity Copiers Western Ltd Design Print Soon to celebrate our 40th Year in Taunton, we have become the leading supplier of photocopiers, printers, software solutions and scanners in Somerset. As a Sharp accredited centre of excellence, our experience and knowledge means we offer unparalleled customer service. Alex Stearn, 01823 337220

Company Spaces Office Services Awork space in the centre of Taunton with Coffee Shop, meeting spaces and creative desk space. We also host business breakfasts and evening events – please pop in and become a part of our work community. John Air, 01823 618217

Elevate Business Performance Business Consultancy In more than 30 years’ building and selling businesses, I think I’ve seen all the pitfalls and all the joys. I’ll help you see the wood for the trees, squeeze more from your numbers and focus on what’s important. Growing. Tim Gardner, 01823 216555 www.elevatebusinessperformance

Fox Developments Business Consultancy An independent, South West business consultancy providing support to small and medium businesses. We focus on core operations, strategy and compliance by offering practical advice to enable business development and growth. Steph Fox, 07810 403051

Green Door People Development Skills & Training Provides innovative training, transformative coaching and high-impact team-building events. Our bespoke programmes and courses are designed specifically for our clients, ensuring maximum impact. For a conversation about how we could help your business thrive please, contact us. Carly Catchpole, 07909 995302

Green & Orange Hotel & Tourism A holiday let and events business, based at Cleve Farm within the Blackdown Hills. The Stables were converted for holiday lets in 2018, and have achieved a 5* platinum rating. Please visit our website for more information. Behjat Hurren, 07375 077551

Iconography Web Design Established team of eCommerce specialists, supporting businesses to develop their online presence with high quality, responsive website design. We’ve pioneered an omnicommerce retail solution, which seamlessly powers both online and physical retailing. Rosie Rudge, 01460 258530

International Trade Matters Ltd Business Consultancy An independent consultancy, supporting Somerset companies to achieve their international trade strategy. Local experts provide a range of services covering: Preparations for Brexit, Export and Import Training, Export Manager services, AEO & AE certification and Licensing. Linda Middleton-Jones, 01398 351560


JacobJames Recruitment Recruitment A recruitment business based in North Somerset, established over 12 years ago. We provide temporary, permanent and contract staff across the South West, with expertise in: Customer Service and Sales, Administration and Secretarial, Finance and Insurance, Engineering and Science. Sarah James, 01275 859995

Langaria Financial Brokers Limited Finance Spans the chasm between the financial world and real people. Whatever your financial needs, we listen, understand and find the best solution tailored to your requirements chosen from 280 lenders. Ana Veloso, 01458 833998

Mind in Somerset Charity A self-funded organisation that actively promotes better mental health through our adult and youth support services. We are developing partnerships with local businesses and offer a range of mental health and wellbeing training. David Fields, 01935 474875

OD Talent Solutions Recruitment Your alternative to the typical Recruitment Agency model – Say goodbye to pricey placement percentages and hello to working in a cost effective and beneficial partnership. You can switch on an In-House Recruitment function as you need it! Laura O’Driscoll, 07528 136800

RSM UK Transport Accountancy The 6th largest global network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms in the world. Our passion is always the same: to help our clients move forward with confidence and realise their full potential. Liane Wheeler, 0117 945 2000

SFM Technology Engineering Design Engineers and Manufacturers offering engineering project management, mechanical fitting axis machining, grinding & boring, sheet metal work, design capability and an integrated manufacturing service. Royal Warrant holder, awarded for design and manufacture of fruit harvesting machinery. Helen Richards, 01935 822285



Tempered Consulting Business Consultancy Small business and start-up thought partner. Sometimes being the boss is lonely! Previous founding CEO of multiple businesses, here as a sounding board and invisible mentor – all industries – Brexit, Growth, Administration, New Markets, Competition, Discreet, Experienced, Agile, Adaptive. Nick Davis, 0330 223 4267

Track Systems UK Ltd Transport Experts in the design, installation and maintenance of railway and tramways in all gauges from miniature lines to the largest Theme Park Railways. A dedicated engineering facility to manufacture track and locomotives plus innovative signalling, control system and offer safety inspections. Ruth Bethel, 0121 794 9855

Train4All Skills & Training A private training provider for the Construction and Engineering Industry. A range of qualifications are available within Bricklaying, Carpentry, Plumbing and Heating, Plastering, Tiling, Ground Works, Property Maintenance, Engineering, Supervisory Management and Health & Safety. Jon Allen, 01458 274043

TRIQS Construction A well-established and experienced professional project management, cost consultant and construction management company, formed in 1999 and regulated by the RICS. We devote our energy to tailored solutions to give unsurpassed service with remarkable outcomes. Lucy Williams, 0121 212 9756

Whittlesea Mortgages Finance Provide first-class mortgage and financial protection advice. We pride ourselves on our personal touch, focused on providing the care and expertise our clients want. Sam Whittlesea, 01823 977576



BUSINESS leaders, top politicians and Chambers of Commerce from across the UK and beyond attended the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference in London last month and were told in no uncertain terms that businesses were “angry and frustrated” by the ongoing Brexit uncertainty. In a hard-hitting speech, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) told MPs: “You have let British business down. You have focused on soundbites, not substance.” He said MPs had listened to the view of business but had failed to actually hear what they had said and accused them of simply going around in circles for the last three years. He accepted that for some businesses, the uncertainty had created opportunities, but for many others it was causing serious problems. “They are facing enormous challenges and are counting the cost of uncertainty as the political impasse at Westminster continues. “In many parts of our economy – real-world damage is happening right now. Increased costs, orders lost to competitors elsewhere, contracts unrenewed, or put on hold and investments postponed, cancelled, or diverted elsewhere. “Chamber members want their voices heard. And what they are telling us, over and over again, is that they do not want a messy and disorderly exit from the European Union,” Dr Marshall said. Speaking on Thursday, March 28, the day before the UK was originally due to leave the EU, he told the conference: “Despite the latest debates and votes in the Houses of Parliament – despite the newspaper headlines and endless broadcast reports, businesses are none the wiser as to how a messy exit can be avoided on April 12. “They are none the wiser as to the terms on which the UK will leave the EU. Or indeed, at this moment, whether we will leave at all.” He said neither businesses or the country was ready for an abrupt change and that too many critical questions remained unanswered. He said it would be a dereliction of duty if MPs allowed a disorderly Brexit to go ahead and said MPs of all parties needed to stop “chasing rainbows” and secure an answer to the Brexit issue one way or another.

Dr Marshall said: “Like all of us in business, they need to start making tough decisions, however personally or politically difficult they might be. “Because all of us in business want to move on from this and get back to talking about creating the best possible environment for businesses to thrive, in every part of the United Kingdom. “We want to restore our hard-won international reputation as a great place to do business. “After all, it is business and trade that will ultimately restore confidence – both across the nations and regions of the UK and with our many partners around the world.” Dr Marshall also outlined a number of key issues he said were vital to promote long-term growth and prosperity and called for: • A stable training system that works with business to develop the huge potential of our people • An immigration policy that opens doors to skills from around the world • A resolute Government commitment to funding and financing infrastructure for better transport, ends digital not-spots and ensures energy security. • An approach to international trade that fixates less on the political symbolism of trade agreements, and more on helping businesses in the real world to win new customers and explore new global markets. He said Chambers of Commerce across the country would continue to work together with local and national Government to create the conditions for success but accepted the next few months would be challenging for businesses across the board. He concluded: “The next chapter of our national story is about to be written. It is a chapter that will be marked by the challenges of Brexit and global economic change. “It will be a tough period for many in business who will be forced to take difficult decisions due to factors far beyond their own control.


FEATURE: #BCCCONF “But it will also be a time when the dedication and passion of British business truly shines through. “Through it all, Chambers of Commerce will be there for business, looking ahead with confidence – and a fierce belief in what we can achieve together.” His speech was greeted with thunderous applause from the hundreds of delegates who had filled the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster. And it was fair to say Brexit dominated the agenda as business leaders were joined by senior politicians from across the political spectrum. During the day there were speeches from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor or London, was joined by Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Lidington, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Secretary for Exiting the EU. Aside from the political messages, big business was also well represented with speakers including Dave Lewis, the CEO of Tesco, Alison Rose, the Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and the CEO of Commercial and Private Banking as well as Holly Tucker, the founder of online retailer notonthehighstreet. Mr Lewis called on the Government to introduce a tax on online sales to help fund a reduction in business rates for High Street shops and warned thousands of jobs could be under threat unless more was done to help the High Street retail sector. Mr Lewis said: “Retail in 2018 was brutal. Stores closed and businesses failed – 61,000 jobs were lost between March and September alone, followed by a disastrous November and then, for many, the worst Christmas in a decade. “Rates have become a rising tax on investment while profit taxes have fallen. It is a drag on growth and a drag on competitiveness. There’s no longer a balance between taxation and sales.


Fellow Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer said the worst of all outcomes would be a no deal Brexit: “Most business are very concerned about that. Businesses are not interested in who is to blame, they want to know who how we will get out of it.” Speaking before Mrs May’s withdrawal deal was voted down for a third time, Conservative MP Ms Truss said the PM’s deal was the one MPs had to back to be able to move forward and secure a good trade agreement with the EU. She said: “Enterprise is the lifeblood of this country. Enterprise is a force for good in our society. I am the voice of optimism and I believe things are getting better. If we look at the economy, we are in a strong position . . . these may be turbulent times but there are great opportunities for businesses to grow.” Fellow Conservative MP Mr Lidington echoed her comments and said new technology offered opportunities but also accepted businesses were currently facing difficult times. And he added: “A no deal Brexit would mean disruption to business in every part of Britain and would be a threat to the integrity of the union of the UK itself. “It is a tribute to the strength of UK businesses that the economy remains robust.” Other speakers included Emma Gilthorpe, the Executive Director of Heathrow, Edmund King, the President of the Automobile Association, Nigel Wilson, the Chief Executive of Legal and General and Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC. Ms Tucker of notonthehighstreet fame closed the conference with the story of how her online businesses came into being and her ongoing campaign to champion small businesses.


“As 20 per cent of sales have gone online, the burden on business rates has stayed and increased on a declining sales base. “That’s why I believe it is time to consider an online sales levy so that the burden of tax can follow the sales.” He said a two per cent level on online sales could raise £1.5 billion a year – enough to fund a 20 per cent cut in business rates for High Street shops. He also told the conference he believed the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy was “broken” and had effectively become an 80 per cent tax on apprenticeships. “We want to take on more apprentices but we’re being barred because it’s just not cost effective. The Government has to act, “he said. Labour MP Mr Khan focused on Brexit and was critical of the Government and Prime Minister Theresa May. He said Article 50 – the legal document which formalises the UK’s exit from the EU – should not have been triggered until a “proper plan” was in place. He said 26 Ministers had now resigned since Mrs May had become Prime Minister – but joked that at least meant she had a flexible approach to the labour market. “Our political and economic landscape has been shaken to its core. The rest of this historic chapter has yet to be written but it will determine this country’s path for decades to come. “Party politics are being put above the economy and the needs of business. This should never have been allowed to happen,” Mr Khan said.

PROVIDING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF COMPLIANT CDM BESPOKE Fully outsourced CDM package SAFE Safe workers, safe visitors & safe sites COMPLIANT RAMS, Site Safety Files & HSE notifications Atlas Safety Management Ltd. Unit Z1 Westpark, Chelston, Wellington, Taunton, Somerset TA21 9AD

01823 299580



Cornish Mutual welcomes new recruits to growing Somerset team Cornish Mutual has welcomed three new recruits to its expanding Somerset team to meet growing demand from farms and rural businesses. Leanne Pitman, Will Weatherill and Jack Webster are the newest members of the South West insurer’s Field Force team – the company’s ‘boots on the ground’, who visit Members to offer insurance advice. A former member of Culm Valley Young Farmers, Leanne Pitman spent much of her childhood on her grandparents’ farm in Wellington. With a Business Management degree from the University Centre Somerset, Leanne also has a background working as an account manager in private medical insurance. Leanne will support Cornish Mutual Members in South Somerset, including the Bridgwater and Taunton areas. Will Weatherill is still very active on his parents’ farm, where he grew up. Prior to joining Cornish Mutual, he worked for Santander, Audi and in a business development role for Glide Facilities, a student facilities company in Bristol. Focusing on the East of the county, Will’s role includes advising Members in Wellington and Tiverton and the area north of Exmoor. Jack Webster, who will be responsible for looking after Cornish Mutual’s Members in North Somerset, grew up in the Mendips, where he still lives with his young family. He previously worked in various general insurance roles, including a position at a health insurance company.

Cornish Mutual Business Development Leader Philip Wilson said: “As a mutual organisation, Cornish Mutual is owned by its Members so it is really important that we have a strong Field Force team, to meet their needs. With growing numbers of Somerset’s farms and rural businesses choosing Cornish Mutual for their insurance, it is important that we continue to grow and develop. “Leanne, Will and Jack are welcome additions to our Somerset team, allowing Cornish Mutual to build a strong network of locally-based advisors to support our Members in their own environments.”



Web top tips from Teapot

incredibly insightful. They help us work out how to improve a website’s performance and what tricks we can use to keep Google interested in our site.

Here at Teapot Creative we use design and digital creativity to transform businesses. We have put together a list of 10 Website Top Tips. Some very obvious - some a little more complicated!

9. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology that encrypts data sent between a computer (or mobile device) and a website

1. Navigation: Make it clear and concise.

Without SSL any data sent from your computer to a website and back again could potentially be picked up and read by someone. To make this a bit easier to understand, imagine one of those old 1970’s spy movies where someone is at the top of a telegraph pole pretending to be a phone engineer but really they are listening in to a telephone conversation. SSL will make the digital data being sent between your website and a computer impossible for someone to intercept and understand.

Your customers won’t want to trawl through reams of text. So, it needs to be in an obvious place and be readable and well written. There will need to be a decent amount of it for Google to read but absolutely no waffle! 2. Clear call to action: If you’re an e-commerce site this is particularly important. This entices people to follow a certain route. This call to action should be picked out in a highlight colour - usually contrasting to the rest of your site so it jumps off the page and catches your customer’s eye. You could even design a fabulous button in an usual shape or add some animated movement to the button it to make it stand out. 3. Imagery: Make yourself stand out from the crowd Bright and unique photography or artwork can work wonders. The quality of your images is also vital. Some professional product shots or head shots will pay dividends in the end. 4. Image Optimisation: Jpeg, Png or WebP? Google’s biggest expense its electricity bill so, it promotes websites that load fast. You’ll also need to make sure your images are small in file size. This means making sure they are exactly the right size and resolution for the job. There are ways of doing this yourself and we have put together step by step instructions here: optimising-images-tutorial-5-affinity-photo-macos/. Alternatively there are compression plug ins such as Smush which can help with this.

It might seems like a complicated subject so why not read out blog to find out more: 10. Looking Forward - Keeping your site up to date! Once your site is live, don’t think its all over for a minute! This is where the work starts in a way. Keep reviewing your site - make sure it is in line with your business model as your business grows and changes. Keep the look of the site fresh - dated sites don’t perform well in terms of engagement and sales conversions. If you would like any more infomation on these subjects please don’t hesitate to pop in for a cuppa or get in touch on 01460 281865 |

5. SEO: Gen up on what search terms Find out what people are searching for on line in your sector and market area. Get some analysis done on the key words your competitors are using and if there are any that are unique to you. You can then focus on them and ensure these are included regularly in your text so the right people find you. 6. Blog: a blog is an easy way to create fresh and engaging content Google loves fresh, organic content! Blogs are the perfect way of keeping your site developing and growing which can help establish you as a leader in your line of business. 7. Semantic markup - use the correct HTML elements for the content you want to display For example: don’t use line breaks and bullet points to denote a list. Use the unordered or ordered list elements. Don’t make paragraph text bold and increase it’s size to create a header either! You need to use the actual heading 2/3/4 element to break up your content. 8. Analyse - Use Google Analytics You can use Google Analytics or other analytics solutions to take a look at how people are using your site and see what content is doing well and what isn’t. There are lots of features we use regularly in these analytics packages and they can be



Business to Business Dinner, Yeovil

#WELLCONNECTED Ladies Afternoon Tea

p David Woan, Yeovil Chamber; Rachel Brannagan, Wessex RFCA; Warrant Officer Barry Firth; Stephen Henagulph, Somerset Chamber; Jon Beake, Wessex RFCA; Durgan p Kate Ward and Joanne Canniford, Cooper Associates; Anita

Cooper, CETSAT

Hayne, Hayne Consulting Ltd; Rebecca Fournier D’Albe, Hawksmoor Investment Management.

p Helen Lacey, Red Berry Recruitment; Lindsey Nutbeen, Augmentum Business Solutions; Carolyn Matravers, Old Mill Accountants & Financial Planners; Loren Gray, Somerset

p Serena Rowland and Andy Bevins, Rebecca Bevins HR; Michael Evans, Albert Goodman

Chamber of Commerce

p Natalie Godeau, Red Berry Recruitment; Beverley Fletcher, Newsquest South West

p Rachel Brannagan, Wessex RFCA; Gemma Whitehead, Thoroughbred Design & Print Ltd

p Warren Mantle and Nikita Thomas, Red Berry Recruitment

p Simon Dawes, Cooper Associates; Kayleigh Gibbs, Somerset Chamber; Charl Willoughby, Cooper Associates


Somerset Young Professionals



The Future of Business Post-Brexit

p Luke Matthews, Alex Tonkins and Alastair Thompson; Teapot Creative

p David Faulkner Bryant, The Visa Office Ltd; Julian Russell, Leonardo Helicopters; Mike Spicer, British Chambers of Commerce; Stephen Henagulph, Somerset Chamber of Commerce; Mark Johnson, Kuehne & Nagel

p Megan Trick, Lauren Sharland and Adam Keely; Albert Goodman p David Faulkner-Bryant, The Visa Office Ltd

p Rachel Szaruta, Aspen Maintenance Services Ltd; Paris Flood, Porter Dodson; Rosie Rudge, Iconography Ltd

TWEETS What an uplifting afternoon spent in beautiful surroundings and in the company of some truly inspirational women. Proud sponsor @OldMillAFP #WomeninBusiness #InternationalWomenDay2019 #BalancedForBetter @chambersomerset @OMCarolynM

Thank you to @chambersomerset for hosting a great event at Crowcombe Court last night! Met some fab new people and learned a lot. #LinkedIn #Networking #Somerset @iconographyltd @ADPRLtd Ltd @PardoesLLP

p Stuart Mathews, Ashfords; Steve Whitlock, Numatic International Ltd

@chambersomerset Our Head of Financial Reporting @AndyYarlington is off to @chambersomerset panel today to explore the future of #business post-Brexit to ensure Yarlington is prepared for all eventualities #Brexit #BrexitReady @yarlingtonhg

Lyndsey gave a very funny and inspiring talk. Thank you to the Chamber for organising #Ladies #InternationalWomensDay #Women #Business #Somerset @RedBerryRec

It was a fantastic event! Great to be with so many like-minded business women! Thank you for the fab afternoon @PardoesLLP


MEMBER NEWS Cooper Associates launch Foundation Cooper Associates Group has announced the launch of its charitable Cooper Associates Foundation, which will support organisations and charities within the local community. The company is already a keen supporter of a number of local organisations and is well known for being the ground naming rights partner at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the home of Somerset County Cricket Club. Tom Abell, captain of Somerset CCC, is a trustee of the Cooper Associates Foundation. Ros Kirk, Head of People Strategy & Development at Cooper Associates Group, said: “The Cooper Associates Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Cooper Associates Group, acting to support charities through clients and partners associated with the Cooper Associates community.

“Our giving is guided by themes, with the main focus on children and young people who have special needs through illness or disability, or who are disadvantaged in other ways. We will also look to support other good causes within the Taunton region.” Ros said the foundation was also keen to support small to mediumsized charities which would benefit substantially from a donation. National charities would only be considered if they could clearly show the money would be spent in the local community. “Importantly, all of our Foundation’s administration costs are covered, so everything raised goes straight to the charities we support,” Ros said. Ros said Foundation funds would be raised in a number of different ways: “Initially, we will rely on our colleagues at Cooper Associates, who are keen

to support our charitable Foundation in any way they can. This will include donating from their earnings and organising a variety of fundraising events. “We are also hoping some people will follow in the footsteps of Owen Irish, one of our mortgage advisers, and take on an amazing challenge. “Owen ran three marathons in three days last year, raising over £5,000 in the process – a fantastic amount of money for an astounding achievement. In addition to this, we will be hosting our first charity ball later in the year,” said Ros. Any local charities or organisations that are looking for support can contact the foundation by emailing for more information about current themes and funding criteria.



St Margaret’s Cycle The second St Margaret’s Hospice Great Somerset Cycle 2019, sponsored by law firm Clarke Willmott and retailer The Bicycle Chain, has raised over £12,000 for the charity. Some 90 cyclists took part in the event on Sunday 24 March, to raise funds for St Margaret’s, which runs in-patient units in Taunton and Yeovil, as well as five community-based teams who care for patients in their own homes. The riders set off from both the Taunton and Yeovil hospices and completed either a 40-mile ride from hospice to hospice, or an 80-mile round trip challenge; the latter was also tackled and completed by a team from Clarke Willmott. Kate Gardner, Partner and Head of Clarke Willmott’s Taunton office, herself a keen cyclist, said: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting

St Margaret’s Hospice and the Great Somerset Cycle. “Members of our staff took part in the last event and enjoyed it so much we decided to be main sponsor this year! “The charity does a great deal of work for the people within our local community and their families and we want to show our support for how grateful we are to both their workers and volunteers.” Sadie Ellison, Corporate fundraiser at St Margaret’s Hospice, said: “The money raised will go directly to ensuring St Margaret’s Hospice continues to make each day count for patients and their families across Somerset. “For example, this money could go towards 50 counselling sessions for a child who has lost a parent, it could pay for 20 home visits, keeping patients in the comfort of their own

home, or it could ensure there is someone to call even in the middle of the night by funding 80 calls to our advice line.” Sadie added: “The beautiful weather and the companionship and encouragement of fellow cyclists along the route made for an excellent day and, so far, the event has helped to raise over £12,000 with sponsorship and donations still coming in.”

Letterpress For anyone who doesn’t know about letterpress, it’s a very old printing process – established by Johannes Gutenberg over 500 years ago. Every letter printed is positioned one at a time and even includes placing the physical spaces between each line of text. Even the Somerset County Gazette was once printed using letterpress but evolutions in printing meant that letterpress became unviable by the mid 1980s. Today there are very few places letterpress printing is carried out – but, the medium is currently having a resurgence as a creative process. Tucked away in the heart of Milverton there is one local workshop run by Carl Middleton (creative director of Neat). Carl has one of the largest collections of antique wood type in Somerset and when he’s not carrying out his graphic design work he can be found with his sleeves rolled up, wearing an apron, merrily printing away. By its nature the process is time consuming – it’s not like computer design where you can change the typeface, colour or layout at the flick of a switch. Everything is done by hand and if you want to change from Times to Gill you have to take everything apart and reassemble your project. For Carl, letterpress printing affords a little ‘slow time’ – a mindful space away from his computer where he can think about design in a different way. Letterpress and graphic design use the same language – we still describe letterforms in ‘upper’ and ‘lower case’, reflecting on how the letters were originally stored in individual cases.

Carl is trying to keep this history alive in his workshop and continues to gather redundant equipment from around the country to add to his collection. Carl’s letterpress work has been exhibited internationally and recently was selected for an exhibition at the Hamilton Wood Type & Museum (Wisconsin, USA). Hamilton holds one of the world’s largest collections of letterpress equipment and each year invites designers from across the world to submit their work. Submissions range from traditional fine typography to experimental printing where letters are manufactured by 3D printing or laser cutting. For more information about Hamilton visit: More information about Carl’s letterpress studio can be found at:




Hack the Buyer Brain The award-winning founder of Automation Ninjas, Kenda MacDonald, has published a guide to surviving modern marketing using a mix of science and experience.

“To fix this problem, businesses weigh themselves down with technology and tactics. For too long we’ve overlooked the key driver behind consumers: the brain.”

Hack the Buyer Brain combines buyer psychology and marketing strategy with real-life case studies to help businesses generate more leads and convert them into long term happy customers.

She said advances in psychology and neuroscience had given key insights into how the brain works, leading to greater understanding of different processes, from paying attention, through to how we decide what to buy.

Kenda has already sold more than 100 pre-order copies of the book which is due for release in early April.

“Through years of running an agency specialising in behavioural marketing automation, having worked with hundreds of businesses over the last eight years, I have combined my experience with my background in forensic psychology to provide a practical guide to surviving modern marketing,” Kenda said.

She said: “Consumers are fed up with marketing. Businesses need marketing to survive. This divide between what consumers want and what businesses need is the biggest challenge threatening the survival of modern businesses.

Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Hack the Buyer Brain uses science and experience to provide a path for better marketing strategies by giving an insight into why consumers do what they do with a view to generating more leads and converting sales. Hack the Buyer Brain is available for pre-order from Kenda, with delivery due in early April. Pre-ordering ensures a 30% discount off the list price on Amazon, and a first edition copy signed by the author. hack-the-buyer-brain

Cognique is moving

A Taunton entrepreneur has won the prestigious Female Entrepreneur of the Year award at the South West Business Awards, beating off competition from 14 other shortlisted nominees. Companies across the South West attended the evening of recognition and celebration on Thursday 24 January 2019 at The Doubletree by Hilton in Swindon. Emma Warren, 38, from Elite Staffing Solutions in Taunton was presented the award by Jackie Chappell, the first woman CEO of British Rail. Emma won the award due to an impressive sustainable margin and growth. Elite Staffing Solutions is a professional recruitment agency that supports a number of employment markets and operates throughout Somerset and the South West. Emma launched Elite in January 2015 in order to bring a fresh new approach to recruitment within specialist sectors. Emma is passionate about providing the highest level of service to clients and candidates and acting with integrity and transparency. Emma said: “I am truly delighted to have won this award as it recognises our achievements as a business, which I have developed whilst raising a young family.”

From April 1 2019, Somerset based website and digital marketing agency, Cognique, will be based at the Rural Enterprise Centre (REC) on the Bath and West Showground. The studio move is part of Cognique’s continued growth and expansion. The agency has seen significant growth in new website enquiries and has recently recruited a Digital Marketer, creating additional in-house expertise and support for its retained marketing clients. “We’ve been working with Somerset-based businesses for over a decade and we’re looking forward to continuing to build on that creative heritage from the heart of a muchloved Somerset location,” said Cognique Managing Director, Nigel Reece. “The REC gives us the perfect location to continue supporting Somerset’s vibrant rural and food and drink enterprises, helping them develop, grow and achieve their business ambitions,” he added.




Clarke Willmott in Taunton up for a brace at DASLS legal awards The Taunton office of national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has been shortlisted in two categories at the 2019 Devon and Somerset Law Society (DASLS) Legal Awards. The office, which has eight teams listed as top tiers in the Legal 500 and Chambers directories, is shortlisted for the Law Firm of the Year Award (11+ partners). In addition, Kayleigh Linford, Commercial Team Supervisor in Clarke Willmott’s Debt Recovery team, has been shortlisted in the Rising Star category. Kate Gardner, partner and head of the Taunton office, said: “DASLS is an important organisation for the legal profession and we are delighted to have been shortlisted for Law Firm of the Year. This is a credit to all who work in the Taunton office.” Kayleigh, who joined in 2014, has risen swiftly through the ranks and now has direct accountability for more than 80 clients and a team of case workers. Phil Roberts, Partner and joint Head of the Debt Recovery team said: “Kayleigh has worked incredibly hard. She is a valued and popular member of the team who always has a smile on her face and is loved by her clients. Her short-listing for this prestigious award is the perfect recognition of her

all-round professionalism and drive to be the very best she can be.” Kayleigh, a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), said: “Clarke Willmott has provided great support to me and my efforts to progress my legal career and I enjoy working with my colleagues every day to deliver the best possible service to our clients.” The awards, designed to showcase the most talented legal professionals across the two counties, will culminate in a glittering ceremony on April 4 in the beautiful and historic setting of Exeter Cathedral. The Taunton office previously won the DASLS Law Firm of the Year award in 2017 which followed a win at the Somerset Business Awards in 2012 for Business of the Year. Clarke Willmott LLP is a national law firm with seven offices across the country, in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.



Precision manufacturing company celebrates Apprenticeship Awards victory A precision manufacturing company from Bridgwater is celebrating a double success at the Bridgwater and Taunton College Apprenticeship Awards. M-CNC was named ‘Small Employer of the Year’ at the ceremony this week, and its Apprentice Quality Inspector Edward Morgan was one of just 13 nominees for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ from 3,000 students.

M-CNC is determined to maintain Bridgwater’s strong reputation within engineering, and its commitment to improving the current engineering skills in the South West has seen the company mentor three apprentices since 2011. This year it went even further and offered apprenticeships to three individuals rather than just one, signalling its intention to invest in and train the engineers of the future. These apprentices are all trained with the support of Bridgwater and Taunton College, and M-CNC’s Managing Director Mark Wylde is keen to ensure that the new recruits can also benefit from his 30 years of hands-on experience. One of the recruits, Edward Morgan, is already proving himself to be a wonderful investment. Just a month after beginning his apprenticeship, Edward found himself taking on additional responsibilities when a staff member left. It is for this reason that he was nominated for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ and, although he did not win the award, M-CNC is very proud of his achievements to date and his future in the industry. Mark Wylde, Managing Director of M-CNC, said: “Everyone at M-CNC is delighted and proud to have won the ‘Small Employer of the Year’ Award. We understand how fundamental skills, knowledge and experience are to our industry, and we are determined to support the future of engineering excellence in Bridgwater through apprenticeships with Bridgwater and Taunton College.”

Hippychick named best SME at South West Business Awards Hippychick, a family owned nursery accessories business based in Bridgwater, is celebrating being crowned best SME at the South West Business Awards. The news was announced at a ceremony held in Swindon. The best SME in the South West Award was collected by Co-Managing Director of Hippychick, Jeremy Minchin and coincides with Hippychick’s celebration of its 20th year in business in 2019. Hippychick was also a finalist in the Employer of the Year Awards category. The South West Business and Community Awards are designed to recognise businesses, charities and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution in the region. The nominations were judged by a panel of luminaries in the business world including Jackie Chappell (first women CEO of British Rail), entrepreneur Alison Edgar and James Phipps, Chairman of Excalibur. Hippychick, a £3.5 million turnover business, was founded by Julia Minchin 20 years ago with its flagship product being the Hippychick Hipseat. It now employs 17 members of staff and distributes 1,300 product lines, many of which are exclusive to Hippychick in the UK.

Commenting on the award win, Jeremy Minchin said: “It’s been tough for the last couple of years with the market uncertainty surrounding Brexit and this continues to have a damaging impact on our business. But we are weathering the storm and have a fantastic team of people to help us navigate through it. It’s great news to win this award, not only, but also in our twentieth year but amidst so many gloomy announcements about business prospects in the UK. “Hippychick has been based in Somerset for the past 20 years. We intend to remain here and continue to be part of the UK business community for many more years to come.”




West Country Blacksmiths bespoke metalwork shortlisted for the Architects’ Journal Architecture Specification Awards A bespoke staircase project made in Somerset by Exmoor based West Country Blacksmiths has been shortlisted for the Architects’ Journal Architecture specification award 2019 in the category of ‘Stairs and Lifts’. The staircase was created for a property in the nature reserve of Sartfell Mountain on the Isle of Man. The project is a real Somerset based collaboration. The house was designed by Foster Lomas, a London based architects practice which was originally founded by friends Greg Lomas and Will Foster who both grew up in Somerset and visit family in Somerset regularly. The metalwork design concept was developed between the architects, CAD Designer John Hesp of Porlock and West Country Blacksmiths based near Minehead. The central feature of the property is eight tonnes worth of bespoke metalwork, all made by West Country Blacksmiths at their historic National Trust Forge on the Holnicote Estate. The metalwork includes two staircases and walkways made from steel and perforated stainless steel and incorporates steel bookshelves that span over two floors. The metalwork has been finished with a unique antiquing acid etch treatment with a protective lacquered finish, with the exception of the handrail which has been hand polished

prior to the protective lacquer finishing. The treads and walkways have been made from perforated stainless steel which has been grain polished. The team took over seven months to develop the design and produce the metalwork, which was sent from Somerset to the Isle of Man on two lorries with the team’s tools. The craftsmen of West Country Blacksmiths flew out to meet and install their metalwork which took over seven days to install. West Country Blacksmiths co-founder said: “We were privileged to be given the opportunity to work on this project and we’re extremely proud of what the team involved in the project have produced. We are so proud that the quality of design and execution of this metalwork has been recognised by industry experts and shortlisted as one of the six best ‘Stairs and Lifts’ projects in the country”. The building was also shortlisted in the AJ Architects ‘House of the Year’ category for 2018.



Walpole Dunn apprenticeship awards Accountants Walpole Dunn tasted success at the Somerset Apprenticeship Awards 2019 this month when they won the ‘New to Apprenticeships’ award at the ceremony. The event was hosted at the Haynes Motor Museum by Grow Somerset Talent and was a fantastic finale to National Apprenticeship Week. The Somerset Apprenticeship Awards celebrate all that is great about apprenticeships and the individuals and employers who continually strive for excellence. The evening was a huge success attended by apprentices, employers and the six associated apprenticeship training providers across Somerset, covering a wide range of different businesses of all sizes. “As we approach the first anniversary of hiring our first apprentice, it’s great to be recognised for our approach to developing new talent, work with local education providers, and the learning opportunities that we provide to our apprentices,” said Nick Walpole, Director. His comments were echoed by fellow Director, Tony Dunn: “It was a great night of celebration and a good chance to hear about the incredible work being done by apprentices and employers around the county.

“Somerset has a fantastic business community providing a whole host of opportunities for students looking for fresh and exciting roles as an apprentice.” Walpole Dunn is an independent firm of Chartered Certified Accountants in Taunton. The firm focuses on servicing owner-managed small and medium-sized businesses, specialising in delivering business and tax support whilst helping clients to manage the burden of accountancy and tax compliance.

ADPR walk for charity Somerset Chamber of Commerce member, ADPR, will be taking on one of the UK’s toughest walks, the Jurassic Coast Challenge, in aid of mental health charity, MIND. The ADPR team will be walking 52km (36miles) and climbing an ascent of 1,650m (5,413ft) across the spectacular Jurassic coast, England’s only natural world heritage site. Starting off at Poole Harbour, the 10-strong team will complete the challenge in a single day and will walk across famous landmarks including Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door and then it’s up and down all the way to the finishing point in Weymouth.

ADPR’s Managing Director, Kate O’Sullivan, said: “With one in four people in the world being affected by mental health disorders, most of us will have been directly affected by mental health issues or will know someone who has. “We feel really passionately about supporting the great work being done by mental health charities such as MIND and wanted to take part in a whole-team challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone. “The Jurassic Coast Challenge will be both a mental and physical test, but hopefully an enjoyable one!” The ADPR team is hoping to raise £3,000 for MIND when they step out on the walk on 8 June. The charity challenge also marks the start of a new wellbeing plan being implemented at ADPR. Other wellbeing activities include a member of staff being trained as a mental health first aider, a cross-agency stress management workshop and an ongoing mentoring scheme for staff. ADPR was set up more than 28 years ago and has a strong heritage within the marine sector. The agency now has a range of clients from across the marine, health, wellbeing, travel and outdoor sectors. Clients include Dean & Reddyhoff, Fusion Entertainment, Sunsail, The Moorings, Fairline Yachts, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Sleepwell and Helly Hansen. If you would like to support ADPR’s fundraising challenge, please visit




Bridgwater and Taunton College on a winning streak Bridgwater and Taunton College’s National College for Nuclear (NCfN) Southern Hub has beaten competition from big multi-nationals to win a top award for its use of cutting-edge technology. The college team won the Skills Innovation of the Year category at the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance (Semta) Skills Awards, beating stiff competition from Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota Manufacturing. The Skills Innovation of the Year category examined the ways in which organisations have harnessed the latest technology to improve their delivery of skills training and the positive impact this has had on the workforce. The college’s entry detailed the innovative work it is carrying out at the NCfN to address the urgent need for large numbers of skilled technicians to deliver the UK’s civil nuclear programme. Recognising that unskilled and unqualified staff cannot practice in a live nuclear power plant, the college has used virtual reality simulation

to recreate a ‘live’ installation within the NCfN, meaning that those new to the sector or considering a career in nuclear can see, as if at first hand, what the inside of a nuclear power plant looks like. The winners were announced at the Semta Skills Awards ceremony on Thursday, 21 March, at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London. Meanwhile, the college further added to its tally of awards, winning the Apprenticeship Programme of the Year Award at the annual Tes FE Awards 2019. The judges noted the college had moved quickly to help develop the skills that apprentices would need to pursue a career at nearby Hinkley Point C power station.

The college, which is half an hour’s drive from the power station, is training 300 apprentices over a three-year period. This is in collaboration with construction company Bylor, a joint venture between British and French firms which is responsible for the main civil engineering contract at the site. There are currently only 600 steel fixers in the UK – with an average age of 56 – so the college’s training is helping to fill an acute skills gap. And as well as meeting a national need, it’s also helping local people in and around Somerset find secure, full-time employment. The judges said the college had demonstrated innovation in its response to the skills needs of the major development on its doorstep.

SSG workshop SSG Training and Consultancy, which has an office in Rumwell Hall, near Taunton, will be holding its first ever breakfast event on April 16 at the company’s head office in Plymouth. The two-hour breakfast event, ‘What to do When an Inspector Calls’, will be presented by ex-HSE Inspector and current SSG Trainer and Consultant Mark Fuge and will include the chance to network. The event will cover what to do if an HSE Inspector were to arrive on site during a routine visit or after an accident, asking questions including: are you working to the correct standards? What information will the HSE want if there is an accident? What is the correct way to respond to the HSE? How does the HSE decide to take enforcement action? Mark Fuge, SSG Trainer and Consultant, said: “This breakfast event is a chance for delegates from different industry sectors to come together and gain knowledge of the workings of the HSE and the processes that take place on a workplace visit. “It is also a great opportunity for them to network with each other and ask any questions they might have with regards to the HSE.” More information about the event, or to book a space, please contact SSG on 01752 201616.

NRL Group recognition The NRL Group has reaffirmed its commitment to driving diversity in recruitment by achieving Association of Professional Staffing Companies’ (APSCo) Member Committed to Diversity status. APSCo asks members to demonstrate how their recruitment solutions and business operations have been developed to encourage diversity and an inclusive workforce. Discussing the achievement, NRL’s Chief Operating Officer, David Redmayne, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised by APSCo as a recruitment agency that is committed to driving diversity. “Operating in traditionally male-dominated engineering and technical sectors for over 35 years, as an agency we recognise the vital importance of a diverse workforce for our clients. “Our new diversity commitment is a personal pledge to our clients, contractors and candidates that we undertake recruitment and resourcing with a strong moral compass.”



Perrys Recycling charity paper banks Perrys Recycling is encouraging residents to recycle their unwanted paper in the company’s charity paper banks to help raise thousands of pounds for the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF). The banks can be found at most supermarket car park recycling areas across the county and for every tonne of paper recycled through one of the dozens of paper banks, £10 is donated to SCF. Newspapers, magazines, greetings cards, junk mail and telephone books can all be recycled, creating an easy and straightforward way for people in Somerset to raise money for their local community.

Since the launch of the first charity paper bank in 2011, the scheme has raised an incredible £20,000 for SCF. Perrys also has a number of charity paper banks that raise funds for three other community foundations in the South West – in Dorset, Wiltshire and Quartet, which covers North Somerset, B&NES and Bristol. The scheme has so far raised £33,000 for all four community foundations. David Harris, Community Recycling Manager at Perrys Recycling, said: “What is so great about this scheme is that by recycling their unwanted paper in our charity paper banks, residents are not only helping the environment, they are also helping your local communities, by raising funds for their local community foundation. “Community foundations award grants to local grassroots charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, meaning that everyone in the community can benefit from our charity recycling scheme.” For a full list of Perrys charity paper banks visit: www. or call Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 or Perrys Recycling on 0800 1692574. Perrys Recycling is a family-run recycling company based in Marston Magna near Yeovil, with other depots in Bridgwater and Appledore in Devon. If you run a local community project and would like to find out more about grant funding, more information is available from Somerset Community Foundation on 01749 344949 or via the website at

WHY at 25 Cancer counselling charity We Hear You is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this year after offering free, professional help and advice for people with cancer for 25 years. The charity started in 1994 as Positive Action on Cancer, a telephone helpline for women with breast cancer, operating from founder Jill Miller’s living room. Since then, the charity has grown exponentially, re-launching as We Hear You (WHY) in 2016. It now offers free professional counselling to children, young people and adults across Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset and Wiltshire who are affected by cancer or a life-threatening condition. WHY supports anyone affected by a diagnosis: patients and friends, family members and colleagues of someone who is unwell – the charity recognises the far-reaching impact of a life-

threatening condition on everybody involved. The charity does not place any time limit on people seeking help and recognises that the right time to talk isn’t the same for everyone; the emotional impact of a life-threatening diagnosis has no time limit, so neither does WHY’s service. Gemma Wilkes, Fundraising and Communications Manager for WHY, said: “Referrals have more than doubled between 2011 and 2017 and show no sign of slowing. “With one in two people expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and the ‘living with and beyond cancer’ population set to reach 4million by 2030, sadly the need for the kind of support we can provide is near-universal. “We have responded to this increase by expanding our team and our

service and since late 2018 we’ve been providing more than 100 sessions per week across 20 locations.” She said as the charity celebrated its 25th anniversary, the team were conscious of the need for continued growth. “In addition to foundations and grantmaking trusts, it’s the activities of individuals and organisations who run events for us, climb mountains, run marathons, provide in-kind sponsorship in the form of goods, services, or their time and skills. “These are the people who have helped us get to where we are and who are vital in ensuring we’re still here in another 25 years,” Gemma added.



Source: BAD News (Business Advisers News)

Plans to boost female entrepreneurship

Energy efficiency scheme consultation launched

A third of business start ups are set up by women, according to an independent review commissioned by the Treasury. The review also found that female-led businesses were on average half the size of male-led businesses and were more likely to have a turnover under £1 million. In response to the review, the Treasury has introduced a new Code for Investing in Women which will require banks and other lenders to publish information showing whether businesses they have provided loans to are male- or femaleled. Other initiatives announced by the Treasury include improvements in online advice for all businesses and a female-focused investment fund.

The Department for Business is consulting on proposals for a new energy efficiency scheme for smaller businesses. The consultation is seeking views about how to overcome market failures in the small business energy market and how an energy efficiency scheme would improve knowledge about advice, voluntary audits and grants and loans available to improve energy efficiency. The consultation closes on May 8 2019.

Read more about the initiatives at:

Minimum wage review and apprenticeship reforms A review of how minimum wage levels are set has been announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. The review will examine the impact employment and productivity have on minimum wage rates and will consider the views of employer organisations, trade unions and the Low Pay Commission. The review will define how the future national minimum wage levels are set from 2020. The Chancellor also announced that reforms to the apprenticeship co-investment rate announced in the Autumn Budget will be introduced 12 months early on April 1 2019. Read more about the review at:

Farmers advised to apply early for this year’s funding schemes Farmers and land managers applying for BPS are urged to do so in good time ahead of the May 15 deadline. To read more, go to:

Read more about the consultation at: energy-efficiency-scheme-for-small-and-medium-sizedbusinesses-call-for-evidence

Retail footfall sees biggest decline in five years Retail footfall experienced the biggest decline in five years in February as Brexit no deal concerns weakened consumer spending, says BRC-Springboard footfall and vacancies February 2019 report. To read more, go to:

Review into business support for young people A review into the barriers faced by young people in England when they start or grow a business has been announced by the Department for Business. The review will cover access to finance, advice and support, as well as the support available to young people from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds. The review will be led by the Prince’s Trust and its recommendations will be published in summer 2019. Read more about the review at:




Affiliate Town Chambers & Business Associations Axbridge Chamber of Commerce T: 01934 733078 | E: Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce T: 01278 228004 | E: Bruton Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 813291 | E: Burnham-on-Sea Chamber of Trade & Commerce T: 01278 238959 | E: Business Exmoor T: 01643 851895 | E: Cheddar Chamber of Commerce & Industry T: 01934 741792 | E: Frome Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 342255 | E: Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce T: 01458 835678 | E: Ilminster Chamber of Commerce T: 01460 52506 | E: Levels’ Best Community Interest Company T: 01935 851280 | E:

Shepton Mallet & District Chamber T: 01749 681413 | E: | Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce T: 07530 042627 | E: Street Chamber of Commerce T: 07552 170725 | E: Taunton Chamber of Commerce T: 01823 230898 | E: Watchet Chamber of Trade T: 07836 239 932 | Wellington Business Association T: 07761 485657 | E: Wells Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 685236 | E: Weston-super-Mare Chamber T: 07850 363249 | E: Wincanton Chamber of Commerce T: 01963 34327 | E: Wiveliscombe & 10 Parish Business Group T: 01984 684777 | E: | Yeovil Chamber of Commerce T: 01935 804999 | E:

Profile for Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Somerset Voice - April/May 2019  

Somerset Voice - April/May 2019