Overseas success Exporting is good for Coventry & Warwickshire page 4
Area Focus: Mid Warks
Good snooze for Stoneleigh Park! Local conference and exhibitions venue, Stoneleigh Park, is the first of its kind in the UK to have installed a revolutionary hotel concept. Stoneleigh Park has more than doubled its number of bedrooms from 58 to 138, meaning event organisers and visitors can easily stay on-site to be at the heart of their event.
The new Snoozebox is transportable modular accommodation, which offers comfortable and secure bedrooms, along with reception services, daily housekeeping and a 24-hour duty manager. The rooms are fitted out to a high standard with modern fixtures and a stylish décor, while sound and heat insulation provides comfort and privacy, and each
room has its own thermostatic controls including air conditioning. The rooms include a double bed together with a single bed, flat screen TV, Wi-Fi and a safe. The en-suite wet room comprises a power shower, toilet and wash basin. Although Snoozebox units have previously been used to support specific events, such as the British Grand Prix and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, Stoneleigh Park has led the way in the industry by installing it for multiple events. Ian Pegler, chief executive of Stoneleigh Park, said: “We have a reputation for being an extremely versatile venue, and with so much indoor and outdoor space we can often do what other venues can’t. “When we were increasingly finding our existing on-site hotel accommodation fully booked, Snoozebox provided an ideal flexible and immediate solution to the growing demand. We are thrilled with the high-spec accommodation and are sure our event organisers and visitors will be too. “Indeed, as well as catering for existing clients, hopefully it will now attract more organisers to consider Stoneleigh Park for their events.” The hotel was constructed over two days and is situated next to Stoneleigh Park’s existing four-star guest hotel
Leamington agency raise a cup to new contract Harris+Hoole, a new chain of artisan coffee shops – backed by Tesco – has been launched and Leamington-based digital strategy and development agency Webmoco has been tasked as development partners for the corporate website. Partnering with Shoreditch digital agency SomeOneElse and sister brand agency SomeOne, Webmoco has developed a fully content managed corporate website utilising Orchard 1.5 – the open source, community-focused project aimed at delivering applications and reusable components on the ASP.
NET platform. The owners of coffee shop chain Taylor Street, Nick, Andrew & Laura Tolley have set up Harris+Hoole, which is being backed by Tesco as a 49 per cent share holder in the business. Nick Tolley and SomeOne conceived the Harris+Hoole name, which is derived from two coffee-loving characters found in Samuel Pepys’ 17th century diary. A strategy has been set out which positions Harris+Hoole as ‘a chain of independents,’ according to Nick Tolley, who said he wanted the brand to embrace ‘the consistency and
Stairways to success Midlands based Stairways Group is experiencing great success with its new product developments – and is taking on new recruits to meet demand. The group, one of the UK’s largest privately-owned manufacturers of carpentry and joinery products, supplies house builders, contractors, architects
and developers. It services a wide variety of business models including small prospects through to national developers. Recently the bespoke joinery division has been successful in winning a number of new projects including the manufacturing of internal timber glazed
convenience of chains, but with an independent local community feel where the product has integrity.’ The first Harris+Hoole brand opened in August in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and a second is planned for Uxbridge, while grab-and-go supermarket concessions have also been mooted. Alongside the corporate website, Webmoco has developed an executive subsite and as Harris+Hoole becomes more established there are plans for consumer facing, multi-channel, community based digital activity.
screens and providing integrity and installation specifications. The division is based at the group’s head office in Southam, Warwickshire, home of the residential product portfolio. The door and bespoke joinery divisions work in partnership supplying performance door sets to be installed with screens. Recent projects include a number of hotels and care homes, which required hardwood timber 60/30 glazed screens and matching internal glazed doors. The group manufactures and designs all its own glazing styles, from the most basic of designs through to more complex ‘D’ shaped vision panels. The increase in business has meant a recruitment drive and additional joinery apprentices being sought as more enquiries and orders arrive. Joint managing director Neil Stevens said: “We are pleased at the increased demand for our products, and that our flexible and competent attitude is aiding growth this year. “It is good news that we can supply our customers with all their required carpentry and joinery products, regardless of specification. Some projects present us challenges, but we are pleased that we deliver results.”
Pictured: MP for Warwick and Leamington, Chris White (front centre) joined by members of the mid-Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
Manufacturing made of the White stuff MP Chris White has vowed to do his upmost to help drive manufacturing and support start-up businesses in mid-Warwickshire. White told the mid-Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce that measures to support the growth of manufacturing and SMEs are high on his priority list. The MP for Warwick and Leamington has a strong background in manufacturing having worked at MG Rover for 14 years and is also chair of the Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG). He said the ‘all party group’ – formed to encourage the exchange of knowledge and understanding between Parliament and the industry – is working hard to push strategies and policies to support business growth. “Everyone has a responsibility to make sure we are working harder, smarter and better to drive business growth, regardless of which political party they are affiliated to,” he said. “A lot of difficult decisions are being made to try and make sure there are less barriers to do business and support companies in our area. “We have a very strong manufacturing backbone and the sector plays a vital role in creating new business for SMEs and jobs for local people. “By working closely with local authorities and organisations like the Chamber we can help give manufacturing firms and new businesses the best possible support.” White met a panel of ten businesspeople from the Chamber’s branch, which represents firms across mid-Warwickshire, at the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth. The meeting also covered business issues including broadband speed in rural areas, tourism, gaining access to finance and support for environmental projects. White added: “It was really useful to meet with the business community to hear about the issues they are facing and find out what their priorities are and I look forward to meeting with the branch again very soon.” Sophie Howe, the Chamber’s mid-Warwickshire branch chair, added: “We really appreciate Chris taking the time to listen to businesses. “Manufacturing has been a huge part of the make-up of our area for many years and remains key to growth. “The Chamber is working hard to get the best possible support for businesses in the area and help create an environment whereby companies want to grow here. “It was good to find out what one of our MPs is also doing to help businesses and we look forward to meeting him again very soon to find out how his plans are moving forward.”
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Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Area Focus: Coventry Councillor finds out more about Passivhaus A Coventry councillor has been finding out more about a pioneering eco-friendly residential scheme that is helping to fight fuel poverty. Councillor Ed Ruane, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for housing, visited the social housing development at Sampson Close in Bell Green. Local housing association Orbit Heart of England has built 23 ultra low energy
homes on the site consisting of 18 apartments and five houses. The £2.8 million development, completed in conjunction with Orbit Homes and part funded by the Homes and Communities Agency, was the first Passivhaus housing complex completed in the West Midlands. Passivhaus or ‘Passive House’ is the fastest growing energy performance standard in the world. The idea is to create homes with an ideal indoor climate all year round without the need for energy-intensive heating or
Pictured: Cllr Ed Ruane with Orbit’s Victoria Johnstone at the Passivhaus social housing development at Sampson Close
cooling systems. A Passivhaus makes the most of its natural surroundings, often using large south-facing windows to maximise the sun’s natural light and warmth, and fresh
air for natural ventilation. While most homes rely on burning oil, gas, wood or coal for their heating, a Passivhaus uses “passive heat”. People generate warmth every day when they cook, shower, boil the kettle or watch TV. While this heat is wasted in a standard house, a Passivhaus captures the heat from warmer areas and circulates it to the colder areas.
TNT firing ahead At a time when Government departments across the board are being asked to cut costs, TNT Business Solutions is achieving significant efficiencies and savings on behalf of Land Registry after taking over the management of more than 88 million files. This has been acknowledged with the opening of the bespoke records management facility at Cross Point Business Park, Coventry. The contract is to uplift and store more than 750,000 boxes held at Land Registry’s Regional File Stores and relocate them to TNT’s new storage facility at Cross Point, generating savings and efficiencies and reducing file service costs by 25 per cent. As well as financial savings to both Land Registry and wider Government
Coventry MP meets city businesses Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson had to address a wide range of subjects when he was quizzed by local businesses. The veteran MP was asked to give his views on topics including HS2, student visas, the West Coast line, Coventry city centre, the LEP, the lobbying power of the city and local housing during the session organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Amrik Bhabra, president of the Chamber, said: “Geoffrey has represented Coventry for almost 40 years and is one of the most experienced Parliamentarians, so it was very interesting to hear his views on the issues which concern members. “We covered a massive range of subjects. We have been discussing the issue of housing for several months and it was interesting to hear Geoffrey say that as well as affordable homes, the city needs aspirational housing. “The Chamber holds regular sessions with MPs representing Coventry and Warwickshire and it is important that they are fully aware of what is affecting business both on our patch and in general.” w w w.c w- chamber.co.uk
Malcolm Dawson, chief land registrar and chief executive, and Alistair Cochrane, MD TNT Express UK & Ireland
departments, the contract also enables the rationalisation of the Government estate, investment and innovation in Land Registry services and flexibility. The document uplift – the largest in the UK – is 30 per cent larger than TNT’s previous record uplift from the Ministry of Defence site at Hayes which saw millions of personnel records transferred to TNT’s stateof-the-art, high security storage facility at Swadlincote. Born out of the existing successful partnership between TNT Business Solutions – the outsourcing division of TNT Express Services UK & Ireland – and Land Registry over the past ten years for document scanning, the new contract involved TNT’s
Records Management team moving 88 million Land Registry records, previously held within ten Regional File Stores throughout England, to Cross Point. The files contain more than two billion pages. Tim Robb, divisional director of TNT Business Solutions, said: “With departments across Government being tasked to save £6.2 billion to reduce the budget deficit from 11 per cent of GDP, each is being challenged to consider changes in their service delivery. “Shared services centres and partnerships with the private sector can provide very real benefits. This is an excellent example of how TNT helps Government departments reduce operational costs.”
PET project creates future leaders Coventry’s ‘future leaders’ impressed dignitaries from across the city and raised more than £1,000 for charity after successfully completing a ten day enterprise challenge. Twenty-eight students took part in the Future Leaders scheme, run by Coventry training organisation PET, to help them gain vital skills needed by businesses when working in the real world. The Apprentice-style programme, which is in its fourth year, involved year 10 and 11 pupils from Bablake School, King Henry VIII and Finham Park meeting business experts and entrepreneurs who helped inspire the groups to produce creative work and develop a range of skills to maximise the students’ potential on their path to becoming future leaders. The tasks included making videos
Coventry students who took on the Future Leaders scheme are joined by the PET team and dignitaries from across the city including Coventry Lord Mayor, Cllr Tim Sawdon, Julie White and Joe Elliott
and documentaries to promote the city as part of the Champions Coventry and Warwickshire story, mobile media challenges and organising a one day summer fete at Broadgate which raised over £1,000 for Snowball – the Coventry and Warwickshire charity which supports local children. Among the business leaders who supported the students were representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and managing director of D-Drill and former Businesswoman of the Year Julie White. Julie was joined by Coventry Lord Mayor, Cllr Tim Sawdon, Coventry Transport Museum Chairman Joe Elliott and other dignitaries from across the city at a presentation event organised by the students at the Transport Museum to share their achievements. Cllr Sawdon said: “I’m overwhelmed by what the students have achieved in such a short space of time, having given up ten days of their summer holidays to take part in this programme.” Fleur Sexton, joint managing director of PET, said: “These students are a real testament to young people in our city and without a doubt are the future leaders of Coventry. During the ten days they achieved things which many would have thought were impossible.”
ByBox keeps the coffee flowing A Coventry firm is helping to make sure coffee-lovers get their early morning latte or espresso. Costa Express, the UK market leader in self-serve gourmet coffee, is working with Coventry-based ByBox, specialist in pre-8am deliveries to lockers, to ensure that engineers have the parts they need to maintain and fix any problems which arise with their self-serve coffee machines. State of the art technology is a mainstay of both companies. Costa Express has found ByBox’s intelligent locker network to be a convenient solution for getting spare parts out to its engineers based across the UK. As well as receiving parts, engineers can return parts using the lockers. They simply stick a return label onto a part and put it in the locker. ByBox then ensures it gets back to the correct return site by using the information embedded in the label. Costa Express operates self-serve machines in over 1,200 outlets across the UK. These machines use state of the art technology – grinding the beans to the exact texture, tamping the coffee into the filter and heating the water to the precise temperature to ensure that the key flavours are extracted from the beans. If any repairs are needed to these machines, Costa Express knows that by using ByBox, it is guaranteed a quick and reliable service. Mark North, production and logistics manager at Costa Express, said: “The whole essence of Costa Express self-serve coffee bars is to provide high-quality coffee wherever and whenever our customers want it. It is therefore imperative that any problems are rectified as soon as possible. “ByBox provides us with an efficient, cost-effective and innovative solution for the transportation of parts to where they are needed. This not only keeps downtime to a minimum but more importantly increases the availability of our coffee and customer satisfaction.”
C&W In Business magazine: November 2012