Business & Innovation Magazine - Issue 08 July 2018

Page 1



Andrew Hammond, Oxford Products

Colin Cole, Lioncourt Homes




INSIDE: In association with Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and North Wiltshire


Nicky Godding Tel: 07966 510401

Commercial Director

Kirsty Muir

Tel: 07971 912020

Chairman, NK Media Ltd

James Palmer

Regional Account & Events Manager

Rosemary Henderson

Tel: 07889 227432

Marketing & Events Co-ordinator

Lizi Clapham

Tel: 07955 855817

Customer Services Accounts

Magazine Design

Brace Creative Agency

Magazine Printers Severnprint Ltd

Chief Photographer

Rob Lacey

Contributing Editor

Anita Syvret

Contributing writer

Ian Mean

Sub Editor

Joyce Matthews

We’ve had a rip-roaring few months since our May issue. Not least was welcoming external investment in our business, which we established just one year ago.

The investment will help accelerate growth plans to expand our business coverage, online and in print, out of our core area of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and North Wiltshire, to a second edition in 2019 covering the Thames Valley, with future issues planned to cover the Midlands, Bath and Bristol.

Our investor, James Palmer, is a highly successful telecoms and IT entrepreneur. He invested because our magazine stands out as a colourful, well-designed, well-produced, editorially rich publication which he enjoys picking up and reading, backed up by a news-rich website. The website is also a fully-searchable resource of business news allowing visitors to research the regional economy and build a picture of the business community.

You’ll see by the number of business socials in this issue that we’ve spent a lot of time out and about. This magazine’s fundamental objective is to reveal business stories, opportunities and bring businesses together. Putting people together to create a strong and resiliant business community is one of the things we enjoy doing most, and it’s fantastic to be able to report on successful collaborations in the knowledge that we have sometimes played our part in bringing people together.

Business & Innovation Magazine is a bi-monthly magazine published by NK Media Ltd. Our readers are business owners, senior executives, key influencers, entrepreneurs, innovators and those working in further and higher education, and government departments. Any opinions expressed by those quoted in this magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent or reflect those of Business & Innovation Magazine, or of NK Media Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form of advertising or promotion without the written permission of the Editor-in-Chief or Commercial Director.

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Welcome Covering Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and North Wiltshire
07966 510401 @Nickywritesbiz Visit us online @Bizinnovatemag Follow us Publisher NK Media Ltd. Company number 10569394. Registered office: Suite 1, Glebe Farm House, Daglingworth, Cirencester, GL7 7AE NEXT ISSUE: SEPTEMBER ISSUE 08 Kirsty Muir Commercial Director Rosemary Henderson Regional Account & Events Manager VISIT OUR WEBSITE 07971 912020 @Kirstylovesbiz 07889 227432 @Rosielovesbiz
















ISSUE 08 P71
In the Headlines What’s making news across the region? P6 Lioncourt, an inspiring house builder We meet Colin Cole, CEO of one of the fastest-Growing housebuilders in the UK P10 Regional News Update We report on businesses from Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire & Warwickshire P15 Spotlight on Pershore The pretty Worcestershire town and home to a surprising number of thriving businesses P28 CEO Interview Meet Andrew Hammond of Oxford Products, which is in the fast lane when it comes to growth P46 Businesses in the Community P50 Work to Live Meet a shirtmaker to stars and veterans, and an inspiring young jeweller P53 NEW: The Mean view Read our opinionated new columnist, Ian Mean, Director of Business West P57 Career Ahead P58 Spotlight on Leadership P61 Spotlight on Cyber P65 The Report Legal and financial news P67 Sector Focus: Food & Drink It’s the country’s biggest manufacturing sector, but it’s often taken for granted P71 Spotlight on Manufacturing P81 Spotlight on Innovation P83 We celebrate 2018 Queen’s Award winners P85 Science and Technology Showcase P89 Commercial Property Construction & commercial property news P94 Let’s get Social Business & Innovation Magazine Gloucestershire first anniversary party P20 Strictly Worcestershire 2018 P27 Vale4Business Awards 2018 P32 Abingdon & Witney College opens new skills centre P36 Oxfordshire Economic Question Time P40 Oxfordshire Business Awards 2018 P44 Circle2Success Cheese Club P55 Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire P96 Business & Innovation Magazine Regional Property Lunch P98 SECTOR FOCUS: FOOD & DRINK
talk to Colin Cole of Lioncourt Homes


More than 100 cars roared, spluttered and growled as they lined up on a wet Friday morning in front of one of England’s greatest stately homes.

Pod Zeros land in the Midlands

The UK’s first “whale of pods” has arrived in Milton Keynes thanks to a Coventry-based autonomous vehicle specialist.

Aurrigo, a division of RDM Group, has delivered 10 Pod Zeros for use in the next stage of the UK Autodrive programme that will see self-driving vehicles on the town’s streets.

Engineers at the firm have built the pods to meet the requirements for what is currently the largest transport trial aimed at getting passengers to and from bus and rail stops from their homes or offices.

Ten pods are now complete and being fine-tuned for their autonomous control systems before they will form part of the whale (the collective name for a fleet of pods) that could be doing up to 120km of journeys every day.

Each souped-up vehicle, which had (allegedly) cost their owners no more than £500 was being driven by the cream of Oxfordshire’s business community from Blenheim Palace to Le Touquet in northern France as part of the Twin Town Challenge 2018. Over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, the teams competed to raise money for Charlbury-based charity SpecialEffect.

The Twin Town Challenge is organised by Brendon Cross, Managing Director of STL Communications who is also a SpecialEffect Vice-President.

All the costs of the event were covered by sponsorship and every pound paid in entry fees as well as the fundraising by the teams went straight to the charity. The Twin Town Challenge has already raised £500,000 in 2014 and 2016 but this year Brendan Cross predicts it could raise more than £400,000 in one year alone.

The cars set off in pouring rain, but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the drivers and passengers, all dressed in fancy dress, from vicars to smurfs, a brace of Cruella de Vil, ghostbusters, skeletons, Bridezilla and two very brave (and cold) men in bikinis.

Salad days for Kanes Foods in Evesham

Kanes Foods has won a £50 million three-year deal to supply readyto-eat salad bowls to a leading UK supermarket.

Kanes is a privately owned company based at Evesham which employs around 1,550 people.

It produces around 150 million units annually of washed and ready-to-eat bags and bowls of salad, vegetables,

noodles, sauces and salad dressings for its grocery and food service customers.

The company is investing in a new production line at Middle Littleton to fulfil the new contract.

Steve Corby, Kanes Foods Chief Executive, said: “All credit must go to the team who’ve worked very hard to secure a long-term commitment from a major new customer for Kanes.

Twin Town Challenge competitor
Pod Zeros


1,000 companies to inspire Britain

Companies from across the region have been named in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2018 report.

The fifth annual edition of the report reveals the UK’s most dynamic and fastest growing small and mediumsized enterprises.

More than 200 companies across this region are citied in the report, including Malvern-based hop merchants Charles Faram, Bromsgrove-based Benniman Construction, specialist lighting design and manufacturing company FW Thorpe of Redditch and Lioncourt Homes of Worcester (read our interview with Colin Cole in this issue).

Gloucester-based Advanced Insulation and pump manufacturer Dutypoint, Ecotricity Group in Stroud, Beard Construction of Oxford and Swindon, Brimscombe-based logistics company Howard Tenens Ltd, Stonehousebased Passionate About People, Oxford BioMedica and Oxford PharamaGenesis are also listed.

The report shows the revenue of companies listed is growing at an exceptional average rate of 71 per cent on average, despite strong economic headwinds.

Nikhil Rathi, CEO at the London Stock Exchange, said: “The service sector contributes about 80 per cent of UK GDP, but our research paints an encouraging picture of diversity among the country’s fastest-growing SMEs.

The top five industries represented, accounting for 40 per cent of the list, includes financial services but the biggest industry by far is engineering and construction, followed by information technology.

Nikhil added: “The UK can be confident in its economic potential in both traditional and newer business sectors.”

Warwickshire entrepreneur sits pretty

A Warwickshire entrepreneur is expanding his design and manufacturing studio in Coventry after receiving business support.

Adam Duffy, who grew up in Claverdon and lives in Rugby, has been working in the fashion industry for 15 years, including for a number of high street brands.

He launched his business, IdealFactory, in 2016 to help designers and artists turn their work into fashion or furniture products.

The company is now planning to boost its growth following support from the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Ready programme.

“We have software that can turn a design into a style of art. So you could upload a photo and, using machine learning, we can turn it into a Mona Lisa style design”

Adam said: “We have software that can turn a design into a style of art. So you could upload a photo and, using machine learning, we can turn it into a Mona Lisa style design.”

He added: “We can merge art, design, technology and manufacturing and it’s already attracting some major brands.”

In the headlines
Adam Duffy (left) with Ian McFarlane-Toms Business Growth Adviser at the University of Warwick Science Park


A new partnership between leading VIP chauffeur and executive car service company Jonny-Rocks and Cheltenham Town Football Club has led to probably the most memorable stadium name ever.

Jonny-Rocks has taken the naming rights of the football stadium in a three-year deal.

The chauffeur service specialises in business and private hire travel and has

over 16 luxury and executive Mercedes vehicles in its fleet.

Cheltenham Town Football Club Chairman. Andy Wilcox, CEO of LCI Rail which sponsored the stadium for the last two seasons, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to hand the stadium naming rights to such a big fan of Cheltenham Town and a previous sponsor to the club.”

Jonathan Horrocks, Managing Director of Jonny-Rocks, said: “I’m a proud Cheltenham Town supporter, even proposing to my girlfriend at the Portsmouth game two seasons ago, so I’m really excited about this latest adventure.”

Cheltenham accountants Hazelwoods have also extended their Cheltenham stand sponsorship deal for another season.

Jutexpo uses a lotta bottle with new designer bags

Jutexpo, the world’s biggest supplier of reusable jute and juco bags has joined forces with Waitrose and designer Emma Bridgewater, to create reusable bags made entirely of recycled plastic bottles.

The company is based in Broadway, Worcestershire and the project continues its innovative approach to the reusable bag market.

The latest bags are made from material created from used plastic bottles, in a process which turns the plastic into a durable and practical fabric called rPet, short for recycled polyethylene terephthalate. It looks like a jute bag with a wipe clean coating and the fabric carries the certification of the Global Recycled Standard.

Jutexpo’s production rose from 5.5 million bags per year before the English plastic bag tax was introduced in 2015, to 8.5 million after, and seven million a year since.

With the launch of the exclusive Emma Bridgewater designed bags, Waitrose and Jutexpo will be reusing half a million bottles.

Sam Turner, director at Jutexpo, said: “This project takes the plastic from bottles and gives it another useful purpose after its life as a bottle has ended. Waitrose was Jutexpo’s first customer when we began producing and supplying reusable bags 15 years ago and our relationship

has been key to understanding the issues around plastic bottles and the ways in which they can be repurposed in a meaningful way.”

Waitrose Buyer, Karen Stenton said: “Waitrose is continually looking for innovative ways to cut plastic waste. We realise this is just as important to our shoppers who are extremely interested in tackling these pressing environmental challenges too.”

Emma Bridgewater added: “Recent campaigns have shown how vital it is to manage this situation responsibly to make sure our environment is not negatively impacted.”

Jutexpo was formed in 2002 by father and son Barrie and Sam Turner after they spotted a gap in the market for reusable bags to minimise plastic bag usage.

In the headlines
“It’s an absolute pleasure to hand the stadium naming rights to such a big fan of Cheltenham Town and a previous sponsor to the Club”
Jonathan Horrocks (centre) at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium with players Jerell Sellars and Nigel Atangana
Jutexpo bag made from plastic


Lioncourt Homes has risen from zero to hero in 12 years. It’s now one of the largest landowners in the West Midlands and builds around 400 homes annually

Lioncourt Homes, CEO, Colin Cole 10

more competition

Colin Cole, co-founder and CEO of fast growing, Worcester-headquartered Lioncourt Homes, has little to worry about. He knows that more competition is the only way to help deliver the Government’s house-building targets.

As one of the biggest landowners in the West Midlands, Lioncourt is predicting a turnover in excess of £100 million this year, with a target of £250 million in the next three years then aiming for £750 million and beyond.

The company was recently revealed as one of the London Stock Exchange’s 2018 ‘Top 1000 companies to inspire Britain’ and has also been included in the Financial Times’ 1000 fastest growing companies throughout Europe. But Colin admits the business he started in 2006 with Financial Director Neil Chandler has a way to go to match the UK’s housebuilding behemoths. These are led by Barratt Homes which has reported record profits of over £765 million having completed 17,395 new homes.

To meet the Government’s target of 300,000 new build homes a year, the industry needs more housebuilders, because if you add up the number of homes built by the top 25 developers last year (and Lioncourt is just outside this list), it’s only around 110,000.

Who’s going to build the extra 200,000?

Colin expressed his concerns to the Government, meeting with the former housing minister Sajid Javid – now Home Secretary.

“The Minister wanted to know how we’d grown so quickly. I also wanted to correct an often-trotted out criticism that housebuilders land bank.”

Housebuilders cannot afford to sit on land once it’s got planning permission, says Colin. “I need to get the houses built and sold so we can reinvest to grow. We can’t afford to hang onto land that may have cost up to £1 million per acre,” Lioncourt invests heavily in strategic land.

While more traditional housebuilders have relatively smaller strategic land operations, Lioncourt has far more plots in its portfolio than it has in housebuilding.

“During the recession, and funded by our long-standing investors, Lioncourt built up a portfolio of 10-15 large sites,” explains Colin.


He owns an indoor football arena at Brimscombe near Stroud and plays football there with his three sons, Harry, George and Marcus

On Friday nights he can also be found behind the counter at the arena

Qualified as an accountant, if his housebuilding career hadn’t worked out, he’d have worked in the City

As the UK emerged from the recession Lioncourt exercised its options on some of these sites, clearing over £12 million in profit but the best is yet to come, according to Colin.

“We’ve recently submitted a planning application in Warwickshire for up to 2,500 new homes. We have also secured planning permission for 800 new homes in Coventry and for 4,000 plots south of our head office.”

Lioncourt thinking differently

It takes someone with confidence and experience to seek out and secure large sites. Colin gained his as he rose up the ranks at Westbury Homes, a substantial housebuilder bought by Persimmon in 2006 for £950 million, including debt.

“After we sold the business, I accepted a job at Persimmon similar to the one I’d held at Westbury as Group Operators Director. But at the eleventh hour I decided I didn’t want it.”

His concern was that absorbing

Celebrates his 60th birthday later this year, but has no plans to retire

Westbury into a company double its size would have radically altered the culture. “I’d enjoyed Westbury and didn’t want to work in a strong corporate environment, so I thought ‘it’s now or never’, and left to set up Lioncourt.”

But Colin soon learned that his decades of experience in the property sector apparently counted for nothing when he spoke to the banks. “They wouldn’t lend the money, so we had to think differently.”

His solution lay in his network, and two major investors have been with him since the beginning. “We now have 120-130 investors in the business, it’s like a mini PLC. And when I want to buy a piece of land I’ve got the equity and strong balance sheet to be able to do that.”

Once he had investor support, the banks bent over backwards to help and HSBC

It takes a confident businessman to say he wants
03 04
Lioncourt Homes
“The Minister wanted to know how we’d grown so quickly. I also wanted to correct an oftentrotted out criticism that housebuilders land bank”

has been very supportive, says Colin. Industry support was also there. “The National House Building Council helped me get the business going, and contractors wanted to work with Lioncourt because they knew how we would operate.”

The only thing holding Colin back was himself. “I’d worked for a major housebuilder and didn’t have the small business mentality. I couldn’t buy one or two plots and make that work, so the first site we bought was for 26 homes.”

Lioncourt’s smallest site is typically 30 houses, and its sweet spot is 60-120. The company has 43 sites in its portfolio and is currently building on 15, with others going through planning.

Geographically Lioncourt’s territory extends up as far as Stafford, and down to Tetbury in Gloucestershire and North Bristol.

It has sites as far west as Shrewsbury and Hereford, and east to Coventry and Oxford. The company has also just bought a site to the east of Milton Keynes, in the market town of Olney.

Growing the housebuilding skills base

Encouraging more home ownership

The government wants more home ownership – but the more used we get to renting, the less people want to own their own home, even though it’s more expensive to rent than buy.

Colin feels strongly that it’s better for society if more people own their own homes. “It’s about self-worth, being part of a community and whether shared equity through a housing association or buying outright, home ownership reinforces the stability of life.”

But for home ownership to rise, the industry recognises that there needs to be a wider range of tenure options, says Colin. “Perhaps the rent paid could go towards a deposit and that could help people onto the ladder. We tried it during the recession. After 18 months two residents had invested enough to buy. But in this market, when houses are much easier to sell, it’s not likely to happen. Housebuilders have to answer to their shareholders.”

we work with closely, where we’d used their training room for the event.”

The investment is paying off. “The team is working on a major project, a new document handling system for our developments. They presented their recommendations at our annual staff presentation day at Cheltenham racecourse and we were really impressed.”

The next was a 150-plot site. Then the UK was plunged into the worst recession for generations.

“Our competitors reduced their specifications, installing cheaper taps or kitchen units. We did the opposite and sales volumes rose, while our competitors fell. We were not necessarily getting any more money for our homes, but it helped our cashflow and we came out of the recession cash positive.”

There is a shortage of talent in housebuilding so last year Lioncourt launched an initiative to mentor and train its next generation of management.

The company wanted to inspire them from the outset so it launched ‘The Sky’s the Limit’, flying the young team in helicopters over some of its sites, including Bentham near Cheltenham and Kings Stanley, Stonehouse.

“We landed at electrical contractors Clarkson Evans at Staverton, a company

Lioncourt also encourages its contractors to bring apprentices and trainees into the business, and in a new move is taking on direct labour to help solve certain skills shortages.

“I want to grow the business at a fast pace while maintaining our five star quality reputation and the fantastic culture,” says Colin. “There are some great people progressing through the company and we want to find the right person to eventually take over from me – but not yet. I’m still getting a buzz from the business.”

“We now have 120-130 investors in the business, it’s like a mini PLC. And when I want to buy a piece of land I’ve got the equity and strong balance sheet to do that”
Lioncourt Homes


Premium golf trolley manufacturer

Stewart Golf’s new £1 million Gloucester factory at Waterwells has been officially opened by Richard Graham, MP.

Richard said: “This is a very happy day for Stewart Golf, Gloucester, for things that are hand-built in Great Britain and for the export business that this country is going to rely on in the future.”


Six figure funding for Forest of Dean business

A family-run hospitality business in Coleford has built two luxury selfcatering apartments after securing a sixfigure finance package from HSBC.

Symonds Yat Rock Lodge used the funding to demolish its existing bed and breakfast accommodation and build two new contemporary one-bedroom apartments, with views over the beautiful Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.

Symonds Yat Rock Lodge now consists of six self-catering apartments.

Productivity boost needed to deliver county growth

More than 100 business leaders got together to discuss one of the UK’s biggest economic concerns at the first Productivity Summit, held at Renishaw, Wotton-under-Edge and organised by the University of Gloucestershire.

Poor productivity is a particular concern for Gloucestershire, where levels are lagging eight per cent behind the UK average, and the UK’s productivity rate is 18 per cent below other G7 nations.

CEO Mark Stewart said: “The new site has already made a huge difference to the business and our operating efficiency. People don’t buy our products just because they’re British, but because they’re good. Our goal is to build the best.”

The company makes, sells and services golf trollies and it’s currently working on the next generation of equipment.

In May, the company announced a unique sponsorship with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. The company equipped each pilot with a hand-built trolley for use during the team’s many charity golf events.

All the current Red Arrows pilots are keen golfers, with the two most enthusiastic golfers being Flight Lieutenant Mike Bowden (Red 9) and Flight Lieutenant Matt Masters (Red 8).

Stephen Marston, University ViceChancellor, warned of the demographic shifts that suggest Gloucestershire can count on less than half the number of working-age people needed in the county in the next few decades.

Malcolm Prowle, Professor of Performance Management at the university said that organisations must measure their productivity before they can determine how to improve.

Guests also heard from Stewart Barnes, Managing Director of QuoLux and Visiting Fellow at the University of Gloucestershire and Rob Loveday of GE Aviation. The panel session was chaired by Ian Mean, Director of Business West.

“This is a very happy day for Stewart Golf, Gloucester, for things that are hand built in Great Britain and for the export business that this country is going to rely on in the future”
Red Arrows pilots with their Stewart Golf trollies Mark Stewart with Richard Graham MP


We all thought 5 years ago, The Cloud? What does that mean?

Things have changed so much, and people are more aware of what the cloud can offer now. Companies recognise the benefit of the cloud and investment is expected to soar even more over the next few years with the majority of SMEs and large organisations implementing some type of cloud computing strategy within their business. HMRC are making an impact with Making Tax Digital (MTD) and well as GDPR.

Cloud accounting services have also grown dramatically, and CIRRUS now run by Sam Ballinger and Anthea Evans, both directors of Mitchells, a successful Chartered Accountancy Practice in Cheltenham have a dedicated team of 5 people looking after its cloud accounting offering. Cirrus has partnered with the cloud accounting software provider, Xero, for many years and prides themselves to be Xero Partner experts. What can it do and is it safe?

Cloud technology has moved on a great deal and people trust the cloud now, so rather than asking is it safe, it is more what can it do for me? These days the cloud is part of everyday life to most. It keeps us communicating, helps with our day to day lives and from our point of view, keeps businesses running their business in a more accurate and confident way.

As accountants, we talk with our clients more regularly than ever before, having conversations with them to make business decisions and tax plan with informed advice because we can all access the information that is needed thanks to cloud technology.

Cirrus have well trained staff to help with day to day processing, conversions to the software and try to make it as individual to the client as possible. With HMRC introducing new rules for MTD and GDPR compliance, cloud accounting software is the way forward and businesses will get left behind if they don’t embrace it.

The software not only does day to day processing but also allows us to have a full accounting function:

 Report VAT and PAYE to HMRC

 Get the reports all business owners need for reviewing financial performance and position, be confident in your figures!

 Easy invoicing to customers, allowing for quicker payment and therefore better cash flow

 Automated processes to be more efficient

 Access the accounts on most devices and so accounts are done on the move

 Have an accounts software with unlimited users at no extra cost

Why didn’t I move the cloud before now?

Clients always say to us after the cloud accounting conversion, why did I not to this before? It has so many benefits that business owners need to embrace to ensure they keep up with these digital times. Other benefits include:

 Access is from anywhere with an internet connection

 Live Data – Real Time

 Back Ups taken care of - off site

 No need to exchange back-ups between you and your accountant

 Always the latest version –no expensive upgrades

 No version conflicts with your accountant

 No servers required –Less Cap Ex – Lower IT support

In recent years, cloud computing has become a popular data storage solution for both personal and business use. With cloud computing accelerating in popularity we thought we’d look at the growth of cloud accounting and how things have changed.
To find our more about becoming a CIRRUS client contact Sam Ballinger on tel: 01242 216 200 Cirrus Cloud Accounting is a trading name of Mitchell Glanville Limited. 41 Rodney Road, Cheltenham, GL50 1HX. Book keeping | VAT | Payroll | Xero conversions & training | Year-end compliance | Taxation | Company Secretarial
future is in the cloud… Accessible accounting, anytime, anywhere

Gloucester business scooped up by German management software company

Gloucester company Cemar which sells cloud-based contract management software, has been acquired by German construction and engineering management software company, Thinkproject.

This is the first UK acquisition for the German company.

Cemar has an impressive roster of customers, including Highways England, Nuclear New Build, ITER (the international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject), BAE Systems, Heathrow Airport, Network Rail and Sellafield.

The UK business has achieved exceptional growth in recent years. The Cemar brand will be retained and the German company plans to achieve synergies in software technology, as well as in international business.

“Entering the UK market with Cemar is a major cornerstone in our international growth strategy,” said Thomas Bachmaier, CEO of Thinkproject.

Ben Walker, CEO of Cemar, added: “Cemar will benefit from the experience and structures of Thinkproject’s international business, as well as from synergies in our complementary technologies.”

In May Cemar announced that it has won a contract with ITER to help administer its FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) contracts. ITER is building a 23,000 tonne Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor in Southern France to prove the feasibility of nuclear fusion as a large-scale, carbon-free energy source. The 15-year construction involves collaboration across 35 nations.

Cemar’s FIDIC contract was first created in conjunction with Hinkley Point C in 2014 and has since been adopted by other clients.

EMG Construction, a groundworks and civil engineering company based in Gloucester, is marking 25 years in business with a new team at the top.

Owners Eamonn and Brian McGurk have appointed a trio of new directors to take the £12 million turnover business into the next decade.

The company, which employs more than 120 workers, is also investing in staff, training and apprenticeships.

It has a strong line-up of clients, including Barratt, David Wilson Homes, Linden Homes and Bovis.

Jenny Jones, Shane Andrews and Martin Mullaney have been promoted from within the wider McGurk Group, or headhunted. Shane is the new Construction Director. Martin’s new role as a director has seen him step up from Contracts Manager and Jenny joins as Customer Care Manager, having joined the business from BMW.

Regional round-up

A Cheltenham-based fragrance and candle manufacturer looks set to double turnover after winning distribution contracts in the US and Canada.

It secured the contracts worth around £900,000 with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Established in 2012, Marmalade of London operates across three manufacturing sites in Cheltenham. It supplies more than 500 UK retailers, including Fenwick, Blenheim Palace and Squires Garden Centres.

These contracts will double the firm’s annual turnover in the next 12 months and 10 new members of staff will be hired over the year to meet demand.

The business has now set its sights on exporting to the Middle East, India and China.

Piers Flook, Founder and CEO at Marmalade of London, said: “From the wick to the wax, our candles are 100 per cent British-made. This has helped us enormously when launching our products abroad as the reputation and quality of British products is so strong.”

Cheltenham candle maker lights up North America Groundworks company reinvents itself after 25 years
Martin Mullaney, Jenny Jones and Shane Andrews of EMG Construction

At Allcooper we understand the challenge and risk this presents, which is why our security and fire safety services include everything your business needs for protection, compliance and continuity.

Ever since our formation in 1987 we have embraced innovative technology and continued to evolve our systems to meet the wide needs of the businesses we work for. Our 100-strong team is dedicated to taking care of your business, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Driving security forward for Cotswold Motor Group

The Challenge

Cotswold Motor Group is a leading provider of BMW and MINI vehicles, plus BMW Motorcycle services in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. In 2017 the construction of its impressive Cheltenham Retail Centre was completed – a flagship, multi-storey site bringing together the BMW, MINI and Motorrad brands under one eye-catching roof. Used to display and store vehicles and parts with a combined value in the millions, the provision of high quality, effective and reliable security systems was of paramount importance. The project required a collaborative approach from all contractors, and the security systems needed to be installed in line with strict timescales to ensure the long-term protection of staff, customers and assets.

The Solution

Allcooper was selected to provide the security systems throughout the site which

would feature several display floors, a service centre and underground car park. Using a combination of tried and tested products, we designed a comprehensive solution that would provide widespread coverage and the flexibility to manage the protection of distinct areas. Over 30 high definition cameras were installed to guard the site and deliver excellent image quality. Alongside the Intruder Alarm systems, the CCTV network was linked to an Alarm Receiving Centre for continual monitoring of out-of-hours activity. To complete the solution electronic readers were deployed at all key entry points to ensure the most sensitive areas are only accessible by authorised staff.

“Allcooper delivered a bespoke security solution that met our specific needs. The systems Allcooper delivered complement our operation and give us the ability to stay one step ahead of activity taking place across the entire site. Allcooper delivered an excellent job in a complex and highly technical building.”

All you need for complete security & fire safety

From our bespoke Head Office in Gloucester, Allcooper provides security and fire solutions for businesses right across the region, working with all sizes

of organisations, from SMEs to multi-site businesses with complex needs. Our service always includes a detailed Security Review and Risk Assessment, whether you require a new system or wish to switch to us from another provider.

Systems & Services

 Intruder Alarms

 IP CCTV Surveillance

 Access Control Systems

 Audio & Video Entry

 Fire Alarms & Detection

 Fire Extinguishers

 Security & Emergency Lighting

 Maintenance & Monitoring

 Security Consultancy


 Small, Medium & Large Businesses

 Corporate Organisations

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 Sports Clubs & Venues

 Charitable Organisations Allcooper are accredited with NSI Gold, the highest standard for UK security installers. This standard holds the greatest perceived value by insurers, the Police, Fire and Rescue Services
Along with the responsibility to safeguard your property, assets and staff, your business must always comply with the latest legal safety standards…
Growing firm Allcooper continues to protect billions of pounds’ worth of property, organisations and business assets…
Want to know more about how we can protect your business? 01452 372 626 |

HRH The Princess Royal opens Corin’s new manufacturing facility

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal formally opened Cirencester-based orthopaedic technology firm Corin’s new headquarters and manufacturing facility.

The new facility doubles Corin’s manufacturing capacity and the Royal visit follows five years of strong growth. Corin has also doubled the number of employees at its Cirencester HQ.

The Princess Royal, a former Olympic horsewoman, was presented with a sculpture of a horse constructed from hip and knee orthopaedic implants by Corin

employee and artist Neil Herbert, who designed the memento.

CEO, Stefano Alfonsi, said: “It was a great honour for us to receive Her Royal Highness.”

World leading orthopaedic company

Corin designs and manufactures hip, knee, ankle and shoulder implants that address the clinical needs of individual patients. Its technology allows it to perform patient-specific procedures to allow greater understanding and monitoring in order to achieve the best patient outcomes.

Ruroc receives £3 million investment

Action sports protection brand Ruroc, based in Gloucester, has received a £3 million investment from The Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The Ruroc range includes its signature fullface helmet with detachable face mask and the world’s first fully ventilated magnetic lens goggles. Over the past eight years Ruroc’s high-quality, high-specification designs have had a constant presence in the pit lanes of the Formula 1, NASCAR, Aussie V8 and MotoGP competitions.

The sports brand currently exports to more than 80 countries, with only 10 per cent of revenue coming from the UK.

During the past 12 months it has experienced strong growth in Asia in response to the Winter Olympics, online sales grew by 310 per cent in South Korea and 205 per cent in China.

“We’re planning to pursue a number of immediate opportunities with BGF’s investment, but we’re also focused on Ruroc’s longer-term potential”

Ruroc is part of a wave of new companies driven by a younger demographic using a range of online platforms including detailed YouTube videos and tutorials to reach global audiences and increase brand awareness.

The investment will support the launch of its new ATLAS motorcycle helmet, the opening of a new office in China and investing in product development, sales and marketing. The company also intends to expand its team, which has grown from

Cheltenham firm wins national tax award

Cheltenham based Harbour Key has won a prestigious national award for its taxation services.

The firm won the category of Best Single Office Practice in the annual Tolley’s Taxation Awards, which are judged by some of the tax industry’s leading specialists.

Harbour Key provides accounting, tax and business advice to owner managed businesses and high net worth individuals.

Director and co-founder Phil Mitchell said: “We’re delighted that our team has been recognised for the work we do.”

seven to 35 employees in just 16 months. The deal was led for BGF by Alex Garfitt and Dan Tapson, who will work with the company.

Dan Rees, CEO at Ruroc, said:

“We’re pursing a number of immediate opportunities with BGF’s investment, but we’re also focused on Ruroc’s longer-term potential. What attracted us to BGF was their patient approach to investing, giving us the headroom and headspace to focus on the business, the team and our riders.”

Regional round-up
HRH Princess Anne with Neil Herbert


NK Media Ltd celebrates first anniversary

The team at NK Media Ltd, celebrated a hugely successful first year publishing Business & Innovation Magazine with a a birthday party in the Panoramic Suite at Cheltenham Racecourse. The event was marked with the announcement of significant financial investment. Joined by customers, suppliers and friends, guests enjoyed cocktails from the team at Exquisite Cocktails and specially-brewed beer brewed from Hillside Brewery.

NK Media Ltd Directors, Nicky Godding, James Palmer and Kirsty Muir Lee Moulson from Cheltenham Racecourse with Jacqui O’Neil from Jonjo O’Neill racing and Oli Christie from Rock the Cotswolds Sarah Bray from Gloucestershire College with Jemma Vaughan from Hazlewoods and Ali Townsend from Gloucestershire College Louise Blonden and Andy Kime from The Growth Hub with Tristan Mulholland and Jane Waghorn from University of Gloucestershire Francesca Handley from Move Sales & Lettings, Terry Croft from Croft & Jones and Corinne Davies from Move Sales & Lettings Paul Williamson and Peter Williamson from Hillside Brewery Stewart Barnes from QuoLux with Antonia Shield from BPE, Eamon McGurk from Keyway Group and Karl Goodwin from Creed Polly Barnfield from Maybe* with Di Pitts from Handelsbanken in Cirencester and Erin Barrett from Maybe* Nick Latimer from Crowe UK and Rob Loveday from GE Aviation Alfred Bryant from NFU Mutual and Peter McNeile from Andoversford Races or visit Please contact Would you like to feature your business event, launch or party in our business events section? LET’S GET SOCIAL
NK Media Business & Innovation Magazine team Rosie Henderson, Kirsty Muir, Nicky Godding and Lizi Clapham Gift bags supplied by Jutexpo in Worcestershire with Business & Innovation Magazine anniversary beer from Hillside Brewery Nick Bracey, Louise White, Mitch Bracey and Nikki Budding from Brace Creative Exquisite Cocktails serving drinks for the party Jonathan Smith from Cheltenham Business Forum and Ian Horseman from Handelsbanken, Cirencester Mark Saunders from Nine Group with Dame Janet Trotter and James Palmer of NK Media Steve Grindle and Paul Harris from RAW Sport Bridgette Smith from GBE Converge and John Phillips from JMP Group Ian Mean from Business West, Nicky Godding from Business & Innovation Magazine and Anita Syvret from Syvret Media Martin Taylor and Jeremey Uzzell from Endsleigh Insurance and Adrian Gillman from Gillmans
Mike Goode from GB Solutions with Amy Harris and Rick Towers from Omega Resource Group

Facing the Challenge head on…

Recent labour market statistics, published by the Office for National statists, shows unemployment being at its lowest rate for nearly 43 years.

At 4.2%, down from 4.6% a year earlier, it’s a candidate’s market, as they can now command higher starting salaries showing an increase of 0.4% from last year. This means that the demand for good quality staff is ever increasing. Whilst this is good for the UK economy to see a rise in employment figures, a lack of candidates remains a challenge for recruiters.

As an independent, privately owned company for 17 years, RE Resource Group are well placed to be creative in the way they go about the process of providing recruitment solutions across the Midlands and South West to meet this challenge.

New Office in Worcester

With a brand-new state of the art office in Sansome Street, Worcester, the office replaces the previous location in Shaw Street, candidates are greeted at the reception desk, where they can relax in the lounge area or use the high bar area for completing paperwork, decorated with the company’s core values and motivational fun office rules. They are 2 new interview rooms and a presentation suite.

“We have exciting times ahead! Our new office offers a fun and friendly environment to discuss new job opportunities and career advice. I have a team of professional recruitment experts on hand to fully support people with the next steps in their working life. We are all very excited for our candidates/ clients as we now have the capacity and space to improve on an already excellent service. The future is very bright indeed”

Our divisions

Whilst the focus on the traditional staples of RE Resource Group’s business covering transport, industrial, warehouse, food and agriculture, remains as keen as ever, the growth in the commercial team which was founded in 2017 has seen the team expanding it’s offering across the RE network of offices. Covering all aspects of commercial employment from Executives and Managers, to specialised positions such as Credit Controllers, Personal Assistants and Tax accountants, the RE Commercial team draws on years of experience within the group as a whole, holding true to the values that set RE aside from the rest.

Identifying the growing need for effective commercial recruitment, the group has employed Lorraine Thompson as Divisional Manager to execute the groups commercial business plan designed to offer an unrivalled, exciting commercial service, yet remaining flexible enough to cope with the ever-changing journey ahead.

Lorraine brings with her 21 years of recruitment experience in both the delivery and management of recruitment

services to large corporations along with delivering tailor made solutions to small, medium sized enterprises. Originating and having worked in the United Kingdom; expanding her career into Africa, New Zealand and recently relocating from Australia, Lorraine has extensive international experience sourcing talent and tailoring marketing strategies to target passive candidates. This has been pivotal to her success within different sectors where the demand is high and the talent is scarce.

Attracting Candidates of Today

According to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), over 50 per cent of the world’s working age population will be made up of millennials by 2020. Millennials represent a group that want flexibility and work-life balances coupled with the ability to work and communicate using cutting edge technology as part of their every-day lives. Lorraine has learnt that this is a key tool when looking to hire staff from this demographic. Social media and digital attraction is used by all the divisions in RE Resource Group to post and promote jobs to great effect.

you would like to come and meet the team at any of our offices in Cheltenham Head Office, Worcester, Hereford or West Bromwich and discuss your recruitment needs, get in touch. Cheltenham – 01242 505 400 | Hereford – 01432 255 351 Worcester – 01905 788 090 | West Bromwich – 01213 899 505 PROMOTIONAL BUSINESS FEATURE
Mike Pratt, Head of Worcester office and Lorraine Thompson, Commercial Divisional Manager

Crowdfunding success for vegan restaurant owners

A vegan restaurant in Worcester is reporting treble the amount of trade it had predicted. Be The Change, located on Cornmarket in the city Centre, is also celebrating smashing its crowd funding target of £3,000, raising close to £5,000 in one month. The investment has gone on equipment and decoration to make the venue as attractive as possible.

Anthony and Zoe Chesher, both vegans, left their previous careers in education (Zoe taught physics and Anthony was a primary school teacher), to follow other careers before deciding that they wanted to open their own vegan restaurant.

It took the couple a few years to find the right premises. They have also invested their own money to make their dream a reality, selling their house and car –even Anthony’s trumpet.

Zoe said: “We have been members of Worcester’s vegan community for some years and we believe this will be the start of several vegan restaurants in the city, reflecting the growing trend across the country. We couldn’t believe how much support we received. It means that we can convert the first floor of the building to double the number of covers we can currently serve.”

Be The Change can cater for 12-15 visitors downstairs and Zoe hopes that the upstairs space will be open by the end of the year.


An industrial and financial systems (IFS) consultancy in Worcestershire has sets its sights on US expansion.

Kidderminster-based Wyre Solutions has appointed Michael J Giambra as Chief Development Officer at Wyre Solutions LLC, heralding the company’s expansion to the United States. In the Kidderminster office, Frazer Doe has been promoted to Operations Director.

The two new appointments represent further investment by Managing Director Paul Maybury, following unprecedented growth in the last six years.

He has since expanded the consultancy taking the employed workforce to 17, not including contractors, more than tripling turnover during the past three years, as well as setting up the new company in America. Plans are already under way to establish operations in Asia to better serve a growing global client base.

As a result of Paul’s success, he has been nominated for the EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2018, which recognises his commitment to the local

“I am incredibly lucky to have attracted the right team to help us drive our plans forward and expand both in the UK and the US”

economy and his achievements since starting Wyre Solutions.

Paul said: “I am incredibly lucky to have attracted the right team to help us drive our plans forward and expand both in the UK and the US.

“I’m delighted to continue building our independent IFS portfolio of services, especially during such an exciting period of growth.”

The company offers training for young people in Worcestershire, providing them with valuable experience in IT problem solving. It also provides career development to all employees and supports young people into work. It already employs one graduate and two apprentices, with several more positions available.

23 Regional round-up
Staff at Wyre Solutions Anthony and Zoe Chesher

Strictly Worcestershire 2018 annual dance spectacular

Charities will waltz off with £32,000 thanks to dance spectacular Strictly Worcestershire which raised £32,000 for county charities St Richard’s Hospice and Rory the Robot Appeal. Sponsored by drp and A1 Recruitment Solutions, the annual event saw seven contestant couples strut their stuff in a bid to lift the prized glitterball trophy. Winners of the glittering contest at the Chateau Impney in Droitwich were Dawn Owen and Gareth Keyte, whose rumba and quickstep routines wowed the judging panel comprising Lord Digby Jones, broadcaster, Bob Warman, choreographer, Katie Love and choreographer, Jennifer Bennett Price.


Would you like to feature your business event, launch or party in our business events section?

contact: or visit
Elliott Webb, evenings MC with Strictly judge, Katie Love, co-producer Julia Williams, Strictly judge Lord Digby Jones, co-producer Granville Orange, and Strictly judges Jennifer Bennett Price and Bob Warman Bob Warman, Strictly Worcestershire Judge with Granville Orange Strictly Worcestershire co-producer Anne Darlaston, Rachel Jones and Tricia Cavell from St Richard’s Hospice The Supreme Showgirls welcomed guests to the VIP Room Jennifer Bennett Price, Strictly judge with Rosemary Henderson from Business & Innovation Magazine and Kelly Fairbrother Teresa and Chris Green from Chris Green Media 2018 winners Gareth Keyte from West Mercia Police and Dawn Owen from BodyKraft Alex and Dale Parmenter from DRP with Julia Williams Strictly Worcestershire co-producer



Red Deer heads into town

A 30-year-old business has seen a sharp rise in demand following its relocation to Pershore in 2016. Red Deer Herbs, which processes fresh and frozen herbs and sells them directly to the UK food industry, has reported a strong increase in production and a boost in staff numbers.

The company put its boost in business down to the increase in demand for healthy food ingredients. Within the new Red Deer factory the company grades, washes, sterilizes, dries, packs and dispatches a whole range of herbs across the UK. The company is also seeing a rising demand from food producers for micro herbs. These are tiny, tender varieties of herbs favoured by an increasing number of chefs.

Don’t be fooled by appearances. Pershore is not the sleepy Cotswold town that visitors might first perceive as they drive down the pretty streets full of Georgian houses and independent retailers.

It is those independent businesses which give the town its personality, from Ogles pharmacy to WL Brown the hardware store, which seems to sell as much as an out-of-town DIY store in a fraction of the retail space. Pershore Market oozes with stall holders including Masons Fruit and Vegetables, and the market regularly bursts out into the adjacent car park.

On St George’s Way is Abbey Forestry, a thriving business with years of experience in woodland management and contract work.

Newer retailers on the high street include family-run home and gift store Persora.

“Pershore is not the sleepy Cotswold town that visitors might first perceive as they drive down the pretty streets full of Georgian houses and independent retailers”

Nationally, Pershore is probably known best for its horticultural expertise. Pershore College (part of the Worcestershire College Group), is a national centre for horticulture. In 2016 it added a £5.8 million agri-tech extension which now houses a science and technology centre and a collections house alongside new teaching facilities.

Towering over the town is the beautiful 1,300-year-old Pershore Abbey located just behind the high street in an oasis of calm.

Pershore Plum Festival

Food for thought

Dozens of thriving companies around the town serve the UK’s food sector, giving weight to the description of Pershore as the garden of England.

Evesham Vale Growers was recently granted permission to build a £30 million, 14-hectare tomato glasshouse complex at Tilesford just outside the town. The company says this will create around 100 new jobs. Evesham Vale Grower’s Peter Bavan said: “It will be the largest high-tech facility of its type in the UK.”

Spectrum Pastes, on Cobham Road, manufactures and supplies bulk food ingredients to the trade: from sun dried tomato products to sweet pepper paste. Family business Ron Dadge Ltd on Pershore Trading Estate sells fresh produce from the Vale of Evesham and across the world to markets, secondary wholesalers, caterers and packers. There are many more.

Plum time for town’s foodie industry

Look more closely and many more thriving businesses are hidden away, such as Sprint Group, on Pershore’s Racecourse Road Industrial Estate.

This company designs and supplies catering kitchens for some of the UK’s top restaurants, from Soho House to Daylesford at Selfridges in London.

Keeping Pershore business thriving

Right at the heart of the town are the professional services companies that keep local businesses thriving. Crowthers Chartered Accountants has been based in The Courtyard off Pershore’s High Street since 1989 and has grown significantly since then.

The business, which looks after local family businesses and specialises in tax and the agricultural sector, enjoys being a central part of the community.

Jonathan Crowther, founding Director said: “Pershore is a unique town, with many businesses operating successfully in

the centre, on its business parks, or even more tucked away. It’s small towns such as Pershore which represent the beating heart of this country’s economy, though they’re often overlooked in favour of our larger towns and cities which have higher profiles.

“We love being right in the centre, as we are in our second office at Ledbury, because being integrated into the local community means we’ve got a deeper understanding of the businesses here, and our knowledge of what makes these towns tick means we can make a difference.”

Crowthers has taken these principles into

Pershore is also becoming nationally known for its annual Plum Festival, which runns throughout August.

On August 11, the town will celebrate the first official National Plum Day. Thousands of visitors are expected to celebration the Pershore Purple, Pershore Yellow Egg Plum and Pershore Emblem.

Cheltenham where it has recently opened a third office.

“We are pleased that we now cover the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire from town centre offices.”

Pershore Pershore Plum Festival © PHOTOGRAPHY: STUART PURFIELD
Jonathan Crowther
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Severn Trent boss named Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year

The Chief Exective of Severn Trent water utilities company has won the 2018 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.


Warwickshire College Group (WCG) has secured £1.5 million of funding for a new innovation centre in Rugby.

The Construction and Technology Innovation Centre at Rugby College will support construction and technology employers and provide students with skills in these sectors.

The centre, which will open in September 2019, is part-funded by the government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

It will provide training from Level 3 upwards, including foundation degrees, professional qualifications and degree apprenticeships for an anticipated 350 students each year.

The construction sector in the West Midlands will require 30,000 skilled workers every year qualified to Level 4 and above by 2019 to meet the needs of professional and management duties within the sector, according to the Sector Skills Council.

Neil Coker, Group Vice-Principal for Curriculum at WCG and Director of Rugby College, said “With projects such as HS2 on the horizon and large housebuilding programmes across the local area, we know the jobs are out there for people with the right skills.

“The building itself will be a showcase of best practice in the construction industry, so the students will be surrounded by the latest innovation and ideas in the industry.”

Games developer Codemasters floats on AIM

Video games developer Codemasters Group Holdings PLC, based at Southam, Warwickshire, has floatation on the AIM stock market. It raised £185 million on admission to trading on June 1.

The company, whose parent company is Indian company Reliance Big Entertainment, has a market capitalisation of £339.50 million and intends to use the proceeds from the stock listing to recruit new talent to grow

games as a service revenue, marketing activities, extending reach of existing franchises onto more platforms and for further development of proprietary technology.

Codemasters, which employs around 500 people, has been making iconic games for over 30 years. It’s a worldleader in the development of racing titles and is the official games provider for Formula One.

As the recipient of the longest-standing award for women in business globally, Liv Garfield follows in the footsteps of some of the most outstanding female business leaders – from Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop to leading architect Dame Zaha Hadid CBE.

The FTSE 100’s youngest ever female CEO, Liv heads Severn Trent, the Coventry headquartered company which serves more than eight million people.

Since taking the role in 2014, Liv has shepherded strong growth for the water company which is outperforming the rest of the sector.

She has also become a strong voice in areas that are often ignored, such as menopause-specific training and support for those with terminal illness.

Under her watch, Severn Trent was named in the first Social Mobility Employer Index.

Liv said: “I truly am delighted but also a little humbled. I wouldn’t have been able to win this award without the help and support of absolutely everyone at Severn Trent, so this is as much a win for them as it is for me.”

Peter Husband (WCG), Mark Pawsey (MP for Rugby and Bulkington), Mark Bonham (WCG), Paula Deas, Nick Abell, Jonathan Browning (all CWLEP), Neil Coker (WCG) Regional round-up


achievement for Leamington property entrepreneur

Vik Tara, Property Technology entrepreneur and Managing Director at Technology Blueprint and PropCo, has won the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2018 UK PropTech Association awards.

PropTech are companies offering technologically innovative products or new business models for the real estate markets. Think Purple Bricks and Zoopla for the most widely-known names, but there are hundreds crowding into the new sector, including Nimbus (see story on the right).

Vik also owns Leamington Spa-based Tara & Co estate agency business and founder of Technology Blue Software, a fast growth Indian software company offering consultancy and support to companies based in UK, USA, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

Crafty Dog Lady gets business up and running

A woman whose life was turned upside down by illness has been able to launch a new business.

Helen Woodhouse from Nuneaton contracted a rare blood disorder caused by tick bites. The condition left Helen unable to walk and she had to leave her job in the civil service.

During her rehabilitation, she experimented with pyrography – the art of decorating wood.

After taking her idea to Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber she received help and support from its Business Support Programme.

The Crafty Dog Lady is now up and running at Hoar Park Craft Village in Ansley with plans to launch an online store over the next 12 month

A Warwickshire technology company which provides property firms with mapped information on UK sites, is on target to hit 100,000 users by the summer after clinching a major contract.

Nimbus Maps spun out of an existing property company when owners Simon and Paul Davis realised they couldn’t access up-to-date information on potential development sites.

Simon and Paul have plans to develop the platform for overseas use but will need to raise around £1 million in finance to achieve their plans.

“The system holds information on 32 million addresses and 24 million registered titles so if there are development opportunities, Nimbus Maps will be able to let clients know where they are,” Simon said.

“The free-to-use version of the product is growing and we are working hard to educate users of the benefits of swapping to the paid-for, premium version – and landing clients such as GVA really helps us to do that.”

The system includes current information on commercial and residential sites, from ownership through to planning permissions, all layered on to Google Maps via a mobile-ready platform.

Nimbus has now landed leading real estate advisory business GVA as a client on a two-year deal and has launched a free-to-use version of the technology.

The company, which is based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre, has been supported by the university’s Business Ready programme.

Dirk Schafer, Business Growth Advisor at the University of Warwick Science Park, added: “Nimbus Maps has developed great technology and we are delighted that our support has helped the company to focus on how it will drive interest and sales in the product.”

Regional round-up
Barratt Homes and Co-op are also clients.
“Nimbus Maps has developed great technology and we are delighted that our support has helped the company to focus on how it will drive interest and sales in the product”
Dirk Schafer and Simon Davis

Transport Design International wins rail project

An award-winning transport specialist has won a contract to design and construct an innovative very light rail vehicle which will be part of a new transport solution for Coventry.

Transport Design International, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, will develop a lightweight, battery-operated, rail-guided vehicle which will ultimately be capable of operating without a driver.

The project, funded through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Devolution Deal, is being managed by researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick in collaboration between Coventry City Council and Transport for West Midlands.

A total of £12.2 million funding has been secured to undertake the research and

development required to prove the VLR concept.

The VLR system will be compatible with Midland Metro and the prototype vehicle will be capable of carrying 20 seated passengers and a maximum of 70 including standees.

Martin Pemberton, Managing Director of Transport Design International, said: “As champions of sustainable, lightweight transport solutions, the TDI team is very proud to have been selected to undertake this flagship project for Coventry.”

James Meredith, very light rail project manager at WMG, said: “This is a great opportunity to bring the latest automotive technology in materials, batteries and electric propulsion to deliver an affordable railway for Coventry.”

Red is faster for Warwickshire entrepreneur

Cycling enthusiasts wanting to go as fast as their sporting heroes can now seize competitive advantage thanks to a new idea launched by a Coventry entrepreneur.

James Webb has created a product which accurately measures the aerodynamic impact of changes that riders make to their position, bike or clothing in a bid to improve their performance.

A small sensor attached to the bike captures data previously restricted to a wind tunnel, enabling accurate measurement of aerodynamic drag and allowing riders to test out different positions and equipment.

James has now set up his own business, Red Is Faster, to commercialise the product.

It follows help from Coventry University Enterprises’ (CUE) Technology StartUp project, part of the Coventry and

Coventry & Warwickshire business festival returns

After a successful first year, the region’s largest annual business event is returning.

From November 19-30, the region will come alive with a fortnight of business events put on by organisations from across the region. Events range from small networking workshops or seminars to large trade shows or national conferences.

Coventry and Warwickshire businesses can get involved through running an event, offering venue space or attending any number of the events taking place across the Business Festival fortnight.

Business & Innovation Magazine is delighted to be the Festival’s official media partner.

Warwickshire Business Support Programme and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

James gave up his previous job as a software developer last year to pursue his first business venture. He said: “This product is helping to break down the costly barriers for cyclists looking for techniques to help them fly with the wind, rather than against it.

“It can cost upwards of £600 an hour to hire out a wind tunnel to test

out different set-ups, whereas I am developing an affordable product that can be used in a real-life environment.”

James Webb showcasing his product alongside Paul Bennett in Coventry University’s wind tunnel Regional round-up
“This product is helping to break down the costly barriers for cyclists looking for techniques to help them fly with the wind, rather than against it”

The inaugural 2018 Vale4Business Awards ceremony

The Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire is home to a buoyant economy, from advanced engineering companies to independent retailers. The district is home to a vibrant mix of businesses and the V4B Awards brought together businesses, recognising, rewarding and promoting local success stories. Hosted at Williams Conference Centre, Grove, finalists, sponsors and judges attended a drinks reception in the exclusive surroundings of Sir Frank Williams’ private collection of Formula One cars, before a gala dinner and awards presentations compered by guest speaker, British Olympic skier, TV presenter, adventurer and journalist, Graham Bell.


V4B Awards trophies Cllr Mike Murray and Suzanne Malcolm from Vale of the White Horse District Council Drinks reception held in the exclusive surroundings of Sir Frank Williams private collection of Formula One cars Nick King and Melanie Smans from the Vale4Business Awards team and Vale of White Horse District Council Ben Howells, Eva-Lotta Allan and Andrew Hotchkiss from Immunocore Simon Bassett from Royds Withy King and David Cook from Handelsbanken, Abingdon Lucy Nash from Royds Withy King and Kirsty Muir from Business & Innovation Magazine Denise McDonagh, Jo Szegota and Marion Hollister from MEPC Milton Park Jo Burgess, Craig Davies-Ratcliffe and Sarah Turner from Grove Business Park or visit Please contact Would you like to feature your business event, launch or party in our business events section? LET’S GET SOCIAL
Shaun McNamee, Natasha Graham, Rebecca Woodmington, Sarah Walton-Davey and Tony Virgo-Harris from Action Coach Regina Lally, Christine Taylor, Ella Barrington from Databasix with Paulette Elliott from Huduma Jack Lynch and Alexander Reip from Oxford Nanopore Technologies Iain Gray, Karen Gray, Lorna Edwards and Huw Edwards from MSC R&D Ltd Sir Frank Williams’ private collection of Formula 1 cars Cllr Roger Cox, Suzanne Malcolm and Cllr Reg Waite from Vale of White Horse District Council Priya Mande from PsiOxus and Ed Routledge from Routledge Education Richard Marsh from CIS with Rob Pickering from Action Coach and Nick Clark from Frasers Office Innovation
David Williams from Bidwells with Angus Horner from Harwell and Tony Langtry from Tokamak Energy


Oxford Space Systems and CIS Ltd were the big winners at the first Vale4Business Awards. They both scooped two awards each during a fast-moving evening at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove.

The Vale4Business Awards are open to businesses based in Oxfordshire’s Vale of White Horse district. New Business Award winner Childrey Stores and Business Space of the Year, Boston House Business Centre also celebrated at the ceremony hosted by British Olympic skier, adventurer and journalist Graham Bell.

Awards event sponsors Royds Withy King announced the winners, including Immunocore Ltd, which was revealed as the Large Business of the Year.

Simon Bassett, lead partner from the Oxfordshire-based law firm and main evening sponsor, said: “Our firm has been a long-time supporter of the Vale4Business

“The event was filled with innovative and successful businesses from across our region. We have been delighted at the many inspiring stories from people who had an idea at their kitchen table and took it to the next level”

team and we were delighted to present Immunocore with Large Business of the Year Award.

Oxford Space Systems received an award for research, development and innovation. CEO Mike Lawton was also joint winner for Business Leader of the Year Award with Richard Marsh, CEO from IT specialists, CIS Ltd, which also won Employer of the Year.

Databasix won Small Business of the Year and Alfresco Group Ltd won Medium Sized Business. The Social Responsibility Award went to Oxford Wood Recycling for supporting people from different backgrounds into work, while building a successful business.

Councillor Mike Murray, Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The event was filled with innovative and successful businesses from across our region. We have been delighted at the inspiring stories from people who had an idea at their kitchen table and took it to the next level.”

During the evening, aspiring race car drivers tested their skills on the Williams F1 simulators and raised over £1,350 for the Vale of White Horse District Council’s Chairman’s Charities: Children’s Air Ambulance and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Briggs Defence wins international safety award James Dipple wins Property award

Abingdon-based Briggs Defence has been recognised by the British Safety Council for its commitment to raising health and safety standards and safeguarding the wellbeing of its workforce.

The specialist division of asset management and engineering services provider Briggs Equipment, Briggs Defence was among 623 organisations from the UK, Africa, Asia and the Middle East to win an International Safety Award for its performance in 2017.

Steve Bayliss of Briggs Defence said:

“We take the welfare of our personnel very seriously, especially since they can be deployed to non-fighting zones overseas or called upon to operate in challenging conditions at sea.”

Other regional companies winning British Safety Council awards include Oxford-based Unipart Logistics, Aston Martin Lagonda in Warwickshire, Chevron Traffic Management Limited, Thame, AVL United Kingdom Limited, Worcestershire and MacDermid Performance Solutions of Wantage.

MEPC Chief Executive, James Dipple was awarded the Property Leader of the Year award at the 2018 Oxfordshire Property Festival.

The award recognised James’s contribution to the success of the Oxfordshire property market over 20 years and also highlighted the efforts James has invested into helping his colleagues with their own goals and aspirations.

Regional round-up Above: Winners at the Vale4Business Awards Right: Guests try out their F1 driving skills on simulators

Official Opening of New Higher Education Hub at Abingdon & Witney College

A state-of-the-art facility that will house the college’s Higher Education provision as well as aiming to develop the engineering and technology skills of the local workforce officially opened at Abingdon & Witney College. Oxford West & Abingdon, MP Layla Moran, leader of the South Oxon District Council, officially opened the new Advanced Skills Centre (ASC). Guests were treated to interactive activities and exciting displays from across the college’s faculties. This event also saw the college officially receive its Association of colleges (AoC) Beacon Award.


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New Advanced Skills Centre Di Batchelor, Principle of Abingdon & Witney College and Oxford West & Abingdon, MP Layla Moran Mark Johnstone from JSP Group with Jarl Severn from Owen Mumford Barry Jenner, Chair of Corporation with Adrian Lockwood, Chair Oxfordshire LEP Skills Board Steve Colmer from Beards with Steve Jackson of Robothams Architects, Martin Rowe from PMP Consultants and Adam Mottershead of Idibri Interactive activities from students in the engineering workshop Joanne Davies from PMP Consultants with Amanda Chiyasa from Capital Projects and James Rollason from PMP Consultants Chris Busby from Ice Oxford Ltd with Neil Tyler from Machtech Pamela Lumsden from The Association of Colleges with Jane Samuels from The Ridge Foundation Interactive activities from students in the engineering workshop
Interactive activities from Media and Art & Design students who set up a green screen and an innovative augmented reality display

Westgate Centre hosts plank off

Regional round-up

Oxford for Europe calls on SMEs to speak out on Brexit

A reluctance among businesses to speak out on the adverse impacts of Brexit was one of many issues raised at a public event in Oxford. More than 200 people gathered at Oxford Town Hall to hear powerful contributions from experts in business, health, science and citizens’ rights about how Brexit is going to impact the Oxfordshire region.

The event was organised by Oxford for Europe, supported by European Movement (UK) Oxford Region and Oxford European Association.

Antony David, Managing Director of audio engineering firm Solid State Logic, strongly criticised “the failure of the CBI and other business groups to represent concerns, shared by the majority of small and medium UK businesses, about the adverse effects of Brexit”.

Dr Mike Galsworthy of national campaign group Scientists for EU, said: “Oxford’s science-based economy and its ecology of innovations, spun from the region’s world-leading science and research establishments, is set to suffer multiple penalties if Brexit happens. Leaving

“Oxford’s science-based economy and its ecology of innovations, spun from the region’s world-leading science and research establishments, is set to suffer multiple penalties if Brexit happens”

Europe, a move which is strongly opposed by nearly all UK scientists, will result in a loss of access to key collaborations, marginalisation in new programmes and growing difficulty attracting top global talent. With the Brexit vote, the image of the UK as a place to live and work has very quickly changed from ‘cool’ to ‘uncool’.”

Dr Ruvi Ziegler of Oxford for Europe who chaired the event, summed up: “It is now clear that the ‘Brexit dividend’ will be negative. If it is allowed to go ahead, Brexit will cost us a heavy price, in many ways and for many years. This event highlighted some of these costs for Oxfordshire.”

Oxford Metrics sells surveying company

International software company Oxford Metrics has sold Yotta Surveying Ltd, its highway surveying services company, to Ginger Group, a major construction and civil engineering company for £1 million.

Yotta will now trade as Ginger Lehmann Ltd in the UK and continue to operate from premises in Leamington Spa.

Oxford Metrics, which works within the government, life sciences, entertainment and engineering markets, will retain ownership of software and services business, Yotta Limited.

Nick Bolton, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Metrics, said: “In Ginger Group, the surveying business has a strong, committed new owner and our surveying team joins a bigger organisation capable of nurturing and growing these assets.”

Oxford Metrics, through Yotta and its other business Vicon, helps clients in motion measurement and infrastructure asset management, analyse high volume, high complexity data to deliver precise, actionable metrics to customers in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Oxfordshire office workers got down on their knees in the city’s Westgate shopping centre to raise money for Oxfordshire’s High Sheriff’s charities.

Fifty volunteers descended on the shopping centre, which only opened last year, supported by Oxford Rock Choir belting out ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, by Queen.

It was organised by the High Sheriff of Oxford, Richard Venables, who also took part wearing his official regalia. With the help of Thame-based personal trainer George Anderson, the 50-strong group held the ‘plank’ position for five minutes in front of shoppers.

Richard said: “The idea is to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace and I really think we ticked the box here. I look forward to other future events and I encourage as many individuals and companies to get involved as possible.”

Proceeds from the High Sheriff Corporate Challenge, which is sponsored by 22 companies, will go to Oxfordshire charities promoting health and wellbeing among Oxfordshire’s youth sector including Access Sport Oxford.

The event was part of a range of sporting and cultural activities which Richard is organising throughout his year as High Sheriff of Oxford until March 2019.

The aim is to raise £150,000, while promoting health, fitness and wellbeing, particularly for young people in disadvantaged areas of the city.

Dr Mike Galsworthy speaking at the Oxford for Europe debate Oxford workers do the plank

FOCUS one of the largest and most respected firms of Independent Insurance Consultants in Oxfordshire celebrate their anniversary

Nick Jones, Manging Director of FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd set up the company in July 2017, following a management buyout of the insurance division from an established Oxfordshire firm. Recognising a growing opportunity with the insurance services offered, in just one year, Nick has led the team at FOCUS Oxford Risk Management through a very successful first year.

As the team celebrate the firms one year anniversary, the firm is set for continued growth. Having just moved into new larger offices in Seacourt tower, the relocation gives room to grow and the business is set for further expansion over the coming year with the team head count already growing in size.

Nick, having started in the industry in 1986 has a wealth of experience, in the insurance business and knows the importance of service in this industry. With that in mind he has created a talented senior team behind him. The firms growing specialist commercial

“We believe our success has been built as we have often taken a different approach to providing the solutions for our clients’ needs. We quickly recognised that our clients were looking for a very much more personal approach, rather than having to search the internet or talking to a provider over the phone and never talking to the same personal twice. This is why our clients can speak to us whenever they need us. We pride ourselves on service, first and foremost; helping our clients get the best cover at the most competitive price available”

division is led by Paul Monaco, the firms Commercial Insurance Director and Roz Wright, Private Client Director head up the firms full private client service.

Maintaining the FOCUS brand that clients have come to know and trust is key to Nick Jones and the firm continue to be forward-thinking and constantly review and update working practices to ensure that they remain not only legally compliant, but as importantly, are in a position to provide our clients with the most up to date and appropriate insurance solutions.

As a truly independent broker, based in the region, FOCUS has the ability to place business with the whole of market and will only provide cover that our clients truly need. In addition to their first class Private Client services, FOCUS are specialists in advising SME business in both Oxfordshire and across the country. FOCUS also has a growing division dedicated to the Life Science, Biotech and Technology industries

FOCUS Oxford Risk Management has its origins dating back to 1990 and has established itself in the heart of the Oxfordshire business community.

FOCUS specialists in providing insurance within the hi-tech scientific business environments

The team at Focus Oxford Risk Management, have become hugely respected for their insurance offering across this sector, including with many leading companies in the Life Sciences & Technology sector.

FOCUS has the technical expertise needed in today’s complicated world of insurance for industries at the forefront of technology and drug discovery and are specialists in advising on and arranging insurance policies for the Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical sectors.

For more information, contact:

Paul Monaco Cert CII

Commercial Insurance Director

T: 01865 953120

M: 07968 515305


FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd is taking part in the 2018 Twin Town Challenge

FOCUS continue to support the charity car rally from Witney in Oxfordshire to Le Touquet in France and this year was no exception. FOCUS take their responsibility to the community very seriously and support a number of local causes. Last month saw the team head to France along with one hundred cars, all costing less than £500 each. Leaving from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, over the Spring Bank Holiday, the team travelled to Le Touquet, in northern France on the Twin Town Challenge 2018 to raise money for Charlbury-based charity SpecialEffect.

The FOCUS team – “Fast and FOCUS’D” travelled in style, rather than speed, in a 1999 4.0 S-Type Jaguar.

“We are safe in the knowledge that our insurance requirements have been very well catered for. The quality of service and encyclopaedic knowledge of the insurance industry displayed by Steve and the rest of the Focus insurance team has been second-tonone for many years”

“We would have no hesitation in recommending FOCUS to other growing technology companies. I wish to commend FOCUS, and in particular Paul Monaco. Oxford Space Systems develops innovative satellite hardware. We are a new business, set up in 2013, and needed a professional but pragmatic approach to risk management”

Team members Nick Jones, Roz Wright, Lindsey Stribling & Caroline Walker, adopted an urban-style team look, with just a hint of the Fast & Furious movie franchise. Over the weekend, the teams could be seen tackling carpool Karaoke with a very special rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, a scavenger hunt around Le

Touquet’s market and Car Jousting, Car Boxing, Car Fencing and Car Bowling all at the circuit at Abbeville and a great time was had, but best of all, the FOCUS team has raised over £5,300 so far – and counting – for SpecialEffect.

Find out more at

Geoff Bush, Finance Director, Oxford Immunotec Ltd
Matthew Dreaper, Chief Finance Director, Oxford Space Systems
T: 01865 953 111 |
FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd, Seacourt Tower, West Way, Oxford, OX2 0JJ

Oxfordshire Economic Question Time 2018

Oxfordshire business leaders gathered at the Saïd Business School for the fifth year of the Oxfordshire Economic Question Time. Hosted again by Royds Withy King, Shaw Gibbs and HSBC with media partner Business & Innovation Magazine. Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics for UK Commercial Banking at HSBC delivered his annual keynote address which gave an insight to the global economy, Brexit and the implications for local businesses. This year’s Q&A panel was chaired by The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Richard Venables, Director of VSL & Partners and Board member of Oxfordshire LEP. Panellists were Angus Horner, Director& Partner Harwell Campus, Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire LEP, Jim Wilkinson, CFO of Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and Nicky Godding, Editor-in-Chief of Business & Innovation Magazine.


Oxfordshire EQT panellists, The High Sheriff, Richard Venables, Director of VSL & Partners, Jim Wilkinson, CFO of Oxford Sciences Innovation, Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics for UK Commercial Banking at HSBC, Nicky Godding Editor-in-Chief, of Business & Innovation Magazine, Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire LEP, and Angus Horner, Director & Partner from Harwell. Dr Roger Mould from HSBC with Joanne Tuffill of Vale Financial Training and Martin Boden from Westminster Plc Peter O’Connell from Shaw Gibbs with Edward Mott from Oxford Capital Partners Lucy Nash from Royds Withy King and Richard Marsh from CIS Ltd Oxfordshire EQT Chair, The High Sheriff, Richard Venables, Director of VSL & Partners and Board member of Oxfordshire LEP Robert Pinheiro and Kate Benefer from Royds Withy King with Nick King from Vale4Business and South Oxfordshire & Vale of White Horse District Council Cameron Rathwell from HSBC with Lorna Watson from Shaw Gibbs Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics for UK Commercial Banking at HSBC Simon Bassett, Partner at Royds Withy King in Oxford, welcoming guests or visit Please contact Would you like to feature your business event, launch or party in our business events section? LET’S GET SOCIAL
Liz Hulls from Vale Financial Training with Andy Greenfield from MRC Harwell Institute and Fran Kidd from Shaw Gibbs Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire LEP Deborah Spencer, Health & Life Sciences Consulting with Nick King Vale4Business and South Oxfordshire & Vale of White Horse District Council Andy Clark from LTI Metaltech and Elio Recchia from Hays Liz Hulls from Vale Financial Training with Andy Greenfield from MRC Harwell Institute and Fran Kidd from Shaw Gibbs Matthew Farraro from Oxford Equity Group with Ian Butler from Royds Withy King and Paul Gibbins from Secantor Business Services Nick Dobbs from Oxford Nanoimaging and Kate Parrinder from Oxfordshire Community Foundation Jim Wilkinson, CFO of Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) Angus Horner, Director & Partner at Harwell Nicky Godding, Editor-in-Chief at Business & Innovation Magazine
Tanja Melling from HSBC and Gordon Beach from Beach Associates


With the stunning backdrop of the awardwinning John Henry Brookes Building, Oxfordshire celebrated the 24th annual business awards at Oxford Brookes University. More than 450 guests came together to celebrate business excellence. It was the first such awards event the university has held in its new building and it was a roaring success.

Companies from across the county were competing in 14 categories.

The Oxford Time Charity and Community Awards

Winner: Restore. This charity supports people with mental ill health to recover, set and achieve goals and secure work or volunteering.

Finalists: Donnington Doorstep, Play2Give

The Hays Employer of the Year Awards

Winner: Oxford Products. Based at Witney, this company is a leading global supplier of motorcycle and bicycle products. Read our interview with Andrew Hammond, CEO, in this issue.

Finalists: Nielson, Ridge & Partners LLP

The Oxford Science Park Innovation Award

Winner: Adaptix, based at the Science Park Centre for Industrial Innovation at Yarnton. This company’s patented technology allows portable low-cost, lowdose 3D imaging which are easier to read than traditional x-rays.

Finalists: Aigenpulse, ZapGo

The Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership New Business Award

Winner: TOAD. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is the city’s first distillery, uniquely growing its own grain sustainably and organically in fields close to Oxford.

Finalists: Aigenpulse, Ethos Technology

The Knights 1759 Small Business Award

Winner: Seacourt is a Cowley-based green printing company, which uses its own LED waterless printing technology and works within the circular economy.

Finalists: CQR, The Cocktail Service

The NatWest Large Business Awards

Winner: Oxford Products. The company currently employs around 130 staff from its 100,000 sq ft headquarters. This will be extended by half in 2019 to facilitate further growth.

Finalists: Audley Travel, Hedges Law

The Shaw Gibbs Young Business Person of the Year Award

Winner: Tom Cutler. Along with cofounder Adam Gilbourne, Tom founded online furniture retailer Laura James. The team has filled a gap in the market by providing well made, well package products at affordable prices.

Finalists: Paul Roberts, Aspire Oxford; Marcus Taylor, Venture Harbour

The CIS Technology Excellence Awards

Winner: Sesui. Based at the Oxford Science Park, Sesui is an innovator of cloud communications software.

Finalist: Vitaccess

The Heart Cultural Events and Tourism Award

Winner: Experience Oxfordshire. This official destination management organisation for the county is the trading arm of the parent charity, The Experience Oxfordshire Charitable Trust.

Finalists: Bicester Heritage, Oxford Christmas Market

The Brita Green Award

Winner: Seacourt. This printing company was also been recognised in 2017 by the European Commission as Europe’s most sustainable SME.

Finalists: Oxford Energy Academy, Royal Cars

The Syndicut Marketing Excellence Award

Winner: The Shake Shop. This business selling milkshakes is located in a grade 2 listed building overlooking Witney high street.

Finalists: Crichleys, Pampeano

The Bicester Village Retail Award

Winner: Specsavers, Bicester. This franchise was opened 21 years ago and is now a thriving business in the town.

Finalists: The Old Flight House, TOAD

The Shaw Gibbs Business Person of the Year Award

Winner: Mike Lawton, Oxford Space Systems. The business was founded by Mike at Harwell Campus in 2013. It is an early stage space technology business which is developing a new generation of deployable antennas and structures that are lighter, less complex and lower cost than many currently in commercial demand.

Finalists: Andrew Hammond, Oxford Products; Greg Inge, CQR

The Hawkins Business of the Year Award

Winner: Oxford Space Systems

Jane Reeve and Paul Loweof the Oxfordshire Business Awards

Oxfordshire Business Awards 2018

With the stunning backdrop of the award-winning John Henry Brookes Building, Oxfordshire celebrated the 24th annual business awards at Oxford Brookes University. More than 450 guests came together to celebrate business excellence. It was the first major awards event the university has held in its new building and it certainly made for an impressive OXBA. The evening was filled with sunshine which made for a perfect champagne and canapes drinks reception outside in the JHB Quadrangle.


John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Oxford Brookes Venues Katie Garraway, Educator and Piers Scrimshaw-Wright from the Oxford Science Park Debbie Austin, Simon Smith (Black Tie, Twin Town Style) and Christina Nawrocki from Wellers Nicky Godding and Kirsty Muir from Business & Innovation Magazine Claire Styles from Oxford Estates with Philip Campbell from MEPC, Milton Park Fran Kidd and Clifford Brown from Shaw Gibbs Paul Lowe, Chairman of the Oxfordshire Business Awards Peter O’Connell from Shaw Gibbs with Jon Chitty from Unipart and Elio Recchia and Laura Kidd from Hays Matthew Chapman, Mark Hutchinson and David Cook from Handelsbanken and Richard Marsh from CIS Ltd Sarah Best, Rachel Lenik and Michelle Bosa-Edwards from Newton
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Liam Angell, Sharon Bradford, James Pitt, Andy Cowie, Mike Farwell and Lizzie Costigan from James Cowper Kreston) Robert Pinheiro from Royds Withy King with Hayley Simmons of Shaw Gibbs, Sue Staunton from James Cowper Kreston and Lorna Watson from Shaw Gibbs Becky Allen, Sarah Smith, Henri McMullan, Toby Buckridge, Lisa McIntyre, Melissa Pereira and Vikki Towell from Audley Travel Mike Hawkins, Louise Hawkins, Jo Oldfield and John Baker from Hawkins Group Miranda Marcham from Bicester Village and Richard Venables, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, with Paul Robert and Helen Mariner from Aspire Oxford Mark Wallbutton and Andrew Hammond from Oxford Products Ltd Chris Jones from Glooo with Kirsty Muir from Business & Innovation Magazine and Jim Heppell NatWest Mark Bishop from Grant Thornton and Roger Mould from HSBC Bryan Williams, Alisha Eberle, Cory Mason and Charlie Echlin from TOAD


When Andrew Hammond is parked nose-to-tail in a traffic jam, there’s no eye-rolling when a motorbike whizzes by. He’s thinking “I should be on one of those”.

CEO Andrew Hammond with TT legend racer James Hillier

Across the UK, there are 1.3 million registered motorcycles on the road, and the majority of their riders will be using kit from Witneybased Oxford Products.

Managing Director Andrew Hammond describes the sector as niche, but with the motorcycle and accessory market estimated to be worth more than £5 billion to our economy, if you’re the UK’s leading supplier of products to the twowheeled industry, it’s a nice big niche to sit in.

Last year Oxford Products turned over £31 million, with more than £7 million in exports, and has reported record growth over 12 consecutive years.

The company was established in 1972 by Andrew’s father Alec, who started selling motorcycle accessories out of the back of his car, before progressing to a transit van. Alec remains Chairman, but the business has been run by Andrew, 46, and his team of seven board directors since 2001.

However, with sales of new motorcycles slowing down, where could that leave Oxford Products, which is the biggest motorcycle kit and accessory distributor in the UK? Still in the driving seat, according to Andrew because while sales of new motorbikes might be down, older bikes are still being ridden in abundance, and his company has diversified. Now, around 10 per cent of its sales are in pedal bicycle kit and accessories, and that’s only set to grow. According to research company Mintel, the total bicycle market in the UK is estimated to be worth £1.5 billion, of which the sale of bicycle parts and accessories is worth around £750 million.

Oxford Products is known across the motorbike industry for producing sensible, reliable and consistent clothing and accessories. A solid foundation for a strong business, but with consumers increasingly wanting a wider choice, last year Andrew and his team invested in Tri-Motive, a Swansea-based motorcycle brand distribution company which sells a number of brands new to Oxford Products.

“Tri-Motive was an exceptionally wellrun business, founded by two great guys who are now working within The Oxford Products Group. Their clothing and helmet brands, while a similar price point, are sportier than ours, so becoming a major shareholder in their business has widened our appeal,” he said.

Since bringing Tri-Motive into the Group in March last year, Oxford Products has invested more than £1 million in stock and expanded the company’s sales team. The result so far? A handy doubling of sales.


A family man, Andrew supports his children, Jamie (14), Jasmine (12) and Jack (10) who are ice skaters competing across the UK. They are all hoping to take part in the British Championships this July.

When not involved in transporting his children, at weekends he plays cricket, travels to motorcycle races and enjoys holidaying in sunny climates when he can.

Occasionally he manages to get out on two wheels and still gets a kick from it.

His twin brother is an RSPCA inspector, his other brother is a retail expert.

Tri-Motive has opened doors for Oxford Products too. Thanks to being able to offer a broader range of products and brands, the company has done an exclusive deal with CMC Motorcycles, which has motorcycle superstores in Chesterfield, Cannock and Newport.

“The expanded Oxford Products Group now offers five helmet and four clothing brands, and a wider range of accessories. CMC is now reporting increased sales. Neither Oxford Products or Tri-Motive could have done that alone,” Andrew said.

Taking Oxford Products global

Oxford Products

Oxford Products has an American operation based in Jacksonville, Florida. Set up in 2012, the business hasn’t had the easiest of rides since it opened but it

began making money in 2016 enabling the recruitment of a highly experienced national sales manager.

“The American motorcycle market is very different to the UK and it’s taken time for us to bed in there, however we’ve seen real results in the last quarter,” Andrew said.

He sees real potential in the UK bicycle kit and accessories sector. “We’ve been selling bicycle products for a long time, but since we recruited David Jesson as Commercial Head of our cycling division we’re seeing strong growth. He’s got a huge amount of knowledge and contacts in the sector. Go into any bicycle shop and you’ll see our product, but it’s not always at the front. Our focus now is making the Oxford Products brand as well known in the bicycle retail sector as it is to motorbike owners.”

02 03 04
“The expanded Oxford Products Group can now offer five helmet and four clothing brands, and a wider range of accessories”

The motorbike and bicycle sectors might both be powered by two wheels, but they are streets apart in culture – and Oxford Products is developing a separate approach to their marketing. “In the motorcycle world we know everyone, and they know us,” said Andrew. “Bicycles are different. We sell everything but the frame, but it’s a great deal more expensive to develop brand awareness in this sector, especially across the many independently-owned bicycle shops. We do social media of course, and we advertise in bicycle magazines, now we are intent on developing a good relationship with the trade.”

With the widening of its marketplace and rising sales, Oxford Products has invested in sophisticated back office and warehouse systems which have dramatically improved productivity. And earlier this year the company purchased its next-door neighbour company on DeHavilland Way in Witney. The company is now the proud owner of CDO, a wholesale distribution business supplying forecourt, motor centres and convenience stores.

CDO also happened to have a handy 1.5 acres of ground on which Oxford Products will be building a 40,000 sq ft high tech distribution centre and adding a further 15,000 of offices and showrooms. The new building will deliver more than 50 per cent more warehouse and office space to support the company’s growth plans –which are to grow the Group’s business to £50 million by 2021, he says.

Changing roles

Oxford Products is a family owned business and there are no plans to sell. However, Andrew’s role is changing. “I’ve always looked after major motorcycle stock purchases but now I’m concentrating on our business growth plans.”

Supporting overseas manufacturing

Most Oxford Products’ kit is manufactured in Asia, including China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Last October, the company opened a new factory in Pakistan which manufactures garments exclusively for Oxford Products.

Of the 150 or so people directly employed by the Oxford Products

While he’s the leader of the pack, Andrew has an experienced board of directors and robust management. “We’re a really strong team.”

He cites the CMC Motorcycles deal. “I’m fine with taking some credit for having got the deal sorted, but in terms of delivery I’ve done nothing. Our team had to redress all the retailer’s shops, a massive project involving many of the team at HQ, on the road and from Tri-Motive too. Oxford Products has grown because of the fantastic team we have.”

It helps that many of the company’s staff have been with Oxford Products for years. “With one exception, every member of the Oxford Products board and management team started with the business at a far lower level, working their way up. It’s me and the team, not just me and because we’ve grown together we’re not complacent or arrogant – far from it.”

Driving community engagement

As a local man with a young family, Andrew is enjoying getting Oxford Products more involved in local community activities.

Two years’ ago, the company entered the Twin Town Challenge in aid of the Oxfordshire charity Special Effect. Organised by another Witney business, STL Communications, each team drives a £500 vehicle from Blenheim Palace to Le Touquet in France.

Group, secondary employment in its supply chain is in the 1,000s, said Andrew.

“There are 350 workers in the Pakistan factory making our garments. When I visited the factory last year it was a humbling experience to realise the weight of responsibility we have as a company to all the workers there, and to those in all the other factories which supply us.”

“We did it in 2016 and I took my two brothers and my father. It was the first thing we’d done together like that in 30 years and could either have been a total disaster or an enormous success.”

Luckily it was the latter and this year Oxford Products entered three cars, one for the Hammond family and two for staff, who represent pretty much every department in the company. “The Twin Town challenge offers the staff a great team building opportunity and will give them lifelong memories to cherish,” said Andrew.

This year entrants driving 120 cars aim to raise more than £500,000, all of which is going to Special Effects – a charity which uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities.

That’s just one of a number of local good causes which Oxford Products supports. The Lola Rose Foundation, which supports the families of stillbirth and neonatal death, has been the company’s major charity over the last five years, chosen after it was established by a member of staff’s family.

Other charities also get Oxford Products support, from football clubs to gymnastic teams and the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

“We all come from the area and everyone at Oxford Products likes supporting community projects,” said Andrew.

Oxford Products Oxford Products
“With one exception, every member of the Oxford Products board and management team started with the business at a far lower level, working their way up”
CEO Andrew Hammond visiting the new Pakistan factory Oxford Products

Businesses in the community

A stonemason has carved a block of Forest of Dean sandstone bearing the Allchurches Trust logo into an ‘at risk’ 13th century gatehouse at Worcester Cathedral.

It celebrates the £10,000 Allchurches Trust grant that will help save the crumbling 13th century Edgar Tower.

Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-giving charities. It gets its funds from ownership of the Gloucester-based Ecclesiastical Insurance Group.

The story behind rescuing the tower can be read on, where people can also apply for grants.

Last year Allchurches Trust grants totalled £15.6 million.


Cheltenham law firm BPE Solicitors is supporting a relay race with a difference on July 13, when they invite teams to take part in the Gloucestershire Coracle Challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

This is the latest initiative in BPE’s twoyear goal to raise £54,000, enough to fund a Macmillan nurse for a year.

Following a successful 297-mile sponsored walk, a week-long static bike challenge and a charity golf day, the Gloucestershire Coracle Challenge, being held at Gloucester Rowing Club, is an unusual opportunity for local firms to join in the fun.

Senior Partner, John Workman, said: “This is the first time Macmillan has brought the event to our county, so we’re backing them to make a big splash.

“Macmillan nurses provide a specialist service to those in need and everyone at the firm and those involved in the events so far have been fantastic in their support and efforts,” said John. heltenham law firm BPE Solicitors is supporting a relay race with a difference on July 13, when they invite teams to take part in the Gloucestershire Coracle Challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Follow the Pied Piper

The worlds of cycling and rugby c ome together on Sunday July 15 to raise money for the Pied Piper Appeal, the leading children’s charity in Gloucestershire.

The charity helps to provide the best care for sick and disabled children and last year 250 riders took to the roads. The

event is being organised by Pied Piper. Sponsors include GBE Converge, WCD Group, and Evans Jones.

Gloucester rugby players past and present are expected to swap their rugby shorts for lycra.

Allchurches Trust helps save crumbling cathedral tower
“Macmillan nurses provide a specialist service to those in need and everyone at the firm and those involved in the events so far have been fantastic in their support and efforts”
Saul Sheldon, one of seven Worcester Cathedral stonemasons. Carving the Allchurches logo into a block of Forest of Dean sandstone Steve Hawkins, Chair of the Coracle Committee; Liz Bastock, BPE Solicitors Catherine North, Macmillan

Christmas celebrated late on Snowdon in climbing challenge

Five months later than expected, a group of Santas have successfully climbed the highest mountain in Wales to break the fundraising target of a Leamington charity.

Eight colleagues from Warwick-based residential and commercial developer AC Lloyd, undertook the 14-mile round trip to raise more than £16,000 for Young People First which helps to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people living in Coventry and Warwickshire.

The group was set to don their Santa hats and costumes in December, but the trek

had to be postponed because of snow and again in February when the Beast from the East struck so it was third time lucky when the team from AC Lloyd successfully completed the challenge.

David Skoppek, of Young People First, took his guitar to the summit to play: ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ to welcome the walkers from AC Lloyd along with their fellow business professionals from Leamington-based ehB Commercial, Hawkesford Estate Agents and Framptons.

Fisher German raises

thousands for local charities

Businesses in the community

Midlands Air Ambulance and Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven will benefit from this year’s Fisher German charity ball, held at Spetchley Park Gardens. A huge haul of raffle prizes and auction lots, from overnight stays at some of the county’s top hotels, to sports event tickets, helped push the final amount higher.

Legal practice supports cycling sportive

Staff from an Oxford-based legal practice got on their bikes to help support a local charity working to support sick children and their families in hospital.

Lansdown Insurance donates £9,000 to James Hopkins Trust

Lansdown, which selects a different local charity to support every six months, has donated enough to provide respite care for two children for an entire year.

Darren Bee, commercial director at Lansdown Insurance Brokers, said: “The James Hopkins Trust supports families across Gloucestershire. We have a strong commitment to charitable giving, it’s part of our culture and we are very proud to be able to support them in this way.”

The James Hopkins Trust provides nursing and respite, practical and emotional help to the whole family, for free, at a purpose-built multi-sensory centre in Hucclecote. The children they care for have life-threatening or life

limiting conditions and many different and complex nursing needs.

Darren added: “We have decided to continue our support of the James Hopkins Trust for a further six months. We hope that the money we are able to raise during this period will help many more local families who depend upon the specialist support and care that the James Hopkins Trust provides.”

Royds Withy King fielded a record 28 riders at popular cycling event Bike Oxford, raising funds for SeeSaw which provides grief support for children, young people and their families in Oxfordshire. It was chosen by Royds Withy King staff as its charity of the year.

Bike Oxford is organised by Iconic Cycling Events and championed by national property developer Redrow Homes.

Santas on Snowdon


Emma Willis shirt makers opens Gloucester showroom and shop

Emma Willis, the renowned English Jermyn Street shirt makers, have opened their showroom and shop at Bearland House, Gloucester, an elegant 18th century town house in the city’s historic centre between the Cathedral and Docks.

Customers can choose from the ready to wear luxury Swiss cotton shirt and boxer short collection or book a bespoke appointment to be measured and make their fabric choice from the luxury cottons, linens, cashmere cottons and silks. Bearlands is a destination in itself and staff regularly down tools to take customers on a tour to see their sewing, cutting, sock weaving and embroidery rooms. They also explain their traditional methods of hand cutting and sewing and weaving, and attention to detail.

The company employs locally and has grown from five to 30 cutters and seamstresses in the last six years, with their learning and earning programme working Britain’s biggest professional cycling race will be coming to Warwickshire for the first time.

well, the original seamstresses passing on their decades of specialist sewing skills.

Emma Willis’ international clientele include HRH The Prince of Wales, Sir John Timpson CBE, Sir David Ord, Daniel Craig and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Spring Summer linen in vibrant colours is the highlight of the current collection, made up into shirts, boxer shirts, pyjamas and dressing gowns.

Warwickshire hosts Tour of Britain racers

ending in Royal Leamington Spa, going through all five Warwickshire districts and boroughs.

Jeweller unveiled as rising star

Leading industry publication Retail Jeweller has tipped a number of regional industry personalities in its latest Rising Stars ‘30 under 30’ listing.

The initiative recognises up-andcoming talent from across all areas of the industry from manufacturing and design through to marketing and PR.

Racers from around the globe will descend on the county as it hosts the fourth stage of the 2018 Ovo Energy Tour of Britain.

It will officially start in Nuneaton town centre, make its way around Warwickshire

The event is on Wednesday, September 5 and organisers are hoping for record crowds.

Relaunched in 2004 after a five-year absence from the calendar, the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain attracts the world’s top cyclists, including Olympic and World Champions and Tour de France stage winners.

They compete on British roads each September, with daily live coverage on ITV4 and Eurosport in the UK, and around the world.

Libby Rak, of Libby Rak Gallery of Jewellery is based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Libby studied at the Prestigious Jewellery School, The British Academy of Jewellery, before opening her gallery in Woodstock. At the age of 14 she started a Saturday job working for independent jeweller, Julia Beusch, who owned a shop in Woodstock near where Libby lives. During the six years working alongside Julia, Libby set up a workbench at home to create her own designs. All of Libby’s jewellery is made using sterling silver, gold and semi-precious and precious gemstones.

Joanne Maddison, Assistant Manager at Andersons of Warwick and Felicity Allen, Marketing Manager at Worcester-based Anja Potze Fine Jewellery also made the listing.

WORK TO LIVE Work to Live
Libby Rak Flashback to last year’s Ovo Energy Tour of Britain Emma Willis at Bearlands, Gloucester

Oculus Wealth Management sign up prominent Gloucestershire financial adviser

The Gloucester office of Oculus Wealth Management have appointed Henry Hodgkins, a well-respected and prominent financial adviser. Oculus are an independently owned, financial planning and wealth management service provider. They provide services to business owners, professionals, executives and the retired via a network of offices, including one in Gloucester Docks.

Henry commented “Having recently completed a long term project for a Cheltenham firm, a meeting with Jerry Goodman and Andy Fitz, who established the Oculus Gloucester office in 2015, led to this excellent opportunity. I am excited about this new opportunity. I have been hugely impressed at the calibre of the Oculus team and the quality of the support team and structures. Jerry and Andy have a first class reputation for providing quality advice, and are well known across the local professional community. I look forward to developing the Oculus Gloucester office with them. I am seeing a lot of demand currently from people looking

to maximise their investment returns at a key stage in their life and to do so in a safe, well managed structure. Trust is a huge factor with clients and I am getting a great response from them.”

“We were absolutely delighted when the opportunity came up for Henry to join the firm. He comes with an excellent reputation and track record and is one of the best connected advisers in the region. Henry’s client centric ethos and values align perfectly to ours and we very much looking forward to working with him”

Henry joins Oculus as a Financial Planner. He specialises in helping clients who are either approaching retirement or already retired and are seeking advice on investments, trusts or financial planning.

Henry, born in Staverton, attended Dean Close School, before joining Lloyds Bank

and subsequently becoming a founder Partner at a local IFA firm. More recently he worked for a practice in Cheltenham. Henry lives in Charlton Kings, is married to Caroline and has three children who have followed in his footsteps, attending Dean Close, where Henry is a Governor. He is also a Governor of Hartpury College, Chairman of the Cheltenham Business Lunch Club and a Trustee of LINC. Tel:

01452 835 783

C2S Cheese Club packs out Hotel du Vin

The popular quarterly networking event, The Cheese Club at Hotel du Vin, Cheltenham saw record numbers attend again for the latest Friday meeting. Guests enjoyed a relaxed afternoon catching up with colleagues and meeting new contacts. Pre-lunch drinks were followed by a lunch with the second course being a cheese plate. Alex Gulley provided a guide to matching some of the cheeses with the right wine.


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Jackie Mitchell, Suzanne Hall-Gibbins and Angela Edwards from Circle2Success Sean Gibbs from Qualsurv International and Julie Butters from Hotel du Vin Nikki Budding from Brace Creative and Ian Heather from HRML Andy Bates and Sue Steed from Gloucestershire College Patrick Downes, Property Consultant and Rosie Henderson from Business & Innovation Magazine Rachael Berry from Truly Tailored Recruitment with Julie Kent and David Evans from Dean Close School Kirsty Muir from Business & Innovation Magazine with Paul Bence from Bence & Sons Ellen Roome from The Finance Roome with Adam Bradley from Bamboo Technology Group and Sophie Martyn from Willans Sophie Bennett from Achiever International with Peter Williamson of Hillside Brewery, Chris Gibbs from The Growth Hub and Roger Davies of Gazzella Rachael Shipton from Wavelength Recruitment and Jo Watton from Fig Offices


We welcome a new columnist to Business & Innovation Magazine. Ian Mean, Business West Director for Gloucestershire. This month, Ian’s looking at the importance of skills to business

Without doubt, a lack of skills constitutes the most serious issue facing the regional economy.

Indeed, I would without fear or favour say that the lack of skills is a nationwide issue for employers at a time when unemployment is at an all-time low –just one per cent in many parts of Gloucestershire.

And I am afraid the government is failing to get a real grip on this skills crisis as it seems consumed with Brexit and its ramifications.

The so-called skills gap means that across the region, companies just cannot recruit skilled workers to replace those leaving or retiring.

In fact, one of the largest companies in Gloucestershire, with a world-wide reputation and an order book to match, told me recently they had 75 vacancies they could not fill.

Our skills challenge has become so serious that in Gloucestershire, the County Council and Local Enterprise Partnership has set a Skills Board headed up by Pete Carr with good people like Sarah-Jane Watkins, principal of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College involved.

But there is no easy fix here, and I wonder just how effective a board like this can be with what appears to be diminishing support from government the skills agenda. I certainly hope it will have the teeth to penetrate the Whitehall wall.

The figures are scary to say the least. Peter Bungard, Chief Executive of

Gloucestershire County Council has given me some pretty stark facts around future employment.

In Gloucestershire we need something like 13,000 new people annually to replace those leaving through retirement or other reasons.

And a good year of economic growth in the county will create between 5,000 and 10,000 new jobs. But the big dilemma is: where are these people, many of them skilled, going to come from?

Thinking 20 years ahead, if we are to have good economic growth Peter tells me that we would expect to create 5,000 additional jobs in the Gloucestershire economy each year. So, that’s 100,000 jobs in the next 20 years.

Where will we get the people to fill these jobs? Over the same period, there will be only 7,000 extra people in the 18-64 age band.

Later retirements might give us another 15,000 employees while robotics and artificial intelligence might replace 30,000 jobs.

But even counting all of these, it is hard to see how we can achieve the economic

growth potential with this likely shortage of people.

In Gloucestershire alone, 77 per cent of employers are reporting hard to fill vacancies.

There is also the additional risk that with Brexit, we could see a reduction in the 12,500 Eastern European workforce that currently supports the Gloucestershire economy.

Our skills challenge is also not helped by young people leaving the region in droves every year, and Gloucestershire is now a net importer of older people.

We simply have to find ways of retaining more young professionals who are trained here in great companies like Renishaw but then move away, a lot of the time because they simply cannot afford to live here.

Gloucestershire is a county where the jet engine was born and first flew. It has a great heritage of skills, primarily through specialist engineering, and so we must not ignore the challenge of training and developing our young people to take over that mantle.

He is former vice chairman of the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company and a Freeman of the City of Gloucester for that work.

He is an honorary vice president of Gloucestershire College and has an honorary doctorate of philosophy from the University of Gloucestershire for supporting business in the county.

Ian Mean is Gloucestershire Director of Business West, former Editor of both the Western Daily Press and Editor-in-Chief of Gloucestershire Media. Ian is chairman of the Gloucestershire Hospitals Trust Organ Donation Committee.
“In Gloucestershire we need something like 13,000 new people annually to replace those leaving through retirement or other reasons”
Ian Mean


Mirico, based at Oxford, has appointed Dr Linda Bell as CEO. Spun out of the RAL Space Department of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, Mirico produces high precision gas sensing equipment using next generation laser techniques. The Harwell-based company has also received £3.5 million investment.

Cheltenham born and bred owner of construction company LCI Rail, Andy Wilcox, has taken over as chairman of Cheltenham Town Football Club. His company has been its major sponsor for the last three years and he is a lifelong supporter of the club.

Crowthers Accountants, headquartered in Pershore, has promoted Lucinda Davenport to manager within its Ledbury office agricultural team. Lucinda joined the firm in 2013 having obtained a degree at Hartpury College in Equine Science.

Gill Aitken, HMRC’s General Counsel and Solicitor, has left the Government department to become Registrar at the University of Oxford. She has previously worked at the Departments for Work and Pensions, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Health.


St Modwen, the development and regeneration specialist, has appointed David Binks to a new role of Head of Leasing. David joined from Cushman & Wakefield, where he was Partner Head of its UK Midlands Logistics and Industrial Agency.

Matt Walker, Head of Outward Direct Investment at the government’s Department for International Trade, has joined Versarien plc, the Cheltenhamheadquartered advanced materials engineering group on a 12-month secondment. During this period he will work exclusively for the company and will be Head of International Strategy and Government Relations.

The team that will deliver UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry has made a major appointment.

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust has joined the Coventry City of Culture Trust as Executive Director and Chief Executive. The move follows Chenine Bhathena’s appointment as Creative Director.

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Cheltenham-based developer Formal Investments has appointed Richard Jones as development director to oversee its UK projects in London, Glasgow and Gloucestershire. Richard was previously a director at Gleeds Management Services in Manchester and has played consultancy roles in several Formal Investments developments.


Jeff Pratt has stepped up as Managing Director of the £80 million UK Battery Industrialisation Centre which is part of the government’s Faraday Battery Challenge – a four year £246 million commitment in automotive battery development.


Harrison Clark Rickerbys has boosted partner numbers to 15 following the appointments of Clare Day and Chrissie Doherty to its real estate team. Clare is based at the law firm’s Wye Valley office while Chrissie joins the residential team in Worcester. They are pictured with Matt Hayes, lead partner in the firm’s real estate team.


Snow Business founder Darcey Crownshaw is handing over the responsibilities of managing director to Nick Marsh. Nick has worked on international business change and leadership development with Forte, Whitbread and Stakis. Darcey will move to the position of Chairman and drive special projects.


Bruton Knowles has strengthened its Gloucester-based rural team. Anne Dyer who joins as a surveyor, previously advised on estate management of well-known West Country attractions Longleat and Cheddar Caves.


The UKAEA, which manages the UK fusion programme at one of the world’s leading fusion research laboratories at Abingdon-based Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) has appointed Professor Sir Adrian Smith, pictured, Shrinivas Honap and Sue Scane as non-executive board members.


Gemma Brindley, a director in the Cheltenham office of national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe UK, has been appointed treasurer of Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire Club.

She takes over the role from Mark Price of Vitruvius Management Services Ltd.

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It’s tough at the top. And it can also be isolating when decisions that will affect the whole business sit on your shoulders. We invited bosses running some of the region’s most successful food and drink companies to share some of the leadership challenges they faced in business and asked how they overcame them

Creed Foodservice, based at Staverton, Gloucester, has grown into one of the

“I feel really good about the way that our business has developed. We invest heavily in employee engagement and I believe that we are a great business to work for”

UK’s leading independent foodservice wholesalers. It now turns over around £80 million annually.

“Our toughest challenge was facing up to the reality that a purely family management team was not the way forward if we wanted to really grow our business. I meet a lot of people in family businesses that have issues and some of them can stop the business from

fulfilling its potential. Having the difficult conversations can be very hard to do.

“We as a family approached the challenge together to discuss the possible ways forward. We decided that we would start to introduce directors from outside the family to bring in the skills that we required. “The outcome is the thriving business that we have today. Our turnover has increased from around £16 million when we decided to bring in outside help to around £80 million this year, all in the space of 10 years.

“I feel really good about the way that our business has developed. We invest heavily in employee engagement and I believe that we are a great business to work for. All the family continue to work in the business and we have all benefited from the change.”

Chris Creed with former rugby player turned chef, Phil Vickery
It’s not the challenges that life throws at you, but how you deal and learn from them that counts


James Moinet Operations Director, Kitchen Garden Foods

Kitchen Garden Foods is an awardwinning maker of jams and preserves based on family recipes and using high quality ingredients. Founded in 1989 by Barbara Moinet, it now distributes across the UK and overseas from its Stroud base.

“A tough challenge for everyone is the ownership restructuring we have gone through over the last two years.

“With any such restructuring there are always new initiatives and changes to be made while trying to earn the trust and respect of staff, senior and junior alike, customers and suppliers. Encouraging everyone to buy into your vision can be a large investment of time and effort, but it is worth it in the long run.

“We listened to and answered the concerns of our staff, being as honest and open as

we possibly could to put their minds at rest. Often people just want their voices heard and to understand that they’re not going to be pushed to the side and forgotten about.

“We explained that we weren’t about to make massive changes that would

fundamentally alter the business at this stage but wanted to stay true to the ethics of our business founder which are valued by everyone.

“Generally, everyone here now understands our common goal. Our staff achieve a fantastic level of productivity and we are well poised to push our business forward over the next few years.

“It was a challenge to have to answer some difficult and hard questions, but in hindsight I wouldn’t necessarily have done it differently. It was a quick way to get everything out in the open and clear the air.”

Halsey Managing Director, Purity Brewing

Purity Brewing Company is an awardwinning craft brewery established in 2005 in Great Alne, Warwickshire

“Growing the business massively over the last few years to nearly £10 million turnover has had its challenges, the biggest being recruitment.

“From the get-go at Purity, we made a massive effort to create a culture that respects individuals, the hard work they do and above all, while growing the team numbers, that we retain our core values of community, respect, hard work, honesty and positive spirit.

“We approached the challenge through positive communication, empowerment and respect. The senior team and Board all play a key part in leading our business. It is not one person’s role, it is the team and each individual within our business that makes Purity what it is.

“Purity is now in a great position, both in terms of our market perception and business performance. We have seen consistent double figure growth year on year for the last five years.

“Flo Vialan, our Head Brewer, was named Brewer of the Year last year by the All Parliamentary Party Beer Group and we were delighted to be named the Good Pub Guide Brewery of the Year for 2018, which is a real testament to the hard work the team have put in.

“We have also entered the stadia market with our support of Wasps Rugby and the Ricoh Arena and a number of other clubs in our heartland.”

“A tough challenge for everyone is the ownership restructuring we have gone through over the last two years”
Kitchen Garden Foods produce
Paul Halsey

Campden BRI

Campden BRI provides the food and drink industry with technical and advisory services to ensure product innovation, safety, quality and process efficiency.

“Transitioning from a practising scientist into a leadership role was one of the things I found most difficult. I didn’t know when to ask for help.

“Scientists are praised for their knowledge. I’d been one of the UK’s leading experts on listeria - the foodborne disease-causing bacteria. When I moved into a leadership role I felt like I needed to know everything about the business and have all the answers. I started by trying to learn everything about leading a business on my own – an impossible task.

“I finally realised that leaders can’t be an expert on everything – it was an eye-opening moment. Campden BRI had been investing in staff via a Leadership Development Programme and someone commented that I should also invest in myself. I eventually got a personal business coach, who helped me understand that being a good leader is about asking the right questions. It’s not about having all the answers.

“Coaching helped me to learn that when you have a good team they already know the answers. Being a good leader is about helping to bring it out of them.

“I invested in coaching training for Campden BRI staff through our Leadership Development Programme. Coaching helps staff perform better, which brings huge benefits to the company.

“I wish I had asked for help earlier. Getting a personal business coach was a great investment. It’s allowed me to step back and ask the big questions about the business and understand my role in leading the company. I thought asking for help was a weakness. It’s not.

“Leaders that ask for help and openly receive support are stronger and therefore continually grow, both personally and professionally.”

Winning strategies for ambitious businesses

What does it take to transform your company into a high performing business? Stewart Barnes of QuoLux talks strategy.

Setting out a clear business strategy based on marketing planning –where you should compete in order to gain (and sustain) competitive advantage – was one of five actions in the previous Spotlight on Leadership that I suggested to improve productivity.

To formulate a strategy that will deliver significant and lasting impacts, leaders must understand where sales and profits come from, segment their market, build strategies for thoe segments they are competing in, then align their operations to deliver the value that customers seek. Effective leaders do this consistently.

When we begin to work with a business, most leaders struggle to describe their markets, how those markets work, what position their business has in the market compared to that of their competitors and what market segments are available. If they cannot do that, how can they create competitive advantage and generate superior profits over the long term?

Finding your focus is crucial but it’s not an end in itself. What requires real concentration is the relentless follow through and even the most accomplished business strategists can’t take on that role alone.

Creating a strong team around you and equipping them to lead their departments towards a simply articulated vision, through a clear business strategy, is vital.

The leadership team needs to continuously switch focus between the big picture and close detail, the helicopter and the microscope. It’s important to get the details right; to understand what’s happening on the factory floor or customer service desk, what’s impacting productivity or influencing the order book.

Spend too long at the microscope and when you lift your head your goals could be further out of sight; you risk strategic drift. It takes practice to become comfortable switching to and fro, but this is exactly what we see so many leaders achieving on our programmes.

Stewart Barnes is Managing Director of QuoLux, the leadership and strategy development specialists


Cheltenham to host National Cyber Awards


More than 1,000 delegates and exhibitors packed the Three Counties Defence and Security Expo (3CDSE), held at Malvern Showground.

More than double the number of last year’s delegates enjoyed a programme of speakers and topics from the cyber, defence and security sector.

Drones were on show in abundance. But there was only one underwater drone.

Designed by Warwickshire-based Intrepid Minds in the shape of a manta ray, it can provide covert monitoring for up to six months at a time.

Qinetic talks advanced tech

Cyber and IT experts and businesses came together at Worcester’s Hive building to discuss advancements and applications of technology in the cyber and IT sector and hear from speakers such as Anthony Alston of cyber intelligence group Vivace, Tim Parsons of QinetiQ and George Hannah of Ericom.

The event was organised by WINN (Worcestershire Innovation) – a joint innovation programme between Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership).

It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund “Be Cyber Secure” Programme running in Worcestershire.

It was just one of a wide range of innovative ideas revealed at the expo.

And there were as many products and services being discussed quietly with delegates as there were on open show. Such security assets could well be keeping the UK safe and secure in the future.

Organised by a team of professionals led by Richard Morgan, Partner and Head of the Defence and Security Team at legal firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys, the event facilitates networking and the sharing of idea across the cyber, defence and security industry.

Cyber attacks increase

New statistics reveal that more than four in 10 businesses and two in 10 charities suffered a cyber attack in the past year.

For the average large business the financial cost over the past 12 months was £9,260 with some attacks costing significantly more.

The C11 Cyber Security and Digital Centre, based at Berkeley Green Science and Technology Park in Gloucestershire, holds practical seminars to help companies strengthen their cyber security processes. Close to the M5 C11 also offers secure workspace for cyber technology companies alongside incubation zones for start-up and early stage businesses.

Cheltenham will host the 2018 National Cyber Awards. The awards were founded by Karla Reffold, founder of BeecherMadden a search and selection business specialising in corporate governance, security and niche technology.

Karla said: “Having founded and successfully hosted the Cyber Security Awards in London for the last four years I am delighted to be managing the National Cyber Awards 2018.”

The event, to be held at The Manor by the Lake hotel in November, will be hosted by Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership and will focus on innovative cyber security solutions for businesses and national defence. It will also recognise outstanding individuals working in this sector.

New data centre opens in Gloucester

One of the most resilient, secure and connected data centres in the UK has opened at Barnwood, Gloucester.

Shield House Data Centre, owned by Indectron, uses the latest technology to provide carrier neutral colocation data centre technical space to service providers, enterprise, media, education, healthcare and government organisations.

The project was helped thanks to a £3 million loan from the Gloucestershire Infrastructure and Investment Fund (GIIF). The overall budget for the project was £6 million.

The data centre will be a protected environment for data and critical systems connected to a wide range of networks and cloud service providers.

The Three Counties Defence and Security Expo

Extracting value from your business


Eventually, every owner leaves their business. Few, however, properly plan for succession or exit on their own terms.

It is never too early to start thinking about exiting your business. It is important to realise that exit planning is not a single event, but a tailored process. Even if you are not currently planning to exit your business, understanding the process will make it easier to maximise your financial return when you are ready to sell and/or retire.

It can take up to five years to become ‘investment ready’, during which time a period of ‘grooming’ is required to maximise value. Management should consider:

 Reviewing operations – terms of trade, pricing policy, proper registration of patents/trademarks, compliance with employment and other legislation;

 Improving current and forecast profitability – remove non-essential costs;

 Building a solid management team – groom successor/second tier management; reduce dependence on business owner;

 Enhancing company appearance –present the business in its best light, including up to date annual and management accounts.

What is your business worth?

Value is largely determined by pre-tax ‘sustainable’ earnings, multiplied by a price earnings ratio/multiple, with an adjustment for excess assets.

Company multiples differ and largely depend on risk. Factors to be considered in assessing risk include:

 Size of company;

 Dependency on business owner;

 Sustainability of competitive advantage;

 Growth and profit trends;

 Business disciplines and practices;

 Industry sector;

 Market/economic environment

Companies with a blue chip client base and reputable brand name will generally attract higher multiples.

Taxes on exit

Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) allows individuals to claim relief on qualifying gains made on the disposal of a trading business.

For those that qualify, up to £10 million of lifetime capital gains (£20 million in a husband and wife owned company) will be taxed at 10%, as compared to 20%.

In order to qualify for ER, you must have held the business being sold for at least one year. If shares are being sold, the individual must:

 Own at least 5% of the ordinary shares capital and have at least 5% of the voting rights

 Be an officer or employee of the company

ER is not always available but advance planning may improve the position. How the sale is structured will also be key in deciding how much of your hard earned value is lost to the tax man.

How can we help?

From initial pre-deal evaluation, to completion and post deal support, we work with you every step of the way, making your business objectives a reality.

If exit planning is something that you want to consider, engage early in the process with someone who has the relevant experience, knowledge and contacts.

For further information, or to discuss a potential acquisition, please contact Paul Fussell on tel: 01242 680000 or email

It is estimated that less than 10% of business owners have taken steps to plan for their

BPE acts in £3.5 million deal

Gloucestershire law firm BPE Solicitors has acted for Allenby Capital Limited, a nominated adviser and broker for the AIM market in a deal that raised approximately £3.5 million for Grafenia plc.


A Redditch hotel has secured a £1 million loan for refurbishment from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The Southcrest Manor Hotel is redeveloping the 97-year old manor house and grounds following increased guest numbers over the past year.

With occupancy levels growing by six per cent over the past four months, this is part of the hotel’s wider refurbishment programme to upgrade its facilities.

Over the next year, a new outdoor hot tub area, leisure and beauty facilities and refurbishment of the hotel’s garden and conservatory will also be introduced. The business is expecting to create 25 new jobs over the next 12 months.

Southcrest Manor Hotel is a privatelyowned venue specialising in weddings and private events.

Chris Osborne, General Manager, said: “This latest investment will help us to keep making our facilities better and better.”

“Despite slower growth rates predicted this year, the hospitality sector is still buoyant and businesses like Southcrest Manor Hotel are reaping the benefits of this”

Paul Warrington, Regional Director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Despite slower growth rates predicted this year, the hospitality sector is still buoyant and businesses like Southcrest Manor Hotel are reaping the benefits of this.”

Lawyer Matthew enters the Magic Circle

Lawyer Matthew Cain, a partner in Cheltenham-based Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove has been named Lawyer of the Year in the 2018 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards.

The awards are for the private client and wealth management industry in the UK and further afield. Matthew is a UK tax lawyer and acts for a wide variety of individuals, trustees, private banks and insurance companies.

In part he puts the award down to the role that he and his partner, Stephen Pallister, played in reversing the original proposals from HM Treasury, published in late 2015, for changing the “nondom” tax rules.

The legislation, eventually passed in 2017, was largely based on the principles Matthew and Stephen set out, in conjunction with other leading private client tax lawyers and accountants.

Grafenia is the company behind the Nettl network of web studios, including those in Cheltenham and Gloucester. Allenby Capital Limited provides brokerage and advisory services to fast growing companies, especially those looking to join AIM.

This is the eighth AIM-related deal BPE has acted on in the past 12 months alone and takes the total deal value for AIM transactions handled by its corporate team to more than £48 million in the same period.

Oxfordshire professionals advise on Channel Mum VC funding

Henley-on-Thames based corporate finance adviser HMT helped Channel Mum Ltd and its founder, Siobhan Freegard, in securing £3 million venture capital investment by investors Downing and NVM Private Equity. Channel Mum is an award-winning online vlogging community for parents with ambitions to be the leading videobased parenting platform.

Siobhan Freegard is a successful entrepreneur. In 2000 she founded the UK’s biggest parenting website Netmums. In 2011, HMT advised Siobhan and the other shareholders of Netmums on the disposal of the business to Aufeminin, a top publisher of women websites worldwide.

Legal & Financial
Siobhan Freegard, Channel Mum Darren Billinge, Lloyds Bank, Simon Chopra, Southcrest Manor Hotel, Chris Osborne, Southcrest Manor, Paul Warrington, Lloyds Bank

Cookery School Insurance

Bespoke insurance and risk management programmes for cookery schools of all sizes

Part of the JMP Insurance Group, our specialist Cookery School Insurance is the first of its kind in the UK. We understand that a typical business policy may not be fully suitable for the unique operation of a cookery school so choose from our menu of insurance products including cover for:

• Demonstrations and exhibitions

• Buildings, contents, stock, fixtures & fittings available when working from home or a business premises

• Deterioration of stock

• Employers, public or product liability, including poisoning risks

We can also add on additional cover for cyber risks, legal expenses, loss of income and business interruption.

If you would like to make an enquiry or find out more about our cookery school insurance, please get in touch with Colin Jones, Senior Business Development Manager, for the JMP Cookery School Insurance products.

Tel: 01242 898 387


12 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1QB
John Morgan Partnership Ltd is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) no 489547

£2 million funding available to Warwickshire businesses

Coventry and Warwickshire businesses and organisations are being invited to apply for a share of at least £2 million funding to boost culture, tourism and the wider economy in the area.

Since it was established in 2011, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has managed more than £360 million for county projects to boost growth and create jobs.

Six staff tot up 212 years at law firm

Applications are being invited until August 31.

Successful businesses must prove their ideas will have a significant positive impact on Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy and that they will be produced ahead of 2021 when Coventry is UK City of Culture, and 2022 when Birmingham hosts the Commonwealth Games.

Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, said the extra funding had become available through a combination of the government’s Local Growth Fund and Growing Places Fund.

“Due to the nature of delivering a wide portfolio of capital schemes, a number of projects have had to return funding to CWLEP which means there is currently £2 million of unallocated funding at the CWLEP’s disposal, which has a potential to rise.

“Priority will be given to those applications that have already secured planning permission or are confident of achieving the go-ahead within six months of submitting their application.”

The name might have changed, but the people remain steadfast. Six staff at Kerwoods Solicitors in Redditch have clocked up an incredible 212 years of working between them at the 138-yearold Redditch-based company.

Secretary Alison Styler and partner Stephen Priest both started work at Davis Pipe & Co back in 1977. While the firm merged with Kerwoods in 2011, it remained the same business and Alison and Stephen have now

worked at the company for 41 years. Secretaries Mandy Lane and Penny Dunscombe joined the legal firm in 1980, and 1986 respectively.

Penny was working for Richard Caley & Co in 1986 which merged with Powleson, Caley & Bell in 1991, that company merging with Kerwoods in 2001.

Ifor Hughes joined Kerwoods in 1985 followed by fellow partner Jan Thompson in 1990.

Burgis & Bullock fires up electrical wholesaler relocation

An independent electrical wholesaler is celebrating further expansion in Coventry and Warwickshire as it marks 20 years in business.

SRM Electrical, which employs 40 staff, has moved its head office to Henley-inArden, Warwickshire, as well as setting up a branch in Coventry.

The wholesale and distribution company, which offers domestic, commercial, industrial, automation and

motor control equipment, has massively increased its presence in the area.

The company’s expansion in Coventry and Warwickshire has been aided by Trevor Day, who heads the client services department at the Leamington Spa and Stratford offices of accountants Burgis and Bullock.

He said: “Their presence is a welcome addition to the business community in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Legal & Financial
“Priority will be given to those applications that have already secured planning permission or are confident of achieving the go-ahead within six months of submitting their application”
Ifor Hughes, Alison Styler, Jan Thompson, Penny Dunscombe, Mandy Lane and Stephen Priest



Why do so many of us take the food and drink sector for granted? After all, it’s the one economic sector which everyone has to use every day.

Perhaps it’s because 97 per cent of the businesses in the sector are small and medium-sized enterprises and haven’t got the lobbying power of some of the UK’s more high-profile sectors such as engineering, technology, automotive and aerospace.

the food supply chain itself provides almost four million jobs, generating more than £112 billion in value for the UK economy every year.

These figures come from the Food and Drink Federation which lobbies on behalf of food producers across the country.

But our food and drink industry forms the country’s biggest manufacturing group. It’s larger than automotive and aerospace combined and contributes nearly £29 billion to the UK economy. In 2017, total food and drink exports were worth more than £22 billion.

It’s also a substantial employer, directly employing around 400,000 people, and

Brexit could offer huge opportunities for food and drink producers as the UK has the chance to develop its first domestic agricultural policy since 1973.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says the UK must think more about food policy, not just productivity. He’s hoping for an environmental and a food and

farming policy that complement one another.

However, the National Farmers Union warns that if Brexit undermines domestic agriculture, and farms struggle to make a profit and operate viable businesses, farmers will no longer be able to support their local communities and the wider economy. They will be unable to manage and enhance the environment or to produce adequate supplies of British food.

Meanwhile, there are tens of thousands of small and medium-sized food and drink-producing enterprises which are contributing to the UK economy while building awareness and enjoyment of the rich diversity of regional foods.

Everyone needs to eat. But too often UK food and drink producers are taken for granted. We showcase some regional stars
“Brexit could offer huge opportunities for food and drink producers as the UK has the chance to develop its first domestic agricultural policy since 1973”


The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA) is encouraging more farmers to graze stock on traditional pastureland rather than adopt further agricultural industrialisation.

Industrialisation has been a boon for farmers. They can produce meat and milk faster by feeding their herds cereals and imported soya.But should they? The flip side is fewer animals spending time in the biodiversity of fields and more inside large barns.

Keeping animals in barns and feeding them cereal and soya is expensive. Such a restricted diet also affects the quality and taste of the meat, says the PFLA.

The organistion, which has it headquarters in Cirencester, has around 300 members across the country. Sixty farmers are now certified “Pasture for Life” and a further 60 are in the process of becoming certified.

If it’s not much more expensive to feed stock on pasture, why do so few farmers do it?

Ian and Cathy Boyd run Whittington Lodge Farm near Cirencester. They sell around 30 pasture-fed, organic carcasses a year direct to the consumer and expect to sell more in 2018.

“The industry wants a certain sized carcass and we produce smaller, fatter ones,” says Ian. “Farmers can also make bigger margins using modern farming techniques, but there are consequences.”

He’s talking about farmers not having to pay for the pollution they cause. Cereals and soya have high levels of nitrogen fertiliser which end up in the soil.

“Half can run into streams. Similarly, ploughing up grassland releases carbon into the atmosphere. Most farmers buy

grain which comes from soya grown in South America so we’re just passing the problem to that country.”

Vegetarians argue that livestock contributes to global warming, but environmental scientist Tim Field, head of sustainability at Daylesford Organic Farm at Kingham, Gloucestershire, says that when managed

not to be swayed by the many shops and restaurants brandishing the term “grassfed”. Legally any animal that has been outside for just 51 per cent of its life can be called grass-fed. However, its meat won’t have the same health benefits as 100 per cent grass-fed meat, says the organisation. It’s a confusing message for consumers.

All PFLA certified meat carries the “Pasture for Life” logo so consumers can be sure of what they’re buying.

This small organisation could find itself in the limelight as it reflects the ambitions of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Michael Gove supports sustainable agriculture.

the right way they can also help capture carbon in soils – a fact often overlooked.

“If we didn’t have ruminants, the land would revert to scrub and blackthorn. Rearing livestock ensures the recycling of nutrients through their manure and builds fertility in the soil so that plants, crops and pastures can thrive,” he says.

A “Pasture for Life” certification guarantees meat that is 100 per cent grass-fed. But the PFLA warns consumers

Ian Boyd at Whittington Lodge Farm admits that while this method of farming is more sustainable, he is selling a niche product. Such a method can’t deliver the quantities of meat required for wider UK consumption.

With Brexit looming and Defra not yet being clear on the detail of Michael Gove’s wider ambitions, the future of farming is stark, says Ian, and he’s chosen the way which works best for him. “To succeed, farmers need to get big, get niche or get out.”

“Rearing livestock ensures the cycling of nutrients through their manure and builds fertility in the soil so that plants, crops and pastures can thrive”
Cows at Whittington Lodge Farm

Purple reigns in the Forest of Dean

A sticky, sweet blackcurrant drink launched in 1939 as a healthy way to help provide children with Vitamin C supplements during the war has undergone a reformulation to meet the strict requirements of the UK’s new sugar tax which came into force in April.

Ribena has been made in Coleford for over 70 years, having been invented by Dr Vernon Charley who spent most of his life living in The Forest of Dean.

In 2014, the Ribena brand was bought by the Japanese drinks company Suntory, which has invested significantly in the factory where around 300 employees work producing, packing and distributing the drink. The company is now known as Lucozade Ribena Suntory.

A company spokesperson said: “We had been steadily reformulating our drinks for a number of years but inspired by our UK founders and by our Suntory owners we decided to take it to the next level in November 2016 by announcing our category-leading initiative to reduce the sugar in our soft drinks portfolio by 50 per cent.

“We had a team of more than 200 staff, including our in-house scientists, developing the right recipe that was lower in sugar and still maintained a great taste. We involved consumers from the very beginning, inviting hundreds to taste our new recipe and provide feedback, and the vast majority of consumers told us it was the same Ribena they know and love.

“Of course, any brand with the heritage of Ribena will have fans who notice the difference,

“Of course, any brand with the heritage of Ribena will have loyal fans who notice the difference, but by bringing our drinks into line with existing health and wellbeing trends, we know we are making them fit for the future”

but by bringing our drinks into line with existing health and wellbeing trends, we are making them fit for

Ribena, which last year produced more than 131.4 million bottles, is supporting the move with a new marketing campaign.

Ribena said: “Record investment in Ribena sees us kicking off with nationwide sampling campaign. We’re giving away 2.6 million bottles of Ribena to consumers across the country.

“This backs-up our ‘more blackcurrantier than a blackcurrant’ campaign which champions the British blackcurrants in every bottle.”

The soft drinks producer has also added a new Passion Fruit and Pineapple drink to the Ribena portfolio.


launches new food & drink association

Worcestershire’s independent food and drink producers are set to benefit from new support which launched in May.

The Worcestershire Food & Drink project aims to grow the county’s independent sector by promoting its food and drink producers, caterers and retailers.

Led by the Worcestershire Regulatory Services Environmental Food and Health team, the project is funded by Worcestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, and is open to any independent producer, caterer and retailer, regardless of size, operating in Worcestershire and producing or selling local food.

It is also open to interested third party organisations.

Helen Cameron, Project Lead for Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “Worcestershire has an abundance of superb food and drink produced by talented and innovative businesses. It is, however, some way behind in telling its food story and we need to do more to spread the word.”

Nick Waloff, Director of Three Counties Food & Drink Company and founder of Cotswold Taste, has welcomed the new marque.

He said: ‘We’re delighted that Worcestershire now has an organisation promoting its great food and drink offering. It paves the way for the three great food and drink producing counties, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, to work on branding and showcasing what the region has to offer.”

Nick launched the successful Cotswold Taste in 2015 as a memberowned, not for profit co-operative to provide advice, business and marketing and support to members and raise the profile of food and drink across the Cotswolds.

Food & Drink
Workers on an early Ribena production line

Key food, drink and hospitality businesses choose GBE Converge to play instrumental role in their business growth…

With its recent growth and expansion into London, SOHO Coffee Co, is one of Gloucestershire’s great success stories. Starting out with a single High Street store in Cheltenham in 1999, the business has now grown to proudly serve their fabulous food and signature coffee to SOHO customers across the globe, from London to Las Palmas, Manchester to Malaga and Dublin to Doha!

As part of the BTC Hospitality Group, SOHO has experienced significant growth over the last two years with their expansion into London through the acquisition of Apostrophe Restaurants and Euphorium Bakery. The BTC group now consists of 29 stores, 2 offices and a state of the art kitchen facility based in Cheltenham, with more plans for significant growth going forward. GBE Converge have provided IT support and infrastructure solutions to the group for over 10 years. In an industry where minutes of downtime can instantly impact revenue, having a first-class IT support provider is vital.

GBE Converge win multi-year support contract for SOHO Coffee Co.

After a rigorous comparison to other service providers, GBE Converge were awarded a multi-year IT support contract, to provide continued infrastructure solutions for new stores and support SOHO during its expansion. Being an industry leading provider of fire, security and IT solutions was an important factor but it was the proven high levels of service that GBE Converge have provided so far,

that were key to the success of winning the contract. Going above and beyond what might be expected from a contract to ensure stores can operate reliably 7 days a week has been invaluable to SOHO Staff have commented on how engineers have stayed onsite well past their normal hours to get wired and wireless network issues resolved or assist with internet connectivity issues.

Work begins at Clarence House The Promenade

After success for The Lucky Onion Group with No. 131, this year will see their new flagship hospitality venue opening next door, which will expand the offering and experience. With additional bedrooms, function rooms, a bar and a beautiful outdoor area planned, this will surely secure the venues place as one of Cheltenham’s premier hotels, restaurants and night spots.

As building works commence, the parent company that owns the hotels, The Lucky Onion, sought to appoint contractors that could ensure the building project is successful. With IT infrastructure being a vital part of any new building project, The Lucky Onion turned to GBE Converge

as a trusted supplier to engage with to implement the cabling, network and wireless infrastructure.

GBE Converge have supported the group since planning began for No. 131 in 2012, providing IT support and infrastructure installations across the groups venues and offices. During this time the building

projects have been completed for No. 131 and No. 38 The Park and the group have taken on The Wild Duck at Ewen. The Lucky Onion have invested in state of the art infrastructure systems across all their sites to ensure the best guest experiences and a create a business that can operate reliably and effectively in the fast paced, 24/7, world of hospitably.

01452 858030 | 08451 220884 | PROMOTIONAL BUSINESS FEATURE

Construction begins on new craft brewery for Stroud

A Stroud craft brewery only established in 2006 is building a new brewery at Kingfisher Park, Stroud.

Construction has begun on the £1.2 million project, on wasteland just 100 metres away from its current home. It will increase production capacity and office space, and have a canal-side tap with views across the Golden Valley.

Stroud Brewery was established by former marine biologist Greg Pilley. After working for global conservation organisations, Greg spent two years travelling and researching the traditional alcoholic beverages of Africa (well, someone had to do it). Returning to the UK he began working for the Soil Association, but soon decided to pool his interests and establish a craft brewery in Stroud.

Just two months after opening its doors, Stroud Brewery’s launch beer, Budding, was awarded Champion Beer of Gloucestershire at the Cotswold Beer Festival and it remains the brewery’s most popular beer.

The development is being funded through shareholders and a planned crowdfunding campaign to raise £250,000, via the Tridos platform, will be launched this summer.

Greg said: “This is a significant development for Stroud Brewery and will provide us with the platform to take the business to the next stage. There is no way we could have imagined this six years ago when we moved into our existing site.”

Designed by Austin Design Works and implemented by Clive Petch Architects, the new facilities will allow for brewery expansion. The new building should be open this autumn.


Wiltshire’s oldest brewery, Arkell’s, one of fewer than 30 traditional family breweries left in the UK, is celebrating 175 years in business this year.

The brewery was established in 1843 as an offshoot to the family farm near Swindon, at the same time as Isambard Kingdom Brunel was building his Great Western Railway.

The year of celebrations kicked off in January when HRH The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to open the brewery’s new shop and family archive. The brewery will be celebrating again on September 15 when it throws open the doors of its historic brewery for a big beer festival.

Non-alcoholic drinks idea catches eye of Innovate UK

Laurie Freeman, who wants to create a non-alcoholic drink containing apple cider vinegar, has been named as one of 30 Young Innovators of the Year by Innovate UK.

The 28-year-old plans to use an old American drink recipe for switchel, made using cider vinegar.

Laurie said: “I grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside, surrounded by nothing but space and freedom to create and imagine. I’ve had a few ups and downs over the years, but food and drink has always remained at my core, so now I am going for it and following through an idea that I genuinely believe will change the way people drink.”

“Arkell’s pubs sit at the heart of our local communities and we thrive on maintaining that close link with our customers. They are at the heart of everything we do and everything we brew”

Chairman James Arkell, said: “Arkell’s pubs sit at the heart of our local communities and we thrive on maintaining that close link with our customers. They are at the heart of everything we do and everything we brew.”

His idea is for a fun non-alcoholic drinks brand – think craft beer, without the alcohol. Initially he will focus on a range of switchel drinks.

He added: “I love beer, wine, a good G&T – you name it, but I don’t always want to drink and when in a bar situation nine times out of 10 the options are all high in sugar and uninspiring. So I thought there must be other options and got creative.”

Arkell’s Brewery head brewer, Alex Arkell, pulls a ‘Swinging Valentine’ with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at Arkell’s Brewery Food & Drink
Laurie Freeman
Artist’s impression of new Stroud Brewery


Multi million-pound initiative to meet UK agri-food challenge

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has announced a £2.5 million initiative to help the land management and agri-food sectors in the postBrexit era.

The plan will see the RAU, the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire, and University College of Estate Management (UCEM), unite with industry to drive sustainable land management and food production.

Project funding of £1.1 million was provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), through its Catalyst Fund.

Professor Joanna Price, ViceChancellor of the RAU, said: “This initiative will address the opportunities and challenges posed by the rapidly changing political, economic and natural environments through providing leadership training and education in the land management and agri-food sectors.”

Experts from the food supply chain, farming, land management, banking and NGOs are supporting the project.

“Too many people take for granted the amazing success story that UK food and drink represents.”

So said Food and Drink Federation Chief Executive Ian Wright in a keynote speech delivered during Campden BRI’s open day at Chipping Campden.

The UK has come to believe that the country’s extraordinary food and drink success story is just the natural order of things, but it isn’t, he warned. “For too long now, our industry has been a hidden gem.”

The UK food and drink faces greater challenges than at any time since the Second World War, with the changing relationship between the UK and our largest trading partner, the EU. The country is also about to change the system by which farmers and growers are supported to deliver food and drink.

Speaking at the food and drink science and technology organisation’s annual event, he said: “Constant innovation and new product development? Absolutely. The UK as the location of choice for food science and research? Taken as red. Constant reformulation to remove salt, sugar and fat? Naturally. Exports growth every year? Yes.

“World-leading low levels of bacterial contamination? Yes. Just-in-time, stateof-the-art food distribution networks? Naturally. Longer shelf lives? Yes. Complex, seamless, integrated supply chains for ingredients, raw materials, partfinished and finished goods? Yes.

“All of this is taken for granted, by government, regulators, investors and by our critics and detractors. And, probably most worryingly, by us.”

Investment in Innovation

Investment in innovation by manufacturers will benefit the entire food chain, providing a crucial digital link for engagement with retailers in the drive for block chain and related technological advances.

Advanced manufacturing capabilities will enable the delivery of both social and the environmental benefits enabling a vital contribution to the UK economy and export growth.

“We must also balance the interests of larger companies (who of course provide the majority of our revenue) and of the smaller ones who perhaps more accurately reflect the majority of food and drink manufacturers in this country,” he added.

“For too long now, our industry has been a hidden gem”

NFU relaunches ice cream map for summer

An interactive, digital map showcasing where National Farmers Union (NFU) members across England and Wales are producing British dairy ice cream has been relaunched for the summer.

The map is designed to connect the public with their local dairy ice cream producers and help people discover quality British dairy products as well as the stories behind the ice cream makers.

The NFU, which has its headquarters at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, wants to expand the number of producers on the map. Dairy farmers, who are NFU members, producing British ice cream on their farm, are being encouraged to contact the organisation.

NFU Dairy Board Chairman Michael Oakes said: “We now have more than 60 producers on the map and throughout the summer the British dairy ice cream map will continue to grow as more NFU members are added.”

Producers across this region on the map include Churchfield Ice Cream, Droitwich, Ridgeway Ice Cream, Adderbury, Q Gardens Farm Shop, Abingdon and Ringswood Ice Cream, Warwickshire.


Two self-employed event managers who wanted to make serving drinks an experience rather than a function are now in demand all over the UK and Europe.

Exquisite Cocktails, based in Oxfordshire, was set up by Dominic Roche and Anthony Spackman in 2012 while they were working as freelance event managers for large companies such as Audi, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen and Tesco.

“At just about every event we went to, the drinks service was uninspiring and usually took the form of a trestle table serving beer and wine.

“Having worked in and managed pubs and bars from the age of 18 I knew that we could do a lot better.”

The duo set about raising the level of drinks service at events, aiming for high end private events and corporate functions. Clients now include LinkedIn (the team ran a function for the networking site in Munich), and will be working in Lisbon and Cannes over the next few months.

“We performed at Jimmy Jagger’s wedding (son of Mick). We were working under non-disclosure agreements and couldn’t say a word to anyone; even the staff had no idea until they arrived. We served a whole host of A-list celebrities, and the whole party went off with a bang. It was a different kettle of fish to most things we’d done previously.”

Last year Exquisite worked at more than 200 events, the largest being for 2,500 people, but Dominic is adamant that growth won’t mean a drop in standards. “Our high standards

are trying to make the cocktail market at entry level better and give venues that don’t have the time or resources to train staff properly, a way of making cocktails efficiently.

are one of the reasons clients book us.”

Exquisite Cocktails is also investing in a new product line, Pronto Cocktails.

Pronto sells cocktails in kegs to pubs and venues that they can serve through beer taps. “Whenever we tell people about it they ask if we’re trying to kill off the humble cocktail bartender, but we’re not doing that at all,” says Dom. “We are trying to make the cocktail market at entry level better and give venues that don’t have the time or resources to train staff properly, a way of making cocktails efficiently. Quality, consistent, quick, is our

‘Quality, consistent, quick’ is our objective”
FOOD & DRINK Food & Drink
Mario Baciu Exquisite Cocktails’ cocktail artist

Long standing farming roots, firmly embedded in Gloucestershire

With a long standing history, the society born in 1863, from two farmers who came to blows in a Gloucester Market, each claiming to grow better crops than the other. A peacemaker suggested that specimens be brought to Gloucester where independent judges would pronounce. The event attracted crowds of interested farmers and from that day, The Gloucestershire Root Fruit and Grain Society was formed.

Since it began, GRFGS has gained a huge following from the Gloucestershire farming and agricultural community, its society members, and the professional communities that support it. The aim of the society is to ‘Promote Farming Excellence through Competition’. Over the decades and despite farming having endured periods of uncertainty, with food security being under the worlds spotlight, the need for good, quality, locally grown food produce has become at the forefront of everyone’s mind and no more so than in Gloucestershire.

Pride in locally grown produce and a willingness to showcase the best practices in agriculture have returned to the farming industry, evident in the growing number of members The Gloucestershire Root Fruit and Grain Society has.

GRFGS is headed by its President, Roger Bush, Chairman, Andrew Walters of Boddington Estates and run by the society’s Honorary Treasurer and secretary, Samantha Pennington of Bruton Knowles. Along with a history of support from Bruton Knowles and Gloucestershire’s good and great of the farming world, the society was also honoured by HRH The Prince of Wales who became a society Patron in 1984.

Each year the GRFGS organise a host of events for the society which include the two key annual competing events:

The Annual Farming Awards

The Gloucestershire Root Fruit & Grain Society Annual Dinner and Prize Presentations including the most sought after and fiercely fought prestigious Premier Award for most points in all classes is hosted annually by the society and the event just gets bigger each year with over 250 guests from the good and the great of the Gloucestershire farming community attending the evening awards.

Bi-Annual Tillage Event

Gloucestershire farmers take part in the bi-annual Tillage Event. Organised by the Gloucestershire Root Fruit and Grain

Society, the event is attended by more than 800 farmers. With working demonstrations, farmers have a chance to see how some really impressive cutting edge machines perform and with tractors averaging £100,000 each, there are literally millions of pounds worth of new equipment on show.

The diversity and involvement of member’s farming business’ is what makes the GRFGS so successful and we look forward to a continued long history of support for Gloucestershire farming community.

To find out more about sponsorship, our events or becoming a member contact Sam Pennington

Tel: 01452 880101

Email: sam.pennington@

The Gloucestershire Root Fruit and Grain Society, run by farmers for farmers is very much alive today…


A family-run farm shop and kitchen at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire has doubled the size of its restaurant to meet demand.

Farmers Fayre has increased its number of covers from 70 to 140 to accommodate more diners as well as larger groups and private gatherings.

The restaurant now flows around the central kitchen and into an expanded retail and gift section which sits alongside a new café-style area to provide an express service and support peak-time trade. Director Nicola Reece said: “We moved into our new bigger home at Stoneleigh Park in November 2015 and never anticipated having to expand so soon. The way it’s taken off has exceeded all our expectations.”

Gluten-free manufacturing facility opens at Banbury

A gluten-free manufacturing plant has opened in Banbury. The American-owned company, Newly Weds Foods, opened the plant in the grounds of its current site in the town.

The 2,700 sq m facility produces gluten free breadcrumb from tin baked loaves and can manufacture complete gluten-free food coatings.

John Butcher, the Banbury Plant Manager said: “The factory produces gluten-free products unlike any others currently in the market.”

Consumption of gluten-free goods remains less than one per cent of global total bread consumption in only nine markets, all in Western regions, but it is growing with many manufacturers using co-packers working in smaller facilities to create gluten-free lines.

The expansion has doubled the size of the retail and gift area which includes a bigger children’s range and a beer, spirits and wine section, featuring ales from microbreweries and moer than 20 gins.

Tracy Delaney has been involved with the design and interiors for Farmers Fayre since it moved into its current premises, sourcing furniture and furnishings, and together with Nicola now plans to offer a similar service to other businesses.

Colin Hooper, Estates Director at Stoneleigh Park, said: “When Farmers

business grows the UK’s first juneberries

The first commercial grower of juneberries has been awarded a grant of £5,300 to fund new equipment. The grand is from the Leader programme, part of the Rural Development Programme for England which is delivered by Worcestershire County Council.

Juneberries are a unique fruit. They look like a blueberry, but are similar to an apple in taste. The business was created in 2015, and with support from Pershore Horticultural College it imported 300 young juneberry trees from Canada. Over the past two years the trees have established and the plantation become bigger.

Business owner Sophie Sidaway has since gone on to become the first

“We moved into our new bigger home at Stoneleigh Park in November 2015 and never anticipated having to expand so soon. The way it’s taken off has exceeded all our expectations”

Fayre moved into its new home, we provided a base that had room for future growth of the business and it’s fantastic to see that come to fruition so soon.”

commercial grower of this unique fruit in the UK.

She said: “Early harvests were done by picking berries by hand, but as yields grew, it was necessary to automate. We needed berry harvesting equipment but with the limited resources of a start-up, we were looking for a match funding grant scheme. Since using the berry harvester, Pershore Juneberries has become much more efficient, fruit waste has been reduced, and our turnover has increased.”

Much of the company’s fruit is now sold to restaurant chefs and hotels throughout the country via distributors.

Nicola Reece and Tracy Delaney
Food & Drink


Ask Craig Vickers, ARRK’s Head of Prototyping and 3D printing operations in Europe what ARRK sells and he’ll answer ‘speed’. Craig is the Tom Cruise of the prototyping world. Remember the Hollywood actor’s most famous line in Top Gun? “I feel the need, the need for speed.”

ARRK is a global conceptual design and manufacturing specialist and in a world where time is increasing money, designers and manufacturers will no longer wait weeks for their computer-generated designs (or even paper sketches), to be turned into reality, they want it in days – sometimes hours.

The Japanese company, is split into four divisions (engineering, prototyping, tooling and low volume production), and turns over £418 million in Europe. Its 100-employee UK prototyping division is located in Gloucester.

Craig has restructured ARRK’s projects team at Gloucester to quote on jobs almost immediately, and thanks to its industrial-sized 3D printing machines (and other processes from painting, finishing and texturing to vacuum casting, rapid CNC machining and block modelling), a prototype can be produced, packed and shipped within hours, if necessary.

Its customer base is diverse. “In any six-month period, we’ll work with over 2,000 customers, anyone from European multinational manufacturers to ‘Fred in the Shed’,” says Craig.

ARRK Europe in Gloucester claims it can produce prototypes for almost everything except foodstuffs. Most recently the prototyping team helped gardening and

horticulture manufacturer Hozelock improve design features on it latest auto reel system, including a new wall hanging bracket, making it easier to fit and remove the system, along with improvements to interchanging hose and accessory fittings.

The client also intended to use the prototype for photoshoots and customer meetings, so the product had to look as good as it performed.

Due to client confidentiality, Craig can’t

Stroud insulation business expands through acquisition

Western Thermal, a Stroud business which provides thermal insulation and ventilation for the building services industry, has secured a multi-millionpound finance facility from HSBC to support its acquisition of Henderson Site Services in Newcastle.The acquisition is the first step in Western Thermal’s ambitious growth strategy.

In 2017 Western Thermal was acquired by Indian national Suresh Lodha from company founder, Trevor Horsely, who still acts as a consultant to the business.

Trevor said: “The funding will help the business to export, predominantly in the Nordics to begin with.”

Horiba Mira signs agreement with Turkish defence firm


Horiba Mira, a leader in unmanned ground vehicle systems, has signed a deal with a consortium including Turkish defence company Katmerciler.

be specific about some of ARRK’s other exciting projects, but it does admit to working with some of the world’s most innovative design, manufacturing and technology companies.

Last year the company purchased additional 3D printing machines and added a dedicated metrology room to its Gloucester facility.

Craig said: “We were an early pioneer and investor in rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, or as people like to call it today, 3D printing.

“ARRK Gloucester has a long history supporting some of the world’s leading companies with components as part of their product development programmes.”

The consortium, which also includes Savronik and Delta, will work to develop Mira’s state-of-the-art unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) platform VIKING to meet specific Turkish requirements.

Declan Allen, Managing Director at Horiba Mira, which is based at Nuneaton, said: “This deal further represents how Horiba Mira is viewed on the world stage as a world-leader in high-tech autonomous vehicles. It is testament to the reputation of our engineers that we are the go-to company for developing innovative vehicles for the defence industry.”

“In any six-month period, we’ll work with over 2,000 customers, anyone from European multinational manufacturers to ‘Fred in the Shed’”

Cheltenham’s Albright IP amongst Europe’s Top Trade Mark Attorneys

Europe’s highest-ranking filers of trade marks have been listed for the first time, and Cheltenham based Albright IP has been ranked within the top 250 attorney filing firms in Europe. The ranking is based on the total number of active trade marks on the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) registers.

Although Albright IP has been established for 10 years, it was up against many firms who have been filing trade marks for more than five decades, and overtaken many of them, proudly not only coming within the top 250, but achieving a ranking of 187. Robert Games, Managing Director, Albright IP. “This is a fantastic achievement for the trademark team. In just over 10 years we have filed and secured significantly more trademarks than many of our peers. What’s even more impressive is that this feat has been achieved by just two of our Directors! Julia House and Katie Oliver have between them filed every one of our

EUIPO and WIPO trademarks to secure our position in the Top 250 EU Trade Mark Attorney Firms.”

In the relevant period, the trade mark team at Albright filed over 1,350 trade marks in total and achieved their top 250 ranking through hard work, determination and a solid client base according to Julia House, Trade Mark Attorney and Director at Albright IP, who commented: “We have a great breadth of experience across all business sectors and our success with securing clients comes from our Director led approach. We stay personally involved with our clients, not only registering their trademarks but continuing to advise and monitor the relevance to their business at every step.”

Albright IP, headquartered in Cheltenham and founded by Managing Director, Robert Games is celebrating its ranking within the top 250 attorney filing firms in Europe. You can read more on Albright IP in the latest edition of their inhouse magazine, Figure 1,included in this issue of Business & Innovation magazine.

In this edition we update you on Brexit and touch on the tax benefits of patents. We also bring you the latest news from Duku and an interview from Alistair Brydon, MD of our client Auger Torque.


Trying to clean the loo isn’t always simple – especially when something sticks in the bowl and won’t flush away. Embarrassing, or what?

Such a red-faced situation could now be a thing of the past thanks to an ingenious new idea from Stroud-based Kam Mistry.

Shiffter is a simple but effective new idea to rid toilets bowl of unwanted poo.

Kam takes up the story: “The idea for the shiffter came about by accident after I’d visited the toilet and the flush didn’t clean the bowl properly. I grabbed a bottle of bleach to see if I could get rid of it that way, but bleach is thick and doesn’t come out of the bottle fast – and anyway, the

Commuters vent grumps via an app

A free mobile app empowering commuters and making data available to help improve the UK’s transport services has been downloaded by hundreds of commuters.

Grump Now was devised by Nick Schutz, who works in financial technology and commutes into London from his Oxfordshire home. The app allows users to input journey details, plus the operator’s Twitter handle to share via social media. Users can maintain a record of bad journeys, helping them to build a case for potential compensation.

Nick said: “Operators are blocking users who tweet them complaining about delays. Grump Now aggregates tweets, so rail operators are unable to block them and users get their voice heard.”

Nick is now investing in developing the app’s capability. “We plan to start to share data analytics and customer insights with operators and user groups,” he said.

bottle was nearly empty. I took the lid off and filled it with water. Then I noticed that the higher pressure of the water jet removed the remnants from the toilet bowl. It was much less disgusting than having to use a toilet brush.”

Kam took his idea further, and two years’ later thanks to help from product design agencies who helped him take a unique idea and make it even better, a patent lawyer (there’s more to this design than just an empty plastic bottle) and business advice from the Gloucestershire Growth Hub and he’s got a patent pending.

He’s now assessing manufacturing facilities and beginning to talk to potential customers.

Kam said: “The Shiffter has the potential to become commonplace in hundreds of millions of homes across the globe. Let’s face it, does anyone enjoy using a toilet brush?

“With over a billion households in the world, the market is huge and many homes have more than one toilet. On top of that there are toilets in hotel rooms and businesses too.”

Funding from Worcestershire County Council’s Proof of Concept programme has helped a local entrepreneur create a simple new pet food bowl that keeps food fresh and sealed when not in use.

Called Pedaldish, the product will initially be on sale for six months exclusively at Pets at Home – online and in selected stores across the UK.

Pedaldish keeps pet food in a sealed container with a flap lid. A cat or small dog can open the lid by stepping onto the ramp. Inside is a shallow bowl for a single portion of meat and a deeper bowl for larger meals. Biscuits stay crunchy, meat stays moist and the sealed dish also contains the smell of food.

“Unlike other pet bowls with lids, Pedaldish doesn’t use motors, electrics

or sensors. Best of all there’s no batteries to replace,” said inventor Peter Hill.

Flies can’t reach the food inside and floating airborne microbes are kept away, reducing the risk of infections such as campylobacter, he added.

New pet food bowl is purrfect
“Unlike other pet bowls with lid, Pedaldish doesn’t use motors, electrics or sensors.Best of all there’s no batteries to replace”
A prototype Shiffter The Pedaldish

you an innovative, ambitious Gloucestershire business looking to grow?

If you are working in one or more of the Smart Specialisation areas, Aerospace, Information Economy, Professional Services, high value Manufacturing and Advanced Materials or Nano-Technology and are actively seeking to innovate for business growth then GRIP can help. To drive your innovation culture, scale up your business growth or bring new products to market book onto one of our FREE workshops


◆ Productivity, technology and design research service

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◆ Access to fully funded 3D printing facilities

◆ Research and testing facilities, combined with knowledge resource, to accelerate your product or service development

◆ Productivity and Innovation audits (growth and scale up) to assist your development and capacity for idea generation

◆ IP and commercialisation advice through free IP clinics

◆ Opportunities to receive up to a £1000 support in IP applications through our voucher scheme

◆ Access to long and short term student placements, to increase capacity and capabilityof your business

◆ Needs analysis workshops and development planning for your products and services

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To access help from the GRIP project please contact
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The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are awarded to businesses for outstanding achievement in four categories: International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity through social mobility.

The accolades can offer a big boost to staff morale as well as giving companies wider recognition.

Successful organisations may fly the Queen’s Award flag at their principal premises and can use the emblem on their stationery, advertising and goods.

Lord Lieutenants, as the Queen’s representatives in each county, take responsibility for visiting companies to present them with their award and are quick to fly the flag for their county.

Dame Janet Trotter is the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire and has visited more than 40 companies across the county to present them with their award.

She said: “Some have been relatively small while others like Spirax Sarco, Renishaw, Adey, Prima Dental and Advanced Insulation are among the largest businesses in the county.

“They apply for a range of reasons but undoubtedly gaining the award supports their profile and development. Gloucestershire has a great track record in manufacturing and the receipt of this prestigious award can bring great dividends.”

Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said:

“For Worcestershire companies to win the highest business award in the UK is a testament to the county as a base for growing businesses.”


Companies from across the region are celebrating winning prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise


Queen’s Award for Innovation

Green Sheep Group Limited


Produces organic baby products. The company won for its three-in-one bedside crib that provides an innovative safe sleep solution for babies. The award follows a number of other accolades, including the Sunday Times Fast Track Top 10 Ones to Watch in 2017.

Advanced Insulation Ltd Gloucester

Won for its unique, lightweight dry-fit insulation and passive fire protection system for offshore structures.

Philip Watson, Sales Director at Advanced Insulation, said: “Our lightweight MS400

system has enabled oil and gas operators to save significant weight on their projects and gain huge monetary savings. It has saved over 100 tonnes of topside weight per project, a prominent design factor.”

Metrasens Ltd Malvern

Won for its ferromagnetic detection systems for MRI safety and security applications.

Metrasens CEO, Dr Simon Goodyear, said: “Our unique technology provides capabilities that traditional security systems cannot, and is making a tangible difference in more than 40 countries worldwide.

“We are constantly looking at new ways to deploy our core technology, with an intrinsic focus on making people safer through cutting-edge screening methods.”

The Little Green Sheep Company

Williams Advanced Engineering Limited Grove near Didcot

Won for the company’s innovation in successfully transferring technology into commercial applications including designing, developing and delivering the batteries for all cars racing in the Formula E championship. Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric international singleseater racing series.

The technology has relevance beyond the automotive and motorsport sectors in both energy and power applications.

Craig Wilson, Managing Director, said: “I pay tribute to our team that has powered Formula E from the beginning at such a high level of innovation, performance, service and reliability.”

Williams Advanced Engineering is now a world leader in battery technology, a key global market for the future where the UK can take a lead role. Additional examples of the application in other areas are Airbus’s Zephyr, Netfficient and Williams Advanced Engineering’s own lightweight electric vehicle platform, the FW-EVX.

Queen’s Awards for International Trade

Adey Professional Heating Solutions Cheltenham

Designs and manufactures magnetic filters and chemicals to protect domestic and commercial heating systems.

Edward Davies, Adey’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Since Chris Adey invented magnetic filtration technology, Adey has revolutionised heating system protection and maintenance, investing in the development of the very best magnetic filters and water treatment chemicals.”

Prima Dental Manufacturing Ltd Gloucester

Makes precision dental instruments for healthcare and cosmetic markets and the intellectual property for manufacture.

Prima Dental also won a Queen’s Award in 2014. Since then the company has built a permanent presence in key global markets including a subsidiary company in India and joint venture companies in Brazil and China. It has also invested £1 million in the launch of a new trading division called Prima Digital, capitalising on the rapidly-growing digital dentistry segment.

technical presence. More than 77 per cent of the park’s revenue is classified as foreign direct investment, generated from the commercial rent international companies pay for the space and use of the park’s technical services.

Dr George Gillespie, CEO at Horiba Mira, said: “I’m extremely proud of what the team have achieved with MIRA Technology Park, attracting some truly great international automotive companies to establish their EU research and development operations on the park. We still have a long journey ahead, but the growth achieved so far has been consistently strong.”

The First Class Pet Company Ltd Worcester

Richard Muller, Managing Director at the 215-employee strong manufacturer, said: “This amazing accolade is testament to our team who are instrumental in our growth and success.”

MIRA Technology Park Nuneaton

Provides a unique location for international automotive companies to establish a UK

Manufactures Little BigPaw, a natural, premium pet food made in the UK with British ingredients.

TP3 Global Limited Redditch

Manufactures and supplies thermal protection for temperature-sensitive freight. TP3 Global’s SilverSkin protects

“This is an amazing accolade and is testament to our team who are instrumental in our growth and success”
The First Class Pet Company, Jim Weston, Director, Emily Davies, Sales and David Alton, PR Manager

pharmaceutical shipments and has become a major brand in the market, used by the leading pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Clive Wheeldon, President of TP3 Global, said: “We continue to invest heavily in research and development. We are delighted to see many of the world’s pharmaceutical companies use Silverskin to maintain the integrity of their products in their supply chain.”

Eudrac Ltd of Chalgrove


Provides regulatory and consultancy services to the pharmaceutical industry, monitoring the effects of medical drugs after they have been licenced for use.

Carole Pugh, Managing Director, said: “Winning the award is recognition of the tremendous work of the Eudrac Ltd team. They are highly motivated to support clients in developing products which make a positive impact to a patient’s health.”

Brose Ltd Coventry

Designs and manufactures seating structures and window regulators for the automotive industry.

DCA Design International Ltd Warwick

A product design consultancy across the medical and scientific, consumer, commercial and industrial and transport sectors.

George Pragnell Limited Stratford-upon-Avon

Sells rare natural gemstones handcrafted into jewellery, period jewellery and silver; luxury watches and clocks.

Intralink Limited Abingdon

Helps companies enter new export markets and advises governments in promoting trade and attracting foreign direct investment.

Queen’s Award for Sustainability

Just one company from across the region secured a Queen’s Award for Sustainability.

Business services company Commercial Group won for its numerous schemes to reduce energy consumption and emissions at its offices in Cheltenham, London and Leeds. These include a delivery fleet with hydrogen-enabled and electric vehicles, reverse logistics recycling, use of photovoltaic panels to power its offices, process innovations to maximise waste reuse and recycling, and Commercial’s CSR Days which embed sustainability in customer and supplier businesses.

Are you eligible to apply for a Queen’s Award?

A business applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise must be:

 Based in the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man)

 File company tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)

 Be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services and under its own management

 Have at least two full-time UK employees or part-time equivalents

 Demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility

The organisation can be business or non-profit.

Each of the award categories has additional entry criteria.

Commercial Group Director Simone Hindmarch says sustainability has been central to the company ethos for more than a decade: “Responsible business has always been important to us – it stems from our family values. But when I saw Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth lecture in 2006 I realised we had a duty to manage our impact on the environment more proactively.”

The awards are free to enter and businesses can apply for more than one award.

Apply for a 2019 Queen’s Award for Enterprise between now and September 12. for full information

“Responsible business has always been important to us – it stems from our family values. But when I saw Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth lecture in 2006 I realised we had a duty to manage our impact on the environment more proactively”
Commercial Group staff with their hydrogen van

Fertility Focus expands overseas

A Warwick company launched to help women become pregnant is set to start an additional large-scale clinical study in the UK and USA.

Fertility Focus, based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Warwick Innovation Centre, has seen sales of its OvuSense fertility monitor increasing 25 per cent month on month this year.

The internal monitoring device measures core body temperature and predicts the date of ovulation in real time, to increase chances of pregnancy.

The company, which has 6,000 customers worldwide, is now starting a large-scale study in the UK and USA to focus on helping women to better understand the ovulatory issues which may be causing problems in conceiving.

Rob Milnes, CEO of Fertility Focus, said the study would be based on existing users of the product. “Using data from the study will enable a new version of our OvuSense product.”


Small, lightweight Electric L-category Vehicles (ELVs) could be the cost-effective and energyefficient alternative to traditional cars in cities. They are at the heart of the £6 million Resolve project, which includes Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick.

WMG was one of 14 partners in the project, which included leading names from industry and research, Piaggio, KTM, Bosch, Ricardo, the Austrian Institute of Technology, and the University of Florence.

Researchers from WMG led on the design and verification of the energy management and active safety algorithms for both demonstrators.

The WMG project was headed by WMG’s Professor David Greenwood and Dr James Marco.

Professor Greenwood said: “L segment vehicles are an under-exploited opportunity in Europe to address energy consumption and pollution in cites. Their lightweight and modest range requirements make them ideal for electrification.”

“L Segment vehicles are an under-exploited opportunity in Europe to address energy consumption and pollution in cities”
Rob Milnes, CEO of Fertility Focus, with Jane Talbot, centre manager at the Warwick Innovation Centre
Science & Tech A Resolve vehicle SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Oxfordshire-based space satellite start-up Open Cosmos has raised more than £5 million as part of its mission to make satellites more affordable and accessible to everyone.

The round was led by BGF Ventures, with participation from LocalGlobe, Entrepreneur First, Transferwise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus and Microsoft’s former head of corporate strategy, Charlie Songhurst.


The company was founded by Rafael Jordà Siquier who studied aerospace engineering and worked for a disruptive launching company and a big space corporation.

is outsourced to companies specialising in rocket launches, but once in orbit, Open Cosmos takes control. Data collected by the satellite will be sent to the customer.

Open Cosmos is located at the European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubator at Harwell Campus.

The company intends to use the money to increase staff from 22 to 50, secure facilities to manufacture 30 satellites a year and increase marketing activity.

Rafael wants to democratise satellites in the same way that computers were democratised after their initial rollout in the 1960s.“The space industry is ripe for the same disruption,” he said.

The company builds and assembles the satellites at Harwell, handling all the launch bureaucracy. The satellite launch

“We try to remove barriers for our customers and we do it through a combination of hardware, software and services that together have a onestop-shop effect where we deal with everything,” said Rafael.

Open Cosmos successfully launched its first satellite for the European Commission QB50 programme in 2017.

Symbiotics assessment tool targets top firearms officers

A company specialising in human performance assessment in civilian pilots and the military, is offering its unique software and training methods to police forces across the country.

Worcester-based Symbiotics Ltd showcased its “Adapt” software at the Three Counties Defence & Security Expo held in Malvern.

Adapt helps police forces accurately identify candidates for key positions, including specialist firearms and protection roles. It helps to filter candidates early in the selection process and allows more targeted investment in those more suited to the pressurised environment in which they are expected to operate.

Business & Innovation Magazine Editor, Nicky Godding, underwent the test during the Malvern Expo. She said:

“I was given a verbal set of instructions. and questions to answer. Then I watched a video of a busy shopping street and listened out for key sounds and instructions while the video was playing. Before starting, I was also given a four-digit pin number to remember.

“As the video played I had to scan the people and surrounding environment, answer questions flashing up on a second screen while hearing random police conversations. I soon felt under some stress during the 10 minute test.

“I thought I was fairly observant, but this introductory test revealed that I would be wholly unsuitable as a firearms officer and I’ll definitely be sticking to my day job.

“Now I understand the focus needed to be an armed police officer, my respect for them is immense.”

Scott Morton, Principal Training Consultant at Symbiotics and a former police officer, said:

“The system on show was a small but important part of the in-depth training and assessment we undertake which enables us to identify the top performers and help police forces establish the right training schedules for them.”

90 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Science & Tech
“We try to remove barriers for our customers and we do it through a combination of hardware, software and services.”
The Open Cosmos team

Oxford Sciences Innovation expands to Science Park

Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), which invests in world-leading science and technology, from the University of Oxford, is expanding at The Oxford Science Park.

Driven by its rapid rate of growth and creation of spin-out companies, OSI is taking 17,260 sq ft of office and laboratory space on the second floor of the new Schrödinger Building. The space will be used by three of its spin-out companies – Orbit Discovery (peptide drugs for

chronic diseases), OMass Technologies (mass spectrometry of protein complexes for drug discovery) and Vaccitech (novel vaccines for flu and cancer). They join five other OSI spin-outs on the science park.

Vaccitech, OMass and Orbit are expected to move in during September, joining the other OSI spin-outs Evox Therapeutics, Argonaut Therapeutics, OxSight, Ultromics and Circadian Therapeutics which are already on the park.

Technology networks awarded £3 million

Science & Tech

Five research networks have been awarded £3 million through a joint technology initiative to harness new and emerging developments from the engineering and physical sciences to drive life sciences research.

Technology Touching Life is a joint initiative between the Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), all part of UK Research and Innovation.

Academic Health Science Networks recognised as key NHS innovation

Science & Tech

NHS England has committed to the long-term future of England’s Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), as part of a 10-year vision to drive health innovation and stimulate economic growth.

NHS England formally approved a new five-year licence for the 15 AHSNs, with an option to roll this on for a further five years to 2028.

Set up in 2013 with a five-year licence to encourage health innovation and stimulate economic growth, the AHSNs have spread over 330 innovations across 11,000 locations, benefiting 22 million patients, creating 500 jobs and generating £330 million investment for the country.

In this region there are three AHSNs, located the West of England, Oxfordshire and West Midlands.

The five networks include the ImagingBioPro Network, led by Professor Peter Lee at the Research Complex at Harwell, Oxfordshire.

This network seeks to develop new, high energy imaging methods to capture the dynamic biochemicaland biophysical processes in biological samples. To fully understand how an organ works in health and disease, scientists need to develop imaging techniques that simultaneously capture biological processes on

multiple timescales and at different structural levels.

Professor Peter Lee said: “The challenge is coupling the highenergy imaging methods like synchrotrons with physiologically realistic environments. This network will bridge the huge temporal and spatial scales of biological processes such as musculoskeletal degeneration, helping translate these technologies to the laboratory and then the clinic.”

The Schrödinger Building, Oxford Science Park

UK tech sector expands faster than wider economy

Tech nation, the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, has published its 2018 report.

It reveals that the tech sector grew 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy and the number of jobs rose at five times the rate of the rest of the economy.

Last year also saw some of the biggest fundraisings and exits seen in years, as international investors flocked to fund UK-based firms. British digital tech companies raised £4.5 billion in venture capital investment during the year, almost double the previous year.

The report highlights Cheltenham and Swindon in its list of 16 ‘tech towns’, which show a higher digital tech employment than the UK average Tech cities include Oxford, where the digital tech business turnover is reported to be close to £2 billion, Bath and Bristol.

But it’s not all good news. Diversity remains a problem. HoweverTech

Nation 2018 reveals that the digital tech sector’s workforce is older than commonly perceived and more ethnically mixed than the average UK workplace. But the lack of women in the digital tech sector remains a factor.

Rosalind Franklin Institute celebrates milestone

The Rosalind Franklin Institute, a new £103 million national institute which will develop new technologies for life science, is celebrating the formal commitment of 10 university partners and the research council Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to a partnership within the Institute.

The Institute will develop and apply new technologies to enable new insight into molecular and cellular biology, with activities coordinated across the UK and at the Harwell Campus.

Speaking at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, an international pharmaceutical company with a research base at Milton Park, Oxfordshire, the interim academic lead for the Institute, Professor Andrew Livingston said: “We are extremely pleased to have reached this important milestone. A huge amount of work has been carried out in the background alongside the formal legal

agreement, working with industry partners and our academic colleagues to ensure that the Rosalind Franklin Institute will produce the right technologies to solve challenges in life science which are too complex for one organisation to tackle alone.”

The Institute’s £40 million hub on the Harwell Campus will house much of its core equipment and emerging technologies, and link to neighbouring national facilities. Opening in 2020 with space for 150 researchers, construction of the new building will start this autumn.

£20 million boost for UK’s hydrogen economy

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry has delivered a £20 million boost to businesses embracing the potential for a future UK hydrogen economy. The announcement was made during a visit to

Science & Tech

Swindon’s innovative Hydrogen Hub and Recycling Technologies.

Hydrogen fuel is a safe and low-carbon alternative for energy in buildings, industry, and transport, but it is currently very costly to produce and transport.

This clean technology has the potential to revolutionise the automotive industry through clean green fuel.

Clare Jackson, Hydrogen Hub Manager, said: “We were excited to welcome the Energy Minister Claire Perry and share the successful stories that we have had so far, as well as taking the opportunity to showcase upcoming Hydrogen Hub projects that will demonstrate the benefits of the technology and make the case for the Hydrogen Pathway.”

Claire Perry MP visits Swindon’s Hydrogen Hub
Tim Venables, RFI, Andrew Bourne, EPSRC, Barbara Ghinelli, STFC, Andrew Livingston and Jim Naismith, RFI
“Rosalind Franklin Institute will produce the right technologies to solve challenges in life science which are too complex for one organisation to tackle alone”


Data is information, information is knowledge, knowledge is power. Or rather, it can have this effect if properly used and managed. So is big data more likely to represent ultimate power, or the ultimate risk?

With the dust from recent headlines surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica still settling, Rob Bryan, Equity Partner and Head of Science & Technology at BPE Solicitors looks at big data and how it can help, and hurt, a business.

What is big data?

The recent scandal surrounding the influencing of political agendas through social media has tainted the term, but before assuming that any company dealing with big data is automatically bad, we should first consider what it actually means. A popular definition suggests there are three Vs that distinguish big data; highvolume, high-velocity and high-variety.

Big data generates predictions by using a complex algorithm to derive information collated from a number of data sets. The data will be from various sources including internet clicks, GPS data from satelliteconnected devices, wearable tech, swipe cards, payment devices, health information and weather sensors.

How can it help?

Big data, particularly when treated as open data, has been used to improve transport, health and education services. For example, Transport for London uses a combination of data to plan closures and diversions to minimise disruption for travellers and, crucially, to increase access to services for citizens and organisations. Making these

big data sets open, enables information about service locations, routes and delays to passengers to be readily available.

Private businesses use big data to offer customers more tailored advice, offers and related products to gain a competitive edge. Consumers can benefit too, as companies use additional information acquired to reduce the time spent inputting personal details required to complete a transaction.

What are the risks?

The list is long, but these are BPE’s top three risks to consider before deciding to use big data in your business. If in doubt, consult your professional advisers.

Legal compliance: Personal data is any data which can physically or electronically identify an individual. Failure to comply with data protection legislation could result in a serious breach, large fines and reputational damage. The recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation can represent an opportunity if your data is properly managed.

Minimise risks by considering what data is necessary to hold and whether a time limit for retention could be imposed. Where personal data is held, businesses need appropriate practices and policies.

Discrimination: Big data analytics can learn patterns that lead to discrimination. For example an automated security

system profiled a female doctor as male and locked her out of a changing room. The profiling was a result of associating the title ‘Dr’ with being male. This type of unintended action could have serious consequences - especially if automatic profiling is used in an employment or recruitment context.

Accuracy: Big data analytics is predictive and not infallible. If the information processed is biased, the results are also likely to be biased.

The City of Boston provides a Street Bump app for smartphones that uses the phone’s accelerometer and GPS data to record movements that suggest the presence of potholes. Levels of smartphone ownership among different socioeconomic groups means more data may be collected from more affluent areas, rather than those with the worst roads, leading to biased allocation of repair funds.

Friend or foe?

Using big data can generate big rewards, if used responsibly and with checks and balances. It can provide advantageous results for businesses, research and the public sector alike, but usage has to remain within ethical (and legal) constraints.

Big data offers great opportunities to business, but the potential risks mean it’s imperative to take the right precautions from the outset, to prevent issues in the future.

Rob Bryan, Equity Partner, BPE


The much-heralded transformation of the redundant Gloucester Prison site into apartments has been given the go-ahead by Gloucester City Council.

The proposals were submitted by heritage specialist City & Country in 2017 after extensive consultation with the city council and members of the public. The planning application won unanimous approval from Gloucester City Councillors.

Residents of the 202 new homes will have a view of remains associated with the 12th century Gloucester Castle keep thanks to a glassed viewing platform in a garden

“The perimeter walls of the 18th century gaol will remain in situ with new openings allowing the public access for the first time”

courtyard on the ground floor. There will also be a café/heritage centre.

Forty of the new apartments will be within the listed prison buildings. A further 164 will be located in seven new

buildings. The former chapel, gatehouse, governor’s house and debtor’s prison will be transformed into residential accommodation.

Extensive landscaping will feature throughout the development, including a range of new trees around the site’s perimeter, creating a walled garden effect.

The perimeter walls of the 18th century gaol will remain in situ with new openings allowing the public access for the first time. Gloucester Prison closed in 2013.

Bicester is hot spot for development as Albion Lane develops new warehouse

A major new warehouse development is taking shape in Bicester.

Albion Land is developing seven units totalling 146,000 sq ft in a new scheme known as Network@Link 9 in Skimmingdish Lane. The development will be completed this summer. Four units have already been sold, with three remaining.

The developer is also seeking reserved matters planning permission for a third phase of development comprising a

speculative 120,000 sq ft unit and a ‘built to suit’ 170,000 sq ft unit within the wider Link 9 scheme.

Tom Barton, Director at agents VSL, said: “We are seeing very strong demand in the industrial sector in Bicester and this development is a real vote of confidence in the local economy.

“The town continues to grow rapidly on the back of excellent employment opportunities and the area is attracting significant inward investment from

distribution, high-value manufacturing and science-led companies.”

Simon Parsons, a director of Albion Land, said: “We are delighted with the take-up at Link 9 to date. Bicester is a great location with a rapidly expanding population and workforce, excellent road and rail links and world-renowned retail amenities.”

Albion Land has more development land with planning permission for a further 600,000 sq ft in Bicester for leasehold or freehold bespoke occupier development.

An artist’s impression of how Gloucester’s historic prison site will look

Fortis prepares to build 1,400 affordable homes across Worcestershire

Social housing provider Fortis Living is set to build 1,400 homes across Worcestershire in the next two years after securing a £50 million funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The company will build a range of affordable homes (one to four-bedroom houses plus flats and bungalows) in Evesham, Redditch and Worcester in line with rising demand.

the increased demand for housing, particularly in more rural areas where there’s a shortage of newer, affordable homes for local people.

“This is our first time working with Lloyds Bank and the support and expertise its social housing team has provided has enabled us to secure a tailored funding package exactly suited to our needs.”

Jatinder Dhaliwal, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Organisations like Fortis Living are doing a fantastic job of helping more people get on the property ladder and tackling increased housing pressures across the Midlands.

Construction begins at £7.5 million care home in Warwick

A new £7.5 million dementia specialist care home in Warwick is a step closer as WCS Care marked the official start of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Fortis Living has more than 16,000 properties across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.

Ben Colyer, Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury at the company, said: “This new investment will help us support our current and future residents by meeting

“As one of the UK’s leading lenders to the sector, we’re proud to be helping housing associations play their crucial role in providing high-quality, affordable homes across the UK.”

Earlier this year, Lloyds Bank launched a £500 million fund for housing associations in addition to its £750 million support for the UK’s social housing sector. This is part of a wider pledge to provide £2.25 billion of funding between 2018 and 2020.

The care home is being built by Deeley Construction and has been designed for the charity by Warwick-based architects Robothams.

It will replace the former Woodside home in Spinney Hill which closed for demolition in 2017 as part of the multi-million-pound redevelopment.

Residents, staff and invited guests – including the Mayor of Warwick Cllr Stephen Cross and Cllr Richard Edgington – celebrated the turning of the first sod at the site which will become a village-style experience for 72 older people and people with dementia.

The new home, due to open in 2019, will include a spa, cinema, shop, café, launderette and table tennis.

It is being built with support from a £5.9 million funding deal from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Construction, said: “This is another example of how Deeley works in partnership with other companies and organisations to bring about important projects for the local community.”

Commercial Property
“As one of the UK’s leading lenders to the sector, we’re proud to be helping housing associations play their crucial role in providing high-quality, affordable homes across the UK”
Affordable partnership: Ben Colyer from Fortis Living, Jatinder Dhaliwal from Lloyds and Andy Howarth from Fortis

Constructing Excellence

Gloucestershire Annual Exhibition and Conference 2018

Construction professionals from across Gloucestershire gathered at Gloucester Rugby Club for this years exhibition and conference. Over 30 exhibitors highlighted their organisations’ links with education. Evening keynote talks offered the opportunity to hear from architects, contractors, surveyors, suppliers and a range of supporting construction professionals, as well as education and training providers, for the ‘Building For Education and Educating For Building’ in Gloucestershire which was the theme of this AGM.


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contact: or visit
Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire committee, Gemma Brindley, David Carter, Kevin Harris, Anna Wood and Jonathan White Guest Keynote Speakers, Joe Roberts from Roberts Limbrick, Peter White, University of Gloucestershire and Andrew Carpenter, from Construction Excellence HQ Neil Mason from BPE Solicitors Kim Clay, Sam Carter, Mark Moore and Zoe Bartholomew from E G Carter Chris Pursey, Tony Ward and Tony Thorne from Gerflor Flooring Group Joy Hillier and Chelsea Silsby from Crowe UK Jonathan White and Keith Lane from Roberts Limbrick Joyce Clifford and Mike Court from Quattro Design Architects
Mark Price, Nicole Peters, Alice Harvey and Nathan White from Vitruvius


Are you a landlord? For some, the answer will appear easy.

If you own and rent out offices, industrial, retail or leisure properties, you are a commercial landlord.

If you own a number of apartments or houses, other than your principal residence, and you rent them out, you are a residential landlord.

But the lines are becoming blurred with the growth of online short-term rental or lodging services.

But you may not consider yourself a landlord.

Perhaps you have retained a deceased relative’s house and now be letting it out. Or bought a property in a university town for your son or daughter, where they lived and rented out rooms to other students.

You may have married or moved in with a partner and kept the other house, renting it out.

Similarly, you may have a holiday property, either publicly advertised to rent, or you may let a few friends stay there but still charge them.

You ARE a landlord.

And there are tax implications.

First of all, it’s important to understand that only profits from renting your property are liable for income tax, and that to calculate your profits you can deduct ‘allowable expenses’ first.

To appreciate what is an ‘allowable

expense’, it is important to understand the difference between capital and revenue expenses.

Capital expenses are those that may increase the value of the property, such as renovations, improvements or extensions. You can’t deduct these from your income tax bill, but it may be possible to offset them against Capital Gains Tax (CGT) when the property is sold.

Revenue expenses are those related to the day-to-day running and maintenance of a property and these can be offset against an income tax bill.

Examples of these might include letting agents’ fees, some legal fees, accountants’ fees, buildings and contents insurance, plus an element of interest on any property loans you hold. Maintenance and repairs are allowed, but this does not include home improvements.

Also included are utility bills, rent, ground rent and service charges, council tax bills, and services you pay for such as cleaning and gardening. Plus, other direct costs such as phone calls advertising or stationery related to the letting of the property.

But there are different tax rules for residential properties, commercial properties and for furnished holiday lettings.

Furnished holiday lets were specifically excluded from so-called anti-landlord tax measures (summarised as Section 24) introduced in 2016.

Then there is the question of how you own these properties. Through a property

partnership, a limited company or individually?

Since 2017, there have been a number of tax changes that led some experts to predict the end of buy-to-let as a sector.

It is true that the number of new entrants to the market has fallen but there is still a large number of existing landlords who are learning to work within the new regime.

In 2016 we saw a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge. The loss of the 10% wear and tear allowance as a ‘given’ (it must now be claimed against actual qualifying expenditure), and the gradual loss of tax relief on mortgage interest payments from now until 2020 will hit higher rate and additional rate taxpayers particularly hard.

For some landlord owners, it may be possible to avoid new tax rules by buying property through a UK resident company, where profits will be liable to Corporation Tax instead.

However, Capital Gains Tax will be payable on the profit of the sale of a property, and potential additional tax could be incurred in getting the money out of the company to the individual shareholder’s hands. From April 2019, landlords will also be required to pay CGT on any profits within 30 days or selling a property.

From the above, you can see that once you own more than one property you are entering into a whole new world of tax.

It will pay to take specialist advice before, during and after owning a property – of any kind.

Gemma Brindley, Tax Director in the Cheltenham office of national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe UK discussed tax issues for landlords Gemma Brindley, Tax Director, Crowe UK

Regional Business & Innovation Magazine Property Lunch

Property leaders from across the region joined Business & Innovation Magazine at the stunning Tewkesbury Park hotel for lunch, hosted by Editor-in-Chief, Nicky Godding. The event supported by Stackhouse Poland and Allianz UK was an opportunity for informal discussion and networking for senior property professionals across the region to discuss construction and development and key property issues.


Guests being hosted in the Cotswolds Suite, at Tewkesbury Park Sophie Vickery from Allianz UK with Chris Lennon from Stackhouse Poland Simon Richardson from Newland Homes with Andrew Cook of Pegasus Property Group and Andrew Billings from Newland Homes David Thomas from The Property Investment Partnership and Jonathan Smith from Cheltenham Property Forums Free Range Cornfed Chicken Cooked Two Ways. Roasted supreme, confit leg pithivier, Revills farm asparagus, truffle and morel sauce Mark Taylor from Stackhouse Poland and Martin Howe from Keystone Law Rosie Henderson from Business & Innovation Magazine and Andrew Grant from Andrew Grant LLP Kevin Harris from Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire and Mark Powles from RRA Architects Nicky Godding, Editor of Business & Innovation Magazine and Patrick Downes of PD Property Consultancy Antonia Shield from BPE Solicitors with Simon Carey and Peter Evans of Barnwood Construction or visit Please contact Would you like to feature your business event, launch or party in our business events section? LET’S GET SOCIAL
Adrian Rowley from Alder King with David Jones of Evans Jones Vik Tara from Rentr and Rob Smith from Bruton Knowles Chris Lennon from Stackhouse Poland with Kirsty Muir from Business & Innovation Magazine and Dorian Wragg from Bruton Knowles Charlie Brooks from The Wigley Group with Tony Creedon from Allianz UK and Marcus Saunders from Stackhouse Poland Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire LEP with Anita Syvret of Syvret Media and David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP David Hawes from The Property Investment Partnership and Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence South West Simon McKeag from Ash Chartered Surveyors and Michael Plimmer from Robert Hitchins Toby Coombes from Coombes Everett Architects and Nathan McLoughlin from McLoughlin Planning Amanda Baker from Tewkesbury Park Hotel with George Tatham-Losh from Move & Sales Lettings
Mascarpone and Honeycomb Cheese Cake served with English strawberries and gin and tonic sorbet

Commercial Property

Kitchen and bathroom specialist Kensi Hope Interiors has quadrupled the size of its offices and showroom.

With the help of property agents John Truslove, the Redditch firm has moved to Newton House in Hewell Road, taking 4,000 sq ft on a ten-year lease.

Tony Hateley of Kensi Hope Interiors said: “We had been looking for a while for new facilities. Previously we were in a more industrial location but are now on a much more prominent site with plenty of footfall. The move is already proving a big success.”


Construction work has started on a new £13 million headquarters building at Worcester Six Business Park for Kimal’s arrival later this year.

Kimal Plc is relocating from Droitwich and expanding its headquarters to a 140,000 sq ft unit at the Worcester Six business park near Junction 6 of the M5.

Kimal launched the first cardiology procedure pack in the UK in the 1990s, leading to the opening of its manufacturing facility in Bromsgrove. The company, which now manufactures more than 1 million procedure packs every year is also creating up to 100 additional jobs.

“The start of construction at Worcester Six demonstrates our continued commitment to the area which we first invested into in 1990. This impressive new facility will help us realise our exciting growth plans”

at Worcester Six demonstrates our continued commitment to the area which we first invested into in 1990. This impressive new facility will help us realise our exciting growth plans.”

Ian Parker, a director of John Truslove, said: “Kensi Hope Interiors is an ambitious business which goes the extra mile to ensure customers get a top service.

am sure the new offices will prove as good a fit as the kitchens and bathrooms they supply.”

Alan Press, Chief Executive Officer at Kimal, said: “The start of construction

Kimal will invest more than £3 million in an initial fit-out phase, with a further £3 million investment over time.

Prime Fitness attracts 1,000 members at Redditch gym

A new 24-hour gym has created 25 jobs in Redditch town centre, in a deal sealed by property agents John Truslove.

The Prime Fitness gym has opened in the 18,000 sq ft Unit 6 at The Quadrant, a short walk from Kingfisher Shopping Centre.

The gym, which also has a sauna, steam room, tanning salon and 40 exercise classes a week, opened in April and has already signed up more than 1,000 members.

Ben Truslove, a director of John Truslove, said: “It’s great news for Redditch to have a gym of this size, and the growing desire of local workers and shoppers to keep fit should see it doing well.”

The deal was agreed off an asking rent of £90,000 per annum.

Julian Pepper, General Manager of Prime Fitness, said: “We’re really pleased to have found such a good site in Redditch and have been overwhelmed by the welcome of local people.”

Newton House is the perfect home for Kensi
Jane Harrison of Liberty Property Trust, Gerard Ludlow of Stoford Developments, Katie Aitchison of Savills, Andy Press from Kimal, Tim Mills of Benniman, Cllr Lynne Duffy, Cllr Shawn Riley, Cllr Ken Pollock and Jack Barnett from Worcestershire LEP
Ian Parker, joint Managing Director of John Truslove, left, with Tony Hateley of Kensi Hope Interiors
“Kensi Hope Interiors is an ambitious business which goes the extra mile to ensure customers get a top service. I am sure the new offices will prove as good a fit as the kitchens and bathrooms they supply”

58-60 St Aldate’s in Oxford has been refurbished by Vantage Asset Management

Balliol digs in to create new student accommodation


A major project to create an Oxford city centre hub for thriving, innovative companies has been completed.

The buildings at 58-60 St Aldate’s have undergone a complete refurbishment by owners Vantage Asset Management, ensuring the character and original features have been retained, with modern facilities sympathetically installed.

Agents VSL & Partners say the result has meant high demand from existing and new tenants as dynamic businesses look to move into flexible, modern

Historic hotel in Eynsham has new owners and refurbishment ahead

One of Oxfordshire’s leading country house hotels, Eynsham Hall, has been sold.

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has completed the sale of Eynsham Hall, one of Oxfordshire’s leading country house hotels at the gateway to the Cotswolds.

The vendor was Cathedral Hotels which has owned the hotel since 2005.

The grand building at the gateway to the Cotswolds and set in 45 acres of grounds dates back to the 18th century and was rebuilt in 1908.

It now forms part of a business which operates 135 guest bedrooms, restaurant, bar, private dining and functions rooms,

accommodation that meets the demands of modern working.

The three buildings totalling 32,796 sq ft were stripped back before being fitted with feature ceilings, LED lighting, new air conditioning and state-of-the-art breakout areas to create modern Class A office space.

Lettings were obtained on available space prior to the completion of the refurbishment and new lease agreements with existing occupiers secured.

Staff, students, fellows, alumni and friends of Balliol College gathered to see the College’s outgoing Master, Professor Sir Drummond Bone, officially launch the construction of the College’s new on-site student accommodation building.

The ceremony saw the first ground broken on a building project that will deliver 223 new undergraduate and postgraduate rooms for the College as well as a sports pavilion and extensive new landscaping.

Property consultancy Bidwells is managing the construction project, which was designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects and is being built by BAM Construction.

Sir Drummond said: “This project will allow the College to accommodate all its undergraduate population at Balliol College for the duration of their time in Oxford and will make very significant improvement to the accommodation provision for postgraduates.”

Construction Director of BAM Anthony Nagle presented Sir Drummond with a ceremonial spade. He said: “BAM Construction are very excited to be involved in this significant and important construction project in the heart of Oxford.”

The first building is scheduled for completion by early 2019.

and a health club with an indoor swimming pool.

The property was purchased off an asking price of £8.25m. The new owner has plans to undertake a refurbishment programme in line with approved planning permission to add 80 additional guestrooms and extended conferences facilities, plus a new spa complex.

Eynsham Hall is set in 45 acres of grounds Professor Sir Drummond Bone and Construction Director of BAM Construction South East Anthony Nagle


The former Gloucester Royal Mail offices in Eastern Avenue are to be brought back to life in an innovative development of 48 apartments.

Cheltenham developer County to County has teamed up with Birmingham-based Elevate Property Group in a joint venture which will see one of Gloucester’s most prominent buildings renovated.

The three-storey building will provide 34 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments with prices ranging from £108,000-£184,000.

There will be one parking space for every one-bedroom apartment and two spaces for the two-bedroom apartments.

Sarah McKinnon of agents Hamptons International in Cheltenham, which has been appointed to sell the new homes, said: “Location is always a critical factor in the success of any new residential development and The Post House scores very highly.”

Built in the 1950s, The Post House has two wings either side of a central art deco style stairwell and atrium which will be retained to provide a stylish entrance.

Mid-Counties Co-Op is new anchor tenant at Bishop’s Cleeve village square

The Mid-Counties Co-operative has been announced as the anchor tenant of the Homelands office and retail park in Bishop’s Cleeve, near Cheltenham.

Gloucestershire property agent John Ryde Commercial secured the 3,000 sq ft initial letting and is now marketing the development’s remaining three units.

The Mid-Counties Co-operative supermarket will form part of a new “village square” being constructed by Cheltenham-based developers County to County Property Group.

The store is scheduled to open in November 2018 and follows the success of Mid-Counties Co-operative’s flagship supermarket in Bourton-on-the-Water.

The L-shaped development, now known as The Post House, used to form part of the Royal Mail’s sorting centre operations. It fronts on to the roundabout junction with the A38 Eastern Avenue and Barnwood Road.

Work is due to start on site in June and The Post House show apartment will be launched to the public in September. Completion is anticipated in Spring 2019.

Peartree Flowers chooses Bond’s Mill as a place to blossom

Lizzie Gissane has taken a life-changing leap by opening a new floristry business at Bond’s Mill in Stonehouse, owned by Robert Hitchins Ltd.

She has ditched a 20-year career in admin and launched the Peartree Flowers Floral Design Studio.

“I’ve always loved flowers and wanted to do something more creative than a desk job would allow. I can’t run the business from my home. Then I found Bond’s Mill and it was perfect,” she said.

Peartree Flowers has taken a five-year lease on The Gallery, a 590 sq ft workspace at the business park situated on the A419, alongside the Stroudwater Canal.

Helen Hawke from Robert Hitchins welcomed Peartree Flowers to Bond’s Mill which offers on-site management, parking and a cafe.

Peartree Flowers Floral Design Studio caters for wedding and private functions as well as corporate events and retail clients.

Paul Maguire, partner at John Ryde Commercial, said: “This is a major signing for Homelands and will serve the area’s 14,000 residents and two new major residential extensions north of Bishop’s Cleeve which have seen more than 1,000 new dwellings either side of the A46.”

“The Gallery at Bond’s Mill has so much character,” said Lizzie. “I’ve left the walls in their original state so I can see the history of the building all around me – like the mark on the wall from the old mill wheel.”

The reception area of The Post House
“Location is always a critical factor in the success of any new residential development and The Post House scores very highly”
The agent was Andrew Watton Property Consultants. Lizzie Gissane (right) from Peartree Flowers with Helen Hawke from Robert Hitchins

Rego sells last five acres at Holywell Business Park

The remaining five acres of Holywell Business Park in Southam, Warwickshire has been sold to Warwickshire County Council and Maricott Developments by Rego Property.

The 25-acre site, comprising a Tesco superstore and a modern and industrial development, has been a major success for Rego.

Chris White from White Commercial Surveyors together with Wareing Company Leamington Spa, advised Rego Properties on the scheme.

Chris White said: “This development has contributed substantially to the economy of South Warwickshire where there is significant commercial and residential growth due in part to the town’s location along the M40. Companies for the scheme have originated from Warwickshire and North Oxfordshire.

“The new purchasers of the remaining land are set to develop a range of industrial/warehouse units.”

Regeneration of The Co-Operative in Coventry attracts its first restaurant

The first restaurant has signed up to The Co-Operative development in Coventry as the regeneration project in the heart of the city takes off.

Steakout, which has eight venues predominantly in the South East, is investing around £500,000 and creating 20 jobs at the restaurant inside the former Co-Op in the city centre.

The deal follows hot-on-the-heels of the first office being taken at the scheme, which is seeing the former Co-Op building transformed into a mix of highspec apartments, office, retail and leisure space by developers EDG Property.

Managing Director of Steakout, Kaysor Ali, said: “We’ve been looking at Coventry for some time and we feel The Co-operative is perfect.”

Dairy Crest site gets new lease of life with affordable homes

Work is under way on a new affordable homes scheme in Leamington.

The Deeley Group is working in partnership with Waterloo Housing Group and Warwick District Council to create 18 affordable homes on the site of the former Dairy Crest premises off Quarry Street and Old Milverton Road.

The existing buildings have been demolished and the first foundations have been laid for the properties – four of which will be available to rent while a further 14 will be sold as shared ownership aimed at the local community.

Deeley Construction, part of the Deeley Group, is carrying out the work on the nine two-bedroom and nine threebedroom properties, with the first homes expected to be ready this autumn.

Pat Moroney, of the Deeley Group, said: “Leamington is crying out for more affordable homes so we are delighted to be working in partnership with Waterloo Housing Group to deliver this project on a former brownfield site.”

Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, Councillor Peter Phillips, said: “We welcome the start

Neil Edginton, Managing Director of EDG Property, said The Co-Operative is attracting strong interest.

He said: “We are thrilled with the start we’ve had at The Co-Operative and, because of the history of the building, it’s really caught the imagination of the city.”

Work started last year when EDG Property revealed it would be creating a modern, high-spec mixed-use scheme at the same time as retaining much of the 1950s architecture – including the lettering on the outside of the building which fronts Corporation Street.

The second phase of one and twobedroom apartments were released for sale in May. The development includes a private residents’ lounge with rooftop terrace and a resident’s park.

of construction of new homes on this new site, which alongside current developments of 39 homes on Theatre Street in Warwick and more than 170 homes on Station Approach in Leamington further demonstrates our commitment to the provision of affordable homes in our district.”

Commercial Property
Pat Moroney, Andy Bodily and Richard Pepper for Deeley with Hazel Pennington from the Waterloo Housing Group
An artist impression of the outside of The Co-Operative
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