unLTD. Connecting business across Sheffield City Region #72

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We summarise the main takeaways from our inaugural Business Breakfast event. Taking place last month and hosted in association with CMS Law, the first of these planned gatherings saw influential figures from the South Yorkshire business scene discussing a range of exciting developments for the region.


Get the full lowdown on Rotherham’s eagerly anticipated new leisure destination, Forge Island, a potentially gamechanging development bringing a boutique cinema, 69-room hotel and a variety of independent restaurants to the city centre.


In this month’s opinion piece, Johnny Pawlik, founder of Sheffield’s ethical marketing firm Mantra Media, emphasises the increasing significance of robust international partnerships for the city’s economy.


unLTD’s editor Joseph Food indulges his sweet tooth and pays a visit to Molly’s Mixtures – a South Yorkshire-based confectionery company specialising in corporate gifting, crafting bespoke orders and catering to special occasions.


For our latest spotlight on a local businessperson influencing positive change in South Yorkshire, Ash Birch charts the inspirational journey of Jackie Cook, the founder of CQ Strategic Marketing who works tirelessly to advocate greater diversity in STEM industries.


What better way to start your day than with a big old bowl of positivity, and that’s exactly what the unLTD Business Breakfast delivered by the spoonful!

Given that the focus of our first panel discussion centred on the role the business community can play in defining what Sheffield stands for in a postlevelling up environment, it could quite easily have descended into the regular gripes and complaints highlighting the city's shortcomings.

But actually, what transpired was a lively discussion full of well-balanced positivity for Sheffield’s current trajectory that left me feeling pretty inspired as I left CMS’s office and walked out into the impressive new Heart of the City development.

It wasn’t all happy clapping either, there was constructive criticism where appropriate and tangible examples of things we should rightly be proud of. We look back in full at what turned out to be one in the eye for the naysayers over on page 29.

Elsewhere, we discuss the importance of promoting diversity in STEM industries (p. 37), delve into a successful career in sweets (p. 34), learn five things about what it’s like to run a successful teamwear company (who knew Nike was pronounced like that?) (p. 21) and give you all the details on the innovative leisure development forging a path in Rotherham centre (p. 6).

Throw in the usual mix of business news, thoughtful opinion and sound advice, and you’ve got a stacked March issue.

Catch you all next month!

Ash Birch, Online Editor.


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The countdown is on as Rotherham’s new landmark leisure destination Forge Island enters the final phase of construction ahead of its grand opening to the public at the end of summer 2024.

Once home to a steel and iron forge and a major part of the industrial heritage of the town, the Forge Island development is being delivered by nationwide placemakers, Muse, in partnership with Rotherham Council. The scheme will include an 8-screen state-ofthe-art boutique cinema, a 69-room hotel and a variety of independent restaurants, complemented by public spaces set in a stunning riverside location.

The family-friendly development is shaping up to be a vibrant foodie destination, with something for everyone to enjoy. South Yorkshire-based Rustic Pizza

Co will open an 80-seater restaurant on site, joining Portuguese and Southern African eatery, Casa Peri Peri, created by Masterchef star, Bobby Geetha. Other independent gems include Estabulo Rodizio / Sakku Samba, a dual-branded fusion of Japanese-Brazilian cuisine honouring the Gaucho style of cooking, and luxury coffee shop Caffé Noor.

The buzz around Forge Island’s fast-approaching opening is spreading throughout the town. “All of a sudden it seems to have sprung up out of nowhere,” said local resident, Sam Clarkson, whose apartment overlooks the development.

“I’m getting married next year and we have 400 guests coming, so having a trusted name like Travelodge that everyone knows on our doorstep is really great. Hopefully the development will have a domino effect and help put money back into other local businesses by bringing footfall into the town centre. It will give people more choice socially and bring more people in from other areas.”

Tony O’Brien, Travelodge, UK Development Director added: “We can’t wait to open our new hotel this summer. Rotherham is growing at pace and has one of the fastest growing

economies in Yorkshire.

“With the railway station, the town centre amenities and Rotherham United’s AESSEAL New York Stadium within an easy walk, the Travelodge will be ideally located for business and leisure guests. This ground-breaking scheme is an excellent new leisure destination that I’m sure will be of great benefit to the Rotherham community and visitors to the area for many years to come.”

The Arc Cinema will open the first cinema in Rotherham in more than 30 years. It will offer two flagship Hypersense screens, including Dolby Atmos sound and a 4K Laser


projector, creating a truly immersive experience.

After the topping out of the development, Brian Gilligan, Director of The Arc Cinema said: “The Arc Cinema is known for top-class facilities and we’re proud to say that the new location at Forge Island will be no exception.

“We also place a strong emphasis on building personal connections within the community which includes recruiting locally, and our aim is to create a meaningful place that belongs to the people of Rotherham just as much as it belongs to us.”

Later this spring, a striking new pedestrian bridge will open to the public, offering a vital connection from the town centre to Forge Island, as well as linking to the town’s remarkable engineering heritage. The 46-metre-long bridge takes inspiration from the world-famous Bailey Bridge; a portable, steel-truss bridge, designed by Rotherham-born civil engineer, Donald Bailey.

The bridge will be illuminated at night to make a striking visual feature of its unique structural elements to enhance the experience of everyone who visits Forge Island, offering pedestrians and cyclists an eye-catching crossing over the River Don.

at Muse, said: “We always look to create places that will enrich the lives of the communities we serve for the long term. Forge Island will offer residents in Rotherham a fantastic leisure destination packed with amenities on their doorstep, but it will also create jobs and provide opportunities for local people too.”

Together with the Markets redevelopment, the improvements are a key part of Rotherham Council’s large-scale regeneration plans aimed at breathing new life into the heart of the borough.

Councillor Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, said: “Forge Island is the single biggest investment in our town centre for decades and it’s successfully transforming a disused site into a landmark familyfriendly destination we can all enjoy and be proud to have on our doorstep.”

Construction work on the £47m Forge Island scheme is led by contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, working alongside the wider project team which also includes Arup, Helm Consulting, Arcadis and reform Landscape Architecture. The new pedestrian bridge was designed by FaulknerBrowne Architects.

For more information and all the latest news and updates, visit www.newforgeisland. co.uk


Yorkshire to receive £947 million “game-changing” transport investment

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper announced Yorkshire and the Humber will receive £947 million to improve transport connections from reallocated funding from the axed Northern leg of HS2.

Announced as part of Network North, the new ‘Local Transport Fund’ will provide a funding uplift across the region over seven years from April 2025, targeting smaller cities, towns and rural areas to empower local communities outside of major city regions.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Through reallocating

HS2 funding, we’re not only investing nearly £1 billion directly back into our smaller cities, towns and rural areas across Yorkshire and the Humber, but we are also empowering their local leaders to invest in the transport projects that matters most to them.

“This unprecedented investment will benefit more people, in more places, more quickly than HS2 ever would have done, and comes alongside the billions of pounds of funding we’ve already invested into our roads, buses and local transport services across the country.”

The investment aims give local authorities the ability to make transformative longterm transport improvements including building new roads and improving junctions, installing or expanding mass transit systems, filling in potholes, better street lighting, tackling congestion, increasing the number of EV chargepoints and refurbishing bus and rail stations.

The Government have directed the Local Transport Fund to the North and Midlands as the majority of HS2 cuts were from those regions, to demonstrate their commitment to reinvesting all £19.8 billion from the Northern

leg of HS2 in the North, and £9.6 billion from the Midlands leg in the Midlands.

Lord Patrick McLoughlin, Chair of Transport for the North, said: “We welcome this funding for our local transport areas as a sign of progress towards transforming the north to a more inclusive, sustainable and betterconnected region.

“TfN look forward to working with government and local leaders, because we know that the travelling public will get better results the more locally the decisions are made on how those services should be provided.”



Barnsley town centre and Sheffield city centre are flying the Purple Flag once again after being rewarded for their commitments to creating a dynamic, vibrant and safe night-time economy.

This is the 5th consecutive year Barnsley has received the award and the 12th consecutive year that Sheffield has been recognised, after becoming the first South Yorkshire city to achieve Purple Flag status in 2012.

Awarded by The Association of Town & Centre Management, the Purple Flag scheme aims to raise the standard of nightlife in town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am and judges locations based on a wide range of criteria including personal safety, cleanliness, transport, food and drink, arts and culture and how welcoming the town or city is.

Key successes in Barnsley’s submission included initiatives such as the historical market and Glass Works developments, which have seen an impressive 22% increase in footfall in 2023, the Bright Nights festival and the development of Barnsley’s Violence Against Women and Girls agenda.

Sheffield’s partners in their Purple Flag accreditation process included Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield BID, the City Centre Retailers Group, Changing Sheff, UNIGHT – The City Centre’s Pubs and Clubs Group, Sheffield Street Pastors, Marketing & Tourism Sheffield and Business Sheffield.

Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The Purple Flag accreditation is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved in making Barnsley’s evening and nighttime economy a success.

“It showcases the effectiveness of our collaborative efforts and the commitment of our partners to create a town centre that is not only safe but also offers a diverse and vibrant experience for all. Barnsley truly is a welcoming, safe and inclusive place to visit, day or night.”

Cllr Joe Otten, Chair of the Waste and Street Scene committee for Sheffield City Council, also said: “It’s great that we have been reaccredited with the Purple Flag for a vibrant night-time economy.

“The Purple Flag is an internationally recognised accreditation for management of a city centre. It’s about having the vibe, having a safe place to go out and enjoy an evening out and we’re very proud of having won this again.”



Leopold Square, located in the heart of Sheffield, has been named a 2023 International Green Champion at the prestigious Green Apple Environment Awards. The award highlights Leopold Square’s commitment to being environmentally conscious and it’s sustainable refuse management, ensuring none of its waste is sent to landfill.


Digital agency Evoluted are celebrating becoming one of just 8,000 companies worldwide to be certified as a B Corporation™, after demonstrating their high standards of social and environmental impact. Evoluted have gone above and beyond to showcase their dedication to civic and environmental impact, being awarded the accolade administered by non-profit network B Lab™.


Yorkshire and Derbyshire-based JE James Cycles, one of the largest independent cycle retailers in Europe, will be opening a brandnew shop in Barnsley town centre this May. The three-storey store will be located on Eldon Street. and will offer a huge variety of bikes and cycling goods.


Plans for Sheffield City Centre’s Event Central, have moved forward with the appointment of lead contractor, Willmott Dixon. The hub will see a vacant building in Fargate remained as a mixed-use cultural community hub, funded in part by the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.


South Yorkshire marketing event spreads its wings to Nottingham

Sheffield digital agency Evoluted has teamed up with a Nottingham counterpart to launch a new marketing meetup that will expand Evoluted’s successful Sheffield DM events to the East Midlands.

Nottingham DM, run in partnership with Victress Digital, will launch on Thursday 28th March with its first event.

It follows Sheffield DM organisers receiving numerous approaches about collaborating on events in other cities after their major all-day event in August 2023 attracted over 230 marketers from all over the UK to the Octagon Centre, winning backing from a host of sponsors including Trustpilot.

“We’re thrilled to have partnered with Victress to expand our events beyond Sheffield,” says Dan Rawley, Marketing Manager and a lead organiser of Sheffield DM.

“After last summer’s event, we had a number of approaches from companies interested in joining forces on similar events in their cities, which was hugely flattering.

“While many of those conversations are ongoing, we found our values aligned perfectly with the team at Victress and we agreed Nottingham is a brilliant environment for this kind of event - so it made sense to make this the first location to roll out ‘DM Network’ events.”

Like the Sheffield version, Nottingham DM meetups will be free to attend, featuring a casual atmosphere with a focus on community-building and emphasising the diversity of speaking opportunities.


Almost 6,000 pupils and educators from across the region are set to take part in this year’s ‘Get up to Speed with STEM’ event, the largest of it’s kind, at Magna Science Adventure Centre, Rotherham on 20th March.

This interactive event will showcase the breadth and diversity of careers in STEM, bringing employers together to promote and celebrate the very best of what the region has to offer young people.

John Barber, CEO of The Work-wise Foundation, the organisers of the event, said: “This is our 14th annual Get up to Speed event and we have more science, technology, engineering, manufacturing and construction experiences than ever to give young people a real-life insight into different roles.

“Every year we receive some fantastic feedback from schools about how Get up to Speed opens young people’s eyes to the many and varied career opportunities that they could consider.

“It also gives them new connections, makes them more familiar with businesses in their area and stimulates conversations and new ideas back at school. It’s a valuable part of every young person’s education here in South Yorkshire.”

Highlights of this year’s event will include a breakfast business themed around “Health and Wellbeing for Skills and Productivity”, with many inspirational keynote speaker, the chance for pupils and teachers will to explore the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest general-purpose particle detector experiment in the world, works through an immersive 360-degree virtual tour, and the opportunity to see a McLaren supercar, the volcano yellow 720S.

Three major competitions will be celebrated throughout the day, including Vulcan to the Sky, AMETEK Land and the High Sheriff’s Building a Better Future Together Challenge which pupils have been busy participating in in the build-up to GUTS.



A new management company is set to take over the running of Utilita Arena Sheffield from the start of next year.

ASM Global has been appointed following a procurement process, which was launched in a bid to attract the best in leisure and entertainment provision to run Sheffield’s venues.

It follows Sheffield City Council’s announcement of a major investment into the city’s leisure and entertainment venues, including improvements to Sheffield’s arena.

Under its new management with ASM Global, the venue is set to benefit from significant investment into guest experience at every level, including hospitality and


The senior management team and all Utilita Arena staff will move to ASM Global under TUPE regulations.

The venue is home to the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team, and so far this year has hosted the MOBO Awards, and has Peter Kay, Bill Bailey, Take That, Girls Aloud, Bryan Adams, Matchroom Boxing, Premier League Darts, Liam Gallagher, with more still to come.

Chris Bray, president of ASM Global Europe, said: “Sheffield is a city with a rich cultural heritage. It’s known and loved for producing some of the UK’s most exciting musical talent who’ve gone on to put Sheffield on the map on a global scale.

“With a history of being an

events city, we are delighted to be working with the council to continue to bring major events to Sheffield.

“Our goal is to ensure the venue is a must-play for world-class artists, and that the content is diverse, exciting and world-leading. We have exciting plans for reimagining the customer experience, too, and are looking forward to getting better acquainted with the city very soon.”

Councillor Richard Williams, chair of the communities, parks and leisure committee

at Sheffield City Council, added: “I am really pleased to welcome ASM Global onboard as the new operators of Sheffield Arena.

“This is a major step forward in our ambitious plan for the city and entertainment facilities. Though we are incredibly proud of the Arena and our current partnership with Sheffield City Trust, this new investment will allow us to compete on a global scale.”

Utilita Arena Sheffield joins ASM Global’s network of more than 350 venues worldwide, including AO Arena, first direct Arena, OVO Arena Wembley, Utilita Arena Newcastle, P&J Live Aberdeen, Olympia London, York Barbican and Whitley Bay Playhouse.


Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, alongside a number of partners across Europe, have been awarded £7.3 million to lead a project to develop a new intuitive robot that uses technology inspired by the human brain to improve rehabilitation of stroke survivors.

The project, funded through Horizon Europe, brings together scientists from five universities across Europe, a research institute and private sector businesses with expertise in neurophysiology, psychology, machine intelligence, cognitive mechatronics, neuromorphic engineering, and humanoid robotics.

The team aims to create socially interactive autonomous robots with human-like physical performance where simply by looking at human movements, the robots will learn and carry out complex actions.

Performance in Robots Interaction

via Mental Imagery (PRIMI) will harness energy efficient brain simulation technology to translate imagination and intention into fluid robotic motions in real time.

Over a period of four years, Sheffield Hallam researchers will work closely with clinical partners at the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) to co-design the project.

Successful results could transform assisted living and manufacturing through safely deployable, intuitively controlled robots.

Dr Alessandro Di Nuovo, Professor of

Machine Intelligence at Sheffield Hallam University and Scientific Coordinator of the PRIMI project, said of the developments: “I am thrilled to announce the start of the EU-funded PRIMI project – a pioneering initiative with the goal of revolutionizing the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence.

“Together, we are tackling the challenges to bring in a new era of physically and socially interactive autonomous robots. I look forward to the exciting journey ahead as we work towards this groundbreaking advancement.”

Dr Chiara Bartolozzi, Senior Researcher Tenured - Principal Investigator of the Italian Institute of Technology, added: “This project gives us the opportunity to create innovative and sustainable technology that seamlessly bridges neuroscience with robotics to enable artificial intelligence for the wellbeing of fragile individuals.”

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Studying at college can be an incredibly stressful time for young people and coupled with job searching, it can seem like an overwhelming minefield. The team at The Sheffield College recognise this and have launched a new service dedicated to helping their students flourish, in both education and the workplace.

The Employment Services Agency was launched in September 2023 and is dedicated to working with businesses throughout the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to provide students at the college with part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and possibly full-time positions to help them launch their desired careers after completing their studies.

“As a college, we identified that students were leaving early for some reason, and we needed to understand why,” explained Scott Cotterill, project manager of the Employment Services Agency. “So we asked the students and found out that it was because a lot of them needed a job to stay in education,

or to progress further on to higher education.

“We needed to do something, and then came the idea, why don’t we make the Employment Service Agency?”

The agency works with over 50 businesses in the local area to provide students with potential positions, including the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park, the Sheffield Steelers and Sheffield City Council. The College have recently made a landmark partnership with Meadowhall Shopping Centre, providing students with opportunities for retail work in the over 100 stores it houses.

“It’s a golden handshake,” Scott

adds. “Not only are we helping students become financially independent and facilitate them to stay at the college and get their education, we’re also helping them to boost their cross-career employability skills whilst helping the South Yorkshire job market as well.

“We’re helping students build a CV and a personal profile, understand the process of a formal interview, as well as how to give a good impression to potential employers. And for businesses, this is a free consultancy.

“You’ve got about 1500 students at your hands, and if you’ve got a role or opportunity that would be suitable, The Sheffield College will advertise it, find the right student and it won’t cost you a penny.”

The agency’s team of experts are on call to provide one-to-one support to help every student, no matter their situation, thrive at the college, complete their studies and successfully progress onto a secure future path, whether that be into higher education or getting straight to climbing the rungs of the job ladder.

For any potential employers who would like to get involved with the college’s Employment Services Agency and advertise an opportunity for 16-19 yearolds within their business, you can find out more information at www.sheffcol.ac.uk/employmentservices-agency




In our monthly spotlight on on the entepreneurial stories behind South Yorkshire companies we chat with Lexy Webster of Burton Street Foundation. As a Community Benefit Society, Burton Street serves as a crucial local hub, hosting businesses and charities while also offering a broad spectrum of life-changing disability services.

Originally Langsett Road School, Burton Street faced demolition in 1995 but was saved by community leader, Jim Taylor, forming the Burton Street Foundation. Now a bustling community hub, it serves around 2,500 people weekly, hosting numerous events and activities. Providing disability services to 250 clients and housing 14 local businesses along with 35 charities and community groups, Burton Street maintains four buildings and delivers services across three sites, including the largest indoor community space in the area. Mostly based in Hillsborough, these sites include rooms for arts and crafts, music, sports and much more.

Who uses Burton Street Foundation?

Burton Street Foundation serves primarily as a community centre as well as a leading provider of disability day services in Sheffield. We have a really good reputation for our disability services; I’d heard about it long before working here just because of the quality of care it provides. We also have a lot of social enterprise businesses that work from our site as well, so it’s a community hub too.

I’ve heard a bit about the Art Skills and Articulate Sessions that Burton Street provides, and how that recently has helped your client, Adnarn, to create ‘Solo’, his upcoming exhibition. Could you tell me a little bit more about these sessions?

These sessions are designed around the pillars of wellbeing from the NHS, focusing on physical, emotional and social wellbeing. All of our sessions have targets to help all of our clients in exploring independence and advocacy in their own way. This could be anything like doing a catwalk fashion show for fun and learning to put the garments together. We also have a radio group where they interview people – for example, we’ve had Human League’s Phil Oakey in the past. Our YouTube is full of the different video editing they’ve done.

And how are these activities tailored to meet the diverse needs of your clients?

Adult activities fall within the following departments: Building Independence, Promoting Independence, Focused Support, Individual Support, and Complex Needs. So, when somebody comes to us, we will assess which team is the right team for them and we can focus on

how they want to thrive. We also have a children and young person service, which operates in the school holidays and Saturdays during term time.

Can you talk us through some of the positive impacts this support can have?

As we’ve mentioned, Adnarn’s ‘Solo’ show is a perfect example. Just by being given complete creative freedom, and having people to encourage and support him, he has been able to completely develop his own art style to the point where he can now do a solo show. There’s also a story about another one of our clients, Craig. We’d taken Craig to one of our events – we’d had a pop-up cinema to celebrate another one of our guys going to the Special Olympics – and on the way out of the event they went down to the train station Craig said, “I’ve never been on a train” and we were like “What? Craig’s never been on a train!” From that moment, his support workers made it their mission to take Craig on this big day out. Bit by bit they took him on little trips all through the countryside until one day in summer, his support workers took him on a big trip to Cleethorpes. He absolutely loved it; he was in his element!

Are there any upcoming events that you are excited about?

Yes! A big one for us is “Burton’s Got Talent’, which we put on every year in our Bamford Park building – which is huge, with a big stage, and its own bar. People from all over the community gather to see the great level of talent we have here. There’s everything from dancing, singing, magic acts, drag acts – all sorts! We also have the Christmas fair every year, which is the biggest fundraiser we do. All of the money we raise for that goes back into Burton Street.

Finally, what is the most rewarding thing about working with The Burton Street Foundation? There’s so much joy in Burton Street! I’ve never worked somewhere where I can feel such a connection with all my colleagues as well as clients. I don’t do any client-facing work and every single one of them knows me, they all come to see me regularly and it’s an amazing feeling. It’s definitely got a vibe about it that’s completely different to anywhere else I’ve been. It’s not a workplace, it’s a community.


What motivated you to get involved in the SIBI Ambassador group?

Being a delivery partner, I see the difference this cross-sector collaboration has made in raising the attainment, aspiration, and work readiness of young people, particularly from disadvantaged areas. To have even more impact we need to involve more employers and grow the network.

What have you enjoyed most about being involved in the campaign?

Broadening the knowledge of young people regarding the opportunities available to them and giving them the confidence and self-belief to “See it Be it”.

What are the benefits to your business/ employer?

We are a delivery partner so this answer might not fit. The reason for our involvement in the partnership is grounded in the belief that your background shouldn’t influence your future and employers have a key role to play, in strengthening the link between education and employment and moving the dial on social mobility.

Sheffield City Council’s See it Be it in Sheffield campaign aims to inspire the next generation by linking up schools and colleges with local employers to provide meaningful encounters and experiences of the workplace. You can find more information at sheffield.startprofile.com/page/ seeitbeit-employers or by following @SeeItBeIt_ Sheff on Twitter.

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Redundancy can be a difficult time for employers and employees alike. It’s important for employers to approach redundancy with sensitivity and a commitment to treating employees fairly, even in challenging circumstances.

Consultation is a key part of any fair redundancy process. It is therefore vital that employers considering redundancies plan how they will consult their employees about any proposed redundancies at an early stage.

What is redundancy?

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal and it arises when a role is no longer needed. This could be because part or all of your organisation is:

• Closing

• Changing the types or number of roles needed to do certain work

• Changing location

If you have concerns about an employee’s conduct or performance, this is not a redundancy situation and you need to follow a disciplinary or capability procedure instead.

In addition, before even starting a redundancy consultation process, you should ensure that you have considered all available options to reduce or avoid redundancies.

What is the Consultation Process?

Consultation is simply when you talk and listen to affected employees about your proposals before making any decisions. You must do this before finalising any

redundancies. Getting consultation right is key to ensuring that employees feel supported and listened to. If you do not hold genuine and meaningful consultation before making redundancies, employees could claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

The purpose of the consultation is to encourage a discussion with the employee about why changes are required, what you plan to do, how the redundancies can be avoided or their impact

mitigated, and how you can support and arrange time off for affected employees.

An employee may have suggestions on how to avoid redundancies altogether, and these should be taken seriously as they may be helpful to the process.

A good place to start when planning a consultation process is to check your workplace handbook or policies which relate to redundancy. It is also important to set out the pooling and scoring criteria at an early stage of the redundancy process

so that employees (or their representatives) are involved in the discussions.

As an employer, you should keep communication channels open and be honest throughout the process. Clear and transparent communication helps to minimize uncertainty and anxiety among employees.

Our expert Employment Law team will guide your business through the redundancy process, advising you every step of the way.

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Drawing on ten impressive years in the world of recruitment, Benchmark’s Becca Morris dissects the troublesome phenomenon of the ‘two-year itch’ within businesses and suggests a variety of measures businesses can adopt to help retain talent.

I’ve been told time and time again that anything fewer than two years’ service on a CV is a concern. I probably shared this view in the early days of my career, but after meeting countless candidates over the years, I no longer agree. In my view, there is a unique set of circumstances for every business and employee as to why a role may or may not work out.

I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of candidates that have been discounted for roles due to longevity on their CV. This is something I often challenge, especially given the time I spend with each candidate I represent to understand their career history and motivations.

I am not saying that ‘job-hopping’ is a good thing, but I’ve had numerous conversations with panicked candidates who feel they should stick out a role for the sake of their CV. I find this keenness for two years’ service interesting; however, I am not convinced that staying in a role where a candidate is unhappy is right. I am sure we all share the view that employees should be happy, engaged and fulfilled, as it only positively contributes to the business.

In this month's column, I have outlined my suggestions informed by how I believe regularly reviewing roles, responsibilities and salaries can reduce the risk of losing your top talent and keep employees engaged.

Is the role challenging?

If a role is not challenging enough, a candidate’s skill set can become stagnant and you risk them moving on. I recommend businesses regularly assess and update roles to ensure they align with employees’ skills and ambitions. Encouraging continuous learning and providing further training opportunities are likely to help businesses retain employees.

Has the role changed within two years?

Regularly reviewing and updating employee’s roles is vital to maintaining engagement and retaining talent. Employees feel valued and supported when they are offered fresh challenges and responsibilities. By reshaping roles, employers also cultivate an engaging and adaptable team, which will only aid overall success.

Has their salary been reviewed?

Regular performance and

salary reviews are crucial. The job market is competitive, therefore businesses must ensure salaries are competitive. Regular reviews acknowledge skills, experience, loyalty and will motivate employees to stay in the business.

I would especially recommend employers prioritise this step given the National Minimum Wage increase from 1st April.

Have you recognised and rewarded performance?

By regularly reviewing and rewarding performance within your business, you are much more likely to cultivate a happy workforce and keep talent. There are many ways in which employers can recognise and reward performance. As mentioned above, ensuring your team are remunerated fairly is extremely important. You may also consider public praise by highlighting exemplary work, offering promotions, or offering

additional training and development opportunities to show employees appreciation for their hard work.

Do you have a retention strategy?

Ensuring you have a retention strategy in place will protect the stability of your business. Not only does high turnover impact your workflow and team morale, but you will also incur unnecessary and expensive recruitment and training costs. A retention strategy incorporating competitive compensation, professional development and recognition should maintain a highly skilled and motivated workforce.

In summary, to ensure we are retaining employees and reducing turnover within two years, we should focus on providing growth and development opportunities, offer competitive compensation and benefits packages and recognise and reward achievements.




It won’t surprise you to know that we see a lot of them. A hell of a lot. I still love football kits and it’s been fascinating to see how they’ve evolved over the years. But knowing in fine detail how they are designed, manufactured, printed and distributed means that every time my beloved Spurs bring out a new shirt, my first thoughts tend to be about pantones, embellishment techniques and unit costs. It’d be nice to just look at one and simply think “that’s a lovely kit”, but those days are long gone.


Working closely with some of the biggest brands in sport is such a privilege. And back when we started the business from our volleyball coach’s spare room, I could never have dreamed of some of the relationships that we’ve developed. But one of the things you learn from working with such iconic brands is how protective they are over their image. And quite rightly too. They’ve spent decades building their own style. I’ll never forget the size of the “Nike brand guidelines” document I got sent years ago. I’d love to see the Kitlocker.com logo treated with the same reverence one day! And by the way, it’s pronounced “Nikey”...

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The process of printing sportswear is much more complex and intricate than some people may think. Especially in 2024, with much more emphasis on the design process and the introduction of more sophisticated machinery. There are tonnes of variables that need to be spot-on and a lot of technical knowledge goes into every embellishment. Some of the teamwear jargon would probably sound like a foreign

language to the layman. Most of us at Kitlocker HQ are fully fluent, and it’s incredible to see some of the skills on show every day by our team and the pride they take in their work.


Put the pitchforks away guys, I know it’s considered sacrilege to support more than one club. But it’s really hard not to develop a fondness for the clubs that we work with. I regularly find myself scanning the football scores at 6 o’clock on a Saturday to see how the likes of Carlisle, Cambridge, Boston, South Shields and so many more have got on (apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone). It goes beyond football too. Big shoutouts to Middlesex CCC, the Vitality Roses and Sheffield RUFC!


One thing I’ve learnt over the years is not to immediately say no if you think something is too big, too complicated or too scary. The prime example of this happened probably around ten years ago now. We were asked to take on a project by a huge and very well-known company, which essentially involved us printing, packing and shipping thousands of sets of kit over a period of a couple of months. Nowadays we’d do this without breaking sweat, but back then we didn’t quite have the space, the staff or the systems required to take on something of that magnitude. Or so we thought. We decided to go for it, and it was painful at times, but it was one of the best decisions we ever made. Saying yes to that project and making it work opened up doors that we’re still reaping the rewards of today.

Mike Kent is the co-founder and CEO of Kitlocker.com

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Johnny Pawlik is the founder of Sheffield ethical marketing firm Mantra Media. He has worked closely with Japanese governments and more than 700 businesses around the world, and last year unveiled Atelier Japan, a new luxury retailer which celebrates traditional craftsmanship in Sheffield city centre. Johnny, who was born on a council estate in the Midlands and went into business with a university friend, outlines the importance of having strong, mutually beneficial international relationships…

The importance of international trade for the UK economy moving forward cannot be understated. As a country, we no longer manufacture many goods domestically. That means we rely on international partners for many of our manufacturing needs.

The steel sector, for which Sheffield is recognised worldwide, is just one example. Today we import steel and iron to the UK from many countries overseas. This reliance on other countries means we in business, and as a nation, need to have stronger international relations and commercial partnerships abroad.

Without this we are unable to compete in a global market that is quickly changing. Because make no mistake, that market is evolving at an accelerated rate.

We are even seeing second world countries expanding in commercial facilities much quicker than ever before. That means an already competitive market is becoming more

competitive. But how do we foster stronger international relationships?

We need to have a better standing with international parties and increase the brand for Britain.This means Great Britain and all its constituent countries and cities - like Sheffieldneed to adopt an international mindset.Having an international mindset means being aware of international politics and cultures. It means being able to engage with the people there in an authentic way, with a willing to learn attitude. That has, for some time, been missing from the business mindset in Great Britain.

We need to be more open to learning from and working with international partners and supporting them in a way that also works for them, not just us.

Take Atelier Japan. Our store sells products you can’t find anywhere else in the UK, from bags made by a former samurai sword manufacturer to jewellery created using 800-year-old indigo dyeing techniques.Why would these businesses want to trade in Sheffield, rather than London or Manchester?

The reason is the relationship we have with them. From our work in Japan, myself and Masa saw these small family businesses - that had been around for 300, 500, even 1,000 years – struggling. The domestic market there was shrinking because of the low birth rate. We wanted to do something about it.

Japan can be very introverted, with a

Johnny Pawlik MANTRA MEDIA

homogenous culture, so they have not marketed internationally much.

First we launched an e-commerce platform in 2017, which supplied art galleries and cafes. Then a small store opened in Kyoto and finally the sister store in Sheffield came last year, which was so exciting. All of this took many years of very hard work. I personally visited every factory, and it helped the Japanese makers as much as us.

Last month, the Tokushima Government asked us to showcase craftsmanship from their region at our store with a special event. We hope to do much more of that and attract people from across the country to Sheffield.

As a nation, we are slow in many industries, but particularly tech and AI. There are many open funds in Europe, North America and Japan to accelerate the advancement of these kinds of companies.

Yes, last year the Government announced a £100m fund for AI but it is very specific in med tech, not communications or other technologies. We need to be thinking broader, we need to be thinking bigger and more collaboratively.

Only then will we be able to truly reap the benefits of working internationally for our businesses, the Sheffield economy and the world.”

Find out more about the work Johnny does at Mantra Media here: www.mantrahq.com.

With Jill White of Andy Hanselman Consulting

Springing forward

Valentine’s Day came early with an ‘Intimate Dinner’ hosted by the Paces team at the OEC, and I can assure you there was lots of love in the room. Love for the charity, the great work they do and their plans for the year ahead. Some special love from the mum of one of the students there added to the occasion. Not a dry eye in the room. Hats off to David Hall, David McLeavy and the whole of the fundraising team.

Another celebration followed for the 20th Anniversary of CHG Electrical. So good to see the whole team partying in style at Happy’s Bar. And happy we all were to share in their achievement. Bravo Peter Clarke, Will Clarke and all the team.

GAMESHOW Allstars was the venue for the Paces 300 quarterly event and it was great to hear Hannah Duraid tell us all about her newest business adventure. Does she ever stop?

Apparently not as now alongside Mike Crocker from Gravitate Accounting and unLTD’s very own Phil Turner, he’s set up Sheffield Business Running Club. Not sure it’s one I’ll be heading to, but I hear they’ve now added a social meet-up in a pub! 7th March I understand. I’ll see you there!

South Street Kitchen spoiled us with an amazing breakfast when our 3D Connect members headed to Park Hill for a sustainability-focused session. If you’ve not been, add it to your list. And whilst you’re there, pop into the recently-opened Nest Showroom. You’ll be wowed!

Managing Director Toni Dunleavy and Sales Manager Ashlee Pendleton made us all drool with their stunning products, room layouts and stories of transformation in Sheffield, Sydney and South Korea!

Urban Splash’s Director of Future, (what a great job title) Suzy Jones also updated us on their latest developments. Although I was disappointed we didn’t get a proposal ( it was the day before Valentine’s Day) as well as the iconic ‘I love you, will you marry me’ message, there’s certainly lots to see when ‘Standing at the Sky Edge!’

Finally, the opening of La Croissanterie on Division Street. Fishfinger croissant anyone? Or maybe Wagyu Beef?

Definitely different I’d say!

Huge thanks to Deon Jacobs for the invitation and so good to meet Galyna Key, one of the partners behind the business. What a story of blood, sweat and sheer hard work. And what a vision for the future. Trust me, they’ll do it!

Next for them is franchising. But for me, I think it will be a lamb croissant!

Follow Jill at uk.linkedin.com/in/jilltywhite or find Andy Hanselman Consulting at andyhanselman.com.


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One of the core tenets of ISO Management Systems is the “Plan Do Check Act” (PDCA) cycle which originated in the early 20th century and is a foundation for driving continual improvement in an organisation.

Here at Glade, we encourage our clients that if they remember nothing else in the work we do with them, remember the Plan Do Check Act philosophy. By effectively adopting this, your business will head in the direction that you want it to. This demands a systematic approach to the running of your business in order to continually improve it. Your business can flourish by following these simple steps…

Planning: Determine what you need to do to achieve successful outcomes. At this stage, you need to recognise the issues that your business faces and the parties who have an interest in what you are doing. The reason for their interest may be positive or negative, but understanding these and their requirements is important as they have a big bearing on how successful you will be.

You will also need to consider your objectives and how you will measure your success against them.

Finally, you should consider what resources you will need, as having the right people with the right tools in the right places at the right time will be key to success.

Do: This is the part of the cycle that most companies are good at – making what they make or providing their

service, and so we won’t dwell on that here.

Check: This is one area that a significant number of organisations struggle with. Having a systematic approach to reviewing your business can add real value by checking things that are often presumed to be working well. Examples of checking can be in the form of internal audits of processes, which ISO standards insist on. Our experience is that clients often find these challenging to fit in and may struggle to see how they add value

when there’s so much else that needs to be done. We can help them manage this activity by providing the extra resource needed to carry them out.

Other examples are review meetings with the teams and even reviewing progress against the objectives or targets you have set.

Act: So, you’ve reviewed the performance of your organisation – now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and make improvements. Making improvements will not only keep you ahead of

the competition but it will also help you improve your performance in reducing waste and inefficiencies across the business.

When you have made those changes, you will need to decide on a suitable interval before you evaluate whether the action that you took brought about the result that you hoped for. And so the cycle continues - by systematically and continually working your way around it, you will make significant positive changes in your business.

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Cyber risk is heavily mitigated by technology defences such as firewalls, antimalware and intrusionprevention systems. However, there is still a heavy reliance on human defences that is too often overlooked. After all, making mistakes is part of being human. Unfortunately, when it comes to cybersecurity, being human can prove incredibly costly for businesses…


Human error is tricky to address as it encompasses a range of actions, from downloading malwareinfected attachments to using a weak password. When you add our increasingly complex modern work environments to the mix, it’s not hard to see why employees consider shortcuts to make life easier.

It’s also important to acknowledge that cybercrime doesn’t need to be technically advanced. Social engineering plays an increasing role in breaches, exploiting the capability of busy and stressed employees to hand over data to bad actors without the need for a single line of malware to be written.


Businesses need their personnel to be vigilant and while there’s an abundance of technology available to counterbalance human error, it’s not infallible. So, the question is: how good is your human firewall? And more importantly, how do you measure its efficacy?


From Microsoft to KnowB4 and Mimecast, there are plenty of platforms that will convincingly simulate an attack that has breached other defences to test how much you can rely on your people to appropriately

identify and avoid cyber criminality. The user population can then be scored to reveal where the most vulnerable personnel exist and who to target with training to shore up your human defences.

For all employees, continuous training injects cyber threat vigilance into daily routines. Understanding the latest social engineering techniques, common intrusion tactics and hazardous personal habits makes them savvier as human firewalls. While cyber risk is a dry subject at the best of times, leading vendors such as Mimecast have adopted an engaging, humorous approach to their training videos, helping ensure messages hit home in a memorable way.

Aside from the obvious benefits of cyber risk training, there are other factors which could (and

should) encourage you to focus more heavily on your human defences.


Businesses are increasingly considering cyber risk insurance, and insurers such as Hiscox are making a lot of noise about their cover, given the rising frequency of attacks. However, cyber insurers will penalise (or even worse, refuse to insure) businesses that can’t demonstrate they have taken care of this vulnerability.


More businesses are seeking to achieve cyber accreditations such as Cyber Essentials to demonstrate their cybersecurity commitment to customers and suppliers. Cyber Essentials is a governmentaccredited scheme, the advanced version of which demands that human risk is

adequately accounted for and regularly tested.


Human error is one of the biggest risks threatening businesses today, contributing towards an estimated 95% of cybersecurity breaches according to the recent IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report. However, by comparison, taking care of human risk is proportionately better value for money than investment in many other cyber technologies, and makes most fiscal sense as part of a cyber risk strategy.

Building a pervasive culture of cyber readiness expands organisational resilience manyfold. Get in touch with the experts at Highlander to discuss shoring up your human firewall and formally recognising your efforts to combat cyber threats.


The inaugural unLTD Business Breakfast was definitely worth getting out of bed for on 28 February, with early-risers being treated to a spot of breakfast, highly informative conversation and some well-received positive news for business in the region…

The sell-out panel discussion and breakfast networking session, hosted by unLTD Magazine and CMS Law at their office space in Sheffield’s Heart of the City development, began with a breakfast spread and coffees, allowing the chance for attendees to network in the plush foyer of CMS’s building on Charter Square.

Following a bite to eat and some productive conversations, we were encouraged to take our seats for the panel discussion, which featured the stellar line-up of Mark Mobbs (Place brand and Marketing Manager for Sheffield), Tom Wolfenden (CEO of Sheffield Technology Parks and focussed on Sheffield and Regional Economic Development), Matt Bowker (Board Director at CODA Studios), Mike Kent (Co-Founder and Managing Director, Kitlocker.com) and Helen Johnson (Construction Partner at CMS Law).

Hosted by our very own Phil Turner, the panel discussion centred on the role the business community can play in defining what Sheffield stands for in a post-levelling up environment, and to kick things off Mark Mobbs gave an exclusive presentation of the findings of a recent global study which included research into Sheffield’s place brand perception – which showed some potentially surprising results.

Mark began by explaining the concept of place branding, which takes into account various different metrics such as education, safety and housing, alongside culture, heritage and art, showing how these various elements come together to form an idea of a place in someone’s head.

Importantly, a strong brand perception leads to economic value for a place, whether that’s people

coming to the city and simply buying a coffee or coming here to set up a business and creating jobs value in the economy.

Previously, there wasn’t an agreed definition of what the value of a place brand was, but three years ago City Nations Place, alongside Bloom Consulting, set about a research project to quantify that value.

This study included around 150 data partners, of which Sheffield and London were the only UK participants, and the results of the study are now widely available.

The most interesting takeaway was that, statistically, nation and place brands impact place economies at an average of 26%. This means that perceptions count for 26% of all international tourism receipts, FDI, which is foreign direct investment, and talent migration population.

For someone like Mark, tasked with marketing the city, this data highlights the hugely significant importance a strong place brand has on the economy, and how much we stand to lose by not fostering a strong place brand.

The other significant data point on a local level is that Sheffield has a positive external perception as a city – which may come as a surprise to some of the naysayers!

Mark finished by explaining that, based on this data, if we invest more into creating good perceptions of a place by having that coherent, consistent messaging and narrative, and we use a place brand that ties everything together, we can reasonably expect great economic leaps, in terms of outside investment and he believes there is a lot that we can do as a city that can help us move in that direction.





Historically, Sheffield has been terrible at selling itself. Why do you think that is?

Tom Wolfenden: I suppose when you’re in the city, it’s hard to know if that’s true, but we assume it is. I’m not from Sheffield, I grew up near Manchester, but I’ve lived here for over 20 years now, and there’s just something about it that you can’t articulate.

If you stay here for long enough, people seem to get it, but I don’t know what that it is, and I think it’s a really hard job for someone like Mark to articulate.

There’s a sense of Sheffield that you only get when you’re here; It’s the people, it’s the differentiations with other cities. It’s slightly less dense, it’s slightly less populous.

Culturally, we’ve never really been particularly bold about who we are as a city and maybe that’s just a South Yorkshire thing. We don’t shout about ourselves, and that comes from a lack of confidence.

Sheffield is on cutlery worldwide –it screams in your face, but we don’t seem to capitalise on that.

Sheffield is famously described as the world’s biggest village. What are the positives and negatives of that tag?

Matt Bowker: I’ve been working in Sheffield for the last 20 years and this big village concept has kept coming up. There’s something I quite like about it because I think it screams community and that people are friendly and know each other.

But on the other hand, it’s almost an inward view of the city. It doesn’t want to put its head above the parapet too much and doesn’t have the confidence to shout about itself on a bigger scale.

Let’s face it, Sheffield’s not a village – it’s a city of 600,000 people; there’s one and a half million people in the wider city region, so I do think that we need to have more confidence in what makes Sheffield special.

One of the things that I find incredibly frustrating, since I’ve been working in Sheffield, is the media narrative, which is just very negative, especially relating to the built environment, which is what I’m concerned with and involved in.

For instance, the whole saga around John Lewis. It just felt as if the whole strategy for the city centre hinged on the fortunes of one department store, which I find incredibly frustrating. I thought, come on, we can do better than this, we’re a big city.

Having said that, I do think that the situation is improving. I think the stuff that Council Leader Tom Hunt is doing is getting some positive front pages and starting to talk the city up, and I hope we can continue because if you’re not going to go out and sell yourself then don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. You have to be more confident and this applies across the board to everyone in this room.

Helen Johnson: I feel like the city has undergone a bit of a refresh over the past two years. Oliver Coppard has been part of that, the new leadership at the council and the new president of the Chamber of Commerce all feel like they’ve given an injection of positive energy so hopefully that’s picked up in the in the media as well, but I do feel like there is momentum growing, which is great.




Mike, you set your business up 19 years ago whilst at university. Have you noticed a change along the lines that Matt and Helen are referring to?

Mike Kent: I do feel as though there is a kind of shift. As a business, we were quite insular when we started out. As two graduates that were young pups just looking to sell, it was quite difficult to engage with the formal business support networks because we were always too progressive, and it felt like it was too much energy to really engage.

More recently, we’ve really embraced the local formal and informal networks. We trade nationally, more so than in Sheffield, but it’s incredibly important for us to have strong local networks, so I’m now involved in the Diverse Business Board, which is an advisory group working with key organisations in Sheffield.

I can really notice that there’s key people, and really quite cool people driving that positive narrative. We’re feeling it when speaking to some of the local businesses that we’re involved with. There is this perception change in the idea that those organisations are really

looking to remove the friction points and make it far more accessible for businesses.

But what’s really interesting on perception is, if good news isn’t being talked about, it’s really hard to navigate anything but the bad news. It does feel that those perceptions are changing.

TW: I think that’s a really good point, that you’ve done it in spite of and not because of the city.

I don’t think it’s a particularly controversial opinions, so I’ll say it, but there’s something about generational divide here.

There’s people that still bear the scars of the Orgreave era and hark back to when there was high unemployment and all of that pain that people suffered. I think maybe the generation whose parents went through that are now moving through the workforce and they’re heading towards retirement, because if you speak to the kind of Gen Z startup people at the Sheffield Tech Park, they don’t have that backstory.

They don’t have all that history.

When you see these kind of Sheffield archives, like the Hole in the Road and all this stuff, it’s just meaningless to them.➢



➢ They take the city on face value and what they experience now and I think we need to be less blind to that and how good that actually is for people.

That’s where the positivity starts coming from. I also think that we’re now seeing people exit businesses in the tech sector that are starting to slowly to reinvest in some of the early stage businesses. That kind of holistic cycle starting to kick off is really important and we’re working really hard to encourage that.

Mark Mobbs: The generational divide point is a really relevant one. For the last three years we’ve been working on a campaign with both universities using the place brand as a student recruitment vehicle.

We’ve been tracking the brand awareness and uplift in consideration, and it’s just phenomenal. Its smashed industry benchmarks and that’s purely because for the 16, 17, and 18 year olds we’re targeting, there is zero perception of Sheffield because they don’t have the Full Monty, cutlery and football to fall back on. It just means, actually when we’re showing them what Sheffield really is, there’s just an immediate, wow that’s a really cool place.

To finish, if you could pick two or three USP’s for Sheffield that we should be encouraging, what would they be?

HJ: For me, while culture is already important, I think it will be an even bigger area of growth for the city going forward. Going back to the idea of us as a city, we should stick to doing things in a genuine way and not aspiring to be flashy or something we’re not.

MK: I think that idea of not presenting ourselves as something we’re not is really important.

TW: It’s too hard to pick just a couple of things, but what I think everyone should do is try to promote Sheffield in the areas that are most relevant to their life or sector.

MB: For me, Sheffield is a city of makers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and independents. I read a recent article where someone came and did a foodie tour of Sheffield and they compared it to Madagascar! While that might seem off the wall, what they meant was that Madagascar used to be attached to India and at some point broke off and became isolated, so it developed it’s own distinct eco systems and wildlife. If you substitute the oceans for the poor connections to Sheffield, what you’ve ended up with is fewer big brands and more interesting independents in the food and drink scene. That’s quite a special thing about Sheffield.

The unLTD Business Breakfast was the first in a new quarterly series of events. To be involved with the next one contact phil@unltdbusiness. com.



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Ever the sweet-tooth, unLTD’s Joseph Food heads down Magna Business Park to visit Molly’s Mixtures, a South Yorkshire-based sweet company that specialises in corporate gifting, bespoke orders and special occasions.

“There’s never a dull moment in the sweet industry,” Molly’s Mixtures owner Olivia Ashdown tells me. This was after I’d made a fairly naïve remark on how it must be nice to have some downtime once Christmas and Valentine’s Day had passed, but I was reminded that Mother’s Day was just around the corner, quickly followed by Easter, and then Father’s Day weeks later before wedding season arrives. When you’re dealing with a universally loved product, there’s not much chance for downtime.

Olivia and I are joined by her best friend and co-owner Adele, fondly referred to on the company website as ‘the rhubarb to Olivia’s custard’. We’re sat in the office room of their two units at Magna Business Park, which is all very nice and convivial, but it’s next door that had me immersed in a nostalgic trip through sweet paradise. Lining the walls were large industrial shelves packed with every type of confectionery you could think of: chocolate, candy, pick & mix, hardboiled, fizzy, fudge, toffee, liquorice, mint, sherbet, whips… you get the picture.

However, this sort of collection doesn’t accumulate overnight. It’s been over a decade since Olivia set up Molly’s Mixtures, which originally started as an eBay shop after she became a mum – the name inspired by Olivia’s newborn daughter. “I needed to find something to work on from home,” she says. “We’d noticed people selling sweets on eBay and we were lucky enough to

have a confectionery wholesaler just ten minutes down the road, so we decided to give it a go. It started off working from the spare bedroom, ordering sweets in, packing orders in the garage, and within two years had grown considerably.”

Meanwhile, Olivia and Adele had met through a local baby group (their sons who were three months at the time remain good friends) and when the business had outgrown home operations, Adele was brought on board and the search for new premises began. “I worked in Facilities Management at the Outokumpu steelworks, which had started closing down and left me at risk of redundancy. I’d helped Olivia out before while on maternity leave, so when she approached me to say that she was looking to take the business to the next level and whether I’d like to get onboard and find some premises, it felt like something worth taking the plunge for.”

– creating real gifts for real people,” explains Olivia. “Working through Amazon and Ebay can feel very impersonal, and I suppose it goes back to what our values are as a company. We want that personal feeling with our customers; we enjoy being creative with what we offer, and the ability to adapt and be flexible is important to us. We’ve had a few corporate clients come onboard recently who’ve commented on how it’s so nice to be able to speak to somebody one-on-one, and that’s exactly how we want it to be.”

Molly’s Mixtures offers a wide range of customisable gift jars, hampers and letterbox-friendly boxes on their website – ideal for corporate gifting. Whether you’re looking to reward your staff, treat a client or add a sweet touch to your next event or promotional campaign, customers can design their perfect choice on the website or submit a bespoke inquiry to ensure they get exactly what they’re looking for.

Olivia believes it’s that personal touch that helps them to stand out. “We have the capability to brand up and personalise the gifts in-house, and then we can personally handpick and mix what goes into each order, taking into account any specific dietary requirements. It’s a great feeling to sell a product that makes people smile; everyone likes sweets – and when it comes to making your brand stand out, it certainly beats sending a branded pen or a mug in our eyes.”

Before allowing Olivia and Adele to return to their orders, it was time to finish our interview by dropping the big question: what’s your favourite sweet?

The growth has continued at a steady rate since, with Molly’s progressing in unit sizes at the business park. The orders continued to roll in, prompting investment in recruitment and the creation of a new, user-friendly website. This has allowed them to pivot away from the faceless platforms of Ebay and Amazon, focusing instead on direct business with local companies and individuals.

“That’s what we enjoy the most

“I’m not just saying this because Easter is coming up,” laughs Olivia, “but Chocolate Mini Eggs are mine. I’m an absolute chocoholic so I’m going for that.”

“I’m going to go for more of a classic,” replies Adele. “Fizzy bubblegum bottles are mine. However, it changes almost daily –we’re spoilt for choice here!”

To browse the range on offer, head to mollysmixtures.co.uk. For bespoke enquiries, contact info@mollysmixtures.co.uk or call 01709 789449.


unLTD’s Ash Birch spoke to Jackie Cook, founder of South Yorkshire-based marketing agency, CQ Strategic Marketing, to talk about her journey from leaving school at 16, to running her own successful marketing agency, receiving a Master's degree in marketing, and helping shape the future and diversity of local STEM industries…

Jackie is a familiar face on the Sheffield business scene. Many of our readers will already know her as an enthusiastic force of nature, banging the drum for both her day job in marketing, and as an advocate for equality in the STEM industries she works in.

Today’s meeting is held at her office in Moorgate Crofts Business Centre, in Rotherham, and after a brief tour and a few quick snaps with our photographer, we settle down for a chat about what she’s been up to recently.

True to form, this morning Jackie is a whirlwind of information and personality, and she’s keen to tell us about an event coming up later this month that falls into all of her roles within marketing, equality, and the future of the industries she’s passionate about.

The Get Up to Speed with STEM careers showcase is an annual, one-day showcase event which aims to introduce students, parents and teachers to the world of work in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing (STEM) sectors.

Organised by The Work-wise Foundation, an employer-led charity who support the development of young people, the huge event welcomes over 5,000 attendees to Magna on Wednesday, 20th March.

Jackie worked alongside Work-wise in a marketing capacity for around four and a half years, from October 2015 up until the pandemic, and tells us they’ve ‘been on a journey’, which continues to this day with their work on the branding of the charity’s events.

Part of that work has been to help change what people’s perceptions of manufacturing is. Jackie explained: “I have an issue with the film The Full Monty. The reason being, it portrays a bad image of manufacturing; it’s closing down,

there’s no future in it, and it’s grim up North!

“As a film, it’s fantastic, obviously, but we need something that portrays a positive image of manufacturing because since then, Sheffield Forgemasters have had massive investment, socalled ‘mucky manufacturing’ is expanding, and they need skills.

“But then you’ve had businesses like Rolls Royce, Boeing and McLaren come to the city. So, you’ve got all that expansion in new technology in a ‘clean manufacturing’ environment. I mean, some of those you could practically eat your dinner off the shop floor!

“It’s how we shift that perception of what manufacturing needs, and what types of jobs there are. It’s not just the shop floor roles, we also need Project Managers, HR, and Marketing. There’s also diversity in the different types of engineering – it’s civil, it’s mechanical, it’s electrical, it’s nuclear, and we’ve got all of that in South Yorkshire. I get really fired up about this!”

That passion translates into her efforts to spread this message throughout the region and one way to achieve this is through The Work-wise Foundation and their events. Jackie, along with Gaynor Carr, a Senior Designer with CQ Strategic Marketing, have been pivotal in making the charity’s work a success.

The reasons for CQ Strategic Marketing’s success with Work-wise, and indeed their lengthy list of clients, can be found in their experience and passion for the industries they work in, as well as their desire to learn about their client’s businesses.

Founded in 2012, the journey to Jackie setting up her own business was far from traditional.

Leaving school at 16, she signed up at Chesterfield College on a secretarial course and became an office junior at 17 at a manufacturing firm. Here, she learned a broad overview of the


admin of a business, which she tells us gave her a good grounding for what came later.

She then moved to Sheffield in her early-20s when she was made redundant, and took a job at accountants PKF, where she worked for nine years. Starting out as a secretary, by the time she left she was a Marketing Exec with two Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications and a Master’s in Marketing Management from Sheffield Hallam University.

“It was a big thing for me.” Says Jackie, “That’s where I moved into marketing, and the company supported me with all the qualifications.”

Despite still working from the very same desk here in her new office (she baggsy’d it when PKF moved offices and were clearing out), she left PKF in 2008, just after the financial crash, as she felt it was time for a new challenge. This is when she moved back into the manufacturing industry, but this time in a marketing capacity.

She went from being part of a larger marketing department to being the marketing department at heavy engineering firm DavyMarkham, which was a ‘scary’ prospect and a very different environment to what she had become accustomed.

She said: “It was a big change, but I fell in love with it. I really enjoy finding out about what they did. The beauty of working in manufacturing is they’re making things, so you get to go out and talk to the guys and go, ‘what does that do?’, and ‘why?’ and, ‘how does that work?’.

“Most kids are like this, but I remember my mum saying that I always asked, ‘but why?’, and I get the impression that I kind of still do. I get to go into businesses and ask why?, what product or service do you provide? Who to? Why do you go that route to market? Why do you stand out from your competition?”

When DavyMarkham was sold, she took a

John Barber, Work-wise Co-founder and CEO said: “Promoting and marketing a charity with a varied customer base will always be a challenge. Working with CQ Strategic Marketing as we tried to position ourselves in the market helped tremendously in the early days, giving Work-wise a focussed strategic and operational marketing direction and structure.

“Jackie helped us challenge our preconceptions of our markets and messages and then helped us focus on our key audiences to keep us on track to meet our objectives. In our first few years Jackie helped create and develop our digital marketing presence and websites, introducing social media, branded e-shot campaigns and ensuring we have quarterly reporting to ensure accountability.

The CQ team helped originally to redesign our marketing materials to better suit our diverse audience including young people, parents, schools and employers. More recently Gaynor on the design team has been instrumental in helping with our new brand and imagery which has been extremely well received. We have always been impressed with the way Jackie, Gaynor and the team go above and beyond to make sure the job gets done, and always with a smile on their face!”

Adding: “Get up to Speed with STEM is the largest event of its type in the Region attracting over 5,000 attendees a year. It works because it is inspired and driven by the private sector and the input and dedication of the steering group.

“Through Gaynor Carr, CQ Strategic Marketing are an invaluable part of that core team and CQ’s continued involvement has brought an added dimension to the marketing, promotion and design of the event.”

job at a valve manufacturer, which was part of a large international group. The role was based in Staveley, and as a result, Jackie felt removed from the Sheffield community she loved being involved in.

That combined with a culture that didn’t suit Jackie’s style, led to Jackie taking the bold decision to set up her own marketing company as a sole trader. She spotted a gap in the market to help SME manufacturing businesses in South


Yorkshire that didn’t have their own in-house marketing, and after discussions with people she had worked with, she went for it.

“It was scary”, says Jackie, “but I did it with enough behind me that I knew I could cover my bills for a year and give it a go. I set out, and this is what we’re still doing, working with owner managed SMEs across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, who haven’t got in-house marketing.

“We try to work on a retainer basis, so it’s businesses that need that ongoing support but don’t want somebody full-time.

‘I’ve been on the other side of it, where we’ve had marketing consultants, or PR consultants working for us and occasionally you get an invoice at the end of the month and go, what did we really get for that?

“I didn’t want to be in that model, where we set up a marketing agency, we get an office and have meetings with clients. I wanted to be on the ground, with the clients, understanding their business.”

Initially, she worked from her dining table, which is now home to the kettle in her office, and physically worked from the company’s sites, a practice she continues to this day. Clients appreciated this proactive approach and it also meant Jackie got a real feel for each business.

Jackie continued: “Clients don’t always remember to tell you what you need to know. By working on site, you get to know them better and vice-versa. You become part of the company, and from their point of view there’s a transparency.

“It’s worked really well. One of my first retainers was Rollem in Barnsley, and I worked with them for nearly 10 years. I was happy that I’d made the right decision and quickly got back into the Sheffield business community that I loved.

“There were a few months of slogging it out, but I was putting the plan together, I built myself a website and figured out what it was I did.

“I still had major doubts but fortunately, I had a great network behind me that believed in me and supported me, and that helped massively.”

Around 18-months in, Jackie decided she wanted to become a limited company and needed a rebrand as she wanted to add ‘Strategic’ to the name of the brand, in an effort to help clients understand the strategic thought processes that came into the marketing that she was offering. This is when she met graphic designer, Gaynor Carr.

“That was another big part of the journey”, says Jackie, “We met in Caffe Massarella, in Meadowhall, and we actually went back for lunch for our ten-year anniversary. We do like a tea and cake – it’s fundamental to our creative process.

“We really hit it off, so we began going out as an offering together, with Gaynor doing the design and print work.”

With a team beginning to take shape, another strand of the business developed; equality, diversity and inclusion became more and more fundamental to what Jackie wanted to do.

“I’ve always worked in male dominated sectors," says Jackie, "so when I set up in business, I joined Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber, and

they recommended I got in touch with Jackie Freeborn, who was chair of The Women in Business Committee.

“That was about trying to put more women on boards and senior management positions. I’ve had it in previous roles where I was one of only three women in a senior management team of 15. Even now, I can quite often be the only woman onsite.”

“We need to create role models in order for people to see it to be it. If kids can’t see that it’s possible to be a woman in engineering, we’re not going to get the next generation.

“I try to raise awareness of the issue. Last year, we did an event and raised £700 for the Master Cutler’s Challenge, which was all about putting more into equality and supporting disadvantaged communities.

“Diversity is not just about gender, it’s also about neurodiversity, LGBTQ+, race. I started with gender because as a woman in STEM, I know what problems I’ve had, but five years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so I have some understanding of the issues that people with neurodiversity might have.

“Traditionally, engineering, manufacturing and construction have been very white male dominated sectors with a stereotypically lads culture, that is changing. I am passionate about our manufacturing and construction sectors which have interesting and varied range of career opportunities and a skills shortage. We need to continue to attract more diversity to continue to grow and innovate UK engineering, manufacturing and construction industries.”

WOULDN’T THESE STATS LOOK GOOD IN YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING REPORT? Leave it to our experts . . . 350,000+ Leads Driven £4M Driven in Online Sales 5.3M Website Visits Driven 0114 551 1534 logica-digital.co.uk hello@logica-digital.co.uk LD-022-Half-page-ad-02.indd 1 2024/03/01 13:32


Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement in April, employers will receive £3,000 for eligible apprentices of any age who start employment from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.

You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021 to 30 November 2021.

The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:

Apprentices will have an additional two months after the deadline of 30 September 2021 (until 30 November 2021) to start their training programme – this is to allow for probationary periods and sign-up processes to occur.

Furthermore, employers will also receive a National Insurance exemption if the apprentice is aged under 25 and a 95 per cent subsidy of the training costs (if not paying via the apprenticeship levy). Levy



Property experts PriceLinsey are changing the game of real estate, establishing themselves as a one-stop multidisciplinary destination for all your property needs. The recently-established firm of chartered surveyors have a head office in Sheffield alongside a regional office in Chesterfield and specialise in property auctions, agency, surveys and valuations. Directors Richard Price and Lara and Marcus Linsey, as well as property consultant Jodie Elliott, are all dedicated to delivering success for their clients across all aspects of property matters.

Between them, the team boast a combined 43 years of experience, each having worn many hats in the property industry across Sheffield, Chesterfield and also Manchester. The three directors had known one another for almost a decade before deciding to venture out on their own and join forces, with Richard and Marcus going on to meet Jodie when they worked alongside each other at another local property firm.

“We’re trying to take a fresh approach to surveying and auctioning,” says Marcus. “A lot of surveyors are outdated and similar but we can bring everything together under one roof, which most estate agents can’t do.”

“And we’re trying to be more proactive and bring a modern twist,” adds Richard. “We’re all local and passionate about the area and we’re bringing our nationwide expertise to a local level.”

RICS Surveys & Valuations

Whilst all members of the team are involved in every service PriceLinsey has to offer, dynamic sibling duo Lara and Marcus lead the auction side of the business, as well as offering RICS valuations, home surveys and building surveys, being RICS Chartered Surveyors. “I pride myself on my efficiency, meticulous

attention to detail and fastidious accuracy,” says Lara, who achieved the accolade of being a finalist the ‘RICS Young Surveyor of the Year’ in 2020.

“Utilising the latest technology, I can get a survey back to the client in quick time, but make no mistake, I’m punctilious when it comes to detail, and, refreshingly, all the surveys are written in plain, understandable English. My integrity and the integrity of the business depend on my surveys being completed in a thorough, unambiguous, and precise manner.”


However, as the popularity of property auctions is forever rising, not only do PriceLinsey offer the possibility of a stress-free, secure property sale, completing within 28 days, but they uniquely offer livestreamed virtual auctions, where the fall of the hammer is replaced by the click of a button. The idea was birthed as a result of the pandemic restricting traditional, in-person auctions. However, due to their immense success, the team decided to maintain this modern approach.

“The idea seems to go down well with the clients and it gives people the flexibility to bid at home or at work or wherever they may be, rather than having to come to

a room for a specific time,” says Richard.

Auctions are suitable for all types of property, including vacant residential, commercial, and mixeduse properties, tenanted/investment properties, land/development sites, garage blocks and freehold ground rents.

“Anything can sell at auction really,” says Marcus. “We just feel doing the live streams opens up the market to a wider audience. We’ve even had we have buyers from Germany.”

Sales & Lettings.

On the flip side of the business, Jodie and Richard look after the property management aspect of PriceLinsey, using their expertise to ensure clients are well informed throughout the entire selling process from initial valuation right through to completion, creating a smooth transaction in an appropriate timeframe.

Richard explains: “We pride ourselves on our accurate advice, an unprecedented high level of client care, and uncompromising integrity.

“By using digital marketing, we make sure that every property is featured to the widest possible audience via extensive online internet advertising on all the major property portals such as Rightmove


and OnTheMarket.”

That’s where Jodie comes in, also taking charge of the firm’s digital presence across social media to help spread the work of PriceLinsey far and wide. “As an independent agent, we have the freedom to offer an entirely bespoke service to each of our clients,” she says.

“We tailor how we work to achieve our client’s goals and ensure they are kept up to date with progress throughout the entire sales process.”

From a standing start around six months ago, PriceLinsey has built a healthy portfolio of let and managed properties on behalf of their clients, offering a firstclass bespoke service providing personalised lettings packages to fit each landlords and tenants’ individual circumstances.

The firm uses PayProp, the latest cutting-edge property management software to which landlords and tenants have been very receptive of. One of Richard’s most notable successes so far is the commercial letting of 67-77 Chatsworth Road to a national sofa company. “It just shows that our modern marketing works but you also cannot beat picking up the phone and taking to landlords and tenants alike to get the deal done,” he says.

Jodie adds: “This year is going to be an exciting year for us as we have more commercial and residential properties coming to the market.”

If you’re on the look for a property to bargain for, the team have an exciting line-up of upcoming live-streamed auctions, with dates for the remainder of the year being:

28th March 2024

13th June 2024

19th September 2024

11th October 2024

12th December 2024

So, whether you require a free market appraisal to see what your property is worth, moving home and require a survey or need a valuation quote or have any pressing property concerns, contact PriceLinsey to ensure you’re on the right pathway to property success.


40 Bank Street


S1 2DS



Interior design moguls Ovo Spaces have been reimagining office spaces and transforming workplaces for over 30 years. The award-winning team pride themselves on creating futureproof, intuitive working environments, no matter how unique a client’s requirements may be, ensuring the businesses they help can thrive. Their latest project for clients Wesco-Anixter is no different.

After being acquired by Wesco in 2020, Anixter underwent a complete rebrand. Being a leading global distributor of network and security solutions, electrical solutions and power solutions, they required a workplace that reflected their new, refreshed identity.

The company moved into a new flagship building, developed by Bolsterstone Developments, in Chesterfield, and enlisted the help of Ovo Spaces to make sure their vision for their new workplace became a reality.

Anixter were looking to bring together numerous teams from their existing sites together under one roof, requiring the creation of new offices, meeting rooms and collaborative, open-plan workspaces.

The design Ovo Spaces created focused on the newly unified company’s drive to forge strong, strategic relationships across the world that drive sustainable growth and innovation. The branding is a visual representation of the possibilities Wesco-Anixter delivers to its customers.

The brief focused around building a physical presence, reinforcing the essence of the brand and immersing visitors in the company’s vision of encapsulating ‘who we are, what we do and why we do it’. The Ovo team worked within Anixter’s extensive Workplace guideline document to ensure all colours, finishes and design choices mirrored their new identity.

Wesco-Anixter were thrilled with the final result, saying in their review, “Fantastic work by the team to bring this all together, very much appreciated!”. In a glowing testimonial, they reiterated that despite being an international brand with offices all across the globe, this was by far the best interior design experience they’ve had.

Looking for an overhaul of your workplace? Get in touch with the team at Ovo Spaces at www.ovospaces.co.uk for more information.



The Spring Budget delivered by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday 6 March 2024.

In what was widely expected to be Mr Hunt’s final Budget ahead of an election, speculation in the final run up focused on the trade-offs that might be required around cutting taxes and meeting both fiscal rules and spending commitments. Ultimately the Chancellor had it both ways, with some headline grabbing measures aimed at easing the tax burden on earners and families, while also introducing some tax increases to cover their costs.

In a speech punctuated by several interventions from the Deputy Speaker for order, there were some key headline items:

• The main class 1 national insurance contribution (NIC) rate will drop from 10% to 8% from 6 April 2024, the second cut in six months.

• The main rate of class 4 self-employed NICs will similarly reduce from 8% to 6%.

• The high income child benefit charge (HICBC) will be reformed. The threshold increases to £60,000 from April 2024, while the rate at which the charge is levied will be halved, so that child benefit will not be fully withdrawn until an individual’s income

reaches £80,000.

• For residential property disposals, the higher rate of capital gains tax (CGT) will be cut from 28% to 24% from 6 April 2024.

• A new UK individual savings account (ISA) will create an additional £5,000 allowance on top of the current £20,000 ISA limit.

• The furnished holiday letting tax regime will be abolished from 6 April 2025.

• From 1 April 2024, the VAT registration and

de-registration levels will be increased to £90,000 and £88,000 respectively.

• The non-domicile rules will be replaced with a new regime based on residence from April 2025.

• Multiple dwelling relief within the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) regime for England and Northern Ireland will be abolished from 1 June 2024.

• Alcohol and fuel duties are frozen.

As ever the Budget

publications contained a wide range of detailed proposals and much to digest. Our Budget Summary highlights the key aspects likely to affect you. If you have any questions about what you should do next, please get in with the team at SMH Group on 0114 266 4432 or email us at info@smh.group



Carmela Burns

This month, unLTD caught five with Carmela Burns, director of Sheffield-based recruitment agency Ardeta Search. We delved into her career in the ever-evolving industry and find out what it's like blending business with family by working alongside her older brother.

Hi Carmela, can you start by telling us a bit about your journey so far within the world of recruitment?

I started many moons ago, straight out of university, working for a large blue chip recruitment organisation, Michael Page. I worked between the Sheffield and Leeds offices, doing lowlevel transactional finance recruitment.

After over four years of being based around Sheffield, I decided, when I was 24 or 25, that if I didn’t go to London now, I was never going to. So, I moved and worked for Annapurna. I was there for five years, doing various roles, and really enjoyed it. I was managing delivery teams for large-scale recruitment projects within tech across the UK, which led me to what I’m doing now.

When did join Ardeta Search?

I got involved pretty early on, in May 2023. Chris started the business in 2022 when I was still with Annapurna. I was at a point where I’d been in the industry for 10 years, and I’d like to think I’d gotten quite good at my job. Chris’ success was nice to appreciate from a distance at first. As time went on, a laugh and a joke over dinner about joining forces turned more serious.

I think when we first started in recruitment, we’d

always said one day we’d do it together, and it just seemed like the right time.

What is the dynamic like, working with family?

We’re very close outside of work. I think it works well, but I appreciate it might not be for everyone. We’ve both been in the industry a long time, so from a professional perspective, we would use each other as sounding boards. When the time came to work together, we already knew how the other worked.

I think you’ve got to be careful for it not to become all-consuming. Chris’s wife, my partner and our family are under strict instructions not to digress too much – we don’t want to bore everyone else with work!

So you are based in the London office, and Chris is here in Sheffield. How do you both coordinate your work and make sure everything is running smoothly?

I try and come up and Chris will come down a week a month. We operate in a siloed way and, because of the markets we cover, it’s important for us to be in both areas. We’re on the phone talking to each other all the time, emailing, on Teams calls, but we make sure that we do spend the time in the offices together.

is constantly changing. What was the ‘in thing’ in tech maybe two, three years ago probably isn’t now, so it’s difficult for non-tech specific hiring managers to keep up with the pace. With the development of data AI cybersecurity and more cloud infrastructure coming in, it’s important for recruiters to be on top of that. If you’re using an agency, you want to trust they know where to get the right candidates.

I think sometimes, when you’re in this founding growth period, when working on your own, it can be difficult to keep yourself motivated. It works quite well, changing things up and working in different offices. It keeps momentum going.

Looking beyond this founding period, what do you think the future of the company looks like?

We definitely want to grow. But the key thing is we don’t want to grow too fast. I’ve seen lots of businesses have hyper-growth, hire 20 people and then a year later, lay off 10. We want to make sure that we’ve got enough clients and a successful business before we start bringing people in. But that’s been going quite well. We are looking to get a couple of heads in, in the next couple of months, across both London and Sheffield.

What is it like recruiting in the tech industry and what sets you apart from everyone else?

There are unique challenges with recruiting in the tech world, the first being that talent is quite expensive. There’s a real disparity between what the bigger players can pay between what startups can pay, and you often find startups can’t compete with those bigger companies.

The technical landscape

Every recruitment company will say relationships are the most important thing. But they really are. I think the key thing for us is when partnering with IT businesses, we don’t just want to partner in one particular area. We want to help across the board. We want to be seen as an extension of your business, rather than the kind of recruiter that keeps sending ‘Hail Marys’ in hope something sticks.

You’ve worked all across the UK, and throughout parts of Europe, but how does Sheffield compare to other cities when it comes to the tech sector?

Talent in this industry is generally quite difficult to find. In Berlin, for example, you have to look overseas, because the market is quite saturated. Similarly with London. Sheffield has a good talent pool. There’s an international community, the universities and you’ve got the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. There’s a nice playground to take from. And people want to come to places like Sheffield. Obviously, people always want to go to London, but with the injection Sheffield has had from advanced engineering, we’re trying, to be small but mighty.

Sheffield is the world’s biggest village. But that allows people to foster relationships, build lasting partnerships and makes people feel like they can be part of a community.



Managing Director at ActionCOACH Sheffield.

Tell us a bit about your business –sell yourself!

We provide coaching, mentoring and support services to SMEs from the Sheffield City Region. This could cover anything from somebody looking to grow a business to working with a business on the brink of liquidation.

We know that there’s no such thing as a ‘typical business’; we work with everything from startups to longstanding family-owned companies. We’ve assisted people to build a successful business from an idea, and we’ve also helped business owners working 60 to 70 hours a week in reducing their hours and transitioning into semiretirement.

We view building businesses in the same sort of way a builder would approach building a house: you need to know what you want it to look like when it’s finished. You’d be surprised how many people end up in business without a complete vision of what they’re trying to build, so that’s the first step. We help to put in the infrastructure and process so that they can build it by design.

How did your journey with ActionCOACH begin?

That’s a long story! I’ll try to summarise this as well as possible, but going back to 2004, I was working in an office in Sheffield where I was poached by a former manager who’d bought an ActionCOACH franchise. I was initially brought in for business development and eventually grew to a director position where I was overseeing all of the franchises in the UK from a growth perspective, so it was my responsibility to support every franchisee in developing their business. I left that role in 2018 and set up ActionCOACH Sheffield in 2019 –and the rest, as they say, is history. We now work with 200 incredible local companies.

What is about the role you enjoy?

It’s kind of morphed over the years. In 2019, I started as being a person who delivered all of the services, but I eventually realised that I couldn’t handle it all by myself. There’s now a team of 12 here and I enjoy the day-to-day running and developing of the business.

I also like having an impact on the city; we’ve set the goal of helping 10,000 local business owners by 2030. I’m passionate about business in the city and want Sheffield to become the place where people go to set up and grow SMEs.

I couldn’t do it without the incredible team here. I often say I’m just the comedian at the front – and a not-very-funny one at that! But without the people behind me, this could never have happened.

Do any client success stories stand out?

Every client testimonial is great in its own specific way: it means we’ve taken a person on a journey with us and helped them achieve what they want. A person working with us and going from the verge

of bankruptcy to making half a million pounds in 24 months is one type of success story; somebody downsizing their business and taking time off each year to travel the world is another.

I could give you loads more examples, but first and foremost, we think that being in business should help to give you more life – whether that’s more money or being able to pick up your kids each day from school, we help people to define what they’re looking for in that respect and take them on a journey to achieve that.

Moving forward, what are your hopes for ActionCOACH Sheffield?

I want to be the beating heart of business in the city. We’ll be moving to larger offices in the foreseeable future with a focus on space for some key areas: a coaching suite, an incubator for start-up businesses, a podcast and filming studio, and – last but by no means least – the best waiting area in the city. Keep an eye out for that!

Find out more about what ActionCOACH could do for your business at sheffield.actioncoach. co.uk


Seasonally inspired local food

PJ taste is an employeeowned company catering for businesses, weddings and events for the past 18 years

With a focus on sustainable, local produce we offer delivered catering of all types for all occasions.

Get in touch to see how we can help cater your next event

Homemade Burritos

Hot Meat Sandwiches

Hungry Budda Curry

Pie & Peas

Thai Curry

Proper British BBQ

Greek Gyros Pizza (from 80 guests)

Feed between 30 & 400 guests

Yellow Yorkshire Race Festival

PJ taste

Street Food Fiesta

Whether you’re looking to offer your guests a hot lunch or evening option and you’d like to feed your team with a festival cuisines from across the world, this is the perfect place to start!

Taking international inspiration , and combining them with seasonal, local ingredients there’s an option for everyone!

Contact Us!

0114 312 3663

ask@pjtaste co uk

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YAA Yellow Yorkshire campaign which will be celebrating its 10th year!

Join us for a day of high stakes, high fashion, and high spirits as we come together to support the lifesaving work of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Check out our fantastic package options and secure your spot at the Yellow Yorkshire Race Festival. Let’s make this day unforgettable, celebrating a decade of the Yellow Yorkshire campaign in style!


For more information, please contact Katie Collinson, Partnerships Manager on k.collinson@yaa.org.uk or call 07770 835241

scan here to find out more and book your ticket



Leading IT solutions provider Simoda have announced an exciting new partnership with Sheffield Hallam University to host the groundbreaking event, “Accelerate Cyber & Fibre: Bringing the Future of Technology to Sheffield.”

This interactive event aims to empower businesses across the South Yorkshire region by providing access to cutting-edge expertise, innovative solutions, and networking opportunities.

Driving Productivity Through Technology

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing productivity, streamlining operations, and fostering growth.

The “Accelerate Cyber & Fibre” event is designed to bridge the gap between businesses and technology, equipping them with the tools and solutions needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world.


Expertise Exchange: Attendees will have the chance to engage with academics and industry experts through a variety of workshops and seminars, covering topics such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and digital transformation.

Exclusive Offers: Simoda Technology Solutions is committed to supporting local businesses. Attendees can take advantage of three months of free business broadband, ensuring seamless connectivity and efficient communication.

Additionally, businesses can sign up for a complimentary cyber audit, identifying vulnerabilities and fortifying their security posture. The day will also include games, competitions, a raffle and lots of goodies for attending businesses. There’s also the Spot the Faster Britain Bus

competition, where you can win £100 Amazon vouchers, if you get a photo with the bus on the day!

Networking Opportunities: The event provides a unique platform for businesses to connect, collaborate, and explore potential partnerships. Whether you’re a startup, an established enterprise, or an aspiring entrepreneur, the networking sessions will foster meaningful relationships and open doors to new opportunities.

Student Careers: The event is welcoming students to speak to local businesses about career opportunities and help them understand how technology will play a vital role in any chosen career going forwards.

Why Sheffield?

Sheffield is a city known for its resilience, innovation, and strong business community. By partnering with Sheffield Hallam University, Simoda

aims to create a collaborative ecosystem that fosters growth, drives economic development, and positions Sheffield as a hub for technological advancement.

Daniel Bumby, Managing Director of Simoda said: “At Simoda, we are passionate about supporting businesses across the region in optimising and developing their IT Infrastructure in order to drive better productivity, efficiency and cost savings.”

Jon Carr, Head of Communications and Connectivity at Simoda, added: “At Simoda, we want to help businesses across South Yorkshire access better connectivity for productivity, as well as supporting them more widely with their technology and cyber security needs.

“The event aims to bring businesses together to really understand the opportunities and network with other businesses to drive true

collaboration and technology understanding across South Yorkshire.”

Sheffield Hallam University’s vision is to become the world’s leading applied university, transforming lives and creating opportunities for people from all backgrounds.

Professor Conor Moss, Dean of Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam is proud to bang the drum for South Yorkshire and to be a key driver of our region’s economic growth.

“We work with a diverse range of businesses, and our 700 employer partners represent some of the best and most forward-thinking organisations in South Yorkshire and across the country.

“Working with businesses like Simoda, which are committed to supporting regional growth and local enterprise, helps us build a more collaborative and technologically advanced regional economy, and provide exciting networking and career opportunities for our students.”

Join Simoda and Sheffield Hallam University at “Accelerate Cyber & Fibre” on 20th March from 10am, and be part of Sheffield’s journey toward a more secure, productive, and technologically empowered future. Reserve your spot by scanning the QR code below.

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The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity are looking for a sponsor to expand their boxing sessions for youngsters with diabetes.

Recognising the profound positive impacts of physical activity on children managing diabetes, the charity partnered with Unity Boxing Centre to offer sessions for youngsters cared for by the Children and Young People’s Diabetes Team at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.

The tailored sessions are designed to enhance mental health, instil resilience and offer a safe space for participants to connect with other young people dealing with diabetes.

Rebecca Davis, a Paediatric Diabetes Family Support Worker at the trust who spearheaded the project, said: “We know from working with hundreds of youngsters every year that their physical and mental health is directly linked

to how well they cope with diabetes.

“The feedback from the first sessions has been so enthusiastic. Some of the youngsters won’t have met another child with diabetes before so it’s a

great opportunity to meet peers who know what they’re going through. But, at these sessions, their diabetes doesn’t matter – it’s about having fun and showing that diabetes doesn’t need to hold you back.

“The team at Unity Boxing are so community orientated – it’s the perfect partnership and we’d love to have a sponsor so we can continue the sessions in future.”

The Children and Young People’s Diabetes Team currently cares for 126 children aged 0-19 years old and a programme of six 45-minute sessions at Unity Boxing Centre costs £660 for up to 10 children.

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising at the trust, said: “We fund some incredible things at the charity and this is a great example of how the money you donate can have a powerful impact on the young patients we care for.

“We’d love to continue to fund the boxing sessions for other youngsters to benefit from again in future. We can’t do that without your generosity and hope that a local business or community group will help sponsor them.”

Local charity receives almost £75,000 from The National Lottery

Age UK Rotherham has received funding from the Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund to help provide critical support for older people in Rotherham.

The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Community Fund and will provide grants to charities and grass roots community organisations who are at the frontline of dealing with the increase in the cost-of-living.

Age UK Rotherham supports over 7000 older people in Rotherham every year and the demand for their services increases greatly as living costs go up, including their free and confidential information and advice service which has supported 1400 older people and gained over £2.6m of unclaimed

benefits income for them in the past year.

The grant of almost £75,000 will enable the charity to maintain its current services and go towards meeting ever-increasing demand, ensuring that more older people in Rotherham can be

offered help when they need it most.

The charity’s CEO, Barbara Dinsdale said “We are thrilled to have received this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to support our vital work here in Rotherham. We’re acutely aware of the challenges our older residents face and that’s why we’re committed to providing tailored services and engaging the community.

“Our teams stand on the frontline, offering support and hope to those facing tough decisions, often with nowhere else to turn. Together, with the support of the Government and The National Lottery Community Fund, we’re transforming lives and creating a brighter future for Rotherham’s older residents.”



Sheffield artist Pete McKee has raised over £5,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme, Art+, from his specially designed Christmas card.

Art+ works to improve the surroundings and environment across Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust sites for the benefit of patients, families and staff.

The team commissions creative practitioners including landscape architects and multimedia artists to transform the sites as well as provide participation opportunities for patients across the trust.

Pete McKee has been a patron of the arts programme at The Children’s Hospital Charity for many years and designs a festive card every year, with all profits going to Art+.

Pete said: “I am so chuffed with the amount we raised this year for Art+ at the Sheffield Children’s. It is great to know that this money will go to support their amazing projects.

“Thank you to everyone who bought the cards and to ASAP Digital who even had to print more because they were so popular. I had better get thinking about next year’s design now so we can raise even more for the Charity.”

Last year’s design, ‘Merry Itchmas’ was produced in collaboration with local printers ASAP Digital who printed the cards free of charge, helping to raise even more for the Charity.

The project was supported by volunteers from Amazon Doncaster, Sheffield Aviva, and Ovo Spaces, who arranged the cards into packs for sale.

Head of Art+, Jade Richardson, said: “Art+ could not deliver the creative work we do without the valued support of kind people like Pete, David and their teams. A huge thank you to everyone who’s helped raise this money.”

Spring is in the air!

Spring will be with us soon. As the evenings get lighter, we can stop travelling to work and back in the dark! We’ve got away so far with a mild winter, thank goodness, as so many vulnerable people were concerned about the fuel and food poverty that is affecting so many people within our region.

Many new budgets will start next month, so we have a race to hit the annual target by the end of March, spending or raising what we can to meet deadlines and anticipated spend/income levels. It is time to buckle down for the final push!

Gather your staff and volunteers to see what can be achieved, share the targets and get them onboard to help you reach your non-profit goals.

This year, make sure that you are putting enough detail in the

budgets you provide for funding applications. Ensure that you have taken into account the rise in minimum wage as of April, the increased costs of venue hire and refreshments, as well as including full cost recovery on wages, training and overheads contributed to employing staff, like NI and payroll costs.

Consider the increase in travel costs, if you are refunding volunteer expenses too, and adjust the amount that volunteers claim for their subsistence. Most funders, unless they tell you otherwise, are happy to see that you have put in a contingency fund or at least a contribution to your core costs. Acceptable levels seem to be between 10% and 30% of the project costs. Plump for the middle at 20%, you don’t get unless you ask!

If you need more help with this or any aspect of Business Planning/Funding Strategy, call meWendy Ward, Let’s Save Consultancy Services, 0772 9481010. wendy@letssave.biz

Where to next? Get tickets anytime with the TravelMaster App. Any Bus, Any Tram, Any Train*. Anywhere in South Yorkshire. *Exclusions apply. Scan me to get the App


Rotherham Hospice has announced its first ever 'Hospice Ball', with a platinum-record-selling headliner, a ‘Roaring 20’s theme’ and fabulous entertainment line-up planned for the night. Here's how you can get involved...

Set to take place at the Magna Science Museum on 28th September, guests can expect themed photobooths, fundraising activities including auctions and raffles, and a delicious three-course meal.

Known for their smooth and soulful sounds, The Overtones will transport attendees back to the golden age of swing and jazz with their impeccable vocal talents. Joining them for this musical extravaganza will be the incredible Paul Pashley Band, ensuring that the dance floor remains alive with the electrifying tunes of the Roaring Twenties and beyond.

If you fancy making the night even more special, why not support the event with a sponsor package and bag yourself a VIP experience? Featuring marketing perks, VIP tables and access to a drinks reception where you can meet and greet the Overtones, the Rotherham Hospice Ball sponsor packages are a perfect way to align your business with such an incredible event.

The Platinum sponsor for the event is Eden Washroom & Hygiene Services, but there are Gold and Silver sponsorship packages available.

Jessica Annakin, Director at Eden Washroom & Hygiene said: “We’re just super happy to play a part in supporting the people doing amazing things at the Hospice. They really do make a huge difference to people’s lives on a daily



Rotherham Hospice has been providing compassionate care and support to individuals with life-limiting illnesses and their families for over 27 years. With a focus on enhancing quality of life and providing comfort, the Hospice cares for hundreds of individuals and their loved ones every year, offering a range of services including pain and symptom management, emotional support, and practical assistance.

The upcoming ball hopes to raise just a fraction of what the hospice needs every year to continue its care of the Rotherham community.

“We are so excited to be holding this inaugural Ball to raise vital funds for Rotherham Hospice.” Rotherham Hospice CEO, Mat Cottle-Shaw. “This event will be an amazing opportunity to recognise the lives we have touched with our care and to celebrate the continuing support from our community.

“We can’t wait to see the people of Rotherham gather together for such a memorable night.”

Tickets for this event are on sale now at rotherhamhospice.org.uk/ball. Secure your tickets early to avoid missing out on what promises to be the party of the year.



You can help us to change lives in 2024

Phoebe Marriott, Events Fundraising Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity

Throughout 2023, we had hundreds of people from across the country take on challenges to raise vital funds for Sheffield Children’s.

Of those, we had countless inspiring stories shared with us by our fundraisers. As an Events Fundraising Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity, it’s always amazing to meet people who want to give back as a personal thanks for providing care to their loved ones. From running through our beloved city at the Sheffield 10K to trekking over 25 miles over the Yorkshire Three Peaks, I’m always blown away by the commitment of our supporters.


And nothing says commitment more than jumping 15,000ft from the sky! Our exhilarating skydives will make a comeback in 2024, with events taking place in July and September.

This jump is the highest tandem skydive in the UK and the views across the Yorkshire countryside are just incredible. Having completed it myself last year, it was an unforgettable experience and a great way to support Sheffield Children’s. You can sign up yourself at tchc.org. uk/Skydive.


I’ve been privileged enough to meet some of the bravest people I’ve ever come across in children who are battling illnesses at Sheffield Children’s. When speaking with their parents, I’ve found that the people who you turn to in times of difficulty are often those who rally together in giving back to Sheffield Children’s.

Six-year-old Esmée was treated on Sheffield Children’s Intensive Care Unit as her kidneys failed in December 2022. Having received a

phone call from her school as she was unwell, the last place Esmée’s parents expected her to be less than a week later was in a hospital bed. Soon after, Esmée was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition and is now thriving on her lifesaving medication.

Family and friends of Esmée’s set their sights on giving back to Sheffield Children’s in 2023. A team of nine people took part in our Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge as a thank you for Esmée’s care, raising an incredible £10,600 for The Children’s Hospital Charity!

Many of our supporters choose to take on a challenge as a team – especially our much-loved Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, which will take place on 20th July this year You can sign up for this event at tchc.org.uk/ YorkshireThreePeaks.


Our brand new Dragon Boat

Race will take team building to the next level as we encourage all hands on deck for our teams of 17 racing across the lake to beat other teams along the way. Taking place on 2nd June at Manvers Lake in Rotherham, it’s a fun and competitive event for work colleagues, friends, and family. Registration for this event has just opened and we’ve had some fabulous teams sign up already - we cannot wait to see you all there! If you’d like to sign up, you can visit tchc.org.uk/ DragonBoatRace.


We like to offer something for everyone, so if you’re looking for a little less competition, why not take on one of many running events for Team Theo?

The world’s largest half marathon, the Great North Run, is taking place in Newcastle on 8th September this year. This iconic race will


see 60,000 runners begin the route in Newcastle, finishing in South Shields. Each year, we have runners from across the world travel to Newcastle for this unmissable event.

Last year, South Yorkshire mum, Jaga Natsagdorj, took on the Great North Run as a thank-you for the care of her son, Albert. Jaga signed up for the challenge as she’d witnessed first-hand how Sheffield Children’s cared for children in far worse conditions than her little boy whilst he was undergoing treatment. Jaga’s commitment was so inspiring as she hadn’t been a regular runner before signing up for this huge feat, where she managed to raise over £1,000 and cross the finish line with her husband and children cheering her along.


If you’re looking for a halfmarathon closer to home, there is always the Sheffield Half Marathon on the 7th April! Director of Bravand, Ross Musgrove, recently signed up for the Sheffield Half Marathon, dedicating his fundraising to Sheffield Children’s as a thank-you for the care he and his sister received growing up in Sheffield. Being a father himself now, it’s these personal connections that have kept him motivated to raise vital funds, even when training gets tough.

If you sign up with Team Theo, you also get to enjoy additional perks! We recently partnered with Firehouse Fitness to bring you discounts, and free gym sessions to help with your training – how amazing is that?! Visit tchc.org.uk/ SheffieldHalfMarathon to find out more.

I can’t wait to meet more supporters at these events and learn even more about how the Charity can help Sheffield Children’s to change lives. See our full list of events at tchc.org.uk.

We’re fundraising £2million towards a new National Centre for Child Health Technology

The National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT) will be a place to develop world-leading research and build new technologies to solve the biggest challenges in children’s healthcare, located at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

Run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the NCCHT will bring together children, clinicians, inventors and engineers under the same roof, with a focus on preventing and managing health conditions, particularly the biggest health challenges of our time: obesity, mental health problems, disabilities and cancer.

The Children’s Hospital Charity is raising £2million towards the £22million build, and we can’t do this without the help of our amazing supporters.

To donate or learn more, visit tchc.org. uk/nccht.



Dronfield-based financial planners, Belmayne, are expanding their team with the appointment of a new personal assistant, Louise Dawson.

The independent firm is welcoming Louise to its administration department to help partner, Ben Smalley, manage his clients and caseload.

Louise joins Belmayne after a decade at Aviva, dealing with pensions, investments and protection. During that time, she began studying for a diploma in financial planning, something she aims to take further in her new position.

As Ben’s personal assistant, Louise will be liaising directly with clients and referrers, managing his diary and processing paperwork.

Speaking on her new role, she said: “Belmayne is very familyorientated and as a mother of young children, joining this closeknit team was a really attractive prospect. I am enjoying the contact I have with clients and helping Ben deliver the high-quality service for which the firm is renowned.”

Ben added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Louise to our team. We will be working closely together to streamline the service we provide and improve efficiency.

“Her financial services experience and professional qualifications give her an excellent understanding of the Belmayne proposition and her friendly manner is already a hit with colleagues and clients alike.”


Leading Building Consultancy Fourth Wall have bolstered their team, welcoming chartered surveyor Liam Piercy BSc (Hons) MRICS.

This follows the appointment of three new starters in October 2023, which saw the business quadruple its headcount since its inauguration in 2020.

Liam brings exceptional experience from some the UK’s leading institutions, including Buckingham Palace and Eton College, where he worked as an in-house Building Surveyor, and Hollis Global, where he advised clients on multi-disciplinary service lines.

Liam said: “I am delighted to have joined the Fourth Wall team and excited to contribute to the continued growth of this young and ambitious business.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have worked on some of the most iconic buildings in the UK, and with some of the most prestigious clients, and I will be bringing that experience, along with my passion for Heritage and commercial professional services to the team, to provide industry leading standards and expertise in the personal, dynamic

Fourth Wall way. “

Liam joins the team as a Director and will be working alongside Lead Director Joshua Weston BSc (Hons) MRICS to further strengthen the Heritage and Dilapidations arms of the business.

Joshua said: “It is incredibly exciting to welcome Liam to the Fourth Wall team.

“His choice to join us is a real testament to the direction we are taking as a practice and reaffirms our commitment to provide the best in client service and expertise within the property sector. I am excited to see what talent like his can achieve for our clients in the dynamic and forwardthinking culture we have created here.”


Altitude, the dedicated PR brand of Yorkshirebased communications agency Counter Context, is celebrating its 2nd anniversary with the hire of senior PR practitioner, Olivia Gourlay.

Olivia joins Altitude as Account Director and brings a wealth of experience across numerous sectors, having worked at top agencies in both London and Australia including M&C Saatchi, Ogilvy and Fleishmann Hillard.

Olivia will bolster the

core team headed up by Jane Whitham and Adam Reeves-Brown, along with Rachel Measures and Max Haley.

Olivia said: “By joining Altitude I have fulfilled a life-long ambition to bring my skills to

the thriving city of Sheffield, where I live. I’m very much enjoying supporting both national and regional businesses, particularly within the retail, cultural and charitable sectors, which is where my passion lies.”

Jane added: “Olivia has an excellent track record and is a significant addition to our team. She brings experience gained at the highest level with the world’s biggest brands. These are very exciting times for Altitude.”



Transformational property developer the Vigo Group have named Tariq Shah OBE as their new Chief Executive.

Tariq takes over the role from his father, Nadeem Shah, who recently celebrated 50 years at the helm of the company. Nadeem will become Chair of the thriving third-generation family business, based in Doncaster.

Speaking about his son’s appointment, Nadeem said: “Tariq and I have worked closely together for over two decades, and I’m proud of the impact he has had on the business and the wider community.

“I’m confident that the company is in safe hands, and with his energy, experience and methodical approach, Tariq will lead the business to further success.”

Starting with the business before university, Tariq has been part of Vigo Group for more than 20 years and has experience across all areas of the organisation.

Tariq said: “It’s a real privilege to take over as Chief Executive of Vigo Group. I’ve worked here from the age of 18 but have grown up in and around it, so the business has always been a big part of my life.

“My vision for the company is consistency, growth, and transformation. It will see us doing more of the regeneration work that we do so well, bringing new life to previously used sites as well as growing, developing, and changing the places we work in, with a real focus on building great, sustainable communities.

“I hope to have an ever-greater impact, transforming communities and places that have perhaps been left behind, creating great opportunities for people to live and work, and delivering quality new homes and commercial developments at a transformational scale.

“The legacy of this business is one of adaptation, from right in the first days when my grandfather set up the company when he arrived in the UK and saw opportunities to make a better life for his family, and for other people in his new community.”


unLTD recently caught up with Rebecca Thomas, Senior Associate at Andy File Associates, to extend congratulations on her milestone achievement of 10 years with the esteemed South Yorkshire recruitment company.

Congrats on reaching 10 years! Has it flown by?

It does feel like it! In that time, the company’s grown and we’ve moved our base from Sheffield to Wickersley. There have been a lot of positive changes at the company and the team’s got a bit bigger, so it’s been a great experience to be part of.

Has your role changed much since coming onboard?

I’d say it’s expanded over the years, and I’ve been able to pass down some of my experience and knowledge to incoming members of staff. I have a teaching background so that side of it comes quite naturally!

I’m on track to becoming Senior Consultant – I’m nearly there! It’s a fairly new process that’s been brought to the table and something I’m excited about working towards.

My main forte is finding the right clients and building and maintaining strong relationships. We’re set up in a way that allows me to focus a bit more on that side of the business.

On that note, what else do you enjoy about working at Andy File Associates?

I really enjoy working with the team here. I’d worked with Andy before I came here, so there’s a real level of trust and a sense that we’ve all got each other’s backs. That’s important when it comes to any workplace.

Has the recruitment industry changed much in 10 years?

There’ll always be peaks and troughs when it comes to recruitment, especially when you have huge impacts from events like the Covid lockdowns. But businesses are now growing and recruiting again. Like many industries, it can be quite seasonal at times, but things feel buoyant out there at the moment.

I’ve recently placed somebody in Australia, which just shows you how the world is getting smaller with regards to recruitment. I think that’s been helped on by the technology that everyone started using during the lockdowns – Zoom, Teams, etc – and who knows, maybe we’ll open a little branch out there if we continue growing the business!

Rebecca Thomas // Tel: 07876 235 825 // Email: rebecca@ andyfileassociates.com // www.andyfileassociates.com


Embark on a Culinary Expedition with Our Exquisite 4-Course Tasting Menu.

Silversmiths chefs have been working hard to create an innovative and enticing menu, a new culinary experience using fresh and local produce, carefully crafted into a brand new dining experience!

Each course has been meticulously designed and sourced, from the origin of our ingredients to the plates we serve them on - commissioned from local Sheffield ceramist, Pots by Prince. Our scallops for our first course are hand dived and bathed in dripping from Wortley Wagyu before searing on hot coals and finished with wild foraged herbs from Bello Wild Food, making every bite packed full of flavour and a delight to the tastebuds

We’re super excited to bring you a new tasting adventure in Sheffield and look forward to welcoming you for this next chapter.. Our tasting menu will change every 4 weeks, follow the link or QR code to book www.silversmithsrestaurant.co.uk/book

Our Tasting Menu is 4 courses for just £39 per person and is available every Saturday from 5:15pm with a vegan set menu also available!

The Tasting Menu also includes home made bread on arrival and an intermission course!

16th March


Earlier this year, unLTD caught up with Tom Wolfenden, CEO of Sheffield Tech Parks, to discuss some innovative projects currently underway in the city region.

Alongside some interesting discussion on STP’s work in nurturing and growing techbased entrepreneurship in the city, one concept that gave particular cause for excitement was the development of the ‘Sheffield Innovation Spine’.

“At Sheffield Tech Parks, we help people start and grow businesses,” Tom told us. “But we also help them leave, and that’s the bit where we’ve decided to launch more of a city-wide intervention, which we’ve called the Sheffield Innovation Spine. It’s about creating an urban innovation district for the city, knitting together key development sites.”

Still in its infancy as a project – but certainly a potentially game-changing step in the right direction – the Sheffield Spine will bring together Sheffield Tech Parks, both universities, Sheffield Council and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

Focusing on the natural route from the University of Sheffield via West Bar Square and including key areas in Castlegate and Hallam University’s campus, the idea is to cluster a diverse range of high-tech, med-tech and life-science companies in the designated area, creating an innovative eco-system providing scale-up space and incubation support.

It is hoped that a concerted effort in scaling up these types of businesses in the city centre can hopefully help to beat the

brain drain, but it will also attract tech companies and entrepreneurs from across the country to come and set up in Sheffield.

“We’re still very much in the foothills of this journey, but this is a generational intervention and something we really hope to embed for the long-term good of Sheffield,” added Tom. “We see this as becoming a thriving urban innovation district for the city centre.”

A recent post on the Sheffield University website affirmed their commitment to the project, stating: “University spinouts and technology-rich start-up

companies can be a major contributor to growth in Sheffield through the creation of skilled, highincome jobs and the creation of innovative products. Founders, investors and local stakeholders all share a desire to grow businesses in Sheffield, but a lack of suitable clustering, incubation and scale-up space is holding them back.

“The South Yorkshire Investment Zone status allows us to bring this vision to life and seek the inward investment required to link up the University of Sheffield’s spinout pipeline growth with the growth of

technology-rich start-ups in the city. Key existing incubation space at Sheffield Technology Parks and laboratory facilities at both University campuses will also be linked to the spine; further concentrating intellectual property-rich businesses into the city centre driving economic growth and job creation.”

Exciting times for business innovation lie ahead in the Steel City, which will only have a beneficial wider impact on the South Yorkshire community. We hope to bring you a more detailed update on the plans for the Sheffield Spine soon!

FORGE ISLAND A family friendly leisure destination in the heart of Rotherham OPENING 2024 newforgeisland.co.uk Brought to you by Arc Cinema • Travelodge Caffé Noor Estabulo Rodizio • Casa Peri Peri • Sakku Samba • Cow & Cream • The Rustic Pizza Co.
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