Latest News

Transport Systems Catapult appoints Paul Campion as new CEO

Posted: 21/07/17 by Transport Systems Catapult Ltd

The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) would like to announce that Paul Campion has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer, and took up his position on 7th July 2017.

Paul joins the TSC from his position leading IBM’s Global Financing in the UK and Ireland. IBM Global Financing is the largest IT financing house in the industry and helps IBM’s clients and partners to optimise the financial cases for their IT transformations.

Paul has previously worked in a wide variety of technical, marketing and sales operational leadership roles for IBM both UK and Internationally. As a leader of IBM’s Travel and Transport industry business, he was invited to join the board of the Transport Systems Catapult and has served as a Non-Executive director since February 2015.

Terry Hill CBE, Chair of Transport Systems Catapult, said: “I am delighted that Paul will be joining us as Chief Executive of the Transport Systems Catapult.

During his time at IBM, Paul has demonstrated success in business growth, creating and leading both large and small teams in several different functions, and in a variety of business areas. He is renowned for his strategic vision, knowledge of the transport sector and grasp of detail.

In addition to being a Non-Executive Director on the TSC Board, Paul was a member of the Industry Advisory Group, which helped build the case for the Catapult network, giving him a strong grasp of the vision and mission of the organisation.

With Paul’s experience and knowledge at the head of our organisation, we look forward to accelerating transport innovation in the years ahead.”

Paul Campion said: “I am very proud to be taking up the position of Chief Executive at the Transport Systems Catapult. It is a huge privilege to be invited to lead this world-beating team encouraging innovation in the UK Transport industry.

“I look forward to working with the team to build on the strong foundations they have made in our mission to advance Intelligent Mobility, to grow UK companies, and ultimately, to make transport better for everyone.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

TSC Transport Cafe: Support and Networking Event

Posted: 20/07/17 by Transport Systems Catapult Ltd

We’d like to invite you to our next Transport Café: Support and Networking event.

This Transport Cafe will touch upon how data can aid transport innovation.

You will also hear about exciting developments in the Intelligent Mobility (IM) sector, and have the opportunity to meet the TSC team and other exciting businesses from within the IM industry.

The event will be held on 13th September between 09:30am and 12pm at Transport Systems Catapult, with a networking opportunity afterwards.

Register to attend here

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Collection Connections returns to Alfred East Art Gallery

Posted: 19/07/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Due to popular demand the Collections Connections exhibition returns to the Alfred East Art Gallery from 29th July – 26th August 2017.

It comes after the exhibition was shortlisted for a National Heritage Award and winning ‘Best Exhibition’ in the County Heritage Awards.

Collection Connections celebrates Kettering’s local artist history by showing the connections among the artists within their collection. The exhibition will link artists according to their interesting lives, art education and exhibitions they were involved in. Visitors to the exhibition will be asked to add to the findings with their own stories and see if other links can be found.

This time round, the exhibition will feature the newly acquired ‘Overgrown Garden’ by Sir Alfred East a new addition to the permanent collection. It will be the first-time that visitors are able to view this piece of work which was purchased for the Gallery with help from the V&A, Art Fund, KDAS and the Friends of Kettering Art Gallery & Museum.

Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate & Cultural Services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “The popular Collection Connections exhibition truly celebrates Kettering’s impressive art history and many local artists. This exhibition is just one example of a full programme of exciting and varied events provided by Kettering Museum and Gallery all year round”.

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community & Leisure, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back the award-winning Collection Connections exhibition to Kettering Art Gallery. If you missed it the first time make sure you visit now and take the opportunity to see the brand new addition to the Gallery’s permanent collection – ‘Overgrown Garden’ by Sir Alfred East”.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Off-site Construction – The future of Cleanrooms

Posted: 19/07/17 by Connect 2 Cleanrooms Ltd

Once you have established the need for a cleanroom it is important to consider which type of cleanroom you require. Traditional, modular, on-site or containerised systems are commonly adopted construction methods within the cleanroom industry.

Modular cleanrooms are typically freestanding, solid and robust structures that are suitable for use within an existing cleanroom, laboratory, manufacturing area or warehouse. No longer seen as a temporary, low budget option, the modular cleanroom offers a reliable and robust alternative to traditional build cleanrooms.

Using off the shelf proprietary components to build a facility that meets the customers’ exact requirements such as size, wall option including softwall, hardwall or monobloc panel systems, the bespoke modular cleanroom offers great flexibility to future relocation or expansion, allowing you to manage your investment in stages to ensure cost effective ROI at all times.

The on-site method of construction offers flexibility, so it can sometimes be difficult to control lead times and control costs due to changes to the specification that can occur mid contract.

The reactive containerised or portable solution is ideal for disaster sites where a quick fix is required e.g. the Ebola outbreak or fire damage etc. The versatile design allows for convenient and rapid transport and installation just about anywhere.

The introduction of the off-site cleanroom construction option is just one of the latest innovations to be introduced to the cleanroom industry by leading cleanroom manufacturer, Connect 2 Cleanrooms in-line with other industries/sectors, who are adopting this modern method of construction, seen by key players and the government as crucial to improving efficiency, cost, quality and sustainability.

The Growth of Off-site Construction

The use of off-site construction methods is growing internationally due to improved customer perceptions and its value in the UK is £1.5bn, which is projected to grow to £6bn (UKCES, 2013). This equates to 7% share of the construction industries £90bn annual contribution to the UK economy (HM Government 2013).

Internationally there is momentum to build more off-site and it has been identified by the UK government as a vehicle for the delivery of a more sustainable built environment. Building offsite is a change in construction culture towards a process of continuous improvement with enhanced productivity and as a result it requires being underpinned with research, innovation and training.

There are a range of terms which have been used for off-site construction but fundamentally it is the manufacture and pre-assembly of construction components, elements or modules in a factory environment before installation into their final location of which four main categories are considered:

Panelised Systems or non-volumetric preassembly relates to items which are preassembled in factory-controlled conditions, are non-volumetric and do not enclose usable space e.g. a door set.

Modular or Volumetric is the term used to describe units prefabricated in a factory that enclose usable space that are typically fully finished internally e.g. plant rooms which are then installed within or onto a building or structure.

Sub-Assemblies & Components refers to simplified components such as windows, wash stations and transfer hatches which are manufactured in factories.

Hybrid Systems are a combination of more than one system or approach and are normally a combination of volumetric and panelised systems, interlocked door systems or control monitoring systems.

Also known as off-site prefabrication (OSP), off-site manufacture (OSM) and as a modern method of construction (MMC), off-site construction has been used in mass production of housing since the early twentieth century.

The end of World War II adopted this new approach for the construction of new dwellings as temporary housing for thousands of urban families ‘bombed out’ during the World War II. A white Paper, published by the Government in 1945 outlined the objectives to complete the slum clearance with the emphasis to supplement traditional building operations using industry capacity outside the building industry. Immediately after the war there was a surplus of steel and aluminium production from industries geared to war output. These factors drove the industry towards prefabrication and resulted in varieties of concrete, timber, steel and hybrid framed systems.

The quality of prefabricated units has increased to the point where they may not be distinguished from those traditionally built.

Off-site construction provides a safer working environment, as the accident rates in manufacturing are some 29% less for major injuries and 52% less for fatalities than traditional build construction sites. Therefore, moving construction activities to a factory environment should correspond to a significant reduction in the number of major injuries and fatalities which are recorded each year within the construction industry. (Krug, et al, 2013).

Pioneering off-site construction methods in the Cleanroom Industry

As the leading manufacturer in modular cleanrooms, Connect 2 Cleanrooms remain forward thinking, focussing on new solutions to ensure product quality and customer choice. With over 15 years’ experience they are pioneering new technologies in off-site construction, in-line with other industries. A first in the modular cleanroom manufacturing sector!

  • Improved safety
  • Low cost
  • Low risk
  • Improved timescales

The off-site construction method can be used for a variety of cleanroom purposes including large open spaces with no internal supports. Using pre-fabricated panels in preference to the frame system, the apertures and fixtures will be prepared off-site to minimise time, reduce safety risks and minimise the need for the specialist trades on site, e.g. electricians. Door systems will be delivered as hybrid systems with frame handles, glazing and interlocking systems in place.

As a more cost effective solution for clients the off-site method allows you to stay within your allocated budget and control lead times, as decisions are made well before the installation date. More time is allocated to the complex and critical design stage, which ensures accuracy and reduces the installation time on site, minimising business disruption, as well as offering a cleaner, safer and less congested site.

Off-site construction offers a more accurate and timely installation with less chance of failure, with all elements being tested prior to delivery to site ensuring these cleanroom projects are completed on-time.

McDonald’s restaurants use off-site constructed structures for their restaurants, and set a record of constructing a building and opening for business within 13 hours. Currently McDonalds build 30 new restaurants per year in the UK using this method.

More suited to major construction where areas are clear of equipment, the off-site construction method can be offered where a strong preference to GMP sectors is required, as the structure allows for a fully flush finish. This is achieved due to there being no ledges, using floor to wall, wall to wall and ceiling to wall coving and a fully bonded floor.

Due to being classed as a building and construction and subject to size, location and the local authority, consultation regarding building regulations or planning permission may be required. This can allow for longer depreciation of the asset creating lower monthly costs to your business. Depreciation time scales could be from 10 to 50 years.

Why choose off-site construction for your cleanroom?

The biggest advantage to off-site construction is thought to be the decreased construction time on site, together with increased quality, a more consistent product and reduced snagging and defects. Combined, this construction method can offer you significant financial benefits through increased value, efficiency and sustainability.

The reduction in installation time means less business disruption reducing or eliminating business process downtime. Along with increased quality, less snagging and defects, and reduced waste, this sustainable approach to offsite construction of cleanrooms is the future. Offsite systems correspond to a reduction in waste of between 20% and 40% (WRAP, 2008)

Connect 2 Cleanrooms have demonstrated their experience within off-site cleanroom construction, following the successful installation of a large scale monobloc cleanroom, spanning 951m². With a requirement to achieve ISO class 8, the cleanroom includes a separate change area suitable for up to 60 operators and a material transfer area. The main cleanroom area, which was designed and installed for a global medical and technologies company to house their stitch bonding processes, has a footfall of 870m² and is designed to achieve 21 air changes per hour. Monitored via an ECO loop control system with temperature and humidity control, the cleanroom has 60 variable speed controlled HEPA ceiling fan filters, which are all accessible externally via the walkable ceiling for non-disruptive maintenance. The offsite construction method adopted for this installation ensured that the clients’ cleanroom was brought in on time, on budget, resulting in a happy client.

  • Simultaneous design engineering & off-site construction reduces timescales from 30%-50%
  • Prevents project creep
  • Protects your budget

More information on Connect 2 Cleanrooms’ off-site constructed cleanrooms can be found at www.connect2cleanrooms.com.


Back to Latest News

Latest News

Milton Keynes businesses help Grant Thornton shape proposals to create a vibrant economy

Posted: 19/07/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Businesses across Milton Keynes have contributed to a new set of recommendations launched to government by business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP which centre on collaboration and trust to create a more productive and progressive economy at all levels.

Over the past 18 months, Grant Thornton has brought together leaders from public, private and not for profit sectors, people and communities across Milton Keynes and the rest of the UK, to share ideas on what will shape a more vibrant economy.

From these conversations, the firm has developed a number of recommendations which have been put to government with the aim of building a positive future that creates opportunities for all.

Fiona Baldwin, at Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office, said: “The UK is at a pivotal point in history and our conversations with businesses clearly underline that collaboration is key to the future of our economy.

“Everyone can see the growing trust deficit in society and the sense that many feel left without a voice. Thrown into the mix is the task of negotiating our future relationship with the European Union and trading relationships across the world.

“We welcome Theresa May’s commitment to cross party working on key issues such as Brexit and the future of work and at a local level, this should be led by initiatives and models that encourage region-wide collaboration. We also fully support greater devolution to deliver targeted, localised decision making.

“Our Shaping a Vibrant Economy: a blueprint for the UK, describes what we, in collaboration with others, are doing to create a more vibrant economy, and sets out what we think government can do to help fulfil this vision.”

Grant Thornton’s recommendations to government are based around four key themes:

  • Build purpose into business and financial markets. With trust in business declining - down 13% to 33% from 2016 figures (source: Endelman Trust Barometer) - ‘profits for purpose’ should become the new normal with businesses delivering wider social and environmental outcomes as well as profits.
  • Place collaboration at the heart of industrial strategy. Government should incentivise collaboration to boost exports, develop a healthy pool of skills and talent for employers to drawn from, and unlock innovation.
  • Equip towns, cities and rural areas to create vibrant local economies. Government should continue to devolve powers to local areas and provide frameworks that support collaboration on strategic issues and raise finance for investment in infrastructure requirements.
  • Measuring success on more than GDP. Instead use a ‘Vibrant Economy Index’ which looks at a number of indicators including prosperity, opportunity, inclusion, wellbeing, sustainability and community.

Fiona concludes: “Government cannot, and should not, work to achieve this alone.Businesses and other organisations both locally and nationally have a big role to play and together, we can all help to build a positive future and a society that benefits all.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

OASIS Group Expand Operations in the Netherlands

Posted: 19/07/17 by OASIS Group

OASIS Group, the fastest growing records and information management (RIM) company across Europe, confirmed the completion of yet another acquisition within a month. In a deal finalised on July 12th, the company acquired the RIM business of Hulshoff Opslag – en Archiveringsmaatschappij B.V. located in Amsterdam.

“This is an important milestone in the company’s growth within the Netherlands,” states Dennis Barnedt, Executive Chairman of OASIS Group. “We have known the Hulshoff family for several years and have respected their company values and innovation. We first entered the Dutch market in 2014 with a promise to build on our infrastructure and services. This acquisition greatly complements and expands our existing offerings, while providing an even wider reach for our clients”.

Adding to their already solid presence across the Netherlands, Brian Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of OASIS Group, also confirmed an additional acquisition took place in December 2016, whereby the tape storage and rotation business of Schipper Safestore BV was obtained by OASIS. Together with their increasing suite of information management services and unique tape recovery and discovery solutions, these acquisitions greatly validate their promise of growth and superior services.

These transactions mark a total of 29 successful acquisitions for OASIS Group.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Northamptonshire businesses help Grant Thornton shape proposals to create a vibrant economy

Posted: 19/07/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Businesses across Northamptonshire have contributed to a new set of recommendations launched to government by business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP which centre on collaboration and trust to create a more productive and progressive economy at all levels.

Over the past 18 months, Grant Thornton has brought together leaders from public, private and not for profit sectors, people and communities across Northamptonshire and the rest of the UK, to share ideas on what will shape a more vibrant economy.

From these conversations, the firm has developed a number of recommendations which have been put to government with the aim of building a positive future that creates opportunities for all.

Mike Hughes, at Grant Thornton’s Northampton office, said: “The UK is at a pivotal point in history and our conversations with businesses clearly underline that collaboration is key to the future of our economy.

“Everyone can see the growing trust deficit in society and the sense that many feel left without a voice. Thrown into the mix is the task of negotiating our future relationship with the European Union and trading relationships across the world.

“We welcome Theresa May’s commitment to cross party working on key issues such as Brexit and the future of work and at a local level, this should be led by initiatives and models that encourage region-wide collaboration. We also fully support greater devolution to deliver targeted, localised decision making.

“Our Shaping a Vibrant Economy: a blueprint for the UK, describes what we, in collaboration with others, are doing to create a more vibrant economy, and sets out what we think government can do to help fulfil this vision.”

Grant Thornton’s recommendations to government are based around four key themes:

  • Build purpose into business and financial markets. With trust in business declining - down 13% to 33% from 2016 figures (source: Endelman Trust Barometer) - ‘profits for purpose’ should become the new normal with businesses delivering wider social and environmental outcomes as well as profits.
  • Place collaboration at the heart of industrial strategy. Government should incentivise collaboration to boost exports, develop a healthy pool of skills and talent for employers to drawn from, and unlock innovation.
  • Equip towns, cities and rural areas to create vibrant local economies. Government should continue to devolve powers to local areas and provide frameworks that support collaboration on strategic issues and raise finance for investment in infrastructure requirements.
  • Measuring success on more than GDP. Instead use a ‘Vibrant Economy Index’ which looks at a number of indicators including prosperity, opportunity, inclusion, wellbeing, sustainability and community.

Mike concludes: “Government cannot, and should not, work to achieve this alone. Businesses and other organisations both locally and nationally have a big role to play and together, we can all help to build a positive future and a society that benefits all.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Kettering by the sea returns!

Posted: 19/07/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Does the thought of the British seaside put a smile on your face? Then join us at Kettering by the Sea at the Market Place.

Kettering by the Sea is making a splash again this year, bringing you a taste of the traditional British seaside combined with a host of free activities!

The giant sand pit will be open from 21st July – 19th August every day (except Sundays) from 10am – 4pm at the Market Place, Kettering.

There will be FREE parking in the Kettering Borough Council car parks at: Municipal Offices; London Road; Queen Street; School Lane; School Lane Pop & Shop; Wadcroft and Commercial Road on:

  • Friday 4th August
  • Friday 11th August
  • Friday 18th August

Come along and join us to celebrate National Playday on 2nd August with our fun packed programme, Monkeys in the Manor. Find us in the museum and gallery gardens from 1pm till 3:30pm, where free face painting, craft activities, balloon modelling and a jungle fancy dress competition will be taking place!

New to Kettering by the Sea this year, the Summer Trail will be in full swing throughout the month! Grab your passports and explore the map to find clues and be entered in our prize draw to be in with a chance to win some fantastic prizes this summer. What’s more? It’s completely free to take part.

Summer playschemes around the Borough are free this year from 24th July to 5th August in Geddington, Broughton, Wilbarston, Burton Latimer, Rothwell, Desborough and Mawsley,
showcasing The Railway Children show and Steve the Magician.

So, grab your buckets and spades and make your way to Kettering Market Place to enjoy magic, theatre, arts and crafts, animals and lots, lots more.

Things to do include:

Week 1:

  • Mini beast roadshow
  • Connect FM – Summer Fun

Week 2:

  • Punch & Judy
  • Hoop Dance
  • Starlight Dance and Musical Theatre School Summer Showcase

Week 3:

  • Jungle Craft Activities
  • Steve the Magician
  • Monkeys in the Manor Family Fun Day
  • Urban Beach Volleyball Tournament

Week 4:

  • Under the Sea Craft Activities
  • Lego Workshops
  • West Lodge Farm Animals

Week 5:

  • Primary Workshop: African Drumming & Science Shows
  • Carnival Craft Activities
  • Fun & Games with Play Leaders

You’ll find a full timetable of summer fun including FREE playschemes around the Borough, find out more at: www.ThisisKettering.com/ByTheSea

Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate & Cultural Services at Kettering Borough Council, said: Kettering by the Sea is a great, free family event and we hope that the sun will shine so that everyone can have a great time at Kettering by the Sea this year. The wide range of free activities taking place ensures that there’s something for everyone, so we look forward to seeing you on the Market Place this summer.”

Councillor Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community and Leisure, said: “There are so many free activities during Kettering by the Sea and it’s fantastic that we are able to offer such a full programme for all ages every summer. I hope that people will also make the most of the award winning Museum and Art Gallery and enjoy Kettering by the Sea in the sun this year!”

You can also keep up to date by liking ‘This is Kettering’ on Facebook or Twitter by following @KetteringBC and @MarketPlaceKett

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Heavy metal legend drops into the University of Northampton with a very special task

Posted: 18/07/17 by The University of Northampton

A chance meeting between a senior music lecturer and industry bigwigs at an international heavy metal conference led to music legend and guitarist Tony Iommi visiting the University of Northampton to undertake a very special task.

The Black Sabbath member is to be honoured with the Courage Award at this year’s Loudwire Music Awards, which recognises both his musical output and his bravery in his battle with cancer.

It was decided that the trophy would feature Black Sabbath’s iconic ‘sign of the horns’ and going forward will be presented to future generations of courageous artists.

Due to heavy metal fan Dr Jasmine Shadrack’s networking and having made the right contacts at the conference, it was arranged that the original moulding for the cast of Tony’s hand would be undertaken by members of the Fine Art department at the University of Northampton.

During his visit, Tony also took the time to meet other fans – students from the Popular Music course and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology – John Sinclair.

Jasmine Shadrack said: “It was quite a remarkable experience and I’m so glad our students got to meet and chat with Tony. I’m ecstatic that I was able to chat about guitars with one of my heroes and that our University has been part of such an exciting project.”

John Sinclair commented: “It was a tremendous honour to welcome Tony Iommi – officially one of the greatest guitarists of all time and an idol to millions – to the University, so that we
could use our expertise to cast his now iconic ‘sign of the horns’ that is so synonymous with Black Sabbath.

“Tony was an absolute pleasure to work with throughout his visit and wanted to know all about the University’s world leading work in social enterprise and innovation. He also took the time to speak with our Popular Music students and give them advice on how to take the first steps on the road to becoming a music legend.”

Third year Popular Music student Alicia Jilks said: “I found it to be a very exciting opportunity to get to chat to one of the biggest names in the music industry. He was very inspiring and
has given me more ideas about what I can do with my future career.”

In an interview with Loudwire, Tony said: “Of all the funny things that I have done in my life, this was another one. I was asked to put my arm into a big bucket full of coloured gel. All was going fine until it set and then I couldn’t get my arm back out! After a considerable amount of pulling and twisting, it eventually came out and the cast looked amazing.”

Find out more about Tony’s hand cast and watch the video of how it all happened.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Briar Hill week of action

Posted: 18/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

People living in the Briar Hill area of Northampton are invited to take part in a week of action organised by the Northampton Community Safety Partnership. With activities planned throughout the week, events kick off with an afternoon of outdoor activities at the Briar Hill playing fields on Monday, 24 July.

A dog agility competition and a variety of sports will be taking place between 12pm and 4pm, while Northamptonshire Fire Service talks about water safety advice. The RSPCA will also be offering reduced-price dog microchipping.

The week-long community focus will bring a whole host of events to the area including a family fun event on Thursday, 27 July at Briar Hill Community Centre and a community litter-pick with free hot dogs for everyone who helps out on Friday, 28 July. There will be a chance to talk to a range of local agencies throughout the week.

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement at Northampton Borough Council, said: “The focus for the week is helping people to stay safe, so there
are loads of different activities where people can come along to get advice about personal safety or safety at home advice as well as have some fun.

“This is happening in the first week of the school holidays and we’ve got some great activities to keep kids of different ages entertained. I hope that everyone who lives in the Briar Hill area will get involved.”

Find out more about what’s happening during the week of action at www.facebook.com/NorthamptonBC

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Challenge Walk aims to help MK’s homeless

Posted: 18/07/17 by Milton Keynes College

A trek along a 25.48 mile walking route, established by The Parks Trust Milton Keynes, will take place this September in order to raise awareness and funds for the increasingly pertinent issue of homelessness in our city.

The event was the brainchild of Nicholas Mann, from full service marketing agency, Interdirect, and was supported by Simon Demaid of Howes Percival. Both were present at a talk by Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, David Foster at Milton Keynes’ monthly networking event, Midsummer Breakfast, where David gave a presentation about the fantastic work of The Parks Trust Milton Keynes.

The challenge walk, organised by Interdirect, Howes Percival and Milton Keynes College, hopes to raise a target of £5,000. Working with MK Community Foundation all money raised will go towards a brand new ‘City Fund’, designed exclusively to support homeless charities and projects. These charities urgently need our help to provide care and support services to get people back on their feet and into suitable accommodation.

In 2016, there was a 16% increase of rough sleepers in England from the previous year, and Milton Keynes reportedly has the third highest homeless population in the South East. Open Door MK currently sees between 40 and 50 visitors at its drop-in services each week and these figures are estimated to rise.

Jake Hall, New Business Development Manager at Interdirect, explains: “Unfortunately homelessness is becoming an increasing issue in Milton Keynes and it is important that Interdirect and our partner organisations help MK Community Foundation to support the most vulnerable people in our city.

“We hope that the walk will raise the profile of the new ‘City Fund’, give it an initial boost of money, and be an enjoyable challenge through the beautiful parks, woodlands and fields of Milton Keynes.”

We would love your support in helping us to reach our target and make the sore and blistered feet worthwhile. To sponsor us, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/25milewalkchallenge.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Council Leader opens new affordable homes in Kettering

Posted: 18/07/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Nine brand new affordable homes in the centre of Kettering have been unveiled by Councillor Russell Roberts, Leader of the Council.

Chan Kataria, Chief Executive of emh group, and Councillor Roberts were on hand to welcome the new residents to their homes.

Developed by Leicestershire-based emh group, one of the largest providers of affordable homes and care and support services in the East Midlands, in partnership with Seagrave Developments, the nine three-bedroom family homes have been built on a previously unused car park near the town centre.

New resident Emma Walpole is delighted with her new home. “It’s a lovely house,” she said. “We all love it here and it’s great being so near to the school and the town centre.”

The £1.4 million scheme was funded by emh group with contributions from the Homes and Communities Agency. Kettering Borough Council were keen to support the project as a large number of households on the housing waiting list require a three-bedroom home, and as such it met local housing demand and contributed to the regeneration of the town centre.

Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that through solid partnership working with the Council and Seagrave we are contributing towards meeting the housing needs of the people of Kettering. We hope that this is the first of many successful projects for the partnership.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Kettering BC, explains: “We are keen to see development of new homes in our town centres and there is an acute need for good quality affordable homes. Supporting partnerships such as this between emh group and Seagrave Developments assists the Council in helping to meet some of the housing need that exists in the Borough, whilst also visually improving a run-down area.”

John Conway, Head of Housing, added: “Our work with housing association partners is a vital part of our strategic approach to increasing housing supply. We currently have around a fifth of households registered on Keyways seeking larger family accommodation so opportunities to attract government funding to deliver affordable rented accommodation on sites that would otherwise have been delivered as market housing are welcomed.”

PHOTO: Leader of Kettering BC Councillor Russell Roberts, emh group Chief Executive Chan Kataria, and new resident Emma Walpole.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Chicheley Hall selects Willen Hospice as its charity of the year

Posted: 18/07/17 by Chicheley Hall

Chicheley Hall has officially chosen a hospice which provides complex and individual care to adults with life limiting illnesses as its charity of the year.

Staff at Chicheley Hall overwhelmingly voted for Willen Hospice as their charity of the year and are already working on lots of exciting fundraising projects.

Chicheley Hall Sales Executive Lauren Willingham said: “Willen Hospice is a really good cause and we are delighted to be supporting them, particularly as they are a fellow Chamber member.

“We will be organising a Ball for them and are putting together a team of staff who will take part in a sponsored run for the charity in October.

“We also have charity boxes around the venue and will be involved in their Time for Tea campaign.”

The historic hotel will set up a sponsorship page shortly for anyone who wants to sponsor their runners.

For further information about Chicheley Hall visit www.chicheleymiltonkeynes.co.uk/partner/chicheley-hall/

To learn more about the work of Willen Hospice visit www.willen-hospice.org.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

New Business Rates on Commercial Properties

Posted: 17/07/17 by Robinson & Hall LLP

April this year saw the arrival of new business rates. So what does this mean?

Richard Sheppard, Commercial Property Surveyor at Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals explains: “Well in simple terms business rates are a tax that commercial occupiers have to pay based on the rental value of their commercial property, which were last reviewed in 2010.

“Your rateable value is based on similar properties and their average rental values. It is worth noting that you only have to pay business rates if your rateable value is from £12,000 per annum, and if you pay £12,000 to £15,000 per annum you will benefit from small business rates relief. This is when your payment is ‘phased’ over a period of time.

“The local authority is cracking down on finding commercial properties that have slipped through the net. The majority of these ‘missing’ properties are likely to fall within the rural community. For example, many farms have diversified in more recent years and are now using both modern and old farm buildings for uses other than agricultural purposes.”

If a property owner disagrees with the rateable value set by the Government, they may appeal via the new business rates appeals system known as ‘check challenge appeal’:

  • Check - the first and arguable the most important part of the process is to check the information held by the Valuation office is correct and if not this needs correcting as a matter of importance.
  • Challenge - is the rentable figure which is used as the basis for your rates correct and if not this will need to be amended.
  • Appeal - and finally if you still feel your rating assessment is incorrect you can attend a rating tribunal at which point you can present your case of evidence to the Valuation office and an independent panel will make the decision. If you lose you will be charged a cost.

How can Robinson & Hall help you?

Collectively the commercial department has over 100 years’ property experience and we are able to offer help and advice in all commercial areas, no matter how large or small your premises or whether it is located in the centre of town or in the middle of a field! We are actively involved in helping a number of clients with their business rates.

Thinking about bringing your commercial property to the market?

Our wealth of experience and excellent offering ensures we achieve the best results. Our in-house marketing department help us maximise the coverage of your property – we advertise on major property portals such as Rightmove.

To find out how Robinson & Hall can help you or your business or to book a free market appraisal, please contact Richard on 01234 362933 or email: rds@robinsonandhall.co.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Have no fear, and abseil for a worthy cause

Posted: 17/07/17 by MacIntyre

Are you ready for an exciting challenge all for a worthy cause?

Then join MacIntyre on 10th September to abseil off the iconic MK Dons Stadium with heights of 40 feet.

Bring friends and family along to cheer you and others on. The atmosphere will be fantastic and one you won’t want to miss.

Event details

10 September 2017 – Sunday

10am – 3pm (You will be given a time slot when you register)

MK Dons Stadium, Grafton St, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST

Registration Fee: £25

Minimum Sponsorship: £100

Once registered a member of the fundraising team will contact you to send you your fundraising pack, time slot, and more details of the day.

For more information, please contact us on: fund@macintyrecharity.org or call us on: 01908 230100.

You can find out more on: http://www.macintyrecharity.org/get-involved/events/mk-dons-stadium-abseil/

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Skyline charges ahead with electric taxis plan

Posted: 17/07/17 by Skyline Taxis

Skyline Taxis, a taxi firm with bases in Milton Keynes and Northampton, has invested in a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) that are now in operation across Milton Keynes.

The growing fleet, which includes one Nissan Leaf and three Tesla cars, has been part-funded by the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant for low emission vehicles.

The move follows consultations with Milton Keynes Council and a pilot scheme in 2015, which saw Skyline trial a 24KW Nissan Leaf for a four-week period. Following the pilot, which was well-received by customers, it was decided to delay investing in a fleet until the 30KW model was released.

Gav Sokhi, Managing Director of Skyline Taxis, said: “Skyline has been at the forefront of the EV taxi market in Milton Keynes for the last few years and was the first taxi company to register an electric vehicle with Milton Keynes Council back in 2011. We have also consulted with the council on licensing policies and worked with Chargemaster on establishing charging point locations and advised where best to place them.

“Despite our 2015 pilot being well-received by customers and drivers, we took the decision to wait for the release of the 30 KW Leaf as less charges and a longer range would significantly improve the drivers experience and earnings. Customers will also notice how much quieter the taxis are, and we are looking to enhance the customer experience further by offering Wi-Fi in the taxis and payment by chip and PIN.

“We are excited to see our hard work and plans finally come to fruition.”

To find out more or enquire about booking an electric Skyline taxi, call 01908 222111 or visit www.skylinetaxis.co.uk.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Grant Thornton boost Milton Keynes team with senior promotion

Posted: 14/07/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Financial and business adviser Grant Thornton has further committed to its long term investment in Milton Keynes with a senior promotion to support business growth in the region.

Fiona Baldwin takes on the role of practice leader as Grant Thornton continues to strengthen its presence in Milton Keynes ahead of its move to a new office in Victoria House in Avebury Boulevard later this year.

Having joined Grant Thornton as an audit manager at the firm’s Manchester office in 2007, Fiona quickly rose through the ranks to the position of director a year later, followed by equity partner in 2014, before relocating to the firm’s Milton Keynes office.

Fiona previously spent six years working at manager level for a multinational accountancy firm in the UK, followed by a two year stint with the same firm based in Canada.

During her career, Fiona has amassed more than 20 years’ audit experience specialising in corporates (particularly retail and distribution businesses), social housing, professional practices and managing large company pension schemes.

In her new role with Grant Thornton, Fiona will be responsible for leading Grant Thornton’s growth strategy across Milton Keynes, Northampton and St Albans and will use her extensive knowledge of the region to bring businesses and organisations together to help shape a vibrant economy.

She will also seek to enhance and develop the range of services the firm offers to local businesses by further investing in and expanding the 200 strong Grant Thornton team.

Commenting on her promotion, Fiona Baldwin said: “I am extremely proud to be taking on this role at what is a very exciting time for Grant Thornton, particularly here in Milton Keynes as we prepare to move into our new office in September.”

“Key areas of focus for me will be enhancing our specialist services, such as debt advisory and tax advisory, and bringing in more of the very best talent in the industry so we can continue to offer an unrivalled service to local businesses.”

Fiona will also be leading Grant Thornton’s MK50 Driving Growth in Milton Keynes campaign which aims to stimulate discussions amongst local businesses and organisations to identify key areas of focus for the city to develop a strategy for growth.

Fiona added: “With Milton Keynes celebrating MK50 this year, we want to look ahead to the next 50 years and how we can build on the city’s existing strengths. A major focus will be how businesses of all sizes can work together with the community to develop a vibrant, thriving local economy underpinned by fast growing, dynamic businesses.

“The city has gone from strength to strength in recent years and this demonstrates what a fantastic place it is to do business. Local businesses, along with all UK companies are facing a period of uncertainty as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU and there are more local issues to contend with, particularly the skills shortage which is exacerbated by competition from London in this highly competitive marketplace.

“However, time and time again businesses here in Milton Keynes have demonstrated their resilience and ability to adapt to change so we have every reason to remain confident about the future.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Grant Thornton boosts Northampton team with senior promotion

Posted: 14/07/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Financial and business adviser Grant Thornton has further committed to its long term investment in Northampton with a senior promotion.

Fiona Baldwin takes on the role of practice leader as Grant Thornton continues to strengthen its presence across the region.

Having joined Grant Thornton as an audit manager at the firm’s Manchester office in 2007, Fiona quickly rose through the ranks to the position of director a year later, followed by equity partner in 2014, before relocating to the firm’s Milton Keynes office.

Fiona previously spent six years working at manager level for a multinational accountancy firm in the UK, followed by a two year stint with the same firm based in Canada.

During her career, Fiona has amassed more than 20 years’ audit experience specialising in corporates (particularly retail and distribution businesses), social housing, professional practices and managing large company pension schemes.

In her new role with Grant Thornton, Fiona will be responsible for leading Grant Thornton’s growth strategy across Northampton, Milton Keynes and St Albans and will use her extensive knowledge of the region to bring businesses and organisations together to help shape a vibrant economy.

She will also seek to enhance and develop the range of services the firm offers to local businesses by further investing in and expanding the strong Grant Thornton team.

Commenting on her promotion, Fiona Baldwin said: “I am extremely proud to be taking on this role at what is a very exciting time for Grant Thornton. Key areas of focus for me will be enhancing our specialist services, such as debt advisory and tax advisory, and bringing in more of the very best talent in the industry so we can continue to offer an unrivalled service to local businesses.

“Local businesses, along with all UK companies, are facing a period of uncertainty as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU and there are more local issues to contend with, particularly the skills shortage, in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“However, time and time again businesses here in Northampton have demonstrated their resilience and ability to adapt to change so we have every reason to remain confident about the future.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Stannah organises fantastic raffle for Spurgeons

Posted: 14/07/17 by Stannah Lifts Service Ltd

Stannah Lift Services Ltd in Brackley has organised a fantastic raffle in aid of children’s charity Spurgeons.

For every £1 raised from the raffle Stannah will give 150% on top to Spurgeons which has been supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families for 150 years.

The prizes include stays at Malmaison Manchester, Double Tree Hotel Milton Keynes and Holiday Inn Express Luton + 7 days parking, Kindle Fire, a spa day for two at Whittlebury Hall, free entry for four to Tigers Indoor Play, a meal for two at Flight Café Turweston Aerodrome, tickets to a Northamptonshire cricket match, a £50 Days Out voucher, a £25 Love To Travel
voucher, champagne and sparkling wine, beer and wine hampers, a triple target shooting voucher, goodies from the Disney Store and Baylis and Harding, a NTFC signed football and many more.

The draw will be held during an open event featuring a big barbecue at Stannah’s Brackley branch on August 18 at Unit 4 Boundary Road, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 7ES.

Tickets cost £1 each or £4 for a strip.

Tickets are available from Cheryl Dilley at cheryl.dilley@stannah.co.uk whereby paypal payments can be made and tickets sent if necessary.

Alternatively please call Cheryl on 07484038783 and she will arrange this for you.

For further information about Stannah visit www.stannahlifts.co.uk/branches/south-midlands-and-home-counties

To learn more about Spurgeons visit www.spurgeons.org

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Howes Percival comments on new proposals for Wills in the hashtag age

Posted: 14/07/17 by Howes Percival

Leading regional law firm, Howes Percival has cautiously welcomed the consultation announced by The Law Commission for England and Wales into the laws around Wills so as to bring them into the digital age.

Describing the current legal system as ‘outdated’ and ‘unclear’, the Law Commission is calling for the law to be relaxed to permit notes, emails and even voice messages to be used as an alternative to a written Will. Under the proposals, new powers would be granted to County and High Court judges to decide ‘on the balance of probabilities’ whether a recording or note accurately reflects the wishes of a testator (the person making the Will).

Commenting on the consultation Tom Lawrence, Partner in the Estates Team at Howes Percival said, “Making a Will and passing on your Estate to loved ones should be an easily accessible process for people. I think the current law relating to Wills has not kept pace with modern living for a large section of the general public.

“Currently, it is estimated 40% of people die without making a Will. While we broadly welcome advances in the law which would reduce the number of people dying intestate, clearly any changes to the current system would need to be very carefully tested to ensure testators and their loved ones are properly protected and can plan their affairs with certainty.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Business confidence remains robust in Milton Keynes, according to the latest QES

Posted: 13/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Business confidence remains robust in Milton Keynes, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey report from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.

A total of 28 businesses, employing 1,207 people from across Milton Keynes, took part in the review for the second quarter of the year.

At home, 45% of services sector businesses saw an overall increase in their UK sales – up 13% on the previous quarter. A further 27% said their UK sales had remained consistent with the last quarter of 2016. They also reported positive figures for UK orders.

In contrast the manufacturing sector reported an overall drop in UK sales, although 75% said their UK sales had remained consistent with the previous quarter. Manufacturers also reported a drop in UK orders.

There was some good news for manufacturers who reported slight increases in export sales activity and export orders. However, export sales activity for manufacturers remains in contraction territory. The services sector reported declines in both export sales and export orders.

Manufacturers reported that their headcount had increased for the latest quarter whereas the services sector revealed there had been a slight decrease in their numbers. Both sectors said they expect their headcounts to increase during the next quarter.

All the manufacturers who responded said they had tried to recruit staff during the quarter and more than 40% of service sector companies also attempted to recruit staff.

There was a mixed picture when it came to firms’ investment in plant/machinery over the quarter. Whilst manufacturers reported a significant increase in investment the services sector saw its investment activity decrease. Meanwhile, both sectors reported increases in investment in training during the period.

Business confidence as determined by turnover and profitability across Milton Keynes remains robust despite the services sector reporting a decrease in turnover.

Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “We are very pleased to see that business confidence across the borough continues to remain robust.

“It is also encouraging to see that the majority of service sector businesses have seen their UK sales either increase or remain consistent with the previous quarter.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Northants services sector and manufacturers see rise in UK orders and investment in training in the latest QES

Posted: 13/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

The county’s services sector and manufacturers reveal a rise in UK orders and investment in training in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.

The survey for Q2 2017 was conducted between May 22 and June 12 this year and contains responses from 80 businesses employing 3,031 people from across the county.

UK orders for both the manufacturing and services sectors rose during the quarter with the services sector seeing the greatest increase up from 16% in Q1 to 32% in Q2. There was also further good news for the services sector which reported an increase in their UK sales activity for the second consecutive quarter.

Encouragingly the manufacturing sector reported a sharp increase in their export sales – up from 14% in the previous quarter to 40%. This is the highest figure reported by the sector for three years.

The services sector revealed its headcount grew during the quarter and although headcount figures for the manufacturing sector decreased slightly they still remain at a high level. Manufacturers also indicated their hiring intentions would rise during the next quarter.

Just over half of businesses within both sectors reported they had attempted to recruit staff during the quarter. Of those businesses, 100% of manufacturers and 61% of service sector firms reported they had experienced difficulties recruiting staff.

During the second quarter manufacturers reported a slight improvement in their cashflow and the services sector reported a rise in investment in plant/machinery. Both sectors also revealed increases in investment for training during the period.

When questioned 95% of service sector firms and 86% of manufacturers reported their turnover had either increased or remained consistent with the first quarter.

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is pleasing to see that the services sector has experienced increases in UK sales activity and UK orders and that manufacturers have seen a sharp rise in export sales.

“It is also encouraging to see firms trying to grow their businesses although the reports that some organisations have experienced difficulties in recruiting staff is a concern. To help address this Northamptonshire Chamber has been running a series of careers fairs this year to enable businesses to promote their sectors to young people across the county.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

RSM advises on management buyout at Northants guitar amp maker

Posted: 13/07/17 by RSM

RSM has advised the management of Northampton-based Blackstar Amplification on its successful buyout from Foresight Group, the independent infrastructure, private equity and investment manager.

Blackstar was founded in 2004 by four friends and bandmates who collaborated on the design and manufacture of new and innovative guitar amplifiers and pedals. The group spent two and a half years performing intensive technical research in a garden shed in Northampton before the first Blackstar products were launched in March 2007.

Blackstar today is an award winning leading global brand with revenues in excess of £10m. It has over 45 products sold in 52 countries worldwide, its products being used by artists including Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne/Firewind), Neal Schon (Journey), Silenoz (Dimmu Borgir) and James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers). All research, financial, sales and marketing functions are based in Northampton with manufacturing in the Far East.

Foresight originally invested £3.5m in 2012 to provide growth capital and to partially restructure the shareholder base. The secondary management buyout, backed by Shawbrook Bank, will allow the company to regain its independence and gives the founding management team (now owning a majority share in the business) the opportunity to take the business into a new phase in its development.

Stephen Orriss who led the advisory team from RSM said: “Blackstar is a world renowned brand and this transaction enables the business to continue to grow as it enters the next chapter of its development. We were delighted to support the management team in this transaction and we wish them every success in the future.”

Gary Smith, corporate partner at Freeths, Milton Keynes handled the legal aspects. Gary Smith said: “Having acted for Blackstar for over eight years it was a real pleasure to see the management team bring this deal together to deliver what is a truly transformative deal for the future of Blackstar, its management team and employees and its customers. The transaction was also a perfect example of the great teams at RSM and Freeths working together to deliver the result desired by the Blackstar management team.’

Ian Robinson, co-Founder and Managing Director said: “This marks an exciting new chapter in Blackstar’s history, which will allow us to retain our independence and gives us the opportunity to take our business to the next level. We are looking forward to forging a strong relationship with Shawbrook, who have shown a real interest in our business and future growth strategy, and many years of working with our distributors, dealers and, most of all, our customers to continue to deliver ‘The Sound In Your Head’.”

Paul Hayhoe, co-Founder and Sales & Marketing Director said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with professionals like Stephen Orriss at RSM and Gary at Freeths, their deep knowledge and experience has been fundamental to us delivering this transaction.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Repeal Bill must deliver continuity, certainty for business and trade says BCC

Posted: 13/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting ahead of the First Reading of the Repeal Bill, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business communities across the UK tell us very clearly that they want day-one certainty and stability on the rules and regulations they will face when the UK leaves the EU.

“Continuity and equivalence are needed to prevent any disruption to British business, particularly in terms of our trade with partners and markets in Europe and beyond.

“A legislative transition of this scope has never before been undertaken. We will be keeping a watchful eye for the possibility of unintended consequences that lead to new burdens or compliance costs, whether particular firms, sectors or the economy as a whole. Our clear message to Westminster politicians is that this bill must not be amended in a way that makes the UK a more expensive or complex place to do business, which would risk undermining our future competitiveness.

“In the fullness of time, after 2019 and after a permanent Brexit deal is secured, government and business must work together to determine where it is beneficial to maintain regulatory equivalence with the EU for the long term, and where the UK needs to set its own path in the interests of competitiveness and growth. For now, though, continuity is key to business investment and confidence.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

BCC: Repeal Bill must deliver continuity, certainty for business and trade

Posted: 13/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting ahead of the First Reading of the Repeal Bill, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business communities across the UK tell us very clearly that they want day-one certainty and stability on the rules and regulations they will face when the UK leaves the EU.

“Continuity and equivalence are needed to prevent any disruption to British business, particularly in terms of our trade with partners and markets in Europe and beyond.

“A legislative transition of this scope has never before been undertaken. We will be keeping a watchful eye for the possibility of unintended consequences that lead to new burdens or compliance costs, whether particular firms, sectors or the economy as a whole. Our clear message to Westminster politicians is that this bill must not be amended in a way that makes the UK a more expensive or complex place to do business, which would risk undermining our future competitiveness.

“In the fullness of time, after 2019 and after a permanent Brexit deal is secured, government and business must work together to determine where it is beneficial to maintain regulatory equivalence with the EU for the long term, and where the UK needs to set its own path in the interests of competitiveness and growth. For now, though, continuity is key to business investment and confidence.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Novacroft cyclists join Ride for Hope in support of company’s charity of the year

Posted: 13/07/17 by Novacroft

Two Novacroft team members joined the Northampton Hope Centre’s Ride for Hope, in aid of Novacroft’s Charity of the Year, the Northampton Hope Centre from 6th - 9th July, raising £1150 between them to date - a huge contribution to the £30,000 (and counting) raised by all the Ride for Hope cyclists to date.

Novacroft’s Duncan Smith, 2nd/3rd Line IT Analyst, and Daryl Hurst, Head of Research and Development, took on the epic cycling challenge to complete personal goals and to raise money and awareness for the centre.

The cycle took the Novacroft pair 70 – 80 miles per day over a total of 230 miles, through country, city and coastal terrain to the finish line. Daryl and Duncan joined the Ride for Hope as part of a group of 46 cyclists of all abilities, who have already achieved their aim to improve on the amazing £25,000 total raised by twenty-eight cyclists who took on the challenge in
2016. With over £30,000 raised to date, the cyclists hope to reach £40,000 by the time all donations are in.

Duncan has been with Novacroft since 2011. He regularly cycles to work, has completed many medium distance rides and has wanted to take on a long-distance cycle challenge for some time.

Daryl, who’s been with us for 15 years, began cycling in earnest last year, when he ran out of places to run. Daryl regularly rides to the office, as well as cycling many miles outside of work – a fifty mile afternoon jaunt is not unusual!

Speaking after the ride, Daryl said: “What an amazing experience. Three days full of laughs, emotion and great memories, with a few uphill struggles, literally! And we only got lost a few times! Would I do it again? Yes!”

For both Daryl and Duncan, a road bike has been a new challenge, but the Ride for Hope training rides provided a real team spirit and support that saw them through. Duncan said, after completing the ride: “I got such a massive sense of achievement. It was brilliant. I’m already thinking about my next challenge - I’d love to be able to do a hundred mile ride in a day.”

Duncan and Daryl’s fundraising pages are still open. If you’d like to add your support, you can access Daryl’s JustGiving page here and Duncan’s JustGiving page here.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Agriculture concerns answered in successful rural event

Posted: 13/07/17 by Robinson & Hall LLP

Agriculture and forestry organisations joined forces last week (6th July) to host an event that answered questions surrounding the future of agriculture in the face of Brexit and a newly formed government.

The ‘Summer Rural Event’ was hosted by Lockhart Garratt Ltd - an environmental planning and forestry consultancy, Robinson & Hall LLP - land and property professionals and The Agricultural Mortgage Company Plc. Each of the industry specialists gave an update on forestry, rural property finances and opportunities.

30 farmers and landowners attended the free event that was held at the Holiday Inn Milton Keynes East in Newport Pagnell. Topics covered in the presentations included current and potential issues on finance, making the most effective use of money in your business, current timber opportunities and managing woodlands in the light of climate change.

“Ensuring that farmers and landowners are fully prepared for the future is key to the success of their businesses,” explains Andrew Jenkinson of Robinson & Hall LLP. “By providing these events, we are making sure that business owners are informed of upcoming changes and can make the most out of the potential opportunities, enabling their businesses to continue to thrive, despite the uncertain changes in the industry”.

The talks also covered a range of topical subjects that were useful and relevant to all farmers and landowners: The Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship Scheme, abstraction licences, mobile phone masts, business rates, succession and infrastructure.

One attendee commented: “Well done to all. Very topical and useful. Thank you for your hospitality, it was very much appreciated”. The evening concluded with a buffet dinner and drinks.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Celebrating Northampton’s green spaces this Love Parks Week

Posted: 13/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

People are being encouraged to get out and enjoy Northampton’s green spaces during Love Parks Week, 14 to 23 July.

To help celebrate the town’s beautiful parks a range of free events and activities are taking place in different locations, for families to enjoy.

Visitors are reminded to respect our parks whilst taking part in the activities, by picking up their rubbish and either disposing of it in a nearby bin or taking it home at the end of their visit.

Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “Love Parks Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the town’s green spaces and raise awareness of how together, we can protect them for future generations to enjoy.

“We urge people to have pride in our parks and show them a little love by keeping them clean and to report any instances of littering, graffiti or other unsightly mess.

“If we work together to do this, our parks can continue to be one of Northampton’s best assets and offer pleasant surroundings for people to get out and enjoy their leisure and sporting activities.”

Instances of littering and other mess can be reported quickly and easily online using MyCouncil - http://selfserve.northampton.gov.uk/mycouncil/reportIt.html

Visit loveparks.org for more information on Love Parks Week nationally.

Local scheduled events include:

Saturday 15 July

Battle of Northampton event - 11am to 5pm - Delapré Park

Festival of Archaeology - 12pm to 4pm - Abington Park Museum


Sunday 16 July

Battle of Northampton even - 11am to 4pm - Delapré Park

Children’s Observation Trails - 11am to 4pm - Abington Park

Bands in the Park - 2pm to 4pm - Abington Park

Tidy Up and Tea event - 2pm to 4pm - Becket’s Park


Tuesday 18 July

Kite Flying - 3.30pm to 5.30pm - Eastfield Park


Saturday 22 July

Summer Food Festival - 11am to 5pm - Abington Park Museum

Girls’ Football Open Day - 12pm to 4pm - The Racecourse


Sunday 23 July

Bands in the Park - 2pm to 4pm - Abington Park

Back to Latest News

Latest News

The Melrose Directory celebrate MK50 with 50 mile charity bike ride around Milton Keynes

Posted: 13/07/17 by The Melrose Directory

Cyclists celebrated MK’s 50th birthday with a gruelling bike ride of 50 miles across the city and beyond. Hundreds of riders put their heart - and a lot of legwork - into the challenge, which saw cyclists of all ages and abilities travel 50 miles or 50km on both on and off-road routes on Saturday, all in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

Keen amateur cyclist Nick Southworth rode on behalf of The Melrose Directory to raise money to fight against the UK’s biggest killer. Nick Southworth, 26, said: “It was both easier and tougher than I expected. The distance wasn’t the issue but the initial climb to the top of Woburn woods nearly killed me!

“Once past the nasty first climb the ride was mostly quite enjoyable, the scenery in the area is lovely and the section past the safari park was very picturesque.

“The weather turned out to be far hotter then expected, sun cream was a must even if I managed to miss a few spots!

“It was a really good event with lots of people of all abilities turning up to ride to raise money for the British Heart Foundation at the same time as celebrating MK’s big birthday.

“It was amazing to see how many people where happy to torture themselves for such a good cause!”

Nick’s 50-mile journey with friend James Bryan took him on the Redway around Milton Keynes before venturing onto quiet countryside roads through picturesque villages in both Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, from Rushmere Country Park to Woburn Safari Park, before heading back to the finish line at Willen Lake.

Since launching last year, The Melrose Directory has been determined to use their family-run holiday property rental business to help raise cash for local charities.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Mazars tea party raises money for children’s charity

Posted: 12/07/17 by Mazars LLP

The Milton Keynes office of Mazars, the international accountancy and advisory firm, has raised over £1,000 for Northampton charity, Children are Butterflies. The sum was generated as part of this year’s latest Charity Ladies’ Afternoon Tea event.

Nominated by Jessica Sharpe who works in the Mazars Milton Keynes’ Outsourcing Department, the charity provides assistance to bereaved families who have lost a child.

Support includes practical and financial support when arranging a funeral and an established network of parents and families suffering similar losses.

The event took place at The Woburn Hotel and saw 50 professional ladies from across Milton Keynes, come together for an afternoon of networking, baked treats and raffle prizes.

Ann Hollowell, Founder and Trustee of Children are Butterflies, said: “We owe a massive thank you to the Mazars Milton Keynes team for making the event such a success.

“Due to the nature of our work, it’s not always easy to have local public fundraising events, so the fact that Mazars chose to hold this event to support the work we do was terrific.

“We not only help those families who are currently facing a family tragedy, but as a non-profit organisation, if there are surplus funds at the end of each year, we donate those to organisations that directly help to save children’s lives of any age or that are yet to be born and that’s why events such as these are so important to us.”

Stephen Eames, Milton Keynes Office Managing Partner at Mazars, said: “The work that Children are Butterflies do is fantastic. They offer support to so many families that have suffered such unimaginable tragedy and heartache and we’re so pleased that through the money we raised, we can help assist even more families across the country.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that attended the afternoon.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

University’s close relationship with sports agency pays off for James

Posted: 12/07/17 by The University of Northampton

A sport-mad student is the latest to benefit from the University of Northampton’s close relationship with a leading PR and digital sports agency group.

Final Third Sports Media, and its younger sister organisation the other half, are based at the University’s Avenue Campus, and boast a number of high-profile clients, including the English Football League and Professional Referee Organization in the USA.

The companies have enjoyed a close working relationship with the University, having taken on a number of students to carry out work placements and paid project work.

The latest undergraduate to benefit is second-year Multimedia Journalism student, James Anstee, who is completing a work experience placement over the summer with the other half, allowing him to be involved in a series of different PR-driven projects.

“The placement’s been a great opportunity for me,” said the 20-year-old from Northampton. “I’ve been working on a project for an international football academy which we’ve led a recent rebrand for.

“It was interesting looking into the various ways it could achieve its objectives with a new identity, by researching how other organisations in the sports industry have branded themselves.

“One day I would love to set up my own PR agency, so the experience I am picking up here with the other half is invaluable. I am getting to work within an agency that is still in its infancy and receiving an overview of how it’s being built up, and how the organisation works.

“Plus, the actual project work is really interesting, as the sports industry is something I am passionate about.”

James’s experiences on the Multimedia Journalism course have stood him in good stead for a career in sports PR.

He explained: “We have a news day each week on our course, and it’s all geared towards digital. We get to learn what makes a great story, and to take that journalistic know-how into the PR world should give me a competitive edge when I embark on my career.”

James isn’t the only University representative working at the sister agencies – the new Students’ Union president, Rafael Garcia-Krailing, was a marketing intern at Final Third.

Sports Marketing graduate, Ben Warren, spent more than two years with Final Third, initially as an intern, then staying on beyond his studies for a summer placement. The experience he picked up there, along with the skills developed on his degree course, helped him to land his dream job as Somerset County Cricket Club’s digital marketing executive in 2015.

Chris Rivett, managing director of both Final Third and the other half, said: “We’ve enjoyed an increasingly fruitful relationship with the University over the seven years we’ve been in its Portfolio Centre.

“In the last five years we’ve had several marketing and journalism students working closely with us on a regular basis and it has always been an enjoyable experience. It is satisfying seeing them progress their careers after University and put into practice some of the learnings from the lecture room and skills we’ve worked with them to develop in a working environment.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Financial penalties to be imposed on rogue landlords in Northampton

Posted: 12/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council is planning to introduce tough new measures to tackle criminal, rogue and irresponsible landlords.

Following the introduction of new powers for local authorities in April, as an alternative to prosecution the borough council can now impose civil penalties of up to £30,000 per offence on landlords and letting agents who flout the law.

Until this year, prosecution was the only option available to the Council when dealing with serious housing offences committed by landlords. However, the Government has now given councils more powers to deal with rogue landlords and improve housing standards in the private rented sector.

Northampton Borough Council is one of the first councils to adopt the changes and has developed a clear policy on how its new approach to enforcement will work.

Civil penalties can now be used to deal with a wide range of serious housing offences where the accommodation is unlicensed, substandard, overcrowded, badly managed or unsafe. Penalties will be paid directly to the borough council and will be ring-fenced to help fund further housing enforcement activity.

Tenants of landlords who have civil penalties imposed on them are able to apply for a rent repayment order to reclaim up to 12 months’ rent and, where the rent has been met with the assistance of housing benefit, the borough council can seek to recover all or part of the housing benefit that was paid during that period.

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “Northampton has some excellent landlords and letting agents, but there are people who knowingly rent out accommodation that is unlicensed, substandard or unsafe and this is wholly unacceptable.

“Of course, the maximum civil penalties will be reserved for the worst offences and the size of each penalty will be determined on a case by case basis. The important thing for us to consider, however, is whether the penalty is sufficient to remove any financial advantage that the offender may have gained by committing the offence – landlords and letting agents must never profit from putting their tenants at risk.

“What makes civil penalties a better option than prosecution is the fact that the borough council is able to use the income it receives from these penalties – and, indeed, the income it receives from rent repayment orders – to invest in our housing services, take action against more landlords, and improve the standard of private rented housing in Northampton.”

Civil penalty enforcement will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 19 July and if approved will be introduced in Northampton from 1 August.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Close Brothers comments on Taylor review of modern employment practices

Posted: 12/07/17 by Close Brothers Asset Finance

Commenting on the Taylor review of modern employment practices, Jeanette Makings, Head of Financial Education at Close Brothers, said:

“We are seeing more and more changes to the UK Labour market in the last few years with longer working careers, the emergence of the gig economy, as well as the increasing prevalence of self-employed, flexible, part-time and remote working to name a few.

“But these all provide a challenge to employers who want to provide the right support to their workers, but who may find it difficult given the different working statuses and financial circumstances. Some workers, for example self-employed workers, may need additional support and guidance to navigate what financial choices are available to them in the workplace and how to plan and make good decisions as they plan their financial futures.

“Companies have a responsibility to make sure that their workers have the right level of financial education, whatever their station or circumstances. While the Taylor review has some interesting suggestions such as those around portable benefits, tech, and default auto-enrolment, there still seems to be some way to go when it comes to helping these newly labelled ‘dependent contractors’ to plan for their financial future and save for retirement.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Central Foods celebrates its 21st birthday by being named in top 100

Posted: 12/07/17 by Central Foods Ltd

Frozen food distributor Central Foods has been named as one of the top 100 performing businesses in Northamptonshire for the first time.

The firm, which this year is celebrating its 21st anniversary, has been awarded a place in the Grant Thornton Northamptonshire Ltd Top 100 Companies for 2017 report.

“Central Foods has previously been named in the top 200 companies in Northamptonshire on a number of occasions, but this is the first year that we have been included in the top 100 – reflecting our continued growth and development as a business,” said managing director Gordon Lauder, who runs Central Foods with wife Alison.

“Now in its fifth year, the Grant Thornton report has become a key event in the county’s business calendar and the team at Central Foods is delighted that we have now, for the first time, progressed into the top 100.

“Our company was founded in Northamptonshire 21 years ago and began its life, as many do, in a very small-scale way from our home. We are very pleased and proud to have steadily grown the business to become the significant contributor to the local economy that it is today.

“Our committed, hard-working staff ensure they go over and above what is required to service customers’ requirements and this has undoubtedly been a factor in our growth and success, and I’d like to thank them for their support.”

Central Foods, based at Collingtree near Northampton, is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors, supplying more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers. It also supplies to foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, staff canteens, schools, hospitals, coffee shops, football grounds and universities.

Offering a one-stop shop to the foodservice sector, Central Foods sources products from around the world and the UK, supplying more than 400 different lines, ranging from meat, bakery items and canapés through to buffet products, desserts and puddings.

Grant Thornton director Mike Hughes said: “We are pleased to announce that Central Foods Limited is featured in the Northamptonshire Ltd Top 100 Companies for 2017.

“According to the Northamptonshire Ltd Report, businesses in the county are performing strongly in terms of growth compared to the rest of the UK and this is set to continue. The report, conducted by Grant Thornton, analyses the financial performance of the county’s leading privately owned companies in the county.”

Mike, along with Grant Thornton associate director David Stone, recently presented an award to Central Foods to mark the company’s achievement.

Northamptonshire Ltd is compiled using the most recent publicly available accounts (as at April 2017) of the county’s 100 largest privately owned companies based on turnover and with their principal trading address in Northamptonshire. It encompasses companies with revenues of around £12 million to more than £600 million.

The report identifies the three top sectors in the county by turnover as food, drink and leisure, automotive and motor retail, and industrial and manufacturing.

For more details about Central Foods, visit www.centralfoods.co.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Onefoursix flies the nest to larger premises

Posted: 11/07/17 by Onefoursix Ltd

A thriving Northampton marketing agency has expanded by moving to larger offices in the town.

Onefoursix, which provides digital marketing and web and graphic design services, has moved from the Portfolio Innovation Centre in St Georges Avenue to Christchurch Road.

The company’s new home is approximately 2,500 sq ft and situated in ‘The Loft’ at the Mobbs Miller House complex – a space that will be shared with other locally grown creative companies Gnu Films, a film and animation company, and LionSorbet, a design consultancy for the jewellery and fashion industry.

“This move will allow us to expand as a team and put down firm roots as a company,” said Dave Williams, managing director of Onefoursix. “It also signifies the start of a new chapter for us.

“We have known for some time that the Portfolio Innovation Centre will be closing as the University moves to the new Waterside Campus, and we have struggled to find suitable premises to move to. This has taken up a considerable chunk of our time of late with a few set-backs along the way, but we are more than happy with how things have worked out in the long run.

“We look forward to welcoming our clients to the new office and showing them around. This move to bigger and better premises, but still remaining part of a creative hub, will only benefit them as we continue in our commitment to helping businesses get themselves noticed.

“We’ll also be hosting a moving-in drop-in party soon, so watch this space!”

For more information about Onefoursix, call 01604 779035 or visit www.onefoursix.co.uk.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Northampton to sign Charter to support people diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

Posted: 11/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council has voted to sign the Motor Neurone Disease Charter to help ensure that people living with the disease, as well as the people who care for them, can access the support they need.

The charter was created by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to raise awareness of the terminal condition that kills almost a third of people within 12 months of diagnosis. The charity places emphasis on the right to be treated as an individual, the right to maximise quality of life and the right to be respected and well-supported and has approached councils across the UK for their backing.

Scott Maloney at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: “I’m delighted that Northampton Borough Council has adopted the MND Charter. The MND Association was established in Northamptonshire in 1979 by a group of volunteers who wanted to support people affected by this devastating disease, and volunteers still play a crucial role in our work today. It’s great to see our hometown adopt the Charter and commit to playing its part in raising awareness and delivering services for people living with MND and their carers locally.”

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “We want everyone who calls Northampton home to have access to quality services that allow them to make the most of life. Motor Neurone Disease progresses incredibly quickly so it’s important that the right support is available to people when they are diagnosed.

“While the borough council doesn’t commission care and support services, we can help in other ways by raising awareness of the disease and educating our staff. Our first step will be to host an awareness event later in the year which we’ll promote the details of closer to the time.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Taylor Review - BCC comments

Posted: 11/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the publication of the Taylor Review, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The world of work is changing, and it is only right that employment law and practice change with it. Matthew Taylor has rightly recognised that the UK’s flexible labour market is a great source of strength and competitive advantage, but has also recommended some common-sense changes where grey areas have emerged in recent years. We are pleased that he has acknowledged that UK firms already face high costs in addition to wages, and has sought to avoid adding to these burdens at a time of uncertainty and change.

“Civic-minded business leaders across the UK have expressed concerns about the consequences of insecure employment in their local communities in recent years, and recognise there is a two-way bargain that needs to be struck that gives flexibility and security to both employers and employees. Civic businesses will also agree with Taylor on the importance of good-quality work, and opportunities for growth, development and workplace health.

“While the notion of a wage premium in exchange for uncertain working hours is superficially attractive, it could have unforeseen consequences, and push wage costs up elsewhere. Further expert consideration of the potential impact of such a measure on jobs will be needed.

“If the new category of ‘dependent contractors’ proposed by the review is implemented, it must have a clear legal definition to prevent any ambiguity or unintended knock-on effects.

“The government should consult widely with business and employees over the coming months to ensure any response to the Taylor Review is proportionate, fair and above all unbureaucratic.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

BCC’s Dr Adam Marshall comments on the Taylor Review

Posted: 11/07/17 by catherine.bontoft@northants-chamber.co.uk

Commenting on the publication of the Taylor Review, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The world of work is changing, and it is only right that employment law and practice change with it. Matthew Taylor has rightly recognised that the UK’s flexible labour market is a great source of strength and competitive advantage, but has also recommended some common-sense changes where grey areas have emerged in recent years. We are pleased that he has acknowledged that UK firms already face high costs in addition to wages, and has sought to avoid adding to these burdens at a time of uncertainty and change.

“Civic-minded business leaders across the UK have expressed concerns about the consequences of insecure employment in their local communities in recent years, and recognise there is a two-way bargain that needs to be struck that gives flexibility and security to both employers and employees. Civic businesses will also agree with Taylor on the importance of good-quality work, and opportunities for growth, development and workplace health.

“While the notion of a wage premium in exchange for uncertain working hours is superficially attractive, it could have unforeseen consequences, and push wage costs up elsewhere. Further expert consideration of the potential impact of such a measure on jobs will be needed.

“If the new category of ‘dependent contractors’ proposed by the review is implemented, it must have a clear legal definition to prevent any ambiguity or unintended knock-on effects.

“The government should consult widely with business and employees over the coming months to ensure any response to the Taylor Review is proportionate, fair and above all unbureaucratic.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Dr Adam Marshall of the BCC comments on the Taylor Review

Posted: 11/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the publication of the Taylor Review, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The world of work is changing, and it is only right that employment law and practice change with it. Matthew Taylor has rightly recognised that the UK’s flexible labour market is a great source of strength and competitive advantage, but has also recommended some common-sense changes where grey areas have emerged in recent years. We are pleased that he has acknowledged that UK firms already face high costs in addition to wages, and has sought to avoid adding to these burdens at a time of uncertainty and change.

“Civic-minded business leaders across the UK have expressed concerns about the consequences of insecure employment in their local communities in recent years, and recognise there is a two-way bargain that needs to be struck that gives flexibility and security to both employers and employees. Civic businesses will also agree with Taylor on the importance of good-quality work, and opportunities for growth, development and workplace health.

“While the notion of a wage premium in exchange for uncertain working hours is superficially attractive, it could have unforeseen consequences, and push wage costs up elsewhere. Further expert consideration of the potential impact of such a measure on jobs will be needed.

“If the new category of ‘dependent contractors’ proposed by the review is implemented, it must have a clear legal definition to prevent any ambiguity or unintended knock-on effects.

“The government should consult widely with business and employees over the coming months to ensure any response to the Taylor Review is proportionate, fair and above all unbureaucratic.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

OASIS Group Acquires Federal Archive Ltd

Posted: 11/07/17 by OASIS Group

OASIS Group, the fastest growing records and information management (RIM) company across Europe, have confirmed the completion of an additional vital acquisition. In a deal finalised on June 30th, the company acquired Federal Archive, Ltd., located in Cork, Ireland.

This transaction reinforces OASIS Group’s leadership in the Irish market. Offering a suite of information management services, including GDPR dedicated tools and Business Continuity solutions, they continue to confirm their dedication to their clients.

“This region was always a key area of interest for OASIS and Cork has provided us with a prime location”, states Brian Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of OASIS Group.

“Increasing our footprint domestically and expanding our reach locally, provides us with an opportunity to build on our offerings and existing relationships. With a commitment to transform and elevate the RIM industry, this is a promise we take seriously”.

With the integration of Federal Archives, Ltd. now underway, the newly attained clients will quickly benefit from the exceptional infrastructure and client care services OASIS provides.

This transaction marks the 28th successful acquisition for OASIS Group.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

‘No deal’ not an option for business communities - BCC

Posted: 11/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

One month on from the General Election, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) yesterday (Monday) published a post-election survey of over 2,400 companies, which shows that while businesses have a range of views on their preferred objectives for the UK in Brexit negotiations, there is almost no support to conclude UK-EU talks without a trade deal.

Asked to consider which option came closest to their view about what the UK’s Brexit negotiation objectives should be, the survey - carried out just after the election - showed:

  • 2% said leave the Single Market and Customs Union, and rely on WTO rules for trade (leave without a trade deal with the EU)
  • 34% said remain in the Single Market and Customs Union
  • 13% said remain in Customs Union only (no hard borders or tariffs, but limited scope to negotiate trade agreements with third countries)
  • 11% said remain in the Single Market only (accept EU regulations and rules in return for full access to market)
  • 28% said a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and a customs agreement (the government’s pre-election objectives, set at the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech)

Respondents were also asked about a transition period, and which of the following options they believe is best for their business:

  • 46% said ‘a transition period of three years
  • 22% said ‘a transition period of longer than three years’
  • 17% said ‘no transition period’

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Our results make it clear that there are a range of business views on what the UK should be seeking in a final deal with the EU, but there is near-universal consensus that a deep and comprehensive agreement is needed. ‘No deal’ isn’t seen as a viable option. Businesses want a pragmatic settlement on the practical, real-world issues that affect their operations, not arbitrary political red lines.

“By more than three to one, businesses want a transition period on the way to a final agreement with the EU. This is critical to prevent firms facing the prospect of repeated, costly adjustments to new trading conditions. If companies have to change their business model once in 2019 and again several years thereafter, the competitiveness and investment potential of our firms will be undermined.

“Getting transition arrangements on the negotiations agenda as quickly as possible would give businesses - many of whom are considering big investment decisions now - the confidence to press ahead.”

Attached here is a PDF of the Post-Election Snap Poll.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

BCC: ‘No deal’ not an option for business communities

Posted: 11/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

One month on from the General Election, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) yesterday (Monday) published a post-election survey of over 2,400 companies, which shows that while businesses have a range of views on their preferred objectives for the UK in Brexit negotiations, there is almost no support to conclude UK-EU talks without a trade deal.

Asked to consider which option came closest to their view about what the UK’s Brexit negotiation objectives should be, the survey - carried out just after the election - showed:

  • 2% said leave the Single Market and Customs Union, and rely on WTO rules for trade (leave without a trade deal with the EU)
  • 34% said remain in the Single Market and Customs Union
  • 13% said remain in Customs Union only (no hard borders or tariffs, but limited scope to negotiate trade agreements with third countries)
  • 11% said remain in the Single Market only (accept EU regulations and rules in return for full access to market)
  • 28% said a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement and a customs agreement (the government’s pre-election objectives, set at the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech)

Respondents were also asked about a transition period, and which of the following options they believe is best for their business:

  • 46% said ‘a transition period of three years’
  • 22% said ‘a transition period of longer than three years’
  • 17% said ‘no transition period’

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Our results make it clear that there are a range of business views on what the UK should be seeking in a final deal with the EU, but there is near-universal consensus that a deep and comprehensive agreement is needed. ‘No deal’ isn’t seen as a viable option. Businesses want a pragmatic settlement on the practical, real-world issues that affect their operations, not arbitrary political red lines.

“By more than three to one, businesses want a transition period on the way to a final agreement with the EU. This is critical to prevent firms facing the prospect of repeated, costly adjustments to new trading conditions. If companies have to change their business model once in 2019 and again several years thereafter, the competitiveness and investment potential of our firms will be undermined.

“Getting transition arrangements on the negotiations agenda as quickly as possible would give businesses - many of whom are considering big investment decisions now - the confidence to press ahead.”

Attached here is a PDF of the Post-Election Snap Poll.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Supported Internships Transform the Lives of SEND Students

Posted: 11/07/17 by Milton Keynes College

Milton Keynes College is working with students with disabilities, including autism, ADHD, cerebal palsy, global delay and moderate learning difficulties, to help them obtain and remain in employment.

The Supported Internships programme, which was set up by the Department of Education and first trialled at Milton Keynes College in 2015/16, is expected to obtain a 100% success rate this year, with many of the college’s 2016/17 learners gaining permanent employment, or voluntary jobs and skills progression that could lead to their future careers.

Big brands, including Tesco, Bosch, Holiday Inn and Currys PC World are among those supporting Milton Keynes College to create life-changing opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Pippa Bruckland, Personal Tutor and Lead Job Coach for Supported Internships at the College, explains: “So far this year we have placed four of our students in permanent employment and are expecting the remaining contracts to be signed any day now. We have been overwhelmed by the success of the programme and have had fantastic feedback from learners and employers alike.”

One student, called Michael (pictured), has just been offered permanent employment with Holiday Inn Milton Keynes. The well-known hotel brand is delighted and has requested more Supported Interns for September.

Darren Hayward, General Manager of Holiday Inn Milton Keynes says: “We are delighted to be associated with MK College and the Supported Internships programme. Finding team members who have a passion for what they do can be a challenge and the Supported Internships, through the guidance of Pippa Bruckland, has introduced us to young adults who have the passion and drive but simply need a leg up at the start.

“We are very excited as a hotel, a management company and an industry about the potential the Supported Internships brings to us for employing team members with a natural passion and enthusiasm for hospitality. The dedication and commitment from professional Personal Tutors like Pippa offers the students the assistance needed to get it right at the start of the employment process and cross the hurdles that may otherwise prevent success. Well done to all involved in this initiative. We are delighted.”

Supported Internships essentially offer a stepping stone, with a safety net, to a young person’s future, while at the same time educating and familiarising employers with the benefits of employing people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

“The College is working closely with employers to support future generations of SEND students into work, and close the gap between disabled and non-disabled people in permanent employment. With positive results for the programme so far, I hope that more employers will embrace the Supported Internships scheme, so that more SEND children and their parents/carers can rely on a system that will provide increased opportunities to a fulfilling future career,” concludes Pippa.

For further information about Supported Internships at Milton Keynes College visit http://www.mkcollege.ac.uk/subjects-we-offer/inclusive-learning, email Inclusive.learning@mkcollege.ac.uk or call 01908 684141.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

New Member of the Team – Bid and Project Coordinator

Posted: 11/07/17 by Bid & Tender Support Ltd

Due to our continued growth and success, Bid and Tender Support are delighted to announce we have a new member of the Team. Clara-Jane has joined our Team as Bid & Project Coordinator to manage our internal workflow, client liaison, document management and research. Clara’s background in process driven roles and customer services, will ensure she proves to be a very useful and valuable member of our Team.

Clara-Jane brings a multitude of skills to the business including a high level of attention to detail and organisational skills; both are essential to our work. As a highly efficient worker, Clara-Jane will allow us to continue to offer the very best customer service and standards of work as we grow.

Welcome to the Team!

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Article 50: uncertainty the order of the day for UK SMEs

Posted: 11/07/17 by Close Brothers Asset Finance

Only 1 in 4 SME owners in the UK feel that they have a clear understanding of what Article 50 is and what it means for their business, according to results obtained from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that questions over 900 UK SME owners and senior management across a range of sectors and regions.

“Among smaller companies (those with a turnover less than £500k) the lack of understanding is even more acute,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance and Leasing. “In that category of respondents the figure falls to only 19%, which is indicative of how little people really know about Article 50 and its potential impact.”

Business impact

Over half (52%) of businesses were ‘unsure’ whether the triggering of Article 50 would have any measurable effect on their business; 21% felt it would while the remaining 27% said ‘no’.

“In the absence of any certainty, business owners are left with no choice but to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach,” said Neil. “In common with a year ago when the Brexit outcome was announced, companies are getting on with their day-to-day activities and hoping for the best outcome.”

Break-up of the UK

A large minority of business owners – 40% are of the opinion that the triggering of Article 50 will lead to the break-up of the UK, with Scotland (53%) and the Republic of Ireland (61%) being the most convinced.

“While these results are speculation only, it speaks to the uncertainty about the future of the UK in its current form,” said Neil. “This brings with it concerns about impact to their business, which in turn can lead to caution when making investment and growth decisions, with many deferring until there is more certainty in the market. For now, though, it is something we are all going to have to live with.”

Clarity over Europe?

Businesses were split down the middle when asked ‘do you think triggering Article 50 will bring more or less clarity to our relationship with the EU?’, with 49% answering ‘more’ and 51% saying ‘yes’.

“For many UK businesses, Europe is a key market, and will continue to be so regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations,” continued Neil. “Triggering Article 50 on its own does not seem to have brought the clarity many were hoping for.”

For more news from Close Brothers Asset Finance please click here.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Commitment to apprenticeships is a signal of intent from rail engineering giants

Posted: 11/07/17 by Northampton College

Global engineering giant Siemens has revealed it is ‘vital’ to keep feeding its talent pipeline with the best problem solvers from Northampton College as bosses look to plug the skills gap hitting the industry.

The commitment to apprenticeship schemes comes on the back of two Northampton College students winning the chance to spend time on work experience at Siemens base at the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Kings Heath, Northampton.

Level 3 Mechanical Engineering students Lewis Henry, aged 19, and 17-year-old William Dunkley will have the opportunity to impress managers at the pioneering facility and get fast-tracked to the apprenticeship assessment centre – where they can secure a permanent role working on the latest technology being rolled out across the railways.

Dan Walker from Siemens said: “We have seen a lot of older employees leave the industry through retirement and take their experience with them. It’s difficult to find young people to replace them and that has created a huge skills gap.

“By teaming up with Northampton College and identifying their star students at a young age we can begin to feed that talent pipeline with the type of people we need, good problem solvers with a commitment and determination to work hard. It’s vital we find those people to keep pushing forward.”

Having completed his two-year course at Northampton College, Lewis is now set to progress to the University of Nottingham where he will study civil engineering. William is returning to Booth Lane for the second year of his course and will undergo a work placement with Siemens.

He said: “It’s a fascinating industry and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to see the latest technology which is being used right here in Northampton to revolutionise the railways.”

Among the projects William will have the chance to work on is the European Rail Transport Management System – a new form of signalling being rolled out across the UK’s rail network.

He will also make use of state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets to gain a greater understanding of the component parts which go into the engineering of train carriages.

Tutor Neil Tobin said: “Having this facility on our doorstep here in Northampton can only be a good thing for our students and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with Siemens.”

Pictured (L-R): Dan Walker from Siemens, William Dunkley, Lewis Henry and Neil Tobin of Northampton College.

For more information on engineering courses available at Northampton College, visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Denfield Park Primary School bag a Ruby Changemaker Award

Posted: 10/07/17 by The University of Northampton

Pupils from Denfield Park Primary School in Rushden have proved they are real Changemakers by raising funds to improve their playground equipment and creating a ‘buddy stop’ to make sure that their classmates always have someone to play with.

The 25 children, ranging from age five to 11, visited the University of N​orthampton on Monday 3 July, along with their teacher Alice Freeman, and were presented with the Ruby Changemaker Award by the Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Petford.

The Changemaker Student Awards form part of the University’s commitment as an Askoka U Changemaker Campus to work with, celebrate and actively engage local schoolchildren in social change.

After identifying the issue of there not being enough play equipment to go around, the Changemaker team came up with ideas to raise money for new toys, such as present-making, raffles, discos and even starting up a yo-yo club.

With over £1,700 in funds, they have so far bought a giant Connect4, giant Jenga, a basketball net and toys for indoor play too.

The ‘buddy stop’ was also established, after it was noted that not all children were joining in at playtime. The idea is that the Changemaker team gather at a particular point during playtime so there is always someone available to talk to or play with.

Janice Watkins, Project Lead for the Changemaker Hub at the University of Northampton, said: “I’m very proud of the way these young Changemakers have identified a situation that they wanted to change for the better. Their fundraising skills have been amazing, as well as the empathy they have shown to their fellow pupils with the creation of a ‘buddy stop’.

“This award demonstrates all the hard work that the pupils have put in to make playtimes at their school more fun, as well as the experience they gained in working together as a team.”

The Changemaker Student Awards aim to recognise, celebrate and build children’s skills as Changemakers through innovative self-designed projects in their schools and the wider community.

The programme consists of three progressive levels; Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, which lead to a Changemaker Student Award.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Team BRIT supports young driver, Billy Monger

Posted: 10/07/17 by Stanair Industrial Door Services Ltd

Stanair are absolutely delighted to support Team BRIT who got Billy Monger back on track this week at Brands Hatch.

Billy, a teenage racing driver, suffered extreme injuries in a recent Formula 4 race at Donnington Park, which resulted in him having both legs amputated from the knees. Determined to get back behind the wheel, Billy did just that a short ten weeks after the crash, on a specially arranged track day at Brands Hatch with Team BRIT.

A truly inspiring young man, you can find out more about his story in this short video here.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

FREE Introduction to Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace Workshop

Posted: 10/07/17 by Velocity Growth Hub

1 in 4 working age adults suffer with mental health issues ever year. Last year alone cost the economy £105.2 billion and 80% of managers want to help staff but don’t know how.

This workshop delivered in conjunction with Blue Lobster Therapy will show you how to spot the early signs of mental health and stress issues in your employees and equip your business with tools to deal with mental ill health in the workplace.

Who should attend:

Owners, Line Mangers and HR Managers who are looking for strategies for managing and coping with mental health in the workplace.

What you will learn:

  • Understanding different types of illnesses
  • Knowing how to assess and signpost staff
  • Spot the signs early of mental health & stress issues.
  • Provide yourself, HR Managers & Line Managers with the tools to deal with mental ill health
  • Early intervention to prevent problems from impacting the business.
  • Reducing Absenteeism & Sickness costs.
  • Reducing the stigma around mental health
  • Promote a positive & productive working environment

Venue:Cranfield University Technology Park

Address: University Way Cranfield Bedfordshire MK43 0BT

Date & Time: Tuesday, 18th July 2017; 09:30 – 11:30

Contact Email: enquiries@velocitygrowthub.com

Back to Latest News

Latest News

We’d really like to hear your views on social media and what it means for you and your business

Posted: 10/07/17 by Howes Percival

Take part in our Social Media Impact Survey, aimed at understanding how business owners/senior management of UK owned businesses and professional advisors use social media.

We’d really like to hear your views on social media and what it means for you and your business.

This survey has 10 main questions over 2 pages and takes 2 minutes or less to complete.

This is an anonymous survey and NO NAMES, EMAIL OR COMPANY NAMES will be published, they remain STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Click here to take part in our survey here - http://www.howespercival.com/resources-and-events/news/social-media-impact-survey

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Why you need to check your existing Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) today

Posted: 07/07/17 by Robinson & Hall LLP

Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals, urge you to check any current EPCs as soon as possible.

New regulations coming into force will soon make it unlawful to renew or grant a new lease for properties with an energy rating below an E from 1st April 2018.

The clock is now ticking towards the deadline next year and you do not want to get caught out. The legislation will also apply to all existing leases from April 2023 so it is essential you properly plan to ensure you can continue to let your property.

To put things in to perspective, recent information published by the Government highlights that 10% of all registered EPCs for non-domestic properties in Bedfordshire are either F or G rated. Assuming no changes are made to legislation and that the property does not fit the exemption definitions then landlords for these properties will not be able to renew or grant a new lease after 1st April 2018. This could leave buildings unlettable until improvement works take place leading to vacant buildings and loss of rental income. It will also have an effect on tenants, who may have to find alternative premises.

It is important to be cautious when reviewing historic EPCs as some have been found to contain inaccurate information which have contributed to properties having a poor energy rating. In the past, EPCs were seen by many as a ‘tick box’ exercise just to advertise the property on the open market and enable a lease to be signed. Many were obtained as economically as possible with little attention to detail and based upon wrong assumptions. This has left many properties vulnerable and dropped them unnecessarily into the danger zone.

Another consideration is how many landlords know if existing tenants have made any changes since the last EPC? Changes to service installations, including air conditioning or electric heaters, can dramatically reduce the rating. We strongly urge landlords to review their current documents and if necessary commission new EPCs to ensure they accurately reflect the present day property.

While the new regulations do not come into force until April 2018, action now can help prepare for the changes and help mitigate the impact of the changes. Please contact Robinson & Hall for an initial free appraisal of your existing EPC.

Robinson & Hall can help identify any buildings at risk, assess your property, implement a strategy to ensure your buildings comply with the regulations and advise upon the most
cost effective options.

For further information about how Robinson & Hall can help you improve your EPC, please call Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying at Robinson & Hall on 01234 362917 or email rjf@robinsonandhall.co.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

PROMOTION HELPS TAKE CML’S ACCOUNT TEAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Posted: 07/07/17 by CML Ltd

End to end logistics expert, CML, is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael Smith from Customer Account Manager to the role of M&S Customer Relationship Manager.

Having worked at the company for 11 years, Michael has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure the service he provides Marks and Spencer is to the highest standard.

In his new position, Michael will work alongside the account management and customer service teams at CML, along with the clothing and home logistics team at the leading high street retailer. Michael will ensure that high-quality service levels continue to be achieved and its network strategy is supported by CML in the best way possible. As well as this, Michael will work with the team at Marks and Spencer to conduct operational and performance reviews to ensure that CML is able to effectively support its credible logistics network.

Commenting on his promotion, Michael said: “I am delighted to have been promoted to M&S Customer Relationship Manager and to have the opportunity to be involved with Marks and Spencer at a senior level. The experience I’ve gained working at CML over the years will enable me to provide them with exceptional levels of customer service, demonstrate my ability to work with them closely to develop new opportunities, focus on further continuous improvement alongside the clothing and home logistics team, and ‘put the customer at the heart of everything we do.’”

Commenting on Michael’s promotion, CML’s Managing Director, Mark Webb said “Michael has been a valued member of CML for a number of years now and was an obvious choice for this newly developed role. His promotion emphasizes our commitment to providing outstanding levels of service, not only to Marks and Spencer, but to all of our clients.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Motorsport Medics European Road Trip for Charity

Posted: 06/07/17 by Rockingham Motor Speedway Ltd

A team of medics is swapping their ambulance for a rally car this summer to help raise money for charity.

The colleagues from Meditech Global based at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, have formed the Medrock Allstars and will be competing in the annual Two Ball Banger Rally, which sees teams competing against each other over four-days.

Following the original route, the event starts in France on Friday, August 18 and takes in nine different countries in just four days! Passing through Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Monte Carlo before finishing in Nice.

Operations Director Gary Watts will be joined by Rockingham’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Mark Tyler (both pictured here), and paramedic Adrian Hanson on the 1200-mile European road trip to raise money for Northamptonshire-based Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Gary, from Rushden in Northamptonshire, said: This is a great opportunity for us three middle aged guys to have some fun driving around Europe in an old banger. It’s not quite Top Gear, more like we’ve lost a gear! But hopefully the Megane will see us across the finish line in Nice.

“We decided to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease Association as it is a charity close to our hearts. Sadly one of our friends’ partner has this condition and at present there is no cure. By taking part in this event, we are hoping to raise at least £1000 for MND, which provides support, care and research.”

Although the Two Ball Banger Rally is not a race, it is a serious competition, with competitors completing outrageous daily challenges which will test their mental state of mind, teamwork, driving and navigational skills!

However along the way, the route will pass through the Black Forest of Germany, the famous Stelvio Mountain Pass, Italy’s breath-taking Lake Como and the Mediterranean principality of the rich and famous, Monaco.

To take part in the event, each team had to purchase a car for less than £567 and the Medrock Allstars will be travelling in style! Their chosen wheels is a grey 56-plate Renault Megane. The trip is completely self-funded with competitors raising much needed funds for their own chosen charity.

The motorsport medics have so far secured sponsorship from Rockingham Motor Speedway, Whilton Mill, NGR Spark Plugs, British Touring Car teams – BMR and Triple8 – and drift racer Michelle Westby. However the team has room on their car for more names!

Anyone interested in adding their name to the Medrock Allstars car can contact Gary on 01536 206010. Or to make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-tyler8.

You can follow the team’s progress via Facebook - Medrock Allstars - Two Ball Rally 2017 & twitter - @MedrockAllstars.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

New University of Northampton course focuses on international special events management

Posted: 06/07/17 by The University of Northampton

Professionals who want to gain a competitive edge in the special events industry can sign up for a brand new course at the University of Northampton.

The MSc in International Special Events Management will equip students with the skills and knowledge to create events with the wow factor consumers demand. The course has been designed to reflect the diversity of events that fall into this category, such as celebrations, ceremonies and spectacles such as weddings, award ceremonies, fundraising events, galas, product launches, conferences, art shows and music festivals.

The course is not only aimed at recent graduates, but also those already working in the events industry who are looking for accelerated career progression , and can be studied on a full or part-time basis, which offers those in work the flexibility to learn alongside their job.

MSc Programme Leader, Angela Anthonisz said: “Special events live or die by the skills of the organiser – not just in terms of planning, but also in terms of creativity and design.

“Our programme focuses on many of the key planning skills required for managing special events, but places particular emphasis on innovation, excellence, creativity and design. We are looking for applicants that are passionate about the events industry and want to enhance their professional skill set.”

For more details about the course, visit the website: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/international-special-events-management/

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Northampton to compete in East Midlands in Bloom

Posted: 05/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton is taking part in the East Midlands in Bloom regional competition for the sixteenth time this year and judgement day is set for next week.

Horticultural judges will visit on Tuesday, 11 July to take in the efforts of schools, community groups and individuals from around the town.

In 2016, Northampton secured a Sliver Gilt award along with a special commendation from the judging panel for making the whole town bloom. This year, Northampton Borough Council are going for gold with an Edgar Mobbs commemorative display on St Giles Street and the addition a new statue of Lady Wantage in Abington Park.

Abington Vale Primary School is one of the community entrants who will meet the judges to showcase their green-fingered displays on the day. Fiona Hull, Deputy Head Teacher at Abington Vale Primary School, said: “The school looks beautiful and we’re really looking forward to showing it off. All of the children have been involved in the planting in some way and we’ve had parents,grandparents, governors and staff helping too.

“We’ve incorporated our Bloom projects into the curriculum by making it part of our science lessons on growth. So each class has worked on their own mini-project, which means that not only is the whole school covered in flowers but we’ve also got a vegetable patch, a sensory garden, and areas of planting that encourage wildlife.”

Local growers Cramden Nursery have come on board as official sponsors of Northampton in Bloom 2017 and will also be meeting the judges. Their home-grown pelargoniums are
currently filling the shoe planter in the Courtyard at the Guildhall.

Emily Mitchell from Cramden Nursery, said: “It’s our first time getting involved and we’re very proud to grow and provide plants for Northampton in Bloom. We’re a family business and all of our plants are grown here in Northampton so I’m really pleased we’re able to give something back to the community.

“I’m excited to meet the judges, it’s not the first time that our plants have been judged though so I’m feeling quietly confident and am really happy to let the plants do the talking.”

Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for the environment at Northampton Borough Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud of how much improvement we’ve shown since we first started taking part in Bloom and last year was our best yet, but I think we’ve got what it takes to push for gold.

“Whether we get there this year is entirely down to the judges now but I’m confident that we’ve shown we’re looking for new ways to encourage people to enjoy our town and green spaces.

“What’s really important is the community effort that goes into this and I’d like to thank everyone who has got stuck in again this year.”

The results of the East Midlands in Bloom competition will be announced in the autumn.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Apply for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: The UK’s most prestigious business awards

Posted: 05/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are recognised as the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1966 and since then 6,876 companies have been awarded a Queen’s Award.

Winning an Award offers multiple benefits including global recognition for your company, boosting staff morale and increasing growth.

In 2016 there were 83 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners across London and the South East.

Background information on the Awards

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise and encourage the outstanding achievements of UK businesses in the fields of:

  • International Trade;
  • Sustainable Development; and,
  • Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

The UK is full of exciting and innovative businesses and the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are a great way of celebrating their success.

Whether a small business with a great innovative product or service, or a larger company running an impressive social mobility programme, these awards are a prestigious way to recognise your contribution to enterprise.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are open to applications from almost all businesses of all sizes throughout the UK in every sector.

Benefits of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise

  • The use of a recognised emblem that will get your business noticed, above and beyond the competition.
  • Global recognition that your company is outstanding in its field.
  • Increase in sales and growth
  • Boost staff morale
  • Invitation to attend a Buckingham Palace reception

How to apply

  • Almost all UK businesses (including non profit) can apply and the application process is free.
  • All applications must be made online and you may apply for more than one category.
  • The application process for the 2018 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise closes at midday on Friday 1st September 2017.
  • All entry forms, eligibility criteria and information on how to apply is available at https://goo.gl/gWTXG9

For more information, please contact:

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Office

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

4th Floor – Spur 2

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

Email: queensawards@beis.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7215 6880

Website: https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

Twitter: @TheQueensAwards

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Apply for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise - The UK’s most prestigious business awards

Posted: 05/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are recognised as the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1966 and since then 6,876 companies have been awarded a Queen’s Award.

Winning an Award offers multiple benefits including global recognition for your company, boosting staff morale and increasing growth.

In 2016 there were 83 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners across London and the South East.

Background information on the Awards

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognise and encourage the outstanding achievements of UK businesses in the fields of:

  • International Trade;
  • Sustainable Development; and,
  • Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

The UK is full of exciting and innovative businesses and the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are a great way of celebrating their success.

Whether a small business with a great innovative product or service, or a larger company running an impressive social mobility programme, these awards are a prestigious way to recognise your contribution to enterprise.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are open to applications from almost all businesses of all sizes throughout the UK in every sector.

Benefits of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise

  • The use of a recognised emblem that will get your business noticed, above and beyond the competition.
  • Global recognition that your company is outstanding in its field.
  • Increase in sales and growth
  • Boost staff morale
  • Invitation to attend a Buckingham Palace reception

How to apply

  • Almost all UK businesses (including non profit) can apply and the application process is free.
  • All applications must be made online and you may apply for more than one category.
  • The application process for the 2018 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise closes at midday on Friday 1st September 2017.
  • All entry forms, eligibility criteria and information on how to apply is available at https://goo.gl/gWTXG9

For more information, please contact:

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Office

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

4th Floor – Spur 2

1 Victoria Street

London

SW1H 0ET

Email: queensawards@beis.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7215 6880

Website: https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

Twitter: @TheQueensAwards

Back to Latest News

Latest News

IN A SPIN

Posted: 05/07/17 by The Extra Step Ltd

Were you aware that fidgeting is more than just an annoying habit; it’s a way of channeling energy into the workplace?

Fidgeting is a common daily activity in the office, school, or workplace which cannot be prevented – the more people try to stop you, the more fidgety you become.

By occupying the part of the brain that’s bored, fidgeting enables the other parts to focus and consume the information that the person is receiving.

Spin away your stress, fear or boredom with this fidget spinner.

We have now extended our range of promotional products for fidgets to include a smart spinner and the fidget cube; as well as our range of printed stress balls. All three of these products have been purposely chosen to help improve concentration.

It’s so simple! Just place the spinner on a flat surface and hold your finger on the middle part to turn this spinner. This also be used held between your fingers in moments you need to focus to improve your productivity.

It’s hard to explain the product’s sudden popularity. Some educators claim the fidget spinner is a useful tool for children who have ADHD, giving them something to do with their hands to help them concentrate.

Because it is classed as a toy it must have CE label signaling that it has been approved for use by children. However many of the items coming in to the UK do not have this mark on, choose carefully whenh buying one if these are foe use with children.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Spirit Hyundai announces pices and specifications for the New Generation i30 Tourer

Posted: 05/07/17 by Spirit Hyundai

Spirit Hyundai has announced the new generation i30 Tourer will cost from £17,495, when it goes on sale this weekend.

All models come with an exceptional level of standard equipment, including a suite of safety tech, such as: Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Park Assist.

Alloy wheels, Bluetooth and DAB are all included on base “S” models, while the “SE” trim gains front fog lamps, a five inch LCD touchscreen and park assist.

“SE Nav” models cost from £20,305 and are likely to appeal to Business customers as they feature a Sat Nav system with an eight-inch TFT screen.

Top of the range “Premium” and Premium SE versions are spec’d with leather heated seats, larger alloy wheels front parking sensors and the blind spot protection warning system.

As an estate, luggage space is a key credential and the i30 Tourer can accommodate 602 litres with the rears seats in place and 1650 litres with the rear seats lowered.

The engine line up consists of a 1.0 or 1.4-litre Turbo petrol and a punchy 1.6-litre diesel. The latter is available in two outputs: 110ps or 136ps. The 110ps is the most efficient with CO2 emissions of 99gms/km. Emissions for petrol models range from 115gms/km to 129gms.

All New Generation i30 models come with Hyundai’s industry leading 5 Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty, 5 Year Roadside Assistance package, 5 Year annual Health Check and 12 Year Anti Corrosion Warranty.

The countries leading contract hire companies clearly like this new addition to the Hyundai family. With Personal & Business contract hire rates starting at £186.00 +VAT per month.

This New Generation i30 Tourer looks set to be another example of Hyundai setting their sites on the more established markets of the North European Brands.

Both Spirit Hyundai sites in Corby (01536-268223) and Spirit Northampton (01604-417850)will have i30 Tourer available to view from this weekend. Well worth a visit!!

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Former nurses asked to walk the wards again with the University of Northampton

Posted: 05/07/17 by The University of Northampton

Experienced nurses are being encouraged to walk the wards again and sign up for a retraining course with the University of Northampton.

Return to Professional Practice (RtP) lets qualified nurses who have had a break from practice enhance and hone their existing knowledge and skills so that they can confidently return.

Although there has been a national decrease in nurses registered to work in the UK, the University of Northampton and local NHS healthcare providers are collaborating on a first of its kind recruitment drive to address this and attract nurses and doctors to relocate to live and work in Northamptonshire.

Called the ‘Best of Both Worlds’, Northampton General Hospital, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering General Hospital and St Andrew’s Healthcare are working with us to position the county as a top destination for nurses who want to pursue and develop successful careers.

Steve O’Brien, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society at the University of Northampton said: “Nursing offers a fantastic career opportunity and across Northamptonshire there are many opportunities for nurses to work in diverse areas, either within hospitals or the wider community.

“Our Return to Practice course is funded by Health Education England so study costs should not deter Northamptonshire nurses from contacting us to help them return to what I feel is the most rewarding job of all.”

Sharon Gray took time out from her nursing career after an operation, but hasn’t looked back since starting her RtP course at University of Northampton. She said: “I would definitely recommend the Return to Professional Practice course as all the skills you learn during your training come flooding back and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“My advice to former nurses who want to get back into the profession is that the opportunity is there so go for it! You have absolutely nothing to lose and everyone is so supportive.”

Ruth Wheatley originally qualified in 1982 but overcame her doubts about going back into practice: Ruth said: “At the back of my mind, I always knew I was a nurse and wanted to return to practice. With support from the University of Northampton, I completed my application.

“I immediately bonded with the other RtP nurses as we were all in the same boat. It felt right when I stepped back onto the ward; I wondered why I hadn’t it before.”

Find out more about the Best of Both Worlds campaign.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Take part in our Social Media Impact Survey

Posted: 05/07/17 by Howes Percival LLP

Take part in our Social Media Impact Survey, aimed at understanding how business owners/senior management of UK owned businesses and professional advisors use social media.

We’d really like to hear your views on social media and what it means for you and your business.

This survey has 10 main questions over 2 pages and takes 2 minutes or less to complete.

This is an anonymous survey and NO NAMES, EMAIL OR COMPANY NAMES will be published, they remain STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Click here to take part in our survey here - https://lnkd.in/gdr9tS9

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Statues inspired by local history commissioned for Northampton

Posted: 05/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Five new statues of historical figures with a strong connection to Northampton have been commissioned for display in the town.

Following the popularity of the statue of poet John Clare, which was installed at the Guildhall last year, Northampton Borough Council has commissioned five additional statues from the same artist. Sculptor Richard Austin crafted the cold cast bronze statues in the likeness of prominent characters from Northampton’s past who each lived very different lives.

The installation will celebrate the achievements of five former Northampton residents who made names for themselves both locally and internationally:

  • Nobel Prize winner, Francis Crick was educated at the Northampton Town and County Grammar School and went on to co-discover the DNA molecule
  • Walter Tull joined Northampton Town Football Club in 1911 before becoming the first black officer to lead white British soldiers in battle during WWI
  • Malcolm Arnold made his name as one of the most sought-after composers in Britain, writing the score for the film “The Bridge over the River Kwai” among others
  • Local hero, Edgar Mobbs raised his own company of sportsmen for the Northamptonshire Regiment after initially being turned down as too old to join the army. He was killed in action in July 1917
  • Noted philanthropist, Lady Wantage was instrumental in setting up the National Aid Society - the forerunner of the British Red Cross Society. In the 1890s Lady Wantage gave the land for Abington Park to Northampton

Lady Wantage will spend the summer at Abington Park Museum while the rest of the life-size figures will join John Clare to line the Courtyard of the Guildhall.

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “We received such a positive response to John Clare that we wanted to extend the project to include other talented and inspirational former Northampton residents.

“With this installation we’re celebrating a composer, a scientist, a great philanthropist, sportsmen and soldiers, as well as a renowned poet; so it really showcases the great range of talent and potential that we are able to nurture right here in Northampton.

“The Guildhall is at the heart of the town and is itself steeped in history, so it seems a fitting home for these figures who have each added to our rich heritage in
their own way.”

Artist Richard Austin said: “It’s always so uplifting to work on a sculpture that represents the best of humanity. To work on six such figures for public display is therefore particularly exciting. I hope that this legacy from Northampton Borough Council will be as inspiring to those who see these statues, as it has been to create them.”

The statues will be installed on Tuesday, 4 July, during this time the Courtyard at the Guildhall will be closed to the public however the One Stop Shop shall remain open as usual.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Last chance this academic year to shape the careers of county students at Chamber Careers Fair

Posted: 04/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

County businesses can influence student career choices and increase their brand awareness at the latest in a series of high profile careers fairs.

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce will hold its fifth Your Future Careers Fairs for 11 to 18-year-olds this academic year this month.

More than 50 different firms, representing a variety of sectors from logistics and engineering to professional service and marketing, took part in the previous fairs which were visited by more than 1,000 pupils from five schools.

Northamptonshire Chamber head of operations Tracey Branson said: “Our fairs are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to showcase their organisations, products and services and to encourage young people to want to work for their sectors.

“For businesses to get the most out of the event and inspire the young people we suggest they demonstrate the products and services they offer and bring along a ‘have a go’ interactive activity for the young people to get involved in.”

Towcester-based J Motion video productions took part in a careers fair at Montsaye Academy in Rothwell.

Production manager Mat Hyman said: “The students were fully engaged and enjoyed the insight we gave them into video production. I’d highly recommend these fairs to other businesses.”

The fairs are part of a Careers and Enterprise Company funded project which will deliver 115 events through Chambers of Commerce to almost 30,000 young people in England.

The participating schools in Northamptonshire were identified through engagement with the Local Enterprise Partnership.

The final careers fair of this academic year will be at Northampton School for Girls on Wednesday, July 19.

For further information contact Northamptonshire Chamber policy executive Simon Dishman on 01604 490490 or at policy@northants-chamber.co.uk.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

The New i30 is now available to Chamber members with huge Affinity savings

Posted: 04/07/17 by Spirit Hyundai

The New i30 is now available to Chamber Members on Hyundai Affinity with savings from £2,681.55!!

Getting behind the wheel of a new Hyundai has never been easier. And as the Chamber is an Hyundai Affinity member, you have the added benefit of driving away in one for less.

Simply Google “Hyundai Affinity” and register with the Chambers unique Affinity code (B23) and we will show you all of the cars and offers available to you via Spirit Hyundai Retailers in Corby & Northampton.

With a few “clicks” you can configure your chosen model to your liking. It takes just 3 easy steps, so why not get started and see what we have to offer?

Don’t forget Hyundai Affinity is not just for employees of Chamber members, Affinity is available to relatives of employees as well!!!

For further information about the Hyundai Affinity Scheme contact our Affinity Manager, Steve Robinson - 01604 417850 - he will be delighted to assist you.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Insurance Leaders Call For Vigilance To Help Solicitors Protect Against Rising Regulatory Risks

Posted: 04/07/17 by QPI Professional Indemnity Insurance

Insurance industry leaders are calling for lawyers to remain ever vigilant against the rising risk of regulatory action by ensuring they are properly protected.

Broker experts from QPI Legal Ltd are spearheading an awareness campaign within the legal profession, highlighting the urgency for solicitors to proactively protect themselves from regulatory investigations.

Solicitors are being urged to ask the crucial question by their peers of whether or how they may be covered to protect against regulatory actions?

This should be the question every lawyer is asking in light of the recent high profile case, which witnessed the firm Leigh Day cleared of 19 charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) at a recent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Publicity surrounding the case reported the law firm had wrongly assumed they’d be protected from regulatory investigations under its Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) policy. The case has sparked a debate across the profession shining a spotlight on the need for law firms to recognise and plan for the risks that they can be exposed to that fall outside the protection afforded by an SRA Minimum Terms & Conditions (MTC’s) PII policy.

QPI Legal predicts many more firms may mistakenly assume its PII policy automatically covers similar regulatory actions, stressing the SRA is not the only regulatory body that should cause concern for legal firms.

By May 2018 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will start enforcing the regulations for General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) having significantly increased its investigatory resources to meet the rising demand.

It’s predicted the ICO, probably in tandem with the SRA, will take a critical view of failings in an organisation’s cyber security, an increasing threat facing law firms and businesses globally.

The broker business leaders warned where an organisation cannot demonstrate they’ve assessed data risk to ensure protection is adequate, staff have been trained properly and have plans in place for a data breach, they’d face damaging disciplinary issues if there’s been a breach that’s put client’s data or money at risk.

Phil Edwards, Managing Director of QPI Legal said: “Fortunately Leigh Day discovered it had protection because it was afforded under a Management Liability policy that was originally taken out years earlier, apparently as a response to a potentially uninsured Employment Practices incident.

“That policy enabled them to obtain and, more importantly, pay for the specialist high quality legal advice that ensured a successful defence of the action against the firm.”

However Edwards had words of warning for other legal firms: “This latest Leigh Day case critically highlights the risks firms face by not fully understanding and/or being advised properly on the complexities of the policies they buy and the way that these policies need to be adapted to meet emerging risks.

“Having a broker that does understand, takes a broader view than just selling a PII policy and can provide a co-ordinated, knowledge based approach to advising firms on both existing and emerging risks is critical to ensuring the right level of protection that the firm needs.

“At QPI Legal we specialise in making the complex easy by building bespoke programmes dealing with a range of inter-related risks that are founded on your PII policy but extend to encompass both existing and developing risk as a firms needs change.”

Richard Grayson, Director and Head of QPI Legal, added: “Don’t leave it to chance and good luck. We can analyse a firm’s risks, audit them against their current policy covers and help them identify what’s right and what’s wrong before the problem arises rather than when it’s too late!”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Brokers Call For Vigilance To Help Solicitors Protect Against Rising Regulatory Risks

Posted: 04/07/17 by catherine.bontoft@northants-chamber.co.uk

Insurance industry leaders are calling for lawyers to remain ever vigilant against the rising risk of regulatory action by ensuring they are properly protected.

Broker experts from QPI Legal Ltd are spearheading an awareness campaign within the legal profession, highlighting the urgency for solicitors to proactively protect themselves from regulatory investigations.

Solicitors are being urged to ask the crucial question by their peers of whether or how they may be covered to protect against regulatory actions?

This should be the question every lawyer is asking in light of the recent high profile case, which witnessed the firm Leigh Day cleared of 19 charges brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) at a recent Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Publicity surrounding the case reported the law firm had wrongly assumed they’d be protected from regulatory investigations under its Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) policy. The case has sparked a debate across the profession shining a spotlight on the need for law firms to recognise and plan for the risks that they can be exposed to that fall outside the protection afforded by an SRA Minimum Terms & Conditions (MTC’s) PII policy.

QPI Legal predicts many more firms may mistakenly assume its PII policy automatically covers similar regulatory actions, stressing the SRA is not the only regulatory body that should cause concern for legal firms.

By May 2018 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will start enforcing the regulations for General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) having significantly increased its investigatory resources to meet the rising demand.

It’s predicted the ICO, probably in tandem with the SRA, will take a critical view of failings in an organisation’s cyber security, an increasing threat facing law firms and businesses globally.

The broker business leaders warned where an organisation cannot demonstrate they’ve assessed data risk to ensure protection is adequate, staff have been trained properly and have plans in place for a data breach, they’d face damaging disciplinary issues if there’s been a breach that’s put client’s data or money at risk.

Phil Edwards, Managing Director of QPI Legal said: “Fortunately Leigh Day discovered it had protection because it was afforded under a Management Liability policy that was originally taken out years earlier, apparently as a response to a potentially uninsured Employment Practices incident.

“That policy enabled them to obtain and, more importantly, pay for the specialist high quality legal advice that ensured a successful defence of the action against the firm.”

However Edwards had words of warning for other legal firms: “This latest Leigh Day case critically highlights the risks firms face by not fully understanding and/or being advised properly on the complexities of the policies they buy and the way that these policies need to be adapted to meet emerging risks.

“Having a broker that does understand, takes a broader view than just selling a PII policy and can provide a co-ordinated, knowledge based approach to advising firms on both existing and emerging risks is critical to ensuring the right level of protection that the firm needs.

“At QPI Legal we specialise in making the complex easy by building bespoke programmes dealing with a range of inter-related risks that are founded on your PII policy but extend to encompass both existing and developing risk as a firms needs change.”

Richard Grayson, Director and Head of QPI Legal, added: “Don’t leave it to chance and good luck. We can analyse a firm’s risks, audit them against their current policy covers and help them identify what’s right and what’s wrong before the problem arises rather than when it’s too late!”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Marketing Made Easy FREE workshop

Posted: 04/07/17 by Velocity Growth Hub

Marketing is a powerful tool to help you grow your business. However it can also take up time and money with little effect if it is not utilised correctly.

This workshop will provide straightforward guidance to improve your success from marketing.

Who should attend:

Owners and managers who want to understand how best to market their business and create a marketing strategy.

What will you learn:

• Marketing the importance and impact on SMEs
• How to create a marketing strategy
• Ideas of how to implement a marketing strategy into your business

Venue: Cherwell District Council

Address: Bodicote House White Post Road Bodicote Banbury Oxfordshire OX15 4AA

Date & Time: Thursday, 13th July 2017; 13:00 – 16:00

Contact Email: enquiries@velocitygrowthub.com

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Staff of FibreFab doing their bit for charity

Posted: 04/07/17 by Fibrefab Limited

​Staff of FibreFab have been busy raising funds for charities of their choosing. They chose three local charities for the money raised to be donated to.

The charities were MK Chamber members Keech Hospice Care and Willen Hospice; as well as Cancer Research UK.

Staff from both Milton Keynes and Haverhill offices raised the money through a raffle held for employees.

A total of £1113.000 was raised, which was then kindly doubled by FibreFab to be shared amongst the chosen charities. A total of £830 to each charity.

So far we have presented a cheque to both Keech Hospice Care (pictured here) and Willen Hospice. We will hopefully be presenting to Cancer Research UK within the next few weeks.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Special offer for Northants Chamber Members to watch Olly Murs

Posted: 04/07/17 by Tom Hewer Catering

Calling all ​Northamptonshire chamber members… if you are a fan of Olly Murs, make sure you grab this special offer to watch Olly Murs at the Northampton Cricket Ground on Friday 14th July.

Chamber member Tom Hewer Catering is offering all chamber members a special rate of £99.50 (instead of the usual rate of £149.50) to watch this entertaining Singer/Songwriter with added perks.

Your ticket will include:

  • Use of Franks VIP area
  • Access to Golden Circle
  • Prosecco on Arrival
  • All inclusive food from Franks
  • Use of Private Bar at Franks Pavillion

To book, please contact: events@tomhewer.com or call 01604 911073.

Hurry and book as places are limited for what promises to be an amazing night.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Briggs & Forrester M&E contract for first phase of Birmingham city centre development

Posted: 04/07/17 by Briggs & Forrester Group Ltd

Building services specialist Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services Ltd will be working with main contractor Carillion on the first phase of the Paradise development in the heart of Birmingham.

One Chamberlain Square is a new eight-storey building featuring Grade A office space.

Briggs and Forrester has been awarded an M&E contract for Shell and Core and Cat A Fit Out.

Designed by Eric Parry Architects, the elegant, curvaceous building uses a variety of materials to complement the existing listed architecture whilst presenting a contemporary finish. A large roof terrace on the sixth floor offers spectacular views across the city, while a series of restaurants and retail units sit at ground level.

Briggs and Forrester will provide mechanical, electrical and public health services to the shell and core areas including the basement, Lower Ground and Ground floor facilities and the roof top plantroom.

The Cat A Fit Out will focus on the office floor plates, including environmental and comfort considerations such as FCU air conditioning and LED lighting, and convenience solutions such as small power and data services.

The first phase of the project is due for completion in 2019.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Decision to swap petrol pumps for F1 pays off for Northampton College student

Posted: 04/07/17 by Northampton College

A Northampton College student has been given the chance to impress bosses at the F1 world champions having landed a week’s work experience for being crowned Student of the Year.

Mechanical engineering student James Collins will get the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s brightest brains at Mercedes’ Brixworth base this summer, and will also be fast-tracked onto their apprenticeship selection programme early next year.

The award vindicates the 28-year-old’s decision to leave his job as a petrol station supervisor and follow his dream of working in engineering.

He said: “I was fed up of working 60 hour weeks and earning peanuts. I was living in Reading at the time and my mum had moved up to Northampton. I decided to follow her and find myself a place on a course where I could retrain and earn the qualifications to work in an industry I loved.

“I went to the same school as Ross Brawn, so it’s brilliant to potentially have the chance to follow him into the world of F1 with Mercedes.

“The course has been fantastic. It’s challenged me to think for myself and with greater independence. The teaching has been first class and I’m considering going to university now to get as highly qualified as possible.”

James is the latest in a long line of Northampton College students to be selected to get a taste of life in the Mercedes team and he will now have the platform to showcase his skills and potentially win a permanent role with the F1 giants, helping to develop the cars driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton.

Lee Walters, Employee Development Manager for Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains said: “It is critical for us to maintain a pipeline of talented apprentices into HPP as the future Engineering Technicians; in order to facilitate this, it is extremely important to have a close partnership with education providers.

“Receiving this award is the first stepping stone to fantastic engineering opportunities in Mercedes AMG HPP and in Formula 1 as whole. Congratulations to James on behalf of our Managing Director, Andy Cowell, and the team at HPP.”

James was put forward for the chance to work with Mercedes having won the Student of the Year award, for which he also received £500.

Tutor Neil Tobin said: “I am delighted that James has been given this opportunity. It is the perfect reward for his hard work over the year and he has shown exceptional ability and determination. He is bright, dedicated and committed to learning. He has put in the effort and he is now reaping the rewards.

“We enjoy an excellent relationship with Mercedes and it is pleasing to see so many of our former students now excelling as part of a team that is the envy of the Formula 1 industry. Hopefully James can now push on and become part of the team himself.”

James is pictured here with his tutor Neil Tobin (L) and Lee Walters from Mercedes (R).

For more information on engineering courses available at Northampton College please visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk/courses

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Small grants to give local community organisations a helping hand

Posted: 04/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Local not-for-profit organisations are being offered a helping hand by the Borough Council’s Small Grant Fund, which opened to applicants last week.

The fund aims to help small Northampton based voluntary and community organisations to deliver local projects or activities, such as community events, training and equipment.

Organisations can apply for small grants of up to £3,000, to help them, to deliver positive outcomes for the community across the Borough.

Cllr Anna King, the Council’s Cabinet member for Community engagement and safety, said: “Even the smallest venture can help to improve the lives of people living in Northampton and our Small Grants Fund can provide the support groups might need to achieve their goals and deliver exciting community services and activities.

“Last year the fund helped 15 small organisations and we look forward to welcoming more applications this year.”

For more information about eligibility and to apply to the small grant fund please visit www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200260/community-funding/1937/small-grants-fund

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Older people asked to get physical for research into falls

Posted: 04/07/17 by The University of Northampton

Older people in Northamptonshire are being asked to help researchers understand what exercises can make them stronger by taking part in a University of Northampton study.

Study organisers hope that by working with local people aged 60 or over they can help establish what exercises can improve muscle quality and strength in their legs.

Increases in these areas can help reduce the risk of suffering a fall.

As we get older, we generally have more difficulty walking and consequently take less exercise which can reduce muscle strength and balance, increasing the risk of falling.

The study begins on 17 July and will run for eight weeks. Researchers are looking for over 60’s who have no current lower limb muscle injuries and who can visit our Park Campus twice a week to take part in the exercises for the full duration of the study.

Tony Kay, Associate Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Northampton and who is leading on the study, said: “Injuries from falls are the number one reason older people are admitted to hospital. And as we get older, we are more susceptible to falling, particularly when we have less control or confidence in our body’s ability to move.

“Falls are associated with decreases in strength, muscle mass and balance, a natural part of the ageing process. For this study, we are looking at what exercises help older people in improve these areas of their physicality.

“We are looking at lower impact exercises so you do not need to be supermen or wonder women. Local people who match the criteria outlined here should come along to the university to take part in this important study.”

For more information, email Tony.Kay@northamptonshire.ac.uk or call 01604 92577.

Find out more about our Biosciences course.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Willen Hospice’s Wellbeing Centre gets moo’ving for MK Midnight Moo

Posted: 04/07/17 by Willen Hospice

Willen Hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the MK Midnight Moo, returns on Saturday 15th July and sees its very own team from the Wellbeing Centre take part to raise awareness and support of the care provided by Willen Hospice.

With the help of patients at the Wellbeing Centre, the nurses have been celebrating signing up for the MK Midnight Moo 2017 by decorating their walking outfits to fit in with this year’s gold theme.

Angela Finn, Willen Hospice’s Wellbeing Team Leader, said: “We know how important fundraising is to supporting the care here at the Wellbeing Centre and across other Hospice services so were delighted to sign up for this year’s Moo. We’re having great fun planning our costumes and have been training as a team to get ready for the 10 mile walk to help raise vital funds for the wonderful organisation we’re a part of.”

Every year £3.6 million needs to be raised to continue to provide specialist care and support to patients and their loved one at Willen Hospice.

Taking part in the MK Midnight Moo helps raise vital funds to help ensure valuable services such as the Wellbeing Centre remain available to the local community.

To find out more and to take part in the MK Midnight Moo head to www.mkmidnightmoo.com

Back to Latest News

Latest News

OU study finds UK skills gap is costing UK businesses £2.2 billion

Posted: 03/07/17 by The Open University

A new study commissioned by The Open University (OU) has found that the country’s skills gap is costing businesses more than £2 billion(1) a year in higher salaries, recruitment costs and temporary staffing.

The OU Business Barometer – which monitors the skills landscape of the UK - has found that 90 percent of businesses across the UK have found it difficult to recruit workers with the right skills in the last 12 months, and some have had to inflate salaries to attract talent above market rate, costing at least £527 million alone.

The perfect storm

The findings come at a time when the UK has the lowest unemployment rate since 2005(2), and those in work are reluctant to move jobs due to continued Brexit uncertainty. At the same time, the lack of clarity about future immigration rules is putting off some EU nationals from taking up roles in the UK(3). Steve Hill, External Engagement Director at the OU, said:

“The UK challenge of finding talent with the right skills means that businesses need to look at recruitment, development and retention differently. Now faced with a shrinking talent pool, exacerbated by the uncertainties of Brexit, it is more important that employers invest in developing their workforce.”

As a result of these challenges, the recruitment process is taking longer for three quarters (75%) of employers – an average of one month and 24 days more than expected – which means many will have incurred additional costs in the form of recruitment fees and hiring temporary staff, estimated to be at least £1.7 billion.

A sellers market

Talented workers with strong skill sets are in high demand, and are now able to command a higher salary. More than half (56%) of businesses had to increase the salary on offer for a role well above market rate to get the skills they required in the last 12 months, with the average increase amounting to a hefty £4,150 per hire for SMEs and £5,575 per higher for larger organisations(4).

Managerial roles are proving particularly difficult to fill, with one in five struggling to hire both senior managers (21%) and mid-level managers (19%), and more than two in five (43%) finding candidates lack management skills. At the same time, around half (47%) of employers say that they are struggling to attract talent with the right IT skills, despite the crucial role digital skills play in the UK economy.

Many employers (53%) were unable to find a candidate with the required skill set and chose to hire at a lower level as a result. More than half (53%) are using training to boost these new employees’ skills and to bring them up to the level required for the role.

Businesses must look at skills differently

Over the next year, employers are planning to change the type of training they offer to their staff, with the number of organisations in England offering apprenticeships expected to nearly double from 31 per cent, to 59 per cent – most likely as a result of the new apprenticeship(5) levy, introduced in April. Just over half (52%) of employers in England expect the levy to reduce the skills gap in the next year, with three in five (62%) viewing it as an opportunity for their organisation.

Despite this positivity from organisations, seven in 10 (69%) businesses believe they will struggle to hire people with the right skills in the next 12 months, implying certain skills may take longer to build. With three in five (58%) employers saying the skills shortage has damaged their organisation, it is important that they ensure their training programmes provide their staff with the skills they require, in a way that allows them to put their new knowledge into practice in the workplace as soon as possible. Steve Hill adds:

“Organisations need an agile workforce that can embrace change and meet new challenges. The cost of the skills gap to the UK economy shows it must become a business and government priority to build the skills and capabilities of each individual through investing in talent at all levels.”

The full findings of the report will be presented to MPs and Peers at an event in the Houses of Parliament on 11 July.

Notes:

1 Research was conducted among 400 businesses between 20 April and 2 May 2017, by PCP research limited. The sample included 300 SMEs (excluding micro businesses) and 100 larger businesses.
Cost to businesses calculated using research data and figures from a House of Commons briefing paper on Business Statistics (November 2016), ONS salary data, analysis of recruitment market data, and Open University research findings. Full methodology available on request.
2 Source: ONS 2017 – lowest unemployment rates since 2005
3 Source: ONS - the number of EU workers fell by 50,000 to 2.3 million in the final three months of last year

4 SMEs have been defined as those with between 10 and 250 employees, while larger organisations refer to all businesses with more than 250 members of staff.

5 Organisations across the UK with an annual wage bill of £3 million and above must pay the levy. But the administrations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each manage their own apprenticeship programmes. Organisations can only directly use the levy funding for apprenticeship programmes for staff that live in England.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Join Rapid GRC at Cyber Security Summit - Stand 7

Posted: 03/07/17 by Rapid GRC Limited

Join Rapid GRC and 250+ cyber security and ICT professionals from across central government, local government, law enforcement, the NHS and the wider public sector, to tackle key issues at the heart of UK public sector cyber security at the 4th Annual Cyber Security Summit - 4th July, 1 America Square, 17 Crosswall, London EC3N 2LB.

Discover, determine and deliberate the latest developments, strategies and technologies available to successfully defend your organisation online. Keep up to pace with the scale, complexity and ever-changing threat we face.

Come and speak to us at Stand 7 about how we can help you identify a potential cyber-attack and analyse threats quickly enough to neutralise them before serious damage occurs. For more information on the event please click here: http://www.cybersecurityconference.co.uk/about

Do follow us as the day unfolds and all updates at the Cyber Security Summit:

Twitter:
@rapidgrc

#rapidgrc
#cybersec2017 #SAP #GRC #Security

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Shape the future of the UK’s ‘Growth Corridor’

Posted: 03/07/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Residents in the Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford Growth Corridor have the chance to create a vision for the future of their area, through a new competition launched today.

The four cities collectively make up the ‘Growth Corridor’ – as one of the most economically successful parts of the country outside London, the Corridor has the potential to support a further 700,000 jobs by 2050.

But this is under threat, in large part due to a lack of sufficient and suitable housing making it increasingly difficult for skilled workers to move to the area – without action, the area’s global competitiveness could be at risk.

Today the independent National Infrastructure Commission launches the Cambridge to Oxford Connection Ideas Competition, to find exciting and innovative proposals that link infrastructure, housing and economic development to help create attractive and successful places to live and work for generations to come.

The competition is free to enter, with applications welcome from architects, economists, policy-makers, planners and urban designers – but also from residents themselves who may want to submit their own ideas for the future of their area.

Submissions from international teams and students are also welcome.

Judges will be looking for creativity – but they will also be looking for ideas for how infrastructure and housing can be effectively integrated, and in which the area’s unique environment is protected. The top four entries will then be awarded £10,000 each to further develop their plans, which will then help inform future development of the Corridor.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“The economic potential of the four cities of Oxford, Cambridge, Northampton and Milton Keynes is huge, offering real benefits to the success and prosperity of the country as a whole.

“But the area needs to adapt and change if it has any chance of achieving this, of attracting the brightest and best and of competing on the world stage.

“Today, I’m calling on leaders in architecture, economics, policy-making and planning, as well as local residents, to help shape that future, and put forward ideas that will make this Growth Corridor an attractive place to live and work for generations to come.”

National Infrastructure Commissioner and founding director of leading architectural practice dRMM Professor Sadie Morgan said:

“From the dreaming spires of Oxford to punts along the River Cam, the Growth Corridor has so much to offer those looking to live and work there. We need to ensure that continues.

“Our competition seeks to put that challenge to those who know the area best – local people – but also give our country’s best minds, be they designers, planners, architects or economists, the chance to put their creativity to work.

“This is more than just good design – this is about creating a vibrant and attractive community that will stand the test of time and support the future development and prosperity of a unique part of the country. I look forward to seeing the ideas that are put forward.”

Competition organiser, Malcolm Reading said:

“Transport brings prosperity and activity and creates the conditions for growth, which are all welcome outcomes. The competition offers a rare opportunity to imagine new and enlarged communities, to shape their character. This is all about creating inspirational places that encourage social and creative exchange within a high quality environment.”

Full details of the competition, which is run by Malcolm Reading Consultants, including team and submission requirements and the detailed brief, are available on the competition website. The deadline for entries is 14:00 on 3 August 2017

Securing the growth corridor’s economic future

Today’s competition follows a report by the National Infrastructure Commission on the future of the Growth Corridor of Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Published in November 2016, it warned that a lack of sufficient and suitable housing presents a fundamental risk to the future success of the area. As well as a competition to create a new vision for the area, the report also recommended that:

  • The Government should go ahead with the initial phase of a new East-West Rail, which when complete would more than halve journey times between Oxford, Bedford and Milton Keynes;
  • The Government should also invest in developing detailed plans for completing the East-West Rail link to Cambridge, and for a new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway;
  • These new transport links should be drawn up with the specific intention of delivering thousands of new homes in the area; and that
  • Councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, key government departments and delivery agencies should work together on a strategic vision for the area – the competition’s winning entries will help inform this

Notes:

  1. The National Infrastructure Commission was established in 2015 to offer independent advice to Government on addressing the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.
  2. The membership of the National Infrastructure Commission is:
  • Chair: Lord Adonis
  • Deputy Chair: Sir John Armitt CBE
  • Commissioners: Dame Kate Barker DBE; Professor Tim Besley CBE; Professor David Fisk CB; Andy Green; Dr Demis Hassabis; Professor Sadie Morgan; Julia Prescot, and Bridget Rosewell OBE

The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a dedicated website for the competition, where entrants can find more information and submit their entries.

This new ‘place-making’ competition is in two phases: the first, for initial ideas, is launched today and closes on 14:00 BST 3 August 2017; the second round will involve developing the top four ideas further, with £10,000 available to each of the shortlisted entries to enable them to do this.

The emerging concepts will be judged anonymously by a panel drawn from a range of specialisms and including Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission; and two National Infrastructure Commissioners, Bridget Rosewell OBE, former Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority; and Professor Sadie Morgan, Founding Director of dRMM Architects, with further members to be announced later in the process.

The overall winning entry will be announced by the end of the year. The competition is being run by Malcolm Reading Consultants on behalf of the National Infrastructure Commission.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Help shape the future of the UK’s ‘Growth Corridor’

Posted: 03/07/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Residents in the Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford Growth Corridor have the chance to create a vision for the future of their area, through a new competition launched today.

The four cities collectively make up the ‘Growth Corridor’ – as one of the most economically successful parts of the country outside London, the Corridor has the potential to support a further 700,000 jobs by 2050.

But this is under threat, in large part due to a lack of sufficient and suitable housing making it increasingly difficult for skilled workers to move to the area – without action, the area’s global competitiveness could be at risk.

Today the independent National Infrastructure Commission launches the Cambridge to Oxford Connection Ideas Competition, to find exciting and innovative proposals that link infrastructure, housing and economic development to help create attractive and successful places to live and work for generations to come.

The competition is free to enter, with applications welcome from architects, economists, policy-makers, planners and urban designers – but also from residents themselves who may want to submit their own ideas for the future of their area.

Submissions from international teams and students are also welcome.

Judges will be looking for creativity – but they will also be looking for ideas for how infrastructure and housing can be effectively integrated, and in which the area’s unique environment is protected. The top four entries will then be awarded £10,000 each to further develop their plans, which will then help inform future development of the Corridor.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“The economic potential of the four cities of Oxford, Cambridge, Northampton and Milton Keynes is huge, offering real benefits to the success and prosperity of the country as a whole.

“But the area needs to adapt and change if it has any chance of achieving this, of attracting the brightest and best and of competing on the world stage.

“Today, I’m calling on leaders in architecture, economics, policy-making and planning, as well as local residents, to help shape that future, and put forward ideas that will make this Growth Corridor an attractive place to live and work for generations to come.”

National Infrastructure Commissioner and founding director of leading architectural practice dRMM Professor Sadie Morgan said:

“From the dreaming spires of Oxford to punts along the River Cam, the Growth Corridor has so much to offer those looking to live and work there. We need to ensure that continues.

“Our competition seeks to put that challenge to those who know the area best – local people – but also give our country’s best minds, be they designers, planners, architects or economists, the chance to put their creativity to work.

“This is more than just good design – this is about creating a vibrant and attractive community that will stand the test of time and support the future development and prosperity of a unique part of the country. I look forward to seeing the ideas that are put forward.”

Competition organiser, Malcolm Reading said:

“Transport brings prosperity and activity and creates the conditions for growth, which are all welcome outcomes. The competition offers a rare opportunity to imagine new and enlarged communities, to shape their character. This is all about creating inspirational places that encourage social and creative exchange within a high quality environment.”

Full details of the competition, which is run by Malcolm Reading Consultants, including team and submission requirements and the detailed brief, are available on the competition website. The deadline for entries is 14:00 on 3 August 2017

Securing the growth corridor’s economic future

Today’s competition follows a report by the National Infrastructure Commission on the future of the Growth Corridor of Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford.Published in November 2016, it warned that a lack of sufficient and suitable housing presents a fundamental risk to the future success of the area. As well as a competition to create a new vision for the area, the report also recommended that:

  • The Government should go ahead with the initial phase of a new East-West Rail, which when complete would more than halve journey times between Oxford, Bedford and Milton Keynes;
  • The Government should also invest in developing detailed plans for completing the East-West Rail link to Cambridge, and for a new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway;
  • These new transport links should be drawn up with the specific intention of delivering thousands of new homes in the area; and that
  • Councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships, key government departments and delivery agencies should work together on a strategic vision for the area – the competition’s winning entries will help inform this

Notes:

  1. The National Infrastructure Commission was established in 2015 to offer independent advice to Government on addressing the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.
  2. The membership of the National Infrastructure Commission is:
  • Chair: Lord Adonis
  • Deputy Chair: Sir John Armitt CBE
  • Commissioners: Dame Kate Barker DBE; Professor Tim Besley CBE; Professor David Fisk CB; Andy Green; Dr Demis Hassabis; Professor Sadie Morgan; Julia Prescot, and Bridget Rosewell OBE

The National Infrastructure Commission has launched a dedicated website for the competition, where entrants can find more information and submit their entries.

This new ‘place-making’ competition is in two phases: the first, for initial ideas, is launched today and closes on 14:00 BST 3 August 2017; the second round will involve developing the top four ideas further, with £10,000 available to each of the shortlisted entries to enable them to do this.

The emerging concepts will be judged anonymously by a panel drawn from a range of specialisms and including Lord Andrew Adonis, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission; and two National Infrastructure Commissioners, Bridget Rosewell OBE, former Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority; and Professor Sadie Morgan, Founding Director of dRMM Architects, with further members to be announced later in the process.

The overall winning entry will be announced by the end of the year. The competition is being run by Malcolm Reading Consultants on behalf of the National Infrastructure Commission.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

FREE course to Introduction to Recruitment – Right First Time

Posted: 03/07/17 by Velocity Growth Hub

The recruitment process can be a challenge for many companies. Getting it right can be difficult, especially if you haven’t recruited before or recruitment doesn’t happy very often.

This workshop will make you aware of what you need to do as a first time employer or help to brush up on your recruitment skills. This session will give you the confidence to start the recruitment process.

Who Should Attend:

Owners or managers who are looking to recruit their first member of staff, or who haven’t recruited for a while and need refreshing.

What you will learn:

  • First time employer obligations
  • Defining the role
  • The best recruitment and selection techniques
  • Avoiding the pitfalls
  • Contracts of employment
  • Starting off on the right foot – induction and training

Venue: Cranfield University Technology Park

Address: University Way Cranfield Bedfordshire MK43 0BT

Date & Time: Monday, 17th July 2017; 09:30 – 12:30

Contact Email: enquiries@velocitygrowthub.com

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Views sought on play equipment for Far Cotton Recreation Ground

Posted: 03/07/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Local residents are invited to share their views on proposed new play equipment and environmental improvements to the play area at Far Cotton Rec.

Residents and their children can find out more and share their thoughts on the Borough Council-led project at a discussion being held at Far Cotton Rec Centre on Thursday, 6 July
between 2.30pm and 5pm.

Councillors and Officers from the Council will be leading the project discussions next week, which is being developed with the support of the local Residents Association and NN4Eight.

Following the consultation next week, it is hoped that the project will see a refurbishment of the existing play equipment and the addition of new play equipment.

Cllr Mike Hallam, the Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the local Residents Association and NN4Eight to enhance the play area at Far Cotton rec, as part of our wider commitment to improving play equipment.

“We encourage people to come and discuss the project with us on Thursday next week to ensure that the improvements reflect the needs of the local community.”

For further information about the proposed improvements please contact the Partnerships and Communities Team on 0300 330 7000.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Milton Keynes local, Lindsay Williams features in new Channel 4 & OU advert

Posted: 03/07/17 by The Open University

Lindsay Williams, 27 from Milton Keynes, graduated from The Open University (OU) with an honours degree in Modern Languages. She is now working in her dream job, running her own language tuition business. Lindsay currently features in one of three new TV adverts, which form part of the OU’s new brand partnership with Channel 4. Running until November 2017, the campaign lifts the lid on what it’s like to study with the OU through the inspiring stories of three graduates, including Lindsay’s.

Six years ago, whilst working as a learning support assistant, Lindsay realised that she wanted to carry on studying languages, but she didn’t want to live the traditional university lifestyle. The Open University seemed like the perfect opportunity for her to pursue her love of languages, travel and work at the same time.

Lindsay says: “I wish I could sum up my experience in a few words – but I can’t. Studying with the OU has been one of the best decisions of my life. Six years ago, I realised that I wanted to carry on studying languages but didn’t want to live the traditional university lifestyle. I was already working at a secondary school, taking out small groups to learn French and Spanish in ways that would work for them. I wanted time and money to travel, as well as the chance to gain experience within a working environment. Six years on, I’m running my own language tuition business and a language blog as well.”

Although challenging at times, Lindsay’s Open University journey has allowed her to develop on both an academic and personal level, which she credits to the OU’s flexible study offering: “At the beginning, getting into a routine was essential, even though life gets in the way sometimes. The beauty of the OU is its flexibility. It takes lots of planning each year, but you get to fit the OU around your life, you don’t fit your life around the OU. The studies are fun, engaging and enjoyable as long as you remember to still ‘have a life’. My tip would be to get started as soon as your materials arrive – that way, you’ll always be a couple of weeks ahead.

“Of course, at times it has been hard, however, as silly as it sounds, the thought of finally getting to attend a graduation ceremony definitely keeps me motivated.”

On appearing in the university’s Channel 4 campaign, Lindsay says: “If you’re in two minds as to whether or not the OU is for you, the only thing I can say is do it, because it will take you far. You won’t regret it. The Open University gave me the confidence and skills to pursue my dream career, so appearing in the new advertising campaign is really exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing my advert when it airs on TV.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Virtual Office Box - new website is live and it’s AWESOME

Posted: 03/07/17 by Virtual Office Box

My long awaited website was launched on Wednesday and it gives the platform I have been patiently awaiting - to tell my former colleagues, prospective clients, family and friends - actually everybody - what services I now offer and why I have been beavering away relentlessly this last few months!

The one key objective to setting up www.virtualofficebox.com, is to give business owners who are struggling with the volume of their administrative tasks, their time back. I save business owners time. It’s that simple.

Clients come to me because they cannot develop their business as they wish, as their business commands their time is spent on office based tasks. They work tirelessly for long hours and either cannot do, do not like, or haven’t the time to cope with their to-do list. This may sound either like yourself, or somebody you know?

I’m a Virtual Assistant with more than two decades experience as a Board Level PA. I have selected services that I believe will be useful, sought after and make a difference to you.

Why did I select the Company name “Virtual Office Box?”. Quite simply, my services can be added or removed from the “Box” to meet the needs of my Clients. There will be adjustments and great additions, as my new business flourishes.

My next objective is to meet many other businesses and Chamber members as possible - as I’m new to networking and have been hidden away too long working on my own venture.

You are invited to visit my website, or to get in touch on email shirley@virtualofficebox.com.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Back to Latest News

Latest News

We have a new website!

Posted: 03/07/17 by Trade & Export Finance Ltd

Recently we looked at our website and decided it was time for a change. We stripped back to our core message and philosophy - ‘Helping SMEs to fund orders’

What do we do?

Import & Export Finance

As well as assisting with funding international trade, we will help you through every step of the journey including payment of goods, multiple deposit payments, VAT, duty and freight costs.

UK Trade Finance

TAEFL does not only fund international trade, we support UK businesses with orders from other UK companies.

Advisory Service

TAEFL’s advisors will look at your business model, help you to improve your finances and guide you through the many traditional and available alternative forms of finance.

www.taefl.co.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Come and see how businesses can benefit from the reserve forces

Posted: 03/07/17 by Kingsley Consulting Ltd

We Would Like To Invite You To Our Armed Forces Day!

Kingsley Consulting in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and The Catena Network are hosting an event on Thursday 6th July from 08:30am to 14:00pm, for people to gain an appreciation and understanding of the benefits of having Service Leavers or Reservists working within their organisations.

The skills, experience and attitude that the Army personnel gain which they are then in turn able to bring to your organisations are quite often overlooked and we hope this event will provide an insight into the potential benefits of having reservists or service leavers as members of your workforce.

The event will be held at: The Army’s Mission Training & Mobilisation Centre, Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 6QX

If any companies would be interested in finding out more or attending this event please contact Cliff Masey on: 07583 073709or cliff.masey@kingsleyconsult.co.uk

Back to Latest News

Latest News

The University of Northampton graduate who is trying to bring Assad to book for crimes against humanity

Posted: 30/06/17 by The University of Northampton

A University of Northampton graduate has made history as part of a team of international lawyers that’s filed the first criminal case against the Syrian regime.

Law graduate Toby Cadman joined forces with fellow international human rights law specialist Almudena Bernabeu and University of Northampton graduate Carl Buckley last year to form the international justice chambers Guernica 37 – and hit the headlines in early 2017 after the organisation filed the criminal case against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for crimes against humanity.

The case has been described as a dawn for justice for Syria, and is the latest in a long line of investigations Toby has pursued into war crimes and human rights abuses.

“While it’s fair to say the International Criminal Court has failed the Syrian people, the real issue is that it has no jurisdiction in the absence of a UN Security Council referral,” said Toby.

“Therefore, rather than putting the blame at the door of the ICC, the blame must be placed squarely on the doorstep of Vladimir Putin.

“It is his regime and his regime alone that has prevented justice in Syria. It therefore must fall to national courts to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished and the current
impunity afforded to the Syrian Government Forces is brought to a prompt end.

“Our group acts on behalf of a Spanish victim and filed a criminal lawsuit together with the Spanish Association for Human Rights. The identification of a Spanish victim – a family
member of a Syrian national who disappeared, and was detained and tortured in one of the Regime-controlled detention facilities – confers jurisdiction on the Spanish Criminal Courts to open a criminal investigation. It is therefore a hugely significant case and one that I am extremely proud to be a part of.”

Toby’s time at Northampton

Graduating with a Law degree from Northampton in 2000, Toby returned to study for a Master’s in Public International Law nine years later.

“I was exposed to areas of law, such as human rights and transnational crime, early in my studies,” said Toby. “This shaped my career path. I was also pushed by two of my law lecturers to pursue a career at the bar, rather than as a solicitor. I was told that this would be hard and that getting experience in my chosen field would be essential. I also realised that pursuing the Master’s would be critical for my career development.”

Toby’s first graduate position saw him seconded as a legal advisor to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Human Rights Chambers. Since then, he’s held a variety of roles, including Head of the Prosecution Section for War Crimes at the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber, before gaining a reputation for extradition prosecution at London chambers, 9 Bedford Row.

A full Q&A interview with Toby is reproduced below, which goes into greater depth about his views on Syria, war crimes and his magic wand solution to prevent atrocities occurring.

Q. War crimes, atrocities and genocide continue to occur. Is it fair to say something isn’t working when the world can’t prevent them happening, or justice doesn’t catch up with the perpetrators? Is the international community doing enough, or is it failing the human race?

This is possibly the hardest question. What are we, as a community of nations, doing wrong? The Armenian Genocide is said have taken 1.5 million lives. The Holocaust from six to eleven million. After the Holocaust we said never again. But then we experienced East Pakistan (Bangladesh), Cambodia, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and Palestine. We also have the experiences of Latin America (Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, etc). Now, we also have the experience of Syria, where six years after a peaceful uprising, we have seen half a million killed, use of chemical weapons, indiscriminate bombings, torture and extra-judicial killings in the tens of thousands.

There are a number of issues in my view. First, is the impotence of the international community to intervene in conflict situations. Second, there is no will by States in transition to address accountability and bring an end to impunity. Third, the international community tends to look at short-term fixes rather than long-term institutional building – there are many examples of this.

The last-surviving Nuremberg Prosecutor, Benjamin Ferencz, an extraordinary man who I had the pleasure to meet last year in New York, recently stated that war makes men do evil things. I think that is right. He said wars made murderers out of decent people who were trying to protect their religion, nationality or economic security. He further went on to say that we still have not learned that guns will never kill an ideology.

The principle issue for me is that there is no effective deterrent. Bashar al-Assad in Syria is a brutal dictator who is prepared to kill and maim his way to maintain power. He is not
combatting terrorism – he is killing civilians who oppose his rule. He is doing that with the military and political support of Russia and Iran. He knows that, due to the catastrophic errors in Iraq and Libya, there will be no military intervention and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The fact that Russia is a permanent member of the UNSC and can veto any resolution provides the Syria regime with cover and brings the UN system of protection into utter disrepute.

Q. What would your magic wand solution be?

That’s the million dollar question. If I had an answer to that question I would be running to replace Antonio Guterres as UN Secretary General.

The sad reality is that there is no quick fix. Each situation requires a different approach. However, what each situation requires is an understanding that there can be no peace without
justice and justice must be more than vengeance, it must be meaningful.

If I had a magic wand I would, nonetheless, make three broad sweeping changes. First, I would remove the veto power of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Second, I would establish a system of suspension or expulsion from the UN for gross human rights violations. For example, how can one morally support the continued membership
of States such as Syria, Iran, Egypt and Bahrain on the UN and how can one support states such as Saudi Arabia that continues to flout human rights obligations from holding leadership roles in the UN Human Rights Council. Thirdly, I would expand the jurisdiction of the ICC. I would impose a system by which once a sufficient number of States have joined, the Prosecutor could be granted jurisdiction to investigate situations outside the current limited jurisdictional basis. This would allow States such as Syria to be investigated.

Q. Is it fair to say that genocide/atrocities can happen anywhere given the right conditions?

Yes – we could all commit atrocities. The Genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia were committed by ordinary people, but the environment was manipulated from outside and hatred was drilled into ordinary people to blame certain groups for political and economic instability. To paraphrase what Benjamin Ferencz said, war makes ordinary men do unspeakably evil things. We should also not forget the old saying that evil prevails when good men do nothing. When you look at Bosnia, Rwanda, Syria you see unspeakable evil. Were these monsters? Some of them yes. Others no, they were ordinary people driven by patriotism, hatred and incited to commit acts of evil.

Q. On a personal level, do the harrowing stories you are involved with ever become ‘normal’ – are you desensitized after a while?

They do not. They can never become normal and one can never be desensitised. The simple reason is that the victims we deal with are real people. The sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and daughters of real people. That is what motivates me to do this kind of work. The victims deserve a voice and deserve to see justice.

Q The case being brought against the Syrian regime has been described as “a dawn for justice for Syria”. Do you think that’s the case?

I would say that it is certainly a watershed moment. It is the result of more than three years investigation and it is the first case before a court that will hold the Syrian regime accountable. There are other important cases being pursued in Germany, the United States and France as well and we are working with the UK authorities to open an investigation into the abduction, torture and murder of a British doctor, Dr Abbas Khan. However, we still have a long way to go.

The conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic has seen almost half a million deaths, 11 million forced to leave their homes with close to five million fleeing to neighbouring countries. Tens
of thousands of Syrian citizens have been subjected to enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and unlawfully detained without any form of legal authority, tortured, and ultimately executed or starved to death, in the vast network of Syrian Military Detention Centres controlled and managed by the Government supported Security and Intelligence Services. We have observed instances of chemical weapons being used, widespread indiscriminate bombing, the deliberate targeting of civilians, journalists, doctors, medical facilities and schools.
Further, there is substantial, credible, documented evidence to demonstrate the widespread and industrial use of torture against those that seek to oppose the brutal, dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad. It will be clearly shown that the scale of the crimes committed by the Syrian Regime have taken place in a widespread or systematic manner, as part of a deliberate attack on the civilian population, committed in accordance with a terrorist policy, designed in 2011 at the highest political, governmental and security levels of the Syrian state; its aim being to subjugate, intimidate and create terror among the Syrian civil population, to alter the constitutional order, and to quash any anti-government protesters and silence any critics of the Assad Regime through an orchestrated campaign of violence, and attempt to quell the wave of popular protests that began in early March 2011 in Dara’a and Damascus.

Q. Do you think the International Criminal Court (ICC) has failed when it comes to Syria?

Yes, of course the ICC has failed the Syrian people. The real issue however is that it has no jurisdiction in the absence of a UN Security Council referral. Therefore, rather than putting the blame at the door of the ICC, the blame must be placed squarely on the doorstep of Vladimir Putin. It is his regime and his regime alone that has prevented justice in Syria. It therefore must fall to national courts to ensure that such crimes do not go unpunished and the current impunity afforded to the Syrian Government Forces is brought to a prompt end. Our group acts on behalf of a Spanish victim and filed a criminal lawsuit together with the Spanish Association for Human Rights. The identification of a Spanish victim - a family
member of a Syrian national who disappeared, and was detained and tortured in one of the Regime-controlled detention facilities - confers jurisdiction on the Spanish Criminal Courts to open a criminal investigation. It is therefore a hugely significant case and one that I am extremely proud to be a part of.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Do you have people of many different age groups in your workforce?

Posted: 30/06/17 by Beyond Theory

Northampton-based consultancy Beyond Theory is conducting research into the challenges and opportunities faced by Northamptonshire’s employers who have different generations in their teams.

If you’d like to take part in this research please contact either Paul Beesley (paul@beyondtheory.co.uk) or Natalie Ellis (natalie@beyondtheory.co.uk).

The research will be undertaken in July and August this year.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Daventry landlord steps and raises thousands for charity

Posted: 30/06/17 by Futures Housing Group

Determined ramblers from a Daventry housing association completed a gruelling two-day, 90-mile trek last weekend to raise more than £2,500 for a homeless charity.

The intrepid explorers from Futures Housing Group walked across canal paths from Ripley in Derbyshire to Daventry as part of a 10th anniversary fundraising challenge for Shelter.

Figures from Shelter show that in the East Midlands, 5,440 households were homeless in 2013/14. Around 3,500 of those were found to be in priority need, with nearly 2,500 of those having dependent children.

Walk organiser and Gas Surveyor Jason Topley said: “Every single person who took part and supported us in our effort has helped to raise an amazing amount for such a worthy cause.

“It was incredibly gruelling and everyone who joined showed great determination – it was worth every blister and aching limb.”

Setting off at 7am on Saturday morning from the Group’s Ripley office, the walkers followed the Grand Union Canal for 40 miles through Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

Striding out on Sunday from the King Power Stadium in Leicester, three staff continued the trek and were joined by others at Foxton Locks before making their way to Daventry.

Walkers completed a total of 608 miles – that’s the same as walking around the M25 five times, or the distance between Ripley and Berlin.

Futures’ Chief Executive Lindsey Williams added: “This challenge was no mean feat and I’m proud of everyone who played their part.

“This was our second major fundraising activity to Shelter, so it is great to already have raised so much, but we will continue to push ourselves as part of our ambitious target of £10,000.”

Futures’ anniversary fundraising activities also include an abseil down the Northampton Lift Tower, raffles and a football tournament.

To donate £5 to Shelter you can text FHGT80 £5 to 70070 or visit the Group’s JustGiving page.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Local businesses asked to get behind Northampton’s ‘Memory Day’

Posted: 29/06/17 by The University of Northampton

Northamptonshire businesses have been encouraged to promote and support a ‘Memory Day’ on 21 September, at a meeting chaired by the University of Northampton.

The important role businesses can play in making Northampton a leading dementia friendly community were also outlined.

Representatives from local companies were informed of the support businesses in the town and wider county can receive in order to make themselves more ‘dementia aware’.

Leaders from HSBC, Northampton Borough Council and social care publisher Care Choices Ltd were also on hand to share stories of their success doing this and spoke about the ease with which other businesses could do the same.

The Memory Day will be held at the Grosvenor Shopping Centre on 21 September. Open to all, information about dementia and support will be provided as well as training to become a ‘Dementia Friend’ and physical exercises for those interested in taking part.

Jackie Parkes (pictured here), Professor in Applied Mental Health at the University of Northampton and who is the University’s dementia lead, said: “At present, there are an estimated 7,700 people living with dementia, but this number is projected to increase by 45% by the year 2030.

“In time, dementia will affect everybody in some way so it’s important we take steps in the County to positively prepare ourselves.

“Local businesses can do much to help customers who have dementia and with relatively little effort. We ask them to get on board with our Memory Day by helping to spread the word or get in touch with us and sponsor what will be an enlightening and fun day.”

A full strategy to help make Northampton a ‘dementia friendly’ town will be published in November 2017.

Business interested in lending valuable support for the ‘Memory Day’ should email: Jacqueline.parkes@northampton.ac.uk

Find out more about the University of Northampton’s dementia work

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Art Valuation Day at the Alfred East Art Gallery Friday 14th July, 10am – 3pm

Posted: 29/06/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Often wondered if you have a valuable piece of art in your possession? Well here’s your chance to find out.

Join expert valuers from Gildings Auctioneers, at the Alfred East Art Gallery on Friday 14th July 10am – 3pm to have your artwork valued. From paintings to ceramics, glass and sculpture, there is no need to book, just turn up.

The day is completely free for visitors to bring manageable items, but are warned that there may be a wait at busy times throughout the day.

Guy Holloway, Head of Corporate & Cultural Services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “I think we all have an item or two at home that we had always hoped may have some value to it. Now is the time to find out for sure!”

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community & Leisure, said: “The Alfred East Art Gallery’s open valuation day provides people with a great opportunity to have their fine art appraised by an expert. Don’t miss the chance to see if you’re the owner of a hidden treasure!”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Come to our Open Day

Posted: 29/06/17 by Woughton House - MGallery by Sofitel

Come and view Milton Keynes’ newly refurbished boutique hotel and the latest UK hotel to join the MGallery by Sofitel portfolio: Woughton House - MGallery by Sofitel

All Chamber members are invited to view the hotel facilities including the grounds, bedrooms, junior suites and function rooms, and meet some of our preferred suppliers including wedding specialists.

MGallery by Sofitel features captivating properties that exude charm, charisma and a profoundly local character. With this in mind we have renamed the hotel to its original name of Woughton House and very much look forward to showing you around our country retreat in the heart of Milton Keynes.

So come by on Sunday 9th July Between 12pm and 4pm. Do bring the family along.

They will be live music, a hog roast, canapés, Pimm’s and Prosecco.

If you would like to attend the open day, please RSVP by June 30th to: Amali Diaz, Cluster Business Development Manager on:

Mobile: +44 (0)7988767347 / +44(0)07874330080

Email: H8876-SB1@accor.com

amali.diaz@accor.com

Woughton House Milton Keynes – MGallery by Sofitel, Newport Road, Woughton on the Green, Milton Keynes MK6 3LR

Back to Latest News

Latest News

The Open University Appoints Mel Zuydam as New Finance Director

Posted: 29/06/17 by The Open University

The Open University (OU) has appointed Mel Zuydam as its Group Finance Director. He joins from CH2m, a global engineering services and programme management firm, for which he was Chief Financial Officer Europe.

Mr Zuydam has served previously as CFO for construction firm Balfour Beatty and the Highways Agency. He spent six years in the Netherlands, including a spell as CFO of an engineering services company listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Mr Zuydam brings significant financial and commercial expertise combined with strong leadership, programme and project management skills to the OU at a critical and challenging time.

He will be a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Team, supporting the transformation programme as the OU grows nationally and internationally in addressing the employability and skills agenda. He takes up his post on July 3.

Mr Zuydam said: “This is a tremendously exciting opportunity to help shape the future of a genuine British institution. The Open University deservedly has a special place in the nation’s affections and I look forward to playing my part in its continued success.”

Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said: “Mel brings to the OU a high level of experience in the private and public sectors at a crucial moment in our history. We are conducting a fundamental review of all our operations to identify savings and to free cash for reinvestment to help position the OU as a digital leader in the provision of quality, part-time higher education. Mel has a strong fit with the values of the University.”

Back to Latest News

Latest News

You’re invited to our Open Day

Posted: 29/06/17 by catherine.bontoft@northants-chamber.co.uk

Come and view Milton Keynes’ newly refurbished boutique hotel and the latest UK hotel to join the MGallery by Sofitel portfolio - Woughton House.

All Chamber members are invited to view the hotel facilities including the grounds, bedrooms, junior suites and function rooms, and meet some of our preferred suppliers including wedding specialists.

MGallery by Sofitel features captivating properties that exude charm, charisma and a profoundly local character. With this in mind we have renamed the hotel to its original name of Woughton House and very much look forward to showing you around our country retreat in the heart of Milton Keynes.

So come by on Sunday 9th July Between 12pm and 4pm. Do bring the family along.

They will be live music, a hog roast, canapés, Pimm’s and Prosecco.

If you would like to attend the open day, please RSVP by June 30th to: Amali Diaz, Cluster Business Development Manager on:

Mobile: +44 (0)7988767347 / +44(0)07874330080

Email: H8876-SB1@accor.com

amali.diaz@accor.com

Woughton House Milton Keynes – MGallery by Sofitel, Newport Road, Woughton on the Green, Milton Keynes MK6 3LR

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Former Rockingham Speedway Instructor Sets New Circuit Lap Times On Mobility Scooter

Posted: 29/06/17 by Rockingham Motor Speedway Ltd

It’s not every day you see a mobility scooter whizzing around a motor racing circuit, but that is exactly what visitors to Rockingham witnessed at last weekend’s (June 24/25) MotorSport Vision Racing Club Championship event.

Former Rockingham instructor Noel Wilson was back at the Northamptonshire circuit over the two days to set new lap times of both the UK’s only banked Oval and the International Super Sports Car Circuit to help raise money for charity.

Noel, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2013, had the idea of setting up Motor Sport for MS last year with the aim of completing lap times on his 8mph mobility scooter around various motorsport venues in the UK from race circuits to drag strips and short ovals to hill climbs.

So far, Noel has set 16 one-off lap times at a number of top motor racing circuits including Silverstone and completed the full Isle of Man TT Mountain 37.7 mile course. Last weekend he ticked Rockingham off his to-do-list, raising a fantastic £750 to bring his running total to £13,302.

Both lap times were officially recorded by the race event’s timekeeper, TSL-Timing Ltd. It took Noel just under 10 minutes (9:56.017) to go around the 1.5-mile Oval but took him slightly longer to complete the 1.97-mile

International Super Sports Car Circuit, posting a lap time of 12:35.990. “My aim is to raise £20,000 while I still can,” said Noel. “Multiple Sclerosis is a horrible condition to live with and although it is too late for me to be helped, I hope my efforts will help a younger generation. The money I raise will be shared between the MS Society and my local Milton Keynes support group.”

Noel has cosmetically modified his mobility scooter, wrapping it in the colours of KC Motorsport Groups’ (KCMG) Oreca which won the LMP2 Class at the 2015 Le Mans 24-hour race in the hands of, amongst others, his friend Matt Howson.

It has also been fitted with a Sparco race seat and six point harness. To complete each lap time, Noel is kitted out in full race gear including suit, boots, gloves, helmet and HANS device, all kindly donated by Stand 21.

For more information about how you can help, please visit www.motorsportforMS.co.uk or following the charity on Facebook or twitter by following Motor Sport for MS and @MotorSportforMS respectively.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Dance students show their talent to take centre stage

Posted: 29/06/17 by Northampton College

Musical Theatre students from Northampton College hope to swap Booth Lane for Broadway having secured places at some of the country’s leading stage schools.

A total of nine Level Three students are now set for the big time – following in the footsteps of some of the biggest stars of stage and screen.

The group will take their places at specialist stage schools across the country and all said their time at Northampton College helped prepare them for their future career.

Adrianne Langley, aged 18, will head off to London Studio Centre later this year and said: “The confidence the course has given me is amazing. I didn’t even know this was what I wanted to do when I started, but the teaching has been amazing and got me to a position where I can impress at auditions.”

Lewis Pittam, aged 18, has landed a place at the Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford. He said: “You can really see the progression in all of us this year, the change is incredible. We are all more confident as both performers and people. I’ve had an amazing time and worked really hard. It’s nice to get the rewards and see that work paying off.”

The students recently took to the stage at the Cripps Theatre, under the guidance of voice coach Natalie Evans, to perform a sell-out show featuring songs from musicals including Sister Act, Chicago and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Musical Theatre tutor Suzanne Bushen said: “I’m incredibly proud of this group, they have worked so hard over the past year and for nine of them to now be going on to some of the country’s leading stage schools is a huge feather in everyone’s cap.

“I’m confident we have got some stars of the future in their group and I will be following their careers with interest. They have all got the talent and work ethic to make it to the very top.”

For more information on Musical Theatre courses available at Northampton College visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk.

The caption for the picture is as follows (l-r): Erin Anderson, Alivia Kennedy, Ryan McLean, Adrianne Langley, Lewis Pittam and (front row) Lauren Moody.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Northampton University hosts first cross regional learning event for trainee nursing associates

Posted: 29/06/17 by The University of Northampton

NHS and university professionals have welcomed the first group of trainees in the region hoping to become nursing associates, a new support role for nursing in the NHS and social care.

The first group of trainees have started their two-year training course which will lead to them becoming fully-qualified nursing associates. There are 11 test sites in England with Universities and local partners in the NHS having been selected to lead the development of this important addition to the care team.

The trainees are set to complete training in January 2019.

Nursing associates will sit alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. Although it is a full role in itself, nursing associates can later use it as a route to training to become a degree-level nurse.

A recent learning event, led by the East Midlands Collaborative test site, showcased the training currently being undertaken by Nursing Associate trainees in Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire.

Senior nurses from Health Education England and others welcomed the trainee nursing associates into the nursing family, while trainees took part in workshops to help them understand the key issues at play in the health service. These included pre-hospital care and the interplay between public health and mental health well being.

Ruth Smith, Nursing Associate lecturer at University of Northampton, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome into this first ever cohort of Nursing Associate trainees. Exciting times and challenging work lies ahead, which we know our students are more than capable of handling.”

Bridget Hoad, East Midlands Regional Programme Manager (Nursing Associates), echoed these views: “Our trainees are still at an early stage in their new careers. However, their enthusiasm and commitment demonstrates the strong determination they have to succeed in supporting delivery of excellent, safe patient care in conjunction with their graduate nurse colleagues and the wider nursing team. We are proud to be part of this journey.”

For more information about the Nursing Associates.

For queries about the Nursing Associate role, please contact Health Education England

Back to Latest News

Latest News

The spirit of sporting fun!

Posted: 29/06/17 by Spirit Hyundai

In a display of enthusiasm that befits its name, Chamber member Spirit Hyundai is throwing itself into the thick of the sporting action in support of Saintsman Christian Day’s testimonial year.

The Northampton car dealership is sponsoring a celebrity 20/20 cricket match at the County Ground on Saturday 1st July, which will see such legends as Monty Panesar, Devon Malcolm, Rob Andrew and Ian Sampson don their whites for a family fun day marking the launch of the Saints and England lock’s year in the spotlight.

Alongside the leather on willow action there’ll be a fun fair, BBQ, bouncy castle and games to keep all ages entertained while youngsters will also have the rare opportunity to capture a selfie with the county’s trio of local mascots – the Saints’ Bernie, the Cobblers’ Clarence and Steelbacks’ Steeler!

Meanwhile for the bigger boys – and girls! - Spirit Hyundai will also be showing off a new green, black and gold livery, created specially for the testimonial, with plans to donate £95 to the fund – supporting Niamh’s Next Step and the Leon Barwell Foundation - from the sale of every one bought over the coming year.

As Adam Derbyshire, Managing Director of Northampton’s Spirit Hyundai explains, the company is proud to be backing this event: “We’re absolutely delighted that Christian has been awarded this much-deserved testimonial and thrilled to be sponsoring this family fun day to help kick start his fundraising efforts.

Our creative design team has had great fun in coming up with our Saints special edition designs and we can’t wait to show them off on the field and hopefully inspire drivers to demonstrate their support for this great player and his chosen charities in this unique way!” he enthused.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, also a Chamber member, is generously hosting the day, with Chairman Gavin Warren electing Dryden Heart Ward at Northampton General Hospital as his benefiting cause, while other companies kindly playing their part in ensuring the event’s success include cricket equipment makers Hunts County and a quartet of local food and drink firms in attendance who are all making donations from their profits; gin distillers Warner Edwards, Franks Hamburger House, ice cream makers Gallones and Northampton café ‘Are You Being Served?’, who are baking the cakes without which the day would be ‘simply not cricket’!

The family fun day, which will bring together more of the county’s former and current sporting greats from the worlds of rugby, football and cricket, gets underway at 2pm with entry on the gate £10 for adults and free for under-16s.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Charity Quiz Night

Posted: 29/06/17 by Robyn Allen Solutions Ltd

On Friday 7th July the Kettering Business Network will be hosting their first Charity Quiz Night at the Kettering Ritz, Desborough. They are raising money for the KGH Charity Fund, and all money raised will be going to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Kettering General Hospital.

They are aiming to raise £4,000 to purchase an AccuVein machine; the AccuVein machine displays a map of the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, making it easier to get the cannula’s in first time so they can take blood to run tests, or administer medicine.

It’s easy to see how this piece of equipment would be essential in a unit like SCBU. The SCBU does not have this machine currently but it would be a real asset to them and help them to treat the babies they care for more quickly.

Hosted by Robyn Allen, of Robyn Allen Solutions Ltd, the night promises to be great fun, and for only £15 per ticket they are providing a buffet, an interactive quiz, a cocktail bar, mystery entertainment, a raffle and a auction. Some of the prizes on offer are:

• 7 night stay in a self catering apartment courtesy of Resort Vacation Certificates

• Sledging Experience for 4 people at Snozone Milton Keynes

• Family Day Pass for Woburn Safari Park

• Family Race Day ticket for a 2017 Club Race Meeting at Rockingham

• And many more….

The fundraising efforts were also supported by the Northamptonshire Business Expo at the Holiday Inn Corby on 22nd June, and they raffled off 2 Economy return tickets to New York donated by Virgin Atlantic, which added an amazing £610 to the total.

For more information about the event, or to buy tickets, please contact robynallen@robynallensolutions.com

To donate to the fundraising efforts visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/scbuquiznight

Back to Latest News

Latest News

Sign up for Business Accelerator Summit

Posted: 28/06/17 by Bright Business Advice

Ambitious business owners who want to achieve rapid and sustainable growth should take part in the next Business Accelerator Summit.

The events are run by award winning business adviser Emerson Patton, of Bright Business Advice, and the next one will take place in Northampton on Friday, June 30.

Time is running out to secure the few remaining places on the summit and the first five Chamber members to register will receive the fantastic offer of a free place on the event – giving them a massive saving of £95.

Emerson said: “This summit will enable business owners to rocket their business to the next level.

“It will help them to improve their profitability, provide outstanding customer service, become incredibly efficient and make huge savings.

“Businesses will learn how to achieve rapid sales growth and implement smarter, lower cost marketing.

“They will be shown how to increase productivity and reduce staff turnover and will be helped to design business plans around the key areas of leadership and management, finance, operations, HR, marketing and sales.

“This is too good an opportunity to be missed.”

The event is aimed at business owners with between five and 100 employees.

It will take place from 9am to 5pm at the Sunley Conference Centre in Boughton Green Road, Northampton. Registration starts at 8.30am.

For further information visit http://businessacceleratorsummit.com/

To take advantage of the offer for Chamber members visit Www.BusinessAcceleratorSummit.com/BASVIP

Back to Latest News

Latest News

MK College Apprenticeships given a boost in ‘Good’ Ofsted Report

Posted: 28/06/17 by Milton Keynes College

Following an exciting year for Apprenticeships, including the recent reforms, Milton Keynes College is pleased to announce that it has received positive praise for its apprenticeship programmes from College Inspectors at Ofsted.

The team of 10 inspectors observed a range of classes and college activities and met with students, apprentices, employers and stakeholders and were impressed with what they saw and heard. They commented that: “…apprentices develop high-level practical and work related skills, teachers apply their current experience in well-planned, industry related learning activities.”

Named as one of the government’s first top-quality apprenticeship training providers earlier this year, Ofsted confirmed the College’s strong apprenticeship provision, stating that: “…apprentices develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours employers need and improve their chances of securing employment.”

Inspectors also acknowledged the strong relationships that the College has nurtured with local businesses, saying: “Leaders use their strategic links with the local enterprise partnership well to align the curriculum to business priorities, develop new provision and raise the profile of apprenticeships. Employers value their links with the College and its role in supporting the surrounding community.”

Tracey Matthews, Director of Apprenticeships at MK College explains: “We are thrilled with the outcome of the latest Ofsted inspection, which positively reflects the fantastic work that is taking place in our apprenticeships division and across the entire College.

“Milton Keynes College has over 25 years’ experience of delivering high quality programmes to a variety of businesses across multiple sectors. It has invested in first-class facilities and a dedicated apprenticeship team, helping to meet the individual training needs of employees. Its specialist apprenticeship recruitment team is a dedicated resource for employers too, managing the recruitment of apprentices for and with businesses, and offering expert guidance and solutions.”

Milton Keynes College works with hundreds of employers, helping many young people get into work as well as supporting existing employees to develop their careers.

Milton Keynes College apprentices have access to the latest up-to-date facilities, are trained by our highly skilled and qualified tutors, and can also benefit from national student discounts.

For further information about Apprenticeships and opportunities available at Milton Keynes College, visit www.mkcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships, call us on 01908 684444, email info@mkcollege.ac.uk or find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Back to Latest News

Latest News

CML Celebrates Success at One Team Awards

Posted: 28/06/17 by CML Ltd

Exemplary team member and charity committee recognised for outstanding contributions.

Core Management Logistics (CML) is celebrating a double achievement at this year’s One Team Awards - a joint initiative between M&S and its supply chain partners to recognise the outstanding work being done to help M&S maintain its position as a world-leading quality retailer.

The awards ceremony, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel at East Midlands Airport, honours colleagues who have gone above and beyond the requirements of their job to deliver an excellent service. CML’s HR Advisor, Letisha Harbidge, was the proud winner of the Quality Award - beating off competition from a pool of over 5000 people. Letisha was recognised for the diligent work and support she has offered during procedural meetings and the integral role she has played in helping to drive the CSR agenda. Her nomination
came after she took it upon herself personally to guide junior managers through the process, whilst also helping to organise many charity and community events.

CML’s charity committee team were also praised for their contribution to worthy causes, after they were shortlisted for the Fundraising and Community Award. The committee plays an integral role in CML’s company ethos and helps to raise thousands of pounds for many charities, including Rainbows, KartForce and The Brain Research Trust.

To qualify for the awards, all nominees must have previously been nominated for the M&S One Team Colleague of the Quarter and have won an Employee of the Month award at CML.

CML’s Chairman, Graham Copley, commented: “The One Team initiative encourages and rewards the outstanding contributions that are made by our colleagues as part of the excellent service we provide for M&S. We’re incredibly proud of Letisha and our CML charity committee team who have clearly demonstrated the core values of the One Team – quality, commitment, innovation and trust.”

Back to Latest News

World Pay Logo