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Annual Training Day for Marshals

Posted: 17/01/18 by Rockingham Motor Speedway Ltd

With the new motorsport season fast approaching, the Orange Army will be heading to Rockingham this Sunday (January 21), to take part in the marshals’ annual refresher training course.

Organised by the British Motorsport Marshals Club South Midland Region, the volunteers will take part in a mock race event and be presented with different scenarios which marshals could face when trackside at a live event.

Now in its third year, the one day event will be supported by the Northamptonshire circuit’s Safety Team, and will start in the classroom.

The theory session will provide a refresher on basic skills such as flags, fires and first aid through to report writing, communications and incident handling

Following the theory, volunteers will move trackside for the practical session which will cover all aspects of marshalling from enforcing track regulations and assisting with judicial reviews through to removing debris from a live track, incident handling, fire training and the recovery of a rolled car.

Circuit operations manager at Rockingham, Nick Breed said: “It is always a pleasure to host this training event, and we are delighted to continue our support by providing a free training venue.

“Marshals are an essential part of motor racing without the goodwill of these enthusiastic volunteers, our race meetings wouldn’t be able to go ahead. This event is a great opportunity for the marshals to not only brush up on their skills but to also meet up with fellow enthusiasts before the start of the new season.”

British Motorsports Marshals Club South Midlands Region training officer, Elaine Brice added: “We are very grateful to Rockingham and Prize Motorsport, without whom we couldn’t put on the training days in this style.

“The training the British Motorsport Marshal Club provides for marshals is essential to keep our marshals up to the high standards they achieve at circuits all around the world.”

The British Motorsports Marshals Club (BMMC) is always looking for volunteers. So if you’re looking for a new challenge and would like more information visit www.marshals.co.uk or follow the club on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Annual Training Day for MARSHALS

Posted: 17/01/18 by catherine.bontoft@northants-chamber.co.uk

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PwC to co-host executive showcase evening to present successful scale-ups with a platform to grow

Posted: 17/01/18 by PwC LLP

Following its successful introduction last September, PwC and Bizzin will host their first Scale Midlands executive evening on the 8 February 2018. A cohort of nine leading Midlands-based technology scale-ups, ranging from online booking specialists to the developers of a payments lifestyle app, will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services to an experienced room of corporate executives and specialists from PwC.

The event is designed to provide the selected scale-ups with feedback on their value propositions, products, services and the chance to network with influential business leaders from the region, looking for the latest enterprise technologies to implement in their organisations.

The Scale Midlands programme is designed to help high potential businesses bridge the gap between innovative late-stage startup and established large organisations.

It is the latest in a series of UK-wide Scale Programmes connecting these dynamic businesses with potential customers and industry decision makers, as well as introducing them to a network of investors and experts who can help close deals and secure future investment.

Commenting on the event, Steve Smith (pictured here), Midlands fast growth leader at PwC said: “We recognise that the primary needs of scale-ups are to access new customers and win further investment. In our Scale Midlands programmes, we help businesses become fit for scaling, then open the doors to our network, which can facilitate introductions and funding opportunities.

“We’re bringing together fast-growing and ambitious scale-ups from across the Midlands with the world’s biggest brands, in a way that allows both sides to learn from each other and build commercial opportunities.

“Interest is now extending beyond the UK and we’re seeing increased collaboration from overseas, both from our global PwC network, scale-up applicants and programme partners.”

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Independent contractors’ livelihoods must be considered in Carillion collapse

Posted: 17/01/18 by QDOS Consulting Limited

Following the liquidation of construction giant, Carillion, Qdos Contractor has urged the Government and the parties involved to protect the countless independent contractors working on projects for the UK’s second largest construction firm.

In the UK, 20,000 people work for Carillion, and leading tax adviser, Qdos Contractor, is calling on the Government, along with Carillion’s liquidators to consider the livelihoods of independent contractors engaged directly and indirectly by the company.

Seb Maley, Qdos Contractor CEO, commented: “Each party in Carillion’s supply chain will be impacted hugely by its liquidation. So needless to say, this is a hugely worrying time for all independent contractors engaged the company and its subcontractors.

“Much of the attention so far has been focused on the threat this puts Carillion’s permanent employees under. But without the safety of employment rights, every independent contractor engaged by Carillion - or through any of its sub-contractor companies - will be fearing for their livelihoods too.

“Together, contractors contribute over £119bn to the economy each year. Amid the confusion and uncertainty, the Government and Carillion’s liquidators must consider the wider impact that simply cutting ties with its independent contractors would have on UK contracting and the economy.”

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SCMS represents Northants at #MicroBizMattersDay

Posted: 17/01/18 by Simon Cox Marketing Solutions Limited

Simon Cox, director of Kettering based marketing agency Simon Cox Marketing Solutions, was proud to represent the County at the annual Micro Biz Matters Day on Friday in Manchester.

The day, founded by Tony Robinson OBE and Tina Boden, provides a day of learning, growth and support for micro businesses across the globe with live broadcasts from up and coming entrepreneurs, as well as successful business owners from across the globe. This year saw Charlie Mullins OBE, Kate Hardcastle and Penny Power as well as other well known entrepreneurs sharing information to the micro business community across a live broadcast.

Simon said: “I was delighted to receive the invite to attend from co-founder Tony Robinson OBE and was proud to represent the County at the event. It’s key for micro businesses to know that they are not alone with what they are doing in business and that they can learn from some of the free information from MicroBizMattersDay.”

For further information on MicroBizMattersDay visit www.microbizmattersday.rocks

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Learn the secrets of making Marvellous Marmalade

Posted: 17/01/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Citrus fruits are at their best in January and February, so seize the moment and learn how to make delicious marmalade to stock up your cupboards or gift to friends and family!

This practical workshop covers all the steps and skills needed to make your own traditional Seville Orange marmalade using everyday equipment.

Once you have mastered the art of making marmalade, you can be a little more creative with your ingredients, using a variety of different fruit, a dash of alcohol and a few added spices and flavours. And, with homemade bread fresh from the oven, you’ll get to sample them all too!

Thursday 1 February; 9.30am-12.30pm; £45pp.

To book your place please visit: http://www.btcworkshops.co.uk/marmalade-1-february-2018.html

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Half term FIFA Soccer School

Posted: 17/01/18 by Northampton Town Football Club

Join us for our first ever football soccer course and E-sports event.

Northampton Town’s very own ESPORTS PLAYER “ReaperZz” together with NTFC Community Coaches are holding their first ever half term FIFA Soccer Schools at Sixfields during the February half term, sponsored by DBFB.

It all kicks off on Wednesday February 14th, Thursday February 15th and Friday February 16th, and involves outdoor games on the pitch behind the Sheinman Opticians Stand (weather permitting) from 11.15am to 1.00pm, lunch from 1.00pm until 1.30pm, and the FIFA GameZone from 1.30pm to 3.00pm. This gives you the opportunity play FIFA against ReaperZz (Liam Merry) and learn some tips from one of the UK’s top 50 e-Sports player!

Just £15 per person, per day with a sibling discounted price of £12 per person, per day. This course is for children aged 8-15 only.

Fruit and water will be provided, please bring your own packed lunch.

To secure your place, please email gamezone@ntfc.co.uk, or call 01604 683734/5.

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Stamp Duty Land Tax - beware the parent trap!

Posted: 17/01/18 by Elsby & Co.

There are statistics abound to show that parents are having to help their children on the property ladder. On average, parents purchased their first home at the age of 26, whereas a first-time buyer in the UK in 2017 was aged 32.

According to “ONE POLL FOR HABITO”:

  • 44% would give or lend money to their children from their own savings;
  • 20% would lend them £10k or more;
  • 12% would downsize their own home;
  • 9% have said they would even delay retirement!

Since 22nd November 2017 first time buyers have been entitled to lower stamp duty land tax (SDLT) where they and the property they are buying meet the conditions for the new relief. The relief means that no SDLT is payable on the first £300,000 of the purchase price and the rate will be 5% between £300,001 and £500,000. The maximum saving is £5,000 so if you are buying your first home, this is a welcome saving.

However, beware the parent trap!

Where parents (or other relations or friends) help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, it’s not uncommon for them to have equity in the property. This provides security for the debt and gives them a share of any increase in the property value. From that angle, it’s a good idea. The trouble is, it will fall foul of the conditions for the relief and mean that none of the purchasers will be entitled to it.

Tip: One possible solution is for the financing to be as a loan rather than a share of the property. A loan agreement can be drafted so that the amount of interest payable is linked to the growth in the value of the property, but deferred so that its payable only when the property is sold or, if earlier when the homeowners decide they want to. It is advisable to ask a solicitor to draft the loan agreement.

Do call us if you want to find out more on 01604 678470 or email me at mailto:clare@elsbyandco.co.uk.

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Women in Leadership Event 7th December 2017

Posted: 17/01/18 by KierMG Ltd

KierWSP Northamptonshire Highways launched its first Women in Leadership event on 7th December 2017 with a group of women, from a variety of professions and organisations, with an interest in making a difference and sharing knowledge. This fantastic event offered a great way for women to network and access an inspirational talk from a guest speaker.

This first event focused on ‘thriving under pressure, how to manage stress with grace and was delivered by Matt Hatson of Nexus8. KierWSP also partnered with Social Enterprise the Good Loaf to cater for the event. KierWSP promoted the artisan bakery that provides training and employment opportunities for vulnerable females to break the cycle of poverty.

Nav Gahonia, head of customers and communities who set up this group, is enthusiastic about the benefits of the event commenting: “Our Women in Leadership events are designed to empower the leaders of tomorrow by sharing the knowledge, insights, and motivating forces driving today’s most successful women, and in doing so making meaningful progress on gender diversity.”

KierWSP is committed to gender equity in our professions and leadership positions, and we want to make Women in Leadership events a regular occurrence supporting gender balance in our industry.

If anyone is interested in being a guest speaker or attending the next event please contact WiL@KierWSP.co.uk.

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SCMS branding for International Football Team

Posted: 17/01/18 by Simon Cox Marketing Solutions Limited

Kettering based marketing agency Simon Cox Marketing Solutions are delighted to be working with the international football team of the Isle of Man once again as the island’s team prepare for the 2018 CONIFA World Cup.

Ellan Vannin, who are the representative side from the Isle of Man, face Yorkshire IFA, the latest members to have joined CONIFA, next Saturday as the Yorkshire side become the 48th member of the governing body for micro nation football in the world.

Director Simon Cox said: “Its a pleasure, once again, to be working with such an up and coming micro nation in World football and I’m delighted to be supplying their leisurewear once again ahead of their 2018 programme.

“The Isle of Man is a beautiful place and I’ve learned a lot about their culture and history since meeting founder Malcolm Blackburn in 2014. There is even a mountain that you can see England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales from the top on a clear day, so it’s worth exploring the Island just to take in the scenery!

“Being a football fanatic, it’s been an amazing opportunity for us especially with Ellan Vannin being a member of CONIFA, the governing body set up in Sweden to oversee international competitive football for micro nations around the globe.”

Participants taking place in the London based World Cup this year include Northern Cyprus, Tamil Eelam, Tibet, Panjab and Padania, as well as other nations from across the globe.

For further details on CONIFA visit www.conifa.org and for further information on Manx IFA visit www.manxifa.org

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Event celebrates women working in Northamptonshire’s sports media industry

Posted: 17/01/18 by The University of Northampton

An event will be shining the spotlight on Northamptonshire’s reputation for being a leader when it comes to women working in sports media.

The University of Northampton’s Changing Futures For Women In Sports Media conference will see a host of county sport media professionals reveal the secrets of working in the industry.

They will be joined by a raft of national top female sports media professionals, including Sky Sports presenter Hayley McQueen, sports writer Vikki Orvice, BBC commentator Robyn Cowen, broadcaster Lynsey Hooper and Women’s Super League journalist Kait Borsay.

Conference organiser, senior journalism lecturer Marc Webber, said: “While there are still far too few women working in sports media and marketing, it’s pleasing to see Northamptonshire as something of a leader in this respect.

“We have female sports marketers at Northampton Town FC, Northampton Saints, Northants County Cricket Club and the Silverstone and Rockingham Speedway motorsport circuits.

“The BBC’s Northampton Town reporter is also female, as is the local newspaper’s sports photographer.

“As a University, we are also helping to give the next generation every chance of making it in the industry, through our new Multimedia Sports Journalism course. One of our female students has already completed a work placement at Aston Villa and regularly attends Saints press conferences.

“We have also noticed a big increase in female applicants to the course for next year.”

Marc added: “We’ve also had in leading names from the industry to come and inspire our students, including TV sports reporter, Faye Carruthers, and former England Lioness-turned pundit, Sue Smith.

“But, not content with that, we wanted to hold a conference which celebrates those in the industry, while highlighting to existing professionals in the trade, and students looking to break into it, the opportunities that are there for them.”

The event is aimed at two audiences: female sports media employees wishing to hear from the speakers and network, plus female students aged 16 to 18 who want to try their hand at sports journalism, marketing and content creation at a series of workshops led by professionals.

Local sports media professionals appearing at the event, which takes place on Thursday 8 February, include:

  • Caroline Lucy, commercial and marketing manager, Northampton Town FC
  • Northampton graduate Charlotte Hyams, marketing and events coordinator, Northampton Town FC
  • Liz Tyler, communications executive, Northampton Saints
  • Laura Tringham, marketing manager, Northampton Saints
  • Ellie Emerson, marketing and communications manager, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club
  • Caroline Densley, sports presenter, BBC Radio Northampton

Female sports marketers and sports media practitioners can register their attendance for the free event by visiting the Eventbrite page.

Teachers of females aged 16 to 18 who are studying English or PE, and want to be involved in sports media and marketing can register students for the free workshops, by emailing nina.gandy@northampton.ac.uk.

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Pruning your fruit trees to yield maximum crops

Posted: 17/01/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Learn how to improve the health and productivity of your fruit trees at our morning workshop on Saturday 27 January 2018, led by our resident arboriculturalist and professional landscape gardener, Will Dicks.

The workshop takes place in the gardens at Bay Tree Cottage and combines the basic theory of pruning with a series of practical demonstrations and plenty of opportunities to get hands-on and have a go yourself!

With homemade refreshments and ample time to ask questions, you’ll leave with the confidence to prune your own fruit trees at home, ensuring you have a bumper harvest later in the year.

The workshop costs £40pp and runs from 9.30am-12pm. To book your place please visit: http://www.btcworkshops.co.uk/pruning-fruit-trees-27-january-2018.html

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Comedian Alan Carr to Manage a Team in Sixfields Charity Game

Posted: 16/01/18 by Northampton Town Football Club

A very special figure will be taking their place in the dug out at Sixfields on April 15th at the Celebrity Soccer match in support of Niamh’s Next Step and raising awareness of NeuroBlastoma in the shape of world famous comedian Alan Carr.

Alan, known for his hugely successful Chatty Man show on Channel 4, is one of the biggest comedy stars in Britain. He has a glittering CV, including being named the winner of the 2015 National Television Award for Best Chat Show Host, picking up a 2014 Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment Performance, he won a 2013 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance and a 2013 British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Personality.

Alan is the son of former Cobblers boss and current Northampton Town Associate Director Graham Carr, and the two will team up to manage one of the celebrity teams in April’s special charity match at Sixfields supporting Niamh’s Next Step.

The game will take place on Sunday April 15th at 3pm, with tickets available now from Sixfields or online from http://www.ntfcdirect.co.uk. Tickets are priced at £10 adults and £5 for under 16s, with various other packages, including the chance to meet some of the celebrities, available by emailing commercial@ntfc.co.uk

Some of the stars lined up to play in the game include Calum Best, Shayne Ward, Jake Wood, Dean Gaffney, Lee Ryan, Lee Latchford-Evans, Simon Webbe, MC Harvey, Tubes and many more!

“We are delighted that we will be welcoming Alan Carr down to Sixfields in April,” said Cobblers Chairman Kelvin Thomas.

“We are very proud to be staging this game in Northampton and to able to raise funds for a fantastic Northamptonshire charity.

“It’s been great getting to know Graham, and Alan is very much a Northamptonian of course having grown up in the area and we are very excited that he has chosen Sixfields to make a public appearance back in the town, helping to boost what we hope will be a fantastic event for the town.”

Alan himself added: “Although football was never really my thing, I have a lot of memories of spending many an afternoon at the County Ground when my Dad was manager of the Cobblers, so, even though the club have moved to Sixfields, attending this game will bring back memories of my childhood.

“The Cobblers have obviously been a huge part of my family through my Dad and I am looking forward to helping the club raise some funds for an excellent charity.

“I can’t say I have too much football knowledge, I will leave that to my Dad, but I am excited about seeing as many people at Sixfields as we can supporting a superb cause.”

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Marble Arch alleyway gated

Posted: 16/01/18 by Northampton Borough Council

The introduction of a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has seen Northampton’s Marble Arch alleyway gated.

Gates were added to both the Barrack Road and Ash Street ends of the passageway on Friday, 12 January following a public consultation in 2017.

Over 80 per cent of people who responded in the consultation between May and August, voted in favour of the area being permanently gated in a bid to cut down on anti-social behaviour such as street drinking and fly-tipping.

Any breach of this new PSPO, which is the second to be implemented in the town, would be a criminal offence and could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution, resulting in a fine of up to £1,000 on conviction.

Cllr Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “As soon as the PSPO for Marble Arch was agreed to a Cabinet, we applied for the relevant planning permission and licensing to allow for the order to be implemented in early 2018.

“We hope the newly installed gates will deter future anti-social behaviour in the area and will help to improve the quality of life for local people.”

More information about the PSPO’s for Marble Arch and Northampton town centre can be found at www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200258/community-safety/2300/public-spaces-protection-order-pspo

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Football academy gives youngsters a shot at the big time

Posted: 16/01/18 by Northampton College

Football-mad teenagers will be able to get top training tips from Premier League coaches while continuing with their classroom studies, thanks to a new academy launched by Northampton College.

Headed by former Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Manchester City star Eddie McGoldrick, the academy will bridge the gap between grassroots football and top-level youth teams – giving talented youngsters in Northamptonshire the opportunity to get a full education while pursuing their dream of becoming professional players.

The partnership will see Northampton College team up with Premier League side Crystal Palace, with the CPFC Foundation Academy playing in the national football youth league against clubs including Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham United and Liverpool.

Youngsters who catch the eye over the season will have the chance to impress coaches at the Eagles’ main academy, with the ultimate aim of finding the next home-grown superstar.

Former Republic of Ireland international Mr McGoldrick, who started his professional career with Northampton Town, said: “We will provide the necessary training required to help students progress to a higher standard of football, education and employment. We are confident we can get them to the point where they are paid to play football and create a pathway to match their ability and aspirations both on and off the pitch.

“Players will train daily for two hours and play in a competitive FA-structured league. Students will have the option to complete a Btec extended diploma in sport level 2 and 3, A levels or a range of apprenticeship courses. The academic side of things is hugely important and the partnership with Northampton College gives us a huge range of options for students.”

The academy has previously run in Northampton, with youngsters progressing on to scholarship schemes in America and trials with clubs including Leicester City, Sheffield United, Notts County and Peterborough.

The switch to Northampton College will allow the academy to double in size, taking up to 80 students and fielding up to four different teams. Plans are also in place to introduce a girls’ team in September 2018.

Open trials will take place at Northampton College in the February half term.

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


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Grant Thornton bolsters Employer Solutions team across the South

Posted: 16/01/18 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Grant Thornton has promoted Dominic Merlin-Cone (pictured here) to partner, heading up Employer Solutions across the South region.

The promotion comes as a result of growth in the firm’s Employer Solutions team in the region, which advises businesses on all aspects relating to reward and incentives, employment taxes, benefits and global mobility.

Before joining Grant Thornton in 2016, Dominic spent 15 years at Deloitte specialising in Employer Solutions, including significant work on management incentive plans. His new role will see him leading a large team of specialists across the firm’s five regional offices in the South namely Bristol, Cardiff, Southampton, Reading and Oxford.

In his time at Grant Thornton, Dominic has been a champion of the Cranfield University Executive MBA which was launched in 2017 as the first Executive MBA programme in England to use the Apprenticeship Levy.

Dominic commented: “Our team boasts an integrated offering, with our specialists across all areas of employment able to work closely with our colleagues in audit, tax, advisory and consulting, providing our clients with a truly joined-up service.

Talent is a huge concern for employers both in our region and nationally, and we expect this to be at the forefront of our discussions with our clients this year, with staff learning and development a major priority. I look forward to continuing to work with dynamic businesses in the region to support them on their growth journeys and helping them to anticipate their future needs.”

Louise Evans, regional managing partner at Grant Thornton, said: “Since Dominic joined in 2016, he has worked to build a strong and highly skilled team at all levels. He has used his extensive experience to support our clients on all aspects of employment issues and I look forward to seeing this continue in his new role as a valued partner in the firm.”

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Positive Divorce Day

Posted: 16/01/18 by 4Unoworries Ltd

With Christmas and New Year out of the way I am hearing from lawyers that they are busy with divorce queries.

So with this in mind 4U noworries is playing a very big part in the Positive Divorce Day on the 1st March 2018 at The Mercure Hotel in Two Mile Ash.

We will be covering pensions, investments, protection, wills and utility bills.

All served up with a buffet lunch and a session with the Joy Practitioner.

So if you know of anyone struggling or thinking about divorce, then point them my way. For more info mailto:info@4unoworries.com or call 0800 2889 108.

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Middle-market sentiment in South dips as Brexit realities emerge

Posted: 15/01/18 by RSM

Sentiment among businesses in the South regarding the impact of Brexit dipped in the fourth quarter of 2017 according to the latest survey by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, featured RSM’s Brexit Monitor index, in which any reading above 100 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic. Sentiment among businesses in the South about the impact of Brexit on their business over a two-year period slipped markedly from a weak positive score of 102 in the third quarter of 2017 into negative territory with a score of 79 in quarter four.

Businesses across the region were similarly downbeat about the impact of Brexit on their business over a five-year period, with the index score plunging from 116 in quarter three to 92 in quarter four.

In contrast, businesses in all other regions were broadly positive about the long-term impact of an EU exit on their business, with the exception of Yorkshire and the North East, the only
region with a lower index score (90).

Despite the region’s concerns, businesses across the South appear to be the most prepared for Brexit compared to other parts of the country. Middle market firms in the South said they had taken 39 per cent of actions needed to prepare for the UK exiting the EU, compared to the national average of 36 per cent. Actions taken to date include reviewing the status of EU workers, expanding or looking to expand into non-EU markets, and adopting measures to increase productivity and efficiency.

Elfed Jarvis, RSM’s regional managing partner for the South region said: “Our findings suggest that many businesses throughout the South of England, not to mention the rest of the UK, are frustrated with the political uncertainty surrounding our future trading position with the EU. It’s striking though that businesses across the South are more downbeat about the impact of Brexit than in other regions – both in the short and long term. They are also the least confident about the Government being able to deliver a good deal.

“However, they are also displaying a degree of pragmatism, getting on with the necessary preparations to mitigate any eventual negative consequences and to take advantage of new opportunities.

“We will watch eagerly over the course the coming year to see if this sentiment changes as trading negotiations progress.”

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Skills shortages biggest barrier to workforce productivity, say small businesses

Posted: 15/01/18 by PwC LLP

· Attributes such as resilience more lacking than STEM skills

· Small businesses planning to increase use of independent contractors

Nearly a fifth of small businesses see skill shortages as the biggest barrier to productivity in their workforce. Resilience, adaptability and interpersonal skills are most lacking in new recruits, say 37% of small businesses. Significantly fewer (24%) businesses feel technical and mathematical skills are in short supply, a similar proportion (23%) for commercial skills.

The findings come from a PwC survey of decision makers in over 300 small businesses. The results supplement research with a panel of larger businesses on addressing the productivity challenge These bigger firms agree that while the focus on improving so-called STEM skills is important, equal attention is needed to soft skills - adaptability and resilience were felt particularly crucial in today’s rapidly automating world.

Ruby Parmar, Milton Keynes Senior Office Partner, said: “Improving skills is rightly a big focus of the Government’s Industrial strategy. There’s a lot of attention on STEM skills, but getting the soft skills right is just as important. Skills such as resilience and adaptability are arguably harder to teach, but essential to businesses across every sector and every size.”

One in five of the small businesses felt Government investment in improving skills would have the biggest impact on improving workplace productivity. But more small firms (a quarter of those surveyed) think a greater impact would come from reducing the tax and regulatory compliance burden.

Trusha Kachhela, Midlands Tax Partner at PwC, said: “Anything that distracts businesses and workers from reaching their potential is arguably a drag on productivity. A business can spend around 14 working days preparing and filing its taxes. Anything that can be done to ease this burden would be a quick win in boosting business output.”

Other findings:

· Some 30% of small businesses say they expect to increase their company’s use of independent contractors over the next 12 months (just 7% expect to decrease their use of contractors). Perhaps surprisingly, small businesses believe the Government’s changes to how contractors are taxed will make them more likely to use contractors. The changes will see the responsibility for how contractors are taxed shift from those individuals to the business.

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Wilson Browne Solicitors revealed as headline sponsors of Northamptonshire Business Awards

Posted: 15/01/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce is proud to reveal that Wilson Browne Solicitors will be the headline sponsors of the inaugural Northamptonshire Business Awards.

The awards will recognise excellence in business and will be open to organisations of all sizes and from all sectors based in Northamptonshire.

The winners may also be eligible for the regional and national finals of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Chamber Business Awards.

Wilson Browne Solicitors partner Kevin Rogers said: “These awards are a way for businesses of all types and sizes to get together; recognise just how good they are; and celebrate success. We are proud of Northamptonshire businesses - acting for many of them - and would encourage everyone to get involved and showcase the talent that we know exists.

“At Wilson Browne Solicitors we are committed to the local market, as well as having national reach. Recent years have seen us invest heavily in people, and growing our presence in Northamptonshire and beyond: securing local and national awards. With a number of new hires, developing people from within, and a fresh focus on our brand, sponsoring these awards was an obvious choice.

“The willingness of our people to get involved in the community through various groups, whether they be business, education or not-for-profit is fantastic: Partners at the firm are all incredibly committed to - and supportive of - these activities and sponsoring the awards is a privilege of which we are proud.

“We want to encourage other businesses to also embrace change, be innovative, develop local talent and ensure that Northamptonshire remains firmly at the heart of the country…in every sense.”

Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths added: “The response we have had from the business community to these new awards has been incredible.

“There is so much enthusiasm in the air from businesses that want to enter the awards and even at this early stage we only have limited sponsorship opportunities left because so many firms want to get involved with this event.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Wilson Browne Solicitors and are proud to reveal they will be the headline sponsors for the event.”

For further information visit www.northants-chamber.co.uk/events/northamptonshire-business-awards-2018

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University of Northampton makes tracks to Kettering for health courses roadshow

Posted: 15/01/18 by The University of Northampton

The University of Northampton is taking its lecturers out on the road later this month to talk about the courses on offer for a study and careers visit in Kettering.

Subject leaders and lecturers from health and social care courses will be on hand to answer questions about what they involve, the study support on offer at University of Northampton and future career prospects at the Corn Market Hall, London Road on 31 January from 4-6pm.

Further details about the following courses will be available:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Learning Disability Nursing
  • Midwifery Health & Social Care
  • Social Work

Dr Steve O’Brien, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Society, said: “We have a vast array of courses in the Faculty of Health and Society so perhaps people aren’t aware of them or the
options available if they want to further their studies, get back into work or even choose a new career.

“Although the university is Northampton based, our outlook stretches much farther afield. We already have well established links in the Kettering area, working in partnership with
health and social care providers such as Kettering General Hospital and care homes in and around the town. We’re looking forward to expanding on this by getting out and about and talking to potential students.”

Tea and coffee will be provided on the day and bookings can be made online.

For further enquiries, please contact the University of Northampton’s events team: 01604 893160 or events@northampton.ac.uk

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Let Central Foods help with preparations for Chinese New Year

Posted: 15/01/18 by Central Foods Ltd

Chinese New Year is fast approaching with a bang.

And frozen food distributor Central Foods has tasty products to help foodservice operators serve up a feast to mark the celebrations on 16th February 2018.

Take a look at the mini vegetable spring rolls and the tempura vegetable mix, which will appeal to both vegetarians and meat eaters, or try the duck spring rolls.

Also available is chicken satay and the recently introduced charcoal grilled chicken yakitori – both of which are skewered and designed for convenience and portability.

“Chinese New Year is a big occasion on the dining calendar and the chance for caterers to take a look at some of the new products available in the sector,” said Gordon Lauder, MD of Central Foods.

“There are several types of Oriental cuisine products that really lend themselves to some of the current dining trends, like sharing plates, tapas dishes and finger foods – all of which are proving popular at the moment.”

If it’s street food-style items you’re looking for, Central Foods also supplies the Asian street-food staple, Hirata buns which are steamed and folded, and can be served warm…. filled with slow-cooked meat, crunchy salad/pickles and sticky sauce for delicious, tasty bite-size snacks.

Contact us if you’d like further information about any of our products suitable for Chinese New Year.

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Willen Hospice gears up for MK Midnight Moo 2018

Posted: 15/01/18 by Willen Hospice

Willen Hospice is calling on local ladies to put their best foot forward for this year’s MK Midnight Moo, taking place on 14 July 2018.

The ladies only 10 mile walk starts and finishes at intu Milton Keynes at midnight and is open to walkers of all levels, whether they walk in pairs, teams, or on their own.

The charity launched its flagship fundraiser this week, along with supporters including lead sponsor Specsavers Milton Keynes - Centre.

Willen Hospice Chief Executive Peta Wilkinson said: “I am so excited to be launching this year’s MK Midnight Moo! It’s a really popular event in our fundraising calendar with many women returning year on year to raise exceptional amounts to support the specialist end of life care provided by Willen Hospice.

“This will be my first Moo and I am appealing to anyone who has maybe thought of taking part before but hasn’t, to join me for a fabulously fun night.”

Walkers can sign up for the Moo for just £20 at www.willen-hospice.org.uk/moo

The registration fee covers the cost of the event, but it is fundraising that is key to the Moo’s success.

Events Manager Sarah Sweet-Rowley said: “We get a great response to the MK Midnight Moo and it is always an unforgettable night. This year we are asking our fundraisers to think creatively and raise as much as they can to support the care provided by the Hospice. Fundraising is so much more than just setting up a donation page: get baking, get the hair dye out, get entertaining – and get sponsored for it!”

Steve Moore, Director of Specsavers Milton Keynes, added: “We are thrilled to be supporting the MK Midnight Moo. It is such a fun event to be involved with. We are very lucky to be able to support local events and local charities in this way. Willen Hospice provides exceptional care in our community and we are very proud to be able to support the event through this partnership to help them raise vital funds.”

Willen Hospice needs to raise £3.6M every year, that’s £7 a minute, to continue to provide care to patients in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. The MK Midnight Moo is a key event that helps the Hospice to reach that goal.

To find out more and to sign up, visit www.willen-hospice.org.uk/moo

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Partnership Fund Grant to help local support groups and organisations

Posted: 15/01/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Local charitable and support organisations can gain financial help for a service thanks to the Borough Council’s Partnership Fund grants, which open for applications on Monday, 15 January.

Registered charities, unregistered voluntary or community groups, registered charitable companies by guarantee and social enterprises can all apply for grants between £3,000 and £15,000 from the fund to help them do positive work in the community.

To be eligible for the grant, the organisation must be able to demonstrate how the service will meet one of the Council’s priorities:

  • A vibrant, successful town for now and the future
  • Making you feel safe and secure
  • Helping those that need it to have a safe and secure home
  • A clean and attractive town for residents and visitors

Any organisations wanting to find out more about the grants and how they can apply for them, can attend a showcase event on 29 January. During the event, attendees will be able
to talk to organisations, such as Northampton Street Pastors, Northampton Women’s Aid and Community Spaces Northampton, who have recently benefitted from the Partnership Fund grants.

In addition, attendees can drop into training sessions about the Partnership Fund Grant application process for 2017/18, and working in partnership with the Borough Council.

Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, Cllr Anna King,said: “The Partnership Fund grant can make a real difference in helping local
charitable and support organisations to continue the work they do.

“We encourage any groups interested in applying for the grants to come along to the event to find out more so that they can make an application.”

The Partnership Fund Grant Showcase will take place in the Great Hall, The Guildhall on Monday, 29 January from 3.30pm.

For more information and to apply for a grant, please visit www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200260/community-funding/1946/partnership-fund-grants-scheme

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Saints name side to take on french champions

Posted: 12/01/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

Tom Stephenson, Kieran Brookes and Christian Day have all come into Northampton Saints’ starting line-up to take on Clermont Auvergne in the European Champions Cup.

Technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney and interim head coach Alan Dickens have made three changes to the side that began last week’s triumph over Gloucester, as the Saints take on the Top 14 Champions at Franklin’s Gardens, kick-off 5.30pm.

Northampton opened up 2018 in style against the Cherry & Whites, scoring a last-minute penalty try to win 22-19 and end a run of frustrating results in the Aviva Premiership – and will now smell blood with nothing to lose in the competition against Clermont.

The only change to the back-line is caused by the ankle injury that saw Luther Burrell hobble off against Gloucester.

Stephenson comes in to replace him in the midfield after a tenacious showing off the bench last weekend, and the inside centre will celebrate his 50th appearance in the Black, Green and Gold.

Nic Groom and Harry Mallinder will continue to build their half-back partnership, with Ahsee Tuala staying at full-back and Ken Pisi – who scored on his return to the side against Gloucester – and Ben Foden remaining on the wings.

Brookes also continues his comeback from a hand injury with his first start since November, joining skipper Dylan Hartley and Campese Ma’afu in the front row.

And with Day coming into the second row alongside Api Ratuniyarawa, Courtney Lawes shifts to blindside flanker.

“The players fully understand that we didn’t perform particularly well last week, but we got the result we needed,” said Gaffney.

“We fought hard and showed a lot of commitment in what we did which was pleasing, but we understand we still made a lot of mistakes which we’ve got to rectify over time.

“Our game management has to be better at times, but we’ve addressed that and done a lot of work to understand where we can start transferring pressure away from us.

“The next two weeks still mean a lot to us and we’ve got to perform. There’s an enormous amount of improvement still left in us, and we’ve got to go in and take another step forwards.”

Tickets are still available for Saints’ European Champions Cup clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by visiting bit.ly/SAI-CLE-EPCR or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000. Prices start at £32 for adults and £14 for juniors.

SAINTS V CLERMONT TEAM NEWS

European Champions Cup, Round 5

Franklin’s Gardens

Saturday 13 January, 2018

Kick-off: 5.30pm

SAINTS

15 Ahsee Tuala

14 Ken Pisi

13 Rob Horne

12 Tom Stephenson

11 Ben Foden

10 Harry Mallinder

9 Nic Groom

1 Campese Ma’afu

2 Dylan Hartley (capt)

3 Kieran Brookes

4 Api Ratuniyarawa

5 Christian Day

6 Courtney Lawes

7 Tom Wood

8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:

16 Mikey Haywood

17 Francois van Wyk

18 Jamal Ford-Robinson

19 Michael Paterson

20 Mitch Eadie

21 Cobus Reinach

22 James Grayson

23 Nafi Tuitavake

Injury update:

Tom Collins (foot), Alex Waller (arm), Jamie Elliott (hamstring), Rory Hutchinson (back), George North (knee), Piers Francis (concussion), Stephen Myler (ribs), and Luther Burrell (calf) are unavailable for selection.

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Transport & Healthcare Trade Mission to Egypt: Sunday 11 February - Thursday 15 February 2018

Posted: 11/01/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce invites you to participate in their forthcoming trade mission to Egypt, organised in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), the British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), and Egyptian British Business Council (EBBC).

The Government of Egypt recognizes the UK as a key player in several sectors, with an emphasis on collaboration in the transportation and healthcare sectors.

Healthcare

A huge effort is underway in Egypt to upgrade public and private healthcare facilities. The government is looking for investment in medical manufacturing facilities, particularly in the new Suez Canal Economic Zone.

With a growing population already over 100 million to accommodate, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing is building new cities that require hospitals and medical centres. There is a further need for high-quality medical furniture, appliances, surgical equipment, disposables and pharmaceuticals.

Transportation

Egypt’s Ministry of Transport has significant development targets in three main areas; roads and bridges, railways and metro, and maritime (ports, dry ports and river ports). The Ministry is actively looking for private sector involvement in the construction of a new road network (2000km), the renewal of 1200km rail tracks, the purchase and local manufacturing of 1300 rail passenger coaches, the maintenance of 150 rail stations, and replacement and renewal of rolling stocks (priority). The metro system is expanding from 77km currently to 300km by 2024, a total of 6 lines will service the Greater Cairo area.

The Ministry’s targets in the maritime sector are to construct a total of 6 ports on the Mediterranean and 9 ports on the Red Sea. There are considerable opportunities in the construction of terminals and logistics areas, as well as in the supply of marine tractors. For the first time in Egypt, four new dry ports and logistics centres are tendered via the EBRD on a PPP basis. In short, a great number of pipeline opportunities for UK companies to get involved in.

The three-day programme includes meetings with senior officials in government, site visits and B2B opportunities. Join them, and explore the vast trade and investment opportunities for UK business in Egypt.

Details:

£1,700 per delegate + 20% VAT applicable to UK registered companies (total payable incl. VAT: £2,040).

Includes*:
*Does not include your air travel

  • Luxury 5* hotel accommodation at the Intercontinental Hotel Semiramis, Cairo
  • Airport transfers
  • Land transportation
  • Pre-mission briefing, pre-arranged group meetings, tailored briefings, as listed in the programme
  • Business lunches, hosted receptions and dinners as listed in the programme

Please contact The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce for more information: karin@theebcc.com

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Transport & Healthcare Trade Mission to Egypt: Sunday 11 February - Thursday 15 February 2018

Posted: 11/01/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce invites you to participate in their forthcoming trade mission to Egypt, organised in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), the British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA), and Egyptian British Business Council (EBBC).

The Government of Egypt recognizes the UK as a key player in several sectors, with an emphasis on collaboration in the transportation and healthcare sectors.

Healthcare

A huge effort is underway in Egypt to upgrade public and private healthcare facilities. The government is looking for investment in medical manufacturing facilities, particularly in the new Suez Canal Economic Zone.

With a growing population already over 100 million to accommodate, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing is building new cities that require hospitals and medical centres. There is a further need for high-quality medical furniture, appliances, surgical equipment, disposables and pharmaceuticals.

Transportation

Egypt’s Ministry of Transport has significant development targets in three main areas; roads and bridges, railways and metro, and maritime (ports, dry ports and river ports). The Ministry is actively looking for private sector involvement in the construction of a new road network (2000km), the renewal of 1200km rail tracks, the purchase and local manufacturing of 1300 rail passenger coaches, the maintenance of 150 rail stations, and replacement and renewal of rolling stocks (priority). The metro system is expanding from 77km currently to 300km by 2024, a total of 6 lines will service the Greater Cairo area.

The Ministry’s targets in the maritime sector are to construct a total of 6 ports on the Mediterranean and 9 ports on the Red Sea. There are considerable opportunities in the construction of terminals and logistics areas, as well as in the supply of marine tractors. For the first time in Egypt, four new dry ports and logistics centres are tendered via the EBRD on a PPP basis. In short, a great number of pipeline opportunities for UK companies to get involved in.

The three-day programme includes meetings with senior officials in government, site visits and B2B opportunities. Join them, and explore the vast trade and investment opportunities for UK business in Egypt.

Details:

£1,700 per delegate + 20% VAT applicable to UK registered companies (total payable incl. VAT: £2,040).

Includes*:

  • Luxury 5* hotel accommodation at the Intercontinental Hotel Semiramis, Cairo
  • Airport transfers
  • Land transportation
  • Pre-mission briefing, pre-arranged group meetings, tailored briefings, as listed in the programme
  • Business lunches, hosted receptions and dinners as listed in the programme

*Does not include your air travel

Please contact The Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce for more information: karin@theebcc.com

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St James Mill Road link takes a step forward

Posted: 11/01/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Work toward delivery of a new St James Mill Road link in Northampton could take a step closer next week.

At its meeting on Wednesday, 17 January, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet will decide whether to appoint KierWSP to carry out design work.

As Northamptonshire County Council’s designated highway contractor, KierWSP would be in a position to deliver the project under its existing framework.

Cllr Tim Hadland, borough council cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “It has taken a great deal of work to get the project to this stage and we are very grateful to partners at the County Council and Network Rail for their help so far.

“If Cabinet colleagues agree, we can press ahead to the delivery stage which will see KierWSP carrying out design work and then submitting a planning application.

“We have always believed that delivery of this link road would further improve the accessibility of the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, as well as provide a measure of congestion relief, especially on match days.”

A link road would also provide better access to brownfield land that is ripe for industrial and commercial development.

The project will be part-funded by SEMLEP through the Local Growth Fund II and Growing Places Fund with further costs being met through Enterprise Zone Business Rates Uplift which will see upfront funding from the Borough Council paid back through increased business rates achieved over time.

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Northamptonshire businesses report improvement in overseas sales in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce

Posted: 11/01/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

County businesses have reported an improvement in overseas sales in the latest Quarterly Economic Survey by Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.

Nearly 50 firms employing 2,220 staff, responded to the survey which examined the performance of businesses during the final quarter of 2017.

Service sector firms reported that the downward trend for overseas sales, which started in the second half of 2014, has reversed and nearly half of manufacturers identified an improvement in advanced custom.

However, several issues were highlighted in the report, including uncertainty about domestic sales, businesses coming under pressure to increase their prices and a drop in the number of manufacturers who are confident their turnover will increase in the next year.

Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The improved performance of the services sector in overseas sales perhaps gives cause for optimism against a backdrop of political uncertainty in trade negotiations. Perhaps, in the services sector at least, we are seeing the beginnings of the predicted rebalance away from domestic demand towards international trade in response to strengthening global growth and the weak pound.

“There was also a slight increase in the number of businesses that expected to grow their workforces over the next 12 months.

“However, the survey also highlighted a reduction in domestic sales for manufacturers and reports from 65% of manufacturers and 33% of service sector firms that their prices will have to increase.

“In addition only 18% of manufacturers predict their turnover will improve in the next 12 months which is the lowest figure reported since the financial crash.”

Northamptonshire Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey is part of the largest and most representative survey of its kind in the UK and provides central and local policymakers with feedback of the performance, concerns and views of businesses across Northamptonshire.

To read the full report visit www.northants-chamber.co.uk/representation/quarterly-economic-surveys

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Take part in Kingsthorpe College’s annual Careers Fair

Posted: 11/01/18 by Kingsthorpe College

Kingsthorpe College is looking for businesses to take part in its popular annual Careers Fair.

This year’s event will be open to hundreds of students from the college, Moulton School and Malcolm Arnold Academy.

Kingsthorpe College careers teacher Sue Cockerill said: “We want to attract local and national companies that can offer advice on opportunities, courses and apprenticeships for our Year 9 students who are about to make their subject choices for their GCSEs, through to our Year 13 students who are taking their A Levels and making university applications or considering higher level apprenticeships.”

This year’s event will be held between 3pm and 5pm and from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, February 1, at Kingsthorpe College in Boughton Green Road, Northampton.

Companies will be invited to set up their stands from 2.30pm and light refreshments will be provided at 5pm prior to the evening session.

For further information contact Sue on 07850 007171 or email Sue.Cockerill@kingsthorpecollege.org.uk

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Moulton College Apprentice Wins TCL Young Achiever Award

Posted: 11/01/18 by Moulton College

A Moulton College apprentice has been named ‘Young Achiever of the Year’ by his Northamptonshire employer, winning a trophy and £200 of Amazon vouchers.

Brodie Melay-Brown, who is 21, studies horticulture at Moulton College and works for landscape services, estate management and play space services provider TCL Group at TCL’s Midlands office in Chapel Brampton. TCL is a leading business in the landscaping sector and is always looking for apprentices to join its expanding operations.

Brodie was put forward for his award by TCL colleagues who wanted to reward his attitude to work and his performance and development through the year.

The company will continue to present the award annually to a developing member of the company’s Midlands team who, like Brodie, regularly demonstrates TCL’s values of honour, openness, enterprise and resilience.

TCL set up the Young Achiever award to commemorate Chris Williamson, an inspiring and much-loved manager who died just over a year ago, aged 33. Chris was passionate about his job and adored by colleagues, who have opted to include the organisation CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young (https://www.c-r-y.org.uk) – among TCL’s chosen charities for 2018.

Sarah Ward, Brodie’s work-based assessor at Moulton College, said: “Brodie has made the most of his apprenticeship and proved himself to be hard working and a good team player. It’s great that he has been recognised in this way and I wish him the best in his career with TCL. Well done, Brodie.”

For more information about apprenticeships through Moulton College please go to http://www.moulton.ac.uk/our-courses/apprenticeships or call 01604 491131.

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Saints duo Collins and Ludlam sign new contracts

Posted: 11/01/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

Northampton Saints can today confirm that first-team players Tom Collins and Lewis Ludlam have signed new deals to remain at Franklin’s Gardens.

Collins, 23 and 22-year-old Ludlam have both made huge progress since graduating from the Saints Academy, and are now valuable contributors to the first-team squad. Northampton-born winger Collins broke into the first team at his hometown club in the 2013-14 season, having won the Six Nations with England Under-20s earlier that year.

And that campaign he went from strength to strength, becoming a key cog in the Saints squad that claimed an Aviva Premiership and European Challenge Cup double.

Since then flyer Collins has continued to impress on the field for the first XV, and also scored twice in the Aviva A League final last term as Northampton Wanderers lifted the trophy following victory over Gloucester United.

“I’m delighted to be staying at Saints having been here for the entirety of my career so far,” said Collins, who has been sidelined in recent weeks with a foot injury.

“Ever since I first pulled on the Black, Green and Gold jersey, I have wanted to help Northampton become the best Club in this country and in Europe – and that ambition definitely remains the same.

“I can’t wait to get back on the pitch and help the team finish this season as strongly as possible.”

Ludlam meanwhile made his first-team debut last season during the Anglo-Welsh Cup, and after being part of the same A League success as Collins, made a big impression on his first Premiership start.

The dynamic back-row, who started out as a centre before finding his home in the pack, scored at Twickenham to mark the personal landmark in style and cap off a fine individual performance – and has delivered several accomplished performances in the Premiership and European Champions Cup since.

Ludlam said: “I’ve already had some incredible highs in my time at Franklin’s Gardens, and I cannot wait to make many more memories here at my childhood club.

“Helping the Wanderers win the A League trophy last year was a fantastic experience and I’m really excited to try and win plenty more silverware with the Saints.”

And Northampton Saints CEO Mark Darbon is confident the duo will continue to flourish at the Club: “Tom and Lewis are fine examples that our Academy is still thriving and we are of course delighted that the pair have committed their future to the Club,” he said.

“We want to build a world-class team with a backbone of home-grown talent, and Tom and Lewis certainly have the potential to have a huge role in that looking forwards.”

Tickets are still available for Saints’ European Champions Cup clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by visiting bit.ly/SAI-CLE-EPCR or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000.

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Further measures recommended to manage the development of HMOs

Posted: 11/01/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Further planning measures to manage the development of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Far Cotton, Delapré and Cliftonville are to be considered by the Cabinet next week.

If agreed to during a meeting on Wednesday, 17 January, a Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction will come into effect in areas of Far Cotton, Delapré and Cliftonville from 29 September 2018.

This will mean that planning permission will be required by anyone who wishes to develop a family home into a HMO within the specified area.

Although planning permission may still be granted, the introduction of the Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction will ensure that the local amenity of residents and adjoining occupiers, and the character of the area will be considered as part of the application process.

Cllr Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “We must be mindful of balancing increased demand for accommodation with current pressures on existing services and amenities.

“The additional planning measures which are being recommended, paired with those that were introduced in areas most at risk of increased HMO development last April, will help to give us the opportunity we need to consider these issues as part of the planning process.”

Anyone currently in the process of buying a house in this area with the intention of converting it into a HMO is advised to contact Northampton Borough Council’s planning team directly.

Northampton Borough Council has a dedicated helpline for anyone concerned about a privately rented HMO near them and for landlords who might want advice – the number to call is 0300 330 7002.

Please visit http://bit.ly/2DjcyMk to view a map detailing the areas to be covered by the proposed Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction.

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Grant Thornton appoints host to new Milton Keynes office

Posted: 11/01/18 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

A new Client Services Executive has been appointed to host the collaborative space of the Milton Keynes office of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.

Philippa Price (pictured here) will be the face of the new working space in Avebury Boulevard, and brings with her a wealth of experience and local knowledge having supported several senior Grant Thornton partners across Milton Keynes and Northampton over the past three years.

In her new role, Philippa will be responsible for managing use of the space including organising events and welcoming and connecting local businesses and individuals who can use the space during office hours.

Commenting on her appointment, Philippa Price said: “I am very excited to take on this role at our new office in Milton Keynes. Our aim is to provide an alternative place for local business leaders and entrepreneurs to work, meet and collaborate in a comfortable environment. Visitors can make use of our full office facilities which include private meeting rooms and breakout areas. I look forward to welcoming local organisations over the coming months.”

The new Milton Keynes office is part of Grant Thornton’s ongoing commitment to the region and to supporting fast growing, ambitious businesses by offering a collaborative place for people to work in today’s increasingly flexible environment.

Fiona Baldwin, practice leader said: “As more firms adopt flexible working hours and locations to help employees achieve a better work/ life balance, we wanted to offer a different space where people can work in a relaxed and innovative environment. It’s also part of our wider ambition to get businesses, individuals and communities working together to create a more vibrant, progressive and productive economy at all levels and we hope firms that share our vision for connection and collaboration will make use of this space.”

For more information, contact Philippa Price at philippa.price@uk.gt.com.

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Pictures55 shortlisted for IoIC Award

Posted: 11/01/18 by Pictures55

Delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted in the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) Central & North Awards 2018 for an image for Route One Publishing and Billypix is Pictures55.

The winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the National Space Centre in Leicester on 1st March 2018.

According to the IoIC - ‘The night promises to be a glittering event – an exhilarating rocket ride through the very best of internal communications.’

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LMD Design celebrates it’s first year in business

Posted: 11/01/18 by LMD Design

January 2018 marks the milestone of the completion of LMD Design’s first year in business. This year has been such a huge time for the agency. In this first year LMD Design has worked with new local businesses, local charities, larger organisations like the Open University and even international companies selling services across the world. The business has grown massively in just 12 months, and now with their first year complete they are keen to keep on continuing their success.

Like with any business, their first year has been full of trials and tests. Launching a business is stressful and always a learning curve, and having not only survived but thrived in this time is a massive boost.

Founder Liam Mitchell-Dolby said: “Launching a new business is always a daunting prospect. However, seeing the success of LMD Design in such a short period has been amazing!

“It’s been a really exciting time getting involved with local and national businesses, helping them succeed through design and marketing.”

LMD Design has a focus on branding and digital media, working with clients across the local area and further afield. They have helped launch new companies into the market over the last year and the results for both themselves and our clients have been huge.

LMD Design are now looking forward to the next set of goals for the agency. Their main aim is to continue to connect into the local community and help local businesses achieve.

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BRI has strengthened its position with another insolvency appointment taker in Northampton

Posted: 11/01/18 by BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency

BRI are pleased to announce that Lauren Auburn has been promoted to Associate and will be taking insolvency appointments.

Lauren has over 11 years insolvency experience and deals with a variety of corporate and personal insolvency and solvency matters.

Lauren’s experience includes dealing with the closure and liquidation of a national company with 300 employees which operated over 47 sites, complex voluntary arrangements for companies in both the professional and hospitality sector, solvent liquidations that involve distributions to members of more than £1m and cross border insolvency after dealing with a company based in Southern Ireland. In addition, Lauren also deals with internal technical systems and procedures.

Lauren has been heavily involved with our regular networking events, the Northampton Professionals Breakfast Club and Professionals Lunch, and also heads up our BRI Exceptional Female Society (BRIEFS) lunch.

Lauren joined BRI as a trainee in 2006 with no previous insolvency experience. With continued support and training from BRI and the opportunity to work directly with senior staff members, Lauren gained essential knowledge and experience and, after being promoted, joined the management team in 2014.

Lauren gained the AAT qualification shortly after joining BRI and went on to pass the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency exam in 2010, and more recently obtained the Joint Insolvency Examination qualification.

Lauren will to continue to provide sound, practical advice and solutions for clients that are in financial difficulty.

Lauren is happy to be a part of the BRI team that is committed to finding the right solution, first time and every time, irrespective of the fee outcome for BRI.

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We are delighted to announce our move to new offices at Rockingham Motor Speedway

Posted: 11/01/18 by The New to Experts

As we approach the end of our 1st successful year in business, we are delighted to announce our move to offices at Unit 31, Rockingham Motor Speedway.

We are energised daily by the changing panoramas from our office window.

With access to excellent on-site training and conference facilities we are looking forward to a successful 2018, coaching, training and facilitating individuals and teams on their journey.

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Brass Monkey 10k

Posted: 11/01/18 by Aircare Compressor Services Limited

Aircare support and work with Lakelands Hospice in Corby throughout the year, but annually we sponsor the Brass Monkey run and fun run.

This year the run is being held at Rockingham Speedway with the family fun run consisting of a single lap of the Rockingham racetrack and the big race being a 10k.

Lakelands Hospice provide the best possible care for people with cancer, heart failure and other life limiting illnesses, and are funded 100% by donations so events such as this are extremely important.

Last year we saw nearly 500 runners take part raising over £7,000 in total. Staff from Aircare will be at the event again this year giving out medals, t-shirts and goodie bags to all runners taking part.

This year’s run takes place on Sunday 28th January at 11:00am.

If you would like to take part please enter online at www.runnersworld.co.uk

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Seminar on The Building Blocks for Business Success

Posted: 11/01/18 by Business Finance Services Ltd

Building your business can be exhilarating but it can also be daunting when you enter the realms of the unknown. particularly for an SME owner/manager. At Business Finance Services we understand this and will do whatever we can to help our clients to save time, effort and, of course, money by setting up their business to be as efficient as possible.

With a bright new year upon us and with a distinct air of optimism in much of the business community, now is the time to start looking and planning ahead to make the most of new business opportunities as they arise, and they certainly will arise!

At BFS we offer our clients a wide range of services from Business Planning through sourcing of commercial finance to Post-Funding Mentoring services to ensure that our clients make the most of the finance raised by adopting efficient working practices. The next in our series of Seminars on the general subject of “Negotiating the Financial Maze” is designed to do that by providing information not only on sources of finance but onthe importance of business planning and mentoring.

BFS will be joined by speakers from four different business disciplines:

  • Lewis Stringer from The British Business Bank who will explain the origin and distribution of their funds which are specifically aimed at supporting SMEs.
  • Rod Beer from the UK Business Angels Association. Rod will be talking about what the UKBAA is and how its members can help and support SMEs.
  • Alan Price from BFS and Harpconsult Ltd who will talk about the importance of Business Planning and Mentoring to ensure efficient operation of a business.
  • Barry Parsons from Opus Corporate Finance

As always with BFS’s seminars, there will be an opportunity for questions and networking with all of the speakers at the end of the event. The feedback from previous attendees to our seminars has always been very positive!

So do join us - the seminar is FREE and everyone is welcome to attend. With speakers on Business Lending, Investment, Planning and PR there is something for everyone, whether you are an accountant, solicitor, other professional advisor or the owner/manager of an SME!

Event information and tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-building-blocks-for-business-success-tickets-41884502675

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Adding Value to the Supply Chain

Posted: 10/01/18 by Walkerpack Ltd

Expertise, cost, resource and space are key reasons for businesses putting their trust in Walkerpack, which has more than 50 years - experience in the competitive supply chain sector.

This experience has enabled the Brackmills-based business to fine tune its services to enable each client to reap the benefits.

Ongoing investment in its workforce and technology means privately-owned Walkerpack can offer key services to add value to the supply chain. These include Packing, Warehousing, Logistics and Fulfilment.

Walkerpack’s sales manager Steve Tiley said: “For many customers the biggest challenge can be to find a business which has the expertise and reliability to handle the most complex supply chain activities. Our ‘can-do’ attitude means we can offer a one-stop shop for business looking for solutions, so they can have the confidence to concentrate on their core business.”

There are real benefits for businesses who decide to outsource contract packing to a specialist firm like Walkerpack which takes pride in employing mostly permanent staff who are trained to carry out these tasks.

For some this could mean bringing together products from different sites to a central location where Walkerpacks specialist team can focus on ensuring orders are ready for efficient distribution.

Others might require reworking a product to make it ready for sale, fulfilment of point of sale displays for retail projects or packing which requires special machinery or labour intensive work.

The growth in international supply chains combined with rising costs means companies often see a benefit in shipping in bulk then packing locally to make a product saleable or secure for onward transportation.

“Walkerpack prides itself on having the competence and flexibility to meet the changing needs of its customers. This ‘best in class’ customer service is key to our ongoing success and is why people want to work with us, ” continued Steve.

To talk in confidence about your company’s needs call Steve Tiley on 01604 760529 or email: sales@walkerpack.co.uk or see the website at www.walkerpack.co.uk

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Howes Percival Acts In Aspall Sale To Molson Coors

Posted: 10/01/18 by Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival has played a key role in the sale of Suffolk-based cider maker Aspall to American brewing giant Molson Coors. The firm acted for the family shareholders in the sale.

Founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and run by the eighth generation of his family, Aspall is known for producing premium cider products as well as organic cider vinegar. Aspall operates from a single site in the parish of Aspall, Suffolk, where the Chevallier family first planted the orchards at Aspall Hall.

The deal will see members of the family remain as part of the business and play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall.

Howes Percival has advised the family for over 30 years and provided a wide range of services relating to the transaction including corporate, tax, banking & finance, property, employment law, IP and regulatory.

Milton Keynes-based Corporate Partner Edward Lee advised in relation to the corporate aspects on this deal, alongside the rest of the team across multiple offices.

Edward Lee commented: “We’re absolutely delighted for the family, who have worked so hard to build a fantastic business. We’ve worked alongside them for many years now and are very proud to be associated with the family and such a great brand. The deal allows the business to grow and seek out new markets for their unique products, while the family remain closely involved.

“At Howes Percival we were able to put together an incredibly strong team to cover a wide range of issues related to the deal. We’ve invested heavily in our office network and partner level expertise in the last three years and this kind of deal is typical of the transactions we are increasingly involved in.”

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GMC to launch the world’s highest specification Toughphone

Posted: 10/01/18 by Global Mobile Communications Ltd

​Its been a year since we last made a news update but we have been working on something special.

Global Mobile Communications (GMC) are pleased to announce that we will be launching the worlds highest specification rugged waterproof phone under its Defender brand: https://www.thetoughphone.com

GMC have specialized in the rugged mobile phone market for some years and own the Global rights to manufacture rugged phones under the Dewalt brand as well as our own Defender brand.

The new model is called “THE BEAST” and that is exactly what is it! With the biggest battery ever put in a mobile phone (6150mAh). This phone will last for a least three days with full usage. The phone can also be dropped on to concrete from 1.2m without any damage. The phone also have a very impressive 16mp on the back and 8mp on the front.

Some of the other features are:

  • Heartbeat monitor
  • Compass
  • Spirit Level
  • Height Measure
  • Pedometer
  • Plumb Bob
  • Protractor
  • Alarm
  • Flashlight
  • Picture Hanger
  • Air pressure SensorMagnetic field SensorTemperature and Humidity SensorThree-axis gyroProximity Sensor SensorGravity SensorAmbient lightBarometer SensorAccelerometer SensorTemperature SensorInfrared SensorGeomagnetic SensorTouch ID fingerprint

We made the phone with some unique features that have never been seen on a mobile phone. So are very useful while others may be seen as a bit gimmicky, like the infared blaster, which allows you to use you phone to control all your home remote controls.

On a business note, the phone include NFC and can run 2 SIM cards at the same time, which is perfect for running a business number and personnel number on the same phone.

Full specification can be found at https://www.thetoughphone.com and we currently are offering Chamber members to try out the phone before the official release of the device. Please call 01327301667 for more info.

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New Member of the Team

Posted: 10/01/18 by The Sales Manager Ltd

We are delighted to introduce the newest member of our Telemarketing team, Simone Leeson.

Simone joins us to facilitate the growth within this division of The Sales Manager and we are all looking forward to working with her.

To know more about what we do, contact us on: 01604 532 004 or http://www.thesales-manager.co.uk

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Top 100 Firm Launches New Website

Posted: 10/01/18 by Cottons Accountants LLP

2017 has been an excellent year for Cottons Accountants with the company acquiring two new premises and opening an office in London. The year has ended on a similar note with the successful launch of their new website.

Cottons Chartered Accountants, small business accountants and audit specialists, announced the arrival of their new website on Wednesday 6th December. The firm offers tailored accountancy services to a variety of business and currently has four UK offices based in London, Northampton, Rugby and Daventry.

With the help of Antelope Consultants, the modern and uncluttered design is the ultimate userfriendly experience with quality navigation and functionality throughout. The site provides clients and customers with quick and easy access to company information, with its high-quality services at the forefront.

The team of chartered accountants also offer their expertise through the site’s comprehensive resource library, free of charge. The collection of over 40 articles and blogs are based on accountancy news, company updates and small business advice that include topics such as tax and VAT. The articles are written using everyday language without accountancy jargon creating a collection of information that is accessible and invaluable to small business owners and other individuals seeking accountancy tips and advice.

Jennifer Welford commented on the new website: “Over the last few months we have worked hard with Cottons to build their new website. We’re extremely happy with the result and believe we’ve created a new, fresh platform for the company to use as they continue to grow.”

The accountancy firm will continue to regularly update the website, and in particular the resource library. Visitors are encouraged to explore the site and provide their thoughts and feedback.

About Cottons Chartered Accountants: Cottons Chartered Accountants provide specialised accountancy advice and services through a network of five offices in London, Daventry, Northampton, Rugby and Banbury. With 50 members across these give offices their employees have an array on expert knowledge who can give specialise accountancy advice in all areas of business. They provide their clients with an unrivalled combination of size, expertise and a friends, personal service.

If you would like further information on Cottons Chartered Accountants and their team then please visit http://www.cottonsaccountants.co.uk.

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Hampton’s Otter Exclusion Fencing a Winner at Ringstead Island Fishery

Posted: 10/01/18 by Hampton Steel Ltd

Wellingborough and District Nene Angling Club offers 12 still waters, lengthy sections of the river’s Nene & Ouse and several sections of canal for their members to fish on an annual membership basis.

Ringstead Island Fishery is one of the club’s flagship venues set within some of Northamptonshire’s most stunning countryside and a popular destination for anglers of all ages and abilities.

Stocked with various species including chub, bream and carp, this popular destination for anglers was fast becoming otter heaven for these cunning predators. Working closely with Ashley Hubbard, Peter Laughton and the club’s teams of dedicated volunteers, UK Manufacturer, Hampton Steel recommended Hampton NET™ otter fencing. With fence heights up to 2.6 metres, small apertures and the inclusion of a hinged upper section allowing the fence to be angled out to prevent climbing, otter access is all but eliminated. Hampton NET™ also features a low profile knotted joint with no protruding ends so, whilst helping to exclude the otters, they are kept from harm. Unlike other more traditional fencing options this incredibly strong joint locks line and stay wires tightly together so preventing predators from forcing the wires apart to increase the size of the aperture to gain entry.

With 2500 metres of fencing needed to surround the venue, selecting a fence that could help protect the prize stock was essential but not at the expense of the landscape. Designated as a ‘Site of Specific Scientific Interest‘ (SSSI) by Natural England, a boundary that could be aesthetically sympathetic was also very important.

Hampton’s Metal Box Strainer Systems and StapleloK intermediate metal posts were used in areas prone to flooding; the superior durability of the new metal strainer system with StapleloK provides further reassurance of extended longevity over traditional wooden posts in constantly wet areas of heavy clay soil with poor drainage.

“Within the club, we were very aware of meeting the Natural England fencing specification whilst trying to be as sympathetic to the beautiful countryside surrounding our Ringstead site. The quality of the fence and metal posts is superb and the hinged top and skirting sections are a great deterrent to otters. Any burrowing will be met by the lower part of the mesh which has been laid and pinned 3ft along the ground on the outer side of the fence,” said Ashley.

“It is one of the club’s largest projects to date and one we will work to maintain with our team of volunteers for many years to come. We can now safely deter otters from predating our waters without harming them or their river habitats in any way.

“It was imperative that the boundary fence passed the Natural England’s strict specifications to ensure that, if at a later date an otter is on the site, the angling club can apply for the otter to be live trapped and released just outside the fencing with no harm to the animal. Without this specification being met it may not have been possible for this permission to be granted.

“Visitors will also benefit from the unobtrusive nature of the fence, aesthetically sympathetic to the environment. I would definitely recommend Hampton NET™ Fencing to other fisheries,” said Ashley.

Visit www.hamptonsteel.co.uk to view Hampton’s full product range or contact their sales team on 01933 234070, mailto:sales@hamptonsteel.co.uk

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MKi Going Global: Network to Export

Posted: 10/01/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Many of you will already be working in international markets or working on your strategy to grow your business, but there is the potential to achieve more, for both B2B and B2C.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) in collaboration with Barclays have arranged an informative event to help you understand how your business can achieve sustainable growth through exporting, with a focus in the African market.

The event will be delivered at Buckingham University. Following the presentations there will be the opportunity for networking and presenter engagement. This is a great opportunity to understand how your business can grow through the evolving international opportunities that exist.

Speakers include Peter Wright from DIT South East, Bolaji Sofoluwe who will discuss Africa and the opportunities within the market and Joseph Cooksey, who will discuss the ‘digital world’.

Date: Wednesday 31 January 2018

Time: 09:30 - 11:00

Venue: University of Buckingham, Buckingamshire

Cost: Free of Charge

Due to limited space, please register promptly in order to guarantee your place.

Free onsite parking is available on the day.

To register your interest, please click: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mki-going-global-network-to-export-310118-tickets-36547621921

For more information contact: +44 (0) 7469 404 322 or mailto:mark.a.nightingales@barclays.com

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Employers urged to act now on landmark employment law changes - Howes Percival comments on key issues and upcoming legislation

Posted: 09/01/18 by Howes Percival

2018 is set to be a hugely important year in terms of employment law, with high profile cases and significant new legislation likely to have a major impact on employers.

Howes Percival partner and employment law expert, Paula Bailey (pictured here) commented: “2018 is potentially going to be a landmark year for employment law. The ‘gig economy’ and the status of workers will remain a key topic with high profile cases in the courts and the Government expected to respond to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. Meanwhile, employers need to get to grips with two massive legislative changes in the shape of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Gender Pay Gap Reporting.

“April is the deadline for publication of the first gender pay gap reports and whilst some companies have already published their data revealing the differences in pay between men and women in their workforce, many employers have yet to do so. As we’ve seen already, companies could potentially face media scrutiny if large pay gaps are exposed.

Paula Bailey continued: “New data protection legislation, which comes into force in May 2018, will provide increased rights and protections in respect of an individual’s personal data. The magnitude of the changes coupled with stiff penalties for non-compliance means that it’s vital that employers ensure they have systems in place to make sure they are compliant.”

“We have been working with organisations to help prepare them for both GDPR and Gender Pay Gap and we would encourage all employers to seek legal help if they have any concerns about the changes coming this year.”

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Employers with 250 or more employees will have to produce and publish their “gender pay gap reports” by 4 April (30 March for public sector employers) if they have not done so already. Employers are required to publish information on the percentage differences between the mean and median hourly rate of pay between men and women across their workforce, the proportions of men and women who receive bonuses and the relative proportions of men and women in each quartile pay band, based on a “snapshot date” of 5 April 2017 (31 March for public sector). Aside from the key figures, employers should consider whether to publish any narrative to explain any gap or to show what action will be taken to address it.

The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May. With fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover, it is critical that employers are compliant especially as the GDPR introduces a duty of “accountability”. To prepare, employers should establish a compliance timeline, carry out a data audit, determine the basis upon which data will be processed, update key policies and processes and make sure everything they do is documented.

Changes to statutory rates of pay

In April, the National Living Wage for employees aged 25 and over will rise from £7.50 to £7.83, together with other increases to the National Minimum Wage rates. Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay rates will also increase to £145.18 per week. Statutory Sick Pay increases to £92.05.

Taxation of Termination Payments

From 6 April all payments in lieu of notice will be subject to normal deductions for tax and National Insurance. This means employers will no longer have the option of paying tax free damages in lieu of notice where there is no contractual right to pay in lieu.

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Want something to look forward to?

Posted: 09/01/18 by Power2Progress LTD

WANT SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO?

Here’s An Event To Brighten Up Your January!

To celebrate 10 successful years coaching and developing Executives, Leaders and Organisations to reach their potential, the Power2Progress team are excited to launch a Bollywood Ball.

Venue: Ruby Lounge Dianas, 109E Finedon Road, Wellingborough, NN8 4AL

Date: Friday, 18th May 2018

Time: 7pm till late

Dress Code: Bollywood

Price: £40.00

All proceeds will go to Northamptonshire youth charity the Lowdown.

Book now for your place at thePower2Progress 10th AnniversaryBollywood Ball, 18th May

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NEXUS8 makes achieving New Year’s Resolutions simpler with “The Science of Feeling Good” Workshop 20th January 2018

Posted: 09/01/18 by NEXUS8 Connected Coaching

January is that time where we are full of ambition and enthusiasm, we’re full of resolutions and good intentions, but by February, over 65% of resolutions have failed according to The Guardian. But all this could change with the introduction of Chamber member NEXUS8’s The Science of Feeling Good workshop, the first one being held on 20th January at fellow Chamber Member’s Feel Good Studios in Northampton.

Matthew Hatson, founder of NEXUS8 said: “Most people who set resolutions for themselves get really stressed about achieving them, and then feel bad about themselves when the new habit starts to flip. Research shows that maintaining wellbeing significantly improves your ability to change habits. The workshop uses the latest Neuroscience Research and technology to teach delegates how to feel good and focus beyond the ‘2 month drop-off’ so that resolutions become habits and success becomes second nature. I also support them with on the go coaching to resolve any issues that made achieving the goals difficult in the past.”

“We introduce delegates to a variety of simple, effective techniques, so that they have something that fits in to their lifestyles and makes achieving resolutions easier and more possible. Some people enjoy using apps and biofeedback technology, whilst others want something they can do to feel good on their commute in the morning, so by understanding the physiology of feeling good, people can choose something that works for them.”

The first workshop is being held on 20th January 2018 at Feel Good Studios in Northampton. Spaces are limited and more information and booking can be found at: nexus8.co.uk/feelgood.

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New Craft Nights at Bay Tree Cottage

Posted: 09/01/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

A new series of Craft Nights is launching in February at Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone, NN12.

Taking place on the first Wednesday of every month from 7-9.30pm, the evenings feature a different craft each time and attendees will also enjoy a light homemade supper.

The programme for the first half of the year includes workshops on Jewellery Making for Beginners (6 February), Bath Bombs (7 March), Leather Craft (4 April), Paper Craft (2 May) and Buttons & Beads (6 June). The workshops cost £24.50pp.

Jenny Dicks from Bay Tree Cottage said: “These relaxed and social evenings are ideal for anyone with an interest in homemade crafts. They give you the opportunity to try something new or to take a little ‘time for you.’ Come along with a friend, a colleague or by yourself – a warm welcome awaits you!”

For further information please visit http:www.btcworkshops.co.uk or mailto:helen@btcworkshops.co.uk

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Rising Opportunity in Retirement Living

Posted: 09/01/18 by CS2 Chartered Surveyors

Here at CS2, we believe the status of retirement housing is due to undergo an increase in demand, within the property industry. In the past, property investors have not prioritised retirement housing, however this now looks like it is going to change.

It has been well reported that the UK life expectancy is rising and as it continues to rise, the importance of the retirement living sector has started to become a focus, with an ageing population who are said to be quite well-off, over 65s could have as much as £1 trilion in housing equity. That’s a lot of capital potentially being spent on residential property specifically designed for older people and their needs.

There is a combination of factors which indicate that the retirement living sector has reached a tipping point. People are starting to get used to the idea that they will need to fund their own accommodation and care when they get older, which highlights on the fact that people will become more selective, paying for it out of their own pockets. The next generation, are becoming more demanding and proactive, wanting to take more control over their retirement. This could be whether they stay at home with ongoing support, downsize or move to a dedicated facility.

This means we are soon going to see a rise in demand for retirement properties, leading to a shake-up in the UK property market, providing the right product is delivered. With this amount of capital likely to be spent on residential property for older people, planning authorities and investors could start to see the benefits.

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Future of Work - CIPD Annual Conference on 6 February 2018

Posted: 08/01/18 by Beyond Theory

​The future of work is human. Or is it?

Attend the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development’s annual conference to listen and debate how technology and other influences will impact the world of work. Keynote speakers.

Venue is Park Inn, Silver Street, Northampton NN1 2TA. More details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/branch-conference-the-future-of-work-tickets-41335154560

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Marketing for HR Professionals

Posted: 08/01/18 by Beyond Theory

Do you work in HR and want to improve your marketing skills?

Then attend HR for Marketing Professionals event held by Northamptonshire Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) on 17 January 2018 (pm).

Details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/business-skills-workshop-marketing-for-hr-professionals-tickets-38481089976

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People with links to the Armed Forces are urged to respond to new survey

Posted: 08/01/18 by Northamptonshire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership wants people with links to the Armed Forces to respond to a new survey.

The results of the survey will be used to help with creation of a new Armed Forces Northamptonshire website, which will provide information and links to local support services for Armed Forces Personnel and their families. The questionnaire should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

The survey is open to current and former members of the Armed Forces and to family members of people in the Armed Forces until January 25.

To take part visit Armed Forces Northamptonshire website survey

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Award to help recognise local community stars

Posted: 08/01/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Local people and businesses are being asked to help the Borough Council say ‘thank you’ to our local community stars, as part of the Inspirational Woman Award celebrations.

With the nomination period for the 2018 Inspirational Woman Award opening on Monday, 8 January, people are being asked to ‘put their thinking caps on’ and consider who they
would like to be recognised for their work in our local community.

Previous winners have included neighbours, family friends, colleagues or group leaders that have helped people in their community to achieve a milestone, improve their area or
organise a local activities.

For further inspiration for nominations, listen out for regular interviews on BBC Northampton’s breakfast show during January.

Following the nomination period, five shortlisted women will be invited to our International Women’s Day celebrations at The Guildhall on Saturday, 10 March to be thanked for their work and to find out who will be crowned the 2018 winner.

Councillor Anna King, the Council’s cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “The Inspirational Woman Award is an ideal way of thanking the many inspirational women in Northampton for their work, helping local individuals and communities.

“We encourage residents and businesses to help highlight these stars by nominating them for the Award and to join us at our International Women’s Day event to find out who will win
this year.”

Anyone wanting to highlight their community star can submit their nomination at www.northampton.gov.uk/inspirationalwomen until Monday, 29 January.

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TENDER OPPORTUNITY: Milton Keynes Chamber seeks venues for Chamber events

Posted: 08/01/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Milton Keynes Chamber is planning its 2018/19 Events Calendar and is looking for Chamber member venues to host a wide variety of events throughout the year.

There are four different types of events for which venues can submit tender proposals. These are:

Business Exhibition and Networking Lunch

Business After Hours

Networking Breakfast/Lunch

Next Generation Chamber Social Event

Each document above details the requirements for a specific event. Interested venues can tender for more than one event and must be a member of Milton Keynes Chamber. All tenders must be submitted to Nick Blackmore, Marketing Manager at MiltonKeynes Chamber, by Friday 2 February 2018. Contact details are included in the documents above.

For further information, call Milton Keynes Chamber on 01908 547820.

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TENDER OPPORTUNITY: Northamptonshire Chamber seeks venues for Chamber events

Posted: 08/01/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Northamptonshire Chamber is planning its 2018/19 Events Calendar and is looking for Chamber member venues to host a wide variety of events throughout the year.

There are four different types of events for which venues can submit tender proposals. These are as follows:·

Business Exhibition and Networking Lunch

Business After Hours

Networking Breakfast/Lunch

Next Generation Chamber Social Event

Each document above details the requirements for a specific event. Interested venues can tender for more than one event and must be a member of Northamptonshire Chamber. All tenders must be submitted to Nick Blackmore, Marketing Manager at Northamptonshire Chamber, by Friday 2 February 2018.
Contact details are included in the documents above.

For further information, call Northamptonshire Chamber on 01604 490490.

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Friends of Willen Hospice give generous donation

Posted: 06/01/18 by Willen Hospice

Willen Hospice received a Christmas boost this week when local volunteer fundraising group, The Friends of Willen Hospice, awarded the charity a cheque for £20,000.

The generous donation, which takes the total they have raised for the Hospice this year to £45,000, was presented at their annual general meeting.

Friends of Willen Hospice is a 10-strong committee, with several volunteers who are dedicated to fundraising for the Hospice throughout the year. They do so in various ways including selling raffle tickets, holding tombolas, social events, and attending local fetes and fairs.

Liz Sparham, Chair of Friends of Willen Hospice, said: “We were delighted to be able to make this donation. Willen Hospice is a charity close to all our hearts, which is why we work so hard all year round to do what we can to raise money to enable the excellent support and care they provide to continue.

“We have a busy 2018 planned so hope the local community will support us and the Hospice to make next year bigger and better than ever.”

Hywel Jones, Head of Retail and Marketing, accepted the donation on behalf of the Hospice. He said: “We are extremely grateful for the brilliant work that the Friends of Willen Hospice do to raise money for us. Their enthusiasm and commitment is unwavering, and they play a huge part in helping us to ensure we can raise money to offer services, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

To continue to provide specialist end-of-life care to people in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, the Hospice needs to raise £7 every minute of the year. To find out more visit www.willen-hospice.org.uk

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Local charities to benefit as Franklins Solicitors LLP issues a £50 Challenge to businesses

Posted: 06/01/18 by Willen Hospice

In January 2018 Franklins Solicitors LLP will be starting its inaugural Franklins £50 Challenge working with Cynthia Spencer Hospice (Northampton) and Willen Hospice (Buckinghamshire) to challenge local businesses to take a start-up £50 note, donated by Franklins Solicitors LLP and turn it into much, much more.

Between Tuesday 23rd January and Friday 23rd March 2018 local businesses who sign-up teams to this activity will need to use teamwork, innovation and creativity to turn the initial £50 into as much money as possible, and all money raised is then donated to the hospice. Teams can register with either Hospice from today at www.franklins-sols.co.uk/50challenge. Other £50 challenges sponsored by Solicitors have raised in excess of £45,000 for the hospice.

Simon Long, Managing Partner at Franklins Solicitors LLP says: “Franklins believes in supporting the local community and we have had a close attachment to both Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Willen Hospice over many years and we’re very hopeful that we can continue to support them for many years to come. We’re very passionate about giving back to our local community and we feel strongly that the care that these two hospices provide to the community is invaluable. Good luck to everyone who takes part, let’s raise as much as we can for these two great causes!”

The Franklins £50 Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to support their local hospice in helping local people with an incurable illness to live well and die with dignity and choice. The challenge provides the perfect platform to promote your business and gives you a chance to network with other participating companies. It helps to enhance your business profile as you engage with your suppliers and customers during the challenge.

The challenge begins on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 and teams have 8 weeks until Friday 23rd March 2018 to grow their £50. Teams should register by the end of December 2017, but the sooner the better.

If you would like to register a team for The Franklins £50 Challenge 2018 in aid of local hospices: Cynthia Spencer Hospice (Northampton) and Willen Hospice (Milton Keynes), or to find out more about what is involved, please visit www.franklins-sols.co.uk/50challenge or contact Jodie Commercial on jodie.commercial@franklins-sols.co.uk or call 01908 660966.

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Woodfines take a place on enlarged Metro Bank lending and securities panel

Posted: 05/01/18 by Woodfines Solicitors

Woodfines are pleased to announce that after a successful tender, it has won a place on Metro Bank’s lending and securities panel. It is delighted that its expertise in this field has been further recognised.

Maria Koureas-Jones, Partner at Woodfines comments ‘‘We are thrilled to be working with Metro Bank and look forward to working with their commercial teams. We aim to build a long term relationship which benefits Metro Bank and their customers and to deliver a great client service, building on their reputation for exceptional customer service.’‘

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Deal Summary - We Recently Advised on the Acquisition of a Gaming Provider

Posted: 05/01/18 by EMW

EMW was instructed by the leading UK-based game studio Blueprint Gaming, which is part of the Gauselmann Group, on the acquisition of GW Acquisition Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary Games Warehouse.

Based in Derby, Games Warehouse supplies innovative content to the global gambling market, with its games (including popular titles such as Wild Bandits, Birdz and Gold Strike) available across online, mobile and retail channels. The acquisition will significantly boost the games development operations of Blueprint Gaming.

The team was led by Corporate Principal Paul Bevington with Senior Solicitor Daisy Divoka and supported by colleagues in the Commercial, Employment and Real Estate teams.

Paul Bevington commented: “We are delighted to have advised Blueprint on this acquisition as they continue to strengthen their position in the market.”

Matt Cole, Managing Director of Blueprint Gaming, commented: “Paul, Daisy and the rest of their team have been invaluable partners and have advised us on every stage of the acquisition, which at times became more complicated than originally envisaged. This is a strategic acquisition of us and it was essential that we received the very best commercial advice available. EMW understood exactly what we needed and made it happen.”

EMW corporate team advise companies, management teams, investors and debt providers from business start-ups and first round finance agreements through to mergers and acquisitions, management buy outs, development funding and then selling. The team is ranked in the top tier for Corporate and Commercial work in The Legal 500. The team also won Corporate Law Firm of the Year in this year’s Central and East of England Dealmakers Awards.

If you would like to find out more about this deal, please contact Paul Bevington or Daisy Divoka on 0345 070 6000.

To read this and some of EMW’s other Deal Summaries, please click here.

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Wilson Browne Celebrate Double Success

Posted: 05/01/18 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

Wilson Browne Solicitors are congratulating both Chloe Doggett and Marianne Stapleton who have finished their training contracts and qualified as solicitors this month.

Chloe joins the Commercial team dealing with property and other litigation whilst Marianne looks forward to a career in Clinical Negligence.

Marianne said: “I am really excited to be staying on with Wilson Browne; they’re such a great firm to work for. I look forward to helping clients obtain the help, answers and redress that they deserve, and to doing what I can to make things better for them.”

Chloe commented: “I am thrilled to have qualified with such a well respected and forward thinking firm as Wilson Browne. I have an excellent team around me for support and assistance; that both helps me to provide a great service to my clients as well as progressing in my career.”

Chairman of the firm, and Training Principal Kevin Rogers says “I am really pleased that both Chloe and Marianne have chosen to continue their careers with us. It might be a bit of a cliché but our people are our biggest asset, and it is great to see the investment in training our own lawyers paying off both for the firm, and for the individuals.

Both Chloe and Marianne have had some great feedback from within the partnership, but more importantly from our clients. They both share an understanding of just how important the fine details are, whilst being able to deliver definitive commercial advice on budget, in plain English and in a down to earth manner.

It takes a long time to qualify as a solicitor, there is a lot of work and study involved, and it’s great to celebrate their achievement with them. We wish them all the best for long careers - at Wilson Browne!”

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Cliff As If

Posted: 05/01/18 by Daventry Area Community Transport

If you would like to support the work of DACT and you’re a Cliff Richard fan, then the charity has just the event for you!

Cliff…As If! is a charity event paying tribute to Sir Cliff Richard in aid of Daventry Area Community Transport.

The hugely entertaining show combines the great songs, amazing look and fantastic moves of the Peter Pan of Pop with loads of fun. The event, presented by Will Chandler, will feature all the Cliff Classics and will take place from 8pm on Friday, March 16, at Long Buckby Community Centre.

Tickets are £10 in advance and are available from the DACT office on 01327 701665 or from organiser Bob Oakley on 07766663725.

So, what does DACT do? DACT has developed co-ordinated services to address the growing transport/mobility needs through the following services in the mainly rural Daventry District.

1) Community Minibus Scheme operating seven fully accessible minibuses currently serving 185 affiliated voluntary/community groups consisting of childrens, youth, elderly, disabled, visually impaired, mentally ill, and many other non-profit making community groups. Over 80% of our services are for the elderly and disabled.

2) DACT Dial-a-Ride – A shopping Service on Tuesdays & Fridays for elderly Daventry residents to come to the local Market for their shopping needs.

3) DACT Days Out – Excursions to places of interest for the Club’s members who are often elderly and lonely, enabling them to join together for great social interaction from Pub Lunches to coastal trips.

4) Village Travel Clubs Essential door to door travel for rurally isolated passengers who have no public transport option.

5) MiDAS Minibus Driver Training – helping volunteers to gain the nationally approved certificate valid for a 4-year period.

6) Volunteer Car Scheme – taking qualifying passengers to any medically related appointment.

7) Shopmobility scheme – hiring powered scooters and wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs to those with temporary or permanent disabilities.

8) DACT Pitstop – DACT’s very own mobility scooter and wheelchair one stop service centre. We have seven volunteers who carry out vital repairs and maintenance for members of the public who own their mobility scooter or wheelchairs. Typical work carried out includes fixing minor faults, repairs from general wear and tear and accidental damage, tyre punctures, fitting new batteries and carrying out a full annual service to mobility scooters. We also recycle pre-owned mobility equipment for re-sale at very keen prices. This service is vital in keeping people mobile and independent.

9) DACT Mobility Shop New & refurbished (ex- DACT Pitstop) mobility equipment of all kinds supplied which includes Scooters, Wheelchairs, Zimmers, Stairlifts etc. This service helps to fund other DACT services that run at a deficit.

10) Volunteer Opportunities All our services are delivered by Volunteers.

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From Milton Keynes To Amsterdam!

Posted: 04/01/18 by EMW

EMW is delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Willen Hospice and not-for-profit organisation Cycle4Good, to take on an epic 300km bike ride from MK to Amsterdam.

It has signed up as lead sponsor for the four day challenge, which takes place in June 2018.

Its CEO, Joy Vollans and James Geary, Head of its Commercial team, joined Hospice Chair of Trustees Paul Davis to officially launch the ride this week and encourage local people to sign up. Forty places are available for the ride, which is suitable for cyclists of any level. The riders will leave the Hospice and head to Amsterdam on Thursday 21 June.

Joy said: “We are thrilled to be involved in this event for Willen Hospice. This type of challenge is a great way for us to play our part in supporting the care they provide, while challenging ourselves at the same time. I’ll be joined by four colleagues from EMW. We hope other individuals or corporate teams will join us to make the ride fun, memorable and most importantly, raise money for Willen.”

Paul from Willen Hospice added: “We are extremely grateful for the support of EMW. This promises to be a fantastic experience for all those who take part. I urge anyone who is up for a challenge in 2018 to find out more and sign up. Without the support of people who take part in events like this, we could not continue to provide our services to people in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.”

The ride is suitable for road and hybrid bikes and it is recommended that riders are reasonably fit and comfortable with their bikes. Chris Blackham from Cycle4Good said: “We are so excited to be involved in organising this challenge. There will be plenty of rest stops, as well as lots of fun on and off the bikes!”

There is a £99 registration fee and riders are required to raise £1,200 for the Hospice. Anyone who is interested in taking part is invited to attend an information evening at 5.45pm on 11 January at Willen Hospice to find out more.

More information is also available here

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CML launches survey to help highlight the common issues surrounding GOH shipping

Posted: 04/01/18 by CML Ltd

Leading end-to-end logistics provider, CML, has launched a Green Goods on Hanger (GOH) survey that aims to investigate businesses’ experiences surrounding GOH shipping from availability problems to general issues that arise when using GOH containers.

Participants have until the 22nd of January 2018 to complete the survey and be in with a chance of winning Amazon vouchers.

The survey has been carefully constructed to help CML discover the common difficulties of working with GOH containers and suppliers, as well as potential future interests that appeal to customers, such as Far East rail options and lesser container load solutions.

With less than 10 short questions, the survey is quick to complete and will close on 22nd January, with the winner being selected at random and contacted by 31st January. To take part in the survey, visit http://www.cmlplc.com/green-goh-survey

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First-of-its-kind Masters-level apprenticeship from Cranfield University set to boost Britain’s Engineering Skills

Posted: 04/01/18 by Cranfield University

BAE Systems has partnered with Cranfield University to boost Britain’s engineering skills through a new post-graduate engineering apprenticeship programme, which will provide learners with a valuable Masters-level qualification.

The first cohort of 76 engineers from BAE Systems will begin the academic element of their level 7 apprenticeship programme on 8 January 2018, undertaking modules including design-driven innovation, operations management and cost engineering. Modules will be carried out alongside the graduate engineers’ day-to-day roles within the business.

Teaching will be delivered entirely online, through a combination of interactive video sessions with Cranfield’s academics and remote online learning platforms, to provide the graduate engineers with the flexibility to study and acquire a Masters-level qualification without taking time out from work. On successful completion, the apprentices will obtain a Post-Graduate Diploma in Engineering Competence – a key step towards reaching Chartered Engineering (CEng) accreditation.

Already one of the largest recruiters of apprentices in the UK, BAE Systems has further expanded its wide range of apprenticeship schemes by offering this new programme to post graduates across the business, as the company seeks to attract talent from the widest cross section of society. Further to the post-graduate apprentices, the defence company recruited just under 600 apprentices across its wider apprenticeships schemes in 2017 and reported record numbers of both female apprentices and apprentices with disabilities – making up 27% and 15% of recruits respectively. In addition, 18% of recruits came from the most socially deprived areas of the UK.

Those interested in applying for an apprenticeship at BAE Systems this year can choose from approximately 650 apprenticeship training places, including 120 at post-graduate level, which are now open to applicants. This supports BAE Systems’ contribution to the 2018 Year of Engineering, in which the company is joining forces with government and industry to give thousands of young people direct experience of engineering to help tackle the skills gap and widen the pool of young people who join the profession.

Richard Hamer, director of education and skills at BAE Systems, said: “We’re excited to be the trailblazer for this new qualification and we’re delighted that our graduate engineers are able to partner with such a prestigious institution as Cranfield. As part of our ongoing commitment to nurture talent and high-end skills, the postgraduate diploma in engineering competence will allow our graduate engineers to apply their learning in a work-based context, with the assessment focused on competency rather than academic ability.”

Professor Rajkumar Roy, director of manufacturing at Cranfield University, said: “This innovative programme further strengthens Cranfield’s masters-level apprenticeship offering. Through online delivery, engineers will be able to study through both live interactive and ‘on-demand’ sessions. Working in partnership with BAE Systems allows us to tailor our educational programme to meet the needs of engineers and industry.”

Cranfield University is one of only five UK universities to have a strategic partnership with BAE Systems and is the first university in England to deliver Masters level apprenticeships.

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Injury Update: George North

Posted: 04/01/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

George North sustained an injury to his knee during Saints’ defeat to Harlequins on Saturday at Twickenham Stadium which will require up to four weeks rehabilitation.

Saints technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney commented: “While it’s disappointing that George will be missing ahead of Saturday’s game, this injury means an opportunity for another player in the squad to step up to the plate. I’m sure George will be diligent in his rehab and we all wish him a swift recovery.”

Tickets are still available for the Gloucester match at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday 6th January, starting from £28 (adults) and £12 (juniors). Visit bit.ly/SAI-GLO-201718 to book online or call the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000.

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Intertek Webinar: Supply Chain Hidden Risks - Wednesday, January 10, 2018 15:00 GMT

Posted: 04/01/18 by Intertek

Complimentary Webinar - Overview of the issues challenging your supply

REGISTER HERE

Join Intertek Inlight for an overview and Q&A webinar on the issues and challenges that are faced by today’s supply chains. We will explore some of the new and hidden supply chain risks facing companies today, and how companies should be ready to tackle them.

Learn how the Intertek Inlight solution can provide you with the assessment and analysis of risk events at all points in the supply chain, from the sourcing of raw materials, compliance with customer and international regulations, to end-use by consumers.

In this webinar we will closely examine the following topics:

  • Supply Chain Volatility: lack of resilience
  • Transparency: a clear path to understanding your suppliers
  • Compliance and Regulatory management

Webinar Speaker: Catherine Beare, senior director of supply chain assurance, Intertek Inlight.

Based in London, Catherine leads Intertek’s Inlight solution. With 15 years supply chain management experience, Catherine helps clients address and focus on the vital needs of their supply chains by identifying key supply chain risks, thereby empowering customers to make informed decisions. Catherine has worked with traditional retailers and brands, as well as Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Automotive and Telecommunication companies, bringing many supply chain challenges to the CSR agenda and expanding Intertek’s knowledge and service delivery in this area.

REGISTER HERE

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New Wedding Venue at Warren Hill, Kettering

Posted: 04/01/18 by Kettering Borough Council

Kettering Borough Council has today announced that they are seeking to develop a wedding venue at Warren Hill, Kettering.

Warren Hill, which currently incorporates the Kettering crematorium, woodland area and burial grounds has been identified as an ideal venue for weddings, in the same way as any church or hotel performs a number of social functions.

The Council was approached, following its successful and popular revamp of the crematorium in 2014, asking if the venue was available for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies. The idea was road tested on the registration service and on funeral directors, as well as regular users of the current venue. The County Registration Service was particularly positive about the attractive East Lodge Gardens and how it would make an ideal outdoor wedding venue. Planning consent is required at the site to allow weddings to take place and a planning application has been submitted.

The Council has looked at the operational arrangements at the site; Warren Hill will provide two distinct services, bookings will be handled separately from the funeral business, and neither should have any negative impact on the other. Warren Hill provides modern facilities, in a large open and attractive setting and hopes to become a welcome addition to the range of wedding venues across the Borough in 2018.

There are no conversion costs to the building – all of the facilities are already available – light and airy rooms, capable of holding 120 people, plenty of free car parking, toilet facilities, disabled access, and modern music facilities on site. A wide variety of hotel facilities are nearby.

Some work is being done to the adjacent garden to make it suitable for photographs and as a possible outdoor venue, as well as its continuing role as a garden of peace and reflection in support of the bereavement service.

We hope that the service will go live later in 2018.

Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Borough Council said: “Warren Hill is a large, modern facility just off the A14 and within easy reach of a large population. It has capacity at the weekends especially and we have taken the suggestion of some of our customers to work up a plan for its use as a wedding venue. We hope that, on the back of proving we can run one of the best funeral venues in the country, we can, equally successfully provide a great wedding experience as well.”

Cllr Ian Jelley, portfolio for strategic delivery at the Council said: “This is a great idea to improve the services we provide for local people, to make even better use of one of our best assets and to earn additional income for the Council tax payers of the Borough. I am confident that the team which already runs an excellent, value for money service can also sensitively and professionally run a Wedding venue at the Warren Hill site”.

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Networking Lunch at Holiday Inn Corby A43

Posted: 04/01/18 by Holiday Inn Corby - Kettering A43

Holiday Inn Corby A43 cordially invites you to the HIC quarterly Networking Lunch on Wednesday, 24th January 2018.

This is a wonderful opportunity to network and make new contacts with other businesses in the county.

On hand will also be guest speaker, author and inspirational speaker, Cassie Farren (pictured here). Cassie combines emotional intelligence with her unique real life experiences to inspire lasting change. Learn more about Cassie here: www.cassiefarren.com.

The networking lunch cost £15 inclusive of VAT, of which £3 will go to The Stroke Association charity. Lunch is included. If you are paying on the day, cash payment is preferred please.

To book your place please email: salesmgr@hicorby.com

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Paramedic Matt dares to win Channel 4 SAS show

Posted: 04/01/18 by The University of Northampton

A paramedic student has put his training to good use by signing up to appear in a physically demanding TV programme, airing on Channel 4 this week.

Matt Cornell (pictured here), who completed his course at the University of Northampton last year and is set to graduate in February with a merit in paramedic science, is one of the stars of the third series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.

In the programme, which starts on Sunday 7 January, 25 civilian recruits are put through their paces with tasks that derive from actual situations and training scenarios the SAS Special Forces Selection have undergone.

Matt is one of the contestants who will be pushed to their limits in the extreme terrain of the Atlas Mountains in Southern Morocco.

Matt, who originally comes from Woking but now lives in Northampton, is currently working for the East Midlands Ambulance Service. Commenting on why he agreed to take part in such an intense programme, he said: “The programme was tough-going as we drove our bodies to the edge through a number of mental/physical challenges but in some aspects, the paramedic course at University of Northampton helped me prepare, especially in relation to communication and handling stressful situations.

“I wanted to challenge the stigma around mental health stigma as, when I was growing up, I suffered with crippling anxiety so I wanted to prove that just because you have or have had mental health issues, doesn’t necessarily make you a weak person. I hope my appearance in the programme inspires others on their road to recovery.”

Matt’s tutor Andy Macintosh, senior lecturer in paramedic science, added: “Matt was a great student and the embodiment of everything we train our paramedics to be: hard-working, tenacious and able to deal with difficult situations. It’s no wonder he was selected to take part in such a gruelling, physically demanding programme like this, so best of luck to him for the weeks ahead!”

For more information about the paramedic science course at University of Northampton, see the website: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/paramedic-science-bsc-hons/

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Holocaust Memorial Day

Posted: 04/01/18 by Kettering Borough Council

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, the Mayor of the Borough of Kettering, Cllr Scott Edwards, will host a flag-raising ceremony in front of the Municipal Offices, Bowling Green Road, Kettering at 1.30pm on Sunday, 28th January 2018.

The ceremony will be followed by readings, poems, prayers and refreshments in the Council Chamber.

Members of the public are warmly invited to attend.

For more details please contact Simone Smith on 01536 534272 or mailto:simonesmith@kettering.gov.uk

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New gluten-free sausage roll launched by Central Foods

Posted: 04/01/18 by Central Foods Ltd

Frozen food distributor Central Foods has boosted its free-from range with the introduction of a gluten-free sausage roll.

The Menuserve unbaked, unglazed gluten-free puff pastry sausage roll is filled with lightly seasoned British pork and is ideal for a wide range of catering and hospitality outlets.

Perfect for a plated meal or a light lunch, as well as a grab-and-go or takeaway option, the sausage roll is the latest in a wide range of free-from items supplied by the distributor, which include both savoury and sweet products.

It has been introduced in response to increasing demand from consumers for gluten-free options, as well as the continuing interest in foods with provenance and consumers’ passion for British pork and other meats. It also fits well with the increasing trend for snacking, with surveys showing that some 67% of people snack daily, and 64% of people saying that snacks are chosen to satisfy a craving (*Technomic 2017 Trends).

“There is a plethora of delicious sweet gluten-free products available for foodservice now, but sometimes savoury items are overlooked,” said Gordon Lauder, MD of Central Foods.

“The Menuserve gluten-free sausage roll is perfect for coeliacs and those who opt for a gluten-free diet.

“Coeliac UK estimates that there are now over 1.3 million Britons or 3% of British adults following a gluten-free diet. In addition, 8.58 million, or 13%, are avoiding gluten in their diet, so it’s hardly surprising that we are seeing an increase in demand for gluten-free items.

“As a leading frozen food supplier to the wholesale and foodservice sector, Central Foods has been working with Coeliac UK since 2009 as part of our commitment to sourcing and supplying free-from foods, and we are very pleased to have added the sausage roll to the comprehensive range of gluten-free items we have available.

“We see the gluten-free sausage roll, filled with British pork, as a great product to fulfil a number of current trends, including the trend for snacking, the increasing demand for free-from items, the popularity of hand-held food products, and the interest in provenance, particularly of meat.”

Based in Northamptonshire, Central Foods has been supplying frozen food to the foodservice sector for more than 21 years. It currently supplies more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry.

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.

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Check out The Development Company’s Kinky Boots at The Peterborough Biscuit

Posted: 04/01/18 by The Development Company Limited

Are you planning to attend the largest business to business event in Peterborough, on 7 February 2018?

If you do, make sure you pop by The Development Company stand and try our kinky boots for size. You can also ask us what is our link to kinky boots whilst you are with us.

7 reasons to talk Learning & Development needs with us:

  • We are the only UK ITOL Delivery Centre. We accredit in-company courses, such as Recruitment & Selection, Appraisal Skills and Customer Care Skills. You agree the standards that need to be met, and we measure your people against those standards.
  • We are licenced to deliver ITOL qualifications – talk to us about Foundation and Certificate qualifications for Train the Trainer, and Coaching Skills.
  • If you are struggling growing your business, our Business Coaching is Pay as You Go. We will enable you to work ON your business.
  • If your leaders need help to work strategically, we provide Strategy Day consultation, facilitation and advice.
  • For Managers who are struggling to manage, our modular programmes get results.
  • You need bite-sized learning to fit around your business needs? Our Training Acorns are 90-120 minutes, ideal top-ups for your people. We deliver ‘Lunch and Learn’, ‘Tea and Train’ and Breakfast drop ins.
  • We are licensed to run Thomas International DiSC, so if you need personal profiling to help you recruit, develop and retain your people, discuss this with us.

And to ask, what connects The Development Company with Kinky Boots?

Where? East of England Arena and Events Centre.

When? Wednesday, 7th February 2018.

Cost? Free to attend. Register here - http://www.peterboroughbiscuit.co.uk/visitors/

If you can’t attend, yet you’d like to discuss training needs, then contact us on 01604 810801 or email training@thedevco.com and we will visit for a chat. We will bring the biscuits!

Check out our website for more information: https://www.thedevco.com/bespoke-training/train-the-trainer/

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Morson & Co Associates Launches Accessible and Affordable Monthly Coaching Workshops

Posted: 04/01/18 by Morson Associates

Richard Branson. Paula Radcliffe. Oprah Winfrey. Barack Obama. Mo Farrah.

Arguably the BEST performers in their fields.

What do they all have in common?

They have a coach. A coach who helps them to break down what they’re doing and look for the small daily improvements that are the key to staggering long term results.

Morson & Co Associates are launching a new set of Conservatory Coaching Workshops on February 8th, which will bring accessible and affordable coaching to you.

Coaching DOES make a difference to performance and results. Make 2018 the year it makes a difference for you.

Call Ann on 07788 754878 for more details or to book your space.

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Opus Energy appoints new Head of Business Change

Posted: 03/01/18 by Opus Energy Limited

Business energy supplier, Opus Energy, has today announced the appointment of Barry Campbell (pictured here) as its first head of business change, effective immediately.

The role will involve the design and delivery of key changes that will underpin Opus Energy’s business strategy over the next three-to-five years. Mr Campbell will be leading the company’s newly-formed business change function, merging and extending the capabilities of existing Opus Energy teams under his leadership.

He will have responsibility for creating and leading a plan that will help the company to continue its standing as the leading challenger brand to the Big Six energy suppliers. The function will unite these teams to join operational processes with customer experience, bringing an enhanced and innovative approach to business and customer service.

Nikki Flanders, chief operating officer at Opus Energy, commented: “In order to galvanise our position as one of the largest independent business energy suppliers, we are uniting all areas of the business, with the aim of continuously improving our customer experience, while building on the success that we have had in terms of revenue and growth. We’re very excited to have Barry join us on this journey and with his strong background in business change focussed on customer experience, we expect to see great results.”

Mr Campbell has extensive experience in the energy sector, joining Opus Energy from Centrica, where he had spent 17 years. His most recent role was digital transformation programme manager, a position that saw him create and deliver two critical transformation programmes for British Gas Online.

Mr Campbell commented: “There is an incredible opportunity for Opus Energy to build on its heritage in the business energy sector, and we have ambitious goals to continue this success. My role is to ensure we achieve our strategic ambitions of operational and customer excellence, by investing in a controlled and well-planned agenda of development. The key is to engage all areas of the business with a transparent plan that will improve our customer experience in a tangible and impactful way.”

The announcement of Mr Campbell’s appointment comes in the wake of two significant accolades for Opus Energy. The company has recently been named one of the top 10 ‘healthiest brands in the UK’ in Kantar Millward Brown’s prestigious BrandZ study, and has also been awarded ‘Utilities Provider of the Year’ in the British Small Business Awards.

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Last chance to book! Do you want to win more business?

Posted: 03/01/18 by Power2Progress LTD

Do you want to win more business and build better relationships?

Discover the process that creates trust and fosters relationships that bring in business again and again!

Open yourself up to the possibility of deeper, better, stronger relationships.

Repeat business is good business, saving you money and resources. Your clients will thank you for it.

Learn how to create business relationships that are based on trust.

CREATING TRUE PARTNERSHIPS, is a Full Day Master Class, that will change how you do business - come along!

11th January 18, Highgate House, Northampton## 9.30 - 4.30pm

GET IN TOUCH

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BCC: Securing a business-friendly trade deal with EU must be New Year priority

Posted: 03/01/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

A future UK-EU trade deal must minimise barriers to trade says the British Chambers of Commerce, as it releases the results of its survey, in partnership with DHL, which finds UK businesses regard Europe as their primary trading partner for the coming years.

The results, based on the responses of over 1,300 businesses, found that over the next three years, the top two markets which most businesses plan to start or continue exporting to are Western Europe (44%), and Central and Eastern Europe (32%). Western Europe (36%) is also the market which most firms plan to import from.

According to the findings, UK businesses foresee the most significant barriers to trading with foreign markets as tariffs (46%), customs procedures (39%) and local regulations (20%). The results also show exporters’ strategies over the next three years will primarily be influenced by increased demand from overseas buyers (48%), exchange rates (36%) and the UK’s future withdrawal from the EU (35%).

Businesses looking to import say they will primarily be influenced by the lack of suppliers in the UK (43%), followed by exchange rates (41%), and it being cheaper to import than source in the UK or produce within their business (33%).

The results of the survey underline the importance of the UK and EU reaching a business-friendly trade agreement that minimises costs and trade barriers. Europe will not only remain an important market for UK businesses to sell to, but with minimal evidence that UK businesses can substitute domestic inputs for imports in the short term, access to the European market will be crucial for firms to source components.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, (BCC) said: “Europe is the UK’s largest trading partner, so it will come as no surprise that businesses regard access to European markets and products as fundamental to their medium-term trading strategies. Now that negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship are set to begin, businesses need clarity on the practicalities of the future trading relationship between the UK and EU without delay.

“High tariffs, cumbersome customs procedures, as well as conflicting regulatory requirements can deter firms from trading overseas – so a future agreement between the UK and the EU must minimise barriers and costs, to allow firms on both sides of the Channel to continue trading as freely as possible.

“The devaluation in sterling seen over the past 18 months has been a double-edged sword, providing a welcome boost for some exporters, but a drag on many other firms, who report higher costs for their inputs and components. While UK firms would like to be able to source inputs on the domestic market, our evidence suggests that swapping imports for domestic supplies isn’t presently an option for many. If businesses can’t find or afford to source their supplies domestically, easy and quick access to foreign markets is crucial. Both the UK government and EU Commission must work together in the new year to move towards a frictionless trade deal that works for both British and European businesses.”

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BCC: Securing a business-friendly trade deal with EU must be New Year priority

Posted: 03/01/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

A future UK-EU trade deal must minimise barriers to trade says the British Chambers of Commerce, as it releases the results of its survey, in partnership with DHL, which finds UK businesses regard Europe as their primary trading partner for the coming years.

The results, based on the responses of over 1,300 businesses, found that over the next three years, the top two markets which most businesses plan to start or continue exporting to are Western Europe (44%), and Central and Eastern Europe (32%). Western Europe (36%) is also the market which most firms plan to import from.

According to the findings, UK businesses foresee the most significant barriers to trading with foreign markets as tariffs (46%), customs procedures (39%) and local regulations (20%). The results also show exporters’ strategies over the next three years will primarily be influenced by increased demand from overseas buyers (48%), exchange rates (36%) and the UK’s future withdrawal from the EU (35%).

Businesses looking to import say they will primarily be influenced by the lack of suppliers in the UK (43%), followed by exchange rates (41%), and it being cheaper to import than source in the UK or produce within their business (33%).

The results of the survey underline the importance of the UK and EU reaching a business-friendly trade agreement that minimises costs and trade barriers. Europe will not only remain an important market for UK businesses to sell to, but with minimal evidence that UK businesses can substitute domestic inputs for imports in the short term, access to the European market will be crucial for firms to source components.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, (BCC) said: “Europe is the UK’s largest trading partner, so it will come as no surprise that businesses regard access to European markets and products as fundamental to their medium-term trading strategies. Now that negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship are set to begin, businesses need clarity on the practicalities of the future trading relationship between the UK and EU without delay.

“High tariffs, cumbersome customs procedures, as well as conflicting regulatory requirements can deter firms from trading overseas – so a future agreement between the UK and the EU must minimise barriers and costs, to allow firms on both sides of the Channel to continue trading as freely as possible.

“The devaluation in sterling seen over the past 18 months has been a double-edged sword, providing a welcome boost for some exporters, but a drag on many other firms, who report higher costs for their inputs and components. While UK firms would like to be able to source inputs on the domestic market, our evidence suggests that swapping imports for domestic supplies isn’t presently an option for many. If businesses can’t find or afford to source their supplies domestically, easy and quick access to foreign markets is crucial. Both the UK government and EU Commission must work together in the new year to move towards a frictionless trade deal that works for both British and European businesses.”

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Big SleepOut 2018

Posted: 03/01/18 by Hope Centre

The Big SleepOut is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Northampton Hope Centre, and we want you to help us make 2018’s SleepOut the best yet.

We want you to sign up to take part, not just to understand the realities of homelessness but also to help raise thousands of pounds for the charity which supports homeless and disadvantaged people.

Last year more than 170 sleepers took part raising a massive £60,000; in January 2018 we want to smash that total and have 180 sleepers taking part.

But to do this we need your help. Community fundraiser for the Northampton Hope Centre, Tanya Haji-Miller, said: “We want to challenge each and every one of you to leave your comforts at home for just one night and face the realities of homelessness in a safe, but probably uncomfortable environment.

“Even though the weather might be a bit temperamental, it’s a fantastic event to take part in, which is why so many people take part year after year.

“Why not sign up for the event with your friends and family to help us raise valuable funds and awareness of the vital work carried out by the Hope Centre.”

The event is taking place overnight on Friday 26 January at the home of Northampton Town Football Club, Sixfields Stadium.

Could you spend the night under the stars with just a sleeping bag?

Email tanya@northamptonhopecentre.org.uk or telephone 0845 519 9371 for more details or to request an information pack.

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96% are reaching for their smartphone to get your business help

Posted: 03/01/18 by Giggabox Limited

Customer research just released for the first half of 2017 shows that 96% of consumers are reaching for their smartphone immediately to conduct their own research.

And what’s more, 82% of them actively engage with a company or brand that shows video content - even a simple company profile or “how to…” video.

So as part of your marketing communications plan for 2018 you might want to review and then take action regarding the video content you have online showcasing your company or brand or business?

Contact us on: 01525 402500 or http://www.giggabox.co.uk

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Over 30 New Websites Launched in 2017

Posted: 03/01/18 by New Edge Media Ltd

At the beginning of 201, we set ourselves the challenge of launching 25 brand new, fully mobile responsive, fully content controllable websites.

By the time we got to the end of 2017, we had actually gone live with 25 brand new fully responsive websites with a further 12 close to being live.

We are very proud of our work during 2017 and very excited by the new sites that will be going live over the coming months.

We are also proud that we continue to work with many so customers continuing to manage their Digital Marketing.

In many instances we have been successfully delivering leads/sales for customers for over five years and will continue to do so throughout 2018.

Please take a look at some of our work from 2017 and we hope to have the chance to work with more Chamber Members in 2018.

https://www.stah.org/

http://www.newgeneration-publishing.com/

https://workbridge.org.uk/

https://www2.ifcfleet.co.uk/

http://www.electricaltesters.com/

https://www.moultonschool.co.uk/

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Meat-free meals for Veganuary made easy through Central Foods

Posted: 02/01/18 by Central Foods Ltd

As Veganuary gets underway, Central Foods is delighted to announce that its vegan range is now larger than ever before – making it simple for foodservice outlets to serve up food that contains no animal products.

Veganuary is a charity that inspires people to go vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. It’s an increasingly popular option, as more and more consumers choose a plant-based diet and lifestyle for health, ethical and environmental reasons.

“According to IPSOS Mori 2016, there are now more than half a million vegans in the UK…figures that have been growing in recent times,” explained Gordon Lauder, MD of Central
Foods. “And it’s been identified as a hot trend for 2018, so it makes good commercial sense for operators to be prepared with a good selection of vegan items on their menus.

“We have a wide range of Linda McCartney’s vegan products, including various different sausages, burgers and sausage rolls, as well as catering Vegemince™, and a first for foodservice, fish-free scampi!

“By coincidence, many other items that we supply are vegan too. Try using our KaterBake Beetroot or KaterBake Pumpkin wraps for a super snack or meal – each wrap contains one of your five-a-day fruit and vegetable intake. Or take a look at the non-dairy, ice-cream style desserts from Food Heaven if you are searching for a dessert that is suitable for vegans. We also have various vegan cakes and bakes from We Love Cake, along with bread, pasta, falafels and nuggets.”

For more information about Veganuary, visit https://veganuary.com/

Contact us if you’d like further information about any of our vegan products – or anything else we supply.

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Community pulls together to clean up area

Posted: 21/12/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Members of Blackthorn community pulled together on Saturday, 9 December to clean up parts of the area.

The community clear-up took place in Longmead Court, Pikemead Court and Croft Meadows Court and saw the team of volunteers collect 20 bags of litter, gather up and book fly tipping, cut back overgrown vegetation and identify environmental issues.

The cleaning, which was organised by Northampton Borough Council, involved volunteers from the neighbourhood warden and community safety and engagement teams, Northampton Partnership Homes, Free 2 Talk Youth Club, Blackthorn Good Neighbours and members of the community.

After the cleaning the team of volunteers headed to Blackthorn Community Centre to enjoy a hot drink, mince pies and musical performances by Northampton Town Brass Band.

Cllr Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “Fly-tipping and littering is a concern for many people in our town. We hope that our focus on enforcement will help to change this type of behaviour and keep our town clean and safe.”

Cllr Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “It’s been great to see so many people coming together to improve their local area.

“We hope that the group will continue to work together to keep their area clean and to inspire other areas to organise community clean-ups of their own.”

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Grant Thornton’s five ‘things to watch’ for Milton Keynes businesses in 2018

Posted: 21/12/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

2017 has been another year of unprecedented change and as the new year approaches, this trend looks set to continue for Milton Keynes businesses well into 2018, says financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.

To help local companies keep ahead of the game, Fiona Baldwin of Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office (pictured here) picks out five key areas to look out for over the coming 12 months.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In 2016, male full-time employees in the UK were paid 9.4% more than their female counterparts, representing a clear improvement on the 17.4% reported in 1997. As part of government’s commitment to closing this gap further, new regulations are now in place requiring all organisations with 250 employees or more to publish their gender pay gap data by 4 April 2018.

With less than five months to go to the deadline and despite early reporting being encouraged, the majority of qualifying employers still haven’t filed their figures. Whilst there are no penalties as such for failing to comply, those organisations who do not accurately publish their information are at risk of reputational damage and being publicly ‘named and shamed’.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

From 25 May 2018, all organisations handling the personal data of individuals in the UK or EU will need to meet the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced to give people greater control over their personal data and how it is used.

The legislation aims to make organisations more accountable for all aspects of data protection from the collation of personal information to its disposal. Businesses must ensure they are ready to comply by the May deadline or they could face a hefty fine and once again, damage to their reputation.

Social Mobility

2018 looks set to become the ‘Year of Social Mobility’. Inequality in society remains all too prevalent and more work must be done to create a level playing field where everyone has access to the same opportunities and support, regardless of background.

Employers have a crucial role to play and by looking at how recruitment, operational and community activities can be adapted, they can help to achieve this vision. Investing in social mobility is not only the right thing to do, it enables businesses to access an otherwise hidden pool of talent alongside diverse perspectives so they can better meet the demands of the clients they serve.

Earlier this year, Grant Thornton was recognised as the number one employer in the UK for its action to improve social mobility in the workplace, and our work in this field will continue throughout 2018.

Deal or no deal

With the final terms under which Britain will exit the EU still unclear and ongoing political instability, it’s unlikely the uncertainty which has dominated the business environment for so long will subside in the short term. Whatever the outcome, both challenges and opportunities will inevitably arise so it’s more important than ever for local firms to plan for each likely scenario.

Trading markets, processes, supply chains and workforces all need to be considered and it will be those businesses who have the foundations in place and flexibility to adapt, who come out as the clear winners.

Interest rates and inflation

Last month saw the first interest rate rise for over a decade with further small increases expected next year to help bring inflation back down to its 2% target from the current six year high of 3.1%.

Although borrowing would become more expensive, interest rates are still expected to remain historically low, encouraging businesses and consumers to borrow and spend more. Economic fluctuations will always produce winners and losers, adding to the uncertain landscape local businesses face.

Fiona concludes: “Despite a number of clear challenges looming on the horizon, the main message we are hearing from local businesses is one of positivity. There is a feeling that although there is much which is outside their immediate control, the majority are looking at what they can do to place themselves in the best position going forward. This resilience and willingness to adapt will be key to achieving future success.”

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Are you looking for an office space? MSO can help you!

Posted: 21/12/17 by MSO Workspace - Serviced Offices

​Are you a small or medium size business? Are you looking for a office space with a difference? If yes to either of both of these questions then you have come to the right place. MSO Workspace can help you!

Managed Serviced Offices plays a giant part in supporting businesses – no matter the size and providing them with a range of fantastic services and support.

Managed Serviced Offices wants to help you and your business flourish! We understand that having to juggle the day to day workings of your facilities as well as getting business secured can be very difficult and time consuming; therefore we want to take this stress away and manage your facilities so that you can focus on your business.

Clients tell us they choose MSO Workspace serviced offices and meeting rooms because of our clear commitment to meeting their needs. We guarantee excellent IT and telecoms service, high quality office accommodation and an “easy-to do-business-with” attitude that allows them to concentrate on their business.

Our venue in Northampton can hold up to 150 workstations, has executive spaces available for teams of all sizes and has a beautiful large meeting room with a King Arthur round table. The site overlooks the stunning lakes, with truly amazing views.

If this sounds interesting and you would like some more information, then please contact MSO Northampton business centre manager James Crick on 01604217150 or by emailing mailto:james.crick@msoworkspace.com and it will be his pleasure to assist you!

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Grant Thornton’s five ‘things to watch’ for Northamptonshire businesses in 2018

Posted: 21/12/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

2017 has been another year of unprecedented change and as the new year approaches, this trend looks set to continue for Northamptonshire businesses well into 2018, says financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.

To help local companies keep ahead of the game, Fiona Baldwin of Grant Thornton’s Northampton (pictured here) office picks out five key areas to look out for over the coming 12 months.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In 2016, male full-time employees in the UK were paid 9.4% more than their female counterparts, representing a clear improvement on the 17.4% reported in 1997. As part of government’s commitment to closing this gap further, new regulations are now in place requiring all organisations with 250 employees or more to publish their gender pay gap data by 4 April 2018.

With less than five months to go to the deadline and despite early reporting being encouraged, the majority of qualifying employers still haven’t filed their figures. Whilst there are no penalties as such for failing to comply, those organisations who do not accurately publish their information are at risk of reputational damage and being publicly ‘named and shamed’.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

From 25 May 2018, all organisations handling the personal data of individuals in the UK or EU will need to meet the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced to give people greater control over their personal data and how it is used.

The legislation aims to make organisations more accountable for all aspects of data protection from the collation of personal information to its disposal. Businesses must ensure they are ready to comply by the May deadline or they could face a hefty fine and once again, damage to their reputation.

Social Mobility

2018 looks set to become the ‘Year of Social Mobility’. Inequality in society remains all too prevalent and more work must be done to create a level playing field where everyone has access to the same opportunities and support, regardless of background.

Employers have a crucial role to play and by looking at how recruitment, operational and community activities can be adapted, they can help to achieve this vision. Investing in social mobility is not only the right thing to do, it enables businesses to access an otherwise hidden pool of talent alongside diverse perspectives so they can better meet the demands of the clients they serve.

Earlier this year, Grant Thornton was recognised as the number one employer in the UK for its action to improve social mobility in the workplace, and our work in this field will continue throughout 2018.

Deal or no deal

With the final terms under which Britain will exit the EU still unclear and ongoing political instability, it’s unlikely the uncertainty which has dominated the business environment for so long will subside in the short term. Whatever the outcome, both challenges and opportunities will inevitably arise so it’s more important than ever for local firms to plan for each likely scenario.

Trading markets, processes, supply chains and workforces all need to be considered and it will be those businesses who have the foundations in place and flexibility to adapt, who come out as the clear winners.

Interest rates and inflation

Last month saw the first interest rate rise for over a decade with further small increases expected next year to help bring inflation back down to its 2% target from the current six year high of 3.1%.

Although borrowing would become more expensive, interest rates are still expected to remain historically low, encouraging businesses and consumers to borrow and spend more. Economic fluctuations will always produce winners and losers, adding to the uncertain landscape local businesses face.

Fiona concludes: “Despite a number of clear challenges looming on the horizon, the main message we are hearing from local businesses is one of positivity. There is a feeling that although there is much which is outside their immediate control, the majority are looking at what they can do to place themselves in the best position going forward. This resilience and willingness to adapt will be key to achieving future success.”

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Childhood cancer charity receives boost from local business community

Posted: 21/12/17 by Onefoursix Ltd

Onefoursix, a Northampton-based marketing agency, has raised more than £1,300 to help families in the county affected by childhood cancers.

The company raised the money for childhood cancer charity Alfes Cause over the course of 2017 through hosting monthly Lunch and Learn events for local businesses at the Dapper Sandwich shop on Wellingborough Road. Around 15 people from businesses all over Northamptonshire attended each session to learn more about marketing methods that would get their businesses noticed and enjoy a Dapper Sandwich buffet and networking opportunities. Each delegate paid £15 a ticket to attend with any profits after the cost of the lunch going to Alfes Cause.

Dave Williams, managing director of Onefoursix, said: “Last year we managed to raise £1,000 for Alfes Cause, which we thought was amazing. This year, in a year that saw our Lunch and Learn sessions recognised in the Networking Group of the Year category at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards, our events have grown in popularity and attracted lots of new faces. This has resulted in us being able to raise £1359.17 this year! Alfes Cause does such a tremendous job of supporting local families affected by childhood cancers and we know that this money will make a massive difference to so many lives when they need it the most.”

Alfes Cause was set up after Alfe Game fought and won a battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Alfe was just five years old when he was diagnosed and spent eight months receiving chemotherapy treatment. During this time, he ended up in intensive care and almost died twice. After going into remission in 2010, Alfe decided he wanted to do something to help other sick children and Alfes Cause was set up as a community group to offer support to families dealing with childhood cancer. After realising there were so many families affected, Alfes Cause became a registered charity in 2013 and currently works with more than 30 families in Northamptonshire, running monthly meetings and organising family-friendly events.

Karen Rogers, Alfe’s mother and trustee of Alfes Cause, said: “When Alfe was ill we met so many families who were affected by childhood cancer. We were lucky, Alfe went into remission, but so many of the children we met passed away. In the last year, thanks to the people who attended Lunch and Learn and other sponsors, we were able to organise a trip to Legoland and now host monthly afternoon teas, where our families can bring along extended family members. We have also started working with another charity to provide counselling for the children we work with and, with the money raised by Lunch and Learn this year, we can now fund 18 more counselling sessions, which is great news.”

Dave added: “It gives us great pleasure to present this cheque to Karen and I would like to thank everyone who has supported Lunch and Learn over the last 12 months.”

For more information on Onefoursix, visit www.onefoursix.co.uk. To find out more about Alfes Cause, visit www.alfescause.org.uk.

Pictured: Cheque presentation from Dave Williams to Karen Rogers.

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Taxation On Non-Contractual Payments In Lieu Of Notice (PILON)

Posted: 21/12/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

The forthcoming Finance Act 2017 includes provisions to clarify and tighten the rules on the taxation of Termination Payments. As a result, from April 2018, all payments in lieu of notice (irrespective of whether or not they are contractual) will be subject to income tax and national insurance contributions in full as earnings.

At present, although contractual payments in lieu of notice are subject to deductions, non-contractual payments in lieu of notice can potentially fall within the £30,000 exemption for Termination Payments and not be subject to tax at all. This has proved in some instances to be a useful bargaining chip giving rise to a “win/win” situation for employers and exiting employees alike.

This will change in April 2018 as non-contractual payments in lieu of notice will also be taxable; thus removing the distinction for tax purposes between contractual and non-contractual payments. HMRC’s rationale for the change was that it would simplify the tax treatment of Termination Payments. The practical implication is employers will no longer be able to pay, free of tax, payments in lieu of notice in any circumstance.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. When the new rules were initially proposed the consultation exercise demonstrated that many employers were concerned that the new regime would give rise to an increased complication, namely identifying exactly what the tax amount would be.

In response to this concern, the HMRC revised the legislation to make it clear that the taxable amount in relation to a non-contractual payment in lieu of notice is simply in relation to the employee’s basic pay for their unworked notice period. This means employers will only have to work out the employee’s basic salary for that notice period they do not work and for which they are receiving a payment in lieu in respect of.

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Borough Council reminds of the importance of recycling this Christmas

Posted: 21/12/17 by Northampton Borough Council

With Christmas fast approaching, Northampton Borough Council is reminding residents that they can recycle as much as they like this festive season.

Seasonal items such as Christmas cards, cardboard, wrapping paper (not foil paper), sweet tins (crushed) and drinks bottles can all be recycled and should be added to your recycling boxes, rather than your residual waste.

There will be no collections on Christmas Day. For households that usually have their waste or recycling collected on a Monday, collections will instead take place on Sunday, 24 December. Normal collections will resume from Tuesday, 26 December.

All brown bin collections will be suspended between now and 8 January to allow for extra recycling to be collected. This will include the collection of any recycling items that won’t fit into your boxes. These items should be sorted into different waste streams and put into separate clear or white plastic bags placed next to your boxes.

Large cardboard, if flattened and placed next to your recycling boxes, will also be collected during the two week period starting on 26 December. This will be collected separately to your usual recycling, so please leave it out, even after your recycling has been collected.

Real Christmas trees will be collected on your scheduled brown bin or sack collection day, from 8 January for a four-week period. The trees will need to be either placed by your bin, or if you are on a sack collection round, presented to your recycling boxes. After this period please take any trees to the local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Cllr Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, said: “Northampton residents do a great job recycling their waste. We hope that even with the additional waste that Christmas often creates, the continued service of collections will help residents keep up the good work during this busy period.”

Details of waste and recycling collections until June 2018, were sent to households last October, in the form of a calendar. Anyone unsure of their collection dates, can look them up at www.northampton.gov.uk/recycling

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Fantastic News!

Posted: 20/12/17 by TQ Workforce Development Ltd

We are delighted to announce that we have received over £500, 000 in funding for NON LEVY paying employers who are looking to up-skill their staff onto apprenticeships.

From January 2018, employers who are not required to pay the Apprenticeship Levy (those who have a pay bill of less than £3m) can get substantial co-funding from the government
for training and assessment of apprentices, up to the maximum funding level for each apprenticeship. There is additional funding for small employers with fewer than 50 employees, as well as potential extra support, depending on apprentices’ circumstances.

Apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to make sure that new and existing employees have the skills they need to support and grow the business.

Apprentices bring a fresh perspective and up-to-date knowledge and skills, increasing productivity and improving quality. They also help to attract and retain good quality staff.

  • 76% of employers say that productivity has improved.
  • Apprenticeships boost productivity to businesses by on average £214 per week.
  • 75% of employers reported that apprenticeships improved the quality of their productor service.
  • After finishing, the majority of apprentices (90%) stay in employment (including 2% self-employed), with seven in ten (71%) staying with the same employer. *

* Data taken from the DfE Apprenticeship Core Brief - November 2016

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Briggs & Forrester secure M&E contract with Marcus Worthington at 125 Deansgate Manchester

Posted: 20/12/17 by Briggs & Forrester Group Ltd

Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services have secured a design and build contract with Marcus Worthington Construction on the £70 million, One Two Five Deansgate development in the heart of Manchester.

One Two Five Deansgate is conveniently located in the city centre with easy access to the Central Business District, Civic Quarter and Spinningfields. Designed by Glen Howells Architects, the 116,000 square foot, 12 storey structure will rise above Manchester’s skyline.

It will feature internal column free floorplates, floor to ceiling glazing, lifts, secure basement parking, cycle storage and shower and locker facilities. The building will be finished to the highest specification, aiming to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

Martin Broughton, regional director for engineering services said: “Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services are delighted to be working with Marcus Worthington Construction on this vast, prestigious city centre project. We have aligned our resources to form a collaborative and dynamic project team, laying the foundations for a long standing mutually-beneficial partnership.”

Briggs & Forrester are due to start on site at the project in May 2018.

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Credit card charges

Posted: 20/12/17 by Elsby & Co.

Do your customers pay you by credit card, or have a linked way of paying such as PayPal or Apple Pay?

From 13th January 2018 you will NOT be able to charge customers a fee for paying using their cards. This is great news for you as a consumer, but as a business, you will need to plan ahead for the changes.

Tip: Review your information on charging card fees, consider increasing your headline prices or perhaps offer incentives to customers to use payment methods other than cards.

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Local PR business maintains 98% rebooking rate in 2017

Posted: 20/12/17 by Stevie Pattison-Dick Public Relations

​Maintaining a 98% booking rate with clients is hard work but that is what SPDPR has continued to achieve in 2017.

Our latest workshop - Building a Comms Strategy and Pro-active Action Plan - took place with charity clients in Huddersfield last Saturday, the last Saturday before the Christmas weekend. It’s the only date that the client could do and so we moved our Christmas jollies to another date to facilitate them, and headed up to the frozen North.

It was a great day; lots of buy in and energy from a small charity that is making a big impression.

It was gratifying then to have an email from the CEO just two days later, which said: “Brilliant. The day was very, very useful. It will see a more thoughtful, joined up and shared team approach which should see a larger Brunswick Centre ‘footprint’ as we promote our messages.”

One of the Trustees also emailed and said that she thoroughly enjoyed the workshop: “It was better than I expected and gave me lots of ideas. The pace was just right for me and allowed time for questions and discussions. It was really useful. I will absolutely be able to use the content in my work”.

#chuffedtobits

If you would like to discuss how SPDPR can help you plan your comms for 2018, email: mailto:spdpr@live.co.uk

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Festive Spirits. Strange happenings around Christmas time

Posted: 20/12/17 by The University of Northampton

Christmas is the time of year for many traditions, including telling and hearing ghost stories. Dr Cal Cooper, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Northampton, blogs about why ghosts and other strange experiences gained popularity during the festive season.

When we think of Christmas, we may think of presents, family, food, Christmas trees, cards depicting picturesque houses covered in snow, or people keeping warm and merry by a fire place. However, perhaps we are too quick to forget that Christmas is a traditional time for telling ghost stories, some fictional, some exaggerated for dramatic effect, but perhaps based on an original experience.

So what is the connection between ghosts and other strange or inexplicable experiences and the Christmas period?

Perhaps now you’re thinking about Charles Dickens and his novel A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story at Christmas. The story tells of the cruel and avaricious Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by the ghost of a deceased colleague (Jacob Marley) late one Christmas Eve and is told to mend his wicked and selfish ways or end up forever tortured in purgatory like
himself.

Scrooge then goes on to experience visions from his life by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, all showing him what people really think of him, and what he thought of himself, if only he took the time to consider his actions. Some research into near-death experiences has shown that such life reviews are a relatively common feature and can lead to reappraisal of a person’s life, once they see it flash before their eyes in a wave of vivid memories.

The famous British psychical researcher Harry Price published a small book entitled Christmas Ghosts as part of collection of Christmas themed literature. Within this beautiful little
piece of literary history, Price questioned Dickens’ reasoning for using ghosts as a focal point of Christmas tales.

He argued that certainly Dickens was responsible for popularising the notion of Christmas ghosts, in the minds of the reading public at least (Dickens’ work was quoted as being “a national benefit” by another esteemed Victorian novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray, in his 1844 review). The benefits for readers include the bringing together of families and friends to enjoy such stories especially on a cold winter’s night, the encouragement of reading and engaging with literature, and highlighting awareness of exceptional human experiences that have been documented for thousands of years and often used and adapted for entertainment.

Dickens certainly took advantage of the entertainment factor ghost stories could bring. Few people seem to remember that he had brought ghosts into his stories on several
occasions. Indeed, A Christmas Carol was followed by another ghost story, entitled The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang An Old Year Out and a New Year In and 1852, the famous collected edition of Christmas Books was published. To the minds of many scholars of psychical researchers and parapsychology, Christmas ghosts by this point had became established as a part of the overall festive traditions.

Though Dickens exploited ghosts, Price doubted that he believed in real-world accounts of them, or gave much credence to the scientific inquiry psychical research had been paying to them. He made personal attacks in reviews of mediums of the time such as D. D. Home and later lost interest in ghosts, believing them to have become too popular.

And yet, A Christmas Carol was a story that hit the public attention at the right time, as many books discussing beliefs and strange experiences around the festive period existed long before the work of Dickens. This can be seen when turning to the beginnings of Christianity with various superstitions held around the Christmas period – traditions of which seem to be long since forgotten.

To this day, A Christmas Carol is possibly the most popular Christmas story and has been re-told time and time again, in various books, theatre performances, and film adaptations. Though no particular ‘ghosts’ as such, are said to be seen and experienced around the Christmas period, people may still report anomalous events in their lives around this festive period. These occurrences are likely of pure coincidence, since people report them all year round. Yet, at the time of year when we dress up warm, eat and drink well, and gather inside away from the cold and seek the comfort of a roaring fire most people, young and old, enjoy a good ghost story. And so Christmas spirits live on.

When we put aside the fictional stories, psychologists are most interested in the real-world accounts of exceptional experiences. Here at the University of Northampton within the Psychology Division, the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP) explores a variety of anomalous beliefs and experiences that people report. We deliver a 3rd year module in ‘parapsychology and anomalous experiences’ and have received regular interest from people pursing research degrees who wish to view the experience of ghosts but and so much more through the rigorous lens of scientific method and inquiry.

Stay warm and merry this Christmas and enjoy a good ghost story. But if your inquisitive mind wants to know more about these experiences, then pay us a visit!

See our website for more about the Psychology course at University of Northampton.

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Milton Keynes MPs visit Cranfield

Posted: 20/12/17 by Cranfield University

Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart visited Cranfield on Friday to hear about the latest developments at the University.

The University was recently awarded its fifth Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its work in soil science.

They were given a guided tour of the Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), a newly opened £35 million research facility funded by Rolls-Royce, Airbus, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the University. The AIRC is part of an ambitious masterplan to enhance the University’s campus.

On the tour, the MPs heard from Cranfield’s Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson about new developments at the University including the Digital Aviation Research Technology Centre (DARTeC) and a new Agricultural Informatics centre.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Cranfield University said: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to talk to Iain and Mark about our work here at Cranfield and brief them on our future plans. Our partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies are helping us leverage significant capital investment at the University, which will greatly benefit the region. We are grateful for the ongoing support of MPs in the region.”

Mark Lancaster MP for Milton Keynes North said: “It is encouraging to see the high level of investment being ploughed into the University and I congratulate those who have worked hard to secure partnerships with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Airbus. The team has the opportunity to research, test and develop the future of air travel and I for one will watch their progress with avid interest.”

Iain Stewart MP for Milton Keynes South added: “I was very impressed with the work that has already begun at the brand new £35 million Aerospace Integration Research Centre and to learn that some of the biggest companies in that sector are collaborating to improve our experience of air travel in the future by sharing technological advances. With Cranfield University’s track record, I was not surprised to learn that it attracted this massive investment. ”

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Highlighting issues that matter to you

Posted: 20/12/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council is inviting residents to put forward their ideas for the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to investigate over the next 12 months.

The Committee, which is made up of members of all political groups at the Council, can look into any issue affecting residents of the Borough with the aim of improving the town as a place to work, live and visit. Up to four of the most popular subjects gathered from public suggestions will be taken forward for investigation during 2018. These will be decided at a Committee meeting in April 2018.

Councillor Jamie Lane, chair of Northampton Borough Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee said: “Last year we received over 55 suggestions from the public and as a result the top suggestions taken forward for the Committee to look into during 2017 were: tourism and culture, cemeteries and becoming a more dementia friendly town.

“We all want to work together to help make our town a better place to live, work and visit and so we encourage everyone to get involved and put their ideas forward by 28 February 2018.”

Anyone who would like to get involved, can input their ideas by taking part in an online survey Alternatively hard copies of the survey are available from the One Stop Shop.

More information about the work of the Committee is available at www.northampton.gov.uk/scrutiny or contact the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Officer Tracy Tiff via email: ttiff@northampton.gov.uk

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New Student Beats Seasoned Entrants In National Florists’ Competition

Posted: 20/12/17 by Moulton College

A Northamptonshire student has fought off stiff opposition to win third prize in a national floristry design competition.

Eighteen year old Demilee Bocking, who lives in Holcot, entered the open class at FleurEx, the British Florist Association’s annual UK trade show for professional florists at Birmingham’s NEC this autumn, pitting her skills against seasoned competitors to win third place for her funeral tribute, a biodegradable design featuring bulbs.

Demilee, who is studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Floristry at Moulton College in Northamptonshire, was tearfully overjoyed by her win. “I can’t believe it,” she laughed. “It’s the first time I’ve won anything, and to win this… I’m completely overwhelmed.”

Demilee’s tutor, Chloe Lawless, said: “This was an open event with lots of entrants, many far more experienced than Demilee, but her design skill and creative talent shone out. She thoroughly deserves this.”

Moulton is one of few UK colleges to offer floristry diplomas, standing out from other providers for its land – 500 hectares of prime countryside – and its horticultural strength.

“Our students can use home-grown materials in many of their designs,” added Lawless. “It gives them a real edge and is something they wouldn’t find elsewhere.”

For more information about floristry diplomas at Moulton College go to http://www.moulton.ac.uk/our-courses/further-education/floristry.

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Government Launches Small Business Commissioner To Help Small Firms Resolve Payment Disputes

Posted: 20/12/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

  • New Small Business Commissioner will support Britain’s 5.7 million small businesses to resolve payment disputes and tackle larger businesses unfair payment practices to drive culture change
  • New guidance website to help small businesses with late payment issues
  • Small businesses can now submit late payment complaints to the Commissioner

The Government has today (20 December 2017) launched the complaint handling service of the Small Business Commissioner to ensure fair payment practices for small businesses. This follows the appointment of Paul Uppal to the role of small business commissioner.

Regulations made by small business minister Margot James mean the commissioner can now handle complaints from small businesses about unfair payment practices. The commissioner’s website is also live, providing guidance to small businesses on payment issues including how to take action if a payment is overdue.

Margot James, small business minister, said: “This Government’s Industrial Strategy is building a Britain in which small business can continue to thrive.

“Over the last five years the amount owed to smaller businesses has more than halved from £30 billion to £14 billion. Today’s Small Business Commissioner service will empower small
businesses to take action if they are paid late, potentially delivering a £2.5 billion annual boost to the economy.”

Paul Uppal, small business commissioner, said: “Having run my own small business for over 20 years, I am well aware that integrity and trust are key to running and building a successful business. My mission is to help all small businesses nurture positive and lasting relationships with their customers that work in the best interests of both.

“Today I am launching a new website so small businesses know their rights, as well as how to contact me if they need further action to be taken when the larger businesses they supply owe them money.”

The Small Business Commissioner’s website guides small businesses on how to “check, chase, and choose”, how to deal with unfair and late payments, that is:
This is one of a number of measures the Government is taking to tackle a late payment culture. Regulations came into force in April 2017 requiring large businesses to publically report the average time they take to pay their suppliers. This allows suppliers, including small businesses, to make informed decisions about who they do business with. Firms can check when large businesses pay their suppliers on GOV.UK. So far over 200 of the UK’s largest businesses have submitted payment reports.

  • Check if the right information has been provided to the right people in order for an invoice to be paid
  • Chase effectively when a payment is overdue
  • Choose how to take further action, including the option of submitting a complaint to the Small Business Commissioner

The Small Business Commissioner was appointed on 2 October 2017 and is based in Birmingham.

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