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ListersGEO engineer meets rotarians

Posted: 24/11/17 by Listers Geotechnical Consultants Ltd

ListersGEO newest engineer Adam Jones was invited to speak at the meeting of Lutterworth Rotary Club this month about the work that Listers Geo undertakes, and the role of Geologists in Society in general.

Members were interested to hear of the impact that inadequate Site Investigation can have on projects with one third of construction projects being delayed due to ground problems, and half of over tender costs being related to inadequate site investigation.

Adam responded to MP Ian Duncan Smith’s comment in 2013 of “Who is more important, the geologist, or the person who stacked the shelves?” by explaining the key role that Geologists and Geotechnical Engineers play in finding fertilisers, metal ores, fuel and providing a sound understanding of the ground to facilitate a wide range of engineering projects.

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Export Control Joint Unit Intermediate Seminar

Posted: 24/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

The Department for International Trade Export Control Joint Unit has places available on an Intermediate Seminar running on 6 December in central London:

The event will take place from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Strand Palace Hotel and costs £150.

Please note: You should have some previous knowledge of Strategic Export Controls and review the Consolidated Control List before attending this course.

Full details and booking instructions can be found in the latest issue of the: Export Control Training Bulletin

For general export control queries please contact 020 7215 4594 or

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Export Control Joint Unit Intermediate Seminar

Posted: 24/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

The Department for International Trade Export Control Joint Unit has places available on an Intermediate Seminar running on 6 December in central London:

The event will take place from 9:30am to 4:30pm at the Strand Palace Hotel and costs £150.

Please note: You should have some previous knowledge of Strategic Export Controls and review the Consolidated Control List before attending this course.

Full details and booking instructions can be found in the latest issue of the: Export Control Training Bulletin

For general export control queries please contact 020 7215 4594 or

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World AIDS Day in Northampton

Posted: 24/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

A ceremony to mark World AIDS Day will be held in the Courtyard at the Guildhall in Northampton on Friday, 1 December.

The Guildhall ceremony has been organised by Northampton Borough Council to raise awareness of World AIDS Day and increase understanding of HIV and AIDS and their effect on people’s lives.

The Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Gareth Eales, will lead the ceremony which will begin at 11am. This will be followed by a minute’s silence and the lighting of candles. The Mayor will be joined by representatives from the town’s community forums and members of the public are invited to come along.

World AIDS Day has been held on 1 December every year for the last 29 years. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. Falling as part of the 16 days of activism campaign this year, the Borough Council hopes to use the day to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of gender-related violence which affects men and women of all cultures and sexuality around the world.

Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We choose to mark World AIDS Day as a reminder that HIV has not gone away. There is still a vital need to improve education and raise money to help organisations that are working on a cure and those who provide invaluable support to people living with HIV.

“As part of the 16 days of activism project, we are talking about the ways gender-based violence affects people in our communities and in other communities around the world where the spread of HIV is often the result of violent assaults. I hope people will come to The Guildhall to join us at the ceremony to show their support.”

World AIDS Day ribbons will be available on the day in the One Stop Shop for people to pick up and make a donation.

For further information about our other #16Days activities, please visit

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Small Business Saturday support for Northampton independents

Posted: 24/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Borough Council is showing its support for independent traders by encouraging people to shop local this Small Business Saturday (2 December).

Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday is a national campaign which highlights the important contribution small businesses make to the UK’s economy.

To mark the event, the Borough Council is offering Northampton-based small business owners the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops and seminars. Three sessions
will cover advice on becoming Dementia-friendly, promoting your business online and how to apply for a Borough Council Business Incentive Scheme grant.

On Small Business Saturday itself, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Jonathan Nunn, and members of the Borough Council Cabinet will be visiting independent
traders throughout the town. Their tour will take in around 20 of the independent businesses that have received one of the Borough Council’s Business Incentive Scheme grants during recent years.

Since the Business Incentive Scheme was launched in 2014, Northampton Borough Council has supported 133 businesses with grants totalling more than £1 million. This has resulted in the creation of 647 jobs and leveraged over £6.2 million in private sector investment – as well as filling empty units across the town and helping to create a vibrant local economy.

During the current financial year, the Borough Council’s Business Incentive Scheme has supported 16 businesses.

Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “In Northampton, we have really excellent small businesses run by passionate people who are making an enormous
contribution to the local economy. From shops to professional services, we are eager to see more people choosing to set up business roots in Northampton.

“I am looking forward to going out and about to see how our grant scheme is directly helping small businesses, and to find out what more we can do to make Northampton as business-friendly as possible. I really hope shoppers follow our lead and choose to visit some of our independent traders while they are out doing their Christmas shopping too.”

And as on every Saturday, Northampton Borough Council is offering free parking all day on December 2 in all multi-storey car parks, to encourage shoppers to visit Northampton.

Small businesses can post their ideas and plans on the Small Business Saturday page on Facebook or follow the national Twitter campaign @SmallBizSatUK.

For more information about the seminars on offer to businesses, please contact

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Director of Kettering Engineering Firm Reacts to the Budget

Posted: 23/11/17 by Building Services Design Ltd

David White (pictured here), director and founder of mechanical and electrical engineering (M&E) consultancy Building Services Design (BSD), reacts to the Autumn Budget.

“I’m pleased that skills and training featured as part of the Autumn Budget; this is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry at the moment and is crucial to address if we’re to weather the potential Brexit storm. Mr Hammond himself acknowledged that productivity was still an issue for the UK, it is not at the level it should be and forecasts for the next five years have had to be revaluated.

“It was announced that new maths schools would open and that existing schools who support students studying A Level maths will receive rewards and a further £27 million in funding has been announced to further support maths and technical training.

“This is a good start but there’s still a long way to go in transforming our industry, creating a skilled workforce and promoting engineering as an attractive career prospect for students.

“New infrastructure and large-scale building projects were announced, with focus around new garden towns and new homes sites. Mr Hammond also discussed the disparity between planning permissions granted and schemes breaking ground – this is now to come under ‘urgent review’ and this couldn’t come soon enough. In order to get the construction industry moving, there needs to be a greater understanding between local authorities and developers, removing commercial incentives to retaining land and encouraging more projects to get off the ground.

“Mr Hammond also laid out further plans and investment promises to devolved powers, committing to ensuring that London does not retain all of the UK’s wealth and economic strength. With offices across the country, I look forward to seeing what this further investment in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine will look like as we begin Brexit negotiations and stability is beginning to be rocked once again.

“Brexit is still a concern for the industry but we’ve weathered storms before and I have confidence in the industry - but skills and training must remain a top priority; particularly with regards apprenticeships and equal gender representation in the industry.”

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Autumn Budget reaction from Mazars

Posted: 23/11/17 by Mazars LLP

Stephen Eames, Milton Keynes office managing partner at Mazars (pictured here), gives his impressions on the Chancellor’s Budget:

  • Chancellor plays it safe and defers big decisions
  • Capital Gains and Entrepreneur’s Relief escape unscathed
  • SDLT grabs the headlines but won’t revitalise housing market

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Autumn 2017 Budget yesterday against a backdrop of no overall government majority, party disunity, reducing UK productivity, and a recent marked slowdown in economic growth. So, not much room for manoeuvre and a need not to be seen to “get it wrong” as happened with the rapid U-turn on NIC changes for the self-employed in the March budget this year.

“Consequently what we saw was a cautious Budget which tried to balance all these things; indeed Mr. Hammond referred to the need for balance on a number of occasions in his speech, albeit in the sense of a balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to help those in most need.

“Essentially, it was a Budget which sought to play safe. For instance, there were no changes of any note to Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Entrepreneurs’ Relief, which is now extremely generous, or to the big difference between CGT rates and top income tax rates despite the continued exploitation of that difference by investors and company owners. There was no attempt to address the taxation of the gig economy (beyond announcing a consultation), or to address the ongoing mismatch between owner managers, the self-employed and employees in the income tax and NIC which they pay except for announcing another consultation. The system remains biased in favour of owner managers, hence the significant increase in tax-drive incorporations. The OBR forecasted earlier this year that tax revenues will be £3.5 billion lower by 2021 if the small company population continues to grow at current rates.

“It was good to see no further attack on pensions, although this should not be ruled out for the future. Pensions, especially for higher and top rate tax payers still represent the most tax-efficient savings vehicle available.

“The headline grabber will be the Stamp Duty Land Tax exemption for first time buyers for properties up to £300,000 or the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000. However, based on previous experience, this is unlikely to benefit first time buyers. The probability is that it will drive up demand and thus house prices and the winners will be those who sell the houses, not the first time buyers, who may pay more for their house because of the upward market pressure on prices.

“Whilst the small increase in the rate of R&D tax credits from 11% to 12% is welcome, for companies many of the changes reflect the Government’s response to the proposals of the OECD and G20 on BEPS and cross border Tax avoidance.

“Indeed, tax avoidance, especially of the offshore variety is in the news right now following the “Paradise Papers” revelations. The Budget contains a number of technical changers which will limit still further the ability of UK resident to avoid UK tax through offshore structures using payments to close family members instead of themselves, although continuing opportunities for non-domiciled individuals who have been resident in the UK for less than 15 years were not addressed. VAT on UK purchases from offshore entities has also been tightened up and this was a welcome change, producing a more level playing field for UK companies as they compete for internet sales against competitors registered in low tax jurisdictions.

“Other changes plus further consultation on additional anti-avoidance measures (e.g. on a new measure to tax UK immovable property owned by non UK resident companies and individuals) demonstrate the government’s continued commitment to countering (legal) tax avoidance as well as (illegal) tax evasion.

“Overall the Budget can best be characterised as safe and non-contentious. The chancellor has minimal headroom but he has not sought to increase that headroom through any major increase in taxation. Most tax thresholds have been increased in line with inflation, or, such as the £85,000 VAT registration threshold, left unchanged.

“The headlines will not be about tax, except perhaps the SDLT change for first time buyers and the continued attack on tax avoiders and perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the budget for private clients and business clients alike was what the chancellor did not do; no changes of any significance to Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Corporation Tax or VAT beyond a number of technical changes aimed at combatting tax avoidance techniques, particularly where offshore entities are involved.”

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Ruby Parmar, Senior Office Partner PwC Milton Keynes, comments on the economic impact of the Budget

Posted: 23/11/17 by PwC LLP

“The Chancellor had to walk a narrow tightrope between maintaining fiscal prudence and responding to widespread pressure to ease austerity. He had to do this while facing significant cross-winds from downgrades in the OBR’s economic growth forecasts and consequent increases in projected public borrowing in the medium term that were slightly larger than we had expected.

“At first sight, the Chancellor just about managed to keep his balance, although the details will need further scrutiny over the coming days.

“The Chancellor was able to provide some carefully targeted giveaways to support housing, health, skills and infrastructure while still keeping the budget deficit on a downward path. He was helped here by a lower starting point for the deficit this year (around £50 billion rather than £58 billion as the OBR forecast in March) and a reduction of around £3.5-4 billion in future annual borrowing due to English housing associations being reclassified to the private sector by the ONS from this month onwards.

“The Budget provided a significant net giveaway in the short term, peaking at just over £9 billion in 2019/20 according to the OBR, but with most of this being clawed back in later years so that the net giveaway fades to a relatively insignificant £1.5 billion in 2021/22. The phasing of this temporary fiscal loosening, including extra spending on Brexit preparations for the next two years, seems designed to help ease the economy over the difficult transition period to leaving the EU while still keeping within existing fiscal targets in the medium term.

“Taking into account the new Budget measures announced today, the OBR is now projecting a cyclically-adjusted budget deficit of 1.3% of GDP in 2020/21, up from 0.9% in their March forecasts but still some way below the Chancellor’s medium term target of 2% of GDP. The Chancellor’s headroom in meeting this target has been cut from around £26 billion in March to only around £15 billion now, which will leave less room for manoeuvre in future Budgets in the face of potential Brexit-related economic turbulence. But he was prudent in leaving most of this headroom in place despite the pressures on him to go further in easing austerity.”

On Specific announcements for the region

“The Chancellor was able to provide some carefully targeted giveaways to support housing, health, skills and infrastructure while still keeping the budget deficit on a downward path. However, the investments in the leadership and the capabilities of our great city regions was spot on. This is an investment that can pay off for the future.

“For Milton Keynes, we’ve seen commitments designed to kick-start the house building industry, with one million homes in the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor by 2050, starting with a housing deal with Oxfordshire to develop 100,000 houses by 2031 - these are all welcome interventions.

“Milton Keynes, ranked 6th on this year’s Good Growth for Cities PwC Index driven by jobs growth - highlighting the increased pace of recovery in major urban centres.”

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Saucy Saints Strip-off For Charity Calendar!

Posted: 23/11/17 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

They show enormous bravery each time they take to the field but the Saints have now demonstrated their greatest sense of derring-do by baring – well, almost – all for a saucy fundraising calendar!

More than a dozen players have stripped off in support of fellow Saintsman, Christian Day, for the latest fundraising venture in his testimonial year, and thanks to its monthly sponsors, including Chamber members Aspers Casino, Michael Jones Jewellers and Spirit Hyundai, Christian’s chosen charities of Niamh’s Next Step and The Leon Barwell Foundation look set to receive a festive boost to their finances!

The black and white calendar – with arty-shot pictures taken by the lock’s official testimonial photographer, – features just a touch of colour in the form of the psychedelic pants covering the models’ modesty, courtesy of underwear brand Oddballs.

Among those to undress are back row forwards Courtney Lawes and Teimana Harrison, who take the spot for September, while winger Ken Pisi goes it alone as Mr April!

Meanwhile the front row trio of Mikey Haywood, Jamal Ford-Robinson and Paul Hill find strength in numbers as they proudly pose, pint in hand, for June!

So was it a struggle for Daysy, as Christian is affectionately known, to get his club colleagues to sign up to the idea? “Not really! The boys work so hard to keep themselves in great shape for their rugby that I reckon they quietly enjoy parading their muscles when they’re given a chance!” explained the man behind the project.

“But the real reason for supporting me in this rather unusual way is because they also want to raise as much money as possible for the charities, while I think it helped that I’m leading by example as the model for February, aided and abetted by my good mate Stephen Myler!” he enthused.

If you would like to spend July with a bare-chested Nic Groom or admire the pecs of Juan Pablo Estelles throughout September, Christian’s limited-edition calendar will be on sale at home matches.

It’s also now available, priced at £10, via his fundraising website – - alongside his bobble hat, priced at £15, and tickets for the Saints Carol Concert taking place at Franklin’s Gardens on Tuesday 19th December.

The concert, with festive favourites from the Northampton Male Voice Choir and piano maestro Lincoln Noel, as well as communal carols and some surprise special guests, is £10 for adults, £5 for under-16s and free for those under 12.

For more details on the testimonial events to come or to show your support for Christian through a range of sponsorship opportunities, please visit

You can also follow the special year on twitter at @Day5Testimonial and on Facebook at

Pictured: Stephen Myler (L) and Christian Day.

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Property Fraud - Are you at risk?

Posted: 22/11/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

As the Land Registry is a public register, unfortunately many people are unwittingly finding themselves the victims of fraud associated with their ownership of property. There have been many high profile cases in the news where property has been fraudulently sold with the true owners completely unaware until some time later when the fraudsters have long since made off with the fraudulent sale or mortgage proceeds.

The perpetrators may seek to fraudulently sell the property or take out a mortgage against it and make off with the proceeds.

Fraud may be committed in various ways, for example:-
• Inter family or associate frauds which may be carried out by family members, friends or partners;
• Third party frauds where tenants, or those who have access to tenants, are able to divert post to perpetrate the fraud;
• Third party frauds that constitute ‘organised crime’.

Whilst to some degree all properties are potentially susceptible to being the subject of a fraud, there are certain categories of owners and properties that are more at risk from fraudulent activity such as:-
• elderly owners who are in hospital or have moved into a care home (such properties are often free from a mortgage which makes the fraud easier);
• owners who live abroad;
• owners who no longer live in the property and there was an acrimonious break up with a partner;
• owners who have already been the victim of identity fraud;
• personal representatives who are responsible for the property where the owner has died;
• unoccupied properties, whether residential or commercial;
• tenanted properties;
• high value properties without a mortgage;
• high value properties with a mortgage in favour of an individual living overseas;
• properties undergoing redevelopment.

Personal Representatives of an estate are under a duty to protect and preserve the estate on behalf of the beneficiaries. Failure to do so could render the personal representative personally liable for any loss caused to the estate. Therefore, personal representatives should be mindful of the possibility of property fraud and take reasonable steps to protect a property from being exposed to such fraud. In most cases, the property is usually the biggest asset of the estate and the need to protect it is an important consideration.

The same applies to attorneys who have been appointed under a Power of Attorney or deputies appointed by the Court of Protection.

What can you do to protect yourself/your property?

Unfortunately fraudsters are always finding new and ingenious ways to commit a fraud, however there are certain things you can to reduce the risk of this happening to you:-

1. Keep your address for service up to date – See Land Registry Public Guide 2 “Keeping your address for service up to date” Amending your address is simple and free.
2. If you are intending to leave your property empty for a significant period of time, such as for redevelopment purposes you should consider registering an alternative address for service.
3. Register a restriction which prevents dispositions without the consent of a solicitor. This can be registered at no cost and is highly recommended.
4. Sign up to the Land Registry Property Alert Service

For more information call us on 0800 088 6004.

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Budget 2017: Welcome action on business basics – but more to do on bigger picture

Posted: 22/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Giving his initial reaction to the Autumn Budget, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Chamber business communities wanted the Chancellor to focus on the basics - rates, roads, and ringtones - and will be pleased that they will see some action on all three fronts.

“While more remains to be done to reduce the impact of business rates on investment and growth, the Chancellor’s decisions will lessen the impact of rate rises on hard-pressed firms in many parts of the country from next April. Chambers campaigned hard for a reduction in the relentless rises of this iniquitous tax, and will be pleased that the Chancellor has listened and reduced the burden.

“Commitments to delivering road and rail infrastructure, and working to improve mobile phone signals on key transport corridors, will help support local business productivity.

“Our business communities will welcome the Chancellor’s marked focus on helping places achieve their potential. The announcement of new trains for the Tyne and Wear metro, new tax arrangements for the North Sea oil industry, devolution deals for many of our major cities including Belfast, and housing growth in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor all respond directly to key local business needs. The collective, real-world impact of these and other targeted interventions could be significant.

“Despite the inclusion of a number of announcements that will support business communities in the short term, more will still need to be done over the coming months to lay the groundwork for a successful Brexit transition. Businesses will expect greater boldness from the Chancellor - and more radical support for infrastructure and investment - once a Brexit
transition period is secured and the shape of a UK-EU deal becomes clearer.”

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Budget 2017: Welcome action on business basics – but more to do on bigger picture

Posted: 22/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Giving his initial reaction to the Autumn Budget, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Chamber business communities wanted the Chancellor to focus on the basics - rates, roads, and ringtones - and will be pleased that they will see some action on all three fronts.

“While more remains to be done to reduce the impact of business rates on investment and growth, the Chancellor’s decisions will lessen the impact of rate rises on hard-pressed firms in many parts of the country from next April. Chambers campaigned hard for a reduction in the relentless rises of this iniquitous tax, and will be pleased that the Chancellor has listened and reduced the burden.

“Commitments to delivering road and rail infrastructure, and working to improve mobile phone signals on key transport corridors, will help support local business productivity.

“Our business communities will welcome the Chancellor’s marked focus on helping places achieve their potential. The announcement of new trains for the Tyne and Wear metro, new tax arrangements for the North Sea oil industry, devolution deals for many of our major cities including Belfast, and housing growth in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor all respond directly to key local business needs. The collective, real-world impact of these and other targeted interventions could be significant.

“Despite the inclusion of a number of announcements that will support business communities in the short term, more will still need to be done over the coming months to lay the groundwork for a successful Brexit transition. Businesses will expect greater boldness from the Chancellor - and more radical support for infrastructure and investment - once a Brexit
transition period is secured and the shape of a UK-EU deal becomes clearer.”

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Budget comment: Business rate recalculation

Posted: 22/11/17 by Opus Energy Limited

Following the Chancellor’s Budget announcement that the switch from using RPI to calculate business rates to CPI will be brought forward, here’s what Northampton-based energy supplier, Opus Energy had to say.

Nikki Flanders, chief operations officer, Opus Energy said: “I welcome the Chancellor’s decision to bring forward the switch from using RPI to calculate business rates to CPI. With SMEs contributing 47% of all UK private sector turnover in 2016, we need to be giving entrepreneurs more incentives to start, develop, innovate and grow their own businesses. Considering that many smaller business already struggle with costs such as recruitment and logistics, penalising them with higher rates would be incredibly counter-intuitive.

“The decision to extend funding for Growth Hubs is also a positive step for SMEs across England. With 67,000 small businesses already engaging and utilising the hubs since formation, the funding extension is imperative to support growth and enable shared best practice among those that need it most.

“However, what our smaller businesses need now, is more clarity on what the UK will look like post-Brexit. With the date that we will leave the European Union confirmed to be the 29th March 2019, we need all the clarity possible to ensure that the UK’s SME community continues to thrive.”

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Franklins £50 Challenge -  How would you grow a £50 investment?

Posted: 22/11/17 by Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity

Here’s a chance for you to enter a team into the Franklins £50 Challenge.

Use your business brain and money-making acumen to generate as much money as possible for Cynthia Spencer Hospice. We will provide you with a £50 start-up investment and then it’s over to you to invest and re-invest the £50 to raise as much as you can in 8 weeks.

The team that raises the most will be honoured as the £50 Challenge champions at our awards ceremony in April (other prizes for creativity, craziest idea are also up for grabs)

Franklins Solicitors are kindly sponsoring the challenge so all the money you raise will directly support those living with a life limiting illness across Northamptonshire.

Click here to find out more and to register -

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Kettering Crematorium opens new woodland themed memorial garden for under 18s

Posted: 22/11/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Kettering Crematorium has created a new dedicated area for the scattering of ashes of children, complete with woodland animal ornaments and a memorial tree.

The £6,000 investment has seen the addition of a large owl, two rabbits, two deer and a new path to the area, as well as a memorial tree for which golden leaves with personalised messages can be added.

The metal leaves can be purchased for less than half of the price of any other memorial at the Crematorium.

Kettering Crematorium & Cemeteries Team recently won Best Service Team at the APSE Service Awards, while the Crematorium was also a runner up as Crematorium of the Year at the Good Funeral Awards. The Crematorium has also recently introduced a pre-paid cremation plan to ease the financial burden of funeral costs.

Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “Kettering Crematorium is constantly looking to find ways to improve the level of service we provide at what is obviously a very difficult time. We recognise that the way in which people want to mourn is very personal and we strive to offer a variety of options to suit all needs and preferences.”

Cllr Ian Jelley, Kettering Borough Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said: “Following the Crematorium’s £2 million improvements in 2013, the expansion of the grounds has allowed for the creation a new dedicated area for scattering the ashes and mourning young people. The woodland themed memorial garden offers an appropriate area for families who have experienced the loss of a child.”

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CML advises businesses on how to utilise logistics at Brexit Procurement & Supply Chain Forum

Posted: 22/11/17 by CML Ltd

On the 15th of November, Paul Bambrough-Smith, global logistics manager at CML, was invited to speak at the Brexit Procurement & Supply Chain Forum at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London. Speaking as a representative of third party logistics provider, CML, Paul gave delegates an understanding on how logistics can aid business operations with changes to supply chain and distribution regulations post-Brexit.

The topic for the discussion, ‘The roles logistics play to help businesses navigate changing distribution networks, regulations and trade rules’, covered what the effects of Brexit means for logistics and distribution networks across the EU. With this in mind, Paul addressed the importance of setting up new channels and distribution networks during the upcoming period of transition. The discussion progressed on to how businesses need to build capacity in order to deal with changing custom rules and in turn ensure efficient and timely distribution.

Industry professionals speaking alongside Paul included Anna Wright, regional marketing manager of Honeywell and Jonas Rani Hatem, managing director/partner of Mobius UK. Having worked in the industry for over 24 years, Paul used his experience to give delegates an in-depth breakdown of how businesses can best prepare for Brexit. He commented: “With trade agreements seeing a huge change, understandably many people I spoke to at the Brexit Procurement & Supply Chains Forum were concerned about how Brexit will impact their businesses. Taking this into account, it was great to be able to provide delegates with guidance on how to prepare for changing tariffs and duty fees across the EU border. When considering the changes that could be made to importation and exportation rules, the event gave me the chance to highlight the importance of having a smooth and transparent logistics operation in place, and explore how to assemble advanced logistic services that function at maximum efficiency with a reduced number of trips in response to increased fuel duty.

“Brexit will see changes happening across the country, but it is businesses that need to be taking the time to evaluate their procedures to help establish optimum efficiency. While on a personal level I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at this year’s Brexit Procurement & Supply Chains Forum, it was a great opportunity to represent CML, share our knowledge, and emphasise the critical role logistics will play in retaining competitive operations after Brexit.”

The Brexit Procurement & Supply Chain Forum was set up to help businesses in regards to a wide range of topics including; cross-border trade, supply chain management, procurement and new technologies. It gave various speakers the opportunity to tackle issues surrounding European trade, supply chain management, adapting procurement strategies and optimising costs as a business, and gave attendees an insight into how to approach Brexit practically, from key industry decision makers, as well as legal advisors, in this liminal period before Brexit begins.

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Immerse yourself in Christmas at The Igloo cinema

Posted: 22/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

An igloo cinema is throwing open its doors next weekend. Northampton Borough Council is inviting shoppers to enjoy free showings of fun and educational, Christmas-inspired animations throughout the Christmas shopping period.

Nestled in the heart of the Grosvenor Centre, The Igloo Cinema, which will open for the first time on Sunday, 3 December, will be showing a selection of short films every day until Friday, 22 December.

Projected onto a 360 degree screen, the family-friendly films which include ‘The Alien who stole Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Story’ should leave visitors ready for the festive season. On Saturdays there’ll be a chance to meet Santa and share a selfie or two as well.

Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “The Igloo Cinema is a great way to entertain the family or take a brief break from Christmas shopping. I’m really excited that we’re able to offer something a little bit different this year.

“The films are all under half an hour long, so are bite-sized chunks of festive feeling with an educational twist. The showings are free, so I hope people take advantage of them and remember to stop-by for a selfie with Santa.”

For more details about the three films and to book your free tickets, please visit

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Cynthia Spencer means business

Posted: 22/11/17 by Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity

The Cynthia Spencer Business Hub is a well-equipped conference facility which is ideal for conferences, meetings, training sessions and corporate away days.

With space for up to 60 people in a variety of seating styles from boardroom, theatre, cabaret, classroom, u-shaped and hollow square, there’s a format to suit each and every need.

We can also arrange refreshments from simple tea, coffee and biscuits through to full lunches. The space is available for hire either hourly, on a half day basis or as a full day from 9am until 5pm. Ample parking is available and facilities in the room include overhead digital projector, interactive wipe screen, wifi, whiteboard and flip chart.

A recent customer said after using the conference space: “Thanks to all the team at Cynthia Spencer who hosted us for our annual team away day. Your Business Hub was the perfect location to hold our meeting, great facilities and a brilliant team who looked after us very well

To arrange a visit to see the facility or to make a booking please contact Debbie on 01604 973340 or email

Or check out this link:

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Short Mat Bowling Club gets new equipment thanks to local grants

Posted: 22/11/17 by Kettering Borough Council

St Andrew’s Short Mat Bowling Club has proudly purchased new much needed equipment, after receiving a £2,500 grant from Kettering Borough Council’s Capital Community Fund.

The club unveiled their new ElectroWind Vertigo mat winding machine to excited club members on 21st November, following the installation by the supplier, Whitehead Bowls. The remaining funding for the new machine, which is worth more than £5,500, was provided by Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

The new electric mat roller will greatly help the club members (approximately 25 seniors, with various disabilities) who will no longer have to ‘man handle’ the heavy mats from the store room into the hall and roll out, and then roll up the mats again at the end of play and return them to the storeroom. The new equipment will enable all members to take part in setting up the hall and allow the club to function into the future.

Kettering Borough Council’s Grant Schemes support voluntary and community groups to carry out activities that enhance the quality of life for local residents and increase their involvement within the community. The Capital Community Fund ranges from £500 to £2,500. It is open to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Community based projects
  • Environmental improvements
  • Health and Safety Improvements

Grant guidelines and applications are available online at Alternatively, you can contact the Council’s Grants Officer on 01536 534 374 or e-mail Preference will normally be given to projects where some form of match funding exists.

Michael Brooks, chairman & secretary of St Andrew’s Short Mat Bowling Club, said:

“On behalf of St Andrew’s Short Mat Bowling Club, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kettering Borough Council and Northamptonshire Community Foundation for their support. Bowls, particularly for the more senior members of the community, provides excellent physical exercise and mental stimulus and we’re delighted that this much needed equipment will greatly benefit the club and hopefully attract more members.”

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for community & leisure, said: “Providing a helping hand to organisations that deliver projects that make a real difference to local people is central to the Council’s Community Fund and is something we are very proud of.

“Despite the financial pressures local councils are facing, we have continued to provide this vital funding to local community organisations. The new electric mat roller at St Andrew’s Short Mat Bowling Club looks great and will be a big benefit to their community”

Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “It’s vitally important that groups that work hard to improve the local community are able to access funding through grant schemes, and we are pleased to invite their applications. I would encourage anyone involved in groups that may benefit from a Community Grant to consider the criteria and make sure they apply before any deadlines.”

Pictured: St Andrew’s Short Mat Bowls Club and Cllr Mark Rowley with the new ElectroWind Vertigo.

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Gluten-free doughnuts introduced by frozen food distributor Central Foods

Posted: 22/11/17 by Central Foods Ltd

Leading frozen food distributor Central Foods has boosted its range of free-from products with the launch of a new gluten-free doughnut.

The KaterBake midi-sized gluten-free ring doughnut is suitable for vegetarians, as well as coeliacs, and is perfect for a range of foodservice uses.

It can be dressed up or down to achieve every price point, with serving ideas including topping with glazes or icing, decorating with sprinkles, fruit or popcorn, threading onto straws for eye-catching ‘freakshake’ milkshakes, or slicing in half and filling with a generous scoop of ice-cream for the ultimate ice-cream sandwich.

Figures show that the free-from market in the UK is continuing to grow, with more and more people requiring special dietary requirements, whether for medical, health, cultural or religious reasons.

“The free-from market really is huge - it’s worth more than £627 million a year and is set to reach £952 million by 2021 – and at Central Foods we have seen a large increase in demand for both sweet and savoury free-from products,” said Gordon Lauder, MD of frozen food distributor Central Foods.

“We have been working with Coeliac UK since 2009 as part of our commitment to sourcing and supplying free-from foods, and have a comprehensive range of gluten-free items that we supply to wholesalers and foodservice caterers.

“We are delighted to have now introduced an updated version of the all-time classic, the ring doughnut, in a gluten-free format. The KaterBake gluten-free ring doughnut, which, at approximately 33g compared to 56g for a standard ring doughnut, is not too big or too small - making it the ideal quick and easy base for caterers to use in their own creations. Suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs means it also ticks a lot of boxes for customer requirements.”

Coeliac UK estimates that there are now over 1.3 million Britons or 3% of British adults following a gluten-free diet. Alongside that, 8.58 million, or 13%, are avoiding gluten in their diet. More than 90% of those on a gluten-free diet eat out at least once a month – and of course they often dine with others – so this represents huge opportunities for the foodservice sector. According to IPSOS Mori 2016, there are also 1.14 million vegetarians in the UK.

The KaterBake gluten-free ring doughnuts are supplied frozen in pack sizes of six by six.

Based in Northamptonshire, Central Foods is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors, supplying 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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Rypro Energy supports award-winning charity Service Six

Posted: 22/11/17 by Rypro Energy Ltd

​Northamptonshire based energy brokers Rypro Energy have partnered with award-winning regional charity and chamber of commerce members, Service Six.

Founded in 1979, Service Six provide BACP accredited counselling and therapy to disadvantaged children, adults, young people and families, supporting over 1, 000 beneficiaries in the past year. Rypro Energy have committed to making a donation each time they process a utility contract.

Service Six chief executive officer, Claudia Slabon said: Thank you to Rypro Energy for choosing to support Service Six for the next year. We are very excited to work with an ethical company who shares the charity’s values and passion for supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities”.

Rypro Energy director, Ryan Protheroe said: “Having seen first hand the vital services that Service Six provide to disadvantaged members of our local community we’re delighted to support them for the next year. Their ethical practice and need-led vision perfectly aligns with our own, and we look forward to an exciting 2018.”

If you’d like to know more about Service Six or Rypro Energy please check out their chambermember pages, blogs, news articles and top tips.

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BCC: Government must provide clarity on future of UK’s VAT regime

Posted: 21/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the publication of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill, Anastassia Beliakova, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Businesses will expect this Bill to provide continuity and alignment with the Union Customs Code, and help establish future customs cooperation with the EU.

“But it is also imperative that the government consults with business on how to improve our customs procedures as we leave the European Union.

“Firms tell us that they want clarity on the future of the UK’s VAT regime, and what our exit from the EU will mean for cross-border liabilities. HMRC must be given more resources, and adopt a clear focus on customer service, to enable them to support exporters and importers as they navigate the UK’s exit from the EU.”

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BCC: Government must provide clarity on future of UK’s VAT regime

Posted: 21/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the publication of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill, Anastassia Beliakova, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Businesses will expect this Bill to provide continuity and alignment with the Union Customs Code, and help establish future customs cooperation with the EU.

“But it is also imperative that the government consults with business on how to improve our customs procedures as we leave the European Union.

“Firms tell us that they want clarity on the future of the UK’s VAT regime, and what our exit from the EU will mean for cross-border liabilities. HMRC must be given more resources, and adopt a clear focus on customer service, to enable them to support exporters and importers as they navigate the UK’s exit from the EU.”

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Northamptonshire Food & Drinks Awards Winners

Posted: 21/11/17 by The Mallows Company Limited

After much anticipation and a great deal of excitement, the winners in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2017/18 are finally celebrating being named the best of the county’s best!

The competition, now in its ninth year, is aimed at celebrating all that is great about local produce and drink, recognising excellence within the county’s dining venues and rewarding those who work so hard within the culinary sector.

The results were announced at a glittering Awards Dinner staged at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate (Wednesday 15th November) and those were (in presentation order and,
in the case of two winners or runners-up, in alphabetical order):

Artisan Local Drink of the Year:

Winner: Triple ‘F’ Pure Apple Juice - Floyers’ Fruit Farm, Flore

Runner-up: Bell Ringer - Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

New Local Drink of the Year:

Winner: Burnt Ox Blood - Nobby’s Brewing Company, Thrapston

Winner: Dream Catcher - Tea Lab Company, Northampton

Artisan Local Savoury Product of the Year (Sponsored by Heygates Flour and Animal Feed):

Winner: Northamptonshire Blue - Hamm Tun Fine Foods, Hannington

Runner-up: Phipps Firkin - Neneview Dairy, Stanwick

Artisan Local Sweet Product of the Year (Sponsored by Moulton College):

Winner: Honey, Lemon and Ginger Marmalade - Nature’s Fayre, Thrapston

Runner-up: Dark Espresso Chocolate - Seed and Bean, Corby

Runner-up: Gooseberry and Elderflower Gelato - Ganders Goat, Cottingham

One to Watch (Sponsored by Whitworth Bros. Ltd Flour Millers):

Winner: Ganders Goat, Cottingham

Winner: Towcester Mill Brewery, Towcester

Farming Innovation Award (Sponsored by Weetabix Growers Group):

Winner: Mee Farmers, Nassington

Runner-up: Courteenhall Farms, Courteenhall

Healthy Eating Workplace of the Year (Sponsored by Northamptonshire County Council):

Winner: Weatherbys Ltd, Wellingborough

Runner-up: John Lewis Plc, Northampton

Runner-up: Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, Brixworth

Independent Café / Tea Room of the Year (Sponsored by Pidy UK):

Winner: Workbridge Coffee Shop, Northampton

Runner-up: The Bread & Butter Factory, Northampton

Spice Restaurant of the Year (Sponsored by British Pepper & Spice):

Winner: The Exotic Dining, Kettering

Runner-up: Taste of Spice, Northampton

Restaurant of the Year (Sponsored by Whitco Catering and Bakery Equipment):

Winner: The Folly, Towcester

Runner-up: Tap and Kitchen, Oundle

Booker Food Pub of the Year (Sponsored by Booker):

Winner: The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Runner-up: The Wheatsheaf Pub & Dining Room, Northampton

Great Service Award (Sponsored by Northampton College):

Winner: The Folly, Towcester

Chef of the Year (Sponsored by Dawn Farms and Cordant People):

Winner: Richard Walker - Fawsley Hall Hotel, Fawsley

Runner-up: James Peck (Freelance Chef)

Booker Young Chef of the Year (Sponsored by Booker)

Winner: Victoria Austin - Highgate House, Creaton

Runner-up: Arturs Dzerins - The Hopping Hare, Northampton

Community Pub of the Year (Sponsored by Carlsberg UK):

Winner: The Dukes Arms, Woodford

Runner-up: The Sun Inn, Kislingbury

Weetabix Local Food Hero of the Year (Sponsored by Weetabix):

Winner: Steve Reid of Friars Farm, Northampton

Runner-up: The Good Loaf, Northampton

F&B Achiever of the Year (Sponsored by Howes Percival LLP):

Winner: Tom Warner and Christina Warner-Keogh - Warner Edwards, Harrington

Charman’s Award:

Winner: Alaric Neville - Phipps NBC, Northampton

The evening also shone a spotlight on Eat Out Eat Well, a national scheme run here in the county by Environmental Health Northamptonshire which rewards caterers and eateries who make it easier for their customers to make healthy choices, and saw the top scoring Gold venues from five of the seven borough and district councils being celebrated for their achievement. They are:

  • Mille’s Café, Wellingborough
  • Mrs B’s in Rushden
  • Reg’s Café in Kings Sutton
  • The R Inn Hotel, Tapas Bar and Grill, Desborough
  • The Stables Café, Althorp

The winners of all the categories were presented with trophies which had been specially designed by the Awards team - a framed roman number IX, depicted as a spoon and crossed knife and fork, to represent the ninth year of the competition - by Awards Patrons William Sitwell and Sophie Grigson.

For the team at The Hopping Hare in Northampton, the evening was double cause for celebration for not only was 23 year-old Arturs Dzerins named runner-up in the ‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’ category, but the venue also took the ‘Booker Food Pub of the Year’ title.

Having been a regular finalist in the category and indeed the runner-up last year, owner David George was clearly thrilled to have clinched the top spot this time: “At the start of the year we set out to secure 2 AA Rosettes and win this title and we couldn’t be more delighted to have now achieved both!” explained David.

“The trophy will be put on pride of place behind the bar for not only our loyal customers to see but also those newcomers whom we know will now be wanting to visit to try our fabulous food, great service and outstanding value for money for themselves, thanks to this accolade!” he enthused.

Sadly missing from the proceedings was Antonio Carluccio OBE who passed away just a week before being due to follow in the footsteps of chefs Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton and Michel Roux OBE as the evening’s special guest.

It was therefore appropriate that the event began with a toast to the man known as the ‘Godfather of Italian cooking’ led by his good friend William Sitwell before the formal welcomes from awards director, Rachel Mallows MBE DL of The Mallows Company, Bruce Ray, VP Global Government Relations and UK Corporate Affairs at Carlsberg and Stephen Catchpole who is the chief executive of SEMLEP.

Guests then enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal designed and created by Lee Scott of Tom Hewer Catering’s newest restaurant, Hisbiscus, with help from a team of culinary students from Northampton College who switched their regular classes for the experience of being part of the restigious occasion.

Befitting a celebration of the excellence of the county’s food and drink sector, the menu included a wealth of Northamptonshire ingredients, including the runner-up goat cheese from Stanwick’s Neneview Dairy, winning marmalade from Nature’s Fayre of Thrapston, mayonnaise from Farrington Oils at Hargrave and runner-up goat milk gelato from Ganders Goat in Cottingham.

The culinary offering concluded with petits fours generously provided by Belflair Chocolates of Brackley with the tea coming courtesy of Northampton winners, the Tea Lab Company, the coffee from Great Brington Coffee and the milk from Newlands Farm at Hannington.

In addition, Carlsberg UK’s Bruce Ray also returned to the stage later in the evening to share news of an exciting project which the brewery is formally launching later this month – their first ‘Christmas Brew’ which will be sold only in Northamptonshire at some 30 pubs, bars and venues, with proceeds donated to Northamptonshire Community Foundation’s ‘Surviving Winter Appeal’.

For more details on the competition, including the chance to watch the videos from the cook-offs and bake-off, please visit the Awards’ website at or contact Rachel Mallows on 01933 664437 or

You can also follow the Awards on twitter at @foodawardsHQ or on Facebook at

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Partnership events raising awareness of gender-based violence

Posted: 21/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

A series of partnership events will be taking place in the town centre during November and December to raise awareness of gender-based violence.

The awareness-raising events begin on Friday, 24 November with the launch of the QTiP partnership at 4pm in the Guildhall. Later the same evening, people can join the annual Reclaim the Night March, from Barry Road to All Saints Church, which steps out at 11pm.

The events continue on 27 November with the Stories of Resilience project launching at The Deco Theatre at 4pm. This will be followed by a theatre performance by students from
Rushden Academy and a Q&A session with Northampton Borough Council and the University of Northampton.

In December, the Borough Council will continue the events with a civic ceremony in the Guildhall Courtyard for World Aids Day. The ceremony will take place at 1pm on Friday, 1 December, led by the Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Gareth Eales.

In addition, the Council will be celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the Grosvenor Centre on Sunday, 3 December. Local disability support and health services will be on hand from noon to 3pm.

Closing the series of events is a cinema evening at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse on Friday, 8 December, where the film East is East will be shown to help raise awareness of domestic abuse.

All events taking place between 24 November and 8 December have been organised by Northampton Borough Council, the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Rape Crisis,
Northampton Domestic Abuse Service and Northampton Right and Equality Council to support the national 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign.

Cllr Anna King, cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “We are pleased to be working with partners across the borough, to participate in the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign, along with 3,700 organisations globally.

“Together we are taking action against gender-based violence by holding a range of events over the 16 days, to educate and inform the town about the impact of violence, the support services available to help anyone affected and what can be done to stop it happening.

“We hope that individuals and businesses will join us at the events which kick off on 24 November.”

Visit for more information about the events and to book your place at the Stories of Resilience Launch or cinema evening.

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Forty years of accident investigation marked by University

Posted: 21/11/17 by Cranfield University

Cranfield University has marked the 40th anniversary of its first aircraft accident investigation course, which was first run in conjunction with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, with a two-day conference for accident investigators. Many of the University’s former students returned for the conference to hear the latest developments in the field of accident investigation.

Since 1977, Cranfield University has established itself as a centre of excellence for aircraft accident investigation, receiving the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for its work in the field.

Over the last 40 years, more than one thousand investigators have been trained by the University using a unique combination of academic instruction, practical simulations and the experience of investigation professionals.

In 2004, Cranfield’s Safety and Accident Investigation Centre widened its scope to work with investigators from the rail and marine sectors through its Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course and, in 2005, launched the world’s first MSc programme for air accident investigators.

Today, the Centre consists of 12 academic staff with a focus that has widened to include all aspects of multi-modal safety and accident investigation including: safety management; flight data; human factors; unmanned aerial systems; and airworthiness.

Professor Graham Braithwaite, director of transport systems at Cranfield University, said: “It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces returning to Cranfield and, where for many, their careers in accident investigation took off. As well as a chance to reminisce, it was also an opportunity to hear from industry leaders and to find about about how technology such as laser site scanning, computer modelling and drones are changing accident investigation.”

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PwC’s Milton Keynes’ Ruby Parmar wins Celebrity JustDance 2017 - raises £10,000 for local charity

Posted: 21/11/17 by PwC LLP

Ruby Parmar, PwC’s senior office partner in Milton Keynes, donned her sequins on Saturday night (18 November), for Celebrity JustDance, the glitzy charity event, hosted at the MK Arena and won - bagging the Glitterball trophy.

The event was in aid of MK Dons Sport & Education Trust (SET), an independent charity aligned to the football team Milton Keynes Dons.

Ruby underwent months of training to compete with professional dance partner Ben Milan-Vega, in the charity event, based on the popular Strictly Come Dancing format. And she raised a staggering £10,000 from the overwhelming generosity of friends, colleagues and clients.

Ruby performed a Waltz and Samba, and for her third fun freestyle dance, enlisted the help of four of her Milton Keynes team, Cat Jones, Laura Reimer, Carolyn Norfolk and Heather Aspinall to perform a stage rocking Bollywood routine.

Speaking after the event Ruby said: “The competition took me out of my comfort zone and was a challenge I was drawn to - not least as I have restricted movement in my neck and impaired balance, resulting from an accident 5 years ago.

“Added to this, I’m a big supporter of the Sports Education Trust, they do amazing work delivering life-changing programmes in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area.”

Pictured: Ruby Parmar with her Milton Keynes colleagues, Cat Jones, Laura Reimer, Carolyn Norfolk and Heather Aspinall as part of the Bollywood routine.

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Tea and Biscuits: A day to celebrate the story of the local Co-op

Posted: 21/11/17 by Kettering Borough Council

A special event day to celebrate the history of the Co-op locally will also be held at the Manor House Museum. Visitors are invited to come along and share stories, photos and memories of the Co-op over a cup of tea and biscuits.

The event will be held at the museum Saturday 25th November and will run from 11am to 3pm. This is a *FREE* event with activities for all ages.

The event runs alongside the Kettering Co-operatives exhibition which explores how the movement shaped the working and family life of the town. The exhibition is open until Saturday 20th January.

Guy Holloway, head of corporate & cultural services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “The Manor House Museum continues to highlight local history in an interesting way. The latest Kettering Cooperatives exhibition includes personal stories and donated objects, celebrating the story of the local Co-op movement.”

Cllr Lloyd Bunday, Kettering Borough Council’s deputy leader and portfolio holder for community & leisure, said: “Historically, the Co-operative has had a big influence in the working and family life of the town. Head to the Manor House Museum on 25th November, view the exhibition and share stories, photos and memories of the Co-op over a cup of tea and biscuits.”

For further information, contact the Manor House Museum on 01536 534219, email - or visit

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Are you ready to make a difference? Become a Trustee today

Posted: 20/11/17 by The Core at Corby Cube

The Core at Corby Cube is the 445-seat theatre with additional studio spaces, offering the whole community of Corby and beyond the chance to engage in workshops and Creative Projects, as well as the opportunity to see live performances on stage.

TRUSTEES (Voluntary)

We are currently recruiting for a number of Trustees to complete the Board of The Core at Corby Cube. Trustees will be responsible for agreeing the organisation’s vision, mission, values, strategic plan, action plans and policies and will become part of the team that leads the organisation.

To apply for this position, please send a CV and covering letter outlining your relevant experience and skills to or post to the HR department, 19-21 Guildhall Road, Northampton NN1 1DP.

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Northamptonshire Business of the Year & Service Excellence Winners 2017

Posted: 20/11/17 by Technocopy Solutions Limited

An unbelievable evening for everyone at Technocopy Solutions.

Firstly, at the Northamptonshire SME Awards, we won their Service Excellence award for 2017. A remarkable achievement of which we are very proud.

However, we then went on to WIN their overall Northamptonshire’s Business of the year 2017.

Absolutely amazing and all achieved in nine short years… what a story!

To work with Northampton’s Business of the year awards winners, contact us here.

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RCS Logistics acquired by global operator, the Rhenus Group

Posted: 20/11/17 by RCS Logistics Ltd

Award winning Northamptonshire third party distribution and storage business RCS Logistics has been acquired by the Rhenus Group, a global logistics service company which operates in more than 580 locations worldwide.

RCS Logistics, which has a history dating back more than 40 years, operated 350,000 sq ft of warehousing in Corby, Northamptonshire prior to the acquisition. Following the acquisition, Rhenus UK underwrote an investment which allowed RCS Logistics to add a further 90,000 sq ft of capacity, which went live on the 1st November this year. The agreement also makes available new services and expertise to customers of both organisations, which will enable further growth opportunities.

David Williams, managing director at Rhenus Logistics UK, welcomed the move: “RCS Logistics is an award-winning business with a great customer service ethos. It is an ideal complement to the Rhenus offer in the UK. We’re excited about the opportunity this provides for us to expand the services we provide for our customers and look forward to working together to deliver innovative solutions to the market.”

Steve Gray, commercial director at RCS Logistics also welcomed the move: “Joining the Rhenus family is part of a clear growth strategy for RCS Logistics which will open up service areas for the business and deliver a positive step forward. For customers and suppliers, it will be business as usual – but with the added benefit of a much larger network to call upon to deliver integrated solutions worldwide. We were keen to ensure that any acquiring organisation had the right values for our business, and Rhenus is an ideal fit.” He added, “The introduction of a 4th warehouse to RCS’s portfolio is an exciting prospect, it underlines our commitment to our existing customers growing requirements whilst providing additional resource to target new business; the additional facility is a clear demonstration of long term investment from our new owners Rhenus UK, and shows their intent to aid
the continued growth and success of RCS”.

As a subsidiary of Rhenus UK, RCS Logistics’ directors Steve Gray and Richard Robinson will take seats on the Rhenus UK board, while all 135 RCS Logistics employees will remain with the business.

The agreement was completed at the end of September 2017, with 100% of the shares of RCS Logistics being acquired by Rhenus Group. Rhenus Logistics UK operates 12 sites around the UK, including its headquarters in Manchester. The business, which has recently announced theUK roll-out of a brand new Express product, is set to open a new 60,700 sq ft facility in Port Salford at the end of 2017.

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Bake an array of festive breads at Bay Tree Cottage

Posted: 20/11/17 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Get into the Christmas spirit with our one-day bread course where we will teach you how to make an array of festive breads that your friends and family will love.

The workshops are taking place on Thursday 7 December and Monday 11 December from 9.30am-3pm and cost £75pp.

On the menu will be a traditional German Stollen, a Christmas Bread Wreath with Rosemary & Cranberries, Mincemeat Chelsea Buns and a spicy Flat-bread. At the end of the day, you will return home with a basket of treats to enjoy, fully equipped and inspired to bake some more!

During the day you will learn a range of different techniques and use different flours and flavours, so whether you are new to breadmaking or more experienced and looking for something different, this hands-on class has something for everyone.

The workshop is limited to a maximum of 8 attendees.

To book your place please visit or email

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Landlords are you up to speed with lettings changes?

Posted: 20/11/17 by Robinson & Hall LLP

Kellie Marsh, residential lettings manager at Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals, provides a summary of changes and shares her advice with you to ensure you are all kept up to date:


Stock levels are limited as we are finding many tenants are staying in rented houses for longer. The rise in the number of tenants is pushing rental prices up as competition for houses is increasing. Homelet Rental Index advises that average rental value in the east of England is £906 per month, the third highest region in the country.

Many international tenants are wary of the uncertainties of Brexit and are sitting tight and awaiting the outcome before deciding to re-rent or buy.

A slump in viewings and rentals always occurs during the winter holidays as many families do not want the upheaval of moving while the children are off school.

Landlords with small portfolios are seeing rental costs increasing and consequently are trying to sell their rental properties. The current sales market, however, is tough as prices are sky high and so many prospective buyers cannot afford to move. Therefore, properties are sitting empty with no rental income.

We have an increasing demand for tenants wanting rental properties and we let the majority of our properties on the first or second viewing. So call us today to organise a free market appraisal.


From 1st April 2018 it will be unlawful to grant a new tenancy for a domestic property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G. Don’t leave it until the last minute as some upgrades can take time, so act now to ensure you can continue to rent your property.

Legislation also states that it will be unlawful to continue any existing tenancy for F and G rated domestic properties after 1st April 2020.

We have reviewed all EPCs for our managed properties and have either completed or are in the process of completing any necessary changes.

If you have yet to review your EPC then please get in touch today.


Due to tragic events this year, we recommend that landlords with flats or converted buildings should review the Homes in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) regulations for their area and ensure they are fully up to speed on safety for their tenants’ homes and communal areas. If the building has a block management agent then they should be doing this for you but we recommend that you familiarise yourself with all legal requirements regardless.


1. Make sure your heating is on timed or the system is drained down

2. Ensure that everything is locked, including windows

3. Arrange for someone to visit the house regularly

Many insurance companies now request the above is adhered to and failure to do so may invalidate your insurance claim, so do check!

We recommend leaving a record sheet in the house that anyone attending can log their visit. This then shows a timeline of regular inspections should any issues arise.


More than six months after first suggesting the idea, the Government has announced plans to ban letting agents from charging fees to prospective tenants in England. Dispute has arisen particularly over reference fees because if the prospective tenant fails the referencing process then the landlord could in future end up paying for multiple referencing fees.

The administration fee that is currently charged to tenants could in future be charged to landlords instead by some agents. However, Robinson & Hall will not be following suit. We currently charge an administration fee of £120 per property so the ban will not impact our business as much as other agents, who in some cases are charging over £500 per application.

Some agents also charge tenants for arrears letters or renewal contracts but, again, we do not charge for these.

I would be surprised if we do not see some agents buckle under this new change in fees. It is not being rolled out just yet, so at present fees are still being charged but we are seeing an increase in tenants asking if this is still the case.

We will update you again once this is a legal requirement.

For further information or to find out how our Residential Lettings department can help you, please call Kellie Marsh, residential lettings manager at Robinson & Hall on 01234 362937 or email:

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Willen Hospice to Recycle Christmas Trees

Posted: 20/11/17 by Willen Hospice

As part of a new fundraising initiative Willen Hospice will be offering to collect and recycle real Christmas trees from homes in Milton Keynes early in the new year.

The local charity will offer the service to people living in postcodes MK14, MK15, MK16 or MK46.

Fundraising manager Dawn Clark says: “If you book early to have your tree collected after Christmas, it’s just one less detail to worry about during the busy festive season”.

“As part of the collection, we invite you to make a voluntary donation to Willen Hospice to help support our care. Your contribution will make a huge difference to the lives of our patients and their friends and families.”

Bookings should be made by Thursday 4th January and Willen Hospice will collect and recycle the trees on Saturday 6th January.

Visit to book, or email or call 01908 303068.

The recycling initiative is being trialled in a selected area of Milton Keynes, with a view to rolling it out further in the future.

The trees will be recycled by the MK Council who are supporting the scheme.

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Technocopy’s Video Celebrity Saints Installation Team

Posted: 20/11/17 by Technocopy Solutions Limited

Saints team members join us to complete our latest customer machine installation.

The Saints George North and Christian Day were our celebrity installation team for our Dalepak delivery.

Watch the full video HERE.

Contact Technocopy Solution HERE.

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Black Friday splits public opinion in the East Midlands, but is here to stay - if the price is right

Posted: 20/11/17 by PwC LLP

  • 49% of East Midlands shoppers are aware of Black Friday
  • But 36% say they’re not interested, and a further 11% will intentionally avoid it
  • Three quarters of Black Friday spending will be done online or by mobile
  • Black Friday shoppers plan to spend an average of £137 each in the East Midlands
  • The additional spending over the Black Friday period will give retail sales a boost of £5 billion across the UK

East Midlands shoppers are increasingly willing to part with their money during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new survey of 2,000 UK adults by Opinium for PwC reveals.

The promotional weekend, a Thanksgiving import from the US, begins on 24 November this year and will be most popular with the younger generation of shoppers. Over two-thirds (70%) of shoppers under 25 surveyed say they are interested in the weekend’s sales. Across the UK, Londoners intend to spend the most money (an average of almost £300), while shoppers in the East Midlands, will spend the least at £137 according to the survey.

Technology and electricals are by far the most in demand items, with 49% of East Midlands shoppers who intend to part with their money over the Black Friday weekend saying they’ll spend most of their money on these categories. Toys, homeware and clothing are less popular, but one in five Black Friday shoppers still intend to spend money on them.

Andy Lyon, partner and head of retail at PwC in the Midlands, said: “Technology and electrical items are in demand this Black Friday weekend and retailers who specialise in these areas can’t afford not to have a Black Friday promotion in the East Midlands - it’s here to stay. The promotional weekend isn’t as vital for some sectors, such as fashion retailers, but undoubtedly still presents an opportunity for the whole UK retail industry.

“UK shoppers are increasingly willing to part with their money on Black Friday and we expect the fastest spending growth to come from younger shoppers, who are more likely to purchase on impulse. If retailers do their research and promote the right products at the right prices, they should once again see strong sales.”

Key survey findings include:

  • 82% of Black Friday spending will be done online or by mobile, with only 18% of purchases being made in store
  • Shoppers said Black Friday is more about buying things for family (61%) than presents for themselves (58%)
  • Only 16% of Black Friday spending is expected to be on Christmas presents, so retailers still have all to play for in December

Andy Lyon, said: “The first few weeks of Christmas shopping in December will still be vital for retailers, who will need to carefully manage their stock availability, IT systems and delivery infrastructure to deal with both shopping periods.

“Black Friday does have the potential to cannibalise the January sales, a shopping period more traditionally used by consumers to buy items for themselves - something shoppers may now be bringing forward to November.

“Many Black Friday sales have begun early and will extend past the weekend and could be turning into ‘Black Fortnight’ in some sectors. While perhaps due in part to subdued October sales, it also reflects more planned promotions over this period. Although we predict another year of Black Friday sales growth in the UK, it does fall comparatively early this year, before pay day for many consumers. This may present a cashflow issue for some shoppers and could result in slightly more muted growth.”

Pictured: Andy Lyon, partner and head of retail at PwC in the Midlands.

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IATF 16949 – Automotive Quality Management System

Posted: 20/11/17 by IMSM Ltd

IATF 16949 is designed to help companies to implement effective and robust Quality Management Systems relating to the design, development, production, installation and servicing of all automotive related products.

IATF 16949 Business Benefits:

* Improves product and process quality, reducing overheads, waste and error

* Increases on-time delivery

* Ensures absolute consistency throughout the supply chain

* Satisfies automotive mandates of International Automotive Task Force (IATF) members around the world

* Eliminates the need for compliance to multiple third party registrations in different countries

* Increases competitiveness in global markets

* Meet demand for the direct provision substantiating information

Meet industry requirements of world-class quality, productivity and continued improvement

Automotive supply chain stakeholders are increasingly quality-conscious. Every material sourced must comply with the highest quality standards. IATF 16949 is an opportunity for you to prove your product quality, supply chain competitiveness and build lasting relations within the automotive industry.

IATF 16949 represents an opportunity for standardisation and improvement across the automotive industry. IATF 16949 has been issued throughout 25,000 companies in 80 countries to date. It is a mandatory requirement for all leading vehicle manufacturers.

Contact Andrew Tomkinson on 07803 593390 or

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Cranfield welcomes National Infrastructure Commission report

Posted: 20/11/17 by Cranfield University

The National Infrastructure Commission has published ‘Partnering for prosperity: a new deal for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc’.

The report is described as ‘a ground-breaking new deal between Whitehall and local leaders in one of the most economically-important parts of the country which could add hundreds of billions of pounds to the national economy each year’.

Commenting on the report, professor Sir Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Cranfield University, said: “I welcome the report of the National Infrastructure Commission and its recognition of the importance of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford arc to the UK economy.

“Universities in the region such as Cranfield have an important role to play in continuing to provide the world-class environments which allow technological innovation to flourish and business to thrive.”

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A traditional feast and fantasy of Christmas music and celebration, as The Deco welcomes the London Military Band and star vocalist

Posted: 20/11/17 by The Deco Theatre

Christmas will be celebrated in style at Northampton’s Deco Theatre, when they host the acclaimed London Military Band, featuring jazz vocalist Emily Dankworth, for an evening of traditional and seasonal music.

‘Christmas Fantasia’, on Monday, December 18, will mix many of the nation’s favourite carols with music associated with the festive season, including ‘Walking in the Air’ from the popular children’s classic animation of The Snowman, and a selection of music from Tchaikovsky’s popular seasonal classic ballet. The Nutcracker Suite,

“It is a magical celebration of all that we love about Christmas, and something for all the family to enjoy,” said Jill Roach, house manager of The Deco Theatre. “It is a wonderful evening, and when we were offered the opportunity to stage it at The Deco for the people of Northampton and around, we jumped at the chance.

“If you love Christmas, you’ll love this wonderful evening’s entertainment, brought to you by some of the finest military musicians in the country.”

Allan Shellard, a former musician from the Grenadier Guards, conducts the London Military Band. A unique wind ensemble, made up of off-duty professional serving military musicians, they will take to the stage in stunning reproductions of Grenadier costumes to recreate the traditional military band experience of the past.

And to support their performance, the musicians will be joined on the night by Jazz vocalist Emily Dankworth, who has performed in radio, TV, and at some of the finest venues at home and abroad, including the Barbican Hall, The National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing among many others.

The spectacular Christmas programme includes:

  • O Holy Night – Adolphe Adam
  • Selections from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – Stothart and Arlen·
  • Sleigh Ride – Leroy Anderson·
  • Mother Goose Suite – Ravel·
  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – J. S. Bach·
  • A Christmas Carol Fantasia – Traditional
  • The Skater’s Waltz – Waldteufel
  • Selections from ‘The Nutcracker Suite’ – Tchaikovsky
  • I’m Walking in the Air – Howard Blake·
  • Bread of Heaven – John Hughes
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Places available for FREE Modelling Success for your Business Masterclass

Posted: 20/11/17 by SEMLEP

As a business owner, you often have to wear a lot of different hats to ensure the success of your business. As your business grows, it’s easy for you to get caught up in everyday operations.

Velocity Growth Hub’s Modelling Success for Your Business Masterclass, gives you the opportunity to take a step out of the day-to-day of running your business and give you time to focus on where you want your business to go.

This two-day Masterclass will leave you with a new, fresh and focused direction for your business going forward.

The 5 reasons you should sign-up to our fully-funded masterclass today are:

  1. You’ll be supported in determining your business vision and what you want to accomplish.
  2. You’ll learn how to better understand your core business foundations, helping you to create a stronger brand identity.
  3. You’ll be able to take a step back from your business, and look at your current barriers, obstacles and challenges.
  4. You will develop a breakthrough game plan and action plan.
  5. You’ll develop well-formed strategic smart goals aligned to realistic business growth.

This masterclass with be delivered by Jacqueline Day- a Velocity Business adviser and an award-winning business coach. Jacqueline will talk you through the strategies to improve your business.

Sign-up today:

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Oakland International National Retail Supplier Awards 2017 Finalists

Posted: 20/11/17 by Oakland International Ltd

Supply chain specialist and ethical family business Oakland International have been confirmed as a finalist in the Checkout National Retail Supplier Awards 2017 to be held at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin, on Friday 24th November.

The NRSA judging panel, comprised of acknowledged retail commentators and consultants, as well as a number of industry experts, selected Oakland International as a finalist in the Best Third Party Logistics Supplier category.

Jenny Whelan, editor of Checkout commented: “Oakland International is a great example of a family-run business that is doing a stellar job at serving businesses both in Ireland and the UK. It’s range of flexible, temperature-controlled solutions make it a top contender for this award, and prove that local businesses can compete with the big multinationals.”

A multi award winner, BRC accredited (for storage and distribution), Oakland International provides contract packing, storage, picking, food distribution and brand development support for food producers delivering to retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets.

Oakland International director Richard Hill commented: “We are thrilled to be nominated in the Best Third Party Logistics Supplier Award category of the Checkout National Retail Supplier Awards; to be shortlisted is a huge honour for the whole Oakland team.”

The National Retailer Supplier Awards 2017 acknowledge best-in-class logistics providers, equipment manufacturers, store fit-outs, utility providers, loyalty programmes, facilities management and merchandising teams as being the essential behind the scenes suppliers which help make Ireland’s retail industry one of the most competitive in the world.

Image: Delighted to be shortlisted, Oakland International Stock Control Supervisor Will Hourigan and Director Richard Hill.

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Central Foods has Christmas catering all wrapped up

Posted: 20/11/17 by Central Foods Ltd

When it comes to the festive season, Central Foods has a Christmas cracker of a range that’s just perfect for foodservice operators of all kinds.

Whether it’s beautiful buffet items, delicious desserts, or tasty traditional meats, Central Foods can serve up all the ingredients for fabulous festive catering.

And not forgetting the free-from and meat-free options too. For example, we have KaterKing ready-cooked, gluten-free sage and onion stuffing balls available, as well as Linda McCartney’s lovely vegetarian roast.

Take a look at our extensive ranges – developed especially with foodservice operators in mind to help provide mouth-watering catering options that are easy to serve.

And with frozen food offering a whole host of benefits from easy portion control to reduced waste, we’re here to help ensure chefs and caterers have a very happy Christmas too!

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

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How do you promote a safer work environment?

Posted: 20/11/17 by IMSM Ltd

Over 2.3 million people die every year as a result of work-related accidents or diseases, ultimately that’s 6,300 people that die every day (International Labour Organisation, 2017).

A company’s most valuable asset is their employees, therefore it is important that all businesses ensure their staff and visitors are not exposed to health and safety risks.

BS OHSAS 18001:2007 is a British health and safety standard which promotes a safer working environment. The standard creates a framework to comply with legal responsibilities and safeguards your employees, reputation and business opportunities. Unlike most health and safety standards, OHSAS 18001 can be tailored to fit your company and requirements, it is also applicable to all businesses of any size.

BS OHSAS 18001 will soon be replaced by ISO 45001 which is due to be published in February 2018 according to the International Standardization Organization (ISO). ISO 45001 will be the first global occupational health and safety management system. Similar to the upgraded ISO 9001:2015 standard, top management will be a primary focus of change.

If you would like to find out more about health and safety/BS OHSAS 18001, please contact Andrew Tomkinson on 07803 593390 or

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Has your Charity obtained its legal entity identifier (LEI)?

Posted: 17/11/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

If your charity invests and trades on the financial markets in the UK you will need to apply to for an LEI by 3rd January 2018.

All legal entities, including trusts (except bare trusts), companies, pension funds (except self-invested personal pensions), charities and unincorporated bodies that are parties to financial transactions will need an LEI.

An LEI is a code unique to that legal entity or structure. When an LEI code is allocated to you, the code is included in a global data system. This enables every legal entity or structure that is a party to a relevant financial transaction to be identified in any jurisdiction.

There is a fee for obtaining your LEI, this can vary from provider to provider but generally in the region of £150.

If the LEI has not been obtained by 3 January 2018 then investment firms will not be able to provide your Charity with investment services.

LEI numbers are available from bodies endorsed by the Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEIROC) as an authorised local operating unit for the global allocation of LEI numbers.

Call a Member of our Charity Team on 0800 088 6004 who will be happy to assist your Charity Trustees obtain your Legal Entity Identifier in time for January 2018.

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University of Northampton represents leather and industry in this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show

Posted: 17/11/17 by The University of Northampton

Staff and students from the University of Northampton’s Institute for Creative Leather Technology (ICLT) were fortunate enough to take part in the prestigious procession that was part of the Lord Mayor’s Show on Saturday 11 November.

Rachel Garwood, Director of the ICLT and Professor Tony Covington, Director of Research, were invited to join the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers’ on its float to represent industry and education.

They were joined by eight students; Calum Bryan, Barry Hanlon, Cadel Thomas, Aaran Humphries, Loren Buckingham, Beth Hudson, Kellie Neighbour and Victoria Lily Cuthbertson. The students were dressed to represent both the technology and science of leather making; with four in blue lab coats carrying red leathers (technology) and four in white lab coats carrying test tubes (science).

Both Alumni of the University, Rachel and Tony were robed up in MSc and DSc gowns respectively to represent leather education. Notably Professor Covington holds the only DSc attributed to research in Leather Science in the world.

The Lord Mayor’s Show is a procession of more than 6,500 people, 165 horses, 20 bands and 35 carriages. It set off from Mansion House just after 11am to the Royal Courts before returning back to Mansion House. The various floats comprised of companies such as the Donkey Breed Society, Royal Air Force, Greene King, the AA, the Dogs Trust and Girl Guiding.

Rachel Garwood said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for both academics and students to be invited by the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to be part of this prestigious procession. And with the great coverage by the BBC, it was an ideal opportunity to both highlight the charitable work carried out by the Leathersellers and also increase the profile of leather education at the University of Northampton on a national level.”

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Compensation Claims for Damage Caused by Tree Roots and Branches

Posted: 16/11/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

Tree roots can cause significant damage to houses, either through direct damage to underground structures (for example by breaking into drains or foundations) or by causing indirect damage by changing the water content of the soil, in particular clay soil as is found throughout many cities.

Particular trees such as willow are more likely to cause indirect damage, as a result of their ability to draw water from the soil by the roots. As it dehydrates, soil shrinks, and as it rehydrates after for instance, greater winter rainfall, the soil can swell. The alternate shrinking and swelling can cause movement to structures on or in the soil, and tree roots can contribute to this effect on neighbouring land, whether or not the roots encroach across the boundary into that land.

Certain trees cause damage due to their particular fine root structures such as poplars, willows, elms and oaks. We have specific experience of cases where settlement or subsidence has required underpinning of all of the relevant house/structure affected by the subsidence, and in many cases the damage to the property itself will need to be remedied in addition to steps being taken to either fell the tree or prune the top of the tree to heavily reduce transpiration (the amount of evaporation from the leaves, which results in the tree drawing more water from the soil through its roots).

Claims for Damages Following Tree Root Damage

There is a duty of a tree owner to do what is reasonable to prevent or minimise the risk of damage to any neighbouring properties. This duty arises where a neighbour either knows that the tree is encroaching over the boundary through its roots or branches, or ought to have been aware of this as a result of, for instance, the size of the tree or the obvious position of the tree in relation to a neighbouring property.

If in addition to knowing of the encroachment of the tree roots, there is an obvious risk that this encroachment will cause damage, then a duty is established. So, to take the example of a very small tree planted right next to a boundary, a neighbour would know that the tree is encroaching, but there would be no reasonably foreseeable risk of damage as a result due to the small size of the tree. The individual circumstances of each case need to be looked at, but a reasonable proposition is that if there is a large tree near to a boundary, and the boundary is near to a neighbouring property, then it can certainly be argued that a neighbour should have been aware of encroachment, or actually know of encroachment, and that there was a reasonably foreseeable risk of damage as a result of the tree.

A neighbour can be held liable for damage caused, even if some damage has occurred before they bought their property. This is because an owner of land continues a nuisance (and this type of claim is based on a legal nuisance) if with knowledge of the existence they failed to take reasonable steps to bring it to an end.

Proving That Damage was Caused by the Tree Roots

This aspect of any legal claim is known as “causation”. In addition to showing that it was foreseeable that damage would happen, and that the roots were encroaching over the boundary and the neighbour knew of this or should have known of it, every homeowner who has suffered damage will have to show that the damage was caused by the tree roots.

There might be many different competing factors, including faulty construction, settlement common to a particular part of the country even where there are no tree roots present, and there might be a number of trees, each of which could be arguably contributing to the damage, and which were on different properties. Although the starting point is to prove exactly what caused the damage, a claim can still succeed if desiccation from the tree roots makes a material contribution to the damage, it does not always have to be the only cause. This is helpful to a claimant where there might be competing causes.

Claims Against Councils

Many claims for damage caused by tree roots are as a result of a local authority failing to take steps to prevent damage from trees found adjacent to a pavement, despite the fact that most of them have regular preventative pruning standards. It is much easier to show that a local council is aware of the potential of damage than an individual homeowner, and as long as it can be shown that the damage was foreseeable, and actually was caused or contributed to by the tree roots, claims against local authorities regularly succeed.

You Must Prove More Than Damage

However, whether in relation to a claim against a local authority or a neighbour, it is important to realise that there is no “strict liability”. The risk of damage must be one which a reasonable person in the tree owner’s position would have regarded as a real risk, not just a vague possibility. So if the possibility of soil shrinkage and subsidence was merely a vague outside chance, then if damage occurs but it is not reasonably foreseeable, then a claim will be difficult to sustain.

What Damage Can Be Compensated?

If damage has been caused that requires building work to remedy, for instance, underpinning, or repairs to cracks, then this can be claimed providing the other legal requirements are satisfied. In some cases, if the damage is on-going, it is possible to apply to the Court for an injunction to force the neighbour to either fell or manage the tree properly so that further damage is prevented in future.

One other area of claim relates to a potential reduction in the value of the property. Even once remedial work has taken place (for instance underpinning) it may be that a property is tainted by the subsidence; meaning that it may be difficult to sell for the same value as a neighbouring identical property that isn’t underpinned, and it may be that insurance premiums are more expensive, and in some circumstances insurance can be very difficult to obtain at all.

Many homeowners may be tempted to allow their home insurers to reach a concluded negotiated settlement with either the local authority or a neighbouring homeowner if they have suffered from subsidence. This may be a big mistake. Most insurers will only negotiate in relation to payment of insured risks, and a reduction to the equity in the property is generally not an insured risk. Any homeowner who has suffered from significant subsidence as a result of tree root damage should consider obtaining expert legal advice in relation to the value of the claim. There is otherwise a significant risk that if you rely upon negotiation between insurance companies you would be left with a property that is worth perhaps 20% less than a neighbouring property, without any compensation having been obtained by your insurance company.

Claims require expert consideration, and in many cases experts of the correct sort need to be instructed, for instance, an arboriculturalist to advise on whether or not the tree in question caused or materially contributed to the damage caused, and specific expert surveyors and property valuers.

Wilson Browne Solicitors are experts in claims relating to tree root damage. We can assist to ensure that your claim is put forward in the correct value, and with the best possible prospects of success.

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Makita’s New Factory Service Centre & Training Academy In Glasgow Has A National Role

Posted: 16/11/17 by Makita Ltd

Makita UK has opened their first regional Factory Service Centre (FSC) & Training Academy in Glasgow’s Govan commercial district to support the rapidly expanding market penetration of Britain’s number 1 professional power tool range in Scotland and Northern England. Whilst this new facility is already providing a valuable regional role, the FSC has already been awarded the national responsibility for the secure environment of servicing Makita’s comprehensive range of dust extraction machines.

To carry out maintenance or repair functions on an extractor approved for use with Class L, M or H dust particulates, the repair facility must protect both the technician working on the machine as well as the workshop environment from dust contamination should material escape from the extractor. The FSC facility will now handle all dust extraction servicing for the brand right across the UK.

“The protection of our staff is paramount and that is why we have made this substantial investment,” says Norman Dodds, manager of service & training at the Glasgow FSC.

The Factory Service Centre & Training Academy covers nearly 1000m³ on South Street in the G14 area and delivers technical repairs and maintenance services for the full range of Makita products, including all mains and cordless construction machines, and the rapidly expanding range of grounds care tools, including petrol engine products.

Training is a cornerstone of Makita’s marketing success ensuring that both authorised distributors and operators are fully conversant with the power tools, how to obtain the best performance from the machines and how to maintain them for efficiency and productivity. Makita offers a full itinerary of training courses covering the extensive product range.

A key course: The Correct and Safe Use of Handheld Power Tools is a City & Guilds accredited course which offers either a user certificate or instructor certificate upon successful completion of the course. The theory element of courses is held in a lecture theatre, followed by the essential hands-on practical work which is carried out in specially adapted and fully equipped training workshops. Courses, including Health & Safety related and Correct Use, are of 1 – 2 days duration.

Any CITB certificated courses, which may include a combination of in-house and on-site training, relate to Abrasive Wheel training; an instructor’s course or user course. Gas Nailer user training, chainsaw cross cutting and service courses, are also available.

“We are receiving a very warm welcome from all sectors of the power tool industry in this part of the world,” reports Norman Dodds. “I foresee that we will need to increase our staff and in particular our training personnel as demand grows from both employers and operators who can now benefit from this convenient location.”

For more news and product information about Makita UK please visit Follow us on Twitter @MakitaUK, and


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Chancellor must simplify tax system in Autumn Budget, says Grant Thornton Milton Keynes

Posted: 16/11/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget announcement next week (Wednesday 22 November), the Milton Keynes office of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton is calling for a fundamental review of the UK tax regime to ensure it is fit for purpose in a post Brexit world.

Grant Thornton’s analysis suggests an overhaul of the UK’s 1,100 plus tax reliefs, which are estimated to cost over £400bn a year, could have a positive impact on the public purse and economic growth both locally and nationally. Simplifying the system would also offer clarity and efficiency for businesses and individuals in Milton Keynes, and in the wake of the release of the ‘Paradise Papers’, make the tax regime harder to abuse.

Kevin Gale at Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office (pictured here), said: “Tax reliefs are designed to help maintain competitiveness, redistribute wealth and influence good, long term, behaviour. In principal, they should be of great benefit but as with the rest of the UK tax system, they are shrouded in complexity, leaving them open to abuse or closed off to those who are eligible.

“For tax reliefs to be used efficiently and for their intended purpose, government needs to clearly outline its plans for the UK economy, the behaviours it wants to encourage and the sectors it wants to grow - then create reliefs to support this.

“As we move closer to exiting the EU, this is more important than ever to ensure we have the right reliefs in place to support a flourishing post-Brexit economy. For example, if we want to develop a stronger export culture, then tax credits that support businesses in researching and entering new markets would be beneficial.

“This would also act as a wake up call for some businesses to accept that society now expects corporates to do the right thing on tax, irrespective of what convoluted laws might allow them to do.

“Finally, it is clear that even a basic understanding of how tax works, its role in society and the impact it has on individuals and companies, is essential. We suggest that basic tax education is mandatory for all Key Stage 2 pupils to provide a foundation for future generations.”

Further recommendations from Grant Thornton Milton Keynes for the 2017 Budget include:

  • For ‘profits with purpose’ to become the new normal, supported by measures such as a firm commitment that all future government contracts be with businesses that make a positive contribution to society.
  • Put collaboration at the heart of the UK’s industrial strategy. For example, prioritise action to boost UK exports by encouraging small and larger firms to work together, supported by new export tax credits to help fund the cost of researching new markets. Also, encourage collaboration between employers and education by introducing a new school performance target for every pupil to have at least one interaction with an employer per year. This would help ensure young people are equipped with job ready skills for the future.

  • Equip towns, cities and rural areas to create vibrant local economies by continuing to devolve powers from Brussels and Westminster to local areas.

Kevin concludes: “We ask that government is brave in its approach and strips our tax system back to one that supports the local and national economy. Only then will tax reliefs perform their intended function.”

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Onefoursix adds extra GDPR Lunch and Learn session due to demand

Posted: 16/11/17 by Onefoursix Ltd

Northampton marketing agency Onefoursix, which hosts the town’s Lunch and Learn events for local businesses, has added a second November date due to the popularity of this month’s topic – GDPR.

Running since 2015, the company’s Lunch and Learn events take place monthly, and offer attendees an educational seminar on a business topic and networking over a buffet lunch, for £15 a person, with profits going to local children’s cancer charity Alfe’s Cause.

This month Onefoursix decided to run a Lunch and Learn session on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in 2018. This European legislation is designed to replace the current Data Protection Act and will apply to ALL businesses and how they hold their data and contact people – be that through marketing or simply keeping customer records.

Dave Williams, managing director of Onefoursix, said: “The subject - Everything You Need To Know About GDPR – focusses on something which is going to affect every business from every industry, so everyone is understandably keen to find out more. Even though there is a wealth of information and events available to educate businesses and get them GDPR-ready, there is still a lot of fear and confusion out there.”

Fellow director, Tom Jullings, added: “We wanted to present the key facts and offer advice in an informal, friendly and affordable way. We knew this would be a popular one as it is a ‘hot topic’ right now, but even we hadn’t anticipated that we would need to run a second event to cope with demand!”

Aside from running an additional Lunch and Learn event in November, another sign that the concept is growing in popularity is that Lunch and Learn made it through to the finals
of the recent SME Northamptonshire Business Awards in the Networking Group of the Year category.

Dave said: “We were delighted to be finalists in the Networking Group of the Year category at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards and we were up against some tough competition - in fact, it was a privilege to see our name listed beside theirs.

“The rising popularity of Lunch and Learn proves that there is a demand in this area for affordable knowledge sharing and networking opportunities for SMEs. All of this, while raising money for an amazing local children’s cancer charity at the same time. We are very grateful to everybody for their continued support.”

The ‘Everything You Need To Know About GDPR’ Lunch and Learn sessions will be held between 12pm and 2pm at Dapper Sandwich on Wellingborough Road in Northampton on Tuesday 21st November and Thursday 23rd November. The Thursday event is sold out but tickets can be purchased for the Tuesday session via Eventbrite or by contacting Onefoursix on 01604 419776.

Pictured: Tom Jullings (left) and Dave Williams.

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Free web copy re-write

Posted: 16/11/17 by Copywriter Pro

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To find out more about your free web copy upgrade. Call today on 01604 378495.

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Helping our staff to prosper

Posted: 16/11/17 by Prosper

Congratulations to Ben Mason (pictured here), architectural assistant at Prosper for completing his Architectural Practice Postgraduate Diploma from De Montfort University. Completion of the course now allows Ben to register with the ARB (Architect’s Registration Board) and become a chartered member of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

“Learning the best procedures for practice management and contract law were particularly interesting aspects of the course,” said Ben. “The real-life experience I gained in the office was invaluable during this study period as it provided me with a strong foundation to reflect upon and allowed me to explore these elements of practice in more detail.”

“Prosper has been fully supportive of Ben’s progression through the training process for achieving the qualification of Architect,” said Ken Wallace, associate director at Prosper.

“This Diploma isn’t handed out lightly so we congratulate Ben on his consistent hard work over the years. Ben adopted the ‘work placement’ route to obtaining the qualification which takes longer, but we have benefitted greatly from his wholehearted participation in the project in the office during that time. The enhancement of staff skills is a core principle within the practice and we are pleased to have been able to assist Ben in this achievement.”

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The Lowdown at Northamptonshire Business Expo - Corby

Posted: 16/11/17 by The Lowdown

The Lowdown are really excited to join other businesses tomorrow at Northamptonshire Business Expo in Corby.

We have been invited by Sheila Smith to hold a Seminar which will be hosted by Theresa Donaghue, our Services Manager, on The Lowdown Services and Mental Health in the Workplace.

Please come along to the Event 10am-4pm but especially at 3pm to hear more about The Lowdown, and what we do to support young people in the county with Counselling, Sexual Health and LGBTQ Support Services in Northamptonshire.

It’s going to be a great event!

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Guide to Squatter Evictions in Commercial Premises

Posted: 16/11/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

As an owner of commercial property, you may already be aware of the difficulties that can be caused by a client’s premises being left empty.

It was estimated in February 2016 by Policy Exchange (a leading UK think tank and Educational Charity) that there are more than 500 hectares of empty or underutilised industrial land across London which is equivalent to over 750 football pitches. It is likely to be a similar picture across much of the country.

A very real threat during this time is that empty commercial premises can become occupied by squatters. Squatters often move from one industrial unit to another and can be highly organised and efficient. There are groups set up to advise squatters of their legal rights such as the Advisory Service For Squatters. Inevitably, local Police forces are stretched and will not become involved in removing squatters from commercial premises.

The only safe remedy is for you to take action in the Civil Courts. If you are not an expert in the law then it can be frustrating in obtaining an order from the Courts which can result in increased legal costs, further loss of income and damage to commercial premises.

This is where Wilson Browne Solicitors can help. We have just been awarded the title of Large Law firm of the Year by the Northamptonshire Law Society, as well as being shortlisted for two national Law Society awards. The firm is also recognised in the Legal 500 as being a strong regional firm with a wide range of expertise. We have the connections to help you but at a price that your clients will appreciate. We are able to offer you an efficient, cost effective, one stop shop that can give you access to Chambers and High Court Enforcement Officers that ensure the process is dealt with quickly and efficiently, and squatters are removed and the premises are secured to prevent re-entry.

Very recently we obtained a Possession Order from a County Court in the morning and then arranged for an application to be made to High Court two hours later and obtained a Writ of Possession. This meant that the squatters were evicted from the premises shortly afterwards by High Court enforcement officers.

Testimonials can be provided on request and you can be sure that if you recommend us to your clients they will be in safe hands. If you wish to discuss any issues raised in this article then please do not hesitate to contact David Farmer on 0800 088 6004. David is an Associate in our Commercial Litigation team and is a member of the Property Litigation Association. He will be happy to discuss your case with you on a confidential basis and provide expert advice as and when required.

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Charity Link asks local businesses to ‘Get Funky’

Posted: 16/11/17 by Charity Link in Northamptonshire

Chamber member, Charity Link, is asking local businesses to ‘Get Funky’ by supporting its annual dress up day, Wear a Funky Scarf Day, on Friday 26th January 2018.

The annual event - part of the charity’s Poverty Action Week activities (Monday 22nd – Sunday 28th January) - encourages colleagues to ‘funk up’ their neckwear and give a donation. The charity also encourages businesses to enjoy other fundraising activity on the day, such as sweepstakes, cake sales and raffles.

Whilst the day aims to be great fun for those taking part at what can be a gloomy time of year, the day does have a serious message, as many of the vulnerable local people Charity Link supports are unable to afford to keep themselves warm over winter.

Susan McEniff, director at Charity Link, says: “Many local people are currently going without the very basics in life, such as adequate food or a warm, safe place to sleep. We believe that all local people deserve a decent standard of living, no matter what crisis, illness, disability or difficulty they may be facing.

“We hope that local businesses will have a great time supporting Wear a Funky Scarf Day whilst knowing that funds raised will help to buy more essential items, such as clothing, beds and cookers to really make a difference.”

For more information or for a Wear a Funky Scarf Day fundraising pack, please visit or email

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University of Northampton Postgraduate Information Evening

Posted: 15/11/17 by The University of Northampton

Are you or your colleagues interested in gaining relevant postgraduate qualifications that could help you in your career?

The University of Northampton is hosting a Postgraduate Information Evening at John Franklin’s (Royal & Derngate theatre bar) and invite prospective postgraduate students to drop in to speak to us about your options.

Postgraduate Information Evening

Monday 27 November 2017, 5pm until 7pm.

John Franklin’s, 21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

The event is an opportunity for anyone interested in returning to higher education to discover the postgraduate study options available at The University of Northampton. The options span a range of subjects and awards including MA, MSc, PGdip, PGCE and MBA, as well as postgraduate research degrees; PhDs, MPhils and professional doctorates in business (DBA) and health and social care (DProfPrac).

What can you expect?

  • Meet academic staff and get detailed information on courses and modules
  • Get one-to-one guidance about applying for a place
  • Speak to current University of Northampton postgraduate students
  • Find out about fees and funding options that are available such as a £10k postgraduate loan or 20% off course fees for returning alumni* and which scholarships you could apply for
  • Take a virtual reality tour of our new Waterside campus

Visit the university’s website, to book a place, or for more information please email, or phone 0300 303 2772.

You can also find out more by visiting the university’s dedicated Postgraduate Portal.

If you aren’t able to attend this event, you can also visit Postgraduate Events Page to see all the university’s upcoming events.

*terms and conditions apply

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Christmas Jumper Quiz Night - Friday, 8th December @ 7pm

Posted: 15/11/17 by Age UK Milton Keynes

You are invited to join Age UK Milton Keynes’ jolly fundraising Christmas jumper quiz! An alternative to the typical Christmas night out.

Cash bar and raffle.

£12 a ticket

Eat, drink and be merry! Crack out your best Christmas jumper, leggings, ear rings or just wear some tinsel!

The winning team will receive a hamper to share and 6 tickets to the MK Lightning Vs Dundee game on the Saturday 9th December!

At: The Peartree Centre, 1 Chadds Lane, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes, MK6 3EB

Date & Time: Friday, 8th December. 7pm onwards

Book on Eventbrite or call 01908 557891 or

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View from a DACT Volunteer

Posted: 15/11/17 by Daventry Area Community Transport

I was 48 years old when health issues brought my successful career as a Business Development Consultant in the Motor Industry to an abrupt end. I vowed that I would never become committed to any company ever again. When in recovery I decided to turn my hobby of singing Country Music into a way of life. I was quite successful and launched my own agency, finding work for other artistes as well as myself. This I did for five years before eventually taking on one of the pubs I was associated with. I never wanted a pub but saw it as a new challenge which involved a new learning curve.

I spent the last seven years of my “Working life” at this canal side pub in Derbyshire. During my time as Landlord, I met and married my wife, regained my faith and turned a loss making business into profit, eventually selling up and retiring in February 2017. Like most people I thought retirement was about being able to relax and be something to look forward to. However, when the time actually arrived, it came as quite a shock to the system.

I heard that DACT were always looking for volunteers so I came into the office and was welcomed with open arms and bribed with a cup of coffee and biscuits. The team seemed a friendly bunch so I immediately signed up for both car and mini bus driving.


A sense of belonging

This is something we immediately miss when we retire or lose our jobs through redundancy. It is a kind of bereavement. Working within the DACT team has given me so much more than I ever imagined.

Feel good factor

People have said how good it is of me to volunteer. Well, I am of the opinion that no one does anything for nothing. The most caring and devoted people who give their time so selflessly to help others will probably agree that the rewards from volunteering are bountiful, and that in truth we probably get much more back than we give.

Contact with a variety of people

As an entertainer, I still play music in Care Homes and Community Centres for which I do get paid enough to cover my expenses. The real rewards however, come when you see a toe tapping or a smile arrive on the otherwise vacant face of a person trying to cope with an ever fading body and mind.

People who use DACT services have a variety of health and mobility issues, and sometimes all it takes is a little bit of extra consideration and understanding to put them at ease. So clients have told me how caring DACT drivers have been towards them and how grateful they are for the services they depend on. I soon learned that I have high standards to live up to.

A brighter day

A friendly chat on the way to what might be a daunting hospital appointment hopefully brightens a passenger’s day as much as it does mine. I understand now just how many people are lonely and isolated. I have already introduced one or two ladies to my wife and friendships have developed. This in turn has helped her to find a way out of depression. It has also helped us as a couple for which I am so grateful.

Whenever possible, Jessica books herself onto DACT Day Out which I am booked to drive. This again presents opportunities for friendships to blossom.


We all need to feel that we are appreciated and for me there is nothing better than when people tell me that they have enjoyed a bit of a natter on the way to and from hospital or how much they have enjoyed a DACT Minibus Day Out. Just a word of appreciation makes volunteering so worthwhile.

A purpose in life

This is essential for our own well being and vital for me in my own retirement. Something to motivate me, something to look forward to each day and also perhaps the chance to give a little back as a thank you for my own life, which, because of the care given to me by others has twice been saved.

In my opening paragraph I did state that I never wanted to become committed to work again? I thought that one or two DACT trips a week would be enough for me but I am happy now to commit as much time as possible to what I have discovered is not only a worthwhile but also an ESSENTIAL service to many people in the Daventry Area.

Anyway this is NOT WORK, it is a pleasure. If I don’t have a DACT trip booked each day I now feel lost.

If you enjoy driving and meeting people, I can highly recommend that you join us as a volunteer. You can do as much or as little to suit you. Who knows, one day WE might need YOU to DRIVE US. None of us are getting any younger.

By: Bob Oakley

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The Chilean Pharmaceutical Market: An Ecosystem of Opportunity - Webinar

Posted: 15/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

The Chilean pharmaceutical market is a true ecosystem of opportunity, with commercial potential across a range of areas including biologicals, biosimilars and bioequivalent generics and technological improvements such as AI and electronic medical records.

As part of our Industry 4.0 Info Series, Britcham Chile Services is hosting this webinar with Jaime Jankelevich, Managing Director of Etika Consultores, to give you an understanding of the market and explore the potential for UK companies to export to Chile.

Etika Consultores, based in Santiago, Chile, is a specialized consultancy solely serving the pharmaceutical industry in Latin America. It has developed international partnerships and business intelligence platforms which are used in Latin America and Spain, and is now working on an AI project with IBM for pharmaceuticals.

Register online now

If the time is inconvenient in your time zone, please register for the webinar and you will be notified when the replay is available.​​

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The Chilean Pharmaceutical Market: An Ecosystem of Opportunity - Webinar

Posted: 15/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

The Chilean pharmaceutical market is a true ecosystem of opportunity, with commercial potential across a range of areas including biologicals, biosimilars and bioequivalent generics and technological improvements such as AI and electronic medical records.

As part of our Industry 4.0 Info Series, Britcham Chile Services is hosting this webinar with Jaime Jankelevich, Managing Director of Etika Consultores, to give you an understanding of the market and explore the potential for UK companies to export to Chile.

Etika Consultores, based in Santiago, Chile, is a specialized consultancy solely serving the pharmaceutical industry in Latin America. It has developed international partnerships and business intelligence platforms which are used in Latin America and Spain, and is now working on an AI project with IBM for pharmaceuticals.

Register online now

If the time is inconvenient in your time zone, please register for the webinar and you will be notified when the replay is available.​​

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One year celebrations at Daventry Campus as tile mural is unveiled

Posted: 15/11/17 by Northampton College

A commemorative mural will be unveiled at Northampton College’s Daventry campus on Tuesday, November 21 as part of the building’s first birthday celebrations.

The unveiling will take place during an Open Event at the campus, designed to help prospective students find out more about college life and the courses available to them.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “We are delighted to be unveiling our stunning mural – made by students, staff, local businesses and members of the community. This mural is a true collaboration of creativity, made up of hundreds of individually designed tiles, and is a fitting way to celebrate the first birthday of our state-of-the-art new campus.

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who has played their part and contributed not only to the mural but have also made the last 12 months so special for all of us at Daventry.”

Northampton College’s multi-million-pound Daventry Campus, in Badby Road West, is home to industry-standard workshops for motor vehicle engineering, a stylish library, contemporary hairdressing and beauty therapy salons, ICT and Mac suites, teaching space for healthcare and childcare plus dedicated provision for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the unveiling of the tile mural at 4.30pm on Tuesday. The Open Event will then be held until 6.30pm and prospective students and their families can register online at

Picture: Daventry-based oil painting artist Michael Piper visited Daventry Campus one year ago to help.

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New jobs for Northamptonshire residents thanks to Waterside campus

Posted: 15/11/17 by The University of Northampton

Over 200 new jobs for Northamptonshire people have been created as a result of the creation of the University of Northampton’s new Waterside campus, figures reveal.

216 county people in total have been employed in paid work throughout the operations of the two main contractors on site, Bowmer & Kirkland and Kier, since Waterside construction began in 2015.

A total of 755 people from the across the county have worked on the site, including apprenticeship posts created and various work placements for students, including University of Northampton Architectural Technology graduate Volkan Aslan (pictured here alongside an aerial image of the campus).

On his time on the project, B&K Trainee Design Manager Volkan said: “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me.

“Being a member of this enthusiastic team has enabled me to translate my theoretical knowledge into practical experience. I’ve learnt so much that will be invaluable in my future career.”

The Waterside Campus, which will open in September 2018, will see the regeneration of a 58 acre brownfield site close to Northampton Town Centre.

The University, its staff and its students already make a positive cultural and economic impact on Northampton and Northamptonshire.

Reports have shown the institution as a whole creates a £290m boost to the county and generates more than 2,700 jobs*.

Simon Denny, executive dean of research, impact and enterprise at the University of Northampton, said: “These figures are welcome confirmation of our commitment to making a positive and lasting impact on the county during the building of Waterside.

“We look forward to welcoming the next crop of construction professionals as the building project enters its final few months.”

See our website for information about the Waterside Campus.


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Starry night for Tresham College

Posted: 15/11/17 by Tresham College of Further and Higher Education

Outstanding students from the 7,000 who are part of Tresham College at Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough were recognised at a special ceremony on Friday November 10th.

The applause was amplified by those from what is now The Bedford College Group who were joining the event for the first time since the merger with Tresham College in August of this year.

Group Principal and CEO Ian Pryce CBE joined now Group Vice Principal Corrie Harris in congratulating the assembled at the Kettering Conference Centre.

Ian said these awards marked the end of a remarkable year in which all the main Government bodies, which monitor FE colleges, had recognised improvements in the Northants education provider. GCSE resit results, for those who failed them at school, showed the best improvement in the UK. Anyone joining The Bedford College Group who does not have passes in English and Maths, has to attend classes to get up to speed.

He also announced three exciting developments

  • Opening of a new TV studio at Kettering for media students which had taken place this autumn
  • A multi-million bid for SEMLEP* funding for new facilities at Wellingborough
  • Plans for new Learning Centre at Kettering offering low cost and free IT training for adults to support them into work or promotion.

Ian said: “Success rates have climbed and we are looking forward to some exciting new developments. I especially thank the local authorities, including the three Mayors who joined this event, for their support for our plans to boost education and training in Northamptonshire.”

Chair of The Bedford College Group Corporation Roger Marriott said: “The group is one of the largest FE colleges in the UK. We are the largest provider of sixth form, apprenticeships, adult learning and non-university campus Higher Education (degree level learning) in the region and we are ambitious for our communities across Northants and Beds.”

Star turns

Guest speaker for the evening was Adelle Moss a star of stage and screen who now runs the AM Kids Agency placing young people in many roles (including some of this year’s Christmas ads on TV). Adelle is a course manager at Bedford College Performing Arts where they are looking forward to working more closely with the cast from Tresham College, such as those who sang and danced at the ceremony.

Business backers

Lead sponsors for the evening were Mindful Education which specialises in media-rich course and The Old Cytringanians Association which supports quality educational opportunities in Kettering.

Thanks also to other sponsors: Corby Borough Council, Garrett’s Property Services, Kettering Borough Council, MHR, Northamptonshire FA, England Rugby Colleges, Russums Catering Equipment, Tresham Students Union and the University of Northamptonshire.

Picture: Right Vice Principal Corrie Harris, Principal Ian Pryce CBE and guest speaker Adelle Moss.

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Free photographic exhibition to mark International Men’s Day

Posted: 15/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

A free photographic exhibition celebrating International Men’s Day will be on the 1st floor of the Grosvenor Centre on Friday, 17 November.

The pop up exhibition, produced by keen local photographer Matthew Toresen, is entitled “For me, being a man means…” and contains portraits of a number of local men, showing their perspectives on what they think makes a man.

Local men who have had their portraits taken include Father Oliver Coss, Broadcaster John Griff, Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Simon Edens and local brewer Alaric Neville.

Men’s health and wellbeing information stalls from organisations such as Northampton Leisure Trust, the Lowdown and Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire, will accompany the exhibition, which opens from noon to 3pm.

There will also be an opportunity to assist the Borough Council with their plans for next year’s celebrations, by sharing your views on what makes a man.

Cllr Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We’re pleased to be working with partners to mark International Men’s Day with a fun and informative awareness-raising event.

“We encourage local men to come along and view the fantastic photos and find out more about the services that are available to them. We also look forward to hearing their contribution to our plans for next year’s celebrations.”

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EU funding allows expansion for local business

Posted: 15/11/17 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

This month Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone, near Towcester, is launching a new range of bespoke B&B and self-catering accommodation, plus a new events workshop space.

The project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

Located in the heart of rural Northamptonshire, Bay Tree Cottage was established in 2010 and is owned by Jenny and William Dicks. Situated on a picturesque small holding, it currently offers B&B accommodation in two fully equipped Grade 2 listed self-contained cottages, as well as self-catering accommodation just 100 metres further up the road.

The new development is opening in December 2017 and will provide three accommodation units sleeping from 2 – 8 people, plus a large workshop space for group events and private parties. Set in the footprint of the old stable block, it has been designed and built sympathetically to the local area incorporating a balance of traditional materials and modern fixtures and fittings, as well as a large outside seating area and BBQ with stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

Bay Tree Cottage also has a well-established business running a diverse array of art, craft, cookery and floristry workshops and the new events space and accommodation will enable its success to be built upon and expanded to include residential courses and group events, corporate team building activities, private functions and parties on a larger scale.

Jenny Dicks commented: “Demand for quality accommodation in Northamptonshire continues to increase and our new development will allow us to meet the needs of visitors to the area whether they are here for a weekend or full-blown holiday or are business travellers requiring a mid-week stay.”

For more information please visit or call Jenny Dicks on 01327 361 720.

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Former student returns to advise aspiring chefs

Posted: 15/11/17 by Northampton College

Former Northampton College student Kathryn Holmes (pictured here) returned to Booth Lane to give catering students an exclusive insight into what goes on during a food safety inspection.

Now working as a trainee environmental health officer for Birmingham City Council during a ‘sandwich year’ as part of a degree at the University of Wolverhampton, Kathryn returned to her roots to talk to the current students about the importance of food hygiene and explaining the process of inspectors’ visits.

She said: “It was good to be back. It felt strange to be walking back up to the main entrance again after two years away, but I really enjoyed it. The students were great and really got involved, asking lots of questions and taking a real interest.

“While I enjoyed learning kitchen skills during my college course, I didn’t want to work in kitchens so I’ve taken a different route. I love my job now and I’m keen to explain to the students what they can expect to happen when inspectors visit their premises in the future.

“Chefs are always looking for shortcuts and ways of becoming more efficient, but it’s vital they don’t compromise on safety, particularly when public health is at stake.”

The talk saw Kathryn explain what inspectors are looking for during a visit and give invaluable advice on how best to prepare for inspections, how to react during the assessment and what steps they can take to ensure they meet latest legislative requirements.

Catering tutor Phil Martin said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Kathryn back to Booth Lane and I’m delighted she’s doing so well in her new career. It was brilliant for our students to hear first-hand from someone involved in inspections, which play such an important role in modern day-to-day kitchen life.”

For more information about Northampton College visit

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Snapper Claire focuses on a brighter future for rare breed animals

Posted: 15/11/17 by The University of Northampton

A photography graduate has focused her lens on a rare breed of farm animals in the hope her pictures will help to preserve their existence.

Claire Watson (pictured here) documented rare breed farm animals and poultry for her final year project at the University of Northampton, producing a book of her work which she hopes will encourage more farmers and small holders to consider keeping the livestock.

“As the name suggests, these animals are rare and it won’t take much for us to lose some of them forever,” said Claire, who comes from Helmdon, near Brackley.

“Some of them are on the endangered list. Many people might ask why we should bother spending time and money to preserve these rare breeds. Well, the answer is that these farm animals are the ancestors and cornerstone of British farming and therefore deserve our respect.

“By producing my book, I hope to raise awareness of their beauty, but also their unique attributes, which will hopefully raise enthusiasm to make sure we preserve them.

“With cattle, modern breeds produce more milk and get fatter quicker, so they will always be the go-to choice for farmers. But rare breeds can have significant advantages. For example, while the rare breed Shetland cow yields less milk than a Friesian cross breed, it is hardier, needs less food and medical care.

“In 20 years there might be an increased need for Shetland cows, for example, if there’s a devastating disease affecting Friesians, or something changes in the economy – once again they could be in demand.

“But if we lose them, and with their genetics, we’ll be narrowing the options available for future generations.”

Claire, who grew up on a cattle farm in the Northamptonshire village of Helmdon, believes her striking images of rare breeds will help to keep them in the public consciousness.

“My work often concentrates on the animal’s faces, capturing their gaze,” said Claire, who favours shooting animals in classic portraiture style, against a dark studio background.

“I wanted people to really study the faces, like they would a human portrait. I want them to see it’s not just an animal, it’s an individual creature with its own thoughts and emotions, and is an incredibly noble and beautiful animal.”

Having spent her formative years surrounded by cattle, Claire is comfortable working with animals and has a knack of getting them to accept her when she steps into an enclosure with them. But, she admits some are harder to capture on film than others.

“A particularly feisty Gloucester old spot sow gave me a bit of trouble,” said Claire. “She must have thought I had some food on me, because she chased me round the pen and my dad had to stop her in the end. But that’s an old spot: they are feisty, intelligent and are real characters. That’s exactly what I want to portray in my photos, their characters.”

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Plan launched to double the size of the South East Midlands Economy

Posted: 15/11/17 by SEMLEP

Ambitious plans have been unveiled to double the size of the region’s economy by 2050. The revised Strategic Economic Plan: South East Midlands: where innovation fuels growth, was launched by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) on 8th November 2017. The plan highlights seven key areas to be targeted to achieve growth across three headline themes; ‘Growing Business’, ‘Growing People’ and ‘Growing Places’.

The long-term strategy will create conditions for sustainable, productivity-led growth, with the area’s strengths in innovation at the forefront. It details priority areas where SEMLEP and partners will focus and target investment in core infrastructure, skills and business support. SEMLEP’s current investment programme is around £265 million, funding 36 capital projects.

The plan maximises opportunities from our position at the core of the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Northampton-Cambridge Growth Corridor, that has the potential to transform the South East Midlands into a hub of knowledge and intensive industry that can compete on the world stage.

Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, chair of SEMLEP said: “We have a strong and thriving economy in the South East Midlands, with a positive future ahead. We are already recognised as the most innovative LEP area in the country, and our ability to deliver growth, our high concentration of business and innovation assets, our expertise in key growth sectors, alongside our proven track record in turning innovation into business activity, positions us as being integral to achieving the vision for the Growth Corridor.

“Our revised Strategic Economic Plan sets out clearly the type of growth we want to see and what we need to do to achieve prosperity for our businesses and communities right across the region.”

The Strategic Economic Plan can be downloaded from

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Christmas Gift and Craft Fayre - Sunday 26th November 2017

Posted: 15/11/17 by Age UK Milton Keynes

Come along to our fundraising Christmas gift and craft fayre.

Join us for a mince pie and a drink while browsing our lovely stalls.

We will have many stalls selling hand crafted stocking fillers and festive treats!

LUSH, Burning Time Candles, Emma Hatton, Textiles by Katie Lewis, Laser cut decorations, Pickles and Chutneys, Books, Handmade decorations, knitted hats, gloves and handmade Christmas cards!

Children’s Craft sessions will be on between 12-2pm.

Enjoy a hassle free afternoon shopping away from the city centre, with free parking on site!

At: The Peartree Centre, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes, MK6 3EB

Date & Time: Sunday 26th November, 10am - 4pm

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Should I purchase a re-sale or newly constructed property? Decisions decisions!

Posted: 15/11/17 by Wilson Browne Solicitors

It’s fair to say the new build market is a busy one and demand for newly built properties is growing – NHBC have reported that builders registered nearly 38,000 new homes in the UK during quarter 3 of 2017 representing a 6% increase for the same period last year.

New or “pre-loved”?

Essentially it is a matter of personal preference, some people prefer the character of an older property whereas some prefer a shiny new one, but there are slight differences in the purchase procedure.

When purchasing a new build property it is fairly common to commit to the purchase and exchange contracts before the house or home is even built! You may have heard the expression “purchasing off plan”…because you are buying “off the plans”.

Of course when purchasing a re-sale property you get the opportunity to inspect the property then and there.

As a buyer it may be daunting to exchange contracts without seeing the actual house you are buying, hence it is a good idea to visit the show homes to get a feel for what you want/need and inspect the plans carefully. It can be helpful to visit other sites for an idea of a particular design of property.

28 days later

Usually a developer will impose a 28 day deadline to exchange contracts from the date the property is reserved. In view of this it is important to have everything in order for example your mortgage offer in principal, easy access to the necessary funds to facilitate the purchase and instruct your solicitor as soon as possible. In a buoyant market there is sometimes little flexibility on this as such it is important to appoint a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with new build properties and can assist you to ensure the deadlines are met.

Purchasing a re-sale property does not usually have the same deadlines imposed, although it is still a good idea to get everything in order as quickly as possible to ensure delays do not cause issues with the chain.

It is also important early on to make any applications under the Help to Buy Scheme or any shared ownership schemes and deal with any requirements for your Help to Buy ISA (if any).

Are completion dates set in stone?

Completion of a newly built property will also differ from buying a property in the re-sale market. The weather, suppliers and other factors can all impact on the speed of the build and completion dates are generally a guide at best.

When purchasing a re-sale property the completion date is usually fixed a the point of exchange of contracts, as such you know the date you are moving and can organise work and family commitments around it. When purchasing a newly built property unless the property is complete at the point of exchange, the builder gives notice to the buyer that it is ready… and completion must take place within the time frame specified in the contract (usually 10 working days). This allows time for final inspection by the mortgage lender’s valuer (if necessary), and for a snagging list (a list of faults or things for rectification) to be prepared by the buyer; for the builder to remedy these items; and for the (mortgage) funds to be released for completion.

Mortgage offers

It is important to note that mortgage offers are only valid for a certain period of time and completion of your purchase must take place prior to the expiry date. Completion of your new build property may be months down the line. As such it is important to keep in touch with your lender and broker to ensure that an extension of the offer will be granted if it expires prior to actual completion. This is vitally important as you will be contractually committed to your purchase and without a valid mortgage offer are unlikely to be able to raise the funds to complete your purchase. Financial penalties will be imposed for breach of contract (if you are unable to complete on the contractual completion date) and ultimately you could lose the property and your deposit paid on exchange.

This is less of a problem when purchasing a re-sale property. Usually most transactions are completed easily prior to the expiry date although this is something to keep in mind if the completion date will be some time in the future or if there are delays during the transaction.


Pre-exchange searches are accurate only at the date of the search – things may change – for example planning permissions or road proposals may be submitted subsequent to the date of the search. Lenders will not allow searches to be more than 6 months old at completion. As such it is necessary to either undertake new searches prior to completion or an indemnity policy may also be available to provide cover for any adverse entries that would have been revealed had the search been carried out.

Why choose Wilson Browne Solicitors?

Whatever your decision we have teams experienced in both re-sale and new build transactions on hand to help you…we weren’t finalist in the national awards for Excellence in Conveyancing for nothing! Also, let’s not overlook the fact that we’re on most of the major lenders’ panels too so you can be assured we’ll get you into your new home as quickly as reasonably possible.

Call our dedicated team on 0800 088 6004 today.

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Room Hire

Posted: 15/11/17 by The Bee Hive

Book your training/conference room from as little as £12 per hour with the following Menu options. Nita will be glad to take your enquiries on 01604 777820

Conferencing Menu Options

(All prices include VAT)

Below are our standard menu options. If however you would like alternatives please contact us to discuss.

Breakfast £4 per head

Selection of mini Croissant, Danish pastry, Bacon and Sausage rolls.

Fruit Platter £10 per 8 people minimum

Selection of seasonal fruit

Lunch option 1 £4 per head.

Jacket Potato with cheese, coleslaw, cheese, beans

Cake dessert

Lunch option 2 £3.50 per head

Homemade soup and bread

Cake dessert

Lunch option 3 £5 per head Cold Buffet

Selection of sandwiches, crisps, salad, savoury item, cake

Savoury items


Homemade veggie or sausage rolls

Pesto and olive pastry twists

Cheese straws

Sweet potato and sage palmiers

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Christmas Canapés evening at Bay Tree Cottage

Posted: 14/11/17 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone, near Towcester, is running a Christmas Canapes evening workshop on Tuesday 5 December from 7-9pm.

Jenny Dicks from Bay Tree Cottage said: “Whether you’re throwing a party or having a quiet get-together over the festive season, we have some great ideas for seasonal canapés which are sure to be a hit with your guests. We will show you how to keep everyone happy with an array of hot and cold, sweet and savoury canapés that are easy to make, look impressive and are packed full of flavour.

“You will leave at the end of the evening feeling inspired and with the knowledge to create your own delicious festive food for the party season.”

To book a place, which costs £22.50 per person, please visit:

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Winner SME Award 2017 Northamptonshire Employer of the Year

Posted: 14/11/17 by RRE Electrical Services

RRE Electrical Services are the proud winners of the SME Award 2017 Northamptonshire Employer of the Year.

Providing electrical and mechanical engineering services for more than 30 years, RRE have professional qualified engineers who take great pride in the quality of their work.

They also have an excellent reputation for quality and customer service.

And now they are proud National Finalists of the SME National Award 2017 for Employer of The Year. Good luck!

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Local businesses invited to grow with support from University

Posted: 14/11/17 by Cranfield University

Small and medium-sized businesses across the SEMLEP (South-East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) area are being invited to a showcase event at Cranfield University, being held on 4 December 2017.

The showcase will enable local businesses to learn how they can access some of the many world-class research facilities at the University and engage leading academic expertise, through the IMAGE (Innovation in Manufacturing, Aerospace and Green Economy) project.

Funding through the IMAGE project is available to support small and medium-sized businesses to develop new technologies, processes and services and to enhance their ‘green
business’ credentials. IMAGE is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is led by Cranfield University.

Sandra Turner, IMAGE Project Manager at Cranfield University, said: “IMAGE is an exciting project, enabling small and medium-sized local businesses to engage and utilise expertise and facilities that they might not ordinarily have access to. Our message to local businesses is come and talk to us and view the research facilities on offer, particularly if you have a product idea you want to develop or are looking for advice on how to grow your business.”

Local businesses wishing to register their attendance at the event can do so here

For further details about the support available for small and medium-sized businesses through the IMAGE programme, please contact or visit

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Will you lose your ISO 9001 certification?

Posted: 14/11/17 by IMSM Ltd

​If you have the ISO 9001:2008, you must upgrade to ISO 9001:2015 by September 2018 or lose the certification.

Most businesses will not think about upgrading until the Spring of next year. It will be too late because there are a limited number of qualified Auditors for the ISO 9001 and they will prioritise large businesses and new implementations.

IMSM is helping small businesses of 20 or less employees by providing the full ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 transition for less than £2,000.

By transitioning now, it will demonstrate your proactive approach towards a leading and innovative new management system. Helping to continually improve and strengthen your overall customer experience and enhance your reputation. Your business will increase its credibility and you will attract more new business.

Please contact Andrew Tomkinson on 07803 593390 or

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Jenny takes to the stage in Strictly Northampton

Posted: 14/11/17 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Jenny Dicks, owner of Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone, NN12, is swapping her apron for dancing shoes to take part in Strictly Northampton on Saturday 18 November.

She is raising funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, a fantastic local organisation whose support she has experienced first-hand.

Cynthia Spencer Hospice provides specialist palliative care services for South Northamptonshire, offering physical, psychological, social and spiritual care to those with life-limiting illnesses. This includes inpatient care, outpatient services, Hospice@Home, lymphoedema service and a palliative care clinical nurse specialist service, a large part of which is funded by the generous support of local companies and individuals throughout the county.

To read more about Jenny’s story and to support her as she makes the leap from craft and cookery extraordinaire to dancing queen, please visit:

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BCC comments on inflation statistics

Posted: 14/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the inflation statistics for October 2017, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Inflation was surprisingly unchanged in October, as falling fuel and furniture prices helped to a keep a lid on overall UK price growth.

“It remains probable that even if inflation drifts above 3% in the coming months, it will only remain in letter-writing territory for a limited period, with slowing price growth at the factory gate suggesting that supply chain price pressures are easing. The impact of the decline in the value of sterling following the EU referendum will slip out of the calculation by the end of the year, easing the increase in UK price growth.

“With UK economic conditions expected to remain subdued for a prolonged period, it is vital that the Autumn Budget pulls out all the stops to support business growth, at a time of significant uncertainty and change, including cutting up-front business costs.”

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BCC comments on inflation statistics

Posted: 14/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the inflation statistics for October 2017, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Inflation was surprisingly unchanged in October, as falling fuel and furniture prices helped to a keep a lid on overall UK price growth.

“It remains probable that even if inflation drifts above 3% in the coming months, it will only remain in letter-writing territory for a limited period, with slowing price growth at the factory gate suggesting that supply chain price pressures are easing. The impact of the decline in the value of sterling following the EU referendum will slip out of the calculation by the end of the year, easing the increase in UK price growth.

“With UK economic conditions expected to remain subdued for a prolonged period, it is vital that the Autumn Budget pulls out all the stops to support business growth, at a time of significant uncertainty and change, including cutting up-front business costs.”

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Chamber supports Business Growth Roadshow

Posted: 14/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce will take part in a morning of business advice and networking at a Business Growth Roadshow.

The roadshow will provide invaluable advice and support for SMEs and will feature an interactive session with Google Digital Garage and information about funding opportunities.

It has been organised by Chamber members NatWest and Northampton Borough Council in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire.

Northamptonshire Chamber head of operations Tracey Branson said: “We are thrilled to be supporting this event as we are committed to helping the county’s economy grow.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of businesses to our stand to help them find out how the Chamber can help them boost their business.”

The event will be hosted by Chamber members Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Silver Street, Northampton, from 9am to 2pm on Thursday, December 7.

For more information email or book a free place at

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Cawleys and Kettering General Hospital shortlisted for Waste2Zero Awards

Posted: 14/11/17 by Cawleys

Cawleys and its customer Kettering General Hospital (KGH) have each been shortlisted for an award at the inaugural Waste2Zero Awards, with the winners being named on 6 December 2017.

The Waste2Zero awards are the first of its kind in the food waste sector, being specifically designed for out of home industry to showcase best practice and recognise excellence in the sector.

KGH has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Waste Management Project Award (Food)’ which celebrates how food waste is managed. The hospital cares for over 371,000 patients a year with a staff of 3,200 people, and serving 1,800 meals a day to patients.

After an 18-month research period, Robin Packman, waste and sustainability manager at KGH, organised the installment of a wastemaster system which efficiently converts and reduces the volume of food waste on site to a much smaller quantity of odour-free material. This material is then used in recycling, processed by Cawleys.

Catering manager Sue Landon commented: “In the three months that the system has been operational, KGH has reduced the weight of its food waste by a third. Because they can see they are helping the environment, staff now feel what they are doing with food waste matters and are much more motivated. Being finalists at the Waste2Zero awards reinforces this great feeling.”

Cawleys have also been shortlisted for ‘Best Resource Management Business of the Year Award’ due to its commitment to providing a complete range of services, including recycling and hazardous waste, across many industries.

Anna Cawley, director of customer services at Cawleys, said: “We’re delighted to see our customer, KGH, shortlisted for an award and thrilled for the waste and sustainability team at the hospital. Achieving such a sharp reduction in food waste from this time last year, in such a fast-paced environment, is no mean feat.

“To also be shortlisted for an award ourselves in our 70th anniversary year seems very fitting. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the back house team from Cawleys who have worked so hard to deliver on our promises for all clients.”

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Panto stars and outstanding local sports people to light up the town this Christmas

Posted: 14/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

Two local outstanding sportswomen will be given the honour of switching the town’s Christmas lights on with stars of this year’s pantomimes on Saturday, 18 November.

Emily Williams and Susan Corless have been given the illuminating honour after their sporting achievements were recently recognised at the Leisure Trust’s Sports Awards. Keen runner, Emily, was commended with the Young Sportswoman Award and Susan, an archery enthusiast, won the Local Sportswoman Award.

Emily and Susan will join Heart FM and panto stars Jaymi Hensley and Lydia Lucy on stage to turn the Christmas lights on, following an afternoon of family entertainment.

Starting at 2pm, the entertainment will include performances from the casts of Royal & Derngate’s Aladdin and The Jungle Book, The Deco’s Peter Pan and the Looking Glass Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast pantomimes. Heart FM will lead the countdown, before Emily and Susan hit the switch to illuminate Northampton’s shopping streets at 5pm.

The light switch-on marks the start of five weeks of family-friendly Christmas activities in the town, including the return of the Frost Fair, wreath-making workshops, a Victorian Christmas celebration and the new Igloo Cinema.

Cllr Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to invite two of our outstanding local sports people, to follow in the footsteps of Ellie Robinson and switch on our Christmas lights this year.

“We’ve got a fantastic day of family entertainment lined up to get everyone in the Christmas spirit ahead of the switch on.

“We hope a large crowd of visitors will join us on the Market Square to enjoy the shopping, entertainment and to help us countdown to the light switch-on.”

For more information about any of the events and activities coming up over the next five weeks visit:

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Deal Summary - Paybreak Refinance with Shawbrook Bank

Posted: 14/11/17 by EMW

EMW Law LLP is pleased to have advised PayBreak Limited on its recent £12.5m refinance with Shawbrook Bank Limited. The refinance follows a £24m funding round which concluded in March this year.

Trading since 2012, PayBreak is a leading fintech company active in consumer finance which operates a unique point of sale lending platform, under the “afforditNOW” brand, allowing merchants to offer a broad range of finance products to their customers. Its client base includes companies in the retail, healthcare and education and training sectors.

Shawbrook is a specialist UK savings and lending bank founded in 2011 to serve the needs of SMEs and individuals in the UK with a range of lending and saving products.
At 31 December 2016, its total lending reached more than £4.1 billion and it has now raised more than £3.9 billion in deposits since its launch.

Julia Throop, Managing Director of PayBreak, commented: “I would like to thank Jody and EMW for their outstanding work and effort in handling the legal matters for PayBreak throughout the entire refinance process. Jody was great to work with and his knowledge of banking law gave me great comfort that he was overseeing the transaction. We are looking forward to working with Jody and the EMW team again in the near future.”

Jody Bingham who led the EMW team, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Julia and the team at PayBreak on this transaction. The new partnership with Shawbrook means that, in addition to expanding its funding resources, PayBreak can now accelerate the growth of its lending through its retail point of sale platform and scale more quickly. We are looking forward to working alongside PayBreak again on the next step of their journey.”

The EMW team was led by Jody Bingham and was assisted by Sean Halliwell, Solicitor and Millie Kempley, Solicitor.

If you would like to find out more about this deal, please contact Jody Bingham on 0345 070 6000.

To read this deal summary on our website: please click here

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Third and final Question Time-style event to examine Brexit’s impact on democracy

Posted: 14/11/17 by The University of Northampton

The University of Northampton will be hosting its third and final installment of its trilogy of debates which have focused on different aspects of the potential impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

‘Brexit and Democracy’ will take place on Tuesday 21 November and follows on from the successful ‘Brexit and Prosperity’ and ‘Brexit and Community’ events that occurred earlier this year.

The latest instalment will give the audience the opportunity to discuss the Brexit process and how it exemplifies or challenges the much-admired and cherished traditions and values of British democracy.

The event is being organised by University of Northampton students, with the support of Northamptonshire County Council and the Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, David Laing, who is also the University’s Pro Chancellor.

Open to all, the evening will include a Question Time-style session, with the audience interacting with a panel comprising:

BBC Radio Northampton presenter John Griff will be question master for the evening.

Adrian Pryce, senior lecturer in International Business at the University of Northampton, who organised the event said: “This is likely to be the most lively and contentious of the series so far, with an informed and high profile panel drawn from all aspects of community life, local as well as national, all with a professional interest in Brexit.”

Brexit and Democracy takes place in the Cottesbrooke building on Park Campus from 6pm. Doors open at 5.30pm with refreshments in the Hub.

The event is free to attend, but as places are limited, attendees must register in advance via the event website.

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Grant Thornton takes top honours at regional corporate finance awards for sixth successive year

Posted: 14/11/17 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

Financial and business advisers Grant Thornton has been named Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year for the sixth year in a row at Insider’s Central and East of England Dealmakers Awards 2017.

The accolade recognises the outstanding work of Grant Thornton’s Northampton based team, the largest in the region which has had another successful 12 months supporting high levels of transactions in terms of both deal volume and value.

Highlights include the sale of Heating Plumbing Supplies to Marlowe and the acquisition of Woodway Packaging by Bunzl.

In addition to being named as the leading advisory firm in the region, Grant Thornton’s Stuart Davies (pictured here) scooped Young Dealmaker of the year. The judges were impressed by the number of deals Stuart supported over the past 12 months and his ability to take the lead on key transactions. They also recognised his recent promotion to Associate Director as a strong achievement for someone under 30.

Commenting on the awards, Grant Thornton’s Phil Sharpe said: “It has been another hugely successful year for us and winning the top accolade for the sixth time in a row at the Dealmaker of the Year Awards is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of every one of our team. I would also like to congratulate Stuart Davies on his much deserved recognition and the instrumental role he has played in key deals throughout the year.

“We have been heavily investing in our team across the region to ensure we continue to offer the highest levels of expertise and local knowledge to dynamic, fast growing businesses. The combined depth of experience we have is demonstrated by the strong results we have achieved for our clients.”

Phil added: “There has been a lot of talk about the challenges facing businesses in this current uncertain economic environment but the deal market over the past 12 months has demonstrated for many firms it is ‘business as usual’. Whilst activity hasn’t quite reached the record breaking heights of last year, businesses continue to remain optimistic about their future prospects.”

The annual Insider Central and East of England Dealmakers Awards was held on Thursday 9 November at the Doubletree by Hilton in Milton Keynes and recognise the achievements of the region’s top performers in the corporate finance sector over the last year.

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Boozy Bundts® range of desserts unveiled by frozen food distributor Central Foods

Posted: 14/11/17 by Central Foods Ltd

Frozen food distributor Central Foods has launched a range of Boozy Bundts® to add a dash of excitement to dessert menus.

The three-strong Menuserve range has been created in response to increasing demand for retro, homemade-style puddings and sweets.

Perfect for coffeeshops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and other hospitality outlets looking to serve up something special, the Boozy Bundts® are available in three flavours - rum, Limoncello or chocolate – and bring a touch of indulgence with a tipple of alcohol.

“Authentic Bundt® cakes can only be baked in Nordic Ware® cake tins, originally developed in the USA in the 1950s and based on speciality Scandinavian ethnic cookware products,” explained Gordon Lauder, MD of Central Foods.

“The Menuserve range of Boozy Bundts® has been launched to tap into the current demand from consumers for comforting, retro-style desserts and puddings, which seems to have risen in these unstable, political times, and thanks also in part to programmes like the Great British Bake Off, which have introduced a new generation to traditional desserts.”

The Vanilla Boozy Bundt® is a light moist sponge infused with authentic Jamaican rum, filled with rum buttercream and topped with a glacé cherry, and has a total rum content of 5%.

The Lemon Boozy Bundt® is a light moist sponge infused with lemon liqueur (Limoncello), filled with lemon liqueur buttercream and topped with a sweet lemon slice, and has a Limoncello content of 4.75%.

The Chocolate Boozy Bundt® is a light moist sponge infused with coffee liqueur (Kahlua®), filled with coffee liqueur buttercream and topped with a coffee bean decoration, and has a total Kahlua® content of 5%.

Suitable for vegetarians, the Boozy Bundts® are the latest desserts to be added to the Menuserve range at Central Foods, which also features roulades and pavlova.

The Boozy Bundts® are supplied frozen, in packs of 12, and have a defrosted shelf-life of two days.

Central Foods, which is based at Collingtree near Northampton, is this year celebrating 21 years of supplying to the foodservice sector.

The distributor supplies more than 400 different lines, ranging from desserts, cakes and bakes, to canapés, buffet items, breads and meats. It delivers to more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry, including coffee shops, cafés, pubs, restaurants, bars, hotels, universities, schools, business and industry caterers, and sports facilities.

Visit for more information.

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Briggs and Forrester secure fourth contract at Harwell Campus

Posted: 13/11/17 by Briggs & Forrester Group Ltd

Briggs and Forrester Engineering Services have secured their fourth contract with Willmott Dixon Construction and the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at the Facility Support Building (FSB) project on the Harwell Campus.

This collaborative partnership with main contractor Willmott Dixon began with the successful delivery of the R100 building to STFC just over two years ago, and the subsequent fit-out of the Southern offices in the same building a year later.

R100 is occupied by STFC’s RAL Space facility who carry out world-class space research and technology development and have been involved in over 210 space missions to date. With the services provision being critical to the user’s activities, Briggs and Forrester acted as the consultant and the contractor in partnership with Willmott Dixon, to ensure the exacting facilities were delivered.

This unique partnership has produced a number of successful projects. Briggs and Forrester are currently on site at the new FSB project with Willmott Dixon, which is scheduled for handover in February 2018. The building consists of two large halls, one for testing and another for handling.

Each hall is almost the size of a football pitch in area and over 20 meters tall. Within each hall are supporting offices and control accommodation. The services have been specifically designed from concept ‘first principles’ to the customer’s brief with great consideration, to ensure flexibility for adaption and extension in the future.

The Briggs and Forrester and Willmott Dixon Construction team are about to re-visit R100 for the latest fit-out of clean rooms, offices and laboratories. The design works are well underway and the installation works will commence on site shortly, for completion in autumn next year.

Ian Peake, contracts manager for Briggs and Forrester said: “The Briggs and Forrester Engineering Services team are proud to be in partnership with Willmott Dixon Construction, in an environment where our joint expertise is appreciated by this prestigious customer.”

Picture courtesy of: STFC

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Are you maximising the income from your farm?

Posted: 13/11/17 by Robinson & Hall LLP

Richard Sheppard, commercial property surveyor at Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals, shares with you considerations when it comes to maximizing the income from your farm.

  • Is it time to take another good hard look at farm assets?
  • Do you have buildings and areas of your yard with the potential to considerably increase your monthly income?

Rural locations offer excellent commercial potential in this changing world.

Easy arterial road connections, good value storage and a better working environment are what a quality tenant is searching for.

  • Are you storing a collection of rubbish that could be disposed of?
  • Are your sheds and yard storing equipment that could now be moved to another part of the farm?

Reviewing the building’s use could produce a considerable increase to the farm’s income.

  • Have you an area of hardstanding/yard that could easily become home to HGVs or smaller commercial vehicles?
  • Or older farm buildings, no longer of commercially farming use, that could potentially be converted into office suites?

With a little expenditure, these could dramatically increase your monthly income.

We have a growing number of commercial enquiries actively seeking availability of rural accommodation and, with a new rating list that came into force this April (which means business rates are not payable if the rateable value is less than £12,000 per annum), now is the time to consider reviewing your options.

Did you know that you can also apply for small business rates relief if your property has a rateable value of £12,000 to £15,000 per annum?

Robinson & Hall’s Commercial department has a wealth of experience and knowledge in these matters, with associated departments able to assist in surveying, planning and project management.

Please contact Richard Sheppard, Commercial Property Surveyor at Robinson & Hall on 01234 362939 or email

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Reducing rough sleeping in Northampton

Posted: 13/11/17 by Northampton Borough Council

A strategy to reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Northampton is having a positive impact.

The ‘together we change lives strategy’ which was published in 2016 set out the shared vision of more than 30 local agencies working to support homeless individuals in Northampton.

The number of rough sleepers in Northampton has dropped from an estimated nightly number of 25 when the strategy was published to 13 following a rough sleeper’s count last night.

Northampton Borough Council organised the statutory count with more than 30 volunteers from those agencies involved in the ‘together we change lives’ strategy. The count sees teams of volunteers take to streets across the whole borough to seek out and engage with people found to be sleeping rough.

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, cabinet member for housing and wellbeing at Northampton Borough Council, said: “I’d like to thank all of the volunteers who joined us last night, it was cold and late, but everyone put in a fantastic effort.

“We are working hard to tackle rough sleeping in Northampton and I’m pleased to see that the number of people sleeping rough is going in the right direction. Sleeping rough is dangerous and has a serious impact on people’s health and wellbeing, but with a night shelter and appropriate supported housing available there is no need to sleep rough in Northampton.

“In addition to last night’s count, we have a street outreach team who regularly go out to talk to people identified as sleeping rough. Many of the people we spoke to last night are currently choosing not to engage with the services on offer, but we will continue to encourage them to take advantage of the support available and change their lives for good.”

For more information about the night shelter and how to get involved, visit

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BCC: UK’s weak trade position shows no signs of improving

Posted: 13/11/17 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the trade statistics for September, released on Friday by the ONS, Mike Spicer, director of research economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The deterioration in the UK’s net trade position in September was disappointing, and reinforces the overall weakness of our trade balance and external position. The widening was primarily driven by a sharp rise in imports, particularly in machinery and fuels.

“While the fall in sterling is helping some exporters abroad, it’s also hurting those that import by increasing the cost of raw materials and capital equipment. The trade figures from this quarter, and throughout the year, prove that we are a long way from the rebalancing of our economy.

“The increase in exports to EU countries underlines the importance of agreeing a deal that safeguards favourable terms of trade for UK businesses with their largest overseas market. Firms need clarity on the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe, so they can plan with confidence, which means Brexit negotiations must progress on to trade talks as soon as possible. The decrease in exports to non-EU countries shows how important it will be in the coming years to support trade with these markets too.

“To boost our overall trade performance, more must also be done in the upcoming Autumn Budget to support UK companies to begin or expand their export journeys.”

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BCC: UK’s weak trade position shows no signs of improving

Posted: 13/11/17 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the trade statistics for September, released on Friday by the ONS, Mike Spicer, director of research economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The deterioration in the UK’s net trade position in September was disappointing, and reinforces the overall weakness of our trade balance and external position. The widening was primarily driven by a sharp rise in imports, particularly in machinery and fuels.

“While the fall in sterling is helping some exporters abroad, it’s also hurting those that import by increasing the cost of raw materials and capital equipment. The trade figures from this quarter, and throughout the year, prove that we are a long way from the rebalancing of our economy.

“The increase in exports to EU countries underlines the importance of agreeing a deal that safeguards favourable terms of trade for UK businesses with their largest overseas market. Firms need clarity on the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe, so they can plan with confidence, which means Brexit negotiations must progress on to trade talks as soon as possible. The decrease in exports to non-EU countries shows how important it will be in the coming years to support trade with these markets too.

“To boost our overall trade performance, more must also be done in the upcoming Autumn Budget to support UK companies to begin or expand their export journeys.”

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29 tips to market your business for free or cost effectively presentation material from MKCC Business Expo

Posted: 13/11/17 by Vision 29 Ltd

It was with great pleasure that Jo Coxhill, Director and Founder of Vision 29 spoke at the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Business Expo in November.

The presentation covered 29 ways to market your business for free or cost-effectively. If you were unable to attend the session but would still like to benefit from the tips, read our blog with the same title here:

We are always happy to discuss your marketing needs, so please contact us on 01908 900329.

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Deal Summary - BGF £2.65m Investment in Monodraught

Posted: 13/11/17 by EMW

EMW Law LLP is pleased to have advised BGF on its £2.65m investment in the High Wycombe-based ventilation systems specialist, Monodraught. BGF is the UK & Ireland’s most active investor in growing businesses, helping ambitious management teams, founders and family businesses to succeed.

Monodraught designs, manufactures, installs and maintains ventilation, cooling and lighting systems to create low energy, low carbon and sustainable buildings. The investment from BGF allows Monodraught to support its long-term growth plans, including product development and expansion into new markets.

Mark Nunny of BGF, who will join the board of Monodraught, said “Monodraught has continually invested in and protected its IP which gives it defensible positions in its chosen markets. With BGF funding, the management team now has the opportunity to move into new markets and develop complementary technologies to increase its share of wallet on specific projects.”

Simon Arkell led the EMW Corporate team, providing assistance to BGF on the terms of its investment documents. Simon said BGF is now on patch in Milton Keynes and the team has hit the ground running with a number of transactions already completed since they arrived. It was a pleasure to work with Mark and the team on this particular investment. BGF is incredibly efficient at what they do, and on this transaction, it helped us move from offer letter to completion within an incredibly short time scale. We look forward to the next opportunity to work with BGF.”

Simon was assisted by Faye Meredith, Senior Solicitor.

If you would like to find out more about this deal, please contact Simon Arkell.

To read this deal summary on the EMW Law website: please click here

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Bell Northampton celebrates double award success

Posted: 13/11/17 by A Bell & Co Ltd

Bell of Northampton is celebrating after winning two regional business awards and getting through to the finals for two national awards.

October saw the company win the Small Business of the Year award at the East Midlands heat of the British Chambers’ Chamber Business Awards 2017, and scoop the Business of the Year Greater Than 50 Employees award at the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards for the second year running.

Now the business is through to the national finals for both. This will see Bell of Northampton attend the Chamber Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday 30th November at the Brewery, London and the SME National Business Awards at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 1st December.

The home and lifestyle store, which has been a fixture in Northampton for more than 100 years, has experienced phenomenal growth over the last three years with profits and turnover increasing year-on-year. The store’s offering has also grown and now boasts an interior design service, bathrooms, art gallery, tea shop and outdoor section in store and a new e-commerce platform to enable online purchasing.

Graham Jackson, managing director of Bell, said: “We have worked so hard over the last three years to completely transform our business and this is set to continue as we are currently undergoing a re-brand and looking to extend our store to include a deli and expand our existing departments further.

“Locally, we are still regarded by some as suppliers of fireplaces and kitchens, but there is so much more to Bell than that. Now we can compete with the top UK department stores and offer a wide range of home and lifestyle products. Winning these awards is recognition of how far we have come in a few short years.

“Whatever the result on the night, we are extremely proud of our achievements and our hard-working team and look forward to continued growth in 2018, as we open a major extension to our store which includes a 110-seat restaurant.”

Bell of Northampton is located on Kingsthorpe Road in the town. To find out more, go to

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Public borrowing could be around £7bn higher than OBR forecast by 2021/22

Posted: 10/11/17 by PwC LLP

· Short term public borrowing estimated to be around £10bn less than OBR forecast

· Medium term deficit likely to be higher due to slower productivity growth

· Still room for Chancellor to ease austerity, but any giveaways in the Budget might need to be largely offset by takebacks

· Longer term target of eliminating the budget deficit by mid-2020s looks challenging

Public borrowing could undershoot the Office for Budget Responsibility’s March forecasts in the short term due to a combination of higher than expected tax revenue growth and lower than expected spending, according to projections from PwC’s forthcoming UK Economic Outlook report. PwC estimates public borrowing to be around £48bn in 2017/18, around £10bn less than the OBR forecast.

But in the medium term, borrowing may be higher due to lower productivity growth, more than offsetting the effects of a better starting point and stronger future jobs growth. PwC projects public borrowing of around £24bn in 2021/22, compared to the OBR’s March forecast of £17bn.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, commented: “We don’t think the medium term public finance outlook is that bad, because there are some positives both from the recent data and the UK economy’s ongoing success in creating jobs. We still think the Chancellor should have some room for manoeuvre in the Budget to boost spending on priority areas like housing and health, and to ease public sector pay constraints selectively, while meeting his medium term target of a structural budget deficit below 2% of GDP with a reasonable margin.

“But both the OBR and the Bank of England have faced up recently to the reality of sluggish UK productivity growth continuing for some years to come. This will also dampen future real wage and tax revenue growth and so make it harder to meet the Chancellor’s longer term objective of balancing the budget by the mid-2020s, which already looked challenging given the upward pressures on state pension and healthcare spending from an ageing population.”

Regionally, all parts of the UK are likely to see some moderation in growth in 2017-18 with London no longer leading the pack.

In contrast to previous years where London has generally had one of the strongest growth rates of any UK region, our latest projections suggest London’s growth rate may fall to close to the UK average in 2017-18 (see Figure 2.7).

This is partly due to the greater exposure of some London activities (e.g. the City) to adverse effects from Brexit-related uncertainty, as well as growing constraints on the capital in terms of housing affordability and transport capacity.

Most other regions are projected to expand at around the UK average of 1.4% in 2018, although Northern Ireland is predicted to lag behind somewhat with growth of around 1% next year.*

Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser at PwC, added: “The government should respond to this productivity challenge in the Budget and beyond with measures to boost skills, infrastructure development and innovation. But this has to be a long term industrial strategy - there are no quick or easy fixes to increasing productivity growth.”

Detailed public finance projections

Further details of PwC medium term economic growth and public finance projections, assuming no change in fiscal policy in the Budget, are summarised in the table below, including comparisons with the OBR’s March 2017 forecasts. The main differences between the two sets of projections are that:

· The latest PwC projections see real GDP growth being around 0.3% lower than the OBR forecasts in 2017/18 and 0.2% per annum lower after that due to the negative effect of slower productivity growth outweighing the positive effect of faster jobs growth.

· PwC’s projections envisage a cyclically-adjusted budget deficit of around 1.1% of GDP in 2020/21, whichwould still be 0.9% of GDP (around £21bn) below the Chancellor’s target of a budget deficit no higher than 2% of GDP in that year. The Chancellor would still have some room to ease austerity in the Budget, but around £3 billion less than the OBR estimated back in March.

· The structural budget deficit would remain largely unchanged at around 1% of GDP in 2021/22 on the PwC projections, rather than falling further in that year as the OBR forecast in March. This would put the already challenging longer term target of balancing the budget by the mid-2020s a little further out of reach.

· PwC projections would still see public sector net debt falling over time as a share of GDP in line with the Chancellor’s secondary medium-term fiscal target, but this debt ratio would still remain relatively high at around 80% of GDP in 2021/22, roughly double the levels seen before the financial crisis.

This is an advance release based on PwC’s latest UK Economic Outlook report, which will be available online from 14 November 2017. The full report will include more detailed economic projections and special focus articles on the potential economic impact of lower EU net migration to the UK after Brexit, and the reasons for the ‘twin puzzles’ of the UK’s relatively poor performance on productivity growth and exports since the financial crisis.

For more information please contact Tilly Parke at

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Christmas is coming!  Join us for our MacIntyre Charity Christmas Fair, Sat 02 December

Posted: 10/11/17 by MacIntyre

Where better to start your Christmas shopping than by joining MacIntyre at our Christmas Fair in the beautiful setting of the Antiques Centre, Woburn Abbey on Saturday 02 December from 10am to 3pm

Soak up the festive atmosphere with music provided by some fabulous local choirs and bands, enjoy a mince pie, mulled wine and browse for that special gift, MacIntyre have over 50 stalls offering something for everyone.

And even though its a busy time of year for him, Santa has made some time to see the youngest visitors with an opportunity to visit Santa’s Grotto,

Tickets are just £2.50 for adults, £1 for 5-16 years and under 5’s are FREE with a trip to Santa’s Grotto £2.50

Get yours by visiting and clicking on Christmas Fair, MacIntyre accept all major credit and debit cards.

Alternatively give the Fundraising team a call on 01908 230100, it is here to help with any enquiries, ticket sales etc.

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Joy Vollans is appointed a Non-Exec Director of the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce

Posted: 10/11/17 by EMW

Joy Vollans, EMW Law LLP’s CEO, has been appointed non-executive director of the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce

Joy will join the board as a non-executive director. She will be responsible for representing the interests of the local business community and ensuring that the highest standards are applied in managing the performance of the Chamber’s activities.

The Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce promotes, and is a vocal supporter of, local business activity and business-to-business exchanges. Through the development of local relationship networks, it works as a source of expert advice and aims to attract new business and residents to the area.

Since becoming CEO in 2005, Joy has helped EMW grow and has seen turnover increase from £6.8 million to over £13 million now. As a qualified management accountant, she sits on both the Operational and the Strategic boards of the firm.

Joy comments: “The Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce has a well-earned reputation for helping local businesses make the most of their potential, and I am delighted to start my work on the board.

“Under my leadership, I helped drive the decision to relocate EMW to Milton Keynes in 2007. Since the move, the firm has experienced a great deal of success in this community, and I look forward to helping promote the needs of all local businesses.”

To read this article on our website: please click here

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The Melrose Directory announced as a finalist in Biztech’s BrightSparc awards!

Posted: 10/11/17 by The Melrose Directory

The Melrose Directory has been named a finalist in Biztech Technology Forum’s BrightSparc Awards 2017 - in not just one, but two categories.

The family-run firm, which created a value for money website directly connecting holidaymakers with property owners, made the shortlist of Best New B2C Technology Innovation and Best Technology Collaboration for its work with AD Media Relations and westfourstreet.

The news comes just weeks after The Melrose Directory relaunched its website – transforming it into an innovative and user-friendly site which is compelling in design functionality for the customer, with a combination of off-the-shelf products and bespoke development.

Shirley and Stewart Elsmore, founders of The Melrose Directory, said: “We are thrilled to be finalists in Biztech’s BrightSparc Awards, which showcases the very best of technology across the SEMLEP and MK area.

“It has been a very exciting year for us as we’ve developed The Melrose Directory website to provide a modern, appropriate and reliable technical functionality and design. This has allowed the uniqueness of the business to shine through, thus differentiating it from the top 5 corporate competitors.”

In a bid to use technology to its full advantage, The Melrose Directory, worked alongside web designers westfourstreet to create its new website and with marketing agency AD Media Relations to communicate the brand’s message.

Shirley added: “It is truly a collaborative approach with all partners having free-reign to put forward their ideas, taking the best of all our knowledge and packaging it in a way that creates a personalised service to both owners and holidaymakers.

“Using our instincts, we have jointly implemented a successful formula which not only makes The Melrose Directory service to our customers completely differentiated in the market place, but the sound relationships that have formed ensure that all 3 parties benefit from each other’s respective skills, and being a finalist is testament to that collaborative team approach.

“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved since our launch last year.”

Biztech Judges including Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr David Hopkins, the MK Council Leader Cllr Peter Marland, Jan Flawn of PJ Care, Nick Lancaster of the University of Bedfordshire and Silvia Vitiello from Kingston Smith, chose the winner who will be announced at the awards ceremony on November 24.

Alison, director of AD Media Relations, said: “To be recognised by such a high calibre of judges for our work with a groundbreaking company like The Melrose Directory is fantastic.

“We are very proud to have been involved in this collaboration with two businesses which like us thrive on delivering creativity and individuality to benefit their customers.”

Richard Bateman, creative director of westfourstreet, said: “From the very start of the project there was very organic understanding between ourselves, The Melrose Directory and AD Media Relations. This organic understanding translated into the creative collaboration which in turn made the project a lot of fun to work on.

“We share with AD Media Relations the same philosophy - where understanding the target audience as well as the short term and long term goals of the client are key areas of the creative process.

“Naturally we’re delighted to be finalists, but more so over the moon for the guys at The Melrose Directory who work tirelessly to deliver a customer experience and platform to their users, which unquestionably would be a fantastic benchmark for any company or organisation.”

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Event - Join us for our General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Seminar: 18 January 2018

Posted: 10/11/17 by EMW

EMW Law LLP is delighted to invite you to an introduction to the General Data Protection Regulation on 18 January 2018.

With the GDPR coming into force on 25 May 2018, EMW Law LLP has had many requests to deliver a seminar providing a basic introduction. Come along to hear its thoughts, plus it will be your chance to put your questions to its expert lawyers.

In this session it will:

  • provide a recap of the basic principles of UK data protection law;
  • summarise the top 10 issues presented by the GDPR; and discuss thorny issues such as fines, consent, direct marketing and security breaches.


  • Arrival for 8am for bacon rolls, pastries and refreshments
  • Presentation at 8:30am
  • Close at 9:30am
  • No Charge

Who should attend this event?

Those with little or no knowledge of the GDPR and would like to know more about it.

Sign up here

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

Posted: 10/11/17 by Power2Progress LTD

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 your 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 seminar, hosted by Anjana Rajani of Power2Progress, that will change how you do business - come along to the talk at 2pm.

Expo is on the 16th November, 10am - 4pm. Holiday Inn, Geddington Road, Corby, NN18 8ET

FREE to Attend, just Register for your attendance HERE, via Eventbrite and be in with a chance of winning a free stand at the Spring Expo in 2018!

There are a few stands still available priced at £150 (no VAT) and this includes a 3m x 1m space with or without a table, white linen table cover and chairs and inclusion on all Expo social media platforms (x3 stands per industry max).

To find out more about the event, contact Sheila Smith on / 07809 635181 or Kate Denne on / 07940 520841.

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Kettering Borough Council shortlisted for national award

Posted: 10/11/17 by Kettering Borough Council

Kettering Borough Council has been shortlisted for a prestigious award from the Local Government Chronicle in the Housing Initiative category.

The LGC Awards, the biggest and most prestigious awards ceremony for the local government sector, have recognised Kettering’s efforts to reduce tenancy breakdown in Council housing.

Initiatives such as a tenancy support service, a ‘LifePlan’ project, welcome meetings, an intensive programme of home visits for new tenants, and a ‘Tenant Passport’ have helped bring a reduction in the number of tenancies ending within the first year, by 44%. The Council has also seen a noticeable reduction in the number of tenancies ending as a result of rent arrears, from 30 in 2013/14 compared to 13 in 2016/17.

Nearly 100 organisations have been shortlisted as finalists in the coveted awards, which recognise the best of local government innovation and service delivery.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony at Grovesnor House in London on 21st March 2018. The full list of finalists can be found at

John Conway, Head of Housing at Kettering Borough Council, said: “We are really proud to be nominated as a finalist in this category given the stiff competition from other councils from across the country. We work hard to help tenants to maintain their tenancies and keep a roof over their heads, and we’re delighted that our work is having a positive impact on the lives of so many of our tenants.”

Cllr Mark Rowley, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, Communications and Youth, said: “It is an honour to be a finalist in the Housing Initiative category, recognising our commitment to tenants across our Borough. We are always looking to find innovative projects to improve the services we provide. We have a great team of officers who deserve this sort of recognition for their hard work and imaginative ideas which improve our services for tenants.”

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FREE funding available in the Northampton area for businesses with under 250 employees!

Posted: 09/11/17 by Impact Recruitment Ltd

Get skills for your business - Free Training Analysis available today!

Impact are pleased to announce that we have partnered with an organisation who are working alongside your Local Enterprise Partnership and has been allocated funding by the Government to help businesses in the Northampton-shire region.

Please be advise this funding covers accredited qualifications and can also be used for Leadership and Management courses or any Industry specific qualifications.

This is to be spent on developing your staff in any area that you feel is going to help strengthen your business.

This funding is available for a year and as this is your funding we are very keen to understand from you where you feel this money would be best spent in your business.

In short Northampton has been recognised as a high growth area in the UK and has secured investment from the European social fund.

This money is for any business in the Northampton area that has under 250 employees and allows them to access grants to develop their employees in any number of areas, to help them to progress through your business and in turn strengthen your company and the economy as a whole. “

Please email me your availability and one of our consultants, will pop in and provide further details and a training needs analysis appointment on the day.

Bev Parekh

Branch Recruitment Manager – Commercial Division


01604 239555

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