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Swoop wins Open Banking Challenge Award

Posted: 17/07/18 by Swoop Funding

Swoop are delighted to announce that they have been selected as one of 12 finalists of the Open Banking Challenge and have been awarded £100,000.

The Challenge – is a prize fund backing ambitious products that will help small businesses save time and money, find better services, reduce stress and discover the intelligence in their financial data through the use of the Open Banking API. The competition was funded by the main UK banks and managed by Nesta, the Global Innovation Foundation.

Swoop will use the grant to develop their business current account comparison and switching feature enabling businesses to bank with their optimal provider within minutes with zero friction.

They are excited to integrate with Open Banking (OB) and to build these much needed solutions. They see it as a perfect complement to their current offering of matching businesses to the right blend of funding across loans, investment and grants in one application.

By combining data from OB to Swoop’s other data sources including accounting softwares, Companies House and Duedil, they can instantly match your business not only to the right funding but to the right bank account for your needs. The bank account switch will be frictionless as Swoop does the heavy lifting, gathering the information required through their data sources and automatically providing this to the Current Account Switching Service on your behalf.

To receive the support and backing from NESTA and the judging panel is a big boost for their product and direction of travel. Swoop was born out of the frustrations of not knowing where to go to get access to funding or information, so they are incredibly excited to help SMEs navigate their funding journeys more quickly and more transparently through their platform.

Swoop’s Delight

The prize is backed by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) with funding from eight of the UK’s largest providers of SME banking: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander, AIB Group (UK) plc, Bank of Ireland UK and Danske Bank.

Swoop CEO & founder Andrea Reynolds is thrilled to have been selected as a finalist and is itching to get started on product development. “I have been helping small and medium businesses access funding for over a decade and I have never been more optimistic about the future. SMEs are the engine of the economy, yet they have been underserved when it comes to accessing funding and the right bank provider. Open Banking and Swoop changes all of that. That is why we exist.

“Over the summer and autumn we start to roll out our new Open Banking integration along with other enhanced data integrations. We’re excited to see the product grow and look forward to on-boarding more and more UK and Irish businesses along the way.”

So what’s next?

The nine largest banks have made their APIs live and available and Swoop will be tapping into that data to enhance Swoop’s offering, so that business owners, like you, get the information you need, quickly and easily to understand the best banking and funding decisions to make.

Swoop would like to thank all their customers who have started on this journey with them so far. If you want to be first in line to gain access to their new business banking smart engine, then make sure to set up with an account on Swoop today!

If you have any questions on Open Banking or thoughts on the Swoop product, you can get in touch at hello@swoopfunding.com.

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Help for businesses in recovering debt payments from individuals and sole traders

Posted: 17/07/18 by Howes Percival

Leading regional law firm Howes Percival has launched a free, step-by-step guide to help businesses claiming debt payments from individuals, including sole traders.

The easy to use flowchart guides business through the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims which courts expect creditors to have complied with before suing creditors.

Commenting on the launch of the new guide Satnam Chayra, Partner at Howes Percival said, “Last October, the Government introduced the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims with the aim of encouraging early engagement and communication between businesses and creditors to try to resolve matters without the need for court proceedings. The Protocol also aims to encourage parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner to help avoid running up of costs which aren’t reasonable in relation to the sums owed. And, in situations where litigation is unavoidable, it supports the efficient management of proceedings.

“Our flowchart helps businesses see at-a-glance the steps they need to take to comply with the Protocol, while helping them recognise when it may be time to engage legal advice.”

The new guide is the fifth in Howes Percival’s ‘Litigation Maze’ series which is designed to ensure organisations stay on the right side of the law and complex issues are handled correctly. Other topics covered by the series include dealing with unpaid invoices, disputes concerning orders and contracts, partnership and shareholder disputes.

Howes Percival ‘Navigating the Litigation Maze’ guide ‘Debt Protocol’ is available here: https://www.howespercival.com/resources/navigating-the-litigation-maze-debt-protocol/

You can download the whole series here: https://www.howespercival.com/resources/#services=1514&pp=20&p=1

Howes Percival’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team advises on both national and international commercial disputes. The team advises on a broad spectrum of disputes for businesses, government clients and individuals and have expertise in dealing with complex, high value and high-profile cases. They specialise in disputes that require urgent court action such as injunctions, freezing orders and search and seize orders.

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Christmas Teaser

Posted: 17/07/18 by IXL Events Centre at Dallas Burston Polo Club

If you are still looking for an Exclusive or Joiner Party with a twist, come to the Dallas Burston Polo Club and you will not be disappointed.

We have a members offer of only £55+ vat per person (usual selling price - £60 + vat).

If you would like further information, drop them an email on mailto:jojoshi@ixleventscentre.com

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Details of Chamber’s next Business Exhibition are revealed

Posted: 17/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Details of one of the county’s biggest business events have been unveiled.

Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce will host its latest Business Exhibition at Kettering Park Hotel and Spa, to showcase the wealth of opportunities, products and services available to firms in the area.

The Chamber’s exhibition always attracts hundreds of businesses and is one of the largest networking events in the county.

Northamptonshire Chamber head of operations Tracey Griffiths said: “This event is always hugely popular and is ideal for businesses looking to forge new contacts, raise their profile and extend their business knowledge.

“The exhibition is open to both Chamber members and non-members and businesses that attend will also get the chance to win one year’s free Chamber membership.”

The event will also feature two free business seminars delivered by Chamber members to enable attendees to tap into the vast amount of knowledge that Chamber members share.

Those who prefer more formal networking can choose to book onto the event’s networking lunch where will meet with up to 60 business contacts over a three course lunch.

The Business Exhibition will take place from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Friday, September 28, at Kettering Park Hotel and Spa in Kettering Parkway, Kettering.

For more information, to book a stand or a place on the networking lunch please click here or call 01604 490490.

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Eve Domestic Abuse Symposium

Posted: 17/07/18 by eve

Eve are organising a Domestic Abuse Symposium in October and would like to reach out to local businesses to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Statistics from the Crime Survey, England show that 1.3 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2016, and 4.3 million women had experienced it at some point since age 16.

Domestic abuse will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime - that includes 1 in 4 women in your workforce, your volunteer force and client base. You can help!
Why Attend?

1. To understand the importance of providing a holistic approach to those affected by domestic abuse.

2. To understand how best to rehabilitate the survivors of domestic abuse.

3. To examine how coercive and controlling behaviours form the foundation of abusive relationships.

4. To understand how trauma affects the ability of adults and children to move forward.

5. To evaluate the SHE Project and discuss the success of its outcome.

Who Should Attend?

  • Housing Associations and Officers
  • Police Service and Police Authority Staff
  • Government Agencies
  • Probation Officers
  • Families Services Officers
  • Children’s Trusts and Children’s Centres
  • Health Service Professionals
  • Victim Support Representatives
  • Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • Community Safety Teams
  • Drug and Alcohol Workers
  • Youth Offending Teams
  • Community Support Officers
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Social Workers and Social Services Officers
  • Education – Headteachers, Teachers, Welfare Support Staff
  • Men’s Health/Welfare Organisations
  • Some of the Speakers include:

    • Zoe Lodrick - Sexualised Trauma Specialist
    • Dr Mark Farrall - Chartered Psychologist and Forensic Psychologist, and a qualified Psychotherapist
    • Wale Oladipo - ‘Mind, Body, Breakthrough’
    • Christine Morgan - CEO of eve

    Where, When, Cost:

    Venue - Highgate House, Northampton

    Date - Thursday 11th October 2018

    Price -

    Early Bird: £95 (Until 31st August 2018)

    Standard: £125

    More information or to reserve your place, please click on this link: http://www.eveda.org.uk/symposium/

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    BCC: UK wage growth undermined by poor productivity

    Posted: 17/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Commenting on the labour market figures for July 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

    “Robust jobs growth, together with another drop-in unemployment, is further evidence of the continued strength of the UK labour market.

    “The second successive slowdown in regular pay growth is disappointing. This means that earnings growth in real terms remains in positive territory by just a small margin and so is unlikely to provide much of a boost to consumer spending power. UK wage growth continues to be undermined by poor productivity and the marked impact of underemployment. The failure to tackle the escalating burden of upfront business costs is also weighing on the extent to which pay is able to rise.

    “The increase in the number of job vacancies to a new record high is further evidence of chronic skills shortages, a key business concern. Firms continue to report that they are facing an uphill struggle to find staff with the right skills, which is stifling business activity and productivity.

    “While we expect that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later, with earnings growth underwhelming there remains sufficient scope for the MPC to keep a rates hike on hold for longer, particularly given the current economic and political uncertainty. Instead, more must be done to support firms looking to recruit and upskill their workforce, including reforming the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure its fit for purpose, easing upfront business costs and delivering a future migration system that helps, rather than hinders UK productivity and growth.”

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    BCC: UK wage growth undermined by poor productivity

    Posted: 17/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Commenting on the labour market figures for July 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Robust jobs growth, together with another drop-in unemployment, is further evidence of the continued strength of the UK labour market.

    “The second successive slowdown in regular pay growth is disappointing. This means that earnings growth in real terms remains in positive territory by just a small margin and so is unlikely to provide much of a boost to consumer spending power. UK wage growth continues to be undermined by poor productivity and the marked impact of underemployment. The failure to tackle the escalating burden of upfront business costs is also weighing on the extent to which pay is able to rise.

    “The increase in the number of job vacancies to a new record high is further evidence of chronic skills shortages, a key business concern. Firms continue to report that they are facing an uphill struggle to find staff with the right skills, which is stifling business activity and productivity.

    “While we expect that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later, with earnings growth underwhelming there remains sufficient scope for the MPC to keep a rates hike on hold for longer, particularly given the current economic and political uncertainty. Instead, more must be done to support firms looking to recruit and upskill their workforce, including reforming the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure its fit for purpose, easing upfront business costs and delivering a future migration system that helps, rather than hinders UK productivity and growth.”

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    Reel Lifting

    Posted: 17/07/18 by TAWI UK Ltd

    TAWI UK are committed to improving workplace environments. One of the most common workplace challenges is lifting heavy reels or rolls. These can be of an awkward size or weight and in a vast number of cases, require two people to lift them.

    With the help of TAWI UK’s Lifting, they have provided equipment for almost every industry, their trolleys can even be used in clean room environments. TAWI UK pride themselves on meeting any standards you require them to adhere to and are keen to give everyone the power to lift. This gives extra flexibility to your workplace, allowing employees to work at a consistent speed all day, every day.

    Contact them today to see how thye can help you: tel 01604 591120 or email: info@tawi.co.uk

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    We Did It!

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    CML shortlisted as a Finalist at this year’s UKWA awards

    Posted: 17/07/18 by CML Ltd

    End to end logistics provider, CML, is delighted to announce that it was shortlisted as a finalist at this year’s UKWA awards.

    The annual award ceremony, which took place at the Dorchester hotel earlier this month, recognises and rewards businesses within the third-party logistics sector.

    In 2017, CML installed an e-commerce pick tower within an eight week period, in order to support three new retail contract wins. Following this investment, CML was shortlisted for the UKWA’s Infrastructure Project award, which identifies businesses that have developed or invested in new or improved logistics buildings or parks that will bring additional capacity to the market.

    Commenting on being nominated for the Infrastructure Project award, business development manager at CML, Jane Smith, said: “This year CML has gone from strength to strength, so to be selected as a finalist at this year’s UKWA awards was a great achievement for us. The event gave us the opportunity to share what we have achieved in such a short space of time with customers and colleagues and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On behalf of everyone at CML, I would like to thank UKWA for acknowledging CML’s hard work over the last year.”

    UKWA is Britain’s leading organisation for the warehousing and logistics sector, and the Annual Lunch and Awards is one of many ways in which it gives recognition to, and supports, businesses across the industry. Members of UKWA benefit from industry strategy insight and collaborative ideas, as well as a number of specialist and discounted services. Further details on UKWA and membership is available at https://www.ukwa.org.uk.

    For more information about CML and the services it provides, visit https://www.cmlplc.com or call 01455 200 700.

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    FREE Networking Event - MSO Workspace!

    Posted: 17/07/18 by MSO Workspace - Serviced Offices

    At MSO Workspace, it’s important that everyone is included, therefore they have got a treat for all those who are not fans of gin or wine.

    Make a space in your diary; Friday 3rd August 2018 between 6 and 8:30pm

    They are proud to invite you to their FREE networking together with THE LITTLE BIG ALE COMPANY at Lakeside House to showcase their fantastic real ales, craft beers and artisan ciders.

    There will be a business card raffle, with a paintballing experience day, a full-day Althorp Suite meeting room use at Lakeside House, and much more!

    All donations and entry fees will go to KidsAid, a Northampton based charity providing therapeutic support for children and young people who have suffered any form of trauma.

    With talks from Tristan Griffiths from ItsNomad9 about creating blogs and getting maximum exposure from your content, and Sunny Singh from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce about chamber activities and business development in Northamptonshire.

    Food will be provided by Choice Catering, a local business with many years of catering experience. Choice Catering Northampton specialise in corporate lunch catering. Prepared in our 5 Star commercial kitchen.

    For any more information contact;

    James Crick - mailto:james.crick@msoworkspace.com

    Alfie Court - mailto:alfie.court@msoworkspace.com

    Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mso-ale-lovers-networking-tickets-46879858920

    *Parking is provided on site*

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    Futures Housing Group has been awarded Investors in People Gold

    Posted: 17/07/18 by Futures Housing Group

    Futures Housing Group has been awarded Investors in People Gold for the first time in its history.

    The award means the Daventry-based housing association, which manages around 9,100 homes throughout the East Midlands, is well-led and invests in the development and training of its 290 staff.

    Investors In People (IiP) is a national organisation which defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people to help businesses achieve their aims.

    Ian Skipp, the Group’s Director of Finance and Resources, said: “It’s fantastic news and well deserved because we have put a lot of work into creating a company which truly values and invests in its people.

    “We have already started working on getting even better and achieve the Platinum award – the highest accolade you can achieve from Investors.

    “It’s an exciting time for Futures. We’re growing, transforming and continuing to improve what we do and how we do it to ensure our customers receive the best possible services from us.”

    IiP assessors examined the Group against nine criteria through online surveys, focus groups, interviews and documentation in March.

    They looked at how Futures staff are being managed, motivated, rewarded and developed. Assessors also wanted to see evidence of how the Group continually improves.

    In her report, IiP assessor Hev Beverly said: “People talked in their interviews with passion and enthusiasm about their roles and careers with Futures – the commitment to continually improve and deliver Effortless Customer Service was clear.”

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    Milton Keynes’ teenagers invited to take over arts space

    Posted: 16/07/18 by MK Gallery

    This summer, MK Gallery’s Project Space will be transformed into a youth hub through The Secret Self(ie) Project. From 25 July to 30 August, teenagers aged 13 to 18 will have the opportunity to take over this space and work alongside cutting edge artists, musicians and inspiring youth mentors to create a series of events or exhibitions. The Secret Self(ie) Project is an opportunity to meet like-minded young people and to explore new ways of thinking.

    Dave Ronalds, Programme Manager at MK Gallery said: “It’s great to be working on The Secret Self(ie) Project this summer. It’s such a unique opportunity for young people and will give them access to a set of experiences not available elsewhere. They’ll have six weeks of working closely with artists and musicians and being in the position to change the direction of the project. They’re going to be in complete control and it will be exciting to see what they come up with!”

    Participation is completely free and anyone is welcome. The project will take place throughout the summer, but participants can take part as much or as little as they like during that time. Register to take part by contacting Dave Ronalds on 01908 558 311 or dronalds@mkgallery.org.

    For further information, visit https://www.mkgallery.org/secret-selfie/. The Secret Self(ie) Project is generously supported by Children in Need and Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

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    Eddie’s heading to The Deco to share the secrets of being the strongest man on the planet!

    Posted: 16/07/18 by The Deco Theatre

    The World’s Strongest Man - and he’s coming to Northampton’s Deco Theatre.

    He’s Eddie Hall – aka The Beast – who, other than winning the World’s Strongest Man title, also became the first person to complete a half tonne deadlift, which he described as ‘the most incredible lift in human history, and one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done’.

    Eddie, who starred in the hit documentary, ‘Strong Man’, on Netflix, comes to Northampton on Friday, October 12, when he will talk about his journey from a rebellious child to international ‘Strong Man’, and about a diet that includes 12,000 calories per day to maintain his 30 stone plus body, plus his training regime of four daily gym sessions.

    “He’s quite a phenomenon, very much a character, and fascinating to meet and listen too,” said Jill Roach, front of house manager at The Deco. “We’re delighted Eddie has chosen The Deco has part of a UK tour, his show is extremely interesting and entertaining, and I’m sure our audience will be captivated by his anecdotes.

    “October’s quite a month for us in terms of sporting legends, with Eddie’s visit coming a week after former world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno comes to The Deco, so we’re all really excited to be bringing such big names to Northampton.”

    The evening is compered by former professional Rugby League player, now sports presenter, John Lebbon. VIP Gold tickets, which include a professional photo with Eddie, an item signed, and table seating, are available direct from the promoter on 07515 751333; otherwise book online: www.thedeco.co.uk or call The Deco Box Office on 01604 491005.

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    Launch Business Plan GrowthCLUB

    Posted: 16/07/18 by Action Coach Tring

    What is GrowthCLUB?

    The ActionCOACH GrowthCLUB is a powerful, action packed and highly focused 1 day workshop that combines the synergy of your local business coaching team and like minded, innovative business owners and their teams to create momentum for your
    business.

    By the end of the workshop you will have absolute focus on where your business will be in 90 days time and a complete action plan to get you there. Using this plan, you and your coach will take your business from where you are to where you want to be. There is simply no alternative if you are serious about remaining in business.
    Previous attendees say:

    What can I gain from GrowthCLUB?

    • Energy, vision and focus for the next 90 days in your business.
    • A ready to implement, real time 90 day plan of exactly what to do to get your business to where you want it to be in 90 days time.
    • New business contacts.
    • Powerful confidence, leadership and decision making skills to take you and your business further than you thought possible.

    “Time out of the office really allowed me time to clarify my priorities” – Bob Zwolinksy, Wickham Wills

    BOOK YOUR PLACE: www.actioncoach.co.uk/simonellson/events/how-to-write-a-90-day-business-plan-growthclub/

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    Have your say about the future of MK gateway

    Posted: 16/07/18 by Milton Keynes Council

    Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) is looking at ways in which Station Square in front of Milton Keynes Central rail station could be improved. As the owner of this Square, MKDP wants to know what the people who live and work in the city think about it.

    Whether you want a wider selection of places to eat, entertainment, changes to access routes or something else entirely, go online and have your say at www.mkdp.org.uk/station.

    The survey closes on 5th August so be sure to get in quickly.

    MKDP’s chief executive Charles Macdonald said: “We are keen to find out what people think about the area around the station. What they do and don’t like about it as it currently stands and also what they would like to see there in the future. The feedback we receive will help to inform our plans for this important gateway to the city.”

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    BCC appoints Claire Walker and Hannah Essex as Co-Executive Directors of Policy and Campaigns

    Posted: 16/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the leading UK business organisation, is delighted to announce the appointment of Claire Walker and Hannah Essex as Co-Executive Directors of Policy and Campaigns.

    Claire and Hannah arrive from leading education organisation Teach First, where they have been Co-Directors of Communications since 2015, with both having held that position individually. At BCC they will be responsible for leading the BCC’s policy positioning and lobbying efforts, including campaigns around eradicating mobile not-spots, fixing the fundamentals of the UK’s domestic infrastructure, and Brexit. They take over from Ian Hagg, who has held the role on an interim basis since January 2018.

    They assume their role in mid-September.

    Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, said: “I am delighted to have appointed Claire and Hannah to the leadership team at the British Chambers of Commerce. This is a critical time for the UK business community, and in Claire and Hannah we have found two dynamic individuals who together will be able to campaign for Chamber business communities, and take our agenda to an even-higher level.”

    Claire Walker and Hannah Essex added: “We are thrilled to be joining the British Chambers of Commerce as such a critical time for British business. We want to ensure the UK thrives - now and post-Brexit.

    “We know that when business succeed, communities and families succeed too. We are excited at the opportunity to represent Chambers’ diverse membership to ensure they have the conditions they need to achieve.”

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    BCC appoints Claire Walker and Hannah Essex as Co-Executive Directors of Policy and Campaigns

    Posted: 16/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the leading UK business organisation, is delighted to announce the appointment of Claire Walker and Hannah Essex as Co-Executive Directors of Policy and Campaigns.

    Claire and Hannah arrive from leading education organisation Teach First, where they have been Co-Directors of Communications since 2015, with both having held that position individually. At BCC they will be responsible for leading the BCC’s policy positioning and lobbying efforts, including campaigns around eradicating mobile not-spots, fixing the fundamentals of the UK’s domestic infrastructure, and Brexit. They take over from Ian Hagg, who has held the role on an interim basis since January 2018.

    They assume their role in mid-September.

    Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, said: “I am delighted to have appointed Claire and Hannah to the leadership team at the British Chambers of Commerce. This is a critical time for the UK business community, and in Claire and Hannah we have found two dynamic individuals who together will be able to campaign for Chamber business communities, and take our agenda to an even-higher level.”

    Claire Walker and Hannah Essex added: “We are thrilled to be joining the British Chambers of Commerce as such a critical time for British business. We want to ensure the UK thrives - now and post-Brexit.

    “We know that when business succeed, communities and families succeed too. We are excited at the opportunity to represent Chambers’ diverse membership to ensure they have the conditions they need to achieve.”

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    New report published on health and social care needs of Armed Forces Community in Northamptonshire

    Posted: 13/07/18 by Northamptonshire County Council

    The Armed Forces community includes people serving in the Armed Forces as regulars or reservists, volunteers, ex-forces members (veterans) and family members of past and present service personnel. As not much is known about the Armed Forces community in Northamptonshire, Healthwatch Northamptonshire (the independent champion for health and social care in the county) carried out a survey on behalf of the Armed Forces Covenant Northamptonshire to find out more about the health and social care needs of this community.

    Over 450 people took part in the survey between February and May 2018 and a report on the findings has been published today. In particular, the report highlights the mental health needs of Armed Forces veterans and their families and some of the difficulties experienced when they leave the Forces and transition back to civilian life.

    The report recommendations call for a greater awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant in the county, more timely access to suitable mental health support, and further preparation for civilian life when people leave the armed forces. These recommendations will be addressed through the Northamptonshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership of organisations from across the county who work closely together to ensure the Covenant aims are upheld.

    The report by Healthwatch Northamptonshire will help the Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership address issues such as the return to civilian life and mental health.

    Vikki Barr, Northamptonshire Armed Forces Covenant Officer said: “This report is welcomed by the Partnership. Data is a key problem nationally for covenant partnerships and although there is a lot of national research, until now it has been unknown as to what the needs of our local community are. The recommendations will be addressed across the county, to ensure improvements are put in place for the benefit of our Armed Forces community.”

    Deirdre Newham MBE JP DL, Chair of the Armed Forces Covenant Partnership said: “This is a well-researched report, which gives all our Partners the information needed to put in place plans to fully support our Armed Forces Communities in the County.”

    Kate Holt, CEO of Connected Together CIC (Healthwatch Northamptonshire) said: “We are pleased to have reached so many of the Armed Forces Community in Northamptonshire and have shared our findings with the University of Northampton for more in-depth analysis as part of their evaluation of the Armed Forces Covenant Partnership. Connected Together connects commissioners and service providers to communities and supported Healthwatch Northamptonshire to develop the AFC project.”

    The full report can be read at http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/armedforcesreport

    Northamptonshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership: www.afcnorthamptonshire.co.uk

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    Northamptonshire Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership launches new website

    Posted: 13/07/18 by Northamptonshire County Council

    Northamptonshire Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership has launched its new website.

    The partnership was set up to support serving, injured and retired members of the Armed Forces, their families and bereaved family members.

    Its new website provides information and advice on support services available within the county, including support groups, mental health support, benefits entitlement, school admissions, recruitment agencies and medical practices. It also provides advice on housing, finance, health and social services and employment and further education.

    For more information visit www.afcnorthamptonshire.co.uk

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    BCC on Brexit White Paper: time to translate ambition into answers for business

    Posted: 13/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Commenting on the release of the UK government’s long-awaited White Paper on the future UK-EU relationship, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “At last, businesses have a more comprehensive understanding of the Government’s aspirations for the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

    “This vision should not have taken two years and three weeks to emerge, but it is nevertheless a welcome starting point for businesses.

    “Momentum and pace are now needed to translate ambition into answers to the real-world, practical questions that businesses face. Even with the welcome direction of travel in the White Paper, companies still don’t know how they’ll be paying VAT, how they can move people between offices, or whether goods will get across borders with a minimum of fuss. It is incumbent on the two sides to work pragmatically and productively on the nuts-and-bolts detail of the future relationship over the coming weeks, drawing on business experience and expertise.

    “Time is short - and for businesses, it’s results that count.”

    Following publication of the White Paper, the leading business organisation maintained 22 ‘red-rated’ and 2 ‘amber-rated’ issues on its Business Brexit Risk Register, which brings together the 24 top questions being asked by businesses across the UK. On this, Marshall added: “Businesses still need clear and detailed answers on many of the practical, real-world questions they face. Many of these answers can only emerge through negotiations - so it’s time for the two sides to crack on and get to a deal. And we have said many times, and will say again, that the UK government must deliver clarity wherever the answers to business questions are entirely within the UK’s own control.”

    The British Chambers of Commerce also urged the UK Government to step up preparations for all eventualities - including ‘no deal’ scenarios—to ensure that businesses have clarity on how the UK would operate its borders, immigration system and regulations in the event of a breakdown in negotiations. Adam Marshall said: “Firms need clear guidance from the UK government on preparations for all eventualities, so that they know how critical systems and borders would operate in the unwelcome scenario where a comprehensive deal cannot be reached.”

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    BCC on Brexit White Paper: time to translate ambition into answers for business

    Posted: 13/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Commenting on the release of the UK government’s long-awaited White Paper on the future UK-EU relationship, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “At last, businesses have a more comprehensive understanding of the Government’s aspirations for the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

    “This vision should not have taken two years and three weeks to emerge, but it is nevertheless a welcome starting point for businesses.

    “Momentum and pace are now needed to translate ambition into answers to the real-world, practical questions that businesses face. Even with the welcome direction of travel in the White Paper, companies still don’t know how they’ll be paying VAT, how they can move people between offices, or whether goods will get across borders with a minimum of fuss. It is incumbent on the two sides to work pragmatically and productively on the nuts-and-bolts detail of the future relationship over the coming weeks, drawing on business experience and expertise.

    “Time is short - and for businesses, it’s results that count.”

    Following publication of the White Paper, the leading business organisation maintained 22 ‘red-rated’ and 2 ‘amber-rated’ issues on its Business Brexit Risk Register, which brings together the 24 top questions being asked by businesses across the UK. On this, Marshall added: “Businesses still need clear and detailed answers on many of the practical, real-world questions they face. Many of these answers can only emerge through negotiations - so it’s time for the two sides to crack on and get to a deal. And we have said many times, and will say again, that the UK government must deliver clarity wherever the answers to business questions are entirely within the UK’s own control.”

    The British Chambers of Commerce also urged the UK Government to step up preparations for all eventualities - including ‘no deal’ scenarios—to ensure that businesses have clarity on how the UK would operate its borders, immigration system and regulations in the event of a breakdown in negotiations. Adam Marshall said: “Firms need clear guidance from the UK government on preparations for all eventualities, so that they know how critical systems and borders would operate in the unwelcome scenario where a comprehensive deal cannot be reached.”

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    Netball stars raise hundreds for three Northamptonshire charities

    Posted: 13/07/18 by Ensafe Consultants

    Hundreds of pounds was netted for three community charities following the sporting success of a tournament staged in Northampton.

    Northamptonshire netball teams took to the court for good causes at the annual tournament sponsored and supported by Blisworth based business Ensafe Consultants.

    A grand total of £1,100 was raised, topping last year’s total by more than £400, thanks to the efforts of dozens of players who participated in the fundraiser in aid of Northamptonshire Young Carers Service, Northants and Beds MS Therapy Centre and the Malcolm Arnold Academy Inspiration Fund.

    The tournament was organised by The Chosen Charity committee, led by tournament competitor and Ensafe Consultants Quality and Compliance Director, Mandy Wright.

    Mandy said: “The third annual Chosen Charity Netball Tournament was a great success, with over 200 people attending the event to take part, volunteer and to generally join in with all the fun.

    “Despite the blistering temperatures all of the competing teams put in maximum effort into each of the matches, displaying a range of talent, skill and a great love of the game that brings this event to life.”

    Managing Director at Ensafe Consultants, Greg Kirkman, added: “Ensafe were proud to again sponsor this fantastic fundraiser. We are thrilled so much money was raised for these worthy charitable causes and the event has again proved to be such a sporting success. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

    The finale to the day saw the Rushdenets Devil’s team going head to head with the Barracudas. The Devils eventually saw off the challenge and came out as triumphant tournament winners.

    Odette Green, captain of the Rushdenets Devils , praised the event saying: “I have taken part in this event every year and it just keeps getting better and better. The girls put in so much effort to make sure the day runs so smoothly, but keep it very light hearted and fun throughout. We will definitely be back next year to defend our title!”

    Gemma Luck, captain of the Barracudas, added: “This was our first time at the tournament but it’s one of the best we have ever taken part in. it’s so well organised and we wish the girls every luck in the future. We will definitely be back next year.”

    Mandy also added: “None of this would be possible without the hard work of the charity committee members, so I would like to personally thank my partner Sam Wright and my netball girls Jude Billingham, Ronni Moss, Kirsty Warren, Emma Odell, Vicky Jones, Jo Icke, Jo Scott and Sarah Bartlett .”

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    RSM urges Government to use publication of Brexit white paper on UK/EU future relationship as launchpad for greater progress

    Posted: 13/07/18 by RSM

    RSM, the leading audit, tax and consulting firm to the UK’s middle market welcomes the publication of the UK Government’s white paper outlining the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

    Following the political turmoil of the past few days, coupled with what has been perceived as a lack of transparency and progress over negotiations to leave the EU, RSM has urged Government to use the publication of the Brexit white paper as a platform for greater progress.

    John Taylor, RSM’s regional managing partner for the South said: ‘The publication of the white paper should be broadly welcomed. This is exactly what businesses have been asking for. It marks a positive step forward and an important milestone that finally demonstrates progress, and what appears to be a sensible, pragmatic pitch that in our mind, strikes the right note.

    ‘‘Carpe diem’ springs to mind – we’d urge Government to use this paper as a launchpad for real progress now.

    ‘The paper states that the Government’s vision for a future relationship should be built around an economic and security partnership; it sets out an emphasis on seeking to create a frictionless trade structure with the EU, and; outlines some clarity around national borders and facilitated customs arrangements as a means to avoid customs checks. Elements might not satisfy hard-line Brexiteers and Remainers, but ultimately it starts to give business leaders the visibility they need and a roadmap of what might be.

    ‘It is also notable since the publication of the Government’s Chequers Statement on 6 July in which its proposals were first presented in short, that European leaders have remained largely silent.

    ‘This week’s cabinet reshuffle also presents a chance to now show greater cohesion and continuity to instil confidence in the UK middle-market business community around the future direction of the UK economy. Specifically, we would urge The Right Honourable Dominic Raab MP in his new post as Secretary of State to show middle market business the maturity and leadership that this country craves.

    ‘Put simply, these companies just want to get on with it. There has been a real frustration within middle market businesses over the lack of cohesion within Government ranks, and the lack of clarity and transparency around the future direction of the UK economy and the politics to support it. They have and will continue to face challenges in their bid to make adequate preparations and to adjust their balance sheet and structures appropriately. This white paper now addresses some of those concerns.’

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    APS Marketing Consulting Services get five-stars!

    Posted: 12/07/18 by APS Marketing Consulting Services

    Wellingborough-based marketing firm, APS Marketing Consulting Services, owned and run by Andy Sarson, have been given five-star ‘Outstanding’ reviews on Yell.com by two fellow Chamber of Commerce members after working together on projects recently.

    The first coming in June, from ACME Business Solutions and Consultancy’s director Bob Dabrowski, who wanted to identify marketing opportunities for his company’s new business idea. He said: “We called Andy to help develop our new business idea and identify the markets where we could achieve the best results. His research was brilliant, discovering markets that we had never thought about.” Adding: “If you want some serious marketing ideas, this is your man.”

    More recently, Intercounty Truck and Van’s Group Marketing Manager Ryan Gregory, who needed management support for a specific project, said: “APS Marketing Consulting Services offer fantastic support. Andy has a wealth of knowledge and has been highly efficient with sales and marketing support over the past 6 months. Would highly recommend this company.”

    Owner of APS, Andy Sarson, is rightly proud of these accolades saying: “These fantastic reviews have come just a few months after starting the business, which reinforce the way I work with clients. APS will take on any marketing-related task and deliver bespoke solutions that’s right for the businesses we work for.”

    Founded in January 2018, APS Marketing Consulting Services are designed for SMEs, who struggle to find the time and resources when running a business, to outsource their marketing planning and activities. They have over 25-years marketing industry experience gained at large corporations and marketing agencies, often working alongside local retail networks.

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    Next Generation Chamber welcomes its first patron

    Posted: 12/07/18 by Next Generation Chamber

    A respected top 40 accountancy firm has given its backing to an initiative which supports the business leaders of the future.

    Mercer & Hole has become the first patron of the Next Generation Chamber which was launched by Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce and Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce to enable young people to advance their careers by giving them the chance to learn from business leaders and share best practice with their peers.

    Members benefit from exclusive monthly events, alternating between networking events and personal development sessions.

    Mercer & Hole partner Steve Robinson (pictured) said: “We are delighted to become a patron of Next Generation Chamber.

    “It is vital that opportunities are provided to the leaders of the future to develop skills in a manner tailored to them and with colleagues and contacts looking to do the same.

    “The Chamber of Commerce is still as relevant today as it has ever been and this new development demonstrates the desire to adapt to modern requirements and deliver support in new ways to our future business leaders.”

    The Chambers’ chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “Next Generation Chamber is one of the most important initiatives that we have launched and we are incredibly proud of it and how it has been received.

    “It is fantastic to see such an established and respected company as Mercer & Hole getting involved with a platform which offers young professionals across all sectors an organisation that not only adds value to their careers through the range of activities and services that it puts on, but also something that they can get actively involved in and shape themselves. In fact, that involvement and sense of ownership lies at the heart of what we want Next Generation Chamber to be, and why it works.”

    For more information visit www.nextgenerationchamber.co.uk

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    Autumn/Winter brochure now available from Bay Tree Cottage

    Posted: 12/07/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

    Our brand new Autumn/Winter brochure is back from the printers and waiting to be devoured!

    Packed with information on our workshops, Christmas courses, festive parties and more, it contains everything you need to know about what’s going on here over the coming months.

    If you would like a copy either electronically or in the post, please email helen@btcworkshops.co.uk. We can also send multiple copies out if you are a member of a group or society that may be interested in visiting us or if you are able to display some leaflets at your place at work.

    For more details on all our workshops and to book your place, visit our website at www.btcworkshops.co.uk, email helen@btcworkshops.co.uk or call 01327 361720.

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    Giggabox chosen as new video partner

    Posted: 12/07/18 by Giggabox Limited

    One Nucleus, Europe’s largest membership organisation for companies working within the Life Science and Healthcare industry has added Giggabox to its Partner Programme. Giggabox will play an influential and visible role in the development of the One Nucleus life science community by crafting explainer videos and developing corporate films for members at preferential rates.

    “We all know the growing power of video as a communication medium,” explains One Nucleus CEO Tony Jones. “We wanted to harness that to engage with our audience in order to highlight some of the key benefits, such as Training, Facilities Management and Purchasing that our members receive. It made sense for Giggabox to then become part of our Partner Programme - to engage our broader membership base in the utility of the Giggabox service. In an increasingly outsourced, collaborative and multi-disciplinary sector, bringing the best people together is key to translating great innovation into great products- and then communicating the impact of these products on patient outcomes. There is too much great R&D work out there that is not being marketed in an accessible way. Attracting and enabling the best people to work together is at the heart of the One Nucleus team’s ethos.”

    Giggabox, which has recently opened a Cambridge office, has years of experience producing technical explainer videos to make complicated propositions simple to understand using live action or animation.

    Director of Business Development, Andy Rice commented: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with One Nucleus to promote its broadening support services to its network. We hope, as we begin to work with its members there will be lots of opportunities to tell their individual stories to improve web content, google rankings and consequently, share-holder value.”

    Picture: New Business Development Director, Andy Rice with One Nucleus CEO, Tony Jones

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    Land Rover Discovery 5 S Commercial with Urban Styling available NOW

    Posted: 12/07/18 by Urban Automotive Ltd

    URBAN AUTOMOTIVE LTD are pleased to be able to offer this beautifully tailored 2019 Land Rover Discovery 5 S Commercial, enhanced with their in-house customisation programme for just £56,995 + VAT.

    In popular Corris Grey, with ebony leather, the new features on this 2019 M/Y Discovery 5 include 22” URBAN gloss black CSR alloys (Pictured with 23” alloys available at extra cost) fitted with premium tyres.

    Their new, revised model 19 URBAN V2 exterior styling package which includes new bespoke carbon fibre front bumper with F1-grade carbon front splitter and embedded DRLs, rear carbon diffuser, exclusive URBAN centralised numberplate conversion, carbon fibre style exhaust tips, fixed ‘Black Shadow’ side steps, URBAN badge to the rear, URBAN lettering to the bonnet and tailgate.

    If you have any questions or would like to come and see the car, please do not hesitate to contact them on 01908 585270.

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    MSO FREE Ale Lovers Networking

    Posted: 12/07/18 by MSO Workspace - Serviced Offices

    At MSO Workspace, it’s important that everyone is included, therefore they have got a treat for all those who are not fans of gin or wine.

    Make a space in your diary; Friday 3rd August 2018 between 6 and 8:30pm

    They are proud to invite you to their FREE networking together with THE LITTLE BIG ALE COMPANY at Lakeside House to showcase their fantastic real ales, craft beers and artisan ciders.

    There will be a business card raffle, with a paintballing experience day, a full-day Althorp Suite meeting room use at Lakeside House, and much more!

    All donations and entry fees will go to KidsAid, a Northampton based charity providing therapeutic support for children and young people who have suffered any form of trauma.

    With talks from Tristan Griffiths from ItsNomad9 about creating blogs and getting maximum exposure from your content, and Sunny Singh from Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce about chamber activities and business development in Northamptonshire.

    Food will be provided by Choice Catering, a local business with many years of catering experience. Choice Catering Northampton specialise in corporate lunch catering. Prepared in our 5 Star commercial kitchen.

    For any more information contact;

    James Crick - mailto:james.crick@msoworkspace.com

    Alfie Court - mailto:alfie.court@msoworkspace.com

    Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mso-ale-lovers-networking-tickets-46879858920

    *Parking is provided on site*

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    Show your parks a little love this July

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Northampton Borough Council

    This year’s Love Park Week, 13 to 22 July, people are encouraged to get out and enjoy Northampton’s beautiful green spaces in the sunshine.

    To help celebrate, Northampton Borough Council has been working with partners to organise a number of free events and activities to allow people to make the most of the week.

    These activities include the story of the children’s trail at Abington Park, BOB’s Bewildering Boulders at Becket’s Park, kite flying at Eastfield Park, a teddy bears picnic at Bradlaugh Fields and a number of community litter picks too.

    Park goers are reminded to respect the spaces whilst taking part in the activities or enjoying time with their family, by picking up their rubbish and either disposing it in a nearby bin or taking it home at the end of their visit.

    Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “Northampton has so many beautiful parks and green spaces and the annual Love Parks Week is a great opportunity to head out and enjoy them in the sun.

    “The week also provides us with the chance to raise awareness about how we can protect these spaces for future generations to enjoy.

    “By working together and having pride in our green spaces we can keep them safe and clean so that our parks can continue to be one of the town’s best assets and offer pleasant surroundings for everyone to enjoy.”

    Instances of littering, fly tipping and graffiti can be reported easily on the Borough Council’s website at northampton.gov.uk

    Local events include:

    13 July Abington Park 11am to 3pm Story of the Park Children’s trail

    14 July Racecourse 10am to 12pm Litter pick 12pm Teddy bear’s picnic

    15 July Becket’s Park All week BOB’s Bewildering Boulders

    16 July Ladybridge Park 10am to 3pm Litter pick

    17 July Hunsbury Park 10am to 3pm Litter pick

    18 July Eastfield Park 10am to 3pm Litter pick 3.30pm Kite flying on the park

    21 July Bradlaugh Fields 10am to 12pm Litter pick 12pm Teddy bear’s picnic

    21 July West Hunsbury country park 11am to 4pm Alfie Bear’s picnic

    To take part in any of the planned litter picks, please email forums@northampton.gov.uk

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    Intercounty Truck & Van provide academy players a way to travel in style

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Intercounty Truck & Van Limited

    Northampton Town Academy have been boosted by the support of Intercounty Truck & Van who have provided a brand new Mercedes-Benz mini bus to help transport the club’s academy players to and from matches, and training sessions this season.

    The Mercedes Sprinter bus is part of a sponsorship deal link up between the club and Intercounty Truck & Van, based in Wellingborough. Intercounty Truck & Van have depots in Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Boston and Lincoln. Simon Elliott managing mirector of Intercounty said: “We are delighted to announce this sponsorship deal with Northampton Town Football Club, and believe that the future of football and the development of the Cobblers lies in the Academy. We are football fans and are looking forward to engagement into the new season.”

    Northampton Town Football Club commercial director Caroline Lucy was delighted to welcome such a prestigious brand to the club’s stable of partners. “Intercounty Truck & Van are fantastic partners to welcome on board and it is great news that our young Academy players will be travelling in style this season, ” she said.

    Founded in 2003, Intercounty Truck & Van supply the sale, repair and maintenance of new and used Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles. Financial services and packages are available to support vehicle hire and purchase, as well as use of after sale services.

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    Business confidence increases in Milton Keynes, according to QES

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    There has been a significant increase in business confidence in Milton Keynes according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.

    In the next 12 months, almost half of respondents, 47%, expect an improvement in turnover – a considerable jump compared with just 15% in the first quarter of the year.

    In another positive move, 32% of the companies questioned expect to grow their workforce over the next three months – again indicating improved confidence as compared to the first quarter of the year.

    However fewer thought their staff level would stay the same and 5% of those surveyed anticipated having to lose employees, which could be down to lack of clarity over Brexit.

    Firms are also concerned about investment in training because of the Brexit uncertainty, with just 5% of respondents planning to put money into upscaling staff.

    But 35% of MK business taking part in the survey said domestic sales had improved in the second quarter of 2018, a positive change from just 14% in Q1.

    Widely recognised as a key economic indicator by Government, the Bank of England, the Office of Budget Responsibility, the EU Commission and independent economists alike, the QES provides both central and local policymakers with an important source of feedback of the performance, concerns and views of businesses across Milton Keynes.

    Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is encouraging to see some positive results for this quarter, with improvement in business confidence, increase in domestic sales and a tentative upwards trend in employment expectations.

    “But the continued uncertainty over Brexit and its implications is still raising question marks over progressive future planning.”

    For the full report, Click Here

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    Saints launch Whatsapp service for supporters

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

    You’re invited! Add us on WhatsApp now…

    Northampton Saints have broken new ground for Gallagher Premiership clubs by launching a brand-new WhatsApp messaging service for supporters.

    The innovative new system will allow the Franklin’s Gardens faithful to have the very latest Saints news, behind-the-scenes videos, team updates, exclusive competitions and special offers at their fingertips.

    For more information about Saints’ new WhatsApp service, CLICK HERE.

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    Too many local businesses remain unprepared for Brexit, shows Grant Thornton survey

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

    With new research showing the majority of businesses have done no planning, or don’t believe they need to make plans, ahead of the March 2019 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU), financial and business advisers Grant Thornton warns Northampton companies should not be complacent and carefully consider how their operations will be affected.

    Grant Thornton’s survey of UK businesses, including a proportion across the region, found that 22% have not begun to form any kind of Brexit strategy, whilst a further 42% believe it is not even necessary. Just 10% of firms are currently developing or implementing a contingency plan.

    Fiona Baldwin, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s Northampton office commented: “It’s two years since Britain voted to leave the EU and local companies are largely taking a ‘business as usual approach’, seemingly confident about their future prospects.

    “However, with uncertainty over the shape of Britain’s future relationship with the EU, firms should not be complacent. Preparation is key to establish a strong position from which they can seize the opportunities and overcome any challenges in a post Brexit world.

    “An important part of the planning process is forecasting for the various scenarios around access to the single market and customs union.. Businesses also need to ensure they have the right skills in place to adapt during the transition period and beyond. With our recent Northamptonshire Limited report highlighting the ongoing battle for talent, firms will need to think carefully about how they attract the right people they need to support their growth.”

    Businesses were also asked about their confidence in the UK and EU agreeing an outcome that is ultimately positive for their organisation. Over a quarter (28%) expressed a degree of confidence in a positive outcome but more businesses (31%) remained unsure.

    Of those businesses who have carried out some form of planning, the majority (58%) have factored in the reality of a ‘No Deal’ scenario, where the UK and EU fail to reach an agreement and the UK defaults to trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.

    Fiona concluded: “Northamptonshire businesses have seen strong growth in recent years and however the negotiation process develops over the coming months, the EU will remain an important trading partner for many local firms. Businesses should therefore review their operations and identify where they’re potentially exposed come March 2019, whether it’s new rules and regulations or changes in export rules which could affect their supply chains.

    “From our experience of working with local organisations to plan for Brexit, we know that taking a pragmatic approach can help identify areas of risk exposure and narrow uncertainty, allowing companies to focus on what really matters. Cliché as it sounds, the old adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ certainly rings true at the moment.”

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    Vice Chancellor to tell listeners how new Northampton campus can spark start-ups and spin outs

    Posted: 11/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    The University of Northampton’s Vice Chancellor will explain how Waterside Campus will help to kick-start the town as a centre for start-up businesses when he appears on the radio this week.

    Professor Nick Petford will outline the financial and social benefits of Waterside when he appears on the Open For Business programme, which airs on Wednesday evening on Northampton’s community radio station, NLive.

    The £330m campus, which is located on the banks of the River Nene across the water from Beckets Park, opens to students in September.

    Prof Petford said: “A disused brownfield site is being brought back to life by a Higher Education institution, which performs research, is innovative, is one of the county’s biggest employers and has a huge attraction to both UK and overseas companies.

    “It also has the ability to retain graduates in the area, through internships, spin out businesses and start-ups.

    “No other type of organisation has the ability to do this. Universities are unique in this respect.”

    Nick will be joined in the studio by Chancellor, Rev Richard Coles, and the programme’s presenter, Adrian Pryce, who is Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at the University.

    Waterside Campus has impressed Richard Coles, who said: “Northampton has struggled in recent years, so to see something of this prestige, excitement and dynamism coming here is amazing. It has a huge impact on not just the town, but the region.

    “There’s a giant video screen at Waterside Campus and it seems to me to be proclaiming that there’s a new show in town and this is the place to be.”

    Reports have shown the University as a whole creates a £290m boost to the county and generates more than 2,700 jobs. This is before the impact of Waterside has been taken into account.

    Waterside has already seen 755 local people employed through the project supply chain, 40 local suppliers engaged and more than 200 new jobs created.

    The show runs from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday and you can listen online at Nliveradio.com or on 106.9fm in Northampton.

    Find out more about Waterside on the website.

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    CML featured in ‘Stronger Together’ programme

    Posted: 11/07/18 by CML Ltd

    Warehousing and logistics expert, CML, is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) to feature in the news programme ‘Stronger Together’. Produced by ITN Productions and CILT, ‘Stronger Together’ explores the importance of a collaborative partnership between 3PL’s and their customers.

    As an end-to-end supply chain specialist, CILT identified CML as a great fit for the programme due to its ability to provide tailor-made fulfilment solutions and ensure that the customer brand experience is delivered, as Simon Shelley, head of industry news at ITN Productions, confirms: “ITN Productions has created ‘Stronger Together’ with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport to bring to life how the industry needs to collaborate to achieve better results for individuals and businesses. We are delighted to be featuring a special report from Leicestershire with Core Management Logistics (CML) showcasing how value-added business is changing the shape of the logistics industry. The nations shopping habits are changing, so are expectations and this report looks into how they have had to introduce a more personalised service to become an industry leader and part of their client’s business. We hope that the programme will engage and inform viewers and shape the future of such an important industry.”

    Being asked to participate in ‘Stronger Together’ is another huge achievement for CML, as commercial director, Kerry Delaney, confirms: “We are honoured to have been chosen to be a part of the ‘Stronger Together’ campaign. This is a great acknowledgement of the strong relationships CML has with its customers, and is recognition of the great work that the whole team at CML do everyday.”

    The affairs style programme, anchored by ITN’s Natasha Kaplinski, premiered to industry professionals at this year’s CILT Annual Conference and Dinner at the Chesford Grange Hotel on the 14th of June. It will also form part of a wider digital campaign led by CILT.

    For more information about CML and the services it offers, please visit, https://www.cmlplc.com or call 01455 200 700.

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    Too many local businesses remain unprepared for Brexit, shows Grant Thornton survey

    Posted: 11/07/18 by Grant Thornton UK LLP

    With new research showing the majority of businesses have done no planning, or don’t believe they need to make plans, ahead of the March 2019 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU), financial and business advisers Grant Thornton warns Milton Keynes companies should not be complacent and carefully consider how their operations will be affected.

    Grant Thornton’s survey of UK businesses, including a proportion across the region, found that 22% have not begun to form any kind of Brexit strategy, whilst a further 42% believe it is not even necessary. Just 10% of firms are currently developing or implementing a contingency plan.

    Fiona Baldwin, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s Milton Keynes office commented: “It’s two years since Britain voted to leave the EU and local companies are largely taking a ‘business as usual approach’, seemingly confident about their future prospects.

    “However, with uncertainty over the shape of Britain’s future relationship with the EU, firms should not be complacent. Preparation is key to establish a strong position from which they can seize the opportunities and overcome any challenges in a post Brexit world.

    “An important part of the planning process is forecasting for the various scenarios around access to the single market and customs union.. Businesses also need to ensure they have the right skills in place to adapt during the transition period and beyond. With our recent Bedfordshire Limited report highlighting the ongoing battle for talent, firms will need to think carefully about how they attract the right people they need to support their growth.”

    Businesses were also asked about their confidence in the UK and EU agreeing an outcome that is ultimately positive for their organisation. Over a quarter (28%) expressed a degree of confidence in a positive outcome but more businesses (31%) remained unsure.

    Of those businesses who have carried out some form of planning, the majority (58%) have factored in the reality of a ‘No Deal’ scenario, where the UK and EU fail to reach an agreement and the UK defaults to trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.

    Fiona concluded: “Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing parts of the UK and however the negotiation process develops over the coming months, the EU will remain an important trading partner for many local firms. Businesses should therefore review their operations and identify where they’re potentially exposed come March 2019, whether it’s new rules and regulations or changes in export rules which could affect their supply chains.

    “From our experience of working with local organisations to plan for Brexit, we know that taking a pragmatic approach can help identify areas of risk exposure and narrow uncertainty, allowing companies to focus on what really matters. Cliché as it sounds, the old adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ certainly rings true at the moment.”

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    Defence and Security Accelerator comes to Cranfield

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Cranfield University

    The UK Government’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has announced that it will use Cranfield University as a hub for its operations in the East of England.

    DASA finds and funds exploitable innovation which supports UK defence and security faster and more effectively whilst creating economic value. DASA’s mission is to create strategic advantage for the United Kingdom through the most innovative defence and security capabilities in the world. DASA has cross-government support including from the Ministry of Defence, Home Office, and the Armed Forces.

    DASA funding competitions turn ideas into front line products and services used by service personnel and emergency responders. Tim Higginson, a DASA Innovation Partner, will work regularly from the University’s Business Incubation Centre (CUBIC).

    Tim Higginson, Innovation Partner with the Defence and Security Accelerator, said: “Getting closer to suppliers is an important priority for DASA as we develop our outreach. Cranfield University is recognised internationally for the quality of its research and development across a breadth of defence and security interests, and having a base here will enable us to better support the next generation of exciting technologies from the university and companies in the surrounding area”.

    Dr Simon Harwood, Director of Defence and Security at Cranfield University, said: “Both Cranfield and DASA have similar priorities in terms of fostering innovation and we are delighted that they will be using CUBIC as a hub for their activities.”

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    Central Foods unveils new Japanese dumplings for foodservice

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Central Foods Ltd

    Frozen food distributor Central Foods has launched three new authentic Japanese dumpling products for foodservice to help tap into the trends for street food, sharing platters and tapas.

    The new gyoza are available in duck, chicken, as well as vegetable to suit the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options.

    Perfect for Asian food outlets, tapas restaurants, street food specialists or foodservice venues wishing to capitalise on the street food trend, the gyoza are produced by Ajinomoto –
    the number one brand in Japan for gyoza.

    They are currently available exclusively through leading frozen food supplier Central Foods.

    Central Foods managing director Gordon Lauder said: “Street food, Asian food and sharing platters are all popular trends in the UK, and Central Foods is delighted to be bringing these authentic gyoza products to the UK foodservice market. Ajinomoto is the biggest brand in Japan for gyoza, and we are very pleased to be offering such a great product, which is truly authentic in terms of how it looks and tastes.”

    The gyoza are half-moon shaped dumplings, approximately 20g each in size. The duck variety features a duck, vegetable and hoisin sauce filling, while the chicken version features a chicken, vegetable and soy sauce filling. The five-vegetable green gyoza contains cabbage, peas, edamame beans, carrots, white radishes and soy sauce in a spinach dumpling
    pastry for a pop of colour and flavour.

    The products are supplied pre-steamed, rather than pre-fried (like most other products in the market place), and therefore can be reheated by deep frying or further steaming, for a healthier option. They are available in packs of 30.

    Central Foods has been supplying frozen food to the foodservice sector for more than 21 years. It currently supplies more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger
    national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry including schools, universities, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure centres, garden centres, care homes and many other outlets.

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

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

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    Inspired Ladies Are Taking Part!

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    Learn more about UPS Maintenance

    Posted: 10/07/18 by BCL Power

    UPS maintenance is a service that can often be ignored or overlooked. In this article BCL Power will explain three important points on the need for UPS maintenance.

    Identifying Battery Failure

    Battery failure is a common cause of UPS faults. As part of any routine UPS maintenance visit, a battery inspection should be completed. The results of a battery inspection can highlight faults or deterioration of individual cells, enabling these batteries to be identified and replaced to ensure the system is in optimum condition ready to protect in the event of a mains supply failure.

    Maintenance Reports

    Each UPS maintenance visit should be treated as the first, with a full UPS inspection, battery test, and environmental health and safety survey. These findings should be compiled into a report that allows the customer to see changes in their system between maintenance visits, these changes can include:

    • Battery deterioration
    • Room temperature changes that could affect equipment
    • Supported equipment (Load) changes that could affect runtime

    Fault Responses

    Each business has equipment that is critical to their day to day operation, and the thought of that equipment being affected by power issues is uncomprehensible. As part of a UPS maintenance contract, fault response is integral to providing support 24/7 all year round. While maintenance visits and detailed reports provide expert recommendations and results, we all work and live in a world where power issues cannot be predicted, so having a fault response in place provides complete peace of mind that the UPS system will serve its vital purpose as and when required.

    To find out more about the importance of UPS maintenance and how it can benefit you please feel free to get in contact with us on 01908 607548 or email us at mailto:info@bclpower.co.uk

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    Local solicitor is promoted to partner at Lamb & Holmes

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Lamb & Holmes Solicitors

    John Scott a Solicitor from Duston, Northamptonshire has recently been promoted to a Partner at Lamb & Holmes Solicitors, working as a valued member of the team at the local Kettering and Corby based firm.

    Having joined the company initially back in 2007, John worked as a Paralegal for a couple of years before returning to university. He then returned to the firm as a trainee Solicitor in 2012 before qualifying in 2014. John has gained an enormous amount of experience in many areas of law during his time with Lamb & Holmes, but enjoys working in the Corporate and Commercial Services side of the business. He specialises in Commercial Property and Corporate Transactions.

    John Scott says, “It is a real honour to have my name added to such a well-regarded long standing Firm, and I look forward to having the opportunity to continue with such a great legacy within the legal profession.”

    Founded in 1813, Lamb & Holmes continues to serve the Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland areas with offices centrally located in both Kettering and Corby. There are currently six other Partners based at the firm with each of them specialising in the different service areas of law that the local company provides which includes: Conveyancing, Family Law, Wills and Probate, Commercial and Dispute Resolution.

    Glenn Robinson, who is a Senior Partner says, “John has been with Lamb and Holmes for a number of years, initially as a trainee Solicitor, and more latterly as one of the Solicitors in our Commercial Team. We are delighted that he is joining the Partnership and wish him well in his new role within the firm”.

    John lives in Duston, Northamptonshire with his wife and his 1 year old son Alex. In his spare time he is a keen photographer, enjoys cooking and is a big fan of Rugby.

    For further information on the legal services available at Lamb & Holmes Solicitors please visit www.lambandholmes.com. Alternatively please contact the Kettering office on 01536 513 195 or the Corby office on 01536 745 168.

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    Sales and Marketing event 18th July in Milton Keynes

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Everybody Works in Sales

    Everybody works in sales, yet most people don’t know how to sell or don’t feel comfortable selling.

    Sales and Marketing are vital to grow your business. Digital Marketing can have a hugely positive impact on your business, yet it’s changing so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up with best practice and to ensure that you are adopting the right digital strategy.

    On 18th July at Grant Thornton Milton Keynes, you can learn the skills you need to move you closer to your business targets.

    With 75 years expertise between them, Gemma Pybus and James Pybus, digital marketing specialists and Niraj Kapur, expert sales coach, have joined forces to provide maximum insight and value to SMEs and entrepreneurs through a series of half day events in Milton Keynes.

    You will learn

    • The top 4 Sales Challenges Facing Businesses Right Now and How To Over Come Them.
    • Step by Step guide to a proven transferable Digital Strategy - this strategy has been successfully implemented in a range of different businesses, from SMEs to large international businesses.
    • Why it is so important to ensure that all of your digital channels are working together to drive legitimate leads into your sales pipeline.

    Sessions will be interactive since that’s the fastest way to learn. Who will benefit from this?

    • Business owners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Sales people
    • Business development
    • Account managers and directors

    For more information and to book, click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sales-and-digital-marketing-strategy-masterclass-milton-keynes-tickets-47608951656?inf_contact_key=5ec539b4ea7c06bdba28554937d821f0

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    BCC comments on new monthly GDP statistics and trade figures

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Commenting on the new monthly GDP statistics and key short-term indicators for May 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The latest GDP data confirms that there was a modest rally in economic activity over recent months but coming after the marked slowdown in the first quarter there is further confirmation that UK growth remains underwhelming.

    “The uptick in growth also masks a number of key concerns. The persistent imbalances in the UK economy remain, so while there was solid growth in the services sector, industrial production and construction sectors are adding little to overall growth. The widening in the UK’s trade deficit for the second successive month is also a concern and means that trade is likely to have been a drag on GDP in the second quarter of the year. It’s probable that the UK is past peak-trading conditions for exporters, with slowing global growth and the prospect of a trade war weighing on demand for UK goods and services.

    “While we still expect UK growth to have picked up in the second quarter as a whole, there remains little sign of a prolonged upswing in the UK’s growth trajectory. The current political and Brexit related uncertainty, as well as the failure to deal with longstanding issues such as weak productivity, are likely to weigh on economic activity over the near term.

    “Against this subdued backdrop, the MPC should proceed with caution in tightening monetary policy, to avoid undermining consumer and business confidence. More must also be used to boost confidence and growth, including addressing the escalating burden of up-front taxes and costs associated with doing business in the UK, and addressing the chronic skills shortage.”

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    BCC comments on new monthly GDP statistics and trade figures

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Commenting on the new monthly GDP statistics and key short-term indicators for May 2018, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The latest GDP data confirms that there was a modest rally in economic activity over recent months but coming after the marked slowdown in the first quarter there is further confirmation that UK growth remains underwhelming.

    “The uptick in growth also masks a number of key concerns. The persistent imbalances in the UK economy remain, so while there was solid growth in the services sector, industrial production and construction sectors are adding little to overall growth. The widening in the UK’s trade deficit for the second successive month is also a concern and means that trade is likely to have been a drag on GDP in the second quarter of the year. It’s probable that the UK is past peak-trading conditions for exporters, with slowing global growth and the prospect of a trade war weighing on demand for UK goods and services.

    “While we still expect UK growth to have picked up in the second quarter as a whole, there remains little sign of a prolonged upswing in the UK’s growth trajectory. The current political and Brexit related uncertainty, as well as the failure to deal with longstanding issues such as weak productivity, are likely to weigh on economic activity over the near term.

    “Against this subdued backdrop, the MPC should proceed with caution in tightening monetary policy, to avoid undermining consumer and business confidence. More must also be used to boost confidence and growth, including addressing the escalating burden of up-front taxes and costs associated with doing business in the UK, and addressing the chronic skills shortage.”

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    76% of Finance Decision Makers fear Accounts Payable Controls are “Too Weak” to Prevent Fraud

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Invu Services Limited

    Robust controls are essential for getting a grip on a business’ finances, particularly those over expenditure covering the tracking of purchase commitments and supplier invoice processing.

    Weak control, combined with a lack of visibility of cash flow and the processing of supplier invoices significantly increases the risk of fraud.

    This appears to be the current state at the majority of UK businesses with 76% of finance decision makers admitting they are not confident that their current Accounts Payable (AP) processes are strong enough to detect or prevent fraud.

    This finding is part of a research report we have recently published and the ‘Changing trends in the purchasing processes of UK businesses’ makes worrying reading for those involved in business finances.

    In fact, according to research by Invu Services, 27% of these decision makers believe their current systems and processes are placing them at an unreasonable exposure to fraud.

    This exposure is not limited by company size, their research found a consistent problem with the exposure to an unreasonable risk of fraud arising from poor AP practices concerning both small and large businesses:

    • 23% of decision makers in large businesses are concerned about fraud
    • 31% of decision makers in small businesses are concerned about fraud.

    Exposure to payables fraud is a significant problem for businesses, and it is clear that too many are not putting in the processes they need to keep their finances secure.

    Using automation in purchasing and accounts payable is one way in which businesses can make their controls more robust. This provides visibility and control over transactions and importantly frees up staff time to address the risks of fraud through improved processing efficiencies.

    Budgetary control

    Moving the point at which the control over expenditure is committed by automating the purchasing process can significantly improve control particularly if the budget holder responsible for the expenditure has visibility of the available budget at this decision point.

    Automation can significantly speed up the processing of supplier invoices and allow more timely and accurate management accounts.

    This provides early visibility of the level of expenditure compared to budget and highlights exceptions at the reporting level.

    Automation can free up staff time to investigate these exceptions and this in turn reduces the risk of fraud.

    Making transactions visible

    Knowing exactly where an invoice is in the process is often a problem for businesses with manual systems. This lack of visibility increases the risk of fraud. Time taken up dealing with supplier queries can crowd out time available to exercise internal controls when teams are under pressure to meet payment deadlines.

    Automation can make the process visible, as digital copies of invoices follow a workflow and there is an audit trail throughout the process. Dealing with supplier queries can be immediate, a simple enquiry will identify where the invoice is currently in the process.

    Automation tends to move the focus of work towards exceptions and increases the visibility and timeliness of how these are resolved leaving less room for fraudulent transactions.

    Supplier list and payment controls

    Maintenance of the supplier list is a key control. Automation can give staff back the time to exercise controls in this area.

    Automation can ensure only invoices from approved suppliers are processed and any additions to the list are handled through a standardised supplier onboarding process.

    There is a lot of exposure to fraud arising from amendments to existing supplier accounts, particularly changes to payment details. A change in the supplier bank sort code and account details on an invoice needs to be treated as an exception and, if properly audited, automation can help ensure that there is both the capability and the time to check these details.

    Controlling your transactions

    A robust approval process is essential for strong internal control.

    Automation requires the establishment of an approval matrix that has to be consistently applied ensuring that the right people with the correct level of authority approve each invoice.

    One source of fraud in manual systems, is the weakness of signatures controls, which is often fed by a lack of clarity over who can sign for what (the authority register). A number of recently reported frauds have arisen because invoices have been approved by individuals other than the authorised signatory.

    An automated system using a workflow requires the approval to be provided by the person with the digital credentials, who is the designated person or group of persons on the authority register.

    Taking control over your finances to protect your business

    The uncertainty shown by respondents to the survey when it comes to protecting their business from AP fraud highlights the need to address the efficiency, visibility and control over the purchasing and payable’s processes.

    This is where automating accounts payable systems can be a saving grace.

    Efficiency has a significant role to play in fraud protection because it both:

    • frees up staff from mundane tasks like data entry and provides human resources to check exceptions
    • and removes the time pressure on processing transactions which is a breeding ground for fraud.

    Visibility has a significant role to play in fraud protection because fraud thrives in dark corners. Two preventive measures are:

    • knowing the stage that an invoice is at in the process;
    • and the ability to view a full audit trail of who has accessed the invoice and what actions they had taken.

    Robust controls are fundamental to fraud prevention and detection. Automation can often lead to a streamlining of the number of controls and touch-points in a payable’s process, moving the process towards management by exception and bringing key controls into focus.

    When it comes to using automation to reduce the risk of fraud, it is key to remember:

    • Budgets can be operated proactively
    • Controls over master files like the supplier list are brought into focus
    • Rules are applied to well defined roles ensuring that transactions are processed and approved consistently.

    Download the full ‘Changing trends in the purchasing processes of UK businesses’ report here.

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    “Service Excellence 2018” Award for Bombinate Web Design

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Bombinate Web Design

    It’s been a busy week for Bombinate, having attended two black tie events.

    Last Friday night, they took home ‘Service Excellence’ in the National Best New Business Award in London and on the previous Wednesday, they were runner-up for ‘Small Business of the Year’ in Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards.

    Read the full story here.

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    BCC responds to National Infrastructure Assessment

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Commenting on the launch of the National Infrastructure Assessment today (Tuesday), Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business will welcome this long-term plan for infrastructure investment, and particularly the focus on digital and transport connectivity, but business communities have seen plans come and go before, so it’s action that’s required above all else. We need politicians of all parties, and at a local and national level, to get behind these recommendations, give certainty and confidence to investors and bring about faster infrastructure delivery on the ground to fix the fundamentals of the domestic business environment.

    “The assessment rightly recognises that the UK needs to invest more in infrastructure, with a range of funding solutions, and that private-sector investment has an important role to play. The existence and rapid growth of Business Improvement Districts proves that when the case stacks up and the benefits are felt directly, businesses will pay more to improve the competitiveness of their local area. We are slightly more sceptical about local infrastructure levies. Councils already have tools to front-fund development, but land and property values are such that they rarely work outside of London. Any new mechanism linked to business rates would need extensive consultation, strict limits, and be ring-fenced for specific improvements.

    “The Commission recognises that supporting the Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2 will deliver essential connectivity improvements for the North and London. We also welcome the focus on up-grading major urban roads and tackling congestion and public transport needs at a city level. This will help to unlock economic growth, improve journey times and reliability, aid access to skills and cut business costs.”

    On Digital, Jane added: “We welcome the call for investment in nationwide full-fibre digital connectivity. Fast and reliable digital access is key to business productivity and is now an essential service for people in all aspects of life and needs to be delivered as quickly as possible.”

    On Energy, she said: “Energy infrastructure must deliver predictable, reliable, stable and affordable heat and power to business. The focus on sustainable renewable energies – and greater energy efficiency - is welcome. But, businesses will be seeking assurances that the UK has the right mix and balance of energy sources in the future to prevent any risk of interruption to supply.”

    Back to Latest News

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    BCC responds to National Infrastructure Assessment

    Posted: 10/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Commenting on the launch of the National Infrastructure Assessment today (Tuesday), Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business will welcome this long-term plan for infrastructure investment, and particularly the focus on digital and transport connectivity, but business communities have seen plans come and go before, so it’s action that’s required above all else. We need politicians of all parties, and at a local and national level, to get behind these recommendations, give certainty and confidence to investors and bring about faster infrastructure delivery on the ground to fix the fundamentals of the domestic business environment.

    “The assessment rightly recognises that the UK needs to invest more in infrastructure, with a range of funding solutions, and that private-sector investment has an important role to play. The existence and rapid growth of Business Improvement Districts proves that when the case stacks up and the benefits are felt directly, businesses will pay more to improve the competitiveness of their local area. We are slightly more sceptical about local infrastructure levies. Councils already have tools to front-fund development, but land and property values are such that they rarely work outside of London. Any new mechanism linked to business rates would need extensive consultation, strict limits, and be ring-fenced for specific improvements.

    “The Commission recognises that supporting the Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2 will deliver essential connectivity improvements for the North and London. We also welcome the focus on up-grading major urban roads and tackling congestion and public transport needs at a city level. This will help to unlock economic growth, improve journey times and reliability, aid access to skills and cut business costs.”

    On Digital, Jane added: “We welcome the call for investment in nationwide full-fibre digital connectivity. Fast and reliable digital access is key to business productivity and is now an essential service for people in all aspects of life and needs to be delivered as quickly as possible.”

    On Energy, she said: “Energy infrastructure must deliver predictable, reliable, stable and affordable heat and power to business. The focus on sustainable renewable energies – and greater energy efficiency - is welcome. But, businesses will be seeking assurances that the UK has the right mix and balance of energy sources in the future to prevent any risk of interruption to supply.”

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    Sales and Marketing Event in Milton Keynes (18th July 2018)

    Posted: 09/07/18 by Digital Marketing Implementation Services Ltd

    Next Event is in Milton Keynes Niraj Kapur James Pybus and Gemma Pybus - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sales-and-digital-marketing-strategy-masterclass-milton-keynes-tickets-47608951656

    Everybody Works in Sales

    ... yet most people don’t know how to sell or don’t feel comfortable selling.

    Digital Marketing can have a hugely positive impact on your business, yet it’s changing so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up with best practice and to ensure that sure you are adopting the right digital strategy.

    Now you have a solution.

    With 75 years expertise between them, Gemma Pybus and James Pybus, digital marketing specialists and Niraj Kapur, expert sales coach, have joined forces to provide maximum insight and value to SMEs and entrepreneurs through a series of half day events in Milton Keynes.

    Clients include: Jack Wills, HP and Microsoft Platinum Partners, NHS, Johnson & Johnson, Not On The High Street, Sky and many others.

    You will learn
    Sessions will be interactive since that’s the fastest way to learn.

    • The top 4 Sales Challenges Facing Businesses Right Now and How To Over Come Them.
    • Step by Step guide to a proven transferable Digital Strategy - this strategy has been successfully implemented in a range of different businesses, from SMEs to large international businesses.
    • Why it is so important to ensure that all of your digital channels are working together to drive legitimate leads into your sales pipeline.

    Who will benefit from this?

    • Business owners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Sales people
    • Business development

    See all our reviews at - https://www.reviews.co.uk/company-reviews/store/emarketing-strategy

    Tickets can be found on Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sales-and-digital-marketing-strategy-masterclass-milton-keynes-tickets-47608951656

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    Rev Coles to reveal his Strictly secrets on NLive radio

    Posted: 09/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    Fans of Strictly Come Dancing will be in for a treat this Wednesday when former contestant Rev Richard Coles will be lifting the lid on his stint on the hit television show.

    Richard, who is Chancellor of the University of Northampton, will be the special studio guest on the Open For Business programme, which airs on Wednesday evening on Northampton’s community radio station, NLive.

    During the show, listeners will be able to hear how Richard rated his performances on the 2017 Strictly series, when he was the second celebrity dancer to be eliminated.

    “It was mostly a happy experience, until I actually saw how bad I was,” said Richard. “That was a bit of a wake-up call.

    “But there are worse things in life than making a fool of yourself, of course, and it was a fantastic experience.

    “When I signed up for Strictly, I thought I’d be quite good at it – and I turned out to be really bad at it, and that was interesting. I was the second one to leave the show and had the lowest score ever for any pasa doble in the history of Strictly.

    “But it was a fantastic experience and I learnt an awful lot, not least how wonderful dancers are – how tough they need to be, and how they are able to do the most breathtaking things.”

    Richard added: “When I was competing in Strictly I was also filming The Big Painting Challenge. So I had 12-hour shoots during the day, followed by four-hour dance rehearsals in a leisure centre, surrounded by these little kids doing karate, which was quite weird.

    “I lost a stone, it was physically gruelling but I hadn’t realised how mentally gruelling it would be.”

    Richard will be joined in the studio for Wednesday’s show by Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, and the programme’s presenter, Adrian Pryce, who is Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at the University.

    Nick has revealed he too has a background, of sorts, in dance.

    He revealed: “I actually have a level 1 qualification in Latin ballroom dancing. I can do the cha-cha, a jive and another one I can’t remember the name of.

    “It was during my time at Liverpool University, when I was studying for my PhD. I went to a class with some friends, more for a laugh than anything, but I found I actually enjoyed it.”

    Richard told Nick: “If I’d known I’d have asked you for lessons!”

    Wednesday’s show will also see Nick talk about the University’s move to Waterside Campus, with Richard talking about moving from Corby to London in the 1970s and founding The Communards, who scored 1986’s best-selling single.

    The show runs from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday and you can listen online at Nliveradio.com or on 106.9fm in Northampton.

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    Flexspace Northampton Open Day

    Posted: 09/07/18 by Flexspace

    Businesses are invited to join Flexspace Northampton at its open day at Moulton Park in Northampton.

    Visitors will have the chance to take a look at Flexspace’s newly refurbished suite of offices, meeting and training rooms.

    A spokesperson said: “This is the perfect opportunity to find your next business home at our fully serviced business centre.”

    The event will take place from 11am to 3pm on 18 July 2018.

    For further information, please contact Loraine Hill on 07387 019 710 or loraine.hill@flexspace.co.uk

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    Youth Club Planning Meeting - SCCYC

    Posted: 09/07/18 by Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club - SCCYC

    If you are aged between 10 and 25 years old, then please do attend the planning meetings to discuss the new Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club’s (SCCYC) Waterside-Connect Sport & Fitness Centre and Youth Club’s activities.

    Led by the talented, Jagraj Singh Briah, who recently won a Silver Medal at Europe’s Biggest International Box Cup Tournament, he will be using his experience and interest in sport, to plan the new activities. Join him on Wednesday 25th July, 5pm - 8pm to discuss with some free pizza on hand.

    You could even win a £20 Gift Voucher if you come up with the best Youth Club name for the centre!

    Contact Jagraj for more information: mailto:jagraj@watersideconnect.com

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    Milton Keynes Chamber turns 5 - happy birthday to us!

    Posted: 08/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

    Since it began trading on 8 July 2013, the business support organisation has supported more than 800 businesses through membership and currently represents around 15% of the Milton Keynes workforce.

    Over the past five years, Milton Keynes Chamber has actively engaged with approximately 5,000 borough businesses through membership, events, training , magazine subscription and seminars. Members have been to 169 Chamber hosted events and 71 seminars.

    It has provided 287 training courses for 696 delegates and 376 members have saved around £20,000 in training course discounts.

    The Chamber has been praised nationally, scooping awards annually for the past four years.

    The team were double winners at the national Chamber Awards in 2015 scooping the Excellence In Membership Services Award and Chamber of the Year 2015.

    They retained the Excellence in Membership Services in 2016 and last year won Excellence in International Trade Services.

    In the past five years, the Chamber’s international trade service delivered by sister chamber Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, has helped 200 member companies in MK with documentation to export worldwide, aiding the shipping of goods with a total value of more than £378 million.

    The organisation boasts the borough’s only quarterly private business survey which feeds into the British Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey – used by The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee as one of its key benchmarks when setting interest rates.

    Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce became an accredited Chamber within just 18 months because of the relationship with sister Chamber, the award-winning Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.

    That relationship also helped MK Chamber to achieve Investors in People Silver status and give members valuable benefits of liaising with British Chambers of Commerce.

    Milton Keynes Chamber has supported five deserving local charities and last year launched – along with Northamptonshire Chamber – the brand new Next Generation Chamber, a young professionals forum providing a platform for future business leaders to make contacts and improve their skills.

    Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “We are delighted with all that our Chamber has achieved over the past five years and would like to thank all of our members, staff, board of directors and stakeholders for their instrumental role in our success.

    “With their support, and that of the wider business community, we will continue to support the Milton Keynes economic landscape in every which way we can. I truly believe this is just the start of a very bright future for Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.”

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    Great Achievement by Volunteers for Completing the Snowdon Mountain Trek

    Posted: 06/07/18 by Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club - SCCYC

    Snowdon is one of the highest mountains in Wales and on Saturday was climbed by 13 volunteers to raise funds for the new Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club (SCCYC) building facility to purchase key fitness equipment.

    SCCYC is particularly proud of the number of young people that take part each year - they are the future!

    Please do keep the donations coming to support their efforts - just click on the link: https://localgiving.org/appeal/SCCYCSGSSNEWBUILDING/

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    BCC response to Chequers summit conclusions

    Posted: 06/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Responding to the statement issued at the conclusion of the Chequers summit, where the Cabinet has agreed its negotiating position for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “For Brexit-weary businesses seeking clarity, this agreement brings hope of an end to months of disappointing Westminster in-fighting.

    “We welcome the Cabinet’s collective decision to prioritise trade and economic stability under the Prime Minister’s leadership. For business, there is strength in unity as the UK seeks to develop a new relationship with the EU.

    “As Chambers of Commerce have repeatedly argued, the priority must be to deliver clear and unequivocal answers to the practical, real-world questions businesses face. That remains the key test for the intense and complex negotiations that lie ahead.”

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    BCC response to Chequers summit conclusions

    Posted: 06/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Responding to the statement issued at the conclusion of the Chequers summit, where the Cabinet has agreed its negotiating position for the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “For Brexit-weary businesses seeking clarity, this agreement brings hope of an end to months of disappointing Westminster in-fighting.

    “We welcome the Cabinet’s collective decision to prioritise trade and economic stability under the Prime Minister’s leadership. For business, there is strength in unity as the UK seeks to develop a new relationship with the EU.

    “As Chambers of Commerce have repeatedly argued, the priority must be to deliver clear and unequivocal answers to the practical, real-world questions businesses face. That remains the key test for the intense and complex negotiations that lie ahead.”

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    Lost Voice Guy heading to The Deco

    Posted: 06/07/18 by The Deco Theatre

    This year’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner, comedian the ‘Lost Voice Guy’, is heading to Northampton’s Deco theatre.

    Comedian Lee Ridley, who won the hearts of millions with his laugh-out-loud wisecracks during his audition, live semi-final and the live final itself, has included The Deco as part of his first nationwide tour.

    Lee, 37, and from Newcastle, brings his stand-up comedy show to Northampton on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

    Disabled since early life, and unable to speak, Lee is the first standup comedian in Britain to use a communication aid in his routines.

    As well as his success on the ITV talent show – where head judge Simon Cowell called him ‘incredibly talented’ – Lee also stars, and writes, in his own Radio 4 comedy series, Ability, which has just been recommissioned for a second series.

    He first performed in February 2012, and made his Edinburgh Fringe debut the following year. He won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014 has previously supported Patrick Kielty and Ross Noble on tour.

    For tickets and more information: https://www.thedeco.co.uk/event/lost-voice-guy or call The Deco Box Office on 01604 491005.

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    Sam shines the spotlight on Northamptonshire’s unsung heroes

    Posted: 06/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    The lives of Northamptonshire’s unsung heroes have been celebrated by an up-and-coming photographer.

    An estate agent-turned-panto dame, a kids’ football coach and someone who feeds the homeless are among county volunteers who have been featured in a project by University of Northampton Photography student Sam Joyce.

    Northamptonshire’s Unsung Heroes comprises a collection of photographs of the volunteers going about their duties, published in a tabloid newspaper, and accompanied by words written by Multimedia Journalism undergraduate Max Miller.

    “The unselfish act of voluntary work is something that often gets missed by mainstream media and volunteers don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve,” said Sam, who comes from Woodford, near Kettering. “I wanted this project to change that, in some small way, and Max and I are delighted that our work is helping to raise the profiles of some of our local heroes.”

    One of the volunteers featured in the project is Inderjit Jutla, who gives out food to the homeless and vulnerable in Northampton town centre, as part of the Midland Langar Seva society.

    She said: “It’s amazing when you hear people say to us that this is the first hot meal they’ve eaten since Thursday, or this is the first time I’ve eaten since Wednesday. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got and is an eye-opener for the kids who volunteer with us, as we get three meals a day, whereas some of these guys are lucky if they get three a week.

    “Most of us are only three pay cheques away from being made homeless and times are really hard for a lot of people. But it’s not just the homeless we help in Northampton, there are families who are struggling to put a hot meal on the table. The number of government cuts that are going on are not helping the situation.”

    Inderjit added: “If you’re thinking about volunteering, then go out and do it. It’s good for you and your wellbeing. “The volunteering I’ve done has really helped me both emotionally and mentally.”

    Other volunteers featured include retired Tony Bentley, who is a driver for an association for the blind, and estate agent Thomas York, who feels his role as a pantomime dame in Finedon’s annual panto gives something back to the community.

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    Supporting England’s World Cup bid in Northampton

    Posted: 06/07/18 by Northampton Borough Council

    Northampton will be showing their support to England’s World Cup bid with a flag raising the morning of the team’s next game.

    The Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Tony Ansell, will be raising the St George’s Day flag at the Guildhall at 10am on Saturday, 7 July, ahead of England’s game with Sweden.

    Members of the public are invited to join the Mayor, in front of the Guildhall, to show their support.

    Cllr Tony Ansell said: “England have performed exceptionally well during their World Cup games so far and the flag raising is a great way for the people of Northampton to show their support and get behind the team ahead of their quarter final match this Saturday.”

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    Can you help student with social media study?

    Posted: 05/07/18 by Cranfield University

    A Cranfield University student is asking for participants in a social media study.

    Zhitong Song is studying MSc Management at the university and as part of this course, is required to submit a thesis.

    The title of the thesis is “How can B2B professional service firms improve return on social media investment”.

    This research aims to explore what the most suitable social media platforms are for professional services firms, as well as establishing who the influencers are in this field.

    If you can help Zhitong by taking part in the study, email zhitong.song@cranfield.ac.uk

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    Law firm reports profit up 37% as investments pay off

    Posted: 05/07/18 by Howes Percival

    Leading regional law firm Howes Percival has reported a 14% increase in turnover, with profits up 37%, according to its most recent financial results.

    The results, for the firm’s full financial year ending May 2018, follow a period of sustained, strategic investment and expansion, which has seen the firm upgrade its office space in all its locations, open brand new offices in Milton Keynes and Cambridge, and increase partner numbers from 29 to 42.

    Howes Percival now has six offices in total across the country and, as a result, turnover has increased from £15m in 2014 to over £20m last year.

    Clients include Government departments, international brands and household names such as Welcome Break, Microsoft and leading pub operator and independent brewer Marston’s, while the firm maintains a strong core client base of SMEs and family-owned businesses, plus high net worth individuals.

    Howes Percival has also made some significant acquisitions during this period. In November 2015, the firm completed the acquisition of part of Taylor Vinters’ real estate team to strengthen its commercial property specialism, while it acquired specialist insolvency practice, Summers Nigh Law in June 2017.

    In March 2017, the firm announced that it had expanded its Government work significantly by being selected for the Crown Commercial Services General Legal Services Panel for Central Government, in a consortium with PwC and two other law firms; Holman Fenwick Willan LLP and Sharpe Pritchard LLP.

    Geraint Davies, Howes Percival Partner and Board member commented; “I’m absolutely delighted with these results. Just over three years ago the management team and the partners agreed a clear strategy for growth which involved investing in new offices, services and expertise. The whole team got behind that plan and we are now seeing the results of the investments we have made, and we expect that growth to continue.

    “As we’ve been investing back into the firm for the last couple of years, we haven’t seen the profit come through in quite the same way until now, but we knew the strategy was working. Going forward, we will continue to invest in new services and expertise to ensure we can continue to give our clients the best possible service.

    “We have built on our existing network across the centre of England, strengthened our regional offering by investing in new offices and broadened our expertise with some eye-catching hires. Our current offices all have enormous growth potential and they are ideally located to also attract the best talent and work from London and the North West.”

    “We’ve proved in the last couple of years that we can be a match for any firm. We’ve completed a number of really big deals and we’re winning more and more new instructions because of our ability to work as a team across offices and the sheer strength of our talent pool. We can put a team together to handle almost any transaction and we’re now seeing that in the quality of work that is coming through.”

    Howes Percival provides a full service legal offering to corporate and private clients and sector specialisms include agriculture, automotive, development and construction, education, food and drink and leisure and tourism. The firm was a finalist in The Legal 500 UK 2018 awards in the Corporate & Commercial Regional Firm of the Year category.

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    Northampton to remember Srebrenica this July

    Posted: 05/07/18 by Northampton Borough Council

    A special service remembering the Srebrenica genocide will take place at the Guildhall on Wednesday, 11 July.

    Residents and visitors to the town are invited to join the Mayor of Northampton, Cllr Tony Ansell, as he raises the flag in front of the Guildhall at midday. Following this Cllr Ansell will lead a two minute silence, held in honour of the victims of the Bosnian conflict, which took place 23 years ago.

    Cllr Anna king will close the ceremony with a poem, especially written by the Srebrenica Trust.

    Cllr Ansell said: “Our commemorative service next week is fitting opportunity for everyone in Northampton to show their support to the 8,000 Bosnian Muslims who were killed during the Bosnian War.

    “The service will also help to remind us of the continued consequences of genocide and to reaffirm our own commitment to strong community relations here in the UK.”

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    SCCYC wins 2 Awards at Northampton Carnival 2018!

    Posted: 05/07/18 by Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club - SCCYC

    Congratulations to the talented musicians and volunteers of the Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club (SCCYC) for their hard work and commitment which led to them winning 2 awards at the Northampton Carnival on June 9th!

    SCCYC won:

    • Winner of the ‘Peoples/Chairs Choice!’
    • 1st Runner Up for the ‘Floats!’

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    Growing logistics firm bolsters Warehouse Management Software with help from new recruit

    Posted: 05/07/18 by The NX Group

    A national logistics, warehousing and courier firm has improved its offering to clients by updating its Warehouse Management System (WMS) and taking on an IT and Project Manager.

    The NX Group, which has warehouses in Crick and Northampton covering nearly 100,000ft2, plus a fleet of vehicles which deliver bespoke services across the country, has boosted its ecommerce systems with leading software provider Access Group, making the end-to-end process smoother for customers.

    Access Group supplies The NX Group with its Warehouse Management System, and the investments made to improve ecommerce operations have included updating and integrating the firm’s IT systems.

    Delta, Access Group’s vital software, includes an automated admin and reporting module and a barcode pick and pack feature, plus it automatically handles the stock changes from transactions from other software platforms, including Shopify.

    To help support its updated software, the NX Group has recruited Peter Connolly, from Loughborough, to work closely with Access Group, while laying the groundwork for its future ecommerce operations.

    Peter said; “It’s been extremely rewarding to put my skills to good use with my own systems and frameworks plus those of Access Group in a fast growing logistics company.

    “I had heard about The NX Group, and I was intrigued by the business and its personal approach.”

    Neil Powell, Managing Director of The NX Group, said; “We’re very excited by the opportunities Access Group’s leading warehouse management software is providing, both for us and for our customers, who will find it easier than ever to use our systems, which can integrate with any ecommerce platform.

    “As a forward thinking company, we’re also keen to bring in bright young minds to the business, and Peter Connolly has provided excellent support for our continued expansion into ecommerce.

    “His invaluable expertise, coupled with the state-of-the-art systems from Access Group, will help shape the company as we look to provide an increasingly modern and bespoke service for our clients.”

    The NX Group is a comprehensive suite of supply chain solutions for businesses that require an extra level of quality and care for their products. Based in the golden triangle of logistics in Northamptonshire, its distribution, warehousing and courier divisions have grown year on year, thanks to its emphasis on quality, security and personal approach.

    For more information about The NX Group, visit www.thenxgroup.com. You can also follow the company on LinkedIn and on Twitter via @theNXGroup.

    The Access Group is a leading provider of integrated business management software. Its portfolio spans ERP, finance, HR, Payroll, Recruitment, warehousing, business intelligence, professional service automation and manufacturing. For more information, visit www.theaccessgroup.com.

    About Access Group

    You’ll love the efficiency and productivity Access software brings and the understanding help that’s always here to support you. Our innovative, business software means a more engaged and connected way of working that lets you focus on your business and gives you the freedom to do more.

    The Access suite connects the right people with the right data, across your business, allowing everyone to work together more efficiently and effectively. A broad selection of powerful apps meet the individuals need for flexibility and freedom in the way they work, with the businesses mandate of performance and control.

    Delivered on a single unified platform that connects the core business systems like finance and HR with industry-specific products, the Access suite provides the flexibility for you to pick and choose what you need, when you want it, without compromising the overall compatibility.

    Access employs over 1,400 people, supporting over 12,700 customers, across many varied industry sectors in the UK mid-market sector. With our understanding help always on-tap, we’re here to support you, no matter how long you’ve been with us.

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    Acas come to Northampton! Attend FREE Networking Event to learn what they can do for you

    Posted: 04/07/18 by Acas East Midlands

    Do you really understand what Acas do? This FREE Networking Event will provide you with valuable insight into how Acas can help your business.

    Delegates will have the opportunity to meet Acas advisers; find out more about the services provided (many of which are free) and network with other businesses from across the region.

    Free Networking Event

    Thursday 5th July

    10:00am - 12:30pm, includes lunch!

    For more information, please click here: http://bit.ly/AcasNthn

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    Ricky teams up with video games students to provide title’s soundtrack

    Posted: 04/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    A video game from University of Northampton students has been given the soundtrack treatment by a graduate.

    Popular Music graduate Ricky Westray was approached by a collective of Games Art and Computer Games Development students when they needed music composing for their arcade title, Kitchen Imps.

    Ricky, who graduated in 2017, came up with an addictive ditty for the co-operative game, which is still a work in progress

    You can watch a demo of Kitchen Imps and hear Ricky’s music on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9-60mrqnRw&feature=youtu.be

    “This was the first time I had ever attempted to make music for a student video game and I loved every minute of it,” said Ricky, who created the music on a Mac computer.

    “I had complete free rein to come up with something and it was so cool to be able to get so creative.

    “The video games industry isn’t something that’s going to go away, it’s massive, and this has given me a taste of the opportunities it provides musicians, and it’s something I am going to pursue.”

    Kitchen Imps has been developed by M!schief Games – a student collective comprising Andrea Maestri, Natalie Jones, Samuel Cross and Liwen Huang.

    Samuel said: “When we met up with Ricky and showed him Kitchen Imps we weren’t sure what he would come up with.

    “But we got exactly what we wanted and are delighted with how the music fits the game so well.”

    The M!schief team was recently announced as one of 18 winners of the Tranzfuser talent programme.

    Each winning team is given £5,000 in government funding to produce a prototype which will then be presented at a showcase later this year.

    At the event, selected teams will be encouraged to pitch for more funding of up to £25,000 from the UK Games Fund to commercialise their game and launch a company.

    The team is busy working on Kitchen Imps to get it ready to showcase at EGX, which is the UK’s biggest consumer-facing video games event (nearly 80,000 people travelled to last year show).

    Andrea said: “I’m thrilled to be part of one of the Tranzfuser winning teams, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They provide us with resources, people and tools that will bring our game to the next level. We’re really proud to be part of the next generation of game developers and can’t wait to see what will happen at EGX.”

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    GSSArchitecture selected for £200m university campus-wide redevelopment

    Posted: 04/07/18 by GSSArchitecture

    The University of Hull is currently undergoing a £200m campus-wide redevelopment to dramatically improve buildings and facilities, following a commitment to provide top-class services and an ideal environment for its 16,000 students and 2,500 employees.

    GSSArchitecture have been selected by the university as one of three key supply chain partners on their Professional Consultancy Services Framework. This major strategic exercise has identified the future needs and demands of the university to understand the ‘size and shape’ of the facilities needed going forward.

    The capital development plan includes the wholesale refurbishment of the Leven Building; a 3 storey 1960’s building which will become the new home for the Cambridge Education Group. The building will contain a mix of teaching and learning facilities, accompanied by academic staff offices to improve on current provision. Developments will provide a modern and professional working environment and will deliver learning resources for both collaborative and independent learning.

    Crucially, this project is the key to unlocking the remainder of the planned capital projects masterplan and has been delivered to meet an extremely challenging programme. Work is already on site for this £850k project, following a competitive tender and appointment of the design team in February earlier this year.

    John Tinkham of the University of Hull said, “We are very excited to be embarking on the refurbishment of the Leven building. These essential works will enable us to create a much-needed modern study environment and we are very much looking forward to enjoying the revitalised building.”

    Jonathan Hunter, Partner of GSS commented, “It is great to have been appointed for the refurbishment of this building and to be working alongside the University of Hull as a trusted partner in supporting the future of excellent teaching and learning on the campus.

    For more information about GSSArchitecture and its recent projects visit www.gssarchitecture.com

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    BCC: Credit ‘apathy’ restricting potential growth opportunities for SMEs

    Posted: 04/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    • Over half of UK businesses did not attempt to access finance in the last year

    • One-in-two businesses that did seek finance did so because of cash flow

    • Investment intentions are focused on incremental investments

    Over half of UK businesses have not attempted to apply for finance over the past year amid limited investment intentions and weakening cash flow, according to new research released today (X) by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with specialist commercial finance provider, Wesleyan Bank.

    According to the results of the survey of over 1,100 firms from across the UK, over half (56%) of businesses did not attempt to access finance over the last year. Smaller firms were less likely to access finance than larger businesses. Almost two-thirds (63%) of small firms (1-9 employees) did not seek finance, compared just over a third (39%) of larger firms (50 or more employees).

    For those that have, there is a clear preference for the conventional sources of finance such as overdrafts (18%), business loans (16%) and asset finance (9%). Less than 4% sought crowdfunding, peer-to-peer or angel finance.

    The findings reflect the need to increase competition in banking, including promoting initiatives like the Business Banking Insight*, increasing awareness of alternative finance options and ensuring that the British Business Bank has sufficient funding to help support some of our most promising firms on their growth journey. We also welcome the proposals for expanding SME access to the Financial Ombudsman service, such a service would bolster firms to go for finance in the first place, knowing there is somewhere to turn if things go wrong.

    Nearly half (49%) of those that sought finance did so because of cash flow, indicating the difficulties of firms trying to balance their incomings with outgoings. Two-fifths of respondents describe their cash flow over the last 12 months as ‘weak’. Issues are most prevalent in consumer-facing industries, and unsurprisingly smaller firms are more likely than their large counterparts to report weak cash flow.

    The research also found that businesses planning on investing over the next year are focusing on incremental investments rather than big expansions. Those planning on investing are primarily looking at putting money into operational initiatives such as marketing and advertising (49%), staff training (48%) and IT and data security (45%).

    The results underline the importance of kickstarting greater levels of business investment by addressing the escalating burden of upfront costs and taxes impeding firms’ ability to invest and grow, and reducing the degree of uncertainty around Brexit.

    Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Accessing finance remains crucial to the lifeblood of a business, yet a decade on from the financial crisis these results suggest that we have moved from a credit crunch to credit apathy where a lack of demand, rather than supply of finance is now the overriding issue. The weak demand for finance revealed in this survey is a key concern because it weighs on investment intentions and means that firms are treading water rather than going for growth, which is undermining the UK’s growth prospects.

    “While businesses continue to report a reluctance to borrow in the current economic climate, discouraged demand remains a real phenomenon with businesses reluctant to approach banks to try and get finance because of the assumption that they will either be rejected or that they will have other facilities re-evaluated.

    “The government also needs to do more to kick-start business investment. Firms need relief from the heavy burden of upfront costs which sap funds that could otherwise be spent on big capital expansions. Give companies the financial room to grow and clarity on Brexit and we’d see more long-term investment coming through.”

    Paul Slapa, Head of Direct Sales at Wesleyan Bank, said: “Understandably, some businesses are cautious about seeking finance given the fluctuating appetite of high-street lenders to support them. However, in reality there are now more alternative funding sources available from specialist providers than ever before to assist firms to grow so it’s worth exploring all potential options to make an informed decision.

    “The majority of businesses have cash flow funding requirements for a variety of reasons. Flexible alternative finance solutions enable them to spread the cost of short-term working capital liabilities, such as tax and VAT bills, to gain greater predictability over expenditure rather than accumulating more debt by relying solely on a bank overdraft facility. Tailored finance plans also cover all types of investment to allow businesses to gain access to the specialist equipment and technology they need to flourish, without being constrained by large, upfront costs.”

    Back to Latest News

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    BCC: Credit ‘apathy’ restricting potential growth opportunities for SMEs

    Posted: 04/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    • Over half of UK businesses did not attempt to access finance in the last year

    • One-in-two businesses that did seek finance did so because of cash flow

    • Investment intentions are focused on incremental investments

    Over half of UK businesses have not attempted to apply for finance over the past year amid limited investment intentions and weakening cash flow, according to new research released today (X) by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), in partnership with specialist commercial finance provider, Wesleyan Bank.

    According to the results of the survey of over 1,100 firms from across the UK, over half (56%) of businesses did not attempt to access finance over the last year. Smaller firms were less likely to access finance than larger businesses. Almost two-thirds (63%) of small firms (1-9 employees) did not seek finance, compared just over a third (39%) of larger firms (50 or more employees).

    For those that have, there is a clear preference for the conventional sources of finance such as overdrafts (18%), business loans (16%) and asset finance (9%). Less than 4% sought crowdfunding, peer-to-peer or angel finance.

    The findings reflect the need to increase competition in banking, including promoting initiatives like the Business Banking Insight*, increasing awareness of alternative finance options and ensuring that the British Business Bank has sufficient funding to help support some of our most promising firms on their growth journey. We also welcome the proposals for expanding SME access to the Financial Ombudsman service, such a service would bolster firms to go for finance in the first place, knowing there is somewhere to turn if things go wrong.

    Nearly half (49%) of those that sought finance did so because of cash flow, indicating the difficulties of firms trying to balance their incomings with outgoings. Two-fifths of respondents describe their cash flow over the last 12 months as ‘weak’. Issues are most prevalent in consumer-facing industries, and unsurprisingly smaller firms are more likely than their large counterparts to report weak cash flow.

    The research also found that businesses planning on investing over the next year are focusing on incremental investments rather than big expansions. Those planning on investing are primarily looking at putting money into operational initiatives such as marketing and advertising (49%), staff training (48%) and IT and data security (45%).

    The results underline the importance of kickstarting greater levels of business investment by addressing the escalating burden of upfront costs and taxes impeding firms’ ability to invest and grow, and reducing the degree of uncertainty around Brexit.

    Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Accessing finance remains crucial to the lifeblood of a business, yet a decade on from the financial crisis these results suggest that we have moved from a credit crunch to credit apathy where a lack of demand, rather than supply of finance is now the overriding issue. The weak demand for finance revealed in this survey is a key concern because it weighs on investment intentions and means that firms are treading water rather than going for growth, which is undermining the UK’s growth prospects.

    “While businesses continue to report a reluctance to borrow in the current economic climate, discouraged demand remains a real phenomenon with businesses reluctant to approach banks to try and get finance because of the assumption that they will either be rejected or that they will have other facilities re-evaluated.

    “The government also needs to do more to kick-start business investment. Firms need relief from the heavy burden of upfront costs which sap funds that could otherwise be spent on big capital expansions. Give companies the financial room to grow and clarity on Brexit and we’d see more long-term investment coming through.”

    Paul Slapa, Head of Direct Sales at Wesleyan Bank, said: “Understandably, some businesses are cautious about seeking finance given the fluctuating appetite of high-street lenders to support them. However, in reality there are now more alternative funding sources available from specialist providers than ever before to assist firms to grow so it’s worth exploring all potential options to make an informed decision.

    “The majority of businesses have cash flow funding requirements for a variety of reasons. Flexible alternative finance solutions enable them to spread the cost of short-term working capital liabilities, such as tax and VAT bills, to gain greater predictability over expenditure rather than accumulating more debt by relying solely on a bank overdraft facility. Tailored finance plans also cover all types of investment to allow businesses to gain access to the specialist equipment and technology they need to flourish, without being constrained by large, upfront costs.”

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    Training Rates for First Aid Training

    Posted: 04/07/18 by A.L.S. First Aid Training Ltd

    A.L.S have decided in order to get as many people trained in First Aid and life saving techniques, they are going to offer a promotion for the months of July and August.

    A single days training for up to 12 staff will be priced at £350 for the day. Usually prices are per person but to introduce compaines to our new daily charging rate we are offering this incredible deal.

    Usual price for 12 staff would be £660.

    Get trained in first aid, manual handling, Basic life support and many more for this price.

    Contact A.L.S for more information at: mailto:alan@alsfirstaidtraining.com

    Phone: 07787737376

    Web: https://www.alsfirstaidtraining.com

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    Arriva kicks-off Catch the Bus Week alongside Milton Keynes MP

    Posted: 04/07/18 by Arriva The Shires Ltd

    Conservative MP for Milton Keynes South, Iain Stewart, joined the team from Arriva Midlands at its depot on Colts Holm Road to officially launch the sixth annual Catch the Bus Week.

    Running from 2nd to 8th July, Catch the Bus Week is an industry-wide initiative being supported by sustainable transport group Greener Journeys, which urges people to try using the bus instead of their car by challenging the preconceptions of bus travel.

    Donning a giant green promotional foam hand, Mr Stewart took a tour of the Milton Keynes depot to find out more about how the business is actively working to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of bus usage to passengers.

    Simon Finnie, Area Managing Director for Arriva Midlands South, said: “Catch the Bus Week is a fantastic opportunity that helps celebrate all the benefits of bus travel. Buses offer communities much needed lifelines - reducing congestion, getting people to work and driving economic growth, and we are delighted to have been able to welcome Iain along to our depot in Milton Keynes to see first-hand the commitment and dedication we have to delivering those all-important services to the people within her constituency.”

    Iain Stewart MP, added: “I am very grateful to Arriva for inviting me to visit their MK bus depot today to help mark Catch the Bus Week. Bus travel is too often the unsung part of our transport system but millions of people across the country rely on them. Parliament’s Transport Committee, of which I am a member, is about to start an inquiry on how we can make bus travel even better for passengers.

    Smart, new buses are being introduced on many routes in MK. If you haven’t tried one in a while, hop on board!”

    For more information about Catch the Bus Week visit www.catchthebusweek.co.uk. To find out more about Arriva Midlands’ services in Milton Keynes please log on to www.arrivabus.co.uk/beds-and-bucks or download the free Arriva Bus App on iPhone or Android device.

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    CDR Pumps holds Open Day to mark anniversary

    Posted: 03/07/18 by CDR Pumps Ltd

    CDR Pumps is hosting an Open Day on Thursday 5 July to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

    The leading independent pump manufacturer is holding the event to say a big thank you to all its customers and suppliers for their support over the past two decades.

    Managing director Ashley Fenn said: “The Open Day will be a great opportunity for us to say thank you and for visitors to see firsthand the very latest developments in pump technology with live demonstrations of the revolutionary new Electronically Operated Double Diaphragm Pump and our very own brand new solids handling mag drive pump, a huge leap forward in fluid handling technology.”

    The Open Day will run from 10am until 2pm and refreshments will be available.

    Anyone who would like to attend should email sales@cdrpumps.co.uk

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    Start off the Summer Season at the Teeyan Da Mela!

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Sikh Community Centre & Youth Club - SCCYC

    Once again, the wonderful ladies from the Sikh community have volunteered to organise a ladies only social gathering - a celebration to start off the Summer Season - Teeyan Da Mela!

    Teeyan is a Punjabi cultural festival to celebrate happiness, prosperity and well-being.

    The event itinerary includes performances, music, dance, and children’s activities. Dress code: Punjabi dress

    Do book your tickets in advance so that the Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club (SCCYC) can cater accordingly.

    Details: Sunday 8th July. 1pm - 4pm.

    Venue: Camp Hill Community Centre, Dayrell Road, Northampton, NN4 9RR

    Tickets: Advance tickets - £8 (adults), £5 (children under 18 years), FREE (children under 5 years). At the door: Adult & Child £16

    Contact: Baldeep - 07538 773411 / Pammi: 07506 230210 / SCCYC: 01604 475802

    Email: mailto:pindy@watersideconnect.com

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    Attention landlords! Have you got the new How To Rent Guide: June 2018?

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Inspired Sales & Lettings Ltd

    Landlords should note that the actual booklet must be provided to the tenant, not just a link, for all new assured shorthold tenancies and replacement ASTs (including statutory periodic tenancies) that arise from now on.

    If the correct booklet is not served on the tenant, then for any tenancy post 1 October 2015, a section 21 notice cannot be served.

    It is also important for landlords to serve the How to Rent booklet in the correct way, as serving the booklet incorrectly will again mean that a section 21 notice cannot be served.

    Need a copy? Please do not hesitate to contact our lettings team on 01908 373580.

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    The Great Gatsby Christmas at the Dallas Burston Polo Club

    Posted: 03/07/18 by IXL Events Centre at Dallas Burston Polo Club

    Are you thinking about Christmas in July? Well look no further!

    The Great Gatsby is coming to the Dallas Burston Polo Club…....

    Package will include the following:
    Free glass of fizz on arrival
    Pre-dinner entertainment
    4 Course Dinner
    Live Show
    State of the art DJ and Disco
    Photo Booth/Professional Photographer
    Charity Casino*
    Drinks Packages*
    Late bar until 1:00 am.
    *Optional

    If you are looking for a new, luxurious and exciting venue for your Company Christmas Party - Dallas Burston Polo Club is the Venue.

    Prices start from £55 + VAT per person. Dates are filling up quickly. For further information please do drop me an email on jojoshi24@gmail.com

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    First event coming soon

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Bespoke PA Services

    Bespoke PA services is delighted to be organising the first of a series of events between VAs, but also PAs and EAs.

    This first meeting will be hopefully the start to a vast network in Milton Keynes and outskirts (within 20 miles or above if you would like to join).

    There will be the possibility of knowing each other and discussing how attendees would like the “get together” to be organised.

    Held on Thursday, 12th July. The location will be De Vere Horwood Estate, Mursley Road, Little Horwood, Milton Keynes MK17 0PH.

    Please call 07511 143992 for more information.


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    £5 off this month’s Curry Club

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

    Join Rashmita Shah on Friday 6 July and learn how to create a delicious Delhi Khari Curry and then transform it into a bespoke curry of your choice! Use coupon code SUB18 to receive £5 off the usual price of £24.50pp.

    Whether you love a Jalfrezi, Madras, Dhansak or Korma, Rashmita will help you choose additional spices and ingredients to add to the Khari curry to suit your tastes. When this is done you will sit down to enjoy your very own bespoke curry with a selection of side dishes and naan breads. The meal will end with a taste of a sweet dessert specially prepared for you.

    Full details can be found by clicking here https://www.btcworkshops.co.uk/product/curry-club-6-july-2018/

    Held on Friday 6 July, 7-9pm.

    For more details on all our workshops and to book your place, visit our website at www.btcworkshops.co.uk, email helen@btcworkshops.co.uk or call 01327 361720.

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    Brexit: Time running out for answers to firms’ real-world questions, says BCC

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today (Tuesday) published the two-dozen top real-world questions being asked on Brexit by businesses across the UK – and says the government has managed to make limited progress on just 2 of the 23 issues where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the UK’s departure from the EU.

    In the aftermath of June’s European Council summit – with little progress made in narrowing the gap between the two sides – and ahead of Cabinet deliberations later this week on the UK’s negotiating stance, the BCC warns that continued uncertainty on firms’ day-to-day P&L questions is causing a significant slowdown in business investment.

    The leading business organisation is calling on the UK government to draw a line under internal political debate and deliver urgent clarity on the practical, detailed issues that underpin trade – or face a continued deterioration in investment intentions and confidence as the clock ticks down to the October deadline to complete the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    As negotiations progress, Chambers of Commerce will be assessing progress against these questions. To date, businesses have had some assurances on the status of EU nationals in the UK workforce and on the industrial standards regime – hence the ‘amber’ ratings for these two issues. All others remain red, including:

    • On Tax, whether a business will need to pay VAT on goods at point of import, and will services firms need to be registered in every EU Members State where it has clients

    • On Tariffs, what Rules of Origin firms will have to comply with to receive preferential tariff rates

    • On Customs, whether goods will be subject to new procedures, and delayed at border checkpoints

    • On Regulation, whether checks on goods conducted in the UK will be recognised by the EU

    • On Mobility, whether businesses will be able to transfer staff between the EU and the UK using the same processes as currently

    • On R&D projects, whether UK businesses will be able to participate in EU projects after 2020

    BCC warns that time is of the essence – with many firms making contingency plans or considering investment alternatives. The full list of 23 priorities is available from the BCC’s press office.

    Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Over the past two years, businesses have been patient. We have supported the government’s drive to seek the best possible deal for the UK economy. We have given time, expertise and real-world experience to support hard-pressed civil service negotiators. We have convened all across the UK to ensure that every business community’s Brexit concerns can be heard by elected representatives and officials.

    “Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU, business patience is reaching breaking point.

    “Businesses have every right to speak out when it is abundantly clear that the practical questions affecting the competitiveness of their firms and the livelihoods of millions of people remain unanswered. With less than nine months go to until Brexit day, we are little closer to the answers businesses need than we were the day after the referendum.

    “It’s time for politicians to stop the squabbling and the Westminster point-scoring – and start putting the national economic interest first. These are not ‘siren voices’ or special interests. They are the practical, real-world concerns of businesses of every size and sector, in every part of the UK.”

    *Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce is holding a Planning Ahead of Brexit event on Friday, 13 July at 8.30am. Find out more and book your place by clicking here

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    Brexit: Time running out for answers to firms’ real-world questions, says BCC

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today (Tuesday) published the two-dozen top real-world questions being asked on Brexit by businesses across the UK – and says the government has managed to make limited progress on just 2 of the 23 issues where clarity is urgently needed so that firms can plan their trade following the UK’s departure from the EU.

    In the aftermath of June’s European Council summit – with little progress made in narrowing the gap between the two sides – and ahead of Cabinet deliberations later this week on the UK’s negotiating stance, the BCC warns that continued uncertainty on firms’ day-to-day P&L questions is causing a significant slowdown in business investment.

    The leading business organisation is calling on the UK government to draw a line under internal political debate and deliver urgent clarity on the practical, detailed issues that underpin trade – or face a continued deterioration in investment intentions and confidence as the clock ticks down to the October deadline to complete the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.

    As negotiations progress, Chambers of Commerce will be assessing progress against these questions. To date, businesses have had some assurances on the status of EU nationals in the UK workforce and on the industrial standards regime – hence the ‘amber’ ratings for these two issues. All others remain red, including:

    • On Tax, whether a business will need to pay VAT on goods at point of import, and will services firms need to be registered in every EU Members State where it has clients

    • On Tariffs, what Rules of Origin firms will have to comply with to receive preferential tariff rates

    • On Customs, whether goods will be subject to new procedures, and delayed at border checkpoints

    • On Regulation, whether checks on goods conducted in the UK will be recognised by the EU

    • On Mobility, whether businesses will be able to transfer staff between the EU and the UK using the same processes as currently

    • On R&D projects, whether UK businesses will be able to participate in EU projects after 2020

    BCC warns that time is of the essence – with many firms making contingency plans or considering investment alternatives. The full list of 23 priorities is available from the BCC’s press office.

    Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Over the past two years, businesses have been patient. We have supported the government’s drive to seek the best possible deal for the UK economy. We have given time, expertise and real-world experience to support hard-pressed civil service negotiators. We have convened all across the UK to ensure that every business community’s Brexit concerns can be heard by elected representatives and officials.

    “Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU, business patience is reaching breaking point.

    “Businesses have every right to speak out when it is abundantly clear that the practical questions affecting the competitiveness of their firms and the livelihoods of millions of people remain unanswered. With less than nine months go to until Brexit day, we are little closer to the answers businesses need than we were the day after the referendum.

    “It’s time for politicians to stop the squabbling and the Westminster point-scoring – and start putting the national economic interest first. These are not ‘siren voices’ or special interests. They are the practical, real-world concerns of businesses of every size and sector, in every part of the UK.”

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    EU adopts proposal to reduce support for farmers for the financial year 2019 to finance crisis reserve

    Posted: 03/07/18 by Lamb & Holmes Solicitors

    The European Commission has adopted a proposal to reduce spending on support for farmers for the financial year 2019 to finance the crisis reserve.

    Direct payments are funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF). The financial discipline proposal is made each year and reduces spending under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in order to set aside EUR 400 million (in 2011 prices) to cover potential crises in agricultural markets.

    The proposal for 2019 aims to reduce CAP direct payments in excess of EUR 2,000 by 1.422184%.

    In addition to creating the crisis reserve each year, the financial discipline mechanism can also be used to ensure that EAGF expenditure stays within the annual limits agreed as part of the overall seven-year EU financial framework (the so-called MFF). However, current estimates for direct payments and market related expenditure for 2019 suggest that they will be within the agreed limit and therefore the present financial discipline proposal does not foresee any reduction for that purpose.

    According to CAP legislation, amounts generated by financial discipline which remain available in the EAGF budget at the end of the financial year, including those of the crisis reserve, have to be reimbursed to farmers. Since the establishment of the crisis reserve in 2014, it has never had to be used, and the money set aside each year has been made available again to farmers.

    Information taken from the European Commission Website: https://ec.europa.eu

    To find out more about how Lamb and Holmes can help with any queries regarding Agricultural Law, please visit http://www.lambandholmes.com/commercial-law-services/agricultural-law or alternatively please contact our Kettering office on 01536 513 195.

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    Hospice welcomes MK to Amsterdam cyclists home

    Posted: 02/07/18 by Willen Hospice

    Willen Hospice has welcomed home 40 cyclists who embarked on an epic 300km ride from MK to Amsterdam, raising more than £51,000 for the charity.

    The team spent three days cycling the route, which took them from the Hospice to the port of Harwich, across the channel to the Hook of Holland, before taking the beautiful journey along the coast, and inland to Amsterdam.

    Willen Hospice Chief Executive, Peta Wilkinson said: “I would like to thank each and every one of the amazing cyclists and support crew who travelled to Amsterdam. What a fabulous challenge! The effort they put in to not only the cycling, but into their fundraising, and to the teamwork and support they showed each other during
    the ride, has been phenomenal.”

    Chris Blackham from Cycle4good, who supported the Hospice to organise the challenge, added: “The riders, whether experienced or new to cycling, were a superb group and their sense of fun and determination to raise as much as they could for Willen Hospice ensured they got though the 180 miles to Amsterdam together. Well done to everyone!”

    The Hospice would like to thank sponsors EMW LLP, Marcus Jordan Property Management, MPA Group and Endorphin Group for their support to make the trip possible.

    Willen Hospice is also encouraging keen cyclists to sign up for the charity’s Ride for Willen Sportif. It takes place on 2 September, starting at Cranfield University. Riders can take on three routes of either 27, 40 or 65 miles,
    around the picturesque villages and outskirts of Milton Keynes.

    Find out more at www.willen-hospice.org.uk/rideforwillen

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    University hits the Gold Mark once again thanks to breadth and depth of social enterprise work

    Posted: 02/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    The University of Northampton’s commitment to making a beneficial impact on communities and the environment has been recognised with a national recognition for the second year in a row.

    The ‘Social Enterprise Gold Mark’ is awarded by the Social Enterprise Mark CIC to organisations who are leaders in being open, honest and fair in terms of their governance procedures, business ethics and how they fund social and environmental impact projects.

    The Gold Mark was originally awarded in recognition of the University’s dedication to social innovation and social impact, either corporately or through its outward facing projects through its Changemaker initiative.

    Changemaker is a University of Northampton-wide initiative which focuses on staff and students finding solutions to environmental or social problems to improve people’s lives, either at home or abroad.

    By retaining the Gold Mark, the University of Northampton shows it continues to demonstrate excellence in these areas.

    Welcoming the Gold Mark Wray Irwin, Head of University of Northampton’s Centre for Employability and Engagement, said: “The breadth and depth of the University of Northampton’s commitment to delivering social impact through our Changemaker student experience, has been singled out as the defining component of its Gold Mark recognition.

    “Delivering social impact through Changemaking enables every student and member of staff to pursue their passion and address social inequality and environmental issues in a way that ‘transforms lives and inspires change’ so I’m really pleased we have kept the Social Enterprise Mark CIC.”

    Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark Company CIC, added: “Over the past year that the University of Northampton has held the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, I have been impressed with the social enterprise leadership and ‘social value for money’ that runs ‘like a stick of rock’ throughout the University.

    “It’s not just words, it’s action – with students, the wider community and other partners.”

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    Leading digital art magazine puts the spotlight on rising star Ellie

    Posted: 02/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    The future looks bright for a University of Northampton Games Art student after her work was featured in a major magazine.

    ImagineFX, the world’s best-selling digital art magazine, devoted a double-page spread to Ellie Cooper’s portfolio – and she’s hoping the exposure will help her to land her first job in the video games industry.

    “I’m really happy to be in ImagineFX, especially as I am featured alongside some brilliant other artists,” said the 20 year old from Towcester.

    “I had a feeling my work was going in the magazine as they asked me for higher resolution images, and when the issue came through the post I handed it to my dad to open it.

    “When he found my work in there, he, myself and my mum all went a bit mad – it was a surreal feeling. I’ve since had people online congratulating me, including some industry experts, so hopefully it has helped to get my work noticed.”

    Ellie’s newly found exposure has given her CV a boost as she looks to break into the games art world – something she’s now concentrating on doing, having recently completed her final year of studies.

    “The games industry is incredibly tough,” said Ellie. “My ultimate ambition would to be to work for Ubisoft, especially on their Assassin’s Creed series, as that’s the game that has always inspired me.

    “But for now, I’m pursuing junior design roles and it may be that I will have to undertake an internship, but whatever it takes, I’ll do it.”

    Ellie discovered her love for digital art when she was 10 years old, after becoming fascinated by an image of a mythical horse. Her dad, Mark, explained it was created by somebody using Photoshop. He gave her a copy of the program to experiment with, followed by a tablet so that she could paint her own images.

    Ellie said: “I was at boarding school and spent two years there in my spare time creating artwork on that tablet and I started to think about designing my own art for video games.

    “Having two older brothers meant there were always video games in our house and I preferred to marvel at the graphics and backgrounds rather than the gameplay. The game that really started it all for me was Okami, and then I progressed on to a love of titles like Uncharted, Tomb Raider and The Last of Us.”

    After searching for appropriate university courses, Ellie discovered Games Art at Northampton.

    “I’m so glad I found it,” she said. “I’ve learnt so much and grown as a person over the last three years.

    “The lecturers are amazing. When I arrived I knew nothing about the industry and what I wanted to do once I had graduated. The lecturers demystified everything for me, and gave me plenty of time to time to discover what I wanted to specialise in, whether it was character, concept or environment art.

    “I now feel fully equipped for that first job in the industry.”

    View Ellie’s online portfolio: https://www.artstation.com/elliejcooper

    Find out more about Games Art on the course page: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/games-art-ba-hons/

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    Chair and trustee of the Hope Centre steps down

    Posted: 02/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    University of Northampton Lecturer, Adrian Pryce, has announced that he is to step down as chair and trustee of Northamptonshire homelessness charity, the Hope Centre.

    During his six year tenure as chair, and nine years as trustee, Adrian has overseen a great deal of change and growth at the Hope Centre.

    The charity, with the help of volunteers, works to actively tackle homelessness within Northamptonshire. It provides practical services that help people survive poverty, as well as providing training and skills to improve employability.

    Adrian Pryce, Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business, said: “The time is now right for me to step aside, after several years that have seen significant changes in the Hope Centre. The charity is in a much stronger position now than ever, in terms of being asset-backed and with a higher profile and standing in the community.

    “It has not only survived the difficult funding environment of the past few years but is in a stable financial position and launching several major new initiatives. I leave the charity with a strong, experienced and capable chief executive in Robin Burgess to lead Hope forward.”

    The most recent initiative which Adrian helped to set up was the Hope Business Forum, a meeting place for local business leaders who care about the community.

    Adrian added: “I am very proud of Hope’s recent achievements, including setting up the Hope Business Forum. With so many dedicated people associated with Hope, and all its exciting new projects, the charity can look forward to the future with confidence. It is well-placed to make a significantly enhanced impact on the lives of the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community, a cause so dear to all of us.”

    Adrian will continue his work in the community through his role as the Chair and Guardian Trustee of the Scott Bader Commonwealth, based in Wollaston, as well as in support of Northamptonshire and its Lord Lieutenant David Laing as one of his Deputy Lieutenants, paying particular attention to youth issues – youth creativity and enterprise as well as youth disadvantage.

    For more information on the Hope Centre, please click here.

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    A ‘paws for thought’ after walking the dog leads local nurse to support dementia centre

    Posted: 02/07/18 by The University of Northampton

    Taking his dog for a walk in the park sparked a nurse’s decision to raise more than £1m for a dementia support centre.

    Marty Pumbien was out exercising his dog Stumpy, so named because of his shorter than average legs, in Abington Park, Northampton when he noticed an elderly lady also out taking the air.

    Seeing that she was confused, but also comforted by Stumpy, Marty struck up a conversation about him. Marty recognised the lady possibly had dementia and needed more assistance so the group took a joint stroll back to Marty’s house, which overlooks the park.

    Their conversation continued over tea and the lady remembered where she lived so Marty was able to drive her home, contact her family members and organise a wellness check for her. She was also reunited with her own pet dog.

    This simple meeting led to a light-bulb moment for Marty, a nurse for more than 20 years and for whom working with dementia patients such as the ‘Lady in the park’ was not unusual.

    Passionate about providing great care and having seen that dementia support can sometimes be lacking, Marty resolved to put his money where his passion lay by putting his four bedroom home into a ‘Win a House’ competition – with a difference.

    Part of the proceeds from the competition will go toward funding Northampton’s dementia support centre UnityDEM, co-run by the University of Northampton and First for Wellbeing.

    Marty said: “I never thought a chance encounter between our dog and an old lady in the park would snowball like this. But after a year of planning here we are, poised to hand the keys of our house over to the lucky winner.

    “In one way or another, we all know someone affected by dementia. In fact, 1 in 3 children born in the UK in 2015 will go on to develop a form of dementia* and currently there is no cure.

    “UnityDEM offers a type of ‘brain rehab’, based on research that shows this type of intervention can slow the progression of dementia and, possibly, keep people at home for longer.

    “This has massive benefits for everyone from those with dementia, their carers and centres like these could even reduce the burden on the NHS and social care bodies.

    “Annie and I would both like to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken part so far. We really hope people continue to help support UnityDEM and try winning a house for a fiver.”

    * https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/one-in-three-2015-develop-dementia/

    UnityDEM is a ‘one stop shop’ for care, information, training and guidance for people who have been recently diagnosed with a form of dementia. Crucially, their carers have access to the same support at the same time.

    Supported by the University and the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the competition involves entrants successfully answering a simple question about Northampton to take part.

    Each ‘entry’ is then £5 and people who are interested can enter as many times as they want, providing they meet the eligibility criteria.

    Details about the layout of the four bedroom house, worth £650,000 its features as well as the full terms and conditions can be found on their website.

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    Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival is a Great Success!

    Posted: 02/07/18 by MacIntyre

    It was a fabulous day at the Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival at Willen Lake on Saturday.

    MacIntyre was the official charity for this year’s event, and despite the team coming in last (out of 41 teams!), an incredible day was had by all taking part. Gable Events, the festival organisers have been working with MacIntyre over the past year to create another successful Dragon Boat Festival. Media partners, Business MK and MKFM have also been fantastic supporters of the event with MKFM being present on the day to broadcast from Willen Lake and try their hand at paddling. Special thanks also to Vanessa Barton Photography, official event photographers, and Melis, authentic Turkish cuisine and their sponsors Merinvest, who donated a prize meal to the winners of the most fundraised money for MacIntyre.

    The festival raised over £13,000 for MacIntyre thanks to the Gold and Silver sponsors of this year’s festival as well as sponsorship raised from the teams on the day. Claire Kennedy, Head of Fundraising for MacIntyre said “we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the Dragon Boat Festival and for raising such an incredible amount of money for MacIntyre. All funds raised from the event will benefit people MacIntyre supports in Milton Keynes. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival and hope that you will all join us again”.

    Gold Sponsors

    AFL Hyperscale

    Alpha Club MK Ltd

    Calverton Finance

    EDW Technology Ltd

    Jarvis Group Ltd

    Little Star Media

    SMC Pneumatics UK Ltd

    Silver Sponsors

    AC Flooring

    Forticrete Ltd

    Rockwell Automation Limited

    Willmott Dixon Construction

    Well done to the Brinklow Barbarians from Kuehne + Nagel, the winners of this year’s festival. They also raised the most sponsorship for MacIntyre – making them the winners of a meal at Melis Restaurant for the whole crew, sponsored by Merinvest. All winners were crowned with a presentation of trophies, medals and bouquets of flowers, courtesy of Ruth’s Floral Design Studio.

    Also in the prizes were:

    2nd place – The Dragondoliers – Little Star Media

    3rd place – The Wild Hogs 2 - Cranswick PLC Milton Keynes

    4th place – Titanic – Jarvis Group Ltd

    5th place – Loh Mann Left Behind – Lohmann Technologies UK

    Best Dressed Crew - Little Star Media

    Best Placed Mixed Crew - Little Star Media

    The full results can be found here: http://dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/dragon-boat-festivals/milton-keynes/results/

    In addition to the festival itself there were plenty of activities throughout the day to keep spectators entertained; a Tai Chi demonstration by the Taioist Tai Chi Group, Hamster Zorbing, a flypast from a Battle of Britain Dakota, and a giant Dragon cake which will feature on the popular Channel 4 programme Extreme Cake Makers in the Autumn. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/extreme-cake-makers MacIntyre were gifted this incredible cake by Oak FurnitureLand https://twitter.com/OFLoakfurniture following their store reopening that morning. The cake was made by Rosie Cake Diva https://www.rosiecakediva.com/ who features on the TV programme.

    For more information and to register interest for the 2019 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival please contact Gable Events carol@gableevents.co.uk 01780 470718

    For more information on MacIntyre please visit their website www.macintyrecharity.org or cal 01908 230100

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    ‘Festival Fever’ set to hit centre:mk, 7th and 8th July 2018

    Posted: 02/07/18 by centre:mk

    The region’s leading shopping and leisure destination; centre:mk is preparing for Festival season by welcoming guests to its brand new weekend event; Festival Fever.

    The event, which takes place in centre:mk’s outdoor area ‘Queens Court’ takes place through 7th and 8th July and will be offering a range of free activity to get guests festival ready.

    Whether it’s Creamfields, Bestival or Reading & Leeds Festivals that are on your summer programme, centre:mk has everything needed to get festival ready. The Queens Court pop-up makeover tent will offer the very latest festival trends for free; from hair chalking and braiding, to body glittering and face gems to henna tattoos, Guests can chill out in the sun whilst kicking back listening to the centre:mk guest DJ.

    What’s more between 12-4pm both days guests will be treated to free circus performances in the form of fire shows, aerial rig performances and stilt walkers. Guests wanting to try their hand at it, can get involved in the circus skills workshops which will be running throughout the afternoon too.

    The full programme of circus performances across ‘Festival Fever’ is as follows;

    The programme is the same for both days.

    Circus Skills Workshop 12:00-16:00

    Balloon Modeller 12:00-14:00

    JEM Festival Make-up by Jenny Buckland Studios 12:00-16:00

    Living Statues 12:00-12:30

    Aerial Rig Performer 12:30-13:00

    Fire Show 13:00-13:45

    Living Statues 13:45-14:15

    Aerial Rig Performer 14:00-14:30

    Stilt Walkers 14:15-15:00

    Fire Show 15:00-15:45

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    Super scooters thanked by Willen Hospice

    Posted: 02/07/18 by Willen Hospice

    A group of young fundraisers were treated to a special party at Safari MK on Thursday to say thank you for taking part in the Willen Hospice Mini Moo Scooterthon.

    The event, which took place in May, raised more than £12,000 for the charity. All children who raised more than £100 in scoot sponsorship were invited to the exclusive event where they were presented with certificates and prizes. They also had the chance to play together and meet mascots Florence the Cow and Charlie Monkey.

    The party was also a chance to launch the Hospice’s Summer Scooterthon, a brand new event that will take place at Silverstone race track on Wednesday 1 August. Starting at 7pm, the Scooterthon will be a chance for children aged 3-11 to take a spin on their mini wheels around the Stowe Circuit, at the home of the British Grand Prix.

    Events Fundraiser, Gemma Cantwell, said: “Our Mini-Moo Scooterthon was such a success. Our party was a chance to say thank you to all the children who did so well by raising significant sponsorship money, which makes such a difference to the care we provide.

    “Following its success, we are so excited to be taking Scooterthon to Silverstone. This is a chance for even more children to get involved, help their local Hospice, and get to ride on the same track as famous racing driving icons such as Lewis Hamilton. We can’t wait!”

    Entry for the Summer Scooterthon is £10 and tickets can be booked at www.willen-hospice.org.uk/scooterthon

    The charity needs to raise £4.7 million from the local community every year to ensure they can continue to offer end of life care to patients in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas. Events like Scooterthon are a great way for the public to support the Hospice.

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    South Northamptonshire - number one for economic vibrancy in the county

    Posted: 29/06/18 by South Northamptonshire Council

    One of the world’s largest independent business accountancy firms has identified South Northamptonshire as the most economically vibrant district in the county.

    For the last six years Grant Thornton has issued the Northamptonshire Limited report which focusses on the growth of Northamptonshire’s top 100 privately owned businesses.

    In a national league table of local authority areas, South Northamptonshire features in the top 40 per cent of places in the country. The ranking is a measure of growth, innovation, social equality, health and happiness.

    Cllr Stephen Clarke, South Northamptonshire Council’s (SNC) Portfolio Holder for Growth and Regeneration, said: “South Northamptonshire “This report shows that during a time of uncertainty the district continues to be a good place to live, work, invest and grow.”

    The Northamptonshire Limited report analyses the financial performance of the county’s leading privately owned companies to provide a yardstick against which to measure health of the local economy.

    The findings of the 2018 report showed that the combined turnover of the 100 companies rose by 5.6 per cent to £6 billion and Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Depreciation increased by 17.3 per cent to £414 million.

    The analysis also showed that employment levels have risen by an impressive 9.7 per cent.

    Average remuneration was £28,710 decreasing slightly by 1.6 per cent.

    In addition to seven of the top 100 county firms with bases registered in South Northamptonshire, the district has 66 business parks and is home to over 5,000 companies, including: AMG Petronas Motorsport, Faccenda, John Lewis and Yusen Logistics.

    80 per cent of the working age population is employed and the district’s workforce also has an above average level of education, with over 90 per cent qualified to NVQ1 and above.

    A recent study showed that around 2.7million tourists also visit the district each year and spend over £183.5million, and in addition to good roads links via the M1 and M40 motorways, the district is at the centre of the Oxford-Cambridge growth corridor and has five international airports within a two hour drive.

    With a rising population and ambitious numbers of new houses being built, South Northamptonshire is perfectly positioned to grow and thrive, for more information, visit - www.investinsouthnorthants.com.

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    In Memoriam: Joan Carnell

    Posted: 29/06/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

    It is with great sadness that Northampton Saints announces the passing of Joan Carnell, who has died aged 75 following a two-and-a-half year battle against cancer.

    Joan was a cherished figure at Franklin’s Gardens on matchdays amongst all media who visited the Club.

    Having looked after the press room for well over a decade, she added a personal touch to the matchday experience for the press corps.

    “I know I speak for all the rugby writers when I say how much we appreciated Joan’s pleasant, diligent and welcoming presence on a matchday at Saints,” said Hugh Godwin, rugby correspondent at iNews and honorary secretary of the Rugby Writers’ Club.

    “When I saw her in recent months she seemed to be bearing her illness with great fortitude. RIP dear Joan, and our condolences to her family, from the rugby writers.”

    BBC Radio Northampton’s Graham McKechnie added: “The press room at Saints will not be the same without Joan. She might not be as widely known as an England captain or a Lions international, but Joan was every bit as important as part of the fabric of the Club.

    “She was one of the first people you’d meet at Franklin’s Gardens and her welcome could not have been warmer.

    “She was always radiated good cheer, even during her recent illness, and I’m certain that’s how she’d want us to remember her. I’m sure I speak for all journalists when I say how much we’ll miss her.”

    Joan did not let her cancer stop her getting to Franklin’s Gardens, and she was working at matches right up until the end of last season, with her last game being Saints’ victory over Worcester Warriors in May.

    Despite her illness, she was also able to see her daughters get married in recent years and was a wonderful grandmother to her four grandchildren.

    Her other love was singing, and she was an active member of ‘Sound Sensation’ – the concert group of Kettering Operatic Society.

    Former Saints communications manager Chris Wearmouth, who worked with Joan during his time at the Gardens, said: “Joan was special, and she certainly did not deserve to have to be fighting this disease.

    “To say that the Saints was one of the cornerstones of Joan’s life is the hugest of understatements. The fortnightly fixtures gave her something to aim for, a new target to get to, and whenever she was not able to come she was mortified, regardless of the reason.

    “She was one of those people who made Northampton Saints distinctive, and the reaction to the news of her passing says it all about how much people who knew her loved and appreciated her. She’ll be hugely missed.”

    Joan’s memorial service will be at 2.30pm on Thursday 12 July, held at Carey Baptist Church in Kettering. Joan’s family requests that pink/bright colours are worn.

    Donations in Joan’s name will be split between Cransley Hospice and the Centenary Wing at Kettering General Hospital.

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    Capital and revenue grants are now available for eligible businesses in Northamptonshire

    Posted: 28/06/18 by Northamptonshire Growth Hub

    Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Northamptonshire are invited to apply for up to £20,000 Business Support Grants to stimulate their growth, strengthen their position in the market and create jobs in the county.

    The Business Support Grants are part of the Ready2Grow project and offer revenue and capital grants to eligible SMEs who have investment ready projects which can be completed with expenditure claimed by the end of November 2018.

    The revenue grants are from £2,000 to £10,000 and cover the procurement of consultancy services. This could range from external expertise overhauling your digital marketing channels, to more specialist consultancy undertaking market research for your new products and ideas.

    The capital grants are from £5,000 to £20,000 bearing the costs of the renovation, conversion or refurbishment of commercial premises for business expansion. The procurement of new assets, such as equipment, apparatus, machinery, and technology that will lead to significant business growth, are also eligible.

    One of the local businesses that has recently been awarded a grant is NN1 Personnel, a recruitment agency that supplies temporary HGV drivers to a wide range of logistics clients in Northamptonshire.

    Justyna Sodel, director at NN1 Personnel says: “The Ready2Grow project supported our company with a grant towards the costs of our promotional marketing campaign. This really helped us with our online presence and strengthened the brand awareness giving us opportunities to engage with new clients and grow our business.”

    The grant scheme is part of a wider package of support offered under the Ready2Grow project which includes 121 business advice, a variety of workshops and access to expert knowledge. The Ready2Grow project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is delivered in Northamptonshire by the Growth Hub, the University of Northampton and Northamptonshire County Council.

    Julie Tebbutt, operations manager at Northamptonshire Growth Hub, says: “We understand that there are often significant barriers to growth for SMEs. The new Business Support Grants have been designed in response to client feedback and should help businesses to break down those barriers in order to facilitate their desired growth.

    “We’re very much looking forward to awarding grants to SMEs in order to drive the local economy through the creation of additional jobs across the county.”

    Applications should be submitted by 12 noon on Friday, August 3, 2018.

    Anyone wishing to know more can call the Growth Hub on 01604 212696, or email R2G@northamptonshiregrowthhub.co.uk for details on eligibility and how to apply.

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    Manual Handling and First Aid Training

    Posted: 28/06/18 by A.L.S. First Aid Training Ltd

    A.L.S First Aid Training is now offering training to companies on a daily rate instead of individual prices.

    They have found that companies have taken to this as they are getting more training done and more staff qualified for a one off price in one day instead of having to lose staff for pro-longed periods.

    If you feel they can help and you require training such as for Manual Handling and First aid done in one day, then please get in touch with mailto:alan@alsfirstaidtraining.com or http://www.alsfirstaidtraining.com

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    Acme Business Solutions and Consultancy Ltd. unveil exciting new product

    Posted: 28/06/18 by ACME Business Solutions and Consultancy Ltd

    ACME BSC always try and stay ahead of the game, as with technology moving so fast and so many new products and apps hitting the market every week, its hard to know what is good and what is not so good. As I.T. consultants they feel it’s their obligation to test many of these products before offering them to customers.

    This is why they are pleased to announce that they can now offer our new and existing customers telecomms in the cloud, from our partner CloudTalk. As the internet infrastructure improves and people need the flexibility to work from home, office or on the move, they feel that this is a great product to offer their customers.

    CloudTalk enables an in-office experience for all mobile workers, remote teleworkers and business travellers, using the device of their choice – be it a smartphone, tablet or PC. They are looking forward to demonstrating it to customers and improving their communications.

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    Cook up a Khari Curry Banquet at Bay Tree Cottage

    Posted: 28/06/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

    Join Rashmita Shah on Friday 6 July and learn how to create a delicious Delhi Khari Curry and then transform it into a bespoke curry of your choice!

    Whether you love a Jalfrezi, Madras, Dhansak or Korma, Rashmita will help you choose additional spices and ingredients to add to the Khari curry to suit your tastes.

    When this is done you will sit down to enjoy your very own bespoke curry with a selection of side dishes and naan breads. The meal will end with a taste of a sweet dessert specially prepared for you.

    Friday 6 July, 7-9pm (£24.50pp)

    Full details can be found by clicking here.

    For more details on all our workshops and to book your place visit our website at www.btcworkshops.co.uk, email helen@btcworkshops.co.uk or call 01327 361720.

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    BCC: Firms in the dark on customs declarations

    Posted: 28/06/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

    Commenting on the publication of the NAO report on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), Anastassia Beliakova, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

    “Delivering CDS in time for March 2019 was always going to be an ambitious project, and it is perhaps unsurprising, although concerning, that it has been necessary for delivery timeframes to be moved.

    “While it is reassuring that contingency plans will be in place, it is also critical that the 145,000 businesses that are only trading with the EU receive guidance now on how to submit customs declarations. Until the government has decided which customs option it wishes to pursue in its future relationship with the EU, these businesses are left in the dark as to the future costs and administration they have to factor in.

    “Many companies and intermediaries will have to hire staff to process a potential 200 million new customs declarations with the EU, and it is troubling that so late in the negotiations it is still unclear whether or not they will have to do so.”

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    BCC: Firms in the dark on customs declarations

    Posted: 28/06/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

    Commenting on the publication of the NAO report on the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), Anastassia Beliakova, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Delivering CDS in time for March 2019 was always going to be an ambitious project, and it is perhaps unsurprising, although concerning, that it has been necessary for delivery timeframes to be moved.

    “While it is reassuring that contingency plans will be in place, it is also critical that the 145,000 businesses that are only trading with the EU receive guidance now on how to submit customs declarations. Until the government has decided which customs option it wishes to pursue in its future relationship with the EU, these businesses are left in the dark as to the future costs and administration they have to factor in.

    “Many companies and intermediaries will have to hire staff to process a potential 200 million new customs declarations with the EU, and it is troubling that so late in the negotiations it is still unclear whether or not they will have to do so.”

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    There’s no need to be bullied into a fixed-term IT license contract

    Posted: 28/06/18 by Fuse Collaboration Services

    How many times have you been sat in a meeting with a potential new IT support provider and been told that your special rate for licenses will only be in effect if you take up a fixed-term contract?

    At Fuse they believe that any such deals misrepresent the flexibility that a modern approach to IT provision can offer.

    The beauty of the pay-as-you-go approach of Microsoft 365 is that you can be responsive to your business requirements when you need to be, whether that is bringing new staff on board to accommodate new clients, or scale down during quieter periods of the year.

    And Fuse are confident enough in their own operational support and expertise to reflect this in the agreements they come to with their own clients. They will not ask you to sign a fixed-term contract for your software licenses unless their own suppliers dictate otherwise, and while they will ask for more commitment for specific work, Fuse’s rates are extremely competitive.

    This is because Fuse believe that once you sign on with Fuse Collaboration Services you will not want to go elsewhere.

    Fuse puts your business’s needs first and ensure your IT provision is flexible for you, not the other way around. They will tell you if you already have the licenses you need, and – more importantly – how you can then make the most out of them to give you return on your IT investment.

    They view every client agreement as a partnership and work hand-in-hand with your in-house team to make sure that your company has the great IT provision it deserves.

    None of the initial conversations come with any obligations, so give them a call on 01604 797979 or email fuse@fusecollaboration.com to find out more!

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    South businesses more confident about Brexit impact, survey finds

    Posted: 28/06/18 by RSM

    Middle market companies across the South are more confident about the impact of Brexit on their company’s performance than at any other time in the past year, according to the latest YouGov survey commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

    RSM’s quarterly Brexit Monitor index, in which any reading above 100 indicates that businesses are more optimistic than pessimistic, found that businesses in the South recorded a score of 111 when asked about the impact of Brexit on their business over the next two years and 116 over a five-year horizon. Both were the highest scores for the South since the Brexit Monitor began in June 2017.

    Business from across the region are also confident about the UK government’s ability in securing a ‘good deal’. 47 per cent of businesses said they were confident** of the UK achieving a good deal, just over three times the number of those who weren’t (15 per cent).

    Nationally, the survey of more than 300 UK middle market business leaders found optimism about the long term economic impact of Brexit has increased over three consecutive quarters.

    John Taylor, RSM’s regional managing partner for the South said: ‘Overall middle market business sentiment appears to contradict rising fears that the UK government is losing ground in its bid to secure a deal that is in the best interests of the UK.

    ‘Brexit will undoubtedly present many challenges, but our survey found that the region’s businesses are feeling more confident in their own ability to offset these challenges.

    ‘These findings perhaps underline the agility and entrepreneurial spirit which are hallmarks of the UK’s middle market. However, as we have seen this week, there remains a real frustration among business over the lack of clarity over the UK’s future trading relationships.

    ‘Put simply, many companies just want to get on with it, but the uncertainty means they are unable to make adequate preparations and to adjust their balance sheet and structures appropriately.’

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