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Teamwork Trust celebrates its National Lottery funding

Posted: 21/09/18 by Teamwork Trust Northamptonshire - Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough

New members of staff, more volunteering opportunities, greater community involvement and an even bigger impact on the lives of vulnerable adults – that’s what Teamwork Trust is able to deliver thanks to National Lottery funding.

Teamwork Trust – a Northamptonshire charity which supports adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities – celebrated its £500,000 National Lottery grant during a special event on Thursday 20th September.

During the celebration – which took place simultaneously across the charity’s three centres in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough – staff, trustees, volunteers, members, local dignitaries and Teamwork Trust supporters learned how the three-year funding boost will enable Teamwork Trust to begin its exciting ‘Making a Service User Strategy a Reality’ project.

John Bruce, strategic director Teamwork Trust said: “We have huge plans for how the National Lottery funding will be used to help us support some of the county’s most vulnerable adults even better.

“Some of the funding will be used to develop better processes for our service-users to participate in the future planning of our services, and enable us to create new and improved pathways for individuals to progress into employment or education to become valued members of society. Our plans to grow our workforce is key, and will result in greater partnership working and better choice for those with mental health challenges, learning difficulties, physical and sensory disabilities in the community too.”

Teamwork Trust has made incredible progress over the last 18 months as it pioneers new ways for local charities to provide social care services – winning awards and recognition on a local and national level.

John added: “It has been quite a year for Teamwork Trust, we are seeing rapid growth as a charity and our approaches are continually recognised by key organisations and political influencers, despite operating at a time when the traditional funding streams we rely on are at their most vulnerable.

“A society is judged on how it cares for its most vulnerable, so as a charity that provides vital social care services, we are mindful to improve the rights of those who are vulnerable in our communities.

The National Lottery boost means we will be able to do more positive things to make our voice heard in relation to upcoming government proposals, to change the lives of more people for the better.

New posts – building a bigger workforce at Teamwork Trust

Five new staff positions will now be created at Teamwork Trust, thanks to the National Lottery funding.

• Two Engagement Officers

Part of their role will be to work with members to promote self-management and provide support and encouragement for each individual’s care and progression plans. Generating more partnership opportunities with key organisations such as Mental Health Northants Collaboration (MHNC) and VoiceAbility – an organisation which supports people who face disadvantage or discrimination – is also planned.

• Project Officer

The project officer will be responsible for reviewing programmes and designing long/short term service offers. They will write and implement delivery plans and report and measure progression too.

• Volunteer Coordinator

This role will develop processes and volunteering opportunities at Teamwork Trust and in the community.

• Administrator

To provide vital administration support for the ‘Making a Service User Strategy a Reality’ project.

Keep an eye on this website and on social media for all our funding updates on how this lottery funding is benefiting Teamwork Trust and the wider community.

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Eager staff gain qualifications with backing from The NX Group

Posted: 21/09/18 by The NX Group

Ten percent of employees at Crick based national logistics and warehousing company The NX Group have recently undertaken Diplomas, NVQ Awards and other qualifications in work related subjects with support from the company.

The NX Group, which has warehouses in Northamptonshire covering nearly 100,000ft2, plus a fleet of 37 vehicles, employs approximately 70 members of staff, and supported seven of them as they studied for their exams through local colleges.

Key Account Manager David Pritchett, from Daventry, said, “I was new to this company when they offered me the opportunity to study for a diploma in Customer Service. It was the first chance I’d had in a long time to take part in external training and earn a qualification, so I took it.

“The support The NX Group gave me and my colleagues was fantastic; they allowed us time out of our working day to complete tasks, assignments and attend meetings, while also covering course administration – setting meetings, reminders and posting schedules for all sessions.”

David gained a Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service, while progressing from Key Accounts Clerk to Key Accounts Manager within the company.

His colleagues Heather Hancock, Petru Cegolea, Lewis Wright and Nicolae Crecea all gained Intermediate Level Apprenticeships in Warehouse Operations, City & Guilds Level 2 Awards in Employee Rights and Responsibilities in the Logistics Industry and City & Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Warehousing and Storage.

Other staff members Colin Harvey and Jo Lawlor gained an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Warehouse Operations and a CMI Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading respectively.

Neil Powell, Managing Director of The NX Group, said, “I’m thrilled so many of our full time employees, around ten percent of our workforce, have successfully gained these qualifications, and would like to offer all of them my congratulations.

“As a growing firm, we encourage our staff to take steps to expand their working knowledge and job skills, and support them where appropriate.”

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.

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Complimentary Webinar - Mitigate your IT risks with ISO 27001 Information Security Management System

Posted: 20/09/18 by Intertek

Webinar: Wednesday, October 17th at 19:00 BST

REGISTER HERE - https://bit.ly/2MNrOnP

The security of information in an organisation is vital to the continuity and sustainability of any business. The ISO/IEC 27001:2013 standard provides the baseline and guidance to establish an effective Information Security Management System.

The benefits of mitigating Information Security risk by implementing ISO/IEC 27001 can apply to any organisation, including the financial, health, IT, travel and education sectors, as well as small-to-medium sized businesses.

Register for Intertek’s ISO/IEC 27001:2013 webinar to learn how your organisation can proactively prepare for cyber security threats and mitigate IT risks in support of a continuously sustainable future.

REGISTER HERE - https://bit.ly/2MNrOnP

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Collaboration in Polish Real Estate

Posted: 20/09/18 by Danelaw Real Estate

Following a highly successful meeting held on the Strand in London, Danelaw Real Estate has agreed to collaborate on a referral agreement with a respected Polish real estate brokerage ‘Main Holding’ with offices in Warsaw and Krakow.

Both companies will be assisting Polish clients with their property concerns as they move to England or return home to Poland.

This agreement represents a huge local opportunity to further engage with a large community in the county.

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Two thirds of companies in the South looking to increase flexible working

Posted: 20/09/18 by RSM

Two thirds of middle market businesses in the South are considering new flexible working options for their employees but many worry about the security and management implications according to a new survey commissioned by RSM.

The survey of middle market businesses, carried out by YouGov, found that over the next five years, two thirds of respondents are considering introducing flexible terms of employment, allowing workers to work outside 9 to 5 or increasing the use of remote working.

Twenty-three per cent of firms in the South said that they are happy with the flexible working arrangements they currently offer and have no plans to increase them, while nine per cent said they were not looking to increase flexible working.

Broadly, employers appear to recognise the benefits of greater flexibility, with businesses in the South saying it had a positive effect on worker engagement (62 per cent), efficiency (55 per cent) and recruitment (51 per cent).

However, some Southern-based businesses expressed reservations about introducing more flexible working arrangements. Respondents said IT security was the biggest risk (47 per cent) followed by concerns around the impact on team dynamics (32 per cent). Just over a quarter of respondents (26 per cent) expressed fears about employees exploiting the system.

Employees who have 26 weeks or more of continuous service can, once a year, make a written request to their employer to change to work flexibly. Such a request can cover any flexible working arrangement such as the number of hours worked, the periods when hours are worked or the place of work – or a combination of all three.

The employer then has to provide a written decision within three months. If agreed, changes are made to the employee’s contract terms to reflect the new working arrangements.

The law recognises than an employer may have an entirely legitimate business reason for rejecting a request. However, employers must take care to ensure that they don’t breach the rules on a technicality, or, more importantly take a decision which may give rise to a Tribunal claim for discrimination.

Commenting on the findings, Carolyn Brown, employment lawyer and head of RSM Client Legal Services said: ‘Employers are becoming much more enlightened about the beneficial impact that flexible working arrangements can have on productivity, engagement and efficiency.

‘Some larger employers are leading the way by offering employees much greater control over their working times and working patterns, and it’s highly likely that others will follow suit.

‘However, the successful introduction of more flexible working options is not a given. Employers need to ensure they deal with flexible working requests in a prompt and reasonable manner, ensuring consistency in decisions. This can be a particular challenge for larger organisations with a centralised HR function, but it is very important to mitigate any risk of a claim being brought for discrimination.

‘From a practical perspective, employers also need to ensure that managers are supported to manage team members that may work remotely or outside standard hours, in addition to providing support to the employees who are working flexibly.

‘Employers should also be aware, that once a flexible working request is granted, it can then be difficult to row back from that arrangement when business circumstances change. It’s therefore important that any request is considered from a long-term perspective.’

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OASIS Group obtains additional Box-it franchise

Posted: 20/09/18 by OASIS Group

OASIS Group, one of the largest Records and Information Management (RIM) providers in Europe, has confirmed the completion of a third Box-it UK Limited franchise. In a deal finalised on September 4th, the company acquired Box-it Central located in Warwickshire, UK.

Leading the way in a consolidating industry, OASIS Group’s commitment to delivering a first-rate RIM service stands firm. This acquisition brings with it a strong business with multiple service offerings and a dedicated focus directed towards its clients, which are all elements OASIS values when seeking a company to add to their Group.

“By leveraging and combining the current service offerings, we plan to meet and exceed our client’s needs within the UK and groupwide. As a result, this acquisition is an ideal addition to OASIS”, states Brian Connolly, Chief Executive Officer of OASIS Group.

With the integration into OASIS now underway, this transaction marks the 37th successful acquisition for OASIS Group.

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Traders wanted for popular Christmas market

Posted: 20/09/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Northampton Market is calling out for local traders and crafts people to join them for their popular Frost Fair on Sunday, 2 December.

The festive market will open between 11am and 4pm and will provide a perfect opportunity for local trades people to showcase unique or seasonal goods in the centre of town during the run up to Christmas.

The event is part of wider market-based festive celebrations that day. These include a creative Christmas workshop at 11am, where children can make fun head dresses to take home or wear during the annual Christmas parade at 1pm. A choir will also add a seasonal soundtrack as they sing popular carols throughout the day.

Mulled wine and cider will be available from a Market Square pop-up bar for people to enjoy as they peruse stalls or listen to the live music.

Cllr Phil Larratt, Deputy Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Our Frost Fair has always been a well-liked event within Northampton’s Christmas calendar. The unique offering and free festive entertainment is a great way to draw people into the town for shopping and food.

“Last year we attracted more than 50 stalls to the market and we look forward to welcoming more local craftspeople and traders to this year’s fair.”

Local traders and craft peoples who would like to have a stall at this year’s Frost Fair can book a stall online at www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200242/market-square/2330/apply-to-become-a-trader-at-the-frost-fair

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CML Provides Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders with Mental Health Awareness Workshops

Posted: 20/09/18 by CML Ltd

CML has recently provided all of its managers, supervisors and team leaders with the necessary skills and understanding to enable them to look after their own, and their team’s mental health and wellbeing.

Conducted by resilientme, those that attended the workshops were trained on stress management and how to recognise wellbeing issues in both themselves, and work colleagues. By the end of the workshop, attendees had a greater understanding of what exactly a stress-induced illness is and how it can lead to mental health issues. It also raised awareness of all six mental health categories, looked at the culture of companies with positive mental health strategies and taught attendees on how to support employees through the disclosure period and afterwards. The sessions finished off by showing the attendees how they can protect themselves and their colleagues from developing issues by looking at resilience techniques and personal wellbeing.

The wellbeing of employees at CML is a top priority for head of HR, Yvonne Fenwick, as she confirms: “The Mental Health Awareness workshops were a fantastic opportunity for our managers, supervisors and team leaders to receive a thorough run down on stress, mental health, and managing both issues in the workplace. The welfare of our colleagues is of great importance to us, so we are delighted to be able to offer these workshops. Plus, by tackling the stigma of mental health and cultivating a healthy work-life balance, we’re ensuring that we provide a supportive workplace for all of our employees.”

Rachel Munns, principal and founder of resilientme, said: “I have been working with CML over the last few months training all of their managers, supervisors and team leaders. All attendees were wholeheartedly involved in the workshops and very keen to use their learning to support and develop their teams. CML is committed to ensuring that all managers, supervisors and team leaders receive this training and open up the conversation around mental health to help provide the highest level of support for those who may need it.”

For more information about CML or to find out more about its services, please visit, http://www.cmlplc.com or call 01455 200 700.

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BCC: rail review must tangible and visible improvements for passengers and business communities

Posted: 20/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the ‘root and branch’ review of the railway network launched by government today, Hannah Essex, co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“After years of disruption and uncertainty, this review comes not before time. Given the role that the railways play in the daily lives of employees and businesses across many parts of the UK, the review must deliver tangible, visible improvements to the system for both businesses and commuters.

“Our business communities are clear that the private sector has played, and must continue to play, a key role in running and improving the UK’s rail network. Yet the partnership between the private and public sector on the railways needs to change to alleviate the inexcusable delays and disruption faced by commuters and businesses under the current franchise system.

“Travel delays increase business costs, jeopardise business opportunities and make firms less competitive. This review must tackle all the aspects of rail travel currently worrying businesses, including service reliability, pricing, ticket flexibility, innovation, investment, freight and value for money.

“The review should also look at what more needs to be done to increase connectivity on trains – so that commuters and businesses alike can make productive use of journey time.

“We need to develop a rail system where all parts of the network are working together and communicating better to improve confidence for users and investors. For the UK to be a thriving and modern economy, we must start with getting the basics right.”

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BCC: rail review must bring tangible and visible improvements for passengers and business communities

Posted: 20/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the ‘root and branch’ review of the railway network launched by government today, Hannah Essex, co-Executive Director at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“After years of disruption and uncertainty, this review comes not before time. Given the role that the railways play in the daily lives of employees and businesses across many parts of the UK, the review must deliver tangible, visible improvements to the system for both businesses and commuters.

“Our business communities are clear that the private sector has played, and must continue to play, a key role in running and improving the UK’s rail network. Yet the partnership between the private and public sector on the railways needs to change to alleviate the inexcusable delays and disruption faced by commuters and businesses under the current franchise system.

“Travel delays increase business costs, jeopardise business opportunities and make firms less competitive. This review must tackle all the aspects of rail travel currently worrying businesses, including service reliability, pricing, ticket flexibility, innovation, investment, freight and value for money.

“The review should also look at what more needs to be done to increase connectivity on trains – so that commuters and businesses alike can make productive use of journey time.

“We need to develop a rail system where all parts of the network are working together and communicating better to improve confidence for users and investors. For the UK to be a thriving and modern economy, we must start with getting the basics right.”

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From the wrestling ring to national TV ad fame, Dan fixes his focus on combating prejudice

Posted: 20/09/18 by The University of Northampton

A wheelchair-using wrestler and star of a national television ad campaign is helping to lead the fight against prejudice in schools and the acting industry.

Dan Edge has enjoyed a varied career since graduating from the University of Northampton’s Drama degree in 2008, with parts on stage and screen, modelling shoots, an appearance in the 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony – while also enjoying a dual role as a wrestling promoter and professional fighter.

Sky Sports viewers might also recognise him as the star of an advert for bookmakers Paddy Power, which was on heavy rotation over a six-month period in 2017

Dan, who also happens to have cerebral palsy, also finds time to fight for the rights of acting union Equity’s deaf and disabled members – and has just secured a role with charity Scope, which sees him visit schools to bust the myths surrounding disability.

While his drive, determination and talent has given him an enviable spread of work, Dan is keen to talk up the importance of the University in helping to set him on his amazing career path.

“The course helped me massively as soon as I graduated, and still does today,” said Dan. “I speaking to lots of actors who went to stage schools rather than a university, and they all received excellent acting tuition, but not one thing about the business side of the industry.

“At Northampton, there’s also a big emphasis on developing business skills, including how to make your applications stand out, accounting, promotion, and so on. Acting itself is only one part of being an actor, there’s so much more to it, and the course prepared me fully for this career, making me a much more well-rounded graduate, compared to many who went to stage schools.”

Dan’s career took off almost immediately after graduating – which is perhaps the only thing his University tutors got wrong.

He said: “It was drummed into us that you should never expect to get the first job that you go for, but lo and behold, I actually did get it.

“I’d say I’ve been very fortunate over the years, employment-wise. Acting can be very hit and miss, with long periods of waiting for that next job. But I managed to pick up an agent very quickly after leaving uni, and they found a role for disabled performers and I got it. It might have only been a corporate video, but it was good fun and gave me great experience.”

Dan feels having a disability has helped him to land some roles, but is quick to point out it can hold him back for others.

“It’s a Catch 22 situation,” he said. “To an extent, being disabled opens up opportunities that others wouldn’t be considered for, but by the same token, I also don’t get considered for roles because I use a wheelchair.

“This is something that I am working with Equity on, to try and change the way the industry works. As a member of its Deaf & Disabled Members Committee, I am the first port of call for actors who have experienced prejudice, I help run campaigns to raise awareness of the issues, lobby politicians and try to hold producers and theatres to task. Things have changed for the better, for disabled people in the industry, over the past 10 years. For example, there are more disabled people in soap operas in the UK than ever before

“But change has been slow and there is still a long way to go, both for actors and those working off-camera and backstage.”

With so much already under his belt, Dan is now focusing on the next step up in his career.

He said: “I want to keep acting and it would be nice to break into TV, films and comedy, properly. I still love theatre too and I just need to keep raising my profile and hopefully things will continue to happen for me.

“I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my family, whom I am very fortunate to have – and of course, I’ll always remember what the University of Northampton did for me.”

Find out more about Dan and his work on his website.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Howes Percival appointed to £130m Government panel

Posted: 20/09/18 by Howes Percival

Howes Percival has been appointed to the Government’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Full Service panel for England and Wales in a joint bid with law firm Sharpe Pritchard and supported by PwC and Capital Law.

The Full Service panel covers a broad range of legal services including commercial, corporate, property and construction, IT, data protection, litigation and public procurement and can be used by the ‘wider public sector’, including health, education, local and regional government, emergency services and third sector and social housing organisations.

The appointment is for 3 years, with the option to extend. The estimated total value of the panel is £130 million.

The win follows the firm’s success last year in being appointed, in consortium with PwC, Holman Fenwick Willan and Sharpe Pritchard, as a Tier 1 supplier to CCS’s General Legal Advice Services panel, used by all UK central government ministerial and non-ministerial departments.

Tessa Haskey, Howes Percival’s Chairman, commented; “This is fantastic news and recognises our long track record of delivering for Government departments and the public sector. Government is a main sector for us and a growing part of our business. In recent years we have strengthened our regional offering, invested in new offices and broadened our expertise. This appointment will lead to more public sector opportunities for us across the country and enable us to build on our excellent working relationship with our consortium Members.”

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Get Festive at The Saracens Head Hotel

Posted: 20/09/18 by The Saracens Head Hotel

Winter Wonderland Party Nights are now on sale at The Saracens Head Hotel.

£25.95 per person and includes a 3 course festive menu and disco.

Christmas Day bookings are now being taken. £62.99 per person for a 4 course meal including tea, coffee and a mince pie.

Boxing Day bookings are also now being taken. £21.99 per person for 2 courses, and £24.99 for 3 courses.

For more information or to make your reservation, contact them on: 01327 350414 or check out the link: www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-saracens-head-hotel-towcester/

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Corby firm Utility Bidder complete charity bike ride

Posted: 20/09/18 by Utility Bidder Limited

Thirteen staff from Corby firm Utility Bidder have just completed a gruelling 73-mile bike ride from Corby to Skegness to raise money for Lakelands Hospice.

The team, comprising employees from all levels of the business – admin, sales, IT, marketing and directors – have been in training for the fund raiser for a few months.

‘Our directors are conscious that most of our 100+ staff spend a lot of their working day sitting down and are always keen to promote health and fitness in the workplace,’ explained Madeleine Porter, Head of Marketing. ‘Nevertheless, getting in shape for the bike ride involved extra gym sessions at lunchtime and spinning classes at the weekend.’

However, the riders did know what they were letting themselves in for, as in 2016 they did the same ride for the Teenage Cancer Trust and so there were no surprises. ‘We knew where the hardest parts would come in, both physically and mentally, and we were all aware of our own personal weaknesses,’ said Madeleine.

All of the 13 riders successfully completed the course at the weekend, arriving at their destination in just over six hours. They expect to have raised around £2,000 for the hospice once all the monies are in.

Paul Marlow from Lakelands Hospice said: “Well done to the amazing people who worked so hard on the bike ride to raise much needed funds for Lakelands. Utility Bidder has always been a great friend of the hospice and we are really grateful for all their support.”

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New Evening Set Menu 3rd October 2018

Posted: 20/09/18 by The Saracens Head Hotel

As of the 3rd October The Saracens Head Hotel will be launching our new evening set menu concept.

  • 2 Courses are £11.00
  • 3 Courses are £13.00

Starters include: Soup, Pate, Courgette Rolls and Garlic Mushrooms.

Mains include: Cod and Chips, Scampi and chips, Beef & Ruddles Pie, Sausage and Mash.

Desserts include: Cheesecake, Bakewell Tart and Ice-cream.

For more information or to make your reservation, contact them on: 01327 350414 or check out the link: www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-saracens-head-hotel-towcester/

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Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards - Healthy Eating Workplace category

Posted: 19/09/18 by The Mallows Company Ltd

The Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards entries are now well underway and F & B Northamptonshire Chamber members are encouraged to enter the Healthy Eating Workplace category sponsored by chamber member C Butt Ltd.

Here are some reasons why you should enter:

- They do not reveal details of those who entered, only promote those who are successful in being shortlisted, so there is no negative publicity in taking part.

- If you were to be successful in being shortlisted as a finalist, you would receive two free tickets to their black tie Awards Dinner, taking place at Royal & Derngate in Northampton. Their special guests in previous years have been Marcus Wareing, Jason Atherton and Michel Roux Snr.

- The competition is FREE to enter!

This category is designed to recognise those workplaces which show the greatest commitment to, and take the most innovative steps towards, developing a healthy eating food offering for its staff. Its selection of foods is nutritionally balanced and allows its staff to make fully informed food choices, thereby actively promoting healthy eating. For simplicity, they are using the term ‘canteen’ to describe your workplace catering facilities

So if you want to know more about the competition, please visit their website www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk

Closing dates for entries – 24th September 2018

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British Chambers of Commerce International Trade Summit London

Posted: 19/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Members of Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce who are interested in export have the chance to attend the British Chambers of Commerce International Trade Summit London.

The Chamber has a limited number of complimentary tickets for exporters or businesses looking to export.

To apply contact international trade manager Brigid Hodgkinson on 01604 490490 by Friday.

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Law firm welcomes new right to parental bereavement leave

Posted: 19/09/18 by Howes Percival

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has received Royal Assent and will provide a right for bereaved employees to have two weeks away from work.

All of the finer details are to be included within the supporting Regulations (which have not yet been published). However, what we do know from the Act is:

• The rights will apply to all employees from day-one of employment;

• The new laws will give bereaved employees two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18. This right extends to a child stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy;

• Whilst we know that the employee must be a “bereaved parent”, it is not yet known who exactly this will apply to. The Regulations will include the conditions required for an employee to be entitled to leave under this Act, but it is expected that these will make reference to whether the employee cared for the child before the child’s death;

• Employees with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will be eligible for statutory parental bereavement pay. It is not yet known how much this pay will be;

• The rights cannot be contracted out of and any agreement purporting to do so will be void.

It is expected that the Regulations will be introduced (bringing the Act fully into force) by April 2020.

Howes Percival Employment Law partner Simon deMaid commented:

“Currently, the only statutory right to bereavement leave is where it falls under the right to have reasonable time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. This is unpaid unless an employer offers any pay under its own compassionate leave policy. This has been felt to be completely inadequate by campaigners who have pushed for this new law which will give grieving parents two weeks of paid time off.”

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BCC comments on inflation statistics

Posted: 19/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the inflation statistics for August 2018, published today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Inflation surprisingly rose for the second successive month in August, largely wiping out the recent recovery in real wage growth and emphasising the continued squeeze on consumers.

“The strong growth in producer prices indicates that inflationary pressures further down the supply chain remain significant and could lift inflation higher in the coming months. However, the upward pressure on prices remains transitory, and inflation should resume its ease back towards target once the impact of the recent increase in oil prices drops out of the calculation.

“The possibility of a disorderly Brexit is the key risk to the UK’s outlook for inflation as it could result in a substantial decline in sterling, which could significantly increase inflation and exacerbate the financial squeeze on consumers and businesses.

“With UK economic conditions subdued, and little evidence that higher inflation is translating into materially stronger pay growth, the MPC has sufficient scope to opt for a prolonged period of monetary stability. Against a backdrop of significant political and economic uncertainty, more needs to be done to boost UK growth and productivity, including kickstarting business investment, through tackling the high upfront cost of doing business in the UK.”

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BCC comments on inflation statistics

Posted: 19/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the inflation statistics for August 2018, published today by the Office for National Statistics, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Inflation surprisingly rose for the second successive month in August, largely wiping out the recent recovery in real wage growth and emphasising the continued squeeze on consumers.

“The strong growth in producer prices indicates that inflationary pressures further down the supply chain remain significant and could lift inflation higher in the coming months. However, the upward pressure on prices remains transitory, and inflation should resume its ease back towards target once the impact of the recent increase in oil prices drops out of the calculation.

“The possibility of a disorderly Brexit is the key risk to the UK’s outlook for inflation as it could result in a substantial decline in sterling, which could significantly increase inflation and exacerbate the financial squeeze on consumers and businesses.

“With UK economic conditions subdued, and little evidence that higher inflation is translating into materially stronger pay growth, the MPC has sufficient scope to opt for a prolonged period of monetary stability. Against a backdrop of significant political and economic uncertainty, more needs to be done to boost UK growth and productivity, including kickstarting business investment, through tackling the high upfront cost of doing business in the UK.”

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FREE place at the Milton Keynes Business Accelerator Summit - 8th October 2018

Posted: 19/09/18 by Bright Business Advice

Ambitious business owners can find out how to achieve rapid, sustainable growth and reach peak performance at award winning Bright Business Advice’s next Business Accelerator Summit.

In just one day its experts will help businesses delve deep into every area of Bright Business Advice’s proven, tried and trusted 7-Sector Business Accelerator Model.

Delegates will come away with a one-page focused 90-day business plan and five lucky Northamptonshire Chamber members are being given the chance to attend the Summit for FREE. Tickets to the popular event normally cost £95 each.

To take advantage of the offer of free places, please click on this link: Www.Businessacceleratorsummit.Com/bright-q418

Bright Business Advice’s 7-Sector Business Accelerator Model helps firms to:

· Improve profitability to create a more solid and sustainable business

· Provide outstanding customer service to increase customer retention and generate more referrals

· Systemise and organise to make effective use of their time and save thousands of pounds in unnecessary costs

· Achieve Rapid Sales Growth – discover strategies that will allow them to generate large amounts of revenue in a shorter space of time

· Implement smarter, lower cost, marketing to attract more leads and customers

· Recruit, lead and motivate their staff to increase productivity and reduce staff turnover

· Design their business plan around the key areas of Leadership & Management, Finance, Operations, HR, Marketing & Sales

· Create a ready to go multi-touch marketing campaign

· Guarantee they make tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands, and for some millions of pounds of extra revenue on implementation

· Implement the structures and systems proven to increase efficiency, effectiveness and organisation.

The event will take place from 9am to 5pm on Monday 8th October at Double Tree Hilton, Stadium Way W, Milton Keynes MK1 1ST. Northampton. Registration starts at 8.30am.

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FREE place at our Milton Keynes Business Accelerator Summit - 8th October 2018

Posted: 19/09/18 by Bright Business Advice

Ambitious business owners can find out how to achieve rapid, sustainable growth and reach peak performance at award winning Bright Business Advice’s next Business Accelerator Summit.

In just one day its experts will help businesses delve deep into every area of Bright Business Advice’s proven, tried and trusted 7-Sector Business Accelerator Model.

Delegates will come away with a one-page focused 90-day business plan and five lucky Chamber members are being given the chance to attend the Summit for FREE. Tickets to the popular event normally cost £95 each.

To take advantage of the offer of free places, please click on this link: Www.Businessacceleratorsummit.Com/bright-q418

Bright Business Advice’s 7-Sector Business Accelerator Model helps firms to:

· Improve profitability to create a more solid and sustainable business

· Provide outstanding customer service to increase customer retention and generate more referrals

· Systemise and organise to make effective use of their time and save thousands of pounds in unnecessary costs

· Achieve Rapid Sales Growth – discover strategies that will allow them to generate large amounts of revenue in a shorter space of time

· Implement smarter, lower cost, marketing to attract more leads and customers

· Recruit, lead and motivate their staff to increase productivity and reduce staff turnover

· Design their business plan around the key areas of Leadership & Management, Finance, Operations, HR, Marketing & Sales

· Create a ready to go multi-touch marketing campaign

· Guarantee they make tens of thousands – or hundreds of thousands, and for some millions of pounds of extra revenue on implementation

· Implement the structures and systems proven to increase efficiency, effectiveness and organisation.

The event will take place from 9am to 5pm on Friday, November 10, at Double Tree, Stadium Way W, Milton Keynes MK1 1ST. Registration starts at 8.30am.

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Johnson Underwood are doing things differently

Posted: 19/09/18 by Johnson Underwood Ltd

Long-standing and specialist Northampton recruitment agency and business, Johnson Underwood, are making a change to their business ethos with a stronger focus on their corporate offering to new and existing clients. Their new strapline ‘People – Business – Recruitment’ will bring this focus the core branding and the business.

Carol Johnson, managing director of Johnson Underwood says: “We have always had people at the heart of everything we do and although our previous business strapline ‘We Know People’ is still very much at our core of what we do, Johnson Underwood’s “raison d’etre” is to deliver the best recruitment services available within the county and we feel our new strapline reflects we do just that.”

Where many other recruitment agencies have changed their business model to a more impersonal, job-board style organisation, relying on purely on algorithms, Johnson Underwood although embracing new technologies, have remained where they believe the key to recruitment is and made the people involved, both clients and candidates. The all-important factor in guaranteeing a great job match is ensuring they ALWAYS meet both parties involved in a job role. And this will always be the case.

With ‘People’ as the main emphasis, Johnson Underwood wants to make the ‘Business’ side of the corporate offering much more prominent. Recently, business development manager Faye Crockatt who has a proven track record has been brought on board to help develop this. Faye says: “My role will be instrumental in visiting all clients and getting a real understanding of their business, how it works and the sorts of suitable candidates they will be looking for to fulfil future roles.” Johnson Underwood really does mean business.

Lastly but definitely not least is the actual ‘Recruitment’. The most important part of this new corporate development and the message that Johnson Underwood wants to portray is that this independent agency gets results. Johnson Underwood will not take on any new roles if they do not believe that they can fill them successfully. That success will be shared between both clients and candidates too.

Johnson Underwood works within Northamptonshire and surrounding counties including Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Leicestershire. If you are a business looking for a corporate recruitment agency with the personal touch, get in contact to see what results they can deliver for your organisation.

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Partnership grants help increase support for nights out

Posted: 19/09/18 by Northampton Borough Council

Night time support at weekends has increased in the town centre thanks to the help of Northampton Borough Council’s Partnership Grants.

Northampton Street Pastors is a group of volunteers from local churches who work alongside Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire Police. They provide care and support in the town centre during the Friday and Saturday evenings, and during national celebrations such as Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays.

Over the past three years, Northampton Street Pastors have successfully applied for the Partnership Grants, securing more than £22,000 to help fund the employment of Street Pastor Coordinators and an administrator for a few hours a month.

These roles include the responsibility for liaising with relevant local agencies, recruiting, training and supporting volunteers, organising rotas and undertaking administrative tasks such as maintaining reports and statistics, and supporting the management committee in profile raising and fundraising.

As a result, the Street Pastors have been able to increase the feeling of safety for those enjoying an evening in the town centre, especially in and around Bridge Street, Abington Street and Wellingborough Road. As well as to reduce the need for involvement from Northamptonshire Police and referrals to emergency services.

In addition, people who are vulnerable as a result of alcohol or drugs, or because they find themselves separated from friends, benefit from the calming and reassuring presence of the Street Pastor teams. As well as the appropriate practical support they offer, such as sign posting to relevant organisations or contacting friends and family.

The Pastors also work to calm volatile situations, address vulnerabilities, avert crime and deter or diffuse anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “The Street Pastors provide a really important service to both local people and those visiting the town to enjoy a night out.

“Not only do they support the Council’s Safer Communities priorities, by enhancing the support provided for our night time economy but they also reduce pressures on the local bar staff, Police and emergency services in doing so.

“The positive impact of their service is clear and their contribution has helped us to achieve purple flag status for the town from the Association of Town and City Management. We’re pleased that our Partnership Grants can support them as they help make the town a safer place to live, work and visit.”

Richard Johnson, Chair of Northampton Street Pastors, said: “Northampton Street Pastors welcomes the opportunity to work alongside other partners in making Northampton a safe place. We are very grateful to Northampton Borough Council for their support which contributes to the core funding required to enable us to do this.”

Chief Inspector James Willis, District Commander for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We have a great working relationship with the Street Pastors who play a valuable role in safeguarding vulnerable people in the night time economy and it’s fantastic to see them receive additional funding to support their work.”

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Truxx Factor returns to Rockingham this weekend

Posted: 19/09/18 by Rockingham Motor Speedway Ltd

THE unique Truxx Factor Show rolls back into Rockingham this weekend (September 22/23) for a two-day trucking spectacular and racing action from the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) and Pickup Truck Championship.

The family-friendly show promises to appeal to people of all ages with its full programme both on and off the track celebrating all things trucking - the only challenge visitors will have is how to fit everything in to just 48-hours.

Taking centre stage is the truck show which attracts an array of entries from vintage and retro trucks to American classics and custom rigs through to the modern day era of the hard-working fleets from some of the UK’s biggest names in road haulage.

With various competitions running throughout the weekend, the rivalry between owner drivers and fleet operators is fierce as everyone wants to be crowned Truxx factor Champion. For the discerning truck fan, a classic tractor and steam section will feature over 100 years of haulage in the Transport through the Ages display.

In the Live Arena and on circuit, the rubber will be burning with demonstrations from the BriSCA (British Stock Car Association), F1 Stock Cars and NASCAR demonstrations. There’ll also be trade/industry displays as well as a strongman challenge.

Visitors will not be restricted to just spectating though, as there will also be the opportunity to jump in the passenger seat of a race truck, Long Goods Vehicle (LGV) or climb aboard the Red Dragon Monster Truck for a bone-shaking, car crushing ride!

Plus the famous Ken Fox Troupe Wall of Death, static displays and remote control trucks will all be on offer. While for the younger members of the family, there will be plenty to enjoy from mini Movie Truck rides, a family fun fair, bouncy castles, face painting and much, much more.

If that wasn’t enough, the Pickup Truck Championship will be making its final appearance on Europe’s fastest motor racing circuit! A firm favourite with the home crowd, the awesome trucks will be headlining the action in a winner takes all Grand Final.

There is a total of eight races on the timetable with the Kumho BMW Championship, Racing Fords and Max5 Championship all in action. Practice and qualifying takes place on Saturday followed by racing on Sunday. There will be a sprint races for both race and road trucks across both days.

The action goes into Saturday evening with a rolling light show truck convey, live music, bar and a fireworks display. For more information visit www.truxxfactor.co.uk. Advance tickets cost just £16 per day, £28 for the weekend or £36 with camping. It’s FREE entry for Under 16s.

Advance tickets can be booked online at www.rockingham.co.uk or via the hotline on 01536 500500, option1, until midday on Friday (September 21). Adult tickets will be available on the gate priced £20 per day or £35 for the weekend. Gates open at 08:00 both days.

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BCC comments on MAC report recommendations

Posted: 18/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on EEA migration, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “From the perspective of businesses facing severe skills gaps, the MAC’s report gives with one hand and takes away with the other, and the recommendations are unlikely to meet the needs of all employers. Any sudden cut-off of EEA skills and labour would be concerning, if not disastrous, for firms across a wide range of regions and sectors.

“We support the recommendation to scrap the Tier 2 cap on skilled workers, having long called on the government to drop this non-sensical restriction on accessing the best talent from around the world. But businesses don’t just need the ‘best and brightest’ – industries such as agriculture, hospitality and social care rely on overseas labour to fill local shortages.

“Businesses will be frustrated by the Committee’s recommendation to extend the Immigration Skills Charge to EEA workers, further increasing costs at a time when three-quarters of firms are reporting skills shortages. Businesses are already questioning where this money goes and how funds are used to support vocational education here at home.

“Businesses’ experience over the years has been of an inflexible, bureaucratic and costly work permit and visa regime that has slowed or stopped them from getting the people they need to grow. The MAC is right to advise that the UK’s future system must reduce the delay, cost and bureaucracy of hiring the right people. While businesses will welcome the intention, they are less confident that the government will make this the reality. The onus is now on the government to demonstrate its willingness to deliver a streamlined, more open and flexible system that meets the needs of the UK economy

“If the MAC’s recommendations are to be put into practice without radically disadvantaging UK firms versus their global competitors, the Home Office and its agencies will require root-and-branch change. Businesses have waited long enough, the time for real action is now.”

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BCC comments on MAC report recommendations

Posted: 18/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on EEA migration, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “From the perspective of businesses facing severe skills gaps, the MAC’s report gives with one hand and takes away with the other, and the recommendations are unlikely to meet the needs of all employers. Any sudden cut-off of EEA skills and labour would be concerning, if not disastrous, for firms across a wide range of regions and sectors.

“We support the recommendation to scrap the Tier 2 cap on skilled workers, having long called on the government to drop this non-sensical restriction on accessing the best talent from around the world. But businesses don’t just need the ‘best and brightest’ – industries such as agriculture, hospitality and social care rely on overseas labour to fill local shortages.

“Businesses will be frustrated by the Committee’s recommendation to extend the Immigration Skills Charge to EEA workers, further increasing costs at a time when three-quarters of firms are reporting skills shortages. Businesses are already questioning where this money goes and how funds are used to support vocational education here at home.

“Businesses’ experience over the years has been of an inflexible, bureaucratic and costly work permit and visa regime that has slowed or stopped them from getting the people they need to grow. The MAC is right to advise that the UK’s future system must reduce the delay, cost and bureaucracy of hiring the right people. While businesses will welcome the intention, they are less confident that the government will make this the reality. The onus is now on the government to demonstrate its willingness to deliver a streamlined, more open and flexible system that meets the needs of the UK economy

“If the MAC’s recommendations are to be put into practice without radically disadvantaging UK firms versus their global competitors, the Home Office and its agencies will require root-and-branch change. Businesses have waited long enough, the time for real action is now.”

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Competencies launch gives Early Childhood graduates an edge in the jobs market

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

An initiative from the University of Northampton will give graduates seeking a career supporting children an extra edge in the jobs market.

Students on the Early Childhood Studies degree can now take competencies to show potential employers they have practical experience and skills of working with children at Level 6, in addition to the required theoretical knowledge a degree provides.

The development of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies, which were given an official launch this month at Central Hall, Westminster, was led by Dr Eunice Lumsden, Head of Early Years at the University on behalf of the EarlyChildhood Studies Network.

At the launch, Carolyn Silberfeld, the Chair of the Network, said: “The development of the Level 6 competencies was led inspirationally by Dr Eunice Lumsden from the University of Northampton. They will provide new opportunities for graduates to strengthen their practice in Early Childhood and develop graduate skills in the application of the inter-disciplinary Early Childhood knowledge base to reflective practice.”

Dr Lumsden said: “The Early Childhood Graduate Competencies are an exciting, timely and important innovation which can be embedded in Early Childhood degrees to provide new opportunities for graduates. I am delighted that Tanya Richardson, the Programme Leader for Early Childhood Studies will be taking the lead on the development at the University.

“These competencies are an important step towards building a graduate-led workforce, ready to face the challenges of the sector and are integrated into the new

careers pathway that has been launched by the Department of Education.”

The graduate level practitioner competencies are being rolled out for students studying Early Childhood Studies programmes at universities across the UK from this month, with these highly skilled graduates entering the work force in three years’ time.

The practitioner competencies focus heavily on the application the academic elements of degree programmes in placements. Students will meet the nine competencies through assessed observations of practice, practice-based tasks and academic assessment.

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BCC comments on ‘No Deal’ technical notices: Many business questions remain unanswered

Posted: 18/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the publication of the second tranche of UK Government technical notices aimed at giving businesses and citizens advice on the implications of a ‘no deal’ exit from the European Union, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The latest batch of technical notices published by the government gives more clarity on some specific business issues, but many key questions remain unanswered. Firms still need greater precision from the government in order to be able to plan ahead with confidence.

“In the unwelcome event of a ‘no deal’, businesses need clear and comprehensive communication about how they will be affected, and the government should be taking every possible step to minimise the disruption, bureaucracy and costs facing firms in the future.

“Businesses now face the frustration of yet another wait for further answers. Many companies tell us they are deeply concerned by the impression that key information they need in order to prepare for change is being held back due to political sensitivities as the party conference season commences. Speed, precision and clarity are of the essence so that businesses can prepare for change.”

Commenting on product standards regulation, Anastassia Beliakova, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“It is worrying to see that in the event of ‘no deal’, the Government plans to introduce new UK-specific conformity marking – requiring business to operate under two sets of conformity assessment regimes if they are trading in the UK as well as in the EU. This has been one of the less discussed areas in the Brexit debate, but one which will, under this scenario, result in significant new administrative burdens for business.”

Commenting on mobile roaming, she added:

“UK citizens are used to being able to access mobile data in the EU without facing roaming charges. In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK mobile operators would not be bound by EU regulations on roaming charges – and could therefore choose to introduce new costs for consumers. We hope and urge mobile operators not to do so and to provide strong reassurances on this point as soon as possible.”

Commenting on driving licences, Beliakova added:

“Whilst it would of course be a source of frustration that UK driving licenses would no longer be valid in the EU in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the Government’s notice provides some clear steps for what should be done in order to continue being allowed to drive in the EU.”

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BCC comments on ‘No Deal’ technical notices: Many business questions remain unanswered

Posted: 18/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the publication of the second tranche of UK Government technical notices aimed at giving businesses and citizens advice on the implications of a ‘no deal’ exit from the European Union, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The latest batch of technical notices published by the government gives more clarity on some specific business issues, but many key questions remain unanswered. Firms still need greater precision from the government in order to be able to plan ahead with confidence.

“In the unwelcome event of a ‘no deal’, businesses need clear and comprehensive communication about how they will be affected, and the government should be taking every possible step to minimise the disruption, bureaucracy and costs facing firms in the future.

“Businesses now face the frustration of yet another wait for further answers. Many companies tell us they are deeply concerned by the impression that key information they need in order to prepare for change is being held back due to political sensitivities as the party conference season commences. Speed, precision and clarity are of the essence so that businesses can prepare for change.”

Commenting on product standards regulation, Anastassia Beliakova, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:

“It is worrying to see that in the event of ‘no deal’, the Government plans to introduce new UK-specific conformity marking – requiring business to operate under two sets of conformity assessment regimes if they are trading in the UK as well as in the EU. This has been one of the less discussed areas in the Brexit debate, but one which will, under this scenario, result in significant new administrative burdens for business.”

Commenting on mobile roaming, she added:

“UK citizens are used to being able to access mobile data in the EU without facing roaming charges. In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK mobile operators would not be bound by EU regulations on roaming charges – and could therefore choose to introduce new costs for consumers. We hope and urge mobile operators not to do so and to provide strong reassurances on this point as soon as possible.”

Commenting on driving licences, Beliakova added:

“Whilst it would of course be a source of frustration that UK driving licenses would no longer be valid in the EU in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the Government’s notice provides some clear steps for what should be done in order to continue being allowed to drive in the EU.”

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Howes Percival welcomes ‘no fault’ divorce consultation

Posted: 18/09/18 by Howes Percival

Leading law firm Howes Percival has welcomed the announcement that The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will consult on ‘no-fault’ divorces and the length of time the parties need to wait before becoming entitled to divorce.

Currently, the only grounds for divorce in England and Wales is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, proof of which can be made based on one of five facts: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or two years’ separation with a spouse’s consent or five years’ separation without consent.

Under the MoJ’s consultation proposals, irretrievable breakdown would be the only legal ground for divorce, but the requirement to attribute blame would be removed. Views would also be sought on ending the opportunity for a spouse to contest a divorce and, on a minimum timeframe of six months for divorces. The proposed reforms would also apply to civil partnerships.

Commenting on the announcement, Justine Flack Partner and family law expert at Howes Percival said, “We welcome the Government’s decision to consult on an entirely ‘no-fault’ system of divorce and for the process to be shortened. Divorce law hasn’t changed significantly for nearly 50 years so, reform is long overdue. Currently, unreasonable behaviour is the most common reason for divorce* - this requires a petitioner to essentially compile a list of things they hate about their spouse. However, many of our clients have simply drifted apart and fallen out of love; they don’t want to create a list of criticisms of the other party.

“As the law currently stands, if a couple opt for a ‘no-fault’ divorce they have to separate and wait two years to start the proceedings. The alternative is to apportion blame for the breakdown. In an age where we promote mediation and dealing with things in a conciliatory manner, the way people have to start the process is in direct contradiction to that. Removing unnecessary conflict between couples has to be positive in terms of how they will then be able to deal with the finances and more importantly, maintain better relationships for the benefit of their children.”

The MoJ’s proposals are set out in a government consultation launched 15 September 2018 and will apply to marriages and civil partnerships. The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on 10 December 2018.

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For the Second Consecutive Year, IREEMS Ltd Delivers Two Days Waste Management Training for Delegates from Nigeria

Posted: 18/09/18 by IREEMS Ltd

IREEMS has delivered a training to senior delegates from Nigeria on waste management. The training was part of the collaboration with Codub Consulting to deliver training to decision makers from Nigeria on sustainable waste management and asset management. The training also involved the visit of RWM Exhibition, the largest waste and resource management exhibition in the UK.

Dr Waleed Montasser, IREEMS director said: “Running the training for the second year shows that the international delegates value the service provided by IREEMS. We deliver a training that not only meets our clients’ needs but also add more to their knowledge about the waste sector in the UK and globally.

“We are aware that waste management is a difficult topic for developing countries, however we work with our clients and delegates to find solutions that meet their expectation and can be implemented in their country. Therefore we show them some examples of the sector during the visit to RWM. We advise and consult with our clients on best and possible solutions to implement based on their needs”

IREEMS is now discussing some of the delegates needs for future consultation on no/low-cost solutions for recycling facilities in Nigeria.

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An Introduction to Autism in the Workplace - October 11th

Posted: 18/09/18 by TRACK

TRACK are hosting their first ever ‘Introduction to Autism in the Workplace’ event on Thursday 11th October at the PTS Academy Stadium.

The event will include a morning of guest speakers, activities, case studies, networking opportunities, Q&A and more.

Director Tom Cliffe said: “This is an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to come along and learn more about the benefits of supporting their existing autistic employees and also about how to recruit new employees who possess a wide variety of skills.

“The morning will allow you to learn more about autism, the benefits of employing people on the autism spectrum and some practical strategies which you can use to support your employees, whilst also looking at the additional support which is available.

“We are delighted to be hosting our first event at the PTS Academy Stadium”

Book your tickets here or email thomas@track.org.uk

For a video explaining the event please click here.

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Makita teams up with woodwork expert Phil Davy at D&M ‘The’ Tool Show 2018

Posted: 18/09/18 by Makita Ltd

Makita UK will be returning to D&M ‘The’ Tool Show 2018 on the 12-14 October at Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex. Joining them in Hall 1, Stand H1-14, will be renowned woodworker Phil Davy from The Woodworker incorporating Good Woodworking magazine.

Over the three day event, along with exclusive show deals, Phil will be demonstrating Makita power tools and expertly construct the popular pallet chair originally designed by Andy King, former Technical Editor of Good Woodworking magazine. For visitors wanting to construct their own pallet chair at home, plans and a step-by-step guide will be available from the Makita stand.

Amongst other woodworking tools, Phil will be demonstrating the Makita DLS110Z Twin 18V (36V) Brushless Slide Compound Mitre Saw. The Makita DLS110Z will run the 260mm blade up to 4,400rpm and has a maximum mitre range of 60° L - 60° R, with a bevel range of 48° L - 48° R, and a max 91mm depth of cut. The rail-forward slide design allows the rear of the machine to be placed close to a wall whilst the twin slide rails are robustly mounted in the machine body ensuring smooth operation for a superior cut finish. Automatic Torque Drive Technology changes the cutting speed depending on load conditions to achieve optimum operation and slide, bevel and mitre locks are easy to operate while holders support a wide work piece. The rugged, fully machined cast alloy base and chassis ensures accuracy, safety and stability in operation. This body only model features an electric brake, soft start, large turn base and dust extractor connection.

Makita will also have an outdoor demonstration area showcasing tools from the Grounds Maintenance, Landscaping and Forestry range.

Entry to the show is FREE and more information and the option to register can be found at www.thetoolshow.com.

For more news and product information about Makita UK please visit www.makitauk.com. Follow us on Twitter @MakitaUK, Facebook.com/makitauk and google.com/+makitauk

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Accelerate your business growth – a workshop you can’t afford to miss

Posted: 18/09/18 by Action Coach Tring

If you are like most business owners and want more customers, more revenue and more profits, then this business workshop is for you. Join ActionCOACH Tring along with Metro Bank and Woodbridge & Co in this power packed workshop where you’ll learn how other business owners are growing their profits through working with ActionCOACH.

Two and a half hours of proven methodology, marketing concepts, sales promotions and business building strategies. Learn how you can increase your profits by 61% with strategies deployed by successful ActionCOACH business owner clients across the UK every day.

Details: Thu, 27 Sep 2018 / 14:00 - 17:00 / FREE / Tring Park Cricket Club

These workshops are usually fully booked, so you’ll need to reserve your seat as soon as possible. Just call 01442 560041 or email evangelisttring@actioncoach.com to reserve your place.

Alternatively, sign up using the simple registration below:

http://www.actioncoach.co.uk/coaches/simon-ellson/events/free-business-growth-seminar-6-steps-to-a-better-business-2-3/

Attendees Feedback:

“No hard sell – knowledge and understanding of challenges faced.”

“Simon is affable, open and a great communicator.”

“Very informative.”

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Two FREE digital workshops!

Posted: 18/09/18 by Sheila Smith Sales and Events

Google Digital Garage will be running two amazing workshops at Sheila Smith Sales and Events’ Business Expo on the 10th October at the Rufus Centre, Flitwick.

Learn how to get your business noticed online by the best there is. Find the links below and register.

All workshops are completely FREE to attend so this is an opportunity not to be missed!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/build-a-digital-marketing-plan-google-digital-garage-tickets-48442906036

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Milton Keynes Chamber members Cranfield University and Transport Systems Catapult partner for innovation

Posted: 18/09/18 by Transport Systems Catapult Ltd

Cranfield University have become the third university to sign a Deep Academic Alliance (DAA) with the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC)- with the aim of supporting the government’s plans to make the UK a world leader in transport innovation. The DAA marks the start of a three-year collaboration to deliver innovation, skills and technology on smart transportation.

DAAs are key partnerships between the TSC and Universities which align transport-related research and educational roadmaps with industry strategies - as well as preparing together for the Knowledge Exchange Framework. The alliance with Cranfield University builds on existing collaborations between the two organisations, including working on vehicle collision avoidance systems (MuCCA-project.co.uk), vehicle to infrastructure connectivity (CORAM) and an advanced autonomous vehicle project lead by Nissan (humandrive.co.uk).

The Alliance is set against a backdrop of growing demand and increasing opportunity; the global market for ‘Intelligent Mobility’ is estimated to be worth £1.4 trillion a year by 2030. Meanwhile, a key ‘Grand Challenge’ in the UK government’s Industrial Strategy is the future of mobility and how to make travel safer, better connected and more efficient.

Cranfield University chief executive and vice-chancellor professor Sir Peter Gregson said: “The Transport Systems Catapult is playing a vital role in helping the UK capture a greater share of the growing ‘intelligent mobility’ global marketplace. As two organisations based at the heart of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Corridor, we have an integral part to play in driving forward innovation and boosting skills for the benefit of the region and the nation.

“This alliance will further strengthen our relationship and will enable us together to help the UK deliver on its ambitions of becoming a global leader in smart transportation.”

Transport Systems Catapult CEO Paul Campion said: “Cranfield University is a world leader in transport innovation with a wealth of expertise in areas such as Connected and Autonomous Transport, Airspace Innovation, Human Factors in transport and Low Carbon Technology. This makes Cranfield an ideal partner for achieving our vision of creating an environment that will make the UK a world leader in transport innovation.

“Our Deep Academic Alliances are a response to a rapidly changing transport landscape: operator focused, single mode, fossil fuel dependent and disconnected travel will be replaced with user centric travel based on system wide integration and data driven services. High profile developments like automated cars are just the tip of the iceberg and the market opportunity for the UK is huge if the right investments are made and collaboration is encouraged.”

The new Cranfield Alliance supports the TSC’s five-year academic engagement strategy to ensure transport innovation has greater budgetary focus within local and national government. The DAAs will bring together academia, research councils and key industry players to provide evidence and policy advice to underpin, plan and regulate new transport systems.

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Starting a Business?

Posted: 18/09/18 by MSO Workspace - Serviced Offices

​Across the country, there are companies beginning their business journey from a spare bedroom or the kitchen table.

Well, MSO Workspace is here to help you get started! They have several packages which can help small businesses thrive.

When you first start your business, you’re going to need an address that’s separate from your own. You can of course rent an office, but as someone who is just starting, this may be too much money. That’s where MSO Workspace’s Mailing Address Package comes in! You can use their address, and get your mail forwarded on. Prices start from £49 a month!

MSO Workspace also have hot desking available, get in touch today! Email: james.crick@msoworkspace.com or call: 07557 364 715.

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Mercedes-Benz Dealer Intercounty opens on Saturdays for van sales

Posted: 18/09/18 by Intercounty Truck & Van Limited

Mercedes-Benz Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van has responded to customer demand by extending opening hours at each of its five sales outlets.

The company’s headquarters in Wellingborough, and other branches in Boston, Lincoln, Milton Keynes and Peterborough are now open every Saturday, from 8am until 4pm.

The move has been designed to make life easier for established and prospective retail van customers, who may struggle to find time during their busy working weeks to visit a dealership.

Intercounty Truck & Van Managing Director Simon Elliott explained: “Engaging with their vehicle supplier during the week is unlikely to be an issue for a fleet operator.

“But for tradesmen and women, and other small business owners who rely on their van to be able to do their job, time is invariably money. It can be difficult for them to find the opportunity during the working week to come and see us, talk to a member of our team face-to-face, and find out what the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Vans range has to offer.”

Intercounty Truck & Van is responsible for sales and support of the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Vito and Citan models, as well as the premium-quality X-Class, the first pickup to wear a three-pointed star.

As well as helping customers to choose the vehicle that best suits their needs, Intercounty Truck & Van’s highly-trained Sales professionals can arrange competitively priced finance agreements covering vehicle acquisitions and maintenance plans, while also advising on and liaising with third-party bodybuilders and converters.

Simon Elliott continued: “Our decision to open on Saturdays represents the latest step in an ambitious van sales growth strategy, and reflects the unstinting commitment of the entire Intercounty team to keeping businesses moving.”

Meanwhile, in line with its determination to maximise vehicle uptime and provide the best possible customer experience, Intercounty Truck & Van is also investing heavily in its 24-hour aftersales support, with a view to opening all workshops – including its dedicated service facility in Toddington – on a seven-days-per-week basis.

Added Simon: “The increasingly tight deadlines of the modern working world mean that more companies are opening longer and later than ever, with the resulting need for business vehicles to be on the road at all hours of the day.

“We will soon be open at all sites on a 24/7 basis, so that customers can drop off pre-booked vehicles for inspection and routine service work at the close of business, then pick them up ready to go to work again first thing the following morning.”

Like all Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealers, Intercounty Truck & Van also provides MobiloVan support, which includes free, 24-hour emergency roadside assistance.

www.intercounty.org.uk

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Shoemaker walks off with £10,000 prize at Northamptonshire Business Awards

Posted: 17/09/18 by Northamptonshire Business Awards

A historic shoemaker has walked off with the top prize of £10,000 at the Northamptonshire Business Awards.

Barker Shoes beat off stiff competition to win Business of the Year having already taken the Digital Communications Campaign of the Year award at the awards ceremony at Park Inn Northampton on Thursday.

The prize was donated by Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce which organised the prestigious awards ceremony that was attended by around 300 leading business people from across the county.

Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “I’d like to congratulate all our amazing finalists, winners and of course the well-deserved winner of our Business of the Year title – Barker Shoes.

“It was evident from the awards ceremony that the future of Northamptonshire’s economy is in safe hands and I would like to take this opportunity to recognise all that our finalists and winners do to contribute to our county’s success.

“I look forward to seeing several of our winners progressing to the regional finals of the British Chambers of Commerce Chamber Awards on 24 September and hopefully then to the national finals.”

Category award winners also received £1,000 in marketing support from the Chamber.

It was a particularly exciting night for ID Card Centre Ltd which won three categories - High Growth Business of the Year, Best Use of Technology and Small Business of the Year. Other winners included Teamwork Trust which won Employer of the Year, Northgate School Arts College Academy Trust which took the Education & Business Partnership title, SK Energy who won the Customer Commitment Award and Viridian Nutrition which received Export Business of the Year.

The Apprentice of the Year title was won by Evie Underwood of NRG Illumination.

The awards were sponsored by J motion Video Productions, Ellacotts, Beyond Theory, CJS (UK Management) Ltd, GPW Consulting Limited, Kemps Publishing, Kuehne + Nagel, HR Solutions, Starting Off and the headline sponsor was Wilson Browne Solicitors.

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Growing insurance firm announces new appointment

Posted: 17/09/18 by Robyn Allen Solutions Ltd

Robyn Allen Solutions Ltd, the Rothwell-based insurance broker which specialises in personal protection insurance, has announced the appointment of Meg Bartlett to the company.

Meg, who has forged a career in customer service and sales, joins the business as an Insurance Adviser and will meet with clients to review their insurance needs and give advice and recommendations to ensure they get the most appropriate form of protection for their circumstances.

This is the second new recruit for Robyn Allen Solutions in a matter of months following the appointment of Ryan Protheroe, also as an Insurance Adviser, in April, taking the team from just Robyn to a team of three with plans to recruit further over the coming months.

Robyn said: “The company was two years old in June and has grown exponentially in that time. We have quickly built up a reputation for being insurance brokers with a difference. We go into people’s homes and get to know them and the protection they require. Quite often our meetings see us simultaneously feed babies, pet dogs or join in family barbecues! Our clients appreciate that personal touch and tell their friends and colleagues about us, which has really helped grow the business.

“We are delighted to welcome Meg to the team. Her enthusiasm and passion for great customer service will be a real asset to Robyn Allen Solutions. Already a well-known and respected figure within the local business networking circle, Meg’s ability to engage and connect with people will be invaluable as we look to grow the business further into new territories.”

Meg added: “I have always admired Robyn as a business woman and to be given the opportunity to work with such a fantastic and hard-working team is a privilege. I can’t wait to get started.”

To find out more about Robyn Allen Solutions, go to www.robynallensolutions.com.

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Naiyaravoro handed Saints debut for Saracens clash

Posted: 14/09/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

Taqele Naiyaravoro will pull on a Black, Green and Gold jersey for the very first time on Saturday as Northampton Saints welcome Saracens to Franklin’s Gardens in the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off 3pm).

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made just three changes to the matchday 23 that saw off Harlequins 25-18 last Friday evening to notch up their first win of the new league season.

Naiyaravoro comes into the first-team squad to make his Club debut on the wing after arriving from the Sydney-based Waratahs two weeks ago, and joins Ahsee Tuala and Tom Collins – Northampton’s top two metre makers so far this season – in the back three.

Centres Luther Burrell and Piers Francis continue in the midfield, while there is also a familiar combination in the half-backs as Dan Biggar – who notched up 17 points last time out – and Cobus Reinach are selected together again.

England skipper Dylan Hartley comes into the starting XV for the first time this term after scoring the decisive try against Harlequins, and will co-captain the side alongside front-row partner Alex Waller.

But there is another change in Saints’ front row as England Under-20 international Ehren Painter is handed his first ever Northampton start at tighthead prop, with Ben Franks instead switching to the bench.

Last weekend’s man-of-the-match David Ribbans and Courtney Lawes make up Northampton’s engine room, while James Haskell, Heinrich Brüssow and Teimana Harrison complete the line-up in the back row.

And Mikey Haywood returns to the matchday squad for the first time this season to take his place amongst the replacements, and he will hope to make an impact in the second half alongside the likes of Api Ratuniyarawa, Jamie Gibson, Andy Symons and Harry Mallinder.

“We were thrilled to get off the mark in the Gallagher Premiership last weekend, but there’s still been plenty for us to work on this week and the guys have trained hard,” said Boyd.

“Saracens obviously represent a challenge for us, but we’ve made good progress over the past couple of weeks so we’re looking to continue that and produce another performance here at Franklin’s Gardens that our supporters will be proud of.”

Tickets for Northampton Saints v Saracens on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm, are still available from £32 adults and £14 juniors. Please CLICK HERE to book now.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v SARACENS

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round Three

Saturday 15 September 2018

Franklin’s Gardens

Kick-off: 3pm

15 Ahsee Tuala

14 Taqele Naiyaravoro

13 Luther Burrell

12 Piers Francis

11 Tom Collins

10 Dan Biggar

9 Cobus Reinach

1 Alex Waller (co-captain)

2 Dylan Hartley (co-captain)

3 Ehren Painter

4 David Ribbans

5 Courtney Lawes

6 James Haskell

7 Heinrich Brüssow

8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:

16 Mike Haywood

17 Francois Van Wyk

18 Ben Franks

19 Api Ratuniyarawa

20 Jamie Gibson

21 Alex Mitchell

22 Andrew Symons

23 Harry Mallinder

Not available for selection:

Dom Barrow (hamstring), Alex Coles (knee), James Craig (concussion), Paul Hill (shoulder), Rory Hutchinson (knee), Reece Marshall (foot), Toby Trinder (foot), Tom Wood (groin), and Ken Pisi (shoulder).

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Go Purple is back! Join us from 8 - 12 October for a week of Go Purple celebrations

Posted: 13/09/18 by MacIntyre

Go Purple is all about being creative and having fun!

It could be wearing purple clothes to work, to the gym or wherever you will stand out,

A purple themed office Bake Off with the best cake or bake winning a purple prize,

Sending us a purple themed photo, video, drawing or piece of artwork to be featured on our Go Purple Wall of Fame throughout the week,

Whatever it is, grab your friends and colleagues and Go Purple and raise awareness and show your support for MacIntyre - drop us an email if you would like to get involved and we can send you one of our special Go Purple fundraising packs, fund@macintyrecharity.org

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Brighten up the Autumn months at Bay Tree Cottage

Posted: 13/09/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

We have lots of crafty workshops coming up throughout September, October and November with full day, half day and evening courses all available. Why not take a look and see what takes your fancy?

Traditional Upholstery - Tuesday 25 September, 10am-3.30pm (£75pp) Further dates in Oct & Nov
Now is the time to get started on that upholstery project you may have been putting off! Come and restore your much-loved furniture or vintage find to its former glory.

Basketmaking - Tuesday 2 October, 9.30am-4.30pm (£95pp)
Join Yeoman basketmaker Eddie Glew and craft your own shallow fruit or bread basket.

Jewellery Making for Beginners - Wednesday 3 October, 7-9.30pm (£24.50pp)
Make your own beaded jewellery using gold or silver wire and enjoy a light homemade supper too!

Wire Sculpture - Saturday 6 October, 10am-3.30pm (£120pp)
Sculptor Lindsay Waring will teach you how to craft your own ‘feathered friend’ using single strand and chicken wire.

Basic Felt Making - Wednesday 10 October, 10am-12.30pm (£38.50pp)
Enjoy a morning with artist Heidi Street-Ward learning how to make a piece of handmade felt using easy felt making techniques.

Fabric Screen Printing Cushions - Saturday 13 October, 10am-1pm (£38.50pp)
Learn how to screen print using paper stencils onto paper and a cushion cover.

Corn Dollies - Tuesday 16 October,9.30am-12.30pm (£38.50pp)
Master the ancient craft of weaving corn dollies with local country craftsman Bert Manton.

*New* Evening Candle Making - Wednesday 7 November, 7-9.30pm (£24.50pp)
Create your own range of candles using an array of fragrances, colours and containers. Light homemade supper included too. Please note the candles will need to be collected at a later date once they have set.

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

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TSC teams with England’s Economic Heartland for Innovation

Posted: 12/09/18 by Transport Systems Catapult Ltd

Transport Systems Catapult and England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) have signed an agreement to deliver innovative transport infrastructure for the region. The programme of activities will help to deliver economic potential identified by the National Infrastructure Commission and set as a national priority by the Government. The economy in the area is set to double or even triple by 2050.

The agreement will focus on the use of data, consolidating member authority live transport data from across the region in-order-to facilitate joined up transport solutions. The Transport Systems Catapult will also assist with policy modelling and real time network management tools and the transportation of freight. Finally, the EEH and TSC will look to identify Grand Challenges for the region’s transport infrastructure which can be promoted as opportunities to local businesses and academia.

EEH is a voluntary strategic partnership of councils and local enterprise partnerships. It represents the area from Swindon through Oxford, Milton Keynes to Cambridge and from Northamptonshire to Hertfordshire. Its membership brings together Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships in a shared ambition to realise the economic potential of the Heartland.

Transport Systems Catapult Chief Engagement Officer Helen Wylde said: “The economic opportunity presented in Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor and surrounding areas is transformational and something we are extremely proud to support. Realising the potential of the region will require additional public and private investment in infrastructure which is sustainable and fit for future travel and transport needs. Through this agreement, we will help EEH identify and realise transport solutions which are integrated across the region and take advantage of the latest technologies to deliver real economic impact – new jobs and sustainable wealth for the region.”

Councillor Martin Tett, Chairman of England’s Economic Heartland said: “Realising the enormous economic potential of this region will require investment in strategic infrastructure which is based on sound evidence and data, while harnessing the latest technology to make journeys simpler and more convenient for our residents and businesses. Therefore, I’m delighted that England’s Economic Heartland is working with Transport System Catapult - this is a partnership which can only lead to greater innovation in a region which is already so renowned for its expertise in science and technology.”

Simon White

Email: simon.white@ts.catapult.org.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1908 359999 ext 1139

Mob: 07496437944

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LEV awareness course at McCarthy’s Centre of Excellence

Posted: 12/09/18 by McCarthy Environmental Ltd

McCarthy Environmental Ltd’s next course is on Thursday, September 20th 2018 - with one day training courses running every month throughout the rest of the year.

These courses will equip you and your business with the practical understanding of how Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems work and your responsibility under government regulations to reduce exposure to dust and fumes in the workplace.

People who will benefit from this course include anyone from Facilities Managers, small business owners and Health & Safety Managers, to maintenance teams and anyone who has an involvement with LEV systems.

You will find out what to look for when purchasing and learn all aspects of LEV - from concept through to design, purchasing, commissioning, installation and the ongoing responsibilities with regards to maintenance.

Book your place today here: https://mccarthy-environmental.co.uk/lev-centre-of-excellence/

Lunch is included, cost £175 + VAT

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Entrepreneurs relief - an easy kill

Posted: 12/09/18 by BRI Business Recovery & Insolvency

Headlines such as “Use entrepreneur tax relief cash to help fulfil NHS £20bn funding pledge, think tank says” (National Health Executive) might be further evidence that the days of this tax relief may now be numbered.

Entrepreneurs relief (“ER”) is the driver behind most Members Voluntary Liquidations (“MVL”). These are solvent liquidations where the director/shareholders are taking out the money left in their company at the end of that company’s life. The business of the company may well have been sold but the vehicle used for trading is no longer required – the results of what might have been many years efforts are now there to be enjoyed. The relief reduces the Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) rate to 10% for qualifying shareholders.

In January of this year, under the headline, “How to hedge your finances against a future Corbyn government” the FT were saying, “Investors might also choose to sell assets, in an attempt to lock in the current low rates of capital gains tax. Owners of small businesses might be concerned that “entrepreneurs’ relief” that reduces the rate of tax to just 10 per cent might be axed.”

In the current political climate the view appears to be forming that this is an easy kill. Removing a tax relief granted to already wealthy individuals (as if all entrepreneurs are outstandingly wealthy) who, in general, are older (it still takes most people 10 years to be an overnight success – those taking advantage of entrepreneurs relief are mostly in their fifties and above). It is not likely to adversely affect the finances of the much courted younger voter. It is an easy, relatively painless,fix.

Unless, of course, you are one of those affected.

If you have been thinking about taking advantage of Entrepreneurs Relief in the next little while you might want to hurry along to BRI now to talk about solvent liquidations and how you might be able to secure your position. It could be a case of – buy now; while stocks last. Call on 01604 754352 or check out: https://www.briuk.co.uk

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14 years and counting as SafeContractor Accredited!

Posted: 12/09/18 by Marren Microwave Ltd

Marren Microwave is delighted to announce that it has achieved SafeContractor accreditation for the 14th year in a row. In the picture you’ll see procurement and logistics manager, Lee Scroxton, proudly holding the certificate!

SafeContractor is a health and safety audit service for tradespeople and businesses that is very similar to the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). It’s a brilliant way to reassure customers that Marren works safely and in accordance with the latest regulations and guidelines.

This is particularly important in the foodservice industry where heavy-duty industrial cooking equipment takes pride of place in kitchens, bars and restaurants. The SafeContractor accreditation plays a key role in enabling Marren to supply its services and huge range of accelerated cooking and microwave parts to businesses throughout the UK.

Marren is a fully accredited SafeContractor business, which means their policies, procedures, training and insurances have been rigorously tested and audited by the SafeContractor Audit Services Team. This leaves their customers in no doubt that their operation is as safe as it should be and removes any risk they might have been concerned about while working with non-accredited suppliers.

Having experienced the audit process over the course of 14 years, Marren can confirm it is far-reaching, completely independent and very thorough. The benefits of being fully SafeContractor accredited are numerous - SafeContractor has been accrediting businesses for nearly 20 years, and they’ve always found the process of working with them to be efficient, educational and capable of developing great new internal policies for health and safety.

“We’re so happy to have maintained our SafeContractor status,” enthuses Lee, who holds a NEBOSH qualification in Health & Safety. “It’s representative of all the hard work the entire team puts in to remain compliant with the tough health and safety laws in this country. We value the safety of our staff and customers above everything else, which is why the SafeContractor accreditation is so incredibly important to us.”

To find out more about our range of parts, equipment, tools, accessories and repairs for foodservice businesses, click here.

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The new Vision URBANETIC concept is here

Posted: 12/09/18 by Intercounty Truck & Van Limited

  • Completely new mobility concept for on-demand, efficient, comfortable and sustainable mobility
  • Autonomous driving platform that can be fitted as required with a cargo module for goods transportation or with a people-mover module
  • Battery-electric drive for zero local emissions and virtually noiseless mobility
  • Mobility concepts embedded within an intelligent, self-learning IT infrastructure for the continual analysis of transportation needs
  • Supply and demand captured in real time and vehicle resources used to optimum effect
  • Maximum economy, efficiency and flexibility for cities, mobility providers and users

Mercedes-Benz Vans presents its Vision URBANETIC, a revolutionary mobility concept that goes way beyond existing ideas on autonomous vehicles. Vision URBANETIC eliminates the separation between people moving and goods transport. It enables on-demand, sustainable and efficient movement of people and goods – and applies an innovative approach to fulfil the needs of cities, businesses from diverse sectors as well as city dwellers and travellers. The concept reduces traffic flows, relieves inner-city infrastructures and contributes to an improved quality of urban life.

As part of a holistic system solution, Vision URBANETIC addresses future urban challenges and offers innovative solutions. The visionary concept is based on a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for people moving or goods transport. As a ride-sharing vehicle, Vision URBANETIC can accommodate up to twelve passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets. A load space 3.70 m long fits into a total vehicle length of 5.14 m. Plus, the concept incorporates an IT infrastructure that analyses in real time the supply and demand within a defined area. The result is a self-driving fleet, with routes planned flexibly and efficiently on the basis of current transportation needs. All of this makes Vision URBANETIC a groundbreaking concept for future urban mobility.

Thanks to full networking, the evaluation of local information – such as concerts and events – and intelligent control, the system not only analyses current needs, it can also learn from them. It is thus able to anticipate and react to future needs. This can optimise processes and help shorten waiting and delivery times and avoid traffic jams. For instance, the overall system can use the data captured by the vehicle control centre – which collates and analyses needs – to identify a crowd of people gathering in a certain area. It can send vehicles there to quickly and efficiently satisfy the increased demand. The system can thus react flexibly and is not based on rigid routes or fixed timetables.

Fully networked and part of a comprehensive ecosystem

Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing an ambitious target with its Vision URBANETIC. It envisages transporting more people and goods with fewer vehicles on a virtually unchanged roads infrastructure in order to relieve inner cities and, at the same time, fulfil continually growing mobility requirements and customer desires. This would ultimately facilitate an improved quality of urban life – with flexible and comfortable movement of people, efficient and sustainable transportation of goods, significantly lower noise and pollutant emissions and greater freedom in city planning.

As a fully networked vehicle, Vision URBANETIC is part of an ecosystem in which commercial and private mobility wishes are transmitted digitally. Vision URBANETIC collates these needs and fulfils them with a highly flexible fleet, facilitating a considerable improvement in the use of resources.

Two interchangeable modules for people and goods

To achieve this level of flexibility, Vision URBANETIC is equipped with different interchangeable bodies depending on purpose of use. As a ride-sharing vehicle with a people-mover body, Vision URBANETIC offers space for up to twelve passengers. The modules are switched either automatically or manually, with the automated process taking just a few minutes. The system is based on an autonomous driving platform onto which the respective bodies are fixed. It incorporates all the driving functions, meaning the autonomous chassis can also make its way to its next job location without a body attached. Absolute safety is guaranteed by redundant components for all relevant actions such as steering, braking and acceleration.

The cargo module serves as a classic goods transporter. Thanks to its variable load floor, it can be divided into two levels and transport up to ten EPAL palettes. The load space has a volume of 10 m3. Alternatively, the vehicle can be fitted with fully automated cargo-space systems and used as a mobile package station for last-mile deliveries. Multiple further use cases are also conceivable as the concept can be equipped with a wide array of bodies for other sectors and applications.

Greater freedom for interior design

Thanks to fully automated driverless operation, operating costs fall significantly with Vision URBANETIC. Plus, with the exception of charging times for the battery-electric drive and maintenance periods, each vehicle can be in use around the clock, 365 days a year. It means, for example, profitable operation of local public transport solutions which would not be commercially viable with a driver. Likewise, the concept provides an answer to an ever-increasing demand in areas such as the logistics sector – a lack of drivers. Companies are already finding it extremely difficult or impossible to fill vacancies. In light of this, a German trade magazine voted “Fahrermangel” (lack of drivers) the 2017 Logistics Word of the Year.

The absence of a driver’s cab also frees up space for interior design. Steering wheel, pedals, dashboard and the entire cockpit are things of the past. The space can instead be used for additional passengers or a higher goods volume.

On a factory site or roaming freely in the city

The system architecture of the autonomous Vision URBANETIC ensures continual route adaptation using real-time traffic information. The operator’s fleet management is also part of the IT system, with usage conceivable in restricted areas such as a factory site or airport as well as in road traffic.

Vision URBANETIC’s electric drive delivers zero-local-emissions mobility, thus making it the perfect vehicle for city centres and areas subject to legal access restrictions. The virtually noiseless electric drive also presents new options for late or night-time deliveries and thus offers major commercial potential.

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Local Tring Business Coach OPENS its offices

Posted: 12/09/18 by Action Coach Tring

Tring’s Local Business Coach is delighted to announce its office is OPEN to the local community and surrounding areas.

Simon Ellson, founder of Intrapraneur and Head Coach at ActionCOACH Tring, started the business to support the local business community having worked in both the SME and Corporate World.

Feel free to pop by, they’ll put the kettle on and sort out the important stuff…the biscuits!

48 High St, Tring HP23 5AG.

www.actioncoach.co.uk/simonellson

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SpaceVac Scoops Top Innovation Award in Australia!

Posted: 12/09/18 by SpaceVac International

Northampton based SpaceVac International are celebrating this week after taking the top prize for innovation at a huge Industry event in Australia.

SpaceVac International - who manufacture high-level cleaning systems that enable operators to clean safely from the ground floor - were nominated in the highly competitive “Cleaning Equipment” category which saw the product pitched against products from some of the biggest names in the Specialist Cleaning industry.

The system won out with judges noting its simple operation and huge benefits to operators in terms of both health and safety, and time and cost savings.

Scott Rozendaal sales director of Spillz said being a finalist in the INCLEAN Innovation Awards for the second consecutive year has created great exposure for the Spillz company. “Winning the Innovation Award for equipment with Spacevac is a great step for Spillz company to becoming a leading innovative supplier, as we are always looking to find new developments that can push the industry forward,” Rozendaal said.

“We took on the Spacevac High Level Cleaning range as they are utilising modern technology to revolutionise the cleaning industry, and lift both the standard of cleaning and safety in the industry.”

Meanwhile SpaceVac International CEO Tommie Nisula said: “This award is confirmation again that SpaceVac represents a truly global solution to some of the toughest challenges that our colleagues in the FM sectors come up against. Our congratulations go to the team at Spillz who have been a fantastic addition to the SpaceVac family and we are really looking forward to continuing this really exciting expansion into Australasia through the rest of 2018.”

Find more on SpaceVac International and their range of innovative, high-level cleaning systems at spacevacinternational.com

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Kelly Barrell joins the Marren team

Posted: 12/09/18 by Marren Microwave Ltd

Marren Microwave delighted to welcome Kelly Barrell to the Marren team. With over 20 years’ experience in sales, and 15 in the financial sector, Kelly brings a wealth of knowledge, business know-how and expertise in account management to Marren.

“I worked for Abbey for almost 10 years,” explains Kelly. “That gave me plenty of experience managing customer accounts, developing new business and even managing the brand development.”

Five years in the commercial catering spares industry followed, where Kelly worked for GEV Catering Spares as an area sales manager. The role saw her visiting service and repair companies, wholesalers, equipment dealers and spare part providers.

“I was tasked with actively developing and maintaining relationships with new and existing customers,” says Kelly. “That meant I spent time in the office, on the road and in the digital world of social media. I was asked to raise awareness of GEV’s brand through strategic marketing, social media, and in collaboration with the GEV Group’s internal marketing team based in Munich.”

Kelly was unfortunately made redundant by GEV in June this year following a merger with Commercial Catering Spares, but undeterred, Kelly remained with the company to assist with the office closure and transfer of all GEV operations to its new base in Heywood.

Not long after, Kelly was contacted by Marren Operations director, Malcolm Skinner, who explained that a business development manager role had been created at Marren and she appeared to be the perfect fit. Kelly had been recommended by two industry professionals.

“I was flattered, to be honest!” says Kelly. “I’ve managed to thank one of them personally, but the other remains anonymous!”

Kelly’s role at Marren will focus on looking for opportunities to develop new business in service and spares, promote the company through social media and national publications, and spend one day each week on marketing. She’ll also attend industry exhibitions both home and abroad, and prepare advertising plans and budgets.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the Marren team and very much look forward to being part of the company’s continued success. It’s apparent that the Marren name and its staff are held in very high regard by customers and highly respected by other service companies within the industry.

“Marren have already provided me with a firm foundation from which to develop business with existing clients and build new relationships. I’m committed to helping the company grow, implement exciting new sales processes and further raise its brand awareness within the catering and service market.”

Kelly is married with four children and lives in Lincolnshire. In her spare time she loves making cupcakes, watching movies, going to the cinema with family and trying different places to eat. Welcome on board, Kelly!

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It was tea for…40 when Greencore joined Cynthia Spencer Hospice patients for afternoon treats

Posted: 12/09/18 by Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity

A team from food company Greencore Northampton put its catering skills towards a fantastic cause recently when they treated Cynthia Spencer Hospice patients, staff and volunteers to afternoon tea in the Day Hospice lounge.

Anthony Chadwick, business manager at Greencore Northampton, said: “Greencore Northampton has been supporting Cynthia Spencer for a number of years now. We have done this in various ways, including recently winning the Franklins £50 challenge with a combination of activities including quiz nights, auctions and car washing. This all raised a good deal of money for an amazing cause, however on this occasion, I felt that doing something directly for the patients and staff at the Hospice was in order.

“As the sandwich manufacturer for Marks & Spencer, afternoon tea seemed like a natural choice. This would also allow our team to meet face to face with the people that we have fundraised for and the team that supports them on a daily basis, as well as giving the patients and staff a well-deserved treat. Marks & Spencer kindly donated the cakes and Greencore supplied the sandwiches. We all had a brilliant afternoon meeting everyone at the Hospice and have already got plans for the next visit!”

Pam Hammon, a Day Hospice patient since November 2017 who attended the tea, said: “Before I started coming to the Day Hospice, I had no confidence and lived on my own after my husband died. I was so nervous about coming, but now I love coming each week and would love to come even more! It has really boosted my confidence and I look forward to coming every Wednesday.

“Having the team from Greencore in for the day was lovely, it has been such a great afternoon. My only question is – when are we doing it again?!” Pam continued.

Claire McEwen, occupational therapist at Cynthia Spencer’s Day Hospice, said: “It was great to have the team from Greencore in for the afternoon. Patients, carers, volunteers and staff all had a brilliant afternoon with plenty of delicious sandwiches, cakes and tea. It was also lovely how the whole team got involved in a fun food and drink themed quiz, which gave them the chance to interact with patients and hear more about what happens in the Day Hospice. We look forward to welcoming the team back in the future!”

There were approximately 40 patients, carers, staff and volunteers on the afternoon. Afternoon tea was followed by a fun food-based quiz and the Greencore team were separated into teams with patients, carers, volunteers and staff. They set up the whole afternoon and cleared it all away too.

If any businesses would like to support Cynthia Spencer Hospice they can contact Corporate Fundraiser, Chelsea Galpin by either telephoning 01604 973348 or emailing chelsea@cynthiaspencer.co.uk. Chelsea is keen to discuss the many ways corporate supporters can do their bit for their local Hospice and the huge impact they can make on helping patients and families in their local community at a time when they need it most.

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Marren Technical Manager Scoops Mitchells & Butlers Award

Posted: 12/09/18 by Marren Microwave Ltd

Marren have spent over 30 years building a team that can offer unrivalled specialist maintenance for the food service industry in the UK.

They’ve done this by employing people who combine a deep knowledge of microwave ovens and accelerated cooking technology with a genuine desire to provide an unforgettable customer experience. It’s a tough combination to get right, but they are incredibly proud of their team for proving that it is possible.

They’ve therefore delighted to announce that the technical manager for Marren Microwave Limited, Kane Needs, recently scooped a top award from none other than Mitchells & Butlers!

Established in 1898, Mitchells & Butlers is one of the most respected operators in the UK restaurant, pub and bar industry, and owns countless household brands that deliver amazing service and value for money. Every year, they run a set of awards that recognise the best talent the industry has to offer, and this year, Kane has been highlighted for his sterling work with the Mitchells & Butlers estate.

Marren works closely with Mitchells & Butlers, and as you’d expect, the projects undertaken can be complex and demanding. Kane has been instrumental in keeping a strong supply line from start to finish for many of these ongoing projects within the Mitchells & Butlers estate, and that work clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Keeping to deadlines and ensuring top service from the moment kitchen supplies are collected to the date they’re installed is key to ensuring the entire project runs smoothly. Kane is a constant point of contact for clients like Mitchells & Butlers – even during out-of-hours – and works tirelessly to ensure the necessary steps are taken to keep the flow of equipment on track and resolve any issues that might arise.

Marren is traditionally a service company, therefore to have a member of their team recognised for their level of service in the supply chain is absolutely fantastic and an incredible achievement in its own right.

Kane recently expressed his delight at receiving the award. “I was so proud when I was presented with the award,” he said. “It was totally unexpected. To be recognised for a lot of hard work and hours spent keeping everything streamlined is a great feeling. I can’t thank the people at Mitchells & Butlers who voted for me enough, as this will always be a great career memory for me.”

The entire team at Marren take this opportunity to congratulate Kane for his fantastic, on-going effort and say a big “congratulations” for receiving the award!

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BCC: Keeping overseas students in immigration statistics the wrong decision

Posted: 12/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on overseas students, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business communities around the UK will be bitterly disappointed not to see support for the removal of overseas students from the immigration statistics. We have been calling for the removal of international students from the immigration figures for a long time as the vast majority go home after completing their courses.

“The committee is right to recommend that it should be easier for overseas students to work here at the end of their studies. International students benefit local economies up and down the country, not only through their direct spending power, but also through their skills, languages and cultural awareness. At a time when three quarters of firms are struggling to fill job vacancies, it makes sense to attract and harness the talent of international students.

“It’s time to scrap the caps and arbitrary numerical targets. It’s one thing to control migration, but quite another to use arbitrary mechanisms that deny businesses, universities and public sector employers the people they need to address immediate skills gaps.

“The government should also restore a post-study work visa that allows British universities and companies to benefit from the energy of some of the people they have trained. Now more than ever, the UK should be striving to attract the brightest talent from around the world, and our future immigration policy should reflect that instead of a fixation with targets.”

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BCC: Keeping overseas students in immigration statistics the wrong decision

Posted: 12/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on overseas students, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Business communities around the UK will be bitterly disappointed not to see support for the removal of overseas students from the immigration statistics. We have been calling for the removal of international students from the immigration figures for a long time as the vast majority go home after completing their courses.

“The committee is right to recommend that it should be easier for overseas students to work here at the end of their studies. International students benefit local economies up and down the country, not only through their direct spending power, but also through their skills, languages and cultural awareness. At a time when three quarters of firms are struggling to fill job vacancies, it makes sense to attract and harness the talent of international students.

“It’s time to scrap the caps and arbitrary numerical targets. It’s one thing to control migration, but quite another to use arbitrary mechanisms that deny businesses, universities and public sector employers the people they need to address immediate skills gaps.

“The government should also restore a post-study work visa that allows British universities and companies to benefit from the energy of some of the people they have trained. Now more than ever, the UK should be striving to attract the brightest talent from around the world, and our future immigration policy should reflect that instead of a fixation with targets.”

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Entrepreneur’s relief - an easy kill

Posted: 12/09/18 by BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency

Headlines such as “Use entrepreneur tax relief cash to help fulfil NHS £20bn funding pledge, think tank says” (National Health Executive) might be further evidence that the days of this tax relief may now be numbered.

Entrepreneurs relief (“ER”) is the driver behind most Members Voluntary Liquidations (“MVL”). These are solvent liquidations where the director/shareholders are taking out the money left in their company at the end of that company’s life. The business of the company may well have been sold but the vehicle used for trading is no longer required – the results of what might have been many years efforts are now there to be enjoyed. The relief reduces the Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) rate to 10% for qualifying shareholders.

In January of this year, under the headline, “How to hedge your finances against a future Corbyn government” the FT were saying, “Investors might also choose to sell assets, in an attempt to lock in the current low rates of capital gains tax. Owners of small businesses might be concerned that “entrepreneurs’ relief” that reduces the rate of tax to just 10 per cent might be axed.”

In the current political climate the view appears to be forming that this is an easy kill. Removing a tax relief granted to already wealthy individuals (as if all entrepreneurs are outstandingly wealthy) who, in general, are older (it still takes most people 10 years to be an overnight success – those taking advantage of entrepreneurs relief are mostly in their fifties and above). It is not likely to adversely affect the finances of the much courted younger voter. It is an easy, relatively painless,fix.

Unless, of course, you are one of those affected.

If you have been thinking about taking advantage of Entrepreneurs Relief in the next little while you might want to hurry along to BRI now to talk about solvent liquidations and how you might be able to secure your position. It could be a case of – buy now; while stocks last. Call on 01604 754352 or check out: https://www.briuk.co.uk

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Basket Making and Christmas Willow Weaving at Bay Tree Cottage

Posted: 11/09/18 by Bay Tree Cottage Accommodation & Country Living Workshops

Bay Tree Cottage in Farthingstone, NN12, is welcoming Yeoman basketmaker Eddie Glew from Blithfield Willowcrafts this Autumn. Eddie is running two workshops where people can come along and learn how to craft beautiful items using English willow.

A full day basketmaking course is taking place on Tuesday 2 October where attendees will make their own shallow fruit or bread basket. The day runs from 9.30am-4.30pm and costs £95pp including all tools and materials, plus homemade refreshments and lunch.

Eddie returns on Thursday 29 November for two Willow Christmas Decorations workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During these sessions, participants will make an array of Christmas goodies including hearts, wreaths, stars and tree decorations. The three-hour workshops cost £48.50pp.

Full information can be found by visiting www.btcworkshops.co.uk

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BCC comments on labour market figures for September 2018

Posted: 11/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the labour market figures for September 2018, published today by the ONS,

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The continued drop in unemployment and strong employment levels are further evidence that the UK jobs market remains a bright spot, with firms continuing to hire despite significant economic uncertainty.

“However, the robust headline data masks several areas of concern. While there was a welcome increase in earnings growth, the gap between pay and price growth remains insufficient to convert into an appreciable pick-up in consumer spending. Sustaining meaningful real wage growth is likely to remain challenging amid subdued productivity and the escalating burden of upfront costs on businesses.

“The number of job vacancies in the UK remains at an alarmingly high level, further evidence of persistent skills shortages. While the number of people in work stands close to historic highs, firms continue to report that attempting to recruit staff with the right skills is an increasingly uphill struggle, which is stifling their ability to grow and boost productivity.

“It is vital that more is done to support those businesses looking to recruit and train staff, including delivering an open and flexible immigration system to help firms attract and retain the people they need to compete on the global stage.”

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BCC comments on labour market figures for September 2018

Posted: 11/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the labour market figures for September 2018, published today by the ONS,

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The continued drop in unemployment and strong employment levels are further evidence that the UK jobs market remains a bright spot, with firms continuing to hire despite significant economic uncertainty.

“However, the robust headline data masks several areas of concern. While there was a welcome increase in earnings growth, the gap between pay and price growth remains insufficient to convert into an appreciable pick-up in consumer spending. Sustaining meaningful real wage growth is likely to remain challenging amid subdued productivity and the escalating burden of upfront costs on businesses.

“The number of job vacancies in the UK remains at an alarmingly high level, further evidence of persistent skills shortages. While the number of people in work stands close to historic highs, firms continue to report that attempting to recruit staff with the right skills is an increasingly uphill struggle, which is stifling their ability to grow and boost productivity.

“It is vital that more is done to support those businesses looking to recruit and train staff, including delivering an open and flexible immigration system to help firms attract and retain the people they need to compete on the global stage.”

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Transform Your Business Event Oct 2018

Posted: 11/09/18 by Everybody Works in Sales

​Do you want to grow your business in 2018 and be ahead for 2019? Do you want to learn more but don’t have months to spare?

Then Transform Your Business conference on 16th October in Milton Keynes is for you.

This is the only planned business transformation event taking place this year with nine expert speakers. They will provide knowledge, insight and massive value to your business.

This event is for:

  • Business owners
  • Start-ups
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Microbusinesses
  • Sales People
  • Account Managers
  • Business Development
  • HR, Training and Development
  • Recruitment
  • Media companies
  • Professional Services

Free car parking.

Complimentary breakfast, lunch, tea and coffee.

Click here to make a massive difference to your business: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/transform-your-business-tickets-49912595918


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A SME’s guide to P2P Lending

Posted: 11/09/18 by Halo Corporate Finance Ltd

Today, there are a wealth of alternative funding options available to businesses that are significantly more attractive to startups and SMEs than traditional bank lending.

Statistics from the Finance Leasing Association show that over 50% of small businesses have been rejected for funding from their bank. As a result, alternative means of financing growth have become a necessary and fast-growing sub-sector of the financial services industry.

Today, the market is full of exciting and varied offerings, ranging from equity crowdfunding to innovative P2P lending offerings. There is much more choice than ever before, and choice means competition and therefore very reasonable terms for businesses.

Alternative funding has many benefits. Funds are usually dispatched in a much more timely manner than bank finance – you are looking at a matter of days between application and approval rather than weeks or even months.

At Halo, they work with some forms of alternative finance that can even approve funds within a single day – this can be essential when your business is relying on an injection of money immediately to deal with tight cash flow or deliver a time-critical project.

Alternative finance lenders do not usually require the same level of scrutiny as banks when reviewing your trading history to ascertain suitability. You are also usually free to apply the funds as you see fit within your business, you are not always required to prove where and how the funds are used.

Also, the fact that P2P operators like FundingCircle match lenders to borrowers means that the lender is likely to have knowledge of the industry they are investing in. Lenders can also decide to invest based on other criteria, such as social responsibility, financial profile or industry.

When looking for the right lender, consider finding a broker that has access to many different types of lenders in order to help you assess the whole market.

If you need equipment in order to develop and grow your business, asset finance might be the best choice. If you need funds purely to assist cash flow, then you might consider an invoice discounting solution. There really is a finance option for every business need. If you are evaluating what types of finance are available to your business, download Halo’s Guide to Financing Your Business.

You’ll discover:

  • The different asset finance solutions available to you
  • The difference between types of finance such as leases, hire purchase and commercial loans
  • Which type of finance may be best for your business based on your needs

Contact Halo on 0345 350 1966 to discuss your options or go to https://www.hcfl.co.uk

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Industrial Placement programme offers ‘perfect pathway’

Posted: 11/09/18 by Northampton College

Northampton College is working with 50 of the county’s leading employers to create the perfect pathway for the workforce of the future.

The Industrial Placement programme, a forerunner to the College’s planned participation in the Government’s roll-out of T Levels from 2020, will see employers working to identify those students who are best-placed to fill skills gaps and step into their workplace.

A total of 173 placements are available through the College this year and employers will get the chance to meet students and ‘match’ them to their roles at a ‘speed-dating’ style event at Booth Lane on September 19/20.

Representatives from companies including Balfour Beatty, Travis Perkins, Igus, Holiday Inn and Recol Engineering will be on hand to speak to students and ensure the right candidates are matched to the right placements.

Ruth Exelby, assistant principal for employer engagement, said: “These programmes have been shaped by employers who have advised government that young people need more access to good quality, vocationally relevant work experience to understand the skills and behaviours that employers expect from their future workforce.

“There is an increased demand for vocational qualifications and the new T Levels will help meet that demand and complement the strategic focus of Northampton College as a vocational specialist meeting the needs of both employers and the wider community.

“These industrial placements will give students an unprecedented advantage to secure the skills they need for their future careers and ensure employers have a pool of talent to recruit from for their business.”

Under the new programme, students will spend a total of 50 days a year with their employer, compared to the previous guideline minimum of 30 hours.

Mrs Exelby added: “The placements will cover everything from business administration or catering to electrical engineering and construction, giving the students an invaluable insight into the demands of local employers and putting them one step ahead of their competition when it comes to looking for full time employment in years to come.”

The programme was piloted by Mercedes Petronas earlier this year, with Northampton College students filling a wide range of roles at the engineering giants base in Brixworth.

That experience has helped shape the make-up of the new programme, with systems in place to ensure both employers and students benefit from the initiative.

To find out more about the Industrial Placements programme at Northampton College visit www.northamptoncollege.ac.uk

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Storopack introduces its NEW black PAPERplus® Papillon system for perfect protective packaging

Posted: 10/09/18 by Storopack UK Limited

Storopack – a leading global protective packaging supplier has now introduced a unique black paper pad system into its Papillon range – perfect for enhancing the customer unboxing experience.

Storopack – with global operation with headquarters in Metzingen, Germany, designs and manufactures the majority of its products in-house, demonstrating a strong commitment to provide innovative products for the protective packaging market through its distributor network.

By packing products with exclusively designed, soft and flexible black Papillon paper, this high-quality range will dramatically improve product presentation. It is perfect for packing luxury e-commerce goods from perfumes, beauty, cosmetics, and skin care products, to a wider variety of applications.

Mark Mardel, Sales Director, explains “Customer satisfaction is key to every business. We know from our experience the customer buying experience and satisfaction is considerably enhanced when products arrive well packaged and in perfect condition, but just as important is the expectation and delivery of a unique and exciting unboxing experience. With its soft and flexible properties, black Papillon paper is the ideal product to fulfil this expectation.”

This exclusive, patented pad system is designed for top void fill and blocking and bracing packaging solutions, and is ideal for small to medium-sized parcels, and where the need to send quality lightweight packages is important.

Originally launched in 2015 the Papillon range with its patented shape requires up to 30% less paper per box compared to other products on the market, and is rapidly increasing in popularity within the protective packaging and void fill market. Customers who already use the white and standard brown Papillon are experiencing benefits such as smaller pack weights, increased pack speeds and an overall improvement in warehouse output efficiencies.

PAPERplus® Papillon packaging systems can be designed to easily integrate into any warehouse operation.

For more information visit Storopack at www.storopack.co.uk or call the Customer Service Team on +44 (0) 114 249 2004.

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University of Northampton hosts first conference at new Waterside campus

Posted: 10/09/18 by The University of Northampton

The University of Northampton’s new Waterside campus will host its first conference next week.

The fourth annual Approaches to Inequalities Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 19 September, will focus on issues of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Keynote speakers include Vanessa Bettinson, a professor in criminal law and justice and co-founder of De Montfort University’s Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Research Network, and Pragna Patel, a founding member of the Southall Black Sisters (SBS) and Women Against Fundamentalism. She has been centrally involved in some of SBS’ most important cases and campaigns around domestic violence, immigration and religious fundamentalism.

The conference will also host a separate breakfast seminar for local employers and HR professionals looking at the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace with a panel of speakers including employment law solicitor Graham Irons from Northampton-based law firm Howes Percival and an equality officer from Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC), as well as University of Northampton lecturers in Law and Human Resources. To book onto the seminar please email AIRGroup@northampton.ac.uk.

Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, Mairi Watson, said “We are delighted to be hosting the Approaches to Inequalities conference and welcoming local businesses and organisations, as well as highly regarded academics, to our fantastic new town centre campus”.

You can find out more information, and book tickets for the conference, by visiting the event page.

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Changes to your waste and recycling collections are coming soon!

Posted: 10/09/18 by Northampton Borough Council

From 17 September, residents in Northampton may see changes to their waste and recycling collection, as Northampton Borough Council and Veolia further improve the services.

Waste and recycling collection days are reducing down from six days a week to five, after Saturdays were highlighted by residents as being an unpopular collection day. The new collection rounds will take place from Monday to Friday, ensuring all properties are covered during the working week.

As a result, residents’ collection days might change. Details of the new collection days are being distributed to households directly via a new service leaflet.

This leaflet not only identifies collection days and a collection calendar from 17 September until the end of February 2019, it also gives useful information about what can and can’t be placed in each bin, box or sack for general waste, garden waste, dry recycling, textiles and food waste collections.

Residents who have received one of the new all-in-one dry recycling wheeled bins will also see their recycling collected fortnightly from this date. The new bin provides additional space for recycled items, meaning fortnightly collections should be ample. However residents are encouraged to flatten cardboard boxes, cans and plastic bottles they place in the bin to make the most of the space available.

Additional recycling will still be collected alongside the all-in-one bin. Residents are asked to place any extra items in a recycling box.

Recycling boxes can make great storage solutions for in the loft, garage or shed and they also can make interesting planters. However, if residents do not wish to keep their boxes, they will be collected and recycled.

The collection of unwanted boxes will take place during weeks beginning 24 September and 1 October, on residents’ new scheduled general waste collection day. After these dates, any unwanted boxes will need to be taken to the local recycling centre.

Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet member for environment, said: “All of the changes we’re making are as a result of feedback we’ve had from the public as we try to make our waste and recycling services the best they can be.”

“We know there has been a lot of excitement about the introduction of the all-in-one dry recycling bins and we look forward to hearing from residents about how these work in their area and the difference they make to our town environment.”

Keith McGurk, Regional Director for Veolia, said: “We want to make recycling and waste collection services even easier for residents in Northampton. A new all-in-one recycling wheelie bin for a majority of residents will encourage them to recycle more.”

“To make sure that residents make the most of their services, a leaflet was also created to make clear what can be placed in which container and when people can expect their collections to take place.”

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NHS Scotland trial the Corretto Cup

Posted: 10/09/18 by Amaray

We are pleased to announce that in conjunction with Zero Waste Scotland, Ayrshire & Arran NHS is the first health board in Scotland to sign up to trial the use of reusable Corretto Cups. The trial will initially take place in the dining halls of University Hospital Crosshouse, with the view to rolling it out across the organisation, and all other Scottish health boards, if it is a success.

The trial started on Monday 6th August, when members of staff based at University Hospital Crosshouse began receiving a 10p discount off the price of a hot drink when using a blue reusable Corretto Cup. Staff will also get every tenth drink free when using a newly introduced loyalty card. The trial will end in late September.

Not only will NHS staff be saving money on every hot drink, they will also be helping to reduce the amount of single-use cup waste the hospital sends to landfill. The Corretto Cup can be used many times and at the end of its life can easily be recycled in regular plastic recycling bins.

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Always check references

Posted: 10/09/18 by People Tower Ltd

In Francis-McGann v West Atlantic UK Ltd, the claimant provided a false reference from a Star Wars character. The claimant is a pilot who successfully applied for a position with the respondent as a Captain.

However, he falsely claimed in his application that he had previously worked as a Captain when in fact his roles had been as a First Officer. To hide this, he bizarrely supplied a reference from Desilijic Tiure which is the surname of Jabba the Hutt - who isn’t even a pilot! – why not use Hans Solo ?

The respondent considered it to be gross misconduct but offered him the opportunity to resign which he did, stating it was “with immediate effect”. He then lodged a claim for 3 months’ notice pay which the Tribunal rejected, holding: “His training with the respondent was arranged based on his alleged experience. If there had been an incident the consequences could have been catastrophic. Even if no lives were lost, any enquiry would have discovered the claimant was inadequately trained. The respondent was entitled to summarily dismiss him. The meaning of the words “with immediate effect” is clear and unambiguous… the claimant must have known what he was agreeing to.”

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Actress & media personality Sherrie Hewson - the new Hawthorns ambassador

Posted: 08/09/18 by The Hawthorns Northampton

The Hawthorns Northampton is delighted to announce that stage and TV actress and media personality Sherrie Hewson has been appointed as an Ambassador for its services and brand of all-inclusive rental senior living.

Sherrie is passionately concerned about the senior living sector, conscious that ” We are all going there”, in her terms regarding later life: she is now a prominent voice in the quest for better choices and improved standards for those seeking a certain style of retirement. She is very interested in the Hawthorns quality approach to independent living and sees that they are at the forefront of best practise in the sector and equally passionate about creating the right type of safe and secure but fun and friendly communities.

She is impressed by our hotel style of living provided within the truly all-inclusive package and the flexibility and choice offered through our rental model rather than the responsibilities of property ownership and upkeep. We were pleased to have Sherrie stay with us recently so that she could fully experience the Hawthorns WOW factor for retirement living, she had a great time with the residents and staff. Pictured above with General Manager Dave Seward and his team.

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USB2U appoint Richard Short as new Trade Account Manager

Posted: 07/09/18 by USB2U

USB2U have recently appointed Richard Short as Trade Account Manager. Having worked in various IT sales roles over the last 17 years, Richard is very much looking forward to working with the trade team in seeking out new business opportunities and also developing relationships with existing clients within the promotional product market.

Natalie Sharpe, Head of Sales and Commercial Development, comments: “Richard brings with him a wealth of experience that is sure to benefit not only USB2U but also our partners. Our presence within the Trade has continued to grow year on year and there’s no doubt that Rich’s approachable nature, coupled with his desire to succeed and impeccable customer care skills will be pivotal in ensuring we continue to offer the best service available to trade customers in the market for promotional tech gifts”

Richard will be working alongside Andy Gossage, Trade Development Manager, and Liam Smith Senior Trade Account Manager, to provide promotional product resellers with the tools they need to support their client base and supply a wide range of high quality branded tech products. “The promotional product market is fast-paced and we’re continually looking for the next best thing. Rich joins us at a great time as we seek to bring in some exciting new product lines that our trade partners are sure to love!” says Andy.

His first outing as a member of the team will be to the Merchandise World Exhibition taking place at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre on the 12th of September, where he’ll be on hand to answer any questions about USB2U and our trade partner programme.

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Lombard Express celebrates with anniversary of Actros1 from Intercounty Mercedes-Benz.

Posted: 07/09/18 by Intercounty Truck & Van Limited

Lombard Express boss Andy Dawkins hit upon the perfect way in which to mark his company’s Silver Anniversary – he invested in a very special tractor unit bearing the silver star of Mercedes-Benz, whose trucks have been the backbone of his fleet since its early days.

The Kettering-based operator’s limited edition Actros1 arrived, together with another seven rigid curtainsiders, via the Wellingborough headquarters of Dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.

Lombard Express acquired its Actros1 with funding support from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, with which it has also signed a contract hire agreement covering its latest rigids. The six 18-tonne Antos 1824s and a single 7.5-tonne Atego 818 have ClassicSpace day cabs and curtainside bodies by Kurt Hobbs Coachworks, of Great Addington, near Kettering.

The 6x2 Actros1 represents the ultimate in premium exclusivity, as no more than 100 examples are being built. A plaque in its luxuriously appointed and comprehensively equipped GigaSpace cab confirms that the Lombard Express unit is the twelfth chassis in the line – “And 12 is my lucky number!” declared a delighted Andy Dawkins.

Stunning in silver and black with striking green highlights – on other Actros1s the same vivid hue contrasts with all-black paintwork – the Lombard Express vehicle proudly bears a ’25 years’ laurel leaf motif above its colour-coded and chrome-trimmed grille, illuminated Mercedes-Benz star and personalised registration plate.

Like all Actros1s the truck’s appearance is further enhanced by painted side guards and catwalks, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels (wider than standard at the front) with painted hubs, roof-mounted air horns, Bi-xenon headlamps, and LED daytime running and tail lights. To these, Lombard Express has added Kelsa light bars, top and bottom.

Customers can choose from two, state-of-the-art straight-six engines. Mr Dawkins has opted for the top-rated 15.6-litre, OM 473 LA with mighty 460 kW (625 hp) output. Alternatively, customers can specify the second-generation 12.8-litre OM 471 LA rated at 390 kW (530 hp), which offers outstanding economy.

If Actros1’s stunning good looks and StyleLine interior design mean its appeal to the heart is beyond dispute, this is a truck that also appeals to the heads of cost-conscious operators for whom the sums must add up at the end of each month.

To further increase fuel-efficiency Actros1 is equipped with the well-proven Predictive Powertrain Control system. This employs digital 3D mapping and GPS data to scan the road ahead, managing gear changes and vehicle speed, and making full use of the truck’s EcoRoll function, to restrict diesel consumption and CO2 emissions. Lombard Express’s new flagship is additionally fitted with a self-adjusting, roof-mounted air deflector and collar by Kuda Automotive.

Like all Actros tractor units, the limited-edition model comes with Fleetboard telematics hardware as standard. It also showcases Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ leadership in the fields of safety and aftersales support – a full complement of active and passive aids includes the remarkable Active Brake Assist 4 emergency braking system with ground-breaking pedestrian recognition capability, while revolutionary Mercedes-Benz Uptime sensors monitor the condition of the vehicle constantly, so the customer’s allocated Dealer knows precisely what is required before the truck reaches the workshop.

Lombard Express operates a fleet of 18 trucks, half of them tractor units, and a couple of vans, every one of which wears a three-pointed star. A member since 2004 of TPN (The Pallet Network), the company is double-shifting its Actros1 – the vehicle is assigned to local deliveries in and around Northamptonshire during the day, and trunks each night to the TPN hub at Minworth, near Sutton Coldfield.

Managing Director Mr Dawkins tried a 460 kW (625 hp) demonstrator supplied by Intercounty Truck & Van for a week, before ordering his Actros1. “Pulling a double-deck trailer on the run to and from Birmingham it averaged 9.5 mpg, which was pretty good going,” he recalled.

Lombard Express has allocated the new vehicle to two of its best performing drivers – long-serving Neil Goodman is at the wheel during the day, before Paul Tallon takes over for the night shift.

“Not only does the Actros1 look fantastic, but it also offers unrivalled driver appeal,” continued Mr Dawkins. “It’s our way of rewarding a couple of highly valued employees for consistently returning excellent fuel figures, and for looking after our vehicles as though they were their own.”

He and wife Denise founded their business in 1992, with a single van. Their first truck was a 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz 814 – “That vehicle ran for ever,” said Mr Dawkins, “and we’ve remained loyal to the brand ever since.

“Our Mercedes-Benz trucks have always been exceptionally reliable and cost-effective to operate, while we also benefit from Intercounty Truck & Van’s customer-focused back-up – the Dealer’s Service team are very accommodating and can always be relied upon to get us into the workshop at short notice if we need them to.”

www.lombardexpress.co.uk

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Next Generation Chamber launches its inaugural committee

Posted: 07/09/18 by Next Generation Chamber

A dynamic group of inspirational young business people is now taking an active role in the management of an organisation which develops the business leaders of tomorrow.

Next Generation Chamber is delivered by Northamptonshire Chamber and its sister Chamber in Milton Keynes to help businesses to nurture staff who are dedicated to advancing their careers by offering regular networking events and personal development sessions.

In less than a year it has attracted around 100 members and last night its inaugural committee, made up of members of the group, held its first meeting to discuss how the organisation should continue to develop.

Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The committee is made up of a great mix of personalities who come from a variety of businesses and their first meeting was a real success.

“They have already started contributing to the future development of Next Generation Chamber and will be releasing exciting announcements soon about the appointments of the committee’s inaugural President and Vice President.

“This is just the beginning of a fantastic journey for this committee and for Next Generation Chamber as a whole.”

Next Generation Chamber’s patrons are respected top 40 accountancy firm Mercer & Hole and the University of Northampton.

For more information about Next Generation Chamber and its new committee visit www.nextgenerationchamber.co.uk

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Next Generation Chamber launches its inaugural committee

Posted: 07/09/18 by Next Generation Chamber

A dynamic group of inspirational young business people is now taking an active role in the management of an organisation which develops the business leaders of tomorrow.

Next Generation Chamber is delivered by Milton Keynes Chamber and its sister Chamber in Northamptonshire to help businesses to nurture staff who are dedicated to advancing their careers by offering regular networking events and personal development sessions.

In less than a year it has attracted around 100 members and last night its inaugural committee, made up of members of the group, held its first meeting to discuss how the organisation should continue to develop.

Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The committee is made up of a great mix of personalities who come from a variety of businesses and their first meeting was a real success.

“They have already started contributing to the future development of Next Generation Chamber and will be releasing exciting announcements soon about the appointments of the committee’s inaugural President and Vice President.

“This is just the beginning of a fantastic journey for this committee and for Next Generation Chamber as a whole.”

Next Generation Chamber’s patrons are respected top 40 accountancy firm Mercer & Hole and the University of Northampton.

For more information about Next Generation Chamber and its new committee visit www.nextgenerationchamber.co.uk

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Document Logistix is a finalist at the Document Management Awards 2018

Posted: 07/09/18 by Document Logistix Limited

An amazing opportunity has come up for Document Logistix to pick up a trophy!

The Milton Keynes company is a finalist at the Document Management Awards 2018.

Please give us your vote through this link: ​http://www.dmawards.com/?page=documentlogistix_dma2018vote

Thank you so much in advance!

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Sizzling Southeast Asia Roadshow

Posted: 06/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

After the resounding success of last year’s Southeast Asia Roadshow, the UK-ASEAN Business Council with the support of the Midlands Engine is now back on track and will be present across the Midlands with four events showcasing the vast opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Why attend?

The time is ripe to explore this vibrant and dynamic market and to find out how you can benefit from what it has on offer. Steady growth combined with investor-friendly government policies have attracted businesses keen to explore the new domestic markets that are emerging.

At all the events there will be expert advice on how to do business in SE Asia from the ASEAN Export Specialists of the UKABC, the Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance.

Agenda:

9:00 – 9:30: Registration and Networking

9:30 – 9:45: Welcome and Introductions

9:45 – 10:00: Regional Export Opportunities

10:00 – 10:30: Our ASEAN export journey

10:30 – Roundtable Discussions: (20 minutes each)

  • How to enter the ASEAN markets by the UK-ASEAN Business Council
  • Financing Your Exporting by UK Export Finance
  • Protecting your IP in ASEAN by IPR SME Helpdesk
  • Exporting is Great by the Department for International Trade
  • Business culture by the Department for International Trade

13:00 - 14.00: Networking Lunch

Where and when:

Wednesday 3rd October 2018 – Holiday Inn Rugby-Northampton M1, Jct.18

Thursday 4th October 2018 – Holiday Inn Derby/Nottingham M1, Jct.25

Tuesday 9th October 2018 – Hotel Novotel Wolverhampton

Wedneday 10th October 2018 – Scarman, University of Warwick

To register please use these corresponding links:

http://www.ukabc.org.uk/event/sizzling-southeast-asia-roadshow-2018/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sizzling-south-east-asia-roadshow-northamptonshire-tickets-49325939212

For queries please email mailto:events@ukabc.org.uk

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Sizzling Southeast Asia Roadshow

Posted: 06/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

After the resounding success of last year’s Southeast Asia Roadshow, the UK-ASEAN Business Council with the support of the Midlands Engine is now back on track and will be present across the Midlands with four events showcasing the vast opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Why attend?

The time is ripe to explore this vibrant and dynamic market and to find out how you can benefit from what it has on offer. Steady growth combined with investor-friendly government policies have attracted businesses keen to explore the new domestic markets that are emerging.

At all the events there will be expert advice on how to do business in SE Asia from the ASEAN Export Specialists of the UKABC, the Department for International Trade and UK Export Finance.

Agenda:

9:00 – 9:30: Registration and Networking

9:30 – 9:45: Welcome and Introductions

9:45 – 10:00: Regional Export Opportunities

10:00 – 10:30: Our ASEAN export journey

10:30 – Roundtable Discussions: (20 minutes each)

  • How to enter the ASEAN markets by the UK-ASEAN Business Council
  • Financing Your Exporting by UK Export Finance
  • Protecting your IP in ASEAN by IPR SME Helpdesk
  • Exporting is Great by the Department for International Trade
  • Business culture by the Department for International Trade

13:00 - 14.00: Networking Lunch

Where and when:

Wednesday 3rd October 2018 – Holiday Inn Rugby-Northampton M1, Jct.18

Thursday 4th October 2018 – Holiday Inn Derby/Nottingham M1, Jct.25

Tuesday 9th October 2018 – Hotel Novotel Wolverhampton

Wedneday 10th October 2018 – Scarman, University of Warwick

To register please use these corresponding links:

http://www.ukabc.org.uk/event/sizzling-southeast-asia-roadshow-2018/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sizzling-south-east-asia-roadshow-northamptonshire-tickets-49325939212

For queries please email mailto:events@ukabc.org.uk

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BCC comments on pilot scheme for seasonal workers

Posted: 06/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Commenting on the pilot scheme to bring seasonal migrant workers to the UK, Jane Gratton, head of business environment and skills policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “This is good news, and it’s not before time. With most firms, across all regions and sectors, having difficulty filling job vacancies, it is critical that the government clarifies the rules for the new immigration system quickly.

“Now is the time to be shouting from the rooftops that the UK is a great place to live and work. We need an immigration system that is open and flexible to help firms attract and retain the skills and labour they need to compete in global markets post-Brexit.”

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BCC comments on pilot scheme for seasonal workers

Posted: 06/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Commenting on the pilot scheme to bring seasonal migrant workers to the UK, Jane Gratton, head of business environment and skills policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “This is good news, and it’s not before time. With most firms, across all regions and sectors, having difficulty filling job vacancies, it is critical that the government clarifies the rules for the new immigration system quickly.

“Now is the time to be shouting from the rooftops that the UK is a great place to live and work. We need an immigration system that is open and flexible to help firms attract and retain the skills and labour they need to compete in global markets post-Brexit.”

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On the road to success: From the Midlands to Michigan

Posted: 06/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

East Midlands automotive firms are packing their bags for a market trip to the capital of American motoring, Detroit, for meetings with representatives from the two world-famous auto-producing regions.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting automotive firms from across the East Midlands on a trade mission to Michigan, scheduled October 21st to 26th, to accelerate their export plans.

The five-day trip will see representatives from leading British automakers, including Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, meet with their US counterparts to build relationships and share business insights. The introductions will help firms grow their US exports, which already comprise 10% of all East Midlands exports.

The mission will coincide with the annual Engine Expo trade fair in Novi, Michigan, giving attendees the unique opportunity to visit what is billed as North America’s must-go international industry event.

Prior to the trip to Michigan, DIT will also host the Export Hub on 13th September, which will provide information on exporting to the US, with DIT advisers and partner organisation OCO Global representatives holding a panel discussion at Silverstone Business Park.

DIT’s Export Hub is part of the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to help more British businesses explore new markets overseas.

Ian Harrison, head of exports for the Midlands Regions for the Department for International Trade (DIT), said: “The United States is a vastly important and highly profitable market for UK exports. It will be hugely beneficial for East Midlands businesses to snap up the opportunity to visit Detroit to learn more about the market, economy and opportunities on the ground. The Midlands has a strong history as a major hub of the UK’s automotive industry and increasing overseas demand for British-built cars was again the driving force behind the growth – production for export jumped 23.7% in April of this year.

“We’re proud to be able to help more and more businesses into exporting and provide the best quality support along the way. With a network of international trade advisors, masterclasses, overseas trade missions, and export hubs, there are a number of ways for local businesses to take the next step in their exporting journey.”

Firms can register their interest in the Detroit market visit for free by Friday 7th September. To register, firms should contact Stéphane Lambotte, international trade adviser and high performance technology specialist at DIT East Midlands at: stephane.lambotte@mobile.trade.gov.uk.

Firms looking for support should ring 0345 052 4001 or email info@tradeEM.co.uk. They can also visit http://www.great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.

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On the road to success: From the Midlands to Michigan

Posted: 06/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

East Midlands automotive firms are packing their bags for a market trip to the capital of American motoring, Detroit, for meetings with representatives from the two world-famous auto-producing regions.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting automotive firms from across the East Midlands on a trade mission to Michigan, scheduled October 21st to 26th, to accelerate their export plans.

The five-day trip will see representatives from leading British automakers, including Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, meet with their US counterparts to build relationships and share business insights. The introductions will help firms grow their US exports, which already comprise 10% of all East Midlands exports.

The mission will coincide with the annual Engine Expo trade fair in Novi, Michigan, giving attendees the unique opportunity to visit what is billed as North America’s must-go international industry event.

Prior to the trip to Michigan, DIT will also host the Export Hub on 13th September, which will provide information on exporting to the US, with DIT advisers and partner organisation OCO Global representatives holding a panel discussion at Silverstone Business Park.

DIT’s Export Hub is part of the government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, which aims to help more British businesses explore new markets overseas.

Ian Harrison, head of exports for the Midlands Regions for the Department for International Trade (DIT), said: “The United States is a vastly important and highly profitable market for UK exports. It will be hugely beneficial for East Midlands businesses to snap up the opportunity to visit Detroit to learn more about the market, economy and opportunities on the ground. The Midlands has a strong history as a major hub of the UK’s automotive industry and increasing overseas demand for British-built cars was again the driving force behind the growth – production for export jumped 23.7% in April of this year.

“We’re proud to be able to help more and more businesses into exporting and provide the best quality support along the way. With a network of international trade advisors, masterclasses, overseas trade missions, and export hubs, there are a number of ways for local businesses to take the next step in their exporting journey.”

Firms can register their interest in the Detroit market visit for free by Friday 7th September. To register, firms should contact Stéphane Lambotte, international trade adviser and high performance technology specialist at DIT East Midlands at: stephane.lambotte@mobile.trade.gov.uk.

Firms looking for support should ring 0345 052 4001 or email info@tradeEM.co.uk. They can also visit http://www.great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.

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Photo-times Photography’s latest magazine Me & My Baby is out now

Posted: 06/09/18 by Photo-times Photography

Photo-times Photography’s latest magazine is out now - Me & My Baby.

Register and download yours for free here: http://eepurl.com/dD9-MX.

Don’t forget to like and share this post with your mummy friends.

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Network Rail submits proposals for second phase of East West Rail

Posted: 06/09/18 by Robinson & Hall LLP

Network Rail has submitted an application to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to begin the second phase of the East West Rail project.

For the first time in more than 50 years, passengers could soon travel directly between Oxford and Bedford, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.

The East West Rail project is being built in progressive phases and once complete will connect communities and businesses to create new opportunities for jobs, housing and economic growth for the future.

Phase 1 between Oxford and Bicester was completed in December 2016. Phase 2 covers major track and signalling upgrading
works between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, including the revival of a line between Bletchley and Claydon Junction.

If consent is granted then the works for phase 2 could begin as soon as 2019.

Andrew Jenkinson, Partner and Rural Surveyor at Robinson & Hall, commented: “The East West Rail project is moving ahead at quite a pace. I would urge anyone with interest in the areas affected to review the plans as soon as possible. The team here are happy to be of assistance as needed, so if you would like some further information or guidance then don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

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Haskell and Pisi start as Saints prepare for Franklin’s Gardens return

Posted: 06/09/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

Director of rugby Chris Boyd has made two changes to his starting XV as Northampton Saints welcome Harlequins for their first home clash of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season on Friday evening (kick off 7.45pm, live on BT Sport).

Ken Pisi is promoted to the wing from the replacements bench, while flanker James Haskell is named in the back row after being forced to withdraw with injury from last week’s opener at Gloucester Rugby.

Saints will be hoping to build on a strong recent home record after winning three of their final five home league matches last season, and they have not been defeated at Franklin’s Gardens by Quins for almost six years.

Alex Waller will once again skipper the side from loosehead prop, with James Fish and Ben Franks alongside him in the front row.

Fit-again Haskell is the only change to the pack that started last week’s clash at Kingsholm, with Heinrich Brüssow and Teimana Harrison joining him at the base of the scrum, and David Ribbans completing the return to play protocols after an HIA last week to partner Courtney Lawes in the engine room.

Dan Biggar and Cobus Reinach remain in the half-back positions, while Piers Francis – who notched a try last week at Kingsholm – and Luther Burrell will continue to marshal Saints’ midfield.

Pisi comes into the back three, but fullback Ahsee Tuala and wing Tom Collins remain to round off the largely unchanged side.

However there are two more changes to the replacements, with Andy Symons and Harry Mallinder both impressing in Northampton Wanderers’ Premiership Rugby Shield clash on Monday evening, and earning their spots on the bench.

“The support Northampton Saints get from the public here is amazing, and it will be massively important for us on Friday night,” said Boyd.

“Nothing would make me happier than to know that during my time here, the people of Northampton come to Franklin’s Gardens and love watching Saints play because the squad are giving all they’ve got and are working hard together.

“I don’t have any doubt that when we run out of the tunnel on Friday, the boys will be wanting to play for the people. It’s a long season but you don’t want to find yourselves slipping too far behind, so we’re just focusing on the process and that will give the performance.”

Tickets for Northampton

Saints v Harlequins on Friday evening, kick-off 7.45pm, are still available

from £32 adults and £14 juniors. Please CLICK

HERE to book now.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v HARLEQUINS

Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Round 2

Friday 7th September, 2018

Franklin’s Gardens

Kick-off: 7.45pm

15 Ahsee Tuala

14 Ken Pisi

13 Luther Burrell

12 Piers Francis

11 Tom Collins

10 Dan Biggar

9 Cobus Reinach

1 Alex Waller (c)

2 James Fish

3 Ben Franks

4 David Ribbans

5 Courtney Lawes

6 James Haskell

7 Heinrich Brüssow

8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:

16 Dylan Hartley

17 Francois van Wyk

18 Ehren Painter

19 Api Ratuniyarawa

20 Jamie Gibson

21 Alex Mitchell

22 Andy Symons

23 Harry Mallinder

Not available for selection:

Dom Barrow (hamstring), Alex Coles (knee), James Craig (concussion), Paul Hill (shoulder), Rory Hutchinson (knee), Reece Marshall (foot), Toby Trinder (foot), Tom Wood (groin), and Charlie Davies (foot).

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Wellingborough Work Academy Upate

Posted: 06/09/18 by Goodwill Solutions CIC

As we draw the Sector Based Work Academy to a close for the Wellingborough Prison Project, 10 people gained their SIA Licence, 10 gained CSCS cards with further tests being taken this week.

Of those on the course, four people have been offered employment with Mick George Demolition, four were offered employment with Cordant Security Services and a further four were put through to 2nd interview stage with Kier. In total eight of the learners have gained employment so far.

Overall a huge success for everyone that took place and gained skills, qualifications, employment and new experiences.

Following the success of this course, Goodwill Solutions CIC hope to run another Work Academy at the start of 2019.

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New look and website for Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors

Posted: 05/09/18 by Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors

Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors is pleased to announce the launch of their new look and website.

Over the past 50 years Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors has built a strong reputation for delivering pragmatic and clear advice, and felt that now was the right time to give themselves a new look. The bold logo embodies Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors as a modern and forward thinking law firm, whilst at the same time identifies with their history.

“This is an exciting time for us and forms part of the firm’s strategic plan to raise awareness of the legal services that we provide in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas. We are very proud of our heritage and the fact that we have grown with the city and are a skilled and experienced team who play a full part in the business and local community,” said Richard Millard, managing partner.

Marketing partner, Paula Stuart said: “My brief was to ‘update the website’ but as we embarked on the project it became clear that this was a fantastic opportunity to review the whole look of the firm. I would like to thank Amanda Wright and the team at Yellow Yoyo for helping us to develop our brand strategy and for creating a compelling new visual identity. From the very beginning we knew we wanted to identify with our roots and this is reflected throughout our branded collateral and website through the use of imagery of our team on location in Milton Keynes, taken by local photographer Gill Prince and aerial shots by Steve Carey. I must also say a thank you to Interdirect for bringing to life the website designed by Yellow Yoyo, Ian Jamieson for the great headshots and BCQ Group for their fantastic printed material and service.”

To learn more about us please visit our new website http://www.geoffreyleaver.com/

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Danelaw Real Estate - Official Opening

Posted: 05/09/18 by Danelaw Real Estate

Danelaw Real Estate are extremely proud to officially launch the services of offering home sales across Northamptonshire and MK with a choice of marketing options.

Internet sales services start from £299 (inc VAT) and a full estate agency service at 0.75% (+VAT). Danelaw are very excited to begin advertising their services locally, so do not hesitate to call them on 01604 832955 or email at david@danelawrealestate.co.uk

All Chamber members, their employees and any business referred through the Chamber will benefit from their exclusive sales offer of 0.5% (+VAT) as opposed to the standard 0.75% (+VAT).

Visit http://www.danelawrealestate.co.uk for more information.

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University of Northampton recognised for being one of a handful of institutions teaching and researching Blockchain

Posted: 05/09/18 by The University of Northampton

The University of Northampton has been recognised as one of only a handful of Higher Education (HE) institutions worldwide which are teaching or carrying out Blockchain research.

Blockchain is a shared, replicated ledger that underpins technology such as cryptocurrency, but also sets out to provide the foundation for the next generation of transactional
applications.

Digital assets industry analyst website Diar has included the University of Northampton in a list of just 28 HE providers that teach aspects of Blockchain and/or conduct research into it.

Northampton does both.

Postgraduate students on the MSc Computing course are taught elements of Blockchain, including a general introduction to the basic concepts, plus coding and programming techniques.

Meanwhile, various Northampton academics, led by Senior Lecturer in Education, Dr Cristina Devecchi, have collaborated on a Blockchain project to help Syrian refugee children which has been promoted by the United Nations.

Dr Scott Turner, who teaches Blockchain on the MSc Computing course, has also delivered a talk with colleague Ali Al-Sherbaz about the subject to the British Computing Society.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, said: “It is good to see the work of the University of Northampton recognised as contributing to the academic and practical development of Blockchain.

“The technology offers a new way of looking at old problems with great potential to innovate across a wide range of our research activities from education and humanitarian aid to supply chain management.”

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Nick takes on Great North Run for Teamwork Trust

Posted: 05/09/18 by Northamptonshire Chamber

Northamptonshire Chamber’s marketing manager will be taking on the Great North Run on Sunday in aid of Teamwork Trust.

Nick Blackmore wanted to support the charity, which supports adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities, because it is the Chamber’s chosen Charity of the Year.

The keen runner has also run the last two London Marathons for the Chamber’s previous charities of the year.

Nick said: “I’m thrilled to be running for a fantastic charity which is passionate about ensuring that everyone has access to the same chances and opportunities.

“I came into this quite late as I had to take the place of someone who was unable to run. I have tried to get a 12ish mile run in every week throughout the summer to make the most of the lighter evenings, so I’m pretty much up to speed, plus the excitement and adrenaline will get me through though.

“Knowing I am raising money for a fantastic charity is also a big motivator.”

To sponsor Nick visit https://www.teamworktrust.co.uk/fundraisers/nickbgnr18

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The Mike Britton garden

Posted: 05/09/18 by Goodwill Solutions CIC

Through the Northants police AIM team, ex-offenders helped to prepare the wall for the mural. The mural is in the background of the garden that ex-offenders are going to care for with a mentor.

Street artist “Binty Bint” came in to help create this masterpiece with help of a few helping hands from younger children. The garden has been created so the staff at Goodwill Solutions CIC can reflect on memories of Mike in these beautiful surroundings, who is truly missed.

Not all within AIM are quite work ready and so it is important that there are opportunities such as this garden to help those, who may not have found or who are unable to take part in paid work yet, to take part in activities. This will help them to get to where they want to be and then introduce them to the fantastic opportunities that Goodwill Solutions CIC provide.

One of the people who helped on the garden project said: “At the moment I’m getting skills to prepare me for employment. I used working on the garden as an opportunity to meet new people and fill my time and keep me away from drugs and the wrong people. If it’s painting a wall or doing the garden, it’s nice to see the end product and feels rewarding.”

The majority of the plants in the garden are edible and will be used in their hope centre cafe.

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Calling all fundraisers!

Posted: 05/09/18 by Photo-times Photography

Do you know anyone having a Macmillan Coffee morning? Then share this post with them to apply for some of Photo-times Photography’s great £175 family portrait vouchers to sell or auction at the event.

Photo-times Photography donate these vouchers free of charge.

Message them with your address as well as how many vouchers you would like and they will post them out to you along with tips on how to use them at the event.

So don’t forget to “Like & Share” this post and help Macmillan raise essential funds.

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Should you consider buying an insolvent business? Find out on Oct 25th

Posted: 05/09/18 by Heald Solicitors LLP

In June, R3, the association of Business Recovery Professionals, reported that 1 in 4 companies will be hit by the insolvency of a customer or supplier or debtor, and now hear frequent reports of high street retailers under stress. These situations require agile and creative thinking including the possibility of buying your distressed supplier or debtor.

Buying a solvent trading business can be expensive, but buying a failing one is cheaper. You don’t need to disregard a business because of its apparent failure. There may be many reasons for its failure such as one if its own customers going insolvent. The underlying business may be sound and its customer base good. Buying targeted assets out of the insolvency may add value to your own business, while allowing you to leave behind unwanted liabilities.

How do you identify such an opportunity? How do select the assets you want? What’s the best way to deal with the administrator or liquidator?

If you want to learn more about this topic, Heald Solicitors are holding a seminar in collaboration with PCR on Oct 25th 12-2pm.

The event is free but we would appreciate a donation towards Willen Hospice. Our suggested amount is £15 which can be collected on the day. Please contact: 01908 662277 for more information. Or book here: breakingbusiness.eventbrite.co.uk

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NRC Open Day Friday 28th September 2018

Posted: 05/09/18 by NRC Environmental Services

NRC Environmental Services are delighted to invite you to their Open Day at their Milton Keynes facility from 10.30am to 3.30pm, where they will be showcasing their specialist services including:

  • Drainage Services - An opportunity to view their state of the art, high tech vehicles with live demonstrations of their specialist CCTV equipment

  • Technical Rescue & Standby Services – An opportunity to see some of their specialist safety PPE and a demonstration of how this is used in a rescue environment

  • HAZMAT & Oil Spill Response - Equipment Demonstration

  • Industrial Services – Opportunity to discuss Tank Cleaning, Pressure Washing, Pumping & Transfer, Pipeline Cleaning

Please RSVP to secure an invite: mkopenday@nrcc.com

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Wellingborough Prison Project

Posted: 05/09/18 by Goodwill Solutions CIC

Goodwill Solutions Learning Academy CIC are part of a local group called Wellingborough Prison Project People & Skills Steering Group, and together with the other members they will be looking at how they can deliver commitments made.

The Wellingborough Prison Project is part of the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) wider strategy to change the way that the prison estate is organised and operates, and to make a significant improvement to the overall quality of the buildings across the estate.

Across two locations including Wellingborough, Kier and the MoJ are working to ensure that the prison project benefits the local community and leaves behind a positive social and economic legacy:

  • 25% local employment (for those working on site)
  • 40% local employment (for those working off site)
  • 150 new jobs created with at least 25% ex offenders
  • 3500 work placement days
  • 100 Apprenticeships • 2000 people upskilled to work on construction projects
  • 30% on site spend with SMEs
  • 20% on site spend within local area
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Join our Chamber Board

Posted: 05/09/18 by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Ltd

Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce is looking to expand its Chamber Board to make it even more representative of its members’ activities.

The board is made up of senior managers from the Chamber’s membership organisations and we are looking to enhance the range of experience and knowledge within this group by gaining interest from like-minded individuals who are committed to the Chamber network and what it has to offer the business community.

As a director you will be responsible for ensuring the highest standards of governance are applied to managing the performance of the Chamber’s activities and for representing the interest of the members. You will promote the Chamber’s aims and objectives as appropriate across the business community.

For more information about the role, including the person specification and job description documents click here

Candidates should submit their CV and a covering letter to paul.griffiths@chambermk.co.uk by 20 September. Informal interviews will be held on 25 and 26 September.

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Environmental service contract making positive changes in Northampton

Posted: 05/09/18 by Northampton Borough Council

The new environmental services contract with Veolia has seen positive changes being introduced in the town since 4 June.

During the first three months of the contract, Veolia has been working closely with Northampton Borough Council to create a cleaner town environment by making improvements to the waste and recycling, street cleansing and park maintenance services.

This has involved the collection of more than 5,400 fly-tips from around the borough, refinement of the litter bin emptying schedule to more closely reflect the required frequency, and removal of more than 40 tonnes of litter from streets, as part of a deep-cleansing programme.

Lidded wheeled recycling bins are currently being delivered to residents in some areas of the town to help reduce the amount of street litter, and a new collection service in response to residents’ feedback will begin later this month.

In addition, in partnership with idverde, Veolia has got to grips with the grass cutting in parks and along street verges, with the third cut of the year already under way. Contractors are also ahead of the planned schedule of shrub and tree maintenance, with works carried out on more than 400 trees and 250 public enquiries dealt with.

Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet member for environment, said: “We are pleased with how the first 90-days of the new environmental services contract has gone. It was a big job to take on and it is great to see residents feeding back about the positive difference they can already see.

“There is still much to do however, as we move forward with our plan to make the town a cleaner and safer place to live, work and visit, a town we can all be proud of.

“And we hope that our plans, which include the introduction of lidded recycling bins in some areas of the town, the development of a neighbourhood champion scheme and targeted fly tipping campaigns, will ensure residents continue to see a positive change in months and years to come.”

Keith McGurk, Regional Director at Veolia said “It has been an incredibly busy start to the contract but I am delighted that residents are already seeing improvements to the town. We hope that the introduction of the new bins and changes to the collection service will further alleviate some of the rubbish left on the streets. In the meantime, we’ll continue to focus on fly tipping, on litter and on tidying our green spaces while we still have the good weather!”

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Nursing lecturer is on the run again for charity this weekend

Posted: 05/09/18 by The University of Northampton

A nursing lecturer shows that time heals all running injuries by signing up for his seventh stint taking on the Great North Run this weekend.

John Turnbull, Subject Lead for Learning Disability Nursing at University of Northampton, is aiming to raise £500 for charity Cavell Nurses’ Trust.

Also running this year is second year Adult Nursing student Sarah O’Connor, who is taking part in aid of Tommy’s Charity.

She was inspired to do so by Adult Nursing graduate Jess Jennings-Bland, who took part in the run with John last year.

The Great North Run is a 13.1 mile route that starts in Newcastle upon Tyne and takes runners through the city centre, finishing at Gateshead.

This year, it falls on Sunday 9 September, starting at 10:40am and John and Sarah are hoping to complete the run in 2 hrs 25 mins and 3 hours respectively.

John, whose running number is 41067, said: “Some may say I’m a glutton for punishment, or perhaps a marathon-masochist, but as this is in aid of a charity who do brilliant work supporting our nurses during difficult times, I can’t wait to hit the track again.”

Sarah, running number 54008, added: “Hearing about Jess’ run last year convinced me to sign up for the Great North Run to raise funds for Tommy’s. 13 miles seems daunting when you see the course map, but I’m feeling ready and hope people can get behind us by supporting our good causes.”

Cavell Nurses’ Trust supports UK nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship.

Tommy’s Charity funds research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage and providing information for parents to be.

You can tune in and watch the run from 9:30am on BBC1 this Sunday morning.

Donate to John’s charity here.

Donate to Sarah’s charity here.

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GDPR prompts surge in e-commerce work

Posted: 04/09/18 by Howes Percival

Law firm reports a significant increase in clients asking for help with website terms and conditions post-GDPR

Leading regional law firm Howes Percival has reported a ‘significant increase’ in e-commerce instructions post-GDPR, with terms and conditions of sale being one of the areas of concern.

The firm worked with a large number of varied organisations in the run-up to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) at the end of May and is continuing to support businesses now that the new Data Protection Regulations are in force.

However, the firm believes the Regulations and the huge publicity surrounding it has prompted many e-commerce businesses to review other aspects of their online presence, including their terms and conditions of sale.

In reviewing these sites, Howes Percival’s experts have identified a number of common issues and produced a new terms and conditions of sale checklist for e-commerce businesses.

Miles Barnes, a corporate and commercial solicitor at Howes Percival explained, “In recent months we have seen a significant increase in clients asking for our help to review and update their website’s terms and conditions of sale. It appears that the onslaught of publicity around GDPR and the constant reminders about privacy policies, has had a knock-on effect and made people think about the other legal issues affecting their business when they trade online.

“Terms and conditions of sale are often seen as a necessity rather than something that actually adds value to a business, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A company’s terms and conditions are the legal basis on which all of their products are sold and can make all the difference between a business that has clear processes and protections and one that’s constantly fighting fires.

“In working with clients to review and update their terms and conditions we’ve identified a number of common themes which apply to all e-commerce businesses - which we have encapsulated into a checklist.”

E-commerce Terms and Conditions Checklist

1.Know your audience

Who are you actually selling to? Are your customers consumers or businesses? The law around what you can and cannot do varies significantly depending on who you’re selling to and your terms need to reflect that.

Similarly, are your customers all UK-based or do you deliver internationally? If you’re selling to customers overseas, you’ll need to consider how your terms apply to those customers and whether their own countries have any laws which could affect your supply of products now or in the future.

2.Know your products

Are you selling physical goods, services or digital content? Again, there are different rules for each type of product, including in key areas like cancellation and refunds.

There will also be specific issues to consider based on the type of products you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling clothes or shoes, how do you avoid having to pay for returns when people have worn and damaged the items? If you’re selling food, how do you cover the risk of someone having an allergic reaction? These are things that won’t be covered by a generic set of terms.

3.Keep it simple

It is important to make your terms as simple and easy to read as possible. This will help you avoid complaints and disputes in the long run, by giving your customers and your staff a clear set of rules to follow. The key thing to remember - if you can’t understand your terms, how do you expect your customers to?

4.Leave out the sales pitch

E-commerce is a competitive business and good quality content on your website can make all the difference to whether a customer buys your products or someone else’s. However, your terms and conditions are not the place to make your sales pitch. Not only does it clutter up your terms with unnecessary detail, but it could also land you in hot water by turning marketing claims into legal obligations.

5.Review regularly

A good set of terms and conditions is one that not only complies with the current laws but also reflects how your business works. Both things will change over time, so your terms need to as well. We recommend diarising to review your terms and conditions at least every couple of years, more often in particularly fast-changing environments like technology.

Miles Barnes concluded; “Based on the evidence we’ve seen recently, a large proportion of e-commerce businesses could do with reviewing their terms and conditions of sale. It is so fundamental to the success of any business, yet most organisations’ terms are either too generic, or just haven’t been reviewed recently.”

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Habitat creation helps bird species to increase at Northampton’s new university campus

Posted: 04/09/18 by The University of Northampton

The provision of new wildlife habitats at the University of Northampton’s new campus has helped to increase the number of bird species on the site.

The £330m Waterside Campus, which opens to students in September, occupies a 58-acre brownfield site on the banks of the River Nene in Northampton town centre, which was home to a decommissioned power station and a disused factory.

Bird surveys were conducted every winter and spring prior to and during the seven-year period of site clearance and construction, between 2012 and this year, initially by ecological consultants and then continued by staff and students from the University.

As expected, the disturbance saw bird species decline in the immediate area, but as construction neared completion in spring 2018, birdlife has returned, and overall the diversity of species had actually increased.

In 2012-13, there were 52 bird species found on the site, and a similar number were found in the last round of surveys in 2017-18. However, over the course of the surveys the team has recorded 77 bird species.

The encouraging results will have been helped by the creation of new wildlife habitats on the campus. Prior to construction, University academics, the landscape architects and the Wildlife Trust formulated plans to provide new habitats, including tree planting, meadowland, a reed bed and recreation of a brownfield site. These measures occupy almost half of the entire site.

Jeff Ollerton, Professor of Biodiversity at the University, who leads the survey team, said: “The redevelopment of urban sites does not have to mean a loss of wildlife, as our work has shown, if nature is given space to co-exist and planned into the development from the outset.”

The surveys will continue for at least one more winter-spring cycle and you can find out more about the work by readingProf

Ollerton’s blog post.

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Northampton Saints launch foundation

Posted: 04/09/18 by Northampton Rugby Football Club

The Club is delighted to today announce the official launch of the Northampton Saints Foundation, which sets out to improve the lives of thousands of people within the local community.

Supporting young people in particular has been an important pillar of the Club since Northampton RFC was founded out of Reverend Samuel Wathen Wigg’s ‘boys improvement class’ in 1880.

The Foundation will aim to use the Club’s values and the power of sport to educate, inspire and support young people, and work with the Saints family to showcase the club’s values and heritage to drive positive change in communities across Northamptonshire and beyond.

Earning full charitable status earlier this year, the Foundation has already been building momentum with organisations like Portman Asset Finance, Boost Trampoline Parks and RedHatPhoto.com lending their support.

The first bucket shakes of the 2018/19 season at Franklin’s Gardens will be held in aid of the Foundation when Saints welcome Harlequins on Friday 7th September and the Club’s head of foundation Matt Goode is urging as many Northampton supporters as possible to play their part.

“Right from the very beginning, Northampton Saints has always been focused on helping our local community,” he said.

“I’m delighted we now have this new platform which should enable us to do that better than we ever have done before as a Club.

“By bringing all of our programmes together under one roof, we are now able to reach more young people that are in need than ever before, and work harder than ever to boost their motivation, self-esteem and learning opportunities.

“I must thank our new trustees for their support so far within this process, as well as our partners Portman Asset Finance, Boost Trampoline Parks and RedHatPhoto who have backed us from the very start.

“We’ll be out in force at next Friday’s match, not only fundraising but also offering more information about what the new Foundation’s all about. If you’d like to learn more or get involved yourself, please come and find us in the Fan Village next to the marquee.”

The Foundation has been founded out of five different programmes – Saints Study Centre, Engage, Engage+, Aspire, and HITZ – and after already helping over 5,000 students across Northamptonshire each year, their combined success brought about the formalisation of the charity.

Goode’s team boasts five members of permanent staff as well as six trustees, and will have charity-of-the-match status at several Saints home fixtures this season. Several fundraising events are also planned for the coming months, including a sponsored ‘Gardens to Gate’ bike ride when Saints travel to Bristol in the Gallagher Premiership later this month.

You can support Saints Foundation via our Virgin Money Giving page HERE, or become an official partner of the Foundation by contacting Kaeli Burbidge HERE

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HR experts launch e-learning system to help businesses comply with employment legislation

Posted: 03/09/18 by HR Solutions UK

A firm in Kettering that specialises in providing outsourced HR support to other businesses, has launched an e-Learning and Policy Compliance system that enables organisations to train staff and stay up to date with employment legislation.

HR Solutions developed the e-learning service after feedback from several clients on how best to advise them of several pieces of high impact employment legislation that have changed in the UK in recent months including the Data Protection Act 2018, General Data Protection Regulation, Criminal Finances Act, Equality Act, and Gender Pay Gap Reporting.

The system works by rolling out a company’s policies to its staff via an online portal. Staff members read each policy and complete a short test at the end to demonstrate they understand and accept the policy. The system also houses a series of e-learning courses and management training videos on topics including workplace legislation; workplace skills such as time management and negotiation; health and safety; and management training. Admins or managers of the system can then run real time progress reports to demonstrate compliance which can be used as evidence when undergoing an ISO accredited standard or tendering for work or new contracts.

Greg Guilford, Chief Executive Officer of HR Solutions, said: “Employment legislation is constantly changing and that is challenging for businesses as they have to ensure compliance and the costs are high if they get it wrong. Falling foul of the legislation could lead to compensation claims and legal fees as well as damage to an organisation’s reputation. This system has been designed to help companies be compliant and develop their staff whilst growing their business easily and cost-effectively.”

HR Solutions supplies outsourced HR support to clients from small care agencies to multi-national technology firms and boasts over 300 clients in a wide range of industries including financial services, charitable, medical and hospitality sectors. Services available include HR health checks, bespoke documentation and handbooks, employment advice and more.

To find out more, go to www.hrsolutions-uk.com/elearning-hrcompliance

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