Thursday 18th January 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 8/12/2017

Region's manufacturers end the year with a flourish

Manufacturers in the East of England are ending the year on a high note with strong international demand helping to push output and recruitment to its highest level in three years. The EEF/BDO fourth quarter manufacturing outlook survey showed orders in the East were the highest of any UK region at a balance of +52 per cent, thanks to increasing demand from Europe and other growing markets. Output in the East, at +48 per cent, was the second highest of any UK region and recruitment intentions rose to +35 per cent. Investment intentions also picked up for the third quarter running to +26 per cent. Business confidence amongst East of England manufacturers rose for the third quarter running and the EEF has upgraded its forecasts for the sector to +2.1 per cent in 2017 and 1.4 per cent in 2018. Keith Ferguson, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in the East of England, said: “Manufacturers in the East of England have continued their strong performance into the final quarter of 2017, ending the year with plenty of festive cheer. The sector’s performance is being driven by increasing demand from around the world, in particular Europe. The task of government is very clear: it needs to deliver a Brexit that minimises disruption to manufacturers – they are the economic engine of the UK economy."...Read more

Rise in venture capital funding for region's entrepreneurs

Venture capital investment in businesses in the East of England has risen by 44 per cent and the number of firms receiving it is up by a third, although the overall number of high-growth businesses in the region has fallen, according to the latest Barclays Entrepreneurs Index. It shows the level of VC investment in firms in the region has risen to £23 million over the past year, up from £16 million previously and the number of firm receiving it has jumped from 19 to 25. But the number of high-growth companies in the region has fallen by 16 per cent since last year and is down by almost a third since its high point in 2012. Yet the region is still home to 360 high-growth firms, the third-highest in the country and almost 9 per cent of the UK total. Nationally there is also a mixed picture with merger and acquisitions at an all-time high, and the number of new enterprises being created up 8 per cent on the previous year. But nationally, the number of high-growth companies is at an all-time low, a third down on its 2013 peak and the number of firms receiving VC investment is the lowest in the report’s history. Simon Smith, regional director in the East of England, Barclays Wealth & Investments, said: “It’s always a challenging environment for entrepreneurs, but the picture for the East of England looks bright, with early-stage funding levels up across the region. Even more pleasing is that the region remains strong nationally, ranking third in the UK for high-growth companies.”

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Law firm advises on property merger

Law firm Birketts has advised property and legal consultants Brown&Co on its merger with St Neots-based Barford+Co. The newly-merged firm will have a major presence across the Cambridge, Peterborough and Bedford triangle, offering services spanning agriculture, land, commercial and residential property. Ed Savory and Lottie Fletcher of Birketts advised the firm on all legal matters. Separately, Birketts’ transport and logistics specialists are holding a mock tribunal demonstrating the scenario of an operator licence holder or transport manager being called to a public inquiry by the traffic commissioner. The event is at Trinity Park, Ipswich on 25 January. To book, visit www.birketts.co.uk/events.

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Bank launches mobile branch for armed forces

Barclays has launched the first mobile branch for the Armed Forces at Colchester Garrison, one of the UK’s largest military bases, to enable service men and women to do their banking during the working day rather than having to use off-duty time at the weekends. From December 4th- 8th from 10-3pm at Colchester Garrison, Barclays staff have been on-site to help customers and to talk to anyone with questions on financial education, planning and goals. Since 2016, Barclays has seen a 23 per cent increase in the number of service personnel banking with them in response to new bespoke products and features tailored to the sector. Stuart Tootal, head of the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement (AFTER) Programme, said: “Military service brings with it a unique set of circumstances, so it’s imperative that we create unique solutions to ensure that our armed forces personnel get the right access they need to banking products and services that suit them.”

Developer wins detailed consent for distribution units

Jaynic has secured detailed planning consent for two major distribution premises at its 114-acre Suffolk Park, near Bury. Jaynic plans to develop two units, totalling 352,402 sq ft, speculatively against a background of a shortage of Grade A space in the market. The reserved matters consent is for two units of 205,829 sq ft and 146,573 sq ft respectively with 12.5m eaves heights, and 50m -deep service yards, level access and dock loading together with ancillary offices. Simon Wilson, Suffolk Park project director at Jaynic, said: “We have consulted in detail with St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s planning department to agree a scheme which will appeal to forward thinking warehousing businesses, who we anticipate will also help stimulate growth and create a range of jobs by using new technologies." The developer plans to have the units ready for occupation in Q3, 2018. Treatt has been secured as an anchor tenant on the site.

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Law firm launches initiative on future of work

Cambridge-based international law firm Taylor Vinters is launching The Zebra Project, a new 12-month initiative designed to prompt business leaders to take part in a  discussion on the future and identify game changers that will shape the world of work at an event in London on January 18. Matthew Taylor, CEO of the Royal Society of Arts will launch the project at an event in London on 18 January arguing that business leaders need to focus on a set of interlinked issues if their businesses are to flourish in the future. Responding will be Warren East, CEO at Rolls-Royce, Alex Jones, director of industrial strategy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Tim Minshall, professor of innovation and head – Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. Matt Meyer, CEO for Taylor Vinters, said: “2018 is going to present an opportunity for business leaders to not only share knowledge and learn from industry experts but also inspire individuals to start thinking about the future and how they can future proof their organisation. The business landscape is changing. Organisations are evolving. So now is the perfect time to start responding.”

Property partner moves to law firm’s Ipswich office

Toby Kramers (right), a commercial property solicitor and partner at Ellisons, is taking up premanent residence in the firm’s Ipswich office, where he has been well-established for many years. When he joined the firm in 2014, Ellisons did not have an Ipswich office and he worked in the firm’s Colchester office. Over the course of almost 4 years, Ellisons has opened the Ipswich branch at Wherstead Park and made three office expansions. Toby Kramers said: ‘‘I am very pleased to be moving to the Ipswich office this December, an office which is going from strength to strength. The commercial property department is expanding all the while due to client demand…” Ellisons’ commercial property team has seven partners and 14 further lawyers, with the team split across its Ipswich and Colchester offices.

National Pro Bono award for law firm

Law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood has been ‘highly commended’ for its pro bono work in the LawWorks annual Pro Bono Awards. The firm was commended in the category of ‘best contribution by a firm with an English regional head office’ for its work with the Jaywick Sands Law Clinic. Jaywick in Essex is one of the most deprived areas in England and thanks to the efforts of the Tudor Residents Association, FJG agreed to provide volunteers to meet the need for family legal advice at the clinic, launched in July 2017 and provide ongoing support led by family partner Rachel Earnshaw and solicitor Lisa O’Boyle. Managing partner Paula Fowler said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for the family team’s hard work and pro bono commitment. It’s important to us that we are a part of the communities in which we operate and supporting the law clinic is helping to make a real difference there.”

Norse appoints business development manager

Norse Commercial Services has appointed Victoria Williams (right) as business development manager for the company’s catering division, responsible for securing new business opportunities for the division, mainly building on Norse’s long-established portfolio in the education sector. She previously worked for the National Lottery as a business development manager. Norse sales development director Chris Smith said: “Having worked within sales for over 13 years Victoria has developed strong sales and negotiation skills, which have helped her to secure and retain business. Along with her ability to communicate effectively, this has enabled her to build strong relationships, both internally and externally; skills which are critical for this position within one of the company’s key divisions.”

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Ingleton Wood beats fire walk fundraising target

Twenty five employees at property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood have raised more than £6,300 for charity by hot footing it across 15ft of burning coals, in aid of Love Support Unite, which helps vulnerable families in Malawi. Laura Mansel Thomas, partner at Ingleton Wood, which held the event at its offices in Colchester Business Park, said: “There were a few nerves to begin with but once the first person stepped out there was a huge rush of excitement. It was a great atmosphere within the team and the crowd. I’m so proud of everyone who took part. It’s a fantastic charity to support and I couldn’t be happier that we’ve surpassed our target.”

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