Thursday 17th January 2019
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 20/04/2018

Sun shines on region’s tourism businesses

The region’s tourism and leisure businesses remain optimistic and over half expect to increase profits this year despite challenges such as rising costs and new laws, according to a survey of some 300 firms in the sector across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex co-ordinated by Larking Gowen. The Tourism and Leisure Business Survey 2018 showed that some 67 per cent of firms expect to increase turnover this year, up from 62 per cent last year and that some 57 per cent plan to make site improvements to grow their business. Chris Scargill, Larking Gowen’s tourism partner, said: “This is great news for the sector. We have heard anecdotally how some businesses have done well but these statistics highlight how as a collective the sector has benefited.” He added: “… with over half of businesses anticipating improved profits in 2018, it is clear changes in organisational practices have been implemented and will help things.” Challenges faced by the sector included increasing wage costs with increases in National Minimum wage, National Living wage and the introduction of Auto Enrolment.

Law firm helps secure funding for Clacton Pier redevelopment

Ellisons Solicitors has helped to secure the funding for a £4 million redevelopment  project of Clacton Pier. The pier refinanced in a multi-million pound arrangement with NatWest enabling the company to go ahead with the scheme to create one of the region’s major attractions. The investment includes a £500,000 Skull Point Adventure Golf Course; a £500,000 Discovery Bay Adventure Play and Family Restaurant; Dockside Dodgems; a coffee shop ; extensions to the Seaquarium and amusement arcade and other improvements. Ross Wiltshire, partner at Ellisons’ newly-opened Chelmsford branch, said: “We are immensely proud to have been involved in a local project of such huge significance for the Clacton residents and those further afield. We’ll watch with interest as the refurbishment continues.”

Pier director Billy Ball, said:" Thanks to Ellisons due diligence activity on our behalf we were able to secure the investment required to realise our ambitions.”

Photo: Elliott Ball, Pier director, Ross Wiltshire and Billy Ball

New chairman at law firm

Ashtons Legal has appointed a new chairman Michael Frape, a commercial disputes partner who is based mainly in the firm’s Cambridge office. He takes over the role from Mark Merriam who has held the post for the past seven years, and will be responsible for the firm’s governance, working  closely alongside Ashtons’ CEO, Ed O’Rourke. Michael Frape said: “We are facing challenging times in the legal profession, with change being a key factor in almost everything we do including the way we deliver legal services. Some of these challenges are regulatory changes driven by the government or the Solicitors Regulation Authority not least in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence, and other challenges are driven by the way the digital economy is revolutionising the way legal work is done and increasing the service expectations of our clients.  In my role as chairman, I am looking forward to helping the leadership team face the challenges and working with the talented team of lawyers and other professionals we now have in our business to ensure that we deliver a consistently excellent service to all our clients”.

Photo: Michael Frape (left) and Ed O'Rourke.

Suffolk firm takes the initiative to meet growing demand

Suffolk-based Portable Space, which provides solutions for secure storage and additional accommodation, is making a number of new initiatives to meet growing business needs. Increasing demand for its products has put it on track to deliver 20 per cent growth in turnover.  With its landlord David Black & Son, the company has expanded the facilities at its Bacton hq with a new workshop, storage and areas for preparing containers for conversion. Meanwhile Rob Luck has been appointed as business development manager and Catherine Hodgson as hire controller - taking the team to 36 - whilst Michelle Macguire has been promoted to senior hire controller. Managing director Mark Black said: “A commitment to not only meeting but surpassing customer expectations is at the heart of our culture here and these latest developments will ensure that we achieve this objective. Growing our team to meet business needs, together with improving facilities, is an important part of this mission.” Portable Space is also working on a new website to be launched later this year, with support from the New Anglia LEP’s small grant scheme.

Photo: Michelle Macguire, Catherine Hodgson and Rob Luck.

Accreditation for PR team

Six staff at Genesis have become accredited PR practitioners through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ continuing professional development programme. Accredited practitioner is a professional hallmark showing a continuing commitment to learning.  Jacqueline French, Craig Robinson, Tim Miller, Annabelle Rennie, Chloe Atkins and Alex Raymond all achieved at least 60 CPD points for two  years running, the benchmark to become a CIPR-accredited practitioner. All 16 PR and digital team members at Genesis have been  completing the CIPR professional development programme. Penny Arbuthnot, director of Genesis PR, said: “The PR and digital industries are continually evolving, so we encourage and support everyone at Genesis to invest in their own careers and keep up to date with the latest industry knowledge and skills.”

Photo(l-r): Jacqueline French, Craig Robinson, Annabelle Rennie, Tim Miller, Chloe Atkins and Alex Raymond at Genesis PR with their CIPR Accredited Practitioner certificates.

See Profile Genesis PR

Building services appointment

Norse has appointed Gary Atkins (right) as operations director for its building services. Previously with Norse’s partnership with Norwich City Council, NPS Norwich, he has responsibility for the day to day running of both Norwich Norse Building and Great Yarmouth Norse. His role covers the delivery of asset management, repairs and maintenance, void properties, major improvements projects, capital works and compliance to both housing and non-housing sites for Norwich City Council and Gt Yarmouth Borough Council. He will also be working for public and private sector clients throughout the Eastern region. A member if the Chartered Institute of Building, Gary Atkins  has worked in social housing property  for over 30 years covering repairs & maintenance, asset management, operational delivery and strategic management.

See Profile Norse Commercial Services

In brief…

Penn Commercial recently acted for Cripps Commercial in the marketing and disposal of Dencora Business Centre and Dencora House at Whitehouse Road, Ipswich. Dencora Business Centre is a multi-let 43,083 sq ft building including offices and industrial units/trade counters with car parking. Dencora House is a self-contained two storey office block with car parking, let to one tenant. Peter Colby Commercials has acquired both properties for an undisclosed sum, with an initial yield of 10%.

Two companies, Abzena plc and Bicycle Therapeutics have moved into Imperial College ThinkSpace’s new 49,500 sqft building (Building 900) at the Babraham Research Campus near Cambridge. ThinkSpace is responsible for the co-location of companies with research groups and universities. CEO Dr Eulian Roberts said:“We are delighted that two such innovative research-led companies have chosen to locate with us in the Imperial ThinkSpace Building and we look forward to working with them in the future’’ The new facility complements Imperial Colleges’ existing London facilities, including its new research and innovation district in White City.