Monday 19th November 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 04/09/2018

Late summer boost to business confidence in the region

Business confidence in the East of England jumped in August as companies’ faith in their own prospects improved and more firms plan to create jobs and hire new staff. According to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, companies confidence in their own business prospects rose from nine per cent in July to 27 per cent in August. Meanwhile, a net balance of 25 per cent of businesses in the region expect to hire more staff over the next 12 months, up 10 points on July. However, a net balance of eight per cent of businesses across the region said Brexit was having a negative impact on expectations for business activity and economic optimism fell two points to 13 per cent. Steve Elsom, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see local businesses feeling more positive this month after overall business confidence took a dip in July. With hiring intentions and confidence in firms’ own prospects on the rise, businesses in the East of England are proving to be resilient despite business confidence falling nationally and ongoing uncertainty about the UK’s exit from the EU.” Nationally, manufacturers were most optimistic but confidence in construction and consumer services fell.

Briefly…

New £130 million arrivals terminal in sight at London Stansted

Images of London Stansted airport’s new £130 million arrivals terminal designed by architects Pascall+Watson have been unveiled ahead of its opening in 2020. Paul Willis, London Stansted's transformation director, said: “The arrivals terminal is the centrepiece project of our £600 million transformation programme and these latest images really whet the appetite of what the new and improved London Stansted Airport will look like when the facility opens in 2020. Our five-year multi-million-pound project will transform the experience for millions of passengers and help unlock the airport’s spare runway capacity, providing passengers with a wider choice of airlines and destinations.” Stansted handled a record 27 million in the last 12 months and serves 200 destinations. It currently has permission to handle 35 million passengers a year and has plans to increase capacity to 43 million. Phase one of the project involves a new check-in zone, a 350 seat restaurant and new short stay car parks opening over the summer.

Separately, the 2018 London Stansted Meet the Buyers event will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on 1 November 2018. Last year, the organisers say the event generated over £9.3 million in sales for businesses who attended, almost double the previous year's total.

Industrial property in demand around Cambridge

The industrial property market remains strong in the region, according to Barker Storey Matthews. The agent recently acted for the vendor in the sale to an investor of the freehold of a 10,176 sq ft industrial unit at Lion Works in Whittlesford, seven miles south of Cambridge and close to the M11. The property was marketed for offers over £395,000. Mark Critchley of the agent’s Cambridge office said: “The spotlight remains on the strength of the industrial market where freehold investment opportunities are rare and occupier demand remains positive.”

Separately, Barker Storey Matthews acted for Eddyfi Technologies in the leasehold acquisition of new premises which sees the company move from Granta Park to the Station Works in nearby Linton, a recently re-furbished two storey 7,783 sq ft office/light industrial unit.

Buyout at Cambridge executive search company

After 20 years building up Cambridge and London-based Bailey Fisher Executive Search, founding partners Paul Bailey and Ann Fisher have supported managing director Andrew Moore in acquiring the majority stake in the business, alongside James Houlder and John Bridger. PEM Corporate Finance acted as lead advisers on the succession buyout. The founders will retain a 20 per cent equity stake in the business with Paul Bailey taking on the role of executive chairman and Ann Fisher becoming CEO of Women 4 Technology, and supporting the buyout team. The firm focusses on the technology, life sciences, digital health and private markets and has its hq in St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge. Lake Falconer, partner at PEMCF, said: “We worked with Paul, Ann and Andrew to structure the transaction focussing on getting a good deal that was tax-efficient and would support the company’s ongoing plans for growth. We raised debt finance from HSBC and it’s great to see them back in the market with debt finance for buyouts. And we’re delighted to have helped Paul and Ann to put in place their succession plans.” Legal advice was provided by James Allen, partner at Birketts. Steve Noon and Jason Smithers, both of HSBC, backed the transaction with funding.

North Sea offshore substation installed to bring power to Suffolk

The offshore substation for ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia ONE windfarm has been installed in the southern North Sea, 37 miles from Lowestoft. One of the largest structures of its type in the world, the installation was supported by the state-of-the-art Oleg Strashnov vessel; its 4,200 tonnes topside will house the electrical equipment to distribute power from the 102 wind turbines back to the Suffolk shore. Over the next four months, around 60 electrical engineers and technicians complete the installation. Charlie Jordan, East Anglia ONE project director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “The offshore substation is the single largest and most complex piece of kit that we will build for this project, so it is good to see the structure safely in place. Now we will press on with the intricate electrical work and continue with the installation of the turbine foundations. From early next year we will start installing the towers and the blades, with electricity being generated before the end of 2019.”

ABP completes £400,000 investment in Ipswich Marina

A new £200,000 boat hoist has been delivered to the Port of Ipswich in the latest phase of a £400,000 investment by ABP to improve the services it provides to Haven Marina customers. The 75-tonne hoist will be used mainly to bring vessels out of the water for maintenance, repair, or storage.Earlier this year, ABP purchased an £80,000 state-of-the-art boat mover capable of transporting vessels around the marina site and a  further £60,000 has been invested in new cradles for the boat mover. Last year, ABP also made improvements to cctv cameras in the marina.Andrew Harston, ABP short sea ports director, said: “We are committed to always providing the best for our customers, which is why we continue to upgrade the equipment available at our marina. We are proud that Ipswich’s Haven Marina draws tourists and yachting enthusiasts from across the UK and abroad to enjoy the cultural wealth of the town, further strengthening tourism in Suffolk.”

Festival to provide forum for entrepreneurs in Norfolk

The first Norfolk Enterprise Festival on Saturday, September 22 at Westacre Theatre will provide a forum for entrepreneurs across the county to meet and hear from successful local entrepreneurs at a series of talks and workshops. The event is the idea of local businessman Mark Lapping and George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk. "Norfolk is a powerhouse of high growth small businesses in all sectors, from technology to tourism, gin to genetics, finance to food, creating jobs and innovative products. But the micro and start-up sector needs a stronger voice and all of us in public office or private enterprise need to reach out to show our support. We’ve started this festival to create a forum for the entrepreneurial community to come together and help make sure its voice is properly heard,” said Mark Lapping.  To register go to norfolkenterprisefestival.co.uk/.

Fishing equipment retailer expands

Angling Direct plc , the Norwich-based specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer, has opened a new store in Guildford, taking its total number of stores to 23. The firm also plans to open a new store in Peterborough in coming weeks. Chief executive officer Darren Bailey said: "As we seek to cater for all anglers across the UK with a new and modern retail offering, we will continue to strategically expand our geographical footprint, as well as enhance our online offering in terms of products, experience and education to help drive angling recruitment."

Solicitors to work on affordable homes partnership

Ellisons Solicitors has been instructed by Colchester-based housing association, Colne Housing, to assist with its development strategy to provide new affordable housing in Essex. Colne Housing and its development partner, Iceni Homes has negotiated the purchase of over 250 new homes, which will be shared ownership or offered at affordable rents to be released in phases between April 2018 and 2020. The sites include; Colchester, Great Chesterford and Stansted and involve the association working with companies including Bloor Homes, Bellway and Kier and local councils. Philip Roberts, head of Ellisons’ commercial property team, said: “It has been an exciting task for the Ellisons team to work in partnership with Colne Housing and Iceni Homes. The housing shortage is a hot topic both nationally and locally and it is fantastic to see a locally based housing association able secure local homes for local people.”

Law firm becomes 18th patron of Suffolk Chamber

Gotelee Solicitors has become the 18th patron of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce. The scheme allows patrons to take advantage of Suffolk Chamber’s connections across business, media and political leaders and influence policy at a national level. Gotelee is the largest Suffolk-only legal partnership, with offices in Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Ipswich and Woodbridge. It offers a wide range of services for both businesses and individuals and has grown significantly over recent years. Charles Rowett, chief executive of Gotelee, said: “We are committed to supporting local business across Suffolk, especially in the SME market which is so important to our region. Having worked closely with the Chamber on a number of events and key issues over the last year or so, we saw significant benefits from becoming a Patron. We share similar goals and values and look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

See Profile Gotelee Solicitors

Firm recognises staff’s academic achievements

Over a dozen staff at Concertus Design & Property Consultants have each been given a bottle of champagne to mark their academic achievements in their professional development. The success covers all levels of qualification from chartership and masters, to degrees, HNDs and professional certificates. The subject areas included: construction management, architecture, civil engineering and quantity surveying, as well as building services engineering, project management and marketing. Managing director Andrew Rowe said: “We value our people and that is why, as a business, we support their endeavours, both financially and by giving them time in their working week to study and attend local colleges and universities.”