Sunday 21st April 2019
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 02/10/2018

Cost overruns cast doubt on Ipswich river crossing

One of the largest new infrastructure projects in the region, the Upper Orwell Crossing in Ipswich, is in doubt after an independent report for Suffolk County Council confirmed significant cost overruns. The scheme, which involves three bridges over the River Orwell to relieve traffic congestion in the town, is now forecast to cost up to £139 million, compared to original estimates of £96.65 million on which funding was based. Council leader Matthew Hicks will now pursue talks with the government, New Anglia LEP, Ipswich Borough Council and ABP on securng additional funding for the project. The report by engineering firm Jacobs also offers options for saving money on the scheme. Extra costs have been incurred on the scheme on ground investigations, the procurement of architects and on space for pedestrians and cyclists. Cllr Hicks said: “We want to see the Upper Orwell Crossings become a reality and need to look at what funding sources are available to help meet the significant shortfall in the proposed costs for this major infrastructure project.”

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore said: “Suffolk Chamber of Commerce remains a positive supporter of the Upper Orwell Crossings project …. At the same time, we appreciate Suffolk County Council’s financial prudence in reviewing the project at this stage and the additional two months granted during which they will look to address the over-spend and source new funding.”

Low cost airline on the ground at Stansted

Nordic low-cost airline Primera Air, which launched air services to New York, Washington and Boston from London Stansted earlier this year, has ceased operations in what will be seen as a setback to the Essex airport's campaign to attract more long-haul services.  Nine years after the last scheduled service to the US from Stansted ended, Danish-registered Primera Air launched direct daily flights from the airport to Newark from last spring at fares starting at £149 one way and four times a week to Boston Logan from August. The airline used the new Airbus A321NEO aircraft and included a choice of two cabins, full-service premium and low-fare economy. The airline had 15 planes and much its trade involved flying Scandinavian holidaymakers to the Mediterranean. The Civil Aviation Authority is reported to have said stranded travellers will need to make their own arrangements to return to the UK.

Cambridge disease ‘breathalyzer’ group raises £38 million

Cambridge-based Owlstone Medical, a global diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for early disease detection and precision medicine, has raised £38 million to fund the commercialization of its Breath Biopsy platform. It takes the total raised by the group to around £56 million since 2016. Patrick Zhang  of Horizons Ventures, which led the completion of the latest fund raising, said: “Following our initial investment in Owlstone Medical, we have become further convinced that Breath Biopsy has the potential to transform the fields of early cancer detection and precision medicine in the years to come.”

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said:“We enjoyed particularly strong interest from Asian investors in the round, and as China is a key market for the Company we are encouraged by the strategic value of these partners as we seek to accelerate entry into this market.”


Innovative new look for Norfolk top 100 study 

Innovation will be the theme of a new-look format for the Norfolk Limited 2018 study of the county's largest 100 companies, when it is unveiled at Norwich Research Park on October 16. The launch of the report by Grant Thornton, in partnership for the first time with law firm Mills & Reeve, will include a panel discussion on Norfolk’s economy and Mills & Reeve will share insights from its ‘Defying Gravity’ initiative. Toby Wilson of Grant Thornton’s Norwich office said: “This year’s study aims to reflect the continued level of innovation across the county as well as providing a clear picture of Norfolk’s current economic position. We encourage attendees at our launch event and readers of our report to use the findings to inform their thinking and generate ideas and actions that will help take Norfolk to the next level.” To register to attend or receive a copy of the report email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

See Profile Grant Thornton

New factory takes shape outside Ipswich

Construction of a new factory for Holden Timber Engineering in Claydon near Ipswich is progressing with the aid of 3D design software used for the structural engineering design. Ipswich-based Superstructures has been responsible for the structural design with architect Nigel Bultitude from Felixstowe. The Tekla Structures 3D construction modelling software used by Superstructures creates an accurate visual reference for buildings made from most types of material and helps engineers create the most efficient design. Work started in the spring on the construction of the new 1400 sq m factory, together with office and areas for additional facilities. Kevin Anderson, managing director of Holden Timber Engineering, said: “We have been able to source the engineering skills and services we need to build the new factory from the Ipswich area along with the heavy building materials, steel for the frame and most of the other materials.”

Appointment at property and construction consultancy

Property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood – which has offices across the East of England and London – has appointed Steven Day as its new director of commercial building surveying in its Billericay office. He joins from CS2 Chartered Surveyors and has more than 20 years’ experience providing dilapidations, technical due diligence, neighbourly matters, building pathology, expert witness and project management services. He takes on the role from Simon Gorst, who recently became partner and will be responsible for the day to day running of the Billericay commercial team as well as developing and expanding its offer. Steven Day said: “The practice already has an established client base across many sectors and I’m looking forward to identifying opportunities with new and existing clients to help support future growth.”

See Profile Ingleton Wood

Gender inequality conference at Cambridge college

Thirty-five delegates recently attended a conference organised by The Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce and hosted by Murray Edwards College, which explored the issue of gender inequality at work and set an agenda for change. The event looked at how men and women can work together to champion change in workplace gender inequality and included a presentation on new research carried out by the college. Presentations covered the importance of challenging stereotyping from an early age, how women should take ideas back to their own workplace to enact change and how to build closer relations between men and women. Freya Vaughan, marketing & events officer at Murray Edwards College said: “The general consensus was that Murray Edward was an entirely appropriate and inspirational venue for such a conference, setting the scene for an agenda for change.”

Karen Beckwith said: “Murray Edwards College provided a perfect backdrop for those attending to explore gender inequality and the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace. We are delighted with the positive feedback and look forward to hosting a further conference in 2019.”

Photo: Speakers at the conference (l to r): Anne Bailey, co-founder, Form the Future CIC; Sarah Howard, vice president BCC; Karen Beckwith, chair of the business women’s sector for Cambridgeshire Chamber; Qun Yang, co-founder of Biorbyt and executive director of Wo+Men's Leadership Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School; and Fiona Duffy, director of development, Murray Edwards College.

Cambridge college wins award for customer service

Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge has won the award for best customer service in the professional business category at the 2018 Cambridge BID Awards. It is the fifth year running that the college has won an award and comes as its new events space, Acropolis at Caius opens for business and is taking bookings for meetings, conferences and dinners from July 2019 onwards. The BID awards focus on customer service, which covers shops, bars, restaurants and shopping centres and is assessed by a mystery shopper or for businesses, a telephone caller. Eve Stupart, conference & events manager said: “The BID Mystery Shopper programme is a fantastic resource which benefits not only our business but the entire city. Visitors who enjoy a wonderful time here will stay longer and are more likely to return.”

David Secher, senior bursar added: “Winning this award recognises the exceptional efforts of our staff at Caius. Our conference team welcomes guests to the college throughout the year. This would not be possible without the support from our porters, catering and housekeeping teams, as well as other friendly faces around college.”

Photo: The Caius team with the BID Award (l-r): Christophe Benedetti, deputy catering manager; Laura Webb, conference coordinator; Eve Stupart, conference & events manager; and Simon Gascoyne, deputy conference manager.