Wednesday 19th December 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 11/10/2018

Region's food & drink firms set for export boost from Newmarket event

East of England food and drink producers – one of the region’s largest economic sectors – are set to boost their exports from a Global Food Forum event at Newmarket next week which is being run as part of the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT campaign. The event at Newmarket Racecourse Conference Centre on Friday 19th October will give firms the opportunity to meet international buyers from Europe, the Middle East and Canada and let them sample their fare. Alan Pain, DIT’s head of the East of England, said: “There is overwhelming global demand for locally produced food and drink. The East of England has a rich heritage when it comes to our local food and drink, and events like this are important to celebrate and highlight our high quality, locally produced goods overseas. We know food and drink producers that export are more profitable, successful and resilient than their non-exporting counterparts. We’d encourage any food and drink producer to tap into the demand for British-stamped food." The DIT has a team of 30 advisers based in the East of England to help food and drink producers with exporting. The event will see 39 international buyers from countries like Argentina, Spain, Mexico, US, Canada, India and Japan, and will gave more than 135 food producers across the UK, including 80 in the East of England, the chance to showcase their products.

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Mid-market growth companies ‘resilient to headwinds’

Fourteen companies based in the East feature in the latest annual Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table, down from 15 last year. Together the firms have increased combined sales by 16 per cent to £3.9bn and operating profits 16 per cent to £357m and they employ more than 20,000 people. The biggest mid-market growth company to feature in the region is Peterborough-based insurance firm BGL Group. Others were ProCam Europe (crop protection), Ridgeons (builders merchant), Mick George (construction services), Walstead Group (commercial printer), Weston Group (housebuilder), Flying Trade Group (food wholesaler), Branston (potato packer), Lindum Group (construction services), West Retail Group (kitchens), Turners (Soham) (distribution), Maritime Group (logistics), Hopkins Homes (housebuilder) and One Group (construction). Hazel Platt, partner and practice leader at Grant Thornton UK, said: “….  Resilient despite the headwinds, the Top Track 250 are innovating, winning business and adapting to generate value. There is much to learn from them.”

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Ipswich industrial site sells for £1.25 million

Penn Commercial has sold the freehold to a prime industrial site in Sproughton Road, Ipswich for The Fuelcard Company UK to the adjoining company Brisko Metal Resources for a price of over £1.25 million. The 1.6 acre site at Richmond House comprises warehouses, workshop and a two storey office building and 80 car parking spaces.  Brisko sees the site as a natural expansion for its metals business.

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‘Encouraging activity’ at Cambridge Research Park

Office and industrial space at Cambridge Research Park has been let to CRFS and Applied Medical Technology following Royal London’s recent purchase of the park from Rockspring. CRFS, a radio spectrum specialist, has agreed to a new lease for a further 3,809 sq ft in Building 7200, in addition to its existing office space on the park. Applied Medical Technology has recently completed the first letting at Enterprise, the park’s new 75,000 sq ft speculative industrial scheme. William Clarke, director in the business space team at Savills Cambridge, said: “Since its purchase by Royal London there has been an encouraging level of activity and we are very pleased to have secured the first occupier at Enterprise. Other units are already under offer with businesses seeing the benefit of new flexible product.” The space was let by Savills and Bidwells.

New air service to Vienna launched

Low cost Austrian airline Laudamotion is launching a twice-daily route from London Stansted Airport to Vienna. Flights will start this month with fares from €14.99 (one-way). Andreas Gruber, managing director of Laudamotion, said: “Our routes work because we have the right offer for price-sensitive customers. In particular, with our new City Shuttle routes, I'm sure we will help to boost visitor numbers with our new non-stop service to and from Vienna.”

Investment management firm opens East Anglia office in Bury

An investment management firm Brooks Macdonald is opening an East Anglia office, in Bury St. Edmunds. Pam Beith, head of the firm’s East Anglia office, said: “Our track record of delivering high quality investment management solutions for clients and longstanding support for financial advisers provides an ideal platform to launch in the region.” The office will be the group’s thirteenth across the UK and Channel Islands.

Solicitor appointed to lifetime planning team

Chris Cumberbatch has joined Ashtons Legal’s lifetime planning team in Suffolk as a senior associate. He will be based in Bury St Edmunds but will also see clients in the firm’s Ipswich office and his arrival takes the firm’s Suffolk-wide team of lawyers to 13. A solicitor for over 15 years, Chris Cumberbatch advises a broad range of clients. He has an interest in planning for those looking after a disabled family member, having personal experience of trusts for the disabled. He speaks French and has worked for a notaire in Haute Savoie as well as for a French property team in a previous firm and is a trustee of ISCRE (Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality) and the newly formed Suffolk Law Centre. Alan Brown, deputy CEO, partner and head of individual client services at Ashtons, said: “His recruitment demonstrates our ambition to continue strengthening the firm and to provide the very best advice to our clients whatever their needs.”

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Accountants receive “one to watch” accreditation by Best Employers

Ensors Accountants has achieved a “One to Watch” accreditation following exceptional results in the Best Employers Eastern Region Survey 2018. The firm, which was rated by its own staff on a number of factors, received the accreditation at the Best Employers awards conference in Newmarket earlier this month. The accreditation was received by the firm’s HR manager Kathryn Mellon and staff partner Fiona Hotston Moore (photo right), who said : “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the best employers in the eastern region. We pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to an open, collaborative and dynamic working culture that encourages and empowers all of our staff.” The firm’s employee benefits package includes flexible working, contributory pension, relocation packages if applicable, salary sacrifice schemes for additional holiday, pension and childcare vouchers. There is also a staff awards scheme and an annual bonus to all staff based on firm-wide profits.

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Region's best employers reap their awards

Eight best employer awards and more than 40 best employers Eastern region platinum, gold or 'ones to watch' accreditations were presented to businesses at the Best Employers Eastern Region 2018 awards conference involving 150 people at Newmarket last week.The awards included : best overall large company and platinum accredited: Concertus Design and Property Consultants, based in Ipswich; best overall medium company and platinum accredited: The Fountain Partnership, based in Norwich; best overall small company and platinum accredited: Aramar Solutions Limited, based in Ipswich; best professional services company and platinum accredited: LSI Architects, based in Norwich; best not-for-profit company and gold Accredited: Allia, based in Cambridge; best digital and technology company and gold accredited: StrategiQ, based in Ipswich; best manufacturing company and platinum accredited: Treatt, based in Bury St Edmunds and most improved: Hundred Houses Society, based in Cambridge. Alex Pearce, managing director at eras, said: “We’ve had a fantastically diverse range of organisations taking part in Best Employers Eastern Region 2018. With double the number of participants completing this year’s survey we had some really high quality and valuable data to share.” The initiative was founded by recruitment firm Pure and psychometrics specialists eras and is sponsored by law firm Birketts. Together with a launch event in February, the event also raised over £5,200 for MIND.

Accountancy firm first certified partner on cardless solution

Financial services firm Scrutton Bland is offering clients the facility to collect direct debits as part of its cloud-based accounting solution sblive, through a partnership with online payments company GoCardless. The East Anglian-based firm has become the first GoCardless certified partner to offer the solution in the UK. Launched two years ago, sblive combines cloud-based accountancy software with a combination of professional advisory services designed to help clients be ready for HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative and to streamline their finances and accounts. Scrutton Bland’s Ryan Pearcy said: “This is an exciting development: GoCardless is perfect for a wide range of business sectors, but in particular it will really help those who are reliant on recurring revenue streams, such as the property and creative industries.” He added: “With transaction fees at 1% (capped at £2) the cost of the software can be easily recouped by time savings which means that businesses no longer have to spend hours processing payments and can have confidence in incoming funds.”

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Solicitors train to learn about dementia

Two lawyers at Gotelee Solicitors, Nicola Weldon (right) and Rachel Dawson (far right) have recently completed Dementia Friends Champion training, which gives insight into the illness and the action friends can take to help people affected. “The training has helped to develop our knowledge about dementia. As a firm, we are committed to supporting and helping those living with the condition, and their families, so this insight will make a real difference to so many of our clients,” said Nicola Wedon, who is a specialist in trusts, Wills and probate and lpa. The Alzheimer's Society’s Dementia Friends Champion initiative aims to train volunteers who can then encourage others to learn about the disease and raise awareness and understanding.

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Honorary doctorate for law firm's senior partner

Tony Fisher, senior partner of law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Essex. His enthusiasm for the legal profession, rule of law and access to justice has directly impacted thousands of individuals, students, lawyers and the general public, whilst his sharing of knowledge has encouraged and helped students and young lawyers to practice law. He has spoken at many universities on the rule of law and human rights as well as at the UN in Geneva and acts as an international trial observer for the Law Society and has appeared as an advocate at the European Court of Human Rights. He has also been influential in the release of lawyers imprisoned abroad and is a fellow of the human rights committee, Essex University, chair of the human rights committee at the Law Society and is a member the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk. Tony Fisher said: “This is a wonderful honour which came totally out of the blue.”