Tuesday 09th August 2022
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 01/08/2022

Region set to become centre for huge £100 billion carbon capture and storage sector

East Anglia and Lincolnshire are set to become centres for the UK’s potentially huge CO2 capture and storage industry involving the creation of thousands of new jobs according to a new government-comissioned report. It says the region’s offshore engineering and other supply chain firms are in prime position to benefit from growth in the sector, if the government provides urgent support. The study by Offshore Energies UK says skills developed in regions involved with the oil and gas industries mean they are ideally-placed to become hubs for CO2 capture and storage (CCS). It follows a decision by the North Sea Transition Authority to include three areas off the coasts of north Norfolk and Lincolnshire in the Southern North Sea amongst 13 sites UK identified in its first-ever CO2 storage licensing round. The report commissioned by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy says CCS could be worth up to £20bn to the offshore supply chain in the next ten years, and £100bn by 2050. It also warns that the UK supply chain is fragile, and that the huge opportunities of CCS could be lost to foreign competitors unless the government and industry work fast to secure “first-mover” advantage. Katy Heidenreich, OEUK’s supply chain and operations director said: “Carbon capture and storage …. offers a huge opportunity for the UK supply chain to help energy intensive industries cut emissions. Eastern England is one of the best-placed regions to take advantage of and benefit from these exciting new technologies.”

Optimistic businesses in the East buck national trend on confidence

Business confidence in the East of England jumped 15 points in July to 46 per cent, the highest reading of any UK region and bucking a less optimistic national trend, according to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Firms in the East reported higher confidence in their own business prospects - up 22 points at 59 per cent and also a national high - and to a lesser extent, increased optimism on the economy. The region’s firms identified their growth priorities for the next six months as diversifying into new markets, investing in their teams and evolving their offer. Meanwhile, a net balance of 36 per cent of businesses in the region expect to increase staff levels over the next year, up 10 points on last month. But business people in the East appeared to be more optimistic than elsewere in the country; overall UK business confidence fell three points during July to 25 per cent. Nationally only four out of 11 nations and regions recorded a higher reading in July than in June. Dene Jones, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Leading the way in business confidence among all UK regions and nations is no mean feat, and it is testament to the resilience of our firms here in the East.”

Supply chain issues are the biggest threat to business success over the next six months for nearly a third of mid-sized businesses in East Anglia but despite this around the same proportion are looking to grow their workforce according to a survey, Rethinking the Economy, from BDO. More than 40 per cent of firms are increasing starting salary offers because of increased competition for talent. Meanwhile, a third of firms are most concerned about the ongoing impact of Brexit, according to the survey.

Norfolk haulier to invest £1.5 million in new Gt Yarmouth warehouse

Norfolk-based haulier and logistics business FreightForce Distribution is investing £1.5m to fund a new warehouse in Great Yarmouth to meet growing demand for storage prompted by the boom in e-commerce and next-day delivery. The new facility, being built with the support of a £700,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank, will increase its storage capacity five-fold, from 1,000 pallets to 5,300 pallets. The growing firm, which has an hq in Norwich, operates a fleet of 44 HGV trucks nationally and 14 trucks locally, and has increased staff number to 100 staff whilst turnover is set to reach £13.5m this year. Nick Jolley, managing director at FreightForce, said: “As we expand our operations nationally, it’s only right that we expand our footprint in Norfolk. The site at Great Yarmouth is going to be integral to our growth, as it means we can support one of the fastest growing areas of our business, but also reduce costs and hassle for our customers."

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Airline restarts flights from Stansted

Emirates has restarted flights from London Stansted in response to what it says is sustained demand for international travel after pausing operations from the airport in March 2020 due to the pandemic. A flight left Dubai today (Monday) and a flight will depart Stansted for Dubai this evening. Richard Jewsbury, Emirates divisional vice president in the UK, said: “We are delighted to be recommencing services to and from Stansted today and offering passengers further connectivity during the popular summer holiday period. Bookings in the UK and London have continued to surge with the further easing of travel restrictions and as appetite for international travel grows stronger. Stansted is a key hub for Emirates in the East and Southeast of the UK as we continue to scale up travel following the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming more passengers on board our premium Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the coming months.”

Norwich ranked amongst top 10 cities for ‘Gen Z’ workers

Norwich has been voted one of the top ten cities for so-called GenZ workers aged 18-24, according to a study by Workthere, an office specialist. Norwich ranked seventh in the survey which assessed UK cities for rent, salary, the number of bars and internet speed amongst 18-24 year olds living there. Norwich offered an average rent of £525 and an average salary of £25,486 for people in the age bracket. It also offered 614 bars and restaurants. Manchester topped the league table followed by London and Kingston upon Hull. Cal Lee, head of Workthere, said: “It’s interesting to see that London does not take the top spot for Gen Z workers, and that other UK cities are proving competitive at attracting the younger generation…..  it is really encouraging to see places such as Norwich, Coventry, Derby and Blackpool all make the top 10.”

New chair appointed at Cambridge developer

Cambridge-based property developer and investor Howard Group has appointed Sian Steele, a non-executive director at the firm for the past two years, as its new board chair. She previously worked as a senior partner in the Cambridge office for PwC, and has more than 30 years of experience working with family businesses nationally and internationally. She is currently head of tax at Evelyn Partners and sits on the board of Jarrold & Sons, a Norfolk based family business. Sian Steele said: “Having worked alongside Howard Group team for the last few years, I have been deeply impressed by the dedication of staff and their determination for continued purposeful growth heading towards their centenary year in 2035.” Andrew Hynard will join the board as non-executive director from 1st September 2022.

Pre-lets secured at north west Cambridge development

Three pre-lets have been secured at the Gateway Cambridge development north west of the city which is due for completion in October. Legal & General Investment Management and developer Wrenbridge, have pre-let units at the site to Domino UK Ltd, CB Self Storage and KoolTech. Domino UK, the industrial and commercial inkjet printing company, has agreed to a new 15-year lease for unit 4, totalling 13,552 sq ft. Phil Ridoutt, director in the business space team at Savills Cambridge, said: “Gateway Cambridge is an exciting new development set across five acres to the north west of the city…we have been able to secure a number of strong pre-lets, with the remaining space set to attract a variety of exciting occupiers.”

Colchester-based freight management firm marks 35 years in business

Colchester-based global freight cargo management company Wallis Shipping is marking 35 years in the business. Established in 1987, the Colchester-based shipping and logistics company has managed over 250,000 shipments across the world, including a James Bond submarine to a film set. Wallis Shipping has created its own shipping tracking software and has grown to a team of 35 working across four locations and is aiming to become net zero by 2050. Managing director Stuart Gregory (photo) said: “This is an incredible milestone. To look back and realise how many people we have employed over the years and how many customers we have helped is amazing. 35 years has passed really quickly and we look forward to helping customers and employing more people for years to come.” The company operates from Langham Barns on the Suffolk-Essex border and also has hubs in Rugby, London and Slough.

Law firm's public rights of way consultant appointed to national Stakeholder Working Group

A specialist public rights of way consultant working for law firm Birketts has been appointed as a representative of landowners on a national Stakeholder Working Group (SWG). Set up by Natural England and now managed by Defra, the SWG members represent landowners, local authorities and public access users and its purpose has evolved into work to complete outstanding legislative and procedural reforms in public rights of way law. Carol Ramsden (photo) is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Rights of Way and Countryside Access Management and has specialised in public rights of way law for over 30 years. As a consultant at Birketts, she has advised clients widely on challenges created by complex and often archaic public rights of way legislation. Defra reently announced that the implementation of a ‘cut-off’ date of 1 January 2026 for the addition of unrecorded historic public rights of way to definitive maps and statements, will not go ahead, causing great concern to landowners. Defra also confirmed its commitment to implementing other outstanding legislation, including a landowner ‘right to apply’ for a public path diversion or extinguishment order. Carol Ramsden said: The decision not to implement the ‘cut off’ was a major blow to landowners but there is still good news relating to the ‘right to apply’ and the new guidance. My appointment to the SWG means I can help get this legislation across the line.”

See Profile Birketts

London to Ipswich charity bike ride raises over £2400

Associated British Ports recently organised a 100-mile charity bike ride from London to Ipswich for colleagues and customers, which raised more than £2400 raised for St Elizabeth Hospice. The race, sponsored by Taydal stretched from ABP’s head office in London to the Ipswich Haven Marina and it takes the total ABP raised or donated by ABP to support the charity to more than £17,000 in the last 12 months. Paul Ager, ABP East Anglia divisional port manager, said: “It is great that our colleagues and customers have come together again to raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. At ABP we care about supporting local communities and we always have a great deal of fun doing it.” ABP is also supporting the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 art trail, which has been brought to Ipswich by St Elizabeth Hospice alongside creative partners Wild in Art.

Liz Baldwin, corporate and sponsorship fundraising manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “It is fantastic that ABP is organising this bike ride to raise funds for St Elizabeth Hospice. We are grateful for their support throughout the years, which has helped us continue our vital work to improve lives.