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Archive for: March 2012

Cllr Terry Porter to open North Somerset Business Show

Cllr Terry Porter1 Cllr Terry Porter to open North Somerset Business Show

Cllr Terry Porter

The North Somerset Business Show 2012 will be officially opened by Cllr Terry Porter, who will be the North Somerset Council Chairman at the time of the event.

To be held at Weston’s iconic Winter Gardens on May 23rd 2012, scores of business will be exhibiting their products and services at the show, with seminars, guest speakers, networking sessions and advice clinics also lined up.

Cllr Porter is delighted to be opening this year’s event and comments: “I will always look to support local business in any way I can. The North Somerset Business Show is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the area to get together and boost the local economy. It’s still a challenging economic environment so it’s vital that businesses in the area meet influential local partners and build trade relationships at events like the North Somerset Business Show.”

Michael Dunn, BT’s South West Regional Manager has also agreed to run a seminar on the future of Broadband in North Somerset, and more high-profile guest speakers are being lined up according to organisers.

Ian Williams, Events Director for C4 Events, who are organising the show comments: “We’re delighted that Cllr Porter has agreed to open the show and equally delighted that Michael Dunn will be giving us an insight into the future of Broadband in North Somerset, the timetable for its rollout across the district and the positive effect broadband will have on businesses in our region. In the coming weeks we will also be revealing the names of more guest speakers as the show continues to take shape.”

Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, Poppy’s Communications and ASG Creative, North Somerset’s largest marketing agency, are just some of the names already signed up to exhibit.

Entry to the show is free for visitors. To find out about the show and exhibition prices visit www.ns-bs.co.uk

North Somerset MP becomes patron of Afghan Heroes

Dr Liam Fox MP1 North Somerset MP becomes patron of Afghan Heroes

Dr Fox, who is MP for North Somerset and former Secretary of State for Defence, will provide support and advice to the charity that has become one of the most high profile military support groups since its launch in September 2009.

The charity provides support for the families of the fallen and the returning personnel who have witnessed the losses of their fellow comrades as well as soldiers on the front line.

Founder Denise Harris said: “To have someone like Liam support our charity is fantastic. He has been to Afghanistan and understands what those who serve go through and the effects it can have.

“We hope his position will help raise the profile of what we’re trying to do not only to the general public but to those who represent the country in Westminster and Brussels.

“Since we launched the response we’ve had from the public has been phenomenal. We’ve set up a network of support groups across the country, sent 24,000 boxes of home comforts for troops on the front line and established the first holiday home where returning troops can enjoy some time with their family.

“We continue to provide support for families of the fallen and are putting in place plans to provide additional support for returning troops.

“Part of those plans is to open a post services facility so when our wounded are discharged they have a base to rebuild their lives. We will also help with vocational training as they look to return to a normal civilian life.”

Dr Fox added: “Afghan Heroes was launched in my constituency and I’ve been amazed at the courage and dignity shown by Denise and all those involved.

“I’m looking forward to working with Denise and will do all I can to help maintain the profile of the charity and help it achieve its objective of setting up the Post Services Facility.

“It’s important we continue to support our troops and not forget the sacrifice these brave men and women of our armed forces having given to the country.”

To help please call 0844 5766771 or e-mail: Info@afghanheroes.org.uk

For further information on the charity please visit www.afghanheroes.org.uk

Follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/afghanheroesUK

Connect on Facebook www.facebook.com/afghanheroes

 

Weston Showcase a success

Business logo whiteback re size Weston Showcase a successThe Weston Showcase has been hailed a major success.

The event took place last week at the Winter Gardens, Weston-super-Mare and over 200 businesses, financial institutions, commercial organisations and business support organisations were there to find out more about the employment land that’s ‘ready to go’, as well as the town centre investments that are taking place.

Adrian Simcox from Insider magazine commented: “As the organiser of the debate and media partner, Insider was absolutely delighted to be at the centre of this important gathering. When you consider the historic scale of opportunity in Weston it is not surprising that it was over-subscribed within weeks of the pre-marketing going live.

“We can’t wait to see the extensive coverage in the April issue of Insider. We are confident that it will capture the scintillating content and positive atmosphere of one of the best events that Insider has ever hosted in the South West.”

The feedback from exhibitors and attendees alike has also been extremely positive. Ben Trickey of Summerfield Developments (SW) Ltd said: “It was an excellent and well worthwhile event that brought together the business community of Weston-super-Mare and the wider region.”

A number of the exhibitors (including Express Park, Dowlas UK Ltd, Midas, Summerfield Developments, Abbey Manor Group, McLaren Life and Leisuredome), have reported high levels of interest in their schemes and a number of them have received active enquiries and potential tenants as a result of being present at the showcase.

Feedback from the bus tours around the enterprise area/key employment sites included this from Oli Ballard of the Ascot Group: ”This was an excellent event. There are so many exciting developments and plans happening around Weston and North Somerset and the debate, exhibitions and coach trip around the Junction 21 Enterprise Area provided the perfect platform to find out more about these developments and the positive impact they will have.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development said it was really encouraging to see the number of delegates at the event and all the business displays showing the opportunities available.

He said: “It’s really positive to hear all the comments coming back about this event we’ve staged. It has really helped us get the message out that there’s never been a better time to locate or expand your business in Weston. We’ve got great communication links and a skilled workforce. We’ve recently announced multi-million pound improvements to the road network around junction 21 of the M5 and there is development land available with planning permission.”

Further information about the commercial developments coming forward in Weston and the Junction 21 Enterprise Area/key employment sites can be found by visiting www.innorthsomerset.co.uk

The ‘Weston – ready to go’ promotional brochure can be downloaded at www.innorthsomerset.co.uk/westonreadytogo or a hard copy can be obtained by emailing business@n-somerset.gov.uk or calling 01934 426 266.

Local businesses raise money for Weston Hospice

Hospice11 300x59 Local businesses raise money for Weston HospiceDerrick’s Tea Rooms in Cheddar teamed up with local businesses to raise £225 in a week-long event for Weston Hospicecare.

The ‘Soup’s Up’ event saw Derrick’s Tea Rooms sell soup, host a soup competition and run a raffle with prizes kindly donated by other local businesses including Tree Top Carvings and Carousel.

Rebecca Nokes, Tearoom Manager, Derrick’s Tea Rooms and Shop said: “I’m very pleased that we had the chance to help our local Hospice, and to have had local people and businesses brought together when it matters the most. I’m also extremely touched by the generosity of the first prize winner who has asked us to use her prize – a £50 voucher from Tree Top Carvings – to buy an item and re-raffle it to raise even more money for Weston Hospicecare.

Rebecca added: “We’re also really looking forward to doing the Hospice’s ‘Big Cream Tea’ this summer.”

Sarah Livermore Corporate Fundraiser said: “This ongoing generosity from our community just goes to show how important Weston Hospicecare is to local people. Your support contributes to helping one in one hundred local people and their loved ones at any one time. Thank you!”

Auction centre set to expand

Katherine Mead cropped 290x300 Auction centre set to expand

Katherine Mead

The largest auction centre in the South West is set to expand by venturing into the food business.

TheVenue@J24, at Sedgemoor Auction Centre in North Petherton has undergone a dramatic transformation since it was built in January 2008.

It has seen a new colour scheme and signage and now it is taking over the on site restaurant from Andy Crocker, Food on the Level, to create Food@J24, which will open all week.

The 80-seater restaurant will undergo a gradual makeover and Katherine Mead, TheVenue@J24 Director, says she is passionate about supporting local suppliers and will be working with food producers to create a local supply chain:

“We are committed to supporting local producers and therefore we will source the majority of our ingredients from the locality to produce quality homemade dishes. We also believe in sensible prices and therefore we guarantee our menu will be competitive.”

Katherine comments further on the versatility of the place: “With 1092 square metres of column-free space on offer and with fantastic proximity to the M5 motorway, we believe TheVenue@J24 is one of the most versatile arenas in the whole of Somerset with the ability to lend itself to a multitude of different uses, from exhibitions, small and large scale conferences, to concerts and sporting events.

“People can come here throughout the week for conferences and events, breakfast meetings and networking events and then relax and enjoy our popular farmers markets and car boot sales at the weekend. Now we can feed people as well from some of the regions finest ingredients.”

To stay up-to-date with all the latest news and events visit www.junction24ltd.co.uk

North Somerset company launches new invention

Fhoss launch 300x233 North Somerset company launches new inventionA North Someset company has launched a new product to help save the lives of construction, emergency services, highway and rail personnel.

Fhoss Technology® Ltd, based in Weston-super-Mare, has unveiled a new illuminated clothing system that helps equipment operators see other workers in poorly lit conditions and the dark.

Andy Kimitri, Executive Chairman of Fhoss Technology®, who invented the product, said: “The launch of our revolutionary new protective clothing system, which allows workers to be seen if there is no other light around and also ensures they can see where they are walking too, was a great success.

“We had more than 100 decision-makers and health and safety experts from the nation’s largest construction, emergency services, highway and rail organisations in attendance to see the product in action.

“This is the next generation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and several steps on from the high visibility jackets, trousers and vests workers wear that have been around for more than 50 years and have hardly changed. This isn’t just reflective clothing. It is one step ahead, or even a giant leap forward.

“We have produced a light emitting reflective tape, which has been designed for use in professional environments where wearing a high visibility garment, such as a vest, is often mandatory due to ever growing health and safety regulations.”

Traditional high visibility reflective tapes work on the principle that they actively collect light and then reflect it back towards the light source.

Andy concludes: “Fhoss Technology® has combined the traditional reflective tape with an electroluminescent core that sits behind the semi-transparent tape and actively emits light. Therefore when light is not available the tape emits light as if it were reflecting it.”

For people who missed the launch event, Andy and his team are now working on a series of regional events during the spring and summer.

If anyone would like to attend one of these showcases they will be able to apply for a free place on the Fhoss Technology® website.

For more information about Fhoss Technology®, please visit www.fhoss.com or call 0845 519 2725. To see footage of the product, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvgV6WuyXE.

Alternatively, please become a fan of the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FhossTechnology or follow the company on Twitter by visiting www.twitter.com/FhossTechnology.

Weston based Plum awarded contract

Plum Communications PR team 300x234 Weston based Plum awarded contractWeston-super-Mare based Plum Communications & PR has been awarded a major contract for Spectrum Housing Group for the delivery of a range of resident and business publications

The contract went live on 1 March 2012 and covers the creation and design of the housing association group’s publications such as annual reports, residents’ and business newsletters as well as the production of press releases and provision of photography and videography services.

Tina Partridge, Spectrum’s Marketing Manager said: “I believe that this new contract award will deliver the best possible service for our residents and stakeholders. Our residents were heavily involved in the EU procurement process we followed and we selected Plum as a capable and experienced agency who has experience of working within the housing sector.”

Karen Morledge, Director of Plum Communications & PR added: “Colleagues and I are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this contract, particularly as we are a relatively young business founded less than two years ago. We will be working with Spectrum staff and residents to ensure important information and messages are shared as widely as possible.”

For more information regarding Plum visit: http://www.plum-communications.co.uk/

Higher Education and recruitment event a success

Chelsea Inglis Georgia Prentice and Sophie Aldridge 1 300x225 Higher Education and recruitment event a success

Chelsea Inglis (Left) & Sophie Aldridge (Right)

Weston College students took the next steps on their career path at a Higher Education and Careers event held this week.

Employers and representatives from universities gathered at Weston College’s new Events and Conference Centre, located in the refurbished Hans Price building next door to the Knightstone Campus, and spoke to almost 600 student visitors.

The event was open to everyone, but was particularly aimed at first and second year Level 3 students and those studying A levels.

Georgia Prentice, Weston College’s HE and External Progression Officer, organised the event. She said: “We’ve had 26 universities and 22 employers with us for this event and as well as it being an information-giving session we’ve also tried to make it fun.

“This is also National Student Money Week, so there have been games and challenges around the idea of managing finance.”

Art and Design students Chelsea Inglis and Sophie Aldridge, both 16, went along to see what their options maybe post 18.

Chelsea said: “We both want to do something in the media – I’m interested in make-up and Sophie wants to go into costume design – so we thought we’d see where we could go and what we needed.

“We didn’t realise that Bournemouth does the kind of courses we’re looking for, so that’s an option. It was definitely worth coming to the event, everyone’s been really helpful.”

Universities including Cambridge, Cardiff, Bath Spa and UWE were represented, among others. Staff from companies and organisations including Barclays, Sainsbury, EDF and the Armed Forces were also at the event.

Judy Clibbet, store trainer at Sainsbury, said: “It’s a very worthwhile event from both the students’ and the store’s perspective. We get chance to show off the full range of positions available and students find out that working for a supermarket company is more than just working inside a store.”

Sgt Deborah Yeates, of Avon and Somerset Police, said there had been strong interest in policing careers.

“We often find that people ask about science-based careers,” she said, “but this time quite a few students have been interested in police-officer jobs. We’ve been telling people under the age of 18 that it’s important to develop person-centred skills through work experience. This will stand them in good stead if they decide to apply to be police officers when they’re 18.”

Boycott city council survey say FSB

Guy Kingston Boycott city council survey say FSB

Bristol FSB Chairman Guy Kingston

The Bristol branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, which spills into North Somerset, is urging businesses to boycott Bristol City Council’s survey into workplace parking.

The council is consulting businesses over its plans to introduce a tax on workplace parking in certain parts of central Bristol. Money raised would help to fill a shortfall in funding for three rapid transit schemes in the city.

Guy Kingston, Chairman of Bristol branch of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “It is a completely wrong-headed method of charging. Why should businesses which bring wealth and prosperity into Bristol have to pay for these schemes, when they do not even have universal approval? The proposed workplace parking levy is deeply discriminatory, penalising business that just happened to be located in the wrong part of town.

“Businesses already pay rates and the employees of those businesses also pay rates at their homes. If the council really believe this scheme is worth the money then they should fund it by selling some of their assets, such as land holdings or buildings.”

The Federation of Small Business warned that the economy of the city centre is delicately balanced with many shops empty, office based businesses down-sizing and others going into liquidation because of national economic circumstances.

Said Mr Kingston: “This proposal sends out completely the wrong message. It says Bristol is closed for business – come here and we’ll leech you with one tax after another. It is just the wrong time to impose any extra burden on our hard-pressed firms. It seems councils have failed to learn the lessons from their actions that drove retailers out of town, now Bristol are trying to do the same with the rest of the business community.

“We need a city that people can access by car, bus, train, bicycle and on foot. The balance has to be right but many businesses rely on cars and vans and need parking spaces for them. Fundamental transport issues – like putting the bus station next to the railway station – have never been grasped by the city council. And, a functioning private vehicle road infrastructure is also vital to our local economy – try telling a plumber to do his rounds on a bendy bus!

“It is just because businesses do not get a vote that they are being victimised in this way. The council see us as a soft target and because we can’t defend ourselves at the ballot box we have to find other ways of standing up and making our point.”

When questioned whether he thought it was irresponsible to call a boycott, Kingston responded: “On the contrary, it is the council that is being irresponsible. Irresponsible in harming the local economy, especially during such challenging times, and irresponsible spending nearly £10,000 on a survey when they have yet to make a final decision to levy this charge.”

Kingston summed up by saying: “Frankly, if the council don’t know how many parking spaces you have, how can they tax you on them? As a general rule of thumb I would recommend to any business never to supply one iota of information to either national or local government – or anyone acting on their behalf – unless absolutely required to do so by law.”

The Bristol branch of the Federation of Small Businesses is urging all businesses to send back the surveys with a note saying they are refusing to co-operate.

Local company to unearth budding entrepreneurs

iStock 000004158211Small1 300x198 Local company to unearth budding entrepreneursWeston based training-company Pursuit has started an Enterprise Academy in the hope to find and develop the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

Pursuit will help young entrepreneurs between the ages of 16-24 who have an idea for a business but are not sure how to make it a reality.

The company will provide them with a qualification in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship which has been developed by leading qualification provider Edexcel and Dragon’s Den star and multi-millionaire businessman Peter Jones.

The budding entrepreneurs will receive advice and motivational support from successful local business people and will get the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and arrange events to showcase their talents.

During their time in the Enterprise academy the young entrepreneurs will also learn how to research and develop a business plan and how to promote their businesses.

Pursuit’s Managing Director Steve Horler comments: “We are hoping that there are lots of young people out there who have an idea for a business, whether that idea is a one-person gardening business or a full scale beauty salon, who need a helping hand to get it off the ground.

“In the current financial climate finding jobs can be difficult for young people but many would be willing and capable of being their own boss and starting a successful business. It would be amazing to walk into a shop or hire a contractor who started their business after attending the Enterprise Academy.”

The Academy will be based from Pursuit’s training suite within Badger House Enterprise Centre, Winterstoke Road, W-S-M. Candidates will attend on a part-time basis and all training and qualifications will be government funding and therefore free of charge.

Candidates will not be expected to actually start their business whilst attending the academy but will be supported if they wish to do so.

Those who successfully complete the academy will be given the opportunity to progress onto a full apprenticeship whilst they start and run their business given them valuable extra support and training.

To find out more about Pursuit visit: http://www.pursuittraining.co.uk/