Saturday 20th January 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 20/12/2017

Industrial space and ‘healthy high streets’ set to lead property market in 2018

Occupier demand for industrial, warehousing and distribution space has remained relatively strong in 2017 and is expected to be maintained in 2018, according to agents Barker Storey Matthews. In Bury St Edmunds, the agent has seen a squeeze on availability of mid-sized industrial units and its Peterborough and Huntingdon offices have seen a return to speculative building. In retail, ‘healthy’ high streets have started to evolve led by the food and beverage sector. Traditional retail pitches around Peterborough’s Cathedral Square are attracting restaurant and café occupiers and in Cambridge, a ‘foodie’ boom has fanned out from the centre to areas around Burleigh Street and Fitzroy Street. In the region’s office market, the agent is finding that the occupational market has begun to slow, possibly due to a lack of clarity on Brexit although in Cambridge there are questions over the available stock to meet demand, particularly for larger premises, which may mean speculative building opportunities. Steve Hawkins, managing director, Barker Storey Matthews, said: “The spotlight has been on sheds and shops this year in response to our changing lifestyles which are, increasingly, steered by technology. It is hard to see how this will change in the coming year unless household expenditure is severely curtailed.”

Emirates to launch new daily flights from Stansted to Dubai

Middle Eastern airline Emirates is to launch the first new daily air service from London Stansted to Dubai from next June, taking advantage of the the airport's position close to the tech and pharma hubs of Cambridge and Peterborough. The new route will be operated by the airline’s new three-class Boeing 777-300ER offering customers six seats in first class, 42 in business and 306 in economy. Flights will depart Dubai at 09:30hrs, arriving in Stansted at 14:10hrs and return flights will leave Stansted at 21:10hrs and arrive in Dubai at 07:05 the following day. Emirates is hoping to meet demand from the business community in London’s north east and the wider 7.5 million population in its catchment area. Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore and Mumbai are the most popular business destinations from the East of England, which Emirates serves daily through its Dubai hub."The introduction of the new London Stansted-Dubai route not only signifies 10 daily flights between Dubai and three different London Airports, but is also welcome news to businesses based in the Stansted catchment area who, before now, travelled to central London to fly to airports with global reach," said Laurie Berryman, Emirates vice president, UK

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Campaigners hopeful for A14 ‘expressway’

Business campaigners have welcomed news that Highways England has identified the A14 as a possible expressway – with motorway-grade two-lane highways and improved junctions. In its strategic road network intitial report of projects to be looked at further by the Department of Transport, the A14 in Suffolk is marked as a ‘current, planned and potential expressway’. Jo Churchill MP, chair of the Suffolk Chamber-led No More A14 Delays in Suffolk strategy board, said: “This news is a huge motivator in our campaign to improve the A14 in Suffolk. Recognition of the need to upgrade the A14 to an expressway, is incredibly promising.”

New Anglia Growth Hub helps firms raise £2.8 million

The New Anglia Growth Hub has had its busiest year to date in 2017. The hub’s team of advisors have provided over 3700 hours of face-to-face support to more than 700 SMEs in Norfolk and Suffolk and helped business in rthe East access almost £2.8m of grant funding for growth. The New Anglia Growth Hub awarded 19 individual projects with a total of £1.8m grant funding, creating 200 full-time equivalent jobs in the region. “It’s been a great year for the Growth Hub and we’re proud to have supported so many local businesses, helping them to grow and support the local economy” said Nigel Best, growth hub manager. “Looking forward to 2018, we’ll be supporting more businesses with free, impartial advice and access to funding and other services.” More than 100 projects have been supported by a combined £1m through the Small Grant Scheme (which provides grants from £1,000 to £25,000). For larger projects, the Growing Business Fund, provided by the New Anglia LEP, offers grants between £25,000 and £500,000. Details on 0300 333 6536 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

See Profile New Anglia Growth Hub

New Suffolk jobs created

Fifty new jobs have been created in Needham Market as Suffolk-based HBD Europe has taken production of its SBC skincare brand in-house in a project part-funded with a £120,000 grant from New Anglia LEP's Growing Business Fund. Since the firm's new plant has been up and running, it has manufactured 13 new skincare products and has more than 30 new products in the pipeline. Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP, said “The success of SBC is a great example of how growth funding can benefit the economy of the East. Bringing production in-house has improved the company’s resilience as it continues to expand and provide new jobs for local people.”

Bank provides £25 million facility for care trust

The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), a national charity that provides care to older people and with care homes in Suffolk, has secured a £25 million facility from Barclays. Based in Witney, Oxfordshire, OSJCT is one of the largest, not for profit, care providers for the elderly in the UK, and currently operates 71 care homes across Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and West Sussex. It also offers a domiciliary care service in 14 extra care housing schemes and employs more than 4,000 employees, supporting more than 3,500 residents. The funding from Barclays will assist OSJCT in its growth strategy, support the building of new care homes and provide further job opportunities. Julian Kilsby, Barclays relationship director who led the deal, said: “We’re pleased to support OSJCT with its strategic ambitions and continue to demonstrate Barclays’ commitment to the healthcare market. OSJCT is a significant charitable care provider, that now has a solid foundation to build upon in the future.”

New appointments at growing Ipswich-based software group

A rapidly-growing customer portfolio has led Ipswich-based company secretarial software group Inform Direct to make three new appointments. Senior sales manager Kelly West is responsible for liaising with potential customers including accountancy firms to identify their company secretarial software needs. Previous sales roles have been with Black Horse and Automotive Finance and more recently, polkadotfrog. Ben Robinson’s role as business analyst centres around Inform Direct’s software, understanding requirements for changes and specifying and seeing them through development and testing. He previously worked in the insurance sector with Willis Towers Watson and as product owner at Sequel Business Solutions. Chris Mann, as customer support executive, is primarily responsible for the day-to-day handling of queries and building relationships with existing and new customers. Previously he has worked in customer support roles with Green Duck and Equiniti. Henry Catchpole, CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kelly, Ben and Chris to our enthusiastic team. This has been a very successful year in terms of growing business, including signing up our 75,000th customer and we are looking forward to a positive 2018.” Established five years ago, Inform Direct won Practice Software Product of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards in 2016.

Photo (l to r):Chris Mann, Ben Robinson and Kelly West.

Cambridge college strengthens team

Jesus College, Cambridge has appointed Christopher Ogston(right) as head of hospitality (also called Manciple) with responsibility for the catering and conference & events departments, as well as the hotel-standard accommodation in the college's new West Court facility. He brings wide experience in the sector having starting his career training as a professional chef at Cambridge Regional College and spending several years at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. More recent roles have included food & beverage management at the Moller Centre and general manager and director at the Gonville Hotel, before becoming a director of Cotto Gonville Ltd. He said: “I am looking forward to working closely with my heads of department to ensure we are delivering the day-to-day high standard of service and also identify ways in which we can develop to make our offering world class – preserving the past by embracing the future.”  www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/conferences

Employment law seminars on workplace harassment

In its next series of Early Bird employment law seminars, Birketts will look at how organisations should approach complaints of harassment in the workplace. It will look at what are the applicable legal tests and statutory defences to claims involving harassment and how should employers tackle some of the trickier practical issues that arise. Delegates to the free events which run from 8-10 am will also receive an update on recent developments in employment law. To book go to www.birketts.co.uk/events: 6 February - Great Yarmouth Racecourse; 6 February – Trinity Park Conference and Events Centre, Ipswich; 6 February - Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-Sea Hotel. 8 February - Birketts LLP, Norwich; 20 February - Denny Bros, Bury St Edmunds ; 21 February - Birketts LLP, Norwich;  21 February - Colchester United Football Club;  21 February - Willis Building, London. EC3M; 22 February – The Møller Centre, Cambridge; 28 February - Birketts LLP, Chelmsford; 28 February – Huntingdon Racecourse