Monday 20th May 2019
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 11/05/2018

Risks to Cambs growth prospects emerge in economic review

Cambs and Peterborough have enjoyed faster economic growth than official figures suggest with home-grown companies outperforming others but there are major doubts as to how well the area is set up to cope with future growth, according to an interim report from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review. The report says growth needs to be ‘inclusive’ and points to signs that the skills system in many areas is not preparing people for work. It highlights a need for higher level technical skills across the area and support for more vocational higher education provision in Peterborough. The report also highlights ‘strategic risks to the area’ if it cannot get the major infrastructure improvements needed and says that previous delays in bringing forward and delivering schemes must not be continued. Dame Kate Barker, chair of the review, said: “While it is critical to plan for the projects of the future, it is even more important to do the right things now. This will mean ensuring strong growth continues in high-output areas and laying the ground for future growth in lower-output areas.” Under the government’s devolution deal, Cambs and Peterborough has committed to a near-doubling in economic output from £22 bn to over £40 bn over the next 25 years.

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Global transport group expands in Felixstowe

Ziegler UK, a global transport and logistics provider, has acquired Martime House at Haven Exchange South, Felixstowe. Lee Marshall, manging director of Ziegler UK, said: "We are delighted to have secured new ownership of this building which allows us the expansion to fulfil our strategy by further investing in enlarging the operation of our Ocean Freight business based in Felixstowe." Penn Commercial was sole agent for Maritime Transport on the property following its relocation to a new office building in Felixstowe.

Separately, Penn Commercial -working in partnership - has brought a development of units at Star Lane in Ipswich to market for over £1 million. Penn Commercial was instructed on the development in 2014 to enhance the investment and allow Investec Bank to bring it to the market with the joint receivers this year. The investment has been sold to Lymevale Developments Ltd in Berkshire C/O Heywoods & Partners Ltd in London. The units are fully let and generate an annual income of over £83,000 exclusive.

Photo (l-r): Robin Cousins, trainee negotiator, Penn Commercial and Lee Marshall, managing director, Ziegler UK.

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International investors look to acquire in the East

The international market for buying and selling UK businesses is buoyant and will continue to grow, according to Luke Morris (right), partner at Scrutton Bland. He said: “We are seeing a number of active investors looking to acquire business interests in the UK and, in particular, the East of England… More and more we are becoming a knowledge-based economy and with the world’s largest research and development sector operating in our region this has resulted in greater demand for our Cambridge office.” The firm is also seeing more deal activity in more traditional sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, retail, tourism and hospitality, and haulage and logistics and have seen pleasing growth, particularly through its Ipswich and Colchester offices. Following the addition of Luke Morris to its partner team in 2017, Scrutton Bland says it has made substantial developments to its corporate offering and attracted a number of high-profile clients.

Scrutton Bland has appointed Jonathon Clarke as an independent financial adviser in its financial planning department in the firm’s newly-expanded Cambridge office. He has a background working for national and regional firms and the appointment follows an expansion to the firm's corporate finance team. Partner Tim Long said: “The expansion of our corporate offering within the group reflects the increasing demand that we are seeing in our financial planning department for director’s pensions planning and SIPP advice.”

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Growth strategy bring changes to senior management

Grant Thornton has announced changes to its senior management team across the firm’s four East Anglian offices as part of its growth strategy. Partner Hazel Platt, who currently leads the firm’s East Anglian tax team, takes over the role of practice leader for the Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich and Chelmsford offices from fellow partner Darren Bear who becomes regional managing partner, heading up Grant Thornton’s eight offices across the Central and Eastern region. Current regional managing partner James Brown steps into a national role with Grant Thornton, as head of growth, whilst retaining his long-held client presence in East Anglia. Darren Bear said: “The region is rapidly evolving and there are many more exciting opportunities we can seek to harness. The leadership role changes represent a key part in this process as we embark on the next stage of our growth journey.”

Photo (l to r): Darren Bear, Hazel Platt and James Brown.

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Promotions for record number of lawyers in firm

Ellisons Solicitors has promoted ten lawyers, three to partner and seven to associate - a record number of promotions in the firm’s history. Lisa Dawson, who advises on family law matters, and Scott Porter, an insolvency and debt recovery solicitor based at Ellisons Colchester, along with Gina Westbrook, an associate who specialises in private client work based at Clacton-on-Sea, are all promoted to partner. Further promotions in Colchester include Chloe Baldwin (private client), Imogen Dodd (private client), Rebecca Hempstead (residential conveyancing, private client) and Linda Osborne (private client) have all become associate. The Ipswich and Clacton-on-Sea offices have also seen promotions with Catherine Frost (private client) and Katie Mayes (private client) from Ipswich, and Karen Healy (residential conveyancing, private client) from the Tendring branch all being promoted to associate. Managing partner, Guy Longhurst (photo, back row, centre), said: “Ellisons is proud of the excellent service it offers to its clients, and these promotions, a record number this year, recognise the hard work of all who have been promoted and the continued expansion of Ellisons.”

2018 apprenticeship programme launches at tech group

Cambs-based Domino Printing Sciences has launched its 2018 apprenticeship scheme, offering five training opportunities to start in September. The company is looking for its third annual intake on a structured programme which combines workplace experience with a qualification. The scheme comprises two chartered management degree apprenticeships, two in engineering technicians and one in facilities management. Since launching its apprenticeship programme in 2016, Domino has been named one of the employers of the year by Cambridge Regional College and was highly commended for the large employer of the year award in the EEF apprenticeship national awards. In March, Josh Morrow was named business apprentice of the year by Cambridge Regional College and overall CRC apprentice of the year. Hilary Wright, group HR director at Domino said: “Together with our enthusiastic apprentices and the team within Domino who plan, implement and support the scheme, we have a programme we are really proud of.”

Cambridge college wins award for sustainability

St. John’s College, Cambridge College has won a major accolade for its innovative practices and commitment to sustainable food – the city’s first academic venue to be recognised this way. The college’s catering department was presented with a gold award at the recent Cambridge Sustainable Food Business Awards held at Anglia Ruskin University. The annual awards honour food companies and institutions in Cambridge which are working to improve their sustainable credentials by signing up to a pledge and award scheme. St John’s met a wide range of criteria including: implementing a sustainability policy, sourcing local and organic ingredients and monitoring food waste using the latest Chef’s Eye technology. Bill Brogan (photo,) conference & catering manager at St John’s College, said: “Over recent years we have introduced a number of initiatives to improve our practices, including looking at reducing waste and trialling alternative foods such as insects. Whilst this is an excellent milestone to achieve, there is always more to be done and we will continue to explore ways to improve even further.”

In brief

Major A14 surface contract

Aggregate Industries has been selected by the A14 Integrated Delivery Team to deliver the surfacing works for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Flexible Pavement Works, currently England’s largest road improvement project. Over a 30 month period, using local primary and secondary aggregate supply sources, the firm will create over 21 miles of new, multi-lane carriageway using 700,000 tonnes asphalt and 500,000 tonnes cement bound granular material under an early contractor involvement arrangement.

Venture investment boost

Innovative start-up businesses and high-growth companies in Norfolk and Suffolk could benefit from a new £1m allocation to New Anglia LEP’s ‘angel’ investment programme, New Anglia Capital. Since 2014, New Anglia Capital has invested almost £2m in 13 businesses across the East. A total of 30 ‘angels’ have also been recruited to Anglia Capital Group with a further three members anticipated in each county by the end of 2018. New Anglia Capital is a co-investment fund with New Anglia LEP and Anglia Capital Group, based at Norwich Research Park.

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Renewables firm on the move

Offshore logistics firm Peterson has moved into OrbisEnergy, Lowestoft as part of a move to strengthen its position in the renewables sector. Jim McSporran, Peterson’s regional director, said: “OrbisEnergy will provide a platform for Peterson to increase its profile and service offering to a wider audience within the renewables industry. This will enable further business development both locally and regionally in the UK and NW Europe.” The firm, which has a base in Gt Yarmouth, has operated for nearly 100 years in logistics quality, certifications and risk management and has diversified from oil & gas to renewables.”

Promotions at Suffolk-based PR team

Suffolk-based PR agency, Genesis PR, has made a series of promotions at its growing team. Jacqueline French, who joined in 2015, has been promoted to associate director and will take up a more strategic role developing the business. Craig Robinson who manages a number of Genesis’ national consumer, healthcare and business-to-business clients has been promoted to account director and will now focus further on client growth. Alex Raymond has been promoted to digital account manager and Joe Cross and Joe Tye have each been promoted to the role of senior account executive. Penny Arbuthnot, director at Genesis PR, said: “We are very pleased to be growing our talented team and to be able to recognise the achievements of Jacqueline, Craig, Alex, Joe and Joe who have done exceptionally well in developing their skills and experience in PR and digital marketing with Genesis.”

Photo (l-r): Joe Cross, Jacqueline French, Joe Tye, Alex Raymond and Craig Robinson.

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Purchasing group expands

The AF Group, formerly Anglia Farmers, has opened a new office in Braunston, near Daventry, Northamptonshire, as part of a strategy to expand throughout the UK. The agricultural purchasing co-operative aims to forge stronger ties with members and suppliers outside its East Anglia base and recently appointed livestock feed general manager Keith Snape who will be based in the new office.

Bank appoints new business manager in King's Lynn

Barclays has appointed Jamie Biggadike as its new business manager for King’s Lynn. He has held a number of positions in Barclays and was previously a business manager at Barclays’ Spalding branch.  Jamie Biggadike said: “I am very excited to take up the position of Business Manager in King’s Lynn.  Although I will be based at Barclays branch in the town, I will be out visiting customers so I can understand how their business works and talking to them about how I can support them to grow for the future.” He joins a team of four other business managers covering King’s Lynn and the Wisbech area.

Solicitor oversees estate agent's expansion into Woodbridge 

Gotelee Solicitors' commercial property team has recently finalised and completed a new business lease for Fenn Wright as part of the estate agent's expansion into the Woodbridge area. The property firm's new offices at Nunn’s Mill, Quayside extend its presence along the A12 corridor and feature onsite parking and good access to the town centre. The expansion follows the recent acquisition of Woodbridge-based Neals Estate Agent by Fenn Wright, forming its tenth branch. Gotelee corporate and commercial solicitor Laura Gray acted for Neals during the acquisition. Alistair Mitchell of Fenn Wright said: ‘’Gotelee as a leading Suffolk firm, but most importantly with a strong presence in Woodbridge, were the obvious choice for us in overseeing the acquisition of our new premises."

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Industrial space in demand

Lynx Autocare has taken a ten year lease on a 3,688 sq ft unit industrial unit at Waterbeach, Cambridge says agent Barker Storey Matthews, who acted for the landlord. Created to service the vehicles of the Airport Lynx fleet, Lynx Autocare has expanded to offer its garage and car care services to other companies and private individuals. Managing director Steve Russell said: “We have taken our time to find the right premises. It was important for us to have the right combination of offices, workshop and forecourt and to be close to Cambridge."

Sponsorship at Royal Norfolk Show

Larking Gowen has announced a sponsorship with the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) for the opening day of this years’ Royal Norfolk Show. The two organisations will host around 80 guests in the CLA marquee for a lunch celebrating Norfolk food and drink. Steve Rudd, Larking Gowen partner, farms and landed estates team, said: “Food and drink and agriculture are so intrinsically linked, we were looking for a new showcase event and the CLA opportunity was presented to us at exactly the right time.” Larking Gowen acts for over 750 farms and landed estates and has one of the largest agricultural accounting teams in the UK.

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Grant for wildlife site in Suffolk

New Anglia LEP is to give a grant of £250,000 from its growing places fund to Suffolk Wildlife Trust, towards an £8m project which will link three sites in a 1,000 acre landscape for wildlife at Carlton Marshes, near Lowestoft. It will create a southern gateway to the Broads National Park and is the biggest habitat restoration and wetland creation in the park for a decade. A new visitor centre (photo)  is planned and the trust's aim is for the site to become a National Nature Reserve in the next five years.