Saturday 18th August 2018
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 18/05/2018

Three projects in the East included in global investment drive

Two major development projects in Cambs and one in Norfolk feature in a new drive being launched by international trade secretary Liam Fox to attract more than £30 billion of foreign investment to the UK. The three projects in the East of England - the £2.5 billion Wisbech Garden Town in Cambs; the £800 million Camro data campus in Ely and Nelson Quay, a £120 million regeneration project in King's Lynn - are among 68 projects across the UK which are being promoted. The initiative is part of the government’s industrial strategy and also involves an online ‘one stop shop’ at invest.great.gov.uk launched to help global investors find UK projects. Dr Fox said: “This is a bold and ambitious programme, building on the UK's position as the leading destination for foreign investment in Europe through the government's industrial strategy, helping to build a Britain fit for the future.” The government’s ‘high potential opportunities’ scheme is also being extended.

Offshore wind set to be major export driver

Offshore wind could be the backbone of the UK’s electricity system by 2030 with the UK at the heart of industry skills and capability as well as being a major exporter of new technology, the  Southern North Sea 2018 Conference in Norwich was told this week by the co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council. Benj Sykes, from Ørsted - which works in the East of England on Hornsea Project Three -  said the export value of the industry was estimated to be worth £2.5 billion annually by 2030 and to double by 2050. He pointed to the rapidly declining costs of offshore wind, adding:"Coastal communities are already being regenerated by the growth of offshore wind, with massive scope for more, creating skilled jobs and attracting investment and business relocation." Meanwhile, supply chain opportunities for firms in the region on the decommissioning of one of the country’s oldest oil and gas fields - the Hewlett Field in the Southern North Sea, where production started in 1969 - were highlighted at the conference which is organised by the East of England Energy Group. Simon Gray, CEO of EEEG, said: “There is now a very positive air in the industry with projects and opportunities right to the end of the life and decommissioning.”

Briefly...

Investor interest in commercial property

The freehold of two tenanted commercial units on Homefield Road in Haverhill, Suffolk has been sold to a private investor for £2.2 million through the Cambridge office of agent Barker Storey Matthews. It has a combined rent of £165,000 per annum with a net initial yield of 7 per cent and covers 29,052 sq ft. The tenants are Radford Group and Cambridge Nanotherm. Barker Storey Matthews’ director, Ben Green said the sale illustrates the strength of investors’ interest in the commercial property market, particularly the industrial sector. Separately, Viking House, a 1.3 acre site with an industrial warehouse of almost 23,000 sq ft in Peterborough’s Eastern Industry district has been sold to Watling JCB for £1.275 million, says Barker Storey Matthews who acted for the vendor.

Main road opens on business park

The new main estate road at Suffolk Park, Bury has been opened by Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury BC. It has been completed along with all water, electricity, gas, drainage and telecoms services together with landscaping at the 114-acre park. Meanwhile, two major speculative units totalling 350,000 sq ft will be completed by the year-end to meet strong demand and a deal for the sale of a 7.5-acre site to a local employer for expansion is due to be announced. Ben Oughton, development director at Jaynic, said: “The opening of the main estate road, infrastructure services and landscaping brings Suffolk Park a step closer to creating a complete working environment for occupiers and, in addition to local company Treatt who will be building its new global HQ on the park’s enterprise zone, negotiations are progressing well with other companies.”

Photo (l-r): Jason Newman, Cllr John Griffiths, Ben Oughton, Nic Rumsey

See Profile Suffolk Park

In brief...

New route launches support record numbers at Stansted

London Stansted Airport saw a record 2.3 million passengers use the airport in April, an 8.1 per cent increase on the month last year and boosted by new routes and airlines as well as extra seats on offer. Passenger numbers rose by 7.1 per cent in the year to April. Growth from Jet2.com and Ryanair made up many of the extra 1.2 million seats available and two new airlines Primera Air and WOW air launched long-haul flights to the USA. Air Corsica also arrived at the airport. Emirates’ daily service to Dubai from Stansted launches in the next month.

Housing in demand

Keepmoat Homes has launched the second phase of its Roman Fields development on Manor Drive in Peterborough, which will involve 450 new homes. Work started in September and the house builder says demand is high with 24 homes now sold after the first phase of 87 new homes were all occupied. The second phase is being built by Keepmoat in a partnership with a land consortium made up of Church Commissioners, Homes England and TWC.

Construction initiative ‘at risk’

Unite is warning that the Constructionarium project, which gives undergraduates construction experience, is at risk of closure as result of the Construction Industry Training Board’s plans to close its hq at Bircham Newton in north Norfolk and withdraw from direct construction training. Last year 900 students and 160 university staff attended the Constructionarium project at Bircham Newton. The training board’s plans include closing Bircham Newton, outsourcing more and moving its hq to Peterborough.

Finance for clean growth

Lloyds Banking Group has arranged a £2bn Clean Growth Finance scheme with new funding to help UK businesses invest in areas such as reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency and investing in low carbon vehicles. The bank has also partnered with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership to provide specialist training to over 300 relationship managers. David Oldfield, Group Director Commercial Banking, said:"By building on our commitments to help clients with discounted finance for investments in sustainable business, we will in turn support the UK’s goals for clean growth.“

Opportunities with US Air Forces

Over 150 local firms attended the US Air Force 48th Contracting Squadron’s industry engagement day last week on supply chain opportunities with the US government at RAF installations, including Lakenheath and Mildenhall. The US squadron at RAF Lakenheath, manages £145 million portfolio of routine contracts with up to £75m available for the short, medium and long term. The event was organised by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, USAFE-UK International Relations and Forest Heath DC the event at Newmarket Racecourses.

Biotech company on the move

PredictImmune, a biotech firm which is pioneering tools to guide physicians in the treatment of patients with immune-mediated disease using research from the University of Cambridge, is moving to the Babraham Research Campus. The company is expanding ahead of the launch of its first diagnostic test for IBD and recently secured an additional £4.3m investment from the Wellcome Trust. Executive chairman Andrew Sandham said: “The campus provides an extremely supportive hub for biotechnology companies to build from start-up to commercialisation, with excellent proximity to clinical and academic collaborators and strong business networking.”

Venues to showcase facilities

A total of 38 venues in and around Cambridge are showcasing their facilities for meetings, conferences and corporate dining as part of a new series of Open Doors events, organised by Meet Cambridge. Leah Gibson (photo, right) from Meet Cambridge said:“Feedback from previous Open Doors events shows that offering a compact programme really does work and not only can several venues be seen in one go, all the arrangements are made too.” Open Doors will run through 2018-2019, with the first events on 30th May at Sturmer Hall Hotel & Conference Centre, Granta Centre and IWM Duxford. Further details and to book a place go to : https://www.meet-cambridge.com/news/open-doors-2018

New associates at law firm

Ashtons Legal has appointed six new associates in the firm who have completed the Ashtons’ Associateship Development Programme. They are Francesca Easter from the firm’s family law team in Norwich, Fiona Ouzman from residential property in Cambridge, Alexandra Chater from commercial property in Ipswich, Paul Humphries from the court of protection team based in Thetford, Rhian Brook from the commercial property team in Cambridge and Sarah Duncan from the firm’s construction team in Ipswich. Ashtons CEO Edward O’Rourke said: “It is always rewarding to be able to promote talented team members from within the firm. These appointments take the number of associates in the firm to 34 – together with our 34 partners, they are working to meet a wide range of legal needs across the region and beyond.”

Cleaning specialist secures quality standards

Colchester-based contract cleaning specialist Monthind Clean has marked 26 consecutive years as an ISO-certified business with the award of ISO 9001:2015 certification for its quality standards and ISO 14001:2015 for its commitment to the environment. Andy Flatman, business services manager at Monthind Clean, said: “We are really proud that our commitment to quality standards has been recognised once again. It is testament to both our company and the thousand-plus people working for us across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, who have the same ethos for delivering excellence and a commitment to our environmental footprint.”

Quality standard for freight specialist

Freight specialist, Jordon has secured the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard which enables the firm to offer a comprehensive set of logistics solutions ranging from collection, to the tracking and delivery of full or part loads across Europe and the UK. Felixstowe-based compliance specialaists, VARTAN, led Jordon through the quality management system accreditation process, which started in early 2017. Jordan director Jon Swallow said: “By applying Jordon’s ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System to whatever post-Brexit scenario the UK ends up with, not only will our industry-best service levels be maintained; we will be able to demonstrate our ability to quickly adapt to changing requirements."

Investors in People gold for recruitment firm

Professional recruitment firm Pure has been awarded an Investors in People Gold Award. The firm, which has offices in Cambridge, Norwich, Ipswich and Chelmsford, was described as a ‘growing, forward-thinking company that prides itself on being a values-led organisation in a market where by far the majority are financially led’. Gill Buchanan, chief operating officer at Pure, said: “Our focus is on establishing long-term relationships as trusted advisors and our targets are focused on outcomes rather than making a quick return.”

Innovative new events space at Cambridge College

Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge has unveiled plans for a new and innovative events space in the city centre, offering potential for organisers of conferences, meetings and dinners. Acropolis At Caius, is a marquee structure in the college’s gardens on its West Road site. The 2,150 sq ft facility will provide a setting for a wide range of events and will be available from July 2019 for a 15-month period whilst some of the college’s kitchen and dining facilities are refurbished. It will provide outdoor views into the gardens mirroring the open aspect of the Acropolis and can seat up to 140 on round tables for dinner, up to 100 cabaret style and 180 theatre style. Eve Stupart, conference manager at Gonville & Caius said: “Launching our new events space is an exciting initiative for us, enabling organisers to enjoy a stunning and novel setting which will enhance meetings, conferences and dinners. It will also allow us to hold christmas parties – both private events and joiner party nights – in this atmospheric environment. In the Summer, the surrounding gardens will provide a perfect backdrop for drinks receptions and outdoor events.” An open event is being held on Wednesday 11th July from 4.00-6.00pm.

Photo: The team at Gonville & Caius (l to r) : Andrew Gair, estates manager; Jennifer Phillips, operations director; Ricardo Soares, director of catering; Eve Stupart, conference & events manager; Simon Gascoyne, deputy conference manager; Laura Webb, conference coordinator; and Christophe Benedetti, deputy catering manager.