BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

December 8, 2016

Stuart Turner acquires TWS

Stuart Turner acquires TWS Published:  14 April, 2016 Shower and water boosting pump manufacturer Stuart Turner Ltd has acquired Trentclyde Water Solutions Trentclyde Water Solutions trades as TWS – The Total Water Solutions Company, and offers products to improve low mains water pressure and flow in residential and light commercial

Read More »

Workers say office has positive effect on mental health

24 August 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal A study released by international real estate adviser Savills and the British Council for Offices (BCO) shows that almost half (46 per cent) of office workers think the office has a positive effect on their mental health.  Another 40 per cent think it has

Read More »

5 reasons EU property investment is still a good buy for Britons

The prospect of Brexit has triggered some Britons to defer plans to move to a European Union country or purchase a second home in EU destinations, such as Spain or Portugal. Conversely, many Britons are continuing with their planned property purchase. No-one knows if – or to what extent –

Read More »

Moneypenny Report Shows British Builders Missing Out on Business

According to the latest report from Moneypenny, the telephone answering service, British builders are missing out on work because of their failure to answer their phone calls. The study showed that 33% of builders in Britain are letting the calls go through to voicemail or ringing out, while 41% of

Read More »

CVO Fire Secures Six Figure Investment from UK Steel Enterprise

Newton Aycliffe-based CVO Fire has secured a six-figure investment from UK Steel Enterprise to support a management buyout. Now headed by Directors Paul Stocks and Michelle Bailey, the fireplace company says it is now embarking on plans to grow its customer base, workforce and showroom network. The business’ burner developed

Read More »

Construction Starts on £32m West Calder High School

Building work is underway on the new £32 million West Calder High School. The new school will be home to 1,000 pupils and is set to open in 2018. It will include a floodlit 3G sports pitch, a swimming pool and sports facilities to be used by both the school

Read More »

Wisewood Interiors Closes Down After Debt Crisis

Sheffield interiors company, Wisewood Interiors, has shut down after being hit hard by a bad debt. The firm was established in 2010 and serviced construction contracts throughout the UK for major supermarkets. Managing Director Andrew Hartley established the company as a provider of drylining, suspended ceilings and partitions and had

Read More »

Galliford Try Appointed to £40m Arena Central Birmingham Scheme

Uxbridge based construction firm Galliford Try has been appointed to Dandara Group’s £40 million private rental sector apartment project on the Arena Central site in central Birmingham. The contractor will build 323 apartments for private rent across two new 17 and 22-storey blocks. The development is part of a wider

Read More »

Plans Announced for Shropshire Advanced Manufacturing Training Hub

Plans for an advanced manufacturing training hub in Shropshire have been announced, with the aim of supporting ‘2020 learners by 2020’. The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), which is led by a consortium of Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, Salop Design & Engineering and training provider In-Comm,

Read More »

Cardiff Manufacturing Waste Specialist Secures £2m Funding

Santander Corporate & Commercial has financed around £2 million in growth capital funding and working capital facilities to Cardiff, Wales based Forward Waste Management (FWM). The Welsh waste and recycling firm, which offers services specifically for the manufacturing sector, will use the funding to help develop its regional waste collection

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

December 8, 2016

Stuart Turner acquires TWS

Stuart Turner acquires TWS Published:  14 April, 2016 Shower and water boosting pump manufacturer Stuart Turner Ltd has acquired Trentclyde Water Solutions Trentclyde Water Solutions trades as TWS – The Total Water Solutions Company, and offers products to improve low mains water pressure and flow in residential and light commercial properties. Mark Williams, managing director of Stuart Turner, said: “We are delighted to welcome TWS to the Stuart Turner Group and look forward to helping them realise their ambitious growth plans over the next few years. This is an exciting time for both TWS and Stuart Turner as we combine our engineering expertise and market presence to firmly establish ourselves as the go-to market leader in this growing sector.” TWS has a patented, WRAS approved and water regulations compliant MainsBoost range of water performance systems, which provide a solution to resolving poor water performance in residential and light commercial properties. TWS already works with plumbing contractors, consultants, housing authorities, local authorities, the Ministry of Defense, housebuilders, large construction companies and plumbing merchants. Conrad Baxter, managing director of TWS, said: “We are delighted to become an integral part of Stuart Turner Ltd, this gives us the financial and strategic support required to further push the boundaries in providing the most innovative solutions to the increasing problem of low mains water pressure and flow in properties throughout the UK and ROI.” Source link

Read More »

Workers say office has positive effect on mental health

24 August 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal A study released by international real estate adviser Savills and the British Council for Offices (BCO) shows that almost half (46 per cent) of office workers think the office has a positive effect on their mental health.  Another 40 per cent think it has a positive impact on their physical health.  A clear correlation is shown between those who say they have less control over the setup and design of their working environment and those who report negative physical and mental health scores.   The report, What Workers Want, polled 1,132 office workers across the UK, asking employees what factors they look for in a workplace, and to what extent they believe that their current environment satisfies those requirements.  Those who work in a private office, as opposed to an open-plan one, are more likely to say it has a positive impact on their mental health (50 per cent opposed to 45 per cent)  and women are more likely to respond positively than men (48 per cent to 45 per cent).  The survey also asked about physical health, with 40 per cent of respondents saying the office also has a positive effect on their physical state, with 30 per cent saying it has a negative effect.  What Workers Want highlights the strong correlation between having control over one’s working environment and mental and physical health. Workers who say they had little or no control over their environment are far more likely to say the environment has a detrimental impact on both their mental and physical well-being.   Savills also compares respondents’ satisfaction with the light and temperature in their office with their views on how the office effects their mental and physical health. It was to be expected that those who are dissatisfied with their office temperature also reported that the office had a negative impact on their physical health, but the same was also true for their mental health.  Seventy-two per cent of those who said they were “very satisfied” with the temperature of their office also said the office positively affected their mental health, with only 9 per cent reporting a negative impact. In comparison, of those who said they were “‘not at all satisfied” with the office temperature, 56 per cent said the office had a negative impact on their mental health, with 24 per cent reporting a positive impact.  Steve Lang, director, of  Savills research and author of the report, said:  “Just as ‘wellness’ has become a bigger issue in wider society, it has also become a hot topic in the office, with occupiers taking steps to improve things such as natural daylight in the office in recognition that this impacts mental health. We, however, haven’t heard much about the apparent role that temperature plays in mental health.  “Given the potential knock-on effects, this needs to be looked at in more detail when designing the office. Office temperature wars are a perennial issue, but advances in technology will help: more nuanced monitoring of heat levels, climate control office chairs and integrated fans are already on the agenda and are likely to be permanent features of the office of the future.”    Jeremy Bates, head of Savills Worldwide Occupier Services, said: “That two-thirds of employees think that the office has a neutral or positive impact on their mental and physical health is very encouraging. But there is work to do to support the remaining third who say it has a negative impact.  “The fact that those who say they have more control are more likely to report better physical and mental health demonstrates the value of giving employees decision-making powers over simple aspects of the workplace — thereby empowering them. On the whole, however it’s a positive picture for the office.”   Source link

Read More »

5 reasons EU property investment is still a good buy for Britons

The prospect of Brexit has triggered some Britons to defer plans to move to a European Union country or purchase a second home in EU destinations, such as Spain or Portugal. Conversely, many Britons are continuing with their planned property purchase. No-one knows if – or to what extent – Brexit would affect the rights and overall experience of British homeowners in an EU Member State. For now, though, nothing has changed since before the Referendum. Until the UK Government officially triggers Brexit and negotiates new terms with the EU as a non-Member, it’s business as usual. Richard Way, editor of PropertyGuides.com and a homeowner in Spain, offers his thoughts, alongside five important considerations for anyone weighing up an EU property purchase right now.        1. How much can really change? “From my own perspective,” comments Richard Way, “the prospect of Brexit is an empty threat to a happy future as a second homeowner in Spain to both existing and future property owners. In the small resort where I enjoy time at my Spanish property, which lies in the just beside the picturesque Bay of Roses, people from all walks of life and of all nationalities – many of them non-EU citizens – have been enjoying life there for many years, moving freely to and fro. Brexit or no Brexit, British people will continue to be able to buy property in European countries and live in them, just like nationals from non-EU European and non-European countries have done for decades, even centuries. In my mind, I believe sufficient mutual appreciation exists between Spain and its significant number of British homeowners to minimise the potential disruption of Brexit to British homebuyers there, now and in the future – not forgetting the millions of euros that British tourists and homeowners bring into the Spanish economy every year! The same is also likely to be the case for other popular destinations with Britons, like Portugal, France and even Italy.” At worst, British expats may lose reciprocal rights to healthcare and other benefits. In the event of the UK leaving the EU, possible scenarios include: i) The UK remains in the single market, meaning Britons maintain their rights to live and work in the EU, similar to citizens from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. ii) The UK stays outside the single market, but the UK negotiates terms with individual EU countries, such as Spain, leading to legislation giving Britons similar rights to those they currently have as EU citizens. iii) The UK stays outside the single market, and Britons acquire similar rights to non-European nationals buying or moving there, such as Australians or Americans. So, in the event of Brexit, we’d essentially be treated like any other non-EU, non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens, Americans and Australians, for example. The worst case scenario is that this may mean additional paperwork for securing your residency, potentially needing more paperwork in order to get visas, and this may mean a few more forms to fill in to own a property. Pensioners will also need to look in to healthcare contingency plans as an alternative to any reciprocal agreements that aren’t continued,” continues Way. The best case scenario is that Spain introduces new rules providing British property buyers and expats with similar rights to those that we enjoy currently as EU citizens, so, in this instance, nothing really changes. The other more unlikely scenario would be for the UK to adopt a similar stance to Norway and join the EEA, providing what are essentially the same automatic rights to buy a home, work and reside within EU countries that exist now. Swiss citizens already have this status in the EU, for example. So in this case, again, nothing would really change. What comes to mind looking at these potential scenarios is the fact that British homebuyers have not been deterred from buying in popular non-EU member destinations – such as Turkey, Florida, Dubai, or Cape Verde – and these destinations’ growing popularity is also reassuring.”  Valued customers Overseas property owners make a significant contribution to the local economy, and indeed, the social fabric of the area. Throughout the Spanish Costas, there are whole communities made up almost completely of Britons. I can’t see this all coming to an end, needlessly,” continues Richard Way. UK buyers account for a large percentage of property sales in key EU markets, particularly Spain, Portugal and France. In Spain, banks remain under pressure to sell repossessed property, with some leading institutions reporting that 50 percent of their sales are to Britons. Meanwhile, British homeowners contribute huge amounts to local economies across the EU, in particular in those areas with a high concentration of expats. It is unlikely Spain and other countries will want to lose this stream of revenue.     Cheap mortgages With European Central Bank interest rates at historic lows, European banks continue to offer very cheap mortgages, including to non-resident buyers. For example, fixed rates of 2-3 percent for a repayment mortgage are not uncommon in France and Spain, depending on the term. Banks expect to be able to offer these deals to UK buyers for the time being. And after Brexit, while the loan to value available might fall, the deals will remain very competitive. “I’m also hearing positive comments from experts within the overseas property industry,” Way notes. Spanish banks are still under pressure to dispense with repossessed properties ‘as speedily as possible to balance their books,’ as one experienced estate agent who sells these kinds of properties for one of the largest banks in Spain commented to me. His contact at the bank said the long term outlook for Brits buying Spanish property is likely to remain similar, however, short-term, the mortgage LTV available to British buyers could see a reduction of as much as 50 percent for new-builds or resales, but rates are likely to remain high for bank repossessions, which he believes are likely to stay at around the 100 percent mark.”     Value for

Read More »

Moneypenny Report Shows British Builders Missing Out on Business

According to the latest report from Moneypenny, the telephone answering service, British builders are missing out on work because of their failure to answer their phone calls. The study showed that 33% of builders in Britain are letting the calls go through to voicemail or ringing out, while 41% of building contractors did not answer the phone, according to the Small Business Call Report 2016, which also showed that most callers (69%) refuse to leave a voicemail message. Moneypenny has warned that this can have a huge negative impact on their revenue, as the value of each missed call having a significant impact on its bottom line, in particular in the current economic climate. Co-founder and Director of Moneypenny, Ed Reeves, commented: “Quite simply, a customer getting through to a voicemail instead of a person is like tearing up money. It’s akin to walking into a shop with no one at the till. Buyers simply ring the next supplier on the list. “Pretty much every prospective customer hangs up at an answer message, yet so many businesses, especially those run from mobiles, have no solution in place. UK SMEs are losing a fortune in business opportunities, and our dependency on operating our business from our mobiles is making things worse.” The study shows that those who let their calls go through to voicemail are also letting themselves down with their message greeting. More than half (54%) of micro businesses are still relying on a standard network voicemail greeting without making reference to their business. 300 micro businesses (with 0-9 employees) took part in the survey, which includes building contractors and construction workers, and an examination of Moneypenny’s own call data from 10,000 businesses. Reeves added: “Customers use phone enquiries differently nowadays; a phone call is no longer a research tool – that’s handled by social media, websites or email – instead it’s the final reassurance prior to a purchase.”

Read More »

CVO Fire Secures Six Figure Investment from UK Steel Enterprise

Newton Aycliffe-based CVO Fire has secured a six-figure investment from UK Steel Enterprise to support a management buyout. Now headed by Directors Paul Stocks and Michelle Bailey, the fireplace company says it is now embarking on plans to grow its customer base, workforce and showroom network. The business’ burner developed and patented technology, which is hand-built in County Durham, allows customers to have a gas fire without needing a chimney or a catalytic convertor. The UK Steel Enterprise investment came from the Tata Steel business support-subsidiary’s Equity Growth Scheme, backed by the government’s Regional Growth Fund. Paul Stocks said: “Our buy-out and expansion plans would have been very difficult to achieve without this investment and backing from UK Steel Enterprise. We looked at a number of funding sources but UKSE was the best option for us. “We are already creating at least two additional sales posts early in the New Year and expect additional production and other jobs to follow. “We have a really committed production team here and they are currently working flat-out to complete pre-Christmas orders. Our order book is also looking very healthy well into 2017.” Michelle Bailey added: “We are planning to develop our network of UK dealers and our European market and open two more of our own FireVault showrooms in London and the Midlands.“ Sarah Thorpe of investor UK Steel Enterprise commented: “We were introduced to the company by Sam Condren of accountants Barkley Jonson and have also been working alongside the company’s other advisers Angus Allan at Clive Owen & Co and Nik Tunley of Endeavour Partnership. “It has been another example of successful teamwork that has resulted in a business with real potential getting the support and investment it needs to exploit its opportunities and create valuable jobs.“

Read More »

Construction Starts on £32m West Calder High School

Building work is underway on the new £32 million West Calder High School. The new school will be home to 1,000 pupils and is set to open in 2018. It will include a floodlit 3G sports pitch, a swimming pool and sports facilities to be used by both the school and wider community. Pupils joined Cathy Muldoon, the council deputy leader, along with education executive vice chairman David Dodds at the site to mark the occasion. Representatives from Hub South East, West Lothian Council and builders Morrison Construction were also in attendance. Cllr Muldoon commented: “It’s fantastic to see work start on the new West Calder High School, with a good deal of activity now taking place to get the site ready for construction. “We are investing over £100 million in education infrastructure projects to ensure West Lothian children have the best possible learning environment. West Lothian already has one of the best school estates in the country and our ongoing investment will build on this.” Plans for the £32 million school were officially approved in June, which is West Lothian Council’s largest ever single investment in education. It was developed through Hub South East Scotland, with Morrison Construction appointed to build the new school. Councillor Fitzpatrick said: “I’m delighted to see the project to deliver the new £32 million West Calder High School, the council’s largest ever investment in education, is progressing well. “The modern, high-quality school will be a fantastic resource for local young people, providing an ideal learning environment for them to achieve their full potential. “This investment will help ensure that West Lothian continues to have one of the best school estates in Scotland. “The construction work phase will also provide valuable training and job opportunities for local residents. “At its peak, 70-100 people will be employed on site, with up to an additional 10 full-time positions being created.”

Read More »

Wisewood Interiors Closes Down After Debt Crisis

Sheffield interiors company, Wisewood Interiors, has shut down after being hit hard by a bad debt. The firm was established in 2010 and serviced construction contracts throughout the UK for major supermarkets. Managing Director Andrew Hartley established the company as a provider of drylining, suspended ceilings and partitions and had enjoyed success in securing contracts with national retailers such as The Co-Op, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi. However, Lisa Hogg and Kelly Burton of Sheffield business turnaround experts Wilson Field, were appointed as joint administrators on November 21. They advised that the best course of action was to close down the six year old business, based on Wisewood Road in Sheffield, with all seven jobs set to be lost. Director and Insolvency Practitioner at Wilson Field, Kelly Burton commented: “Historically, the company offered its services to a range of retailers but suffered from a sizeable bad debt. “The director took advice from Wilson Field with the business being forced to close.” Operating on a national basis and based in Sheffield, Wisewood Interiors was established to provide a competitive suspended ceiling service to private customers and main contractors, with an emphasis on reliability and quality. The company soon expanded to cover extra core activities. Among these were all interior drywall systems, together with traditional hand applied and machine applied projection plaster and render systems. Meanwhile, a campaign to save Sheffield’s derelict Old Town Hall and Courtrooms has been given a funding boost. Friends of the Old Town Hall campaigned for two years to save and restore the Grade II-listed Waingate building, which has been on and off the property market. The group has been awarded £7,700 Lottery funding to set up a charitable trust and help preserve the building. Chairperson Valerie Bayliss said Sheffield’s origins were on that site. Ms Bayliss said: “The original settlement was down by the confluence of the Rivers Don and Sheaf, with the castle from the 13th to the 17th centuries. “Old maps show Sheffield began in this patch and spread out over the centuries.”

Read More »

Galliford Try Appointed to £40m Arena Central Birmingham Scheme

Uxbridge based construction firm Galliford Try has been appointed to Dandara Group’s £40 million private rental sector apartment project on the Arena Central site in central Birmingham. The contractor will build 323 apartments for private rent across two new 17 and 22-storey blocks. The development is part of a wider regeneration of the area and will sit next to the Alpha Tower, adjacent to Holliday Street. Galliford Try is already on site at Arena Central, constructing the 220,000 sq ft office building for bank HSBC, and the new contract builds on its presence in Birmingham, with construction also progressing at the new Conservatoire for Birmingham City University at Millennium Point. Managing director for Galliford Try Building West Midlands, Simon Burton, commented: “It is great news that we have been able to conclude a contract with Dandara for this prestigious new development. “The PRS sector is seen by many in the industry to have potential for real growth, and we are delighted to have our strong track record of providing high-quality housing recognised in this way.” Sean O’Connor, Dandara’s project director, added: “This project will create numerous local employment opportunities and we look forward to working with Galliford Try to deliver these 323 high quality PRS apartments in the city centre.” The Birmingham project is part of an estimated £400 million investment by Dandara in PRS, which includes also includes schemes in Leeds and Manchester. Last month Galliford Try won a £44 million contract for a retirement village in Bedford. The new £44m village will feature 230 mixed-tenure apartments, alongside a range of communal facilities, including a village hall, library and IT suite, bar and bistro, fitness gym, hairdressing and beauty salon and shop. The development marks the tenth occasion that Partnerships has worked with the charity on a retirement village, with new projects at Longbridge, Stoke Gifford and High Wycombe currently on site.

Read More »

Plans Announced for Shropshire Advanced Manufacturing Training Hub

Plans for an advanced manufacturing training hub in Shropshire have been announced, with the aim of supporting ‘2020 learners by 2020’. The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), which is led by a consortium of Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, Salop Design & Engineering and training provider In-Comm, will provide a “high-tech environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology”, which will involve working on real life manufacturing situations. Supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, work will start on fitting out the 36,000 sq ft building on the Stanmore Industrial Estate in January 2017, with plans in place to create dedicated fabrication, foundry, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections, as well as a specialist CNC Zone and spray booth/mixing capabilities. There will also be an auditorium lecture theatre, bespoke learning environments, five vehicle ramps and a rolling road test facility. It will look to support 2020 learners between now and 2020 and this will largely involve developing apprentices in advanced manufacturing and engineering, giving employers a strong pool of skills to tap into as they continue to compete globally. In addition to this, there will also be capacity to work with 400 companies on developing existing manufacturing professionals up to Level 7 qualifications, covering business improvement techniques, team leadership, vehicle body repair and paint, vehicle body building, technical development, quality and continuous improvement. Matthew Snelson, director of Grainger & Worrall and managing director of the MCMT, said: “We believe the MCMT is critical to closing the skills gap for Shropshire businesses, but we are under no illusions that we will need the rest of local industry, education and training to play their part. This could be through informing how the provision develops, using the services and even offering time and expertise to help with delivering some of the learning.”

Read More »

Cardiff Manufacturing Waste Specialist Secures £2m Funding

Santander Corporate & Commercial has financed around £2 million in growth capital funding and working capital facilities to Cardiff, Wales based Forward Waste Management (FWM). The Welsh waste and recycling firm, which offers services specifically for the manufacturing sector, will use the funding to help develop its regional waste collection and processing facilities extending from South Wales to the West Midlands. Established in 2006, FWM provides an end-to-end service to UK manufacturers, including the management of hazardous waste materials. With a substantial increase in environmental regulation over the past decade, FWM said that it has expanded significantly as the demands on its clients have grownenabling it to capitalise by advising clients on their total waste management strategy via a single point of contact. The firm’s current clients include British Airways, Ricardo, Federal Mogul, Sony and Actavis. The Growth Capital funding from Santander is being used in particular to fund FWM’s operations in the West Midlands as the business develops a growing customer base in the region. Santander’s Growth Capital loans are targeted at businesses with annual turnovers of up to £50 million which have a demonstrated history of high year-on-year growth in turnover, profit or employment.  The facility is part of the bank’s Breakthrough support programme, which is aimed at fast-growth, ambitious businesses and includes funded overseas trade missions, Masterclass events and also provides graduate interns to SMEs. FWM added said that it also incorporates its own waste handling equipment division, Enviroquip, manufacturing and refurbishing a wide range of machinery including waste compactors, balers and containers. Lyndon Ward, managing director of Forward Waste Management Ltd, said: “We are a dynamic business operating in growth driven by the increasingly significant waste and recycling regulatory and compliance requirements for our customer base.” Peter Abel, Director, Growth Capital, Santander Corporate & Commercial added: “This is a business we have known and tracked for a while….  They operate in a sector with exciting opportunities.”

Read More »