Latest business articles


April 24, 2017

Warrington firm is 256th fastest-growing business in Europe


Category: Business News
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A Warrington-based firm of civil and structural engineers has been named as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe in a new Financial Times list.
ELLUC Projects Ltd, which also has offices in Warrington, Cheshire, Leeds and Redditch, Worcestershire, has been placed 256th in the new FT1000 list of European companies, with the strongest sales growth between 2012 and 2015.
The inaugural ranking of 1,000 companies from 24 countries was compiled by Statista, a market research company, in collaboration with the Financial Times, and published on 24 April.
The list shows that ELLUC’s revenue grew by 484% in the three years analysed, with a compound annual growth rate of 80%.
Louis McLoughlin, managing director and founder of ELLUC Projects, which was established in 2004, said: “We’re delighted to have been recognised for our exciting expansion across the north of England and Midlands in recent years.
“We’re very proud to be seen as one of the UK’s and Europe’s fastest-growing companies and have made even more progress in the two years since this analysis.”
ELLUC Projects’ work includes a wide range of residential and commercial projects such as traditional house building, large PFI developments, prisons, schools, universities and student accommodation.
In 2016 alone, ELLUC worked on 35,000 residential units, 14 schools, nine commercial developments, four hotel and leisure developments, four industrial schemes, three extra care facilities, two prisons, two universities, two hospitals and two flood relief schemes.
Mr McLoughlin added: “The ELLUC team has quickly gained a strong reputation for moving fast but accurately, and always efficiently delivering just what the client requires.
“We now look forward to more fast growth in the next few years.”

Ends (275 words)

For more information, contact:

Louis McLoughlin, Managing Director,
ELLUC Projects Ltd, Head Office: 760 Mandarin Court, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1GG
01925 243333

Email: info@ellucprojects.co.uk
Website: www.ellucprojects.co.uk
Twitter : @EllucProjects

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson of ASAP PR, 0781 8004575



September 29, 2016

Corporate clothing company ‘wearing well’ thanks to software boost


Category: Business News
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Birmingham's leading manufacturer and supplier of corporate clothing and uniforms for the security, retail, hospitality and corporate workwear industry, Corporatewear UK has made a major investment in specialist software aimed at driving the business forward.
And the company which counts the likes of Harrods among its clients says the injection of an undisclosed but significant sum is already beginning to pay off.
Managing director Pawan Kenth said: “It allows us to offer an unrivalled customer experience with access to real-time stock, sales profile and finance data, our clients benefit in reducing soft costs, saving time and valuable resources.
“The technology is specifically geared towards the growing needs of the clothing sector in the world today. I don’t want to risk giving too much away to our competitors by being specific on figures, but it is money well spent.
“In addition, we are competitive on price, offer excellent customer service, we do our embroidery and printing in-house and put together it all provides an edge on faster turnaround, enabling us to deliver where others fail.”
The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Sales Force Automation (SFA) software allows multi-stream sales order capture, production, distribution and financial management, all in one place.
The Highgate firm has been named as a preferred supplier to Harrods and has won business from Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Other prestige clients include BMW, De Vere Hotels, ADT, Interserve, Aston Villa FC, Drayton manor theme park, and many other household names.
One of the early pioneers of the Midlands clothing industry, Corporatewear UK was established in 1990.
Mr Kenth says the rise in demand for branded corporate clothing, high visibility clothing, leisurewear, hospitality and security uniforms, is part down to the buoyant automotive sector. But the firm enjoys a diverse order book including the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham City Football Club.
“We have an aggressive growth strategy, a tight-knit but rising numbers of employees and a successful formula,” he added.

Ends (321 words)

For further information, please contact:
Pawan Kenth, Managing Director,
Corporatewear UK plc, Corporate House, 2 Athole Street, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0DA

0121 446 2610

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786 or mobile 07990 978257



January 12, 2016

WriteNow delivers words when you want


Category: Business News
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ASAP PR is expanding its WriteNow service to offer fast delivery of tightly written copy to marketing companies, professional firms, businesses and public sector organisations across the West Midlands.
Managing director Andy Skinner said the firm had always offered an ad hoc writing service, plus holiday and maternity leave cover, for hard pressed press offices, PR firms and marketing businesses, but a growth in demand for its services had led to the decision to “go public”.
“WriteNow was the fastest growing sector of our business in 2015, and we now deliver copy for press releases, websites, brochures and a variety of print and other marketing materials,” he said.
“Where needed, this can be offered in as little as a one hour turnaround, but invariably within two working days.
“We offer complete discretion and are happy to sign any non-compete agreements to avoid any confusion or potential client poaching.
“What your client gets is fast delivery of the words they want, from you, when they want them.”
ASAP PR was set up in 1999 by former Business Report editor Andy Skinner and its writing team includes John Duckers, formerly business editor for the Birmingham Post before joining the ASAP team in 2008.
“Changing times in the media means that we have access to a broad spectrum of journalists with a wide range of writing skills on many topics,” said Andy Skinner.
“Typically, we can help out smaller PR companies who find they have logjams of writing requirements, or we can provide specialist writing skills in legal and financial areas, such as insolvencies, corporate finance and financial services.
“Where organisations ranging from utilities to public sector bodies and professional firms need holiday or maternity cover, we can drop in as required,” he said.
ends



June 1, 2015

Global accreditation sees BST Supplies looking to the east


Category: Business News
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Pic cap: Managing director James Mee, second from right, with his winning team, (left to right) Steve Webb, improvement engineer, Reiss Bills, test house technician, Paul Bate, Tim Reade, test house team leader and John Yorke, quality manager

Global accreditation sees BST Supplies looking to the east

Wolverhampton specialist fastenings manufacturer BST Supplies Ltd is now accredited to supply all the leading companies throughout the world in the subsea oil and gas, nuclear, power generation, defence and marine sector.
Managing director James Mee said: “We now have the last two pieces in the jigsaw and we are working with all the main wellhead completion systems companies across the globe.”
Achieving recent accreditations by two major customers and by the national body United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has been an 18 month mission for staff at the Bushbury business in Wolverhampton.
As well as acquiring further customer accreditations, BST Supplies has also commissioned and opened its own UKAS accredited laboratory, meaning it can now offer testing in-house to ISO/IEC 17025 as an autonomous facility outside of the manufacturing and production operations.
ISO/IEC 17025 was first issued in 1999 by the International Organisation for Standardisation and the International Electrotechnical Commission.
It is the single most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world. Laboratories that are accredited to this international standard have demonstrated that they are technically competent and able to produce precise and accurate test and/or calibration data.
The new laboratory has led to the immediate creation of three further jobs, taking total staffing to 109 on-site, plus three young staff on the company apprenticeship scheme.
Mr Mee also announced that after eight years working in the Asia market, BST Supplies Ltd is to appoint a full time representative based in Malaysia.
“Asia already contributes £1.6 million to our annual turnover of around £10 million and we feel that this is a market that we can continue to grow,” he said.
The business already works extensively in the Scandinavian market and last year appointed a representative in Norway to cover the region.
In recent years, BST has added countries such as Indonesia and Australia to an impressive overseas customer list which includes Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, Norway, Germany, France, Angola, Poland and the USA.
BST Supplies Ltd was founded in 1988 as an independent family business and has grown into a world leading manufacturer of high quality, fully traceable fasteners for a host of critical applications in a range of sectors characterised by hostile environments.

Ends (368 words)

For further information, please contact:

James Mee, Managing Director,
BST Supplies Ltd, Zenith, Fordhouse Road, Bushbury, Wolverhampton, WV10 9FB

01902 724800

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP – 01789 490786, mobile – 07990 978257.

Editor’s Notes

BST Supplies Ltd manufactures precision special fasteners, threaded and machined components, and these high integrity products are supplied to customer design and specification and so the range of components is unlimited.



April 17, 2015

Metro acquired by Asha’s owners


Category: Business News
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Pic cap: Brandasia director Jaimon George with Metro executive chef Michael Smith and general manager Karen Parris

One of Birmingham’s most iconic and successful bar restaurants has changed hands.
Metro Bar and Grill in Cornwall Street, recognised as the place where “deals get done” by the property, banking and professional community, has been acquired by Brandasia Group for an undisclosed sum.
Brandasia also operate “Asha’s”, the celebrated award-winning Indian restaurant in the city centre. Asha’s are also due to open in Manchester later this year and have outlets in Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahran and Abu Dhabi.
Brandasia will retain the Metro Bar concept and intend to grow on the business further with the introduction of a new menu and specialist cocktail bar.
Brandasia director Pawan Kenth said: “The opportunity to acquire one of Birmingham’s more celebrated eateries which has a legendary status in the local community, was simply too good to miss.
“It ties in with our strategy to build a significant quality food and drink business in the city centre and complements our Asha’s restaurant in Newhall Street. We hope to add to the existing outlets with future acquisitions in the near future.”
Jaimon George, director of Brandasia, commented: “There are no radical plans to change Metro, a celebrated haunt of dealmakers, who are all back in Metro doing deals, in a thriving Birmingham city centre economy.
“Metro Bar is located in the heart of the professional quarter and has gone from strength to strength since opening back in 1997’
Metro employs 15 staff, who will all be retained.
Law firms Higgs acted for Brandasia and Metro was advised by Tyndallwoods.

Ends (275 words)
For further information, please contact:
Pawan Kenth,
Brandasia,
07770 225396

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.



March 31, 2015

Government Minister opens new design and technology teacher skills centre


Category: Business News
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Pic cap: Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP for Bromsgrove officially opens the new skills centre at HME Technology, with (left to right) chairman Martyn Hale, MD Julian Davis and Richard Green of DATA

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has opened a new centre to help inspire the pupils and teachers of tomorrow.
He told guests at the launch at HME Technology of Saxon Park, Bromsgrove, that during his time as an MP one of his biggest passions had been supporting business, particularly local businesses.
HME Technology supplies design and technology equipment to schools throughout the UK and abroad.
Aided by a five figure grant from the Business Innovation Programme, which promotes innovation across the West Midlands by helping SMEs to grow through investment and job creation, the company has opened a new centre which supports and mentors the upskilling of design and technology teachers.
The new centre is part of a three pronged programme which also includes the production of teacher “task sheets” designed to support design and technology teachers deliver the curriculum at key stage 3 and 4, ages 11 to 14, with the unique emphasis on a range of machines in a workshop. The concept is to deliver innovative thinking.
The third initiative is with the Imagineering Foundation to complete two new kits based on a project with Jaguar Land Rover. These are designed for primary school learning at Key Stage 2 covering design and technology and science.
Welcoming Sajid Javid, HME Technology chairman Martyn Hale said that through the new skills centre, design and technology teachers have access to the latest equipment and be well versed in current health and safety practices when delivering curriculum.
“When they leave here, we want teachers to be inspired to teach the latest techniques to the next generation and give our young people the chance to be aspirational and creational towards engineering,” he said.
Welcoming the new initiatives by HME Technology, Richard Green, chief executive of DATA, the Design & Technology Association, said the company had created a unique facility.
“We are not aware of another facility like this. Most teachers’ initial training takes place over one year so facilities like this where they can continue their professional development are a real bonus.
“Design and technology is going through challenges in schools at present. There has been a 50 per cent decline in students studying D&T at GCSE, and this is extremely worrying.
“The fact that it is not a core subject under the Progress 8 programme for schools that will be introduced in September 2016 is a matter of real concern.
“And the fact that we were 1,000 D&T teachers short in the last September intake merely compounds the problem.
“There is a new design and technology GCSE planned for 2017, but the concern is that too many schools could have lost the opportunity to teach D&T by then.”
The new D&T teachers skills centre at HME Technology has been fully accredited by DATA.
Founded in 1984, HME Technology supplies products including forges, brazing hearths, furnaces, welding tables, fume extraction systems, kilns, woodworking equipment, wood dust extraction systems, metal finishing and CNC machines.
It is a champion of design and technology in education, fighting to keep the subject at the forefront of learning.
Employing 20 people, it has been awarded a five-figure sum by BIP in order to complete three innovative schemes.
Martyn Hale added: “Historically, teacher understanding and knowledge was linked to universities but the Coalition Government has sought to direct ‘specialist’ schools to offer the facility.
“As a manufacturer we consider that with the range of machines we supply, and more importantly the health and safety aspect of operating some of the larger ones, we have the ideal location and resource to deliver a recognised learning programme.
“Design & Technology is a subject that offers a future for children in employment. It is vital to the economy because it supports innovation, technological development, skills and engineering of all kinds.”
The £8.7 million BIP programme offers match-funded grants of up to £30,000 to SMEs employing up to 249 staff throughout the region – Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the West Midlands.
The grant is aimed at B2B (Bbusiness to business) companies who are involved in environment and energy technologies, rail, IT and digital, digital media, medical technologies, aerospace, business and professional services, building technologies, food and drink, advanced materials and manufacturing.
BIP is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered through Birmingham City Council, and in partnership with the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
For more information, visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/bip.

Ends (740 words)

For further information, please contact:
Julian Davis, Managing Director,
HME Technology, Priory House, Saxon Park, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4AD.
Tel: 01527 839000
www.hme-tech.com

Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, or mobile 07791 978705

Notes to Editors:

HME Technology is the market leader in design and technology and science equipment in schools. With over 25 years experience in the trade, it has established a solid reputation for high quality products and services. It is a turnkey supplier, installer and manufacturer of products for brazing, welding, casting, forging and soldering, polishing, grinding, drilling and finishing of resistant materials, millers, routers and lathes in manual and combined CNC systems, enamelling, pottery and jewellery, fume cupboards for science work, heat and fume extraction ductwork, wood dust collection units and bespoke classroom layouts.



November 3, 2014

Phil calls it a day after 51 years as Karl steps up


Category: Business News
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Pictured: Redditch Golf Club captain Phil Guise presents Phil Thornton with a new set of clubs and lifetime membership of the club

Redditch Golf Club has said “au revoir” rather than farewell to its head greenkeeper who logged 51 years’ service with the club before he retired this autumn.
But now Phil Thornton is already back at the club in his retirement and has undertaken to look after the garden areas surrounding the clubhouse.
He has also been made an honorary member of the club and was presented with a set of clubs by grateful members and club captain Phil Guise following a testimonial day held at the Lower Grinsty Lane club.
“To record 51 years in any job, let alone the same one, is pretty incredible these days and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Phil for over five decades of hard work,” said Mr Guise.
His place as head greenkeeper has been taken by Karl Williams, who was the successful candidate from a huge number of applications.
He moves across from North Worcestershire Golf Club and according to club captain Phil Guise was the “stand out candidate”.
“We had 78 applications and we chose Karl purely on ability,” he said.

Ends (182 words)

For further information, please contact:

Laura Bailey in the Club Secretary’s office,
Redditch Golf Club, Lower Grinsty Lane, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire B97 5PJ

01527 543079

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786 or mobile 07990 978257.




May 20, 2014

Redditch greenkeeper Harvey shows he is a cut above the rest


Category: Business News
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Redditch Golf Club greenkeeper Harvey Brooke has been chosen to work at the 2014 British Open at Royal Liverpool.
Every year the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association picks a select few to support the local greenkeeping team at the Open venue.
The support team was whittled down from 142 applications from all around the world.
He will join the cream of greenkeeping staff working to ensure the course is in tip top condition before the annual British championship which this year is being held at Royal Liverpool from July 17-20.
Club captain Phil Guise said: “This is a tremendous achievement and very well deserved. Harvey works as part of an excellent green-keeping team at Redditch Golf Club which is the reason we are able to enjoy our course in such a great condition."
“And with the storms and heavy rain this winter all the staff have had to work exceptionally hard to keep the course open and it is testimony to their skill and dedication that we have lost so little golfing time to the weather last year and this.”
Harvey Brooke also writes a blog which is extremely popular with Redditch members and golf fans everywhere - http://greenkeepersblog.weebly.com
He said: “To work at the Open is an honour in a greenkeeper’s career, and I look forward to learning more from the experts there on how best to present a course for such a prestigious championship."
“It will also be fantastic to be able to watch the best in the world battling it out for the old Claret Jug but I suspect I will be keeping my head down in the run up to the event, aiming to ensure the greens are in the best possible condition for the four days of the competition.”

Ends (295 words)

For further information, please contact:

Laura Hughes in the Club Secretary’s office,
Redditch Golf Club, Lower Grinsty Lane, Callow Hill, Redditch, Worcestershire B97 5PJ

01527 543079



Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786 or mobile 07990 978257.





March 17, 2014

REI doubles dividend as profits before tax leap 400 per cent


Category: Business News
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Press Release from Real Estate Investors plc

Real Estate Investors plc (REI), the Birmingham-based property investment company, has seen profits before tax up by 400 per cent in its financial year to December 31, 2013.

As a consequence, REI has been able to double its dividend payment for 2013. The company has also announced its intention to convert to a REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust – which could be as early as 2015.

Profit before tax in 2013 was up to £5 million from £1 million in 2012, with revenue up by eight per cent from £6.1 million to £6.6 million.

During the year REI sold £7 million worth of property and acquired property for £2.3 million.

Chief executive Paul Bassi said: “We are absolutely committed to investing in the Central England regions, with a focus on the West Midlands, as this is a marketplace and environment in which the management has a longstanding association and network.

“This is why we are able to build a business that will generate profits, capital growth and dividends for our shareholders.”

REI’s final results also reveal that the company now has 650,000 sq ft across 46 buildings with 150 tenants.

The business is now a major Birmingham city centre landlord, with 143,408 sq ft across nine buildings accounting for 37.2 per cent of the portfolio by value.

Other assets across the Midlands can be found in Edgbaston,, Leicester, Derby, Bromsgrove, West Bromwich, Walsall, Kings Heath, Coventry and Rugeley.

The total portfolio valuation is now £75.2 million after sales in Derby, Edgbaston, Crawley and Wakefield totalling £7 million and the acquisition of 37a Waterloo Street in Birmingham city centre for £1.8 million and Tudor House, Bridge Street in Walsall for £500,000.

Mr Bassi added: “The regional economy in the West Midlands has strengthened and re-established itself as a major economic centre.

“This improved sentiment towards the region, which was more visible in the fourth quarter of 2013 and particularly in the property sector, has revealed the early signs of improving investor appetite and economic activity.

“We believe property values and occupancy will see further positive improvement in 2014 and 2015.

“The real forward opportunity is to capitalise on our market reputation and existing resource to include cash, bank facilities and access to equity and acquire the distressed stock that the financial institutions have mothballed throughout the recession.

“REI is able to access these opportunities and the successful acquisition will provide us with opportunities to secure capital growth and continue with the Board’s intention to pay a progressive dividend,” he said.

Recent acquisitions have included properties at Waterloo Street/Bennetts Hill in Birmingham and Bridge Street, Walsall. The company’s property portfolio in Birmingham has seen 180,000 sq ft acquired during the economic downturn. Further acquisitions are anticipated during 2014.

REI completed significant lettings to the Royal College of Surgeons, Shaw Trust and Sandwell Inspired Partnership Services. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has taken a ten year lease for the fifth floor at 85-89 Colmore Row, at a rental of £74,320 per annum.

Even bad news turned into good for REI during the year when the firm was hit by the collapse of Challinors Solicitors.

Paul Bassi said: “Demand for good town centre stock was demonstrated when Challinors Solicitors went into administration and we immediately re-let floor space to Sandwell Inspired Partnership Services Ltd, a ‘not for profit co-operative’ formed by the local councils and schools.”

Sandwell Inspired Partnership Services Ltd took just under 25,000 sq ft on a ten year lease at Guardian House in West Bromwich, representing one of the largest deals in West Bromwich for a number of years, at an annual rental of £251,792.

Mr Bassi concluded: “Over the next few years as our portfolio matures, and our asset management programme completes, we will dispose of some of our assets, into an environment in which the banks are lending, and high net worth individuals, property companies and pension funds join the existing funds, public companies, insurance companies and overseas buyers from Singapore and China who are buying in our region to secure quality returns and capital growth.”

End (675 words)

For further information, please contact:

Paul Bassi CBE DL D.UNIV,
Chief Executive,
Real Estate Investors plc, Cathedral Place, 42-44 Waterloo Street, Birmingham B2 5QB.

0121 212 3446

Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP, 01789 490786..

Notes to Editors
REI is an AIM listed property investment company with a £76.8 million (as at June 30, 2013) commercial and residential portfolio principally in the West Midlands and central England.

REI is focused on delivering shareholder value through returns generated from strong yields and capital enhancements. This is achieved by targeting investments in orphaned, distressed, part-let and underperforming commercial and residential property assets.

REI is led by respected property investor Paul Bassi CBE, who has over 30 years of property experience in the West Midlands. Mr Bassi is also founder and non-executive chairman of Bond Wolfe and non-executive chairman of CPBigwood Chartered Surveyors. REI was admitted to trading on AIM in June 2004. Further information on REI can be found at www.reiplc.com



June 21, 2013

From rock guitars to electric cars, by way of moths and molecules


Category: Business News
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Pic cap: Julian Davis of HME Technology, NEW College principal John Callaghan, Peter Hill of Rolls Royce and WLEP chairman Peter Pawsey launch Sci-Tech with students Elizabeth Pittaway, Luke Anslow, Alex Troth, Gabrielle Peck, Gabriella Brandon, Rob Tovey and Gemma Bourne.

“Be inspired!” was the challenge to students from Worcestershire LEP chairman Peter Pawsey as he declared the Sci-Tech event open at the Redditch campus of NEW College.
The chairman of the county’s local enterprise partnership said he hoped the day-long celebration of science and technology would lead students attending to help alleviate a lack of scientists that he said was holding back the UK’s economy.
“I am fully aware that there is a dire shortage of scientists. Businesses in Worcestershire are telling me they are being constrained because they can’t find the right people with the right skills and qualifications.
“Today is an opportunity for you to see how scientists work in local business and industry and how you could make a difference,” he said.
The programme which was organised by Peter Hill of Rolls Royce, was supported by 12 Midlands companies including HME Technology, Zytek Automotive, West Midlands Police Forensic Science team, Honeywell-Hymatic and TIB Chemicals.
The day features presentations by guest speakers such as Dr Graeme Jones, the chemical ecologist who took students through the world of smells and pheremones in his presentation “Sex, Flies and Smelly Sticky Tape”, and the Rock Doctor, Dr Mark Lewney, who uses rock guitar licks to explain superstring theory – and has been described as a cross between Einstein and Jimi Hendrix.
As well as demonstrations and presentations, the students also faced challenges from Imagineering entitled “Hydraulics for frolics”, a competition in assembling and operating an hydraulic arm, a forensic challenge set by the West Midlands Police and a chemistry challenge involving chromatography.
Organiser Peter Hill hailed the day as an outstanding success.
“I was at school at what is now called Trinity High School in Redditch, I read engineering at university and I now work for Rolls Royce in Derby.
“We wanted to show students the very real connection between school, study and work.
“Today was about giving students an insight into what scientists do in industry, and we hope it has inspired those who attended to see the opportunities out there,” he said.
Julian Davis, managing director of HME Technology in Bromsgrove, who backed Sci-Tech, said he thought the day’s programme was a brilliant way of showing students in a fun but thoughtful manner how science and technology was at the very heart of the best of British industry.
“The real value in business is having ideas, innovation and the knowledge and skills to turn those ideas into goods that can come to market and be sold.
“Other nations may operate off a lower cost base than Britain, but we still lead the way in the scientific application of design and technology into making these innovative ideas work, and a pipeline of scientists and engineers is absolutely vital to ensuring that we keep our leading role in the world,” he said.
NEW College principal John Callaghan welcomed WLEP chairman Peter Pawsey and the guest presenters and students taking part and said he hoped the event would reinforce the college’s relationship with industry.

Ends (501 words)

For further information, please contact:

Julian Davis, Managing Director,

HME Technology, Priory House, Saxon Park, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4AD.

Tel: 01527 839000

www.hme-tech.com

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, or mobile 07990 978257

Notes to Editors:

HME Technology is the market leader in design and technology and science equipment in schools. With over 25 years experience in the trade, it has established a solid reputation for high quality products and services. It is a turnkey supplier, installer and manufacturer of products for brazing, welding, casting, forging and soldering, polishing, grinding, drilling and finishing of resistant materials, millers, routers and lathes in manual and combined CNC systems, enamelling, pottery and jewellery, fume cupboards for science work, heat and fume extraction ductwork, wood dust collection units and bespoke classroom layouts.











Andy Skinner, Managing Director,

ASAP Ltd, 2 Croft Court, Croft Lane, Temple Grafton,

Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PW



01789 490786



Mobile, 07990 978257



www.asap-pr.com





December 23, 2012

Worcestershire office complex goes Platinum


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Maintenance group Platinum Commercial Services is moving into a successful Midlands office scheme which is now fully let – thanks to the efforts of Redditch property agents John Truslove.
Platinum, whose clients include high street pub chains and hotels, has taken 2,397 sq ft at The Granary, Brockhill Court, a barn conversion complex between Redditch and Bromsgrove.
The firm, which offers both commercial and domestic services, is switching from the Aston Fields Industrial Estate in Bromsgrove.
Proprietor Adrian Clements noted: “With the business expanding we were looking for a bit more room.
“This is a quality facility and close by to where we are already which is convenient for both our customers and our staff. Platinum serves a wide range of clients, operating both regionally and nationally. We have a team of experienced engineers and provide a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, service.”
It offers the likes of insurance repairs, commercial, local authority and housing association work, building maintenance in hotels, pubs and clubs as well as gas and electricity checks.
At Brockhill Court it joins a variety of different enterprises ranging from a children’s nursery to a mobile web design group.
The venue is situated on a working farm owned by Keith and Eileen Tolley who provide a professional, hands-on service for their tenants which helps to create a friendly working environment.
The scheme, which was completed in 2001, comprises nine barns, originally developed with the support of a grant from former regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Ian Parker, partner at John Truslove, has first hand knowledge of Brockhill Court, having been the agent for more than a decade.
He said: “Platinum are in for a treat. Add in the benefits of having Brockhill Barn Day Nursery, two trout lakes on the farm and nine hectares of woodland let to a shooting syndicate and you really do have something for everybody!
“It is unusual to find such a peaceful enclave in the countryside which is so close to all the major road, rail and air amenities, just minutes from Redditch and Bromsgrove with big brother Birmingham right on the doorstep.
“The surroundings are breathtaking. We are thrilled that it is now fully let.”
Platinum Commercial Services has taken The Granary on a five year lease.
Ends (389 words)

For more information, please contact:

Ian Parker, Partner, John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ. Tel: 01527 584242

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, or mobile 07990 978257.



October 3, 2012

EFG-IFA’s cautious welcome for Osborne employee shares plan


Category: Business News
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The head of a leading independent financial advisory firm has questioned whether Chancellor George Osborne’s “employment rights for shares” plan will actually hit the target and produce the intended results.
John Male, managing director of EFG-IFA, said he liked the idea of creating an incentive for employers and employees to share in success.
“It is a very difficult time and we need all the inspiration and innovation we can get.
“But I question whether the take up among the small firms and entrepreneurs we need to help in order to stimulate economic growth will be as strong as the Chancellor hopes,” he said.
Under Chancellor Osborne’s proposals employees will be able to opt for a new kind of contract in which they will be given between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares that ares exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
In exchange, they will give up their UK rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy and the right to request flexible working and time off for training.
Other changes include a requirement to give 16 weeks’ notice of a specific date for return from maternity leave, instead of the current eight weeks.
The new “owner-employee” status will be optional for existing employees, this new type of contract can be offered to new joiners both by established businesses and start-ups.
Mr Osborne said the legislation to bring in the new contracts will come later this year, after a short period of consultation, so that businesses can use the new employment contract from April 2013.
John Male said: “Mr Osborne made it clear that any size of company can use this new contract but that he particularly had in mind fast growing small and medium sized companies that want to create a flexible workforce.
“But when you get into tricky legal and HR areas, I wonder whether entrepreneurs and those driving fast growth small to medium sized businesses will consider it all too difficult and complicated.
“Employment law commentators have also pointed out that the employee will need to be persuaded to give up some fairly substantial rights such as those surrounding unfair dismissal and redundancy.
“On both counts, for employers and employees, will the administrative hassle and the rights voluntarily given up prove too complicated and something that is regarded as a distraction rather than an out and out benefit for both employee and employer?”

Ends (390 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Male, Managing Director, EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited, 33 Great Charles Street, Birmingham, B3 3JN.

0121 200 2255

www.efg-ifa.com

EFG Independent Financial Advisers offers a variety of solutions encompassing personal, family and business aspects, whether for wealth protection, family assets, wealth development, wealth preservation or retirement planning. The firm has six advisers in Wolverhampton, four in Birmingham and two in London, all of the highest calibre and free to act in their clients’ best interests.

EFG Independent Financial Advisers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.



August 29, 2012

Thanks a million to Birmingham schools


Category: Business News
Thanks a million to Birmingham schools

A West Midlands supplier is on course for nearly £1 million of business across 15 Birmingham schools.
HME Technology, based at Saxon Park in Bromsgrove, is a leading manufacturer and installer of design and technology and science equipment.
The secondary schools are Park View Business & Enterprise School; specialist arts complex Birmingham Ormiston Academy; Broadway School, with its campus in Perry Barr; Holte, Mayfield & Lozells School; the International School and Community College; Shenley Academy; Heartlands Academy; George Dixon International School and Sixth Form Centre; Moseley School; Four Dwellings High School; and Saltley School and Specialist Science College.
The 11 schools represent around £480,000 worth of work to HME Technology, a sub contractor to Lend Lease Project Management & Construction on each.
In addition, four other deals are in the pipeline with an expected value of £350,000.
All are on the back of new or refurbished school buildings.
Julian Davis, managing director, praised the schools for continuing to embrace design and technology.
He said: “These are all quality packages which enable children to learn technology and manufacturing skills which ultimately are vital for the infrastructure of UK plc.
“This is the starting point for investing in the future of engineering, making the country more self-sufficient in engineers, and reducing the need to import labour from abroad.
“Many jobs, whether they are car making, vending machines or power stations, depend on people with dexterity. These skills start in school whether it be working with a hammer, a saw or even a screwdriver. This is part of the learning curve.
“Some people seem to think that design and technology is only about sitting in a craft shop making rocking chairs. But it is so much more than that.
“It challenges those pupils with high intelligence – for example, through the practical application of maths – and also opens up opportunities for the maybe less academic students whose talents can all too easily be underestimated. It feeds architects, designers, inventors while also educating those fixing up your house and repairing your car.
“Design technology runs across the spectrum of abilities and I applaud those schools who understand why it matters.”
Founded in 1984, HME Technology products include forges, brazing hearths, furnaces, welding tables, fume extraction systems, kilns, woodworking equipment, wood dust extraction systems, metal finishing and CNC machines. It also supplies fume cupboards and ventilation systems for science departments.


Institute of Directors slams work experience double-take


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Institute of Directors slams work experience double-take

The Government has been told to get its act together after announcing it was to trial a “new” work experience scheme in London which was effectively run across the West Midlands three years ago.

Institute of Directors regional chairman John Rider said it should instead be rolled out across the country now and he called on Ministers to “get radical”.

He said: “Why does it need to be tested at all when the West Midlands has lead on this concept and already tested it?

“This is just another case of London first; then the authorities throwing out the crumbs to the rest. Does London and the Government take any account ever of what happens north of Watford?”

His comments came after Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, unveiled the initiative requiring unemployed young Londoners to take part in work experience in return for welfare payments.

But Mr Rider pointed to the “virtually similar” West Midlands Graduate Internship Scheme which ran in 2009 and which placed 550 unemployed graduates with SMEs, most of which had never employed graduates before. It resulted in 150 getting jobs.

He said: “The West Midlands was first on this – it was very successful.

“It was a collaborative scheme which took in business, universities and Jobcentre Plus.

“An unfortunate exploitive connotation has grown up around work experience, but experience of work, which I prefer to call it, is absolutely vital for young people. Otherwise they remain virtually unemployable.

“A blank CV with no references makes it very hard for a young candidate to persuade an employer to take them on. Undertaking work experience or volunteering at a local charity or social enterprise would help to show that they have the work ethic and interpersonal skills which employers need.

“But we in the West Midlands know all about this. It builds their CV, it builds their experience and it builds their confidence. And we know it gets results.

“It does not need testing. It needs to be rolled out across the country immediately. We need radical action on this now. We’ve proved it once in the West Midlands and we’re up for it again.”



Ends (354 words)



For further information, please contact:

John Phillips, Regional Director, Institute of Directors, West Midlands,

IOD Hub, Eleven Brindleyplace, 2 Brunswick Square, Birmingham, B1 2LP

0121 643 7801 - mobile – 07703 355 891.

Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP – 01789 490786 or 07791 978705



July 25, 2012

Coalition is a far cry from Thatcher style – IoD chairman


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Press Release from the Institute of Directors West Midlands

The Coalition Government isn’t a patch on Lady Thatcher, a leading businessman has charged.

John Rider, West Midlands chairman of the Institute of Directors, accused it of being sloppy and lacking focus.

His attack came in the latest edition of the Institute’s regional magazine in which he highlights 30-plus significant U-turns including the pasty tax, caravan tax, fuel duty and the controversy over charity donations.

Mr Rider warned: “The Coalition continues to struggle with delivery.

“We are not used to such sloppiness, poor planning and implementation from our governments and, if this leadership style continues, it will invite many more strong challenges and dissent on all sorts of issues. ‘Shout loudly enough and we will change our minds’ seems to be the message

“This approach is certainly not enhancing the already tarnished reputation of our MPs and it’s a far cry from Margaret Thatcher’s style – the lady’s not for turning.

“And it does little for the magic ingredient for growth – confidence remains illusive.”

He went on: “The Leveson Inquiry is interesting but irrelevant and costly, and the population is certainly not calling for reform of the House of Lords.

“Instead the Government should concentrate on getting things ‘right first time’, with deficit reduction and the economy key to most ills. Focus please – don’t fiddle while Rome is burning.”

And he clearly fears yet another U-turn – this time over high speed rail.

“Where has the HS2 project gone – is it in the sidings? This sort of huge infrastructure project is sorely needed to boost job prospects across our region.”

Mr Rider highlighted evidence that the West Midlands economy was beginning to look more positive. Manufacturing and exporting were holding up while professional services were reporting better times.

Nevertheless risks to social cohesion were real.

“Has our society lost its moral compass?” asked Mr Rider. “It is becoming increasingly difficult for our political leaders to justify that ‘we are all in this together’ as austerity bites.

“Arguably the divisions in society are getting wider, as is the North-South divide, and we must avoid the prospect of social cohesion problems in our cities.”

He challenged the Church and faith groups to fill the vacuum and lead the debate.



Ends (365 words)



For further information, please contact:

John Phillips, Regional Director, Institute of Directors, West Midlands,

IOD Hub, Eleven Brindleyplace, 2 Brunswick Square, Birmingham, B1 2LP

0121 643 7801 - mobile – 07703 355 891.



Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP - 01527 892004 or 07791 978705











Andy Skinner, Managing Director,

ASAP Ltd, 2 Croft Court, Croft Lane, Temple Grafton,

Alcester, Warwickshire B49 6PW



01789 490786



Mobile, 07990 978257



www.asap-pr.com



May 24, 2012

Red Bull backs HME’s D&T campaign


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
The man who helps Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber fly round a Formula 1 racetrack is backing HME Technology’s campaign to get the Government to think again about dropping design and technology from the national curriculum.

Adrian Newey OBE, chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing, has written to Martyn Hale, chairman of the Bromsgrove-based company, saying that both he and team manager Christian Horner fully support HME Technology’s campaign.

Mr Hale and his managing director Julian Davis are driving a campaign to counter a recommendation from an expert advisory panel that design and technology should no longer be a compulsory element of the national curriculum.

Adrian Newey wrote: “For most of us, if we stop and look around our homes and workplaces, it is obvious that technology defines much of who we are and what we do; from the clothes on our backs to the vehicles in which we travel; from the floor on which we walk to the equipment used to treat our ailments.

“All of these items needs to be designed and manufactured. Without a profound understanding of the science and technoology involved in producing and applying advanced machines and materials, none of this would be possible.

“It is easy to take for granted that we will automatically be surrounded by things that enable such ‘givens’ as instant global communications, high speed travel, efficient and durable clothing, and nutritional food.”

He pointed out that, like many other technology-driven organisations, Red Bull Racing relied on a steady stream of good young engineers and scientists.

“Should this flow be reduced in any way, or even stopped, the implications on our industry would be extremely detritmental,” he said.

“Since we share many technical disciplines with industry sectors like aerospace, automotive, defence, industrial chemistry and the production of medical and manufacturing technology, we must assume that research and development in these areas would decline as well.”

He said that the thought of Britain being anywhere but at the cutting edge of scientific and technological development doesn’t bear thinking about.

“This core competence is in our DNA and forms the foundation for our proud and much admired standing in the global marketplace.”

And he urged MPS and the Coalition Government: “Please don’t take these vital attributes for granted. Therefore, we urge you to retain the subject of Design & Technology on the secondary school curriculum.”

Martyn Hale said: “Not only are we delighted that Adrian Newey took the time to reply to our campaigning letter, but to have such forthright support is extremely encouraging.

“We hope that our MPs will also take note of such authorities as Sir Jackie Stewart who pointed out after the recent Bahrain Grand Prix that Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren Mercedes all benefitted from British engineering to keep them at the top.”

Mr Hale said they would be continuing to press the coalition Government to retain D&T in the national curriculum and recruiting more MPs and leading industrialists and designers to the cause.

“Every business across the country should be concerned about this proposal and to support the cause we would urge them to log on to www.believeindandt.org.uk

“On this website they can register their support and also locate their MP.

“If we all join together, we are confident we can focus the Government on ensuring D&T remains on the curriculum and at the same time expect the Education department to improve standards across all subjects,” he said.

And he has been backed by Richard Green, chief executive of the Design and Technology Association.

The D&T Association, which has been pushing the case for retention, said it was “extremely disappointed” at the downgrade.

It added: “The Association continues to stress the important contribution design and technology can and must make to the education of all pupils and, in particular, its ability to inspire children to follow careers in the important wealth creating sectors of business and industry.

“It is important to remember that this report is not statutory. The Government will be publishing its response to it and this will be followed by a period of statutory consultation. We are continuing our campaign and will gather and submit additional evidence as well as working with the creative, manufacturing and engineering industries to demonstrate the damage that will be done to pupils’ education and to the future economic prospects of the UK if design and technology were to be marginalised in this way.”

The Government will announce its proposed cfhanges in the next few weeks, and these will be implemented in schools in September 2014.

Founded in 1984, HME Technology’s range of products include forges, brazing hearths, furnaces, welding tables, fume extraction systems, kilns, woodworking equipment, wood dust extraction systems, metal finishing and CNC machines. It also supplies fume cupboards and ventilation systems for science departments.



Ends (798 words)

For further information, please contact:

Martyn Hale, Chairman,

HME Technology, Priory House, Saxon Park, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4AD.

Tel: 01527 839000



www.hme-tech.com



Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, or mobile 07990 978257.



Notes to Editors:

HME Technology is the market leader in design and technology and science equipment in schools. With over 25 years experience in the trade, it has established a solid reputation for high quality products and services. It is a turnkey supplier, installer and manufacturer of products for brazing, welding, casting, forging and soldering, polishing, grinding, drilling and finishing of resistant materials, millers, routers and lathes in manual and combined CNC systems, enamelling, pottery and jewellery, fume cupboards for science work, heat and fume extraction ductwork, wood dust collection units and bespoke classroom layouts.



April 24, 2012

Worcestershire businesses urged to grab a grant


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Press Release from Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is urging firms to take advantage of further Government pump-priming cash.
And, in particular, it is highlighting two initiatives – phase three of the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund and the new £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative.
“These are terrific opportunities for companies looking to expand and grow,” said LEP chairman Peter Pawsey.
“Worcestershire has a good record of winning RGF bids. I want to see that extended, and we need a similar response on the supply chain side.”
The county was successful in round one of the RGF with £17.5 million allocated to Worcester Technology Park, a huge tonic for the local economy. It is hoped the scheme for land east of the M5 at J6 will ultimately result in the creation of up to 1,700 jobs over the next 5-10 years.
Phase two of RGF allowed Blackpole-based group Aeromet International to win £1.7 million towards an £11.4 million project to help market a new cast aluminium alloy, A20X, which has applications in the aerospace, automotive, defence, nuclear, marine and specialist engineering markets.
The strongest cast aluminium alloy commercially available, among other benefits it offers improved corrosion resistance, extended fatigue life and weight saving potential.
The money will allow Aeromet International, working with partners in Bolton and Rotherham together with Warwick and Birmingham universities, to bring the alloy to the market quicker.
Mr Pawsey said: “Both Worcester Technology Park and Aeromet’s new alloy will develop high end manufacturing while producing badly needed skilled jobs.
“Now companies have another chance to benefit. We have been working with businesses to identify appropriate schemes. Others who may be interested need to come forward – we can provide information and support.”
The closing date for Regional Growth Fund 3 is June 13.
The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative has the same deadline and is being delivered by Birmingham City Council and the Technology Strategy Board.
With up to £125 million from the RGF and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, it offers a flexible package of grants and loans to help improve global competitiveness. It will back the purchase of capital equipment, research and development which improves manufacturing equipment, systems or processes, and specific training and skills development to support the project.
Mr Pawsey said: “Applications have to be of a sufficient size to make a significant impact on supply chains.
“Companies with good ideas and technological aspirations, but who perhaps have not had the resources to develop these ambitions, now have the chance. They should take it.”

Ends (419 words)

Media enquiries: contact Andy Skinner or John Duckers at ASAP PR on 01789 490786 or email: andy@asap-pr.com or john@asap-pr.com

Notes to editors:
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Worcestershire LEP is led by private sector businesses in partnership with the public sector - comprising Worcestershire County Council and the six district councils of Worcester City, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest and Wychavon

Its task is to shape the best business environment for the county, stimulate growth of the local economy, encourage inward investment, boost enterprise and job creation, and actively promote Worcestershire as a great place to invest and work.

Worcestershire was approved as a standalone LEP in December 2010 by the Departments of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Communities and Local Government (CLG).



March 26, 2012

REI rental up 50 per cent – first dividend to be paid in 2012


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Press Release from Real Estate Investors plc

Birmingham-based Real Estate Investors plc turned in a good full year in 2011 with rental income up 50 per cent and its properties 85 per cent let – despite the economic uncertainty and a generally flat commercial property market.
The AIM-listed company will pay its first dividend in 2012 and the board is proposing to introduce a progressive dividend policy for the coming years.
The business showed a profit before tax of £115,000 against a 2010 loss of £292,000.
Contracted rental income hit £6 million in 2011, up 50 per cent from 2010’s figure of £4 million.
REI spent £17.3 million during the year on investment property, but suffered a loss on revaluation of investment properties of 6.2 per cent, or £4.2 million.
But ironically it was some of REI’s purchases that influenced the revaluation process, as chairman John Crabtree points out in his report.
He said:“Depressed property valuations, of course, provide excellent opportunities for REI and we have acquired high quality assets, our purchases in many cases providing the comparable evidence which has informed the revaluation.”
Chief executive Paul Bassi said: “The results to December 31, 2011, show a year which saw significant developments on many fronts and the establishment of REI as a leading regional property investment business with strong foundations.
“The economic environment has remained fragile, of course, with markets in turmoil throughout 2011 and continuing concerns over renewed recession. Valuations in UK regions have continued to be depressed, reflected in the 6.2% loss on revaluation of our investment proprieties.”
During 2011 REI funded new purchases from existing cash, £11.7 million of new equity and the refinancing of unencumbered and income producing assets. A £20 million loan facility with Lloyds Banking Group was renewed for three years on similar terms.
And on Friday (March 23), REI announced a further £10.4 million refinancing with Aviva.
Paul Bassi said: “The decision to borrow from Aviva is a deliberate strategy to balance our lending away from the banking sector to the insurance lenders.
“This will avoid regular uncertainty over facilities and avoid incurring renewal fees which the banks are seeking to charge on a more frequent basis.”
During 2011, REI made a number of acquisitions, including Gateway House, Birmingham, Southgate Retail Park, Derby, and in Leicester acquired Peat House from Aviva.
Paul Bassi said: “We are now firmly established as a respected West Midlands quoted property company that has achieved ‘favoured buyer’ status and a reputation which I believe will attract further opportunities.
“We continue to see greater levels of stock, predominantly from institutions and receivers. The expected level of sales from banks has been limited, but we believe that we will see greater activity in 2012, particularly from the Irish banks, Royal Bank of Scotland and secondary lenders.
“Our criteria dictate that property must have the potential for asset management initiatives that will provide capital growth potential and attractive yields.
“The properties acquired during the last few years provide excellent yields and I believe that once market valuations settle and recover, we will be the beneficiaries of some very healthy capital growth.
“In the short to medium term we will be the recipients of a strong positive cash flow from a growing and secure rental stream.”
He pointed out that the fragile property market place continued to provide further opportunities.
“We currently have a number of properties in our pipeline that meet our criteria and we are in advanced discussions with the view to adding these to our portfolio,” he said.
In addition, the management’s association with CPBigwood Chartered Surveyors, Bond Wolfe and Paul Dubberley & Co reveals record auction results of £46 million in 2011, improved lending for housing, strong residential sales across all price ranges and rising residential rents.
In conclusion, Paul Bassi said: “The economic climate, property and asset valuations remain subdued, yet the irony is that this is an ideal environment in which to grow and establish within the Midlands.
“We have maintained excellent occupancy levels, acquired some good quality prime and secondary assets with attractive yields, while capitalising on first rate banking relationships and refinancing unencumbered, but income producing assets, against historically low interest rates.
“In simple terms, REI has a diverse, regional portfolio with strong yields and capital growth potential.
“I remain optimistic about 2012 for us as a business, and I believe that the capital values will improve gradually during 2012 to 2014, benefitting from our asset management and lettings success, together with general improvement in market conditions.”

Ends (745 words)

For further information, please contact:

Paul Bassi CBE DL D.UNIV,

Chief Executive,

Real Estate Investors plc, Cathedral Place, 42-44 Waterloo Street, Birmingham B2 5QB.

0121 212 3446

www.reiplc.com

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP, 01789 490786. Mobile, 07990 978257.

Notes to Editors
1. REI is an AIM listed property investment company specialising in commercial and residential property principally in the West Midlands and central England.
2. REI is focused on delivering shareholder value through returns generated from strong yields and capital enhancements. This is achieved by targeting investments in orphaned, distressed, part-let and underperforming commercial and residential property assets.
3. REI is led by respected property investor Paul Bassi CBE, who has over 25 years of property experience in the West Midlands. Mr Bassi is also founder and chairman of Bond Wolfe and chairman of CPBigwood Chartered Surveyors.
4. REI was admitted to trading on AIM in June 2004. As at 30 June 2011 its portfolio and inventories were valued at £60 million.
5. Further information on REI can be found at www.reiplc.com



February 28, 2012

Freeze Air Passenger Duty, says Institute of Directors


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Press Release from the Institute of Directors

The burden of Air Passenger Duty is threatening to hold back Birmingham Airport’s ambitions, Institute of Directors West Midlands chairman John Rider has warned.

And he called for a freeze on APD as latest statistics showed more and more proceeds pouring into the Treasury.

He said: “My concern is that all this is leading to flattening passenger demand and, together with fuel price increases, will put a dampener on airline movements and therefore Birmingham Airport’s business.

“I am looking forward to the much-needed runway extension which is near to a start. The airport must have connectivity to China, the Far East and the West Coast of America to enable more growth and investment so the West Midlands can benefit fully from the economic recovery.

“Heavy taxes, too few flights and visa restrictions mean the UK is missing out on opportunities in developing markets. France and Germany each managed to attract four times as many Chinese visitors as the UK in 2010. In total, France earns ten times as much from Chinese tourists as we do.”

Mr Rider said APD was no longer an environmental tax but “a pure revenue raiser”.

He continued: “APD puts travellers off coming to the UK. It makes us uncompetitive against the rest of Europe and hits jobs in aviation and tourism. There are already too many barriers to flying to the UK. Our airports are filling up and visa restrictions are limiting tourist numbers.

“We are pleased that the Government is looking to expand airport capacity, but they must deal with excessive tax on flights first. Successive governments have been greedy with aviation, with the result that they now risk taxing airlines and passengers out of the sky.

“We appeal to the Chancellor to cancel the APD rise planned for April.”

The IOD pointed to how Air Passenger Duty receipts had trebled in the last decade, from £800 million in 2001-02 to £2.15 billion in 2010-11 and £2.25 billion in 2011-12 so far.

It added: “Progressive hiking of APD is having a damaging effect on the range of operators and destinations available to passengers. In January Air Asia, the low-cost Malaysian carrier, announced it was withdrawing from the UK, complaining of ‘exorbitant’ taxes.”

Ends (368 words)

For further information, please contact:

John Phillips, Regional Director, Institute of Directors, West Midlands,

IOD Hub, Eleven Brindleyplace, 2 Brunswick Square, Birmingham, B1 2LP

0121 643 7801 - mobile – 07703 355 891.

Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP – 01789 490786 or 07791 978705



October 12, 2011

HME Technology’s design plea to MPs


Category: Business News
Click for larger image
Caption: Martyn Hale (centre), a director of HME Technology, with Nadhim Zahawi (left), MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, and Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove.

Press Release from HME Technology

HME Technology’s design plea to MPs

Britain needs to keep design and technology at the forefront of manufacturing and innovation if the country is to escape its economic woes, Conservative MPs Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid were told by a leading Midlands businessman.
Martyn Hale, a director of HME Technology, was showing them round his factory at Saxon Park in Bromsgrove following a string of order wins.
Mr Zahawi and Mr Javid, whose constituencies are Stratford-upon-Avon and Bromsgrove respectively, thanked him for making them aware of the issue.
Mr Hale’s comments came as the Coalition’s review of the national curriculum in schools continues, with only English, Maths, Science and Physical Education guaranteed to remain. Currently Design and Technology, Art and Design, Citizenship, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Modern Foreign Languages and Music also have national curriculum status.
“It is absolutely vital to retain D&T as part of the national curriculum rather than allow it to become optional,” said Martyn Hale.
“We have a world leading design industry and it is critical we continue to re-build our economy by majoring on our strengths. If we are to remain competitive in a global economy, with many challengers, then we need to develop our future design capability.
“Dropping D&T from the national curriculum would be a big mistake – catastrophic. As the Prime Minister said in his recent speech to the Conservative Party Conference about the origins of Britain in Inventing-Creating-Exporting, without students experiencing D&T our future would be bleak.”
HME Technology was founded in 1984 and is the leading supplier and installer of design and technology and science equipment for schools.
Its range of products include forges, brazing hearths, furnaces, welding tables, fume extraction systems, kilns, woodworking equipment, wood dust extraction systems, metal finishing and CNC machines. It also supplies fume cupboards and ventilation systems for science departments.
However, another element of the Government’s education changes has brought a satchel-full of orders.
HME Technology is in particular benefiting from the expansion of the academy programme.
With academies enjoying greater autonomy and decision-making powers HME Technology’s ability to be flexible in shaping each project to individual school requirements is paying off, a major factor in its success.
Recent order wins have included a £299,000 flagship contract to supply and install design and technology equipment for Landau Forte Academy, Tamworth; working with Sangwin Educational Furniture and construction group Willmott Dixon on the Hope Academy scheme in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire; and a £40,000 contract to support a new Leicestershire education centre – Melton Vale Post 16 Centre at Melton Mowbray.
It also won a major contract in Abu Dhabi – a £230,000 order from ALDAR Properties on the new 1,300-pupil Al Bateen Secondary School, part of a massive on-going school construction programme.
The MPs congratulated Martyn Hale on the export success.
And in true innovative fashion the pair were treated to a silver service lunch in one of HME Technology’s workshops.
Ends (477 words)
For further information, please contact:
Martyn Hale, Director,
HME Technology, Priory House, Saxon Park, Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, B60 4AD.
Tel: 01527 839000

www.hme-tech.com

Prepared and issued by John Duckers of ASAP PR, 01789 490786, or mobile 07791 978705
Notes to Editors:
HME Technology is the market leader in design and technology and science equipment in schools. With over 25 years experience in the trade, it has established a solid reputation for high quality products and services. It is a turnkey supplier, installer and manufacturer of products for brazing, welding, casting, forging and soldering, polishing, grinding, drilling and finishing of resistant materials, millers, routers and lathes in manual and combined CNC systems, enamelling, pottery and jewellery, fume cupboards for science work, heat and fume extraction ductwork, wood dust collection units and bespoke classroom layouts.



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