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East Midlands Chamber News

More appointments among members

You're Hired! EBS Accountants appoints new apprentice

Amar MateEBS Accountants has appointed Amar Mate as its new Accounts Assistant apprentice.

He has past experience in bookkeeping and payroll and he’s currently studying AAT at New College Nottingham in the hope of eventually completing his ACCA.

“I’ve always been interested in business and maths,” said Amar. “Maths was my strongest subject at school, and growing up, my family owned a corner shop. I used to love counting money from the till at the end of the day.

“I eventually took business studies at school, and after taking an A-level accountancy course, it became clear that accounting is the career for me.”

The EBS Accountants apprentice programme is intended to provide an alternative to higher education for young people who wish to dive straight into the world of work.

“I believe that more and more kids each year will become apprentices after leaving school,” said Amar.

He added: “Apprenticeships offer something university degrees cannot, which is experience. This is vital for most job positions now. Thousands of people go to university each year and a lot of university graduates end up with a job that has nothing to do with their degree.

“The EBS Accountants apprentice programme is a great alternative, because it means that I’m already taking my career in exactly the direction it needs to go.”

Managing Director Jill Evenden said: “We’re delighted to welcome Amar to the team. He’s an extremely motivated young man who’s dedicated to achieving the very best results and bringing about positive change.

“We’re impressed by Amar’s willingness to learn new things. He strikes us as an individual who strives for independence while being able to work proficiently as part of a team.

“The EBS Accountants apprenticeship programme enables us to consistently recruit the best and brightest, and we wish Amar all the best in his new position.”

Derby contractor welcomes new cohort of apprentices

current trainees at GF TomlinsonInvesting in the next generation of construction workers and giving them the skills they need to enter the industry is a key value held by construction firm GF Tomlinson.

Its most recent cohort of starters have just been assigned their new roles following the completion of its interview process which began in June.

Stephen Hunt, who oversees the recruitment of apprentices at GF Tomlinson, said: “We not only look for apprentices from the craft side of building but also for professional roles.

“What young people may not realise is that there are lots of roles open to them in construction. Not just bricklaying and joinery but also in site management, site engineering, construction management, quantity surveying, estimating, health and safety and more.

“We accept applications from those wanting to secure an apprenticeship with us up until April and then begin interviews in June/July with successful candidates starting with us in September.”

GF Tomlinson currently has 19 professional apprentices and six craft apprentices at various stages of their training, with an ongoing commitment to invest in new apprenticeship places every year.

Barry Sewards, chairman of GF Tomlinson, said: “Providing apprenticeships is key to our ongoing success, ensuring that young people are given the opportunity to develop the skills needed for a career in construction and at the same time helping to bridge the skills gap that the industry is currently experiencing.”

“Training is a core value at G F Tomlinson, we know the importance of making apprenticeships available and we pride ourselves on the programme that we offer.”

GF Tomlinson’s apprenticeship schemes are open to 16- to 19-year-olds. All apprentices that are offered a place with the contractor undertake an intensive training programme which consists of working alongside a dedicated mentor and spending a designated period in all parts of the company, before specializing in their selected role.

Barry added: “There are only a few companies of our size that offer young people apprenticeships, providing dedicated mentoring and a full training programme, with a permanent job at the end of the process.”

The family-run firm, with offices in Derby and Lincoln, also provides a comprehensive training programme for all of its existing employees.

Graduate surveyor to director

Alastair Fearn appointed directorAlastair Fearn has accepted an invitation to become a Director of Professional Services, having progressed within the company since he first started as a placement student in 2003.

Alastair was appointed Director by the Board after his consistent development within the Professional Services team had made his suitability to the role clear, further exemplified by his successful mentoring of junior surveyors and pivotal role in bringing FHP’s new website to fruition.

After completing his studies, and following an initial four year period spent working in FHP’s Office and Industrial agency — during which time he qualified as a Chartered Surveyor — Alastair relocated to the Professional Services department in 2010, where he has been praised for his hard work and ability.

The relocation has proved to be a great success, with Alastair having excelled in the specialist areas of business rates, valuations and Landlord and Tenant disputes, whilst he has also been appointed by Insolvency Practitioners to advise on how best to manage and dispose of distressed property assets.

Recently Alastair has set record rental levels and significantly increased investment value for both the Threadneedle & the Stagecoach Pension Fund as well as having advised over 70 occupiers in relation to their business rates liabilities following disruption caused by the construction of the NET2 tram system.

Alastair said: "To be appointed a Director at FHP is a proud moment for me having first worked at the company as a student, before then returning to the firm in 2006 on a permanent basis. I enjoy the working environment and ethos at FHP, as well as the diversity of work in which I am involved. There is never a dull moment, which keeps me coming back for more.”

Andrew Chapman, Head of Professional Services, who along with David Hargreaves and John Proctor invited Alastair to become a Director, said: “Alastair is now one of three employees to have the distinction of rising from Graduate Surveyor to Director level — the other two being Ben Tebbutt and Alan Pearson – and emphasises the Directors’ collective desire to provide opportunities for career advancement throughout the business.

To a large extent the success and growth of FHP has been built upon our ability to identify individuals who have raw talent, who we then nurture and develop to reach their potential, combined with the addition of established Chartered Surveyors. Alastair’s promotion to Director level is testament to the success of this strategy and on a personal level I am delighted for Alastair.”

UHY Hacker Young bolsters team with five new staff

UHY Hacker Young recruitsA Nottingham accountancy firm has strengthened its team with the appointment of five new staff to bring a diverse range of experience and knowledge to the team.

Two graduates will be joining UHY Hacker Young’s Audit and Assurance department.

Kate Brooks, studied biology at Durham University and David Major studied politics at the University of Leicester prior to securing their roles at UHY.

Victoria Fell, an Audit Senior, will be also be joining the growing department, bringing with her eight years of experience. Before joining UHY, Victoria previously worked for Clayton and Brewill, McGregors and Smith Cooper.

Victoria said: “I am very pleased to be joining UHY as it is a leading practise in the region and offers a diverse range of services. In my previous roles, I have been able to gain invaluable experience, and I feel I will be able to complement UHY’s ethos and high-quality service in my new role.”

Ehsan Mir, a part qualified ACCA will be joining the team from Birmingham, where he has previously held positions with Grant Thornton and KPMG.

UHY has also hired a recent school leaver, Jessica Selby, who will be taking up an Association of Accounting Technicians apprenticeship with the firm. Jessica has completed her A-levels at Toot Hill School, Nottingham.

Jessica said: “I’m excited to start my AAT apprenticeship at UHY, I could not imagine a better opportunity or start to my career in accountancy. As I have always lived in Nottingham, I recognise UHY as a respected firm and I am excited to be part of it.”

These five new appointments come as part of growing demand for the firm’s services in the region – as it has continued to grow and diversify its client portfolio.

Managing Partner, Phil Oliver said: “We are very pleased to welcome all five of our new employees to the team, we are certain they will be able to build strong careers within the firm.

“UHY Hacker Young takes pride in supporting talent at all levels so we are very excited to have the expertise of Victoria and Ehsan join the team, along with the developing talents of Kate, David and Jessica.”

New web developer joins Pellacraft

Clive MartinFamily owned promotional merchandise and business gifts provider Pellacraft has appointed Clive Martin as a web developer.

The appointment follows an increase in demand from clients requiring micro websites and a decision to use Magento as a web development platform.

Pellacraft has a very loyal customer base of local companies and trade associations that have regional branch networks across the UK.

As well as supplying promotional gifts, Pellacraft has built and maintained websites for a number of membership organisations such as GMB and TUC. The regional micro sites are used by local members to access and share news and information.

Clive is married and lives in Rainworth.

He joins Pellacraft from a local computer repair and retail store and has previously worked in call centres providing phone and email support. In his new role Clive will be providing updates, support and provide training customers on how to use their new website.

In his spare time Clive enjoys foreign travel, reading and playing computer games or watching TV shows.

30-year career banker joins HSKS Greenhalgh

Jon EardleyChartered accountants and business advisers HSKS Greenhalgh has appointed Jon Eardley to the role of Business Development Manager.

Jon has spent over 30 years at NatWest/RBS in various roles, including Senior Relationship Manager and, latterly, as Business Development Director.

In his new role at HSKS Greenhalgh Jon will also take on some practice management responsibilities.

After working in the banking sector for most of his career, Jon says he is excited to be taking on a fresh challenge.

“Having previously enjoyed a close working relationship with HSKS Greenhalgh, I am looking forward to working with the firm’s Board of Directors as they look to continue to develop the business. I shall also be using my experience of the banking sector to support our existing clients with their banking and financing requirements.”

HSKS Greenhalgh Director Gary Brockway said: “We are delighted to have recruited someone with Jon’s reputation and extensive network of contacts to help us to continue to take the firm forward, as well as offer our clients the benefit of his many years of experience in the banking industry.”

Gary has, himself, recently enjoyed a new appointment.

A specialist accountant and business adviser to the agricultural sector has been appointed to the Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Farming and Rural Business Special Interest Group.

He has over 20 years' experience of advising rural businesses. He leads a team of experts based across the firm’s Derby, Nottingham, Burton and Uttoxeter offices, who work alongside their farming, rural and agribusiness clients to provide them with commercial, constructive and timely advice.

The Farming and Rural Business Special Interest Group comprises of ICAEW member firms which specialise in advising farming and rural businesses.

The committee meets quarterly and hosts an annual conference for members, as well as producing regular newsletters and fact sheets on topical issues. It also liaises with bodies such as the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union, as well as HMRC.

Gary said: “Joining the Committee will not only allow me to share with colleagues my own experiences of working with rural businesses, but also for me to learn from them and expand my own knowledge and I am looking forward to contributing towards their continued support of advisers to this economically vital sector.”

Lawson-West appoints head of conveyancing

Elizabeth WhiteLeicestershire law firm Lawson-West has appointed property lawyer Elizabeth White as its new head of conveyancing.

Elizabeth joins the firm from national conveyancing services group Myhomemove in Leicester, where she was employed as a legal technical specialist.

Originally from Sutton Coldfield, she read law at Bournemouth University, took her LPC there and worked for south coast law firms on qualifying as a solicitor, before returning to the Midlands in 2011.

In her new role, Elizabeth divides her time equally between Lawson-West’s Uppingham Road premises in Leicester and its new Market Harborough office in Roman Way.

In addition to managing a busy residential conveyancing team, she also deals directly with clients who are buying and selling homes.

She said: “Although I enjoyed working for a big conveyancing firm, I missed having direct contact with clients.

“Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people will ever make and being there to guide them through the process brings great job satisfaction. It’s great to be involved and rewarding when the process is over and clients are happy. It’s then we know we’ve done a good job.”

Part of Elizabeth’s remit is to help Lawson-West enhance the technology side of its conveyancing business while at the same time continuing to offer a good traditional residential conveyancing service.

She added: “Nowadays, clients can track the progress of their move online, for instance, so it’s important at Lawson-West that we continue to embrace modern approaches. There are, of course, clients who prefer to come into the office and discuss their move with us in person. Our aim is to provide a service which suits them both.”

New head of diversity appointed at PwC in the East Midlands

Clare MaioPwC Director Clare Maio has been appointed head of diversity at PwC in the East Midlands, to spearhead the firm’s progressive employer programme in the region.

Increasing diversity at all levels is a key priority for PwC and the firm runs a broad range of initiatives to encourage open-mindedness across its workforce, as well as supporting local employment opportunities.

Clare is a Director in the assurance team at PwC in the East Midlands, providing specialist technology assurance and advice to a range of clients. On her appointment to Head of Diversity, she said: “At PwC, we have set ourselves ambitious diversity targets and introduced a number of initiatives to foster greater inclusion, which have produced tangible benefits for our business, as well as the clients, customers and communities we serve. Diversity is critical to PwC’s business and sustaining its leading market position depends on unlocking the innovation and potential of all employees.

“Research shows that people working in an inclusive workplace are more likely to feel engaged. The greatest barrier to this though, is our shared tendency to gravitate towards people like ourselves, which can lead to a sense of marginalisation among people who are, in whatever way, different.

"To address this, we have launched the next phase of the firm’s unconscious bias campaign - ‘Open Mind: Be yourself. Be different’. The aim of this campaign is to remind everyone how important it is to be open-minded to difference - an essential quality for being an inclusive leader. Valuing difference is also at the heart of our people strategy, and together with inclusive leadership, will help us build a strong, diverse talent pipeline.”

PwC has been recognised for its commitments to diversity with a raft of recent high profile awards. The firm was named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015, which recognises organisations that are leading on workplace gender equality. It also won the Transparency Award at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2015, for the firm’s transparency on gender workforce data.

PwC is the only professional services firm to achieve a five-star rating in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index, reflecting its commitment to responsible business issues, and is also the first of its industry group to publish the findings of its gender pay gap analysis as part of its efforts to improve gender equality across its business.

Clare said: “As a firm, PwC is dedicated and committed to driving change in our industry. Our success and continuous growth depends on our workforce being diverse so that they can respond to the needs of our clients in a changing world. I’m looking forward to leading these programmes across our offices and teams in the Midlands, to ensure we have sufficient difference and flexibility in how we think and in the way we deliver our services.”

PwC in the East Midlands has also welcomed 30 new recruits to its office in Castle Donington, predominantly in the firm’s Tax and Assurance areas of the practice, including student business placements, undergraduate internships and graduate level roles.

The firm recruited 18 graduates from universities across the country, with half coming from universities based in the East Midlands including the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Loughborough University and De Montfort University.

Seven students have taken up work placements on the firm’s undergraduate programme, along with four business placements and one Higher Apprentice. In addition, 11 students are on the Flying Start programme - a degree course run in conjunction with PwC, ICAEW, University of Nottingham Business School, University of Reading and Newcastle University.

The programme allows students to study at university, as well as gaining practical paid work experience with PwC.

Paul Norbury, senior office partner at PwC in the East Midlands said: “Our biggest intake of graduates is in the Autumn, and we are very pleased to welcome such a large group this year. Our business is expanding in the region, particularly in the private business community, and as a result we have over 50 roles in our Castle Donnington office this year.

“Due to continued growth, we're going for a second intake in November, and will be talking to many students in our region’s universities over the coming months with a view to filling places for next year’s intake.”

Following PwC’s decision to scrap UCAS scores as an entry criteria for its graduate roles, applications increased 15% on the same period last year. By attracting students who have not achieved the normally required A-level grades, the firm is leading the way in driving social mobility and diversity of the professional services industry.

Paul Norbury said: “The surge in applications, since we changed our graduate recruitment criteria, is an early indicator that efforts to attract students from wider pockets of society is working. However, recruitment standards remain incredibly high so students must consider their options early and be prepared to demonstrate their capabilities through the recruitment process.”

Across the UK, PwC received its highest ever number of applications this year, with over 41,000 students applying for over 2,400 graduate, school leaver, paid internships and work placement positions.

New home for Sam at Savills

Sam ThomasSavills rural team in Nottingham has appointed Sam Thomas to its farm agency offering across the East Midlands.

Sam has previously worked in estate agency across the East Midlands for over two and a half years, where he dealt with a wide ranging portfolio of properties from small equestrian properties to large country houses.

Sam’s appointment bolsters the already ten-strong rural department in Nottingham.

He said: “I was keen to specialise in farm agency and joining Savills has provided me with the opportunity to do just that. Savills has a fantastic structure, team and a wealth of resource and research to draw upon. Its exposure to a broad spectrum of local, national and international clients is impressive. I am looking forward to working with the team to gain even further exposure across the region."

Sam studied at Cirencester and went to school in Uppingham. He grew up in Rutland and Leicestershire and now lives in the Vale of Belvoir. He will be joining Richard Gadd in the Nottingham farm agency team.

Richard welcomed the new appointment. He said: “Sam is well placed to help further expand on our geographical spread across the East Midlands. He has a great knowledge of the area in which we work and will be an asset in helping to further develop the farm agency business over the coming years.

Andrew Pearce, Head of Farm Agency for Savills in the Midlands added: “We are delighted to welcome Sam to the team. His previous experience and knowledge of the region, combined with his hard working and ambitious mentality makes for a fine addition to the team”.

The Nottingham farm agency team works across the East Midlands servicing Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Rutland, working on behalf of clients to buy and sell land throughout the region. The team has bought and sold in excess of 2,700 acres of land for private and institutional clients so far this year, with a large proportion traded privately.

Growth leads to recruitment at Bray & Bray

Recent months have seen Bray & Bray recruit additional members of staff within several different departments across the firm.

With growth plans well underway, residential conveyancing is the latest area of expansion with the recruitment of Stephanie Wills and Christie Russell at the firm's Market Harborough office and Manveer Bhimber at the firm’s head office in Leicester.

Manveer BhimberManveer said: "Not only does Bray & Bray have an excellent reputation for providing the highest levels of service to clients, it also has a reputation for caring for and nurturing its staff. I am thrilled to have joined the firm and am looking forward to advancing my career here.”

Bray & Bray has a large, thriving property department, which encompasses both commercial property and residential conveyancing across its offices in Leicester, Market Harborough and Hinckley.

Earlier this year, Amanda Sutcliffe was promoted to Partner and is responsible for residential conveyancing across each of the firm’s offices. Commenting on the growth trajectory of the department, she says:

“As markets have changed, we have found that being responsive to clients’ needs and preferences has been instrumental in both our growth plans and in maintaining our position as a market leader within the East Midlands.

"One of the needs that we have focused on is giving clients the freedom to work with us in the way that they prefer, whether it is in person, via email or by us always being at the end of the phone to personally take their call.

"This is why we have expanded the team across several locations and why we are also investing in a new case management system, which will further streamline our processes and provide additional benefits to the ways in which clients are able to remain fully up to date throughout their transactions.”

Newby Castleman expands with new recruits

new recruits at Neby CastlemanChartered accountant Newby Castleman has expanded its team with the addition of three new recruits and two graduate trainees.

Lucy Partridge, from Coventry, joined the Leicester-based firm in the new role of Audit Supervisor. She is responsible for overseeing audits and ensuring the department runs smoothly.

Moving into accountancy straight from college, Lucy has worked in accountancy for ten years. Outside work she looks after her three children and enjoys tap and ballet dancing.

She said: “After gaining valuable experience in my last role, I was ready for a new set of challenges with a more varied client base, as well as a good opportunity for progression, so I was really pleased to hear I had got the job.

I’m enjoying my time here and I like meeting different people on a daily basis and solving problems with them. I’m currently getting to know the clients more and becoming involved in the audit side of work.”

In addition to Lucy, Newby Castleman has recently welcomed Richard Molloy and Safina Sayani, also working in audit and advisory services.

Richard, 24, from Huncote, has over four years' accountancy experience after previously working for a smaller firm. He studied Business Studies and Accountancy A-level at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College.

Richard said: “I was keen to expand my knowledge and progress within a bigger firm and the role at Newby Castleman provided the perfect opportunity to do that. I’m currently studying for my ACCA qualification which I’ll complete by December 2016.”

Safina, 25, from Beaumont Leys, also joins Newby Castleman after working for a smaller firm for three years. With a degree from Manchester University in Mathematics, Safina is well underway studying for the ACCA qualification. She will be qualified by June 2016.

She said: “The job is so varied and dealing with different cases on a day-to-day basis is the best thing about working here. The exams have been challenging, but I’m looking forward to becoming fully qualified next summer and progressing within the company.”

Stephen Castleman, Partner at Newby Castleman, said: “All our new recruits bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the firm and are extremely valuable to both us as a firm and our clients alike. The new appointments also demonstrate how our business is expanding and our commitment to providing a high standard throughout all our services, by offering our clients the best possible advice and expertise.”

The two graduate trainees have joint Newby & Castleman's Regent Road office, as part of its annual trainee scheme.

Amal Bathia and Charlie HawkinsRebecca Chandler, 22, and Charlie Hawkins, 23, have arrived at the firm’s head office in Leicester as graduate trainees, looking to break into the accountancy profession.

The newcomers joined Newby Castleman following their academic studies at the University of Leicester and are now working towards their Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA) examinations.

Charlie, originally from Eltham in South East London, graduated in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Economics. He said, “I am delighted to have joined Newby Castleman. Having previously worked in an accounts department for a year, I’m now looking to learn more about the profession and work towards becoming a chartered accountant.

The chance to join such a long-established and well-respected firm was extremely appealing. I had been told that Newby Castleman is a great place to work and provides a rewarding working environment. In the short-time I’ve been here, the thing that stands out the most is the variety of the work – no day is the same.”

Rebecca, from Loughborough, graduated this year before joining the firm. She said, “I’ve always loved maths, especially at school, which lead me towards the job at Newby Castleman. I’m really enjoying my new role and enjoy the environment and the variety of clients I deal with. I’m currently focusing on studying for my ACA exams and look forward to becoming a fully-qualified accountant in three years’ time.”

Rebecca and Charlie are following in the footsteps of fellow employee, Amal Bathia, who joined Newby Castleman in 2013 as a trainee. Amal has since passed his Level 4 AAT exams and has started his ACA qualifications (professional level), on the journey to becoming a qualified chartered accountant.

The latest additions to the firm demonstrate Newby Castleman’s dedication to employing raw talent, as well as supporting its staff through various training schemes.

Stephen Castleman, the firm’s Training Partner, said: “We are committed to training the next generation of accountants and provide all of our trainees with the support and guidance they need to excel in the profession. We are pleased to have welcomed Rebecca and Charlie as valued members of the team and wish them success in their accountancy exams.”

Sally is new head of Risk Practice

sally swannJLT Specialty, the specialist insurance broker, has announced the appointment of Sally Swann as the new Head of its Birmingham Risk Practice.

Sally, who joined JLT Specialty in 2012 to open its Nottingham office, will take over the role from Wendy Ashley, who is leaving the business. Sally has over 30 years’ experience in the insurance broking industry and will continue to lead the Nottingham office, which she built from a standing start.

Sally said: “This is a great opportunity for me to continue to grow the Midlands business, which is strategically important to JLT Specialty, while ensuring our existing clients in the Midlands continue to receive the exceptional service and support they are accustom to.”

JLT Specialty has enjoyed a presence in the Midlands for over 100 years. The Birmingham office is located on Church Street, where it employs over 80 staff.

JLT Specialty offers insurance broking and risk management advice to clients across the UK, including over 100 companies in the Midlands.

Theo becomes one of the few

Theo TillTheo Till is the first Chartered Planning and Development Surveyor at property consultant FHP.

Having passed his Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) to become a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS), he is one of only a few property professionals in the East Midlands to hold the qualification.

In the journey to becoming Chartered, which requires a minimum of two years’ training and practical experience, Theo was appointed as Chairman of the RICS Derbyshire Matrics Committee, which offers support and opportunities to those entering the profession of surveying.

He said: "The support at FHP has been invaluable, from the APC sessions lead by senior surveyors to the general support day to day, it has been a great company to be part of in what has been a pivotal point of my career. I now look forward to following by example and assisting junior surveyors in their journey to becoming Chartered.

"Having been Chairman of the RICS Derbyshire Matrics Committee for the past 18 months and having served on the Committee beforehand, my next aim is to become a member of the RICS UK Matrics Board at the next available opportunity.”

New partners appointed at Focus Consultants

Focus Consultants team of five partnersEconomic development and construction consultancy Focus Consultants has appointed two new Partners.

Heather Frecklington, who is based at the Nottingham headquarters of Focus, and Eleanor Clarke, who works from the firm’s London office, are the first two female Partners in the company’s 21-year history.

Alongside Jason Redfearn, who leads the Energy Team at Focus and who was also recently appointed a Partner, and Partners Keith Butler and Steven Fletcher, they will be part of the team of five who will spearhead the development of the company.

They will be supported by founding Partners Kevin Osbon, Ian Stevens and Karl Marriott, and Partners Richard Aston and Trevor Newton as part of a succession planning process which will be implemented between now and 2018.

“Since being founded in 1994 in Nottingham, Focus Consultants has developed into a thriving business that offers a unique set of services to clients locally, regionally and across the UK,” said Kevin Osbon.

“We are delighted to have appointed our first two female Partners as part of the new leadership team. As we move through a transitional phase, the team will be mentored and supported by the Partners who have shaped Focus into the successful business it is today.”

The news coincides with an announcement from Nottinghamshire County Council that it was awarding Focus Consultants an £83,468 grant from its Nottinghamshire Economic Development Capital Fund – a £3m pot which is supporting businesses across the county to innovate, grow and create new jobs.

Focus will use the grant to radically overhaul the ICT it uses, investing in a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, BIM (Building Information Modelling) software to enable 3D modelling and mobile technology. The investment will create four new jobs and two apprenticeships at the company, which is based at Phoenix Business Park and has branches in Holborn in London, Leicester, and Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire.

New Focus Partner, Heather Frecklington, said: “For 21 years Focus has been based in Nottinghamshire. We are delighted to work with the County Council on the next stage of the Focus story - this grant will co-finance a huge step change in our performance through investment in the very latest technologies. It will enable us to grow, create new jobs, open exciting opportunities and compete with the major national consultancies.”

Focus specialises in funding and economic development including area regeneration strategies, funding applications, economic impact appraisals, business plans, and research and evaluation. Since 1994 Focus has also secured for clients more than £953m of grants for projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.3bn worth of projects and programmes.

It has secured more than £200m for projects in its home city of Nottingham alone since it was launched in 1994 – helping to create jobs, preserve heritage, improve the environment, support businesses and develop communities.

The company, which employs 65 people, has been behind numerous local and national construction and economic development projects, including securing £12.98m of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Nottingham Castle, £9.5m for the City Creative Quarter, £2.8m for the NBV Enterprise Solutions workspace on David's Lane, Basford, and project managing the innovative Trent Basin regeneration development, which are all in Nottingham.

Nationally, Focus has also taken forward exciting developments for the Imperial War Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Curve in Leicester after helping Leicester City Council to secure the £60m funding package for the theatre and performing arts centre, and is currently overseeing a £35m masterplan project for Devonshire Park in Eastbourne, which will breathe new life into the town’s major attractions.

It also offers services to the property and construction industry, including building surveying, quantity surveying, project management, CDM Co-ordinator services and sustainable development support.
The latest company announcements were made during a 21st birthday celebration for employees held on a Nottingham Princess River Trent cruise.

Gateley announces landmark hire as Dubai office expands

mark hoyleLaw firm Gateley is expanding its offering in Dubai with the appointment of a High Profile Dispute Resolution Partner, Mark Hoyle.

Mark joined at the beginning of November from King & Wood Mallesons’ Dubai office, where he was a partner specialising in commercial dispute resolution, particularly through international arbitration.

He advises on a wide range of matters including construction, infrastructure projects, real estate, joint ventures and international trade, with a particular emphasis on cross border disputes.

Mark has over 25 years’ experience in advocacy, arbitration and mediation and is a specialist in Arab and Islamic Law.

As an advocate Mark has appeared at all levels of the English Courts, in the DIFC Court, the Dubai World Tribunal, and the Qatar Financial Court. He has frequently been appointed as an arbitrator and mediator, regularly in disputes concerning Arab and Islamic jurisdictions, where he is often called upon to chair proceedings.

Over the years, Mark’s clients have included international trading houses, multi-national corporates, financial institutions, family offices, shipping businesses, contractors and developers. He has been a trusted adviser to a number of family owned and international businesses who have interests all across the MENA. The broad nature of his practice and his profile makes him an exciting hire for Gateley given the synergies with the existing team in Dubai.

In his new role with Gateley, Mark will be tasked with furthering the firm’s offering in Dubai and the wider region and he will work closely with Amrik Sangha, who leads the Dubai office.

Mark said: “I am delighted to join Gateley. The firm’s vision matches my own. With innovative thought, forward planning and team work we aim to provide the best for our clients. I am looking forward to working with Amrik Sangha, the team in Dubai and my colleagues around the Gateley network.”

Amrik Sangha, Corporate Partner and Head of Gateley's Dubai office said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark into our Dubai office. His joining the team allows us to provide high quality contentious advice to our international clients in the region. We have been focusing on our core areas of corporate, dispute resolution and real estate development in Africa and the GCC for some time and Mark’s experience will enhance our current offering to our clients and add a wealth of knowledge to our existing team.”

Gateley recently made history when it became the first UK commercial law firm to float on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in June.

Globe trotter joins national training specialist

Nottingham University graduate Mark Cocking is the latest recruit for Derby-based national training specialist Develop Training.

Ilkeston man Mark, 23, who joins the firm as Marketing Executive, began his career in New Zealand and has also enjoyed stints working in both the US and China, where he lectured in English.

Mark said: “I had a great time working abroad and I’m looking forward to applying the experience I’ve gained from these different industries and cultures to my role at DTL and supporting the company in its continued growth.”

Headquartered in Derby, with offices in York, Bolton, Swindon and Linlithgow, DTL is an accredited provider of compliance, technical, and safety training, supporting thousands of firms with their training needs.

Webeye growth leads to two appointments

Webeye has appointed two new strategic members of staff to head the department and scale-up the already phenomenal global growth of its cloud platform.

Dr Tom Ridge joins as Chief Technical Adviser and Anthony Chambers as Senior Technical and Systems Architect.

Webeye started life as VDT Direct, at a garage in Giltbrook, Nottingham, founded by former policeman Clive Mason.

It sold CCTV and alarm equipment to the security industry.

Clive saw a need for an in-expensive, robust and secure method of delivering alarms that was infinitely scaleable so was suitable for the entire security industry from individual installers to multi-national corporations.

Along with a team of computer developers he invented Webeyecms, incorporating the patent pending PADARC alarm delivery system, one of the most reliable cloud-based platforms on the market.

All the hard work has been vindicated as Webeyecms was voted the Best Cloud Security Software in the recent Global Product & Service Awards and was finalist in the PSI Premier Awards and Benchmark Innovation Awards.

Webeye now operates out of three premises in Blidworth, has 26 staff, satellite offices in the USA and New Zealand and because of recent business gains is poised for rapid global expansion.

Tom is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leicester. Educated in Mathematics at Trinity College Cambridge and holds a PhD from Edinburgh University.

He worked in the City of London for several investment banks and various internet startups before returning to academia focusing on mathematical techniques applied to software.

Anthony has extensive process and project management experience within industry responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of complicated platforms that utilise many different computer technologies.

Anthony will manage the research and development department on a daily basis and with his team of developers and programmers will be launching yet more exciting products and enhancements over the coming months.

Tom will oversee the whole department and have overall responsibility for the strategic technological development of the webeye platform and it’s products and services.

With his close connections to Leicester University and in particular their research into ‘intelligent’ technologies he is aiming to incorporate the relevant technology into Webeye to enhance the platform.