Category Archives: Business

Luxury Listing Revealed For Care Home Group

Yorkshire-based care home company, Springfield Healthcare has announced two of its eight care homes in the region have been listed in the Knight Frank Luxury Care Home Guide 2023.

The guide is an annual publication that showcases 100 of the finest care homes in the UK. Springfield Healthcare’s Harcourt Gardens in Harrogate, which opened its doors in December 2021 has been listed, alongside Chocolate Works in York, which was also listed in 2022 and 2021.

Founded in 1967, Springfield Healthcare currently employs 1,500 staff across seven care homes within the region, head office and domiciliary care, with an annual turnover exceeding £30million.

The prestigious guide collated by global property advisor, Knight Frank was launched in 2016 and comprises the UK’s Top 100 Luxury Care Homes based on an exceptional level of care, luxury facilities and the building set within the finest surroundings.

Chocolate Works, which is located in the historic Terry’s Chocolate Factory building in York, offers residential and dementia care to up to 82 residents, with a focus on providing a homely environment for residents in a unique and welcoming setting.

Harcourt Garden’s is a state-of-the-art home situational in a purpose-built building close to the centre of Harrogate. Due to the attention to detail, it took seven years to go from vision to completion and today the home provides residential, dementia and respire care with a focus on luxury and independent living to up to 115 residents.

Speaking on behalf of Springfield Healthcare, CEO, Graeme Lee said,” We are thrilled that two of our care homes have been recognised in the Knight Frank Luxury Care Home Guide.”

“It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and our commitment to providing exceptional care in the finest of surroundings.”

“All our homes are unique and are designed to provide person-centered care to older people who require a range of different care needs. As a company, we continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of our care.”

Senior Appointment For Digital Marketing Agency

Leeds-based multi-national web development and digital marketing agency GRM Digital has appointed a client services director to strengthen its growing team.

Mike Guy joins the company with over a decade’s experience in digital transformation and strategy. Coming from MMT Digital, Mike specialised in delivering strategic client services for digital transformation initiatives in both the public and private sectors, but especially focused on the transport industry. Mike boasts a broad range of experience in facilitating programmes of work to define and deliver equitable digital experiences, conversion uplifts and enterprise level programmes of continuous improvement.

Mike joins GRM Digital in the newly created role to focus on the value proposition of GRM Digital for its long-term clients and create a truly customer centric mindset within the commercial team, providing strategic direction for their existing client base as well as further accelerating growth.

GRM Digital, founded in 2009 by Nej Gakenyi has experienced over 100% growth in the last two years and now has offices in Leeds, London, Sarajevo, Amsterdam, and Islamabad. The company works with a range of world-leading brands to enhance their online presence and clients include Danone, Eurotunnel Freight, Club Car, and The Royal College of General Practitioners.

Mike Guy comments: “I am delighted to join GRM at such an exciting time; the company has gone through a period of significant growth and it’s a great opportunity for me to build on the excellent foundations which already exist, with a truly great team and client base to support. I’m looking forward to strengthening GRM’s growth even further.”

Nej Gakenyi, CEO and founder of GRM Digital adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Mike to our expanding business. This is a brand-new role created as we recognise the need for businesses to continue to unlock the potential of the digital market and thrive online.”

“We have ambitious plans to turbocharge our growth even further over the next few years and Mike will play a big part in helping GRM and our clients to capitalise on digital transformation.”

The Broadway Shopping Area Is Transformed

Thanks to investment from Rotherham Council’s Towns and Villages Fund, the accessibility and appearance of the Broadway shopping area in Swinton has been improved.

Previously, this area was difficult to navigate with various sets of steps, ramps and uneven surfaces.

The walls and surfacing at the shopping area was dated and it was felt that the area needed a facelift.

Access to the site has been improved with new steps and ramps. The footways in front of the shops have also been extended, making it easier for shops to offer outdoor seating in the summer months. Alongside this, new surfacing has been installed.

A number of trees have been planted on the large green space at the site, improving the appearance of this well-used shopping area.

Extensive consultation was carried out with local residents and businesses, who told us that they would like to see CCTV in the area. Councillors listened to the feedback and used the Swinton Rockingham Ward budget to install new CCTV.

Councillor Gina Monk, Councillor for Swinton Rockingham Ward, said: “The work that has taken place supports our ward priority around improving the local environment.”

“We are really pleased that we have been able to add more value to the scheme, using our ward budget to install new CCTV.”

Councillor Ken Wyatt, Councillor for Swinton Rockingham Ward, added: “The Broadway shopping area was in need of improvement. This area is now more accessible with new walls, steps, ramps and surfacing. The work carried out will make it easier for local residents to use the shops.”

“The Broadway shopping area is well-used and it is great news that these improvements have been delivered for local residents and businesses.”

Councillor Sarah Allen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Working, said: “We are working with our communities to deliver the changes that people want to see in their neighbourhoods through the Towns and Villages Fund.”

“The investment from the Council has improved the Broadway shopping area, which is now a more accessible space and looks so much better.”

The Towns and Villages Fund is a multi-million pound commitment from the Council to deliver improvements to local towns and villages across the borough.

JMG Group Announces Its New Acquisition

Yorkshire-based JMG Group has announced its acquisition of independent HGV and motor trade insurance broker, New Era, for an undisclosed sum.

JMG Group has invested in the Stoke-on-Trent-based business which will continue to be led by New Era directors Ella Burgess and Nathan Pedley, who set up the business just as the pandemic hit in January 2020. The firm will continue to trade as New Era and brings its team of four insurance professionals to the Group.

Says Nick Houghton, JMG Group CEO, “The ability to start and build a business from scratch through a global pandemic is testament to the directors’ tenacity and resilience when faced with unprecedented challenges. It shows their strength of leadership and business acumen. Bringing New Era into our group supplements our existing experience in this specialist market and will open up further opportunities for us in the wheels-based insurance arena.”

Having met when they worked together at One Sure Insurance, Ella and Nathan quickly recognised that their skills – Ella’s compliance and business analyst expertise and Nathan’s client-focussed approach – were a successful combination. With 17 years’ combined insurance industry experience, the pair have built New Era up from a standing start to a £2 million GWP business in just over three years and have set their sights on further growth.

Ella Burgess says, “We were looking at routes to support our accelerated growth ambitions and JMG Group could see our vision and it felt like the right fit. This sale gives us the best of both worlds – Nathan and I remain autonomous and client focussed but with the added benefit of having access to a wider market and business security as we move into the next development phase.”

On the acquisition, Nathan Pedley says, “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved so far, especially with the hurdles that a global pandemic, a fuel crisis and cost of living crisis have thrown at us. To be recognised by such a well-respected group is a real ‘pinch-me’ moment and we are very excited about what this will mean for us and our clients.”

Leeds Manufacturing Festival Announces Sponsor For 2023

Launched last week at a packed event addressed by West Yorkshire Mayor Tracey Brabin and manufacturing employers’ organisation MAKE UK, Leeds Manufacturing Festival has announced the three organisations that are headline sponsors for its 2023 programme.

Leeds City College, engineering and manufacturing recruiter E3 Recruitment and Next Gen Makers, which runs a benchmarking and accreditation scheme for manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships, are all backing this year’s programme of events. The festival aims to highlight the range and depth of well-paid careers offered by Leeds’ 1,800 manufacturing businesses.

Recruiting new talent into the industry is a growing challenge for UK manufacturers and the festival, organised by the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance, aims to make connections between young people and manufacturing and engineering firms to bring the next generation of employees into the industry.

Mitch Scott, head of engineering at Leeds City College, said: “We’re really pleased to be supporting the festival once again. Our engineering and manufacturing courses are cornerstones of what we offer and, particularly with the new T levels, which combine classroom learning with hands-on experience in the workplace, our students are gaining skills that ideally equip them really well for the vast range of opportunities in the sector.”

“The festival plays an invaluable role in demonstrating the scope of exciting manufacturing industry careers that are on offer.”

Now in its sixth year Leeds Manufacturing Festival runs until July and 2023. Highlights include manufacturing ‘treks’, which will see school and college students visiting factories across the city, live careers panels and the Leeds Manufacturing Festival awards ceremony, recognising some of the rising stars and highest-achieving young people currently working in Leeds’ manufacturing sector.

Matthew Booth, associate director at festival sponsor E3 Recruitment, said: “The industry is in dire need of new talent, and in need of fresh perspectives and skills that younger generations can bring. There’s been a 34% drop in manufacturing and engineering apprenticeship starts in the last couple of years, and we also face the growing skills gap which is affecting over 85% of businesses across the UK.”

“Manufacturing is such a diverse and innovative space. The opportunities are endless and we find that most young people just aren’t aware of the different roles available that would suit their skillset. It’s an absolute pleasure to be working with Leeds Manufacturing Festival again, and working together to bridge the skills gap.”

Next Gen Makers’ managing director Adam Tipper added: “We are proud to support the Leeds Manufacturing Festival and its efforts to inspire the next generation towards careers in engineering and manufacturing in Leeds. These industries are vital to the UK economy, society and creating the technologies that we all rely upon, so it is essential that we raise awareness of the fantastic careers available within the sector whilst creating a platform for employers to showcase their opportunities.”

Ben Wilson, chair of Leeds Manufacturing Alliance and director of Leeds-based glass reinforced plastic moulds manufacturer MPM, said: “The backing of our sponsors is vital to ensure we reach as many young people as possible and show them just what excellent job opportunities and diverse career paths the manufacturing industry can offer them.”

“Technical and practical skills are essential to the future of the sector, and of the UK economy. They are currently in short supply so students, as well as their teachers and parents, will see that being equipped with these vital skills at an early stage will make them highly employable when they come to start a career.”

The festival is also sponsored by Leeds City Council and manufacturing employers MPM Ltd, Leeds Welding Company, Greyhound Box and Sound Leisure, who are members of the Leeds Manufacturing Alliance.
For the first time this year, Leeds Manufacturing Festival is also supporting the work of the Howarth Foundation, which helps people who are homeless or who are in unstable accommodation to find work or training.

Investment In Workforce Supports Growth

A leading UK designer and manufacturer of bespoke control panels and systems is on track to double its turnover in the next five years by increasing productivity and efficiency and investing in its team.

Normanton-based Bensons Control Panels is working with learning and development business, Pro–Development, to develop its team for the future to support the growth of the company. The business, which aims to double its turnover from £3m to £6m in five years, has invested almost £40k over the last three years in empowering employees at all levels through employee engagement, one-to-one-coaching, individual development plans and through a bespoke leadership development programme.

Bensons Control Panels was established in 1961 when Yorkshire businessman Donald Benson began supplying oil gauges, rotary cup burners and controls to the heating industry. The business quickly grew and while the successful gas engineering business continued, customer demand led Bensons to begin designing and building their first control panels. Since that time Bensons has grown into a highly respected market leader in the engineering sector.

Today the business is led by managing director, Helen Culloden, who took the helm in 2018 following a management buyout which brought the company back into full family ownership. Helen’s approach is to place greater emphasis on developing the team to boost skills and expertise that will support its future growth ambitions.

Says Helen Culloden, “As we enter a new era, we are placing even greater emphasis on training and development. We are seeing our industry investing more and more in its people and we want to stay ahead of the curve. I believe that embedding our vision and equipping our people at all levels with the tools and skillsets they need will ensure we are all working towards a common goal and striving for growth.”

“Since working with Pro-Development we have been able to provide invaluable training, support and development for our whole team. Much of the work was part-funded by external grants which Pro-Development was able to assist us in accessing. All levels of guidance and mentoring has been critical and invaluable in the ongoing training and development of our team and we are looking forward to continuing our work with Pro-Development.”

Michelle Mook, managing director at Pro-Development, says, “Employee engagement and leadership development are key drivers for growth in any businesses. These are often areas which are overlooked. However, Bensons’ forward-thinking approach and emphasis on continuous improvement has already seen an increase in engagement and the business is determined to work to maintain and increase these levels.”

Garden Centre Wins Sustainability Award

The team at a Bradford garden centre is celebrating after winning a regional sustainability award.

Sustainability Lead, Steph Bates and Head of People and Culture, Neil Barwise-Carr from Tong Garden Centre were presented with the Sustainability Award at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards in Yorkshire and The Humber on 24th February.

Organised by the business campaigner, FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), the awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.

“We are delighted and proud to win the Sustainability award. The team has worked tirelessly to embed sustainable principles in all our garden centres and this award is well-deserved.”

“We have exciting plans for 2023 that include partnering with the Carbon Literacy Project to educate our team, and this is a great springboard to launch our initiatives,” said Tong Garden Centre’s Head of People and Culture, Neil Barwise-Carr.

The winners were announced at a lunch at the Queens Hotel in Leeds that was hosted by BBC broadcaster, newsreader and producer, Elly Fiorentini.

Tong Garden Centre beat Wakefield’s Tunley Engineering, Skipton-based Comply Direct, Scarborough-based Sea Grown and York-based ecups Limited and the win has secured them a place in the UK final later that takes place at the NEC in May.

Tong Garden Centre occupies a 19-acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest independent garden centres with 11,600m2 of retail space and parking for up to 700 cars. It is part of the Yorkshire Garden Centres (YGC) group that also owns Tingley Garden Centre and the former Stephen H Smith’s Garden Centres in Otley and Harden, Bingley.

Wakefield To Host Its First Climate Summit

Wakefield Council is hosting its first Net Zero summit as it continues its aim of reducing carbon emissions across the district, to help address the climate emergency.

‘Wakefield District Partnership For Net Zero’ will take place on 7 March at Tileyard North, Wakefield.

Around 100 people, representing a range of organisations and businesses are expected to attend. LNER, OE Electrics, Enfinium, Ardagh Glass and housebuilders, among them Barratt Homes, Redrow and pure Haus, will be there, along with community groups including Just Transition Wakefield and Wakefield Cycle Forum.

The Council has also announced it has signed the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Action Pledge, one of only a handful of councils to have done so.
Councillor Jack Hemingway, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change, said: “We are already seeing the effects of climate change and we have no time to waste.”

“We have set ambitious carbon reduction targets, both for the Council and the district, and we know that to make progress we need to work together.”

“I am delighted that this event will bring together businesses, charities and voluntary groups to share ideas, learn from each other and set out how we can work collaboratively on our shared path to net zero.”

Wakefield Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and published its Climate Change Action Plan in 2020, which set a target of becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and helping the district reach the same goal by 2038.

The Council commissioned an expert report, Pathway To Net Zero, published in 2022, which sets out how the district can reach net zero. The report’s recommendations will be discussed at the summit, followed by targeted workshops focusing on specific sectors.

Organisations attending the event will be encouraged to sign the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Action Pledge, as the Council has done.

The pledge, developed by the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, is the first regional pledge of its kind in the UK. The aim is to create a movement of organisations who recognise action needs to be taken, to protect the region from climate impacts and unlock the benefits of a green economy.

Those signing the pledge commit to action in four areas:
• Becoming climate resilient
• Reducing carbon emissions
• Enhancing nature and biodiversity
• Ensuring jobs are protected

For more information visit here.

Scarborough Specialist Becomes Market Leader With Latest Acquisition

Rapidly expanding packaging and stationery specialist Duraweld, based in Scarborough, is continuing its growth journey with the acquisition of the business and assets of Celsur Plastics Ltd, Ambroplastics Ltd and Abbey Stationery Products Ltd, strengthening its position as the leading player in the sector.

Having served thousands of customers in the bespoke stationery, presentation and packaging sector for the last six decades, the three brands have now joined the Yorkshire-based Duraweld group following their liquidation in January 2023. Headquartered in Staines, Celsur is one of the best-known names in the industry providing a wide range of pvc, paper over board and polyprop products and promotional gifts. Sister company Ambroplastics, based in Telford, provides bespoke solutions for plastics and card-based products in the presentation packaging sector.

Duraweld has also strengthened its seven-strong sales team and ensured continuity for customers with the appointments of Emma Morris and Sharon Heath, both of whom have worked for Celsur for more than 20 years.

Founded in 1959, Duraweld designs and manufactures a wide range of packaging and stationery products for customers from the NHS to the FA, working across sectors such as healthcare and retail. Led by managing director Mark Yeung, it has a purpose-built factory which includes in-house screen printing, digital printing, inline paper over board wrapping, high-frequency welding, sonic welding, digital and hydraulic cutting, foil-blocking and embossing. The Scarborough-based business employs over 50 people.

The acquisition was supported by Sue Moul of specialist finance team recruiter Headstar in Leeds who has been working with Duraweld as the company’s finance director for the last two years, providing strategic financial support.

These latest acquisitions follow the merger of leading designer and manufacturer of quality packaging solutions, Prima Yorkshire, into Duraweld in November 2022 which expanded Duraweld’s service and product offerings, cementing its position with key customer groups and adding folding card products to the range.

Mark Yeung, managing director of Duraweld said, “There are some incredible synergies in the mindset and approach of Celsur and Duraweld – we operate in similar sectors and offer complementary products and levels of service. Adding these long-established brands to our extensive portfolio marks an exciting new phase for the businesses – we are looking forward to supporting their former clients, alongside our extensive customer base, all backed by Duraweld’s deep manufacturing expertise.”

“It’s exciting to further expand our customer base during a period of such strong growth for Duraweld, with the move strengthening our position as the go-to business in this specialist sector. We also pleased to welcome such experienced sales professionals as Emma Morris and Sharon Heath to the Duraweld family, and there will be more appointment announcements to come.”

Emma comments: “It has been a challenging period, but I’m genuinely excited to be joining Duraweld. The team have been great, and I’m looking forward to providing continuity and ensuring a seamless transition for longstanding customers.”

Celsur CEO, Phil Caudle, who will work closely with Duraweld during the handover period, added: “We are proud of having created a business with a passion for disruption and a vision to shake up the packaging and stationery industry. While the pandemic and geopolitics presented us with many challenges, having got to know Duraweld in recent months, we have been impressed by their capabilities and are confident that the businesses have a great future ahead as part of the Duraweld group.”

Regional Growth With New Business Development Director

Scott Wood’s appointment as a new business development director at Leeds-based Reward Finance Group accelerates its growth plans in Yorkshire and further increases its profile in the corporate space.

With Reward a leading provider of tailored business finance loans and asset based solutions in Yorkshire and nationwide, Scott arrives with an extensive professional network across corporate finance and accountancy.

Having worked at some of the UK’s major banks for over 16 years, Scott joins from HSBC where he was a relationship director and worked closely with a portfolio of mid-corporate businesses to provide a range of financial solutions.

A key part of his role will be working alongside founding director Dave Jones to drive business development growth across Yorkshire with a specific focus on larger transactions to build on the growth Reward has already seen in this space.

Speaking about joining Reward, Scott commented: “Reward’s excellent reputation and rapid expansion across Scotland, the Midlands and London and the South East were key factors behind my decision to join the business. In my short time here so far, I have already seen Reward’s refreshing approach to supporting its clients and its ability to do so at speed.”

“I feel my experience across both private and corporate banking will only support Reward’s flexible, common sense approach towards lending. I’m really pleased to be on board and very excited about my future progression within the company.”

Gemma Wright, Reward’s regional director for Yorkshire and the North East, added: “Scott’s appointment is a real boost to our business both nationally and across Yorkshire where we have a long-established reputation. His remit is to further increase our activity in the £1m to £10m lending arena where we have seen a marked uptick since the start of the pandemic.”

“Scott brings a wealth of financial experience and professional contacts that will generate larger opportunities for Reward, particularly amongst accountancy and advisory firms that advise our typical target client base.”