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Towngate secures three-year lease on Leeds site

Posted: Thursday 23 January 2020

Commercial lettings specialist and landlord Towngate plc has arranged an expanded lease for an existing tenant on one of its popular Leeds Industrial Estates. Antac Support Services, existing tenant of the Towngate-owned Unit 4 at the M1 Industrial Estate in Hunslet, Leeds, has now expanded into Unit 3 and signed a new three-year lease for both units. Antac offers a comprehensive range of building and maintenance services, including mechanical, electrical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, commercial office management, window cleaning and cable supervision. The swift availability and quick turnaround offered by Towngate provided an ideal opportunity for Antac to grow its Leeds premises smoothly and efficiently. Both units consist of 6m eaves height, two-storey offices, kitchen and WC facilities, full-height roller shutter doors – and benefit from a large, secure, shared yard area. The properties are strategically situated, a quarter of a mile from Junctions 4, 5 and 6 of the M621 motorway, south of Leeds city centre. The premises have easy access off Church street, which leads directly to the M621 via Beza street. Jake Wilde, Facilities Manager of Towngate plc commented: “We are always pleased to see customers in our portfolio growing their businesses and going from strength to strength. “Towngate has been delighted to assist Antac with its expansion plans at the M1 industrial estate and we’re looking forward to our relationship continuing well into the future.” Paul Marshall, operations director of Antac commented: “After a period of rapid growth, we’re delighted to increase the size of our space. The team at Towngate have been efficient and professional throughout and worked with us closely to enable our expansion without the need to move location. “We’re confident that our partnership with Towngate will continue to meet our business needs, for years to come.” For further information regarding any of Towngate’s properties, please contact property manager, Tom Lamb, or marketing manager, Julia Ford.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Vapour Cloud rings in New Year with managed service partnership for ICA

Posted: Tuesday 21 January 2020

Unified communications specialist ICA has signed a new partner agreement with Vapour Cloud, as the Stockport-headquartered telecoms firm gears up for substantial growth. The move coincides with the announcement of self-confessed ambitious expansion plans for ICA, who are continuing on their journey of delivering end-to-end multichannel solutions for clients, while investing significantly in their marketing, a brand refresh and the enhancement of the customer experience. Recognising the power of collaboration, director Pam Blanchard sought an enablement partner who could focus on the infrastructure and delivery of high-performance networks. With proven expertise in this niche field – and dealing only with channel partners rather than end users themselves – Yorkshire-headquartered Vapour was an obvious choice. Recognising Vapour’s relationship with Avaya – having being hailed one of their fastest growing mid-market voice partners in the UK this time last year – ICA’s first brief was a consultancy project to validate the design and architecture of a new client solution. And the support, advice and deployment options provided, proved instrumental in the decision to partner with Vapour for all future Avaya cloud deployments, said Pam. “At ICA we are recognised for our continued commitment to customer service, so any partner we bring on board needs to mirror our own standards,” she explained. “Vapour has quickly become an extension of our team because shared values are driving both of our business propositions. They also have a strong track record when it comes to response times, technical ability and a sense of pride in satisfying project deliverables. Their involvement will enable us to focus on our corporate strategy and meet our steep growth projections.” As a specialist in only four key areas – secure cloud voice, video, networks and infrastructure – Vapour will design and deliver ICA’s Avaya cloud platforms, while providing a strategic managed service that fuels vendor-agnostic solutions for customers. “The industry is saturated with telecoms and tech providers that have adopted the integration of voice and/or the delivery of IT,” elaborated Pam. “But many resellers unfortunately over-promise and under-deliver. “We feel that ICA’s point of difference is channel independence, as we can deliver multiple, interoperable solutions that are truly customer-centric. The addition of Vapour’s technical expertise and advice now also means clients can adopt the right technology, at pace. “As a duo, ICA and Vapour will continue to disrupt, innovate and lead as businesses demand more channels to communicate and interact with. I’m very excited to see what happens as 2020 unfolds.” Last year, Vapour was recognised as the sixth-fastest growing tech firm in Leeds, attained position 23 in G.P. Bullhound’s Northern Tech 100, and CEO Tim Mercer was named as ‘one to watch’ in the Daily Telegraph and LDC’s most ambitious leaders programme. The organisation has recently announced two internal promotions to the senior management team – Carol McGrotty to head of operations and compliance, and Alec Stephens to sales manager – as the business readies itself for turnover growth of anything up to 50%.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Wealth management specialist launches financial fitness event for local business people

Posted: Tuesday 21 January 2020

Chartered financial planner Louise Woollard – of Brighouse-based Louise Woollard Financial – is kickstarting the New Year with a workshop for the region’s working professionals, focusing on how to boost their financial fitness. Aimed at Yorkshire’s businessmen and women who are looking to learn how to successfully plan for their financial future – from personal insurance policies to pensions and investment planning – Louise will be delivering a session about how to be financially savvier in 2020. Kim Leadbeater – ambassador of the Jo Cox Foundation – will be also be leading a discussion focused on the importance of taking a holistic approach to health, covering topics such as looking after physical, mental and social wellbeing, as well as giving back to the community. The two-hour workshop includes lunch and will be hosted from 11:30am-1:30pm on Tuesday 4 February at Manor House Lindley, Huddersfield. There will also be an opportunity to network as well as quiz the speakers in the open Q&A session. Commenting on what delegates can expect from attending the event, Louise Woollard said: “It’s that time again when everyone is pledging to change their lives and be a better version of themselves as they look forward to the year ahead. Yet while the detox priority is usually assigned to mental and physical self-care, financial wellbeing is just as important to get right – especially if you’re serious about planning for your future and getting to the desired end destination. “Being smarter with money is one of the most common types of New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s also one of the quickest to be overlooked once the January blues are over. “Someone’s financial circumstances can quickly change, and this can feel like a lot to have to deal with. But, it’s all about learning how to put yourself first and ensure you have the right strategies in place to nourish and grow your finances effectively.” Elaborating on the importance of mental wellbeing too Kim Leadbeater added: “Having your finances in order is one core piece of the puzzle, but a healthy mind is also crucial in helping you achieve your long-term goals.” Louise concluded: “I’m delighted that Kim will be joining me at the event. She has worked in the fitness industry and as a lecturer in health and wellbeing for over 15 years, and she continues to run a personal training business. “Her life was turned upside down after the murder of her sister, MP Jo Cox, in June 2016, and she will share how she combines her position as the Foundation ambassador with her other roles. In addition, she’ll also cover how she uses her passion for inspiring behaviour change to make a difference to an individual’s wellbeing, as well as to address some of the challenging issues we currently face as a society." Having previously delivered business breakfasts across the region, Louise is looking to run further sessions throughout the year to help equip people with the right tools to get their finances fit and strong. If you’d like to find out more or register for Louise Woollard’s ‘Financial Fitness’ event, you can sign up and purchase tickets, priced at £10 each, via Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-achieve-financial-fitness-in-2020-tickets-88645845109. Louise Woollard Financial is a trading name of Louise Woollard LLP, an Appointed Representative of and representing only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website at www.sjp.co.uk/products.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Vapour rings in new year with senior promotions

Posted: Wednesday 15 January 2020

Elland-headquartered Vapour Cloud has kicked off 2020 with a big announcement – the promotion of two popular colleagues to senior positions within the organisation. During the company’s first team meeting of the year, operations manager Carol McGrotty was propelled into the role of head of operations and compliance, having joined the team back in 2013. A colleague since almost the very beginning, Carol was hand-picked for the position by CEO Tim Mercer, who had previously spent 10 years working alongside her at Virgin Media Business. As one of the most customer service-focused members of the Vapour team, she has helped attract the three biggest ticket projects since the company was established in 2013, and in 2019 alone, she oversaw the delivery of all client contracts – that’s over 4,000 cloud licenses and more than £10m of deal revenue. Commenting on her promotion, Tim said: “Carol works as many hours as me – and I’m CEO! She exhibits an incredible amount of care, attention, focus and commitment to the business, which means she is an immediate hit with clients and colleagues alike. “It doesn’t matter if she’s based in the office or at home in Scotland, the team dynamic doesn’t waver. Nor does customer service. She’s proof that you can use technology to make flexible working WORK and is one of the most invaluable assets to our Yorkshire-headquartered business! We support some big clients but have always remained focused on operating like a family. She is the lifeblood of that.” Meanwhile, Alec Stephens has taken on the role of sales manager, following an impressive 11 months in the position of account director. He hit the headlines in February 2019 when his long-awaited move to Vapour was revealed in a playful football transfer-themed announcement. As the year unfolded, he went on to play a pivotal part in some of the company’s largest deals. With more than 15 years’ experience in the technology sector, Alec began his career as an inbound contact centre agent and Tim employed and trained him whilst at Virgin. “Alec’s likeable tenacity means he is something of a rare breed in our complex world,” Tim elaborated. “Partners trust his straight-talking expertise, and the team internally know he will have carefully thought out every proposal we put on the table, so we’re always able to deliver on our promises.” When considering the timeliness of the promotions, Tim concluded: “2020 will be a pivotal year for Vapour, as we have our eyes set on up to 50% growth in turnover. Having the right team in place has therefore never been so important. “The board was impressed by the appointment of customer services manager Blaine Craig, channel account manager Emma Haywood and non-executive director Jon Pickering late last year, and to be able to promote two valued colleagues to senior positions within the team is a fantastic next step.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
14,500 STUDENTS ACROSS ENGLAND GET A DRAMATIC LESSON ON RISKS OF UNDERAGE DRINKING

Posted: Monday 13 January 2020

14,500 students from across England get a hard-hitting lesson on the risks associated with underage drinking as part of an award-winning international programme that will reach 35,000 students across the UK this year. Secondary school students, aged 12 to 14, will watch a play about a group of friends who find themselves in trouble as a result of their misuse of alcohol. The performance is followed by an interactive workshop where pupils will be invited to probe the cast on any of the issues brought up during the play and explore the consequences portrayed by the actors. The performance is part of ‘Smashed’, an alcohol education and awareness programme delivered by Collingwood Learning and sponsored by Diageo, a global leader in beverage alcohol. The tour will visit 90 schools in eight regions across England, reaching around 14,500 students. The programme has reached 400,000 pupils in 2,040 schools across the UK since it began in 2005, and is now delivered in every continent. ‘Smashed’ was developed in consultation with young people and combines drama with interactive workshops to help young people understand the facts, causes, and consequences of alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking. The programme extends beyond seeing the play in the classroom. Following the workshops, ‘Smashed’ also provides additional support for the schools in delivering vital Personal, Social and Health Education, and offers a free online guide which supports parents with discussions at home about underage drinking. The UK is making progress in reducing levels of underage drinking. According to an NHS Children’s Health survey, the number of children aged 8 to 15 that reported drinking alcohol fell from 45% in 2003 to 14% in 2017[1]. However, there is still work to be done. A study by the ONS showed that when 16-24 year olds do drink, they are the most likely demographic to binge.[2] This is why ‘Smashed’ is targeting 12 to 14 year olds – it prepares them to make informed decisions in the future as they reach this age group. Results from the latest Smashed evaluation report have shown: [3] 95% of students said they were less likely to drink alcohol underage after taking part 97% of students were able to correctly identify the legal age for buying alcohol after the workshop (a 16% increase in accuracy) 85% of pupils demonstrated confidence in where to get help with alcohol related issues locally after the programme (a significant increase of 42%) 96% of students understood the term ‘peer pressure’ after the session. Chris Simes from Collingwood Learning said: “This is a real change from the usual classroom lesson and makes the risks of underage drinking impossible to forget. We help teachers carry these lessons forward by delivering Personal, Social and Health Education support after the visit, and offer parents free online support materials. We’re thrilled to be supported by Diageo and to be heading to 90 schools, visiting 14,500 students, in the first England tour of the new decade!” Aileen Keyes, Head of International Public Policy, Diageo said: “We’re really proud to have supported Smashed for the last 15 years, and to have reached so many young people across the country. It’s encouraging to see underage drinking declining and we hope programs like Smashed continue to help well into the future.” [1] Health Survey for England 2017 Children’s Health (Published 2018) https://files.digital.nhs.uk/3E/EC36A2/HSE17-Child-Health-rep.pdf [2] Adult Drinking habits in Great Britain: 2017 (Published 2018) https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2017 [3] Smashed Project, Annual Report 2018-2019. Data based on a sample of 6,823 completed PRE-programme questionnaires and 7.906 completed POST-programme questionnaires in the UK
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Healthy Business: An interview with Inspire Pilates

Posted: Monday 13 January 2020

We met up with Sara Hunter – founder and CEO of Inspire Pilates in Honley, West Yorkshire – to find out about her business and social strategy. We also talk to husband Dave, a big supporter of Sara’s enterprise who’s also helping out with their social media. Full article can be found here https://mysmartapp.co.uk/inspire-pilates
Posted by Justo Software
Food for Thought: A chat with The Deli Express

Posted: Monday 13 January 2020

Today we caught up over a cuppa with Lou Atkins – founder and CEO of The Deli Express based in Longwood, Huddersfield – to learn her business and marketing story. Full article can be found here - https://mysmartapp.co.uk/deli-express
Posted by Justo Software
Living close to nature with Jac Cook from Positive Earth Furniture

Posted: Sunday 05 January 2020

In this episode we are talking to Jac from Positive Earth Furniture, her and her partners passion for recycling, and their business that has come out of this passion. Jac lives her life close to nature (hence the title) so we felt it was important that we didn't confine ourselves to the studio for this one, the outdoors is Jac's natural environment so we went to the woods at Storthes Hall, Huddersfield and consequently there are some slight audio issues so apologies for that. We discuss Jac's creative journey and how she got to where she is now which has most definitely not been a straight road as with a lot of people we have come across whilst doing these podcasts . She studied interior architecture at university but her dad sadly passed away during her studies, she did manage to successfully complete her degree but felt the pull to go home and grieve when she graduated. Consequently her creative side was put aside in favour of a career in hospitality followed by a career in sales & customer service but she always remained passionate about helping people. This passion led Jac to one of her many 'trades' as a Reiki healer so we talk about what Reiki is and how it feels to receive it, the past stigma of any kind of 'voodoo healing' and how that stigma is breaking down which can only be a positive thing for everybody. Another of her trades (along with her partner Dave) is Positive Earth Furniture, which creates stunning and sustainable furniture made to order to the customers specifications, which is highly recommended by Jayne having been a previous customer of theirs. They have a Facebook page which can be found by clicking here and are available on Etsy and E-bay as well. And for those of you interested in living closer to nature yourselves, take a look at the Facebook group Positive Earth Community which is a place for sharing ideas, services or products which are aimed towards looking after our planet, ourselves and each other. We leave you with one final thought on your impact on the planet. You can't do it all but every little thing you do can make an impact so don't look at it as a massive change - baby steps!! Oh and if you can recommend a good shampoo bar for Michelle let us know!! https://anchor.fm/twonorthernlasses/episodes/Living-close-to-nature-with-Jac-Cook-from-Positive-Earth-Furniture-e9u1vq
Posted by Justo Software
Sheards Accountants Property Landlord Open Day returns in February

Posted: Thursday 02 January 2020

We're pleased to announce that our next property landlord open day, in collaboration with Ridley & Hall Solicitors, Tailored Mortgages and Sheards Wealth Management will be held at our office in Huddersfield on Wednesday 26th February. Keen to get involved with Huddersfield Business Week which launched last year, we joined forces with other businesses to deliver free advice and guidance surrounding the responsibilities of being a property landlord. Property landlords were invited to discuss any issues they were currently dealing with, including the end of Lettings Relief, introduced in April 2020, as well as capital gains tax rules and changes to the EPC regulations with Tax Manager, Chris Barwick. Laura Sheriff of Ridley & Hall Solicitors said of the event: “The feedback we've had has been absolutely fantastic. Hosting the workshop collaboratively has meant that landlords have gone away with advice that covers the bigger picture including mortgages, legal aspects and accounting.” The open day proved such a success that it has now become a firm contender in the Sheards Accountants' events calendar with dates pencilled in for a quarterly event of its kind with the next one to take place 26 February 2020. Carolyn Atkinson, Director at Sheards Accountants commented: “We were keen to support the initiative behind Huddersfield Business Week as we're passionate about being located in a town with such a vibrant business community. “We decided to team with other local businesses in order to emphasise this and it proved to be a great success. We've already had a number of follow-ups and we're looking forward to helping even more landlords at our next event early next year.” To express your interest in attending the next Property Landlord Open Day event on Wednesday 26th February, please email Lucy Smith at Sheards Accountants: Lucys@sheards.co.uk
Posted by Sheards Accounts
Podwalking - Is that a thing?

Posted: Tuesday 31 December 2019

In this episode Two Northern Lasses are on the go! We decided to buy a hand held recording device and try combining Michelle and Max the dog's walk in the woods with recording a podcast. So that is podwalking right? Is that even a thing? Well, if it wasn't it is now. So today you are hearing a couple of ramblers, in every sense of the word. We are talking scenery, career choices, job applications, authenticity and celebrating significant birthdays whilst walking through the woods on a cold winters day. We meet lots of other walkers and dogs along the way as you will hear, there is something about walking that makes you speak to strangers which is nice isn't it? Anyway, you'll hear enough rambling when you listen so we'll not go on! Have a listen and let us know your thoughts on podwalking - should it be a thing? Or not? https://anchor.fm/twonorthernlasses or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify
Posted by Justo Software
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