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    More than 4500 school children from all over the North enjoy Shakespeare...

    As it enjoys a second season in York at the foot of historic Clifford’s Tower, SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE – the award-winning pop-up Shakespearean theatre – has welcomed 4,749 school children and their teachers through its doors, from more than 100 schools across the North of England.

    Pupils and teachers from as far afield as York, Leeds, Manchester, Doncaster, Sheffield, Newcastle, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Bradford, Rochdale, Hull, Sunderland, Scarborough, Knaresborough, Scunthorpe, and Harrogate have enjoyed nine morning performances of Hamlet, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Many of the pupils were watching Shakespeare performed live for the first time.

    Of that total, 2,196 pupils were able to attend for free thanks to generous funding from private donors and charities to the Rose Bursary Scheme, which enables disadvantaged children to enjoy the thrill of live theatre in this historic setting.  Every £10 donated enabled a child to attend for free through the Rose Bursary Scheme.

    The York season of SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE runs until Sunday 1 September 2019, with four new productions: Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE has also expanded this year to a second site in the UK, in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, with a nine week season running until 7 September, where two companies are performing the repertoire of plays from the first season in York: Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth.

    Similarly, at SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE at Blenheim Palace, there have been eight morning performances specifically for schools, which have been enjoyed by 3930 pupils and teachers from 6 schools across Oxfordshire. The Rose Bursary scheme enabled 198 of those to attend for free, thanks to funding from the Pye Charitable Settlement Trust.

    James Cundall MBE, founder of SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE and CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions said, “One of our key aims is to offer comprehensive support for school groups.  We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to attend outstanding theatre, irrespective of their cultural, social or economic background. Therefore, this year once again we ran the Rose Bursary Scheme which enabled schools who would not otherwise be able to visit Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre to apply for free tickets.”

    We hope to ignite their imaginations and open their minds to the wonderful experience of live theatre, in a setting that will also be memorable, bringing history to life.”

    One of the teachers from Henworth Primary school said, “I was a member of staff accompanying a class of Y 4/5 children from Heworth School to see The Tempest, one of whom is my daughter, who said: “It was amazing!! I really understood the story and I LOVED the set and the songs! My favourite character was Trincolo, but I also really liked Ariel.”

    “As a staff member I thought it was an outstanding production and really accessible for the children who were watching it. The children were engrossed throughout and loved the whole experience: the setting, the staging, the costumes, the music – everything!”

    The pop-up Shakespearean theatre is constructed using state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber.   Inspired by the Rose Theatre of 1587 in London’s Bankside, SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE houses an audience of 900, with 560 seated in three covered tiers around an open-roofed courtyard with standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.

    The theatre is located within a Shakespearean village, bringing an authentic Elizabethan ambience and theatricality to the event, and features:

    • ‘wagon’ performances of Elizabethan-style entertainment, including comic mini-plays and speeches
    • the best Yorkshire food and drinks, housed in the oak-framed and reed-thatched Bear Arms pub
    • an Elizabethan garden created by Yorkshire garden designer Sally Tierney, with ornate box-edged beds of roses, cottage flowers and herbs as well as a water fountain. Mrs Tierney is the winner of a Silver-Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s renowned Chelsea Flower Show, and created the Elizabethan garden for SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE in York last year to great acclaim.
    • tables and benches around the village, enabling visitors to enjoy the historic atmosphere.

    Grand Central Rail, an established train operator on the East Coast line linking York to London, returns in 2019 as title sponsor of SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE in York.  Other returning sponsors are Fenwick luxury department store; the Grand Hotel and Spa, York’s only five star hotel; and Yorkshire’s daily national newspaper, The Yorkshire Post, back on board as official media partner.

    McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, who join as a sponsor for 2019 and who hosted the rehearsal village for the full company over seven weeks, are also hosting an exhibition of costumes and props from SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE.  The items from the 2018 plays of Richard III and Romeo and Juliet can be viewed all summer in Unit 29 at the South Atrium.

    The previously announced cast for York includes Maggie Bain (Netflix’s Black Mirror, The End of the F***ing World, film Dark Sense and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe) as ‘Henry V’; ITV’s Victoria star David Oakes as ‘Hamlet’; Sam Callis (Game of Thrones, The Bill) as ‘Prospero’ in The Tempest; and returning from last year’s SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATREOlivia Onyehara as ‘Viola’, Mark Holgate as ‘Orsino’, and Leandra Ashton as ‘Olivia’ in Twelfth Night.

    16th August 2019

    WBD strengthens IP offering with acquisition of James Love Legal

    Transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has bolstered its IP presence in the UK through the acquisition of James Love Legal (JLL), the highly ranked boutique practice.  JLL was set up a decade ago by James Love, the former head of Intellectual Property at Pinsent Masons and quickly earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence in prosecution, licensing and enforcement matters.  James and his team will be based in WBD’s Leeds office.

    This recruitment news follows on from expansion in the firm’s IP offering through the acquisition of Blakely Sokoloff, the well-known Californian patent boutique; the creation of a major life sciences team in the firm’s new Boston office; and the opening of a Houston office.

    Patrick Cantrill, who heads the IP team at WBD in the UK comments: “I am delighted to welcome James and his colleagues to our Leeds office.  We are focused on attracting the best people to the firm.  I have known James for many years and he and his highly regarded practice will add valuable expertise and experience to our existing group of IP lawyers which in October 2018 was voted Best IP Practice at the Yorkshire Legal Awards.  We are also looking forward to pooling our contacts and knowledge in the pursuit of opportunities both across the UK and overseas.”

    James Love comments: “I am hugely looking forward to working with both the practice here in the UK and with US colleagues. Womble Bond Dickinson appealed to me because of the scale of its IP operations,  its unique transatlantic presence and because it is a large general firm that puts IP centre stage.”

    Throughout the UK and USA, WBD has more than 150 specialist IP attorneys working across its 27 offices.  Its IP practice  continues to grow and attract an expanding roster of brand rich and technology rich global companies.

    Ranking in the UK’s top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK, including London, and 19 offices in the US. The firm’s key sectors include Financial Institutions; Real Estate; Insurance; Energy & Natural Resources; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Retail & Consumer; Transport, Logistics & Infrastructure; Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences; Technology and Private Wealth

    16th August 2019

    Innovative internet service provider takes home a very special award

    BESPOKE internet service provider Exa Networks has bagged its second award in two weeks – and this one, says boss Mark Cowgill, is very special indeed.

    Exa was named as Best Small or Medium Enterprise in the Bradford Means Business Awards at a glittering ceremony in a grand marquee set up in the heart of the city, in Centenary Square.

    But it was winning such a prestigious award – and widespread recognition – in his home city that had such a powerful effect on director and co-founder Mark.

    “I can honestly say I have never been prouder to pick up an award in my life,” said Mark. “I am a Bradford lad, born and bred, with claret and amber [the city’s football team colours] in my blood. To be picked out from such an incredible number of amazing businesses in my home town was fantastic.

    “Bradford is a great city on its way to becoming an amazing one. It is THE place to start, grow and thrive as a business, and we are delighted to be doing our small part.”

    The award was one of 12 announced at the spectacular event and came hot on the heels of Exa’s success in the ISPA (Internet Service Providers) Awards ceremony, in London, where it took the trophy for Best Partnership. That honour was given in recognition of Exa’s work with the Exa Foundation and the Ahead Partnership in helping schools prepare for a digital future by inspiring, supporting and promoting the use of computing and computer programming from early age primary school through to University and helping students prepare for the world of work.

    Exa Networks, which was founded in 2003, is one of the most innovative internet service providers in the UK, recently introducing the fastest internet technology in the world (DarkLight) through a pure fibre connection to businesses across Yorkshire, delivering speeds of 10,000Mbps and above.

    It is one of the only ISPs delivering bespoke internet services, bringing incredible performance and complete customisability to thousands of schools and businesses across the UK, often significantly cutting costs while improving performance across the board.

    Mark was full of praise for the staff who helped the company win the award in Bradford.

    He said: “I want to say a big thank you to my fantastic team at Exa; your hard work and dedication to going beyond are why we won this. I’d also like to thank everyone who said such beautiful things on the night and sent such lovely messages of congratulations the next day.

    “The awards night will stay forever in the memory and heart of this proud Bradfordian.”

     

    16th August 2019

    Latest promotions at Ramsdens

    Yorkshire law firm, Ramsdens Solicitors have made a number of senior promotions.

    The promotions illustrate the firm’s focus on increasing specialism and expertise as they include lawyers from different practice areas.

    Promotions include Gareth Dando promoted to Senior Associate in Employment and Associate promotions include Jane Holroyd and Beth Whiteoak in Commercial Property, Michael Robinson in Private Client and Rebecca Sargent in Ramsdens Family team.

    All of the Associate promotions trained with Ramsdens, demonstrating their commitment to investing in its people.

    Paul Joyce, Managing Partner said: “These promotions underline Ramsdens’ commitment to acknowledging the contribution of our colleagues, and supporting their ambitions and development, helping us to retain talent in our firm and in the region. We look forward to seeing them all flourish in their new positions.”

    Picture L-R Gareth Dando, Rebecca Sargent, Michael Robinson, Beth Whiteoak and Jane Holroyd.

    16th August 2019

    TV gardening expert to share tips at Bradford Garden Centre masterclass

    Leeds based garden designer and TV presenter Katie Rushworth is returning to Tong Garden Centre to deliver an informative gardening masterclass on 5th September.

    During a two hour masterclass that will be held in Tong’s new Events Centre, Yorkshire’s homegrown gardener and ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter, Katie will share the design approach for her own garden that is part of a renovation project at her new home as well as her expertise and garden hacks plus takeaway projects to get gardens thriving.

    Tong Garden Centre’s Marketing Manager, Jo Dales is looking forward to welcoming Katie back to Tong: “Katie’s passionate about creating gardens that people can replicate at home and her natural warmth enthuses people to have a go and grow. Katie’s previous masterclass here at Tong was a sell-out, so we’re really looking forward to this one.”

    Katie Rushworth’s masterclass begins at 2.00pm. Tickets include a cream tea and cost £15. They are available to buy online from www.tonggardencentre.co.uk or from the reception at Tong Garden Centre.

    Katie recently revealed her new show garden at Tong that has doubled in size and has been designed to give new ideas for planting hot colours and lush foliage in creative combinations as well as inspiring ways to style an outdoor space. The show garden at Tong is now open and will remain open for people to see and draw inspiration from.

    16th August 2019

    Plaque unveiled at Halifax celebration

    A garden party was held as part of a double celebration at Yorkshire Housing’s Asquith Court scheme in Halifax.

    There was buffet food, drinks, games and a tombola in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at the sheltered housing scheme on Sandhall Green on Wednesday, July 17.

    It was organised to rededicate a time capsule and celebrate the completion of external renovations.

    The time capsule, featuring items such as news clippings and school uniforms, was buried when the care home first opened in 1992.

    It was retrieved and had modern pieces, including a fidget spinner and a new £5 note, added to mark the 25th anniversary.

    And then, starting in January this year, work started on revamping Asquith Court externally.

    New signage, exterior paths, patios, flower beds and a lovely garden in the central courtyard were among the improvements.

    Yorkshire Housing’s environmental services team led the renovations, with funding coming from neighbourhood services and community investment.

    The work is now complete and staff, including senior independent living officer Stephanie Wescott, who is based at Asquith Court, organised the celebration.

    Yorkshire Housing chief executive Nick Atkin attended and unveiled a plaque in the garden courtyard in honour of the anniversary.

    The time capsule is located under a paving stone in the courtyard and is marked by an engraving of the Yorkshire Housing logo.

    Nick met Asquith Court residents and said: “It’s days like this that make it all real.

    “You can read lots of reports and you can read lots of stats. But it’s only when you get out to our schemes and have conversations with people that you understand the difference that Yorkshire Housing makes as a fantastic landlord.

    “In particular, I spoke to a couple of people who’ve recently come into Asquith Court and about the difference it’s made to them.

    “One lady and her son were in really difficult circumstances and we changed her life.”

    Party games included Hook-a-Duck and Play Your Cards Right and there was also a fancy dress photo booth.

    This allowed residents, including Lorraine Hollins, who was celebrating her 63rd birthday, to have their picture taken in all sorts of funny costumes.

    Yorkshire Housing staff, including community investment officer Charlotte Woollard, planned the activities and provided funding from the Community Development team to provide a buffet lunch.

    Neighbourhood services manager (west) Jo Griffin, neighbourhood officer Pamela Davies, income officer Emma Warden and community investment administrator Georgia Irving also attended.

    Nick paid tribute to their efforts and added: “This is where you see really fantastic examples of people who go more than the extra mile.

    “The fact that they’ve put in all this effort and you can see the rapport they’ve got with every single one of the resident.

    “You don’t get that unless you put the hard yards and effort in and it’s great to see.”

    Stephanie said the improvements came about through talks with residents and the neighbourhood team since she joined the scheme last year.

    “It’s not just about listening,” she said. “It’s about action and that’s why when Jo Griffin put the works request in supported by Pam, things started to move.

    “Our community involvement, championed by Charlotte and supported by Georgia, has really begun to bring our customers together and get to know each other better.

    “The work has made a real difference. It’s so much nicer now, and we’ve also got clear marked bays and disabled parking for those who need it.”

    15th August 2019

    Watson Buckle encourages businesses to prepare for first digital VAT submission

    Leading Bradford accountants, Watson Buckle, are warning businesses that they now only have days left to register and report their first digital VAT submission under the new Making Tax Digital regime.

    Companies with a quarterly VAT period that began on 1 April 2019 must meet the first Making Tax Digital (MTD) filing deadline on Wednesday 7 August 2019.

    Watson Buckle is warning that businesses who choose to pay VAT by direct debit now only have until Monday 29 July 2019 to register for Making Tax Digital with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

    This means that VAT-registered businesses with a turnover of £85,000 or more have just days remaining to put HMRC-compatible software in place and report their affairs.

    Recent reports from HMRC suggest that as many as 10,000 businesses a day are still scrambling to register and prepare themselves for the upcoming filing deadline.

    Rebecca Hurford, Corporate Tax Manager at Watson Buckle, said: “Many businesses will already have put the required processes and software in place to meet the latest filing deadline and will submit on time.

    “However, we suspect that there are many more VAT-registered businesses out there who are not sufficiently prepared for the changes ahead and could do with a helping hand to avoid being penalised by HMRC.”

    Rebecca added that promises of a ‘soft landing’ period for fines may have lulled some business owners into a false sense of security, but she said: “it is essential that businesses act now to comply with Making Tax Digital”.  The soft landing period refers to having digital links within the business’s data, not to submitting the return through the MTD gateway.

    Watson Buckle offers a dedicated online accounting solution that is HMRC-compatible, known as WB Connect. This offers a number of distinct advantages to businesses beyond the basics of compliance, including 24/7 access to accounts, greater collaboration with advisors and enhanced security.

    To find out more about Watson Buckle and how it can assist with VAT filing for Making Tax Digital, please visit www.watsonbuckle.co.uk

    15th August 2019

    Freeths strengthen comprehensive real estate offering for Yorkshire

    National law firm, Freeths LLP, have expanded their comprehensive Real Estate team in Leeds with the addition of partner, Jonathan Crew.  Jonathan joins partners Matthew Thompson and Liz Banks and a total of 8 fee earners.  Jonathan has over 25 years’ experience working for national firms including DWF and Progeny.

    Jonathan has wide ranging specialist knowledge in all aspects of Commercial Real Estate. His work includes dealing with large scale investment acquisitions and disposals, commercial development projects, often involving complex overage/profit sharing arrangements, and retail property portfolio management for large national retailers.

    John May, Managing Partner for Yorkshire and the North West, said, “Jonathan brings excellent experience and value to our already strong real estate team in Yorkshire.  Our team now amounts to 18 staff across the region making Freeths the go to firm for developers, retailers and corporate property portfolios.”

    Jonathan commented, “I’m delighted to be joining such a progressive firms as Freeths as they continue to expand both nationally, and across the region.  The Leeds Real Estate team has a great reputation in the region and I look forward to contributing to their continued success.”

    15th August 2019

    Wildflower meadows brighten up estates

    Incommunities’ gardeners have again pulled out all the stops to create a host of colourful wildflower schemes around the district.

    Among the sites are three plots on the Hillcrest estate where thousands of wildflowers have sprung into bloom.

    Margaret Butlin from Hillcrest Drive is among those who loves the displays and said: “The flowers look spectacular and really brighten up the place.

    “Lots of people have been stopping to take photos and say how lovely the displays look.”

    The Queensbury ‘flower show’ is one of more than 20 displays which include sites in Allerton, Baildon, Ilkley, Keighley, Silsden, Addingham and Windhill.

    On Bell Dean Road, wildflower turf has been used to create a dazzle of kerbside colour by this main route through the Allerton estate, whilst in Keighley displays have burst into flower at Bracken Bank, Braithwaite and next Farish House in the town.

    The schemes have been masterminded by estates supervisor Albert Sallu and his garden team.

    Peter Catterick, Incommunities’ Head of Estate Services and Sustainability, said: “Every year, Albert and his team really work hard to bring a splash of colour to our neighbourhoods and encourage planting that will attract bees and other wildflower pollinators.

    “Our approach to maintaining our open spaces and estates is about improving lives and adding to the environmental sustainability of these areas.

    “We have also been getting positive feedback from residents saying how the planting brightens their neighbourhood and lifts their spirits. With the continuing warm weather we expect the displays to run well into September.”

    14th August 2019

    Further promotions reflect Pegasus Group’s strong half year

    A strong first half to the year has seen national consultancy Pegasus Group continue its ambitious growth plans with a series of internal promotions, effective from July 1.

    The Group specialises in planning, design, environment, economics and heritage and now includes more than 300 skilled and experienced staff operating from 13 offices in 12 locations across the UK.

    Three team members have been promoted to Senior Director, with a further five made Director, and two new Associates.

    In the Bristol office, Urban Designers Mark Farrow and Sean Hindes become Senior Directors, along with Nigel Cussen of the Planning team in Leeds.

    The new Directors are Nick Kirby (Planning) from the Bracknell office; Alex Robinson (Heritage) and Urban Designer Angela Manning Wood (Design) from the Cirencester office; also Steve Lloyd (Design) in Cambridge, Richard Cook (Economics) and Graham Lamb (Planning) both from the Manchester office.

    Elizabeth Fowler in the Bristol office and Henny Handley in the Bracknell office have been promoted to Associates.

    Pegasus Group Managing Director Tony Bateman said: “Our continued growth plans remain on track, and we are pleased to report a strong start to the year.

    “A robust recruitment drive over the last six months complemented by a series of internal promotions recognises the talent that exists within Pegasus Group. Each of the promotions is testament to the hard work and commitment shown by colleagues and my congratulations and thanks go to them all.”

    Mark Farrow specialises in commercially astute, visually attractive residential and mixed-use projects. He is experienced in advising the majority of national housebuilders, along with private and public sector clients.

    Sean Hindes has experience in working as lead designer on many small and large scale mixed-use developments, with a particular focus on the design, management and successful delivery of detailed residential schemes.

    Nigel Cussen, who joined Pegasus in 2012, has significant experience in promoting developments through development plan representations, planning applications and planning appeals. Notable projects include Industrial and Business Park developments in North Yorkshire, Liverpool, Doncaster and Lincolnshire; modular build secondary schools in Essex and Somerset; and mixed-use urban extension and major residential developments in Barnsley and Harrogate.

    Nick Kirby has substantial experience working in planning and development in both public and private sector roles. He is a valued asset of the Bracknell office and advises housebuilders, landowners, developers, business owners and leisure providers on a variety of complex projects, working within multidisciplinary teams to deliver major planning permissions.

    Alex Robinson, who joined Pegasus in 2007, specialises in built heritage and development in historic areas. He is both a chartered Town Planner (MRTPI) and full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC). He advises in all aspects of the historic environment including in respect of alterations to historic buildings (both residential and commercial), setting assessments, expert witness and development control issues to be considered in purchasing land and buildings for redevelopment.

    Angela Manning Wood is an experienced Urban Designer, involved with mixed use Masterplanning projects, Strategic Urban Extensions, Design Coding and Detailed Layout Design throughout the UK. Angela’s experience enables her to work on a wide range of projects and sites across the country from site promotion stages through to detailed design. Her eye for detail and sound understanding of commercial viability ensures clients achieve the maximum results from their sites.

    Steve Lloyd joined Pegasus Group as a year out placement student and subsequently on a full-time basis following completion of his Undergraduate degree and a Master’s in Urban Design. A significant proportion of Steve’s detailed layout work is located around the Essex region, consequently his detailed site layouts have been heavily influenced by The Essex Design Guide.

    Richard Cook has more than 15 years’ experience in economic development. He has extensive experience of making the economic case for commercial development, including reviewing the economic evidence bases of Local Plans on behalf of clients.

    Graham Lamb holds a broad level of experience having promoted development projects within a range of sectors, including housing, retail, employment and mixed use. He has promoted schemes through community consultation events, planning applications and the appeal process.

    Elizabeth Fowler has varied experience in advising on and managing the planning process for developer clients, from householder applications and changes of use, through medium scale residential schemes, to a 21,000 seat football stadium. Most recently she has concentrated on development to deliver specialist housing for older people, a growing sector for obvious reasons which need to be addressed through the planning system if existing and future needs are to be met.

    Henny Handley has an established and robust knowledge of the industry gained in public sector, private practice and client side.  Her current work includes preparing and managing applications and appeals for large scale residential developments and making Local Plan representations for site promotions.

    14th August 2019

    Chemical company surveys effect of interactive learning

    A Cross Hills chemical company has succeeded in its aims to encourage interest in STEM subjects following a visit from its local primary school.

    Following a recent day out at Airedale Chemical, Sutton-in-Craven Community Primary School year four pupils were surveyed about the effect the experience had on their attitudes towards science.

    More than 90% said they were now more aware of how science is used in everyday life and more than two thirds (69%) would now consider a career in STEM.

    The change comes after the pupils were welcomed onto the Airedale Chemical site to carry out experiments in its new product development laboratory, explore its specialist fleet of lorries and learn about how its products are used.

    The survey also highlighted the differing attitudes towards science between male and female students. Before the visit none of the girls regarded science as their favourite lesson but afterwards 83% said it was now their favourite subject and 100% were now more interested in science as a result of their day on site.

    The number of girls who were consequently considering a science-related career increased by 34% after their experience.

    Chris Chadwick, managing director of Airedale Chemical, said: “Receiving the results of this annual survey is always so gratifying for us at Airedale Chemical. We have a long-standing relationship with Sutton-in-Craven Community Primary School and the main aim of the work we do together is to inspire this kind of interest in our community.

    “These children are our next generation of chemists so to hear directly from them what a difference our relationship is having is incredibly rewarding.

    “The pupils never fail to amaze us with their thirst for knowledge and their enthusiasm. It is a joy to have them here.”

    Almost all (97%) of the children felt their time at Airedale Chemical helped them better understand the subject of science.

    Julia Forster, year four teacher at Sutton-in-Craven, added: “We can see that the children get a lot out of the visits but this survey has been a great way to quantify how it helps pupils get to grips with chemistry and how science is working all around us.”

    All of the company’s work with the community is carried out through the Airedale Foundation, Airedale Chemical’s outreach programme dedicated to local good causes.

    Airedale Chemical has been based in Cross Hills since 1994 and provides chemicals and contract manufacturing to markets including manufacturing, dairy, recycling and waste management.

    For more information visit www.airedalechemical.com.

    14th August 2019

    Andrew Jackson’s private client team remains top ranked in leading industry guide

    The York office of Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is delighted to announce that Chambers & Partners, one of the leading industry guides to UK law firms, has once again ranked its private client team in the top tier.

    In Chambers’ annual High Net Worth guide, published 12 July, Andrew Jackson is one of  only three firms to be recognised in the top tier in York, Hull and surrounds. Private client partner, Kevin Webster, is also recognised as a leading lawyer.

    Mark Pearson-Kendall, managing partner of Andrew Jackson said: –  “These results are always really important to us, as they are based on a combination of objective research and interviews with clients, so they provide us with a true picture of how we are performing.

    “The aim across the whole firm is to provide exceptional legal services built around our clients’ needs. I am very proud of our private client team for continuing to receive high levels of recognition from one of the leading client authorities to the UK’s legal sector.”

    Chambers’ High Net Worth 2019 edition can be accessed by visiting www.chambers.com

    13th August 2019

    Womble Bond Dickinson advises Grainger on the Fabrik scheme in Leeds South...

    Transatlantic law firm, Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), has advised Grainger on the forward funding of a key build-to-rent development project at Sweet Street, Leeds which will be developed by Oakapple Group.

    This 216 apartment build-to-rent project forms part of the Holbeck Urban Village which is a key area of the south bank regeneration initiative. The twelve storey development includes a range of contemporary one bed, two and three bedroom apartments which are being built specifically for the rental market, together with basement car parking and residents facilities.

    Julia Dacre Field, Partner in the Real Estate team at Womble Bond Dickinson, led on the transaction which involved negotiation of the land and forward-funding development agreements. Her team advised Grainger on real estate; construction; planning; tax and property litigation matters.

    The team included; Dale Armstrong, Associate in Real Estate; Ian Atkinson, Partner in Construction;  James Garbett, Managing Associate in Planning; Lee Parbery, Managing Associate in Tax; and Fiona Graham, Managing Associate in Property Litigation.

    Julia commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have worked on the Fabrik scheme with Grainger. I am proud that our cross and multi-disciplinary build to rent team here at Womble Bond Dickinson were involved in this regeneration scheme in the significant and emerging South Bank area of the city. Grainger is one of our long standing clients and we look forward to working with them on more exciting projects in the future.”

    Max Sugden, Grainger’s Acquisitions Manager, commented: “The Sweet Street development is an important project for us, with Leeds being one of our key target locations. Womble Bond Dickinson’s advice and support has been very welcome in helping us complete on this deal.”

    Ranking in the UK’s top 20 law firms, Womble Bond Dickinson provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US.

    13th August 2019

    TCS confirms national retailers at redeveloped Milngavie site

    Leeds-based property investor and car park operator, Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS), has agreed new leases with two national discount retailers, Aldi and Home Bargains, at its redeveloped West Park Retail Park in Milngavie, on the edge of Greater Glasgow, the former Homebase site.

    The Main Street asset, housed in the affluent residential suburb outside Glasgow, was formerly let to Homebase who closed the existing unit in December 2017 following an on-going strategic review of its business.    Planning was approved by East Dunbartonshire Council in August 2018 following extensive consultations by TCS with retail experts and potential tenants on how best to attract new businesses to the site, as well as create local employment.

    Refurbishment works have sub-divided the main 38,105 sq ft building into two retail units with plans to create a third unit.   Discount supermarket Aldi will occupy 18,341 sq ft in Unit 1a on a 20 year lease, whilst national discount chain Home Bargains will take 18,320  sq ft in Unit 1b on a 15 year lease.    The deals will create circa 80 jobs for the local area.

    The restored site includes new pedestrian access from Main Street, along with bicycle parking and the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers.  CitiCharge, a subscription free EV charging networked, owned and managed by TCS subsidiary company CitiPark, is installing two 22kwh chargers in the site’s car park.

    Due to the shortage of EV chargers available for disabled drivers across the UK, one of the chargers will be a designated blue badge charging bay.  The installation comes shortly after the company announced it had installed Leeds City Centre’s Rapid Charger at CitiPark’s flagship branch, the Merrion Centre.

    Lynda Shillaw, property director at Town Centre Securities said:

    “TCS has been committed to the long-term sustainable regeneration of the West Park Retail Park in Milngavie since we acquired the former Homebase site in 2007. Planning consent was approved on the adjacent site in 2013 to create the Waitrose which opened its doors in 2015 and has since been a welcome addition to the local retail offer. The recent repurposing of the Homebase unit continues our investment into the retail park and we are pleased to have agreed terms with Aldi and Home Bargains which has in turn created 80 new jobs for the local area.”

    12th August 2019

    DLA Piper supports master Cutler’s 2019 charities with a real-life monopoly challenge

    Sheffield city centre was once again turned into a giant Monopoly board by DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, as teams from organisations across the city battled it out to raise funds for the Master Cutler’s Challenge.

    Thirteen teams from businesses across South Yorkshire took part in a full-size Monopoly game around the city’s streets on Thursday 11 July.  With Master Cutler Nick Cragg starting the game, the teams rolled their first dice at DLA Piper’s office and then raced around the city, visiting as many places on the Sheffield city board as possible by foot or using public transport (sponsored by Stagecoach).

    After collecting an impressive $3, 650 DLA Piper dollars in two hours,  a team from BHP were crowned the champions, winning the honour of the title and a few bottles of champagne to celebrate.

    The challenge raised £5,000 for the Master Cutler’s chosen charities of 2019, St Luke’s and Rotherham Hospice.

    Rob McKie, partner at DLA Piper, who arranged this year’s challenge, said: “We’ve had fantastic support from the local business community, with many teams returning to take part.  The Monopoly Challenge has developed into a well-loved initiative, which not only raises money for a great cause, but is a great team building exercise.  We would like to thank everyone who took part.”

    12th August 2019

    Winners announced in Bradford garden centre competition to support literacy project

    The team at Tong Garden Centre has announced the winners of a competition that it ran with Bradford Stories, for children to win prizes to play at its new indoor play area.

    Pupils at more than 20 Bradford schools were invited to create a name and a story for one of two new characters at Grass Hoppers indoor play that opens this weekend. The schools were selected by Bradford Stories, a National Literacy Trust hub to improve literacy levels in the city by promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

    Eight-year-old Amelia from Beckfoot Nessfield Primary School named the new spider, ‘Incy’ and part of her winning story read ‘I don’t like putting my shoes on to play out because I have to tie eight laces.’

    Incy’s new friend at Grass Hoppers indoor and outdoor play is a caterpillar who was aptly named ‘Nibbles’ by Knowles Wood Primary School pupil Mahnoor, also aged eight. She made reference to eating ‘juicy leaves and tasty petals for dinner, lunch and breakfast’ in her story. 

    Tong Garden Centre’s Marketing Manager, Jo Dales organised the competition and was delighted with the quality of the entries. “We wanted to celebrate the opening of the new play area in a way that supports the great work of our charity of the year Bradford Stories, so we launched this competition to encourage children to be creative in naming and describing the new characters that will bring Grass Hoppers to life.

    “We’re very pleased with how the competition has gone – it seems like the children and teachers really got on board with it which is great to see!”

    The winners will receive a Grass Hoppers goody bag and a free play pass for themselves, plus a ‘class pass’ that gives all of the winner’s school class a free play at Grass Hoppers and Bradford Stories also rewarded the winners with a bundle of books for their classroom.

    Imran Hafeez, manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford commented: “This fabulously pulled together concept was well received by the schools – and I loved reading the winning entries.

    “For the winners to have their efforts recognised and marked in this way is fantastic. It will be a real confidence boost for them and will leave a lasting impression on those taking part. – Thanks, Tong Garden Centre for being on the mark!”

    Tong Garden Centre occupies a 14 acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest garden centres with 110,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 1,000 cars.

    12th August 2019

    The Merrion Centre ‘Chamber of Time’ interactive experience officially opens

    Professor Humboldt’s Chamber of Time’ Museum officially opened in the Merrion Centre on Saturday 13th July and will run until 1st September.
    • 7 professional actors with experience ranging from leading TV series to Hollywood blockbusters will plunge visitors into Britain’s fascinating past
    • The space has been transformed by Bi-Frost Entertainment who have used Yorkshire based theming and sound suppliers to bring to life state-of-the-art set designs combined with special effects to deliver a totally immersive educational experience.

    On Saturday 13th July the Merrion Centre launched the first ever ‘Professor Humboldt’s Chamber of Time’ Museum; a unique shopping centre family attraction which will run throughout the school holidays until 1st September.

    Operated by Bifrost Entertainment, 7 professional actors who have featured in films from Harry Potter, Love Actually and Finding Neverland, will whisk visitors through 5,000 years of British History from the mythical origins of Stonehenge through to the tournaments of the Tudor dynasty.

    Working with Yorkshire based theming company Norse Sky Ltd and local lighting and sound company Sound Leisure, they have totally transformed the 3,500 sq.ft unit on the main mall of the Merrion Centre into Leeds’s first ever interactive time machine; through state of the art set design and special effects the ‘Chamber of Time’ delivers a 45 minute totally immersive and action-packed educational encounter for all the family that will catapult you into the past and where you will be able to experience history first hand!

    James Broughton Head of Marketing & PR Merrion Centre said: “We’re extremely excited to officially open the ‘Chamber of Time’ and bring a ‘one of a kind experience’ to the heart of Leeds Arena Quarter.

    The Chamber of Time is an immersive and educational experience, and we are sure it will prove a unique activity to keep the children entertained throughout the school holidays. We look forward to welcoming lots of budding time travellers to the centre, to not only learn about history but to become a part of it!”

    Open daily from 1000hrs, and with last admissions at 1700hrs (1730hrs on a Saturday), Chamber of Time is suitable for ages 6+ and adults alike, ticket prices start from £7.20 with a 30% off introductory offer on tickets purchased from the 13th July to 20th July. More offer details, package deals and concessions can be found at https://www.chamberoftime.co.uk/.

    12th August 2019

    Saint Catherine’s launches ‘Friends in Business’ scheme

    Saint Catherine’s is inviting businesses to join its new Friends in Business scheme – which is a way of helping support patient care whilst reducing tax bills at the same time.

    The scheme gives businesses of all sizes the chance to support a great local cause and enjoy a number of benefits in return for their support.

    One of the first businesses to join Friends in Business was Castle Employment Group.

    Suzanne Burnett, director, said: “This is a great way to make it easier for businesses to give a donation to Saint Catherine’s.

    “It’s something lots of businesses would like to do, but they don’t realise it can be so easy.

    “I would encourage everyone to take part. The service Saint Catherine’s provides is invaluable – it is a charity close to my heart and also important to many members of our team.”

    Tracy Calcraft, income and business services director, said: “Supporting a local charity makes a real difference to the cause you support and can improve relations with your customers, clients and employees.

    “Our services are a vital part of the community and having regular financial support can allow us to care for patients today and plan for tomorrow.”

    Limited companies, partnerships and sole traders can pay less tax when they give to charity. Donations are tax deductible against the profits of a company. Donations from sole trader or business partnerships are paid net of tax and the charity claims a tax credit on top, direct from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

    All qualifying charitable donations are eligible for Gift Aid or Corporate Gift Aid.

    For example, a £100 donation by a limited company costs the company £81 after a 19% tax saving.

    And for sole trader and partnership companies, charitable donations are uplifted by HMRC through Gift Aid – so a donation of £100 would be increased to £125, with the extra £25 being paid by HMRC. Talk to your accountant about the best option for you.

    By becoming part of Saint Catherine’s Friends in Business, you will also benefit from the use of the scheme’s logo, which can be provided for use on your company stationery, company website and your marketing literature. You will also receive an annual statement of contributions made.

    Saint Catherine’s cares for over 3,000 patients and their families each year across Scarborough, Whitby, Ryedale, Filey, Hunmanby, Bridlington and Driffield.

    It costs £5.5 million a year to provide care free of charge – 70% of this is raised through donations and fundraising.

    This is how your business can help:

    • £50 per month could pay for the Hospice at Home team to visit a patient in their own home.
    • £100 per month could pay for our community nurse specialist team to visit patients in their own home to offer advice, support and guidance around treatment and care.
    • £250 per month could pay for a 24-hour stay in our in-patient unit.
    • £10,000 is the cost of providing all our care services for one day.

    To find out more about Friends in Business, call the fundraising department on (01723) 378406 or email fundraising@saintcatherines.org.uk

    12th August 2019