Yorkshire Business

Savills brings newly refurbished 1 East Parade to market

Schroders, represented jointly by Savills and Carter Towler, has brought to market 32,916 sq ft of newly refurbished, high quality office space at 1 East Parade in Leeds city centre.

Available summer 2020, the property consists of 25,478 sq ft of remodelled Grade A workspace over ground to third floor, with a further suite of 5,620 sq ft on the seventh floor and a brand new eighth floor of 1,818 sq ft.

Situated in a prime city centre location, 1 East Parade is currently undergoing a substantial refurbishment to provide modern office accommodation of the highest quality. The refurb will include a striking new reception area, leading to inspirational offices on the upper floors, as well as contemporary common areas and new floor by floor air conditioning.

Patrick Carter, director in the office agency team at Savills Leeds, comments: “1 East Parade is a landmark building in the heart of Leeds and we are looking forward to securing new tenants in the newly refurbished office space. The significant investment from Schroders has created an exceptional office building in one of the city’s most sought-after locations.”

27th March 2020

Housing group launch employment hub to help job seekers

Are you unemployed and looking for work?

Incommunities has launched a new employment hub to help local job seekers (aged 18 and over) into work.

Employment advisors are on hand to give free advice:

·       on searching local job sites

·       writing effective CVs

·       completing job applications

·       making the right impression in interviews

·       careers advice including apprenticeship opportunities

·       and provide in-work support.

The housing group’s training team can also help job seekers gain the skills and qualifications needed to help them into work including running free maths and English courses.

From Tuesday, 3rd March, the team will trial a drop-in employment service at the Building Services Logistics building, off Hillam Road, Bradford (BD2 1QN) on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1.00 and 3.00pm

The team are also on hand to offer free advice and support to local employers looking to recruit.

To get in touch with our friendly team ring 01274 257788 or email employment.hub@incommunities.co.uk

Nicki Woods, Incommunities’ Contract Manager for the new Employment Hub said: “We are really excited to be launching this new one-stop service aimed at helping more local job seekers access jobs and training to boost their employment opportunities.

“We want to help local people improve their skills and become ‘job ready’ to make that right move into work.

“As well helping unemployed residents we are keen to work with local employers find the right recruits that can boost their business.”

The project is part funded by the European Structural and Investment Fund and is supported by Bradford Council and Leeds City Region partners.

27th March 2020

Ramsdens win prestigious UK award for ‘heir hunting’ excellence

Ramsdens Solicitors, has won an award based on the excellence of their work in ‘heir hunting’, or probate research – the process of helping next of kin become reunited with estates they often had no idea existed – at the 2020 The UK Probate Research Awards – otherwise known as ‘The Probies.’

Celebrating the achievements and examples of best practice across forensic genealogy (or heir hunting), the UK Probate Research Awards, took place at London’s DeVere Grand Connaught Rooms on 6 February 2020.

Presented by the BBC’s Nikki Bedi, the Awards, supported by the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP), Red-Inc, Just Clear and Finders International, gives recognition to probate research as a profession, which leads to a constant stream of fascinating news and personal finance stories, while providing an invaluable public service.

Heir hunting, the profession made popular by the BBC TV programme by that name, uncovers complex stories of family trees, while providing instrumental research and essential services to support the legal world, tasked with winding up estates when individuals pass away.

Ramsdens, a full practice law firm with 15 office across Yorkshire, and which won in the category of Best Probate Law Firm for the North of England, was commended by judges for their high levels of service under often difficult and emotionally charged circumstances.

Michael Robinson, Associate in Ramsdens Private Client, team commented:  “It was a great night at the ‘Probies’ not only because we won ‘Best Probate Law Firm – North 2020’ (for the second year running!) – but we enjoyed a well organised event with other nominees, including law firms from across the country, genealogists from around the world and also specialist companies. A big thank you to the organisers of the event, Meerkat PR, and their sponsors.”

Alzheimer’s Society, the charity leading the battle against dementia, benefited from the silent auction which raised more than £2,500 during the event.

Other highlights from the evening included TV heir hunter, Danny Curran, a star of BBC’s Heir Hunters television programme winning Best UK Probate Research Firm of the Year for his company, Finders International.

Beyond awards:  A story of human interest which captured national interest

Margaret Abbotts, 81, of Putney London was a member of the public invited to The Probies, to receive the award for Best Story Of Human Interest.  Having led an extraordinary life to date, including surviving The Blitz during the war, polio and having been told she should never give birth, Margaret went on to have four children, and succeeded against all the odds of life.

What she did not know was that she had a half-sister who died intestate (without a will), and that the efforts of probate researchers allowed Margaret to inherit what her sister had left behind.  This lucky and unexpected windfall supports Margaret in her well-deserved retirement today.  The story was featured on ITV’s This Morning with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, in addition to The Daily Mail and Guardian.

27th March 2020

Meet your export experts

You’ve just landed an order from overseas, and it feels great.

It shows that you’re a growing, healthy business, and will fill up your order book too, helping keep staff busy in the coming months.  But then you start to realise – you’ve never sold to this market before!  Very soon, the joy gives way to panic…

Or, imagine, you’ve received an order from Iran, but your product contains components that were manufactured in the US, and you need advice about compliance – fast.

These scenarios are not as unusual as you might think.  Chamber International’s client services team receive enquiries every day from businesses who are either looking to enter a new overseas market, or need practical help with an export.  Asked for a memorable example, general manager Nikki Clow recalls: “This one company made a speculative bid, and the next we heard they’d won their first export order – nine shipments and 27 forty-foot containers in all!  They hadn’t thought how they would receive payment, or compared different delivery terms either – they’d just copied something from the internet.  They realised they needed help, so we sent our team in and de-risked the whole contract for them.”

Members of West & North Yorkshire Chamber get special preferential access to Chamber International’s client services team, based right at the heart of Chamber’s own offices in Little Germany, Bradford.  Export advisors Laura Patterson, Fiorella Duran-Robinson, Ioanna Orfandi, and recent recruit Katja Bruns, receive all new enquiries, and manage the delivery of a wide range of trade services.  A truly international team, between them they speak French, Italian, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian… and English, of course.  Laura said: “I love working at Chamber International because we have such a strong network of highly experienced specialists; the world of international trade is constantly changing, and, by working as a team, our individual trade expertise grows every day.”

Whether a business requires a tariff classification for their goods, advice about trade preference agreements, Brexit planning, conformity certificates, an origin ruling, in-house training, or customs clearance – the client services team are ready to deliver.  Chamber International also facilitates overseas market entry, assists with finding trade partners, and provides a full “Export Office” service to take the pressure off company shipping departments when needed, even during holiday absences.  The new exciting new “Chamber Customs” service, being rolled out just as British firms face the prospect of far greater involvement with clearance processes, will ensure their goods safe and efficient passage through UK ports, post-Brexit.

Time and again, Chamber members have expressed thanks to Chamber International for helping them avoid mistakes, and saving them trouble and money.

“You managed the exporting and associated risk, taking the headache away from me, and ensured a trouble-free delivery”, said one recent email.

Fiorella recently received a call from Fantastak, Europe’s leading manufacturer of glue dots and niche adhesive products, who were looking for assistance regarding the origin of their goods.  Through careful research, Chamber International uncovered that these goods needed to be classified as being of non-preferential Chinese (rather than UK) origin.  Bradford-based Fantastak were so pleased with the help they received, by which they avoided a potentially costly false origin declaration, that they signed up for Chamber membership, and now also receive special reduced rates for export documentation and other trade services.

Fantastak’s technical director, Paul Simpson, said: “We sell into 54 countries, and have lots of experience dealing with certificates of origin, but in this instance a major German OEM in the floristry sector wanted us to get the second opinion of the Chamber.  I’m so glad we did!  The CI client services team understood exactly what we needed, and responded quickly.  We’re now talking with the wider Chamber about a number of different matters, as we invest in the business and develop a whole new product line”.

27th March 2020

80 places fill in 80 minutes as SES Engineering Services inspire Yorkshire...

National engineering specialist SES Engineering Services (SES) and The Mount School in York successfully hosted their 7th annual Hovercraft Day challenge on Tuesday (4th February), which aims to inspire young girls to become the next generation of female engineers.

More than 80 Year Six girls from eight local schools were invited to design and build their own hovercrafts, before racing their creations in a knock-out tournament to determine the overall victors.

Throughout the day the York girls’ Quaker school hosted engineering workshops with Year Six girls from Lord Deramore’s, Froebelian School, The Mount Junior, Terrington Hall, Knavesmire, St Wilfrid’s, newcomers New Earswick and last year’s winners, St Paul’s.

The students worked together in teams, alongside their own teaching staff and engineering students from York University, to create fully-functioning hovercrafts powered by a leaf blower engine capable of carrying one ‘pilot’ from each team along a short racing track.

At the end of the workshop, the hovercraft designs were judged by Amy Bastow, Business Administrator from SES and following a thrilling race, the team from Terrington Hall was presented with the winners’ trophy.

Julie Payne, SES’ Marketing and Communications Business Partner commented: “There is an urgent need to solve the skills gap affecting our industry and we have to encourage more young people, especially girls, to consider a career in engineering. Many have preconceptions of what engineering means, without realising the scope for creativity and innovation that it brings.

“We must continue to work together to make sure every young person has the opportunity to be inspired by STEM and engineering. Initiatives like our Hovercraft Day are proven to help encourage young girls to consider STEM subjects later on and it was fantastic to see so many talented and creative girls rise to the challenge.”


SES Engineering Services has sponsored the event since its inception in 2013, which has seen over 600 girls take part so far and has been strongly supported by York MP, Rachael Maskell. This year, places were filled within eighty minutes, proving the popularity of the event, with many previous attendees now studying STEM subjects at A-Level.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, said of the event: “The annual Hovercraft Day has been another great success and I’m delighted that SES Engineering Services and The Mount School are committed to continuing this tradition.

“As commonly reported, we desperately need to encourage more young people, especially women, to embark on careers in STEM and events like these can spark their interest in engineering. Capturing their imaginations at an early age is paramount in ensuring we have the necessary skills in place to deliver future projects which will be vital in supporting our economy in the years to come.”

Adrienne Richmond, Principal at The Mount School, said: “This year, the eighty spaces for our Hovercraft Day filled within eighty minutes – a new record. This shows the clear demand for STEM engagement activities that give girls the opportunity to develop important skills such as leadership and communication. Most importantly, they can learn from female engineering role models like Amy from SES, and university students who show that there is a real place for women in the engineering and science communities.

“As a girls’ school, The Mount provides an excellent educational setting for our students to thrive in STEM studies. Young people who participate in events such as SES’ Hovercraft Day, will be learning in an all-girl setting for the first time, and it’s wonderful to watch their self-confidence grow over the course of the day. We are so grateful to SES, York University and our local schools for their continued support in making this event an even greater success year on year.”

26th March 2020

Bradford Garden Centre creates new role to oversee expansion plans

Tong Garden Centre has appointed a project manager to oversee the next phase of its £2m extension project.


Sarah Ritchie joins the team at multi award-winning Tong Garden Centre in the newly created position of project manager.  A chartered surveyor with 14 years’ experience, she joins the Tong Lane business following a career break to bring up her young family and brings a wealth of experience to Tong.


Tong’s Managing Director, Mark Farnsworth said: “We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the team. With a strong track record in the Leeds property market, latterly with BNP Paribas, Sarah is obviously well equipped to oversee the £2m extension project with full responsibility for the delivery of the project.


“We are then hoping to secure other projects for Sarah to manage as the business expands from our single site to a multi-site operation.”


Mrs Ritchie is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead: “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a building project move from its conception to completion and having a part in guiding it on its way.
“I’m excited for the challenge and thinking through and overcoming the practical issues we might face on the way. This particular phase of development is really important as it’s not just for the Tong customer but for the Tong staff so it’s a big responsibility to deliver.”


When she’s not working, Mrs Ritchie enjoys spending time outdoors, including skiing, netball, walking Tarka the dog and family time watching her sons play sport and relaxing at home.
Phase two of the £4m expansion starts in March. The two storey extension will be home to new staff facilities for its 200 strong team, a 180 seat restaurant plus 15,000 sq ft of retail space. Phase one of the expansion opened in summer 2019 and included a new plant canopy, an indoor play area for Grass Hoppers and an events centre.


Work on the build will be carried out by many of the same teams who completed phase one. “In our continued support of, and investment in, the Yorkshire economy, we have appointed Yorkshire tradesmen wherever possible,” said Mr Farnsworth


“We estimate that £2.5 million of the £4 million investment will be spent with Yorkshire firms. This part of the project will also create an additional 25 jobs within the business.”


Work on the extension is expected to be completed by September.


Tong Garden Centre’s owners acquired the centre in 2015 and are currently are actively seeking additional sites to replicate the successful formula of the award winning Tong Lane site.

26th March 2020

Housing association invites community to support new volunteer scheme

Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has called on the Bradford and Keighley community to get involved in its new volunteer scheme which is about to launch.


The Xperience Volunteering Project (XVP) will initially run on a trial basis for six months with the objective of attracting 20 local people to fill voluntary roles with employers across the district, including MHA itself.


The association is also inviting companies, public sector bodies and third sector organisations to become partners in the scheme by offering volunteer posts which require between two and 20 hours per week.


XVP seeks to boost the employability and skills levels of volunteers, whilst delivering productivity benefits to partners through the provision of additional staff.


Registration and induction of the chosen volunteers will be carried out by MHA staff, with the association also making a modest daily payment available to cover expenses such as travel.


The project was devised by MHA Community Partnerships and Investment Manager Nas Hussain, following consultation with residents, potential volunteers and service providers.


He said he was proud that XVP had been driven by local people and believed it would bring tangible benefits for all involved.


He continued:  “More than three million people regularly volunteer in countless different roles across the country, resulting in a social return estimated at between £23 billion and £57 billion per year.

“Volunteers are able to develop their workplace skills, broaden their social network and make a positive contribution to community wellbeing.

“Meanwhile, employers gain new, highly-motivated staff who want to do well.  Many will have the potential and desire to stay on a remunerated basis, negating the need for what can be an expensive and laborious recruitment process.

“Bradford and Keighley have no shortage of people simply requiring the opportunity to show what they can do.

“The Xperience Volunteering Project can be their chance to shine.”


Lee Bloomfield, MHA Chief Executive, said the scheme would link in with the association’s overarching commitment to engage with the local community.


He said: “The level of untapped potential I see across Bradford district is immense, particularly amongst young people.

“Through XVP, Manningham Housing Association has already begun the process of creating workplace opportunities for volunteers in our head office in the city centre and is liaising with partner organisations to create several more.

“But we want to encourage new partners to join us in this effort and hope that many will do so, either as part of the pilot project or for what we hope will follow after evaluation of the initial outcomes.

“I invite willing partners and volunteers to get in touch, get involved in XVP and let’s do something rewarding together.”


Barrington Billings, MHA Chair, added:  “We have always focused on much more than providing high quality homes for our tenants.  MHA wants to improve local neighbourhoods and the lives of those who live in them.  This scheme forms an important part of our Community Investment Strategy and enables the association to take a lead once again in our determination to become a key place-shaper in our neighbourhoods.


“I have met so many individuals in Bradford and Keighley who want to improve themselves whilst benefitting the wider community.


“The Xperience Volunteering Project can be a vehicle to deliver those objectives.”


Employers willing to become partners in the scheme and individuals keen to step forward as volunteers are invited to contact Nas Hussain on Tel:  01274 377 254 or email: Nasir.Hussain@manninghamha.co.uk

26th March 2020

boohoo co-founder, Carol Kane awards three lucky students life-changing scholarships

In a unique collaboration with York St John University, online fashion retailer boohoo.com has funded scholarships to three talented fashion students. With the personal support of boohoo.com co-founder Carol Kane, the scholarship competition offered prospective students the opportunity to win a fully funded, one-year Masters degree at the University’s London campus.

Available exclusively to boohoo.com customers, the competition was designed to seek out talented entrepreneurs wanting to turn their business dreams into reality by studying an MSc Fashion and Luxury Marketing course at York St John. The course aims to give students the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the competitive, fast-paced fashion industry.

Carol Kane, herself an honorary graduate of York St John University, said “‘Developing and encouraging talent in our fashion industry is vital to the growth and success of British business.  I am delighted to be working with York St John University in shaping this new bursary.  Huge congratulations to the winners, we hope this opportunity provided by the boohoo Group helps to set the students off on a positive path to success.’

Entrants to the competition submitted a 500-word pitch and five-minute video, highlighting their original, commercially viable and socially responsible business idea.

The three lucky winners selected by the judging panel to receive the Boohoo.com scholarships were Purvi Brahmbhatt, Gabriela Socolic and Vladiana-Maria Barbur who are now enrolled on the MSc Fashion and Luxury Marketing course at York St John University’s London campus.

Purvi said: “Before studying at York St John University, I was a fashion designer for three years making traditional garments in India. Having my own sustainable fashion business is something that I’ve always dreamt of, so when I saw the opportunity to win a boohoo scholarship at York St John’s London Campus, I had to go for it.”
Purvi applied for her scholarship in India, highlighting how her business idea has an ethical conscience at its heart.
She added: “What I’m learning is absolutely amazing – the course doesn’t just focus on the practical side of fashion – instead, it covers absolutely everything including the all-important theory. I’m now due to start my marketing internship at O’NITAA in South Kensington, which is a luxury fashion designer specialising in Pakistani couture. The opportunities that have come from this scholarship have been incredible and I’m so excited for the future.
“Carol Kane has been incredibly supportive and I’m so thankful for everything. Carol has given me an opportunity that I never thought I’d be able to achieve in India.”

26th March 2020

Leading law firm’s flying start to the year as it shares its...

Leading law firm Rollits LLP got the year off to a flying start with their ‘2020 Vision’ campaign which will see the recruitment of some new team members, heavy investment into internal systems and embracing new technologies in a new, refreshing outlook on what can be seen as a rather traditional industry.

With offices in both Hull and York, their two launch events at The Deep, Hull and The Grand, York were extremely well received by clients, partners and other stakeholders as they highlighted their fresh focus and plans for the next decade.

Client Relations & Marketing Director, Pat Coyle said: “As the world rapidly changes around us, focus, vision, and an ever-growing need to evolve has become paramount in everything we do as a law firm. As we come into a new decade, at Rollits it’s our mission to embody this through the launch of our ‘2020 Vision’ campaign. It provides a real sense of direction and consistency for our team and our clients”

The 180 year old firm currently has 99 staff members made up of 21 Partners, 40 lawyers and 38 admin staff, and their 2020 Vision has been said to be ‘Pivotal’ internally to Rollits just as much as it is externally to their clients, in order to become a benchmark in all they do, and truly raise the bar in quality of service and client experience, providing a non-jargon approach, and offering honest, valuable insight through a partnership approach with clients.

Managing Partner, Ralph Gilbert  said: “We are currently in a real growth phase – growing and nurturing our own “talent” from the ground up is massively important to us, as well as recruiting at a more senior level when the opportunity arises.

“Our York office is a good example of this, in particular it has seen an increase in many new recruits over the last 18 months.

“It’s our mission to carry on evolving and refining our services and brand, to ensure we continue to strive for new horizons, excellent client service, and our 2020 Vision is a great way of showcasing this.”

As part of their 2020 Vision, Rollits want to embody clarity, trust, focus and insight both internally to their ever-growing team and externally to their client partnerships. As the world of law grows and changes, it’s important the firm evolves through embracing new technologies, recruiting and retaining the best talent, and truly bringing to life this forward thinking approach that sets them apart from the rest. To find out more about Rollits  2020 Vision, visit: https://vimeo.com/389002986

26th March 2020

Lupton Fawcett boosts private client team

Yorkshire law firm Lupton Fawcett has appointed Ed Taylor to its private client department.

An associate solicitor, Ed has specialised in private client work for more than 10 years. He graduated from the College of Law, York, and joins Lupton Fawcett’s York office from Raworths in Harrogate.

Ed advises clients on estate and trust administration, will writing with estate planning and powers of attorney. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly.

Hugh Thompson, partner and head of private client at Lupton Fawcett, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Ed to our private client team. His considerable knowledge and experience will enhance the professional and personal services we provide to our clients.”

Lupton Fawcett delivered a strong showing in the latest Legal 500 rankings. The Leeds, Sheffield and York-based business has been ranked for the expertise of its individuals and teams in 21 practice areas, putting it in the top five legal firms in Yorkshire and the Humber.

26th March 2020

Well known agricultural solicitor joins Harrowells

One of Yorkshire’s best-known agricultural solicitors has joined North and East Yorkshire law firm, Harrowells.

Jenni Bartram, (pictured) a long-standing member of the Agricultural Law Association and former president of the Yorkshire Law Society, qualified as a solicitor in 1981 and joins York-based Harrowells, which has a strong presence in agriculture throughout Yorkshire, as a consultant solicitor.

She has extensive experience in many areas of law involving farm businesses and landowners including partnerships, wills, taxation and succession planning, diversification schemes, including holiday and leisure developments; business tenancies, property, planning and renewable energy schemes. She will work from Harrowells’ York and rural offices.

Jenni Bartram, who has worked with the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) as a panel member, also sat on a legal committee of Agricultural Law Association and Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) members on the introduction of the IAACS predecessor of the Basic Payment Scheme.

She also advises racehorse trainers and is a trustee of several landed estates where she is involved in their strategy planning and issues arising from both tenanted land and that farmed by the estates.

Jenni Bartram, a former governor of Askham Bryan College, York, who retains a keen interest in land education and training, says: “I am delighted to join Harrowells as the firm is developing a dedicated and very able team with depth and ability to look after the agricultural sector. I look forward to supporting them.

“There will be vast changes for British farming during the next five years. As we leave the EU, we currently have no idea whom our future trading partners will be and what rules and regulations will apply.

“Support under the existing Basic Payment Scheme will also end which is going to cause a large drop in income and profit for many agricultural businesses which should now be forward planning very carefully in light of these changes.”

Harrowells Solicitors offers a wide range of legal services to commercial, farming and private clients. The firm has three offices in York and others in Easingwold, Pocklington and Thirsk.

26th March 2020

University recognised for tackling social mobility

York St John University is commended in a report published this week for its work to improve access to higher education.

Presented by former Secretary of State for Education, former Minister for Women and Equalities and founder of the Social Mobility Pledge, Justine Greening, the report offers insight into the issues that affect social mobility and the actions taken by the University to remove barriers to success.

Alongside its collaborative work with secondary schools and further education colleges to raise aspirations for young people, York St John University has developed a distinctive and innovative contextual offer scheme that recognises the challenges faced by many university applicants.

Rt. Hon. Justine Greening visited York St John University to hear about its work to improve access to higher education and commented:

“The grades determining an individual’s future beyond school can be a crude measure of their potential. Poor grades often don’t tell the full story, perhaps masking mitigating circumstances and extra challenges that the person has faced in getting those grades. A solution in the higher education sector is the contextualised applications approach – which looks much deeper than the grade sheet to decide on candidates.”

“York St John has taken a significant risk in embracing this approach. By considering applications contextually, the University is helping to curb wasted talent and potential – which is the essence of what the Social Mobility Pledge is striving to achieve.”

The Social Mobility Pledge is a cross-party campaign which encourages universities and businesses to challenge the privilege and disadvantage that continue to limit social mobility in the UK.

Almost 4,000,000 people from businesses and higher education institutes are now covered by the Social Mobility Pledge, which provides a wealth of knowledge and experience to allow talent to flourish on a more level playing field.

Rob Hickey, Chief Operating Officer at York St John University said:

“The contextual offer scheme is one of several positive, holistic actions we take at York St John University to improve social mobility.  We recognise that the challenge of inequality is ongoing, and that we have a vital role to play in improving opportunities for those who study here and for communities in our region and beyond. We’re very happy to share best practice within the higher education sector and hope the outcomes and learnings from this report will inspire changes we can all make towards a fairer society.”

The University’s Social Mobility Pledge report will be launched on 20 February 2020, the World Day of Social Justice.

26th March 2020

MEETinLEEDS expands portfolio of venues with acquisition of Cloth Hall Court

The MEETinLEEDS conference and events team at the University of Leeds are pleased to announce that the University has acquired a new city centre conference and meeting venue, Cloth Hall Court.

Cloth Hall Court has a very well established reputation as one of the best conference and meeting venues in Leeds. Offering a range of spaces including an impressive reception, multiple seminar rooms and break out areas, and ideally located in the heart of Leeds city centre opposite the train station, Cloth Hall Court will enable the University’s MEETinLEEDS team to provide an entirely new platform for meeting and conference organisers.

Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager at MEETinLEEDS, commented: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Cloth Hall Court to our roster of venues, and look forward to developing business at the venue and showcasing all that it has to offer.”

Dennis Hopper, Director of Campus Development, commented: “The University of Leeds’ conference team pride themselves on high levels of customer service, putting customers at the heart of what they do, and Cloth Hall Court will complement our existing venue portfolio as well as helping to forge new links between the University, the City and our business partners. We are looking forward to working with existing and new customers.”

For more information about MEETinLEEDS, please visit: www.meetinleeds.co.uk

25th March 2020

Schofield Sweeney advise YPP on addition to property portfolio for group client

Schofield Sweeney Solicitors have acted for Yorkshire-based property company YPP in their latest acquisition.

YPP Lettings has acquired LS1 The Headrow, a highly sought-after office building in Leeds City Centre, on behalf of the group’s clients for £2,635,000.

LS1 The Headrow is a high-quality boutique office space in the professional heart of Leeds City Centre and it comprises of a ground floor retail unit and newly refurbished high-quality offices on the upper floors. The building is located immediately opposite the Light. Surrounded by a variety of restaurants, bars and coffee shops, it is in the perfect location close to businesses and the expanding the City Centre. It is just 5 minutes’ walk from Leeds City Station and the City’s main shopping district is on the doorstep.

The strategic deal follows the purchase of Westgate Point for £9.3m back in December 2019. Farooq Zar, Partner in Schofield Sweeney’s commercial property team, said: “We are delighted to have advised YPP’s clients on the purchase of such a high profile property in central Leeds. The purchase demonstrates their commitment to the City. YPP continue to grow at a rapid pace and it is a pleasure once again to work with them.”

24th March 2020

Judith Cummins MP meets rising stars of apprenticeships

The power of apprenticeships to shape careers and transform lives was showcased when MP Judith Cummins met young people and employers benefitting from the programmes with Bradford College.

The Bradford South MP visited students across the city during a week of special events held by the college to highlight National Apprenticeship Week.

Asa Gordon, Assistant Principal, Bradford College, said: “We are very proud of our apprentices and the visits gave us the chance to highlight the benefits they bring to employers in the region. Furthermore, we saw the powerful impact that their training is having on their lives, giving them self-belief as well as the work-based qualifications and training they need to build their careers.

“We work closely with a wide range of employers in various sectors to shape our apprenticeship provision. These partnerships help us meet the skills needs of the employer and those of the city as a whole.”

First, Judith visited the Sedbergh Community Centre in Manchester Road, where she met Business Administration apprentice Amy Leith.

Amy explained that among her tasks at Sports Works Yorkshire, an organisation which uses sport to develop programmes aimed at improving education and mental and physical health standards in the community, was to use social media to boost its profile.

Before she began her apprenticeship, Amy was studying A-levels in maths and sciences. However, while naturally bright and academic, she said she didn’t believe the course was right for her and instead chose to study an apprenticeship. She said: “It’s great that you can learn and get more hands-on experience while you’re in an apprenticeship, and you’re getting paid.”

Simon Leonard, Managing Director of Sports Works Yorkshire, said: “Amy joined us in December and she’s been a breath of fresh air, she’s been fantastic.”

Judith’s next visit was to mechanical and building services organisation Mitton Group, where she met Business Administration apprentices Ella-May Appleyard and Lucy Feather. Ella-May, who began her placement with Mitton Group after contacting Head of HR Daniel Keenan to see if there were opportunities with the company, discussed how her apprenticeship had increased her confidence. She said: “I used to hate picking up phones, now they’re not a problem. I like meeting new people.

“I like everything about my apprenticeship, really. You get to learn a bit more about yourself, how to find your feet in the world and a bit more about life in a way that you don’t at school.”

Finally, Judith visited Saaiba Talib, a level 2 apprentice in childcare working at The Life Nursery in Bierley House Avenue. When Judith asked her what made her choose an apprenticeship, Saaiba said: “I have always loved working with children, and when I came out of high school I decided, instead of A-levels, to go right into work and start an apprenticeship.

“It’s opening lots of new doors for me.”

Her employer, Louise Gray, said: “She is amazing. Interviewing her, I knew straight away she had potential, she had dedication and did very well in her interview.

“She answered questions above and beyond what was expected of her. I could tell she wanted this opportunity. I’ve so much time for her.”

She saw the apprenticeship as another positive step forward for the nursery, which was awarded Outstanding status in October 2019 by Ofsted.

The visit was one of a number of events held by Bradford College and its apprenticeship arm, City Training Services, to raise the profile of apprenticeships as a great path for people at any stage of their career.

Judith said: “It has been inspiring to meet apprentices and see the really positive contribution they make to local business in Bradford. Apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to hit the ground running and learn while getting on-the-job experience. It’s clear employers value the enthusiasm and new ideas their apprentices bring and young people build valuable skills to last them a lifetime.”

Apprenticeships are tailored around the needs of employers so apprentices will gain invaluable experience and develop skills that employers within that industry really want. The College has links with fantastic employers across a range of different industries and trades.

Apprentices mostly learn through ‘on-the-job’ training, working within their chosen trade, getting hands-on training from their employer and providing skills to last a lifetime. As well as work experience, apprentices usually one day ‘off the job’ training in the college.

More information about apprenticeships, and CTS, is available on the Bradford College website.

24th March 2020

Appris partners with local welding company

Leeds Welding Company are delighted to announce that they have developed a very special
partnership with another local training provider Appris, who specialise in the delivery of
Engineering/Manufacturing apprenticeships.

Richard Eaglen, who is Managing Director of Leeds Welding, started his career aged 16, as a sheet
metal apprentice, coincidently alongside Dean Coleman-Walker, who is now business development
Director at Appris.

As a result, both companies are very experienced and committed to working with young people to
ensure they see all the opportunities open to them as they start their careers. Working
collaboratively they offer an excellent start to any young person’s career.

Leeds Welding are also now taking their partnership further by Sponsoring the fabrication workshop
at the brand new Appris Training centre, providing raw materials and bespoke projects that
apprentices can work on to ensure they get real, comprehensive training ready to start their

“With the support of the team at Appris, delivering a comprehensive and meaningful training
programming has been much easier than we anticipated. They are always on hand to help with
mentoring and student support and well as guiding us on the best way to help the apprentice fulfil
the requirements of the qualification with real world on the job training.”

Every year Leeds Welding take on a handful of apprentices, selecting from applicants who apply to
Appris and are delighted to say that these young people always add something to the workforce.
“There are tremendous opportunities to learn about all aspects of a modern engineering business
whilst completing a fabrication and welding apprenticeship at LWC, from CAD/CAM technology to
production engineering, purchasing and stock control, with the option to develop in an area of the
business that is of most interest to the young person, once they have finished their

“We are delighted to be able to take on more apprentices. “We’ve learned very quickly that
apprentices add real value to the team and the culture here at LWC.
We now have a great mix of personalities and skills and even some of the older team members are
learning from the younger ones. It’s great to be able to offer these talented youngsters the
opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Leeds Welding employs more than 120 people and has recently invested in high-tech laser cutting and
robotic welding machinery with plans to take on even more new apprentices this year as part of the
firm’s long-running apprenticeship and training programme

The heart of Appris’ business is Apprenticeships, specialising in the delivery of Engineering
Manufacture apprenticeships. With over 150 member companies and 400+ apprentices learning across
West Yorkshire, Appris is the provider of choice for the engineering industry. To compliment the
engineering provision, they offer apprenticeships in Human Resources & Management. They also offer
commercial training in Management, Personal Development, Health & Safety, Higher National
Certificate (HNC) and Electrical Technical courses.

24th March 2020

Chamber creates support hub for businesses suffering from COVID-19

The West and North Yorkshire Chamber has created a COVID-19 online hub to aid businesses during the pandemic.

As the uncertainty around COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to grow, the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce would like to reassure members and partners that it is here to help.

Guidance and advice on the pandemic and its effects on the business community can be found on the Chamber webpage. The page will be updated daily with any pressing COVID-19 and business news.

Key areas covered on the hub include available support from the government, finance options, advice from Public Health England and HR support.

For support and guidance, access the Coronavirus page here: www.wnychamber.co.uk/coronavirus

For any queries regarding your business and the current pandemic, please feel free to contact the West and North Yorkshire Chamber for free and tailored advice.

24th March 2020

Clifton drawing competition names winners of perfect play streets

Pupils who drew the best ideas for playing in Clifton’s streets as part of the council’s plans for new homes for the area, have been named today (10 February 2020) and been presented with prizes.

Children from across Years 1 – 6 at Clifton Green Primary School were challenged to: “Imagine it’s a warm summer’s day, the school is closed and, by magic, there are no cars in Clifton at all and you can play in your street. Draw it! Tell us about your car-free play day in Clifton!”

The 223 pupils entered the competition, sharing their imaginings of more child-friendly and safer streets as part of consultation on the homes, streets and spaces planned for the nearby Duncombe Barracks site. This is one of eight council-owned sites on which much-needed homes will be created as part of the council’s Housing Delivery Programme (HDP)*.

The children’s drawings were used to inspire a design workshop in late November. Then, residents worked with architects Mikhail Riches and council officers to model their vision of the new community. This was informed by local knowledge and priorities given by residents to the design team at an earlier engagement event. A third and final exhibition of designs for Duncombe Barracks will be held later this spring.

The competition winners were chosen on 16 November 2019 at the HDP design workshop held at St Luke’s Community Hall. The winners are:

  • Rosie from Years 1 and 2
  • Kiannah from Years 3 and 4
  • Archie from Years 5 and 6.

Jacob, from Year 6, was given an additional prize voucher donated by a resident who attended the workshop.

Each winner was presented with their awards at a special school assembly by Councillor Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities. The pupils were given a mug each with a print of their artwork on it and vouchers for them and their families to enjoy at Clifton D’licious Cakery.

Cllr Craghill said: “Just as residents of all ages will live in these homes, I’m pleased that residents of all ages are involved in shaping them and the spaces they’ll be set in.”

“These drawings certainly inspired me and our project team, and our architects have used them as part of the feedback and ideas gathered from our conversations with residents.

“I’d like to thank all 223 pupils for sharing their ‘best ideas for playing in Clifton’s streets’. They’re inspirational and a credit to their school and community!”

Angela Koch, co-Design Lead from ImaginePlaces for architects Mikhail Riches, said: “It’s wonderful to work with so many of Clifton’s residents. And as the review of the artwork has made very clear, the young designers have exceptional creative and fun minds.

“The many stories told in the drawings have already inspired and directed our approach to streets and play spaces in our designs for the Duncombe Barracks site. We would very much like to thank the pupils and teachers for their fantastic contribution.”

Lisa Green, Business Manager at Clifton Primary School, said: “Clifton Green Primary School’s children were delighted to be given the chance to contribute to the design of their community’s future. Allowing children to have meaningful opportunities to use their skills learned at school, encourages a greater sense of purpose and meaning for them, and a better understanding of the great work of our teachers.”

To take part in the next stage of work on sites at Duncombe Barracks, Burnholme or Ordnance Lane, please register your interest at: www.york.gov.uk/form/HDPRegisterInterest

23rd March 2020