Friday, 30 March 2012

Two new event opportunities for food and drink producers in the East Midlands

Food and drink producers are being invited to take part in two special events this summer.

East Midlands Fine Foods is organising stalls at Mansfield Jubilee Food and Drink Fair, as part of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations in the town.

Taking place on Tuesday June 5th, the event is being branded the Best of British and will feature activities for all the family.

East Midlands Fine Foods, which promotes food and drink producers from Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, is also managing the food and drink marquee at the Festival of Heroes event in Grantham, which is being staged on July 7th and 8th.

The aim of the event, which takes place at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, is to raise the profile of the Territorial Army, as well as raise money for Help the Heroes charity and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

A large speciality food and drink marquee celebrating the best of British food and drink will be staged within the festival. East Midlands Fine Foods is organising for a range of traders to take space.

“These two events, along with our regular monthly Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market in Nottingham, are great opportunities for food and drink producers in the region to sell directly to members of the public,” said East Midlands Fine Foods event organiser Toni Jarvis.

“East Midlands Fine Foods has many years of experience in organising stalls and markets at a range of events and venues, and we are very pleased to be getting involved with these two special events in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire this summer.”

For more information about stalls at either event call 0115 9758810.

For details about the Festival for Heroes event in Grantham visit

East Midlands Fine Foods

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Luke Evans Bakery has launched a delicious range of Simnel cakes for Easter

It is the first time for many years that the bakery at Riddings in Derbyshire has offered the traditional fruit cakes.

Available in two sizes, the Simnel cakes feature marzipan decoration and have been created using a traditional recipe by the craft bakers at Luke Evans.

“We produce and sell a wide selection of cakes, and felt it was time to add the Simnel cake to our range,” said Luke Evans Bakery managing director David Yates.

“The cakes are absolutely delicious, and we hope our customers enjoy them.”

Available to wholesale and retail customers via the Luke Evans Bakery shop in Greenhill Lane, Riddings, near Alfreton, the Simnel cakes are priced at £4.95 and £8.95.

The bakery, which was founded in 1804, supplies around 300 trade and wholesale customers across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, including shops, schools, delis and Pride Park - the home of Derby County Football Club.

The Simnel cake is traditionally baked at Easter, although its precise origins appear unclear.

The cakes are available at Luke Evans for a limited time only and until Easter Saturday.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Guest Motors Ltd delivers for Everards Brewery

Guest Motors Ltd is helping to keep the nation’s pubs well-stocked with award-winning Everards beers after supplying a new dray to the Leicestershire-based brewery.

The Iveco Eurocargo model, which features the new E5 state-of-the-art common rail injection systems, will be making weekly trips to London, Wales and Morecambe.

Supplied by Guest Truck and Van in Warren Park Way, Enderby near Leicester, the new dray conforms to the new Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle standards offering 5% better fuel consumption and C02 emissions.

One of the secrets of the Eurocargo’s success is its versatility. It’s easy to drive, even in city centres, thanks to a compact cab, an excellent steering angle (52 degrees) and a tight turning circle (starting from just over 11 m between kerbs). At the same time it offers excellent performance on long trips or on particularly difficult missions.

This makes it perfect for brewery deliveries across the UK.

Pip Podgers, of Podgers Transport Ltd, who operate the Everards fleet, said: “We’re pleased to be able to work with other local companies and with Guests being based in nearby Enderby, it made perfect sense for us to acquire the latest addition to our fleet from our local dealer.

“We chose this truck due to its greener engine credentials and lower emissions. Iveco’s reputation for build quality and reliability is outstanding.”

Everards Brewery is a family owned business, which has been brewing beer for more than 160 years. It has over 170 pubs of its own and supplies its range of beers to pubs across the UK.

Guest Motors Ltd, the UK’s largest Iveco dealer group and Fiat Professional van dealer, has also been a family owned and run business for more than a century.

The Guest Group, which also includes Sherwood Truck and Van, covers an area of responsibility for Iveco which includes the East Midlands, West Midlands, North Wales, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. Its network includes 14 full service dealerships, supported by local agreements with an additional eight authorised Iveco repairers.

Guest Truck and Van fleet sales manager in Leicester Peter Wheat said: “I have had a working relationship with Podgers Transport Ltd for several years, and I was very pleased to supply the Iveco Eurocargo to Everards. It’s an ideal vehicle for the brewery’s delivery routes, being versatile and suitable for both motorway and long-distance journeys, as well as town centre travelling.”

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Regional Growth Fund – an opportunity for the East Midlands

Now is a crucial time to act if the East Midlands is to put in bids for a share of the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

That’s the message from Elly Fletcher, associate at leading economic development firm, Focus Consultants.

The North West and North East of the UK swept up in the first two funding rounds of the RGF, with cities like Liverpool and Leeds attracting multimillion pound investments.

Now, with the opening of the third bidding round and a further £1b of funding available, the East Midlands is hoping to take its share of the cash.

“RGF offers big money - £1m minimum investments into projects that promise, first and foremost, to create jobs,” said Elly. “In fact it’s all about jobs and money – the more private sector jobs and investment the better for RGF. Government wants to see the private sector mobilising itself to create ‘economic growth and sustainable employment’. “

Focus Consultants, which has offices in Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Boston and London, has an economic development and funding team that works to secure grants for projects.

Elly believes there are a number of issues that businesses and partnership teams bidding for the latest RGF funding should consider to maximise the current opportunity.

“Projects that can show a direct and positive impact on the local economy will stand the best chance with the government panel,” she said. “If you can demonstrate that your project will create lots of jobs and act as a catalyst to attract significant private sector investment, you will certainly be in a good place.

“RGF is all about local economic growth, so it is important bids demonstrate and react to the specific needs of the local area. Bids should be framed around a case for support - why is RGF needed here? Think local and consider the future impacts.

“RGF funding needs to be committed and spent by 2015 so if you have a project ready to go that you think fits the fund criteria and is in an advanced state of development, you could have a strong chance of success. It’s important to be realistic, however. Yes, this is a big pot of cash but projects must bring with them large sums of private sector investment – ideally a 6:1 ratio. Don’t invest time and energy in putting a bid together if you can see no route through to the private sector match.”

But with the deadline of June 13th for bids fast approaching, businesses and partnerships in the East Midlands are being urged to act now.

“In today’s economic climes, with economic development funds few and far between, RGF is without doubt an opportunity to be taken seriously,” said Elly.

Focus Consultants specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the UK.

Since its creation in 1994, Focus has secured over £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1b of projects and programmes - including enterprise support, innovation, culture, health, regeneration, affordable homes and energy carbon sustainability projects.

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Green light given for rail work to BSP Consulting

Six members of the rail team at civil and structural engineering firm BSP Consulting have been given the green light to continue with their work on and around operational railway lines on key projects.

The company is now sponsoring a team of staff who have successfully completed Personal Track Safety (PTS) courses at Intertrain (UK) Ltd, Doncaster.

The two-day training sessions that the BSP team undertook qualify members of staff to undertake work on or around an operational railway line.

Meanwhile, Nottingham-based BSP Consulting, with offices in Derby, Leicester and Sheffield, has also recently renewed its Link-up accreditation with Network Rail for another year.

BSP’s rail work involves design and inspection of bridges, culverts, gantries, embankments, line-side structures and drainage.

“We have recently been quoting for more consultancy work in the rail sector, so I am very pleased that six members of our rail team have successfully completed PTS, thereby increasing our trackside technical capacity,” said BSP Consulting managing director David Sumner.

BSP Consulting’s in-house rail team, supplemented by a specialist rail consultant partner, has worked on many different types of rail projects, including the design and detailing of reinforced concrete bases for various electrical gear in transformer compounds, the design of a bespoke £1.5m maintenance facility, used during testing of the Virgin high-speed train, and the surveying of a number of bridges over railway tracks and railway bridges over roads and watercourses.

In addition, BSP was appointed ‘bridge strike examiner’ for the Alstom Transport Virgin high-speed train test track, which was subsequently electrified, to support testing of new London Underground trains, and undertook technical appraisals and site inspections for a £6.3 million proposed new signal installations project on the Carlisle to Newcastle line.

Based in Oxford Street, Nottingham, with offices in Pride Park, Derby, De Montfort Street, Leicester and Solly Street, Sheffield, BSP Consulting operates across the UK, offering civil, structural, transportation, environmental and geotechnical engineering services.

Named Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner, the firm provides a comprehensive range of consultancy services to all sectors of the construction community, from architects, project managers and contractors to developers and estate agents.

For more information visit

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

New innovation competitions for food and agriculture companies at a special Food and Drink iNet event

Midlands companies working in the food and agricultural sectors are being invited to discover how to take part in two Government competitions which are offering more than £15m for innovation funding.

The Food and Drink iNet is holding a bespoke event for the Midlands area in conjunction with the Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network which will explain the latest funding competitions announced for the industry by the Government.

The event on April 19th at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus is also the chance for academics and researchers from the region’s universities to discover more about the funding opportunities recently launched by the Technology Strategy Board and Defra, but applications must be business led.

It is an addition to one of a number of regional workshops being organised around the UK to spread the word about the innovation for growth competitions.

“This event represents the ideal opportunity for businesses working in the food, drink and agricultural sectors in the Midlands to find out how they can apply to win funding for their innovation projects under these new competitions,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

“For anyone who wants to know more about the competitions, the Bioscience KTN/TSB team will present the detail and be on hand to answer questions. It will help delegates to gain a better understanding of the scope of these competitions, as well as the competition process, rules and how to apply.

"It will also offer a great chance to network and seek partners for collaborative research and development project proposals.”

The Government announced two key funding competitions in March – one aimed at encouraging an increase in efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness in the food processing and manufacturing sector, and the other to help stimulate and promote innovation among small and medium-sized enterprises in the agriculture and the food and drink sectors. The first focuses on collaborative projects and will involve the whole food supply chain. The second is specifically targeted at micro, small and medium-sized companies.

More than £15 million is available in total.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Food and Drink iNet is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with a team of advisors across the East Midlands, and is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

It coordinates specialist support to stimulate innovation in the food and drink industry across Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

To register for the event at Sutton Bonington on April 19th, email or call 0115 975 8810.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Derbyshire team launch new soft drinks business

A father and son team from Derbyshire are going into the soft drinks business after being inspired by a family-created blend.

Steve Naylor, 59, and his son Ben, 30, have produced a range of sparkling drinks by mixing carbonated water and fruit juices.

The range was inspired by Steve’s wife Sue, who, for many years, has created her own soft drinks by mixing grapefruit juice and soda water.

Now the pair, who live in Ockbrook, are preparing to launch the Reviva brand of drinks at one of the biggest food and drink trade fairs in the UK, Food and Drink Expo 2012, which runs at the NEC, Birmingham, from March 25th to 27th.

“The idea was going round in my head for a few months last year and then we decided to take the bull by the horns and we booked a stand at Expo, which then spurred us into action,” said Steve, who works as a chartered surveyor by trade.

“The flagship drink that we have created is a carbonated grapefruit juice, which was inspired by my wife. She started putting soda water into grapefruit juice about 15 years ago, and has been drinking it ever since. It made a really nice alternative soft drink when she went to a pub and was driving, or wanted something light.

“She liked it. I tried it and liked it, and various friends tried it and they all liked it too, so we decided we’d bottle our own versions.”

Steve and Ben have now created three different juice drinks under the Reviva brand – sparkling white grapefruit, sparkling ruby grapefruit and sparkling tropical fruit.

They have worked with the Uren Food Group in The Wirrall to perfect the blends, and have now bottled more than 2,000 bottles at Warwickshire College ahead of Expo, which attracts more than 550 exhibitors and thousands of visitors from the food and drink trade.

Steve and Ben have also launched a marketing and brand-awareness campaign, which focuses on the refreshing aspects of the Reviva drinks.

A Youtube video featuring Steve getting drenched has attracted almost 30,000 hits, and the pair have recently filmed a TV commercial that they plan to air in the future.

“We are very passionate about the Reviva range of drinks,” said Steve. “Both Ben and I like the drinks and are very confident about recommending them to people. The natural fruit juices have extremely wide health benefits, and don’t contain artificial ingredients. We think we have a unique juice brand.”

Steve and Ben hope to attract attention at Expo from the buyers of pubs, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and wholesalers, and hope their drinks will be on sale to the public soon.

“We understand that certain manufacturers have a strong hold on the market and we are against big competitors but we think we have a niche product here, which will appeal to women, men and children,” said Steve.

“The grapefruit juice in particular has known advantages for its fat-busting content, so we think the Reviva range will appeal to slimmers. The sparkling ruby grapefruit juice also contains a small amount of grape juice, which gives it a very moreish flavour and a very attractive colour. While the sparkling tropical fruit should have a very general appeal.”

Steve and Ben have worked with Derby advertising and marketing agency McConnells on their brand.

“Both Ben and I have a background in the property and building sector, and while I am continuing as a chartered surveyor and helping out in my spare time, this is a new direction for Ben, who has been thoroughly enjoying the internet marketing, video production and other aspects of the whole project,” said Steve.

The Reviva juice drinks brand will be exhibiting at stand C80 at Food and Drink Expo 2012.

For more information visit

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Charity Bake Off competition at The Lansdowne in Leicester

Bakers, cake makers and those with a sweet-tooth helped The Lansdowne in Leicester to raise almost £450 for charity.

The pub in London Road staged a ‘Let them eat Cake’ Bake Off event in aid of Coping with Cancer.

It attracted almost 90 entries from amateur and professional bakers, which were then sold to pub customers to raise money for the Leicestershire and Rutland charity. The Lansdowne’s sister pub The Orange Tree in Leicester and nearby pub The Marquis helped out by also selling some of the cakes to regulars.

“It was a massive success and we’d like to thank all the bakers who took part and all those who bought cakes afterwards to help us raise money for Coping with Cancer,” said organiser Alex Lumley. “The judges had a really tough job choosing the winners. The standard of baking was exceptional.”

Open to amateur and professional bakers, the contest was judged by Holly Bell, finalist in last year’s BBC Great British Bake Off TV programme, Matthew Wright, editor of Great Food Magazine, Char Lavender of Bitsy's Cupcakery, and Tom Brucciani, managing director of craft bakery and café company Brucciani (Midlands) Ltd.

The winners for the signature bake were: home baker - Chet Vallabh, with special mention to Matthew Freeman and Cat Hanlon; under 16 - Alice Featherstone; professional - Elaine Priestly. Winners for the brownies section were: home baker - Shenila Chawda, with special mention to Lucy Ward; under 16 - Ewan Keith Driver.

Winners for the cupcakes were: home Baker - Marie Coleman, with special mention to Katie Turner and Sally Stevenson; under 16 - Phoebe and Katie Drury; professional Priti Meredith (Sugar 31). Winners for the specialty bread section were: home baker - Joseph Sarris, with special mention to Bob Neely; professional – Bruccianis.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Nottingham food trade specialist architects Cox Freeman unveils new branding and offers advice at Food & Drink Expo 2012

Architects from Nottingham-based company Cox Freeman Ltd will be highlighting the benefits of specialist early involvement in building projects when they exhibit at Food & Drink Expo 2012.

The firm specialises in buildings for the food and drink production industry, having worked for leading names in the business, including Premier Foods, Greggs, Heinz, Dairy Crest, Sun Valley Foods and Samworth Brothers.

Having recently introduced new branding, the company will be using Expo 2012 to promote its visualisation and modelling services which allow clients to see how a building will look and helps with the decision-making process.

“As a result of our experience and expertise, Cox Freeman can help food and drink manufacturers with a range of services from site finding and designing new buildings to adding extensions to existing facilities,” said director Culver Epps.

“When companies decide to build new premises, it’s a big capital investment, and the 3-D modelling or rendering visualisation service that we offer is an excellent way of helping them to see what the project will look like when complete and how their operations fit together.

“Food and Drink Expo attracts many food industry people, and we will be on hand to give advice to any that are planning to expand or build new premises. It’s an excellent place for us to showcase our services.”

Food & Drink Expo 2012, which runs at the NEC from March 25th to 27th, is one of the UK’s biggest food and drink trade events of the year, attracting more than 550 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. It brings together all sectors of the food and drink market, including retail, foodservice, wholesale and manufacturing, as well as associated industries.

As an architectural practice specialising in the design of food production facilities, Cox Freeman, based in Stoney Street, Nottingham, aims to showcase its expertise in building food grade premises.

The firm designed the units at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, which opened in 2005 and was the UK’s first food business park with a dedicated on-site business centre. It has also worked with many of the big food production companies across the UK.

For more than five years it has worked with Premier Foods at sites nationwide and in all sectors of the company’s business.

Cox Freeman is currently working on a multi-million project in the south west, which is the extension of an existing food production facility.

Following the recent retirement of director Chris Boffin, who has been retained as a consultant, Cox Freeman is headed by directors Culver Epps and Alan McCall, with a team including architectural technologist Allan Smithson and associate Mike Webster, who lead the visualisation and technical operations respectively.

Cox Freeman’s stand at Food & Drink Expo 2012 is M173.

For more information visit or follow on Twitter @CoxFreeman

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Grants available to innovative East Midlands food and drink manufacturers

Food and drink businesses in the East Midlands with bright ideas for innovation are being urged to come forward to apply for a share of a £100,000 pot of funding available via The Food and Drink iNet.

The iNet, which covers Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, has been helping companies in the food and drink sector to introduce new products and new ways of working since 2008.

Now it has announced that around £100,000 is available over the coming financial year to provide grants of 40% towards innovation projects to eligible small and medium-sized companies.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the iNet is now looking for suitable projects to support and is appealing for manufacturing companies to come forward with their ideas.

“Innovation can take many different forms,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall. “It may be new product development, introducing a new business strategy or adapting working processes to boost growth.

“We have supported around 600 companies with advice since we launched, and have given more than 80 grants to small or medium-sized businesses to help with innovation and growth projects. The East Midlands food and drink sector has a strong pedigree of innovation and the iNet is keen to support it going forward.”

Among those who have received grants in the past are Dragons’ Den participant Rico Mexican Kitchen, which was founded in Derbyshire and is now based in Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire firm Eminate Ltd, which developed a unique way of modifying salt to create a more intense flavour from smaller quantities.

Other companies that have been given grants include Leicester-based Shelton Imports, which was able to move into new markets as a result of the support, Northamptonshire-based The Pickled Village, which received orders from top London stores after iNet help, and Lincolnshire firm Libaeration, which developed the world’s first alcoholic foam.

Grants are available to companies working in food and drink or the supply chain, but excluding primary producers, retailers and restaurants, unless they are looking to start manufacturing.

“Not only is this good news for food and drink manufacturers but it may also be of interest to consultants working in the sector who are helping clients to implement new ways of working or new products,” said Richard Worrall.

The Food and Drink iNet, which is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with a team of advisors across the East Midlands, is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

For enquiries and further information please email

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 12 March 2012

Charity bake off competition at The Lansdowne in Leicester

Judges are preparing to munch their way through dozens of delicious cakes after almost 90 entries were received in The Lansdowne’s charity bake off event.

The pub in London Road, Leicester, is raising money for Coping with Cancer by staging the event on Saturday March 17th.

Open to amateur and professional bakers, the contest is being judged by Holly Bell, finalist in last year’s BBC Great British Bake Off TV programme, Matthew Wright, editor of Great Food Magazine, Char Lavender of Bitsy's Cupcakery, and Tom Brucciani, managing director of craft bakery and café company Brucciani (Midlands) Ltd.

“We’re delighted with the number of entries we’ve had for The Lansdowne’s charity bake off,” said event organiser Alex Lumley. “Our judges are in for a real treat, with so many cakes and bakes to try.”

Entries are now closed for the contest, which has a range of prizes on offer, including two £50 bar tabs, champagne and tickets to shows at the Capital FM Arena Nottingham.

The event is being staged in aid of Leicestershire and Rutland charity Coping with Cancer, and after the judging, which begins at 1pm, the cakes and breads will be sold off to raise money for the charity.

“We’re hoping to raise as much money as we can for the charity, so hope that Leicester’s cake lovers will come along and support the cause,” added Alex.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

English language and speaking skills in demand at Nottingham Language Academy

Business professionals based in the East Midlands are increasingly recognising the importance of first-class English language skills, according to figures released by Nottingham Language Academy.

In the past 18 months, the training school has helped more than 300 individuals to improve their English language writing and speaking expertise.

Among its students have been company directors keen for help with conference speeches, business professionals who wanted to improve their presentation skills, employees who needed support with special skills such as note-taking or minute-writing, and highly specialised workers who required a completely personalised syllabus for their field.

“The aims and targets of the students who have enrolled on our English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses have been as varied as their cultural backgrounds,” said Linda Walker, who runs Nottingham Language Academy, based in The Ropewalk, Nottingham.

“Some of them wanted to improve their English to study further and others wanted to pass or get a higher score at various language exams. However, many of them have been from the business and professional community, who have studied English for special purposes with us.

“This has included support with written English, pronunciation, vocabulary and specialised skills. We are very pleased that we have been able to provide a service to businesses and professionals in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and other East Midlands counties.”

Since launching in 2010 at least 300 students have enrolled on English as a Foreign Language courses at the school, which last year was accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English.

“The ability to speak and write English competently is a much-valued skill across the world,” said Linda. “At Nottingham Language Academy we are able to offer bespoke courses to companies and individuals to improve English language skills.”

Nottingham Language Academy also teaches a range of modern languages, runs revision classes in French, German and Spanish for GCSE and A-level, and has recently launched a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course.

For more information visit or call 0115 9881318.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Plans unveiled for new social venue in Loughborough

Leicestershire-based independent pub group The Orange Tree has unveiled plans for its latest venue at the site of the former Newshouse in Bedford Square, Loughborough.

The team plans to rename the late-night bar, and hopes to create a nightspot which will boost the local area and bring something unique to the social life of Loughborough.

The proposals include adding a leafy roof-top terrace, introducing the feeling of more height to the ground floor by extending windows on the front of the property, and creating an area on the first floor which has a cosy feel.

They also plan to reinstate original features such as fire places and old oak beams, as well as reclaimed panelling.

Plans have just been submitted to Charnwood Borough Council for the scheme, which is expected to cost more than £¼ million.

“We opened The Orange Tree in Loughborough in 1998, and as an independent operator with strong roots in the town, we are aiming to put together a special ambience that enhances the current night life of Loughborough,” said Gareth Smith, managing director of The Orange Tree Group.

“We’ve worked hard to put together proposals which we hope will be well received. We are planning to create three different areas in the venue, which will include dancing downstairs, chilled and relaxed, cosy house-type rooms upstairs and a leafy roof terrace.

“We will be using a mix of modern and old materials to give an intimate, yet striking style.

“We’ve noticed a lot of fantastic bars cropping up in and around London and they have a style that’s reminiscent of the speakeasy bars of the American ‘20s, but they offer both great cocktails and fun dancing, and this has been really inspirational to us when trying to create this bar.

“The idea is that the bar will be a late-night venue, opening a certain number of nights a week. If all goes well, we hope to be open by November 2012.”

Gareth is involved with the Loughborough Retail Initiative in the Wards End area, and hopes that this new unique offer will help to keep the area alive and popular.

The three-storey building was previously a nightspot, and before that a newsagents. It’s planned that it will be given a new name, as well as a new image.

“We are aiming to appeal to an eclectic mix of people who take pleasure from our quirky style and décor, and people who enjoy a high-quality drinks offer and service,” added Gareth.

The existing ground-floor layout is likely to remain, but will be opened up slightly to create more space. Cosy booths are due to be added, with a DJ and dancing area to the back of the room.

The group opened The Orange Tree in Loughborough in 1998, a year after launching The Orange Tree in Leicester. This was followed by the O Bar in Leicester in 2001. The group’s Orange Tree in Nottingham opened in October 2003, followed by The Lansdowne in Leicester in December 2004. Last year it took over and refurbished The Basement in Leicester – its first late-night venue.

The independent pub group was founded by Ben Hings and Gareth Smith in October 1997.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR