Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Great Expectations for Focus Consultants

Focus Consultants has played a key role in the expansion and transformation of the Charles Dickens Museum which re-opened in London this month (Dec 10th) after a £3.1 million development.

Focus project managed the major restoration and refurbishment of the museum at the author’s only surviving London home.

The Great Expectations project at the building in Bloomsbury is the most significant legacy of Dickens’ bicentenary, and has led to a doubling in size of the museum, with neighbouring 49 Doughty Street opening to offer a new and accessible visitor experience.

It is the latest high-profile museum scheme undertaken by Focus Consultants, whose head office is based at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, with offices in Holborn in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire.

“The teams at Focus Consultants in London and Nottingham have been proud to be involved in such a prestigious and exciting project, which showcases one of Britain’s most well-known and admired authors,” said Focus Consultants partner Steven Fletcher.

“The Great Expectations project at the Charles Dickens Museum will secure the future of the building for generations to come and offers a brand new visitor experience for the 21st Century.”

The completion of the £3.1million Great Expectations project, funded substantially through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is a fitting finale to a year of worldwide Dickens celebrations.

The museum – housed in Dickens’ home at the start of his career and the birthplace of classics Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby – re-opened its doors on December 10th 2012.

The Great Expectations project has been made possible with support from funders including HLF, English Heritage, the City Bridge Trust, City of London Corporation, the Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, the John S Cohen Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and many other trusts, as well as hundreds of donations from individuals.

Dr Florian Schweizer, director of the Charles Dickens Museum, said: "This has been the most exciting year in the museum’s history and I am sure Dickens would have been delighted about this transformation of his former home for his 200th birthday. Our Great Expectations project will give our visitors an inspiring opportunity to experience literary history in beautifully refurbished period rooms and to find out about one of the world’s greatest storytellers. The restoration of the fragile buildings means that the museum will continue to serve visitors in the future while the new interpretation scheme brings to life the amazing story of Charles Dickens, from his traumatic childhood memories to his remarkable career.”

Experts at Focus Consultants have worked on a number of museum projects, including the £25 million Mshed in Bristol, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, which was named UK museum of the year in 2012 by the Art Fund charity, and SeaCity in Southampton, which opened earlier this year – a century after the Titanic set sail from the city.

Earlier this month the company announced it had been secured as project manager and cost consultant for a multi-million pound redevelopment at the National Army Museum in Chelsea.

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 £1 billion of projects and programmes.

It works across a range of sectors including heritage, arts and culture, education and tourism.   For more information visit

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Festive greetings and Christmas opening hours from Perfect 10 PR

Perfect 10 PR would like to wish clients and associates a very happy Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

The offices of Perfect 10 PR will be closing at lunchtime on Friday 21st December and re-opening on Wednesday 2nd January 2013.

Friday, 14 December 2012

It’s a cracker! Research proves how blue cheese gets its distinctive smell

As the nation prepares to tuck into mounds of Stilton this Christmas, researchers have pinpointed for the first time a particular yeast which enhances the smell of blue cheese.

A study undertaken by the University of Northampton and the University of Nottingham, and funded by the Food and Drink iNet (Innovation Network), has discovered a particular ‘secondary microflora component’ is responsible for boosting the aroma of blue cheese.

The scientists have been looking at the role of the various microorganisms in the production of the East Midlands’ famous blue cheeses, like Stilton.

The mould Penicillium roqueforti is added by manufacturers to produce the ‘blue’ in cheeses but now the researchers can confirm that a yeast called Y. lipolytica directly influences the distinct smell of the popular dairy products.

They used a team of trained sensory experts to test different cheese models which contained varying yeast levels to work out which particular strain was responsible for the aroma.

“The panel was able to discriminate between samples with different yeast levels, suggesting that the variation in microbial flora was noticeable in the aroma. Limiting aroma variation is paramount to producing more consistent blue cheeses,” said researcher Dr Kostas Gkatzionis.

Last year a grant from the Food and Drink iNet, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and run by the Food and Drink Forum, helped to prove the fact that secondary microflora was a key influencer when it came to a cheese’s flavour.

These microflora are not added deliberately during cheese production - they are selected during the cheese making process from various sources including the cheese factory environment.

The iNet awarded a second grant so that the research team could develop a small scale cheese model in the lab which allowed the scientists to delve into the role of the secondary microflora in more detail.

And now they‘ve been able to prove that a particular yeast gives blue cheese its distinct aroma.

“Ultimately, we hope this work will lead to greater consistency during production for Britain’s cheese makers, which will help them achieve a greater slice of the worldwide blue cheese market, which is worth millions,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

The research team, which was run by Dr Kostas Gkatzionis, a researcher in the School of Health at The University of Northampton, in conjunction with his colleague Prof Carol Phillips, and Prof Christine Dodd and Dr Robert Linforth from The University of Nottingham, Division of Food Sciences, along with two postgraduate research students, had a £53,871 grant from the iNet for the second stage of their research. They worked in conjunction with Stichelton Dairy in north Nottinghamshire on the project.

The research findings are being shared with cheese producers across the UK in the hope that it will help them to achieve greater consistency in production.

The model created in the lab will also be used to research other cheese-production issues.

“The development of the mini cheese model provides a tool for cheese producers to investigate other issues that concern the industry, such as the testing of new starter cultures, alternative rennets and the effect of modifications in the production procedure, for example reducing salt,” added Prof Christine Dodd at the University of Nottingham.

The Food and Drink iNet aims to build on the tradition of innovation in the food and drink industry in the region by helping to create opportunities to develop knowledge and skills, and to help research, develop and implement new products, markets, services and processes. It 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 is based at Southglade Food Park, Nottingham, with advisors covering the East Midlands region. For more information visit

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 10 December 2012

National Army Museum contract for Focus Consultants

Nottingham-founded Focus Consultants has been appointed project manager for a prestigious multi-million redevelopment at the National Army Museum in Chelsea.

It is the latest museum contract won by the firm, which has also been appointed to the role of cost consultant on the project.

The Building for the Future renovation aims to radically transform the National Army Museum’s offer to provide visitors with an enhanced museum experience.

Partner at Focus Richard Aston said: “This is a prestigious and important development. The team at Focus Consultants is delighted to be involved in such an exciting and inspirational project.”

The National Army Museum (NAM), based in Chelsea, London, has received initial support for a £11.3m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid, including £350,000 of development funding, for the Building for the Future project, which is aimed to be complete by 2016.

Focus Consultants, whose head office is based in Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, and with offices in Holborn in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, has worked on many high-profile museum developments across the UK.

These include the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, which was named UK museum of the year in 2012 by the Art Fund charity, and SeaCity in Southampton, which opened earlier this year – a century after the Titanic set sail from the city – as well as the £25m Mshed in Bristol.

The firm was also project manager for the £5.4 million refurbishment of Tudor House Museum in Southampton, which picked up the conservation project award at the 2012 RICS South East region awards, and went on to be named as the overall project of the year for the region.

Other members of the NAM team include interdisciplinary designers BDP and exhibition designers Event Communications.

BDP and Event Communications will bring their expertise together to reconfigure the building to provide greater public access and facilities, improved learning spaces and create innovative and exciting new gallery spaces. The team will work alongside NAM’s internal team to update and reinterpret the story of the British Army and to present the museum’s collection.

Focus Consultants will be working with all partners to oversee and ensure the smooth running of the venture.

Janice Murray, director-general of the National Army Museum, said: “We are excited by this collaboration and I am confident that we will produce a world-class museum development, which will deliver a fresh, informative and exciting visitor experience for all.”

The National Army Museum opened on its current site in 1971 to house the national collections of the Land Forces of the Crown, and now receives more than 270,000 visitors a year.

The project provides NAM with the opportunity to upgrade the existing site to meet the needs of its growing audiences.

During the redevelopments the museum will deliver a diverse outreach programme of travelling exhibitions.

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 £1 billion of projects and programmes.

It works across a range of sectors including heritage, arts and culture, education and tourism.


Press release issued Nottingham-based PR company Perfect 10 PR

About the National Army Museum: The National Army Museum explores the impact of the British Army on the story of Britain,Europe and the world; how Britain's past has helped to shape our present and our future and how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many. The National Army Museum was established by Royal Charter to tell the story of the Land Forces of the Crown wherever they were raised. Opened by the Queen in 1960, it moved to its current site in Chelsea in 1971.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund: Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported more than 33,000 projects with more than £5billion across the UK.

Christmas coffee morning in aid of Breast Cancer Research

Two Derbyshire women who are running the London Marathon next year in aid of Breast Cancer Research are staging a fund-raising Christmas coffee morning.

Helen Yates, operations director at Luke Evans Bakery in Riddings, near Alfreton, and midwife Deana Emerson are aiming to raise £5,000 before the 26-mile event on April 21st.

They plan to stage a number of fund-raising events to help them reach their target, with the first on Saturday 15th December from 10am to 2pm at South Wingfield Cricket Club near Alfreton.

The Christmas coffee morning will feature entertainment, refreshments and a special guest appearance from Father Christmas who will be in his grotto waiting to meet the children and give each of them a present.

Next year’s marathon will be the first undertaken by Helen, who’s 39, and the fourth by Deana, who is 41.

Both women, who live in Shirland, have had treatment for breast cancer and are setting out to collect as much as they can for Breast Cancer Research.

“We’re getting on well with our training and looking forward to the London Marathon next year,” said Helen. “Although I’ve run for a while, I’ve never attempted long distance before so it’s going to be quite a challenge to keep up with Deana.”

A mix of home made cakes from local friends, family and well wishers, and treats from Luke Evans Bakery along with coffee, tea and mulled will be available at the Christmas coffee morning.

If you would like to sponsor Helen and Deana, visit

Press release issued by Nottingham-based PR company Perfect 10 PR

Recruitment starts for therapy course in the Full Movement Method

Sports therapists, dance teachers, homeopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists and yoga teachers are being invited to discover how they could add a new bodywork qualification to their repertoire.

Nottingham-based therapy teaching centre The Full Movement Training School is now recruiting for a two-year part-time programme in the Full Movement Method.

The course, which is accredited by the Federation of Holistic Therapists, was developed in the East Midlands and focuses on the Full Movement Method - a unique method of resolving muscle and joint pain, immobility and malfunction.

It was developed by Andy Thomas, from West Bridgford, Nottingham, who treated hundreds of patients over many years, including sportsmen and women, actors and road accident victims.

Andy, who died in March 2011, trained therapists locally, nationally and abroad to practise FMM, and students have gone on to open FMM clinics in Bournemouth, Sheffield and elsewhere.

Andy also ran the Nottinghamshire-based Shanti Yoga School, which has trained dozens of yoga teachers in Hatha Yoga.

The core postures in yoga are at the heart of initial diagnosis for FMM, and Andy saw the flexibility that yoga postures bring as a fundamental key to relieving pain via FMM.

His wife Liz Thomas, who runs both schools, said: “The Full Movement Method course is ideal for therapists, dance teachers, homeopaths, acupuncturists and yoga teachers who are looking to increase their skills and offer additional services to their clients.

“We’re now accepting applications from students who are interested in joining our course, which starts in January 2013.”

The course will be taught at Colwick, Nottingham, roughly once a month at weekends over two years – making it ideal for those who currently have full or part-time jobs or other commitments during the week.

For more information visit

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR