Wednesday, 30 January 2013

V&A Museum framework agreement for Focus Consultants

Museum expert Focus Consultants has won a place on a framework agreement to develop and deliver temporary exhibitions at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The company is one of three preferred suppliers to be announced by the V&A in South Kensington.

Focus, which is based at Phoenix Business Park in Nottingham and has offices in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn near Lincoln, has worked on a wide range of high-profile museum developments, including the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, which was last year named UK museum of the year by the Art Fund charity, and SeaCity in Southampton, which opened in 2012 – a century after the Titanic set sail from the city.

The firm recently announced it had been appointed project manager for a prestigious multi-million pound redevelopment at the NationalArmyMuseum in Chelsea.

“The team at Focus Consultants is proud and delighted to have been appointed to the framework agreement to provide services to the V&AMuseum,” said Focus project manager Ellie Clarke.

“The V&A is billed as the world’s greatest museum of art and design, and attracts around 3 million visitors every year. Its temporary exhibitions are extremely diverse, and we’re looking forward to supporting the museum with the development of these over the next three years.

“This is a very high profile appointment for Focus, which reflects our experience and skill in working with museums to create something special for their visitors.”

The three-year framework agreement is for the provision of project management, cost consultancy and CDM co-ordination. Being appointed to the framework agreement means that Focus is one of three preferred bidders to provide work on future temporary exhibitions at the V&A.

On average, the museum has around six temporary exhibitions each year. Work secured from the V&A would be handled by the London office of Focus, which is based in Holborn.

The firm previously worked for the V&A on the £7.2 million redevelopment of the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, which houses the V&A's national collection of childhood-related objects, including dolls' houses, toys and games, furniture and clothing.

As well as overseeing the redevelopment, Focus also secured the funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which both made significant contributions to the successful opening of the project in early 2007.

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.

Visit for more information.

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 28 January 2013

Wedding service launched by the Orange Tree in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire

East Midlands pub group the Orange Tree has launched a new weddings service as an extension to its outside bar facilities.

The group has hosted weddings at its Nottingham venue for some time, and has more than 12 years’ experience of running bars at events and festivals across the region.

Now the company is bringing its expertise together with the launch of Orange Tree Weddings, which will operate in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

The service aims to transform village halls and spaces into romantic wedding venues – creating a vintage-inspired, unique wedding venue.

As well as providing the bar, the Orange Tree Weddings service will offer catering, stylish decoration and a host of other items that make a wedding day special.

One of the first brides to choose the service was Mel Adams, who until recently was the general manager at the Orange Tree pub in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, and whose quest for something a bit different for her wedding was the inspiration behind the launch of Orange Tree Weddings.

Mel, who is now running the new service and is also marketing assistant for the Orange Tree group, married Peter Adams in October, with an Orange Tree-style reception at Quorn Village Hall.

Orange Tree Group managing director Gareth Smith said: “As the former general manager at the Orange Tree in Nottingham, Mel has been involved in hosting many wedding receptions. She’s also played a key role in managing the bars at several festivals and events for the Orange Tree.

“She knew exactly what she wanted for her wedding reception, but discovered that no-one was offering this type of service, so she’s inspired us to launch our own. It means that brides and grooms across Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire will be able to have stylish and affordable wedding receptions in local village halls.”

Mel, who has a passion for vintage curiosities, is joined by head designer Julia Harwood.

Mel said: “No matter how basic the chosen village hall looks in the cold light of day, we can turn it into a romantic decorated scene using our decorations, drapes, bunting and lighting. We can provide hand-painted signage and props with personalised messages, and have collected attractive vintage cutlery and crockery and crisp white table runners with Jules’ homemade table runners made from vintage materials.

“Real cask ales and cocktails are a speciality on our bars, and we can offer a range of different food options to suit different party sizes and budgets.”

The Orange Tree Group, which has bars in Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham, has built up a reputation for the weddings it hosts at the Orange Tree in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham.

The new service means that Orange Tree-style weddings can now also be held elsewhere.

“We have an amazing range of vintage decorations that completely transform a village hall-type venue to provide a really unique, one-off experience for the happy couple and their guests,” said Mel. “The same quality of drinks and catering that we provide in-house will also be offered at these outside venues.

“It’s bringing together all the expertise we have in food, catering and design, and creating something different for couples who want a personal wedding that’s within their budget. Couples can leave all the planning, organisation and set-up in the hands of ourselves to enjoy their day to the fullest extent.”

Visit for more information.

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Focus Consultants plays key ‘green’ role in university library

East Midlands-based Focus Consultants is helping Nottingham Trent University to create a new sustainable library at its Brackenhurst Campus.

The one-storey building is being built to a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating to reflect the high environmental credentials of the project.

A team from Focus has been involved from the initial consultation and design stages and will continue to play a key role now that work has started on site, and through to completion by early Summer 2013.

Associate and BREEAM assessor Jason Redfearn said: “Focus is very pleased to be working directly with Nottingham Trent University for the first time. The university has really considered the approach to BREEAM and how best to integrate it successfully into the new library, creating an energy efficient building that minimises its environmental impact.”

The library at the campus near Southwell in Nottinghamshire will feature sustainable materials in construction, energy efficient heating, photo-voltaic panels on the roof, high levels of insulation and will link in to the existing biomass heating system on site.

BREEAM - the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method - is the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and measures a building’s green credentials. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance.

Focus, which is based at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, and has offices in Leicester, London, Boston and Aubourn near Lincoln, was appointed as BREEAM Assessors at early design stage for the Brackenhurst scheme.

The firm was then appointed to undertake design stage assessment and post-construction stage assessment.

Focus BREEAM assessor Jessica Bullers, based in the Princess Road East office in Leicester, is driving the project for Focus.

The Energy Carbon Sustainability team at Focus Consultants offers a range of services to support sustainable development, including low carbon consultancy, environmental assessment methods and regulation compliance.

The company also specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the Midlands and the UK. Focus has secured more than £800 million of grant assistance, and delivered more than £1 billion of projects and programmes since 1994.

Issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Focus Consultants involved in straw bale sustainable homes

Experts at Focus Consultants are involved in a unique green housing scheme where future residents are building their homes using straw bales and timber.

The development in Leeds is the UK’s first affordable green co-housing project, and Focus Consultants in Boston, Lincolnshire, has been appointed as the assessor to verify the scheme’s green credentials.

The Focus team, based at Endeavour Park in Boston, will carry out SAP calculations and final energy performance certificates for the 20 houses and apartments, as well as carrying out the Code for Sustainable Homes assessment which is expected to be Code Level 4.

“This is a really interesting project to provide affordable homes, and is the first time in the UK that a complete housing development has been built using Modcell prefabricated panels with straw bales for insulation,” said Trevor Newton, partner at Focus Consultants’ Lincolnshire offices.

“We’re proud to be a part of it and hope that such examples of innovative housing will help to inspire future developments across the nation.”

LILAC – Low Impact Living Affordable Community – is a co-housing project in the Bramley area of West Leeds, which is self-funded by its members with help from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The 20 new homes are owned and managed by a fully mutual co-operative housing society and are being built around a community ‘common house’ designed with shared cooking, eating, laundry, leisure and meeting facilities that will allow all members of the community to live together in a way that will drastically reduce their carbon footprint.

The development uses the latest innovative modern methods of construction (MMC), and has a sophisticated timber frame design with pre-stressed straw bale infill panels finished with an external lime render system. The walls have been assembled off site at a ‘flying factory’ with help from LILAC members.

The Modcell system of panels has been used for schools and public buildings in the UK before but this is the first residential project of its kind.

All houses and apartments on the LILAC scheme have been designed to maximise comfort and well-being, while also achieving a 25% improvement over the latest Building Regulations Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) introduced in 2010. State-of-the-art technologies have been implemented, which include whole house mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, high efficiency gas boilers, triple glazing and solar photovoltaic arrays to help offset energy use and heating demand.
“Focus has had close communication with the project team, ensuring that design principles are achieved under all nine categories of the Code for Sustainable Homes Assessment. The scheme has successfully achieved Code Level 4 at design stage in line with the client requirements,” added Trevor.

Contractor for the development is Lindum Construction, and the scheme is due to be complete by March 2013.

Focus Consultants, which also has a Lincolnshire office at Aubourn near Lincoln, offers a range of construction and property services, including project management, surveying, design, party wall services, energy and environmental assessments, CDM co-ordinator, contract administration and employer’s agent.

For more information visit

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Label printing project receives Food and Drink iNet support

The Food and Drink iNet has awarded a £10,000 grant to a Derbyshire labelling company to help the firm create a new labelling system for sandwich producers.

Positive ID Labelling Systems, based in Melbourne, near Derby, is developing a system which will allow small food retailers to easily add typical nutritional data and allergy information to labels on each product.

The company already sells a range of sandwich label printers and software to allow companies to personalise and print their own labels, but now it plans to also offer a system that will give small independent shops the ability to include the nutritional information of their products on labels.

The Food and Drink iNet, which is run by trade organisation The Food and Drink Forum and encourages and supports innovation in the East Midlands food and drink sector, has awarded the project £10,000 towards its £30,500 cost.

“This is an excellent example of an established company using innovation to develop and grow, while at the same time filling what it sees is a gap in the market in the food and drink sector and benefiting a good number of smaller manufacturers,” said Food and Drink iNet director Richard Worrall.

“The Food and Drink iNet is pleased to support this innovation at Positive ID Labelling Systems.”

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), 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, who can offer a range of support to small and medium-sized enterprises that work in the sector.

Positive ID Labelling Systems, which was launched in 1987, sells price guns, date coding guns, labelling guns and sandwich labelling systems.

It currently employs 11 people at its headquarters in Castle Lane, Melbourne, and hopes the new product it is developing will create another job within the next 12 months.

Managing director John Mayers said: “The objective is to devise a computer-based reference that integrates with a spreadsheet to allow small businesses to accurately label nutritional and allergy data on their food and sandwich labels. This system will ensure correct ingredient, nutritional and allergy information is incorporated on food labelling. It will serve to protect consumers by providing accurate labels and protect firms from the potentially damaging consequences of mislabelling.

“We are very grateful for the support from the Food and Drink iNet, who have given us a grant towards our project.”

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR