Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Time to celebrate for Focus Consultants

Kevin Osbon at the British Horological Institute
Funding, economic development and project management specialist Focus Consultants is celebrating the news that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has earmarked a £2.8 million grant for the British Horological Institute (BHI).

Focus developed the HLF bid for the BHI, which plans to create a National Centre for Horology at its Upton Hall base, near Newark in Nottinghamshire, to help train a new generation of clock and watchmakers in the UK.

The project is the first phase of an £8.5 million Masterplan that Focus has developed for the site.

Dudley Giles, Chief Executive Officer of the BHI, praised the work of Nottingham-based Focus Consultants, which also has offices in London, Leicester and at Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire.

“The team at Focus Consultants has been great – we literally couldn’t have done it without them. Their advice and guidance has been spot on and we really feel that they are part of the BHI team, helping us to take the project and the Masterplan through to completion,” he said.

Focus Consultants Partner Kevin Osbon, who lives just two miles from Upton Hall, led the creation of the long term Masterplan for the BHI and the consequent development of the initial Phase 1 'Saving Time' project which has secured the HLF award.

He said: “I have been working on this project personally since August 2013 and the team at Focus Consultants have worked closely with the BHI to create a long term sustainable solution for the Upton Hall estate and secure their future as one of the leading horological training establishments in the world. I am delighted to hear that the HLF bid has been successful.

“Focus works with organisations and attractions across the UK, but the BHI is a close neighbour, being based in Nottinghamshire, and members of the Focus team are really looking forward to working with the BHI team to deliver phase 1 and then the overall Masterplan 'over time'.”

The BHI – a membership organisation for people who make, repair, collect and sell clocks, watches and other timepieces – plans to open the new centre in 2018 to address the nationwide shortage of horologists by creating new training and workshop facilities in a derelict stable block and glass house, allowing the BHI to double the number of students it trains a year.

Historic England has included Upton Hall – a Grade II* listed building – in its 2015 Heritage at Risk Register.

HLF has earmarked £2,852,600 for the project including a Development Grant of £160,300, which the BHI will use to progress plans, produce a fully costed proposal, apply for planning permission, and submit a second round application, when the full grant amount will be released.

The centre will be open daily and the public will be able to view students at work and visit exhibitions with key pieces from the BHI collection, which includes clocks going back to the 17th century, watches such as the timepiece carried by Captain Scott on his ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic, and the first two Speaking Clocks.

The historic main building at Upton Hall will also be developed and access to the collection will increase significantly with volunteer support and extended opening hours. The centre anticipates thousands of visitors annually, including hundreds of schoolchildren for whom special education areas will be set up. Collected from 1858, there are currently over a thousand artefacts on display and stored in the reserve collection of the BHI, and as such it is unrivalled in the UK but currently only open for public view three times a year.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: “From Big Ben and the Liver Building to the pocket watches and timepieces carried by great explorers, clocks and clockmaking have a long and proud history in the UK. Even as demand for these traditional skills rises, the number of people trained has gone into steep decline. That is why we saw a pressing need for this National Lottery investment which will ensure timepieces are made, serviced, repaired and conserved in this country for many years to come.”

Emma McClarkin, an East Midlands MEP with a portfolio on international trade, said: “It is well known that there is a dire shortage of training opportunities for watch and clockmakers around the world, particularly in Europe. The BHI already has an international reputation and links with our local universities. Now the creation of the National Centre for Horology sets the Institute on course to address the horology skill shortage, making sure that our watch and clockmaking expertise is passed on from generation to generation, just like our magnificent timepieces.”

Focus specialises in creative approaches to securing funding packages and delivering high quality projects across the UK. Since its creation in 1994, Focus has helped to secure more than £953 million of grant assistance for a range of projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.3 billion of projects and programmes.

Press release issued by Nottingham based pr company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Haughton Honey available through key wholesaler

Haughton Honey is now available to farm shops, delis, garden centres and other stores across central England, the West Midlands and mid-Wales via wholesaler Bikold Foodservice.
It is the first major wholesaler to take the brand, which was launched last year by bee farmer Cris Reeves. 
Haughton Honey is part of the ambient product range available to Ludlow-based Bikold’s network of retailers. It is offered as a branded four-by-340g jar pack and wholesales at £15.20 per pack/£3.80 a jar.
As a result of the partnership, Haughton Honey’s direct wholesale offering will fall into line with the same pack size and price offer.
“The relationship with Bikold Foodservice is a milestone for Haughton Honey as it represents the first major wholesale partnership since the brand was launched in 2014. It will make it easier for retailers and trade customers across central England, the West Midlands and mid Wales to stock Haughton Honey, and is a key building block in our expansion plans,” said Cris, who is based in Cheshire.
“We anticipate this is the first of a number of wholesalers across the UK who we hope will take the brand.”
The Haughton Honey cooperative has approximately 1,600 hives spread across the North West and the Midlands, including Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire. It currently supplies more than 60 stores, mainly across the North West and the Midlands but the partnership with Bikold supports the brand’s plans to expand throughout the UK.
Haughton Honey is raw honey which comes straight from the hive, is cold extracted and never pasteurised which means that it retains all of the natural enzymes and proteins that make English honey so special. Haughton Honey is 100% natural and pure, and features traces of dandelion, chestnut, blackberry, clover and other wildflowers.
For more details visit www.haughtonhoney.com
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Winners announced for East Midlands fbe Awards 2015

A small Derbyshire housing scheme has been crowned as the overall project of the year at the East Midlands fbe Awards 2015.
Category award winners also included the refurbishment and regeneration of the Malt Cross in Nottingham and the development of a new HQ for the Rutland Agricultural Society and new society and clubhouses for Oakham Rugby Club and Royce Rovers Football Club.
At a sell-out ceremony staged at the City Rooms in Leicester, around 150 people from the region's construction sector gathered to hear about the schemes and the teams behind this year’s winning projects.
The overall winner was a scheme of six houses and two bungalows at Hannah Bowman Way in Youlgrave, Derbyshire, developed by emh group and built by Lindum Construction for Peak District Rural Housing Association and Youlgrave Community Trust. Emh group and Lindum Group jointly nominated the project. Other members of the team involved in the development of the mix of affordable rent and shared ownership homes with priority for local people were architect David Lewis Associates, structural engineer HSP Consulting and Low Carbon Box.
The project, which had earlier taken the honours in the residential category, lies in the Peak District village of Youlgrave and marked the culmination of many years of work. The Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 homes were provided as a result of a local partnership between emh group, Peak District Rural Housing Association and Youlgrave Community Land Trust, with support from Derbyshire Dales District Council, with the design developed in close consultation with the Peak District National Park Authority.
Judges said: “We found it a difficult decision to pick the overall winner, as there were three excellent section winners, of varying scale and type. However, we thought that the Youlgrave project ticked so many boxes in terms of development, design, community engagement and team work, and we felt it was a very deserving winner of the East Midlands fbe Project of the Year.
“This scheme took a considerable time to accomplish and was obviously a battle on many fronts, not least in terms of planning, where a ‘village green’ application had to be overcome, delaying matters by over 18 months, due to there being objectors in the local community. Achieving Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 including all the enhanced ecology is quite an achievement given a tight budget, and overall the project achieves a very sensitive and socially valuable outcome, produced to an excellent quality standard of construction, all of which will have taken a significant effort to achieve."
The winner of the regeneration category was The Malt Cross, Nottingham - the refurbishment of Nottingham’s only surviving Victorian music hall, built in 1877, and one of relatively few in the country. It was undertaken by the Malt Cross Charitable Trust, and nominated by William Saunders Partnership, who were the architect and structural engineer for the project. Other team members were contractor Taylor Pearson the contractor and EP Consulting, who handled the M & E design.
The project brought to life derelict floors and uncovered heritage features that had lain hidden from public view and reconnected the previously sub divided building back into one entity. The Malt Cross Music Hall is occupied by a social enterprise café bar. It is also an entertainment and arts venue which supports local talent. In addition it houses the Malt Cross Trust’s outreach services, including Street Pastors and Safe Space.
A new HQ for the Rutland Agricultural Society and new society and clubhouses for Oakham Rugby Club and Royce Rovers Football Club won the non-residential scheme category. Submitted by developer and main contractor DW Hicks, other members of the team were LE1 architects, structural engineer Diamond Wood & Shaw and MDA Consulting.
The scheme created a new-build exhibition/function space and offices for the Rutland Agricultural Society (RAS) with an attached clubhouse and changing rooms for Oakham Rugby Club. A detached pavilion provides separate changing facilities for Royce Rangers Football Club.
Jef Todd, regional chairman of the East Midlands fbe, said: “We had a record-breaking number of submissions entered for this year’s awards, which was great. The diversity of the finalists and the winners illustrates the tremendous variety of top quality construction projects that are undertaken in the region. I’d like to thank everyone who entered and congratulate the winners and the teams behind the schemes.”
Compèred by former BBC East Midlands political editor John Hess, the awards were sponsored by construction recruitment specialist Hays Recruitment, civil engineering, building and M&E contractor North Midland Construction, engineering and environmental consultants M-EC Consulting Development Engineers, DW Hicks Building Co Ltd and chartered accountants and business advisers Duncan & Toplis. Civil and structural engineering company BSP Consulting sponsored the evening’s drinks reception.

The East Midlands fbe (Forum for the Built Environment), a property, development and construction professionals' group, supported the East Midlands NSPCC 'now I know' Appeal at the event, which had finalists from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland.

Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

J Tomlinson completes key contract for international business GE

A major refurbishment project for global technology organisation GE has been completed by J Tomlinson following a fire at the premises last year. 
The GE Measurement & Control site at Groby in Leicestershire includes a new world class clean room for silicon processing – a critical part of the manufacturing process for the advanced industrial pressure sensors made at the site. It is the only British manufacturer of pressure sensors and industrial calibrators that manufactures the key sensor element entirely in-house. 
J Tomlinson’s role in the project involved refurbishing approximately 1,600m² of office accommodation over two floors, which had been damaged in the fire that originated in an adjoining building. 
The £2 million office refurbishment was a joint venture between the company’s construction division and its electrical engineering services team. 
Construction managing director at Nottingham-based J Tomlinson, Martin Gallagher, said: “GE is a major globally known business – the Groby site is one of 40 GE Measurement and Control facilities in 25 countries. J Tomlinson is proud to have carried out the refurbishment of its two-storey office block in Groby, which is a key part of its operation.” 
The newly completed block has now been officially handed over by J Tomlinson following a refurbishment project which involved installing energy and cost-saving LED lighting alongside associated office electrical and building works. 
M&E Director, Carl Derrick from J Tomlinson commented saying: “The office refurbishment at GE, Groby provided us with an opportunity to work alongside our construction division, delivering benefits to the client as part of our integrated solutions approach.” 
With a combined 40-year history of silicon processing and sensor manufacturing at the Groby site – first by Druck Ltd and then by GE when it acquired Druck in 2002 – GE has earned a reputation for high quality, high accuracy pressure sensor equipment for aerospace, oil and gas, power generation and the automotive sector. Today, about 680 people work at the Groby site. 
Graham Dawber, business leader for the Groby site, said: “After a challenging 13 months, it is fantastic to have a new world class silicon facility where we can focus on meeting our customers’ needs now and in the future. 
“With these improvements, we can better serve customer demands and extend our leadership position in our target markets.” 
President and CEO of GE UK & Ireland, Mark Elborne, was joined by local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Hinckley and Bosworth, Councillor Mrs Janice Richards, and members of the nearby community for an official opening and tour of the building. 
The clean room building for silicon processing was recently completed by HCM Projects, with Precision Clean Rooms completing the rebuild of the 8,600 sq ft laboratory.
J Tomlinson, which offers services in construction, refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, mechanical and electrical engineering, energy efficiency, renewables, and facilities management, is based in Lilac Grove, Beeston, near Nottingham, and has offices across the East and West Midlands. 

Earlier this year J Tomlinson was named in Deloitte’s Businesses Leading Britain 2014 report, which provides insights into the UK’s 1,000 fastest-growing businesses with annual revenues between £30 million and £1 billion. The company is expected to see its turnover increase from £54 million in 2014 to £67 million this year, and with a forecast to rise again next year to £90 million.  
For more information visit www.jtomlinson.co.uk
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR www.perfect10pr.co.uk