Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sustainability team at Focus Consultants appointed on one of Nottingham’s ‘greenest’ projects

Sustainability experts at Focus Consultants have been appointed to help Nottingham’s new Digital Media Hub become one of the top three environmentally sustainable sites in the city.
The £9.1 million Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies is scheduled to be the flagship part of Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Quarter Campus and the main site of the Confetti Institute.
Work has just got underway on site on the six-storey building, which will connect the existing Confetti college centre on Convent Street and the Higher Education Centre on Parliament Street.
Designed by award-winning architects Allan Joyce, the striking building is hoping to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, with the expectation that it will be one of the most environmentally sustainable buildings in Nottingham.
Focus, which has its headquarters at Nottingham’s Phoenix Business Park, has been appointed as the BREEAM Assessor and the BREEAM Accredited Professional, providing the design team with expert advice on built environment sustainability, environmental design and environmental assessment. 
Senior sustainability surveyor Jessica Bullers said: “The Energy and Sustainability team at Focus Consultants has had a long-standing, close relationship with Nottingham Trent University, providing sustainability support on a number of the university’s building projects.
“Working as the sustainability champion and simultaneously as the BREEAM assessor, we have established a good assessment process - leading to this latest project being potentially one of the most highly rated BREEAM buildings at the university, which is well recognised for being the UK’s ‘greenest’ university. For the past three years, NTU has been awarded first place in the People & Planet University League, which ranks all 145 UK universities on their commitment to and management of sustainability. 
“Focus is proud to have been appointed to the team developing the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, which is not only a flagship part of NTU’s Creative Quarter Campus but likely to become one of Nottingham’s most environmentally friendly buildings too – an honour for a Nottingham-based company like Focus, which has been supporting the city in its development for more than 21 years.”
The new hub, due to be completed by summer 2018, will feature spacious contemporary classrooms and studios, a large Learning Resource Centre with private study facilities, creative social spaces and a rooftop garden. In addition to acting as Confetti’s headquarters and main reception, it will deliver all digital media games and interactive activity.
Work began before Christmas demolishing part of the existing Confetti site on Parliament Street to make way for the new build.  The demolition unearthed some key archaeological findings including Medieval artefacts, caves and a 700-year old well that have helped rewrite the history of Medieval Nottingham and provide information about the way the area was used over 700 years ago.
Contractor Stepnell has now begun work on site. 
Focus Consultants, which also has branches in Leicester, London and Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, offers a range of support on all aspects of sustainable development, as well as services in funding and economic development, project management and building surveying.
For more information visit
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ground source heat pump scheme wins award for J Tomlinson

J Tomlinson and Bromford picking up their award
Building services firm J Tomlinson is celebrating after winning an award for a ground source heat pump installation which is helping to tackle fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions.
The scheme, carried out at 15 homes over two sites in Shropshire for housing group Bromford, has been named Small Scale Project of the Year in the West Midlands Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards 2017.
It involved replacing storage heaters in 15 properties with individual ground source heat pumps and new wet central heating systems - with the prediction that the installations will save money for residents and also reduce carbon emissions. One has already reported savings of 40% in comparison to last year's electricity bill.
The project will also create Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) income for 20 years for Bromford through the Government scheme to encourage the installation of energy efficient heating schemes.
J Tomlinson was also highly commended in the RHI Installer of the Year category at the awards ceremony.
Nottingham-based J Tomlinson operations director Martin Ardron, who works within the firm’s repairs and maintenance and facilities management teams, said: “As a company, J Tomlinson has been involved in ground source heat pump installations for more than ten years. We are currently working closely with housing provider clients to suggest the best ways of installing heating systems that will lead to a reduction in fuel bills for their tenants and customers and to a cut in carbon emissions.
“We are delighted to hear that the project in Shropshire for Bromford has been recognised as Small Scale Project of the Year in the West Midlands Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards 2017. The feedback from both client and the tenants has been very positive, and although the system has only been in place for a matter of weeks, one customer is already reporting savings of 40% in comparison to last year's electricity bill. It is expected the total scheme will save circa 41,774kgCO2 and around £3,675 of fuel savings in its first year of operation alone.
“We are also delighted to have been highly commended in the RHI Installer of the Year category, as it’s a ringing endorsement of the work J Tomlinson is undertaking in the field of sustainable energy.”
Nine homes in Cleobury Mortimer, near Kidderminster, and six in Hodnet, near Market Drayton, had the ground source heat pumps installed earlier this year by the repairs and maintenance team at J Tomlinson, which has a long-standing partnership with housing group Bromford to support the organisation’s servicing, maintenance and repairs programme.
Andy Jones, Building Surveyor from Bromford, said: “Bromford is committed to tackling fuel poverty for residents by ensuring customers have affordable warmth. We are very pleased to hear that this scheme undertaken by J Tomlinson to provide ground source heat pump installations for 15 of our homes in Shropshire has been recognised at these awards.”
Operating across the West Midlands, East Midlands and Yorkshire, J Tomlinson offers a fully integrated solution, covering the whole building lifecycle from construction to refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, mechanical and electrical services and facilities management.
Bromford is a business with a social purpose whose objective is to inspire its customers to be their best. For more than 50 years, it has provided customers with new and affordable homes and provided a range of services aimed at reducing welfare-dependency and generating social value in employment, education, health and community safety.
The West Midlands Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards 2017 help to recognise the work being carried out by the energy efficiency sector in the West Midlands in their delivery of the Green Deal Finance Initiative and Energy Company Obligation Scheme. The energy efficiency measures introduced by the Government following the Energy Act 2013, included the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) Scheme, the Green Deal Finance Initiative, and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). These measures together help homeowners reduce their energy bills, tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
The aim of the Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes Awards is to provide public recognition for the excellent work the energy efficiency sector is doing in implementing these schemes, and to help encourage best practice within the energy industry as it works to improve UK housing stock.
The awards ceremony was staged at the Hilton Hotel, Coventry.
For more information about J Tomlinson visit

For more information about Bromford, visit
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Croots Farm Shop helps put Great British family businesses on the map

Derbyshire farm shop Croots was a stop-off point on this year’s Family Business Road Trip.
Representatives from Family Business United, who have been touring some of the UK’s most successful family businesses, dropped in to visit the farm shop in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, during the journey.
Kay Croot, who runs the farm shop with husband Steve, said: “They were very interested to hear the story of Croots Farm Shop and how we’ve got to the point we are now at, as a popular farm shop and a place to visit for coffees, lunch, afternoon tea and more. We gave them a tour around the shop, café and the farm, and explained how the business has grown in the nine years since we launched.”
The Family Business Road Trip celebrates the essential contribution family firms make to national GDP and regional economies. In the UK, the family business sector accounts for more than 4 million firms, £1.1 trillion in turnover (almost a quarter of UK GDP) and employs more than nine million people. In addition, the top 20 family owned firms in the UK generate turnover in excess of £49 billion.
Paul Andrews, from Family Business United, was joined by Ruth Chapman, from PwC, one of the trip’s sponsors, for the visit to Croots.
Family firm Sturgess Jaguar provided the car for the trip and the event is being sponsored by PwC, Farrer & Co, Western Pension Solutions and Close Brothers Asset Management. The Family Business Road Trip 2017 runs for six weeks covering Yorkshire to the Lake District and the Midlands to London, East Anglia, Sussex and a whole host of counties in between.
Croots Farm Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm) and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Croots runs Fresh Fish Thursdays between 9am and 1pm on Thursdays.
For more information, visit Find Croots on Twitter @crootsfarm_shop or on Facebook

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

Friday, 19 May 2017

Central Foods proud to announce it’s a ‘no trans fats’ zone

Frozen food distributor Central Foods has confirmed it’s a ‘trans fats free’ zone.
“This is great news for all of our customers, and for their customers too,” said Central Foods managing director Gordon Lauder.
“The issue of trans fatty acids, or artificial trans fats, has been high on the health agenda in recent years after links to heart disease and strokes. We’ve carried out a very detailed check of more than 400 products that we supply to wholesalers and food service operators, and we are proud that none of the products we supply has trans fatty acids as an ingredient.
“As a leading frozen food distributor, Central Foods prides itself on offering high quality products, working in partnership with the best food manufacturers, and this news illustrates our commitment to excellence.”
The US Food and Drug Administration is banning trans fatty acids from 18th June 2018, and last year, the EU adopted a resolution to start an assessment of the impact trans fatty acids have on public health and to devise policies after an earlier preliminary report by the European Commission suggested that setting a legal limit for industrial trans fats content in foods would be the most effective measure in terms of public health and consumer protection.
New York, which banned trans fatty acids in restaurant food in 2007, has seen a 6% drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks and strokes compared with counties without bans, according to a study by Yale University.
Trans fatty acids, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods, commonly to make them more solid.
In recent years, many manufacturers have voluntarily removed trans fats from their products through reformulation.
Offering a one-stop shop to the foodservice sector, Central Foods sources products from around the world and the UK, supplying more than 400 different lines, ranging from meat, bakery items and canapés through to buffet products, desserts and puddings.

The Northamptonshire-based business is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors, supplying more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers. It also supplies to foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, staff canteens, schools, hospitals, coffee shops, football grounds and universities.
For more information visit
Press release issued by Nottingham based Perfect 10 PR

Focus Consultants research economic benefit of Leicester Textiles Hub

Leicester Textiles
Economic development experts at Focus Consultants have been researching the benefits of creating a textiles hub and training centre in Leicester.
The company has been working with Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and Leicester City Council with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to explore the creation of a hub and training centre in the city to help Leicester boost its textiles industry. 
The textiles manufacturing sector in the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP area has been identified as a priority growth sector, due to it contributing over £0.5 billion to the LLEP economy, as well as it being the second largest textiles employment area in the UK.  Within Leicester and Leicestershire, the sector employs 9,480 people in 1,480 firms.
With the demand for ‘fast fashion’ ever increasing in the UK’s retail sector, an advantage of producing apparel in the UK is that retailers can expect the production of their goods to have a faster turnaround than if they were using overseas suppliers. This offers significant opportunities to bring more textiles manufacturing back to the UK, and with its diverse history in the textiles industry, Leicester plans to be at the heart of this. 
The Funding, Research and Economic Development team at Focus, which has an office at Meridian Business Park, Leicester, has been appointed by the LLEP to investigate the need for a new textiles hub and the benefits it could bring to the city’s economy. Led by Focus partners, Heather Frecklington and Karl Marriott, their role includes working with manufacturers and suppliers of technical machinery to evaluate costs, in addition to consultation with leading high street retailers and e-tailers, such as New Look and Asos, to understand the demand for fast fashion, the opportunity for increased UK production and how Leicester can be best placed to benefit from this growth.
Heather Frecklington, the partner responsible for Focus’ FRED Team, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to undertake this exciting study. Global factors are influencing reshoring of manufacturing back to the UK and the aim of the proposed hub is to understand how to meet the needs of both retailers and manufacturers in order to support and grow the fashion and textiles sector in Leicester.
“We have worked on economic impact assessments for the Leicester area previously, including a report undertaken by our team which found that the discovery of King Richard lll brought in more than £59 million to Leicester’s economy, from the time of the discovery to the reinternment, and we are pleased to be continuing our links with the city and its development.”
The study has explored the need for a sector specific hub and training centre to provide relevant services to the local small and medium enterprise community, as well as accommodate the needs of large retailers and online brands. It has included in-depth consultation with manufacturers and retailers in the sector, as well as industry experts, stakeholders and potential partners to gauge their opinion on the need, and potential shape of a Leicester Hub, and the demand for services within it. 
Sue Tilley, economic strategy manager for the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) said: “There is a need for a different kind of Leicester textiles industry and the Hub would have an important part to play in changing this perception. It would also work to help manufacturers to recognise the need to adopt a different approach to trading and costing.
“We know that Leicester is one of only five UK centres for mass, fast fashion textile production and there is profound support for Leicester from many of Britain’s leading fashion retailers and e-tailers. So this is a fantastic opportunity for the local industry to pull together to maximise positive commercial developments such as re-shoring of UK based production to improve the fashion and textile sector in Leicester.”
The FRED team at Nottingham-based Focus, which also has branches in London, Leicester, Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, specialises in securing funding for projects, economic impact assessments, regeneration strategies, research and feasibility strategies.
Since 1994 Focus has also secured for clients more than £953 million of grants for projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.3 billion worth of projects and programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.
It also offers a range of services to the property and construction industry, including building surveying, quantity surveying, project management, and sustainable development support.
For more information, visit
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR