Thursday, 30 November 2017

Focus completes project management role at Grade I listed hall

Kelmarsh Hall
A previously inaccessible area of a Grade I listed hall is being opened to the public following a conservation project which has been managed by Focus Consultants.
The scheme at Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens in Northamptonshire - entitled ‘Tunnelling through the Past’ - has conserved the former stable yard, laundries and the servants’ areas in the basement of the house.
Thanks to a £1.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and funding from Daventry District Council grant scheme, along with the charity’s own fundraising efforts, the history of the lives of the servants at the hall will now be showcased to visitors.
Nottingham-based Focus Consultants, which specialises in delivering high quality heritage projects across the UK, has been involved with the project from the end of 2015 until completion, undertaking a project management role.
Project manager at Focus Jo Hardwicke said: “The main opening of this exciting new interactive visitor experience will be on 1st April 2018, when the hall reopens to the general public, but there will be an exclusive preview of the spaces next month as part of the National Lottery ‘Thank You’ week to lottery players, when Kelmarsh Hall holds a Christmas Fair on 17th December.
“As a company, Focus has wide experience of conservation, restoration and other projects within the heritage sector, and we have been thrilled to have played a role in conserving and opening up these previously inaccessible areas at Kelmarsh Hall to give the public a glimpse into the history of the servants who lived behind the scenes at this wonderful hall.”
Currently just the main living spaces in the grand Grade I listed hall are open to visitors, and guided tours provide in-depth insight into the history of its famed past residents, such as designer Nancy Lancaster. But following the conservation project, undertaken by contractor Stone Edge, and after the introduction of the latest technologies, a full sensory experience of what life was like for those who formerly worked and lived at the property will be available. Tablet devices will help visitors to interpret the rooms in detail, whilst augmented reality will bring the spaces to life with period characters appearing to tell their story.
Lesley Denton, general manager for the Kelmarsh Trust said: “The conservation of the laundry and basement which are connected by a fantastically preserved tunnel has been a long road. It has been over six years from my first meeting with the HLF to the handover of the capital works by Stone Edge. The Kelmarsh Trust has been so fortunate to work with each and every one of the professionals involved, from our accountants and architects to the designers and interpretation experts. However, none of it would have been dealt with so professionally if we had not appointed Focus Consultants as our project managers. Jo and Steve have ensured we got where we are today by solving the problems, and there have been some, in a reassuring and effective manner. I cannot thank them enough.”
Focus, which has its headquarters at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, and branches in London, Leicester and Boston in Lincolnshire, offers a range of services, which include securing funding packages and project management. 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 – making it one of the most successful companies of its kind.
Focus 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

Snack brand Salty Dog launches new popcorn products

Salty Dog popcorn
Cool snack brand Salty Dog has unveiled two new popcorn products as the appetite for popcorn snacks continues to rise.
The Salty Dog popcorn comes in two flavours – sea salt and sweet & salty - and has been designed for both retail and hospitality.
With eye-catching packaging and fitting neatly into vending machines, the popcorn is vegan friendly and already has listings with wholesalers around the country. It’s perfect for pubs, bars, cafés and food-to-go venues, as well as ideal for retailers and independent stores.
The popcorn is the latest new snack to emerge from the Salty Dog stable and follows Darling Corn, which has also recently been unveiled in bright new packaging. The roasted corn kernels are available in three different flavours in 18g size – sea salt, smoked and barbecue – and three different flavours in 40g pack size – sea salt, barbecue and jalapeño.
Offering a good source of fibre, low in calories, free from any of the common allergens, and licensed by Coeliac UK as being gluten free, the roasted corn kernels are part of the Darling Spuds brand of Salty Dog.
Judy Willis, who runs Salty Dog and Darling Spuds with husband Dave Willis, said: “The appetite for tasty premium snacks remains high and we are delighted to unveil our new Salty Dog popcorn products, which follow the recent repackaging of our Darling Corn snacks.
“Popcorn is one of the grocery sector’s fastest growing product and the popcorn market is said to have doubled in value since 2013.”
Launched in 2003, Salty Dog is well known for its cool crisps, nibbly nuts and other snacks. Sister brand Darling Spuds followed in 2010, with hand-cooked crisps and roasted corn kernels.
Recommended retail price for the new popcorn is £1 per pack and for the corn is £1 for the 40g packs and 50p for the 18g packs.
Both ranges are available from Chiltern Snacks - telephone 01494 776006 or visit
For more information visit or
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 27 November 2017

Gluten-free doughnuts introduced by frozen food distributor Central Foods

KaterBake gluten-free midi doughnut
Leading frozen food distributor Central Foods has boosted its range of free-from products with the launch of a new gluten-free doughnut.
The KaterBake midi-sized gluten-free ring doughnut is suitable for vegetarians, as well as coeliacs, and is perfect for a range of foodservice uses.
It can be dressed up or down to achieve every price point, with serving ideas including topping with glazes or icing, decorating with sprinkles, fruit or popcorn, threading onto straws for eye-catching ‘freakshake’ milkshakes, or slicing in half and filling with a generous scoop of ice-cream for the ultimate ice-cream sandwich.
Figures show that the free-from market in the UK is continuing to grow, with more and more people requiring special dietary requirements, whether for medical, health, cultural or religious reasons.
“The free-from market really is huge - it’s worth more than £627 million a year and is set to reach £952 million by 2021 – and at Central Foods we have seen a large increase in demand for both sweet and savoury free-from products,” said Gordon Lauder, MD of frozen food distributor Central Foods.
We have been working with Coeliac UK since 2009 as part of our commitment to sourcing and supplying free-from foods, and have a comprehensive range of gluten-free items that we supply to wholesalers and foodservice caterers.
“We are delighted to have now introduced an updated version of the all-time classic, the ring doughnut, in a gluten-free format. The KaterBake gluten-free ring doughnut, which, at approximately 33g compared to 56g for a standard ring doughnut, is not too big or too small - making it the ideal quick and easy base for caterers to use in their own creations. Suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs means it also ticks a lot of boxes for customer requirements.”
Coeliac UK estimates that there are now over 1.3 million Britons or 3% of British adults following a gluten-free diet. Alongside that, 8.58 million, or 13%, are avoiding gluten in their diet. More than 90% of those on a gluten-free diet eat out at least once a month – and of course they often dine with others – so this represents huge opportunities for the foodservice sector. According to IPSOS Mori 2016, there are also 1.14 million vegetarians in the UK.
The KaterBake gluten-free ring doughnuts are supplied frozen in pack sizes of six by six.
Based in Northamptonshire, Central Foods is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors, supplying more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry.
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.
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR

Global food and drink sector challenges come under the spotlight at the Food Innovation Centre

Bioenergy and Brewing Science Building
Experts will be sharing the latest updates on some of the key challenges facing the food and drink sector at a one-day workshop to be held at the Food Innovation Centre.
Aimed at small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers, the event will turn the spotlight on food waste utilisation and alternative proteins – all of which are major topics currently in the sector.
The Food Innovation Centre, based at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus as part of the Division of Food Sciences, is a unique collaboration project that provides free specialist innovation support to small and medium-sized food and drink manufacturers in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Providing top expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, the project offers access to scientists, students and facilities at the university – enabling eligible food and drink firms to seek free advice on how to overcome challenges and develop new ideas.
The latest workshop – to be held at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus on Tuesday 28th November from 9am until 5pm – will focus on the opportunities and challenges of food and drink waste, plant and insect-based alternative proteins, including information about nutrition and food allergy/intolerances.
It has been designed to give food and drink manufacturers in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire an introduction to these key topics with current updates on technologies, opportunities and sourcing.
Head of the project, Richard Worrall, said: “These are huge topics, but important to us all. The Food Innovation Centre has brought together a range of experts to talk about these key global subjects, making them relevant to SMEs and with additional input through case studies from SME businesses themselves. The workshop will share the latest knowledge and information for those working in food and drink manufacturing – hopefully inspiring them to boost efficiencies, reduce waste, develop new products and improve their competitive performance.”
The Food Innovation Centre is a three-year project funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
There are a few places left, so to attend the workshop (free for eligible businesses), contact Linda Molyneux on 
Follow on Twitter @UoNFoodInnovation
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR

Stable tours staged at world’s largest gathering of Shire horses

Photo courtesy of Jayne Cross

Visitors to the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses will be able to get up close to the gentle giants of the horse world in a series of special stable tours.
The Shire Horse Society, which is staging the three-day National Shire Horse Show in March 2018 at Bingley Hall, Staffordshire Showground near Stafford, is organising the tours as part of the event.
They are designed to give visitors an insight into what’s involved in preparing and showing a champion Shire horse, as well as an understanding of this magnificent breed.
“The Shire horse has played an immense role in our history, but as a breed it is still regarded as an endangered species, with fewer than 300 pedigree Shire horse foals registered every year,” said Shire Horse Society secretary Victoria Clayton.
“The stable tours will be given by Shire horse owners, breeders and enthusiasts and will focus on everything from how to look after a Shire horse to how to prepare for a show.
“It’s a great opportunity for horse and animal lovers and those who like nostalgia to find out more about this magnificent breed, and to support the work we do, as a charity, to ensure that the Shire horse has a future.”
The show, which attracts around 250 pedigree Shires from across Europe, runs from 16th to 18th March, with stable tours being held on Saturday 17th March and Sunday 18th March.
Tickets are now on sale for the event, which is an ideal day out for all the family, featuring classes in the ring, trade stands, demonstrations and a children’s animal petting area. New for 2018 is the ridden quadrille – a choreographed ride to music which is often compared to an equestrian ballet.
Visitors will have the chance to buy tickets for the stable tours on arrival at the show on the Saturday and the Sunday.
Next year is a special one for the Shire Horse Society, as it marks the charity’s 140th anniversary.
“This will be the third year we have held our national show – the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses – at Staffordshire Showground, and we hope that hundreds of people will join us to help with the celebrations,” added Victoria.
Adult tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the gate, while tickets for children aged five to 13 years are £8 in advance or £10 on the gate. Children aged 14 years and over are charged at the adult price, while under fives enter free.
Gates open on Friday 16th March at 8.30am and at 7am on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March.

For more details and ticket information about the show, visit or follow @saveourshires on Twitter or at
Press release issued by Nottingham based PR company Perfect 10 PR