Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Nutricia announces Baa-rilliant sponsorshop for Shaun in the City trail

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Shaun in the City ©&TM Aardman/Shaun the Sheep Ltd. 2014 ® Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity. Charity No. 1043603Trowbridge-based medical nutrition company Nutricia has announced it’s a ‘leader of the flock’ in the 2015 Shaun in the City project to raise money for sick children in the UK.

Shaun in the City promises to be the most iconic fundraising project run by the Wallace & Gromit Children’s Charity after the phenomenal success of Gromit Unleashed two years ago.

This time, Aardman’s internationally-acclaimed character Shaun the Sheep will appear in two major arts trails in London and Bristol where each city will separately play host to a flock of unique Shauns. The giant Shauns will be placed in key locations and green spaces all around the two cities.

With over four million fans on social media, his own TV series, and his big screen debut with Shaun the Sheep The Movie in February, the much anticipated Shaun in the City trail is expected to engage millions of fans, tourists and communities

The Shaun In The City project is already generating excitement. Both city arts trails will culminate in a VIP auction of the 120 Shauns which is expected to raise millions. A staggering £2.35 million was raised at the Gromit Unleashed auction, with Pixar’s ‘Gromit Lightyear’ sculpture fetching £65,000.

Each arts trail has ten main sponsors known as ‘Leaders of the Flock’ – and Nutricia is one of those sponsors for London.

Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition is the UK’s largest provider of medical nutrition products and services. Working with healthcare professionals and organisations across the country and internationally, it’s dedicated to pioneering nutritional solutions helping people live healthier and longer lives.

In hospitals throughout the UK, the company provides specialist nutrition for children who need additional nutrition support.

Kate Hall, external affairs manager, said: “It’s so exciting for Nutricia and its staff to be involved in such a worthwhile, colourful and imaginative project.

“At Nutricia we already work with the charity helping children’s hospitals nationwide so our staff know how important it is to support families through the most difficult times.

“Currently we are organising our plans for fundraising and volunteering and we hope, at the end of this iconic project, our ‘Shaun’ will raise many thousands of pounds to help families who need help from the Wallace and Gromit Children’s Charity.”

WRC rally car visits Pebley Beach in Swindon

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Sean Quirk with the WRC Hyundai i20 at Pebley BeachThe growl of a 300bhp, 1600cc engine heralded the arrival of one of Hyundai's prize-winning World Rally Championship cars at Swindon dealership Pebley Beach on Monday.

The specially-produced i20 - which is based on the production model but sports four wheel drive, a new rear wing and front spoiler to aid cooling, and an adapted kinematic suspension system - performed beyond all expectations at this year's FIA World Rally Championships.

The highlight of the competition was a memorable 1-2 win for Hyundai at Rallye Deutschland - an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact that it was Hyundai's maiden season in the WRC.

Hyundai also won podium positions at Mexico and Poland, and recorded a three-car finish in the final six stages of the competition, in slippery and muddy Wales.

The car was welcomed to the showroom by sales executive Sean Quirk, who won a VIP trip to the Welsh stage of the rally after being crowned Brilliant Champion at the Hyundai Global Sales Executive Competition in Korea.

Pebley Beach managing director Dominic Threlfall said: "This is a not-to-be-missed chance for World Rally Championships fans to get up close and personal with this race-winning car."

But, like the car itself, enthusiasts will have to be quick: the in-demand motor will only be at the dealership - at Paddington Drive in Swindon - until Friday.

Public to decide which charities get Hills’ Christmas card cash

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Three Wiltshire charities are in line to benefit from a Wiltshire company’s decision not to send Christmas cards this year – and members of the public are being invited to choose which the lucky charity will be.

Like many companies, recycling and building giant The Hills Group is forgoing Christmas cards in lieu of a donation to charity.

Each of the three nominated local charities will receive £150. But it is Hills’ customers who will decide which charity gets a further £150 bonus.

Customers can vote via Hills’ Facebook page, or by logging on to https://epoll.me/v/ACSU5SBkMrg

The charities from which to choose are:

Threshold, an independent charity that works to positively tackle the issues and problems that arise from homelessness and focus on assisting people who are currently or threatened with becoming homeless.

Children’s unit, Great Western Hospital provides care for children up to the age of 18 years with medical, surgical, complex and chronic illnesses.

Wiltshire Sight exists to help those of all ages affected by sight loss in Wiltshire and Swindon; offering information, advice and guidance, giving people practical and emotional support to help them in their daily lives.

Seven months in the making - the BIOS van graffiti wall is now complete

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Artist Mat Cole adds logos to the Bios vanIt’s been a project seven months in the making, but finally an artist tasked with drawing graffiti-style business sponsors logos onto the side of a mobile youth centre has finished the job.

It was back in April that Swindon companies were invited to support the launch of the BIOS van by the Swindon-based youth charity of the same name by having their logos stencilled onto the vehicle by artist Mat Cole.

The van is kitted out with games consoles, internet access, DJ decks, sports equipment, a music system, refreshments station, craft activities and information for young people.

It runs 12 youth club sessions each week meeting over 350 young people in parks and open spaces where antisocial behaviour is causing a problem for the local community, encouraging them to make positive life choices, helping them to have a better future.

Seven months later work is completeThe project was launched to great aplomb at the headquarters of Excalibur Communications in Westlea, in the presence of Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, and Peter Addington, the High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Project leader Chris Priddy said this week: “Thank you also for your patience. For a whole variety of reasons this massive project has taken seven months to complete – partially because the van has been so busy out doing what it was designed to do – transforming young lives in Swindon.

“We’ve loved showing the logos to the young people and explaining who the people behind the logos are and why they have supported the project.”

Businesses urged to check fire risk assessments

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Wiltshire Fire and RescueBusinesses in Swindon and Wiltshire are being reminded to keep their premises safe from fire in the run-up to Christmas.

As part of UK Business Safety Week, which starts on Monday, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service wants all local businesses to check their fire risk assessments and make changes to their processes if necessary.

Area Manager Ian Jeary explained: “The festive season brings with it additional fire risks – shops have large amounts of extra stock, licensed premises are always a lot busier, and there are often seasonal employees who perhaps don’t know the processes as well as other staff.

"Fire can be devastating, and many small businesses don’t recover from having a fire, so we really want people to take a bit of time to check their businesses are as safe as possible.”

Within Swindon, firefighters are supporting the Community Safety Partnership’s Christmas campaign, working with colleagues from Wiltshire Police and Swindon Borough Council to promote the importance of keeping businesses safe.

AM Jeary said: “Many of the concerns we have overlap with those of colleagues within Trading Standards and Licensing, so we are working together to ensure that local businesses understand their obligations under the law.”

Among the risks that will be highlighted to businesses are:

  • Safe storage of additional stock, not blocking thoroughfares or doors.
  • Safe disposal of additional packaging, such as cardboard.
  • Maintaining safe escape routes and fire exits in busy pubs, clubs and restaurants.
  • Ensuring that temporary staff fully understand what they should do in the event of a fire.
  • Keeping decorations away from alarm sensors and anything that generates heat.

A full range of advice on fire risk assessments, and the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order on commercial premises, can be found at www.wiltsfire.gov.uk/yourbusiness


Sun rises on Stoford at Solstice Park development

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Solstice Business ParkStoford has been selected as development partner for the final phase of a new multi-million-pound industrial and distribution hub in Wiltshire.

The Amesbury Property Company has appointed the Birmingham-based property developer to deliver a range of warehouse units on the remaining two serviced sites totalling 16 acres known as EOS.

EOS, at Solstice Park, offers plots to accommodate units of up to 155,000 sq ft for industrial and distribution occupiers. Fully serviced development platforms have been formed allowing construction to commence immediately.

Units are available on a design and build basis either on leasehold or freehold terms. EOS 1 comprises 7.82 acres while EOS 2 comprises 8.74 acres. The development will bring further major investment and new jobs to the region.

Solstice Park is an established 160-acre business park situated alongside the A303 dual carriageway. It offers a strategically located development opportunity for industrial, distribution, trade, roadside, and office users. The site provides excellent access from its mid southern location to the motorway network via the M3 to London and the M25, and north via the A34 to the M4 and M40.

Current occupiers include Home Bargains (TJ Morris), Muller Wiseman, Qinetiq, Greggs Bakery, and Tintometer. In addition the services provided on Solstice Park include Holiday Inn Hotel, Toby Inn, Co op Food, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds.

Stoford is one of the UK’s leading industrial and warehouse developers. Director David Brown said: “Solstice Park represents an excellent opportunity for industrial or distribution companies that are looking for a value for money Southern base linking into the south coast and south west regions.

“We are naturally delighted to have been selected by Amesbury Property Company as development partners and we are looking forward to getting started on the scheme in due course.”

David Fahie, development director for Solstice Park, said. We have been impressed by the track record of Stoford in build to suit developments and we believe Stoford is the ideal development partner for us as we seek to respond to occupier demand for this final phase of Solstice Park.”

Amesbury is a growing community with a population in the town and surrounding villages in excess of 26,000. Ongoing development by Bloor and Persimmon will provide 1,800 new homes in Amesbury. Development of the MOD super garrison at Bulford and Tidworth will bring additional potential employees to the area.

For more information contact joint agents Myddleton and Major on 01722 337577 or Colliers International on 0207 3446610, or visit www.solsticepark.com

Expert opinion: What does holiday pay ruling mean for employers?

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Rebecca Peterson of WansbroughsHoliday pay must include ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime pay - what does the landmark decision in the case of Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton mean for employers?

There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently over this decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal that regular ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.

Non-guaranteed overtime is where an employer is not required to offer any overtime to its employees, but where it does, employees are required to work it and will receive payment for it.

Historically, the requirement has been for employers to include only employees basic salary when calculating holiday pay. Therefore as a result of this ruling employers could be faced with claims from their employees for "a series of unlawful deductions of wages", which could, in theory at least, date back to the start of their employment.

However, the EAT ruled that if there is a gap of more than three months between any alleged deductions, this gap will break the series of deductions, thus significantly limiting the financial exposure to employers. This will be welcome news, particularly as Unite has announced it is not appealing this ruling.

Further, the EAT's ruling is limited to the 20 days holiday (for full-time workers) granted by EU law and not the additional eight days holiday granted by UK law. Thus, employers only need to include "non-guaranteed" overtime in the calculation of holiday pay for the first 20 days and not the full statutory minimum of 28 days holiday.

What should you do to protect your business?

Assess your future potential liability for holiday pay including "non-guaranteed" overtime pay - you may seek to reduce consistent and regular overtime where you can.

Amend your policies to reflect the EAT's ruling - stipulate that the first 20 days of any holiday taken by your employees in any holiday year will be deemed to be holiday granted by EU law. This will allow you to rely on the additional 8 days holiday granted by UK law that your employees take to break the series of underpayments.

Assess your potential liability for historic underpayment of holiday pay claims - if there are no breaks in the series of deductions consider paying holiday pay in accordance with the current ruling. This will create a break in the series of underpayments and reduce your potential financial exposure.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced that he is setting up a taskforce to assess the impact of the EAT's ruling on holiday pay. He said: "Government will review the judgment in detail as a matter of urgency. To properly understand the financial exposure employers face, we have set up a taskforce of representatives from government and business to discuss how we can limit the impact on business".

Rebecca Peterson is an employment law specialist at Wansbroughs in Devizes. Contact her on 01380 733300 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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