Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Good Energy named Best Green Electricity Supplier by Ethical Consumer

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Juliet DavenportChippenham-based Good Energy is the best green electricity supplier, according to a new report by Ethical Consumer.

The renewable electricity supplier topped the survey of green electricity tariffs and also achieved the highest score for its dual fuel gas tariff.

The magazine concluded that the big six energy companies were not doing enough to prevent serious climate change and urged consumers to switch to greener energy providers.

Rob Harrison co-editor of Ethical Consumer said: "Good Energy has consistently come out top in every green energy product guide that Ethical Consumer has ever published. This is because of Good Energy's pioneering approach to renewable energy and their whole company ethos which is based around tackling climate change, the biggest environmental challenge of our age."

Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good Energy, said: “Ethical Consumer‘s comprehensive reports hold businesses accountable for their ethical and environmental record and offer positive choices for consumers who care about responsible business. We are delighted their report has found Good Energy offers the best green electricity tariff on the market.

“We strongly believe that business can be a force for good, and our mission is to make an impact on climate change by making it easy for people to switch to green electricity.”

Ethical Consumer gives each tariff an “ethiscore” out of 20, rating companies on their social, ethical and political record, their company ethos and the sustainability of their products. Good Energy was the only company to score 15.5 for green electricity and it was joint highest for gas with 15. “For green electricity tariffs, Good Energy comes out best in this report,” the magazine stated.

The magazine also reported that Good Energy’s electricity tariff was broadly comparable in cost or cheaper than the standard green tariff of mainstream Big Six energy companies.

Good Energy is the only company apart from the Big Six with a green electricity tariff independently accredited against Ofgem’s, (the electricity and gas market regulator) Green Supplier guidelines. The Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme ensures suppliers:

Match all supplies with renewable energy purchases, creating extra demand for green electricity and encouraging the development of new renewable sources.

Provide additional benefits, such as supporting community renewables initiatives. Good Energy invests in community heat projects.

Undergo an independent audit every year to ensure that they are meeting these conditions.

Good Energy’s gas product, offered as part of its dual fuel tariff, scored highly for its innovative approach. Because gas is a non-renewable product a percentage of its tariff is used to support renewable heat projects.

The Ethical Consumer survey comes after Good Energy topped the Which? Energy Company Satisfaction Survey for the second year running. The company was highly commended for its customer service and was the only company awarded the top five-star rating for energy efficiency advice.

Ethical consumer’s product guide to green electricity suppliers is available at www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/energy/greenelectricitysuppliers.aspx

July 4 is Independents Day in Salisbury

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John Glen MP with ‪Salisbury's independent retailers ahead of Independents' WeekAs Americans celebrates Independence Day today (July 4), traders in Salisbury are celebrating an Independents' Week of their own.

Business owners are urging customers to spend at least £10 with local businesses and report back on how they spend it online.

Several independent businesses have banded together to run the week-long campaign to promote independent, local traders in the city under the banner of Salisbury Independents. 

Businesses from shops to hairdressers hope customers will use Facebook and Twitter to tell others how they have used independent traders throughout the week.

Leading the Salisbury Independents’ Week campaign are Theresa Wood of The Strawberry Fox and Susi Mason of Casa Fina.

“We heard about an initiative in Liskeard, Cornwall where people were encouraged to spend £10 locally,” said Theresa. 

“We hope Salisbury residents and visitors can show the same support for independent businesses here in the first week of July and then year-round.”

Businesses taking part in Salisbury Independents’ Week will display a poster with the Salisbury Independents’ logo and encourage customers to use other local traders throughout Independents Week, which runs until Sunday, July 7.

The campaign is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SalisburyIndependentsDay and on Twitter as @SalisburyIndies.

Chamber breakfast explores the personalities of brands

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Does your brand have personality? That will be one of the questions being asked by Allison McSparron-Edwards, managing director of Consultrix, at the next Swindon Chamber of Commerce business breakfast. 

Allison will look at what makes a brand, and will be asking the burning questions: Do people like your brand? Does it create buying behaviours? Have you developed your 'onliness' statement?

The event takes place at the Marriott Hotel, Pipers Way, Swindon SN3 1SH from 7.30am to 9.30am on Friday, July 12.

Attendance costs £19.20 for members and £31.20 for non-members. For more information, or to book a place, log on to www.thamesvalleychamber.co.uk/event/44832

Police commissioner launches business crime survey and forum

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Angus MacphersonWiltshire’s police commissioner Angus Macpherson has launched a major new survey to identify the type of crimes suffered by the Wiltshire business community, and the effect crime as on business in the county.

The survey – which can be found at www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk/Feedback/Business-Crime-Survey.aspx – closes at midnight on Sunday, July 14, and the findings of the survey will be presented at a free half-day business crime forum, hosted by the commissioner, on Friday, September 6 at the Corn Exchange, Devizes.

The forum will also provide an opportunity for delegates to hear how they may prevent their business from becoming victim to a wide range of fraud.

To book a place, log on to www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk

Freehold pub with Saxon roots goes on market

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The King's Arms, CalneA pub whose cellar was once the cell of a pagan anchorite, who attracted pilgrims from all over Saxon England, has gone on the market with a guide price of £399,000.

The King's Arms in High Street, Calne has a fascinating history.

Formerly the Borough Arms, it was renamed in the 1830s after two Cavaliers who hid at the inn following the Battle of Worcester almost 200 years earlier.

And details of the Hop and Eclipse coaches to London and Bath can still be seen painted on the archway.

Now popular with ramblers, cyclists, horse riders and bikers, the Grade II Listed inn in a prominent high street location on the periphery of a high-footfall, pedestrianised area.

The two-storey property has open fireplaces and other features of character. Offering approximately 68 covers throughout and a commercial kitchen, the pub – says specialist property advisor Christie + Co - still has untapped potential.

Valerie Turner, of Christie + Co in Bristol said: “The Kings Arms offers a vast amount of potential for a hands-on operator or managed house.

“The pub has, historically, been subject to rent and barrel ties. Therefore, the freehold opportunity allows the business to achieve its true potential in this strong location.”

For more information, log on to www.christie.com

University Technical College team embark on summer roadshow

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How Swindon’s new University Technical College will lookThe team behind Swindon’s new University Technical College are embarking on a summer roadshow to promote the new facility.

Experts will be calling at Marlborough Jazz Festival from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21, Devizes International Street Festival on Sunday and Monday, August 25 and 26; The Cricklade Show on Saturday, September 16, Wiltshire Game & County Fair on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29, and Marlborough Big and Little Mop Fair on Saturdays October 5 and 12.

The official launch will take place at STEAM in Swindon on Thursday, July 11 between 6.15pm and 7.45pm.

UTC Swindon will be opening its doors in September 2014 and its vision is to be a college where engineering and innovation can flourish. 

It will cater for 600 14 to 19 year olds interested in pursuing a career in engineering. 

Staff and directors from the University Technology College will describe this new offer in technical education and how to apply for places.

Designs of the state-of-the art buildings will be on display, and Dr Gareth Neighbour, who heads up Engineering at Oxford Brookes University, will be sharing details of the curriculum at UTC Swindon and talking about how the courses are linked to the work of local and national engineering employers. 

Dr Neighbour said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to find out about this exciting new college for 14 to 19 year olds, which will provide young people with an engineering-focused education and prepare them for careers in a diverse and innovative industry.”

The first entry of students in September 2014 will need to be 14 at the time (currently in Year 8) or 16 or above (currently Year 10 and above). Applications will be accepted from a wide area, including Marlborough.

For more information log on to www.utcswindon.co.uk or call 07990 601 516

Central Chippenham Partnership submits planning application for 54 acre site

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The Central Chippenham Partnership Masterplan - a planning application has been submittedCentral Chippenham Partnership has submitted an outline planning application to Wiltshire Council to redevelop Hathaway Retail Park and much of Langley Park in Chippenham.

CCP’s plans aim to regenerate the 54 acre site of existing retail and dilapidated industrial buildings, situated to the north of the town centre, with a mixed-use development to include leisure, retail, offices, industrial and residential uses.

The Masterplan was finalised following extensive workshops and consultation events held in Chippenham over the last 12 months to receive feedback from the public, key stakeholders and the wider business community.

Alterations were made to the Partnership’s plans in response to the consultations, including realignment of the spine road at the northern end of the site, following comments from residents living in Clift Road, and the closure of pedestrian links to Hawthorn Road and Tugela Road in response to objections from some of the residents living there.

Wayne Locke, regional director for Ashtenne, said: “We are extremely pleased to submit this planning application which has been prepared following detailed technical research and listening to the people of the town.

“Chippenham has huge potential and CCP’s proposals to encourage people back to into the town centre with new leisure and shopping, to create opportunities for improved pedestrian  access over the railway line and improve the employment area to  attract and retain jobs are essential to catalyse further economic growth and investment in the town.”

“Through our extensive hands on approach to consultation, we believe we have addressed issues raised by stakeholders, local residents and the business community of Chippenham.

“We have done this through a wide range of channels, from social media and press activity to public consultation events, workshops and site walk-arounds, to establish a thorough idea of the town’s requirements.”

CCP – a joint venture between Aberdeen Property UK Retail Parks Trust and Ashtenne Industrial Fund –  expects to hear before Christmas whether the planning application has been successful.