Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Estate agent completes marathon bike ride for wounded soldiers

on .

Edward Hall (third from left) and comrades at the end of the charity bike rideA Marlborough estate agent has completed a gruelling 430-mile bike ride from Paris to London, via the battlefields of Northern France, in aid of wounded soldiers.

Former tank regiment captain Edward Hall, who manages the Marlborough branch of Smiths Gore, joined four former comrades – the self-styled Five fat Cavalry Officers – on the marathon cycle ride from the Arc de Triumph in Paris to London's Cenotaph.

En route, the cyclists were joined by wounded war veterans and visited battlefields and military cemeteries from two world wars and, in the case of Agincourt, the Middle Ages.

Setting off on Friday, May 24, the team reached London on Sunday, June 2.

Edward, who was run over by a tank during his military service, breaking both his legs, his pelvis and his hands, said: “The French weather was lousy with the cold, rain and headwinds attacking us. 

“The sun only really shone on our return into London and the amazing reception we had at Horse Guards.

“We were all humbled by the wounded who rode with us and were an absolute inspiration. We ached at the top of some testing hills and that was with the use of all four limbs.

“Many of the wounded were riding missing one, two or even three limbs and some had suffered severe burns. These guys were amazing and great company.”

The bike ride has so far raised more than £26,000 for Help for Heroes. To make a donation, log on to www.bmycharity.com/fivefatcavalryofficers

Lawyer stages mock trials for benefit of businesses

on .

Anthony ReevesNearly 20 years after the last case was heard at Marlborough's Court Room, trials are to return – to show local business people how civil cases work.

The trials will be conducted by three London barristers, including a senior treasury counsel who will play the part of the judge.

Professional stage, TV and radio actress Kim Hicks, whose credits include Casualty and Crossroads, will play the part of a rogue company director in one of the cases.

Marlborough lawyer Anthony Reeves, of The Merriman Partnership, who is staging the mock trials, explained: “The cases concern the personal liability of directors and late payment regulations.

“The event would be of interest to small businesses, students or anybody who wants to get a better understanding of how the law works.”

Mr Reeves is a chartered litigation expert, working in the fields of debt recovery, contractual disputes, employment law, inheritance claims, harassment claims by debtors against large institutions, judicial review, and professional negligence. 

He has written several law books for lay people, including Give Me Your Money! A Straightforward Guide to Debt Collecting and See You in Court! How to Conduct Your Own Case in the Small Claims Court.

The event, which will be held in the Court Room of Marlborough Town Hall from 5pm on Tuesday, July 2 is free to attend. For booking details call Mr Reeves on 01672 512244 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Swindon & Wiltshire LEP reports successful first year

on .

Business and local government leaders have reported a successful 12 months for local enterprise in Swindon & Wiltshire.

In its first annual report published this week, The Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has reflected on a number of successes since it began.

Its achievements include submitting a successful proposal to the government’s City Deal initiative and securing £9.4 million for the Growing Places Infrastructure Fund.

Paul Johnson, chairman of the LEP, welcomed one achievement above all others: “Our biggest success has been establishing an effective partnership between business and the public sector. Together we are now really starting to think as one in terms of the economic challenges our area faces.

“Looking forward, it is clear there is still much to do, but for the first time in a very long time we have real opportunities to make a difference”

In recent developments the LEP has appointed Isobel Brown as its director of partnership and programmes. This will allow her predecessor, Steve Richards, to move into a more focused role within the partnership, managing the negotiation process for the Swindon & Wiltshire City Deal.

The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP is a business led partnership between the two unitary councils (Swindon & Wiltshire) and the private sector. As one of 39 LEPs across the country, it is tasked with driving economic growth, creating jobs and new business opportunities, and working with central government to attract public and private investment into the area.

Quarrying firm puts cycle safety in spotlight

on .

The potential dangers associated with cycling close to lorries will be under the spotlight as Wiltshire-based Hills Quarry Products introduces the Mineral Products Association’s national Cycle Safe campaign at a cycling event in Swindon.

The company will have its vehicles on show at the Big Bike Week Show at Wharf Green, Swindon on Saturday, June 15.

Alan Mackenzie, group director Hills Quarry Products, said: “We are supporting the MPA’s campaign, which aims to prevent collisions between cyclists and Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) by raising awareness on both side of how to cycle and drive as safely as possible.”

The MPA’s Cycle Safe campaign highlights the potential risk of undertaking lorries and getting too close to them at left-hand turns and roundabouts.

Cycle Safe leaflets which give practical tips on ways to prevent potential dangers will be handed out at both events.

Cyclists, both young and old, will be given the opportunity to sit in the cab of a lorry to understand the driver’s perspective, experience visibility issues and share their own road experiences.

The danger of cycling on the nearside of a vehicle turning left will also be highlighted.

The continuing growth in the number of cyclists, particularly in urban areas, is increasing the risks of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles. Every year in the UK, hundreds of cyclists are injured or killed in accidents with motor vehicles, including lorries.

Alan said: “Hills is committed to playing its part in minimising hazards and risks for all road users. We look forward to meeting lots of Wiltshire’s cyclists to promote a better understanding amongst road users on how to stay safe when cycling.”

Free seminars and networking offered at Wiltshire Business Expo

on .

Over 80 businesses will be promoting and showcasing their products and services at Wiltshire Business Expo 2013.

As well as networking opportunities, visitors to the event can also attend seminars and speeches with local and national business figures.

The event and seminars are free for everyone to attend.

Sponsored by Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the event is taking place at Trowbridge Civic Centre on Thursday, 20 June from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

For more information log on to www.wiltshirebusiness-expo.co.uk

SWLEP appoints director of partnership and programmes

on .

Isobel BrownSwindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed Isobel Brown as its director of partnership and programmes.

Isobel has an extensive background in economic and business development and, until recently, has been working in the welfare to work and charity sectors across the UK and in Wiltshire.  

She has successfully developed strategic partnerships in the UK, China and USA and will now play a leading role in guiding the LEP into a new stage of business plan delivery.
 
Paul Johnson, chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire LEP, said "I am delighted to welcome Isobel on board. We look forward to working closely with her to ensure that the Swindon & Wiltshire LEP continues to develop, driving investment and job creation whilst providing new business opportunities.”

Her appointment will allow Steve Richards to move into a more focused role within the partnership, managing the negotiation process for the Swindon & Wiltshire City Deal.

The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP is a business led partnership between the two Unitary Councils (Swindon & Wiltshire) and the private sector. As one of 39 LEPs across the country, it is tasked with driving economic growth, creating jobs and new business opportunities and working with central government to attract public and private investment into the area.

Social Media Day returns to Swindon

on .

The South West Social Media Day will be returning to Swindon on Friday, June 28.

Launched in 2010, the event – at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre – is held to coincide with Mashable's annual, world wide Social Media Day.

“In 2010, there were more than 600 Social Media Day Meetups in 90 countries. That more than doubled in 2011 and in 2012 there were more than 1,792 Meetups with thousands of attendees worldwide and this year's Social Media Day is going to be even bigger and better,” promised organiser Rob Thomas, founder of WSI Digital Marketing.

Rob will lead the field of speakers, by posing the question: Where does Social Media fit into a successful eMarketing Strategy?

And Tamsin Fox-Davies, senior development manager at Constant Contact, will be talking on the subject of Social Media and eMail Marketing - How does that work?

The presentations will be followed by a speed networking session, and relaxed open networking.

The events, which is free to attend, starts at 2.30pm, with the structured activity wrapping up at 5.30pm and networking until 7pm.

For more information, or to book a place, log on to www.meetup.com/Mashable/Swindon-GB/944132