Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

LEP prioritises high value manufacturing

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Paul Johnson, chairman of SWLEPThe Local Enterprise Partnership has prioritised the high value manufacturing sector as an area for growth in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Due to its current contribution to the local economy and potential for growth, high value manufacturing is high on the LEP’s agenda, with local businesses such as Apetito, Herman Miller, Intel, Alcatel Lucent and Dyson leading the way.

The Swindon & Wiltshire LEP is now looking for a research partner to review the high value manufacturing sector in the local area.

By mapping out the composition of the sector in Swindon & Wiltshire, the research will then enable the LEP to identify specific growth opportunities and exploit them, to the benefit of the local economy.

Details of the tender process for this research study can be found on the LEP’s website – www.swlep.biz

The closing date for tender responses is 5pm on Friday 5th July 2013

Three Steps to a Great Elevator Pitch shared over breakfast

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Debbie NewmanThree Steps to a Great Elevator Pitch will be shared by Debbie Newman from Armstrong Beech Marketing at the Wessex Chambers business breakfast in Westbury on Tuesday, July 16.

Debbie will identify the key ingredients of the perfect elevator pitch and clarify what entrepreneurs and small business owners can do to make theirs even better.

The event will be held at Player's, 26a Quartermaster Road, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 4JT, from 7.30am to 9am.

Attendance costs £12 for members and £40 for non-members. For more information, or to book a place, log on to www.wessexchambers.org.uk/events

Wiltshire pubs and clubs pass police booze sting

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Picture posed by modelsAll but one of 11 Wiltshire pubs and clubs targeted in a recent a police operation to clamp down on underage boozing has passed the test.

Young people aged between 15 and 17 were dispatched to eleven licensed premises in Calne, Corsham, Chippenham and Salisbury during an operation in May, police revealed this week.

All except one – The Jenny Wren pub in Calne – challenged the underage volunteers and either refused them entry or declined to serve them alcohol. 

Police licensing manager, David Bennett said: “We are really pleased to see that, in the main, premises visited were compliant and challenged our volunteers by either refusing entry at the door, in the case of clubs, or refusing to serve at the bar in the case of public houses. 

"Following the previous failure of two premises in Salisbury in March, it is particularly pleasing to note that all premises visited within Salisbury passed, which includes the venues that had previously failed the test purchase. 

"This does evidence the improvements that have been made since the previous operation, which goes toward supporting the ongoing objectives of minimising the exposure to youngsters of harm from alcohol consumption, and reducing alcohol related crime and disorder.

"The Jenny Wren pub in Calne did fail by serving a volunteer without any challenge being made.
The designated premises supervisor has been advised and follow up action will be taken. We will work with the venue in an effort to improve procedures.”

Mr Bennet said that 
underage consumption of alcohol was of significant concern to Wiltshire Police, and warned: “We will conduct this type of operation on a regular basis.”

All other venues visited – which include The Kings Arms, Calne; Wheatsheaf, Calne 
; Four Seasons, Chippenham; Brunel, Chippeham; Rose and Crown, Chippenham; 
Bar 11, Chippenham; The King's Head, Salisbury; 
The Cathedral Hotel, Salisbury; 
White Rooms, Salisbury; and The Chapel, Salisbury will now be formally notified with details of the operation.  

inSwindon appoints new BID manager

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Rebecca Rowland manager of inSwindoninSwindon, the Business Improvement District (BID) company in charge of managing the Town Centre has appointed a new BID manager to its board of directors.

In her role, Rebecca Rowland will work with the BID investors to build Swindon's economic prosperity for the future by creating the right environment for all Swindon town centre's businesses to perform better.

Paul Booth, chairman of inSwindon BID said, “The board is delighted to have recruited someone as experienced as Rebecca.

“Her track record in helping to run a very successful BID in Swindon and her understanding of the challenges facing the town centre within the current economy was recognised as a clear advantage during the interview process.

“The board is looking forward to working with Rebecca further extend and develop the inSwindon BID Company.”

Rebecca said: “I’m excited about this role and I’m looking forward to helping Swindon realise its full potential as a town.”

Rebecca has extensive knowledge of BID companies and was part of the team who successfully led the renewal of the ballot in 2012.

The company will now deliver a five-year programme to support and increase visitors, footfall and spending.

Find out more about the work of inSwindon at www.swindontowncentre.co.uk

Chance for green businesses to network

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Rushey PlattGreen businesses will have the chance to network at the next Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Sustainability Forum.

The event will be held at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Lydiard Fields, Swindon, on Wednesday, July 10 from 8am to 10am.

Guest speakers will include:

  • NSBRC on its extensive range of eco and energy saving building products and services
  • Nationwide on its in-house sustainability initiative and
  • Accord Office on its revolutionary new closed loop, sustainable stationery products and services

Following the event there will be an opportunity to take an optional wildlife tour around a local nature reserve: Rushey Platt, a rare fenland which is home to water voles and dragon flies including the broad-bodied chaser and the fearsome emperor.

The event is free to attend. For booking details contact Matthew Powell at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust on 01380 736087 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Good Energy becomes founding member of Social Stock Exchange

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Juliet Davenport, CEO of Good EnergyGood Energy, the Chippenham-based renewable electricity supplier, has become a founding member of the Social Stock Exchange - a new platform designed to connect the public financial markets with social impact investment.

The Social Stock Exchange aims to make it easier for investors to find and learn about publicly listed organisations, such as Good Energy, that deliver both a financial and social return.

Juliet Davenport, CEO and founder of Good Energy Group plc said: “As an ethically and socially responsible company, Good Energy is proof that a business can be commercially successful because of those values, not despite them. 

“We hope that we serve as an example of how consumer power can be harnessed to deliver wider social and ethical objectives that make a lasting difference to the world we live in.

“Good Energy is proud to be a founding member of the Social Stock Exchange. This is our way of helping set the standard for impact reporting, and making it easier for investors to make the right choice.

The Prime Minister David Cameron launched the Social Stock Exchange (SSE) on Thursday (June 6) and, in a speech ahead of the G8 summit, he said that the SSE demonstrates that the UK is at the heart of financial innovation and social investment.

The Social Stock Exchange makes its companies social and environmental impact information accessible to everyone, allowing investors to make an informed decision that is aligned with their values.

Impact investments are investments intended to create positive social or environmental impact as well as a financial return.

Juliet said: “At Good Energy we know that our customers value our environmental agenda as highly as our competitive prices.

“The creation of the Social Stock Exchange is evidence that consumers increasingly want businesses to demonstrate their social impact and investors are ready to respond.”

The SSE is supported by a number of high profile organisations including the London Stock Exchange, City of London Corporation, Big Society Capital and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Estate agent completes marathon bike ride for wounded soldiers

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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