Derbyshire Business News November 2010
PUBLISHED: 12:25 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 18:13 20 February 2013
Simon Turton reports on the lastest news an views from the business community across the county...
To cut or not to cut? That is the question - Whichever side of the political divide you sit you will either be for or against the proposed cut-backs. Those in favour argue that we need to put our house in order so the UK can maintain its triple A status, essential for the country to continue to borrow on the international money market at the most preferential rates. Any downgrade would push up the cost of borrowing, which would add to our countrys woes. On the other side of the debate is the argument that we need to make the cuts but that they should be made more slowly so that we dont stifle the fragile recovery. With growth rates for 2010 put at just 1 per cent (2.2 per cent for 2011) we are no longer in recession but we are not out of the woods yet.
The coalition is hoping that the hundreds of thousands who will be made redundant from the public sector will quickly find employment in the private sector, but this is contingent upon an economy growing at a much higher rate than 1 per cent. In the early 1990s 800,000 public sector redundancies were offset by private sector growth, but as we enter an age of slow growth and austerity the conditions needed to absorb such numbers do not exist today.
Whatever the impact of the cuts on the national economy the continuing number of good news stories received from businesses across the county suggests that we are well placed to seize the opportunities as the economy continues to grow.
RVEL secures 6m contract - Railway Vehicle Engineering Ltd, based at Derbys Railway Technical Centre, has secured a 6m contract with Network Rail to maintain the companys Infrastructure Monitoring Fleet which plays a key role in delivering Network Rails Asset Management and Assurance Plans.
The two-year contract (with possible extensions based on performance of up to three years), will see RVEL maintain 45 specialist rail vehicles used to undertake ultrasonic rail testing, optical gauging of structures, dynamic measurement of overhead electrified lines and measurement of track geometry.
The operation and maintenance of the Infrastructure Monitoring Fleet was previously undertaken by Serco Rail Operations but following a re-tendering process the operation was taken over by DB Schenker with maintenance going to RVEL. Andy Lynch, managing director of RVEL said: We are delighted that Network Rail has the confidence in our company to award us this important contract. We set out to develop a reputation for quality, reliability and delivery, based on a strong management, a stable workforce and sound financing. By relentlessly focusing on this we have been able to attract substantial additional work without straying outside our core competence and without surrendering on gross profit margins. Network Rail has set us an ambitious but achievable target of 99 per cent reliability for the Infrastructure Maintenance Fleet within three years.
RVEL also strengthened its management team in preparation for the start of the new contract which commenced on the 25th July with the appointment of a new fleet manager. Keith Osman, who joined the company from Southern, will have overall day-today responsibility for the contract, reporting to RVELs Technical Director Richard Morris. RVEL also provides rolling stock engineering services to East Midlands Trains, Bombardier, DRS and Eurostar.
New high flier for East Midlands Airport - In October Brad Miller, former projects and procurement director for the Manchester Airports Group, took up the post of managing director at East Midlands Airport. Commenting on his new appointment Miller said: Im obviously very proud to have been chosen as the new MD and Im looking to grow our market share at East Midlands ... I hope to bring new ideas to the fore and ensure we grow our 4.5 million passenger base [that] we flew to their destinations last year. Theres much to work on in the freight community and with the recent announcement of a new Radisson Hotel on site I am keen to get started as soon as possible. East Midlands Airport is part of the Manchester Airports Group the UKs largest British-owned airport operator which currently serves around 24 million passengers a year.
And the winner is ...The creation of the stylish Hathersage Hall Business Centre from semi-derelict listed buildings has been shortlisted for a RIBA EM Award. The scheme has received accolades for its sympathetic treatment of the listed buildings and its eco-credentials, which include the use of air source heat pumps.
Owner Michael Shuttleworth commented: The development of the early 19th century range of buildings has been 25 years in gestation, needing no less than three individual applications, detailed negotiations with planners and conservation architects, the regional development agency and Natural England, and careful coordination between all parties before a workable solution could be devised. The Country Land and Business Associations (CLA) East Midlands director Helen Woolley said: The CLA has been calling for more of a balance to the local rural economy by bringing in better paid jobs and this is exactly what Michael Shuttleworth has done. He aims to relieve people from the stress of commuting, allowing some to walk or cycle to work something which the CLA backs wholeheartedly.
Clear sighted - Ilkeston firm Derwent Analytics has opened a new production line for a solution to clean contact lenses it clearly sees it as a winner and is expanding into extra premises as well as taking on several highly-skilled staff. The family-run company, based at Manners Road Industrial Estate, makes bespoke mineral solutions that are used in analysis by various industries to test for impurities. Last year it struck a deal with Coca Cola to provide a test solution to make sure drinkers of the corporate giants UK plants products get the real thing. This latest development is an exciting opportunity, as director Ian Hopkinson commented, This unit ... will become a world-class manufacturing facility, equal to anything. With all markets open to us the potential is unlimited. With full production by the year end Derwent Analytics hopes to create up to five jobs for positions such as chemists.
Hole in one - Bakewell-based golf course architects golfmarnoch has received critical acclaim for one of its most recently completed courses. The course at Heelsum, close to the town of Arnhem in Holland, has been praised for its positive impact on the local environment. Steve Marnoch, who runs the company, has re-created the heathlands that existed prior to the demands of modern agriculture. The owners of the course wanted to improve the aesthetics of what was an unremarkable course and the Dutch government encouraged them to return their land to its natural state to become part of a countrywide network of heathlands that will allow wild deer to move unhindered from the north of the country to the Rhine in the south.
While budgetary constraints prevented Marnoch from ripping up large parts of the course, he was able to remove some of the topsoil to recreate the more natural heathland features associated with sandy environments. The overall effect of the completed course is the opposite of those highly manicured golf courses that can look slightly disconnected from their surroundings.
The greens at Heelsum will be wellmaintained, but most of the course is designed to be as it was prior to human intervention. The result is a course that almost looks as though it hasnt been designed, but thats part of the success, as Marnoch explains: Golf course designers are now having to balance the impact golf courses have on the environment with the needs of the modern golfer. The trend has been to create courses that are somewhat at odds with their setting, but the move is now towards designing courses that are at one with the natural world. This will not only improve the feel of how the course plays but it will encourage biodiversity and play an important role in saving habitats that are increasingly under pressure from farming, housing and commerce.
Glass act for new Ashbourne business - Earlier this year Ashbourne-based Lyanne McCredie set up Stained Glass Art to design and manufacture stained glass panels for private clients and for use in public spaces. Six months on and McCredie has launched a new service for companies looking to incorporate logos and identities in individually designed stained glass panels. Prior to launching the business McCredie spent 18 months developing and fine-tuning her skills, and drawing on her engineering background she worked at JCB for 16 years. The Peak District National Park Authoritys Live & Work Rural team were able to help with funding to establish her new company, providing 40 per cent of some of McCredies start-up costs, including the equipment required to manufacture the stained glass panels.
Anyone interested in commissioning Lyanne is invited to visit her Derby studio. For more information go to: www.lyannemccredie.co.uk.
Ultimate customer service - While the majority of companies in the clothing trade either manufacture or source their products in the Far East, Sawley-based LDK Print & Embroidery produces everything on site. Controlling every aspect of the production process allows them to be flexible in meeting customers needs whether for a single one-off item of embroidered clothing or a bulk order.
LDK was established in 1995 when Long Eaton-based Lisa Grainger started printing T-shirts for corporate clients. Five years later she purchased an embroidery machine so that she could increase her range of services, including embroidering logos and corporate identities on a range of clothing. Fifteen years on the business has grown, now also producing a wide range of bespoke designed promotional merchandise, including large format PVC signs. As a result of increased demand it recently relocated to new premises in Sawley,= where there is a shop as well as space to manufacture the growing product range.
Commenting on her success Lisa said: Excel at what you do, be the best, listen to your customers, give them the service they want and keep the prices competitive. It is hard work; a successful business does not come easily.
Take your partners - Three senior leaders of the Derby firm of accountants Blythe Squires Wilson have appointed 25-year-old Daniel Jackson to join them as a partner. Daniel has been with the firm since leaving Friesland School in Sandiacre ten years ago and has now qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Senior partner, Reg Squires explained Although my fellow partners and I have nearly 130 years experience between us we recognise the need for succession planning. Dan is one of our bright young shining stars.
Twice the chance to use your loaf - The Loaf, the acclaimed Crich-based artisan bakery, caf and deli is opening a second branch adjacent to the crossroads in Matlock Green this month. It will stock a wide range of breads made at the bakery in Crich and will open from 9am, for breakfast at the caf, to 5pm from Tuesday to Saturday. Freshly made sandwiches and homemade soups will feature on the varied menu. Founder Andrew Auld said: It was both daunting and exciting when we opened in Crich against a backdrop of the downturn. Two years on and we have a very loyal following of people who like our range of sourdoughs, continental breads and ryes as well as our traditional British tin loaves. We hope that the people of Matlock will enjoy what we have to offer and look forward to introducing new customers to real bread from The Loaf and our friendly, welcoming service.