Tuesday 28th June 2022
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 17/05/2022

Gt Yarmouth set for £15 million investment in fast broadband

Digital infrastructure group CityFibre is set to invest £15m in a new full-fibre network in Great Yarmouth which it says will bring fast and reliable internet services within reach of nearly every home and business in the Norfolk seaside town. Construction on the town’s full fibre network - which carries data at light speed - will begin this winter and will give users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, near limitless bandwidth and connectivity. CityFibre area manager Charles Kitchin said: “The next chapter in Great Yarmouth’s story starts here. Our builders will soon get to work on a town-wide full fibre network – and we think people will be blown away by the difference it will make, both now and for generations to come.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Carl Smith said: “Fast broadband is so important for life today, whether it’s people watching films online, working from home, or for businesses linking up with customers and facilities around the world. This work will help ensure that Great Yarmouth has access to some of the fastest internet services in the country.”

Photo (l-re) Cllr Carl Smith, leader, Great Yarmouth BC; Charles Kitchin, CityFibre ; Sheila Oxtoby,Great Yarmouth BC; Cllr Graham Plant Great Yarmouth BC

National property group acquires Lowestoft shopping centre

A national commercial property and investment company, Evolve Estates, has acquired has acquired one of Lowestoft’s main shopping centres, The Britten Centre, as part of its plans to invest in local retail centres across the country. The centre, which has 19 retail units over 52,435 sq ft and occupiers which include Iceland, WH Smith, Superdrug and Pandora, is Evolve's third retail acquisition this year. Sebastian Macdonald-Hall, director of Evolve Estates, said: "The Britten Centre is a great acquisition for us because it is one of the main focuses in the town centre, and East Suffolk Council has committed to regenerate the town after its successful Towns Fund bid, which could see Lowestoft benefit from more than £500 million investment. With only one empty unit, it is well occupied, and we will be investigating a range of options on how to improve the retail experience for the visitors there, including enhanced community-led uses to make it the premium location for Lowestoft." Evolve Estates is part of the LCP group of managed companies and has plans to take its retail portfolio to more than £400 million across the UK by the year-end.

Decision on Sizewell C delayed until July

A final decision on a go-ahead for Sizewell C, the new £20bn nuclear plant proposed next to the existing PWR power station on the Suffolk coast, has been delayed until 8 July. The government needs extra time to consider further information put forward by French developer EDF and other parties before reaching a final decision, which had been due to be announced on 25th May. GMB, the energy union, said the delay runs the risk of job losses. GMB national officer Charlotte Childs said: "Sizewell C is essential for meeting our energy challenges. We need spades in the ground to keep the lights on and the production lines moving in the medium to long-term. The government must complete its assessment as quickly as possible. The UK's nuclear programme has been delayed too many times due to political decisions, and we need confirmation for this essential project.”

Mid-sized firms set to spend more on supporting employee’s mental health

Around half of mid-market companies (47 per cent) are looking to increase investment in supporting their employee’s mental health over the next 12 months, according to a survey from Grant Thornton UK ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, earlier in May. Its business outlook tracker survey shows that the pandemic had increased employers’ awareness of the importance of investing in mental health, with half of respondents saying they currently arrange regular mental health check-ins with their staff and train and provide mental health first aiders. The spread of hybrid working is also having a positive effect on general employee wellbeing. James Brown, partner and practice leader at Grant Thornton UK in the East of England, said: “Here at Grant Thornton, we are creating a culture of living well by investing in psychological, physical and financial health our people. To highlight the importance of mental health in the workplace in line with Mental Health Awareness week, we’re encouraging all our people managers to complete structured check ins (one to one conversations) about health and wellbeing with their direct reports within the month of May.”

See Profile Grant Thornton

Aggregates producer secures extra land at Port of Ipswich

ABP has signed a new, long-term agreement with the country’s largest independent sand and gravel producer, Brett Aggregates, which involves an increased footprint at the Port of Ipswich to support the company's growth plans. Brett Aggregates has recently seen record-breaking tonnage at Ipswich where it has an established depot at the West Bank Terminal on the docks. Brett Group development director Olly Brown said: “Brett is delighted to have secured additional land at Ipswich Port as part of this long-term agreement. Our Ipswich operation has been a vital part of the local aggregate supply to the Ipswich market for 30 years, and this new agreement ensures we will be able to meet the local market needs for the next 30 plus years. With our close proximity to marine licences off the East Coast and the rail connection, our Ipswich facility is ideal for meeting not only local demand but also supplying the wider market by rail, reducing the carbon footprint of supplying these essential building materials.”

Paul Ager, divisional port manager,said: “We are delighted that Brett has chosen to extend its operations at the Port of Ipswich, and we are really proud of this partnership. Ipswich has become a key port for aggregates and plays a vital role in the regional construction and infrastructure development sector. We look forward to continuing to support Brett’s growth ambitions in the future.”

Seventeen new associates appointed at law firm

Ashtons Legal has appointed six new senior associates and 11 new associates from within the firm. Of the new senior associates: Fabienne Atkin works in Ashtons’ French property team in Leeds, Joanna Baker in the dispute resolution department in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, Louisa Bradberry heads up lifetime planning in Norwich, Joanna Cotgrove leads the family team in Cambridge and both Roger Loomes and Emma Starr work in the Ipswich office in the top-tier personal injury and business systems respectively. Of the new associates; working in Ashtons’ Bury St Edmunds office are Ross Blows in the Court of Protection team, Zoe Byford, executive assistant to the CEO and COO, Amanda Cavanagh in clinical negligence, Victoria Cole from the family team, Naomi Everett from residential property, Sophie Hearle from French property and Jacqui O’Neill from the firm’s facilities and admin team.

In Ipswich, the new associates are Tony Shord from the personal injury team and Emily Sullivan who is the firm’s PR and communications manager. Alice Trainor is the final associate - she is based in the Norwich office and works in the dispute resolution team there. All of the promoted associates completed the Becoming an Effective Leader and Leading Effective Teams programmes that Ashtons’ deliver internally. Ashtons CEO James Tarling said: “These appointments demonstrate the commitment we have to investing in the professional development of our staff and I would like to personally congratulate all on this huge achievement, which is richly deserved.” It is always rewarding to be able to promote talented team members from within the firm and to recognise the work they all do to meet a wide range of legal needs across the region and beyond”.

See Profile Ashtons Legal

Law firm bolsters wills, trusts and probate team in Suffolk

Ellisons Solicitors has strengthened its’ wills, trusts and probate team in Suffolk with the appointment of three leading lawyers. Nicola Weldon joined the firm last September and was appointed head of the department. She relocated to the firm’s Ipswich office at Arcade Street in April. She has more than 18 years’ experience in the private client sector. Her specialisms include wills, estate planning and trusts, estate administration and lasting powers of attorney. A fully-accredited member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), she is also a Dementia Friends Champion. Kiri Nichols joined the team in Bury St Edmunds as a senior associate, chartered legal executive in March 2022. He offers comprehensive and expert advice on all aspects of private client work including wills, estate planning and administration and is also a full member of STEP. Rachel Dawson joined the team in Ipswich as an associate, chartered legal executive last August and has wide experience assisting clients with the administration of estates. She is also a member of STEP and a Dementia Friends Champion. Nicola Weldon said: “Both Kiri and Rachel bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise, further strengthening the senior team within the department. It has been one of the busiest times to date for the team and I am delighted to welcome Kiri as the most recent member to join the Suffolk team.”

New UK head of marketing appointed at Cambridge company

Cambridge company Domino Printing has appointed a new UK head of marketing for its UK sales and service channel, based at its Bar Hill hq. Chris Thorpe has been promoted to the role, after 11 years at the company working in a range of positions. He joined the business as UK marketing executive before progressing to UK marketing manager and most recently national marketing & business development manager. In his new role, he will head up UK marketing, which will also include UK sales operations, along with a newly-formed UK customer success team. Chris Thorpe said: “Putting the customer at the heart of our marketing strategy is key and my experience in new business sales acquisition has given me a direct insight into the challenges customers face on a daily basis. Domino’s understanding and capability to deliver solutions has made it the successful organisation it is today."

Distinction for apprentice at Bury-based family retailer

Amber-Louise Brant, who joined Glasswells home furnishing store in Bury St Edmunds last November, has successfully completed her Level 2 customer service apprenticeship, with a distinction, after just over a year of studying. She started her apprenticeship during the second lockdown and has had monthly meetings over Zoom with her tutor at West Suffolk College. During some of her ‘off the job training’ she worked with the marketing department and found a natural flair for creative copywriting. Having now completed the course, Amber-Louise Brant has been offered a permanent full-time position as a marketing and digital assistant with the long-standing family retailer. Kevin Robertson, sales director at Glasswells, said: “We are a significant employer in Suffolk, with over 280 people across our shops, warehousing, removals and head office. We are proud to be able to acknowledge 100 colleagues that have dedicated over 20 years to Glasswells and are always seeking out new talent to move up through the ranks. The apprenticeship scheme has worked very well for us, we are thrilled with Amber’s result and see a very bright future ahead.”

Photo: Amber-Louise Brant & Kevin Robertson, sales director