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Is your area making the switch to FTTP?

Many business and residential broadband lines are still FTTC (fibre to the cabinet), which simply means that those ultrafast fibre optic cables that are so vital for quick broadband connection only reach the little box – AKA the cabinet – down the bottom of your street; from there, standard copper wires connect the cabinet to your home. Meanwhile, FTTP (fibre to the property) uses fibre optic cabling directly from the source to your home, allowing for significant improvements in broadband speed and reliability.

You may have had a flyer pop through your letterbox, letting you know that you will soon be eligible to get ultrafast broadband connection in your home. What you may not be aware of are the benefits of choosing Logic partner, Zen, over leading providers.

It’s easy to get drawn in by the names you recognise but it may surprise you to know that, in a survey by Martin Lewis (MoneySavingExpert), a staggering 94% of Zen’s customers rated its service ‘great’. Multi-award-winning Zen also has over 25 years of experience, 75% ‘Excellent’ reviews on Tripadvisor, and is rated ‘great’ on Trustpilot. On top of that, Zen is the only Which? recommended broadband provider in 2021, confidently surpassing several well-known names. And, if that’s not enough, they even achieved Carbon Neutral Plus status in February 2020.

Have you ever been in a panic trying to attend a virtual meeting that won’t stop buffering? Or maybe an urgent email attachment just wouldn’t send. According to Zen’s research, 38% of home workers lose productivity due to poor connections, with over half an hour’s work lost from the day. If you’re working from home and live in an area supported by ultrafast speed, then Zen can give you Gigabit broadband with speeds of up to 900Mbps! Look forward to reduced buffering, quicker download and upload speeds, and greater coverage across your home. Zen even include a free static IP address, for easier remote access to connect to your remote desktop.

Zen also has a range of fantastic broadband packages for business, from smaller start-up groups to larger organisations. So, you can rest assured that all your team will be working to the best of their abilities with reliable, speedy connection.

Here at Logic Business Systems Ltd., Carlisle, our friendly, experienced IT team are happy to discuss all available Zen broadband packages to find the perfect fit for your home or business. Give us a call on 01228 527676 or email

If business is booming but you’re struggling to cope, don’t panic – you’re not alone! For many small businesses, the excitement of flocking customers can sometimes be overshadowed by the panic of running to a single ringing phone. If this is sounding all too familiar then you need PhoneLine+: Gamma’s NEW phone system for small businesses, sure to outperform your traditional landline telephone and even save you up to 40%*!

Available from just £6.95pm from Logic Communications, Carlisle, PhoneLine+ is a clever VoIP system in the form of a simple-to-navigate app. The app is immediately sent to you via email after purchase, so you can start taking advantage of its fantastic features without the fuss of a time-consuming set-up. Better still, you don’t even need to change your company phone number!

Download PhoneLine+ to your mobile, tablet, laptop, IP handset or any other compatible device, and instantly start taking and making calls wherever you are; as long as you are logged in on your device, it will ring when a call comes in. Set your out-of-hours and record your own greetings to add an extra personal touch to your company. You can even ‘Set yourself to Away’ if you’re busy with a customer, transferring the call to another colleague or sending the caller to voice mail.

Want to know exactly when to expect the most calls? With PhoneLine+’s call analytics, you can prepare your staff for the busiest times of the day and even see the details of any calls your team may have missed.

Sometimes, you have to prepare your company for the unexpected. If your organisation suddenly needs to change its opening hours due to illness, traffic, bad weather or even bereavement, you can easily change your preferences via web browser, wherever you are, to inform callers that your business will not be open.

You may still be unsure about making the leap to VoIP, but the decision will soon be taken out of your hands. From 2025, the “Big Switch Off” will have taken effect, rendering all UK landlines completely obsolete. So, what does this mean for your small business? Well, in just a few years’ time, you will no longer be able to take or make calls via landline telephone, severely impacting the way your customers get in touch to make a table reservation, book a hotel room, arrange a hair appointment, etc.

So, stay one step ahead with PhoneLine+ and join the growing number of small businesses who are succeeding in the modern world. Get PhoneLine+ today by contacting or 01228 527676

* Statistic by Harbor Networks

Una Health and Fortress Diagnostics are partnering with the Department of Health & Social Care in the Real Time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) Study into COVID-19. The REACT study is being led by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI and is looking to understand how many people are currently infected, or have been infected, with the COVID-19 virus.

Peter Lucas, who heads up Pathology at Una Health, said, “We have worked with Fortress for a number of years and know that their diagnostics kits are held in high esteem across the world. We are delighted to be involved in this study as we look to understand the spread of this virus and, ultimately to save lives.”

Having antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in theory means that a person’s immune system will be able to identify, target and fight off the infection if the person is re-infected. The exact strength of the immunity these antibodies may provide is still unspecified due to the unknown nature of how significantly the virus mutates. Having a trusted method to diagnose the presence of these antibodies is crucial and that’s why Una Health are working closely with Fortress Diagnostics to bring you the most accurate possible diagnostic solution throughout the pandemic.

So far, research has identified antibodies with specificity to surface proteins of the SARS-CoV2 virus in people who tested positive for the virus, but despite the speed of progress, it has yet to be proven whether these antibodies are capable of conferring immunity to someone subsequently re-exposed to the virus, and if so, for how long that immunity would last. Nonetheless, the presence of antibodies in the bloodstream can be used as an indicator of what percentage of the population has been exposed to SARS-CoV2. This information could prove to be vital when determining safety measures in workplaces and across the UK.

We are pleased to be supporting Imperial College London during the next stage of the REACT study whereby they will be testing over 200,000 people nationwide for COVID-19 antibodies. This phase of testing, which will continue to detect the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in England, could help the UK plan the most effective strategy to see us through the pandemic.

Being able to provide a trusted, easy to use testing method for antibodies throughout the pandemic has been a priority and we are proud to be working alongside Fortress Diagnostics to bring the ‘antibody test of choice’ directly to healthcare and workplace settings.

The rapid Antibody tests supplied have been vigorously tested and proved to be robust, practical and easy to use.

We are now also supplying the Fortress Fast Rapid Antigen Test, for rapid detection of COVID-19 antigen. The Fortress Fast Antigen Test is an accurate test that detects COVID-19 infection. Visually read results in 15 minutes with no instrumentation or additional equipment required. For further information contact

Cost savings as Welsh farm improves soil health with Farming Connect support

A Welsh upland farm is spending less on feed and fertiliser and is finishing lambs four weeks earlier since improving soils and animal health management.

The Davies family farm 320 acres at Waen Gwyn, Cefn Coch, Welshpool, where they run a flock of 750 ewes and 25 suckler cows; they also rent another 45 acres of land.

Chris Davies, who farms with his father and grandfather, Glyn and Jim, and step-brother, Mark Bellerby, has taken advantage of multiple Farming Connect initiatives.

He credits these and his membership of the Farming Connect-run Severn Valley Sheep Discussion Group for the improvements the business has made with grassland and livestock performance.

The foundation to these was a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) provided through the Farming Connect Advisory Service.

Chris has since had input from leading soil and grassland specialists, Mark Tripney and Chris Duller, by accessing other Farming Connect initiatives.

“We have found that if you get your soils right everything else just follows, it all starts with the soil,’’ he says.

“Since addressing compaction issues and revising our fertiliser policy we are growing better quality grass and more of it and that means our ewes and cows are more productive and our lambs and cattle are quicker to fatten.’’

Chris was advised that the business was spending money unnecessarily on a slow-release fertiliser.

“We had used that fertiliser for years but learned that it wasn’t what our soils needed; it was actually making the situation worse.’’

As a result, they now use a cheaper, standard fertiliser treatment for grassland.

Chris was advised to use a sub-soiler on compacted ground. The grazing pattern of the sheep flock confirmed it was the right decision.

“The sheep grazed the half of the field that we had subsoiled the ground. You could see a line down the middle of the field showing where their grazing preference had been,’’ says Chris.

While the Davies’ have reduced their fertiliser costs their biggest saving is on concentrates.

Lambs from the flock of 750 mostly Texel x Mule and Mule ewes are weaning at 100 days, a month earlier than previously, and the majority are finished on grass only.

Soil and grass sampling, which is 100% funded through the Farming Connect Advisory service group advice, revealed a deficiency of selenium, an important trace element in livestock fertility.

Cattle are now bolused and this year the entire herd scanned in-calf.

Chris had funding through Farming Connect to fertility test the stock bull after a poor year for fertility.

“That test gave us the confidence that he is performing at his optimum,’’ says Chris.

He has also been working with Hafren Vets, Newtown, to eradicate BVD from the herd and this has been successful with the herd accredited as BVD-free.

To protect animal health, the herd is run as a closed herd apart from purchased bulls.

Other services Chris has taken advantage of through Farming Connect include an on-farm Red Meat Clinic run by Precision Grazing and several courses including spraying and sheep dipping.

As Farming Connect Development Officer for North Montgomeryshire, Owain Pugh has helped Chris to access these services.

“At a time when reducing cost of production and improving herd and flock efficiency is of the utmost importance, farmers should consider seeking external advice.

Sometimes, someone looking ‘in’ from the ‘outside’ will see something different and even a small change can make a big difference to your business.

Chris urged others to make use of the Farming Connect Advisory Service.

“As farmers, we must be willing to consider making changes instead of continuing with the same practices if we are not getting the best from the land and our stock, unless we do that, our businesses won’t progress.’’

The Tower by Big Padlock

Big Padlock Self Storage are excited to announce the opening of ‘The Tower’, a multi-story professional office complex. Located on the desirable Champions Business Park on the Wirral, the site is in close proximity to motorway access and plenty of public transport links.

These newly built offices some in a variety of sizes, ranging from 200 sqft to 1000 sqft, perfect for any growing business. Tenants will also have access to meeting/conference rooms and kitchen and toilet facilities.

Our company prides itself on security and the protection of our client’s belongings. The facility has monitored CCTV, state of the art alarm systems throughout and fobbed access to the main offices. We also have an onsite management team who are on hand to help in you need any help or information.

Situated on site is also our Self Storage facility, Big Padlock. We offer low cost business storage as well as a wide range of other storage opportunities, allowing businesses to keep stock safe and secure in the same location with 24/7 access when they need it.

With a professional atmosphere throughout Champions, it would be a fantastic place for any company whether you’re a small start-up or a well-established business, we will have something to suit your needs.

To find out more information about our office space or our self storage services, call our friendly helpful staff today on 0151 677 1660 or visit today.

Matthew Metcalfe, Managing Director at Holker IT.

A former Prime Minister once remarked “a week is a long time in politics” … how about a decade in information technology!

To say things have come a long way since we established Holker IT in 2009, probably represents the business understatement of the year.

There has been change and advancement on a scale no-one could have predicted, and not all of it for the better.

An example? Easy.

Cyber Crime, the biggest single threat facing businesses today.

Out of every 100 people reading this, only 10 can realistically expect to avoid a cyber-attack during 2019.

Yes, that’s right, 90% of businesses will be breached – half of them more than once. Worse still, the threat level is still rising.

Small to medium firms took the brunt of an estimated £17 billion worth of UK cyber-attacks last year, companies employing 10-49 people. That’s right, companies similar to the vast majority of those based here in Lancashire.

Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated too, actually spending 10 times more than the organisations under target spend on protection.

The facts, based on new research, make for grim reading. But what can be done to minimise the threat?

At Holker IT we made a strategic decision a few years ago to set up a dedicated in-house cyber security department. We anticipated what might happen and put together a team of skilled technicians adept in dealing with Cyber Crime.

We fight the good fight every day and, trust me, it is extremely distressing when someone falls innocent victim.

Like when we took the call from a long-established firm facing total shutdown as the direct result of a particularly calculated attack which left them over £100k the poorer.

Thankfully, after a highly-complex investigation, involving several technicians working around the clock, we were able to find a solution and get the firm back on track.

Holker IT is Cyber Essentials Plus accredited, meaning we work to a Government-driven scheme to provide the highest level of security. In turn, it gives your customers, suppliers and stakeholders confidence that they can deal safely with you.

We have devised different options; ascending and fully customisable levels of cover, and we recently presented to a large business gathering in conjunction with Lancashire Constabulary.

My message is: whatever you do – do something.

No longer can you sit back and think that a cyber-attack is something that only happens to someone else.

L-R: Wendy Walker (Lancashire Partnership Against Crime), Matthew Metcalfe (Holker IT) and Al Yusuf (LANPAC).

Energus is a contemporary, conference, training, and events venue. We are ideally situated within the heart of West Cumbria and within easy reach of Workington, Whitehaven and Cockermouth town centres. We offer a host of inspiring and versatile meeting suites with comprehensive business support and state of the art training facilities.

With floor to ceiling glass windows and views overlooking the Solway Coast the innovative design can inspire creative thinking in a professional environment, making us the perfect venue for any event.

We have an extensive range of facilities, and can cater for conferences, training courses, exhibitions, evening dinners, charity auctions, charity film nights, STEM events and much more. We have the capability to provide a full corporate hospitality service, ensuring the guests attending your event are catered for with the highest quality food and service.

Our services include:

  • Fully licensed bar
  • Staging and lights
  • In-house IT and AV
  • Table dressing
  • Event photography upon request
  • PPR, PPL and PVS (music & entertainment) licence
  • High speed Wi-Fi throughout the building

Halton in Cheshire has been identified as the best place in the North West for business growth.

BBC commissioned research put Halton 13th out of 324 English local authorities for the proportion of businesses with high growth potential.

There are about 4,128 companies of which around 540 have been classed as having good prospects for the future.

For overall business base growth between 2010 and 2012, Knowsley came bottom of the table.
Experian, which carried out the research, identified the key characteristics of high growth “champion” businesses.

These were young, small companies less than 10 years old and with less than 50 employees; firms with directors showing entrepreneurial appetite and experience in other recent successful business ventures; being part of a wider corporate network in which sister companies have also experienced recent growth and involvement in international activity.

Many of the businesses at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus (SIC) fit this profile.

The campus is a private-public sector collaboration between Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council, with more than 100 hi-tech companies, ranging from biomedical research to engineering.

One such company is ADB MultiQuote which links public sector organisations wanting a better deal for their procurement contracts with suppliers who are small to medium enterprises – one NHS Trust said the company saved it £10,000 in one week.

The result is a better deal for public sector bodies and access to untapped markets for many of these small businesses

Among its customers are NHS Blood and Transport, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“Our business has been improving year on year,” said operations manager Stuart Foxall.

NHS Blood and Transport is one of ADB MultiQuote’s clients

The company was founded eight years ago and has been at Daresbury since the middle of the decade.

Mr Foxall said the site, with so many businesses, created an atmosphere of mutual support and networking.
Derek Twigg, Labour MP for Halton, said Daresbury was just one of several factors creating a better business climate in the area with other developments such as new depots for hauliers Stobarts and Tesco, and the expected economic benefits from the Mersey Gateway, the second bridge across the river.

“A lot of the credit has to go to Halton council for the way they have encouraged development,” he said.

Knowsley in Merseyside also has small pockets of companies that are regarded as having the potential for growth – 12.6%, or about 832 out of a business base of about 6,610 companies.

It also had a start up rate of 24.6% last year – about 1,726 new businesses were created between 2011 and 2012.

But Lesley Martin-Wright, Chief Executive of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, disputed these statistics and said the number of businesses was about half of Experian’s figure.

“I don’t know where they got that from,” she said.

Brands associated with Knowsley tend to be Ford, Jaguar, shopping channel QVC and the drink Lambrini.

But according to Mrs Martin-Wright, a lot of work was being done in the borough to promote smaller businesses, and the chamber plans to work with businesses to promote entrepreneurship in schools.

ESP providing energy for the future …
Chamber member ESP Energy has started the New Year in style after just completing a £1million project for one of the most famous tourist venues in Wales.
The family-run firm specialises in renewable energy technologies and has just commissioned a Biomass heating system to provide energy for the iconic Portmeirion village, near Porthmadoc, in north Wales.
Architect Clough Williams-Ellis designed and created the Italian-style village between 1925 and 1976 and the new bespoke energy system will provide heating and hot water for 28 properties including its distinctive villas, Castell Deudraeth and the Portmeirion Hotel, with provisions to add a further 8 dwellings in the future.
Cult television series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan, was filmed at Portmeirion village in the late 1960s.
ESP Energy design engineer George Ruxton, said: “We were delighted to win this tender for such a prestigious location and fully commissioned the system in January, both on time and to budget, having installed over 3.5 kilometres of sunken pipework around the unique setting together with building a dedicated Energy Centre to house the system itself on the edge of the village, and this will provide energy for the next two decades and beyond”
Portmeirion’s managing director, Robin Llywelyn, commented: “Portmeirion village will benefit greatly from using a more efficient system, saving money on energy, earning through the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and lowering their carbon footprint, thereby future proofing the beautiful village for many years to come.
“In the words of architect Clough Williams-Ellis, we should ‘cherish the past, adorn the present and construct for the future’ and that is certainly what we have done with this project.”
ESP Energy is based at Stapleton, near Shrewsbury and employs a staff of over 40 people, specialising in Biomass Boilers, Heat Pumps and Solar Panel Systems for both domestic and commercial properties, with installations ranging from single dwellings, through large farm buildings, to complete industrial estates.
ESP Energy can be contacted on 01743 718003 or
PICTURED: George Ruxton with two18,000 litre accumulator tanks on site at Portmeirion village in north Wales.

Cumbria’s New High Speed Wireless Internet Link….

In the last ten years the Internet has changed from a vast library into a more interactive office, social hangout or playground. This huge increase of information has meant a serious drop in performance for the average user over the last five years. It’s like cramming more and more cars onto a busy motorway – everything slows down. On current networks, download speed also falls sharply for anyone over 2km from their local exchange; this is even truer for the new ADSL2 technology.

The more customers using one connection at the same time (dividing the capacity between them), the slower the connection becomes for each customer. What’s worse, for those who need to send data, upload speeds for ADSL – ‘superfast’ or not – is never more than a quarter of the download speeds.

The solution is Solway Communications. We use encrypted high frequency radio waves and fibre-optic cables over a 24/7 monitored and protected network to deliver high-speed internet right to your business, school or home. This means no expensive cable-laying, and a far more cost-effective service. Click on the link to learn more, and discover a better, faster way to be online.

The alternatives? While dedicated fibre-optic cable can carry effectively unlimited volumes of data, it is very expensive to install, averaging £100/m to lay the cable, plus an annual line rental of over £6,500 – even for the cheapest 10 Mb/s package. Satellite can work, but it has issues with data caps and lag time, making interactive use unreliable. As a result, Solway Communications offers the best all-round answer to the broadband issue in Cumbria for everyone.


AOC Archaeology is one of the longest established and experienced archaeological and heritage organisations in the UK, with highly qualified staff based in our offices across the country. We undertake a range of archaeological work, for commercial developments to support planning applications, as well as for community and educational projects.

Our work can include documentary and historical research, geophysical and building survey, and archaeological excavation, together with a full range of post-excavation work. This allows us to build up a picture of the past form of an archaeological site, and an understanding of how this functioned, providing an insight into the lives of the people who lived and worked there. Sites can range in date from the Prehistoric and Roman periods, through medieval times, the Industrial Revolution, and even up to the Second World War. Indeed, a recent excavation uncovered a late 19th century photograph of a man, found on the site of a former cottage. This was identified as a local resident’s relative and the photograph reunited with the family!

AOC Archaeology Group has a strong commitment to community involvement in projects,   including participation in excavations and surveys, through to training events, talks, workshops and popular publications. We have encouraged communities to explore, enjoy and actively engage in understanding and appreciating their cultural heritage.

We work closely with established heritage groups to provide help with funding applications, and offer support and the free use of equipment for undertaking community projects of every size. Whether it’s a community archaeological excavation, running an education initiative, designing a new interpretation panel or display, or creating an ambitious landscape study, we provide innovative, ethical, sustainable and practical solutions.

For further information please contact Mitchell Pollington in the York office of AOC Archaeology, at or call on 01904 413 404.

Yorkshire and Humber region

The Yorkshire and Humber region is a hotspot for companies which have the potential to grow as the economy recovers, research by the BBC suggests.

The report, published earlier this year, shows that our region has the second highest proportion of “business champions” – small firms with rapid growth potential – of any region in England.

“Creating the right condition for these ambitious [firms] to flourish, with the right support and investment, could prove key to re balancing the economy,” the report states.

“These firms have been identified across England but relatively higher proportions are located in some of the least resilient areas of the north of England, suggesting a serious mood for growth there.”

On this page you will find areas of business that the report focused on and suggested could indeed drive our economy forwards.

Business to Business Services

When we talk about Business to Business Services we are referring to the experts who help other businesses achieve what they do not have the resources to do themselves. The key to business success is knowing when to outsource and delegate, which is especially important when it comes to areas of marketing, branding, accounting and law. Outsourcing is not limited to these areas though, it can also include a wide variety of tasks comprising of accounting, receivables collection, administration, HR administration, recruiting, training, security and computer-related services.

This industry is one of the major industries in Yorkshire that has seen major growth in the last decade due to recent technological developments. And as organisations have become more comfortable with the benefits of outsourcing transaction processes, they have progressively started to outsource higher value-added services and more comprehensive processes for example, they move from outsourcing just one, discrete function to outsourcing an entire end-to-end process (from accounts payable to complete finance and accounting operations, from payroll to entire HR operations).

As companies move to more comprehensive outsourcing relationships, they are able to benefit from greater economies of scale, broader transformation of their processes and an accelerated speed to value.


Everything in life benefits from an injection of glamour now and again, and finding the right venue for your conference is no exception. You need space, style, comfort and all the technology to run your presentations and best show off your products and services.

In an ideal world you want your organisation to benefit from the latest cutting edge audio-visual technology in the most comfortable environment, with the benefit of experienced staff who deal with hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide on a daily basis.

Not only does hiring a conferencing suite show that your business is a large and successful organisation, but it shows you to be one that really cares about the people. So whether you need a convenient space for a critical meeting, a business-like environment for training or team building, or a prestigious location for a high-calibre conference, make sure you take your time in choosing a place to impress.

High-Tech Conferencing

Technology redefines communication particularly in business. One such technology is conferencing services. It is a valuable resource for distance communication.
Conferencing technology had helped a lot in the business industry. Through it much time and money is saved for there is no longer a need to travel. It improves productivity, allows collaboration on business proposals in real times plus it enables employees or even family members to constantly and conveniently exchange information. There are three widely used conferencing services.

Perhaps the earliest for of conferencing technology is audio conferencing services. It is the most basic and easy to use conferencing service. It simply works this way: two or more speakerphones and multiple dial up numbers are used. Then you can choose if you will do it on your own and run the long distance charges by yourself or you can sign up for audio conferencing services. These services also come in many package types. There are also several options you can choose from once you sign with the provider of the audio conferencing services.

Another option for conferencing services is web conferencing. It provides a wider spectrum of communication that many businesses are taking advantage of. This can be done by having participant sit at their own computer while logging into a service that connect to other applicable participants. Through web conferencing, participants can listen, watch, as well as communicate with presenters. There are a lot of options that web conferencing services can offer such as slideshow presentations, live or streaming video, VoIP (Real time audio communication through the computer via use of headphones and speakers), web tours, meeting recording, text chat, whiteboard with annotation, screen sharing/desktop sharing/application sharing, polls and surveys.

Third type of widely used conferencing services is Video Conferencing. It is an interactive means of communications between two or more places. This can be achieved in a variety of ways but typically it consists of live video and audio feed in both directions. It also allows participants to display slideshows and interactive whiteboards just like in web conferencing. The advanced and constantly upgrading technology turns the used to be grainy video and poor sound into a clean, clear, crisp video and high quality sound during a video conference.

Property Management

Property management can prove to be a difficult task to accomplish without professional help. As a result, property management companies have become common in Yorkshire. When choosing a property management company, the property manager has the sole intention of having all aspects of the property well taken care of. The property owner stands to reap benefits from the services offered by the companies as compared to trying to handle the property by him or herself.

An increase in the income of the property is one of the benefits of hiring of the right property management company. The company will be responsible for marketing the property and bringing in potential clients. Those properties which have no proper marketing strategy in place find that they incur losses by having unoccupied units on the property. A good company will have the necessary knowledge of the local markets and therefore will know the best pricing strategy to use to attract potential clients.

Better time management is also a benefit when working with a property management company. You, the owner, could spend a lot of time trying to deal with the different aspects of management such as marketing and the general maintenance of the property. With the help of a good Property Management company, all these issues are taken care of, allowing you to spend your time on more important issues.

A good company can also lower expenses, which is something most owners are eager to see. This is because the property management professional has all the necessary knowledge of the market and will even know who to go to for services, such as those associated with maintenance, who will charge fair prices. A good company will also take care of issues that could easily turn into lawsuits as they are conversant with the laws of the land.

Besides gaining all these benefits, the property owner can be assured that the property will achieve the best returns, especially when there is trust between the property owner and property management company. They will work hard to strike up good relationships with the property owner as well as with the tenants as they want to continue handling the property in question. Therefore their staff will not leave anything to chance as they will work diligently to meet the needs of you, the property owner.

Staff Training

Your personnel are an integral part of your company. So aside from hiring qualified individuals, you need to make it your responsibility to provide your staff with constant skills update and training. Find below the exact reasons and benefits of providing staff training.

For starters, any industry undergoes constant changes. This means that whatever works well now may not be a good idea anymore later. So your staff really needs to be trained with the necessary new skills and techniques, for the company to keep up with all the changes happening in the market. Aside from this, know that staff training can improve your business because your people will be able to identify their weaknesses and then work to overcome it. If the training is successful, you will now have employees that are better equipped to deal with all the challenges in their work. Plus, they would surely be thankful to you for helping them out. This could result to your people becoming more dedicated and loyal to your company!

Another benefit of providing staff training would be seen later on in your company’s operations. For sure, processes would become more effective and more streamlined. In fact, if the training is really successful – initiative within your employees would rise and they can even help your company come up with better operating procedures!

As you can see, the time and money you would spend on providing your staff with the needed coaching will be all worth it – especially in an area as dynamic as Yorkshire.


In business, logistics refers to the network of systems that controls how resources flow through a business and from one firm to another over the course of a supply chain or production process. The field of business logistics is its own course of study and expertise for managers who understand the benefits of controlling logistics. Logistics professionals concern themselves with the goal of continuous improvement, which can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line.

Controlling Costs
One of the most visible and valuable benefits of continuous improvement in business logistics is the ability for a firm to control its costs. Many costs tend to rise over time, such as labor, raw materials and energy. Rising costs cut into profits unless businesses can raise prices without hurting consumer demand. By continuously improving logistics, a business can take control of its costs. For example, pursuing energy-saving manufacturing methods helps a business
guard against the rising price of energy.

Utilising Production Capacity
Logistics supply a business with the materials and other resources it needs to produce goods for sale. Improvements in logistics allow a firm to utilize the fullest extent of its production capacity. Any shortages or slowdowns of raw materials or labor could mean idle factories and production that can’t satisfy demand or meet sales targets. Managing logistics can ensure there is a steady stream of resources available, regardless of market conditions. This will be the case when a business identifies and invests in new suppliers of essential goods or pursues a vertical integration strategy to take more control of the upstream supply chain.

Improved Quality
Quality is a major element of business logistics. Having access to the right materials at the right time is of little use to a business if the materials are of poor quality and unusable. Continuous improvement in logistics strives to supply firms with rising percentages of quality resources. This is especially important for specialty goods, where there is a low tolerance for error and customer returns or rejected products are costly.

Facing Competition
Every business faces competition in some form from another company. While there are numerous ways in which businesses can compete, logistics ranks high among them. Improving logistics to a point and then taking a passive approach to the system allows competitors to gain advantages in terms of cost savings, improved quality and production capacity. Even incremental improvements in logistics can translate into significant savings over time and lay the foundation for further improvements in the future.

The Importance of Marketing for these Businesses

The heart of your business success lies in its marketing. Most aspects of your business depend on successful marketing. The overall marketing umbrella covers advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. But what is it and what does it include? Well, Marketing is the process by which a product or service is introduced and promoted to potential customers. Without marketing, your business may offer the best products or services in your industry, but none of your potential customers would know about it. Without marketing, sales may crash and companies may have to close.

Getting Word Out

For a business to succeed, the product or service it provides must be known to potential buyers. Unless your business is known in the community and have communication with your customers readily available, you have to use marketing strategies to create product or service awareness. Without marketing, your potential customers may never be aware of your business offerings and your business may not be given the opportunity to progress and succeed. Using marketing to promote your product, service and company provides your business with a chance of being discovered by prospective customers. Using mediums, such as newspapers (our publication included) is hugely important if you are looking to drive those living in the local area to your business.

Higher Sales

Once your product, service or company gets on the radar screen of your prospects, it increases your chances that consumers will make a purchase. As awareness becomes a reality, it is also the point where new customers start to spread the word, telling friends and family about this amazing new product they discovered. Your sales will steadily increase as the word spreads. Without employing marketing strategies, these sales may not have ever happened; without sales, a company cannot succeed.

Company Reputation

The success of a company often rests on a solid reputation. Marketing builds brand name recognition or product recall with a company. When a company reaches the high expectations of the public, its reputation stands on firmer ground. As your reputation grows, the business expands and sales increase. The reputation of your company is built through active participation in community programs, effective communication–externally and externally–and quality products or services, which are created or supported by marketing efforts.

Healthy Competition

Marketing also fosters an environment in the marketplace for healthy completion. Marketing efforts get the word out on pricing of products and services, which not only reaches the intended consumers, but also reaches other companies competing for the consumers’ business. As opposed to companies that have a monopoly on products and services that can charge almost any price, marketing helps keep pricing competitive for a business to try to win over consumers before its competition does. Without competition, well known companies would continue to sell while lesser known companies or new companies would stand little chance of ever becoming successful. Marketing facilitates the healthy competition that allows small businesses and new businesses to be successful enter and grow in the marketplace.


Although marketing is hugely important for a business to succeed, it can also be very expensive. In its first year, a company might spend as much as half of its sales on marketing programs. After the first year, a marketing budget can reach as much as 30 percent–sometimes more–of the annual sales. A marketing program that gives your company the best chance is a healthy mix of different forms of marketing, such as website development, public relations, print and broadcast advertising, design and printing for all print materials, trade shows and other special events.

We passionately develop brands; designing stylish logos, websites and print and digital marketing for all kinds of businesses.

We’re proud to have a reputation for delivering stunning design, intelligently built websites, well thought out marketing and customer service second to none.

The success of the services we provide for our clients is a direct result of our experience, knowledge and expertise and we strongly believe the key to successful project is good planning, hard work and communication so that’s what you can expect from us. Launching or marketing a business can be daunting but we’re here to help make it easy and we have proven that our combination of creativity and innovative technology can deliver results.

NetConneXions is part of ConneXions Group who are based in Carlisle, Cumbria and are a Business-to-Business communications solutions provider. ConneXions Group is made up of 6 divisions covering many different industry sectors and continue to help businesses at every level grow their business and sales.

There are lots of small design agencies in and around Cumbria, so why would you choose to work with us?

We’re a small (yet perfectly formed) creative team and each of us are multi-skilled, well qualified and experienced. From our studio in Carlisle we offer all of our services in house, we’re real people who work side by side everyday, like a team should! Unlike a one-man-band we operate in office hours and offer telephone support around the clock, so we won’t disappear when you really need some help. Being able to take pride in our customer service is really important to us and we want you to achieve your business goals so we’ll offer you consultancy, help and guidance all the way.
If we sound like the kind of people you would like to work with, please get in touch.


Over 30 Years Engineering
Chirton Engineering Ltd is based in North Shields, near Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. They are a subcontractor of precision engineering components, dealing particularly in the fields of offshore oil & gas manufacturing.

More importantly with more than 30 years’ experience in the business Chirton Engineering Ltd has a wide customer base in a diverse range of fields. Whether it’s for large batch quantities or one off prototype Chirton Engineering Ltd is sure to meet your requirements. They have built their reputation upon the belief that quality isn’t expensive; it’s PRICELESS!

The company started life on a small scale, employing only five highly experienced personnel. The manufacturing facility was 1000 sq feet. Today the company works out of a facility of 12,000 sq feet and has forty employees.

This huge expansion has seen an investment over the years, in excess of £1.5 million pounds on new machine tools, measuring equipment & employee training to ensure that Chirton Engineering Ltd are now one of the leading Sub-Contract machine shops in the whole of the UK & beyond.

Chirton Engineering Ltd supply precision machined components to companies in the North East of England, Aberdeen, Southern England & export to companies in France, Norway & Germany. They have a wide customer base from Subsea Oil & Gas to the Automotive Industry, and take pride in the work supplied and our commitment to meeting tight delivery schedules.

The company’s quality management system is approved to BS EN ISO 9001:2008 UKAS Accredited. This has resulted in a significant improvement in internal procedures and has generated employee motivation and commitment.

Chirton Engineering Ltd now supply precision machined components that require 3.2 certification, they can handle customers needs from the Purchase Order stage to Delivery. Third Party Testing including Mechanicals/Tensiles, Chemical Analysis, Hardness Testing, and Charpy Impact Testing. They have extensive experience of working with DNV, Lloyds Register, Test House Procedures, Visual and Final Dimensional Inspection of components. If required a full Documentation Pack can be supplied including an Electronic Copy, all verified by the body conducting the Full Survey of Manufacture requirements.

The company continually strive to improve, ensuring that their products and services exceed their customer’s needs and expectations.

For more information you can visit:

From Design Through To Fabrication

QA Weld Tech Ltd are welding and manufacturing specialists. From design through to fabrication, they are sure to provide you with everything you could possibly need!

The company operates a clean condition fabrication facility dedicated to computer controlled hot wire TIG cladding and welding of UNS 32760 & 31803 Duplex Stainless Steels and has developed over 500 fully approved welding procedures.

With its staff of fully qualified welding engineers, metallurgists, coded welders and experienced fabricators, it can apply an extensive range of processes and procedures on materials ranging from carbon steel and AISI 4130 through to Duplex Stainless Steel, Kunifer and high nickel alloys such as Inconel 625.

Their Key Services Include:

Specialist welding and fabrication:-

– Carbon and low alloy steels  – Duplex and super duplex s/steel – High nickel alloys – Weld inlay and surfacing

Computer Controlled Hot Wire TIG:-

– Inconel 625 – Stainless steel – Aluminium bronze – Stellite
For more information you can visit:

The World’s Leading Support Service for Construction Companies

Interserve is one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. They offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society’s infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK and is in the FTSE 250 index. It has revenue of £1.9 billion and a workforce of nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

Their ability to support our clients at any point in the life cycle of their assets – buildings, associated land and other infrastructure – begins with consultancy and planning advice, ranging from sustainability and energy management to healthcare planning and cost management.

Their design and construction expertise covers the full spectrum from strategic projects to programmes of smaller works managed through framework agreements. Interserve use their detailed knowledge of how the asset will function in practice to create an environment that will maximise operational efficiency and reduce whole-life costs. The same concepts of time- and cost-saving apply to the specialist construction equipment that they design and engineer, which is used by contractors across the world.

Interserve manage and deliver operational services in many environments – such as hospitals, military bases, schools, offices, housing, retail centres and industrial plants – that underpin their core functions through integrated relationships. The company works closely with their clients to devise operational regimes that fit their specific circumstances, often acting as a strategic partner to deliver significant efficiencies through far-reaching change management and process re-engineering.

The way that they operate is driven by their Vision of being The Trusted Partner. Underpinned by a set of goals and guiding values, this shapes how they manage their relationships with clients, employees, shareholders, suppliers and the communities in which they work. Interserve believes that openness, fairness and reliability create long-term partnerships from which all parties benefit.

For more information you can visit:

Quality commercial units throughout the UK

LetDirect provides competitive and flexible leases on a wide range of industrial units across the UK. Whether you’re looking for offices, warehouses, workshops, industrial units or studio space, our comprehensive management approach allows you to fully focus on developing and nurturing your company.

Businesses looking to rent commercial properties can choose from over 100 business estates across the UK that belong to the Industrial Property Investment Fund (IPIF) managed by Legal & General Property. LetDirect let a wide range of properties with short, flexible leases, offering customers the opportunity to expand or contract as their requirements demand.

Bradley-Mason LLP is a Chartered Building Surveying practice offering a full range of building consultancy and project management services throughout the UK.We recognise the commercial angle of any property transaction or building project is key to its success. We draw upon the experience of our team to combine specialist building consultancy skills with commercial awareness and an understanding of our clients’ business needs.Ranging from investment funds and property companies to high street retailers and commercial tenants, we advise clients on the life cycle of their property interest from acquisition to disposal. By considering the life cycle of a client’sBradley-Mason LLP is a Chartered Building Surveying practice offering a full range of building consultancy and project management services throughout the UK.We recognise the commercial angle of any property transaction or building project is key to its success. We draw upon the experience of our team to combine specialist building consultancy skills with commercial awareness and an understanding of our clients’ business needs.

Ranging from investment funds and property companies to high street retailers and commercial tenants, we advise clients on the life cycle of their property interest from acquisition to disposal. By considering the life cycle of a client’s property interest the initial liabilities are minimized, occupational or investment costs are efficiently managed and unnecessary disposal or exit costs can be avoided.

Our key people have all worked at a senior management level within some of the largest international property consultancies. In bringing these specialist skills together and adopting a hands-on approach, we offer a totally independent and proactive consultancy services across the UK.

Please contact Julian Mason if we can help with your Building Consultancy problems, or you would like to know more about the services we offer.

Bradley-Mason LLP, Evans Business Centre, Hartwith Way, Harrogate HG3 2XA, Tel: 01423 534604
Fax: 01423 534605

Are you looking to move up the Management ladder?

The NVQ Diploma’s in Management broaden your career opportunities and increase your earning potential. The qualifications are recognised internationally by employers, colleagues and professional bodies across all sectors.

As a training candidate with SHEilds Vocational Training you have the flexibility to complete a recognised vocational qualification in your own work environment, and in your own time, allowing you to learn, develop and practise the skills required for employment and/or career progression in the Management sector.

Any of our NVQ diploma courses can be completed in your own workplace and there are no formal examinations required to complete the training. The assessment of work-based evidence needed can be completed through our distance learning program, at a time and pace that suits you.

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North West Times

Customer Testimonials

Prenton Preparatory School

As headteacher of Prenton Prep School I have dealt with Katie Walden in her role at the North West Times on numerous occasions. She has always been well-spoken and extremely professional in her manner and has followed up conversations with the promised actions promptly. Katie is a good representative for Colston Media and PPS have, therefore, reused the service on various occasions.

Scarisbrick Hall School

This is to confirm that I have been dealing with Katie for about 3 months now and in all our communications she has been professional in her handling of the enquiry and where possible as offered the best possible rate available and space in the publications we are advertising in.

Lake District Inns & Cottages

Colston Media has really put us on a platform to North West Times readers. We have used them a number of times over the years to promote our Inns and Cottages. Early this year we decided to really push weddings at The Kings Head Inn. Katie, our representative at Colston Media, jumped on this and reached out to us every time there was an amazing chance to get our name out there. Communication between us was clear, so we always knew exactly what er were getting and for how long we would be visible. Katie was also happy to work with us and our right budgets. I provided images and our wedding pack information. From this, the team made a lovely advert that highlighted our best features. All the stress of putting something together was taken away from us. We decided to change the photos used for the earlier adverts which was no problem to the team at all. From all this work, we have started taking a number of bookings for the upcoming year. With out already at the end of March. Due to the area the North West Times is distributed and being accessible online, we really feel this has helped confirm these bookings. We look forward to continuing to work with Colston Media in the future.

Cheshire Falconry Centre

Hi, just a quick note to say thanks to Gary regarding is help in placing adverts with yourself, Gary made the whole procedure very easy and was a great point of contact.

Storthes Hall Park

Good service, great offers simple process and easy to work with!

Oasis Fostering Services

Please find below my thoughts on my experience of dealing with you.
I have always found you to be really polite and patient with me - I have a very busy workload and you have been understanding of this when I haven't managed to come back to you. I have found you to be very helpful and explanatory and have always been happy that I've understood exactly what you are proposing. I have been impressed with how speedy you have dealt with any questions I have had. I was happy with the ad and although it is difficult to always identify where our enquiries come from, we have definitely seen a rise in enquiries - so something is working for us! We would definitely consider using you again and we would definitely recommend you to others.

Holdens Solicitors

I wanted to set down in writing my views on the skill with which you have dealt with me over the last months. You are extremely business-like and always make a compelling case for Holdens to advertise. You are efficient and effective and have a no-nonsense approach which is very engaging. Without your sensible and accessible approach, we would never have advertised or thought to do so. You also have the ability to make us as the client feel special and work with us as if you are working for our success. This combination of skills is exceptional as I can testify after a long career in the corporate environment when one is bombarded with services being offered.
If there is anything, I can do to promote your high level of service to us please do not hesitate to let me know.

Livewell by Cheryl

‘ I found Dan to be very informative, understanding and professional. He was also extremely patient, as I asked a fair few questions. Thanks for your help Dan, especially as I am reasonably new to advertising.’

Gwernydd Hall Holiday Home Park

My Experience with you and Colston Media was a positive one, you came across very professional and may I say an experienced and "Good" Salesperson. You were not pushy but you did persevere to get the important points across.
Printed advertising does not work too well in this industry anymore, Online and social Media is bringing in the sales at the moment.


I often speak to Shane regarding advertising as we do a lot of advertising for our charity events. Shane is extremely polite and helpful, responds to queries very promptly, and is a friendly person to speak to. Great customer service :)