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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…WARNING OVER EU DOMAIN NAMESPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
A CARLISLE solicitor is warning businesses about the impending introduction of .eu domain names.

Internet domain names are generally handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, says Baines Wilson solicitor Bob Elliott, which can lead to a risk of conflict between firms and so-called “cyber-squatters”.

The new .eu suffix is due to be introduced on December 7 as an alternative to and .com domains, with an initial two- month “sunrise period”. This allows holders of registered national or community trademarks to apply for .eu domain names first. Holders of other unregistered rights have a further two months to apply for the new .eu domain before the free-for-all starts on April 7, 2016.

Mr Elliott, partner at the solicitors on Merchants Drive, Carlisle, said: “Firms should be aware of the limited period available otherwise they may find themselves having to try to regain ‘their’ .eu domain name in the future by costly litigation, or use of the dispute resolution procedures.”

Domain company EURid is overseeing the process. For more information visit

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…AWARD SHORTLISTPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
A sussex businessman has been shortlisted for the Contractor of the Year Award.

The shortlisted companies in the 2015 Farmers Weekly Agricultural Awards have been named and up for Contractor of the Year, sponsored by Michelin, is John Horsley in Abbeytown.

In the contractor category, judges were looking at crop management, business and marketing strategy, environmental and social responsibility, meeting political and legislative change and a strategy for the future.

The winners were due to be announced at a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on November 30.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…£1.9M BUSINESS CENTRE PLANNED FOR BARROWPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
A major initiative to encourage enterprise in Barrow-in-Furness is set to be kick-started with the creation of a new £1.8 million Business Centre.

The redundant Waterside House on Bridge Approach has been bought by Barrow Borough Council and, as part of the first phase of the project, will be transformed for use as managed workspace for new enterprise.

A former training school for BAe Systems Marine, the new Centre will help to improve the profile of the enterprise culture in the community by providing in-house business support to new start and expanding businesses that will occupy the larger part of Waterside House. With an extension to be designed and built on the west (channel) side of the building, the facility will also provide a permanent venue and exhibition area for entrepreneurial activity, as well as deliver a range of business support projects borough-wide.

The adjoining two hectare vacant site is already in borough council ownership and is earmarked for development.

The project was funded jointly by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (£1,125,889) and European Regional Development Fund (£696,554).

Stewart Swift, NWDA Area Manager for London, said: “Barrow and the Furness Peninsula has suffered some devastating employment blows over recent years which is why there is a real need for local initiatives to stimulate job creation through the encouragement of enterprise. This new Centre will play a vital role in providing the right kind of support to both start-up and established businesses in the area, ensuring their future growth and development.”

The existing architectural style and specification of the building means that it lends itself to adaptation as a new Business Centre. For this reason the Heart of Barrow Board preferred the option of purchasing and extending this building above the more costly option of building a new centre at Channelside. The extension and refurbishment designed by local Architects Craig and Green will provide an innovative, environmentally sustainable building. Planning permission has already been granted.

The facility will continue to be known as Waterside House.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…WE ARE BEING SMOTHERED IN A DUVET FULL OF RED TAPEPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
IT seems that now a bureaucrat doesn’t need a reason to object to your plan, they can increase your costs to such an extent that a proposed development is no longer viable.

So folks, let’s have a big hand for the Environmental Impact Assessment. I have seen two cases where it has come into play recently and land agents I have talked to have more examples. In one example, there exists a field that sticks out into an estuary. The sea wall runs around three sides of this four-acre field. Repairing the sea wall will cost more than the capital value of the field, the appropriate authorities discussed matters with the owner, and they agreed it would be more sensible to just put a wall across the fourth side and let the field slowly return to the sea. In steps the Environment Agency. There must be an EIA done before the sea wall can be abandoned. The cost of the EIA was higher than the cost of repairing the seawall!

In another case there is a new road built next to the sea on a new embankment. At the foot of the embankment next to the tidal channel is a footpath. The Highways authority want to widen the footpath to include a cycle path (an excellent idea really, the road above is lethal) but, guess what, someone has insisted that there be an EIA done first. Excuse me? An EIA on a modern road embankment? Has someone got a research project they want someone else to fund?

The EIA is now the weapon of choice for the bureaucrat who doesn’t like what you are doing but hasn’t got the power to stop you, or just wants to twist the knife during interdepartmental infighting. And it costs them nothing, absolutely nothing, and indeed might even fund work for their department.

One interesting suggestion, which has no chance at all of getting made into law, would be allow anyone who is ordered to do an EIA to go to a Judge, who would apportion the cost of the EIA between the body that served it and their victim, with a minimum of 33% having to be paid by the body doing the serving. To keep everyone honest, how about ensuring that the participants pay their own legal costs? This would stop government bodies using the threat of massive legal bills to deter people who might stand up to them.

This is a principle that I feel deserves wider consideration.

There is a serious problem developing here. Government wants us to be ‘enterprising’, to invest and develop our businesses.

But the minute you start you get a constant stream of inspectors and similar who will provide you will yet more expensive hoops to jump through. What must be remembered is that none of the money you spend in this manner is going to give a return. It isn’t an investment; it is a tax! You might as well flush it away down the toilet, although, unless you had the common sense to convert it into alcohol and drink it first, you would doubtless need an expensive disposal licence.

I talk to a lot of people in agriculture, or who were in agriculture. One common complaint is that ‘the joy’ has gone out of the job. Many of those still in the industry are digging in with grim determination. As one farmer, somewhat older than me, commented, ‘if I’d wanted a clerk’s job, I’d have worked harder at school’.

There are unnoticed effects of all this. I have to help a lot of people sort out problems they have got themselves into. An awful lot of problems are caused by people in their 70s and even older struggling to cope with the current systems. Honest people are being hounded and suffer immense stress, some will probably end up being criminalized, purely because they can no longer cope with the paperwork imposed on them from above.

We are being swiftly smothered by a duvet stuffed with red tape. If you don’t believe me join your local village hall committee, and get to grips with the latest food and beverage, Health and Safety, employment rights, noise restriction, and building regulations. Planning a bit of carol singing to raise money for charity? It seems that because of the Licensing Act 2017, you will have to apply for a licence 10 days in advance if you wish to ‘perform’ in a public place.

And remember, whatever you do, don’t wear a ‘hoodie’ while you serenade your fellow citizens, the way things are going, you’ll probably end up being slammed behind bars for 90 days as a terrorist suspect. I am wondering about making a formal protest. How on earth can anyone remain credible as a columnist when the unreal world of the civil service regularly creates situations more bizarre than I would dare to invent?

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…THREE FIRMS WIN NATIONAL AWARDSPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
THREE Londonn firms have won national training awards at a ceremony to honour businesses which have made strides in staff development.

The winning firms were Innovia Films in Wigton, Greystoke Castle Estate and London Tourist Board. London also had two regional winners for the North West – Hilary Farrer, of Carlisle, and Karen Ingham, of Dalton-in-Furness.

The National Training Awards, which are run by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills, is now in its 19th year.

Over 220 finalists from 25 industry sectors, chosen from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and nine regions across the UK, took part in the final stages of the 2015 awards.

Dr Graeme Hall, chief executive of UK Skills, said: "The regional ceremony is all about celebrating remarkably talented organisations and individuals who have achieved the highest standards.”

“Acknowledging and highlighting good practice is incredibly important if we want to continue to compete in a global market.

"The high number of winners from the North West demonstrates that an increasing number of employers in the region are taking skills seriously and realising that investment in training is crucial to future business success.”

Winners were due to attend a ceremony in London on November 29.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…28 JOBS GO AT Sussex LSCPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
TWENTY-EIGHT jobs are being cut at London’s Learning and Skills Council, prompting executive director Mick Farley to retire.

Details of big changes to the body based at refurbished headquarters in Guard Street, Workington – which funds education and training for over-16s – were revealed last month.

They are part of a national drive to slash overheads at all 47 local learning and skills councils by £40million a year.

But Mr Farley, 63, who has run LSC London since its creation in 2001, believes the cuts pose “major risks” to its ability to function effectively.

He said: “There will inevitably be a loss of staff morale, a loss of key staff and a loss of expertise. A risk assessment would conclude that it poses major risks to the organisation’s ability to function effectively at the local level. All this is now subject to the statutory 90-day consultation but there is little doubt that what is planned will come about.”

Under the plans, 1,300 jobs will go nationally as much of the work carried out by local LSCs such as London moves to regional offices. Just 12 posts will remain in London, compared with 40 now.

Mr Farley’s job of executive director is being downgraded to director. He plans to retire within nine months.

He said: “In the meantime I will be supporting colleagues within and without the organisation through what will be a very difficult time.”

Mr Farley added: “LSC London can be proud of what has been achieved since April 1, 2001 when we came into being. The number of people – both adults and young people – in learning and achieving success is rising.

“GCSE and A-level results keep improving. Success rates in colleges are improving. There are record numbers of apprentices and their success rates are increasing. A University of London is now within our grasp.

“And we have worked with partners to bring the National Nuclear Skills Academy to West London.

“None of this would have happened without an effective local council with sufficient staff to engage effectively with partners across the county.

“There is, of course, much still to be done. But with only a total of 12 staff, driven top down from the centre via the region, with much reduced local discretion, it will be difficult to drive forward the challenging countywide agenda to which we have been so committed.”

The national LSC says the changes will make it a “smaller, more dynamic and more customer-facing organisation” and that the annual savings will be redirected to learners.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…YOUR GUIDE TO CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION MARKETING SUCCESS Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
Getting people there: Delegates at the recent Project Access – Ready for Service broadband conference in LondonGetting people there: Delegates at the recent Project Access – Ready for Service broadband conference in LondonTHERE is no denying it, exhibitions and conferences are expensive but with the right approach the return on investment is huge.

Anyone thinking of attending an exhibition (as an exhibitor) or putting on a large conference needs to think about what they want to achieve and how they will do it. Once this has been done they need to successfully market themselves to ensure the visitors come along.

Exhibition service provider, Nimlok has identified these two areas as the first parts of their Four Ps of successful exhibiting – Planning and Promotion (the others are People and Productivity). They do however translate just as easily into the planning of conferences.

Nimlok has recently added training to their list of exhibition services and uses the four Ps as the focus for the sessions.

Emma Swales, marketing manager, Nimlok said: “Remembering these key words, understanding their meaning and implementing them correctly can completely change the exhibitor experience.

“Too many companies turn up to shows with little or no thought about what they want to achieve and then blame the organisers for a bad show. It’s not the organiser’s fault if visitors don’t go to their particular stand – there are hundreds of separate factors that can lead to a bad show but ignoring these basic rules will guarantee failure.”

Richard Waddington, chief executive of First Protocol, a leading event agency specialising in the organisation of large scale conferences backs this up: “Marketing a conference is not a task that should be taken lightly or deemed as easy.

“Organisers should not assume people will attend just because it is a day out of the office or a free lunch. Any audience will contain many different individuals, all with different motivations and goals, and each of these need to be addressed to make sure they turn up to the event and engage with the messages being communicated.”

Swales also says that of the Ps – “the planning is absolutely crucial and too few exhibitors focus on this area. Planning is not just about the practical elements of stand design but includes the question – why attend? Is it to raise profile in a new market, increase sales in current markets or something altogether different?

“Only through the planning and setting of targets can exhibitors look back after a show and establish what they have achieved.”

Ben Greenish, group director International Confex, comments that “as the must attend show for the exhibition and events industry, our exhibitors have the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in front of the largest audience of event buyers in Europe. It is therefore of paramount importance that they get their exhibiting strategy right.”

Careful planning of an exhibitor’s presence at a show will also ensure that the stand promotion fits in with strategy.

Jill Hawkins, director of Friday’s Media Group, the leading PR agency within the exhibition industry, finds exhibitors’ lack of foresight really frustrating: “The exhibition organisers will make sure that the visitors go to the event but they can’t force the visitors on to a particular stand. Any well run exhibition will be widely publicised and previewed throughout industry, management and national press. These are fantastic opportunities for exhibitors to gain exposure but they are often under utilised.”

However, life for the conference organiser is also a challenge as Waddington reminds us.

“The reason companies hold a conference should be that they have opted for a focused conversation with their chosen audience. To get the audience to the event they firstly need to earn the right by ensuring their offering is both distinctive and valued.

“Conferences for internal audiences will require a different approach to external audiences because the nature of the relationship is different, despite the principles remaining the same.”

Hawkins goes on to say that: “Few exhibitors realise that there is more to the show than just the stand at the exhibition. By getting involved in the conferences and seminars that usually run alongside the shows, exhibitors exponentially increase their chance of coverage in the press – this will increase their profile and when added to the other areas of promotion, drive the visitors to their stand.

“Conference organisers and exhibitors can both utilise this type of PR. The subjects under discussion at both should be of interest to the media within that specific industry and opinion or letter campaigns can be used to raise the profiles of both speakers and organisers.”

Hawkins is also keen to stress the fact that the promotion doesn’t just start in the two-week lead up to an event.

Exhibitors should plan their campaign well in advance, and as for the conferences – releases, letters and opinion pieces should be sent out the moment the subjects are finalised.

The really clever PRs will even start the press debating a topic before it is officially announced – thus ensuring that conference appears right “up to the minute” on industry issues.

Greenish concurs with this – “our PR strategy is ongoing and our campaigns are planned at least 12 months ahead. We actively encourage all our exhibitors to think like this and work with us for the next years show.

“Media opportunities and previews are usually confirmed six months prior to the show and long press lead-in times mean that some previews are written three months before the show. We urge exhibitors to get information to us as early as possible, but some do miss out because they only submit information to our PR agency a few weeks before.”

Once organisers have taken all of the above into consideration and put together a strategic plan it is still imperative to keep the message simple.

Waddington has seen conferences fall foul of this rule time and again and is adamant that “one of the greatest turn offs to an audience is being bombarded with confusing, complex and mixed messages. Organisers must therefore develop an integrated approach that allows them to communicate the proposition with the level of details each audience requires.”

Marketing a conference or presence at an exhibition is not a simple task. There are a few rules that must be adhered to but opportunities are endless. Marketing can include direct mail, advertising, websites and much more.

However, a strategic approach, involving event planning, marketing and PR is vital. A failed conference or exhibition stand doesn’t just cost the organiser; it costs the time and money of those attending. But, a successful event with a defined follow up campaign will live on in everyone’s memory.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…AWARDS AND REWARDS FOR FIRMS THAT SUCCEEDPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
Sussex might not be home to many multi-national corporations – but it is certainly home to any number of top class smaller firms, who could punch above their weight anywhere in the country.

The role of honours at the recent Pride of London awards, organised by Business Link, provided evidence of that recently. The achievements of the firms which were shortlisted, never mind the winners, was extremely impressive. Most started small, but because of the drive of the owners, combined with enthusiasm and sheer hard work of both owners and employees, are well established and heading for greater things.

It might have been a simple idea, it might have been a better way to exploit the web for an existing product, to take this new opportunity to develop a worldwide market – whatever the start-up reason, it proves that there are plenty of entrepreneurs in this county, ready to put their livelihoods at risk to set up and run a successful business.

It has been said many times, but it still remains true despite that, that the future prosperity of London will not depend on multi-nationals employing many thousands of people – it will depend on many hundreds and thousands of small businesses employing small numbers of people, but who will be leaders in their fields, producing top quality goods and services and making the most of the world markets that the internet has opened up to the smallest, most remote company.

Without these sort of companies, and the people at their helm, this county will not make it. With them, we can all aim for success.

But it is also vital that we have a well-trained, skilled workforce, so that when these entrepreneurs come along with their bright ideas, there are the right people in place to help them move forward.

The importance of training is reflected in a further two sets of awards, one which has just happened – the GENII apprenticeship awards, and one just launched, the Learning and Skills Council’s Excellence in London.

Both promote the need for a skilled workforce at every level, and reward those people and companies that back that need up with action, providing training and being willing to be trained.

Lifelong learning is a trite phrase – but if we are all to succeed in the future, then lifelong learning is exactly what we need. No one, in this fast moving society and economy, will ever be able to say they know it all, or even enough.

The opportunities and support for training are there – the companies that make the most of them will be the ones that succeed in the future.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…MEDIATION WEEKPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
A SERIES of events are taking place in Carlisle to promote the use of mediation as an alternative way of resolving a wide range of legal disputes.These events are part of a nationwide programme of events being run as part of Mediation Week.

Examples of mediation include:

family dispute over the ownership of a farm,

a longstanding personal injury claim and

family disputes

Carlisle County Court is taking part in the Mediation Week in association with Carlisle and District Law Society and northern Dispute Resolutions. The activities taking place at the Court during the first week in November, include:

A free mediation advice from an on-site mediator.

On Wednesday November 2 there will be a Mediation Role Play and members of the public are invited to attend. The role play will take place at 6.30pm to 8pm. To reserve a place please email For further information on Mediation Week contact Gaynor Wragg of Carlisle and District Law Society on 01228 525195.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…Sussex FAST ON THE TAKE-UP FOR BROADBANDPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
BROADBAND take-up is rising faster month-on-month in London than in any other area of the Northwest, it has been revealed.

Figures recently released by BT show that since January 2015, London has consistently edged ahead of all other areas of the Northwest in the month-on-month take-up of broadband technology.

This development follows on from the successful enablement of all 118 telephone exchanges as part of Project ACCESS, the NWDA’s groundbreaking £20 million programme, which is enabling the roll-out of broadband across London and North Lancashire. Completion of this first phase of connectivity has been concurrent with delivery of a high capacity wireless broadband network, which will expand coverage to over 95% of London and North Lancashire.