Pennine Healthcare

Research key to exporting

"Research, research, research" was the message that Liz Fothergill, Chair of Bondholder Pennine Healthcare, gave to delegates at a recent Marketing Derby trade & investment event held with Bondholder East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.


Liz was speaking in her role of Midlands Engine Export Champion and told delegates that any businesses considering exporting their products or services should fully research the market they are targeting.  

In March 2017 the International Trade Minister announced Liz as being one of 28 new ‘Export Champions’ to promote Midlands businesses to the world and to inspire and encourage other businesses to expand into new markets.

Delegates were encouraged to consider exporting and to maximise their chances of success Liz advised them to focus on her principle of 'four Rs'.

Research – to fully understand the market you wish to export to, from the economy to the culture, the regulations to business methods.

Resource – Ensure that you have the resource in place to cope with the increased orders to make sure you can fulfil the demand. Staff with time and language skills to deal with samples, regulatory qualifications, shopping demands, payment and currency queries. 

Relationships – are key to any business transaction but particularly when you are seeking to export to new markets.  You need to build trust and the best way to do this is in person, face to face.

Resilience – don’t give up.  There will be setbacks.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep trying.

The event was run by Marketing Derby in collaboration with the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and was the first in this year’s policy events.  

The next will be held on Friday 13th July 2pm - 4pm focusing on Talent Strategy.  

Further details will be issued in due course.

Liz Fothergill appointed as High Sheriff of Derbyshire

Liz Fothergill CBE, previous president of Bondholder East Midlands Chamber and Chairman of Bondholder Pennine Healthcare, has today been installed as High Sheriff of Derbyshire.

Starting her working life as a librarian in 1977 Liz found herself between jobs when she started helping out in the family business. The business evolved from engineering, filling stations and car sales and by the end of the 70s was manufacturing a small range of plastic medical disposable products.

During my tenure, I would like to really fly the flag for all that is great and good about Derby and Derbyshire
— Liz Fothergill

Decades later, Liz still has the manufacturing bug and today the business, now known as Pennine Healthcare, has a turnover of in excess of £30m a year, has 380 employees and produces 250,000 items a day, of which 70% are exported to 80 countries worldwide.

Many of our readers will know that Liz is an ambassador for Derby. She was Deputy Chair of the University of Derby from 2003-2013 and is now Chair of Derwent Stepping Stones and the Derby Book Festival.

Liz commented: "I am honoured to have been invited to be High Sheriff of Derbyshire. During my tenure, I would like to really fly the flag for all that is great and good about Derby and Derbyshire, including its businesses, and ensure that the East Midlands remains a flag-bearer for the rest of the UK."

Dreaming of a University Quarter

A key moment at our Annual Business Event is the Dare to Dream slot - where a guest speaker outlines a vision for the city's future.

Last year saw the former President of East Midlands Chamber and Chair of Bondholder Pennine Healthcare, Liz Fothergill, outline her wishes for businesses to help mentor young people in Derby to give them the encouragement they need. This has in turn resulted in schemes such as Education for Enterprise (E4E) which has now secured a significant number of business professionals and leaders to help mentor young people in the area.

This year, the new Vice-Chancellor for the University of Derby, Kathryn Mitchell, addressed the audience with her dream for a University Quarter. Kathryn said: "This is a place where students feel confident, know their place in the city and engage with it. It has to have choice. It should combine the University's world-class learning facilities and merge them with the heritage of the city, harnessing Derby's academic, professional and cultural strengths."

She noted that the majority of students do not stay in Derby in the summer and that the city does not retain enough of its graduates for employment - her dream would give students opportunities to stay in Derby for longer.

Kathryn closed by saying: "Part of this, is creating a coherent city experience through a University Quarter."