Purpose wins regional awards

Bondholder Purpose Media is celebrating its success at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Awards for the East Midlands after scooping the High Growth Business of the Year title.

It won the award after scooping the East Midlands Chamber's Outstanding Growth Performance award for Derbyshire, and will now go on to represent the region in the BCC's national business awards in London on 24th November.

The firm won the award following a solid period of business expansion over the past couple of years, which saw it launch a new creative arm after acquiring assets from former Derby-based design agency, Revolver Revolver, and a new video division, following its merger with A-Star Media earlier this year.

Matt Wheatcroft, Managing Director at Purpose Media, commented: "It's been a great 12 months for us, which has seen us double in size, both in terms of headcount and turnover, so it's great to be honoured not only locally by East Midlands Chamber, but also nationally by the BCC. We look forward to going down to London to represent the region in November."

Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, Scott Knowles, added: "The Chamber awards are the only business awards in the region delivered purely by business for business and are also the only awards which offer the winners the chance to share their stories on the national stage."

Derby Law firms top the Legal 500

The Legal 500 is an annual publication of leading law firms in the UK across regions and sectors.  Bondholders Flint Bishop, Freeths, Geldards, Nelsons SolicitorsSmith Partnership and Swindell and Pearson are all celebrating the latest edition which scores the profession across multiple disciplines.

Managing Partner of Commercial Services and Head of Litigation at Flint Bishop, Qamer Ghafoor, said: "I'm pleased with this year's Legal 500 results and for the recommendations across both the commercial and private areas of the firm."

Freeths maintained its strong regional reputation, which continues to leverage the firm's expertise in contentious matters to attract a steady work flow in the commercial litigation and insolvency areas across its offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

Geldards chief executive, Jeff Pearson, said: "Legal 500 gives us a benchmark of where we are as a law firm and this year's ranking shows we are continuing to compete strongly, in a very competitive market."

Derby partners at Nelsons Solicitors Simon Waterfield and Kevin Modiri are highlighted for their work in property litigation and insolvency and corporate recovery respectively.

Russell Davies, partner at Smith Partnership said: "Our performance this year has exceeded all our expectations again and we are so pleased for our teams of professionals, who work so hard every day for our clients, across all areas of private and commercial law."

Patent and trade mark attorney firm Swindell & Pearson were delighted to be named as one of the UK's top intellectual property firms and several of their attorneys were also specifically recommended for the quality of their work.


For an overview and to view all results visit the Legal 500 website

HUUB named joint-winner of Chamber Awards

Marketing Derby Bondholder, HUUB Design, capped a hugely successful 2016 after being named as joint-winner of the Derbyshire Business of the Year category and also Small Business of the Year, at this year's East Midlands Chamber awards.

Derby Museums and Purpose Media were proud winners of The Social Impact Award and award for Outstanding Growth respectively.  

Anoki, Balls2Marketing, The Advert Man, Sky Recruitment Solutions and Foundation Derbyshire were all runners-up.

HUUB Design, the innovative sportswear brand, received the accolade following a move into the city with the opening of a new showroom, helping Team GB achieve triathlon success at this year's Olympics and were also instrumental in bringing the Jenson Button Triathlon to Derby.

Dean Jackson, CEO at HUUB Design, said he felt "fantastic" to be a winner after collecting the top award jointly along with Penny Hydraulics. Managing director Robin Penny from the Chesterfield-based business, said he was "proud to be associated with HUUB Design."

Chamber President Jean Mountain said: "The Chamber's congratulations go to all of this year's winners.  We had some really good entries and the judging process was extremely tough, but all of the winning businesses thoroughly deserve their success."

Marketing Derby Bondholders were also runners-up in the following awards:

  • HUUB Design - Business Improvement through Technology  
  • HUUB Design - The Social Impact Award
  • Foundation Derbyshire - The Social Impact Award
  • Megan Morris (Sky Recruitment Solutions) - Apprentice of the Year
  • Balls2Marketing - Small Business of the Year
  • Derby Museums - Small Business of the Year
  • Anoki - Excellence in Customer Service
  • Ed Hollands (The Advert Man) - Entrepreneur of the Year

HUUB Design CEO, Dean Jackson, receives the (joint) Business of the Year accolade at the East Midlands Chamber Derbyshire 2016 Awards

Finalists announced for Chamber Awards

The annual East Midlands Chamber Business Awards is back with a range of Bondholders competing as finalists.

We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list.
— Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber

Bondholder finalists include Anoki, Balls2Marketing, Derby Museums (shortlisted for two categories), DrivenMedia, Foundation Derbyshire, Purpose Media, Sky Recruitment and HUUB, which is a finalist for four categories.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: "As always, we had a bumper crop of entries and our sponsors had a difficult task in whittling entrants in each category down to a final three. We have a good cross-section of businesses represented this year and they all deserve their place on the list."

Many Bondholders are also sponsoring categories including: East Midlands Trains, PKF Cooper Parry, RDS Global, Rolls-Royce and Mazars, which is sponsoring three categories across the region.

The East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2016 for Derbyshire will be held on 16th September at the Roundhouse with the gala dinner being hosted by ITV Weather presenter, Emma Jesson.

Data Clarity makes finals for second year

For the second year running, Bondholder Data Clarity has been shortlisted as a finalist in this year's Payroll World Awards for its expenses and time management solution, Clarity365.

The cloud-based software requires an internet connection or application to use providing instant accessibility for all users. Businesses can enjoy cost savings through automating their expenses and timesheet processes and eliminating costly paper expenditure.

Chloé Farmer, Marketing & Customer Relations Manager at Data Clarity, said: "We are honoured to be finalists in the 'Technology Award' category. Over the past six months we have invested in new functionality and made usability improvements. We have worked closely with our clients to deliver our new HMRC vehicle specific rates allowing employees to submit mileage expenses based on their engine size."

The winners for the Payroll World Awards will be announced on 3rd November.


Astute award featured in CV Magazine

Another successful year at Bondholder Astute Recruitment continues with the company being named as 2016’s Best Small Business Recruitment Company by CV Magazine.

With a global network of 130,000 CEO’s, directors and other top-level decision makers, investors across the worlds of IT, training, manufacturing, marketing, design, retail and more, the team at Astute is thrilled to have received the recognition.

The article reads:

From redundancy in 2009 Sarah Stevenson and Mary Maguire set up and established Astute Recruitment Ltd as a unique, multi-award winning accountancy recruitment business and brand. Regionally acknowledged as the expert in their sector, their core business is the recruitment of all levels of accountancy and finance professionals from ledger staff to Financial Directors.
Eighteen months ago after a period of record growth, Sarah and Mary appointed a non-executive director to focus the business and establish firm strategic plans. This included a total re-brand with a new website, corporate logo, state-of-the-art IT system, accounting software and transformational messaging. All of this has enabled the brand to reach a wider audience.
Astute and Sarah and Mary have been shortlisted for a number of awards, including Sarah being awarded SME Small Business Director of the Year at the 2015 Institute of Directors East Midlands Business Awards. Sarah was also awarded the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award 2015, by the Derbyshire Times. 2016 followed this success with Astute being recognised at the ICAEW’s awards in March winning East Midlands Business of the Year and announced as finalists this year for the second year running for the national Women In Business Awards.
One of the hardest things to overcome for recruitment businesses is a lack of trust generally in the recruitment sector. Often Astute’s clients have never used a recruitment agency before or had a bad experience with an existing supplier that’s soured their view of what a recruiter can do.
To give those who have not worked with Astute before, they have created their “Triple Point Guarantee”. This gives new customers the confidence to try their services risk free, safe in the knowledge that in the unlikely event that the firm doesn’t manage to fill a position within an agreed timescale, Astute will pay £500!”

Derby named in top ten

Derby has once again been named top ten as an ideal location — this time by TotallyMoney.com — as a place to make a living for 2016.

Instead of basing points on scenery, culture or connections, the guide focuses on cost of living versus salaries paid and whether or not the job market is healthy.

Derby was the highest-ranking city in the East Midlands and ranks as one of the highest areas in general for take home pay. The guide also cites that unemployment rates are low at 5.4%, suggesting a healthy job market.

To view the guide — you can choose whether best to worst, or worst to best — click here.

Harpur's gets 2 Rosettes

Harpur's of Melbourne, owned by Bondholder Bespoke Inns, has received its second AA Rosette just months after the gastro pub was awarded its first Rosette by AA Inspectors.

To hit the exacting standards set by The AA everyone has had to work hard and to focus on getting our standards as we want them to be.
— Lee Emerson, Head Chef at Harpur's of Melbourne

Over recent years Harpur’s has been transformed into a first class gastro pub and to achieve 2 Rosettes epitomises the effort and dedication from all the team, but especially from Head Chef Lee Emerson and Manager Tom Williams.

Lee said: "To hit the exacting standards set by The AA everyone has had to work hard and to focus on getting our standards as we want them to be. When they came on their initial visit, in May we got awarded one Rosette but we were told that we were so close to a second Rosette, they would come back sooner than the usual year between visits to check us again. At that point they were very confident we would get two! True to their word The AA came back last week and loved what we did and do."

According to The AA, only ten percent of pubs and restaurants in the country can hit its standards, so Harpur's is certainly flying the flag for Derby and Derbyshire.

Knights announced as national finalist

CEO of Bondholder Knights Professional Services, David Beech

CEO of Bondholder Knights Professional Services, David Beech, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year title in a national awards ceremony hailed by David Cameron as "the Oscars of great British business".

David Beech was recognised for his 'visionary leadership' and for creating a 'culture of innovation' in the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. He is one of ten finalists for the award, but the only person to be from the professional services sector.

David commented: "I am thrilled to have been shortlisted at the National Business Awards, especially in an entrepreneurial category with other forward-thinking and dynamic business leaders."

He continued: "Moving away from the traditional partnership model and operating like a 'proper business' has enabled Knights to achieve our full potential by being truly entrepreneurial in everything we do. We pride ourselves on always thinking originally, creatively and commercially."

As described by former Prime Minister David Cameron as "the Oscars of great British business," the competition's finalists were chosen from hundreds of businesses across 18 award categories. David Beech will now present to an expert judging panel who will ultimately determine the overall winners. These results are due to be announced on Tuesday 15th November.

Knights was the first professional services business the UK's commercial legal sector to attract private equity investment and is now the UK's fastest-growing 'full service' law firm.

Gravity named national finalist

Debbie, Andy and Sharon from Gravity Digital — use the button below to wish them good luck via Twitter!

Bondholder Gravity Digital has been confirmed as one of only five finalists in the Best Creative or Media-based Business category in the UK's only business awards dedicated to the rural sector, The Rural Business Awards.

Run in partnership with the CLA and supported by MPs from across the UK, the Awards aim to recognise the achievements of businesses that operate in the countryside, work with the rural sector, or both.

We are really pleased that our hard work, honest approach and accountable attitude have been recognised by this prestigious awards scheme
— Sharon Stevens-Cash, Director of Gravity Digital

Gravity Digital, which has an office in rural Bakewell as well as urban Derby, has been selected based on its work with the rural sector, as well as its contribution to the local rural communities.

Rural Business Awards joint founder Jemma Clifford commented: "Gravity Digital caught our attention for several reasons. We felt that their down to earth approach and drive to be accountable was a significant factor in their clients’ satisfaction (they currently have a 100% client retention rate) and this ethos is one that fits well with the rural business community."

Sharon Stevens-Cash, Director of Gravity Digital, said: "We are really pleased that our hard work, honest approach and accountable attitude have been recognised by this prestigious awards scheme and we are looking forward to October’s ceremony to find out if we have made it to the top spot. Gravity Digital is a real team effort and so this accolade is a reward for everyone at the firm."

There are 13 Rural Business Award categories, all of which will result in one winner and one runner-up. One of the category winners will also be picked to be the Rural Business Awards Champion of Champions.

East Midlands Trains tops national survey

Bondholder East Midlands Trains has been named the UK's best train operator in the most recent UK Customer Satisfaction Index.

Published twice a year, the Index looks at customer satisfaction across a range of transport sectors including train operators, coach firms, airlines and ferry companies.

We have put a real focus on improving the experience our customers receive at our stations and on our trains.
— Andrew Conroy, Customer Experience Director at East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains scored 77.7% in customer satisfaction — 3.3% above the transport sector average.

The research recognised the customer experience improvements made by East Midlands Trains, listing the rail operator as the ninth most improved organisation in the UK.

Andrew Conroy, Customer Experience Director at East Midlands Trains, said: "It's great news that we have once again been named the best train operator in the UK by the Institute of Customer Service. We have put a real focus on improving the experience our customers receive at our stations and on our trains, and this is testament to these improvements and the hard work of our own employees in continuing to deliver the best service they can for our customers."

Other train operators included in the survey were Virgin Trains, Virgin Trains East Coast, London Midland, Northern Rail, Transpenine, Greater Western, Ariva Wales, Abellio Greater Anglia, Southern Rail, Abellio Scotrail and South Eastern.

Viceroy manager makes national shortlist

Manager of Bondholder restaurant The Viceroy, Sajid Hussian, has been nominated for the General Manager of the Year award in the English Curry Awards.

I just try to do my job the best I can and make sure our customers go home with smiles on their faces.
— Sajid Hussian, General Manager of The Viceroy

Sajid has been manager of The Viceroy in both Derby and Duffield for 15 years and was nominated by surprise. He exclaimed: "That's made my day." upon hearing the news.

Sajid said the key to being a good restaurant manager was top quality customer service. He added: "I just try to do my job the best I can and make sure our customers go home with smiles on their faces."

The Viceroy in Midland Road, Derby, has a 4.5/5 rating on TripAdvisor and is ranked the seventh best restaurant in the city but has only a two-star food hygiene rating dating back to February.

Webhelp shortlisted for national awards

Bondholder Webhelp UK has been named as a finalist in four categories at the 2016 UK Customer Experience Awards, potentially joining previous winners Waitrose, AXA PPP Healthcare and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, said: "This has been an incredible 12 months for Webhelp. We have secured a number of fantastic new contracts and the introduction of international investment group, KKR, as a major shareholder in February, heralded an exciting period of acquisitions for the group. Our turnover has grown by 250% in the last four years and we expect the 2016 figure to be in excess of US$1billion. Winning a UK Customer Experience Award would be a wonderful way of capping such a great period for Webhelp."

Bondholder Webhelp UK is a finalist in the following categories: Insurance; Travel, Transport, Hospitality and Retail; Business Change and Experience and Design/Innovation, and will join representatives of more than 150 leading companies in London on Friday 23rd September to hear the judges' final decision.

PKF apprentice awarded at House of Lords

An apprentice from the IT Solutions team at Bondholder PKF Cooper Parry made a trip to the House of Lords last week to receive a prestigious award.

Andrew joined the IT Solutions team in 2014 and has excelled in his role as an apprentice. He has completed a level three apprenticeship in IT, software, web and telecoms Professionals Apprenticeship, gaining an Edexcel BTEC level three extended diploma in ICT systems and principles (QCF) and a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in professional competence for IT and telecoms professionals.

As a result of his consistent hard work with the firm, what was supposed to be a one-year apprenticeship has turned into a second year with the firm and Andrew is now hoping to secure a permanent position on completion of his studies.

Andrew commented: “I’ve loved my time here and really feel part of the IT Solutions team. After my apprenticeship ends, my aim is to secure a full time job with the firm and receiving this award will take me another step closer to achieving my goal.”

Brett Critchley, partner and head of the IT Solutions team at PKF Cooper Parry, added: “We’re absolutely delighted with Andrew’s progress over the past 12 months. He has worked very hard to achieve his qualifications and is a valued member of our team – we wish him every success in his future studies.”

PKF Cooper Parry was recently named in the 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work for. It is one of the largest independent firms of business advisers in the Midlands and currently employs more than 350 team members across its East Midlands headquarters and Birmingham office.

DEGF creates over 800 Derby jobs

A new report by business consultants Carney Green has revealed various core achievements which have been made from Bondholder Derby City Council's Regional Growth Fund (RGF) in its mid-term evaluation.

One of the most prominent findings in the report was that over 800 new jobs have been created as a result of 135 businesses receiving grants and loans totalling over £23 million.

Additional achievements include:

  • access road and other key infrastructure completed for the 100-acre Infinity Park development;
  • construction of a 2.4km access road which ensures Infinity Park Derby is 'investment ready' and expected benefits include accommodating up to 8,000 jobs;
  • construction of the iHub - a flagship facility within Infinity Park;
  • £4.5 million improvements to the Railway Technical Centre (RTC) Business Park — ensuring the facility was retained within Derby;
  • 46 businesses provided with funding and business support through Bondholder Enscite, creating 35 jobs.

Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council, said: "I am delighted to see the report pulls out our key successes such as the creation of over 800 new jobs, more than 130 businesses supported, 5 new businesses attracted to Derby, £18.6m of private sector funding secured and £13.7m of profits generated as a result of investment from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF)."

He continued: "Our collaboration and engagement with existing businesses across Derby has led to investment focusing on local needs, leading to clear and unequivocal gains for Derby."

Our collaboration and engagement with existing businesses across Derby has led to investment focusing on local needs, leading to clear and unequivocal gains for Derby.
— Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council

Blue plaque commemorates Rolls-Royce legends

Photos taken by Bondholder Cactus Images

Representatives from Bondholders Derby Civic Society and Derby City Council have unveiled the latest blue plaque in Derby at fellow Bondholder Connect Derby's Marble Hall development.

The iconic building has recently undergone a £4million restoration project and received the plaque to commemorate Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls and their decision to manufacture Rolls-Royce engines in Derby.

Alan Grimadell, Chairman of Derby Civic Society, said: "Everyone connected with Derby Civic Society is delighted that a blue plaque has been launched at Marble Hall in memory of Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls. Sir Henry was a man whose decision to base his business in Derby had massive benefits for the wider economy in terms of jobs and played a pivotal role in our victory in the Second World War."

Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet Member of Derby City Council, commented: "I very much support this project which recognises and celebrates our rich heritage and the people behind making Derby what it is today."

The blue plaque scheme forms part of Derby City Council's and Derby Civic Society's partnership to celebrate eminent people with strong links to the city. Blue plaques are erected on a building or site to mark the connection between that location and the notable individual.

Everyone connected with Derby Civic Society is delighted that a blue plaque has been launched at Marble Hall in memory of Sir Henry Royce and Charles Rolls.
— Alan Grimadell, Chairman of Derby Civic Society

Short film-maker wins five international awards

Lead actor in  The Carer  Peter Eyre

Lead actor in The Carer Peter Eyre

University of Derby lecturer, Dr Christine Templeton-Parker, has won five Awards of Excellence for her short film The Carer in the Best Shorts Film Competition based in Los Angeles, USA.

Christine, both writer and director of The Carer, said she was thrilled by the nods and particularly pleased for 'Seen Ya Rights' - the real life Derby-based campaigners for dignity in elderly care who inspired her story. She commented: "The Carer is about what happens when an elderly gay man feels pressured to return to the closet in his dying days. It's a story for everyone, about finding a way to retain your identity and dignity at a time of crisis."

Lead actor Peter Eyre added: "I was very struck first of all by the originality of the theme. There are not many films made about elderly people, and certainly very few films, or none about elderly homosexual men. What I really loved about the script was the delicacy of the story telling, and a kind of poetic element which made it subtle and touching, not preachy or journalistic."

The Carer is a 'Shine A Light' project - an initiative by Bondholder Derby QUAD for those over 60 in Derby and Derbyshire to show that retirement and old age is a time to enjoy our passions, as well as learn new skills.

The Best Shorts Competition recognises film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change.

The Carer joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally-respected award including The Weinstein Company for Market Hours, Disney Interactive for Vinlymation: A Love Story and Oscar-winning production Mr. Hublot from Laurent Witz from Luxembourg.

Freeths celebrates most successful year

Mike Talpin, Managing Partner of Freeths' Derby office

Bondholder Freeths has announced a 14.37% increase in its annual fee income, coming in at £63.8million this year.

Freeths employs a staff of 36 in its Derby office and has a particular focus on growth in its real estate team, which continues to work on a variety of projects both locally and nationally, including the DRI site in Derby.

Mike Taplin, Managing Partner of Freeths' Derby office, said: "The news of our financial achievements, locally and nationally, is testament to the hard work of our staff. We recognised that these successful financial results were only achieved by all members of staff putting in a great deal of hard work and committment over the past 12 months. As a result, all staff were rewarded with a 6.65% bonus payment in May and an ex gratia payment in April. We work hard as a team to deliver the results our clients want and we are lucky to also be able to invest time and resource to the local community, in schemes such as Right to Read and various charity fundraising events, which we look forward to continuing throughout the year."

Alongside being ranked in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For and being accredited as a best company 2015, Freeths has been recognised for its diversity with two new awards. The UK Diversity Legal Awards gave the firm the Firm of the Year title, and Stonewall recognised the firm as a Diversity Champion.

Bondholders scoop Telegraph awards

Bondholder wet suit designer HUUB stole the show at last week's Derby Telegraph Business Awards when it won the coveted Company of the Year award.

The awards ceremony, held at Bondholder Derby Roundhouse, also saw fellow Bondholder Status Social take home the Creative Industries Business of the Year award. The Derby Small Business of the Year award went to owner of Bondholder The Dragon, Bespoke Inns, after facing fierce competition from fellow Bondholders Deaf Alerter and Mercia Image Print. Bespoke Inns also went home with the Derby Sales & Marketing award.


Idom Merebrook ranks in UK's Top 100

Bondholder Idom Merebrook has been included in the New Civil Engineer's (NCEs) Top 100 Engineering Firms.

The NCE 100 Awards recognise outstanding civil engineering companies, based on their achievements in five specific areas thought critical to making the engineering industry a great environment in which to work. The judging criteria included technical excellence, exploiting technology, worldview, driving equality and developing engineers of the future.

Idom Merebrook has an extensive portfolio of technical excellence, illustrated by numerous high profile projects including: the Guggenheim Bilbao, Heathrow Terminal 2A, Crossrail, the London Olympic Velodrome, Dublin Airport, ITER nuclear fusion facility in France and closer to home, Bondholder Derby Arena.

Nigel Huish, Managing Director, said: "The Top 100 is not about numbers or profits, but is based on an in-depth company survey on employee satisfaction. For us this is really useful as it benchmarks us against our peers and gives an indication of how and where to improve."

He continued: "I am delighted to say that our commitment to developing new technology, fostering new engineering talent and driving equality is now reaping rewards. In our environmental engineering team 50% of our senior engineers are female, and 2 out of the 8 people on our management team are women."

Idom Merebrook is also involved in the Derbyshire Enterprise for Education (E4E) scheme, a joint public-private sector partnership that aims to link employers with schools and students, in a bid to create a better understanding of career opportunities and improve employability skills.

For us this is really useful as it benchmarks us against our peers and gives an indication of how and where to improve
— Nigel Huish, Managing Director of Idom Merebrook