Business Matters

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the thriving Ribble Valley, where business always matters

Northcote has begun a new chapter in what has already been an amazing 36 years. The iconic five-star luxury hotel, The Stafford London, one of London’s finest historic properties has acquired Northcote. Craig Bancroft, Managing Director, said: “I am delighted to announce that The Stafford has acquired Northcote. This partnership will take Northcote to another new level, these are exciting times and we look forward to sharing our news with you in the coming months. In the meantime, Craig, Lisa and myself along with our dedicated team are here to welcome you to Northcote on your next visit.”

James Hall & Co, SPAR UK wholesaler for the North of England, is championing traditional trades by introducing a number of new apprenticeship schemes, aimed at introducing local people to careers that they may not have previously considered. The company now offers apprenticeships in craft butchery, craft bakery, supply chain operations, engineering and HGV driving. Founded in 1863, James Hall & Co serves over 640 SPAR stores across the North of England. Chris Chadford, Training and Development Manager at James Hall said: “We believe that people make the difference within our business and offer many different learning programmes to enable individuals to learn a trade, develop valuable employability skills and reach their full potential. We offer a number of apprenticeship schemes which have been very successful and have attracted exciting new talent into the business so we are thrilled to extend our offer to these five new trades.”
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Nominations are now open for the region’s longest-running awards celebrating women doing great work in all areas of society. The Inspiring Women Awards have been running for almost 30 years and recognise role models in business and the community in the North West and North Wales, who have excelled in their lives and who give others the chance to shine. Past winners include Olympian and businesswoman Diane Modhal and entrepreneur Carole Nash. The 2019 winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony at Manchester’s Lowry Hotel in May, which will be broadcast live by BBC Radio Manchester. People can nominate themselves or others in six award categories.
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Marketing Lancashire and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) recently met to reveal the findings of scoping work undertaken by cultural expert Andrew Dixon, to explore Lancashire’s potential and appetite to bid for UK City of Culture 2025. Opening the event at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Tony Attard OBE, High Sheriff and Chairman of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Culture is a super accelerator for urban regeneration and the benefits of bidding for City of Culture are many.” A successful bid by Lancashire could be a catalyst for a step change in the county’s cultural and economic development. Rachel McQueen, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire, added: “Andrew has made it clear to us that we have both the ambition and the capacity to put a compelling bid together, but that it will only be successful if it represents and is supported by the entire county.”

It’s a sign of things to come for a Ribble Valley businessman always on the move! Luke Robinson, who lives in Clitheroe, has invested in the future at his family-owned Bee Hive estate agency by organising a brand new look in anticipation of a busy spring. “We are conscious of the need to keep things fresh and this re-brand is a key part of our business plan,” said Luke, business development director at the award-winning firm based in Burnley. “We were recently recognised with a gold accreditation from the prestigious British Property Awards, but our focus now is what lies ahead and we want to further establish ourselves in the area.”

A new partnership has been launched in Ribble Valley to boost economic growth in the borough. The Ribble Valley Economic Partnership launched this month with an event that included interactive sessions to explore ideas and options for boosting the local economy and presentations from Stephen Young, executive director of Growth, Environment, Transport and Community Services at Lancashire County Council, and Miranda Barker, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Stuart Hirst, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s economic development committee, said: “We have an established record of working in partnership with various business and community groups to promote economic growth and wellbeing. The former Ribble Valley Strategic Partnership provided a forum in which many groups with an interest in the local economy could come together, but there has never been an umbrella organisation that can draw key economic sectors together, such as manufacturing, tourism or food.”

The search is on for the North West’s most talented business women! From excellence to dedication and innovation to inspiration, the Enterprise Vision Awards 2019 are open for entries. The awards recognise the successes and achievements of female entrepreneurs from across the region. Now in their ninth year, the EVAS are probably the largest business awards dedicated to women outside London. They provide an impartial and independent platform for every woman to shine the spotlight on themselves and their business. Founder of Pink Link and the EVAS Coral Horn said: “We’re excited to see who will become the trailblazers for female entrepreneurship in the #EVAS2019. We’ve been getting enquiries since the 2018 EVAS closed and 2019 looks set to be a record year for entries!”

Clitheroe Castle Museum has come out tops following a tough assessment by UK tourism supremos. National tourism agency Visit England gave the museum an 81 per cent rating following a rigorous once-over. The assessment praised the museum’s family-friendly offer, the maintenance of displays, general cleanliness and level of customer care. Simon Hore, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s community services committee, said: “The Clitheroe Castle Museum has gone from strength-to-strength since a major refurbishment 10 years ago and is now the borough’s number one attraction.” The Clitheroe Castle Museum Complex was opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in 2009 following a £3.2million refurbishment funded by Ribble Valley Borough Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and several public and private sector partners.

Father of two Richard Bergin is planning a fairytale trip to Disneyland Paris with his family after being awarded Sales Consultant of the Year for Redrow. The holiday is a celebration for the 28-year-old after he succeeded in achieving the title with Redrow Homes (Lancashire) after almost five years with the homebuilder. Richard, who was based at developments in Walkden and Lancaster, before arriving at Oak Leigh Gardens, in Barrow near Clitheroe, when it launched in June last year, says: “I have targets to meet and, at Oak Leigh Gardens, we were well above the half way mark after only six months. But for me it’s not just about meeting or exceeding targets and getting sales – I want to make sure I’m finding the right house for the right customer, one that suits their needs.”

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Tedd Walmsley

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