Business Matters

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

It has been a whirlwind first year for Clitheroe entrepreneur Sarwat Jaleel, founder of Kushboo Soaps. The 100 per cent natural, handmade, ethical, vegan soaps have very quickly created a substantial following up and down the country with those ethically minded customers who desire chemical free skincare and those who are working towards a plastic free lifestyle. The Clitheroe based brand has been recognised as the go-to company for advice on natural, ethical skincare and growing sales have resulted in Sarwat extending her ethos of donating soap to the vulnerable – to a women’s refuge in Manchester. Kushboo has been shortlisted as a finalist for the North West Area Awards at the Federation of Small Business Awards 2019.

Springhill Care Group has been certified as a Disability Confident Employer following a successful assessment. The Disability Confident Scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people or those with health conditions. The group has successfully built upon its relationships within the community and the company is now recognised as being at the forefront of care for its staff as well as its residents. Springhill Care Home regularly welcomes students from Broadfield School in Oswaldtwistle on work experience. The school specialises in those with generic learning difficulties. Virginia Perkins, Associate Director of People and Organisational Development said: “Not only are we a Disability Confident Employer, but we welcome those from the wider community for example young people on work experience who wouldn’t necessarily be able to cope in other demanding situations. Springhill is a great place to work and we are happy to attract people within our communities.”

Ribble Valley solicitor Sarah Bentley has re-united with Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Reed, some 30 years after they first worked together in family law. “It’s both a professional coup and a personal joy to welcome Libby aboard,” says Sarah, who lives in Whalley and established Sarah Bentley Solicitors just over a year ago. “We have been colleagues and friends for many years and her vast legal experience speaks for itself.” Libby has been tempted out of retirement by the challenge of the new part-time role, adds: “Family law was where I started and it has always remained a key element in my work.” The former Senior Crown Prosecutor, who lives in Burnley, has enjoyed a hugely successful career, rising to Head of Greater Manchester Crown Court Unit – the biggest outside London.

Nelson-based IT, communications and cloud provider Daisy Group has awarded fellow Lancashire business KeyFleet a three-year contract to support its fleet management operation. KeyFleet will provide fleet management support via its (SaaS) fleet management platform ‘Keys’. Colin Bell, Procurement Director for Daisy Group, said: “Once we had the team in from KeyFleet, it didn’t take long for us to feel comfortable moving forward with a commitment. It’s satisfying to support a local business that shares many of our values, and we’re confident the system will help us achieve our objectives.” Marc McLoughlin, MD of KeyFleet, added: “We are of course delighted to support such a large fleet, the largest fleet on Keys to date, for one of the fastest growing and most progressive businesses in Lancashire and we look forward to adding real value to their operation.”

Ribchester-based vehicle leasing and fleet management firm KeyFleet has joined its sixth BNI group, having supplied £1 million worth of vehicles since first joining the referral marketing organisation. Established over 30 years, BNI has around 240,000 members in over 70 countries worldwide. It works by organising weekly networking meetings for groups of businesses. Groups, known as chapters, use their combined network of contacts to find business opportunities and referrals for one another, to a specific brief that members outline at every meeting. With 11 chapters in Lancashire, East Lancashire was recently named the top BNI region out of 72 across the UK. KeyFleet now has seven members of staff with active roles in six BNI chapters in Blackburn, Lancaster, Burnley, Clitheroe, Accrington and Samlesbury, several of whom also perform cross chapter roles.

Pupils from St Mary’s RC Chipping Primary and Brabins Endowed School swapped their school books for bricks and mortar when they were invited to visit Chipping Homes’ new flagship development, Fellside. The 39 family homes are part of the £19M Kirk Mill redevelopment. Chipping Homes and principal contractor, Harry Fairclough Construction, welcomed children from all year groups to Fellside to experience a ‘live’ building site. During their visit the children and teachers viewed drone footage of the site to date, and also looked at the various drawings and plans. Kathy Whitaker, marketing manager for Chipping Homes, said: “It was wonderful to meet the children, they were inquisitive and showed lots of enthusiasm asking questions.”

The new £15M Shankly Hotel Preston which is due to open in June, has confirmed its first major sponsorship. The hotel is to sponsor the community football charity the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre. The deal was negotiated following discussions between Christopher ‘William Shankly’ Carline – the grandson of Bill Shankly OBE – and Peter Mason BEM Founder and Chairman of the Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre. The sponsorship, which will see the hotel assisting in the development of grass roots community football, is a key part of the hotel’s commitment to the local community.

Manchester Airport’s busiest ever festive period helped the Northern gateway to report a record year for passenger numbers in 2018. More than 28.2 million passengers have passed through the UK’s third largest airport in the last 12 months. It was a significant year for the airport as it celebrated its 80th birthday and progressed works on its £1bn transformation. The UK’s third largest airport also added further long-haul connectivity with new routes to Seattle with Thomas Cook Airlines, Mumbai with Jet Airways and Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines. In all these cases, Manchester is the only UK airport outside of London to offer such services.

Dawson’s department store which has stores in both Clitheroe and Skipton has been awarded ‘Best Independent Department Store’ at the Excellence in Housewares Awards, at their awards ceremony in London. “As a small family run store in rural Lancashire we were both thrilled and surprised to win the award. We always strive to bring our customers top quality brands at competitive prices so they don’t have to go to other bigger department stores or buy online,” explains Mandy Dawson. “We are very proud of our long standing success and put it down to great staff, loyal custom and keeping current with buying trends.”

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Tedd Walmsley

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