Volunteers on track for jobs at Severn Valley Railway

Ledbury Reporter: Volunteer fireman Ryan Green cleaning locomotive No. 4566

12:44pm Friday 18th April 2014

IT'S full steam ahead at Severn Valley Railway after more than 100 people registered their interest in volunteering at the heritage attraction during a job fair. The Railway hosted a volunteer job fair at Kidderminster Station to coincide with its members and shareholders weekend. Jobs on offer included train crew, booking offices, footplate/motive power department, SVR charitable trust, carriage and wagon and station staff.

Robin Walker backs campaign to mentor promising students

11:30am Friday 18th April 2014

ROBIN Walker has thrown his weight behind a Government initiative for business leaders to mentor promising students in their fledgling careers. The Worcester MP, who campaigns on education and skills as a former businessman, is backing the announcement by skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock, that under new guidance for schools, pupils will be inspired and mentored by employers and business leaders to pursue ambitious careers.

New corporate member for Wildlife Trust

Ledbury Reporter: Paul Husband (marketing and sales director, Controlaccount), Delia Shannon (business development officer, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) and Graham Ball (founder and chairman, Controlaccount).

10:13am Friday 18th April 2014

A CREDIT management and debt recovery company has become the latest corporate member of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. Controlaccount of Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove, has joined as a bronze member of the Trust’s corporate membership scheme.

Cleo's a star at Skipton

Ledbury Reporter: Top customer adviser Cleo Welsh

1:04pm Thursday 17th April 2014

BUILDING great relationships with her customers has led to Cleo Welsh being named customer adviser of the year at Skipton Building Society’s annual Star Awards. Miss Walsh, who works in the Worcester branch on The Cross, lives in Pershore and has worked for the society for almost four years.

Business leaders welcome inflation drop

12:49pm Thursday 17th April 2014

BUSINESS leaders have welcomed the announcement by the Office for National Statistics that inflation continues its downward trend and has fallen to 1.6 per cent from 1.7 per cent in February.

Bill Wiggin's bid to cut agricultural accidents

11:02am Thursday 17th April 2014

BILL Wiggin has launched a campaign to prevent needless deaths in the countryside. The MP for North Herefordshire presented a 10 Minute Rule Bill in Parliament calling for better recording of agricultural accidents. Since he became an MP in 2001, two of Mr Wiggin’s constituents have been killed in accidents with cattle.

Passenger numbers at Birmingham Airport take off.

9:44am Thursday 17th April 2014

BIRMINGHAM Airport handled more than 600,000 passengers during March, a 4.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year and a positive end to the winter flying season. Latest figures show 654,683 travellers passed through the airport in March, a month which also saw a 13 per cent increase in passengers flying on long-haul services from Birmingham. Scheduled routes that showed the biggest increase last month include Gibraltar (+182.1 per cent), Fuerteventura (+95 per cent), Stuttgart (+78.6 per cent) and Arrecife (+75.3 per cent). Charter services to Turkey (+273.6 per cent) and Barbados (+83 per cent) also experienced significant growth.

Motor sport parts company accelerates fast in export sales

Ledbury Reporter: Louise Harker, managing director of Pro-Bolt

2:15pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

AS the 2014 Superbike and Moto GP season gets under way, businesswoman Louisa Harker is celebrating getting into the fast lane with her export sales and now needs more staff. Mrs Harker, who lives at Naunton Beauchamp, near Pershore, is managing director of specialist motorbike industry supplier Pro-Bolt, which provides high quality titanium, aluminium and stainless steel bolts and fasteners to the majority of the British, World Superbike and Moto GP teams.

Rooftop residents get help to find jobs

12:28pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

TO help its residents find employment, Evesham-based Rooftop Housing Group has partnered with the UK’s most powerful online jobseeker’s toolkit, MyWorkSearch. The deal means Rooftop residents can now gain free access to the MyWorkSearch web portal, which offers online training, advice and support designed for those looking for a job. It provides everything needed to help people find employment opportunities faster and improve their job hunting skills.

Droitwich care home among the best in the West Midlands

Ledbury Reporter: Staff and residents at Newland Hurst celebrate the care home's award

12:07pm Wednesday 16th April 2014

A CARE home near Droitwich has been rated among the top recommended care homes in the West Midlands. Newland Hurst in Newland Lane came second out of 1,830 homes in the area and has received an award from online directory and industry website carehome.co.uk .The award was based on the home’s online recommendations from its residents plus friends and relatives of residents.

Keeping the lid on politicians' hot air. Worcester company monitors safety of Parliament's roof

Ledbury Reporter: Robin Walker with Paul  Sanders of Caption Data

10:31am Wednesday 16th April 2014

A WORCESTER company is playing a vital role in making sure the nation's politicians stay safe and dry. Caption Data Limited of Gresley Road has won a contract from the House of Commons to fit its sensor monitoring equipment in the roof of Parliament’s historic Westminster Hall. The building, which is the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster, dates back to the time of William II, son of William the Conqueror, and contains roof beams from the time of Richard II. The firm's monitoring systems allow it to measure moisture in timbers without damaging them and are being used as part of the conservation process in the century’s old building.

New charity furniture shop opens

4:08pm Tuesday 15th April 2014

CARE centre Primrose Hospice is seeing business bloom after opening a new fund-raising facility. The Bromsgrove-based charity recently launched a furniture shop and donation centre to help with its cash flow.

Christine on the road to becoming top female freight driver

Ledbury Reporter: Top driver Christine Saunders

1:14pm Tuesday 15th April 2014

A WORCESTERSHIRE woman is in line to become the top female transport driver in the UK. Christine Saunders from Kidderminster has reached the final three in the driver of the year category in the Freight Transport Association's everywoman in transport and logistics awards. The winner is due to be announced at The Savoy in London on May 13.

Preparations begin for major Malvern gardening event

Ledbury Reporter: Work starts on the  Villaggio Verde show garden for RHS Malvern Spring Festival

10:36am Tuesday 15th April 2014

THE flatbed trucks and landscape gardeners' lorries have rolled on to the Three Counties Showground at Malvern as preparations begin for the first major outdoor horticultural event of 2014. Building of the record number of show gardens has begun ready for the re-named RHS Malvern Spring Festival, formerly Malvern Spring Gardening Show, which runs from May 9-12. With more show gardens than ever before, visitors will be treated to an abundance of beautifully designed spaces and perfect planting schemes.

LEPs unite for transport vision across the West Midlands

3:10pm Monday 14th April 2014

WORCESTERSHIRE Local Enterprise Partnership has joined five other LEPs in the West Midlands to present a unified vision for transport investment across the region. A joint statement identifies steps such as investment in the road and rail network, improving links to HS2 and developing freight activity at Birmingham Airport. It has been prepared alongside the strategic economic plans submitted to the government last week by each of the LEPs.

New owners of watersports centre aiming to create a splash

Ledbury Reporter: Don't step back: Michael Howard, procurement manager, Worcestershire County Council, Mark Spence and Craig Spence, Aztec Watersports and Councillor Liz Eyre, cabinet member for Worcestershire County Council.

2:42pm Monday 14th April 2014

A PRIVATE company run by two brothers from Pershore has taken over the outdoor education centre at Upton Warren, near Droitwich from Worcestershire County Council. A 20 acre lake alongside the A38 road offers a range of high quality water sports instruction in canoeing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and improvised rafting, while the remainder of the 40 acre site provides a number of land based activities such as climbing, ropes course, high poles course, a tunnel complex, team building challenges, camping, archery and a nature reserve. The centre has been officially handed over to Aztec Watersports, which is based in the village of Lower Moor and run by Craig and Mark Spence.

Legal aid changes a concern in children cases

Ledbury Reporter: Family law specialist Hollie Styles

1:52pm Monday 14th April 2014

RECENT changes to the Legal Aid system are causing concern in cases involving children. In the last ten months only eight cases for funding were granted from 617 applications in exceptional need cases.

Students get shock (a nice one) from Electric Club.

Ledbury Reporter: Matt Harwood of Worcester College of Technology (left) shaking hands with Electric Club chairman Keith Goddard.  On the right is Ben Lloyd from Routeco.

1:46pm Monday 14th April 2014

ENGINEERING students at Worcester College of Technology have been given a boost by a donation from Worcester Electric Club, which is switching off after 66 years. Formed in 1947, the club has now decided to close down and give its remaining funds to the next generation of engineers. The College, with the support of supplier Routeco, was able to buy programmable logic controller equipment, which will mean students are able to practice their trade with equipment found in the industry.

Employees beware of new ACAS scheme, employment expert warns.

Ledbury Reporter: Helen Moore of Quality  Solicitors Gordon Lutton

1:11pm Monday 14th April 2014

EMPLOYEES looking to use the new ACAS pre-claim conciliation service need to be careful, a Worcester employment expert has warned. Helen Moore of Quality Solicitors Gordon Lutton said that although the scheme appears sensible there could be problems.

It'll be a good year to grow businesses. Economic recovery provides the right conditions according the bank report.

11:35am Monday 14th April 2014

THIS year should mark a turning point for ambitious Worcestershire businesses, as they look to capitalise on the UK economic recovery to invest in growth, according to HSBC’s new Business of Growth report, which highlights the constant upwards revision of GDP growth over the last 12 months, the UK economy’s outperformance of the Eurozone and a rise of business confidence as providing the perfect conditions for growth. It has identified Britain’s business growth potential for 2014 by incorporating analysis of 39 separate forecasts of GDP and investment, as well as the findings of four leading business barometers.

Ladies on top in first Worcestershire Law Society awards.

Ledbury Reporter: Winners at the first Worcestershire Law Society president's awards: (front ) Kirsty Gilmour,  Bill Stallard and Alexandra Phillips; (middle) Lesley Bartlett,  Anna Roby-Welford, Priya Tromans and Penny Raby; (rear) Iain Morrison.

11:13am Monday 14th April 2014

THE accolade of Worcestershire's first ever "solicitor of the year" has gone to Lesley Bartlett, head of the family law team at HallmarkHulme, Worcester's oldest law firm, where she is also a partner. Her success was announced at Worcestershire Law Society’s inaugural president’s awards, held at the Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich and attended by the cream of the county’s legal industry.

New Government heating aid scheme won't work in Worcestershire say experts.

1:45pm Friday 11th April 2014

A NEW scheme announced by the Government to encourage rural home owners to switch to renewable heating systems is unlikely to benefit the 31,000 households across Herefordshire and Worcestershire who cannot use mains gas, because as renewables are still too costly and impractical to install, even under the new scheme, an industry body has claimed.

New digital partner for County Cricket Club

11:28am Friday 11th April 2014

WORCESTERSHIRE County Cricket Club has launched its new-look website http://www.WCCC.co.uk along with announcing a new official digital partner, Ventutec Ltd. The company of Queen Street, Worcester will now develop the website and is working on a number of other digital projects with the club.

Riding along on a push bike, honey - to raise money for the Air Ambulance

Ledbury Reporter: Getting ready to ride: Postcode Anywhere members Steve Roberts, Gemma Britton, Natalie Green, Ralph Ashby and Alex Schofield.

9:35am Friday 11th April 2014

IF you haven't cycled for some time, don't worry, the technique's still the same, one leg either side and press down on the pedals. But even if you're Bradley Wiggins incarnate, you should find something to suit at the fun/serious bike ride organised by Worcester technology company Postcode Anywhere on Saturday, May 31. Because the event to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance covers rides of four, 15 or 50 miles depending on individual cycling ability.

South Worcestershire College students on track to win national competition

3:26pm Thursday 10th April 2014

A TEAM from South Worcestershire College, which has campuses in Malvern and Evesham has reached the finals of a national apprentices competition. The college been named as one of eight on the shortlist of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014, having beaten all other entries from Central England during the regional heats. The Challenge attracted more than 100 teams from the country’s top apprenticeship employers, training providers and colleges and the final eight were announced at a House of Commons reception by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Law firm aids children's hospital wards

Ledbury Reporter: Caroline Irvine, head of Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ residential property team, and Angela Manganiello, area retail manager of Daisychain Benevolent Fund

1:51pm Thursday 10th April 2014

STAFF at law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys, which has its headquarters in Deansway, Worcester, have been donating items of clothing in support of the Daisychain Benevolent Fund Trust. The not-for-profit organisation, which has recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, funds projects in children’s hospital wards near its thirteen shops, including the Riverbank children's ward at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, as well as national charity The Teenage Cancer Trust, which helps support young adults living with cancer across the UK.

No white tie and tails, but a lot of fancy footwork for the Tuxedo Challenge Team

Ledbury Reporter: Ready for the challenge, from left to right,  Mark Ellis, Robin Mayo, Duncan Sutcliffe, Stacey Redman, Lisa Kemp, Michelle Chamberlain and Laura Gurney . Back row, Lauren Tunnicliffe, Lance Turner and Greg Turner

11:32am Thursday 10th April 2014

THEY might have to sweat a bit, but at least they'll look smart, because the group of Worcester business people who are taking on a series of tough challenges for charity have decided to call themselves the Tuxedo Challenge Team. The title is aimed to reflect the clothing worn during or after each challenge, with a total target of £15,000 to be split between St Richard’s Hospice and Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Wychavon brings a taste of Worcestershire to Westminster

Ledbury Reporter: A  chap dressed as an asparagus (Gus, the Asparagus man), West Worcestershire MP Harriet Baldwin and Fiona Roberts from Churchfields Ice Cream at the London launch of Grown in Wychavon

11:08am Thursday 10th April 2014

IT might have been a gloomy day for Maria Miller, who chose it to resign as culture secretary, but it was a sunny day in Westminster for businesses from South Worcestershire which gathered at the Houses of Parliament for the launch of the book Grow In Wychavon. West Worcestershire member Harriett Baldwin was just one of several MPs who mingled with some of the 52 businesses featured in the book and had travelled down for the launch. Its aim is to inspire young people and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to consider Wychavon as the perfect place to set up a business.

Financial guru Dean one of the best on the net

Ledbury Reporter: Top IFA  Dean Clifford

10:18am Thursday 10th April 2014

DEAN Clifford, a Worcester- based independent financial adviser from Go IFA Ltd, has been voted one of the top rated independent financial advisers in the UK on the consumer ratings website VouchedFor. As a result of this success, Mr Clifford, who lives in Warndon Villages, has enjoyed a certain amount of collateral fame, having been featured in a string of national publications including The Times, The Independent and the Mail on Sunday, as well as Worcester News.

Ten years with electronics company and he only started to help out.

Ledbury Reporter: Andrew Perkins (Xitek sales director), Darren Williams and Martin Richards (Xitek managing director).]

2:57pm Wednesday 9th April 2014

DARREN Williams has become a very bright spark with Malvern electronics company Xitek. Now production manager, he joined the company in Haysfield Business Centre, Spring Lane North in its early years and has just received a long service award.

Try something new today - Magic Whiteboard at Sainsburys

Ledbury Reporter: Theo Paphitis with Laura and Neil Westwood

10:36am Wednesday 9th April 2014

MAGIC Whiteboard, the brainchild of Worcester entrepreneurs Neil and Laura Westwood, has gone on sale in 75 Sainsbury's stores across the UK. The deal has been secured through Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis, who backed the couple's business idea after they appeared on the TV programme in 2008.

Fixed fee estate agency hits funding target in a fortnight

9:38am Wednesday 9th April 2014

THE innovative Worcestershire-based fixed-fee estate agency headed up by Poundland founder Steve Smith has completed its fundraising, securing almost double its £250,000 target. EstatesDirect.com of Kidderminster offered a five per cent equity stake in the business and raised the money through crowdfunding portal Crowdcube. The company has smashed its target, attracting £494,000 for a 9.88 per cent of equity from 190 investors. The largest single investment was for just more than £200,000.

Second phase of Stanbrook Abbey conversion starts

Ledbury Reporter: How the second phase of the Stanbrook Abbey conversion will look when completed

9:15am Wednesday 9th April 2014

THE second phase of the conversion of the former Benedictine monastery Stanbrook Abbey at Callow End, near Malvern, into a wedding and events venue is underway and set to be completed by November. Stepnell’s, the Kidderminster-based construction company, is carrying out a multi-million pound programme of work including the conversion of 90 former nuns’ cells at the 19th century Grade II listed Abbey on the edge of the Old Hills into 52 luxury en-suite bedrooms and suites.

Rock fan Jonathan keeps on running for marathon success

3:08pm Tuesday 8th April 2014

IT was a case of a little bit of AC/DC does you good when internal audit manager Jonathan Darling entered the Greater Manchester Marathon, because he used the heavy rock band's music through his earphones to help him complete the 26.2 mile course and make sure it wasn't a Highway to Hell.

Pension changes likely to hot up housing market

Ledbury Reporter: Dani James, chief executive of Premier Places

11:20am Tuesday 8th April 2014

SWEEPING changes to pension tax will help to fuel growth in the housing market, a Worcester letting agent has claimed. Dani James, chief executive of property management specialists Premier Places, has spoken out following George Osborne’s recent Budget when he revealed detailed reforms to tempt people to invest their nest eggs in property, meaning more homes available for people to rent. From next April, the Chancellor’s changes will see everyone in a defined contribution pension scheme with the ability to access their entire pension pot at the age of just 55.

Flood grant deadline extended

3:10pm Monday 7th April 2014

THE deadline for businesses to apply to Worcestershire.Business.Central for up to £4,500 in grant funding to counter the effects of the recent flooding, has been pushed back to Wednesday, April 30. The decision has been made by the multi-agency Flood Recovery Group that has worked together to co-ordinate and support the clean-up and recovery operations for affected businesses as well as residents.

Small hotel in line for big award. Brockencote House shortlisted again in national competition.

11:04am Monday 7th April 2014

BROCKENCOTE Hall, the country house hotel at Chaddesley Corbett, near Bromsgrove, is in line for another top industry award. It has been shortlisted among the finalists in the small hotel of the year category of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014. The hotel reached the final stages of the competition last year when it was highly commended.

Suits sleep out to help tackle youth homelessness

Ledbury Reporter: Having fun at last year’s Byte Night

10:35am Monday 7th April 2014

TECHNOLOGY and business professionals are being asked to ditch their suits and spend a night exposed to the elements to raise raise vital funds to tackle youth homelessness in Worcestershire. Government figures show that in the last six months of 2013, more than 1,720 young people in the Midlands were registered homeless, although this is only a fraction of the true number as many are not officially recognised by local authorities. It is estimated that 80,000 young people a year experience homelessness in the UK, leaving them vulnerable to violence, mental health problems and addiction.

New service launched to handle employment disputes

8:46am Monday 7th April 2014

WORKPLACE expert Acas has launched a new free service that can handle disputes before they go to an employment tribunal. Anyone in Worcestershire thinking of making an employment tribunal claim will now need to first notify Acas, which will offer the "early conciliation" procedure to try to resolve the dispute quickly without the need for legal action.

Co-op enters mobile phone market

12:00pm Saturday 5th April 2014

THE Co-operative Group is entering the mobile phone market by launching its first own-brand pay as you go SIM card in its Worcester stores. The Co-operative Mobile pay as you go will be available in more than 3,800 Co-operative Food stores across the country and is being launched in partnership with The Phone Co-op, which provides the service. It will offer low-cost national and international rates, transparent pricing and extensive UK coverage in a single SIM card.

Adopting a new look at adoption

Ledbury Reporter: Lorraine White, head of service for Adopters for Adoption and Peter Harrell, quality assurance and performance manager for Adopters for Adoption, hold the agency’s Ofsted registration certificate.

3:14pm Friday 4th April 2014

A NEW voluntary adoption agency which plans to lead the way in changing the face of adoption in the UK has been launched in Worcestershire. Adopters for Adoption aims to provide a transformational service, delivering a positive and rewarding experience for the prospective adopter and children, in which people are more important than the process.

Rising tide of rogue flood protection companies

Ledbury Reporter: Frank Kelly warns  beware of bogus flood firms

2:17pm Friday 4th April 2014

ROGUE companies could be ready to flood the flood protection market, an industry expert has warned. As the Government announces details of its repair and renew grant scheme for properties hit by the recent high waters, the chief executive UK Flood Barriers, the Droitwich-based flood defence company, is urging caution.

Farmers urged not to let government flood money float out of reach

Ledbury Reporter: Rural surveyor Ben Compton gives flood grant advice

11:08am Friday 4th April 2014

FARMERS affected by the severe flooding in early 2014 have been warned they only have until May 9 to apply for a grant under the Farming Recovery Fund. Those looking for help to restore their land back to agricultural production are being advised to act now or risk losing out on cash made available by the Government following the severe weather experienced in the New Year.

Birmingham airport expansion helps Midland job market take off

9:15am Friday 4th April 2014

A FURTHER 8,000 jobs are to be created in the Midlands as Birmingham Airport expands to cope with increased demand from around the globe. On a visit to the complex, which is shortly to have its runway extended, Prime Minister David Cameron was told 4,000 jobs will created at the airport and a further 4,000 across the supply chain by 2020.

Roz's transport career in top gear

2:14pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

ROZ Golds is obviously going far in the transport business. The 30-years-old from St John's Worcester was recognised by international transport organisation National Express Group when she was selected out of 42,000 employees worldwide to win one of its Values Awards for a project that has supported the armed forces all over the country and attracted praise from Prime Minister David Cameron.

WALKIES - for charity

1:46pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

DROITWICH-based premium pet brand Fish4Dogs is one of the sponsors supporting this year’s popular charity dog walks held in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice. This year’s superhero themed walks will take place on Sundays April 27 in Sutton Coldfield Park and June 15 at Walsall Arboretum. Taking in the beautiful surroundings of each location, the walk will be suitable for dogs and their owners of all ages and fitness levels with both 3km and 6km route options available. For more information visit http://www.acorns.org.uk/dogwalk

Eureka moment for small businesses that want to grow bigger

1:26pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

SMALL businesses in Worcestershire are being invited to follow have their Eureka moment and discover how they can think outside the box. The University of Worcester, in partnership with Shropshire Council, is organising a series of half-day events designed to help bosses think differently about their business, be more competitive in the market and win and keep new customers.

Lunch with Theo and meeting the DG, not a bad day in London for two Worcester students

Ledbury Reporter: RGS Worcester students Matt  Emeny and Georgie Sanders with Theo Paphitis

12:42pm Thursday 3rd April 2014

IT was a big day out in London for two 17-years-old students at RGS Worcester when they attended the annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce and met Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis. The conference theme centred on young people and sixth formers Matt Emeny from Hartlebury and Georgie Sanders from Upton Snodsbury were invited to lunch with Mr Paphitis as part of the Business is Good for Young People campaign.

New top man at Thomas Vale

Ledbury Reporter: Madani Sow, chairman, Bouygues UK (left),  Craig Tatton, new managing director, Thomas Vale and Tony Hyde, chairman, Thomas Vale.

11:39am Thursday 3rd April 2014

THERE'S a new name along the top corridor at Worcestershire construction giant Thomas Vale, where Craig Tatton has been appointed managing director. He succeeds Gary Mail, who, according to a statement from the Stourport on Seven headquartered company, has told the management team he will be leaving Thomas Vale "to pursue some new

Brintons Carpets lays down a brighter future

10:55am Thursday 3rd April 2014

IT'S high profile administration in 2011 seems to have worked for Brintons Carpets, as the Kidderminster-headquartered company has announced profitability in its second full financial year since the move. The rise in earnings of more than £5m at the luxury brand came despite broadly flat sales.

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