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Business

Garage aims to create the right environment at school

Jon Horsley presents a cheque to Nicky EdmondsonJon Horsley presents a cheque to Nicky EdmondsonA garage based in the heart of the Savernake Forest has donated £1,000 to St John’s Academy - so that trees can be planted around the new sixth form study centre.

Jon Horsley, owner of Cadley Garage, has pledged to plant one tree for every vehicle serviced by his company, in a bid to reduce the impact of cars on the environment.

Along with donations from other benefactors, the grant will be used to carry out planting and landscaping around the new school building.

Mr Horsley said: “St John’s is an important part of our local community and I am very pleased to be able to support the school and its students.

“I also wanted our business to be able to help offset the impact our customers vehicles have on the environment, so we plant a tree - usually at St John’s- for every vehicle service we carry out.”

St John’s principal Nicky Edmondson said: “We are very grateful for the support of Cadley Garage.

“Building relationships with local businesses is very important to us, as they can offer a range of opportunities to our students. To also receive financial support is wonderful.”

Cadley Garage is looking to further enrich the lives of young people in Marlborough by offering apprenticeship schemes. Any school leaver interested in training to be a mechanic should contact the business.

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Sarah moves to Withy King's property team

Sarah Thomson of Withy KingSarah Thomson of Withy KingSarah Thomson is the latest solicitor to join Withy King’s expanding residential property team in Wiltshire.

Sarah, who has 16 years’ experience working as a residential property solicitor, has joined Withy King’s Marlborough office as an associate from Awdry Bailey & Douglas, based in Chippenham.

Sarah’s appointment marks a period of continuing growth for Withy King’s residential property team which now employs a team of 15 in Swindon and Marlborough, dealing with the conveyancing requirements of those buying and selling new build houses, flats and period properties as well as the more complex issues often associated with larger properties and agricultural estates.

Partner Robert Collins, who heads Withy King’s residential property team in Marlborough, said: “We are delighted to have Sarah on board. She has extensive experience of property law as well as an excellent knowledge of the local market. She is friendly and approachable too so it’s little wonder she’s already making her mark.”

He continued: “This is an exciting time for Withy King’s property team which has doubled in size in recent years, partly due to improving economic conditions and renewed market confidence – and partly due to the new relationships we have forged with estate agents and their clients as well as investors, developers and house builders.

“The appetite for homes in Wiltshire’s market towns as well as larger properties in its more rural corners continues to grow, and our expansion reflects this.”

Commenting on her appointment, Sarah said: “Residential property work has many dimensions which makes it interesting, but what really motivates me is the human element which stems from the strong and ongoing relationships I develop with my clients.

“Withy King has an excellent reputation for its property expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Wiltshire market and I look forward to playing a role in its continuing success.”

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Marlborough News journalist to give PR tips to business leaders

Peter DavisonPeter DavisonOne of the founders of Marlborough News Online will be showing business leaders how to win media exposure for their companies next week.

Peter Davison will be addressing the monthly networking breakfast meeting of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

During a short presentation, he’ll offer business owners and managers Five Ways to Turn Your Business Into News.

Peter has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a public relations consultant for 10, winning local, national, and international media exposure for a range of local clients under the name Secret Agent Marketing.

He started his career at the Marlborough Times, and five years ago was one of four media professionals who launched Marlborough News Online. He also owns and edits Wiltshire business news publication Business Biscuit.

The networking event will be held at Marlborough Golf Club from 7.30am until 9am on Wednesday, May 18, and is open to non-members.

Attendance costs £9 and places should be booked through Elaine Glass at Withy King via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Andrew brings 10 years’ experience to commercial property market

Andrew StibbardAndrew StibbardFrom managing office blocks in the City of London to selling corner shops in the Cotswolds, there’s not much Andrew Stibbard hasn’t done during a decade in commercial property.

Now Andrew has set up his own consultancy, filling a gap in the market for commercial property expertise in Marlborough and Hungerford.

But he’s casting his net much wider, regarding the ‘Cirencester-Trowbridge-Newbury triangle’ his patch.

“I’ve always wanted to run my own business,” said Andrew, who graduated in Property Agency and Marketing from the prestigious Cirencester Agricultural College in 2006.

Ramsbury born and bred, he cut his teeth at the Marlborough branch of residential estate agency Henry George, before moving to London for five years, with commercial property agent Jones Lang LaSalle.

Three years ago, he joined Cirencester-based estate agent Moore Allen & Innocent as the head of the commercial department, taking responsibility for the letting and management of premises as varied as shops in the chocolate box streets of the Cotswolds and industrial units in converted farm buildings.

As Stibbard Property, Andrew offers a range of services to both premises owners and landlords, and buyers and tenants.

He is building an extensive database of commercial buildings for sale and let, and can help owners to market their buildings, or business owners find their ideal property, whether that’s retail premises, offices, or industrial units.

Andrew also offers property management services to landlords, and clients make make use of the breadth of knowledge he has obtained over 10 years in the industry: from lease renewals and rent reviews to mitigating business rates.

For more information, log on to www.stibbardproperty.co.uk

 

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Marlborough’s new status as a Fairtrade Town discussed at Chamber breakfast

Allison Burden with Nick Helps from Tesco and Stephen Fenna from WaitroseAllison Burden with Nick Helps from Tesco and Stephen Fenna from WaitroseRecognition of Marlborough as one of 600 Fairtrade towns in the UK was celebrated at the monthly Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast on Wednesday.

The meeting heard from Allison Burden, leader of the Fairtrade Marlborough Steering Group, who was joined by Tesco manager Nick Helps and Waitrose department manager Stephen Fenna.

To become a Fairtrade town, businesses leaders were told, its citizens, council and companies had to show a commitment to Fairtrade produce – where farmers are paid a fair wage for the crops they produce.

Over the past 20 years, Marlborough has embraced Fairtrade produce. Retail anchor Waitrose, the meeting heard, must stock a minimum of four Fairtrade products to qualify for Fairtrade status. At last count, its Fairtrade range extended to 183 products.

Allison, who lives in Marlborough but spent 20 years in Africa and Asia, said she had seen firsthand how minimum prices had made “a huge difference” to growers.

“There is a direct link between coffee prices and malnutrition,” she said. “This is a matter of life and death for producers.”

Stephen said Waitrose was committed to the idea of Fairtrade, and that sales of Fairtrade produce – including coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, and even wine – were up 75 percent year on year.

This was due in part, he said, to a closing gap between the price of Fairtrade produce and products not carrying the mark.

“Our customers want to make the change because there’s very little price difference,” he asserted.

During last months Fairtrade Fortnight, said Nick, shoppers at Tesco were greeted with a 1930s farm cart loaded with Fairtrade produce. On top of the pile was TV playing a video about Fairtrade.

During the two-week campaign, sales of Fairtrade hot chocolate accounted for 57 percent of product line sales – up from 25 percent. Ground coffee went from five percent Fairtrade to 15 percent while tea – typically the hardest to change, as customers remain brand loyal – went from two percent to seven percent.

Unlike Waitrose, not all of Tesco’s bananas are Fairtrade. The chain, said Nick, offered customers the choice. But, he admitted, non-Fairtrade bananas are sold as a loss leader – the product is one which consumers use to compare prices between supermarkets.

And talking of a race to the bottom, the meeting discussed the plight of UK dairy farmers. Last year, farmers protested after the ‘farm gate price’ they receive for their milk fell to 23p a litre – less than the estimated 30p a litre it cost to produce.

The blame was placed firmly at the door of the supermarkets, some of whom were engaged in a price war with each other – and were driving farm gate prices down.

Allison said the Fairtrade Foundation had said it would not be campaigning on behalf of UK farmers; preferring to concentrate on the world’s poorest producers, living on less than two dollars a day.

Both Stephen and Nick said their respective employers were working hard with the dairy industry to ensure that farmers received a fair price for their produce.

Marlborough businesses who want to find out more about the town’s Fairtrade status, and how to get involved, can find the steering group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marlboroughfairtradesteeringroup

 

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Businesses to discover what Fairtrade Town status means for Marlborough

Allison BurdenAllison BurdenMarlborough’s recent appointment as a Fairtrade Town will be explored and celebrated at the next meeting of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

Allison Burden, director of programs at Equality Now, and Poppy Vanner from Waitrose will be exploring the concept behind Fairtrade, explaining how and why Marlborough was awarded Fairtrade Town status, and encouraging local businesses to promote the Fairtrade ethos in their own places of work.

The networking event will be held at Marlborough Golf Club from 7.30am until 9am on Wednesday, April 20. Attendance costs £9 and should be booked through Elaine Glass at Withy King via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Fast-growing IT firm takes on four new team members

Daniel Matthews Jack Peploe and Alistair Reynolds of ThirdlineDaniel Matthews Jack Peploe and Alistair Reynolds of ThirdlineFast-growing IT and communications firm Thirdline has taken on four new members of staff, bringing its workforce to 20.

Daniel Matthews has joined Liddington-based Thirdline as a service desk technician, supporting clients with IT issues and helping them find solutions to meet their business needs.

And there have been two appointments to the company’s new creative division, Phoenix Factory.

Alistair Reynolds has joined the company in a development role, writing applications to make the company’s systems work more smoothly, and creating pieces of software to meet the individual needs of clients.

Meanwhile, wordsmith Dave McGuffog will be writing sparkling copy for Thirdline’s promotional print and website, and raising the company’s online profile through search engine optimisation. His talents will also be available to Phoenix Factory customers.

Finally, Ismaeel Mohammed has joined Thirdline’s Cirencester-based satellite office, heading up the device repair team, which fixes broken smartphones and tablets for business and non-business customers.

The company is also looking for an apprentice to join the IT repairs team in the Cirencester office.

The four new team members join Thirdline at an exciting time: the company has been shortlisted in four categories at the Wiltshire Business of the Year awards.

Thirdline is up for the Small Business of the Year, Customer and Staff Care, and Outstanding Excellence awards, while founder Jack Peploe is a finalist in the Business Person of the Year category.

The winners will be revealed at a glittering ceremony at Centre Parcs Longleat on Friday, April 15.

For more information about Thirdline services, log on to www.thirdline.eu

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What makes successful people succeed? ponders Olympian

David HemeryDavid HemeryWhat is it that makes successful people successful? That was the question posed by Olympic athlete David Hemery CBE at the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce business breakfast last week.

Mr Hemery recalled his gold medal win in the 400m hurdles at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, setting a new world record in the process.

“On paper we (Hemery's British teammate John Sherwood won bronze) were the slowest, and the Americans should have won.

“On the podium, three things were going through my mind: relief that I hadn’t blown it; euphoria; and the question ‘why me?’

“It made me wonder, why do some people do well under pressure and others blow it?”

When his running career ended, Hemery worked as a coach in American, and it was while coaching at Boston University that he was given the chance to take a degree. For his dissertation, he interviewed people who had performed well under pressure.

“I found there are two attributes shared by high achievers,” he revealed. “They are self aware and self responsible. Someone who is aware of what to do and who takes responsibility will perform effectively.”

Today, David runs 21st Century Legacy to help to bring coaching and self-managed leadership to young people.

The intent is to inspire, engage and empower them to become more aware and responsible for their life choices, and a team of high-achieving athletes visit schools, coaching both teachers and students.

“I want young people to be the best they can be,” he said, “because that is a challenge for everyone.”

The next Marlborough Chamber of Commerce business breakfast will be held at Marlborough Golf Club from 7.30am until 9am on Wednesday, April 20. Attendance costs £9 and should be booked through Elaine Glass at Withy King via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Olympic gold medal winner to address Marlborough Chamber business breakfast

David HemeryDavid HemeryOlympic gold medal winner David Hemery will be recounting his success stories and talking about teaching skills to young people at the next meeting of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

Hemery, who lives near Marlborough, is famous for the double Commonwealth title he won in the 120 yard hurdles in 1966 and retained in 1970, and for the gold he won in the 400m hurdles at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 – setting a new world record in the process.

Away from the athletics track, Hemery has been a coach, teacher, manager and writer, and was until very recently Vice Chairman of British Olympic Association.

For twenty-five years he worked to bring coaching into management in major blue chip companies, and seven years ago he founded 21st Century Legacy to help to bring coaching and self-managed leadership to young people. The intent is to inspire, engage and empower them to become more aware and responsible for their life choices.

Last year he ran the London Marathon, at the age of 71 – and wrote a column about it for Marlborough News Online.

The event will be held at Marlborough Golf Club from 7.30am until 9am on Wednesday, March 16. Attendance costs £9 and should be booked through Elaine Glass at Withy King via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Skurrays - the oldest name in the UK motor trade - disappears

The rebranded Now Vauxhall site in MarlboroughThe rebranded Now Vauxhall site in MarlboroughThe oldest name in the UK motor trade has disappeared following the retirement of its owner.

Established by Ernest Clement Skurray in 1899, Skurrays ran car dealerships in Swindon, Marlborough and Oxford. It was a Vauxhall dealer for more than a century, and the Skurray family owned the firm until the 1960s.

But following the retirement of managing director Nick Plevey – the most recent custodian of the Skurrays brand – the familiar name has disappeared forever.

Speaking to industry publication Automotive Magazine, Mr Plevey – who bought the business in 2009 – said: “I’m 60 now and I’m going to start my retirement. I started work serving petrol at 14 and it’s been none stop ever since. I’m ready for a break.

“Throughout my time here we’ve enjoyed excellent backing from Vauxhall Motor Holdings and it’s a relationship that the brand has maintained with the Skurrays name for over a hundred years.

“The biggest loss in all this is the loss of the Skurrays name.”

The Swindon and Marlborough dealerships have been bought by London-based Now Vauxhall.

Managing director Jon Taylor said: “We are very pleased to be taking our first steps outside of the M25 with our new locations in Swindon and Marlborough.

“This is an exciting time for the Now team and customers alike. We are confident we will be able to provide a fantastic experience to all as we develop the business further.

“We look forward to working within the local community and to welcoming customers, past present and future into our Now dealerships.”

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Training provider shortlisted for two major awards

The Haddon Training teamThe Haddon Training teamA Marlborough-based equestrian training provider is in the running for two prestigious awards.

Haddon Training, which delivers work-based apprenticeships in horse care, animal care and business, has been shortlisted for the Times Education Supplement’s Further Education Awards, and in the Apprenticeship 4 England Awards.

The renowned TES FE Awards celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who continue to make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners. The awards are open to anyone working in the UK FE sector.

Haddon Training has been shortlisted in the Training Provider of the Year category. The winners will be announced on April 22 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The Apprenticeship 4 England Awards recognise and reward training providers and employers who are dedicated to delivering quality Apprenticeships.

Haddon Training are hoping to repeat their success last year, when they won the Small Prime Award. Due to the company’s recent growth, it will be competing this year in the Medium Prime category.

The awards will be presented at the Emirates Stadium, London on February 25.

Locally, Haddon Training has made it to the next stage of the Wiltshire Business Awards in the Small Business of the Year category.

Chris Hewlett, managing director, said: “To be shortlisted in two national awards makes me so proud of the whole team at Haddon Training. We are a niche training provider that strives to raise the standards of the industries in which we deliver qualifications.

“It is very humbling to know that the company, who delivered their first qualification 19 years ago, has now been shortlisted for two prestigious awards in the further education sector.”

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