Herefordshire Business Board is working in partnership with Herefordshire Council, the Marches…
New High Sheriff for Herefordshire focuses on ‘Preparing Young People for Work’
Herefordshire’s new High Sheriff, Tricia Thomas, took up office on 20 March 2020 after a low-key ceremony held in Hereford. Due to the Coronavirus and associated social distancing rules, none of the pomp and ceremony usually associated with the occasion was possible. Nevertheless, Tricia commented at her declaration that she is both delighted and honoured to be appointed to the role.
Tricia has been planning the theme for her year in office, ‘Preparing Young People for Work’, for some time. As a business owner herself – she runs Leominster based Thomas Panels and Profiles with her husband, Richie and son George – she speaks passionately on the subject and has already started working with Herefordshire Business Board to identify specific projects that will benefit both young people and their future employers.
Tricia says: “The Coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly mean that my year in office will take a different path to the one I had anticipated. However, prior to the outbreak I had been meeting regularly with the Herefordshire Business Board and together we have developed some exciting plans. I am determined to make use of the opportunity in my Shrieval year to develop young people’s skills and look forward to bringing these plans to fruition as soon as circumstances allow.”
Frank Myers MBE, Chairman of Herefordshire Business Board, added: “We were delighted when Trish approached us last year with her ideas, as these aligned closely with an initiative which the Business Board was keen to encourage. She was eager to hit the ground running once her term of office began and our working group have spent some time with her in the past twelve months planning to make the most of her initiative. It is, of course, disappointing that this has been put on hold for the time being but we are all poised to support her just as soon as we can.”
Herefordshire Business Board and Signs and Labels Hereford working together to fill a gap in PPE
Extensive media coverage on shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for NHS and healthcare workers got Frank Myers MBE, Chair of Herefordshire’s Business Board, thinking.
As well as being Chair, Frank has a background in engineering. Indeed, one of his awards, The Quickcone, earned him a coveted British Design Award. He says: “Like many other people, I was worried about the PPE shortages being reported on the news and this motivated me to try and find ways to help.”
Frank continues: “I approached Signs and Labels Hereford with my idea, and within a week we had secured the materials we needed to make visors for healthcare workers. Signs and Labels Hereford have now manufactured just over 2,000 items, and these have already been delivered to the hospital for use by front line staff.”
Laura Hughes, Director at Signs and Labels Hereford says: “When Frank approached us we were more than happy to get to work on putting together a prototype which then led us quickly into production. It’s a great opportunity for us to keep our machines running whilst helping our local frontline NHS.
Helping Herefordshire businesses through the Coronavirus crisis
Herefordshire Business Board is working in partnership with Herefordshire Council, the Marches Growth Hub, the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and many other business-focused organisations to develop a coordinated local response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We understand that what businesses need most during these extremely difficult times is accurate and relevant advice, support and guidance to enable them to survive and then thrive after the crisis.
Click here for the latest national information and guidelines.
Call for volunteers
Herefordshire Business Board is working with Herefordshire Council to coordinate a team of volunteers from the business sector.
The impact of the coronavirus on Herefordshire’s businesses will only truly become known over the weeks and months to come.
Economic survival is only one – albeit very important – aspect. There will also be less tangible difficulties caused by the additional stress, anxiety and feelings of social isolation when dealing with the crisis.
Herefordshire Business Board is asking all businesses to consider how they may be able to help.
For example (you may also have your own ideas):
Offers to share resources, raw materials, components, etc or to reconfigure current manufacturing operations to produce urgently required items such as hand sanitisers or personal protective equipment (PPE).
Sharing of vehicles that are currently standing idle, but could be used to support the local effort – for example the distribution of goods to the most vulnerable groups in our society.
Providing details of willing staff who have been furloughed but would be happy to undertake voluntary activities to support local initiatives.
Sharing of ideas, for example suggestions on how to reconfigure services or if you’ve witnessed a particular situation that could benefit a local employer or service.
Acting as a mentor to support other businesses and to provide a listening ear.
We do not know precisely what will be needed in the weeks and months ahead. At this stage, we’re simply putting together a list of offers that may or may not be called upon in the future.
We need all businesses to consider how they may add to this pool of helpers. Please email us with any offers of help. We really need to know as a matter of urgency who would be available, where they are based, have they got vehicles and any other relevant details.
Unfortunately, there are some who will take advantage of crises such as the current one to exploit and harm businesses and people. With that in mind, we hope you will find this information sheet helpful in alerting you to some of the most common scams: Coronavirus-scam-Alert4528.pdf
Business Board Chair meets Herefordshire Young Professionals
Frank Myers MBE, Chair of Herefordshire Business Board, was delighted to be invited to meet the Young Professionals Group at their January networking meeting.
The group of about 40 Young Professionals was hosted by Laura Hughes, Director, at Signs and Labels Hereford. A welcome reception of vegan muffins (produced by Vic’s Vegan Bakes) and sparkling wine produced at Frank’s Wythall Estate in Herefordshire, was followed by a tour of the company’s high tech printing facilities.
Frank was then invited to speak about the Herefordshire Business Board’s objectives and how the Young Professionals Group could get involved. He was passionate about encouraging Herefordshire’s younger business community members to get involved in deciding future business strategy for the county.
The majority of attendees had not previously heard of the Herefordshire Business Board, so this was a great opportunity to raise awareness of its important role for all county businessmen and women.
Herefordshire’s bypass campaigners have been overwhelmed by supportive messages after they invited the public to back their cause.
Business leaders launched a crowd-funded campaign last month after Herefordshire Council called an overnight halt to long-developed plans for a bypass, which would relieve traffic congestion in Hereford itself and improve access to key areas of the wider region.
Now the scheme is under review after years of planning and negotiation. Herefordshire Business Board fears the opportunities which the bypass would bring will be lost forever – together with tens of millions of pounds in Government investment.
A series of advertisements has invited the public to give the board their views and now messages received have demonstrated overwhelming backing for the scheme to go ahead.
Comments ranged from a simple “Yes to bypass: this rethink is a disgrace!” to “This has dragged on for far too long – I implore you to get this sorted to enable business growth and security.”
One supporter said: “I have lived in Herefordshire for 50 years and still waiting for the bypass. Sadly I do not come into the city of Hereford any more due to traffic and delays so shop elsewhere.”
Another gave this more-detailed analysis: “It has taken 30 or so years for our council to agree that a bypass for Hereford is necessary, during which time the minutia of every possible pro and con must have been debated time and again, to a point where the Council has expended approximately £10 million on preliminary work, only to have second thoughts and the possibility of the project being cancelled.
“Without apparently any previous view one way or another, Councillor Hitchiner has stated that a bypass ‘is not a solution’, and that it ‘often attracts traffic’, which I rather thought was the purpose of the exercise.
“If it only reduced traffic in the City by 20 per cent, a bypass would offer quite a large number of people an alternative route in to, out of, or around Hereford which is bordering on the impossible today. thanks to the expected nimby brigade, and years of political infighting.”
Frank Myers, chairman of the business board, said: “When you launch a campaign and then ask for pubic support you always hold your breath to see what comes back.
“We were delighted when comments began to arrive. Of course we had a handful which questioned our stance – but the vast majority have been keenly supportive.
“Not only that – they have shown a real appreciation of the issues involved and an understanding that we are in danger of spurning a massive opportunity.
“People realise we need this bypass if we are to create a cleaner environment, attract investment, create jobs, boost wages, care for our old folk and create a future for our youth. It’s that important – and people get it.”
Council’s enterprise “investment” pointless without bypass
Press release 16th August 2019
Councillors’ promises of a muti-million pound investment boost for enterprise will amount to “phantom funding” unless Hereford’s bypass scheme goes ahead, business campaigners have warned.
Herefordshire Business Board was responding to the announcement by Herefordshire Council of a planned £5.231m investment at the Enterprise Zone, located at Skylon Park in Rotherwas.
Council leader David Hitchiner suggested the spending would cover “essential infrastructure such as access roads and cycleways, ultrafast broadband and utility supplies.”
But business board chairman Frank Myers MBE said: “This announcement completely overlooks the fact that the only infrastructure that really matters for the Skylon Park site is the long-promised bypass.”
The board this week launched a crowd-funded information campaign in favour of the bypass scheme going ahead after the council called a halt to work for a review of the entire project.
It has produced a dossier highlighting the lasting damage to the county’s jobs market, prosperity and overall economy if the bypass is scrapped.
Mr Myers said: “On the one hand the council is acknowledging the huge potential of investors wanting to move onto Skylon park, but then talking about peripheral investment on things like cycle lanes.
“That is all well and good, but we have clear information that only a fraction of the potential enterprise zone footprint can be developed without the bypass connecting it to the national roads network.
“Without the bypass none of this will matter because the site cannot be fully developed. It is a phantom investment. With the bypass Skylon Park can be the promise land. Without it, large parts will remain a waste land.
“If the council wishes to be serious about enterprise, job creation and attracting hi-tech inward investment, the bypass is the only way forward.”
This press release by the Herefordshire Business Board is in response to Herefordshire Council’s announcement of £5.231m investment to support the creation of new jobs. You can read that in full on the Herefordshire Council website.
Business launches major campaign to get relief road back on track
Press release 12th August 2019
Herefordshire’s business community is to launch a major campaign against moves to halt the county’s long-promised relief road.
They fear that, if the road scheme does not go ahead, a once-in-a-generation opportunity will be lost to put the local economy back on track, solve longstanding problems of traffic congestion and choking fumes and, even more importantly, facilitate much needed inward investment and economic growth.
Well-established plans for a relief road to counter congestion in Hereford have been thrown into doubt after May’s local election changed the political make-up of Herefordshire Council. The council had been working closely with the Department of Transport and other major stakeholders towards finally getting the bypass scheme underway after decades of debate and analysis.
Now Herefordshire Business Board, which aims to keep government and investment agencies updated on the views and needs of local business, is set to mount a multi-pronged campaign to restore the relief road plans as an urgent priority.
Backed by crowd-funding, a series of major advertisements is planned setting out the detailed reasons why the road is needed – not just for business but for the whole county. This will work alongside a social media drive and postal information blitz.
The business board argues that squandering the relief road opportunity now would mean long-term and irretrievable damage to investment, the economy and jobs. This is especially so when all of the funding has been put in place by central government.
The campaign will say that it would be wrong to saddle future generations locally with an ailing economy, traffic jams, pollution and shortage of housing and jobs, just because of a one-off protest vote based on national issues.
It assesses that a no-road decision would severely reduce local investment, trade and business rates contributions, which in turn could have a drastic impact on areas such as health and care provision.
Chairman Frank Myers MBE said: “People must realise that, if we want to be looked after in our old age, we will need a sound local economy and a prosperous, younger working population. No road will mean fewer jobs, fewer young people because they will leave, meaning less money to pay for care provision.
“Currently our average wage is one of the lowest in the Country and we need to change that by attracting investment in higher paid jobs.
“After decades of careful progress and negotiation to get everything in place including funding and government approval, we finally got to a position where we are ready and raring to go. If councillors now throw it all away there may not be another opportunity for decades more and the writing off investment already made will seriously undermine the Council’s finances.
“That would be a tragic waste and run completely against the wishes of so many local people who know how badly the road is needed and how important it is for our future prosperity.
“Nobody wants more traffic and more fumes, nobody wants less investment and prosperity.
“Politicians who are party to this decision should realise they will be judged against its consequences for many years to come.”
The winning company who will go forward to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire finals in Worcester on the 9th May are:
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Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity, empowering young people to learn, to work, and to live.
We believe that the potential of the UK’s young people is unlimited. Why? Because for over 55 years we’ve shared their energy and enthusiasm and admired their strength of character.
Since 1962, we’ve been creating and developing programmes that complement the school experience and encourage young people to realise the extent of their own talents.
Each year we work with 250,000 young people aged 4 to 25, making the foundations of business – resilience, team work, creativity, problem solving and communication – relevant to the daily lives of each and every young person. You can help them realise their potential by giving your time, business expertise or simply donating
For more information about Young Enterprise in Herefordshire please contact:
Beth Walsh Young Enterprise Area Manager for Herefordshire
If you are looking for information and support on Brexit preparation for businesses, you can visit the dedicated information on the Marches Growth Hub website or contact one of our growth hubs by calling the numbers below:
The Government has published new information to support businesses and individuals in preparing for EU Exit. The “Prepare for EU Exit” website is the central site for guidance aimed at businesses and individuals in the UK.
A number of guides are available to help businesses prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU, please visit the Marches Growth Hub website to find more information
COUNTY business leaders gave their Brexit predictions to delegates at the Three Counties Hotel in Hereford.
With the Brexit deadline looming ever closer and the government at loggerheads with itself, business leaders gathered at the conference held on to discuss what the future may hold for Herefordshire when the UK leaves the European Union.
Speakers included Richard Butler, regional director of the Confederation of British Industry, Frank Myers, chair of the Herefordshire Business Board, Harrison Clarke Rickerby’s Robert Capper, Nicholas Groffman and Beverley Smith.
The conference covered many of the shared concerns of businesses as the country stands on the brink of exiting the EU, with speakers giving reassurance and advice to attending business delegates, 32 per cent of whom have explored markets outside of Europe since the referendum.
Richard Butler said: “We are cautiously optimistic that Theresa May will be able to get something through Parliament; they may not want what is on the table, but they want a ‘no deal’ even less.”
Drawing on his own experiences and concerns, Mr Myers said: “We need to redouble our exporting efforts. Especially if we can now sell anywhere.
“What concerns me is the paperwork and how that will increase.”
A vote taken during the conference revealed that 82 per cent of the delegates would vote the same way now as they did in the referendum, whilst 46 per cent were less confident of their business success post Brexit.
An online Brexit survey for businesses across the region will remain open until March at www.hcrlaw.com/brexit-survey