Business - Page 4

Business stories in and around Harrogate, North Yorkshire

International contracts for Yorkshire agency’s marketing skills


Leading Yorkshire-based business to business PR and marketing agency Allott and Associates (Allotts), has clinched more contract success on the European stage despite the huge impact Covid-19 is having on the international economy.

Schumacher Packaging Ltd, a division of the leading European Schumacher Packaging Group, and Euchner, a specialist in safety engineering and pioneer of the RFID Safety Switch, have joined German compatriots relayr and Kröner Starke on Allotts’ multi-national roster.

Euchner manufactures safety switches for gates and fencing guarding machinery inside manufacturing facilities, whilst Schumacher is promoting its new, sustainable corona partition wall in the UK. The EcoSafeBoard enables companies in a wide range of sectors to re-establish personal customer contact in a safe way – in stores, offices, catering and industrial buildings, as well as in the service sector and educational institutions.

Allotts utilised digital communication technology to add the German companies to its growing global client base promoting products in mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as in the UK. The pandemic has unexpectedly created opportunities overseas for UK companies as more business is being done remotely: suddenly geography isn’t an issue any longer.

These latest contract wins build on the recent success the agency has had with signing up SmartFreight, a major global/Australian provider of shipping software solutions for the logistics industry and a Netherlands-based client specialising in food processing and packaging.

Allotts’ managing director, Philip Allott, believes that local companies who may be struggling in a domestic market could actually have greater opportunities abroad where distance is no longer proving to be a principle consideration or barrier.

Philip Allot said:

We’ve won work utilising remote conferencing. Where we are based is academic, our mantle is business to business PR and marketing without frontiers. Our reputation for creativity and business insight is gaining traction on the continent and particularly in Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse. We are thrilled that notable German companies Schumacher Packaging and Euchner have placed their marketing requirements in our hands.

Due to the pandemic businesses have been forced to bring in an element of flexibility to their operations, from reconsidering their supply chains because of fractured transport links, to new rota systems to allow staff to work from home and apply social distancing.

People don’t have to take planes, trains or automobiles to business meetings. Many of these can be conducted more productively by embracing communication technology in the shape of Zoom, Go to Meeting, Skype and Teams – Allotts can vouch for that as it won contracts after presenting remotely to firms in the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.

The agency delivers 360⁰ international marketing services providing business to business consultancy specialising in strategic, targeted marketing support encompassing public relations, social media, digital marketing and data compliance. Its client base includes companies in the food, logistics, machinery, engineering, packaging and manufacturing sectors.

Background Information

  • Allott and Associates Ltd (Allotts) is an award-winning full-service agency and provides all the services you would expect from an in-house marketing department. Established for over 25 years, Allotts has the marketing resources, experience and determination to help your organisation attain its strategic objectives.
  • Key marketing services provided by Allotts include public relations, social media, GDPR compliance, design, marketing consultancy, photography, advertising, direct-mail, website development, research, exhibition support, corporate events, film making and data compliance.
  • Currently the agency is proactively involved in marketing campaigns in the UK, mainland Europe, India, the United States, Australia and others in the APAC region.
  • In addition to its core marketing activities, Allotts also provides businesses with GDPR compliance support. The agency provides GDPR audits, drafting of privacy statements, DPO support, in-house staff training and bespoke training courses allowing businesses the ability to implement data management changes themselves.

Yorkshire celebrities back hunt for Britains best christmas trees


The hunt is on for the best Christmas tree in Britain – with the winner providing the tree for No10 Downing Street.

Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen of Channel 5’s ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’ and  author will join Peter Wright from Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Vet’ to be judges at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate, where the competition will be held for the first time.

The winner of “Grower of The Year” and “Champion Festive Wreath” will then provide the Christmas tree and wreath for outside the Prime Minister’s residence.

Judging will take place on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 for the annual competition run by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, (BCTGA).

Due to Covid restrictions, the competition will take on a new format this year, with growers sending in their trees rather than attending in person. Many growers have also changed the way they sell this year, introducing online sales for the first time as well as social distancing measures for those who want to visit their local plantation to enjoy the experience of choosing their own tree.

Amanda Owen said:

It’s really great to have been invited to be a part of this exciting competition. We always have a real tree at Christmas time, decorating the tree is a real highlight of the festive season.

There’s no holds barred in our household when it comes to dressing the tree, baubles, tinsel, chocolate, anything goes.


Peter Wright added:

I am delighted to support this competition and encourage the public to support their local grower by buying a real tree.

There’s nothing like the scent of a real Christmas tree to really launch you into the festive spirit and I am really looking forward to seeing some of the best in Britain at the Showground.

The BCTGA, which was formed 30 years ago, is now being managed by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS).

Heather Parry, Managing Agent for BCTGA, said:

We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Amanda and Peter when we host the competition for the first time.

This is an important moment for the Christmas tree growers and we are all looking forward to Christmas and a time to celebrate more than ever after this tumultuous year.

We are very much looking forward to seeing the best in the business being crowned, right here on the Great Yorkshire Showground. The champion tree winner will head to 10 Downing Street to provide that iconic Christmas tree for this year.

Award Categories

  • Best Pine
  • Best Spruce – Norway
  • Best Spruce – Other
  • Best fir – Nordmann
  • Best Fir – Other
  • Best Container Grown
  • Best Wreath – Natural
  • Best Wreath – Decorated
  • Best Short Film

Last year’s winners were Stuart and Jennie Kirkup of Dartmoor Christmas Trees, in Devon, who will be head judges on the day.

Stuart said:

You spend eight to 10 years of your life producing a tree that will go to be judged so it makes you feel very proud when that work pays off. My wife has won six times for the best wreath and we have had two trees runner up and two that have won. Taking our award winning tree to Downing Street was a very proud moment indeed.

The Kirkup family has been growing award-winning Christmas trees in Dartmoor for over 20 years.

There are winners of six categories of trees, with the overall winner providing the Christmas tree for No 10 Downing Street. There is also a Champion Tree Runner Up who supplies a tree for inside Downing Street. The winner of the wreath making category provides a wreath for the front door.

Already, early orders for UK trees from garden centres and farm shops are significantly ahead of 2019 and this year’s sunny weather means Christmas trees are in the best condition.

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association, (BCTGA) has 320 members nationally who sell approximately 8 to 10 million trees a year.


Ripon Post Office opens in city’s arcade


Ripon’s main post office has opened within The Arcade, Ripon’s popular shopping destination, which has just undergone a £100,000 refurbishment.

The new-look post office is already enjoying a “fantastic footfall”, with owner Amy Kaur saying she is “absolutely thrilled” with her brand-new premises.

The old post office in Finkle Street closed last month.

Leading Bradford-based property development and investment company Frank Marshall Estates bought the arcade last year.

Edward Marshall, director of Frank Marshall Estates, said:

We are delighted that the city’s post office has enjoyed such a successful start to life in our refurbished and rebranded Arcade. It has dramatically increased footfall there.

The Arcade, which links the city’s main car park to the historic Market Square, is a fabulous new location for the post office. It is the beating heart of the city, with a really strong and consistent footfall.

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Amy Kaur, the owner of the post office, to the arcade. This move achieves our aim of giving the arcade a new identity and making it much more visible and more of an attraction from the Market Square side in particular.

Ripon is a sleeping giant and we believe our attractive, new-look development will give the city centre the game-changing regeneration boost it needs.

Amy Kaur said:

We couldn’t be happier in our super new home in the arcade. Disabled access is no problem, unlike at Finkle Street, and footfall is tremendous. We hope other new businesses will join us here in The Arcade. We can’t recommend it highly enough.

Edward Marshall has been most supportive, helping to create the perfect unit for us. Overall, we are very positive about our relocation which we believe is definitely right for us – and for the city of Ripon.

the team from Frank Marshall Estates, who masterminded the refurbishment of the arcade, Kelly Jagger, Chris Balme, Edward Marshall and Jimmy Marshall
The team from Frank Marshall Estates, who masterminded the refurbishment of the arcade, Kelly Jagger, Chris Balme, Edward Marshall and Jimmy Marshall


Edward Marshall said:

We have spent a great deal of time and money revitalising this property through one of the most difficult trading times in retail history to create what we believe to be a centre for retail in the great market city of Ripon. We are now looking to fill our last two shops, which provide a good opportunity for people to work for themselves and achieve financial freedom.

These two retail units, a ground floor unit of 240 sq ft and a ground floor and first floor unit of 520 sq. ft are available now. Any new tenants would become part of a very friendly and successful arcade, with occupiers including Caffe Tempo, Scrivens Opticians, Westwood Barbers and Phone +, who have just joined us.

They are all playing a crucial part, together with Fultons Frozen Foods, The British Heart Foundation, The Card Factory and Blue Cross, to the ever-increasing success of The Arcade and to the centre of Ripon.

We have great faith in the city. More affluent people are moving into the area with lots of housing to be built over the next few years and plenty going on in the area, for example, the superb new hotel, Grantley Hall. The great rural location is also a superb asset.

General Tarleton at Ferrensby placed into liquidation


The General Tarleton at Ferrensby near Knaresborough, has been placed into creditors voluntary liquidation after a period of closure forced by the government lockdown measures.

Joint liquidators Julian Pitts and Richard Kenworthy of Begbies Traynor were appointed on 30 September 2020.

Joint liquidator Richard Kenworthy, said:

Like so many hospitality businesses, the forced closure triggered by the pandemic has been absolutely devastating to the General Tarleton; and its owners, including chef John Topham, had no choice but to put the business into liquidation.

With more months of uncertainty ahead and the likelihood of continued restrictions on the operation of hospitality businesses, it’s closure is an unfortunate cost of the health measures implemented to help combat the global pandemic. The directors really had no way to save the business and the jobs it supported; it is sad to see the end of such a popular restaurant and inn.

The business employed 12 staff before its lockdown closure in March 2020, with all staff, unfortunately, losing their jobs in the closure.

The assets of the business will be sold by the joint liquidators to realise funds for the benefit of the creditors that include HMRC and trade suppliers. The 18th century coaching inn, from which the business traded, was not owned by the company, but leased.

Harrogate Tipple gins win five awards from IWSC


Yorkshire craft distiller Harrogate Tipple has added further accolades with the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) awarding five trophies for products within its ranges of gins.

The family-run, small batch distillery has been recognised for its Harrogate Gin and its Downton Abbey Gin, both of which were given Silver in the 2020 awards having achieved marks above 90. In addition, Harrogate Tipple’s Blueberry Harrogate Gin, its Rhubarb Downton Abbey Gin, and its Rhubarb Harrogate Gin, all achieved Bronze.

An expert panel from the IWSC, which sets the benchmark for international wine and spirit quality, this year tasted and reviewed hundreds of spirits. All entries were tasted blind by carefully assembled panels of experts, with each spirit tasted individually, and then thoroughly discussed by the panelists. All spirits scoring 90 and above were re-tasted by the judging committee for their final confirmation, and to ensure consistency across the tasting.

Steve Green, co-founder of Harrogate Tipple, comments:

The IWSC is one of the most well-respected competitions in the spirits industry, so we are very proud that the expert panel of judges proved their good taste and recognised the quality of our delicious range of gins.

After all our hard work over the last four years, it’s fantastic to receive these prestigious accolades.

The craft distiller has also recently won a Great Taste Award for its Premium Harrogate Gin; and its Downton Abbey Gin and Whisky range has also been shortlisted for the License Awards 2020 for Best Licensed Food or Drink Range, alongside some of the best-known brands in the world.

A-Plan Insurance branches out to Harrogate


A-Plan Insurance in Harrogate has recently been opened by the Deputy Mayor of Harrogate; Councillor Zoe Metcalfe. The latest branch is located at 10 Princes Street in Harrogate

Branch Manager, Chris Bishop said:

I am excited to be coming back to my Yorkshire roots and bringing the A-Plan experience to the north of the country. I have fond memories of growing up around the Ripon and Harrogate area and am looking forward to engaging with the local community and ‘coming home’ after being away for over 20 years. It’s a vibrant town for both business and pleasure and I can’t wait to introduce my young family to everything the town has to offer.

Virtual event to bring rural women together


Rural women across Yorkshire are being brought together online for a special hour-long Autumn Gathering organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s Women In Farming Network.

Featuring five inspiring speakers with vast experience of working with and as part of rural communities and businesses, the event will provide timely messages of support and inspiration following a summer of cancelled agricultural shows and other social occasions.

Kindly sponsored by Savills and The Prince’s Countryside Fund, with support from Barclays Agriculture, the Autumn Gathering starts at 10.30am on Tuesday 13th October. Addressing the theme of ‘A Momentous Year’ will be NFU West Riding Chair Rachel Hallos, The Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Olivia Spilman of Spilman Farming, Consultant Psychologist Dr Caroline Knott and Susan Briggs, Director of The Tourism Network.

The gathering will be chaired by Judith Wood, Barclays’ Agricultural Manager and will offer the rural community a sense of its collective strength and some timely messages of positivity amid otherwise trying times for many families and businesses.

Kate Dale, who co-ordinates the Women In Farming Network, said:

We continue to live through extraordinary times, unlike anything ever seen by current generations. Everyone has been affected by the coronavirus situation.

Many of our usual activities and events at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society have been disrupted, including our annual Women In Farming Conference, which is always planned for October each year. However, not to be defeated, we are taking this event online and tailoring it to current circumstances.

Therefore, you are very warmly invited to join our Women In Farming Autumn Gathering on Tuesday (13th October) from 10.30am to 11.30am in the comfort your own home or office. The gathering will consider ‘A Momentous Year’ and our fantastic range of five speakers will offer their take on 2020 so far and share their reactions, adaptations, advice and support to all those looking in on 13th October.

Our hope is that much of the discussion will resonate with our audience and offer reassurance and a sense of solidarity to everyone, both as individuals and collectively as hard working women with families, who in many cases live and work in rural outposts.

The Rt Revd Dr Helen Ann Hartley

Elizabeth Nelson, Director in Savills Rural division, said:

Savills are delighted to continue to sponsor and support the Yorkshire Women in Farming Conference. Although in a different format this year, it will provide the usual high level mix of inspiration, learning and enjoyment.

All of us working in the rural sector are having to take stock and reappraise our businesses, coping with the colliding circumstances and evolving uncertainty of the impact of Covid-19, Brexit, climate change and prospect of recession.

At Savills we are helping farms and rural enterprises across the spectrum. The list of challenges and considerations can seem endless but remembering that ‘out of adversity comes opportunity’ brings hope. The more we can share ideas and expertise to collaborate and support each other, the stronger we will be in our decision making.

Kate Dale Coordinator of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network

John Pinches, Barclays’ Agricultural Area Manager for Yorkshire and the North East of England said:

Women have always played a key part in decision making, business strategy as well as physical work on the farm. With the advances in innovative machinery and technology, farm business operation is more about management than simply performing day-to-day tasks and the next few years are definitely an exciting time for women in the farming industry.

Barclays is hugely optimistic about the future for UK farming and recognise the key role women in agriculture will play moving the industry forward in the coming years, hence we are delighted to be supporting this flagship event.

To register for this free event, see

CNG Energy supports SMEs at a difficult time and is rewarded by customer loyalty and new business


Commercial energy supplier CNG is continuing to support businesses and industries other suppliers have closed the door on, being rewarded with customer loyalty and new business.

Energy supply is essential for most businesses, yet some suppliers have refused to supply deemed ‘high-risk’ sectors, due to the possible financial instability caused by Covid-19.  Throughout the pandemic, Harrogate based CNG, has remained open and continued to work hard both internally and with its partners to support its customers through this challenging period, and will continue to do so throughout the winter months.

Providing information and advice to its customers, including Government funding and grants available, CNG has also assisted in the managing of sites – with continued meter read reminders to ensure customers are only paying for energy used. Alongside this, CNG encouraged customers to inform them should they be no longer trading, so that they are only billed a standing charge rate.

CNG also refigured its customers estimated bills based on reduced consumption, as a further helping hand for businesses.

As a result of its efforts, CNG has seen an increase in customers choosing to join them and has been rewarded with even greater customer loyalty as retention figures increase too.

Paul Stanley, CEO of CNG said:

It has been a difficult time for businesses, and it continues to be so.  The pandemic has highlighted the importance of coming together and supporting those who need it.  From the beginning of this crisis, CNG was determined to do the best it could to support customers.  It is this solidarity and support that has led to an increase to our already high renewal rate and an increase in new sales.  I am proud of the way my colleagues have responded to support our customers through these challenging times and grateful to our customers for recognising this.

Major investment at Conyngham Hall business centre

A £500,000 transformation of Conyngham Hall business centre in Knaresborough has been completed.

Harrogate Borough Council has made the investment to improve facilities for existing tenants and for firms considering a move to their first office or larger accommodation.

Conyngham Hall is a grade two listed building, set in stunning parkland in Knaresborough.

It is currently home to a number of small and medium sized enterprises who value the benefits of serviced offices which are well connected the rest of the district.

The work to improve the facilities began before the original coronavirus pandemic.

It includes the total refurbishment of communal areas, kitchens and toilets.  Meeting spaces, which can be used by tenant businesses have also received a makeover.

The investment has paid for new carpets and redecoration too.

All the work has been carried out under the supervision of the council’s conservation team to ensure period features of the listed building are retained and enhanced.

Some of the money has been used to improve digital connectivity to the building.

It means tenants now have access to ultra-fast broadband and modern telephony making Conyngham Hall more attractive to businesses that rely on a fast – and stable – internet connection.

The business centre’s serviced office model means firms pay a single rent payment covering the office accommodation the use, heat, light and power, breakout spaces and fully-equipped kitchens.

A meeting room is also offered for free on a shared basis and support services such as photocopying, postage and laminating are available in the staffed reception.

Councillor Graham Swift, cabinet member for economic development, said:

There is a continuing need for small and start-up businesses to find high quality office space that provides excellent critical services.

Our investment means we’ve been able to achieve a fantastic transformation of the hall to meet small business needs.

Before now, communal areas and facilities did not meet the expectations tenants have for a modern business centre.

As well as improving those internal spaces, we’ve made sure Conyngham Hall is better connected to the outside world with a significant upgrade to ultra-fast internet.

We recognise that so many businesses rely on robust broadband these days and I am pleased that we are able to offer one of the best connections currently available.

Conyngham Hall is now a fantastic choice for small and medium sized businesses who want to move from a kitchen table, expand their operations or for established firms looking to grow in a first class location with best in class services.


New Thorp Arch Estate small businesses units completed and let during pandemic


A new development of five small warehouse units has been completed at Thorp Arch Estate near Wetherby and fully let during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving only one new unit available at the entire 385-acre site.

Construction work on the latest 10,693 sq ft scheme, which is close to the estate’s entrance and comprises Units 155 (A+B) to Unit 158, started in November 2019 and completed at the end of the summer.

Estate owner, Patrizia Hanover Property Unit Trust, went ahead with the £700,000 scheme, which redeveloped part of the original 1941 wartime munitions factory after existing estate tenant, kitchen and bedroom furniture retailer, Buywell Interiors, pre-let the 2,456 sq ft Unit 155 (A+B).

The other units, ranging from 5,779 sq ft to 1,229 sq ft, which feature roller-shutter doors, offices, beverage areas, LED lighting, disability compliant washrooms and fibre connections to the estate’s superfast broadband, were let quickly to businesses including Silverfox, Glass Living Doors and Shield Access Solutions.

The rapid lettings mean that the only new-build unit available on the estate, which has 2m sq ft of business space, is at the 9,000 sq ft Unit 7, Ash Way III, a seven-metre high warehouse with an up-and-over loading door, air-conditioned office, LED lighting, concrete loading yard and fibre connection.Buywell Interiors, run by husband-and-wife team, Michelle and Simon Procter, has been on the Estate for 12 years but relocated to the new scheme to gain more showroom space for its kitchen and bedroom furniture range.

Michelle Procter said:

Our new unit is warm, bright and airy and the perfect location and environment to display our range of kitchens and bedroom furniture. It is visible from the main entrance road and will hopefully attract lots of passing trade, as well as being easy to find for our existing customers.

Being equidistant to Leeds, Harrogate and York, and close to the motorway network with good parking makes it a fantastic location for visitors and deliveries. We’re looking forward to welcoming new and existing customers.

Contractor for the latest scheme was Arcon Construction, while property consultants and building surveyors, LHL Group, acted as the contract administrator and project manager.

Tim Munns, director of estate manager, Wharfedale Property Management, said:

Despite the considerable challenges from Covid-19, the latest units were completed within budget and fully let within weeks which is testament to the skill and perseverance all those involved in the development.

In spite of the pandemic, demand for warehouse and distribution space remains strong with the only new unit available being Unit 7, Ash Way III.

The two-million sq ft Thorp Arch Estate, is base for a diverse range of more than 170 businesses, from start-ups to large Plcs, operating in local, national and international markets and employing more than 2,000 people.