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Business Peak District - Making the Peak a Place to do Business Add News104 to Scrapbook

Businesses of all sizes in the Peak District are being given a strong new voice with the creation of a group to promote the area as a place to do business.

Called Business Peak District the group will be led by a wide range of representatives from the business community. It will represent all businesses in the area covered by the Peak District National Park and the High Peak, Staffordshire Moorlands and Derbyshire Dales districts or boroughs.

All businesses are being invited to join an event to find out about the group and its plans at Thornbridge Hall, near Great Longstone, on Monday 16 May.

The group hopes to:

  • Create and protect jobs
  • Increase investment in the area and local businesses
  • Use the special environment of the national park as a positive tool to boost the marketing and success of businesses
  • Develop more apprenticeship and training opportunities to give businesses the skilled workforces they need and local people jobs
  • Increase the range of businesses so the area's economy is not just dependent on tourism and agriculture
  • Link with the tourism sector to make the most of business opportunities created by visitors
  • Give businesses a voice with the six new Local Enterprise Partnerships, set up in neighbouring cities and areas to help support the regional economy.

Jim Harrison, managing director of Thornbridge Brewery, has been appointed chair of the group and is looking to generate interest from a wide range of business people representing all the companies that operate in the national park and surrounding areas.

He said; "This group will give a voice to every Peak District business no matter what the size.”

"Due to its rural location many Peak District businesses employ less than 10 people but when you add them together that creates a significant amount of jobs and the wages of those staff support local communities.”

"Business people will lead the group and work with local authorities to give businesses a voice in the way the economy is developing. So I would urge all businesses, no matter how big or small, to get involved, make their voice heard and help make the Peak District a better place for people to come and do business.”

Business Peak District will be supported by the Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire Dales District Council, High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. It will work closely with the Derbyshire and the Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and the Derbyshire Economic Partnership.

The group will also link in with Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, the official tourist board for the area and the University of Derby and other skills training providers.

David James, chief executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, said: "The Peak District has been selected by VisitEngland as a Destination of Distinction, which means that the area will be heavily promoted to visitors.”

"This offers opportunities for us to showcase local businesses to visitors from across Britain and abroad. By working together, we can develop the area as a prime tourism destination, with the knock-on benefits that brings to the local economy.”

The University of Derby at Buxton has joined the group to assist with efforts to offer apprenticeships and other skills training to Peak District businesses.

Dean Dr Peter Dewhurst said: "Skills training is essential for the future success of any business.”

"We believe Business Peak District can play a crucial role in equipping rural businesses with the ability to train their staff and introduce apprenticeships. In turn this will ensure that our local businesses have trained staff which will enable them to compete with companies based in bigger towns and Cities.”

You will find more details of the launch event on 16 May here, and places can be booked by contacting Belinda Wybrow at belinda.wybrow@peakdistrict.gov.uk or by completing the form here.

New Dates for Popular Produce Market Add News103 to Scrapbook

High Peak shoppers look set to descend on Glossop for a string of eagerly-anticipated markets boasting the best in home-grown food, drink, arts and crafts.

Emboldened by the soar-away success of similar events late last year, the Borough Council has lined up no fewer than 11 Glossopdale Local Produce Markets for the coming year.

Taking place on Glossop Outdoor Market on the second Saturday of the month, the sales will allow shoppers to go straight to the producer for mouth-watering foods including meat, eggs, regional cheeses, cakes and preserves.

Hand-crafted gifts and art work will also be showcased at the monthly extravaganzas running from 9am to 3pm on February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8, November 12 and December 10.

The first market will whet appetites with cakes and biscuits plus organic fruit and vegetables, olives, antipasto, smoked salmon and trout, homemade jams and chutneys. What is more, thirsty shoppers will be able to take home a good stock of locally-brewed ales!

Meanwhile, visitors of a more artistic persuasion will be catered for with handmade silk scarves and ceramics as well as homemade soaps and knitted items.

For more information on the produce markets, call Sarah Porru on 0845 129 7777 or send an e-mail to sarah.porru@highpeak.gov.uk.

ERDF will continue locally under DCLG Add News102 to Scrapbook

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is responsible for administering European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) in England, providing around 3 billion pounds for regeneration during the current 2007-13 round. Day to day administration has undertaken on our behalf by the (Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), EMDA for the East Midlands, however, these will shortly be abolished.

The main components of DCLG proposals are that existing RDA ERDF teams should transfer into DCLG from 1 July, but that they should in all other respects continue to operate as now, including from their existing locations.

Alongside this there are ambitions for ERDF to contribute to the localism agenda. Although administration of ERDF will transfer to DCLG, they want to see local communities playing a big part in spending decisions through Local Management Committees (LMCs), which will take on the role of the existing Programme Monitoring Committees. LMCs will be chaired by a DCLG Director, who will be responsible for ensuing that each programme complies with the Regulations. But alongside them DCLG plan to appoint significant local figures as Deputy Chairs, with responsibility for ensuring that there is strong local input into ERDF programmes and individual projects.

Comments can be made to DCLG by 10 Jan.

Hathersage Hall Business Centre Shortlisted for RIBA Award Add News101 to Scrapbook

Hathersage Hall Business Centre (the new £3.5m Grade II listed rural office development in the Hope Valley) has been shortlisted for a prestigious architecture award following the skilful and sensitive conversion of a range of semi-derelict listed buildings, which originally formed the coach house, dovecote and stables to Hathersage Hall.

The RIBA EM Awards are awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects East Midlands to recognise excellence in architecture within the East Midlands region. Hathersage Hall Business Centre is one of eleven developments across the region to be shortlisted for this year’s awards, the winners of which will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Leicester on 30th September.

The completed scheme has already received wide acclaim for its sensitive treatment of these listed buildings, which retain many original architectural features including detailed stonework and exposed roof trusses while at the same time achieving an impressive Category B energy performance rating and supporting the sustainability agenda with air source heat pumps for under floor heating.

Hathersage Hall Business Centre is also currently running as a finalist in the Derbyshire Times Business Awards 2010 (Most Innovative Property/Building Development category) and has been cited by the CLA as a lead case study in The Rural Challenge Report.

Hathersage Hall Business Centre

National Park Budget Cut by 5 Percent Add News100 to Scrapbook

A revised budget has been set by the Peak District National Park Authority after its funding was reduced by five per cent.

The Authority has been told by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that its existing grant to run public services in the national park during 2010/11 will now be cut by £426,253 to £8.29 million as part of the efforts to reduce the national budget deficit.  

Members of the Authority set a new budget which seeks to protect frontline services as much as possible.

The savings will be made by:

  • Putting less money into reserves for future maintenance of car parks, visitor centres and other facilities
  • Deferring some planned projects that are not priorities for investment
  • Reducing staffing in lower priority work areas, including some voluntarily agreed redundancies, and revising the budget to reflect a lower than expected pay rise or likely pay freeze
  • Continuing efficiency savings, such as reducing travel allowances and business travel
  • Reducing energy use, cutting both costs and carbon footprint.
No Bridge for Whaley Add News99 to Scrapbook

The several public bodies involved in the Whaley Bridge Regeneration Partnership have been forced to abandon their long-held ambitions to build a new bridge over the River Goyt at Bingswood Industrial Estate.

Led by High Peak Borough Council, the project was intended to ease traffic congestion and address serious highway safety concerns in Whaley Bridge town centre. However, the Council had no choice but to call time on the scheme after a third party declined at the 11th hour to sell at a realistic price a vital piece of land needed for the bridge.

The decision by United Utilities not to sell the piece of land means that the Council is unable to meet the grant requirements of a major funding body.

Tony Kemp, High Peak's Executive Councillor for Regeneration, commented: "It is a huge frustration that after more than 10 years of hard work by the Council and its partners we find ourselves unable to proceed because United Utilities (who own this vital piece of land) have indicated they will only release it for a sum in the region of £1million. Aside from the fact that we have no chance of finding so much more cash at this stage, to proceed with this scheme by paying greatly over the underlying value of the land in question would contravene state-aid rules that govern the public sector."

Derbyshire Contracts Advice Network Mini-site Add News98 to Scrapbook

DCAN now has a mini site which aims to spread the word to the creative industries -  a term which includes all kinds of artists, performers, workers in the media and web designers, about how DCAN can work specifically with not for profit organisations in this area to help them win contracts for service and project delivery.

Access the mini-site at www.artsderbyshire.org.uk/find_artist/minisites/linkscvs/index.html

Winning the Contract – Bidding for Public Sector Business Add News97 to Scrapbook

This FREE online course can be accessed at:
www1.learndirect-business.com/business-courses/winning-the-contract

The course aims to provide help for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to bid for public sector contracts and gives information on how to identify business opportunities in the public sector, explains the public sector procurement process and demonstrates how to submit a tender.

The training is split into 6 modules, so once you have registered you can dip in and out to suit you. The course also has useful links to other sites, such as Business Link, which give extra information.

It takes approximately 3 hours 30 minutes if you go straight through the modules – however, if you are curious and go into all the links for information, then it can take a rather longer!

Hathersage Hall Business Centre First Tenants Add News96 to Scrapbook

Hathersage Hall Business Centre (the new £3.5m Grade II listed rural office development in the Hope Valley) is celebrating the arrival of its first two tenants, with the promise of more local firms to follow suit over the coming weeks.

In line with the philosophy behind the whole project, both firms - spearheaded by pioneering lady entrepreneurs - have sustainable development and regeneration at the core of their business ethos.

Hathersage Hall TenantsHelen Ibbotson heads the dynamic team at Ibbotson Architects (www.ibbotsonarchitects.co.uk), an internationally recognised company which is driving forward the sustainability agenda on a global basis; they recently received the Dragon Design Festival Award from the Chinese government.

“Hathersage Hall Business Centre is the natural base for my practice and meets the company’s aspirations perfectly” commented Helen, from the comfort of her new office. “The design of the Glass House, with its curved glass and walls and green sedum roof is consistent with the image of a contemporary, sustainable architectural practice and it is vitally important that clients see that I work in a location which is a clear demonstration of my design principles and beliefs.”

The opportunity to work alongside like-minded professionals was also a key factor in Helen’s decision to relocate and already she has brought another tenant to Hathersage Hall Business Centre, through her professional friendship with Frances Wells (Founding Director of FWA Sustainable Business www.fwaconsulting.com).

Frances is also an active corporate networker and will shortly be chairing a new, local female entrepreneurs’ mentoring group for Forward Ladies (www.forwardladies.com), the regional business women’s organisation.

This month sees the arrival of Peter Farmer and his team from FDA Design (www.fdadesign.co.uk): '”We've been looking for an office that matches the environmental credentials of our business for quite some time. FDA works inheritage interpretation so Hathersage Hall Business Centre really is the perfect location for us.”

Comprising six sensitively restored Grade II listed farm buildings, complemented by two attractively finished new builds, this high specification commercial property hub has been designed to cater for a complementary mix of businesses including those in the legal, architectural, design, digital, finance and marketing sectors and Michael is encouraging a broad base of skills to take up the remaining 10 units on offer.

Social Enterprise Academy Flying Start Add News95 to Scrapbook

Derbyshire based social enterprise, Genesis Enterprise Foundation successfully launched The Genesis Academy on 23 January at the prestigious Alfreton Hall. The launch event attracted over 60 people from across East and West Midlands, Lincolnshire and the North West and included presentations by David Kelly of Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM) and Philip Bramhall from East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA).

Steven Holmes, Executive Director and Founder, introduced the Academy and shared his own journey as an award winning social entrepreneur stemming back to 1989. He commented “the day went down really well. I'm looking forward to the next one in February and us being able to really get behind and support those attending”.

Elizabeth Hill, a delegate on the day said “I would like to say it was a very inspiring day. It was fast moving and very informative”. Her sentiments were echoed by other delegates who welcomed the opportunity to meet with other people and to gain valuable input and ideas from experienced practitioners.

The Academy will aim to provide a unique package of support for social enterprises who understand that as they invest in themselves they will see a return on that investment through the impact they make. The Academy's aim is to develop the sector by developing its emerging and existing leaders.

Throughout 2010 the Academy will be hosting a series of high impact events for social enterprises, starting on 27 February, designed to support social enterprises on the journey whether they are just starting out or looking to take their enterprise to the next stage. The February event entitled “Get Real... Dream on!” is all about reviewing refining mission and strategy. For more information contact colin@genesisacademy.org.uk or visit their website at www.genesisacademy.org.uk.

About Peak Directions

The website has descriptive links that signpost support and information to assist enterprise in the Peak District.

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