Friday, February 15, 2019

News: New uses for Hamby's legacy projects

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The changing face of Rotherham's High Street - as Hamby's prepares to move out, it is exciting to see one of the new generation of entrepreneurs preparing to move in.

Hamby's has recently announced the closure of the shoe shop at the top of the High Street but another Rotherham town centre business - Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective - already has designs on taking on the landmark building.

Based in the nearby historic Imperial Buildings, Emily Dawson - the town centre's first female tattoo artist - manages a quirky tattoo studio offering fully custom designs drawn by each artist on the team in their own individual style. The studio also hosts guest artists from up and down the country offering customers an even greater selection of looks to choose from.

The first studio opened in 2013 and a second studio opened in The Old Town Hall in 2018 to enable the business to offer more services and products to an ever increasing customer base.

Emily, the winner of the last ever Rotherham Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017, said on Facebook: "Due to us expanding once again, we have secured an amazing new studio in Rotherham. Don't worry though, it is only a few short steps away from our current, main studio in the Imperial Buildings.

"Thank you to all our amazing clients for your continued support! We cannot wait to welcome you all into the spectacular new studio!"

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The changes to Rotherham's historic High Street could not have happened without Chris Hamby (pictured) and it will be sad to see the retailer go. But his legacy will remain.

The former premises of John Mason Jewellers at the top of the High Street was bought and taken over by Hamby's in 2003 and funding was secured from the Heritage Lottery-Funded (HLF) Townscape Heritage Initiative for a new shop front to restore the building to its original appearance.

An even bigger challenge came ten years later when Chris saved the Three Cranes building over the road and created a complex of mixed-used outlets focusing on the listed buildings with financial backing via Rotherham Council.

25 and 27 on the High Street was included on the first Heritage at Risk Register in 1999 and finally taken off in 2015 with the revitalisation complete.

The former Three Cranes Inn, that occupied a timber framed building dating back to the 15th Century, is thought to be the oldest domestic building in the town. It became Hamby's Antique Centre but this too is set to close at the end of March.

It has always been envisaged that the saved premises could return to a pub and this looks increasingly likely following the success of the £500,000 revamp of the nearby grade II listed George Wright building which reopened as a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant last year.

The former Three Cranes Inn was probably built as a merchant's town house around 1600.

The grade 2* listed building is the only timber framed building to survive in Rotherham town centre.

Hamby's website
Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective website

Images: RMBC / Heritage England

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News: Rolls-Royce welcomes Emirates order

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Rolls-Royce has secured an order for its iconic Trent 7000 engines to power 40 Airbus A330neo aircraft from Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East.

But the world-renowned engineers say they are saddened by the decision by Airbus to end deliveries of the A380.

Emirates has also ordered 30 Airbus A350 aircraft, powered by the Trent XWB and Rolls-Royce will also provide Trent 900 engines for a further 14 Airbus A380s, taking the total Emirates A380 fleet powered by Trent 900 engines to 33 aircraft.

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The engines will contain turbine blades manufacturing in Rotherham at Rolls-Royce's Advanced Blade Casting Facility (ABCF), the £110m facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

The Nickel-based superalloys are made from single crystals using the very latest manufacturing techniques. These SX blades generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car and temperature within the high pressure turbine is 1,700 degrees centigrade, hotter than the melting point of the turbine blades themselves, so they have to be coated with a special ceramic and cooled with air passed through the discs and out of a series of precise holes in the blade.

Chris Cholerton, president – civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, said: "We welcome the news that Emirates is further extending its relationship with Airbus and Rolls-Royce. The addition of Airbus A330-900 and Airbus A350-900 aircraft to the Emirates fleet will make the airline one of the largest users of Trent engines in the world and we look forward to continuing to support them and their customers."

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The agreement supersedes previous deals with Emirates for a total of 52 A380 aircraft powered by the Trent 900 - described in 2015 as "one of the largest ever export orders for a UK company."

With Emirates reducing its A380 orderbook, and with a lack of order backlog with other airlines, Airbus said that it will cease deliveries of the A380 in 2021.

The four-engine A380 is the world's largest passenger airliner. Rolls-Royce secured more than 50% market share on the aircraft, in addition to being selected by the majority of Airbus A380 customers.

Cholerton added: "The A380 is a world class feat of engineering, much loved by passengers, and we are obviously saddened that deliveries will come to an end. We are very proud to have supported the aircraft with our Trent 900 engine. We look forward to supporting the fleet, as the A380 continues to delight travellers, for many years to come."

Rolls-Royce website

Images: Airbus

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News: Master Cutler launches 2019 challenge

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Businesses and organisations from across Sheffield and Rotherham came together recently in the elegant and historical Cutler's Hall to be part of the launch of The Master Cutler's Challenge 2019.

The charity challenge was launched in 2008, when the Master Cutler for that year, Gordon Bridge from AESSEAL in Rotherham, invited companies to transform a £50 investment into as much charity fundraising as possible.

Every year has seen the event grow – more than 500 companies have taken part to date, raising in excess of £1m for a range of charities.

The current Master Cutler, Nicholas Cragg, opened proceedings with a speech about the two charities – Rotherham Hospice and St Luke's in Sheffield – and why he has chosen them for this year's challenge.

Jordan, a volunteer with St Luke's also took to the stage to tell her story of her experience of the Sheffield-based hospice and the care and support given to her grandfather Colin and father-in-law Andrew as well as their family and friends at such a difficult and emotional time.

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Rotherham Hospice's head of community services, Helen Preece, gave a speech about the challenges faced by hospice community teams, and the hard work they undertake day and night to ensure patients and families are comfortable and looked after in their own homes.

The businesses and organisations collected their £50 initial investment from the Master Cutler and will now be busy raising money. Previous initiatives included turning the streets of Sheffield into a giant monopoly game, waxing legs, hitch hiking, or riding a bike for 32 hours.

The Master Cutler Nick Cragg said: "A massive thanks to the challengers, new and returning, who came to the launch of the 2019 Challenge in the Cutlers Hall. Good luck and I wish you every success. Thank you too to the fund raising teams of both hospices who worked so hard to make it happen."

Master Cutler Challenge website

Images: Master Cutler

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

News: Gala boss aims for further growth

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Rotherham-based Gala Tent has shown double digit growth for January 2019, despite the continued uncertainty around Brexit.

Founded in 1999, Gala Tent is one of the UK's leading producers of marquees, tents and gazebos. It has grown to sell over 15,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 100,000 event accessories and furniture products. It grew from a table top operation in Grimethorpe to a company with a turnover of £10m having moved into new 53,000 sq ft headquarters at Fairfield Park in Manvers in 2011.

Jason Mace, founder of Gala Tent (pictured second left receiving the latest award), said: "We believe our recent growth is mainly down to trust amongst our many clients, that we are a strong brand producing quality products for the event industry."

Gala Tent has successfully maintained its relationship with several international distributors for its products in Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, Malta, Iceland and Holland. With more ambition of becoming an international player in the Marquee business, Jason is hoping to expand on this and gain further distributors around Europe and eventually the rest of the world.

Jason added: "Expansion is the key to Gala Tent's success, tapping into countries we hadn't previously sold in provides us with a wider market to supply to. We hope to become a serious European player in the marquee business over the next few years, with a showroom in every country on the continent."

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On Brexit, Jason said. "I don't see a problem with Brexit. For me, in business there is always a positive in any situation. If you're looking for the negatives, then of course you will find them. I believe there will be a lot of commercial opportunity after we leave the EU, even if there is no deal reached, and I fully intend to grab those opportunities for my business."

The past 12 months have also been fruitful for Mace's other business interests which include the Gala Performance brand, which supplies the Motorsport sector, recording an impressive 95% year on year growth, and holds high hopes of similar growth in the new year. Gala Graphics, which produce wide format print and promotional work, are also expanding in to the branded clothing market this year.

Gala Technology has also seen major traction with SOTpay, a unique payment transfer system which uses a series of rigorous card and customer checks to prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place. The award-winning technology has recently been paired with Cardstream, the UK's largest independent provider of white label payment software and services.

Mace also found time to save the iconic Empress Building in Mexborough.

Gala Tent website

Images: Gala Tent

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News: Rotherham hotel on the market

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A corporate hotel in Rotherham has been made available for sale.

Known as the Holiday Inn Express Rotherham – North, the 130-bed hotel was a key development within the £100m+ Waterfront development at Manvers by TCN UK which also incorporates lakeside houses and apartments, commercial space, a boating lake and golf course.

Agents at Knight Frank have now been commissioned to sell the property which has been given a guide price of £4.95m.

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The hotel also has a bar and restaurant plus five conference rooms, free Wi-Fi and free on-site parking.

Specialist hotel developer Heritage London & Hanover Group began construction of the £9m development in 2008 and it opened in late 2009 as the Park Inn by Radisson.

In 2012, the owners engaged BDL Management to operate the hotel on their behalf and it was refurbished and relaunched as The Holiday Inn Express Rotherham North later that year.

Then in 2015, the hotel was added to the growing portfolio of Vivek Chadha's Nine Group which develops and manages multiple branded hotels in the UK and is a major commercial investor in UK real estate.

Nine Group website

Images: Nine Group

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