Wednesday, December 1, 2021

News: AES Engineering Ltd’s global reach strengthened by acquisition

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Leading Canadian asset condition monitoring specialist JAtech Services has become part of the AVT Reliability Group following its acquisition by Rotherham-based AES Engineering Ltd.

The move brings one of the most specialised and experienced companies in the reliability field in Canada into the group of reliability-focused companies owned by AES Engineering Ltd. The group also owns AESSEAL, which is headquartered in Templeborough and is the world’s largest homogeneous designer and manufacturer of mechanical seals, which is also a reliability-focused business.

AVT Reliability, based in Warrington, Cheshire, has consolidated its position as a leading innovator in reliability products and services over the past three years, launching products such as the Machine SentryTM cloud-based condition monitoring system and EasyBraceTM, the universal bracing system designed for the reduction of structural vibration in small bore pipes.

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JAtech Services is a recognised leader in reliability and vibration monitoring services, specialising in the prevention and solving of problems with machinery, foundations and structures. In keeping with other businesses within the AES Engineering Group, JAtech Services is known for excellent service and quality, and complements our other reliability group companies AVT Reliability Ltd and Van Geffen Reliability.

Chris Rea, Group Managing Director of AES Engineering Ltd, said: “We consider the acquisition of JAtech Services to be a significant enhancement of the reliability services we can provide to our customers in Canada.

"Asset reliability products and services are a fast-growing and rapidly developing technology area. The acquisition of JAtech Services, supported by a growing portfolio of world class IoT instruments and cloud-based software branded Machine Sentry, is part of a strategic decision to globalise our reliability-focused businesses. It will both support and be supported by the global AESSEAL and AVT groups, as reliability is in our DNA.”

AESSEAL website

Images: AES

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News: Geek Retreat to open in Rotherham

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A growing national business that brings specialist experiences to the traditional retail environment has landed new premises in Rotherham.

Geek Retreat is a “geek culture” retailer, gaming cafe, and events hub rolled into one.

Work is well underway to transform a unit on Howard Street into a vibrant store that offers something for geeks and non-geeks alike.

In 2013, Geek Retreat’s founder, Stephen Walsh, opened the doors of the first store in Glasgow, it was only supposed to be a fun place to play ‘geeky’ games and grab a milkshake, but it quickly turned into something far more meaningful. Growing through a franchise model, there are now nearly 30 stores with plans for 60 shops by the end of this year.

The property in Rotherham taken on by the franchisees was previously used by bookmakers William Hill, a charity shop, and before that, outdoor equipment retailer, Millets. The property sold at auction earlier this year for £150,000.

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The family-friendly site is set to be home to a gaming café offering an extensive menu of tasty comfort food, and a shop section focusing on geek culture merchandise and games. Creating a safe, community space, the gaming side will offer free to play board games and video games and will host games such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer and Yu-Gi-Oh!

A spokesperson for Geek Retreat explained: "We believe the future of town and city centres lies in creating destination, experience stores. There is real demand in this type of offering as demonstrated by industry research, rate of successful Geek Retreat store openings, revenue growth and customer feedback.

"Over the next couple of years, we aim to open 200 stores in the UK and look to European expansion – everything we are building now will be scalable for our future.

"We are on a mission to become the friendliest place to meet, eat, shop and game in vibrant venues, with comfort eats and milkshakes made your way."

An opening event for the new Rotherham venue is scheduled for December 11.

Geek Retreat website

Images: Geek Retreat

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News: Stelrad welcomed to London Stock Exchange

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Stelrad, the UK's leading manufacturer of stylish modern radiators, has been welcomed to the London Stock Exchange following a successful initial public offering (IPO).

Registered in Newcastle, it now operates from facilities in both Nuth, in The Netherlands, and in Mexborough. The Rotherham site handles the UK radiators business, coordinating an advanced production and distribution operation that spans a 17 acre site which is the largest radiator storage facility in the UK.

The IPO valued the business at €320m (£274m) and sees Stelrad shares trade on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SRAD.

The origins of the Group date back to the 1930s and Stelrad enjoys long established commercial relationships with many of its customers, having served each of its top five customers for over twenty years.

The Group operates across six core geographies: UK, Benelux, Germany, France, Turkey and Poland and collectively, the total addressable market across these geographies has an estimated value of £1,100 million, and equates to approximately 24.4 million radiators.

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Following its admission to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, Stelrad Group PLC’s focus remains on exploiting the breadth of organic and inorganic growth opportunities on offer, continuing to focus on further improving our extensive product offering and the strong relationships it has with major distributors and specifiers.

Trevor Harvey, Chief Executive of Stelrad, said: "We are thrilled that Stelrad’s unique business proposition has resonated so strongly with investors, and are delighted to have received such a high level of demand for the Placing.

"Our successful growth strategy has been built upon a combination of standardised product design across all our manufacturing facilities, a key focus on specifiers across all of our end-markets and continued range innovation, alongside our multi-brand strategy that enables products and brands to be tailored to specific channels. As a result, we are the number one steel panel radiator business in a number of the markets where we operate.

"The listing of Stelrad on the Main Market of the London Stock exchange reflects not only the success that we have enjoyed to date but also our confidence in our ability to deliver further upside as part of our growth plan as we continue to play a leading role in keeping Europe warm.”

Michael Loudon, Partner at Clearwater International, the firm that advised Stelrad on the IPO, added: "The Group is well positioned to pursue growth both organically and through acquisitions, having already established itself as a leader in radiator manufacturing and distribution. Its broader role in driving energy efficiency and creating environmentally friendly homes increases its attractiveness in the market and we are confident of Stelrad’s continued success in the future."

Stelrad website

Images: Stelrad

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

News: Wentworth Woodhouse to transform stables and create hospitality jobs

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Once workplace and home to hundreds of grooms and stable boys, the Stables of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham are now set to provide jobs and training for the hospitality sector in a £5.1m regeneration project.

Rothbiz reported in October that the Wentworth project was part of successful bids to the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

Redevelopment of a major section of the long-derelict Stable Block, the grandest in the land when built in the late 1700s, can now get underway.

The Preservation Trust which owns the stately home, has pledged to create employment and become a major driver of Rotherham’s leisure and tourism sector; it will now be able to further that aim with the redevelopment of 800 sq m of the Stables’ West Range into fully kitted-out production kitchens, a training facility for new hospitality staff, plus a café.

Work will start in early 2022 and is expected to take two years.

Sarah McLeod, CEO of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, said: “The Levelling Up Fund is all about giving people in the North the same opportunities as those in the South. This grant makes a massive difference to us, an independent charitable trust trying to make a real difference to the community of South Yorkshire, which we know is a great place to live, work and visit.

“We will help deliver the Levelling Up agenda through job creation and upskilling. The hospitality sector is currently experiencing a huge labour shortage; our production kitchens will serve cafes and catering right across our site and give us the facilities to train up our own hospitality team.

"The really wonderful thing about this win is it’s a consortium bid from organisations all proud to be part of Rotherham’s leisure and visitor economy, and determined to drive growth and employment.

“We will be looking to link up with local colleges for hospitality training qualifications and plan to offer valuable hospitality work experience to people with disabilities.”

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Wentworth Woodhouse’s huge Stable Block, positioned on the driveway to the Mansion, was created for the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham by architect John Carr of York.

When completed in 1782 it was the largest private stables in the country, and remained so until the late 1900s.

It boasted stables for 84 hunting, riding, and carriage horses. Grooms and stable boys slept in small rooms above the horses and house gardeners also lived at the site.

The kitchen in the West Range will service all on-site hospitality, including afternoon teas, private events, the Mansion’s cafe and a new food offer to be developed in the Camellia House.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: WWPTT

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News: Renovating historic Rotherham school building

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Maltby Learning Trust has revealed further details of a proposed £6.3m redevelopment of the former Maltby Grammar School building, to create an incubator space for training, apprenticeships, and start up support in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Rothbiz reported in October that the project was part of a winning bid to the Government's Levelling Up Fund based around building a new leisure industry that responds to the challenges of economic recovery and health and well-being.

The redevelopment programme, formulated by leaders at Maltby Learning Trust and the architect of Maltby Academy, will repurpose the old Grammar School building and create a community resource that accommodates local services, supports wellbeing, employment and enterprise, and provides substantial learning opportunities for the Maltby community.

The redevelopment, which secured £4.5m and will be split into three phases, will see the derelict grammar school building, including the landmark clocktower, transformed into a three-story community space to include bookable workspaces, serviced hot-desking, seminar rooms, a community coffee shop, and an apprenticeship centre.

The space will also house the Maltby Learning Trust central services team, and the Maltby Academy Sixth Form centre which will include several classrooms, tutorial rooms and learning spaces for students.

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David Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of Maltby Learning Trust, said: “Following the successful remodelling of the Maltby Academy estate and subsequent mothballing of the old grammar school, leaders are delighted to be able to recommission and upgrade the historic building as a community resource that will further complement the state-of-the-art educational environment provided in the Academy.

“After much discussion about the future of the building, and with our plans for an innovative resource for the community which will place skills development and training at its heart, trustees and leaders recognised that the government Levelling Up Fund would be the ideal investment for the Grammar School redevelopment. We approached our local MP and engaged with RMBC to develop our winning bid for the initiative.

"The new provision will provide a range of interlinked educational and vocational services, from sixth form to training and employment, to supporting new business enterprises, and will provide the local community with a sustainable training resource centre. The ambition is that this development will further support the local and regional programme of regeneration.”

Dame Julie Kenny, Chair of the MLT Board, said: “In the coming weeks the Trust will be holding a series of stakeholder engagement events to showcase the exciting plans and explore ways of connecting local community groups, training providers and employers with the planned developments. Whilst the Trust have shaped ambitious plans for this building and worked with the Local Authority to orchestrate this exciting opportunity and secure significant investment for the Maltby community, it is now important that all stakeholders engage in the planning of this development and make the vision a reality.”

In April was the building again under the threat of demolition only for new plans for its reuse submitted in July. The building suffered a fire in September.

Phase one development will provide the refurbished accommodation for the Post 16 centre in the north wing whilst securing the remaining buildings, mothballing and making them wind and weather tight. From January 2022, ex-students will be able to buy a brick of the Maltby Grammar School building.

Maltby Learning Trust website

Images: Maltby Learning Trust

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