Wednesday, May 22, 2019

News: Wentworth Woodhouse on the BBC again

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One of the UK's most important Grade 1 listed country houses, Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, has been back on the BBC this week, featuring in Gentleman Jack, an exciting new drama written by Sally Wainwright.

The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) has developed a masterplan to secure the future of the mansion which has already featured in numerous big screen and small screen productions. Handing over state rooms and gardens to filmmakers is an important means to raise the profile (and much needed revenue) of the property which for many years has been in relative obscurity.

Gentleman Jack is a Lookout Point production for BBC One, co-produced with HBO. It was filmed in Yorkshire with support from Screen Yorkshire's Film Office.

Set in 1832 West Yorkshire, Gentleman Jack is inspired by the true-story and coded journals of Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones), and follows her attempt to revitalise her inherited home, Shibden Hall. Most notably for the time period, a part of Lister's plan is to help the fate of her own family by taking a wife.

In episode one, which aired on Sunday May 19, the long gallery at Wentworth Woodhouse is used as a grand house in Hastings for an emotional flashback scene. Seated at the stunning feature window, and with special effects changing the gardens to the west front into the seafront, a heartbroken Anne Lister learns that one of her aristocratic targets for marriage has accepted the marriage proposal of an army captain.

The long gallery is now used to host weddings!

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Shibden Hall was joined by other Yorkshire filming locations including Sutton Park (near York,) Newby Hall (Ripon) Bramham Estate (Leeds), Fairfax House (York) Broughton Hall (Skipton), Harewood House Estate (Leeds), Treasurer's House (York), Oakwell Hall (Birstall), St Peter's Church (Sowerby), Halifax Town Centre, Lawrence Batley Theatre & Queens Street (Huddersfield), Little Germany (Bradford), Wentworth Woodhouse, Ripponden Moor Holy Trinity Church and City of York streets. Production offices were based at Studio 81 in Leeds.

Phil Collinson, producer, Gentleman Jack, said: "As a proud Yorkshireman I was thrilled to come home to work on Gentleman Jack.

"This is an ambitious show filmed on location all over this glorious county. Everywhere we went we were supported and welcomed and the brilliant, mostly local crew worked tirelessly and with great skill. Screen Yorkshire too played its part in facilitating a very friendly environment for us to film in. I can't wait to come back and do it again."

Wentworth Woodhouse was used for previous productions shown on the BBC including King Charles III, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Billionaire Boy. It is also used for ITV's prime-time drama, Victoria.

On the big screen, Wentworth Woodhouse was used for scenes at Buckingham Palace in Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill. In Mike Leigh's biopic of JMW Turner, the marble saloon stood in for London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: BBC / HBO

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News: Rotherham care home set to reopen following sale

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New owners of a care home in Rotherham are hopeful of reopening this summer.

Greasbrough Residential and Nursing Home closed after entering administration. Rotherham Council terminated its contract last year following a damning report by inspectors.

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has now sold the site to a first time buyer in the sector.

Initially built in the 1960s, the home was extended in the 1990s and continued to operate until its closure in Autumn 2018. The home has retained its registration with the CQC for 60 residents and is set over two floors, comprising 60 en suite bedrooms, a dining room, residents lounges, hairdressing salon and a secure wing for dementia patients. The property sits on a site with a fully enclosed lawned garden and parking for 15 vehicles.

The property has been sold to Mr Alexmon Baby, an experienced business owner, who intends to refurbish the property and rebrand the business as Jubilee Care Home, before reopening for residents.

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Alexmon said: "We are delighted to have acquired the former Greasbrough Nursing Home on Potter Hill. We are in the process of completing a £300,000 refurbishment and will then be opening the new Jubilee Care Home which will provide luxury accommodation for the people of Greasbrough and surrounding areas. Staff recruitment is well under way and we are hopeful of opening the doors by the end of July."

Jonathan Wickens, director at Christie & Co who handled the sale, added: "We completed a comprehensive marketing campaign for the sale of Greasbrough Nursing Home on behalf of administrators, which resulted in numerous viewings and multiple bids.

"The home offers an excellent opportunity for Alexmon and his team to establish a quality care facility for the people of Greasbrough and surrounding communities."

Christie & Co website

Images: Christie & Co

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News: Waste management consultancy acquired

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A Rotherham-based consultancy providing analytical and consultancy services to the waste management industry has been acquired by Alfred H Knight Group (AHK).

Based at Manvers, Waste Research Limited (WRL) is a leading independent provider of inspection, sampling and testing services for the refuse derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF) industry.

AHK is a 135 year old firm that provides experienced, professional and reliable technical services in chemical analysis and inspection.

AHK said that the acquisition represents a key milestone towards its vision to become a leader in the provision of inspection, sampling and testing services to the RDF industry.

Through its subsidiary Knight Energy Services (KES), AHK has extensive UK and international experience and knowledge in the sampling and analysis of solid fuels including; coal, coke, biomass and SRF. KES' headquarters and principal coal and biomass testing laboratory are located in Dundonald, Ayrshire, UK, with satellite laboratory operations in key overseas locations.

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David Kerrigan, head of KES, said: "The acquisition of WRL strengthens our capability to provide a comprehensive service to our customers seeking to optimise and protect their supply chains and associated sale and purchase agreements."

WRL will rebrand to become part of KES. David Wilson, Clare Wilson and Carl Wilson will continue in their current roles and will, working closely in conjunction with KES' senior management, continue to operate from the WRL site at Century Park.

Waste Research Limited website
Alfred H Knight Group website

Images: AHK

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Monday, May 20, 2019

News: Rotherham has fastest growing economy in Yorkshire again

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The positive signs for Rotherham's economy continue as the borough again places top in Yorkshire for economic growth according to recent research.

Rotherham's £4.4 billion a year economy has been a top performer for a number of years, staying at the top of the UK Powerhouse rankings for GVA growth.

The UK Powerhouse study is produced by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and provides an estimate of GVA growth and job creation within 46 of the UK's largest cities at least 12 months ahead of the Government's official figures. It uses a range of more timely indicators to create a "nowcast" of GVA and employment for a range of key cities across the UK.

For GVA growth rate in Q4 2018, Rotherham is ranked 18 out of 46 with a year on year growth rate of 1.6%. Ahead of the national average, this is the top ranked economy in Yorkshire and is only bested in the North by Aberdeen (1.8%) and Manchester (1.7%).

Reading, Cambridge and Oxford make up the top three for economic growth with no locations in the North in the top ten with annual growth in all three Southern locations on or above 2.5%.

Over 2018 as a whole, the UK economy expanded by 1.4%, compared with 1.8% in 2017.

GVA, or Growth Value Added, is the increase in the value of the economy due to the production of goods and services. It is widely recognised by Government and policy makers as a measure of local economies.

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Predictions for Q4 2020 are also provided and Rotherham's economy is estimated to continue to grow, but at a slower rate of 1.3%, to £4.6 billion.

The report also ranks economies in terms of job numbers. It plots Rotherham's economy as having an employment level of 105,900, up 1.1% on the same quarter in the previous year. Another 1.1% growth is predicted for the coming year with a Q4 prediction for 2020 of 108,200.

The forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. It also assumes a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021.

Paddy Sturman, partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: "Brexit has and will continue to take up a lot of Government time, but it is vital that it refocuses its attention on rebalancing the UK economy and building on the potential within the Northern Powerhouse."

Irwin Mitchell website
CEBR website

Images: Sheffield Business Park

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News: Ritchie Bros. bids to make Maltby its long term home

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Ritchie Bros., the world's largest auctioneer of heavy equipment and trucks, wants to use a former colliery in Rotherham as its UK location for the next 27 years.

Rothbiz reported in March that temporary approval was granted to enable 4.7 hectares of the pit yard at the mothballed Maltby Colliery to be used as an auction site which could accommodate large plant, machinery and equipment when auction events would be held up to ten times per year.

Having hosted two successful auctions already, now plans have been submitted that would provide approval for the operation on more of the pit site and over a much longer term.

A covering letter from WYG, agents for the scheme, explains: "This planning application for the Auction Scheme is submitted with a view, subject to securing planning permission, to enabling [sic] Ritchie Bros. to use the proposed 11.1 hectare Site (which includes the temporary 12 month scheme site and adjoining land) for their auction activities for a 27 year period, securing the 30 full time jobs and 40 additional temporary jobs for each auction event (over two days) up to 10 times per year, along with a proportion of such jobs commencing the week before the auction and also during the following week."

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It is estimated that the scheme would involve the investment of £3.58m by the landlord, Hargreaves Land, and Ritchie Bros. to develop the site, including the modification of an existing building to form an auction house, construction of a new check-in building and use of the existing workshop, along with associated works elsewhere on site, with the demolition of some redundant former colliery buildings.

Annual investment by Ritchie Bros. would involve a further spend of around £0.75m, which over the 27 year life of the venture, would total around £20.25m.

Ritchie Bros. has been holding auctions since 1958, initially in Canada and then expanding to now operate on an international basis. The UK auction operations had previously been based on land at Donington Park.

If approved, the new facilities could be in place for Spring 2020.

Ritchie Bros. website
Hargreaves Land website

Images: Ritchie Bros. / Hargeaves land

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