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Latest news regarding regeneration in the Rotherham area.

Home Décor Innovations plan Rotherham move

posted 3 Jan 2012, 03:06 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 3 Jan 2012, 03:07 ]

Home Décor Innovations, one of the leading suppliers of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and associated storage systems in Europe, is set to expand into new premises in Rotherham.

The planned move will see Home Décor's existing 120 staff relocate over the border from Sheffield and provide the company with space to expand and create more new jobs. 

Currently based at a 65,000 sq ft factory on a site at Drakehouse, Sheffield, the company plans to move into a purpose built 110,000 sq ft unit at Woodhouse Link, the development on the former Laycast site at Fence in Rotherham.

Sheffield company, JF Finnegan are developing the project which is now set to include a 91,500 sq ft workshop plus 21,600 sq ft offices and possibly a CHP (combined heat and power) plant on the site.

The pre-let to Home Décor covers the whole area that Finnegan had outlined as Phase 2 of the 15 acre scheme.

Home Décor Innovations is a part of Canada's Renin Corporation and with operating companies in the UK and Italy, they manufacture over one million doors per year, and supply hardware to manufacture a further one million doors to strategic partners throughout the rest of Europe, The Middle East and Africa. Their products are available through major retailers including B&Q, Wickes, Focus and Homebase in Europe, and suppliers to the construction industry.

The current site in Sheffield is being sold to ASDA so they can develop a new superstore. Plans for the store were approved by Sheffield Council and sent to the Secretary of State for confirmation in August.

Peter Buchanan, Chief Executive of Home Décor Innovations, stated in a letter to Sheffield Council regarding the planning permission of the Asda store, that the development "would directly contribute to fulfilling our future plans by allowing us to relocate to improved new premises. This would match our ambitions as a business whilst creating more new jobs at Home Décor."

The company will benefit from a new purpose-built building as the current building is considered to be outdated and a larger showroom is needed. The funding from Asda will allow the company a one-off opportunity to move, and to replace much of the old equipment.

With new Rotherham premises, it is hoped that Home Décor can significantly increase turnover and the number of employees in the next five years which will provide a boost to the local economy.

Last week, members of Rotherham Council's planning board agreed that planning permission for Home Décor's new premises should be granted. The move is likely to happen quickly as a legal agreement is being developed that would mean that the development of the supermarket at Drakehouse cannot commence until Home Décor has relocated into a purpose built new factory in the local area.


Source: Rothbiz

Gala Tent to create hundreds of new jobs

posted 3 Jan 2012, 01:43 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 3 Jan 2012, 01:47 ]

Fast-growing Rotherham business, Gala Tent, has devised a unique marketing campaign which will result in 200 showrooms being opened across the country creating hundreds of new jobs. 

The company is the UK's largest supplier of marquees and gazebos, exporting across Europe and to the US. They moved into new 53,000 sq ft headquarters at Fairfield Park in Manvers earlier this year.

Gala Tent was founded in 1998 by acting managing director Jason Mace and now supply a massive variety of commercial marquees, tents, gazebos, event flooring, furniture, lighting and heating through its showroom, mail order, telephone sales and online shopping worldwide. In addition to direct sales to the general public, Gala Tent Ltd is also the preferred contract supplier for many hire companies, councils and branches of the emergency services and the military.

The company has grown from a table top operation in Grimethorpe to a company with a turnover in excess of £5m in just over a decade. They were recently valued as a concept company at £14m and this valuation did not include stock, machinery and buildings, currently estimated at over £4m.

Gala sells over 10,000 structures a year and 90,000 optional extras and their products have been used at parties run by the Beckhams, Liz Hurley, Boris Becker and Marco Pierre White. The firm works with events management companies who also provide equipment to the stars.

The ambitious expansion plans will see Gala participate with the new government policy of job subsidies, apprenticeships and work experience placements when creating the full infrastructure of new staff. The campaign launches in early 2012 with the plan to have all 200 showrooms fully staffed and open by 2013.

New staff have also been added to their dedicated customer service team in Rotherham and following the New Year, further expansions into the sales, customer service and marketing departments will bring further jobs to the area.

Further plans are also in place for the development of new products and Jason Mace, managing director of Gala Tents Ltd, said: "Gala Tent has a bright future ahead with many plans for expanding sales overseas and the development of new and exciting products for the event industry."

Source: Rothbiz

Carbolite expands on to the AMP

posted 3 Jan 2012, 01:36 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 3 Jan 2012, 01:39 ]

Derbyshire-based Carbolite is the latest business to take space in the Evolution development on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.  The arrival means that all but two of the Evolution industrial units at the 95,000 sq ft high quality development have been let or are under offer.

The letting of units 5 and 6, which total 5,782 sq ft, sees the global manufacturer of electric laboratory and industrial ovens join a unique cluster of high-tech occupiers, from some of the more established pioneers in R&D such as Dormer Tools and Struers as well as the innovative newer breed of companies such as Polymer Techniques, Iidea and Xeros.

Dan Bagshaw, facilities and materials manager at Carbolite, said: "One of the main attractions of expanding to Evolution @ AMP was the ability to leverage the existing resources already on the park and engage with other like-minded business, whilst retaining our existing premises in the Hope Valley."

Evolution @ the AMP has been developed by UK Strategic Partnership, a joint venture between Yorkshire-based property company, Strategic Sites and Harworth Estates, the property arm of UK Coal.

Philippa Hedley, sector growth manager - Advanced Manufacturing & Materials at the AMP said: "We are delighted to welcome Carbolite as our latest occupier at AMP.

"Locating on the AMP provides collaboration and supply chain opportunities with world leading R&D and production companies including; Rolls-Royce, Castings Technology International, TWI and the University of Sheffield's AMRC with Boeing and Nuclear AMRC.

"Carbolite's business is perfectly suited to the units they have taken and we're sure their base with us will be beneficial in terms of nurturing future business growth."

National commercial property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), Knight Frank and CB Richard Ellis are joint agents on the scheme.

Ed Norris, industrial and logistics agent at the Sheffield office of LSH, said: "The AMP is designed to encourage occupation by advanced manufacturing and next generation R&D companies with their associated supply chain opportunities.

"This latest letting is a tremendous endorsement of the AMP's continued success in one of the fastest-growing and most important sectors of the UK economy."

Rebecca Schofield, associate director at Knight Frank, added: "Carbolite considered a number of units in the area before selecting Evolution @ AMP due to the quality the units on offer combined with the obvious synergies between themselves and the other occupiers on the park.

"The remaining units are finished to the same high quality and provide the flexibility for incoming occupiers to fit the space out to meet their individual requirements."

Source: Rothbiz website

Green investment recycled into jobs for South Yorkshire

posted 21 Dec 2011, 03:01 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Dec 2011, 03:03 ]

A waste management business focused on processing and recycling black bag household and trade waste has received a £1.25 million investment from the Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund.

Sterecycle, based on Sheffield Road, Rotherham, has secured the finance as part of a total funding package of £5.1 million.

The finance will enable the company to expand its waste processing capacity at the South Yorkshire plant from 100 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) to 175 ktpa, and create a further 17 full time jobs.

Sterecycle will use the Rotherham site as a blueprint for a future roll out of waste processing sites around the country.

Using its patented autoclave technology, Sterecycle uses pressurised steam and heat to process black bag waste, which would normally go to landfill. It currently recovers 65 percent of the waste in the form of recyclables and a biomass rich, soil like substance called ‘Sterefibre’.

Sterefibre is approved as a soil improver for non-agricultural applications and is being used to grow biofuel crops. It can also be used to generate clean power in biomass-fuelled CHP (combined heat and power) plants and for biogas production in anaerobic digestion plants

Sterecycle has been in operation in Rotherham since June 2008 and has proven the technology on a commercial scale.

Tom Shields, CEO of Sterecycle, said: “Our technology is quick to approve, fast to build, has low capital costs and has a small carbon footprint.  We plan to roll out plants at a series of sites across the UK.

“The investment from the Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund will go towards the purchase and installation of new autoclave equipment which has been manufactured locally in Sheffield by Mayflower Engineering and the further expansion of the Rotherham plant.

“It will also provide added capacity for the commercial and industrial waste producers in the Yorkshire region, enabling more of the region’s waste to be recycled and reused instead of going to landfill.”

Ash Chopra, who led the investment on behalf of the Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund, said: “The desire to find alternatives to simply sending waste to landfill is high on the political and environmental agendas. Land-filling waste is not a viable long-term option with regulatory driven penalties pushing the cost of landfill up. The technology in use at the company provides a viable “greener” alternative to landfill.

“We are delighted with this investment as a further 17 full time jobs will be created and the company has raised an additional £3.85 million as other investors followed our lead.”

Advising the Finance Yorkshire Equity Fund on the deal were Debbie Jackson and Joy Irving from Walker Morris, Leeds.

Helping a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development, Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit  or ring 0845 649 0000.

For more information on Sterecycle please visit or call 0207 361 1820.

Source: Rothbiz

Potential opportunities for Enhanced Capital Allowance support for companies based in the Sheffield City Region

posted 16 Dec 2011, 02:10 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 3 Jan 2012, 03:11 ]

Earlier in the year (2011) the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Enterprise Zone was approved by Government. Our Enterprise Zone is one of twenty two Enterprise Zones in Local Enterprise Partnership areas across England. This includes Enhanced Capital Allowances for plant and machinery where it is considered that there is an opportunity for investment in manufacturing activity.

The subsequent available Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) present a massive opportunity to attract major inward investment to the City Region. The LEP Board is keen to look at how this opportunity could be used to support locally based companies. With this in mind, the LEP Board has agreed that ECAs should be used to (a) attract inward investment and (b) enable strategic investments from companies already based in the SCR that would not otherwise happen or that would be accelerated by ECA incentives. Decisions around ECA investments (regardless of whether they are from inward investors or from locally based companies) will be subject to assessment against LEP defined criteria in order to ensure that any decision making is as open, inclusive and as fair as possible.

Click on the link at the bottom of the page to view a letter from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman, James Newman, inviting locally based companies/ landowners to assess if they meet the criteria set out and if so to consider submitting more information in line with the detailed criteria set out.

In summary, if you are an eligible company with plans for major capital investment (over £50m) in plant and machinery over the next 5 years and the proposed investment will or could take place within the designated Enterprise Zone ECA sites (i.e at Markham Vale, Advanced Manufacturing Park/ Waverley or the Sheffield-Rotherham Enterprise Zone area) then we would like to hear from you (please bear in mind the relatively short timescales - expressions of interest by 6th January, full submissions by 20th January).

Click here for more information and to read the official letter from James Newman.

Vitalife proves to be everybody’s cup of tea

posted 15 Dec 2011, 08:12 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Dec 2011, 08:13 ]

Vitalife Ltd impressed a panel of local "dragons" at a recent event in Rotherham and claimed the top prize of £1,500, provided by sponsors, UK Steel Enterprise. 

Rotherham Enterprise Board hosted their biggest Dragons' Den-type event, inspired by the BBC show of the same name, at the Park Inn Rotherham in Manvers last week.  Young entrepreneur, Gavin Edley, was among four new start businesses pitching their expansion plans to a panel of local business experts and mentors. A secret audience vote confirmed the judges’ decision that Gavin had delivered the best pitch on the night.

The 24-year-old set up Vitalife in 2010 with the help of the Rotherham Enterprise Project and has successfully introduced the healthy Japanese green tea called matcha to the UK.  The former pupil at Brinsworth Comprehensive School entered the den as he is looking to expand his business by diversifying the range of teas, introducing new products, and working with more retailers.

Gavin said: "This was the first time that I'd done anything like this and pitched my business in front of a panel and an audience. I'm really pleased to have won.

"I'm looking to launch new teas and a range of healthy snacks and drinks and I'm looking at the prospect of opening café premises to showcase them. I'm also looking to build the Vitalife brand and secure more deals with more retailers. I'm excited by the expansion plans and the prize money will certainly help me carry them out."

This was the third successful event funded by UK Steel Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and recognised Rotherham companies with the potential for business growth.

Guest speaker at the event was Kirsty Henshaw, who told the tale of when she entered the BBC's Dragons; Den and came out with significant financial backing for her business. She also took the role of a dragon and provided the entrants with advice to calm their nerves and boost their confidence before they faced the panel.

The other finalists entering the den were commended for their enormous enthusiasm and excellent pitches. They were: social enterprise, Drive It Home Road Safety; The Button Tin, where vintage craft workshops are held; and Simply Inventive Ltd, the inventors of a unique plumbing product.

For these entrepreneurs it is hoped that relationships will develop between the budding business brains and members of the board's mentor bank, where local people who have run their own businesses or have specialist expertise, will pass on their knowledge and give them a better chance of success.

Keith Williams, regional manager of Tata Steel subsidiary, UK Steel Enterprise said: "We are delighted to support these events. It was extremely successful and the business pitches were some of the best we've seen.

"I'm sure it was a great experience for the enterprises and has helped them identify new potential opportunities and given them the confidence to progress their ideas further.

"There is a wide range of business support available in Rotherham. The Enterprise Board events are designed to help early stage and smaller businesses, whilst loan and equity finance of up to £750,000 is available from the UK Steel Enterprise investment fund for more established businesses in Rotherham and throughout South Yorkshire."

The Enterprise Board is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is led by successful business men and women from a wide range of different backgrounds and business sectors. They are using their experience to change the way business support is provided and make it more helpful to Rotherham entrepreneurs.

Source: Rothbiz

Vitalife website:

Handelsbanken moves in to Rotherham offices

posted 13 Dec 2011, 02:59 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 13 Dec 2011, 03:00 ]

Handelsbanken, one of Sweden's leading banks, has moved into its new branch in Rotherham town centre, taking space at The Crofts. 

Founded in Stockholm in 1871, the bank has over 700 branches. They moved into the UK market in the early 80's and operations are run as a regional bank based on the same decentralised principles as the Nordic branch operations.

The bank contacted Rotherham commercial property agents Burgess Commercial to seek their help in finding suitable premises for offering their bespoke financial services to businesses and high net worth individuals.

Mike Harrison, branch manager at Handelsbanken in Rotherham, said: "Having worked for Handelsbanken for over ten years, I am delighted to be opening a new branch in Rotherham and firmly believe that having a local presence will allow us to get a better understanding of our clients' needs and in turn provide them with an excellent bespoke service and a long term relationship.

"My team of four have now moved into our new office at 10 The Crofts and we are delighted with the major refurbishment that we have undertaken."

Based in Rotherham's financial and legal district, the latest branch adds to the network of more than 100 throughout the UK. The two-storey building comes complete with its own private car park for staff and customers.

Neil Keally, director of Burgess Commercial, said: "We are really pleased to have helped Handelsbanken to secure these premises where they are sure to be a great asset to the business community."

Fowler Sandford Chartered Surveyors based in Sheffield acted on behalf of Handelsbanken for 10 The Crofts.

James Bruce, associate at Fowler Sandford, said: "It is great to have such a positive banking story and having Handelsbanken so accessible is really good news for the business community of Rotherham.

"This move has resulted in a superb redevelopment and regeneration of an old gem of a building. Now the full refurbishment programme has been completed, the offices offer a modern work space, whilst much of the historic character of the building has been retained."

Source: Rothbiz

AESSEAL Wins Another Major Award

posted 7 Dec 2011, 07:26 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 7 Dec 2011, 07:32 ]

Rotherham based AESSEAL was presented with another major business award in a ceremony at the House of Lords, being named the International Trade Company of the Year. This follows just two weeks after the company’s stand-out success at the Manufacturing Excellence Awards (the ‘Manufacturing Oscars’) where it was also declared the overall winner.

The 2010/2011 International Trade Awards are a particularly prestigious award, befitting of their venue, which honour the UK’s leading exporters who have thrived in defiance of the recent economic troubles.

According to a statement on the International Trade Awards’ website: “Following an unprecedented number of high quality applications the judging panel, chaired by Phil Orford of the Forum of Private Business, confirmed that AESSEAL plc - a leading provider of high-integrity mechanical seals with customers in over 100 countries worldwide - was the outstanding candidate.”

From humble beginnings as a simple engineering store in 1979, AESSEAL has grown approximately 20% per year every year to become the fourth largest mechanical seal manufacturer in the world. Amazingly, despite breaking the £100 million annual turnover barrier last year, this outstanding growth rate shows no sign of stopping: early projections actually show even higher growth – with the company expecting a turnover of approximately £125 million this year. The company’s other product ranges include bearing protection capable of extending industrial bearing life by 52%, and water-saving technology which saves industry and the planet 25 billion gallons (115 billion litres) of water per year.

The company’s founder and Managing Director, Chris J. Rea, O.B.E, picked up the award personally from the House of Lords ceremony. When asked for comment, he was quick to praise the team he leads: "The award is recognition for the whole team who put in the hard work to ensure we continually reach our goals,"

The win builds upon the company’s recent award-success at the Institution of Mechanical Engineer’s Manufacturing Excellence Awards (the ‘Manufacturing Oscars’) where it was named the overall winner, receiving the coveted “IMechE Award for Manufacturing Excellence” as well as also winning the “IMechE Award for Customer Focus.”

AESSEAL’s CEO Jonathan Wilkinson added: “Our key driver is to deliver our products and services to customers wherever they may be in the world. Much of our success is based on trading internationally, being unafraid to seek out new markets, delivering an exceptional customer experience on a worldwide stage. The growth the team continue to achieve internationally is exactly the kind of success the whole of the UK needs to focus upon in these uncertain economic times.”

New skate park paradise in Rotherham town centre

posted 7 Dec 2011, 03:06 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 7 Dec 2011, 03:07 ]

Fashion conscious local skate park enthusiasts from across the Rotherham area now have the opportunity to purchase their skateboards, scooters, replacements parts and fashion clothing accessories locally, thanks to a new specialist shop that is about to open in Rotherham town centre.
PROPS skate store is located next to the town’s market in the Eastwood Lane Arcade and is the brainchild of the shop’s owner Tom Jones. Tom who is 20 and from Kimberworth has been an active skateboarder for more than 10 years. Tom had the idea of opening a shop for the local skate park community as he and his friends had to travel to Sheffield or Barnsley to buy their equipment.
As Tom explains; "There is a large skate park community in Rotherham but there has been no local store to buy our boards, replacement parts, clothes or shoes"

PROPS will stock a wide range of equipment and Tom hopes that with his acquired knowledge of what young people like to wear and the provision of a wide product range, the shop will meet the needs of the young people in Rotherham.
PROPS will officially open this Saturday (10th) but the Mayor of Rotherham Shaun Wright visited the shop ahead of the launch to meet Tom to get some skating tips. The Mayor had previously met Tom at this summer’s Rotherham Show and was keen to see how his idea had turned into reality.
Everyone visiting the store on Saturday will have the chance to win a range of prizes including a unique Christmas design themed skate board. So why not come along and enjoy what this shop has to offer.  
This is the 14th town centre business to receive support under the Business Vitality Grant Scheme since the scheme began in 2009, and follows new clothing boutiques, bridal shops, homeware and gift stores plus a chocolateur helping to differentiate the town’s offer.

Bernadette Rushton, Retail Investment Manager from Rotherham Council commented; “It is great to see Tom starting his business this weekend. This type of independent business is just the sort that we are looking to support with the Business Vitality Grant Scheme, and we’re happy that the skate shop will add to the range of specialist shops that we have in the town centre, giving shopper even more incentive to shop local!’’.

New location in Rotherham suits retailer Greenwoods

posted 7 Dec 2011, 02:07 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 7 Dec 2011, 02:10 ]

Town centre shoppers will get another pre-Christmas boost next week as the menswear retailer Greenwoods opens its doors, just in time for the festive season.

Greenwoods, which has currently 85 shops nationwide, is returning to Rotherham after a break of over 7 years since its previous store on High Street closed. The menswear specialist will offer its full range of services from a new 'flagship' store on College Street in the former Music Zone unit. The move makes Greenwoods the third retailer to open its doors in the area after Discount UK and Internacionale recently opened their new stores.

Neil Roberts, Greenwoods' Chief Operating Officer, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Rotherham after over seven years of absence and hope that we will have a long and prosperous relationship with the city for many years to come.  We have had great support from Rotherham Council and I am sure that we will continue to sustain the support in this joint investment in Rotherham”  

Jason Denmark, Retail Operation Director added; “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our new landlord, and the Council’s Rotherham Investment and Development Office. The foresight and enthusiasm they have all shared convinces me that Rotherham Town Centre is once again regaining its retail identity and will therefore provide Greenwoods Menswear and 1860 Hire a fantastic opportunity to be an instrumental part of its successful reincarnation.”

The move into the store has been helped by an £8,000 grant from the Council's Town Centre Business Vitality Grant Scheme. The grant has enabled the creation of improved access to the unit's storage meaning Greenwoods can offer a wide range of stock and offer a unique service in terms of 'instant suit hire' under its 1860 suit Hire brand.

Councillor Gerald Smith, Cabinet Member for Economic Prosperity and Town Centres, said: "It is great to see a national retailer like Greenwoods returning to the town centre and helping to expand the range of products and services on offer to shoppers.

"The Council and its partners are working hard to encourage retailers into the town centre through innovative initiatives like the Business Vitality Grant Scheme and it is nice to see that bearing fruit with the transformation of another store."

Greenwoods will officially open at 10am on Wednesday December 14 with the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Shaun Wright joining in the festivities.

The new store will offer a full range of Menswear, its 1860 Suit Hire and Mansize range (larger size clothing). Greenwoods will also become the latest business to sign up to the successful Shop Local Scheme, offering 10% discount for cardholders (excludes suit hire or half price sale items).

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