Bondholder News


Business Resilience Planning in the “New Normal”

Business Resilience Planning in the “New Normal” – Peter Ahye, CEO Hexagon

There was a time, not long ago, where the majority of Business Resilience and Business Recovery plans were centred around cyber-attacks, technology outages, and malicious acts of sabotage from a disgruntled customer or employee. However, over the last few years, businesses have faced new risks and threats in the shape of terrorism, extreme weather conditions and of course the global pandemic that we are all currently living through. Therefore, it has never been more important to consider business resilience and business recovery as part of organisational strategy and planning.

Business resilience is traditionally seen as the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions, safeguard people and assets, while maintaining continuous business operations. Business resilience planning provides guidance for ensuring the ability of personnel to respond, resume, and restore to a pre-determined level of operation following a disruption. Business resilience enables organisations to continue their “mission”, and as we have seen over recent weeks and months, business resilience planning could make or break your organisation in these highly uncertain times. For many businesses though, they have seen an unprecedented increase in volumes, which too has caused major disruption and required a different way of thinking.

Whilst we might not have recognised it in this way the Global Pandemic that we are living through has forced many organisations to enact their pre-determined or reactionary business resilience plan, as business leaders grapple with ensuring that core operations and revenue streams are kept in play. Some are also doing this whilst simultaneously pivoting to new positions, presenting new products to markets and acquiring new customers to help keep their businesses viable in the mid to long term.

In this webinar we will explore the key things you need to consider as part of your Business Resilience Planning and how organisations like Hexagon support the strategic development of these BR plans in these highly uncertain times.

Peter Ahye CEO, Hexagon Consultants Limited

Peter a chartered accountant and the CEO of Hexagon Consultants, has been transforming large and complex businesses for over 25 years. Peter has a successful track record for uncovering opportunities that can add significant value, then delivering that value by implementing change. His achievements include helping to grow EBITDA by over £100m as Group Finance Director at Shop Direct, in one of UK retail’s biggest turnarounds. Through Hexagon Consultants, he has been able to deliver change and support management teams with delivering their agendas. His experiences and successes across a variety of sectors and ownership structures, including public, private equity, government and family ownership, help him and the Hexagon team to bring leading practices and insights to clients.

University Business Centre Wakefield: Rent a desk and Cowork – Autumn offer

The University Business Centre at Wakefield is currently offering an amazing Autumn deal.  If you sign up for a rent a desk/coworking space before 30thNovember 2019, you will receive your first month rent free.  This is a great opportunity for anyone just setting up in business, freelancing or for employers looking for a Wakefield base for their staff.  A desk at the Centre at Bond Terrace costs just £100+vat pcm or for earlier stage businesses just starting out, desks are available at their sister site at Wakefield College for only £70+vat pcm.  The price includes business rates, regular 1-1 business mentoring, a year’s free membership of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and free legal and accountancy clinics.  The Centre, part of Leeds Beckett University, is open to all small to medium sized businesses at any stage of growth and provides a gateway to sourcing graduate talent, academic and research expertise from the University.  To find out more about the Centre and this latest offer please contact / 01924 640136.  You can also follow them on social media @wakefieldubc.

Member Spotlight – Your Home Mortgages

This month Your Home Mortgages take the member spotlight, here we catch up with Company Director Neil Fraser to find out how they take the pain out of mortgages and also about their recent listing in the UK’s Top Rated Mortgage Advisers supplement within The Times.

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Over 300 students encouraged to ‘Give Construction a Try’

On 20 March, over 300 students from across the Wakefield district participated in over 40 different hands-on construction related activities held at the Wakefield College Castleford campus.

Partners from industry and education are working together collaboratively to inform young people about the opportunities within the construction industry.

The focus of the event was to inspire young people in West Yorkshire to consider a career in construction and raise awareness of the diverse range of roles and opportunities the industry has to offer.

The event also showcased a wide variety of activities, ranging from highly technical to hands on roles, aiming to challenge the perceived stereotypes of people that work in construction.

There were over 40 interactive activities on display, ranging from CAD design and surveying, the use of drones in construction through to joinery and brickwork.

To energise and enthuse the students, the event was hosted by Rugby League stars Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Alex Simmons from Rugby AM.

All partners involved in the GCAT Event have a genuine commitment to raise awareness of the amazing careers available within the Construction Industry and address the skills gap currently being faced. By bringing business, educators and industry specialists together we are able to have a greater impact and send a clear message to young people and their schools that Construction really is a great option.

Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright, said, “Wakefield College is at the forefront of working closely with industry to ensure our students have the greatest choice of careers or further study when they leave us. It’s a cornerstone of our ethos to prepare them for their next steps. This partnership is a great example of how collaborative working and investment in our District, for our communities can change people’s lives by bringing new opportunities and meet the skills gaps identified by employers.”

Claire Jubb (Higher Education Progression Officer) from Minsthorpe Community College said, “Students from Minsthorpe Community College have attended this event a number of times which improves year on year – the activities on offer and professionals in attendance raise awareness of the extensive and diverse range of career opportunities within the Construction Industry and inspire our students to achieve their full potential.

A must attend event for schools in West Yorkshire!

Contedia’s succesful completion for Nufox Rubber

Contedia are delighted to have successfully completed a custom application project recently for bespoke rubber products manufacturer, Nufox Rubber (incorporating Dunlop Rubber) in Manchester.

It has been great to see to what extent of detail and a passion for re-engineering their own internal processes the team at Nufox have.

As is so often the case with the custom (business process) application projects we are involved in, the driving force behind the project with Nufox Rubber was to develop a system that specifically met the business’s unique working methods and their objectives for being able to turn customer quotations around faster and with greater levels of embedded knowledge, taken from historical production data, allowing them to be even more competitive and accommodating to their customers’ needs.

Yet again, it serves to act as a reminder to businesses in any industry, that there are viable alternatives to working in ‘off-the-shelf’ business systems, even those aimed at vertical industries, that are developed for the many, rather than the few, or just the one!

Similarly, even those large, off-the-shelf applications, like SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dyanamics and similar, that do offer significant scope for customisation, often do not offer the opportunity to have customisations that are entirely unique to the customer which allow them to work how they already do, or wish to work, rather than being constrained to work how the system could best be extended to provide a home to their information.

Innovative businesses are choosing custom applications over Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and poorly fitting or overpriced enterprise software, which can often be too rigid or cumbersome to use.

Fifth annual Gala Dinner & Performance 2019

The fifth annual Gala Dinner and Performance saw two hundred and eighty guests fill Wakefield Cathedral on Friday 15 March to celebrate and raise money for Theatre Royal Wakefield and their work with young people.

The evening commenced with a two course dinner catered by Wakefield’s Create Café and was followed by an auction in the luxurious surroundings of Wakefield Cathedral. Lots such as cake decorating with Wakefield’s Karen Wright, chance to see Ian McKellen on Stage with a meet and greet and afternoon tea with Mary Creagh MP in the Palace of Westminster, were all generously bidded on. Guests then made their way down to the Theatre for the Gala Performance.

This annual fundraising event supports work with the learning and participation programmes designed by the Theatre in their mission to create great art accessible to all. Beneficiaries include projects for young people like Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Performance Academy, Musical Theatre workshops for learning disabled young people (CHIME), theatre projects for refugee and asylum seekers (Stories) and targeted workshops for older or isolated people.

Hosted by BBC Radio Leeds presenter, Nick Ahad, guests enjoyed performances from juggler Chris Marley, magic from Chris Cross, music from Alison George, Ben Lancaster, Dan Smith and the Punjabi Roots Academy. The evening also showcased plenty of singing and dancing from Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Performance Academy students.

Sarah Shooter, Theatre Royal Wakefield’s Head of Fundraising and Partnerships, said “Each year our Gala Dinner and Performance goes from strength to strength. To be able to raise funds while showcasing what amazing talent we have in Wakefield is a real pleasure. It’s the perfect chance to show all the amazing work that comes from the generous donations this event generates”

Theatre Royal Wakefield offers 60 bursaries for weekly training sessions, which are held in three separate academies across the Wakefield District. To sponsor a bursary place, please contact:

The Gala Dinner 2020 is already set for 13 March next year. Tickets will be available in November.

Fantastic Office Deals at the University Business Centre – Wakefield

The University Business Centre – Wakefield was launched a year ago as a business centre providing private offices to rent, coworking, virtual office services and a full programme of business support including mentoring, training, free legal and financial clinics and a year’s free membership with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Clients also benefit from links with Leeds Beckett University including access to graduate talent, knowledge transfer opportunities and academic and research expertise.

Businesses also benefit from gigabit connectivity provided by Exa Networks.

Wakefield BC Pete Rushton

With just a few offices remaining to let, the Centre is currently inviting businesses to take advantage of their current deal of workstations starting from only £60 a month.

If you know of any businesses who might benefit, their online brochure can be viewed here or contact the Centre on 01924 640136.

Late-night art event invites visitors to discover a city bursting with creativity this march

Artwalk, Wakefield’s long-running alternative cultural ‘late-night’, celebrates the best of local creativity. Taking place on the last Wednesday of January, March, May, July, September and November, Artwalk exists to showcase local, national and international artistic talent in a range of settings.

On Wednesday 27th March, 14 venues across Wakefield city centre will host a range of free art exhibitions, poetry, music, activities and, food and drink for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Taking place from 17:00 – late, residents and visitors are encouraged to discover a few hidden gems as they explore the city. In its own words “Ask anyone who has visited and they’ll tell you, Artwalk is Wakefield’s best kept secret!”

This time around, visitors can enjoy The Hepworth’s late-night opening and see their new exhibition by Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things, rated 5 stars by The Guardian. Or, if it’s music you’re into, catch live performances at The Jolly Tap where Ukes O’clock will be performing as part of Ali Bullivent’s Acoustic World.

If you fancy something a little more interactive, why not explore Westgate Studios or visit Now Serving where you can get involved with ‘Brutalising Blue Peter’ – you’ll have to go along to see what that means!

Food and drink are also available at some venues, including The Art House (launching its latest exhibition by sculptor Tony Heaton on the night) where visitors can indulge in delicious Italian coffee and bakes from Laura’s café.

Artwalk always has a surprise up its sleeve for those bold enough to seek it out. With 14 venues to visit, the Artwalk team recommends you pick up a free map on the night to plan your ideal route.

For more information visit

Wakefield College celebrates Apprentice success…

The Waterton Park Hotel formed the backdrop for Wakefield College’s annual Apprenticeships Awards Ceremony this week. Local business leaders and dignitaries were joined by senior college staff to celebrate the success of apprentices and employers at the glittering awards evening.

The annual ceremony kicked off a week of activities at Wakefield College to coincide with National Apprenticeships Week, recognising those who have shown hard work and commitment, both in their College work and in their workplace.

Businesses that provide apprentices with exceptional support and mentoring were also acknowledged at the ceremony.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Wakefield Metropolitan District, Councillor Stuart Heptinstall, families, Wakefield College Principal, Sam Wright, and nominees in both ‘Employer’ and Apprentice’ categories.

Pictured: Zoe Wright (left) who won the Wakefield College Apprentice of the Year, receives her award from Karen Sykes, Director of HR.

This year’s winners included:
Health and Care Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield College
Chloe Sykes-Kinder – Level 3 Dental Nurse (Park View Dental Practice)

Animal Care, Hair & Beauty, Horticulture, Logistics and Sports Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by YPO
Grant Wynn – Level 2 Horticulture (Wakefield Council)

Non-Levy Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield Council
JBC Industrial Services

Wakefield College Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Wakefield College
Zoe Wright – Level 3 Customer Service

Higher Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Chadwick Lawrence
Judith Megson

Automotive and Engineering Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by OE Electrics
Simon Grayston – Level 2 Mechanical Engineering (Hydraulic Equipment Supermarkets)

New Employer of the Year
Sponsored by Business Development at Wakefield College
Phase 3 Consulting

Construction Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Arcadis
Bailey Matthews – Level 2 Trowel (Jordan Developments Ltd)

Levy Employer Apprentice of the Year Sponsored by Wakefield Council
South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust

Business and Professional Apprentice of the Year
Sponsored by Engie
Andrew Smart – Level 2 Business Administration (Card Factory)

Special Recognition
Brian Fisher and Tyler Pickard

Executive Director for Employer Engagement and Apprenticeships, Joanne Taylor said. “Apprenticeships at Wakefield College continue to go from strength to strength and we are delighted so many friends and families could join us. Our fourth annual Apprenticeships Awards Ceremony was another successful event and the perfect opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution apprentices and employers are making to the local economy.”

Bondholders backs local women’s charity

Wakefield Bondholders has helped to raise over £500 for the Well Women Centre, a charity that supports the wellbeing of women throughout the more