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Informing Business (May 30)

The round-up of the latest business news from Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough including a mother and son who are opening a plastic-free shop.

Five years caring for creatures of every kind

The owners of a long-standing veterinary practice in Fifield have been celebrating five years at the helm.

Simon Ratcliffe took over the Kelperland Veterinary Centre, in Forest Green Road, in 2014 with his wife Camilla.

The practice, originally based in Maidenhead, has been treating family pets across the town since 1958 and now has about 2,500 animals under its care.

Fifield resident Simon, 38, said he is proud of how his practice has grown during his first five years in charge.

He said: “One of the things we’re most proud of is that there were three members of staff when we took over and now there are nine people working here.

“We’re providing employment for people in the local area.”

Simon took over the practice with the aim of providing a vital service for the community.

And he said that he is ‘humbled’ to be the custodian of a business which has served the town for more than half a century.

“We’ve got a few clients that used to come here when they were children,” Simon said.

“It’s almost like you run through the generations of families through the generation of pets.

“It’s quite humbling having a business that’s been around for so long.”

He admitted the difficult side of the job was caring for older patients and deciding when euthanasia might be the fairest option for a pet.

“The great thing about this job though is that you do get the other side of it where beautiful animals come into the practice every day,” he added.

“You get things that are relatively easy to fix and it’s immensely satisfying when you’re able to resolve a problem.”

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Plumbers flushed with winning joy

A family-run business from Bourne End won three prizes at the Energy Efficiency Awards.

The Evans Group, based at Jacksons Industrial Estate, has four divisions which specialise in different aspects of the plumbing and heating industry.

Competing in the Greater London section, the company’s R.G Evans team picked up the Boiler & Heating Installer gong.

The award aims to recognise the work of fully-qualified boiler and heating engineers who provide excellent customer service and demonstrate a high standard of workmanship.

Heppelthwaite, the Red Van Plumbers, who form part of the business, won the Vulnerable Customer Support Award for its work in addressing the issue of fuel poverty by installing energy efficient heating solutions.

R.G Evans was also commended in the Project of the Year category for its delivery of Crest Nicholson’s Brandon House development in London.

An awards ceremony took place on Thursday, June 20.

Fundraisers go the extra smile for play charity

Legal eagles raised hundreds of pounds for charity by completing a relay cycle ride.

Staff from Gardner Leader’s Maidenhead office teamed up with their colleagues from Thatcham and Newbury for the challenge last month.

They took turns riding stationary exercise bikes and racked up 150 miles, the equivalent of Newbury to Nottingham.

The following day, the law firm’s Berkshire branches held cake sales which bolstered the fundraising pot.

In total, £658 was raised for Swings and Smiles, a Berkshire charity that provides a play area for disabled children.

Sian Cook, founder and chair of Swings and Smiles said: “The team are so passionate about fundraising and have always done a fantastic job at coming up with different ways to raise much-needed funds.”

The Future Works wins In-town Office of the Year gong

A new office development in Slough has been recognised at two awards ceremonies.

The Future Works, in Brunel Way, won the In-town Office of the Year prize at the Thames Valley Property Awards 2019 earlier this year.

It has now been highly commended in the Best New Build outside of Central London category at the OAS Development Awards, organised by the Office Agents Society.

Developed by U+I and funded by AshbyCapital, the building is part of the town’s new commercial quarter.

The first phase of the development provides 100,000 sq ft of office space along with two roof terraces, a café and improved public spaces.

Tom Smithers, head of asset management at AshbyCapital, said: “Slough is an exceptional business location with the largest concentration of global corporate headquarters outside London and one of the highest start-up rates in the UK.

“Creating high-quality workspace that appeals to modern occupiers is vital to the town’s ongoing prosperity.”


'No brainer' - MP pushes for rail link to Heathrow

MP for Slough Tan Dhesi has been drumming up support for the Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH).

The proposed scheme would see a 6.5km rail link built between Mr Dhesi’s constituency and Heathrow Airport.

Travel time to the UK’s busiest transport hub would be six minutes from Slough, 14 minutes from Maidenhead and 26 minutes from Reading.

It is also estimated that carbon emissions could be reduced by 30 million road miles travelled annually.

Mr Dhesi met with the UK’s Rail Minister MP Andrew Jones on Wednesday, June 27 to discuss the work of a cross-party parliamentary group which is arguing in favour of the project.

The Slough MP said: “This project has almost unanimous support from councils, MPs, LEPs and Chambers of Commerce.

“As long as the concerns of Langley and Iver residents are addressed, this is a no-brainer.”

He added: “It has a predicted benefit of £800 million in additional economic activity.

“It is a national strategic issue regardless of whether or not Heathrow expansion goes ahead.

“We must do all we can to deliver this project in a timely manner.”

Director joins bank for smaller firms

The British Business Bank has appointed Warren Ralls as UK network director for the South and East of England.

The government-owned economic development bank is dedicated to making financial markets work better for smaller businesses.

Prior to joining the bank, Warren was director for the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Network, the representative body for the 38 LEPs operating across England.


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