Get with the Future Business Magnates!

Future Business Magnates
Future Business Magnates, Business Durham’s Enterprise Competition for schools, which is in its 13th year, challenges students in our schools to develop a world-beating business plan.

The exciting and fun competition aims to build enthusiasm in young people and introduces them to the basics of starting and running a business.

School teams are supported by a business partner from a local firm who work with the team throughout the competition, lending their experience and expertise and guiding them in their first business venture.

It will run until July 2018 and concludes with an awards ceremony and business dinner. If you’d like to know more about the competition and how you can become involved contact Gary Chaplin on 03000261252.

Every pound counts! Appeal for MRI scanner

MRI Appeal
County Durham & Darlington NHS FT Charity (CDDFT) is one of the largest Trusts outside of London and scan over 1000 people every single day. Its consultants help diagnosis many types of cancers, cardio vascular, musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, as well as soft tissue injury such as to the liver or brain.

The trust is investing to replace outdated technology and place CDDFT at the forefront of radiology in the UK. This is a huge investment and the help of people, businesses, groups and associations will help make a difference for many people in our communities.

Dr Elizabeth Loney, Senior Consultant Radiologist at CDDFT, (pictured above) said: “This new technology will place us at the forefront of MRI innovation, not only improving the patient experience during their scan but providing us with the opportunity to train and develop staff, in our Trust and other NHS Trusts in the UK. We have a national shortage of radiologists and the efficiencies created in operation will provide us with essential time to train and develop staff too.”

The transformation is happening now, but equipment is not paid for until December 2018 –providing the time desperately needed to fundraise and cover the costs.

They have had support from Rotary, Lions, some of schools and other groups and associations, and really need businesses to consider how they could help, through donations, fundraising or volunteering for them.

Get involved and donate today.

Steadfast deals for Anglo Scottish Asset Finance

Independent provider of finance solutions, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, who are based on the Drum Industrial Estate, have sealed nearly 20 deals since joining forces with the SteadFast Group four years ago.

Self-employed agent, Colin Elrick, carried out the deals which included financing trucks, vans and cars – a number of them that we helped source! The most recent deal was the finding and funding of a nearly new Toyota Avensis Estate.

Going that extra mile for Steadfast Group has helped generate a wide variety of deals and profit opportunities. Colin said: “It’s been four years since I first met the MD of the Steadfast Group at a business networking group and since then, I have built a strong business relationship.”

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of business finance then please contact the team on 0191 411 3366.

Coveris Rigid UK Ltd scoops people development award

Coveris Rigid UK Ltd, which specialising in high performance packaging, has been recognised at the CIPD North East’s annual awards. The global company, which has bases at Chester-le-Street and Stanley, claimed the prize for Excellence in People Development.

With more than 10,000 global employees and 60 facilities, its Chester-Le-Street site has been transformed in recent years through its People Strategy. Focusing on ‘growing and retaining its own talent’, the solution was to introduce Apprenticeship programmes across the business. The impact of the People Strategy programme has been a very positive experience for the business and less than a year in, it is already seeing a return on its investment.

Kerry Hardy, Head of HR UK, said: “We were delighted and very proud to win this externally recognised prestigious award. Growing and retaining our own talent is a key part of our medium to long term UK People Strategy. This achievement highlights the success of the programme and the excellent work by our leaders, trainers and partners. On behalf of Coveris Rigid UK I would personally like to thank all involved in the day to day training that is critical to the success of this programme.”

Co-op clean up Drum community cycle track

Co op clean up
Staff from The Co-op Distribution Centre at Drum Industrial Estate took part in a clean-up of the pedestrian and cycle track that runs between the industrial estate and the local housing estate.

Following a request from Birtley Parish council, the 10 colleagues not only volunteered their time, but also their gardening equipment. They carried out a litter pick, as well as cutting back overgrown hedges, trimming down overhanging branches, and mended the fence to make it safe for walkers.

The colleagues had several members of the public stop and thank them for cleaning the path up as it’s no longer maintained by the local council.

Thank you also from us all here at the Drum Industrial Estate!

Natural Nutrients slayed the dragons!

dragons den natural nutrientsLiam Sherriff and Craig Newbigin of Drum Estate’s Natural Nutrients entered the Dragons’ Den on 27 August and left with an offer of £100,000.

Liam, the founder of healthy supplements company Natural Nutrients, along with business development manager Craig, impressed four dragons as they pitched their products in front of millions on the TV show. After hearing each of the dragons’ offers, the duo accepted the offers made by Peter Jones and Tej Lalvani.

Peter Jones, who has been a dragon since the very first series, has invested over £4m on the show to date. His investments have included Love da Popcorn (a low sugar popcorn brand), Bare Naked Foods (low-carb noodles) and Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce. Tej Lalvani, the latest addition to the line-up, is CEO of Vitabiotics – the largest vitamin company in the UK. Over the last 20 years Tej has grown the business into one of the leading nutrition companies in the world, with products sold in over 100 countries.

Liam said: “We applied for Dragon’s Den because we felt that impressing the Dragons could really strengthen our company and its long-term potential. All the investors on the show have so much experience – and particularly with Tej being a leading figure in our sector – we felt that their contacts and expertise can really open up new opportunities”.

Craig added: “There was more adrenaline than nerves to be honest, especially walking through the lift and seeing the Dragons all sat there for the first time, but despite this and all the crew and cameras to the side of the set, once we started talking about business we forgot that they were there, and Liam and I just got stuck in.”

Liam concluded: “The last four years have seen Natural Nutrients grow from a little start-up side business run from my garage to a proper company with our own warehouse, team of expert nutritionists and a growing list of unique, healthy products that we ship across the UK and beyond. Being invited to take part in Dragon’s Den and coming away having ‘slayed’ the dragons is an incredible feeling and is testimony to the hard work we’ve all put in as a team and we’re really excited to see what the next few months will bring!”

Health and safety training

health training
A range of training courses are available at Aspen Wolf in Seaham are available. Discounts can be applied for block bookings and training can also be delivered on site exclusively for your staff.

The courses include: Emergency First Aid at Work (appointed person); Level 3 First Aid at Work Re-Qualification; and Level 3 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace (IOSHH equivalent) £295.00 + VAT per person.

For more information about any of the above please call 0191 581 1000 or email

£20 million funding opportunities

Durham finance
An exciting funding opportunity is available for businesses across County Durham.

The £20 million Finance Durham LP fund, announced by Business Durham and managed by Maven Capital Partners, offers funding for companies of all sizes across most sectors.

The aim is to contribute to economic development, job creation and innovation within the County. Get more details, check eligibility criteria and apply at

Great charity effort by the Co-op

Charity board
Congratulations to the Co-Operative Food Distribution depot on the Drum Estate for their sterling efforts in supporting charities.

So far the company has supported over 23 charities either by donating raffle prizes or raising money direct in the depot by doing various activities.

The funds raised to-date total £1200 (£800 for the British Red Cross and £400 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation).

Well done and keep up the good work!

Lights, camera, action!

Anglo Scottish Asset Finance, the independent provider of finance solutions, based on the Drum Industrial Estate, has helped a local events company procure audio and visual stage and lighting equipment.

The decision was made because the customer was regularly hiring equipment which, over time, was costing more than it would to fund the purchase and own the equipment outright

This is a fine example of the diverse ways Anglo Scottish can help its customers and save money. Whether it is manging cash flow, funding expansion, acquiring assets (including vehicles) or even organising some personal finance, they’re there to help.

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of business finance then please contact the team on 0191 411 3366 or email

Team expansion for KEP Services (UK) Ltd

KEP Services (UK) Ltd, based on Third Avenue, have made two key appointments to their team following the retirement of the company’s founder.

Matthew Pennels and Les Smith (both pictured above) are welcomed by Bob and Cath Jobson. Matthew joined the team last year as a Storeman and has since progressed to the Sales Team and is a real asset to the team.

Les, who was previously employed at Start Fitness, replaced Matthew’s role in the Stores and is enjoying his new role. The company’s longest serving member of staff, Stan Curtis, has recently retired. He was the founder of KEP back in 1998 and when the company was sold in 2010 he stayed on for the next seven years.

Bob and Cath said: “Stan continued with us through the thick and thin of it and we wish him well in his retirement. If anyone would like to visit us, just call in for a cuppa!”

Become an enterprise adviser

Enterprise advisor
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership is looking for leaders from North East businesses and employers to volunteer their time to become an Enterprise Adviser and make a difference to a local school or college.

It’s a unique way to help inform young people and equip them with the skills they need to find work after education. Plus, it means you can help shape the future workforce for your company for years to come.

Want to join? Contact the LEP’s team of Enterprise Co-ordinators on 0191 338 7420 or visit the website.

Financial support to reduce your energy consumption

Access support to increase the use of energy efficient technologies and processes in your business.

The independent Durham Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) scheme can provide you with a grant of up to 40% off the cost of installing appropriate energy efficient technology.

The project has secured ERDF support and has been endorsed by the North East England Chamber of Commerce, the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, the Federation of Small Business, Business Durham, Northern Powergrid and the Energy Institute of Durham University.

For further details contact the BEEP team on 03000 265547 or visit their newly-launched website.

Training to achieve greater results

A comprehensive range of training workshops, qualifications and services in leadership and management; health and wellbeing; and employability are on offer for companies based in County Durham.

Specialist training provider Amacus, who work directly with employers to support business improvement by offering bespoke training solutions, have recently launched a fully funded training programme called Taking the Stress out of Manging People. It’s designed to provide the confidence, skills and knowledge and is delivered in partnership with Collingwood Legal.

For details on this and the full range of options available email

Meet Your International Trade Adviser

John Doolan

John Doolan (pictured above) is one of the Department of International Trade’s most experienced advisers. He can assist your business to enter new markets and maximise your revenues from overseas trade.

As a business in County Durham you can access tailored support to help develop an achievable Export Growth Action Plan through the ‘Expanding North East Presence in International Markets’ ERDF project. In addition, access to specialist support, such as Virtual Export Managers and Export Sector Specialists, plus (for eligible SMEs) grant funding to assist with the costs of export promotion, will help maximise your chances of success.

Regular free workshops are also available and details can be found here. If you’d like to arrange an appointment with John, contact the North East team at or call 0345 136 0169.

Be part of the Durham community

Community Foundation
The County Durham Community Foundation provides grants that make a genuine difference to the lives of local people. In the last year, they have awarded over £3.5 million to community projects and individuals in need across County Durham and Darlington.

Their charitable funds are donated by local individuals, families, businesses and trusts, building up a source of long-term support for the community and acting as vital links between donors and local needs.

If you’d like to know more about funding for groups or how the Community Foundation can work with you on your corporate social responsibility contact Sarah McIntyre to set up a meeting.

Nutrients for trade

Natural Nutrients
Drum-based Natural Nutrients are seeking businesses looking to stock high quality natural supplements and sports nutrition products. The opportunity is especially ideal for gyms and health shops.

As one of the UK’s fastest growing natural supplement brands they have a number of products available from Protein Powders and BCAA’s, to vitamins, minerals and superfoods. Find out about opening a trade account.

Over £1.2million invested into businesses through DurhamWorks

Durham Works achievement
DurhamWorks is a partnership solution to youth unemployment in County Durham led by Durham County Council working with employers to create opportunities for unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds.

The project’s Learning Working Earning grant funding helps businesses with salaries and other costs associated with employing staff, up to a maximum of £3,000.

Since launching in April 2016 the project has engaged with over 900 businesses helping them realise the benefits of employing young people.

Up to 70 per cent of six months’ salary can be funded once all other funding has been taken into consideration, with employers contributing a minimum of £500 towards the creation of a 12-month role.

To find out how your business can benefit from support from DurhamWorks call 03000 262 930.

Chartered approval for Anglo Scottish accountant

award Anglo Scottish Asset Finance accountant, Lorna Smith, has been awarded full membership of the Chartered Global Management Accountants.

Whilst working for Anglo Scottish, Lorna has met all the requirements necessary for her work record to receive this certificate.

Lorna (pictured above) said: “Since joining Anglo Scottish, I have been able to fulfil the requirements in my work record in order to be accepted as a full member of Chartered Global Management Accountants. Thank you Anglo!”

Congratulations to Lorna and Anglo Scottish Asset Finance!

Rondean machinery relocates to Drum Industrial Estate

Rondean Machinery
We were delighted to welcome Rondean Machinery to the Drum Industrial Estate at the beginning of 2017.

Rondean have supplied used and new machinery and tooling since 1984 to engineering, fabrication and woodworking industries.

Here is a selection of their latest stock arrivals. As always they have sourced some superb machines and with many others waiting to go through to their workshop.

For more information, call 0191 410 5886 or email

New Contract Hire Specialists on Drum

Anglo Scottish Finance
Anglo Scottish Asset Finance based on the Drum Industrial Estate has just launched a new finance product to its portfolio.

The finance company now offers Contract Hire option and deals on all makes and models so you can drive a new vehicle without having to make a significant financial outlay, spreading the cost over a set period of time. With fixed monthly payments budgeting becomes simple. At the end of the agreement, you simply hand back the vehicle.

Find out more about contract hire options and deals by contacting one of the new team members, Richard Alex or Rob, who have brought over 50 years combined experience of contract hire to Anglo Scottish Asset Finance. They’re always happy to have a coffee and a chat!

Please contact them on 0191 411 3364.

Fantastic first aid response by Coop employee

Karen Ayre
Karen Ayre, a backshift Transport Support Assistant at The Coop Depot in Drum Lane industrial Estate, came across a road traffic accident on the evening of Monday 5 June 2017 at the bypass near the Stoney Heap Harelaw Junction.

Both cars had sustained serious damage and Karen could see that a young girl in one of the vehicles was trying to get out. Quick-thinking Karen explained that it was best she stayed in her car until help arrived. Karen then went to help the gentleman in the other vehicle who was very disorientated and finding it difficult to walk. She guided him to her car where she made him comfortable while awaiting the ambulance.

Karen, who waited at the scene of the accident for over two hours, said: “As I had recently attended a First Aid at work course, I felt it was my duty to help and support in any way I could.”

Well done Karen and we’re pleased to see the Coop has since presented her with a Reward and Recognition at work. Above is a photo of Stuart Walker, Dayshift Transport Shift Manager, with Karen.