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Like coffee and tea? Enjoy cakes, buns and biscuits? Then pop in to The Beauty Specialists in F Mill Courtyard this Friday 25th September. Julie and the team are hosting a coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care.
As well as indulging in sweet treats, you could also have a 10 minute hand & arm, or neck, back & head massage. Plus there’s even a cake competition and a raffle, with the chance to win Elemis gift packs and treatments.
The coffee morning begins at 8am and will continue all day – so if you have 15 minutes to spare, why drop in for a cuppa, a piece of cake and a chat and help The Beauty Specialists raise money for a very worthy cause?

Top cookery school to open at Dean Clough
As the saying goes, ‘As one door closes, another one opens’ and whilst we were very sad to see the Dean Clough Cooking School close earlier in the year, we are delighted to announce that delicious aromas will soon be wafting from the purpose-built teaching kitchens once again.

The reason? Devon-based award-winning training company, Ashburton Cookery School, will be opening the Ashburton Chefs’ Academy at Dean Clough this winter. The school offers over 40 courses from half or one-day courses in specific cuisine types such as breadmaking, tapas or authentic Indian cookery to professional certificate and diploma courses designed to fast-track the careers of aspiring chefs. All courses are tutored by professional chefs with extensive industry experience.

A number of the courses currently offered in Devon will be available at Ashburton’s Halifax Academy. Indeed, demand for professional training is such that places are already being filled for the 4 week Certificate in Professional Cookery which commences in January 2016.

Ashburton Cookery School founder and CEO, Stella West-Harling is very positive about opening a training centre in the North of England. She says “Over the years we have been asked many times if we would open another training centre outside of Devon and so we are really excited to be bringing our courses to Dean Clough, which has fantastic kitchen facilities and is in a great location for so many people in the Leeds and Manchester areas.”

Dean Clough’s Managing Director, Jeremy Hall, said “Ashburton Cookery School has an excellent reputation, so I’m delighted that Dean Clough has been chosen as a location for its new North of England base. Up until recently we had our own cookery school on site, so it’s great that Ashburton has seen the potential of the facilities here. It’s very good news for us, for Halifax, and also for anyone interested in learning or perfecting their culinary skills.”

The first courses will be offered at Dean Clough in November 2015. For more information about Ashburton, visit www.ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk
Business is blooming in E Mill
Business is blooming in E Mill
Dean Clough delivers the goods for Prestige
What Simon Crowther and his business partner James Miskell have achieved in the space of four years is nothing short of remarkable. They launched their online flower and gift company, Prestige Gifting, whilst the UK was in the depths of recession and have gone from a back bedroom start-up to a major operation with a £multi-million turnover.

Until a few months ago Prestige Gifting was based at the Town Hall in Hebden Bridge, but they were fast outgrowing the space and needed larger premises where there was room for further expansion. That’s how they arrived at their new home in E Mill at Dean Clough.

Simon says “We could have found space on a business park or industrial estate, but there’s nothing for staff to do there on a lunchtime. I already knew about Dean Clough because I was born in Halifax and I’ve got family ties here. My parents, aunt and grandmother all worked here when it was Crossley’s Carpets. There’s something very special about the place. I’m very impressed with the set-up and I absolutely love our new office – there’s lots of space. And of course there’s plenty to do here – there are exhibitions to look at and bars, cafes and restaurants.”

Prestige currently has 12 staff in E Mill, all of whom are involved in graphics, marketing, sales, business development, logistics and buying. The number is expected to increase as the business further expands.

So how did they become so successful so quickly? And why did they decide to become online florists?

“Flowers are recession-proof.” Explains Simon. “People will always send flowers for special occasions like birthdays, Mothers’ Day, Valentine’s Day, to congratulate someone or to sympathise if someone is ill, or a friend’s loved one has passed on.”

James and Simon were working together at a similar type of company when they decided to strike out on their own. Why not? – they had the skills and expertise, they had the contacts and the experience, they had the enthusiasm – and they knew how do it better. “It was very hard at first”, Simon explains, “We were still working full-time whilst we were building the company up. I became an expert at bidding for keywords on Google Adwords – I imagine it was a bit like having a gambling addiction!”

The gamble certainly paid off. Prestige Gifting’s product portfolio is large and includes colourful bouquets, wreaths, plants, chocolates and different types of hampers. The company is continually adding new and innovative products to their lines. Many bouquets include free chocolates in the price but, for instance, if the recipient is a chocoholic they might prefer the Chocolate Lovers’ Bouquet, comprised of different chocolate bars. Another recent addition is a selection of beautiful National Gallery bouquets inspired by paintings by famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh and Turner – products exclusive to Prestige and the National Gallery itself.

Customer retention is very important to Prestige. It has over 60,000 Facebook followers and is active on all the social media sites. The team has also gone out of its way to make sure that the customer’s experience is a good one –ordering from the website is incredibly simple. Plus, because they buy direct from flower auctions, Prestige is able offer their products at very competitive prices. They’re currently rated No 1 on online review sites Trustpilot and Reevoo. But there’s more to it than that.

“Sending flowers has an emotional element to it, so it’s very important to get it right. In many cases, if the flowers are ordered before 3pm we can arrange same day delivery in the next two or three hours. We’re also one of the first flower companies in the UK to accept orders up to 9pm for next day delivery – and even deliver on Sundays.”

Prestige is unique in that it is the only company of its type to control the entire distribution chain. They have their own packing facility in Mansfield, which, geographically is an ideal location for distribution. Most flowers are delivered next day up to 7pm by Royal Mail, with same day deliveries dispatched via a network of florists nationwide. Sunday deliveries are made by DPD.

As well as their own direct orders, Prestige also fulfils orders for Debenham’s Flowers, processes orders for Home Bargains Flowers, 123 Flowers and Barnardos Flowers and packs lines for Interflora and other large concerns. In addition, the company also has a small operation in Holland which dispatches orders to Germany and Belgium. In fact Prestige currently delivers to 14 countries outside the UK including Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA. There are plans to expand this to 200 countries in the coming months.

To give an idea of the scale of the operation – normal off-peak times will see 4,500 deliveries dispatched per week. At peak times such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day that figure increases to around 50,000 orders per week.

Another part of the business which is unique to Prestige is their Flowers in Store brand. If you see lower price point flowers such as boxes of daffodils, or stems of chrysanthemums and roses in a flower stand at a convenience store, the chances are that they have been packed and supplied pre-barcoded by Prestige. 15,000 shops in the UK have access to this service.

Simon says “James and I have a great team behind us, who have played a huge part in making Prestige so successful.” We wish them every success at Dean Clough.

Prestige Gifting Limited
Suite 237 E Mill
Dean Clough

www.prestigeflowers.co.uk
Connor Chella, owner of Urban Esquire with a customer
Connor Chella, owner of Urban Esquire with a customer
Traditional barbering comes to Dean Clough
Urban Esquire is definitely not your average barber’s shop. Step inside the door and you can’t fail to be impressed. Deep Belfast sinks are housed in washstands that look like gentlemen’s desks; the barbers’ chairs are original 1970s models, which have been re-upholstered in smart tan leather. There’s even a retro bike propped against the wall! In fact the only giveaway that you haven’t travelled back in time is the large television screen tuned to a modern music channel.

The quirky interior, which has a rustic modern vintage feel, is all the design of 26 year-old owner Connor Chella – right down to the solid timber benches and the old-fashioned fan sitting on the stone window sill.

Connor has been barbering for several years, working in barbers’ shops in Leeds and Baildon before taking the plunge and going it alone with Urban Esquire. He hails from Bradford, but chose to open his new shop at Dean Clough as he felt it was the right fit. “There’s something really different about Dean Clough” he says. “It’s thriving and I feel at home here – it’s got a really good vibe.”

It seems barbering runs in the family. Connor was inspired by his brother, who has worked in traditional outfits in New York and London. At Urban Esquire, Connor offers both contemporary and traditional haircuts for men and boys and specialises in clipper work. So whether you want a number 1 all over, a short back and sides, a skinfade, a quiff or a longer style, you can be sure of a good result.

He’s friendly too and very hospitable – gents can enjoy a free glass of whiskey, or a Costa coffee whilst they’re having their hair cut. Plus on 6th June there will be a live DJ set playing Ibiza chillout tunes and a guest barber from Leeds.

Many run-of-the-mill barbers only offer dry cuts, but a wash and clippers or wash, cut and finish is all part of the service at Urban Esquire. For the ultimate in male grooming, Connor also offers a traditional hot towel full shave or beard trim.

Urban Esquire can be found on the ground floor of F Mill, just along from the gym. So why not pop in, make an appointment and take advantage of some of the introductory offers featured on the A-board outside?

Urban Esquire, No. 3 F Mill Courtyard, Tel: 01422 646550, Email: urbanesquires@hotmail.co.uk
The Beauty Specialists are now open at No 4 F Mill
The Beauty Specialists are now open at No 4 F Mill
The Beauty Specialists are back!
One of the great things about Dean Clough is that people generally like it so much that they want to come back. That’s certainly the case with The Beauty Specialists.

Many of you will remember that The Beauty Specialists were based within Fitness First for several years until the gym closed. When this happened they moved to a hairdressing salon at Stump Cross for a year or so, but it was only a matter of time before they came back. “The intention was always to return to Dean Clough. We were just waiting for the right unit to become available” says Manager, Julie Baldwin, “and now it has!”

In fact The Beauty Specialists have a prime position on the ground floor of F Mill. The space is light, bright and welcoming and as soon as you step inside you feel relaxed. The appointment book is already filling up too. Many are Julie’s regular clients, but plenty of people are also dropping in to book appointments during lunchtimes or after work.

Julie and her team of qualified therapists offer a comprehensive menu of treatments for the body beautiful including hair removal, brow shaping and lash and brow tinting, manicures, pedicures, tanning and a variety of specialist skin treatments, massages and holistic therapies for both women and men.

What’s more, The Beauty Specialists are approved therapists for the Elemis range of luxury spa and skincare products. Treat yourself or a friend to an Advanced Anti-Ageing or Skin Solution Facial, tailored specifically to your own skin type; try one of the relaxing, de-stressing massages on offer, including aromatherapy oils and hot stones; Or why not go for a detoxifying body wrap?

Another treatment that Julie highly recommends is Crystal Clear Oxygen Therapy. Ideal for sun-damaged, aged and acne-prone skin, it rejuvenates the skin from the inside out and plumps out lines and wrinkles. Or if you suffer from hay fever, sinusitis, migraines or colds, Hopi Ear Candle therapy could help to relieve the congestion.

The Beauty Specialists have been in business over 11 years and part of their success is due to the fact that Julie has always ensured that her customers receive the very best service and the very best products. For example, walk into the new salon and you won’t find a single sunbed in sight. “Sunbed use damages the skin.” Says Julie. “So we encourage customers to have a spray tan instead. The Sun Spa system we use gives a completely even bronzed look, without any streaks. It looks great and it’s completely safe.”

Even bitten fingernails can be made to look much better. “It doesn’t matter how short your nails are, they will still look great after a manicure.” She says. “In fact having a manicure often encourages people to stop biting them.” The Beauty Specialists offer a huge choice of ultra-durable Shellac colours, which will last at least 14 days without chipping, or alternatively a wide range of Vinylux polishes, which will last around 7 days.

We put our bodies through such a lot during our everyday lives that we deserve to treat ourselves every now and again. Having a spa treatment is an amazing pick-me-up. And I can vouch for that. After my spa pedicure at The Beauty Specialists I felt like I was walking on air!

The Beauty Specialists are at No. 4, F Mill, Dean Clough. Call in or make an appointment on 01422 647071.
New play centre opening 23rd May
New play centre opening 23rd May
The kids have all the fun!
Here’s some excellent news for parents of active young children! Next month sees the opening of a brand new indoor soft play and party centre at Dean Clough.

Polly’s Play, based in Holroyd’s Mill is designed specifically to appeal to children aged six and under and is the creation of Mel Greenwood from Lightcliffe, Halifax. A primary school teacher of 10 years, Mel and her husband, Joe, have two small children of their own: Arthur, aged 4, and his sister Polly, aged one, from whom the business takes its name.

Polly's is aimed at families with young children where their little ones can be supervised and play safely in a clean, comfortable and friendly environment. When it opens its doors on Saturday 23rd May, kids will have a great time using the two lane slide, jumping in the ball pool and climbing under, over or through the obstacles in their way. Alternatively, if they like dressing up, there will be plenty of costumes to choose from in the role play area. A separate soft play and quiet area has been designated for babies and very young children – and there will even be toilets just the right size for toddlers.

It goes without saying that there will be plenty of play activities on offer to keep the youngsters occupied, but what about the adults? Mel has thought about this too. The in-house café will be serving up a selection of delicious hot and cold food, healthy treats and snacks, great tea and coffee and cold drinks. The café is ideally situated so that parents or carers can enjoy a drink with friends or family whilst still being able to keep an eye on their children.

Of course, Polly’s will also be the ideal venue to hold a party for the under-sixes. Mel and her experienced colleagues will take care of everything, right down to supplying you with party invitation stationery. All you need to do is turn up with the children. Parties can either be private or take place during normal hours.

Work began on the renovation of the Holroyd’s Mill building at the beginning of April and the transformation is really beginning to take shape. The most significant change is the removal of the mezzanine floor to make way for the new play structure. You can see images of the refurbishment process here.

Mel is, understandably, very excited about her new venture. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for quite a long time but we needed to find the right place.” She says. “When we saw Holroyd’s Mill in June of last year, we realised straight away that it was the perfect size, layout and location for us.”

She adds “The Dean Clough brand is representative of all the things we are aiming to achieve - quality, traditional values, local produce and making links with and supporting other family-run businesses.”

We wish her every success!

To find out more about Polly’s Play, visit www.playatpollys.co.uk or contact Mel directly on 07985 225589.
Main contractor Finnegan is a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme
Main contractor Finnegan is a member of the Considerate Constructors Scheme
Considerate Constructors at work in A&B Mill
Anyone passing by A&B Mill can’t fail to have noticed the prominent signage stating that it is a Considerate Constructors site. But what exactly is ‘Considerate Construction’ and how is main contractor, J F Finnegan making sure everything goes to plan? Finnegan’s Contracts Manager, Gary Finney and Project Manager, Mick Duffy, are only too happy to elaborate, when I visit them to pose the question.

It transpires that the concept of considerate construction is not a recent phenomenon. With the aim of improving its image, the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) was actually set up in 1997 by the construction industry, with the aim of improving its tarnished image of loud, noisy, messy sites, with scant regard for surrounding homes and businesses.

Since its inception, over 80,000 projects have been registered to the Scheme, including the refurbishment of A&B Mill. Registration is voluntary, but those construction sites, companies and suppliers that do register agree to abide by a set of rules called the Code of Considerate Practice. The site is then audited at various stages of construction by a CCS Monitor who assesses the site against a checklist and gives it an overall score out of 50. These relate to the appearance of the site; respect for the community; protecting the environment; securing everyone’s safety; and valuing the workforce. The findings are published in a report, which the constructor can use to make improvements.

As its name suggests, the Considerate Constructors Scheme seeks to reduce any disturbance or negative impact on the area in which construction work is taking place. This means minimising noise, dirt, dust; keeping the area tidy; parking considerately and behaving appropriately etc.

“In a nutshell it’s about being aware of and respecting and protecting the communities and environments you’re working in” explains Gary. “It’s also about going above and beyond statutory requirements to secure everyone’s safety – both on site and in the wider environment.”

This is achieved through anticipation of the consequences of events and careful planning of each stage of the building work. Weekly progress meetings are held with Dean Clough’s Site Manager, Linda Hardcastle, to discuss forthcoming requirements as well as regular meetings with Dean Clough Managing Director, Jeremy Hall and Andrew Bonnington, Employer’s Agent for Covèa Insurance.

The initial stage of the project involves a significant amount of drilling, which inevitably creates dust and noise. “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” Gary notes, “But in order to contain the dust within the site and prevent it from affecting other businesses nearby and the environment in general, the entire site has been tented inside and out.” Similarly, to lessen disturbance, any really noisy work is undertaken out of normal working hours (the site opens at 8am) or at weekends.

“We’re also very mindful that there’s a nursery in the adjacent building. So wherever possible we try to time deliveries so that they’re not happening when parents are dropping off or collecting their children.” Says Mick.

Obviously the team can’t only work unsociable hours or the project would take years to complete, but Mick and the team utilised an ingenious way of reducing noise when they are on site – hydraulic bursting.“We devised a technique whereby the drill is surrounded by a system of circular wedges which burst the rock apart. This gets the job done more efficiently and keeps drilling to a minimum.” He says.

One unavoidable disturbance, however, is closure of the part of Old Lane which runs directly behind A & B Mill. This stretch of road will be closed for 10 weeks starting on 28th April. Access to Dean Clough itself won’t be affected – Gates 5, 6 and 7 into the site will remain open – but vehicles won’t be able to use the section which runs between Holroyd’s Mill and F Mill. Pedestrian access will be available at all times.

Traffic diversion routes during the road closure have already been planned by Finnegan and signed off by Calderdale Council. There will also be a member of the construction team directing traffic at the site entrance to ease congestion when deliveries are being made.

If this is the route that you usually take to work, 10 weeks of inconvenience might seem like a rather long time. But it’s certainly preferable to more than 6 months’ closure, which is what was originally proposed. It is Finnegan’s meticulous planning, logistics and consideration for other users that has enabled them to cut the closure time by an impressive 16 weeks.

Being a Considerate Constructor means looking after and valuing your workforce as well as your neighbours. It goes without saying that a major project such as the A&B Mill refurbishment requires an awful lot of scaffolding. Taking this into account, Mick managed to source scaffolding components that were 30 percent lighter than regular stock, yet just as robust.

Taking on a project such as the wholesale refurbishment of an old mill building brings major challenges. It’s not simply a case of a quick clean up and then start installing new fittings. Finnegan are at stage one of the project at the moment which involves stripping back, reinstating/replacing essential elements, cleaning out and stabilising the structure. The building’s fabric has needed major surgery in places before workers could even get on with doing the job in hand.

Although the mill buildings were purchased in 1983, A&B Mill actually ceased use several years earlier, in 1955. The machinery had been removed but essentially the place hadn’t been touched since. “As you can imagine there’s about 160 years of dust and pigeon droppings in there, which all has to be cleared out. There’s also wood rot, spores and fibres everywhere, as well as asbestos-containing material.”

As a precaution the floors within the building have been thoroughly disinfected and the asbestos-containing material has been removed and disposed of according to safety guidelines. The site has been thoroughly tested by an external company to ensure that all potentially harmful fibres or spores have been removed from the atmosphere and a clean air certificate has subsequently been issued.

Since A&B Mill is a Grade II Listed building, the team has been visited at regular intervals by Conservation Officers for the Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council. She checks progress to ensure that everything is in keeping with the original heritage and architecture.

Whilst the mill might not have been inhabited by mill workers for 60 years, when the refurbishment process began, Finnegan’s staff discovered that the building was already being used – by bats! As an increasingly endangered species, all bats and their roosts are protected by UK law, therefore construction companies and developers must try to adjust their planned work to avoid disturbing them. If this isn’t feasible – as in the case of A&B Mill – they need to apply for a bat mitigation licence from Natural England.

Working with an environmental specialist, Finnegan entered into a bat care programme, where the bats were removed by relocating their roosting place from the mill to special bat boxes in a small wooded area, north of Old Lane.

Aside from working on the conversion of A&B Mill, as Considerate Constructors Finnegan’s staff like to help out in the community in which they’re working. For example, they have recently given a sizeable donation to a local Halifax food bank. Other community work the company has undertaken in the past has included working on hospice gardens and pro-bono work for schools. “This type of work is unpaid and done in our own spare time.” Says Gary. “But we find that our team members are always happy to help out – nobody ever says no.”

For more information about the Considerate Constructors Scheme visit www.ccscheme.org.uk

More success for Allied vehicle Contracts.
The arts events at Dean Clough are lovely, but none of them would happen without the 150 or so firms that are based here...

Hats off, then, to one of our long-standing tenants - Allied Vehicle Contracts - who feature as a case study in the newly published 'Report on Small Firms' produced by the Prime Minister's Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young.

AVC is a specialist vehicle leasing firm for business users whose needs range from single vehicles to entire fleets of cars and vans. Its MD, David Whitehead, has been featured because he used the government's 'Growth Voucher' scheme to cut the cost of getting specialist consultancy advice by half.

Lord Young's report claims that a 'change of culture' has led more people to become their own boss over the last five years, with the result that there are now 5.2 million small firms in the UK (ie an increase of 760,000 since 2010). He particularly notes that the internet has been a key factor in helping people turn good ideas into business.

Which is where AVC comes in, since David Whitehead used his 'Growth Voucher' to get advice on improving the efficacy of AVC's online presence. The picture shows David (on the left) and Andrew Firth from Ascensor Ltd in Leeds.

AVC is featured on page 40 of Lord Young's report, which can be freely downloaded on:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-on-small-firms-2010-to-2015-by-lord-young

You can find out more about AVC on www.avc-contracthire.co.uk

And find out about Ascensor on www.ascensor.co.uk
Handelsbanken opens in April at Fearnley Mill
Handelsbanken opens in April at Fearnley Mill
Handelsbanken comes to Fearnley Mill
The ground floor of Fearnley Mill at the historic Dean Clough site in Halifax is to become premises for one of the country’s fastest growing banks.

Handelsbanken, a leading Swedish bank, relatively unknown when it entered the UK market in 1982, now has over 200 branches in this country. Fearnley Mill will be the new location of the Halifax branch, one of the bank’s 21 Yorkshire branches.

Whilst other mainstream banks have suffered reputational issues, Handelsbanken has gone from strength-to -strength in recent years. Its success is almost certainly due to a high level of customer satisfaction* – it does not pay staff bonuses and adopts a localised, personal approach, with decision-making powers at branch level.

It was a combination of accessibility and the opportunity for expansion which were among the factors determining the selection of Dean Clough as the new location for its Halifax branch. “The ground floor of Fearnley Mill provides ideal office accommodation on one level with easy access for our customers, convenient parking and room for future growth.” Said Branch Manager Ian Mason.

Refurbishment work is currently being undertaken at Fearnley Mill, which will also see serviced-office provider Regus occupy the upper storeys in February. It is anticipated that the Handelsbanken branch will open its doors at Dean Clough at the end of April. The team of seven offer a wide range of banking and wealth management products for both individuals and corporate customers looking for a long-term banking relationship.

Jeremy Hall, Managing Director of Dean Clough, commented “We have been in discussion with Handelsbanken for several months and are extremely pleased that we have been able to accommodate their requirements here. Like many other businesses, Handelsbanken have seen the growth potential at Dean Clough and we very much look forward to a long business relationship with them.”

The refurbishment of Fearnley Mill for Handelsbanken and Regus is the latest in a series of improvement projects at Dean Clough, including the near completion of a wholescale refurbishment of the vast A&B Mill as a new HQ for Covea Insurance.


*EPSI Rating, October 2015
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