Swansea hospitality businesses are benefiting with hundreds of thousands of pounds in council assistance to help outdoor trading.
Outdoor hospitality in Swansea city centre. Photo: Swansea Council
This includes around £1.2m committed by Swansea Council to grants for outdoor furniture.
Other assistance for business has included the suspension of fees for pavement trading licences, saving traders more than £57,000.
Those running beer gardens on private land have been among those to benefit from council help.
The assistance has been delivered over the past 10 months. It helped businesses set up and trade quickly during the pandemic and through government restrictions – and it will help the city lead the way out of pandemic.
Council leader Rob Stewart said: “We awarded street furniture grants of up to £8,000 to more than 200 businesses – and suspended outdoor trading fees at more than 100 premises.
“We know how important the hospitality business is to the people and economy of Swansea and we’re confident that this assistance will see our restaurants, bars and cafés help the city to lead the way out of pandemic.”
The council offered outdoor furniture grants from July for several months. They were snapped up by businesses across Swansea, including in local district trading centres.
Grants of up to £8,000 were available, with businesses required to cover 20% of the total spend. The funding was available through the Welsh Government Transforming Towns initiative and its Valleys Taskforce grant.
Swansea BID – the Business Improvement District – offered businesses advice on furniture such as tables, chairs, large planters, awnings, large umbrellas, café-style barriers and heaters.
Other items acquired included canopies, igloo bubbles, barriers, litter bins, servery facilities and seating areas for public spaces.
The removal of licensing costs for tables and chairs on city centre pavement cafes has so far saved businesses around £57,900.
The move is helping businesses as they battle back from lockdown – and helps bring added life to city centre streets.
It was welcomed by BID which has been working with members to help them secure licenses for offering services on paved areas adjoining their premises.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Whilst keeping people safe, we continue to help business as best we can at this challenging time.
“By offering grants and removing costs since last summer we have given them a better chance of thriving in our post-lockdown city.”
David Hopkins, the council’s cabinet member for delivery and operations – and joint deputy leader, said: “Our work with hospitality businesses is helping keep people in work and giving residents more safe options for eating and drinking away from their homes.
“It gives businesses more incentive to invest in customer safety, helping towards avoiding another lockdown situation.”
BID chief executive Russell Greenslade said: “We’re glad to be working with the council and others to help businesses serve the public as best they can in our new-look city centre.
“The priority is to keep people safe and guard against another coronavirus spike – but we also want to give the local economy the best chance of succeeding in these difficult times.
“We’ve worked hard with the council and others to boost business opportunities – and businesses have responded positively throughout the pandemic.”
Thanks to the Welsh Government’s easing of restrictions, hospitality businesses have been able open outdoors since April 26 and could open indoors from May 17.
Social distancing still applies and customers are being asked to book ahead and understand that measures such as screens and track and trace are in place.
Wales’ largest independent accountancy firm, Bevan Buckland LLP, continues to focus upon ambitious and steady growth, with six promotions among its ranks in recent weeks.
L-R: Jessica Lewis, Sonia Kaur, Alex Powell, Matthew Denney, Alan Eckley, Angharad Rogers, Sara Hussey
The firm, headquartered in Swansea, has seen Alan Eckley, Alex Powell, Angharad Rogers, Jessica Lewis, Sara Hussey and Sonia Kaur being promoted to Associate Executives while Kimberley Bone and Jessica Hann are now Senior Associates, Andrew Davies and Callum Mylan are Associates within Technical Services. Also, Natalie Owen and Georgia King are now Senior Associates in Payroll Bureau Services.
These successes come in a month that sees Bevan Buckland LLP receive hundreds of applications from young people across Wales keen to join the firm’s Training Academy for graduates and school leavers, which has set scores of young people on a successful career path over the past three years.
Matthew Denney, Tax Partner at Bevan Buckland LLP says: “We are delighted to see our very dedicated staff continue to reach for and to achieve success within their field. The past year has, of course, been a testing one for everyone in the workplace across all sectors and industries, and we are very proud of the way our colleagues have stepped up to continue to provide the kind of professional service our clients expect, despite the pandemic, but also to develop and grow their expertise.
“Bevan Buckland LLP continues to focus very sharply upon steady, managed growth, despite the prevailing circumstances that the wider economy in Wales finds itself in.
“We continue to grow our team, making 15 new hires over the last 12 months and interviews are due to take place for the 2021 graduate and school leaver hires, so we will continue to grow into the new financial year. We feel very strongly that home-grown firms like ours are one of the keys to ensuring the economy here in Wales bounces back from the deeply-felt effects of the pandemic, and that it goes on to thrive. We will always work hard to play our part in this.”
The company has offices throughout South West Wales, and it is the largest independent accountancy firm in Wales providing accountancy services, tax compliance and advisory services and other strategic advice for small to medium-sized businesses. Headquartered in Swansea, the firm has offices in Carmarthen, Pembroke, Haverfordwest and St David’s.
Swansea based 2B Enterprising Ltd has set an ambitious target of working with 2,000 primary schools and educating more than 250,000 children over the next 4 years.
The company creates learning and development solutions designed to teach young children to be enterprising whilst introducing them to valuable life skills. Their core proposition, ‘The Bumbles of Honeywood’, is delivered in primary schools in collaboration with community and corporate partners. During the recent lockdown periods 2B Enterprising have also engaged young learners and their parents from all across the UK through the provision of free online learning resources.
Set-up as a part time volunteer group by Sue Poole and Mark Hindmarsh, with the purpose of helping to inspire young children in the local area to be enterprising and entrepreneurial, the two founders have far exceeded original goals. In the last 3 years with help from brand design agency Waters Creative and other friends, the team has published 9 books and created a comprehensive package comprising over 250 activities and learning resources which closely align with the national school curriculum. More importantly they have helped educate over 1,000 children in 20 or so early adopter primary schools in and around Swansea and Cardiff.
Sue Poole comments: “2B Enterprising has flourished and grown to such a point that last summer during lockdown we decided it’s time to turn our little philanthropic venture into a commercial ‘for profit for good’ business that can scale internationally. We’ve experienced incredible interest in our Bumbles of Honeywood proposition both locally and globally including attracting the attention of potential investors who share our future vision. As such we are ready to scale our offering and build the team to support growth and demand”.
By taking a collaborative community approach, much like the honeybees at the heart of the company’s series of books, the company has found ways to overcome barriers that prevent adoption of its programmes in schools, particularly relating to lack of budget funding.
Mark Hindmarsh explains: “Budgets continue to be tight for schools, however we believe lack of budget should not be an impediment to providing children with a quality education, nor should it limit the benefits of access to resources which can enhance their life skills and future aspirations. To remove budget constraint barriers, we developed a novel subsidy model, that we call the Corporate Engagement Partnership Programme (CEPP), by which we identify companies that are willing to subsidise our programmes in the local schools they choose to support at a cost of less than £80 per month per school”.
The company’s CEPP model has enabled 2B Enterprising to support over a dozen schools so far, benefiting hundreds of children to date. On the flipside their Corporate partners including the likes of the Wolfestone Translation, Bevan Buckland LLP, Peter Lynn & Partners to name a few, now have a highly impactful way by which to engage with schools in their local community, in many cases supporting the children of their employees in the process, as part of their wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) remit.
Mark adds: “As business leaders and employers we are in an ideal position to play a critical role in helping to prepare youngsters for a brighter future, especially as many of them could well be our future employees and customers”.
If you would like to learn more about 2B Enterprising then please visit their website – www.2BEnterprising.co.uk
Or if your business would like to understand how it can support a local school/s via their CEPP model then please contact info@2BEnterprising.co.uk.
Regional law firm Peter Lynn and Partners Solicitors are delighted to announce the appointment of Scott Tuppen to their litigation team.
Scott, who brings a varied breadth of legal and business experience to the role, will be based out of the firm’s head office in the SA1 Waterfront area of Swansea.
“I am delighted to join the team”, said Scott, “and am relishing the challenge of advising both businesses and individuals with their contentious and non-contentious legal matters.”
With a diverse background in business, law, education, and a period as a political advisor, Scott has taken a different path to most when it comes to law; however, his career gives him a unique perspective on legal matters.
“My career to this point has certainly been different,” explained Scott, “however my professional experiences allow me to see legal issues from a different vantage point which other lawyers may not have.”
Scott remarked that at university, he “studied business & law and followed this with postgraduate study in commercial law Cardiff University”, whilst combining this with a career as an entrepreneur and commercial manager.
“I have run several businesses, across a range of sectors including marketing, events, retail and hospitality, so I understand what it is like to be at the coalface”, Scott commented.
It was this experience of management that ultimately led Scott to qualify as a teacher so that others could benefit from his experience.
“As a teacher and lecturer, I have used what I had learned first-hand working in business day-to-day, managing teams, budgets and projects, to help develop the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Scott, and “my goal since entering private practice as been to allow clients to benefit from this experience too.”
Scott has taught both business and law in schools, colleges, and universities. Currently, he teaches in the School of Management, where he has taught since 2014.
A chance encounter led to the opportunity to enter private practice. Uniquely, Scott trained under the tutelage of a public access barrister whilst completing his LPC in Bristol. During this time, Scott worked on a range of matters from wills, contracts, trusts, residential conveyancing and more; however, he found the contentious work the most rewarding.
“Training under a barrister meant that I learned about the importance of good drafting, statutory interpretation and the vital role of case law and procedural compliance in our legal system, which is invaluable when advising clients early on in a dispute”, Scott said.
Working in a small practice meant there was never a typical day for Scott. From debt claims to employment disputes, Scott gained valuable experience in successfully dealing with a variety of types of matter, but it also gave him an insight into the benefits of early dispute resolution.
“I am a firm believer in trying to get both parties to resolve their differences amicably,” said Scott, “and from experience, when handled effectively, this leads to a better relationship between both parties.”
“Scott invited me to take part in his ‘A Conversation With…’ series for the University, whereby he interviewed local business leaders and asked them to tell their story,” explained Peter Lynn.
“After the interview, we carried on talking, and it became clear that Scott shared the same ethos as our firm, in that it is better to try and prevent legal problems rather than leave yourself legally exposed,” continued Peter.
A vacancy in the firm’s litigation department came at the right time for all concerned, and Scott was invited to join the SA1 team and work with a range of clients.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my private client work,” said Scott, “and it’s great to be part of the region’s leading law firm.”
Businesses across Swansea City Centre have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to revitalise their premises and brands during lockdown, so they can welcome visitors and consumers back in style.
Clubs, restaurants, cafes and venues, including La Braseria, Bambu, Belle Vue Bistro, The Bunkhouse, Hangar 18, The Perch, Cwtch Café, Franco, Social bean, The Gamers’ Emporium and the No Sign Bar are among the many popular places that will look smarter and refreshed when the city centre opens up again, and Swansea BID (Business Improvement District) has praised the businesses for their continued investment in their firms and in the city centre during such challenging times.
Russell Greenslade, Swansea BID Chief Executive, said: “It is great to see so many of our BID area businesses rise to the very weighty challenges we have been facing due to the pandemic, by investing in their businesses. We all want to see the city centre bounce back and blossom, and what better way than to show consumers that Swansea is really worth visiting again, once lockdown comes to an end? Our venues, clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes have always been a big draw for visitors and this will continue to be the case once lockdown eases and a new-look city centre emerges. We have worked hard as a BID to help facilitate some of the financial support made available by the Welsh Government via Swansea Council and we know this has helped some businesses upgrade and provide more outdoor facilities as the summer approaches.”
Liam Davies, General Manager of Bambu in Swansea’s Wind Street, said: We’ve put a lot of hard work into our revamp and renovation, trying to ensure we still keep the Tiki bar and party atmosphere, but just bigger and better. We could not be more delighted with the outcome and we can’t wait for our customers to see the new Bambu. The last year has been really difficult for the sector as a whole, but this gave us the opportunity to really think about how we can improve the customer experience at Bambu. We’ve added a lot of seating to the venue to make customers feel more comfortable. We can’t wait to be invite old and new customers back.”
Wales’ largest independent accountancy and financial planning firm, Bevan Buckland LLP, is opening up its Training Academy applications for graduates and school leavers early this year as the firm continues to grow.
L – R Hannah Hicks, Vanessa Thomas-Parry and Corey Edwards from Bevan Buckland LLP.
The firm, which has offices throughout South West Wales, launched its Training Academy programme in 2019 and has seen some of the first round of recruits already progress through the firm as they train towards becoming Qualified Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisors.
Vanessa Thomas-Parry, Head of People Operations at Bevan Buckland LLP said: “Launching the Training Academy was an important step for us, we wanted to put more emphasis on recruiting and developing young talent to help the firm grow and provide training opportunities to support jobs and skills within the region. The Training Academy initiative has been one of the most rewarding things we have done as a business. It is great seeing enthusiastic young recruits quickly progressing their skills and adding value to the business. Our trainees benefit from structured pathway towards a professional qualification, ongoing support and get stuck in with helping our clients from day one. Our 2019 and 2020 academy recruits are already proving to be a real asset.”
Corey Edwards, who joined the Bevan Buckland LLP Training Academy in 2019, says: “The Training Academy has given me such a good start in my accountancy career, and it has opened my eyes to how varied it can be. It has been a steep learning curve, but I have very much felt supported by my colleagues and mentors along the way. I have learned so much and I feel well-equipped to look after the needs of our clients and to contribute in a meaningful way to our team here at Bevan Buckland LLP. I would encourage anyone with an interest in carving out a career in accountancy to consider applying for this year’s intake. I have surprised myself by how much I have learned and taken on board and how much more confident I have become, and I am grateful to Bevan Buckland LLP for investing in me and my future.”
Vanessa adds: “Clearly, these are difficult times for young people – the employment market has been hit hard by the pandemic. We feel it is important for us to do what we can to help young graduates and school-leavers to take their first step on their career ladder and to take advantage of sound training in a workplace environment that will lay the foundations for a stable career. It also underlines our commitment to creating and supporting highly skilled jobs and careers within the south west Wales region. We have been delighted by the quality of recruits who have come through our doors since we set up the Academy and we are sure 2021’s intake will be similarly committed and impressive.”
To be eligible for the Training Academy applicants must be:
- A current undergraduate in the final year of study, on track to receive a grade of 2:1 or above
- A graduate who has graduated within the last two years, achieving a grade of 2:1 or above
- A postgraduate who also obtained their undergraduate (within the last two years)
- Holds or is working towards 3 A-Levels (at grade B or above) or;
- Holds or is working towards AAT at level 3 or 4 plus 2 A-Levels (at grade B or above)
To apply, go here:
Training Academy 2021
Applications close on 2 April 2021.
Bevan Buckland LLP is the largest independent accountancy firm in Wales providing practical support and strategic accounting, tax and financial planning advice for small to medium-sized businesses. Headquartered in Swansea, the firm has offices in Carmarthen, Pembroke, Haverfordwest and St David’s.