Wakefieldfirst | Latest News Feed http://www.wakefieldfirst.com Latest News from WakefieldFirst Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.srcreative.net/ MANUFACTURING PLANT SHOWCASES INNOVATION ON LORD LIEUTENANT’S OFFICIAL VISIT TO WAKEFIELD http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/manufacturing-plant-showcases-innovation-on-lord-lieutenants-official-visit-to-wakefield/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/manufacturing-plant-showcases-innovation-on-lord-lieutenants-official-visit-to-wakefield/#comments Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/manufacturing-plant-showcases-innovation-on-lord-lieutenants-official-visit-to-wakefield/ MANUFACTURING PLANT SHOWCASES INNOVATION ON LORD LIEUTENANT’S OFFICIAL VISIT TO WAKEFIELD

Group Rhodes, the Wakefield-based advanced engineering company, hosted her majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Mr Ed Anderson, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield, Cllr Stuart Heptinstall and Miss Charlotte Hepinstall, recently to showcase the company’s investment in high technology manufacturing.

The guests visited as part of the Lord Lieutenant’s official visit to the Wakefield District.  They were welcomed by Mark Ridgway OBE DL, Chief Executive of Group Rhodes, who organised an in-depth factory tour. He also gave a presentation about the business, its history and its relocation to its premises on Calder Vale 18 months ago, which has put the company in a strong position for future growth. Mark Ridgway explained how the company is innovating, for which it has won numerous awards and how it currently has a patent pending for a revolutionary new device to enhance the processing of lightweight alloys at high temperatures. 

The Group Rhodes factory tour included an overview of the manufacturing plants for its companies; Craven Fawcett, Hallamshire Engineering and Rhodes Interform, plus a visit to the Machine Shop and introduction to the Quality Heath & Safety department by QHSE Manager Graham Howard. 

Following the visit, Mark Ridgway explains: “It was great to have the opportunity to showcase our new factory to the Lord Lieutenant and the Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield and to discuss our latest innovations. We have invested heavily in refurbishing and re-equipping this facility over the past 12 months and created a number of new jobs. We continue to focus on innovation and new product development, with new technologies being explored and patents developed. This has reinforced our position as a market leader in our sector.”

On moving to the new premises, Group Rhodes invested over £800,000 in its facility, equipment and its infrastructure, including new heating and extraction systems, office equipment, new electrics and IT systems, mezzanine floors and production machinery.  

Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, Mr Ed Anderson, said: “Group Rhodes is an excellent example of advanced manufacturing here in Wakefield. It is fantastic to see the investment that has been made here and how the facility is geared up to serve the UK and international markets across all areas of its operations.”

Within Group Rhodes there are a number of businesses which manufacture capital equipment and provide aftermarket services for different markets including Rhodes Interform, Hallamshire Engineering Services and Craven Fawcett. Rhodes Interform manufactures hot and cold forming equipment for metals and composites and is internationally recognised as a specialist in Superplastic Forming and Diffusion Bonding for both the aerospace and automotive industries. Craven Fawcett is a manufacturer of clay preparation machinery including Box Feeders, Grinding Mills, Mixers and Extruders sold globally for quarrying and mining and ceramics. Hallamshire Engineering Services is a manufacturer of materials handling equipment, including pulleys, rollers and conveyors, sold globally to mining, quarrying, agriculture and recycling industries.

At the visit, Mark Ridgway also made a donation on behalf of the company to the Mayor of Wakefield’s nominated charity Pinderfields Regional Burns Unit.

For further details visit the website: www.grouprhodes.co.uk. 


Software investment to drive business performance http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/software-investment-to-drive-business-performance/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/software-investment-to-drive-business-performance/#comments Thu, 23 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/software-investment-to-drive-business-performance/ Software investment to drive business performance

INVESTMENT in new business management and scheduling technology is driving forward performance at a leading Yorkshire metalwork fabricator.

Normanton based Yorkshire Laser and Fabrication has recently updated its Material Requirement Planning (MRP) system to Redthorn 11 and invested in Preactor, Siemen’s latest production scheduling software, investing more than £25,000 to further improve its service to customers.

“Ultimately the two systems will be fully integrated with Preactor receiving live data from Redthorn 11 to give us better control over the scheduling of jobs in real time rather than working from saved data plans. With a precise picture of what’s happening in the factory we will be able to give more accurate information to customers, driving delivery performance and making us much more responsive,” said Yorkshire Laser’s MD Matt Orford.

“Everything we do evolves around our MRP system so moving to the latest version underpins our commitment to advancing the production control process side of the business and so improving our service to customers.”

Redthorn 11 is a more user friendly and easier to navigate MRP system for material planning, production and inventory control and, being compatible with the latest versions of Windows and Java, provides better cyber security.

Advanced planning and scheduling system Preactor enables factory planning in precise detail which helps improve on time delivery, reduce inventory and work in progress while more accurately forecasting deliveries.

“Once fully integrated with the MRP system Preactor will give far better business management control with forward visibility of capacity, how long each job will take and the resources needed.” said Warren Roberts, MD of Resource Management Systems who are supplying and installing the system.

Bonmarché board criticised by firm lining up its takeover http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/bonmarch-board-criticised-by-firm-lining-up-its-takeover/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/bonmarch-board-criticised-by-firm-lining-up-its-takeover/#comments Mon, 20 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/bonmarch-board-criticised-by-firm-lining-up-its-takeover/ Bonmarché board criticised by firm lining up its takeover

The company eyeing a takeover of Bonmarché has hit out at the listed womenswear fashion chain's board, saying it does not believe the company's plans and strategy will yield shareholder value.

In April, Spectre Holdings acquired about 26.2 million shares in Bonmarché Holdings from BM Holdings at a price of 11.445 pence per share, taking its interest in the group to 52.4 per cent.

Under Rule 9 of the Takeover Code, it was then required to make a mandatory cash offer for the remaining shares at the same price. This values the entire issued share capital of Bonmarché at about £5.7m.

Details of the offer were sent to Bonmarché shareholders on 25 April, with the board saying the proposed deal "materially undervalues Bonmarché and its prospects". Directors urged shareholders to reject it.

Spectre has now reviewed this circular. It confirmed plans to keep the offer to Bonmarche shareholders open until further notice but added that it will now "take a step back and see if the Bonmarché board can deliver on the plans and strategy it has set out".

"At this point in time, Spectre does not believe these plans will deliver value for Bonmarché shareholders in the medium term," it said.

"Spectre notes the cost-saving strategy set out by the Bonmarché board, which conveniently followed Spectre's views in the offer document and announcement of the offer. Spectre will monitor this carefully and the performance of the Bonmarché business.

"Unfortunately, Spectre does not believe the cost saving plan announced by the Bonmarché board will be sufficient to return Bonmarché to profitability.

"Spectre believes the Bonmarché board now needs to demonstrate what they are doing is working and they are delivering on their plans. Spectre will continue to monitor the progress being made and the overall performance of Bonmarché."

Spectre is a Dubai-registered entity incorporated in March 2017 and is 100 per cent owned by Philip Day, the founder and owner of The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group.

PolyGlobal to sponsor Exporter of the Year Award http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/polyglobal-to-sponsor-exporter-of-the-year-award/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/polyglobal-to-sponsor-exporter-of-the-year-award/#comments Thu, 16 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/polyglobal-to-sponsor-exporter-of-the-year-award/ PolyGlobal to sponsor Exporter of the Year Award

AWARD winning manufacturer of polyurethane solutions, PolyGlobal, are backing outward looking businesses at this year’s Wakefield Manufacturing Forum’s annual award ceremony to be held during Wakefield Business Week.

The Thornes Lane firm which won the Yorkshire Insider Made in Yorkshire Award for Collaboration is to sponsor the Exporter of the Year Award.

It is the second year that the Wakefield Manufacturing Awards have been held in recognition of the contribution that the sector makes to the city both in employment and wealth creation.

PolyGlobal itself exports to more than 17 countries and is acutely aware of the importance and need to look for new markets.

Andy Young, Marketing Manager, said: “PolyGlobal has grown its own brand, business and product base because of export business.  In addition to boosting our turnover exporting has encouraged us to develop new products and services which have had an overall benefit to PolyGlobal and indirectly to Wakefield.

“Sponsoring the Exporter of the Year Award is about encouraging businesses to examine their own systems and see how they have used exporting to boost growth and innovation into their existing systems.

“The Wakefield Manufacturing Awards give this vital sector the chance to shine, come together to share best practice and be recognised around the region for their contribution,” he said.

“Having seen the benefit to PolyGlobal that entering and winning awards like this brings, I would urge any manufacturer out there who shares our ambition for sustainable growth to submit an application.”

Entries can be made at www.wakefieldmanufacturingawards.co.uk

The awards will be presented at a celebration lunch on 20th June at Production Park, Langthwaite Business Park, South Kirby, starting at noon.  Tickets to attend are free to book on to this exciting event click here!

Any profits from the ceremony will be donated to Yorkshire Air Ambulance.


Nominations for Wakefield Manufacturing Awards 2019 are now open! http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/nominations-for-wakefield-manufacturing-awards-2019-are-now-open/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/nominations-for-wakefield-manufacturing-awards-2019-are-now-open/#comments Wed, 15 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/nominations-for-wakefield-manufacturing-awards-2019-are-now-open/ The Wakefield Manufacturing Awards exemplify the elite of manufacturing in the area, show a track record of success, dedication to employees and community investment.

The 2019 awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 20th June at Production Park – Europe’s leading pre-production and live events centre. This year will see the awards categories expanded to seven awards...

7 awards categories:

Manufacturer of the Year (Sponsored by Planet Platforms)

Exporter of the Year (Sponsored by PolyGlobal)

New Manufacturer of the Year (Sponsored by Ad:Venture)

Food & Drink Manufacturer of the Year (Sponsored by Haribo)

Innovation in Manufacturing (Sponsored by Leeds City Region Supply Chain Programme)

Apprenticeships in Manufacturing (Sponsored by Conservatory Outlet)

Large Manufacturer of the Year (Sponsored by OE Electrics)

To learn more about the criteria for each category and to nominate yourself or another business in the Wakefield district, head over to the website: www.wakefieldmanufacturingawards.co.uk/awards

The closing date for nominations is Friday, 7 June at 17:00.

The awards ceremony will take place within Wakefield Business Week which is running from 17th-21st June. If you would like to attend this, please reserve your tickets on our Eventbrite page. It is free to attend and includes a drinks reception and dinner.

For more information about Wakefield Business Week Events click here!



Russell & Bromley awards national cleaning contract to B38 Support Services http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/russell-bromley-awards-national-cleaning-contract-to-b38-support-services-/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/russell-bromley-awards-national-cleaning-contract-to-b38-support-services-/#comments Tue, 14 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/russell-bromley-awards-national-cleaning-contract-to-b38-support-services-/ Russell & Bromley awards national cleaning contract to B38 Support Services

B38 Group, which launched its own in-house cleaning division just seven months ago, B38 Support Services, has been awarded a national contract by leading luxury British footwear and handbag retailer Russell & Bromley to cover 38 of its high street stores across the UK.

The iconic brand has pioneered fashion-led design of shoes and accessories since 1880 and has become one of the UK’s best-known quality footwear retailers.

Wakefield-based B38 Support Services was awarded the four-year contract following a competitive tender. It will provide full ‘soft’ facilities management services covering daily cleaning, periodic cleaning and support at the Russell & Bromley stores, both on the shop floor and in staff breakout areas.

Rob Foster, Head of Retail for Russell & Bromley, said: “We were very impressed with the B38 Support Services management team, their knowledge, enthusiasm and energy convinced us that they were a good cultural fit and people we could work with.

“Russell & Bromley is a quality brand with a long tradition of customer care and it’s important to us that our customers enjoy the best possible shopping experience, and this includes ensuring that our stores are presented to the highest standards. As a national provider with experience in luxury retail, B38 Support Services ticked all of the boxes. We liked the fact that they had effective systems in place, but were continuing to innovate and grow. We also appreciated their positive, inclusive and respectful approach to all members of their team.”

Stephen Trott, who leads B38 Support Services, said: “We believe we secured the successful bid simply because we were the right company, able to do the right job at the right price. It’s fantastic news that we have won this prestigious contract and have been trusted by one of the best-known, quality brands on the high street."

B38 Group offers a comprehensive facilities management operation for private sector clients and blue-chip organisations nationwide, working across the retail, manufacturing, logistics, corporate, education and healthcare sectors. Having seen significant growth over the last eight years, it is committed to becoming one of the most highly regarded privately owned hard and soft service maintenance companies in the UK. 


HALLAMSHIRE ENGINEERING SERVICES BECOMES ACCREDITED TO LATEST ISO 9001:2015 STANDARD http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/hallamshire-engineering-services-becomes-accredited-to-latest-iso-90012015-standard/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/hallamshire-engineering-services-becomes-accredited-to-latest-iso-90012015-standard/#comments Tue, 14 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/hallamshire-engineering-services-becomes-accredited-to-latest-iso-90012015-standard/ HALLAMSHIRE ENGINEERING SERVICES BECOMES ACCREDITED TO LATEST ISO 9001:2015 STANDARD

Wakefield-based Hallamshire Engineering Services, a leading UK manufacturer of materials handling equipment, including pulleys, rollers and conveyors, has been accredited to the latest ISO9001:2015 Quality Management Standard.

The company, part of Group Rhodes, achieved the standard through the efforts of its team in aligning quality processes to the existing standards already in operation by the group’s other businesses, Craven Fawcett and Rhodes Interform, at its new factory in Calder Vale.

Mark Ridgway, Group Rhodes’ Chief Executive, said: “Retaining a high level of quality is an essential element in achieving our business objectives and securing a competitive advantage. It is important that quality is recognised as not only applying to our end products and services, but also as an integral part of our operations.”

He continues: “Our processes are lean and efficient, yet we continually work at improving the skills of our most valuable asset – our workforce.  Each and every employee in our organisation is responsible for ensuring their particular processes are as efficient as they can be, and the management team in turn provide essential training resources to support this task”.

The ISO9001:2015 standard was achieved through a programme of internal audit against the policies, procedures and processes that make up the company’s Quality Management System.  A team of qualified auditors guided by Group QHSE Manager, Graham Howard carried out a full assessment of Hallamshire Engineering Services’ Quality Management System, after which the company was awarded the highly valued accreditation by UKAS.

Speaking on behalf of Hallamshire Engineering Services, Operations Manager Neil Bettley, said: “This standard demonstrates that Hallamshire Engineering Services operates a management system that is not only accredited to international standards, but has been built on a culture of continuous improvement. We look forward to continuing to exceed our customers’ expectations with respect to the quality of our products and services.”

About ISO

ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is a set of international standards that give world-class specifications for products, services and systems to ensure quality, efficiency and safety. 

About Hallamshire Engineering Services

Hallamshire Engineering Services, a business that can trace its origins back almost 300 years, has a wealth of experience in manufacturing conveyors and materials handling equipment, including drums and pulleys. 

As a major worldwide exporter of bespoke equipment for the mining, quarrying, agriculture and recycling industries, Hallamshire Engineering Services has a proven track record of designing the highest quality conveyor products. It operates as part of Group Rhodes, one of the largest Original Equipment Manufacturers in its field.

For further details visit the website www.grouprhodes.co.uk or call 0 (44) 1924 37 11 61. 

Wakefield signs agreement with Chinese city http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-signs-agreement-with-chinese-city/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-signs-agreement-with-chinese-city/#comments Mon, 13 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/wakefield-signs-agreement-with-chinese-city/ Wakefield signs agreement with Chinese city

Wakefield Council has signed an agreement with Nanning City in southern China aimed at boosting economic, educational and cultural ties.

The friendship agreement was signed yesterday (9 May 2019) by Zhou Hongbo, the mayor of Nanning, and Cllr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, during a visit by the Chinese delegation.

The agreement opens the way for both cities to explore trade between them, creating business opportunities on both sides. Exchange visits by the educational, youth and cultural sectors are also expected.

Cllr Box said: "We are pleased to have welcomed Mayor Zhou and his delegation to Wakefield. The aim of this friendship agreement is to promote the prosperity and development of our two cities and in light of Brexit, it is a positive step to strengthen relationships with countries outside of the EU.

"I am anticipating that in the coming months and years we will build strong relationships which can lead to increased commercial opportunities for domestic businesses."

Mayor of Nanning City Zhou Hongbo added: "During the visit to the city of Wakefield, Nanning were pleased to sign Letters of Intent for the Establishment of Sister City Relations and build up the mechanism for long-term sustainable communications and cooperation between our two sides in such fields as trade, emerging high-tech industries, education, culture and people to people exchanges.

"With these efforts, we are looking forward to sharing development opportunities and meeting challenges together in the pursuit of greater common prosperity in the future."

Nanning, located on the Vietnamese border, has a population of about seven million people and a GDP in 2017 of approximately £47bn. Its main industries include bio-engineering and pharmaceuticals, electrical and mechanical equipment manufacturing and information technology.

Armed Forces Day http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/armed-forces-day/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/armed-forces-day/#comments Mon, 13 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/armed-forces-day/ Armed Forces Day

Saturday 6 July 2019

We are proud to be supporting Wakefield Armed Forces Day again this year - it takes place on Saturday 6 July 2019 at Pontefract Park.

We will be updating this page with more information about what’s taking place on the day once we have it, but in the meantime you can get regular updates by finding us on Facebook.

Us​eful information

Is it fr​​ee?

Yes, parking and entry are free. Charges may apply for some attractions on the day.


There is free parking available. However, we are expecting a busy day so if possible please car share or use public transport. There are train stations and a bus station very close by in the centre of Pontefract.

There is a blue badge parking area. The parking assistants will direct you to this when you present them with your badge.


Well behaved dogs are welcome. They must be kept on leads, and you should bring poop scoops to clear up mess. Unfortunately, there is no running water on the site so please bring water for your dog. We are expecting a busy day, so please only bring your dogs if they are comfortable around crowds.

Food a​​​nd drink

There are plenty of vendors on site selling all kinds of food and drink, and we would urge you to support these local businesses. However, please also feel to bring your own picnic, and a picnic blanket.


There are no cash facilities on site, so remember to bring some money with you. There is a farmer’s market, a couple of local micro-breweries, face-painting, and much more.

Remember, all of our stalls are local Yorkshire businesses, so if you can show your support by buying their products they would appreciate the support.


We urge you to take your own photos and share them on our Twitter page (@MyWakefield) or Facebook page (/WakefieldArmedForcesDay) – remember to use the hashtags #SaluteOurForce​s #WakefieldArmedForcesDay

​We have an official photographer on the day, who will be taking photos across the whole site. We will be sharing these on our social media pages, on local media, on printed materials, and other promotional materials. ​​

Contact us

Customer Services

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700


0345 8 506 506

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NPIF Leeds investment tops 20m http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/npif-leeds-investment-tops-20m/ http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/npif-leeds-investment-tops-20m/#comments Thu, 2 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.wakefieldfirst.com/news/all/npif-leeds-investment-tops-20m/ The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) has now invested more than £20m in businesses in the Leeds City Region since its launch in 2017.

The NPIF, overseen by the British Business Bank, has completed 104 investments in Leeds City Region-based SMEs across a range of sectors including ICT and manufacturing, which received £5.5m and £5.17m respectively.

Notable investments include Bababing, a manufacturer of childcare products such as changing bags, high chairs and strollers. The company received £125,000 from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers, to support the development of a new pushchair range and hire additional staff.

Huddersfield-based Adventoris, which developed a software platform, SwiftCloud, to enable businesses to receive sales orders directly from their B2B customers via a mobile app, was also backed. The company secured a £500,000 investment from NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance, Angel CoFund and private investors in 2017 and has since grown its turnover by 500 per cent.

Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and NPIF SOB, said: "This investment will help to accelerate the growth of SMEs across our region and will help to ensure this is the best place in the UK to start, develop and grow a business.

"Support of this kind is vital to help achieve the LEP's ambitions of helping businesses grow, attracting new investment to our region and developing the skills, energy and digital infrastructure to create jobs and prosperity."

Ken Cooper, managing director at British Business Bank, added: "The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund's performance in the Leeds City Region shows that there are great businesses here looking to grow with the right kind of finance.  The NPIF funds provide additional options for businesses that might not be right for traditional bank lending and a growing number of companies are taking advantage of that to boost their growth.

"Whilst we've made great progress, there is still work to be done if we are to reduce the disparities between the North and the South. To that end, we will continue to support increased levels of investment to back ambitious SMEs that will boost economic prosperity in the North of England."

Since its launch in February 2017, NPIF has provided equity finance, debt finance, and microfinance solutions, ranging in size from £25,000 to £2m to businesses across the ten local enterprise partnerships (LEP) that make up the Northern Powerhouse.