All Posts By

Nina Walton

Samuel Knight International on track to continue major growth following investment

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Samuel Knight International, the global recruitment and project man-power specialist headquartered in Newcastle, has announced significant investment from Gresham House Ventures. Samuel Knight, which was established in 2014 and has offices in London and Bristol, provides skills and energy solutions to the energy and rail sectors on a permanent, contract and temporary basis. The company has demonstrated impressive growth since its formation. Last year, it achieved £13m turnover and took home ‘Team of the Year’ at the Great British Entrepreneur awards. 2018 also saw Samuel Knight securing major new client contracts in more than 30 countries, boosting headcount and expanding the business to accommodate business growth. The growth capital investment from Gresham House Ventures, using funds from the Baronsmead Venture Capital Trusts, will fund Samuel Knight’s near-term growth plans. These include increasing headcount at the offices in Bristol and London and adding local talent to the Newcastle team, from entry level graduates to experienced consultants. The company is also planning international expansion with the potential acquisition of two sites abroad. The recruitment drive is geared up to support expansion across the energy and rail space given increasing demand from clients and candidates. Samuel Knight are focusing on achieving greater market…

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Ocean Colour Scene to headline 5th Lindisfarne Festival

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Organisers of Lindisfarne Festival have announced their first big wave of acts for the 2019 summer festival, which is set to take place at Beal Farm on the Northumberland coast for the fifth consecutive year from 29 Aug – 1 Sept. Headlining Saturday night of the three-day music and arts extravaganza are Ocean Colour Scene. The popular Birmingham band, whose rip roaring rock ’n’ folk odyssey spans three decades, have notched up nine albums (three of which went Top 5), nine successive Top 20 hit singles and a string of sold-out arena shows – making them an incredible headliner choice for the growing North East festival. Simon Fowler, Lead Singer, Ocean Colour Scene said; “We are really looking forward to headlining Lindisfarne Festival. It is in such a beautiful and historic place and it’s great to see they will be raising much needed funds for Crisis through the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign and charities. “ Also announced for the 2019 festival are the North East’s favourite folk-rock pioneers Lindisfarne, who will be playing a Glastonbury-esque ‘Legends’ slot late-Friday afternoon. With a reputation for live performance that is second to none and a repertoire of unforgettable songs that include ‘Meet Me On The Corner’, ‘Fog…

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Revolutionising the energy sector and staying troo in business

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Business woman, mother, wife and fluent speaker of French, there is little that Commercial Director at business energy benchmarker Troocost can’t turn her hand to. With over 10 years’ experience within the utilities and energy industry, Rachel Richardson has joined forces with husband Andrew to redefine the utilities sector offering fairer and more transparent pricing for businesses on their energy renewals without any of the hidden fees typically added by brokers. Moving into the utilities sector after securing a degree in Business and French at Keele University, Rachel’s first role was as Account Manager at EIC (Energy Information Centre) in the Midlands where she spent over seven years managing a number of high profile industrial and commercial clients including large retailers and manufacturers. An all-encompassing role, and one that would stand her in good stead for her future position at Troocost, it is here Rachel was given the chance to work across a number of areas of the business overseeing client services including account management and fixed and flexible energy procurement. It was in this role she was also given responsibility for overseeing a team of Relationship Managers looking after a client base of over 200 clients as well as…

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Siemens help keep the lights on with £4million Vacuum Chamber investment

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Many people in the North East have heard of the Siemens CA Parsons site on Shields Road. The Parsons Works dates back to the late 1800s. Although the site has reduced in its foot-print over the last few decades, the business, owned by global company Siemens since 1997, is very much looking to the future with a £4 million investment that will ultimately help its customers keep the country’s lights on. Frequent visitors to Shields Road in Newcastle may be familiar with the vacuum chamber; a piece of machinery which dominates the northern side of the Siemens C.A Parsons site and is visible to anyone passing the road. From the outside passers-by will see a large vacuum chamber sign, a heavy-weight steel door and layers of industrial concreate. This machinery is large but seemingly unremarkable. However inside, the reality is this highly-technical piece of machinery is supporting Siemens energy customers around the world by servicing a range of power station equipment, making sure they are fit for operation. First built in the late 1950’s, at the peak of the famous Parsons Steam Turbine business, the vacuum chamber was a remarkable feat of engineering.  This advanced piece of equipment tests turbine…

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Match-making programme helps develop small businesses

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Small businesses are being invited to take part in an innovative scheme that aims to develop and grow their business by pairing them with mentor managers from larger companies. Experienced managers from larger organisations can be a valuable resource for small business owners who might otherwise struggle to find time to step back and look strategically at their business. Dr Fiona Whitehurst, Captured programme lead Newcastle University Business School’s Captured scheme is a free initiative that matches owners of businesses with fewer than 20 employees with experienced managers from some of the region’s largest businesses including Go North East, HSBC, Nexus and Virgin Money. Over four half-day workshops the entrepreneurs identify key areas of their business they want to develop more effectively. They then build a one-to-one relationship with their mentor who provides an objective sounding board, a fresh perspective and ideas for steps the small business can take to help the company grow. At the same time, the manager has the opportunity to develop their own leadership and coaching skills, support small businesses in the region and engage directly with entrepreneurs. Both partners are able to also benefit from the knowledge and support of experts at Newcastle University Business School.   Mentoring…

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