More Accreditations for Nublue

Lancaster based eCommerce experts Nublue have added to their list of certified employees.

Three of the business’ hosting gurus have successfully completed their LPI-e accreditations – a Linux certification. Cerwyn Gilasbey, Liam Rushton and Matt Allen-Millbank, three of Nublue’s Hosting & Support experts, all passed their exams last month and are now fully accredited. Linux is an operating system used at Nublue by the web hosting team and LPI-e is the first step towards becoming an accredited Linux Professional.

Ewan MacLeod, Product & Support Manager at Nublue had this to say: ‘It’s important to invest in the development of our employees and keeping them up to date with industry best practices is an integral part of this. Technologies continue moving forward and keeping our staff knowledgeable through training and certifications helps us to be even better at what we do – allowing us to further help our customers and offer an unrivalled service.’
The LPI-e course takes roughly fifteen hours of work to complete, completed online through the Linux Academy. The award is finally achieved by a finishing exam at the test centre in Manchester.

Alongside this, Technical Sales Agent Brian Sheldon earned the ‘Magento Partner Certification’ from Dotmailer, a Nublue partner, certifying his knowledge of their powerful email marketing platform and its uses.

The qualifications are the latest in a string of achievements that the agency’s staff have achieved and signal the business’ intent to improve by both optimising skills within the company and through a maximised recruitment process.

EKM’s new £3.5m workplace shortlisted for first design award

Lancashire tech company EKM is through to the final of a workplace design award after investing £3.5m in major new offices.

The ecommerce specialist’s headquarters were only officially opened in July, but the 23,500 sq ft development has already impressed judges of the Inspired Spaces North initiative.

Company founder Antony Chesworth purchased the site in 2013 and began developing “world-class facilities for a world-class business.”

Taking inspiration from globally-renowned brands such as Google and Facebook, EKM invested in headquarters which house workspaces across three levels, a beautiful LED-lit reception area, an expansive new kitchen and dining area, a high-tech auditorium that can be used by local businesses, and plans for a gym.

There’s also an eye-catching meeting room inside an original Airstream caravan and a giant three-storey slide which runs from the top floor to the dining area.

EKM currently employs a team of 85, but the Preston offices have capacity for 250. Antony Chesworth says the size and scale of the project matches the company’s ambitions, taking inspiration from some of the world’s leading brands.

He said: “There are offices that have become world-famous for having funky breakout areas, though the workspaces are still fairly basic. We have built on that idea and made the whole building a cool place to be all day long. If a team member wants a change of environment, they are able to move to another of the themed zones.”

Sharon Snape of Altitude Interiors, who assisted with design, added: “The brief was to make this the coolest workplace in Lancashire, and I think we’ve achieved that.

“We’ve gone for an individual look in each of the areas. There’s a woodland theme downstairs and a more industrial look, with exposed lighting and trunking upstairs.”

The Inspired Spaces North initiative has been created to celebrate “truly outstanding workplaces”. A panel of judges selected the 32 most impressive entries, and the final ten will be chosen through a public vote.

EKM’s video entry can be viewed here and votes can be cast here. Voting closes on 31st October 2017.

Antony Chesworth added: “Given the heartache, time and money that has been invested into the office, it’s great to see it shortlisted – and it means a lot that other people love it just as much as the EKM team does!”

Bay Business Angels focus on local businesses and entrepreneurs

The Bay’s own “Dragons’ Den”, Bay Business Angels, has hosted its second event in a continuing series of their new investment network, which has been set up in the Bay area by local business advisors.

There were five pitching businesses on the day with over 60% of them receiving investment offers, some more than one. This type of event usually attracts only 10% of investment – marking the Bay Business Angels event a huge success.

The investment meeting was held on 19 September, which was attended by over 60 invited guests. Pitches came from:-

Bee Industrious Ltd – A market research agency using big data mining techniques
Beer Hunter Ltd – Introducing a new way of buying craft beer wherever you live
Select Salvage Ltd – Supplier of top quality guaranteed used car parts
Simply Modular Ltd – A new form of low cost housing production
Mello Ltd – A fast growing new soft drink and organic food business.

There were also key speakers at the event from accountants CLB Coopers, whose tax experts discussed the key tax issues to be considered when investing in a business venture.

Read more…

Job Vacancy Stone Create: Graphic Designer

Graphic Designer/ Web Designer
Stone Create
Leyland PR25
£20,000 – £25,000 a year

An excellent opportunity has arisen for a full-time Graphic Designer to join our leading digital and creative agency based in Leyland, just outside Preston. The primary focus of this role is coordinating and completing multi-channel design work to support the teams varying projects and clients across sectors. Strong print, branding and layout skills are essential to the requirements of the role, in addition to this demonstrable experience of digital design for web is also essential.

The ideal candidate will be detail orientated; a creative thinker who has an ‘outside the box’ and autonomous approach to their work, prioritising tasks and managing their own workload.

Working as part of a close-knit team you will be responsible for the design, development and artwork for print, digital, web, social media and in-store POS for a wide and varied client base. You will also be responsible for the UI/UX design on new and existing websites as well as managing print production with external suppliers.

We pride ourselves on being passionate and creative with our solutions, dealing with anything from Advertising, Branding through to Digital and Print.

Key Competencies:

1. Good communication skills and teamwork

2. Accountability for own time and workload

3. Organisational awareness

Key Professional Skills:

1. Ideally educated to degree level with a minimum of three to five years’ experience in graphic design.

2. Expert user of the full Adobe Create Suite

Key General Skills:

1. Strong layout, typography and identity skills

2. Highly computer-literate

3. Excellent time management skills

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £20,000.00 to £25,000.00 /year

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: £20,000.00 to £25,000.00 /year

Required education:

  • Bachelor’s

Required experience:

  • Graphic Design: 2 years

Click here for more information and to apply for this role…

Job Vacancy Lancaster University: Developer (Corporate Information Systems)

ISS – Corporate Information Systems
Salary:   £27,285 to £31,604
Closing Date:   Sunday 29 October 2017
Interview Date:   Friday 24 November 2017
Reference:  N1470

Lancaster University is looking for an innovative and enthusiastic web developer to help in the development of our Student Portal, Staff Intranet and other web systems within the Corporate Information Systems group.

Teams within Corporate Information Systems deliver a suite of systems which support the learning, teaching, research and administrative activities of the University.We work in a purpose-built computer centre and have a strong focus on innovation and staff development.You will be involved in further development of our Student Portal as well as a variety of other web-based systems, contributing to our exciting “Digital Lancaster” plans to maximise the opportunity for the exploitation of digital technologies.

You should have hands-on experience of web application development using ASP.NET or ASP.NET Core with modern JavaScript frameworks such as Angular/AngularJS, React or Vue.js.Experience of contemporary database technology and building interfaces between disparate applications would be an advantage, as would experience of agile software development methods, e.g. Scrum.”

You must have enthusiasm and a demonstrated capability for problem solving, developing new competencies, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and work well in a team.

If you would like further information and an opportunity to discuss the role, please contact David Harrison, Corporate Information Systems on +44 (0)1524 510130.

Lancaster University welcomes applications from people in all diversity groups. announce second annual novi day

Last year, multi-award winning digital marketing agency partnered with Google, Mind Lancashire, and video marketing agency Workshop Media to offer a wide range of presentations and seminars in the first annual Novi Day.

For this year’s event, novi will be co-hosting with Peninsula, a small business HR support consultancy. We will also be joined by the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce, with other presenters to be announced.

We will be offering a diverse selection of seminars and training opportunities with a high real value, presented to registered attendees for free. We will also be offering limited spaces for free digital marketing consultation with our experts.

“novi Day was such a success last year and the feedback we received from visiting companies was extremely positive. There were clearly a lot of inspired attendees with an increased interest in the benefits of digital marketing,” said Managing Director Aaron Crewe. “Another novi Day, taking in an even wider range of topics, was the obvious next step.”

“We’re looking forward to welcoming many of our clients and representatives from other businesses eager to grow and develop.”

Attendance is entirely free, but attendees are asked to register their interest ahead of time to make planning numbers easier.

You can book tickets by following this link.

The event will take place at InfoLab21, Lancaster University from 11am until 5pm on the 1st of November.


Praise for We Are Lancashire

The Northern Powerhouse Minister has praised Lancashire’s unified ‘We Are Lancashire – the Place for Growth’ investment campaign and the key role the county can play in driving the northern economy.

Jake Berry made the comments whilst visiting the Lancashire stand at the MIPIM UK property expo at London’s Olympia last week, where more than 20 Lancashire private and public sector partners had joined together to promote the county as a thriving investment destination.

Mr Berry said: “Here at MIPIM I’ve been talking about the huge contribution that Lancashire can make to the Northern Powerhouse, and about the huge amount of international investment we can bring into the North of England.

“As a proud Lancastrian, and a proud Lancashire MP, I’m delighted that our great county is represented here at MIPIM. We are putting the wonderful things we have to offer in Lancashire into the shop window, for international investors to come and buy.”

Read more…

Fleetmatics Partners with CheckedSafe to Offer Customers Daily Compliance Checks via a Digital App

Since 1995, all heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and Public Service Vehicles (PSV) require a daily walk around check prior to service in the UK. Fleetmatics, a Verizon Company, has partnered with Lancashire based company CheckedSafe, to offer its digital fleet compliance app to current and future customers.

CheckedSafe’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Vehicle compliance app digitises the vehicle defect card by allowing commercial vehicle drivers to complete a driver daily walk around check from their smartphone. The data is recorded into a central database immediately, enabling the compliance manager to verify that the walkaround check has been done. Historically, all previous checks were paper-based, which is time consuming, costly and unreliable.

“With pressures mounting on fleet managers, it’s vital to create ways that make it easier for drivers to play their role in the safety and compliance process. By partnering with CheckedSafe, our customers will now be able to monitor all daily checks at the click of a button, and will have added insights into where the checks were carried out, how long they took, and what if any defects were identified,” said Guy Fletcher, product manager of Fleetmatics.

Fleetmatics’ partnership with CheckedSafe offers its current and future customers an efficient, practical and virtually foolproof solution that helps customer be fully compliant to all current regulations. The solution works on smartphones or tablets and can be integrated into other Internet-enabled devices.

“With complementary technology solutions and customers, partnering with Fleetmatics is a natural fit for us. We are pleased to have the opportunity to offer Fleetmatics customers our simple and effective solution to help eradicate the issue of either non-compliance or partial compliance with the legislation,” said Darran Harris, director at CheckedSafe.

Forepoint celebrates 25 years

Preston based digital and design agency – and founding Digital Lancashire member – Forepoint Limited is celebrating a major milestone in the company’s history: 25 successful years in business.

The company, that started life in the back bedroom of a semi-detached house in Penwortham, has now grown into a 20-strong, award-winning team with offices in both Preston and London.

The company’s come a long way since one man established his freelance design business producing work for BNFL’s Springfield site back in the 1990s. Forepoint has gone on to develop brand identities, literature, advertising and a range of digital solutions for major brands including: Sellafield Ltd, RAC, Moto Hospitality Ltd, Northern Powerhouse, TATA Steel UK Ltd, BAE Systems plc, Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Redrow Group plc, Rolls Royce, Domino’s Pizza, and Ofwat, to name but a few.

The company has remained loyal to its roots, capitalising on its close links with UCLan. Since the company was established in 1992, it has employed several graduates from the university’s highly acclaimed graphic design degree course, in fact two of the company’s current directors are both alumni of the university. Nowadays it’s busy providing placement opportunities for students and working closely with staff and students on employer-led projects.

So, what’s next for Forepoint? Time to sit back and open the bubbly? “Absolutely, not” says director, Keith Noble. “This is just the beginning! Don’t get me wrong, celebrating what we’ve achieved over the last 25 years is certainly part of the plan. Clocking up 25 years is a major achievement, particularly in what has recently been a tough economic climate, but we see this as a mere springboard to take us to our half-century – though I suspect by then I’ll be sitting in a comfy chair, with the next generation of designers taking the reins.

“We’ve built an absolutely incredible team, we’re on the verge of expanding into new premises and we’ve just been recognised by The Drum as one of the ‘Top 100 independent agencies in the UK. We’re also vastly more experienced and knowledgeable than ever before, we remain passionate about what we do and we’ve a reputation as an agency that works closely with its clients to deliver the best, most effective solutions possible. My advice to anyone reading this would be ‘watch this space’. Personally, I can’t wait for the next 25 years – it’s going to be great!”

Campus Capital joins up with Lancaster University

Lancaster University has signed a partnership with venture capital firm Campus Capital to bring investment to the region and strengthen Lancashire’s start-up ecosystem.

Campus Capital will invest between £50,000 and £200,000 in early-stage, high-growth potential companies, both on and off campus.

All companies within the Lancashire region will be eligible to pitch, not just those run by students, graduates and staff.

Michael Howe, founding partner of Campus Capital, says the firm has always had an external focus, receiving the majority of pitches from companies that have no link to their partner universities.

“There are a lot of investable companies already out there in the region so this isn’t about helping to create new start-ups,” he said.

“Our focus is on making sure these existing start-ups who are already doing great things get the investment they need to scale.

“Our connection with world-renowned universities such as Lancaster makes us particularly well-placed to support companies within the science and technology sectors.”

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