Adestra celebrate Fat Media with campaign of the month

Bosses at a Lancaster-based digital marketing agency are celebrating after scooping yet another top accolade.

Adestra, one of Europe’s leading companies for email marketing software chose Fat Media’s work with The Daffodil Hotel & Spa as their campaign of the month, and, following a public vote of the monthly winners, they have came out on top, winning Adestra’s Campaign of the Year.

Adestra is a platform that supports more than 3,500 marketers with their email marketing campaigns and every year they choose the project which they think represents the best in the industry.

Working with the hotel, Fat Media helped to promote special accommodation offers in line with the post-Christmas sales period via an email campaign. Using The Daffodil’s consumer database, people specifically looking for special offers after Christmas were focused on and a short campaign was created, designed to appeal to mobile email customers.

Enticing imagery was used along with numerous key words and the final results were phenomenal.  As well as a 29 per cent open rate, the ROI was a huge 2,500%.

John French, managing director at Fat Media, said: “The team worked closely with Daffodil Hotel and Spa and the results produced were simply fantastic.

“Shortly after the festive period usually sees a crunch in spending however, the targeted email campaign did exactly what it set out to do. This is a highly prestigious and well respected award, we’re over the moon to receive it and it is a testament to the hard work that was put in.”

Laura Donnelly, Head of Marketing & Sales at The Daffodil added: “Digital marketing is at the heart of what we do here at The Daffodil and our email campaigns are a fantastic way to send relevant and timely content to our customers.  We are delighted to have received this award and look forward to continuing to develop more creative campaigns in the future.”

For more information on Fat Media’s website design, digital marketing, brand strategy, technology, and hosting services visit To learn more about The Daffodil Hotel & Spa visit

Britain’s AI sector outstripping rivals

The UK’s artificial intelligence sector is growing faster than rivals in America, Canada and Australia, paving the way for Britain to be the ‘global leader’ in AI technology.

That is the finding of new data released by job site Indeed.

AI technologies require highly skilled workers who can develop and maintain complex systems and applications. According to Indeed, demand from UK employers for these types of workers has almost tripled in the last three years.

Roles typically include data scientists and machine learning engineers, specialists who play a crucial part in teaching machines how to use and interpret data.

AI jobs also pay well above the UK average salary, with data scientists typically taking home £56,385 a year and machine learning engineers earning an average of £54,617 a year.

But despite the financial rewards on offer, finding the talent is still a challenge according to Indeed researchers, who found that the share of available AI jobs in Britain outstripped the share of interested candidates by six times.

More via Business Cloud.

Single Malt blossoms at annual Red Rose Awards

A Lancaster design agency has scooped a top accolade at the Red Rose Awards.

Single Malt, which has offices in Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale, won the creative agency award at the event in Blackpool last week.

The firm works with a number of local clients, including Majik House and Dennison Trailers. The firm’s client roster also boasts Manchester Airports Group, ITV and Channel 4.

Managing director, Rob Ellis, said: “We were all ecstatic to take home the award for creative agency. It was our first time at the Red Rose Awards which makes the win even more special for the team. We’ve had a fantastic year since moving to our beautiful brand new office in Kirkby Lonsdale, with a number of really exciting projects and new clients, so this award certainly feels like a nod to the team’s hard work and passion over the last 12 months.

“Everything we do is built upon providing our very best work at all times. We love working with the superb local and national brands that we’re proud to call clients, many of whom have been with us for a number of years. We believe the long-term and trusted relationships with our clients is testament to our genuine love for what we do.”

The Single Malt team moved into their new office in Kirkby Lonsdale last year after the agency’s co-directors, Rob Ellis and John Porter, decided to merge their two successful digital and design companies under the Single Malt brand.

At the Red Rose Awards, the team fought off competition from other creative agencies nominated across a range of categories. The nominees were selected by a panel of expert judges, before progressing through to the shortlist and a rigorous interview stage.

The judges’ comments stated: “We were impressed by Single Malt’s ability to seize opportunities – delivering and developing creative outputs to maximise future business opportunities. They do this while maintaining a creative drive and an ethos to grow the business and attract and retain a very high calibre of client.”

Launching Digital Preston (on Thursday March 22nd)

On Thursday March 22nd, at UCLan’s Media Innovation Studio in Preston, Digital Lancashire is launching our Digital Preston city hub.

Digital Lancashire was set up to help accelerate the digital economy in our county. We recently created city hubs in Digital Lancaster and Digital Burnley.

We are now about to set up the Digital Preston hub and we want your voice to help shape the roadmap ahead.

Preston has a thriving economy and is a beacon for the region. There is exceptional digital and tech talent here in our city. But there is also a real need to rejuvenate the town, grow and develop skills, and attract and keep the right staff and personnel.

We need fully to understand Preston’s challenges so that we can future-proof our city and truly thrive as a regional digital centre of excellence.

Join us on March 22nd for discussion, networking, food & drink.

Help us to launch Digital Preston and set the agenda for Preston’s digital future.

Book your FREE tickets via Eventbrite.


4-4.30pm: Reception

4.30-5.30pm: Introduction to Digital Preston

5.30-6.30pm: Workshops.
Ideally, 4 or 5 groups of around 10 people. After 30 mins, we’ll reconvene to collect, collate and share feedback.

6:30 – 7pm: Closing remarks, next meeting

7pm – 8:00pm: Networking

£115K boost for Chorley firm

A Chorley-based independent financial adviser has secured a £115,000 loan from Lancashire Rosebud Finance – managed by Mercia Fund Managers – to support its expansion plans.

True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners advises more than 3,000 individuals and businesses throughout the UK and has £395m of assets under management. Created in 2003 by founder George Critchley and original partners Michael Clarke and Mark O’Neill, it now employs 64 staff.

The funding will allow it to create six jobs and invest in new technology to enhance its customer service. It follows an earlier loan from Rosebud Finance in 2014, which enabled it to take on ten staff.

Peter Rooney, investment manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said: “True Bearing has succeeded in a highly competitive sector by providing a first class service and excellent quality of advice. The company has been growing year-on-year.

“Rosebud has helped to support its growth in the past and this latest funding will allow it to continue its expansion, take on additional advisers and further enhance its service.”

Rosebud Finance is managed by Mercia Fund Managers on behalf of Lancashire County Developments.

More via Insider Media.

eBusiness UK Partners with Linnworks to Benefit Multi-Channel Online Retailers

Award winning Lancashire based multichannel ecommerce agency, eBusiness UK today announces a Services Partnership with Linnworks a leading global multichannel ecommerce software platform that enables online retailers to efficiently manage their multiple sales channels, such as Amazon, eBay and their ecommerce websites from a single user interface.

eBusiness UK is currently one of only very few Linnworks Services Partner based in the North West, certified to implement the Linnworks platform for ecommerce clients under licence in the UK and Europe.

As an increasing number of online retailers seek growth and expansion through multiple sales channels, the management of product listings, sales orders, inventory and customer services can become a nightmare without the right management tools.  

Linnworks can enable SME’s, as well as large and enterprise businesses, to automate their key business processes, reduce costs and manage their entire UK and International selling operations all from a single cloud-based dashboard.

A Linnworks representative adds, “Linnworks are delighted to count eBusiness UK as one of our trusted and recommended partners and are confident in their ability to provide our customers with an exceptional level of service. We look forward to working closely with the team in 2018.”

As Kam Kothia, eBusiness UK’s Director comments “We are delighted to be recognised as an approved service partner to Linnworks, and we are already seeing the huge impact our integrations of the Linnworks platform are having with both existing and new clients.

One of the main benefits is that clients can now manage all their website and marketplace orders, stock, listings and shipping from one single interface. It means a massive saving on time and effort, ultimately freeing up resources that can focus on growth and increasing the profitability of their businesses. We are extremely pleased to have this valued position covering Lancashire and the North West.”

Kam concludes, “Linnworks is one of the most powerful and versatile systems we have found to drive forward our clients’ business development aspirations.”

Visit the Linnworks website here.

Visit the eBusiness UK website here.

Visit the time2 website here.

San Francisco calling

For the last 20 years, I worked for large enterprises such as Sun Microsystems and Oracle. During this period, I led Sun Microsystem’s Startup Essential Programme in Europe that supported Startups through free workstations and servers, as well as sponsoring startup events and trade missions. Since then I joined a number of startups from DataSift to Zendesk, helping them to scale rapidly.

It is extremely hard to scale a technology business without penetrating the US market. Anyone can book a flight and visit San Francisco, the heart of the tech ecosystem. But without the right assistance and access to networks, it’s harder to get noticed due to the sheer number of startups based out of there as well as passing through. Tech Missions can greatly overcome this shortfall. According to Manoj Ranaweera, CEO of UnifiedVU:

After visiting San Francisco for a week and attending Small Business Web 2011 Conference, my tech company at the time, grew by 250% in the following year, all thanks to the relationships developed during the Visit.

I’m passionate about reducing the North South divide. Generally, Southern tech companies had better access to US markets due to higher level of funding available to them when compared with the Norther tech companies.

I’ve joined up with Manoj to organise a Tech Mission to San Francisco from 29th April to 4th May 2018, with the hope of helping 20 Northern SaaS companies get easier access to US market and build trusting relationships.

The Week’s Tech Mission is centred around SaaS Connect organised by Cloud Software Association of which Manoj is a Strategic Advisor of. We’ve added three Networking Events, a SaaS Company Tour and a Workshop to create a high impact for the participants.

Two of the Events would be attended by Investors, SaaS Companies and Specialists. The other Event would be co-hosted with British Tech Entrepreneurs and Investors in San Francisco.

We are working with Department of International Trade to help participants recover 50% of their costs up to a maximum of £1500. We’ve kept the admin charges to a bare minimum and have obtained a significant discount on the SaaS Connect Conference ticket prices. Flights and hotels are currently being sorted out. For more information, please visit the #SaaSTMSf18 web page.


£1m improvement scheme for Blackpool

A £1m scheme to improve the appearance of town centre properties in Blackpool has launched as part of a wider initiative designed to revitalise the area.

It is hoped the project, which is funded by Blackpool Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will make the town centre more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors.

Grants are available for up to 95 per cent of the total cost of the works.

Councillor Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This scheme is part of a wider regeneration project which aims to encourage the economic revitalisation of Blackpool town centre through a programme of highways, public realm and building improvement works.”

More via Insider Media.

EG Group to buy NRGValue Retail

Blackburn-headquartered EG Group has entered into a definitive agreement to buy NRGValue Retail, which operates almost 100 Esso-branded sites in the Netherlands.

Through the addition of the 97 facilities, EG Group will reinforce its position in the country where it will ultimately be overseeing 595 stations.

Mohsin Issa, EG Group founder and co-chief executive, believes the takeover is a “great opportunity” for the company.

“I believe that our expertise in investing in an effective branded non-fuel retail offer provides room for significant growth across the NRGValue portfolio,” he added. “We are focussed on delivering a world-class fuel, convenience store and food-to-go offer which exceeds consumer expectations.”

More via Insider Media.

Lancashire Firms Invited To Take Up Business Support Review

Ambitious Lancashire businesses are being encouraged to make the most of a free service that identifies where they might benefit from extra business support.

The Business Support Review is offered by Boost – Lancashire’s £7.8m business growth hub – and enables growing businesses to meet with an experienced business advisor to understand their growth opportunities and challenges.

Following the review, businesses can get matched and referred to relevant Boost programmes that can help get them growing.

Since October 2016, over 1,000 Lancashire businesses have benefited from the Business Support Review, including LYPH, a Lancaster-based fashion design company which has opened up new international markets thanks to Growth Mentoring support.

Andrew Leeming, Boost programmer manager, said: “The Business Support Review service is all about making it easier for Lancashire businesses to get the support they need to get growing.

“Our message to growth-hungry businesses is that this is a great time to use the Business Support Review. It will enable you to take a step back and consider what additional support the business really needs to grow.”

“With so much support available in Lancashire, our impartial and professional advice can save your business time and ensure the support offered is relevant and valuable to your business.

“If you haven’t accessed publicly funded business support before, or haven’t had any support for a while, this service offers an excellent introduction to what’s available in Lancashire right now.”

For more information about the Business Support Review and to start your #growthconversation call Boost on 0800 488 0057.

The Business Support Review is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. To benefit from this support, you must not be a retailer or business-to-consumer focused organisation.

Via The Bay.