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FMUK Article

Double school extensions for Wilson Vale

Double school extensions for Wilson Vale

Wilson Vale has been awarded two five-year contract extensions with two leading independent schools.

Prestfelde School, an independent preparatory boarding school in Shrewsbury, has retained Wilson Vale since 2009 where the independent caterers provide 290 lunches every day for pupils ranging in age from 3 to 13, as well as teaching and support staff.  The team of six also prepares breakfast and suppers for school boarders, sports teas for pupils and parents and a variety of hospitality catering at special events.

Highclare School in Birmingham has also extended its contract with Wilson Vale for another five years also. A catering team of fifteen provides lunches for 650 pupils across the independent day school’s three sites in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield.

Carolyne Vale, co-founder of Wilson Vale, said: “These latest contract extensions show the calibre of the relationships we nurture with our clients. We are immensely proud to have retained the business for so many years and all credit must go to our on-site teams and area managers whose impeccable standards, warmth and creativity continue to impact on our success.”

Simon Worthy, bursar at Prestfelde School, commented: “I have been delighted with the offering from Wilson Vale during my six years at the school.  They have been consistently lauded by pupils, parents, and staff.  The food is high quality and, with the various tastes and themes, is part of the education at Prestfelde.  Our on-site Wilson Vale team is part of the Prestfelde family and the regional and headquarters’ team wonderfully support the provision, both indirectly and frequently directly through the year.”

Dr Richard Luke, head of Highclare School, said: “Wilson Vale are superb catering partners for Highclare School, a busy independent school operating on three separate sites. Their food quality, presentation and service are second to none, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with them over the next five years.”

UK fit-out firm Morris & Spottiswood lands major office refurb in Leeds Southbank Business District (WITH PICS)

UK fit-out firm Morris & Spottiswood lands major office refurb in Leeds Southbank Business District

The design and build contract at Victoria Place involves a partnership with Box Architects to refurbish three floors at the site. The building owned by the Medical Protection Society (MPS) is located just south of Leeds Railway Station. Morris & Spottiswood has offices in Warrington, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Morris & Spottiswood senior contracts manager Peter McLaughlin said key work includes a new feature reception area, new internal partitions and doors, an overhaul to the lift system and new flooring, ceilings, window alterations and adapting the existing entrance with new glazing, paving and a revolving door.

The comprehensive 15-week project will further involve extensive M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) installations from Morris & Spottiswood’s specialist in-house division along with toilet refurbishments, joinery and general fixtures. MPS aims to let four Victoria Place upon completion of the re-fit which is due in late march 2018.

“This is a major project running until March 2018,” Mr McLaughlin said. “It’s located half a mile from our Leeds office and presents a terrific opportunity for Morris & Spottiswood to showcase its skill and expertise in the heart of the city. The project involves a complete strip out and refurbishment to the ground, first and second floors at Victoria Place. At this present moment we are stripping the building back to a ‘category A’ development before our M&E (Mechanical and Electrical) division step in and we start delivering the design and build specification. In addition to all the structural work we are also managing the decoration, soft furnishing and wet systems.

“Key challenges with this project came at the design phase working out how to upgrade the lift sections in time with the critical path dates we are working towards. Another demanding aspect included the formation of a trench under a roadway to allow optics and power cables to transfer from one building to another. This work had to be completed over a weekend as the surrounding offices are fully occupied with more than 800 staff. The building is also positioned around a central square and the client is looking at increasing the seating capacity within the centre of the courtyard to facilitate an increased number of staff on the site during break periods. It is also looking at expanding the parking area further, along with introducing new lighting which will be an addition to the current contract value but incorporated within the current project. This stage of the project is still in the development stage.

“This is the first project we have secured with the Medical Protection Society which has an extensive property portfolio across the region. Once completed we are looking to get involved in the ‘category B’ fit out for the new occupier. We are also looking at delivering further upgrade work for other buildings located in the Victoria Place complex during this project. The project was registered with the Considerate Contractors Scheme to ensure all works are carried out in line with the ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ - designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.”

Morris & Spottiswood’s turnover stands at circa £90million with a workforce of 390 people. It has four separate service divisions – fit-out, housing, M&E (Mechanical & Electrical) and maintenance. It works across many areas including education, retail, financial, housing, leisure, health and commercial sectors.

“The Yorkshire region and its surrounding areas remain a relatively untapped market and we see major growth opportunities,” said Mr McLaughlin. “We are looking to ramp up activity in this region throughout 2018 and have already identified further multi-million-pound contracts within the commercial office sector”.

 “Morris & Spottiswood has a strong track record working on projects ranging from £10,000 to £30m. This includes new build developments incorporating various construction techniques, multi trade modernisation programmes, extensive external fabric upgrades and complex M&E services installations. Within Yorkshire particularly we need to continue building our profile of this first class offering and raise greater awareness of who we are and what we can do.”

ICS Cool Energy encourages users to consider lower GWP refrigerants to offset continued price rise

ICS Cool Energy encourages users to consider lower GWP refrigerants to offset continued price rise

With the cost of refrigerant gases rising at an unprecedented rate, a leading temperature control solutions manufacturer is encouraging refrigerant users to consider lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) alternatives, when possible. 

With the price of refrigerants such as R407C and R507 increasing dramatically over the last 12 months, particularly in the later stages of 2017, ICS Cool Energy is advising customers to changing – where possible – to low GWP refrigerants, which have offered greater price stability over the same period.

Despite the popularity of R407C and R507 amongst others, the increase in price is showing no signs of abating, and failing to switch to low GWP alternatives, such as R134A or R449A – when given the option – could cost users in excess of £50,000 per year.

The price rise coincides with direction under F-Gas legislation, which requires a reduction in the use of HFC refrigerants in favour of low GWP alternatives.

However, end-users must also be aware that low GWP refrigerants are not suitable for all applications, given the flammable, corrosive and toxicity challenges they pose.

Richard Metcalfe, Sales Director at ICS Cool Energy, comments: “The rise in refrigerant gas prices has not gone unnoticed over the last year. However, the rate of increase over the final months of 2017 in particular could cost end-users tens of thousands of pounds a year if left unchecked.

“While low GWP refrigerants are not suitable for all applications – given the need for specialist transport and storage arrangements – failing to take advantage of them where possible is likely to increase an end-user’s cooling costs significantly over the coming months and years.

“Refrigerant selection is certainly a minefield for end-users at the moment, and there is no ‘off the shelf’ solution; particularly for low temperature applications. As such, I would strongly advocate working closely with your temperature control provider. Doing so can ensure the right refrigerant is chosen which will not only provide safe and efficient operation, but will do so in the most cost-effective way.”

Join the Lighting Industry Academy as we look into lighting

Join the Lighting Industry Academy as we look into lighting

The Lighting Industry Academy ‘popped up’ at Lux Live this year. Here the LIA delivered an educational programme, where delegates gained a greater understanding of the key aspects of the lighting industry.

We held two mornings of educational sessions, targeted at the Lux Live audience. The sessions helped provide the right level of understanding to support the choosing and using of the fantastic lighting products on show at the exhibition.

Due to its success and demand from the industry, the LIA are re-running the sessions for one day only.

So do you want to know what you should consider when evaluating and comparing lighting products?

Do you know how and where to use lighting products to get the best from them?

Want to learn more? Then join us at the Lighting Industry Academy in Telford on 31st January 2018, from 10 am to 1:30 pm.

As the lighting industry changes, how we learn about it needs to change too. Lighting education had been lacking for too long and was certainly not strong enough to support the skills needed for a fast moving and evolving lighting industry.

2016 saw the LIA take on this challenge and the Lighting Industry Academy opened its doors in the September of that year. It’s been a great first year and the LIA were delighted to be invited to bring the Academy to Lux Live.

What people had to say about the LIA Lighting Academy at Lux Live:-

“I did enjoy your LIA Lighting Academy on 15 November at Excel it was very informative and mind blowing, excellent speakers and brilliant content”.

“Academy sessions were very impressive and professional”

“I have to say it was a really worthwhile morning.   The knowledge passed on was great and the speakers were really good”

Cost LIA Member and Non-Member - £25+VAT, includes buffet lunch.

Priva UK comments on the Industrial Strategy: What are the implications for BEMS manufacturers?

Priva UK comments on the Industrial Strategy: What are the implications for BEMS manufacturers?

It’s been a little while since the Industrial Strategy was released by the Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark MP. Gavin Holvey, UK and Ireland Sales Manager at Priva UK comments on the investment and policy details set out by the Government, and warns against losing impetus in the drive to a lower carbon, energy efficient future.

The last couple of months have seen the release of major ‘clean’, low carbon and efficiency policy announcements; with the Clean Growth Strategy in October, the Chancellor’s Budget and finally the Industrial Strategy, announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in November.

Mr. Holvey said, “It is crucial that world-leading innovators within the clean energy, energy efficiency and energy management space can continue to expand and develop technology, secure in the understanding of guaranteed investment and political support from government and Parliament.

“Embedded as we are within the energy sector we have intimate knowledge and experience of the influence of government policies across our customers’ businesses. We are particularly looking forward to seeing the impact that proposed government policies and investments have, such as the support for business and industry investment in R&D the government’s direct £725m investment in Challenge Fund programmes and the commitment to education in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) subjects. However, we are unlikely to see return on these immediately.

“In the short term, we need to see more action on the Paris 2015 targets to lower carbon emissions and move towards cleaner growth. According to the Industrial Strategy statement, by one estimate[1], the UK’s clean economy could grow at four times the rate of GDP.

“We will be monitoring the government’s action focused on growing the AI and data-driven economy. The Secretary of State stated that according, to a recent study[2] digital technologies, including AI, created a net total of 80,000 new jobs annually across a population similar to the UK. A separate study estimates[3] that AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030.

Gavin Holvey concluded, “We hope that this presages a whole system approach, incorporating the Government investment and policies outlined above; harnessed with the potential of AI and the Transforming Construction programme; taking advantage of new techniques and existing technologies to build safer, healthier and more energy efficient places to live and work.”


[1] Ricardo Energy and Environment for the Committee on Climate Change (2017) ‘UK business opportunities of moving to a low carbon economy’ wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ED10039-CCC-UKBus-Opportunities-Draft-Final-Report-V7.pdf

[2] Mckinsey (2017), ‘Shaping the future of work in Europe’s 9 digital front-runner countries’ europe/shaping-the-future-of-work-in-europes-nine-digital-front-runner-countries

[3] PwC (2017), ‘Sizing the prize, PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution’ gx/en/issues/data-and-analytics/publications/artificial-intelligence-study.html

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