Sony UK Technology Centre Ffilm Factory 35 ‘thrilled’ to be among Decline and Fall filming locations

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony UK Technology Centre Ffilm Factory 35 ‘thrilled’ to be among Decline and Fall filming locations

Wales’s flourishing film industry will once again be on display this week when an all-star adaptation of Decline and Fall hits our screens.

Evelyn Waugh’s comedy novel is set to appear on BBC One from Friday night starring comedian Jack Whitehall and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria.

The TV mini series adapted from the 1928 novel, which also stars actor David Suchet, Tim Pigott-Smith and Nickolas Grace, is being brought to screens thanks to Fortitude producer Matthew Bird and writer James Wood.

And, in a further sign of confidence in the Welsh film and TV industry, the highly anticipated production was partly filmed just 20 minutes outside Cardiff.

Among its filming locations were Castell Coch, Pinewood’s Welsh Studio, Llantwit Major, and Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) in Pencoed.

Sony UK TEC, which produces thousands of professional HD and 4K broadcast cameras annually has recently become a beacon for high-profile productions.

This is thanks to the success of its Ffilm Factory 35, which has hosted TV shows including Dr Who, American historical drama Will, and film thriller The Chamber.

The 30,000sq ft facility boasts easy access to the M4, on-site security 24 hours seven days a week, access via four loading bays, a variety of on-site services including a canteen for catering, space to house unit base and crew parking, a cinema room for screening, and on-site post-production facilities.

Sony UK TEC director of professional services Gerald Kelly said it was “thrilling” for the Pencoed site to consistently be chosen among filming locations for some of the biggest shows of the moment.

He said: “Since launching the Ffilm Factory in 2015 we have been blown away with the incredible response from the British and Welsh film industry.

“The facility has proved to be a huge success and we have been delighted to welcome some of the biggest productions of the moment to Pencoed.

“We were extremely excited to host the cast and crew of Decline and Fall, which we all look forward to watching from this week.

“We have also recently welcomed two more huge productions filming at Pencoed –  Dr Who and Will – which truly demonstrates the versatility the Ffilm Factory can offer.

“I feel that the continued interest not just in our Ffilm Factory, but for filming in Wales, is an encouraging sign for the industry and we are thrilled to be a part of its success.”

Decline and Fall will appear on BBC One from 9pm on Friday.

The Doctor parks his TARDIS at Sony UK Technology Centre

By Raspberry Jim,

The Doctor parks his TARDIS at Sony UK Technology Centre

Sony UK TEC’s Ffilm Factory 35 has become the latest in a string of locations for the new series of Doctor Who, after becoming a hotspot for filming in Wales.

Following the partial filming of Decline and Fall and major US TV show Will at Sony UK TEC in Pencoed, Doctor Who has also utilised the filming space to produce some of the scenes in the new episode of the highly anticipated series.

With the series being filmed at various locations across Wales and drawing in millions of viewers each weekend, it is an impressive accomplishment for the facility, which was launched in 2015.

Known for producing thousands of professional HD and 4K broadcast cameras each year, Sony UK TEC has expanded its offering with its 30,000sq ft filming facility.

The centre is becoming an increasingly attractive location for high profile and prime time shows due to its versatile space and accessible location, adding to Wales’ film and television offering.

Gerald Kelly, director of professional services at Sony UK Technology Centre, said: “Having the Ffilm Factory 35 chosen as one of the locations for filming highlights just how impressive the space is.  We’re proud to have been selected for some of the opening scenes, the moments that will hook audiences in the coming weeks.

“It’s been a successful year for the facility, and we have hosted numerous high-profile projects, with Doctor Who being one of them. Wales is fast becoming a highly sought after filming location, and we’re thrilled to be part of it.”

The eagerly awaited new series of Doctor Who will return to our screens this weekend on BBC One and is set to break conventions with its first openly gay assistant Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday 15 April at 7.20pm

Pencoed’s Miss Wales hopeful raises £3763 for disadvantaged children

By Raspberry Jim,

Pencoed’s Miss Wales hopeful raises £3763 for disadvantaged children

A Pencoed woman who is competing to become the next Miss Wales has raised over £3,500 for disadvantaged children.

Hannah Williams is among 32 women hoping to secure the crown at this year’s prestigious competition.

During her campaign the 23 year old has so far hosted charity nights, fundraised in her workplace at Sony UK Technology Centre, participated in the 5k Gung Ho, and held an auction and raffle to raise the £3763. Family, friends and staff at the Pencoed manufacturing facility which produces thousands of HD broadcast systems and 4k cameras have supported this.

All funds this year are being donated to the pageant’s chosen charity Beauty With A Purpose, which supports children’s charities within Wales and around the world.

Hannah, who is an Assistant Sourcing Manager at the specialist facility in Pencoed, has also been raising awareness of the importance of more women exploring manufacturing professions and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers throughout her campaign.

And with the new Miss Wales set to be crowned at a three-day ceremony in Cardiff this week, Miss Williams reflects on her “fulfilling” journey ahead of the event.

She said: “Being part of this year’s Miss Wales competition has been the most rewarding experience for me.

“Having the opportunity to meet so many inspirational and supportive people as part of my campaign has been amazing.

“However, being able to raise money to support disadvantaged children in Wales and around the world is what it is really all about.

“I am incredibly humbled by the generosity people have shown through my various fundraising events, which has enabled me to raise this sum. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone once again. It has really meant the world to me.

“Money raised will go directly towards life-changing charities making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children.”

To support Hannah text – WELSH HANNAH to 64343

Voting lines close at 1pm Friday 7th April 2017.
Votes cost £1 plus standard network charge, for full terms and conditions please visit –

Cardiff legal firm Greenaway Scott set for ‘vital’ industry first

By Raspberry Jim,

ABS Greenaway Scott

A progressive Cardiff legal firm is blazing a trail across the Welsh business community by becoming an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

Award-winning business advisory firm Greenaway Scott has had approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to alter its structure to an ABS, allowing it to operate within a multi-disciplinary group structure delivering other professional services, alongside its legal activity, in the future.

Greenaway Scott itself will continue to trade as a law firm, but the new structure also will enable the firm to raise private equity, and external funding for its business activities going forward, as the change to an ABS will allow it to take non-lawyers into its ownership structure.

The multi-disciplinary group structure is seen more commonly across the accountancy profession, with PWC recently announcing its decision to become a multi-disciplinary practice, but Greenaway Scott is set to become the first predominantly commercial services law firm in Cardiff to adopt it.

The move comes on the back of soaring growth of almost 100 percent for Greenaway Scott between 2015 and 2016, with lucrative advisory deals reaching a combined value in excess of £130 million in the last 12 months.

Despite the structure being altered, founder Nigel Greenaway will continue to act as the firm’s CEO, while Peter Wright will continue as chairman. Greenaway Scott is also actively taking steps to develop a modernised corporate finance lead advisory boutique. This will sit within the group and focus on dynamic early stage and fast growth businesses, and look at a number of additional services that fit with its aim of providing a multi-disciplinary group geared specifically toward the mergers and acquisition market.

Mr Greenaway said: “We are delighted to obtain SRA approval for the step change in the Greenaway Scott business structure. The ability to develop as an alternative business structure introduces a great deal of flexibility into our decision making.

“This progressive transition comes after a considerable amount of research and effort on the part of our team and we are delighted to be moving forwards with it.

“The altered structure will allow us to raise private equity, which is a key change for us as a firm, and will allow us to pursue expansion plans more aggressively and with greater geographical reach.

“However, the intention is for Greenaway Scott to continue to provide very specialist services into the mergers and acquisitions market, so we will still have a narrow focus on the type of work it undertakes. We are not about to become an accountancy firm.”

Chairman Mr Wright said: “Greenaway Scott always aims to be progressive and client-focussed in its business approach.

“So we are extremely pleased to be taking the ABS structure forward as we feel this is a vital step for our business and our clients. Our decision making is always long term in nature and this is a key step on our structured approach to the future.”

Specialist regulatory advisory firm Jonathon Bray Legal Services ( advised Greenaway Scott throughout the process with the SRA. Mr Greenaway said: “We would very much like to thank Jonathon and Lisa for all their hard work over the last few months which has allowed us to achieve this SRA approval.”

Greenaway Scott provide corporate, commercial and intellectual property advice to companies, with particular sector specialisms in the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.

Acquisition aids growth at EST

By Raspberry Jim,

EST's HR team

Professional advisory firm EST has acquired a HR consultancy to grow the HR division it established last year.

The Cardiff-based firm, which has divisions offering accountancy, tax, payroll, auto-enrolment, commercial finance and HR services to its clients, has bought Julie Kelly HR, a trading style of Risk Monitor Limited, for an undisclosed fee.

The acquisition sees HR officer Lucy-Ann Thomas join the 15-strong team and follows the recruitment of new payroll manager Kirstie Baker, who joins from FRS Payroll.

EST’s HR division was set up in March 2016 to complement the firm’s existing services and add value to its clients by providing advice and support with every aspect of the employment cycle from recruitment and induction, to training and development, through to exit.

Supporting owner-managed SMEs, including fast-growing and ambitious companies such as Nutrivend and Flying Tiger Copenhagen Wales and Bristol, the HR arm of EST has exceeded all of its first year targets.

Kate Matthews, Director of EST and Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), said: “Since we launched our HR arm last year, we’ve had a really positive response from the marketplace. We’ve exceeded all of our expectations and it’s great to round off the year with our first acquisition.

“In the last year we have created a really solid team with a commercial outlook and diverse background including in-house HR, HR consultancy, training and development and union work. With the depth of knowledge and experience we now have within our team, we are in a really strong place for continued growth.”

This is the latest move for the progressive firm after acquiring Newport-based accountancy practice Price & Partners in 2016 and launching a commercial finance arm earlier this year to provide funding advice to ambitious and growing SMEs.

Director of EST, Barry Esterhuizen said: “In the last year, our aim of having a complementary group of companies has come to fruition. We’re now seeing more and more clients using us across the board and taking value from being able to access a wider range of services all in one place.

“While we have acquired two businesses within the last year, our focus remains on growing organically by attracting new clients who are looking for a range of professional services under one roof and cross-selling our wider offering to existing clients.

“We envisage adding more complementary services to EST over the next year so that we continue to enhance our offering.”

Established in 2013, EST is a new generation of dynamic and trusted professional advisers to start-ups and SMEs across south Wales and the south west of England.