McCarthy sells Orbis to return to property roots

By Raspberry Jim,

(Photo by Matthew Horwood)

Andrew McCarthy, the founder of Orbis Education & Care (Orbis), has sold the company after growing it into one of the UK’s leading providers of education and care for those living with autism.
Sold via Garrison Barclay Equity to Cardiff-based August Equity in a deal worth £28 million, Orbis will continue to be run by its current team.
McCarthy established Orbis in 2005, growing it to a 370-strong team operating seven specialist facilities for children and young people with autism and learning disabilities – Ty Coryton in Cardiff, Ty Bronllys in Brecon, Summergil House in Presteigne, The Old Vicarage in Newport, Coed Parc in Port Talbot and Ty Galan in Porth.
On the sale McCarthy said: “I’ve been really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve at Orbis over the last 12 years. Through expanding services throughout Wales, Orbis has been able to support even more people living with autism in leading full and active lives. The business has a very strong team and is in a good position for me to exit.”
Having exited Orbis, McCarthy is now returning to his roots via his property development company, Garrison Barclay Estates.
The award-winning company, which was established in 1998, specialises in the acquisition and development of commercial, residential and retail projects across Wales.
Over its lifetime, it has developed over 2.5 million sq. ft. of office and industrial space.
As the property market in Wales continues to perform well, McCarthy is looking forward to driving forward Garrison Barclay Estates. He said: “It’s a really exciting time for the property market. You only have to look at the developments taking place in Wales to see that there’s huge potential in the current market”.
“Garrison Barclay Estates has had a quiet few years while the property market has been recovering but I’m looking forward to now driving it forward, and targeting planning for 550 residential dwellings this year, along with other office and industrial ventures underway”.
“Our strength lies in the quality of our projects, our huge wealth of experience and track record for delivering fast decisions and a no nonsense approach to acquisition”.
“We have worked on a wide-spectrum of developments and we are now focused on investing and delivering high quality projects in all sectors of the property industry across Wales.”
McCarthy also owns Heathfield Independent Schools which operates independent school Kings Monkton in Cardiff.

Greenaway Scott celebrates Cardiff Business Award win – its second this year

By Raspberry Jim,

GS Award pic (1) copy

The director of industry-leading business advisory firm Greenaway Scott is “delighted” to celebrate their second award win this year.

Director of the firm Matt Sutton said it was a privilege to be recognised alongside some of Wales’s top companies at the Cardiff Business Awards 2017.

The annual awards, which took place at City Hall, recognise companies and businesses across Wales which have made a significant contribution and enjoyed success over the past 12 months.

Greenaway Scott received the Financial and Professional Services Business of the Year accolade thanks to its significant achievements during this period.

Over the last year the firm, which offers commercially considered legal advice across a range of sector specialisms, has recorded unprecedented growth of almost 100 per cent.

During the year, it acted on a record number of lucrative deals with a combined value in excess of £130 million and expanded its property portfolio moving into a bigger HQ story in Cardiff and establishing a new Swansea office.

It also took the innovative step of adopting an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), allowing it to operate within a multi-disciplinary group structure.

Thanks to this, the firm also scooped a Cardiff Life Awards earlier this year in the Legal and Financial category.

Collecting the award on behalf of the firm, Mr Sutton said: “We are delighted to have been named as the Financial and Professional Services Business of the Year at this year’s Cardiff Business Awards.

“To be recognised among such an inspirational group of professionals is humbling and we would like to congratulate them all on their nominations.

“This award means a great deal to our firm, which has enjoyed a level of growth and success over the past year that we are extremely proud of.

“Our team of talented lawyers has worked exceptionally hard to help us achieve our ambitious aims. Thanks to their determination we have expanded our presence across Wales and the south of England, and acted on a record number of deals.

“I’d like to thank them for their dedication, without which we would not have received this award.”

Lush heading to new home in Swansea city centre

By Raspberry Jim,

Popular high street cosmetics brand Lush is heading to a new location in Swansea city centre after more than a decade in its current home.

Lush will be heading to 808 Oxford Street, which is currently vacant, following a commercial deal negotiated by retail and leisure agent EJ Hales.

The move will see Lush leave its long-time Whitewalls unit and move to the Oxford Street store, which is 1,263 sq ft with ancillary.

The new store is within the Swansea Market scheme which is being marketed by EJ Hales after being appointed joint agent with Savills, following an investment sale of the premises.

Philip Gwyther, partner at EJ Hales, said: “The new Lush store is a prime location, and was an obvious choice for the brand who were looking for new premises in the city centre.

“We know that the units in the Swansea Market area are highly beneficial to retailers. These units benefit from great space for sales and storage, as well as boasting strong, central locations. We anticipate a good level of demand for the remaining units.”

The move will now leave Lush’s current 727sq ft Whitewalls base available, along with a remaining space in Union Street, where EJ Hales have already received interest.

The Union Street premises sits near the entrance to the Quadrant Shopping Centre and boasts a 1,406 sqft ground floor sales space and two levels of storage space.

EJ Hales has been at the forefront of the South Wales commercial property market for over 80 years. The practice specialises in retail and leisure property, both in town centre and out of centre locations and advises on some of the largest developments and investment opportunities in South Wales.

Senior manager appointments at Sony UK Technology Centre

By Raspberry Jim,

Senior manager appointments at Sony UK Technology Centre

Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) has appointed two of its dedicated staff members to senior management roles within the industry-leading company.

New business development manager Nabila Elias and head of engineering Martyn Woodfield have been promoted to the senior management team at the Pencoed facility.

Mrs Elias first joined the award-winning facility, which produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems, in 2012 as a project manager.

Since then she has risen through the ranks and she now oversees 11 staff members in the New Business Development Team.

Over the past five years, her responsibilities have extended to include marketing across the Contract Electronics Manufacturing Business, which manufacturers for third party clients, such as the Raspberry Pi.  She has also played an instrumental role in the success of Sony UK TEC’s Ffilm Factory 35, which has welcomed high-profile productions including Dr Who, Will, Keeping Faith, and Decline and Fall.

On her promotion, she said: “I am thrilled to be taking on this role within the senior management team. Sony UK TEC has always been thoroughly supportive of my progression within the business so I would like to thank them for this opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to support Sony UK TEC’s reputation as a world-leading manufacturing facility.”

Joining Mrs Elias in the senior management team is Mr Woodfield, who has devoted 27 years of his career to the manufacturing facility.

Since joining in 1990, he has worked across several departments before being promoted into his current role as head of engineering. He currently oversees a team of 48 staff who carry out new model introduction, including the newly launched state-of-the-art 4K cameras, and process improvements.

Mr Woodfield said: “I am extremely pleased to have been appointed to this role as I feel I can add knowledge, experience, strategy and innovative ideas to enhance Sony UK TEC.

“As part of this I plan to provide a succession route for engineers to progress their career, as I have been able to.  My aim is to develop manufacturing solutions that will enhance our Mid-Range Plan. I will also focus on development programs for our current and future engineers providing engineering solutions to make us more efficient.”

Continuous professional development is part of the culture at Sony UK TEC, with the facility’s Wales Training Academy helping to shape and develop its leaders of tomorrow.

Through the dedicated training programme, team members are supported to develop at all levels of the business acquiring technical skills along with software, leadership and management skills.

Director of professional services Gerald Kelly said: “The continued development of our people ensures that we remain at the forefront of the manufacturing sector, and can attract and retain the very best talent. Both Nabila and Martyn are superb ambassadors for our business, playing a key role in our continued focus on manufacturing excellence and business growth.”

Thanks to its focus on growth and development the award-winning facility’s workforce has now soared to 500. The staff increase coincides with an influx of new business opportunities for the Pencoed facility.

Over the past year the facility has secured high-profile projects including manufacturing state-of-the-art 4k camera models for Sony Corporation and energy efficient lighting for Telensa. Its Ffilm Factory 35 has also enjoyed unprecedented success, welcoming productions including Dr Who, Will, Keeping Faith, and Decline and Fall.

Sony UK TEC charity challenges raise £6k for children’s ward

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony UK TEC charity challenges raise £6k for children’s ward

Staff from a leading Pencoed factory have taken on a gruelling 300-mile cycle to raise thousands of pounds for children battling illness.

Thirteen members of staff from Sony UK Technology Centre have jumped on their bikes to undertake a Wales-wide cycle challenge.

Starting from Caernarfon, the cyclists, along with two support staff, travelled 100 miles a day for three days stopping off at castles including Conway; Powis; Caldicott; Caerleon Amphitheatre; Newport; and Cardiff along the way.

The last 30 miles of the journey from the capital to Ogmore saw the team joined by 30 additional staff, including former rugby player and Sony UK TEC Learning and Development Ambassador Richard Parks, as they headed into the final leg.

Thanks to their efforts over £4,000 was raised for The Children’s Ward at Princess of Wales Hospital. The funds add to almost £40,000 raised by Sony UK TEC for the vital facility over the past five years.

Director of professional services Gerald Kelly said: “Our staff have always gone above and beyond to support the fantastic work of the Children’s Ward over the years.

“This latest challenge clearly demonstrates their passion and dedication to supporting the cause, and as ever, they pushed themselves to the limits to raise an impressive sum of money. Over three days they cycled an amazing 300 miles and everyone at Sony UK TEC congratulates them on completing this incredible challenge.”

Alongside the cycle challenge, the Sony UK TEC team also raised funds for the Children’s Ward this month through an intercompany charity football Cardiff Vs Swansea football match.

The second annual game, which took place at Cardiff City Stadium, saw both teams go head to head in a 90 minute clash which finished in a nine all draw.

Both players and spectators helped raise £1,644 through the event, which was followed by a prizegiving and raffle.

The Pencoed manufacturing facility, which produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems including the latest 4k models each year, has worked successfully with Cardiff City FC over the past seven years.

It recently provided three new state-of-the-art games consoles for the stadium’s family zone, which were unveiled ahead of the Bluebirds game against Ipswich.

Mr Kelly added: “We’d like to congratulate all the Sony UK TEC players who took part in this highly entertaining game to raise even more funds for the Children’s ward.

“We truly hope that the almost £6,000 raised through both these events helps to support the admirable work carried out at the children’s ward.”

Greenaway Scott makes two senior appointments to new Swansea office

By Raspberry Jim,

GS new Swansea appointments (1) copy

Greenaway Scott has made two senior appointments at its recently launched Swansea office.

The award-winning firm has welcomed Leanne Thomas and Aimee Thomas to the new office, which was established earlier this year within the heart of Swansea University’s multimillion-pound Bay Campus.

Leanne joins Greenaway Scott from Eversheds Sutherland, where she worked as a corporate solicitor. She will lead the corporate team at the new Swansea office in the senior role of associate director.

Aimee, has joined the Swansea team from Capital Law. She will work with the corporate team and has joined as a corporate support lawyer with a focus on commercial property.

They will be joining IP lawyer Rhys ap Gwent, corporate commercial executive Catherine James, and commercial and IP lawyer Chelsea Parker, alongside Rhian Osborne who leads the Swansea office.

The office opening marks an “exciting new phase for the firm,” which already has offices in Oxford and Cardiff, according to senior director and co-founder of Greenaway Scott, Rhian Osborne.

She said: “We are thrilled to be adding to the wealth of talent in the Greenaway Scott family, and would like to formally welcome our new recruits to the team. We believe they will be an asset within the new office and will certainly strengthen our offering.”

Miss Osborne, who obtained a Neuroscience degree and Graduate Diploma of Law from Swansea University, added that she was thrilled to be taking on the new challenge.

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