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Words: Melanie Burton
Photography: Mick Fox
Featured in the July 2017 issue

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The north Lincolnshire town of Scunthorpe is currently riding on the crest of a wave in terms of trade and industry as its major companies all report busy order books, record turnovers and jobs to offer.

Steel production was the mainstay of the town since the mid-nineteenth century and it is now well and truly back at the forefront following a successful year for the relaunched British Steel brand.

The British-based investment firm Greybull Capital acquired Tata Steel UK’s Long Products Europe division just a year ago and it has achieved a £126 million turnaround in its first year as an independent business providing a solid foundation for further growth.

The company made £47 million profit in the twelve months ending 31st March 2017 – its best performance for a decade.

The Long Products Europe business, formerly owned by Tata Steel, had recorded a £79 million loss in the previous financial year.

Other highlights of the year for British Steel included 500 new employees and £40 million of capital investment pledged for the 2017-18 trading year. It also supplied all the rail for the Crossrail project in London – a total of 57km of track for the new tunnels and associated rail connections.

The company has significantly improved profitability despite a 44 per cent increase in the cost of raw materials.

British Steel executive chairman Roland Junck said the transformation was remarkable.

He said: “That is down to our remarkable people who have embraced, engineered and led change. They are the reason we can reveal the best financial performance in the long products business since 2007 and they are the reason I have great optimism for the future of British Steel.

“In twelve months we have started to transform an inward-looking production hub into a profitable, more agile business by controlling costs, improving our product range and quality, and through strategic investments.”

Mr Junck said an entrepreneurial spirit was starting to flow through British Steel which meant it was fast becoming the efficient, customer-focused business it needed to be.

“As we look to further grow the business it is important our employees, who have played such a vital role in the successful implementation of the turnaround plan, should share in our future success,” he said.

The employees, who sacrificed three per cent of their salary to make last year’s sale and the turnaround plan possible, have been rewarded for their commitment and effort with a five per cent stake in the business and the ending of the three per cent sacrifice.

New British Steel CEO Peter Bernscher said this was just the beginning.

“To guarantee our future as a sustainable business for decades to come, we must now seize and capitalise on the opportunities that have been created,” he said.

“Maximising and growing our steelmaking capability will be key, but success will also depend upon increasing our footprint in new and current markets and products, continuing to improve on quality and optimising manufacturing routes, while developing our people, the power of our brand, and the strength of our supply chain.

“While the challenges the UK steel industry has faced over the last decade have not gone away, we continually respond to the market and stay flexible in an effort to overcome them. Therefore it is vital we continue to work with governments, our customers and suppliers to build our businesses and support the regions in which we operate as we look to become the global supplier of choice.”

British Steel is also proving to be a magnet for would-be workers. A total of 5,400 people have applied for 140 trainee jobs over the past six months – an average of thirty-nine for each available position, the majority of which will be based at the steelworks in Scunthorpe.

Jobs have also been created at Scunthorpe’s Golden Wonder factory to celebrate 70 years of crisp-making in the town.

The recruitment comes on top of a £6 million investment in new plant for the factory which will see it have the capacity to produce 36 million bags of crisps per week.

Owners the Tayto Group rescued Golden Wonder from administration in 2006 and has increased annual turnover almost ten-fold from £19 million.

Crisp-making was started in Scunthorpe in 1947 by the Riley brothers at their father’s fish and chip shop on Allanby Street. But in 1960 the brothers moved the business to the present site on Colin Road to keep up with demand.

One of Scunthorpe’s oldest established companies, the Clugston Group, continues to put the town on the map with success after success.Its logistics division was recently recognised as a Top 10 fuel logistics company by Fuel Oil News – a notable achievement given that the Group expanded into fuel logistics as recently as 2012, when it took the strategic decision to invest in its first fuel tanker. Today it complements a fleet of nearly 100 vehicles.

With Clugston Group’s turnover for the current year projected to be more than £150 million, it would position the company as one of the top 35 largest logistics groups in the Motor Transport Top 100 companies by revenue.

Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, the Clugston Group has a long history of being not only a provider of distribution services but also a significant player in developing and supporting the built environment.

The property development division has undertaken some of the North of England’s largest logistics projects, which include Turbine Business Park near Sunderland and Redhouse Interchange on the A1 near Doncaster.

Combined with the construction and facilities management operations, which are involved in £100 million plus projects in the renewables and logistics sectors, The Clugston Group is a significant provider of services to the transport and logistics sector, with a particular specialist capability in bulk powders.

Chief executive of The Clugston Group, Bob Vickers, said: “The Clugston Group has a long history of working in the logistics sector, which goes back many years. We intend to use the Group’s heritage and experience to drive further growth in the future.”

Its construction division, Clugston Construction, has picked up a second Considerate Constructors Gold Award for its approach to site set-up and consideration for its staff, suppliers and adjacent businesses at the Wilton Energy from Waste project.

Considerate Constructors is a national industry-wide scheme designed to recognise and encourage excellence in construction delivery. Involving a detailed audit process carried out by independent inspectors, Clugston’s Wilton site was praised for its exemplar standards.

In awarding a rare second gold the judges said: “This site embodied exemplary levels of external presentation with the high quality of workmanship clearly evident even at the boundary fences.

“The same high standards were echoed in all other site areas with neatly stored materials and equipment, and exceptionally clean and tidy surrounds.

“The site vigorously promotes the training of apprentices and vacancies for work placement students, and is launching a programme of further support for schools and colleges in the area.

“Throughout this extensive and growing site, top standards were recorded in every considerate area, and the genuine enthusiasm for scheme participation made it a performance of exceptional merit.”

Managing director of Clugston Construction, Steve Radcliffe, said: “It takes some doing to win a single gold from Considerate Constructors, to achieve a second is rare indeed. But Clugston Construction achieved it.”

THE FOUNDRY
As Scunthorpe’s industries go from strength to strength, the town’s retail sector benefits from their success and are also hailing 2017 as a good year.

Business at the Foundry Shopping Centre continues to grow and this year got off to a stellar start, with the opening of top name store Oldrids increasing footfall and confidence in the centre and wider Scunthorpe area too.

Oldrids & Co Ltd was founded more than 200 years ago in Boston and has been trading in Lincolnshire ever since. The Foundry store is the seventh in the group and it has already brought a noticeable boom to Scunthorpe, becoming a key destination for shoppers.

The company has just announced it is to close its loss-making Lincoln store later this month enabling it to concentrate on its other stores and protect their futures.

Foundry Shopping Centre manager David Aunins said they were delighted about the opening of the Oldrids department store.

“With the new vacancies created, it has been a fantastic opportunity for the people of Scunthorpe in terms of employability, and not just shopping and socialising! It’s great to see big retailers, like Oldrids, investing in the town and we hope that this continues,” he said.

“Oldrids are set to close their Lincoln store, as they want to focus on supporting stores such as the Scunthorpe one and we think that this shows a lot of confidence in the area.”

The Foundry has many more exciting announcements on the horizon, with 2017 set to be a monumental year for the Scunthorpe shopping centre.

With over 40 stores on the High Street and in the attractive, covered Southgate, the Foundry is regarded as Scunthorpe’s principal shopping centre.

Easy to find, being only a few metres from the bus station and a ten-minute walk from the train station, the centre offers a selection of traditional High Street shops including chemists, newsagent, fashion retailers, sport and leisure retailers, electronic game shops, national mobile phone shops, jewellers, card shops, opticians, health and beauty retailers and much more.

There is also a mouth-watering choice of eateries, both familiar and independent, offering meals, fresh sandwiches and delicious pastries.

With regular events and promotions throughout the year, The Foundry offers a relaxed and welcoming environment – making it a central part of the community.

TOUR OF BRITAIN SPONSORSHIP
Businesses in and around Scunthorpe are being given the opportunity to get their names known by supporting a major international event that is coming to the town in September.

With North Lincolnshire hosting an entire stage of Britain’s premier road cycling event, the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, for the first time ever, it provides a unique platform for the business fraternity to promote their companies to potentially 100 million customers across the world.

A range of specially tailored sponsorship packages have been designed for businesses to be part of and benefit from this major international event.

One hundred and twenty of the world’s top cyclists will take on a 172-kilometre stage, starting from the 300-acre estate of Normanby Hall Country Park and finishing in the heart of Scunthorpe near Central Park on Tuesday 5th September.

It is expected to reach an audience of 116.5 million television viewers in 129 countries around the world.

Jenny Couch, lead organiser for the North Lincolnshire Tour, said: “Being a sponsor is a brilliant way for local businesses to proudly offer their support to the local community. Tour of Britain is an international event, so to be part of that as a local business is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“There are a range of sponsorship packages available, which means businesses of all sizes can be involved in some way.

“We already have some businesses on board sponsoring the Tour of Britain, but there are still plenty of opportunities available for other businesses to join us and be part of it all.

“Tour of Britain coming to North Lincolnshire will not only see a boost to local tourism worth millions of pounds and help the economy grow, it will also bring the local communities together.”

OLDRIDS SCUNTHORPE
Oldrids Scunthorpe is home to many desirable fashion brands that you’ll know and love including Joules, Barbour, White Stuff, Masai, Eastex, Dash and Superdry, plus high street favourites Quiz, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and more. They stock a wide range of women’s fashion, shoes and accessories, beauty and fragrances, including Esteé Lauder and Clinique, as well as top men’s and children’s fashion brands.

In the home departments, you’ll find everything you need create a beautiful and practical home with products ranging from soft furnishings and linens to lighting and small domestic appliances. Explore the Julian Charles department for inspiration to make your bedroom beautiful and Horwoods to make your kitchen cool. There’s even a fine food and drink department for those special treats.

One area of the store not to be missed is the newly refurbished, tropical themed toy department. Discover a truly wild experience; it truly is parrot-dise for children! There are toys for all ages, including a huge range of Lego, V-Tech, Shopkins and lots more.

If all of this choice is leaving you in need of some advice, Oldrids’ friendly and dedicated staff have a wealth of knowledge to share. One team member recently celebrated 40 years of service at the store!

Take a break from shopping to visit the café on the second floor and enjoy delicious hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. With free Wi-Fi, you can surf the web while you sit back and enjoy a coffee and cake.

Oldrids Scunthorpe is a great addition to the town centre with its well laid out range of products spanning three floors of retail excitement. So pay a visit and enjoy an afternoon of retail therapy in this newly refurbished department store in the heart of North Lincolnshire.

WINTERTON SHOW
One of the longest running agricultural shows in the region returns this summer, with organisers of the 145th Winterton Show hoping for one of the best ones yet. The two day show – being held on the first weekend in July – will see a wide range of acts providing entertainment for all the family.

On the Saturday, Agricultural Day, there will be a poultry show, float parade, showjumping, as well as cattle, sheep and agricultural horses all on display.

On the Sunday, Family Day, there will be a pony show, riding and jumping classes, a 10-mile run, a family fun run and music on the bandstand.

Visitors will also be serenaded with classic rock, blues and Cuban music.

On both days, a Punch & Judy show will entertain children, and some adults, and there will also be flypasts and exotic animals on display.

Around the showground, on both days, there will be a craft marquee, an enterprise marquee with handicrafts and children’s work, a fair, trade stands, food outlets and a licensed bar.

There is entertainment from Van Buren Magic Show, Professor Baubles Punch & Judy, Tony Butler’s Exotic Animals and, on the bandstand, The Moggies (Saturday) and Suburban Blues (Sunday).

For more information, line-ups and parking details, visit www.wintertonshow.net or contact Secretary Stan Wood on 01724 732789 or email winteringhamwood@aol.com

MELCOT GARDEN CENTRE
It’s been four years since James Sargent and his fiancée Fiona Cave bought the twelve-and-a-half acre site that is home to the newly opened Melcot Garden Centre in Messingham. The site, a former plant nursery, was heavily damaged by winter storms which caused the glasshouses to collapse and serious damage to other buildings.

The Sargent name is popular in the county, and James is part of the family that owned the well-known Sargents Furnishings store in Kirton-in-Lindsey.

James said: “We have had a great time restoring the nursery. We spent a lot of time creating the new garden centre and ensuring there was enough parking. We knew from the start that there is tough competition with other popular garden centres in the area, so we wanted to create a unique selling point to encourage customers to visit us.

“After Sargents Furnishings closed last year we were able to continue working with the fabulous Farrow and Ball paint that we had at the furniture store. The result of being able to keep the agency means we are one of only two garden centres in the country that have such an agency.

“We are also going to be offering an extensive range of garden-related antiques and collectables, as well as attractive pieces of architectural reclamation including large pieces such as antique urns, benches and statues which can completely transform the look of a garden.”

Visitors to the Garden Centre will find plenty for the garden including aquatic plants and herbs, and after all that shopping why not pop into the café for a coffee and piece of cake!

GREEN LIGHT FOR ASHBY MARKET RELOCATION
North Lincolnshire Council is set to invest around £800,000 into relocating Ashby Market following planning permission being given for the plans. Work is expected to start at the beginning of July 2017 and be finished in the autumn.

The new-look Ashby Market will be located on Broadway in Ashby to give it an increased presence in a busier area of Ashby High Street.

Ashby Market will be transformed into a street-style market and will be on the usual Thursday market day and ad hoc events will take place on other days.

Broadway will be pedestrianised on the market day and when events are taking place, with no access to vehicles. Car parking will be available in this area every other day.

The current car parking provision will be made one level so it is a flexible, multi-use area to accommodate the new market and events.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “It is fantastic that we can now progress with the plans for a street-style market on Broadway. This is a busier area of Ashby and market traders will get passing trade from shoppers by being located in a more prominent location.

“We are committed to improving and supporting our markets in North Lincolnshire, which is why we are investing around £800,000 to develop Ashby Market. The street-style market will open up more opportunities for the hard working traders.

“Markets should be in the heart of our communities and with the new-look market we hope it will encourage more people to buy local and support their local market.

“Work should begin in the beginning of July and the new-look Ashby Market will be ready for customers in autumn this year.

“Before work starts we will be going out to speak to retailers and traders in Ashby about the plans in more detail.”

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