Monday, 26 April 2010

Let us tell your story, say Nottinghamshire media professionals

Freelance media professionals in Nottinghamshire have joined forces to promote their expertise to local businesses and organisations.

The photographers, writers, broadcasters, designers and cartoonists are showcasing their skills on a new website under the name of Notts Media Freelance.

They aim to highlight the wealth of freelance talent available in the county for a wide range of services, from commercial photography to corporate writing and design, and from media training to illustrations and cartoons.

The pool of talent was drawn up after one local freelance heard how a large Nottingham company, seemingly unaware of the skills on their doorstep, had gone to the time, trouble and expense of hiring a photographer from Paris to carry out its commercial work.

Around 20 professionals, all members of the National Union of Journalists and with decades of experience between them, are so far listed on, which has just been launched.

“There is a wealth of freelance expertise available in the media industry in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire,” said Diana Peasey, chairman of the Nottingham branch of the NUJ, and a former BBC broadcaster.

“By setting up we aim to highlight the pool of talent we have locally and urge local businesses and organisations to consider looking at the expertise on their doorstep.

“Among those listed on are award-winning journalists and highly experienced media professionals who can offer a great service to local businesses and organisations.”

Notts Media Freelance members have drafted promotional material to raise awareness about the new website and are aiming to target companies and public and private sector organisations across the city and county.

The project has been backed by the Nottingham branch of the NUJ.

Branch freelance officer Pete Dredge, a cartoonist based in Lady Bay, said: “Freelance journalists working in different areas of the media have a wide range of skills.

“These skills can be applied in many ways in the commercial world, and we are delighted that we now have a one-stop shop to showcase our talents to businesses and organisations in Nottinghamshire who could benefit from our expertise.”

Visit for more information.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

West Bridgford Summer Gathering Returns

A popular West Bridgford event that focuses on sustainable living is set to return next month.

The West Bridgford Summer Gathering is being staged for a fourth year on Saturday May 15th to encourage residents to ‘spoil themselves and their loved ones, not the earth’.

The event will feature free lifestyle, health and beauty advice, money-saving tips, all-day entertainment, and local food stalls, as well as an opportunity to discover more about sustainable living.

Experts on energy saving, eco building, environmentally-friendly clothing and accessories, complementary therapies and green transport options will be on hand to share their expertise and offer tips.

Organiser Claudia Cole, who has run a stall at the previous three West Bridgford Summer Gathering events selling bags, said: “The West Bridgford Summer Gathering has become a firm favourite on the calendar since it was launched in 2007. It’s a real community event, and this year’s gathering looks like being just as popular.

“It’s the perfect place for people to find out more about how they can make little changes in their lives which could have a big impact on the environment, while at the same time celebrating the great strides that have been made locally in sustainable living.”

The West Bridgford Summer Gathering runs from 10am to 4pm in West Bridgford Park.

Activities on offer include drumming, sushi making for children, face painting, laser tagging for the whole family, maypole dancing, games and music and dance for the under 5s.

There will also be stalls dedicated to crafts, eco information, food, health and charities.

Visitors to the West Bridgford Summer Gathering are being encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport.

For more information visit

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Architects Cox Freeman help create a multi-use church in Ripley

Nottingham-based architects Cox Freeman have helped a Derbyshire church become a hub of activity after managing a complete rebuild of the community facility.

The £595,000 project for Ripley Methodist Church involved demolishing the existing Victorian building and creating a new church and multi-purpose community centre.

The two-storey facility has now been officially opened and is home to a string of community groups for all ages, as well as the church congregation.

“We are delighted to hear that Ripley Methodist Church has become such an important focus in the community,” said Chris Boffin, managing director of Cox Freeman, based in Stoney Street, The Lace Market. “This has been the third church project that Cox Freeman has been involved in, and one that gave us immense pride to work on.”

Using plans originally drawn up by the Nottingham-based Howitt Partnership, Cox Freeman oversaw the project from tender to completion.

“It was a difficult site access wise, as the church was down a narrow road, surrounded by houses, but the project went very smoothly and we are very pleased to have been a part of it. It gives us great satisfaction to be involved in community schemes such as this, which are becoming something of a speciality for us,” added Chris Boffin.

Ripley Methodist Church bookings secretary Brian Rose said a wide range of community groups were now using the church, including a mother and toddler group, a friendship circle for retired people, and exercise and slimming groups. It was also being used for bingo sessions, demonstration evenings and parties - with bookings already being made as far in advance as October.

“We are very pleased with the building, which is being used by several different community groups and is being booked by a number of different agencies and organisations,” said Brian.

The project, which has been the result of several years of planning and consultation between the church and existing and potential users of the building, has created 366m² of space on the ground floor and 58m² of space on the first floor.

Facilities at the Wood Street church include a community hall, rooms and a modern kitchen.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Anila's Authentic Sauces provide the perfect ingredient for a feast of dishes

A curry sauce from Anila’s Authentic Sauces is not just the key ingredient for a great-tasting curry… it can also be the basis for a whole range of different dishes.

Perfect for pepping up pizzas, superb in sandwiches, delicious in dips, and mouth-watering in marinades, Anila’s award-winning curry sauces are the ideal store cupboard essential.

And with the barbecue season fast approaching, it’s a great idea to have a few jars on standby so that you’re fully prepared to take advantage of the sunshine…when it appears!

“There are so many different ways that a jar of Anila’s curry sauce can be used in recipes,” explains Anila Vaghela, who founded the family-run business in 1997. “As well as being the key ingredient for tasty authentic curries, they can also be used to spice up a range of dishes….from pizzas to sandwiches.”

Try spreading Anila’s curry sauce onto bread, adding sliced cheese and tomato, and grilling for a delicious snack. Or add a tablespoon of Anila’s curry sauce to salad cream or mayonnaise for a tangy dip that can be served with fresh crunchy vegetables or chips.

Anila’s produces a range of eight premium curry sauces, handmade in small batches and free from preservatives, sugar, dairy and gluten. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, the sauces are also perfect for those with allium intolerance, as they don’t contain onions or garlic.

Anila’s sauces have won ten Great Taste Awards, and last year her Spicy Korma Curry Sauce scooped a Free From Food Award.

Anila’s also produces a range of 16 chutneys, pickles and dips made with single fruits and vegetables, which team up perfectly with a variety of dishes, snacks and cheeses.

The firm is based in Walton-on-Thames with a unit in Hounslow, and will be exhibiting at The Real Food Festival at Earls Court, London, from May 7th to 10th.

Anila’s products are sold at John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Bluewater, and top quality gourmet stores, such as Harrods and Selfridges, plus hundreds of other outlets that include Wholefoods, Planet Organic, delis, health food stores, garden centres and gift shops. Anila’s also sells direct to the public at 28 farmers’ markets across Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, including Guildford, Walton, Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot, Cobham, Beaconsfield and Farnham, and online via

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Retirement housing scheme for BSP Consulting

Nottingham-based civil and structural engineering firm BSP Consulting has moved into the retirement housing sector.

The company is involved in a £16 million scheme to build 132 apartments for the over 55s in Dudley in the West Midlands.

Now the firm is hoping this could be a springboard to future contracts in the development of retirement complexes, similar to Lark Hill retirement village at Clifton, Nottingham, which opened last summer.

“Interest in retirement and extra care schemes is growing,” said BSP Consulting managing director David Sumner. “The Clifton retirement village is the largest of its kind in the UK, with 327 homes, and many similar schemes are being built elsewhere. The Dudley development is BSP Consulting’s first contract in this sector, but we hope it will lead to others, as we see this as a growth area.”

BSP Consulting, based in Oxford Street, Nottingham, with offices in Derby and Leicester, carried out initial site investigations for the Dudley development, and designed the structure of the building and associated infrastructure.

Construction work on the scheme, which is a partnership between Loughborough-based contractor and developer William Davis Ltd, housing and regeneration group Midland Heart and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, has now begun.

The Middlepark Road development, which features one and two bedroom apartments for rent and shared ownership, as well as a gym, hairdresser, beauty salon, restaurant and other communal facilities, is due to be finished in summer 2011.

It is the first extra care affordable housing scheme to be delivered under the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Dudley MBC and Midland Heart.

Food and Drink Forum's technical manager becomes a halal auditor

Business support organisation The Food and Drink Forum can now help firms achieve a halal standard that verifies their products are suitable for Muslims after its technical manager became one of the first auditors in the region for the European Halal Development Agency standard.

An increasing number of food and drink producers are opting to gain the halal standard, helping to make their products suitable for as wide an audience as possible.

Now The Food and Drink Forum’s Richard Wigley has qualified to audit against the EHDA halal standard.

With approximately 3 million halal consumers in the UK, and millions abroad, the standard is set to becoming an important one for slaughterhouses, food manufacturers and food service operators, said Richard.

“The halal standard doesn’t just relate to slaughter, it relates to food manufacture and in food service too,” said Richard.

“Many companies are now operating to halal standards as a matter of course because it makes commercial sense to do so. Products like New Zealand lamb, for example are certified to halal standards and are exported to places all over the world, including traditional Muslim countries.”

The EHDA standard has been developed to ensure complete halal food supply chain assurance, he added.

The Certification against EHDA halal standard is in sections and achieved through an audit which can be stand alone, as it includes the requirements for a full food safety management system for slaughter, manufacturing and foodservice, or it can be stacked with a British Retail Consortium certification audit. Richard is one of only a handful of qualified auditors in the region.

The Food and Drink Forum is a membership-led business support organisation which works across the East Midlands and beyond. It is based at Southglade Food Park, Gala Way, Nottingham, and has members across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northamptonshire.

Firms wanting more information should contact Richard Wigley at The Forum on 0115 9758810 or