The Wigley Group Team Are Doing The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Tiny Tim’s Children’s Hospice

Colleagues at The Wigley Group are taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre in Coventry.

Health and Safety manager Claire Lynch, Estates Manager Louis Smith, Facilities Co-ordinator Pete Burnell, Head of Asset Management James Ellerington, Accounts Apprentice Alexis Considine, Facilities Manager Alan Greenway and Director James Davies are in training to complete the 24 miles, which includes 5,200 ft of ascent, in under 12 hours.

Staff at the commercial property company based at Middlemarch Business Park in Coventry raise funds and promote awareness for a local charity every year and have chosen to support Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre in 2017.

The charity provides free complementary treatment to children and young people with disabilities, health problems and special needs.

Claire, who is co-ordinating the challenge, said: “We recently visited Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre to see the incredible work it does in offering treatment to families who might otherwise not be able to access it.

“We all found it an inspirational visit and want to raise as much money as we can to support the charity’s work.

“We have set up an online fundraising page and hope that colleagues and associates, family and friends will get behind us. Training is going well and we have all vowed to complete the challenge no matter what.”

The group will be taking on Yorkshire’s highest peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough on Wednesday, July 12.

Anyone interested in sponsoring is asked to visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=TheWigleyGroup

Pictured, from left to right, are Louis Smith, Alan Greenway, Alexis Considine, Claire Lynch, James Ellerington and Pete Burnell during their visit to Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre.

The Wigley Group Announces Merger With UK-wide Main Contractor, CIEXBE Ltd

A leading commercial property company in the Midlands has merged with a UK-wide main contractor to strengthen its range of construction services.

The Wigley Group, which has its headquarters at Middlemarch Business Park in Coventry, has joined forces with Swindon-based Ciexbe Limited to form Wigley Building and Development.

The new enterprise, which is part of The Wigley Group, will be able to undertake a wide range of construction projects nationwide, from minor to major works up to the value of £12 million.

Charlie Brooks, director of Ciexbe, has been appointed construction director of Wigley Building and Development and will lead an experienced and expanding team of employees and subcontractors from the Coventry and Swindon offices.

The Wigley Group owns and manages business and industrial parks across the Midlands and provides services relating to commercial property, risk and construction.

It has been involved in property development and construction for more than 40 years, with the building of 82,000 sq ft of units at two of its industrial estates in Coventry among current projects.

The Royal Mail North Hub and Vantage Park in Coventry are among its most notable developments in the last decade.

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “The Wigley Group was founded as a construction plant hire and road building contractor and our success as a commercial property business is built on civil engineering and construction.

“The company has evolved to undertake a wide range of developments of our own property portfolio, which spans well over 1,000,000 sq ft across the West Midlands, and on behalf of clients.

“With Ciexbe’s wealth of experience and ability to deliver combined with the financial backing and depth of The Wigley Group, we have got a really unified business that can undertake small and large schemes up to £12 million across the UK.”

Ciexbe has over 30 years of combined experience in the construction industry and operated primarily in the commercial and retail sectors completing new build, refurbishment and fit-out projects as construction manager, project manager or main contractor.

Projects have included the construction and fit-out of retail units, design and build of a staff training facility with accommodation, fit-out of a manufacturing plant, refurbishment of a museum bar and railway attraction.

Charlie said: “I am delighted to be merging with The Wigley Group and look forward to securing big contracts, increasing our workforce and growing our portfolio of projects nationwide.

“We have already got two projects lining up to the value of £7 million and £5 million, and taken on a quantity surveyor and project manager.  We will be looking at adding to our team further as the projects come in.

“By combining our forces to create Wigley Building and Development, we will have the capability to take on more and bigger construction projects as main contractor.”

James Davies, director of The Wigley Group, added: “This is a significant and exciting development for The Wigley Group.

“We have always been involved in construction and in recent years, have worked in partnership with Ciexbe.  The formation of Wigley Building and Development will take us to another level and extend our range of construction services both in terms of size and geographical reach.”

From left, Charlie Brooks, James Davies and Robert Wigley

Cyber Risks: Why Ignorance Can No Longer Be An Excuse!

Cyber-crime has become a huge business, not just in the UK, but globally.

Last year alone, it cost British businesses over £1bn, and as businesses rely more and more heavily on computers and the Internet to operate, online attacks are increasing in both frequency and sophistication.

It’s a threat no business can afford to ignore!

What is Cyber-crime?

Cyber-crime is any crime that involves a computer system and associated networks, and can include risks as diverse as identity theft, financial theft or data corruption.

You may think your business is immune, but a single incident of data theft could cost you dearly.

As well as disrupting your day-to-day operations, it could seriously compromise customer relationships, damage your reputation and the integrity of your business. Not only that, but under new data protection laws, you could be prosecuted for being negligent with sensitive data.

Cyber-crime can be very costly to fix, so if you haven’t assessed your company’s potential exposure, you’re putting your balance sheet at great risk.

Despite taking risk assessment measures, more and more businesses are seeking to transfer this risk to the insurance market.

Up till now, the insurance underwriting market has been predictably sluggish in getting to grips with the parameters necessary for accurate risk analysis. As underwriters have gained more experience over recent years, better policy wordings, offering a wider scope of cover at competitive rates, have emerged.

Cyber Liability Insurance

In conjunction with our insurance broking partners, Thompson & Co, we’ve made it easier than ever to protect your business from Cyber-crime, with Cyber Liability Insurance.

Designed for businesses of all sizes, it covers the risks associated with running a business utilising online services, including such risks as data breach or hardware failure.

With six sections of cover available, including access to professional advice and support when an incident occurs, you will be fully protected against a wide range of contingencies.

How much can it save you? (And that’s a better question than asking yourselves how much can you afford to lose!)

The Cyber Liability Insurance we can arrange is extremely competitively priced, and could save exposing your balance sheet to losses of many thousands of pounds.

Here are some example claims, to show you just how much:

  • Cyber liability:  A firm’s email system became corrupted and an IT investigation was needed to confirm that a virus was the cause.  Former customers sued for damages after being infected by email. Claim: £31,000
  • Data breach: An employee’s laptop was stolen containing extensive customer tax records. A replacement laptop was required as well as works to notify clients and investigate the loss. Claim: £35,000
  • Data corruption: An ex-employee hacked an organisation’s computer system. Data restoration and re-creation was required. Claim: £22,000
  • Stolen funds: Payment information in a computer system was changed requiring a transfer of funds to another account. During the changeover funds were stolen. Claim: £12,800Obtaining a quotation for insurance protection couldn’t be easier.

    Our partners have simplified the process, and will only ask for a very limited amount of information from you to work out the level of cover you need.

    So start the process now, by contacting me, Maurice Adams ACII, Senior Consultant at The Wigley Group on 02476 224600 or at maurice@thewigleygroup.com.

 

Maurice Adams

Senior Consultant

The Wigley Group Launches new Charity Incentive

Charity has begun at home for a Coventry company which has launched a fund to help soldiers take the first step onto a new career ladder.

The Wigley Support Fund (WSF) has been set up by The Wigley Group to retrain soldiers identified by the Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras.

The first beneficiary is Coventry-born Lance Corporal Gavin Prue who is being helped with the cost of studying an access to higher education in computing at the city’s Henley College.

LCpl Prue is leaving the Army in July after 10 years’ service and hopes the course will enable him to study for a degree in computer science at Coventry University and lead to a career in cyber security.

The commercial property company has raised £63,000 from The Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner over the last four years for Support Our Paras, which supports the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

Money raised from this year’s event on Wednesday, July 19 at Staverton Park De Vere, near Daventry, will go directly to the Wigley Support Fund to specifically help soldiers towards the cost of training for a new profession.

LCpl Prue, aged 25, who lives in Bedworth, has spent nine years with the Parachute Regiment and served all over the world including active deployment to Helmand in Afghanistan.

He said: “Before joining the Army, I went to Henley College for about three months to do a BTEC course in computing so I am now going back to where I left off.

“Having left school with next to no education, The Wigley Group has been kind enough to fund an access course which will hopefully enable me to go to university and ultimately pursue a career in cyber security.  It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m immensely grateful.

“The Army is a brilliant career and it can be quite daunting to leave the security of it. The Wigley Support Fund will be invaluable in helping soldiers like myself have a better chance of finding a new path.”

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We have been a proud supporter of Support Our Paras over the last four years, raising £63,000 to help the charity with the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

“We have launched this new initiative as a fund in agreement with Support Our Paras which will see the money we raise used specifically to retrain soldiers, equipping them with new skills for a new start.

“As a company we have a corporate social responsibility to support charities and to help our local community to the best of our ability, and we are delighted that the first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund is from our area.

“The funding will enable LCpl Prue to follow his dream of a new career in cyber security and we look forward to helping more soldiers like him.”

Former England football player and manager Kevin Keegan OBE will be the special guest and dinner speaker at this year’s Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner, which attracts around 200 business professionals.

 

To enter a team or sponsor this year’s event, contact gemma@thewigleygroup.com

 

Pictured, from left to right, are James Davies, director at The Wigley Group, Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, and Lance Corporal Gavin Prue.

Are You Ready for the Approaching New Legal Standard of Minimum Energy Efficiency?

2017 is proving to be an important year for The Wigley Group, in preparation for the upcoming changes to energy performance certificate (EPC) regulations. The Department for Energy & Climate Change have made changes to the regulations surrounding the EPC that will be implemented from 1st April 2018. The new minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) requirements will apply to both commercial buildings and residential properties within the private rented sector.

The minimum energy efficiency standard for both domestic and non-domestic (commercial) buildings will be set at an EPC rating of E, this new rating will be based on C02 emissions for commercial property and will be based on fuel costs for domestic property. There will be an impact for landlords as a rating of F or G, the worst performing, could potentially cause problems when trying to let a house/flat or renew a commercial lease.

There are justified concerns within the property industry for Landlords, agents and tenants alike, official Government data suggests that a substantial proportion of the UK building stock could be affected by the new regulations, within the period between 2008 – 2015, 35% of Non-Domestic buildings which had an EPC survey carried out were achieving a rating of E, F, or G.

It will be unlawful to let out a property if the building does not meet these new minimum EPC requirements. At The Wigley Group we understand the key obligations and restrictions in the regulations will fall on landlords, this will involve a financial cost for upgrading non-compliant buildings and if not managed correctly the potential loss of income if a property cannot be rented out.

A full review of all properties within the company portfolio is under way, to understand which properties are within scope of the MEES Regulations, whether there are any exemptions that might apply and the current EPC ratings of each building. We will also be carrying out energy assessments to check whether the EPC ratings for the properties are correct. Each property will then be analysed individually to find the most cost-effective way of achieving a higher EPC, this will involve looking at many facets of the building including lighting, heating, roof insulation, wall construction and renewable technologies.

There are however opportunities and we relish the task of improving the energy efficiency throughout our portfolio, by adding value to our current stock of properties and making them more attractive to future tenants. There will be a process of engagement with tenants where both parties can benefit from energy efficiency improvements and reduced utility bills. Following, a review of lease terms, break dates, renewal dates, there will also be opportunities to explore the potential to increase rental and asset value through making energy efficiency improvements and combining these with other refit upgrades.

If you are concerned with the upcoming changes to EPC regulations, I would recommend making plans now and talking to a local energy assessor who will be able to give you expert advice tailored to each property and provide you with an EPC.

Alan Greenway

Facilities Manager 

The Wigley Group Acquires 42,000 sq ft at Crick

A prime industrial unit for warehousing and logistics, located in the heart of the nation’s distribution network has been acquired by a leading Midlands commercial property company.

The Wigley Group, which owns and manages business and industrial parks across the Midlands, has invested around £1.8 million to buy the 42,000 sq ft unit adjacent to J18 of the M1 at Crick in Northamptonshire.

Law firm Wright Hassall acted for The Wigley Group in the freehold purchase of the unit on the Crick Industrial Estate, Eldon Way.

The Wigley Group, which also provides services relating to commercial property, construction and risk from its headquarters in Coventry, has refurbished the unit ready for leasing.

James Davies, director at The Wigley Group, said: “This is a significant purchase for The Wigley Group and a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio of commercial property.

“We acquired the unit predominantly because of its location being immediately adjacent to J18 of the M1, and with its floor space and high eaves at just under eight metres, will be ideal for warehousing or logistics.

“We have refurbished the unit with plans to resurface the yard area, and believe it will be a very attractive proposition not just to large PLCs but also to medium-sized businesses particularly for distribution.”

James Richards, senior associate in the real estate team at Leamington-based Wright Hassall, said: “This was a particularly challenging deal mainly due to a tight timescale which saw us manage to complete within six working days.

“It shows the appetite and demand for good quality industrial and logistics stock, and that opportunistic buyers and their teams can secure such stock at short notice to retain a competitive edge.

“We have a long-standing relationship with The Wigley Group and were pleased to be able to support them with this latest acquisition.”

The leasehold for the unit is now being marketed by commercial property agents Drake Commercial in Northampton.

Tom Drake, partner at Drake Commercial, said: “The key attraction of this unit is that it is located right on J18 of the M1 that serves not only existing occupiers in Northampton but also Rugby and the wider West Midlands.

“In a market that is starved of good quality stock, we expect a lot of interest in what is a rare opportunity to lease a newly refurbished building in the heart of the distribution network.

“There is likely to be potential interest from a range of logistics operators, including potential overspill requirements from those large scale occupiers located at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT).”

Pictured at the unit on the Crick Industrial Estate are, from left to right, James Davies (director at The Wigley Group), James Richards (senior associate in the real estate team at Wright Hassall), Tom Drake (partner at Drake Commercial) and Nicholas Roberts (partner at Drake Commercial).

Construction Works Near Completion at Henley Road Industrial Estate

Construction is nearing completion on a speculative development within a thriving industrial estate in Coventry to help meet a lack of commercial property in the city.

 

Two industrial units totalling 17,000 sq ft are being developed at Henley Road Industrial Estate, off Henley Road, by Coventry-based commercial property company The Wigley Group, which owns the site.

 

Work on the 7,252 sq ft and 8,700 sq ft new build units is due to be completed in May by The Wigley Group’s construction team.

 

Strong interest is expected in the leasehold opportunities available through commercial property agents Bromwich Hardy.

 

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “There is a distinct shortage of commercial property in Coventry and this development will help to address the demand.

 

“Both units are being built to a high specification for general industrial use and the 8,700 sq ft unit has a disproportionately large yard which lends itself to most uses including leisure.

 

“Henley Road Industrial Estate has always proved to be a popular location. It is well positioned in the north of Coventry close to junction two of the M6 with easy access to the centre of the city.

 

“It is a thriving multi-tenanted estate and this expansion at the rear of the site will enhance it even further.”

 

The 125,000 sq ft estate was purchased in the late 1990s by The Wigley Group, which owns and manages business and industrial parks across the Midlands and provides services relating to commercial property, construction and risk.

 

Nick Abell, vice-chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and chairman of Wright Hassall, was invited to tighten the last bolt in the final steelwork.

 

He said: “Speculative builds are a very good barometer of a local economy, so it is really encouraging that The Wigley Group has invested in this project in Coventry, confident that it will be able to attract a tenant.

 

“That in turn will bring further investment and new jobs to our area so it is extremely welcome. We are seeing a growing number of developers investing in the market with speculative developments and that bodes well for the future.”

Nick Abell is pictured tightening the last bolt with, left, Robert Wigley, and right, Charlie Brooks, construction manager at The Wigley Group.

 

The Wigley Group Are Doing The Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge to Raise Money For Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre!

Every year, staff at The Wigley Group raise funds and promote awareness for a local charity. This year we are supporting Tiny Tim’s Children’s Centre who provide care for children. A group of us are attempting the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge which involves a 24 mile walk in under 12 hours.

 

We visited the centre this month to see the incredible work Tiny Tim’s do. Please look at the Charity Information on the website to see for yourself.

 

Please donate through out Virgin Money Giving page, we would be grateful for any sponsorship received.

 

Thank you, from The Wigley Group Team.

Tips for Controlling Cashflow

Part of my role at The Wigley Group is not just to oversee all of the usual day to day bookkeeping, invoicing, paying the bills and dealing with anything with a £ sign, my role goes deeper than that. Since bringing our accounts department ‘in house’ with my company knowledge and accounts background, as Finance Manager I must be very analytical and be able to advise senior management.

One of these areas is ‘Cashflow’. Whatever size your business is, whether your business is growing or struggling, managing your cashflow should be high on your agenda. It may be something your Accountant can help you with if you don’t have a specialised accounts team or even the knowledge if you are very small, but in my view, it is perhaps the key to any business’ survival. Apparently over 60% of businesses that fail are actually profitable, they just run out of cash. Your business could be one of the most profitable but if the cash doesn’t flow you’re in trouble. Concentrating on how much profit you are making is just as important as analysing your flow of cash.

Do you find yourself waiting for cash to come in before you can pay some bills, are you always ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’? Answering yes to this means you seriously need to look at your cashflow and act quickly.

A good thing to start with is to speed up your cash conversion cycle. Analyse the time span of cash coming in to cash going out.

Make sure you know who owes you what. Check your bank as often as possible and make sure you are up to date as you possibly can be. When I worked in accountancy practice I remember small business owners not knowing who owed them money until their accounts were produced at their year end. Get on top of your Debtors. Know who your good payers and bad payers are and deal with the issues straight away. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to pay you. Always quote your bank account details on your invoices and ask for direct credits where possible.

Speed up the cash conversion cycle. A 30-day term is generally the ‘norm’ for a lot of businesses but you could, depending on your business, ask for a deposit and the balance payable in 30 days or create payment plans. This can ease cashflow for both parties. Communication with your Debtors is also key, all businesses can have times where cashflow is tight. Talk to one another to ease the situation.

Another thing to consider on your income side is how often you invoice. Review your system. Do you forget to invoice customers? Do you invoice as you go along or just at the month end? If the invoices don’t get out the cash won’t come in. These are all basic things but you’ll be surprised how easy things can slip. Tightening your processes can have a significant impact on your cashflow.

Do you know how much you owe suppliers, do you capture all time, costs and disbursements to invoice? When was the last time you checked suppliers costs to make sure you haven’t been overcharged or billed for items you’ve not received? The list is endless but all can help cashflow. Time is another topic, previously mentioned in an earlier blog of mine.

Always be looking at ways you can cut costs or improve your revenue, review your suppliers from time to time, and review contracts that are entered into on a regular basis, sometimes it’s cost effective to pay a penalty to get out a service contract etc.

The biggest thing is plan at least month by month, and try to create a cashflow forecast for at least 12 months ahead. Update it regularly, as you can only use information for forecasting from information you know. As time moves forward and figures become real the more accurate your forecast will become. Review and amend regularly. If you find it difficult to predict your sales complete all your outgoings first and then see what sales you need to cover your outgoings. Using previous year’s figures, if available is also a good starting point.

Finding out that in 6 months’ time it looks like you will have a cashflow issue is easier to act upon 6 months before it happens rather than the week it actually happens.

As the name suggests cash management is all about managing your cash flow by understanding how your business works, every business is different. Running out of cash is stressful so adopting a planned and proactive approach is fundamental to any business success.

Lisa Bristow

Finance Manager

If you need any further information or help and advice relating to any of the above please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Finance Manager, Lisa Bristow on 02476 224600 or at lisa@thewigleygroup.com.

Managing The Chain

Do you believe that by employing other companies to do work on your behalf, that you have relinquished yourself from all health and safety responsibilities, passing on the risk to the third-party company? If you do, this common error can end up with the Directors and Senior Managers of your organisation in hot water and potentially ending up in court.

We would all be fooling ourselves if we thought that we had the level of knowledge, understanding and skill to complete all work that our buildings require.  It is when specialist work needs to be completed that organisations often turn to contractors to carry out work that they simply can’t do themselves.

At this point, it is a common misconception that the health and safety responsibility is passed solely to the company that are employed to carry out the work, with some organisations simply stepping back and letting the contractor get on with what they have been asked to do.  If this is what your organisation does, you may have increased your financial and legal risk.

As the organisation who has instructed work to be undertaken, you are taking on the health and safety responsibility for those that you have contracted.  Protecting yourself and the organisation that you work for is vital in this situation and all contractors should be checked to ensure that they meet the basic health and safety requirements.  This can be done via a contractor vetting system, where you ask for simple health and safety information which allows you to build a picture of the health and safety commitment of the contracting company.  From this, you will be able to determine if you are happy using the contractor, or, if you want to approach others.  You shouldn’t be afraid of asking for clarification or questioning some of the information submitted.  Contractors will, in the main, be happy to help and if they aren’t the reason is often that they are hiding something from you.

Another important point which often gets overlooked is asking if contractors will be subcontracting the work out to a third party.  If this is the case, it is in your best interests to request the information that they have on the subcontracting company to ensure that health and safety control is not diluted through the supply chain, which could again land your organisation in health and safety turmoil.

Your health and safety responsibilities in relation to contractors do not stop at the initial desk top audit stage.  Once the first checks are completed and you are happy to place an order with a contractor, you should ensure that they are working in the way that their management system states that they will.  It is easy for companies to have the correct paperwork in place, but actions speak louder than words and it is out on site where the hazards lie.  This second level of checks can be visible from the issuing of specific method statements and risk assessments for works and taking part in site inductions to working safely on site and communicating any concerns to yourselves.

If you feel that your contractor control is leaving your organisation exposed and you need help setting up a contractor vetting system, please feel free to contact me at The Wigley Group office on 02476 224600 or at claire@thewigleygroup.com.  In the meantime, you should rest assured that if you use Wigley Commercial Services Ltd to complete any work on your behalf, we operate a fully transparent health and safety management system which covers our own employees as well as specialised contractors that we work in partnership with; and we are always happy to answer any queries that you may have.

Claire Lynch

Health and Safety Manager 

The Wigley Group Golf Day and Gala Dinner 2017

We are delighted to announce that our 5th Annual golf day and gala dinner will be held on Wednesday 19th July!

Come and join us in raising money for our new Wigley Support Fund initiative, working with Support Our Paras to retrain soldiers after they leave the armed services – RSVP gemma@thewigleygroup.com.

We’re Backing The Bid!

The Wigley Group is proud to be backing Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.

We have recently become 2021 Club members – which means we are contributing to the city’s effort to become UK City of Culture, a title currently held by Hull, alongside many other businesses and organisations in the area.

As well as our 2021 Club membership, we also launched a photographic competition where we have offered up-and-coming photographers the opportunity to use our equipment to help capture the city from a different angle.

Becoming UK City of Culture in 2021 would bring huge benefits to Coventry – and the surrounding region – not only culturally, but socially and economically too.

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport set a deadline of February 28 for cities to put themselves forward and now that deadline has passed, it has revealed that Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St Davids, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Warrington and Wells will be moving forward with a bid – alongside Coventry.

An initial bid must be submitted by April 28 before shortlisting takes place in May/June of this year. Full and final submissions will be required from shortlisted cities by September 29.

The final decision on who is UK City of Culture 2021 will be announced in December.

The bid team need all of the support it can get on social media so make sure you are following @coventry2021 on Twitter and Instagram, as well as like its page on Facebook.