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Rotherham leading the way as Yorkshire’s fastest growing economy

posted 15 Jan 2018, 02:33 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 02:33 ]

Rotherham Council leaders have welcomed a new report which reveals Rotherham is the fastest growing-city economy in Yorkshire, and the eighth fastest growing economy in the UK.

The UK Powerhouse study by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) provides an estimate of growth and job creation within 45 of the UK’s largest cities.

The report shows that Rotherham had a growth of 1.8% across October to December 2017. The only economies ahead of Rotherham were Cambridge (2.2%), Aberdeen (2%), Derby, Milton Keynes, Ipswich, and Oxford (all 1.9%).

The report goes on to state that Rotherham has built on its historical manufacturing sector specialising in heavy steel, and now plays a key role in the manufacturer of bespoke products for the aerospace, nuclear and transportation industries, driven by research and development in technologies.

The location and success of the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District – which sits on the Rotherham/Sheffield border – and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre was significant in attracting investment from the likes of Boeing and McLaren, making a significant difference to the assessment of Rotherham’s performance against its peers.

Dorrien Peters, partner and Head of Business Legal Services at the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Our latest Powerhouse Report shows that Rotherham’s impressive growth is a huge testament to the vision of our universities, together with Rotherham and Sheffield, to build a world class Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. It is a decision that is supported by the hard economic data that shows the worth of manufacturing and education to the wider Sheffield City Region.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott added: “Rotherham’s ambition is to create the right conditions for growth and regeneration and these results give confidence to businesses looking to invest in jobs, homes and developments within Rotherham. We look forward to creating an economy in which there are more growing and innovative businesses, where more local people are in work, both highly skilled and entrepreneurial, and where the transport, digital and environmental infrastructure, along with the housing offer and quality of place, support economic growth.”

New UCR roof "topped off" as build reaches one step closer to completion

posted 15 Jan 2018, 01:40 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 01:41 ]

A topping-out ceremony was held last week to celebrate a huge milestone in the construction of the brand new University Centre Rotherham.

Willmott Dixon are just months away from completing the build of the £10.5million brand new campus, which will expand the range of degrees and higher level training available in Rotherham.

John Connolly, Chief Executive for the RNN Group, the organisation behind University Centre Rotherham and Rotherham College, welcomed Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and other representatives from partner organisations including Sheffield City Region and Rotherham Together Partnership, to mark the completion of the highest point of the building.

A representative from Lloyds Bank also attended the event, an organisation that has both supported and partly-funded the project.

John Connolly, said of the build: “It’s fantastic to see our new University Centre Rotherham really starting to take shape and beginning to take its place on the Rotherham skyline.”

“Over the coming months, people will hear much more about the courses and brilliant facilities, and we’ll be working closely with more employers to get them involved so training meets their needs for highly-skilled staff.”

Behind the scenes at the RNN Group, the organisation is working collaboratively with the university partners which accredit their degrees and with regional employers to develop courses that are sought after within the local economy.

The centre is a key part of the Rotherham 2025 strategy to regenerate the town to make better place to live, work, invest in and visit.

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce said:

"The culmination of this project will bring what many businesses in Rotherham have been hoping for a long time - a university campus in our own town and in a central location. The number one priority for a majority of businesses is getting staff with the right skill set and developing our own 'home grown talent' will prove a major step forward. This also ties in with the Rotherham Together Partnership ‘game changer’ of increasing skills and employment in the borough".

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Councillor Denise Lelliott, said she was excited to see work on the Centre progressing:

“University Centre Rotherham will be a great asset to the borough," she said. "As Rotherham looks forward to a future with more growing and innovative businesses, the UCR will help to develop a home-grown future workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge.”

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The University Centre will help to attract, retain and develop skills in the region which are so important for the SCR’s sustainable growth. It will be a major asset to Rotherham and the employers and workforce of the region - the ‘let’s get it done’ work-ethic in Sheffield City Region harnesses drive and ambition.”

Richard Stowell, Operations Manager for Willmott Dixon said, “UCR has made fantastic progress since the start in September 2017; in the space of a few months we have completed the groundwork, erected the steel, cast the floors and started the perimeter cladding.

“The roof topping out marks a significant milestone in the project calendar as we begin to commence internal trades, and is another milestone in our work to achieve completion later this year, so that UCR can welcome its first students this autumn.”

University Centre Rotherham is due to welcome students from autumn 2018, offering a huge range of degrees, foundation degrees, higher national certificates and diplomas, and other professional training in areas such as business enterprise, graphic design, performance, engineering, education, computing, media and photography and much more.

Rotherham Salon Is A Cut Above Thanks To UKSE Funding

posted 11 Jan 2018, 04:15 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 11 Jan 2018, 04:16 ]

A Rotherham-based luxury hair and beauty salon, Beautan, has launched since receiving funding from the UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart Fund. 

Driven by demand from those looking to transform their appearance, Rebecca Duffy and Victoria Gale - the team behind Beautan – have invested in vital marketing collateral and staff uniforms, thanks to the £500 funding from UKSE.

Established in June 2017, Beautan is a prime, luxury beauty and tanning salon offering an array of treatments such as spray-tanning, hair removal, gel and acrylic nails, and haircuts, blow-dries and colouring.

Rebecca Duffy, qualified make-up artist and co-owner, has seen a surge in bookings leading up to the Christmas period. Due to the increase in demand, the duo already have growth plans to expand their team to four, allowing them to accept more appointments and increase turnover.

Victoria Gale, co-owner of Beautan, commented “I believe that the success of Beautan so far stems from the wide range of services that we offer. Often, people come to us for a haircut, realise we do nails and tanning too and leave having had the full works!

“The UKSE funding has enabled us to pursue a passion, and we’re both very grateful for the support we have received. We’d love to expand in the future and Rebecca is currently completing a barbering course, something else that we’ll be able to add to our services allowing us to open the door to a wider range of clientele.”

Launched in February 2016 by UKSE, with support from RIDO and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, the Kickstart Fund is dedicated to supporting people looking to establish a business in the local area.

Keith Williams, from UKSE, said: “Victoria and Rebecca have shown real entrepreneurial spirit, they’re both very passionate about what they do and this shines through with the quality of services they provide to a growing client base.

“With any new business, it’s important to get the basics right and it’s great to see that our funding has helped Beautan start trading, market themselves in the area and fuel initial growth.”

A subsidiary of Tata Steel, UK Steel Enterprise provides equity and loan finance to growing companies. Established businesses in need of growth finance can contact the UK Steel Enterprise team on 0800 915 1188.

MacRobert Award 2018 Entries Now Open

posted 19 Dec 2017, 04:05 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 19 Dec 2017, 04:05 ]

Entries are now open for the 2018 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award. 

The MacRobert Award, first presented in 1969, is the UK's longest-running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation.  

It honours the winning organisation with a gold medal, and the team members a cash prize of £50,000. The presentation of the award recognises outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit and proven commercial success.

Past winners have included the engineers behind innovations such as the Pegasus jet engine, catalytic converters, the roof of the Millennium Dome and intelligent prosthetic limbs. In 2017 the Award was won by the team behind the Raspberry Pi microcomputer.

Originally founded by the MacRobert Trust, the Award is now presented and run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers.

The closing date for entries is 31 January 2018. Click here for more details on how to apply.

'Fix It Friday' with Sheffield Hallam University

posted 19 Dec 2017, 03:59 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 19 Dec 2017, 03:59 ]

Sheffield Hallam University is offering companies in the Sheffield City Region the opportunity to speak to experts about business needs and ideas. 

The event, which will be held on Friday 12th January 2018, will offer the chance to talk through a particular problem or innovative idea with specialist consultants, with advice on how best to reach a solution.

Topics covered will include:
  • smart infrastructure
  • urban living
  • environmental infrastructure
  • energy
  • connected transport
Refreshments will be provided.

Click here for more details and to book your place.

Career Event Success at Magna

posted 13 Dec 2017, 07:43 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 13 Dec 2017, 07:43 ]

Hundreds of students and job seekers attended the recent Local Employment Advisory Forum (LEAF) event at the Magna Science Adventure Centre to meet with local businesses and training providers and find out about employment and training opportunities in the borough.

The event, which is in its fifth year, provided a platform for more than 60 exhibitors to offer insight into different career options, including the Carlton Park Hotel, Debt Managers and Rotherham NHS. 

Hundreds of live vacancies were available on the day and advice was provided on how to gain the skills needed by employers, as well as help with writing CVs.

Jack Norman, 17, visited LEAF in 2016 and now has an apprenticeship with Mears. Jack was recently awarded the RMBC and Mears Young Apprentice of the Year 2017. He was on hand at the event to offer practical advice to potential apprentices.

He said: “The event was a great way to learn about career options and led to me applying and being offered an apprenticeship with Mears. Without attending last year I would not have known about it, so I really appreciate the opportunities it brought.”

The morning session was dedicated to students from local schools, while the afternoon focused on jobseekers, especially older students and the general public looking for career opportunities.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said: “Feedback from exhibitors and visitors was very positive, and it was fantastic to see so many people coming to speak to potential employers and training providers. One visitor commented on how beneficial the event was and how it had led to six points of contact to follow up on.”

Mears Rotherham General Manager Andy Chambers said: “We were delighted to be able to once again host the LEAF event along with our partners in Rotherham. We have always supported local employment initiatives and set up the Local Employment Advisory Forum to enable local people to find out more about improving their skills and offering information to help them succeed in their training and employment goals.”

The event was sponsored by Mears and Rotherham Council, delivered in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, with event patrons; Phoenix Enterprises, University Centre Rotherham and Barnsley College.

Another chance to hop on board the Google bus!

posted 7 Dec 2017, 02:57 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 7 Dec 2017, 02:58 ]

There will be another chance for local businesses in Rotherham to boost their digital skills as Google brings its Digital Garage Bus back to the town centre next week.

The Digital Garage Bus is a place for anyone to come and learn free digital skills to grow their business, learn more about the internet, develop career skills or help start a new business.

In the last two years, over 200,000 people across the UK have benefited from Google’s free face to face training on digital know-how. The project first launched in South Yorkshire with the Digital Garage on Sheffield’s High Street, but has taken to the streets to reach more people across the region.

Businesses can take advantage of the Introduction to Digital Advertising course to learn about search, social and display advertising and how to get started with advertising a business.

Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council said: “If you didn't have a chance to visit the bus when it was at Riverside House then this is a great opportunity for local businesses to come along for tips on how to increase their potential online.

“You can either book on one of the workshops in advance, or if you are just looking for some general advice about getting the benefits of the internet, or want to ask the team a question, just pop in during the morning.”

The Google Digital Garage Bus will be available for advice and coaching for local small business between 10am and 5pm, on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 December, on Howard Street, near Boots. 

Business start-up advisors from Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) will also be on hand to provide free help and support for new and recently launched small businesses as part of their “Mighty” project.

For more information and to book on an afternoon ‘workshop’ session, contact the Google Digital Garage in Sheffield or drop in at the bus during the mornings.

Click here for more information about the Google Digital Garage.

Click here for more information about the Mighty project.

Get up to Speed Returns to Rotherham

posted 28 Nov 2017, 02:12 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 28 Nov 2017, 02:13 ]

Get up to Speed will make a welcome return to its now well-established home at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham, on Wednesday 18th April 2018.

This high profile interactive event started in 2011 and moved to Magna in 2015, where it has grown into what is believed to be the largest event of its kind in the north. Attracting over 2,100 attendees in 2017 and expected to have another record year in 2018, it brings together students, adults and employers, not just from the region, but across the UK. 

The event is driven by the regions employers, with an already impressive list of sponsors confirmed, including Liberty Speciality Steels, Cooper Brown Enterprises, AESSEAL plc, Highlander IT & Telecoms, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). 

Get up to Speed is a highly interactive event aimed at showcasing the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors, it’s employers and employment opportunities to young people, parents and educators. 

The event aims to inspire; building confidence and knowledge in these sectors as a great place to work in a fun and interactive way. 

The Made in Sheffield brand is recognised around the world and the region is renowned internationally for its expertise in high-precision engineering, metals production, new technologies and the high-quality design and manufacturing of products for a wide range of global industries. In engineering alone, with 186,000 new engineers required nationally per year between now and 2024 to fill the expected skills gap, local companies understand the need to help celebrate and promote the industry. This is not just nationally and internationally, but more importantly locally, to ensure that there are enough talented and skilled young people entering the industry to fill the region’s growing skills needs.  

Many local companies, and increasingly national companies, get involved in the event through The work-wise Foundation, attending with their apprentices and graduates to talk to young people and those who educate and influence them, about opportunities and careers available. Eight years on, some of those early visitors are attending as apprentices and graduates, telling their own stories and inspiring others.
Liberty Speciality Steels HR Director, Mick Hood comments:

“We continue to support the Get up to Speed event because it is a fantastic way of raising awareness among young people, teachers and parents, of the exciting opportunities on offer by choosing an engineering or science-based career. Each year the event gets bigger and better and I’m sure this year will be no different”.

Talking about the 2018 event John Barber CEO of the work-wise Foundation and Chair of the Get up to Speed Steering Group explains:

“Get up to Speed is free to visit and is designed to inspire and inform through a wide range of hands on activities, showcasing many different businesses from traditional to advanced technologies plus support and education organisations. Previous exhibits have ranged from Virtual Reality Welding, CNC Machining, VR and Augmented Reality tools for the rail industry to a human powered sail rocket, hang gliders, a bi-plane with the Vulcan ‘To the Skies’ Bomber Project and a female stunt pilot. Vehicles have included the Bloodhound SSC, F1 cars, drag and racing motorcycles, armoured military vehicles, Rail Ranger off road vehicle that also runs on rail tracks, University Formula Racing Teams and of course our friendly Dalek, plus much more. This year we have extended the event to encompass science and technology as well as engineering and manufacturing, as we recognise ever changing range of opportunities opening up to young people. 

Recognising the importance of those who influence young people’s choices we will also be running  teacher awareness seminars on the day so they can take back to school knowledge and practical activities, and spread the word further.”

The day gets underway with a Business Breakfast at 8am and the main event following at 9:30am, running until 5pm.

We already have over 30 exhibitors confirmed but would love to hear from anyone wanting to exhibit or get involved on the day.

Any schools, colleges or individuals interested in attending or exhibiting should contact John Barber at  or visit to find out more and register.

RiDO have supported the Get up to Speed event each year since 2011 and are proud to be involved in helping to grow the STEM sector in Rotherham as part of the Sheffield City Region.

Rotherham's Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Announced

posted 16 Nov 2017, 02:02 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 16 Nov 2017, 02:02 ]

The founder of town centre-based Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective, Emily Dawson, has won the coveted Rotherham Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a top prize of £1,000, following a ceremony at the LEAF Event on Monday.

Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise who presented the award said that Emily had stood out for her customer service and ethical approach, and showed the panel how the business had created a place of work for others.

Now in its twelfth year, the event - hosted by Rotherham Youth Enterprise and UK Steel Enterprise - recognises the achievements of business owners aged 18 to 30, highlighting the talent and overwhelming entrepreneurial spirit of young people in Rotherham.

Based in the historic Imperial Buildings, Emily – the town centre's first female tattoo artist - manages a tattoo studio offering fully custom designs drawn by each artist on the team in their own individual style. The studio also hosts guest artists from up and down the country offering customers an even greater selection of looks to choose from.

Emily said: "Tattooing is often not portrayed in a great light so I am over the moon that my business has been recognised not once, but twice in these awards.

"I wanted to be a tattoo artist from a very early age and have faced a lot of criticism and gender discrimination throughout my career. I put every penny I had into setting up Holy Ghost Tattoo Collective and I am extremely proud of both the studio that I have created and the industry in which I work."

The studio opened in 2013 in the Imperial Buildings and Emily has plans already in place to open a second studio in the Old Town Hall soon, to enable the business to offer more services and products to an ever increasing customer base.

Tom Ridgeway (25) of Cutthroats Barbershop was named the winner in the Business Most Determined to Succeed category, sponsored by the University Centre Rotherham. The judges highlighted that Tom was a shining example of a young entrepreneur who was committed to shaping the future with an inclusive approach to business.

The business judged to have the Best Online Presence, was Dynomodels and the winner of the Best Customer Service category was Lucy Hornsby (19) of Lucy Amber Lingerie. In a new category, Sam Wilkinson and Luke Bell of Postify were the winners for the Best Pitch.

The remaining finalists were highly commended - Jordan Mangnall (20) of Jaded Heart Ltd; Abby Johnson (27) of Edit Salon; Amy Walker (25) of Ye Old Yorkshire Preserve Shoppe; and Katie Ferrie (25) of Knead Bakery.

Darren McDool, business coach from Rotherham Youth Enterprise, said: "The calibre of candidates that entered this year has again been exceptional. We had a fantastic mix of creative new start-ups and established growing businesses, representing the increasing number of entrepreneurial young individuals in our region."

Jobs & Careers event returns to Magna next week

posted 8 Nov 2017, 02:04 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 8 Nov 2017, 02:05 ]

Students and jobseekers are being invited to attend the LEAF (Local Employment Advisory Forum) event, which will be held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre on Monday, 13th November 2017, from 12.30pm until 3.30pm.

This free event is being held for the fifth year running and brings together local businesses and organisations with hundreds of vacancies, showcasing employment and training opportunities in the area, as well as providing advice on how to gain the skills employers are looking for.

Last year, the event attracted over 1,400 people, including school and college students and jobseekers, wanting to find out about local training and employment opportunities. Some even received job offers on the day.

LEAF is not just a traditional jobs fair - it has a focus on helping people progress in the right career as well as supporting young people to make the right choices when planning their career pathways. It is suitable for anyone aged 13 years and upwards, as well as those currently seeking work.

Over 60 exhibitors will be on hand, ranging from Morrison Mears, Liberty Steel, Webhelp, New York Bakery and Rotherham NHS to provide information on current vacancies, knowledge of their industry, advice on how to gain the skills needed by employers and how to be successful in presenting yourself to a prospective employer.  

Sectors represented include food manufacturing, engineering, health & social care, construction, Armed Forces, hospitality, warehouse and logistics.

Following last year’s event, Careers Adviser Sarah Sykes from Aston Academy said: “Our students really enjoyed attending the LEAF event and found it beneficial. One of our students was able to find out more about the NHS and Rotherham College health apprenticeships. She had the opportunity to talk to staff from both organisations and she was really buzzing about it afterwards.

“At one point the student and I talked to an employer together and the student was thrilled to get positive feedback about her demeanour from the employer. When we returned to school she was motivated to complete her UCAS Progress application form and as she had found out the information at the event she was able to apply for the relevant course and apprenticeship opportunities.”

A morning session is open to Rotherham schools and is by invitation only, with around 400 young people expected to attend.

During the afternoon session which is open to the public, there will also be business start-up support and advice available as well as help with writing a CV.

The winner of Rotherham’s Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award will also be announced.
Mears Rotherham General Manager, Andy Chambers, said: “We are pleased to once again host the LEAF event along with our partners in Rotherham. We have always supported local employment initiatives and set up the Local Employment Advisory Forum to enable local people to find out more about improving their skills and offering information to help them succeed in their training and employment goals.”

The event is sponsored by Mears and Rotherham Council, delivered in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, with event patrons; Phoenix Enterprises, University Centre Rotherham and Barnsley College.

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