Our review of the year

As a new year dawns at Howle HQ, we felt it was a good time to look back at 2018.
We have had the privilege to bring you some amazing success stories and we’ve listed some of the highlights below.
We’ve helped celebrate the launch of new companies, provided news on a prestigious Queen’s Award for Woolcool and chronicled stories of growth and job creation.
Howle Communications also supported the Tramp Hair Boutique with their winning entry in the Stockport Business Awards and, along with Exesios BDD and Place Marketing expert Julian Stubbs, held an event called Let’s Talk About Stoke-on-Trent which attracted an audience of business people together with Stoke-on-Trent LEP Chair David Frost and Cllr Abi Brown, Deputy Leader at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
If you need our support, then please get in touch – [email protected].

A Staffordshire entrepreneur is living out his childhood dreams after buying the Great Gear Store and moving the business to Leek.
Carl Barlow has created six jobs in his home town and is using his skills as a digital marketer to grow the business. See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/new-jobs-created-carl-relocates-1132564
Catering entrepreneur Sarah Lewis has revealed ambitious plans to stage the Midlands biggest ever healthy lifestyle show.
Sarah has organised the Healthy Lifestyle Show at the Telford International Centre on March 25th.
Croft Architecture project managed major new developments at popular spa resort Moddershall Oaks, see https://www.expressandstar.com/news/business/business-picks/2018/01/08/croft-architecture-project-manages-new-spa-developments/.

Mini performance experts Lohen are motoring to success with the support of Staffordshire’s Let’s Do Mentoring programme.

Andrey Magiy and Vince Craig

Lohen, based at Raleigh Hall, Eccleshall, has seen its own performance hit new heights, recording 85 per cent growth and employing four new staff in the last two years. See https://www.expressandstar.com/news/business/business-picks/2018/02/13/mentoring-boosts-performance-for-lohen/
Rydale Roofing is celebrating 25 years in business by holding 25 fundraising events for good causes in 2018.
The Silverdale based roofing company has forged a reputation for supporting numerous charities and good causes in its local area.
Highlights of the 2018 fundraising campaign will see members of Rydale Roofing’s staff sky-diving and taking part in the Screwball Rally.
Pensions experts have called on companies to hold pension clinics for their staff amid concern that many workers are confused about how much may be needed to live comfortably in retirement. Emily Jacobs, a Director of Richard Jacobs Pensions, said than an average pension pot of £250,000 is needed to fund a retirement figure of £10,800 a year but many older workers may struggle to achieve that.
A Staffordshire based charity is appealing for volunteer helpers as it steps up its work to support bereaved families. A Child of Mine holds regular support groups for families who have lost a child and developments planned for 2018 include a new group focusing on dads.
Now Gayle Routledge, A Child of Mine’s founder, hopes to set up a Friends of A Child of Mine group to support events and a fundraising drive.

Titanic Brewery announced plans to open new craft beer and café bars in Stoke and Stafford. See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/titanic-brewery-set-open-craft-1169939
We celebrated a fantastic story of entrepreneurial spirit in March. Craig Chapman launched his business by buying a single bread delivery van and now has a successful haulage business, the Dulogis Group. See https://www.ukhaulier.co.uk/news/road-transport/haulage/from-one-man-and-his-van-to-a-nationwide-transport-company-craig-chapman-creates-dulogis-to-offer-247-deliveries-at-one-hours-notice/

Craig Chapman

Employment lawyer Karen Coleman published a very helpful guide to GDPR, having carried-out extensive research with the help of the Keele University KRISP project, See https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/staffordshire-lawyer-launches-easy-use-guide-gdpr-employers/

There was fantastic news for Woolcool in April as they were awarded a Queen’s Award for innovation. The Stone-based company developed unique woollen packaging inserts which performs better than the man-made polystyrene equivalent. See https://www.expressandstar.com/news/business/2018/04/21/best-in-business–queens-award-winners-from-across-the-area/
Geens Accountants won a hat trick of accolades for its support for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. Staff at Geens are keen fundraisers – raising over £50,000 for various charities through a programme of sporting challenges – and also support their local hospice by providing audit work at a special charity rate.
Director Karen Lowe featured in the Sentinel Business Q&A, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/karen-lowe-life-director-geens-1462623
Norton-based Graphix celebrated 25 years in business –
In April, we were also delighted to begin a working relationship with Clowes & Co, celebrating the launch of the new solicitors’ practice, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/legal-eagles-spread-wings-launch-1462099

Other news featured UK Business IT doubling their office space in Etruria, Peak Chiropractic launching additional clinics, King Street Studios converting to a Community Interest Company, Stafford Industrial Supplies winning new contracts and landlord James Miller, launching a restaurant at the Bulls Head, Alton, in time for the summer tourist season.

Stoke-on-Trent based brewers Titanic were involved in a new initiative in May, together with the White Horse Brewery and Everards. The trio partnered in a major refurbishment at the Royal Blenheim, Oxford, see

In May, Howle Communications began working on PR for SAS Water Ltd and we started by celebrating the companies rebrand in collaboration with Graphix, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/legionella-experts-sas-water-undergoes-1565270.
A Child of Mine, a Staffordshire based charity, was asked to help shape new Government policy on bereavement leave and pay for parents. Chief Executive Gayle Routledge, was asked to provide her input into a key stakeholder event as consultation on the implementation of a new Parental Bereavement Leave Bill began.
Charity news in April, also saw the launch of an appeal to raise vital funds to provide mental health support for some of Stoke-on-Trent’s most vulnerable families. Grant funding for a mental health worker at the Gingerbread Centre homeless support charity had run out and the charity asked companies if they would consider making monthly donations. To get involved please contact Julie Levert 01782 973491, email [email protected].

June saw Howle Communications work with up and coming food business Africa Al’s Handmade Sauces. We worked on the following story showcasing how a former Manchester police officer found a fascinating new career –
Rydale Roofing’s year of fundraising gathered pace with a football tournament at Silverdale Athletic and the roofing company was looking forward to a charity fundraiser with Black Country entertainer, Yam Yam Elvis.
Croft Architecture won a contract to design high quality social housing for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, see https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/croft-architecture-wins-contract-design-affordable-homes-stoke-trent-city-council/
We announced positive charity news as award winning playwright Deb McAndrew was appointed as the first ambassador for the Gingerbread Centre, see https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/playwright-deborah-mcandrew-gingerbread-centres-first-ambassador/

Titanic Brewery invested in 111 solar panels, allowing the Burslem-brewery to produce its own electricity, see
PHP Production Services won a contract to provide production services for the 2018 staging of the historic Chester Mystery Plays. Deb McAndrew, mentioned above, was the writer on the project, making it a double success for North Staffordshire.
Design and print company Graphix pulled out all the stops to ensure Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s housing maintenance vehicle fleet was rebranded in double quick time. The Norton company won a competitive tender to work with the authority’s house maintenance team, after a decision to take the service into full council control and under its new name, Unitas.
Premier Tax Solutions were among the first companies to move into the new Daisy Bank business centre, Cheadle. The company also retained its Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, office, as it targeted urban and rural markets. http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/premier-tax-solutions-open-new-headquarters/.
An architect was forecasting further growth – after taking on additional staff to support its growing client list. Stafford-based Croft Architecture now has four qualified architects in a seven-strong team and is looking to employ further experienced staff at its base on the Staffordshire Technology Park. http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/packed-portfolio-adds-up-to-jobs-and-growth-at-croft-architecture-stafford/
SAS Water’s MD Elizabeth Froggatt (now Ward) was featured in Sentinel Business Q&A, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/elizabeth-froggatt-reveals-journey-primary-1815351

Rock and roll hairstylists Tramp unveiled plans for a £250,000 investment in a new salon and academy. The company is working with Hive Architects, of Knutsford, to transform a derelict three-storey building in Great Underbank which will see the creation of an international standard hair salon, a hairdressing academy, a craft beer bar, Tramp‘s own vintage clothes store, Homesick Vintage, a Bakeorama outlet, Phoebe Rosca Art Tattoos and a nail salon.
See https://marketingstockport.co.uk/news/tramp-to-launch-hair-academy-in-stockport-soho-area/.

Tittensor-based Dulogis Group launched a recruitment drive for an additional 26 staff – including multi-drop van drivers and LGV1 drivers.
The vacancies follow the company’s continued investment in its transport fleet, which has seen the recent addition of almost 10 new vehicles. See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/jobs/26-more-jobs-up-grabs-1874607

Howle Communications started work to support Beta Financial Services, of Alton, and began by reporting on how the com[any supported the development of a new business centre – https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/news/finance-experts-beta-support-hca-developments-create-economic-growth-staffordshire-moorlands/.
Work began on the creation of a new Titanic Brewery café bar at Stoke Station. bod Stoke is situated in the former First Class Lounge of the city’s mainline station, with access from both Platform One and the pavement on Winton Square, Stoke. https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/stoke-on-trent-news/opening-date-revealed-amazing-new-2007042.
Now u Know Training has more than doubled the courses it offers for its nationwide clients. Managing Director Heather Broadhurst said the Lymedale Business Centre based company can now offered over 170 courses across a huge range of business topics. See
A new function room, featuring everything from community cinema nights to live music gigs, opened at a busy Staffordshire Moorlands pub. The oak beamed function room is the latest addition to facilities at the Bulls Head, Alton, and signals the completion of a 30-month labour of love for Alton resident James Miller & his business partners.
A celebration was held at Woolcool as the company was presented with the Queen’s Award by Lord Lieutenant Ian Dudson, see https://www.expressandstar.com/news/business/business-picks/2018/10/02/celebration-for-woolcool/
Tramp Hair Boutique were also celebrating after being crowned Most Promising Young Business in the Stockport Business Awards –https://marketingstockport.co.uk/news/winners-at-stockport-business-awards-2018/. Howle Communications were delighted to have helped Tramp with their entry.
Staffordshire Family Law specialist Jo Johnson was involved in a campaign to bring in “no fault” divorces and this led to a debate in the Sentinel newspaper, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/divorcing-your-partner-set-become-1998629.

Hopes were high for further growth at Adept Vehicle Management after the business was bought by two of its Directors. Carl Cumbo and Mark Pedley have plans to build on the successful business formula which has seen the Newcastle-under-Lyme based company develop a growing presence in the UK business fleet sector.


See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/fleet-specialists-focus-growth-being-2209574.
A new exhibition and film are to be launched to commemorate the bravery of Staffordshire soldiers in a pivotal battle of World War One and there’s a chance to get involved by visiting a new website at www.137Staffords.co.uk. Heritage Lottery funding has been won to honour the sacrifices made by Staffordshire soldiers in a battle which became known as “the greatest chapter in Britain’s military history”. Stoke-based Inspired Film and Video were commissioned to make a documentary about the battle and the exhibition. See https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/staffordshire/lichfield/2018/09/26/staffordshire-regiment-museum-granted-10000-to-remember-crucial-war-victory/
Smart use of technology and an investment in training has put Premier Tax Solutions ahead of the curve on new Making Tax Digital rules.
The new legislation is seen as a financial headache for many small and medium sized businesses as they will have to file returns four times a year from 2019. See https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/news/growth-forecast-premier-tax-solutions-accountants-jump-ahead-curve-making-tax-digital/.

An outdoor activity centre which is much-loved by many youngsters from Staffordshire and beyond is bidding to take a share of the growing market for corporate team building events. The 98-acre Kibblestone International Scout Camp boasts a huge range of opportunities for company staff to get active, from axe throwing to bouldering and archery to abseiling. Kibblestone can offer flexible packages and can cater for around 100 people staying overnight in its accommodation centre, or for many more, if they plan to camp.
The Manchester Evening news featured plans by Tramp Hair Boutique to lead a style led regeneration of Stockport’s historic Underbanks. See https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/how-celebrity-hair-stylists-wants-15342028.
The winners were unveiled in the 2018 Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Boost awards – https://staffordshirechambers.co.uk/latest/news/winners-unveiled-2018-business-boost-awards/
Four new jobs were created at Geens Accoutantshttps://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/digital-tax-initiative-accounts-decision-2233908.
Mounsey Chartered Surveyors announced they had been instructed to place the former BJB head office, Festival Park, on the market –http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2023780-head-office-building-comes-to-market.
BNI Sir Stanley Matthews Chapter, based at the Upper House, Barlaston, celebrated a record year, with referral passing £1 million for the first time.

Rydale Roofing unveiled plans to celebrate the end of their 25th birthday appeal with a Ball at Keele Hall on February 1st, 2018. To buy tickets for the 25th anniversary ball, please contact [email protected]. This prompted an entry into the Sentinel business awards. See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-awards-ball-celebrate-firms-2345894.
Stoke City announced a new signing…Graphix Ltd! The Norton based company was delighted to secure a deal as the football club’s first ever exclusive print and signage supplier. See http://www.midlandsbusinessnews.co.uk/graphix-announced-as-stoke-city-fcs-first-ever-official-print-and-sign-supplier/.

stoke city football club – SCFC GRAPHIX perimiter board sponsorship 12DEC18 at the bet365 Stadium 2018 – © phil greig 2018 – created by phil greig greigphoto.com for stokecityfc.com

A new survey revealed that most UK adults are oblivious to the high costs of dementia care needs, with many thinking care is free on the NHS.
In reality, dementia care typically costs an average of £100,000 for care over a patient’s lifetime, way more than most people believe the costs to be,
Clowes & Co Solicitors urged families to take action by considering setting up an asset protection trust and putting a Lasting Power of Attorney order in place for older family members. See https://public-relations-consultants.co.uk/families-advised-to-plan-for-their-futures-as-dementia-crisis-spirals/
A beautician who started her own company with a £70 loan off her dad is now celebrating her fourth year in business. 24-year-old Chloe Burke set-up Chloe’s Beauty in 2014. See https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/chloe-transformed-70-loan-thriving-2257774.
It has been a fabulous 2018 for Newcastle-under-Lyme couple Tony and Steph Altham with growth at AdGiftsOnline and BNI Staffordshire, see https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/business/business-awards-couple-forecasting-growth-2363618.
Nigel Howle, Howle Communications Ltd. Tel: 07762043436. http://public-relations-consultants.co.uk/