Friday 30 April 2010

Connect PR hits the headlines!

As one account director far worthier than most once said... ‘It can be a feast or a famine in the world of PR.’

Never a truer word has been said! We’ve enjoyed a typically industrious week here at the Chub Buildings, but as the days have progressed, so too has the good news.

Our Volkswagen commercial vehicle dealership account has today given us some great news in the shape of 5 new retailers.

We currently look after the PR interests of 35 dealerships, and to have another five on board is credit to the work that Sue, Richard, Becki and Zoe are doing. Well done everyone!

And if that wasn’t enough, a school of fish is on the menu to keep our feast going.

Winning the Go Fishing account has been a brilliant catch for us all, and from small minnows doth mighty pikes grow.

Well, kind of. The new business could lead to some more interesting developments, so we will let you know how things progress on that score.

Our tried and trusted clients are also bringing home the bacon, not least WD-40, who enjoyed a right riveting day out at the Toolbank Show down the road in Halesowen on Thursday.

James Wade, the world darts superstar, was on hand to throw some scintillating arrows and grab the headlines in the trade press, as he pitted his skills against a number of wannabe tradesmen.

James, as you may know, is being sponsored by the famous lubricant, and the partnership continues to work across all forms of media, whether its regional, national or trade press.

And finally, in keeping with the feast or famine quote, we’d like to share with you Weston Park’s new Granary Grill restaurant, which opens tomorrow (May 1st).

We’ve always took a great deal of pleasure in getting publicity for the beautiful Staffordshire stately home (pictured), and our taste buds are already twitching ahead of the grand opening of Weston Park’s new eatery.

Situated in the Granary building and based around a state-of-the-art open plan kitchen and grill, Head Chef Guy Day's team will sizzle up lunch and dinner seven days a week. The menu features the very best in local produce - simply cooked.

Right then, all this talk of food is making us hungry. We’re off to McDonald’s to start the Bank Holiday weekend off in style.

Have a good one!
Connect PR

Walking the walk for Breast Cancer Care

A marketing manager from a Somerset Volkswagen car retailer is stepping up the training for a night time marathon walk, wearing very little other than a colourfully decorated bra, all in the name of charity.

Sharon Mortimore, from Exeter, is taking part in the Playtex Moonwalk on the 15th May and is planning to raise over £1,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

The event, which attracted over 15,000 walkers last year, will see Sharon join thousands of women - and a few courageous men – as they parade through central London in the hours of darkness.

Sharon who normally spends her time promoting Silver Street Volkswagen, is now using her skills to help raise sponsorship for her walking challenge.

She said: “My work colleagues have been very generous and are looking forward to seeing the pictures from the event. I would like to thank the Silver Street Automotive Group who has certainly given my sponsorship total a big boost.

“I have been training hard and walking to work when possible. I am really looking forward to the event. It is such a wonderful and humbling experience that really unites women in the fight against Breast Cancer. “

This year’s theme is ‘Showtime’ which invites participates to decorate their bras in plentiful amounts of glitter, feathers, sparkles and beads creating a razzle dazzle feel to the event.

Andy Russell, Managing Director from Silver Street Automotive Group said: “We are very happy to support Sharon and wish all the Moonwalkers the very best of luck.”

To help Sharon reach her goal donations can be taken into Taunton Volkswagen on Silver Street or by visiting

Service team boost at Specialist Cars

An Aberdeen retailer is boosting its customer service offering by expanding its aftersales department to become a seven-strong team.

Volkswagen retailer, Specialist Cars, has appointed Scott Brunton to head up the new team of six customer service specialists.

With over 18 years automotive experience, Scott joins the Volkswagen retailer having began his career ‘behind the scenes’ as a workshop technician. Having worked for a number of leading car manufacturers, Scott swiftly progressed to customer facing roles before specialising in service management for the past five years.

Scott has recruited five new service advisors, all with automotive backgrounds, to help strengthen the service offering and to ensure enquiries and bookings are dealt with quickly and efficiently for customers.

Speaking of his new challenge Scott, said: “This is a very exciting time. The team has doubled in size and now provides a strong presence on reception so that we can handle a greater number of customer enquiries more efficiently.

“We are very committed to developing our aftersales service for customers. Although all of the new service advisors have each come from automotive backgrounds we are now investing in expanding their knowledge and skills even further in specialist areas.”

Each team member has embarked on a three year service advisor qualification through Volkswagen’s Training Academy which will include a series of practical and theoretical exams. The course covers all aspects of customer service and product knowledge to gain the NVQ Level 4 equivalent qualification.

“Volkswagen has very high standards and procedures; my goal is to position Specialist Cars Aberdeen as one of the brand’s top 20 Volkswagen sites. Early indications are promising and with such a committed team I feel sure we can achieve this.”

For further information on the Volkswagen range of to speak to the aftersales team at the Craigshaw Crescent site, call 01224 384000.

Thursday 29 April 2010


Mistakes can easily be erased having put pen to paper thanks to an exciting new writing instrument launched by leading stationery brand uni-ball.

By using the cap on the Fanthom rollerball pen to rub out handwritten notes the need for messy correction fluid and tape has come to an end. A result that also gives more space in the pencil case and office desk drawer.

Available in six different colours, the Fanthom delivers a smooth medium line that bonds to the paper even when the original text has been erased.

Stuart Barker, marketing manager at uni-ball, said: “The uni-ball Fanthom produces truly magical results by making notes disappear before your very eyes. We have achieved this by creating a special ink that disappears at a constant temperature.

“The pen is the latest addition to our innovative portfolio and is sure to be a hit with the crossword enthusiast, teenagers and children who are looking for a stand-out item to include within their pencil case.”

Available from June, the Fanthom will be sold loose and in a variety of single, twin and triple pack formats. Two eye catching merchandisers are also available to suit all retailers; a FSDU which holds 96 packs and a 36 piece counter unit.

Prices start from £2.39. Please see our latest Back To School / College promotion to take advantage of the latest deals.

For further information on uni-ball visit, or view their latest tweets on Twitter by following @uniball_uk.


Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email


Promanex (Construction & Maintenance Services) Limited is celebrating after winning one of the prestigious RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards in 2010 for the seventh consecutive year.

The Gold award will be presented at a ceremony being held at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel, near the National Exhibition Centre on Wednesday May 12. The ceremony will take place alongside Safety & Health Expo 2009, Europe’s leading annual health and safety exhibition.

David Rawlins, RoSPA awards manager, said: “Promanex (Construction & Maintenance Services) Ltd has shown a commitment to protecting the health and well-being of its employees and others. As well as there being clear ethical reasons and legal requirements for good health and safety management, there is also a strong business case. RoSPA is delighted to publicly honour organisations which have demonstrated their work to improve performance in this sphere.”

Andy Brown, Promanex’s Health, Safety and Environmental Manager, commented on the recent award. He said, “We are delighted to have been awarded and accredited with the RoSPA Gold Award for the fourth year running. The need to maintain a safe and healthy workforce is a clear priority and we are continually striving to improve all areas of this responsibility. Health and safety plays an integral part in our work culture and to have that recognised by RoSPA is great news for Promanex (Construction & Maintenance Services) Ltd.”

Promanex (Construction & Maintenance Services) Limited is part of the Promanex Group of trading companies that also comprises Promanex (Civils & Industrial Services) Limited and Promanex (Total FM & Environmental Services) Limited. Together under one banner, Promanex is one of only a few industrial support service companies which can directly deliver the vast array of support services that span traditional FM, asset management, and repair and maintenance services.

Visit or call +44 (0)1827 874567 for further information about the Promanex Construction and Maintenance Services division.


Mitsubishi Pencil Co. UK is celebrating having picked up its second Lyreco Award of the year.

The prestigious Lyreco UK Logistics Award was awarded to the biggest name in the UK rollerball market in recognition of the firm’s exceptional logistics performance throughout 2009. The news follows an announcement made earlier in the month when MPC UK scooped the Lyreco European Logistics Award.

Paul Phelan, managing director at MPC UK. said: “This is great news for everyone involved and underlines our excellent logistics performance across the UK office supply chain. Both awards also recognise our close relationship with Lyreco locally and on a European level to deliver quickly, on time, correctly and without fuss.”

To find out more about Mitsubishi Pencil Co. visit


Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email


A Milton Keynes Van Centre has secured a major contract for its new Volkswagen Transporters in a deal worth over £600,000.

Wayside Van Centre is supplying the premium German electrical appliance manufacturer, Miele, with the new Transporter vans as part of its ongoing vehicle replacement programme.

Miele supplies a comprehensive range of high quality domestic electrical appliances, and has a fleet of 110 distinctive bright red vans used by its highly qualified technicians across the UK.

Miele Project Services Manager , Tony Stephens, said: “We required a fleet that was reliable and one that could meet the growing needs of our business. The Volkswagen van range has always been popular with our technicians so we were very pleased to progress to the new and more refined Transporter range.
“In addition to the quality and service we are very pleased with the consistently strong resale value of the vehicles.”

The stylish new Volkswagen Transporter launched earlier this year is quieter and more economical thanks to a new common rail, 2.0-litre TDI engine and cleaner Euro5 emissions, plus additional new safety features as standard on all models. Making the already popular van range more appealing for commercial vehicle operators.

Paul Robertson, Fleet Sales Manager at Wayside Van Centre added: “We are delighted to be working with Miele.

“The arrival of the new Transporter continues to elevate the range keeping it at the forefront of the light commercial technology - not bad for a vehicle that is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.”

For more information from the Wayside Van Centre or the new Transporter on Bilton Road, Bletchley, phone 01908 366300.

For further information please contact Sue Foster on 01902 714957 or email

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Fast lane sponsorship for premier racing talent

Northgate Volkswagen is on track to support a talented racing driver as he embarks on his Formula 3 debut, in this seasons British F3 International Series.

Rupert Svendsen-Cook, 19,from Bury St Edmunds is one of Britain’s most promising racing talents after coming sixth in the Formula BMW Europe Series in 2009.

Rupert’s driving career started at the age of eight and his latest challenge will test his racing skills. The F3 Championships, which started at Oulton Park this April, will take Rupert to high profile racing circuits across the UK and Europe.

Speaking of his sponsorship, Rupert said: “I am very grateful to have received the sponsorship from my local Volkswagen retailer and I am working hard to achieve more wins.”

Northgate Volkswagen is sponsoring Rupert for this year’s Championship.

Rob Rolfe, Northgate brand manager said: “Rupert is a superb talent in the premier racing scene.

“As a company we strive to support up-and-coming talent and community projects where we can.

“Rupert has had a fantastic start to the season winning in his debut for Volkswagen Power, and we wish him every success in the Championship’s upcoming races.”

Rupert is presently in third position, the next race meeting is at Silverstone on 1st May 2010. Rupert is part of the Volkswagen Driver Development Programme.


Redditch Volkswagen is expanding its business by growing its service offering for West Midlands’ motorists.

The Washford Drive retailer is opening its doors to Škoda owners for all their servicing, repairs and MOT needs, with the arrival of Trust Škoda.

The established Volkswagen business has made the decision to develop its servicing offering as part of its first phase in creating a complete sales and service Škoda facility by early 2011.

Two additional technicians and a new service advisor have been recruited to support the business’ latest development and will begin by offering Škoda repairs, servicing and warranty work.

A further £300,000 investment will see the arrival of a dedicated new Škoda showroom and service facility early next year, located next to the Volkswagen site.

All technicians undergo training through the Volkswagen Group Training Academy – one of the leading centers of excellence in automotive training. The technicians follow an intensive training and development programme ensuring the highest level of expertise across the Volkswagen brands.

Andrew Hockedy, Managing Director of Trust Group UK, which owns Redditch Volkswagen and Trust Skoda, said: “As customer care is our priority we will continue to offer our Volkswagen and new Škoda customers the same high level of service.

“This is a very exciting time for Trust Group UK and we feel this new service will offer a more comprehensive service and greater choice to meet the growing needs of motorists.

For further information on Trust Škoda’s servicing call 01527 883388.

For further information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oates 01902 714957 or email /


A fleet sales manager from Volkswagen retailer, Isaac Agnew, has joined an exclusive club after being recognised for his outstanding services to the automotive industry.

John O’Reilly, from Belfast, was presented with a Volkswagen Gold Pin following his exceptional service to the brand, at a recent ceremony held at the Dorchester Hotel, London.

Having joined Isaac Agnew in 2000, John has made a notable impression with customers and his team having accumulated a series of accolades. John joined the fleet department from previous sales roles and was promoted to manager in 2005. He was awarded Volkswagen Fleet Sales Executive of the Year in 2002 and for the past ten years his team has been a finalist in the Volkswagen Fleet awards which recognises and rewards standards and service.

Speaking of his award John said: “I’m thrilled to have been awarded a Gold Pin; it’s a huge honour.

“I firmly believe that this award is testament to my team, their hard work, dedication and energy ensures we continually work towards meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs.”

The prestigious Volkswagen Gold Pins are only awarded to an elite group of individuals every year.

Chris Craft, director at Volkswagen UK, said: “John thoroughly deserves this award after providing invaluable service to the Volkswagen brand.

“His positive attitude and support of Volkswagen standards is an inspiration to all staff at Isaac Agnew.”

For more information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714 957 or /

Exceptional call of duty

A specialist motoring lawyer says that the case of soldier Kameron Edmondson was an exceptional sentence for an exceptional call of duty.

Mr Edmondson has been allowed to keep his licence to save lives in Afghanistan after he was caught speeding at 143 miles per hour in Warwickshire.

Catherine Junor, Higgs & Sons’ specialist motoring lawyer said: “Each individual circumstance is unique as this case has proved. I represent individuals facing disqualification on a daily basis for excessive speeding and motoring offences.

“Each individual circumstance may warrant the court dealing with you sympathetically, particularly in the current economic climate where the loss of your licence has potentially devastating consequences not only for you but for your family, employees or members of the public.”

To find out how Catherine can help you contact her directly on 0845 111 50505 or email


A local woman is celebrating after being crowned the UK's Snow Angel by leading tyre specialists Goodyear.

Joy Marshall from Tyne Valley was chosen from hundreds of entries to win the accolade. Working as a registrar for Northumberland County Council, Joy impressed judges by going above the call of duty, when the big freeze threatened to cancel a couple's civil ceremony.

But despite the severe weather conditions, Joy with the assistance of her husband, set off across the wintry roads of Stocksfield to Blanchland to perform the proceedings. The journey was not without incident however, having stepped into her colleague's shoes to take the ceremony. Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures proved to be quite a challenge for Joy's 4x4, but this didn't prevent Joy from arriving at The Lord Crewe Arms hotel to marry the happy couple.

"Under normal circumstances I wouldn't dream of setting off in such weather conditions, but I didn't want to let the happy couple down on their special day," said a modest Joy when asked about her actions. "I'm touched to be recognised for simply doing a job that I love."

James Bailey, corporate communications manager for Goodyear, said: "Joy is a true inspiration to us all as she went out of her way to help others, despite the treacherous driving conditions. She's a deserving winner and we're pleased to acknowledge her strong community spirit."

Goodyear began their search for the UK's Snow Angel in order to find a selfless individual who helped someone during the UK's big freeze. Joy receives a set of Goodyear cold weather tyres for her actions. Tyres that provide better traction, grip and handling to offer excellent control in winter conditions.

To find out more about Goodyear please visit

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Paul O'Neill getting a taste for the champagne

British Touring Car Championship star Paul O’Neill can be forgiven for getting a taste for champagne after winning HiQ’s champagne moment for the second time in his career.

The with Tech-Speed Motorsport star has reinforced his position as one of the most popular drivers on the grid by winning the bubbly for his performances at Rockingham.

O’Neill, who also scooped the same prize at Snetterton last year, was rewarded for his heroics in race three when he finished second.

Paul polled 29 per cent of the votes, narrowly beating double race winner Matt Neal (27 per cent) and Jason Plato third (19 per cent).

BTCC fan David Scovell was picked at random to win a bottle of champagne and he will now win a pair of tickets to a future BTCC race of his choice.

David will also get the chance to savour a grid walk as part of the overall prize of winning.

Paul O’Neill, who now heads up the independent drivers’ standings, said: “This season couldn’t have started much better for me.

“Winning HiQ’s champagne moment award last season was a personal highlight, and it is special to win another one now, so soon into the new season.”

All spectators are invited to log onto HiQ’s official website, to vote for their star performer from the next round of racing, at Brands Hatch on May 2.

The man that receives the most plaudits from the round of racing will be crowned with HiQ’s Champagne Moment award and presented with a magnum of bubbly before the next race.

One lucky fan who has logged his or her details onto the website will be picked at random to present the prize to the driver and complimentary race tickets will also be provided, along with a grid walk of the track before one of the races.

HiQ’s marketing manager Geraldine McGovern said: “Paul O’Neill is a particularly popular driver and a worthy winner. He has always received a lot of votes and he never seems to let his supporters down on the track. We wish him well at Brands Hatch, along with the rest of the field.

Monday 26 April 2010

Happy World IP Day!

Did you know that today is World Intellectual Property Day?

Unbelievably, April 26 every year is the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) World IP Day. WIPO? Well that will be a specialist agency of the United Nations of course.

Commercial legal specialist Amy Shakespeare says that the issue of IP has been considered so worthwhile it has been awarded its own day and if it leads to businesses in the region considering their own intellectual property we should put out the bunting and hand round the sandwiches.

Amy, a lawyer at Higgs & Sons, said: “Without the concept of IP, Coca-Cola would be unlikely to have one of the world’s most valuable global brands, Mr Dyson may not have been able to prevent his competitors from copying his bag-less vacuum, and authors and musicians such as J K Rowling and Madonna may have found themselves a lot worse off had their works been copied and reproduced freely throughout the world.”

Back in the real world, how can IP help protect you and your business? Initially, taking your IP seriously will show your competitors that you consider IP (and any infringement of it) to be an important issue that you are prepared to protect. IP protection can therefore be used as a deterrent against would-be infringers.

If this didn’t put all potential infringers off, by assessing, organising and protecting your IP in the appropriate ways, you should be able to act swiftly and successfully in preventing infringement and damage to your brand. On review, you may even discover that you have an IP asset that can be sold or licensed to third parties to generate income.

Amy said: “IP can be a hugely lucrative and cost efficient mechanism for not only protecting your business and brand but also for exploiting it!”

If, after the celebrations have calmed today, you consider that a closer look at your business' intellectual property is worthwhile, please contact Amy Shakespeare at Higgs & Sons for a discussion concerning what IP you already have, its value to you and how best to protect and exploit it.

HiQ laps up the Rockingham roar

It was a weekend of ‘firsts’ in British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham, with all manner of headlines to keep the HiQ Teams Championship bubbling away.

In the second race weekend of the year, a number of drivers came to the fore keep the thousands of spectators on the edge of their seats.

Jason Plato gave his Chevrolet’s Cruze model its first victory in the BTCC, sandwiched between Matt Neal’s two victories – his first brace of wins for four years.

The old adversaries’ achievements made for a familiar looking championship table, and one that HiQ is excited to put its name alongside.

Elsewhere, there were huge cheers in the with Tech-Speed Motorsport team as Paul O’Neill gave Marvin Humphries’ squad their first ever second place finish behind Neal in race three.

Airwaves BMW driver Steven Kane is a happy man as well after third-place finishes in races two and three today have elevated him to third behind Plato and Neal in the outright title race. His results made for a hat-trick of champagne bottles, having been presented with HiQ’s champagne moment award earlier in the day.

HiQ marketing manager Geraldine McGovern said: “The HiQ Teams’ Championship certainly makes for interesting reading after this weekend’s racing action.

“Airwaves BMW currently sit proud at the top of the table, but with Silverline Chevrolet and Honda Racing right behind them, the standings couldn’t be more delicately poised.”

Airwaves BMW Team Manager Oliver Collins said: “We leave Rockingham with mixed emotions.

“Both Mat & Steven drove brilliantly throughout the weekend. Steven got some good solid results, with another two podiums.

“Unfortunately Mat had his chances taken away from him through no fault of his own. The team once again has shown its true worth with some fantastic work today to get the cars out for all the races.”

HiQ is now looking forward to the third race weekend at Brands Hatch on May 1 and 2, which promises to be a weekend to savour for everyone.

Geraldine concluded: “It doesn’t seem like yesterday since we were at Brands for the last round of last season. If those results are anything to go by, Jason Plato may well be the man to beat!”

Friday 23 April 2010

Phil Glew statement

It is with deep regret that Phil Glew is announcing that he will be unable to race in the British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham on Sunday.

Financially, the loss of Triple Eight Race Engineering team main sponsor UNIQ leaves Phil in an untenable situation.

Phil’s sponsor, WD-40 will continue to support him and hopes to work with him again in the future.

Head of UK Marketing for WD-40, David Whittome said: “We have supported Phil Glew for the last two years, first in the Renault Clio Cup, which he won, and now in BTCC.

“We fully support Phil Glew and recognise his fantastic potential in motor sport and will be working hard to find ways in which we can continue to work with him in the future.”

Phil Glew said: “I’m devastated to be out of the car at this early stage in the season. My main efforts are now focused on putting together a concrete package which suits WD-40, myself, and our other sponsors to enable us to begin racing again and continue our fantastic relationship.”


A Brighton Volkswagen sales manager is swapping the showroom for the fighting ring to help raise funds for a cardiac charity.

Caffyns Volkswagen’s sales manager, Ross Keeley, will make his fighting debut a kickboxing event this Saturday (24th April) at Deans Leisure Centre in Rottingdean, organised by the SAMA organisation.

Ross will be joined by his close friends and fellow fighters; Nick Gunn, Joe Magee and Ryan Magee who will each donate their fighting appearance fee to the heart charity, CRY.

The fighting quartet and other close friends have already raised close to £10,000 for CRY by organising road trips, Halloween fancy dress parties and running the Brighton Marathon.

CRY aims to raise awareness of conditions that can lead to sudden cardiac death and sudden death syndrome and is a charity very close to the fighters hearts, following the tragic death of their close friend, Paul ‘Bugie’ Stephen, two years ago.

Ross Keeley said: “I have been training hard for the past year and when the fight night was announced, it felt like a perfect opportunity to boost our fundraising efforts.

“I am very grateful to Caffyns who has been very supportive with my intensive training programme”

Clive Stow, brand manager for Caffyns Volkswagen said: “Ross has worked extremely hard to raise money for CRY and there will be many of us there on the night to help cheer him on.”

In addition, two time British kick boxing champion and SAMA fight night organiser, Scott Gibson, will also be contributing to the fund raising efforts by helping to boost the fighters donations on the night.

The SAMA Fight Night begins at 7pm at The Deans Leisure Centre in Rottingdean. Tickets cost £15 and can be purchased by emailing or calling Caffyns on 01273 425600, tickets will be available on the door on the night.


So what have you done today, to make you feel proud?!

Sounds like a daft question to ask you all, but in true Heather Small style, we’ve been doing a fair bit to make us feel positively pleased this week.

We can reveal that Sally Gunnell OBE has hurdled her way into our lives as an ambassador for the HiQ fast fit network’s Local Hero Campaign.

The 1992 Barcelona gold medalist is working with HiQ to find some heroes in local communities across the UK.

She attended HiQ’s national franchise conference this week and has spent all of today on radio stations everywhere, promoting what promises to be a fantastic PR initiative.

Our campaign has been launched to coincide with HiQ’s attempt to position each of its 140 centre managers as ‘local heroes’ who provide a familiar, friendly service for all of their customers.

To work with an Olympic hero has been a big highlight, and Sally told us: “It is an honour to be ambassador for HiQ’s Local Hero Campaign. It is wonderful to now be able to champion the work of others, through this initiative. Everyone has a local hero in their lives.”

We want everyone to start nominating right away, so please get nominating on

We’ve also felt pretty proud to have won a new PR account with Go Fishing.

The fishing event has been on the lookout for an innovative PR agency to help them catch some big stories to publicise their July extravaganza.

Well done to Kathy for scaling the heights, reeling them in and netting a brilliant opportunity for us all. She should be breaming with confidence.

We’ve got hundreds of other puns up our sleeve, so some eye-catching headlines shouldn’t be in short supply!

We always keep our feet firmly on the floor here at Connect PR, which brings us neatly onto the opulent world of Amtico.

We are letting everyone know about a whole world of inspiration and creativity, courtesy of Amtico International at this year’s Grand Designs Live.

We love a good superlative in a press release, and we hope that people will love an opulent Amtico flooring at the event, which runs from May 1 to May 9.

And finally, spare a thought for our colleague Richard. The jovial Scouser hasn’t been in quite such high spirits this week, and is still holed up in Fuerteventura due to the ongoing Volcanic ash problems.

Rich is usually one for a good jape, but if we crack any gags about his predicament he may well smash us round he head with an ashtray. When he returns one day.

And on that, we are going to big you a happy weekend

Connect PR

Thursday 22 April 2010

HiQ teams up with an Olympic legend!

The HiQ fast fit network has teamed up with Olympic legend Sally Gunnell to launch a campaign to find some of the most selfless ‘local heroes’ in the UK.

The Barcelona gold medalist is urging people up and down Britain to get in touch with their nearest HiQ centre and nominate an unsung member of their community, who carries out a great deal of unrecognised selfless work.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with HiQ’s attempt to position each of its 140 centre managers as ‘local heroes’ who provide a familiar, friendly service for all of their customers.

Sally Gunnell said: “It is an honour to be ambassador for HiQ’s Local Hero Campaign. It is wonderful to now be able to champion the work of others, through this initiative. Everyone has a local hero in their lives.

“It might be someone in the family, it might be a teaching assistant or a much loved community nurse or doctor. To be behind this campaign is really important to me. I’m really looking forward to reading all of the stories that come in.

“We want to see as many people get in touch with HiQ through emails, letters and phone calls.”

Once all entries have been received, ten regional winners will be invited to an awards lunch in November with Sally, where an overall winner will be announced.

Each shortlisted regional winner will receive £250 for themselves, while the overall winner will receive £5,000 for their local community and £500 for themselves.

HiQ’s retail director Juergen Titz said: “This is a huge campaign for us and one that we really hope everyone will get involved with.

“To have Sally Gunnell working as an ambassador means so much to us, and we hope she will inspire people to vote for a member of their community to win our award, who carries out so much selfless local work without recognition.”

All details of the campaign can be found on where a full list of voting options will be available.

Monday 19 April 2010

Kane shows bottle to win first HiQ champagne moment

Airwaves BMW speedster Steven Kane has kicked off a new season of HiQ champagne moments in style, by squeezing past Fabrizio Giovanardi to bring home the bubbly from Thruxton.

The popular speedster, who overcame mechanical difficulties and ill-health, produced a memorable drive in race three which captured the imaginations of hundreds of BTCC fans.

It is the second time Kane has won a HiQ champagne moment, after scooping the accolade at Snetterton back in 2008.

Steven polled 32 per cent of the votes, beating Fabrizio Giovanardi (26 per cent) and Paul O’ Neill (20 per cent).

BTCC fan Fiona Anderson was picked at random to win a bottle of champagne and she will now win a pair of tickets to a future BTCC race of her choice.

Steven said: “To win the first champagne moment award on my first race back in the BTCC means so much to me. It is great to know that so many fans voted for me – the award will live long in the memory.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the driver’s seat at Rockingham and this award has really given me the confidence to race for the top results. Let’s just hope I don’t have the flu next time!”

All spectators are invited to log onto HiQ’s official website, to vote for their star performer from the next round of racing, at Rockingham on April 25.

The man that receives the most plaudits from the round of racing will be crowned with HiQ’s Champagne Moment award and presented with a magnum of bubbly before the next race.

One lucky fan who has logged his or her details onto the website will be picked at random to present the prize to the driver and complimentary race tickets will also be provided, along with a grid walk of the track before one of the races.

HiQ’s marketing manager Geraldine McGovern said: “We are delighted for Steven and his team. He is certainly a worthy winner, and we all thought he stood a great chance for that stunning drive in race three.”

Friday 16 April 2010


The leaders’ election debate may have grabbed the headlines this week, but Connect PR is here to make some impressive announcements of its own.

Yes, it’s that time of the week again where we let you know what we’ve been up at The Chubb Buildings, so brace yourselves!

And unlike the Granada Studio audience, you’re allowed to clap when you read our results on healthcare support, automotive invention and community recognition!

Firstly, we helped Birmingham Children’s Hospital in its ongoing appeal to raise £2 million for a heart unit, courtesy of a range of uni-ball POSCA pens.

Working with our Worcester based client, we have given away the unique pens to assist the hospital’s week-long Family Art Festival at the Bullring, which began on Monday (see picture).
A number of giant, heart-themed canvases were used by a host of artists, before visitors were asked to colour them in with the pens.

The finished pieces will soon brighten up the corridors of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and we are chuffed to be associated with such a fantastic event.

From there, we delve into the automotive sector, where we’ve gained considerable column inches for Volkwagen’s new range of Transporter vans.

Movie fans may be mistaken in thinking the premiere of the film version of the 80’s TV series, The A Team, had come early as the famous black and red striped van took to the streets of Milton Keynes.

Mr T, Face, Hannibal and Murdoch might not have been inside the van, but it sure made for great publicity, alongside General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard and the Starsky and Hutch red and white Gran Torino.

We conclude by reporting on some vital community work that we will be undertaking for another automotive client – the HiQ fast fit network.

The network’s national franchise conference takes place on Tuesday, where we will unveil our HiQ Local Hero Campaign.

With the help of an Olympic legend, we will urge people up and down Britain to get in touch with their nearest HiQ centre and nominate an unsung member of their community, who carries out a great deal of unrecognised selfless work.

In seven days time, we’ll tell you who we’re working with, and what he / she has to say about us all.

Even a cloud of volcanic ash won’t keep you away from next week’s update, surely?!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Connect PR


A world of inspiration and creativity awaits those who visit Amtico International at this year’s Grand Designs Live.

Discover three different trends on design tables that reveal different looks for your home. Achieve that sophisticated reclaimed feel with Shabby Chic by teaming boutique style furnishing with vintage fabrics and soft shades. You may prefer to create a cool contemporary look with Neutral Classics by combining a distinct mix of minimal white surfaces; the ideal neutral backdrop to a versatile palette of fabrics and furnishings. Or if you prefer a touch of Elegant Glamour why not combine the subtle tones of gold and bronze to modernise and enhance the polished interiors of dark wood. Whatever your aspiration there will plenty of style suggestions on offer.

Totem poles and dedicated funky tiered design blocks will give the stand a jaw dropping appearance with the complete Amtico range on display including new collections for this year – Metals, Mica Mix and Travertine – as well as different design formats. The beautifully simple, yet stylish Spacia will also have a presence on stand in addition to flooring laid in a selection of woods, stones and abstracts will demonstrate the different facets of the pioneering flooring firm.

Amtico will also reveal Esign; a new room visualiser that will help you choose the perfect Amtico floor for any of your room settings. Available on, customers can choose from Amtico’s wide product portfolio and display them in a number of living spaces including the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. A number of different design formats can also be chosen.

Sian Lewis, UK marketing manager for Amtico International, said: “By showcasing a range of exciting new trends and ideas we hope to fire the imagination of visitors looking to create a truly unique style statement in their home. By browsing through our selection of styles, textures and designs we hope to feed visitors with inspiration that will turn their creative thoughts into reality.”

Exclusively available at Grand Design Live, all Amtico products from the Wood, Stone and Abstract collections will be discounted at £10 per square metre. A promotional voucher will be distributed at the show, which can then be redeemed through Amtico’s network of Flooring Specialists from the 10th May to the 9th August 2010.

For further information visit


Issued on behalf of Amtico International by Connect PR

For further information, please contact Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Support for Elderly Motorists

A leading motoring lawyer in the region says there has been an increase in convictions involving older motorists and is calling for families to support elderly relatives.

Catherine Junor, a partner at Higgs & Sons, the largest legal practice in the Black Country, says the number of older drivers she is representing has spiked in the last six months, a worrying trend given that for many elderly people a driving licence is a lifeline.

Catherine explains: “One of my most recent cases involved an elderly woman, driving during the day, who accidentally shunted the car in front of her, in a queue of traffic in a busy town centre. Unable to pull over because of the traffic, she was later prosecuted for several offences, including failing to stop at the scene of an accident, which could have resulted in a custodial sentence.”

The experience, although resolved by Higgs & Sons in the client's favour, was a daunting and shocking experience for the both the motorist and her family. Catherine adds: “The case was referred by the lady’s son, who was shocked that his mother, an extremely careful driver, could face prison for what was a very minor incident involving no injury and minor damage.”

Catherine urges all elderly drivers or their concerned relatives, faced with a similar situation involving the Police or the Courts, to consult her immediately to avoid any unnecessary anxiety.

There are approximately 2.6 million people with a driving licence aged 71 to 80 and the law requires drivers to renew their licence on reaching the age of 70.

Age is no bar to the holding of a licence, with the DVLA requiring confirmation at the age of 70 that no disease or disability is present. Thereafter, a three-year licence is issued, subject to the satisfactory completion of medical questions on the application form.


A Preston business is celebrating after winning a national award for the third consecutive year.
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Lancashire Volkswagen Van Centre has been crowned the best Van Centre for after sales in 2009.

It completes a remarkable treble for the centre, after winning the Fleet Van Centre of the Year in 2007 and Van Centre of the Year for 2008.

The Millennium City Retail Park van centre beat 62 other Volkswagen commercial vehicle sites to gain the prestigious title.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles closely monitors all aspects of its van centres to ensure the high level of customer service and standards are maintained at all times. Scores are collated throughout the year accumulating in the annual result.

Accepting the award Paul Hoinville, head of business at Lancashire Van Centre, said: “We are delighted to have received this award that shows the business is providing a service customers appreciate. It is a testament to the team’s devotion to hard work and customer service ethos.

“In the current economic climate, it’s very important that van operators are confident in our ability to provide the best service. Receiving this award confirms our commitment to delivering excellent customer service.”

Simon Elliott, director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “It’s important to reward the best performing van centres and show the employees we appreciate their hard work and dedication.

“We would like to congratulate Lancashire Van Centre on their hat-trick win.”

Lancashire Van Centre supplies the full range of Volkswagen commercial vehicles, parts, accessories and tyres, as well as van MOT's, servicing and repairs on all makes and models of vans.


A retailer in Merthyr Tydfil has boosted its senior management with the appointment of a new sales manager.

Keith East has joined Capitol Volkswagen bringing with him over 12 years’ experience across a range of high profile manufacturers in the south Wales motor industry.

He began his career as a trainee sales executive in 1997 after leaving school, and has progressed through various roles including sales executive and business manager.

The 31-year-old is now back in the town where he grew up and is looking forward to the challenge.

Keith said: “I’m thrilled to be working in the town I call ‘home’ with new ideas on how to continue the high quality of customer service.

“I want to help bring a breath of fresh air to the retailer and provide the service people come to expect from such a prestigious name.”

Gareth Cleverly, brand manager at Capitol Volkswagen, said: “Keith has a superb track record in the automotive industry and brings to Merthyr a vast amount of brand awareness gained through experience across all retail sectors.

“His appointment will strengthen the brand in the town and provide a bank of knowledge for everyone associated with the site.”

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Ex BTCC star gets in the fast lane with HiQ

A former British Touring Car Championship star has strapped himself in for a ride with the HiQ fast fit network, after agreeing to become a franchisee with the brand.

Jeff Allam - who used to star in Britain’s premier motor racing series in Vauxhalls and BMWs - is gearing up for a partnership with the official sponsors of the BTCC’s Team Championship.

Jeff has built a HiQ centre at his Allams of Dorking car dealership, thus becoming the first UK dealer to secure a partnership with HiQ, in a massive coup for the network.

The former star of the circuit said that HiQ’s two-year title sponsorship of the BTCC had played a part in his decision to team up with the network and had been impressed with all aspects of the brand.

Jeff said: “We are all absolutely delighted to be associated with HiQ. Our partnership will allow us to create additional work and increase turnover.

“We are really excited about the new, fresh direction that we are heading towards with HiQ.

“BTCC series director Alan Gow also spoke extremely highly of HiQ and recommended the network to me, after he forged some great relationships over the past two years.

“What’s more, I am an avid BTCC fan and have seen all the HiQ adverts, signage and branding, so I knew all about them.

“There is nothing worse than seeing fleet cars driving off our premises because we can’t carry out the work that we have diagnosed. We will now be able to do the repairs through our HiQ centre which is great news for us.”

HiQ’s regional franchise manager Mark Widdows said: “This is a massive coup for us. Businesses are looking to diversify and if they are only dealing with one brand, then they are limiting themselves.

“Becoming a HiQ franchisee allows them to open themselves up to a multitude of car brands, which allows them to expand their customer base and increase turnover.”

Allams of Dorking is a main dealer for Kia and an automotive retailer for Renault.

Allams’ operations manager Paul Dobson agreed: “We have been looking for ways to push the business forward and attract new customers in a professional way.

“HiQ is a national brand with a clean, quality image, with a fresh approach to the fast fit industry.

“We believe in their ‘fast fit you can be sure of’ promise and we can’t wait to drive new business.”

Monday 12 April 2010


A recent weekend event at a Swansea Volkswagen car retailer has been hailed a great success for both customers and the business.

Customers invited to the event at Sinclair Volkswagen on Gorseinon Road in Penllergaer benefited from low rate finance packages , two years free servicing and significant savings on a selection of new and approved used cars.

The special event generated a large increase in business for the retailer as selected customers were treated to VIP treatment at the Red Dot VIP weekend, where staff dressed in black tie attire, quite literally, laid out the red carpet.

Sinclair Volkswagen’s brand manager, Clive Hopkins, said: “We are delighted with the customer response to this event. It proves Volkswagen vehicles are the first choice for the region’s motorists.

“What makes Volkswagen cars the best option is that they hold their value well. This means they could be seen as an investment rather than an expense.”

The Volkswagen retailer took over 25 orders in total, between the Friday morning and Sunday night.

A similar event was held at the Port Talbot showroom on Dan-Y-Bryn Road which saw the retailer take over 15 orders over the weekend.

For further information on the full range of new and approved used cars at Sinclair Volkswagen, call Swansea on 0845 1246 944 or Port Talbot on 0845 1246 943.

Picture caption: The Sinclair Volkswagen team deliver the VIP service.

For more information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714 957 or email /


A Bury St Edmunds Volkswagen retailer has boosted its sales team to meet the growing needs of the business.

Northgate Volkswagen has appointed sales manager, James King, to lead the new six man strong team.

James was successfully promoted to the role after working as a salesman at the Northern Way retailer for the past 10 years and compliments the team’s expansion as a result of the Volkswagen retailer’s increase in used car sales.

Speaking of the new role, James, said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new role. My aim is to continually develop the exceptional level of service that customers expect.

“Our new team is now in place to drive sales forward, making sure that customers are offered the right service and advice, whatever their reason for visiting or getting in touch.”

The new team, who all live in the Bury St Edmunds area, include: business finance manager, Shaun Barlow; sales executives, Michael Barbrooke, Tony Pasmore, Joe Parmenter and Paul Dray; and fleet sales executive, Rob Webb.

Rob Rolfe, brand manager of Northgate, said: “James’ superb track record and understanding of customers’ needs makes him ideal to lead the team and business forward.”

Picture caption: L-R, Paul Dray, Joe Parmenter, James King, Tony Pasmore, Shaun Barlow and Michael Barbrooke.

For more information please contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714 957 or email /


A fleet team from the south of Surrey has received a business boost after being awarded Volkswagen Premier Agent status following an in-depth assessment of its customer service and standards.

Martins Volkswagen in Camberley, is now recognised on the Volkswagen supported, Direct Sales Agency Programme. This status opens new business opportunities to deliver class leading contract hire terms to both small and large fleet operations within the local area.

Volkswagen launched the programme last October to ensure a consistent level of standards for leasing companies creating a closer working relationship in terms of businesses locations.

The aim of the programme is to encourage leasing companies to utilise Volkswagen retailers within a 50 mile radius of the end user’s business address so in turn helping to reduce carbon emissions and develop a more local approach.

The Camberley Volkswagen fleet team has undergone a series of audits and will continue to be assessed in order to retain its status.

Andrew Evans, fleet sales manager at Martins of Camberley, said: “We are very pleased to have received this status. We have worked hard to ensure the correct procedures and standards are in place.

“This new status will enable us to increase our business portfolio in the area and is added peace of mind for leasing companies who can be confident of the level of service from the Volkswagen brand.”

For further information on how Martins of Camberley can assist your business contact Andrew on 01276 691200.

For further information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714957 or email /


Volkswagen Van centre, Cordwallis Heathrow, has been praised by a mobile tyre service company for its consistently good service with an order for a fleet of 14 new Crafter vans.

Tyrework operates in excess of 40 Volkswagen Crafter vans from its four specialist depots across the South East, supplying a mobile tyre service to business fleets and leasing companies.

Cordwallis Heathrow has supplied Tyrework with its Crafter fleet for the past eight years and has coordinated its ongoing fleet upgrade programme.

Reliability and attention to detail is what has maintained the business relationship as Mark Cooper, managing director of Tyrework, explains: ‘Reliable vehicles are integral to our business success and the Cordwallis team has always made the process of replacing our vehicles effortless.

“From placing the initial order, Cordwallis manages the entire process from vehicle conversion to livery; all I have to supply is the necessary telephone number to go on the van allowing me to concentrate on running the business.

‘This strong partnership combined with the fact they are local ensures that I return to Cordwallis for all my commercial vehicle needs.’

Each Crafter is fitted with state-of-the-art tyre changing and balancing equipment plus roadside safety beacons.

Rob Hillcoat, Cordwallis Heathrow, sales executive, added: ‘Meeting our customers’ expectations is part of our job, so we are delighted that Tyrework finds the Crafter so spacious and reliable for its fleet, and has maintained its business with us.’

The Crafter is the largest van in the range from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offering payloads from 986 kg to 2,631 kg, load volumes from 7.5 m³ to 17 m³, plus a three year unlimited mileage warranty, and is currently available with a contract Hire rate of £349 a month (plus VAT and deposit).

For more information on the Volkswagen commercial vehicle range at Cordwallis Heathrow on Great South West Road, Bedfont call 020 8582 6000 or visit

For further information please contact Sue Foster on 01902 714957 or email

Friday 9 April 2010


We’ve demolished the eggs, devoured the chocolates and put Easter to the back of our tummies this week.

Meanwhile, the PR initiatives have been at the front of our minds, as we worked hard to generate a number of positive results for our clients.

Without wishing to sound like a broken record, it’s been a busy week in the Chubb Buildings!

We’ve been casting our net out this week in the hope of a big catch – courtesy of an impending pitch with Go Fishing.

The bait is being prepared as we type and we hope it will prove to be alluring for all anglers’ favourite event. Watch this space!

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces have been capturing our attention and respect, through a couple of PR projects we are working on.

Firstly, a PR initiative for the HiQ fast fit network, called the HiQ Hero campaign, asked the general public a few questions about who their heroes are, as part of some research for a national radio launch at the end of the month.

Unsurprisingly, 90 per cent of people said that their heroes in life could be found in the shape of our brave boys. Stay tuned for some big headlines at the end of the month.

In a further boost for the forces, our PR project for Uni-ball is still reaping rewards, after we gave Power Tank pens out to servicemen and women who were about to embark on a tour of duty, in return for some handwritten letters.

The partnership proved so fruitful that Uni-ball is now on the brink of a contract with a major military organization. The power of PR!

The power of The Machine needs a mention as well! James Wade (PICTURED ABOVE) made it just one defeat in 6 Premier League darts games, as our client WD-40 received a shot in the arm from ‘The Machine’s’ prolific form.

He beat Mervyn King 8-4 last night (Thu 8th) and his performances continue to give WD-40 a perfect platform to engage with a captive audience.

Our legal client Higgs & Sons have been hitting the target too, namely the Express & Star and the Birmingham Mail.

Head of Higgs’ dispute resolution team Julia Lowe is holding a litigation lunch on April 20, which is already generating interest.

With Higgs’ employment department holding a training event the following day, the Black Country’s biggest law firm is keeping busy, and the regional press are qriting all about them.

With that, we’ll bid you a fond weekend and hope the sunshine lasts!

Have a good one

Connect PR

Tuesday 6 April 2010


Nick Taylor, head of Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons' corporate team has completed the cross-border disposal of Prosper Distribution Limited (PDL) and its related worldwide companies to Beck Industries.

Beck Industries is Europe's leading manufacturer of special bolts for the power generation and oil industries. The deal was for an undisclosed sum.

The Prosper name has been well known for years as one of the very few top British manufacturers of special bolts for subsea, petrochemical and power generation industries. Thanks to its recent merger with Midsteel and subsequent rationalisation and sales success, the company has expanded strongly especially in the subsea industry. PDL employs over 120 people in Kingswinford, in the heart of the Midlands and in Aberdeen, the Scottish base for the North Sea subsea activities.

The new group turnover will exceed 65 million euros and this acquisition will further strengthen the current impetus in all sites.

Speaking of the deal, Nick Taylor said: “PDL and Beck both share the same absolute resolve regarding quality and safety. Their clients operate facilities and equipment where human lives and the environment are at risk. The merger between the companies will see PDL continue to function as a market leader in the high integrity bolting industry with Martin Boulter remaining as the Managing Director.

“The deal involved the disposal of Prosper group, which has operations in the UK and Scotland, Hong Kong, China and the USA. It’s our second deal for Midsteel in less than two months.”

Beck Industries is a 4th generation family-owned group, focussed on the manufacturing of special bolting, operating eight sites in France, Germany, Belgium, China and now, the United Kingdom.

Higgs & Sons' corporate department is based at the firm's new purpose-designed headquarters in Brierley Hill's Waterfront. The firm was recently shortlisted for Birmingham Law Society Law Firm of the Year.

For further information please contact Hazel Crawford Upton on 01902 714957 or email

Friday 2 April 2010


It’s a good job it’s Easter for Connect PR…

…Time with the family, appetites with the eggs, and a chance to watch some mind-numbing festive TV might just be what we all need after another manic week!

Our headline news of the last seven days undoubtedly comes from Wembley Stadium, where our client Johnstone’s Paint enjoyed its most successful Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final in its four year history, starring Southampton and Carlisle United.

The attendance of 73,476 was the highest trophy final figure ever, and second biggest in the entire history of the Football League Trophy.

And in true Johnstone’s style, the colour just got brighter and brighter, both inside and outside the stadium.

Not only did the sunshine make its obligatory appearance for us, but the recently re-laid Wembley turf looked greener than ever, while Southampton’s record breaking army of fans created a sea of red and white to savour.

The match itself was as eye-catching as the Johnstone’s branding, with Southampton eventually beating Carlisle 4-1 in comprehensive style.

Our pre-match and half time PR initiatives worked a treat, and we are currently editing a comprehensive video of the memorable day, which will soon be able to view on

It was account executive Lizzie Furnell’s (pictured above) first Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final with Connect PR, and her fantastic work and achievements were replicated just two days later when she passed her driving test!

A good week all round from Little Buzy Lizzie, and well done again!

Staying on the theme of sport, the British Touring Car Championship begins in earnest on Sunday, where our client HiQ will again feature in the fast lane, at Thruxton race circuit in Hampshire.

HiQ has been title sponsors of the series for the last two years, but has now put its name to the Teams’ Championship sponsorship, which will help to raise the profile of the network yet further.

All the action will be on ITV4 on Sunday for most of the day, and we hope you can catch a glimpse in between the lamb and mint sauce!

Moving seamlessly onto another automotive client, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been gearing up for some effective PR of its own.

A nationwide competition giveaway has been steered into a number of regional and national publications on behalf of the client, and the results are speaking for themselves.

Account execs Becki Oake and Zoe Guest have been extolling the virtues of a book by Conor Woodman, who featured in a four-part Channel 4 documentary sponsored by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

His intrepid adventures have been captured in hardback for the first time, and with Volkswagen putting its name to it, we have been making sure that everyone is reading about it. Well done girls.

We could go on with a host of other projects for you, but will save them for a better time, when the Easter bunnies are back in their warrens!

Enjoy the break

Connect PR


Despite very challenging times, staff at LTI Vehicles have dug deep into their pockets to the benefit of two local charities.

Throughout 2009, staff at the Holyhead Road firm, took part in a range of fundraising activities to raise £645 for the NSPCC and Myton Hospice.

The money will be used to support abused young people at the NSPCC Boole House project and to let staff at Myton Hospice continue the care provision for patients and their families.

Peter Shillcock, managing director at LTI Vehicles, said: "This is a tremendous effort by our workforce and a huge thank you must go out to each and everyone of them. Times may be hard, but staff have parted with their money to help those less fortunate then themselves."

For more information about LTI Vehicles visit


Picture caption: from left to right, Tina Hayes from NSPCC, Margaret Hitchens from LTI, Emma Weaver from LTI, Claire McDowell from Myton Hospice

News release issued on behalf of LTI Vehicles by Connect PR.

For further information call Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email


The famous lines of the iconic London Taxi will soon be transporting passengers throughout the streets of the Czech Republic.

Hotels, local companies and businesses are set to take advantage of the unique service as they extend the facility to their guests and international business travellers who will want to use the legendary vehicle for their visit.

“We know the London Taxi is going to be a hit in Prague as we have received a large number of advanced enquiries,” said Matthew Cheyne, International Market Development Director for The London Taxi Company.

“A search has now started to source a partner who will import the vehicle into the Czech Republic and provide sales and aftersales support. We believe this opportunity will give businesses a unique advantage over the competition and I’m sure that very soon we will start seeing the taxi being used on the streets of Prague.”

The current version of the London Taxi is built in China to British standards by LTI Vehicles and their joint venture company Geely and will be operated by both individual drivers and limousine companies to introduce a new London style service. Drivers will be trained in customer care techniques and given lessons on sight seeing tours so they can point out places of interest to their passengers.

Anyone wanting to find out more about The London Taxi Company should visit, or email


News release issued on behalf of LTI Vehicles by Connect PR. For further information call +44 (0)1902 714957.

Thursday 1 April 2010


A West London car retailer is celebrating after a successful launch to mark the opening of its new showroom.

The four-day event at West London Volkswagen boosted weekend sales by over £20,000 as over 100 people watched the new site officially opened.

Guests were also given a tour of the new service centre, which is now fully open.

The retailer’s move is good news for jobs in the area, as West London Volkswagen is looking to employ three more technicians.

Shaun Kirby, West London Volkswagen’s brand manager said, “Since the move from our old site business has gone from strength to strength.

“We have been extremely busy as customers come to see the new facilities, mainly because we’re the only official Volkswagen service centre in the area.

“In addition we’re actively recruiting for more technicians to help staff the bigger service centre.”

City accountants shortlisted for top award for the second year running

One of the city’s leading accountancy firms is celebrating after being nominated for a top award for the second year running.

Chartered accountancy practice, Lancaster & Co incorporating Haskins & Co, has been short listed for the 2010 West Midlands Chartered Accountancy Firm of the Year award. Run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the award is in the category of practices with up to five partners.

The firm is delighted to be nominated for a second year and believes that its knowledge of clients’ businesses and an understanding of their needs are at the heart of its success.

Senior partner Nick Beesley said “We are delighted to have been short listed for such a prestigious award for the second time, and we feel that it is very rewarding for smaller companies to be acknowledged in this way.”

The firm’s services for clients include sourcing of finance, proactive tax advice, commercial advice and the claiming of Research and Development Tax credits.

Lancaster & Co. is based on Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton. The firm employs 28 specialists and has five partners.

Further information:
David Evans: (01902) 424261


Movie fans may be mistaken in thinking the premiere of the film version of the 80’s TV series, The A Team, has come early as the famous black and red striped van takes to the streets of Milton Keynes.

The enduring iconic van will join two other TV classic vehicles as Wayside Van Centre marks the arrival of the new Volkswagen Transporter range.

The Bletchley-based Volkswagen Van Centre will transform its new Transporter courtesy fleet by recreating the bright orange General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard and the Starsky and Hutch red and white Gran Torino, in addition to The A Team van.

Inspired by Wayside’s aftersales manager, Buck Rogers, the memorable vans are aimed at bringing a smile to the faces of the residents of Milton Keynes as Duncan Sands, Wayside’s Head of Business explains.

“The stylish new Volkswagen Transporter range is quieter and more economical with the Euro5 common rail TDI engines, but we wanted to make lots of noise about its arrival.

“Recreating the distinctive brightly coloured classic 80’s favourites seemed a fitting tribute to Volkswagen’s latest commercial vehicle. The Transporters will become part of our courtesy vehicle fleet provided to our customers whose own vehicles are been serviced.

“We hope our customers will have as much fun driving the new vans as we’ve had creating them”. To quote the famous A Team character, Col John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, ‘I love it when a plan comes together’.

The new generation Transporter embodies a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder common rail TDI engine, which offers greater power and torque levels extending service intervals to a maximum of 25,000 miles, reducing running costs.

There are a number of new aesthetic and mechanical features that set new standards of finery plus optional new safety features such as a tyre monitoring system to alert drivers of changes in tyre pressure and ‘side assist’, which warns the driver if there are vehicles in the blindspot.

For more information from the Wayside Van Centre on Bilton Road Bletchley visit or phone 01908 366300.

For further information please contact Sue Foster or Becki Oates on 01902 714957 or email /


Mitsubishi Pencil Co. UK has been awarded the coveted Lyreco European Logistics Award.

Judges praised the performance of the leading stationery brand and recognised the firm’s exceptional logistics below 35 SKUs in Europe.

Paul Phelan, managing director at MPC UK. said: “We are delighted to win this award for the second year running in recognition of having the best logistics performance in our category across Europe. This is a great achievement for everyone involved and puts us in a strong position looking ahead to the UK Lyreco Awards next month.”

To find out more about Mitsubishi Pencil Co. visit


Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email

Litigators lunch set to debate the issues of the day

One of the West Midlands’ leading dispute resolution lawyers is chairing a lunch for the region’s litigators and others involved in dispute resolution.

Julia Lowe, head of Higgs & Sons’ dispute resolution team, is holding the LAW (Litigation at Work) lunch on 28 April 2010 at The Four Stones Restaurant, Adams Hill, Clent.

The event aims to bring together professionals involved in litigation in a social context with the opportunity to enhance contacts and share knowledge.

Speaking of the event, Julia said: “This is an excellent way for fellow professionals involved in all aspects of litigation to meet and discuss the issues of the day. This is our first lunch of 2010, following a similar, very successful, event last year.”

The event begins at 12.30pm for registration and finishes at 2.30pm. To attend, register directly with Clare Smith by calling 0845 1115050 or by emailing

The event costs £15.50 (including VAT) per person and includes a two course meal.