Tuesday 28 September 2010

Peter Tye promoted to Retail Director for Goodyear Dunlop

Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Limited has announced the appointment of Peter Tye as Retail Director, heading the company’s HiQ tyre and vehicle servicing network.

Peter has been a key part of the growth of HiQ’s service network in his previous role as Franchise Development Manager. Peter replaces Juergen Titz, who was appointed Director of Goodyear Dunlop’s Consumer tyre business unit last month.
Peter joined Goodyear Dunlop in 2006 when the company began the process of accelerating their network growth by relaunching and revitalising the HiQ brand, its service standards and franchise model.

Before joining Goodyear Dunlop, Peter had 14 years franchising experience, most notably on the Volkswagen Group brands including Audi and SEAT.

Peter commented: “Since the launch of our accelerated franchise programme, we have grown the HiQ network from 20 to 150 franchised stores, built a strong fleet support package and developed consistently high service standards across our network. The growth of our network, coupled with the increasing popularity of our unique HiQOnline.co.uk e-business service, puts HiQ in a strong position to build on our team’s recent successes”

Peter will report to George Rietbergen, Group Managing Director.

HiQ anticipating a hole lot of trouble

The HiQ fast fit network is urging motorists to take extra care on roads for the rest of the year, after it predicted a major surge in wheel and tyre damage this winter.

The network, with 150 centres across the UK, today said that wheel alignment related problems were up 20 per cent compared to September 2009.

With summer now firmly over and temperatures expected to drop, HiQ is advising motorists to be careful, as pot holes may start to show signs of reappearing.

HiQ’s fast fit manager Stuart Carr said: “Last winter, the damage caused to vehicles left many owners with unwanted bills, with specific damage to wheels, tyres and suspension.

“There is a huge need and demand for wheel alignment to be carried out correctly and we are in a position to do this.

“However, with the learnings from last year’s Big Freeze, we would urge motorists to take care on roads and continue to exercise as much caution as possible.

“Last year’s pot holes were horrendous. We saw around 20 extra pot hole related visits per week per centre, so the issue was a very real one.”

HiQ works closely with Pro-Align and has introduced the brand’s technology to a number of its forecourts already.

Pro-Align regional sales manager Greg Thompson said: “HiQ has stolen a march on its competitors with our wheel alignment systems.

“Hitting pot holes, speed humps and paving kerbs can all create mis-alignment. This will result in poor handling and an overall safety concern.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of regular tyre and alignment checks, and this equipment plays a big part.”
For more information about HiQ, click on www.hiqonline.co.uk

Joe Swash gets in the pink to help raise £100,000 for charity

Here’s one trial that King of the Jungle Joe Swash won’t mind getting his teeth into!

There wasn’t a witchetty grub in sight when ‘I’m a Celebrity’ winner, Jo Swash helped the HiQ fast fit network in its push to raise £100,000 for Breast Cancer Care – with the help of two pretty pink ladies.

Swash kept everyone’s tyres – and spirits – inflated when he backed HiQ’s Project Pink campaign, where every one of its 150 centres will aim to raise £275 in the month of October, to help people affected by breast cancer

If they all manage the feat, the brand will have hit its six figure target set at the beginning of 2009.

Joe said that the charity was very close to his heart, as he has friends who have been affected by breast cancer.

He said: “I’ve got friends that have been affected by breast cancer, so I am really chuffed to be supporting this partnership. The effort that HiQ is going to during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to support Breast Cancer Care is brilliant! I hope that staff and customers will join me and also show their support for HiQ’s ‘Pink October’ so HIQ reach the magic £100,000 mark. I wish them all the best in their efforts!”

HiQ’s Marketing Manager Geraldine McGovern said: “We are thrilled to have Joe on board to help us kick-off our month of activities to swell the coffers for Breast Cancer Care.

Our HiQ centres are already lining up all manner of money spinning events and we hope that with Joe on board that more will become involved.”

For more information about HiQ’s ‘Project Pink’ and ‘Pink October’ activities please click on www.hiqonline.co.uk/projectpink

Friday 24 September 2010


Do you confuse your dip stick with your gear stick or get tongue tied when talking about spark plugs? If so your local Volkswagen retailer would like to hear from you.

Volkswagen retailers are calling on motorists to reveal their funniest car servicing related anecdotes with the chance of winning a pair of comedy club tickets.

The laughter quest launch follows the arrival of Volkswagen's new Fixed Price Servicing Programme aimed at making Volkswagen car servicing and maintenance simple to understand and value for money.

“Laughter is contagious and important for our well being,” said a spokesperson.

“The new servicing programme will put customers at ease by offering Volkswagen drivers a simple transparent menu of service, maintenance, convenience and car care options all at fixed prices.

“We are looking for the car servicing tales that were initially embarrassing but when you told others it made everyone laugh.

“Examples include a lady who kept returning with a rattle in her car as she turned corners. After undergoing a series of tests, the service team was baffled.

“All was revealed six weeks later when she had an emergency stop and her son’s toy dinosaur shot out from under the seat, rattling!”

Motorists are asked to send their entertaining anecdotes to volkswagen@connect-group.com. The closing date is 22nd October.

The Volkswagen Fixed Price Servicing Programme sees the prices fixed on the most popular servicing and maintenance jobs and is available on all Volkswagens from three – ten years old, up to and including 2.0 litre engines. All costs include parts, oil, labour and VAT, removing any hidden surprises. This offer applies to vehicles following a time and distance servicing regime only.

A minor service is £119 and a major service is £229 with a MOT test at £30. For full details of the menu pricing please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk/service

Volkswagen retailer drives away with top prize

A 19 year old garden centre manager from Hungerford drove Volkswagen retailer Ridgeway Newbury to victory at the Royal Berkshire County Show this weekend with his inspired floral display.

Keen Volkswagen enthusiast James Olney, stock control manager at Thatcham Garden Centre, spent more than two days creating a glorious bed of cyclamens in the shape of the Volkswagen roundel and the Ridgeway Uffington Whitehorse Corporate logo.

The dedication and commitment James put into the display was key to Ridgeway Newbury’s success at the show. The Volkswagen retailer exhibited the full range of passenger vehicles from the nippy Fox to the new Touareg, and unveiled the brand new Touran to Berkshire motorists for the very first time, driving away with two awards: 1st Best Automotive Trade Exhibit and 2nd Best Trade Exhibit (exceeding 15 metres frontage).

Simon Smith, brand manager at Ridgway Newbury, said: “The Royal County of Berkshire Show is always a huge success. Our stand is very popular with visitors to the show who enjoy being able to look at the full range of Volkswagen passenger cars at their leisure.

“This year was even more rewarding given that we were honoured with two exhibitor awards. Our special thanks go to James and the team at Thatcham Garden Centre, as well as the Ridgway team who have been very passionate about the show and worked until early hours of the morning getting the stand ready.”

James said: “I really enjoyed getting involved in the stand design and creating the floral display. The finished display was reward enough for the hard work but to win the exhibitor award was a great surprise and the perfect end to the weekend.”

Thatcham Garden Centre on Bath Road in Thatcham, is part of The Garden Centre Group. General Manager, Lewis Fox, said: “We have been working with Simon Smith at Ridgeway Newbury to plan the show stand for some time and were delighted to hear of the award, showing that all of the hard work has paid off. We are both passionate about our businesses continuing to work together and look forward to the partnership going forward."

Residents who were unable to visit the show can still catch up on the latest developments from Ridgeway Volkswagen by calling into the retailer on Newbury Motor Park where the new super efficient Touran is taking pride of place in the show room alongside the County Show awards.

Sinclair's search to bring a comic hero to life

A local Volkswagen retailer is calling on young people to draw upon their artistic talent and design a car to mark the arrival of the new Volkswagen MPV’s, the new Touran and the new Sharan.

Sinclair Volkswagen is challenging all eight to sixteen year olds to design a car based on their favourite comic book hero and be in with a chance to have their design brought to life.

From Spiderman to the Incredible Hulk, one lucky winner will see their design appear full size on a new Volkswagen Touran at a special launch weekend in October, in addition to winning a year’s supply of cinema tickets.*

The Volkswagen retailer is searching for an imaginative and colourful design to celebrate the new family orientated models as Clive Williams, Sinclair’s Group Operations manager explains.

He said: “It is a really exciting to see the arrival of two new family cars. With this in mind, we felt a competition aimed at young people would be an appropriate and fun way to showcase the launch.

“Young people have such vivid imaginations so we are looking forward to judging the designs and seeing which superhero comes out on top.”

The new Touran is the ultimate family hero, with endless adaptability and bags of space, the stylish 7-seater will suit any family’s needs. Plus, it is super efficient, doing up to 61.4 mpg.

*To enter, please download a template design from www.sinclairvolkswagen.co.uk, where full terms and conditions can be found, and drop in to any Sinclair Volkswagen dealership. The winning design will be revealed at Sinclair Volkswagen Cardiff’s Touran family test drive launch weekend, Wharf Road East, Tyndall Street, on Saturday 16th October.

Friday 17 September 2010



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

Discover a range of stunning flooring designs that have been developed with the latest trends in mind. Whether you want to achieve that sophisticated reclaimed feel with Shabby Chic or a cool contemporary look with Neutral Classics, whatever your aspiration there will be 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 amtico.com, 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 11th October to the 11th January 2011.

For further information visit www.amtico.com.


Issued on behalf of Amtico International by Connect PR

For further information, please contact Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email lee@connect-group.com.


A Somerset darts fan was all smiles after a chance encounter led to a game of arrows with one of the world’s best players.

Rob Burbridge from Axbridge shared the oche with world number three darts player James Wade, after attending the WD-40 stand at an Exeter trade show hosted by Toolbank.

He played a nine-dart shoot-out against James making the top four scores of the day with a 180. Rob then progressed to a final 501 game, beating James with double eight finish to win a WD-40 darts board, set of darts and case of WD-40 product.

After making the final, beating James and winning the prizes Rob said: “It was fantastic to play James and beat him, but he certainly showed his quality against me with a couple of 180s. I’m sure he missed a couple of doubles on purpose to give me a chance!

“I must thank Toolbank and WD-40 for giving me this opportunity, the prizes and also to James for passing on some tips on my throwing technique.”

David Whittome, WD-40’s head of marketing, said: “This was a great opportunity for amateur darts players and fans to test their skills against one of the best in the world.”

James added: “Playing against fans like Rob is brilliant and gives me chance to pass on tips to them.

“He threw some excellent darts and showed great composure to hit double eight!”

Thursday 16 September 2010

Paul O'Neill has gotta lotta bottle!

Dunlop British Touring Car Championship star Paul O’Neill is back in the bubbly again after winning HiQ’s latest Champagne Moment.

The Sunshine.co.uk 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 Knockhill, where he secured a fourth place finish in race three.

It is the third champagne moment award of his career, having won it at Rockingham earlier this season and also Snetterton in 2009.

Paul polled 33 per cent of the votes, narrowly beating Matt Neal (26 per cent) and Gordon Shedden third (17 per cent).

BTCC fan Linzi Alley of Glastonbury 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 his choice.

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

Paul O’Neill, who has snatched the award from the clutches of previous ‘Mr Popular’ Tom Onslow-Cole, paid tribute to the Team Aon man.

He said: “Tom has won a fair few of these awards hasn’t he? It is nice to be able to pick one up again myself.

“We’ve all seen what a fantastic performer he is and the fans certainly appreciate him, so it is nice to be in such good company.”

All spectators are invited to log onto HiQ’s official website, www.hiqonline.co.uk to vote for their star performer from the next round of racing, at Donington this Sunday.

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 final race of the season at Brands Hatch.

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 has to be one of the most popular drivers we’ve known. He always secures scores of votes, and we weren’t surprised to see him win again!”

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Lottery winner scoops new golf

A father-to-be is celebrating after winning a brand new Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion from the National Lottery’s latest online game.

Stuart Richards, from Pontarddulais, picked up the keys for his new silver car from his local Swansea Volkswagen retailer, Sinclair, and was eager to test out the cars capabilities.

The 23-year-old decided to play the new online Car and Cash game on a whim and couldn’t believe his luck when it revealed he had won a brand new Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion.

He said: “I was completely shocked and made my partner, Christley, and a number of my friends double check the result.

“I have never won anything like this before and with our new baby on the way this win could not have come at a better time.

“Our current car is just a three door but the new 60 plate five door Golf will certainly make our journeys easier and more comfortable especially with the baby on the way.

“To know that there are only 50 Golfs to be won has made me feel really lucky.”

Mark Davies, sales executive at Sinclair Volkswagen on Gorseinon Road in Swansea, handed over the keys to the lucky winner. He said: “It is a wonderful part of my job to be able to give a young couple a free car.

“The Golf BlueMotion, with all its environmental credentials and innovations make it one of the cleanest and most energy-efficient cars on the market making it ideal for a growing family. We are sure they will enjoy driving it.”

Car retailer gets half million pound investment

Over 100 guests attended a lavish event at Wolverhampton Volkswagen to celebrate its half a million pound refurbishment.

The VIP evening event saw popular chef, Nigel Smith, demonstrate an array of dishes accompanied by a string quartet. Local magician, Ben Hanlin mingled the guests dazzling them with entertaining tricks.

The Bilston Road car retailer has invested £500,000 pounds in the showroom to enhance the customer facilities and service. The light and airy interior provides a calming ambience with clean cut lines and crisp colours making it a more pleasurable customer experience.

Andrew Hockedy, Managing Director of Trust Group UK Limited confirmed that both the company and colleagues were delighted with their new showroom environment.

He said: “The work was completed in just 15 weeks and we are delighted with the results and feel it now represented the perfect environment to market and display the growing Volkswagen range.

“The evening was very well received by our guest and we had a number of good comments about eh entertainment as well as our new style showroom.

“This refurbishment is a big investment for the business and confirms our commitment to Wolverhampton drivers and the brand.”

The new showroom on Bilston Road now provides a display of 10 vehicles as well as Wi-Fi facility for the customers nad refreshmen within our hospitality area.

Trust Group UK, formerly Reg Vardy, was established in March 2006 following a £506 million buy out by Pendragon PLC who subsequently sold three Midlands-based retailers - Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Redditch.

Monday 13 September 2010

New Consumer Director for Goodyear Dunlop

Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK Limited, headquartered at Tyre Fort in Birmingham, has announced that Juergen Titz, currently Director of the company’s HiQ retail network, has been appointed as Director, Consumer and Motorcycle. This appointment takes effect from 1st October 2010.

Juergen will continue to report to George Rietbergen, Managing Director UK and Ireland, and replaces Mark Davison, who will be moving to a new opportunity outside of the tyre industry.

Juergen has been part of the European organisation since 1998 and joined the UK and Ireland business in January 2009 to lead the successful growth of HiQ’s franchise programme.

Before moving to the UK, Juergen led the successful Goodyear Dunlop 4Fleet Group GmbH fleet business division in Germany and had also been responsible for developing Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s consumer fleet and retail strategies. In his new role, Juergen will lead the company’s car, light van and motorcycle business.

George Rietbergen said: “We are delighted that Juergen has accepted the exciting challenge of driving forward our industry leading brand portfolio. The combination of Goodyear, Dunlop, Fulda, Sava and Debica brands, successfully marketed through a wide network of fleet, wholesale, franchise and retail customers is key to our continued growth. Juergen’s experience of all of these channels will help us continue to build our capability in serving the customer and leading in the marketplace.

“We wish Mark well in his future career. He brought his considerable expertise to our business, leading a complete restructure of the sales business, establishing a strong platform for the future.”

Further organisational announcements following this change will be made at a later date.

Friday 10 September 2010

Higgs celebrates professional services award

Leading Midlands law firm Higgs & Sons is celebrating after winning the prestigious Black Country Chamber Professional Services Firm award 2010.

Senior partner, Ian Shovlin, was presented with the award this week by Mark Prisk, MP and Minister of State for Business and Enterprise at a special gala lunch in Wolverhampton.

Speaking of the accolade, Ian said: “2010 is proving to be an extremely exciting year for the Higgs team. Earlier in the year we moved 155 of our people to some of the best office facilities in the Black Country with a £1.5 million move to the Waterfront Business Park.

“To meet the needs of our clients, we have also recruited 16 lawyers and five support staff this year.

“Now, to be honoured by the Black Country Chamber in its annual awards is the icing on the cake.

“Our aim has always been to provide businesses and individual clients of the Black Country and beyond with the very best legal advice and care and to be recognised for this is great news for everyone at Higgs.

Higgs has achieved its success due to the loyalty and support of our clients, professional advisors, suppliers and colleagues. We really value our relationships with them and thank them for helping us to win this award.”


A Cambridgeshire van centre is helping to drive up support for a cancer charity’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Vindis Van Centre in St Ives has supplied Macmillan Cancer Support with a Volkswagen Caddy to help promote its annual event, which takes place on Friday 24th September.

The distinctively sign written van has taken to the streets of Cambridge to encourage registration for the event and is calling on supporters to host their own coffee morning to help raise valuable funds for the charity.

Elspeth Potter, Macmillan area fundraising manager, said: “Vindis has been a great Macmillan supporter for a number of years and we are so very grateful for their generous loan of the Volkswagen Caddy.

“The van has enabled us to travel to more parts of Cambridgeshire and encourage new supporters to take part in The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. We are hoping to raise £8 million this year so we need as many people to take part as possible. It doesn’t matter if you raise £20, £200 or £2,000 every donation makes a difference for people living with cancer.”

The Volkswagen van centre on Low Road in St Ives will be hosting its own twist to the Coffee Morning event as Shane Fenwick, Vindis general manager, explains.

He said: “This will be the first time we have actually hosted our own Macmillan Coffee Morning. We will be clearing out the showroom and inviting all our customers to come along and help us make the event a great success.

“We hope the Volkswagen Caddy has encouraged many more people to get on board with this fun and worthy event.”

The vehicle’s graphics have been supplied and fitted by 3B Designs.

Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging everyone to get together with friends, family and colleagues on or around Friday 24 September and be part of the nationwide event and raise money for people affected by cancer.

To register visit www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee or call 0845 602 1246.

For more information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714 957 or sue@connect-group.com / becki@connect-group.com.

Motorists given two compelling reasons to visit HiQ!

Motorists across the UK have been given two more compelling reasons to visit their nearest HiQ centre, thanks to a pair of headline grabbing award winners.

The HiQ fast fit network is delighted to be able to stock the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tyre and the Sava intensa uhp, which have both scooped Auto Express awards for their performance.

The magazine tested 12 tyre brands in key areas such as rolling resistance, noise and price in an attempt to find the best rubber on the market.

Goodyear were ranked top in the wet handling and cornering tests, proving the brand’s wet weather performance credentials.
The wet handling and cornering tests combined braking, cornering and overall handling of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tyre. Auto Express named Goodyear the “wet weather specialists” and said: “Goodyear inspired confidence and gave sharp turn in.”

The test was particularly significant because the results underline how the tyre’s unique Active CornerGrip Technology, which provides a more even pressure distribution across the contact patch during cornering offering more grip, ensures performance and greater safety without any compromise.

Providing outstanding performance in the areas of wet handling and cornering is essential to safe driving in wet conditions and offers essential grip and security.

Meanwhile, Sava took top spot in the noise test beating premium brands such as Bridgestone, Pirelli and Michelin and ranked in second place in the rolling resistance tests.

Kate Rock, PR Support Manager at Goodyear, said: “Wet weather performance is the area in which Goodyear strives to be first in the market and we have achieved this in the latest test.
“The Sava intensa uhp is the right tyre choice for the value and quality conscious driver who is looking for long-lasting, low-cost and reliable high-performance tyres. The Auto Express Tyre Test proves the performance of the new Sava intensa uhp in the mid range segment.”

Thursday 9 September 2010


Mitsubishi Pencil Co. has undertaken one of its most successful retail activities to date in an effort to promote its latest range of writing instruments.

Throughout August, the leading pen brand carried out a national shopping centre tour to increase awareness and drive sales of its new scented ink gel pens – uni-ball Signo Scents.

From Manchester’s Trafford Centre to Bluewater in Kent, shoppers were invited to take part in ‘sketch and sniff’ activity by spinning a wheel of fortune painted with the bright colours of the smelly pens. Shoppers were then asked to scribble, sniff and guess the correct scent to receive a free pen sample along with a voucher that entitled them to a 50% discount off any Signo Scents purchase from WHSmith stores.

Managed by innovative experiential agency VIA, the activity also provided the firm with an opportunity to promote its national Signo Scents competition. Run exclusively online at www.signoscents.co.uk customers can win prizes such as a family trip to Florida, a Nintendo Wii and other home entertainment products by simply entering the pen’s 14 digit ID number.

“We generated intrigue and excitement amongst shoppers by engaging with them on a unique marketing platform,” said Stuart Barker, marketing manager at Mitsubishi Pencil Co. “By using bright and colourful promotional staff alongside an interactive promotional space, we created significant interest in Signo Scents that will undoubtedly strengthen our retail performance in 2010.

“The feedback received was overwhelming with people of all ages reminiscing about the scented pens from yesteryear. Today, thanks to our range of ten fruity and sweet smells, we’re pleased to say that writing has never smelt so good.”

For further information visit www.signoscents.co.uk, www.uniball.co.uk or call 01905 755043.


Issued on behalf of Mitsubishi Pencil Co. by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email lee@connect-group.com

Wednesday 8 September 2010

HiQ Kettering gearing up for open days

A flagship Kettering fast fit centre is urging motorists across the town to make the most of three days of free festivities to celebrate its £75,000 makeover.

HiQ in Telford Way Industrial Estate is enjoying a huge upturn in fortunes since it was radically rebranded and is now officially commemorating its new look with a series of safety orientated, charity themed events on Thursday September 9 to Saturday September 11.

Fast fit technicians will be on hand to provide free vehicle and wheel alignment health checks for every visitor, while a free, no purchase necessary prize draw will also be offered to win a plasma TV, a Sat Nav system, a mountain bike and a barbecue.

HiQ’s official charity Breast Cancer Care will also be represented throughout the days with their ‘pink ladies’ as HiQ attempts to educate more families and women about the good work that the charity carries out.

HiQ’s retail director Juergen Titz and Goodyear’s UK managing director George Rietbergen will be on hand to cut the conveniently pink ribbon on Thursday and it is hoped that the ceremony will cement HiQ Kettering’s position as one of the most reliable, friendly fast fit centres that motorists can be sure of.

The Kettering centre has undergone the facelift to become the town’s ‘flagship facility for motorists.’
The HiQ centre has been purchased by the Easy Tyre & Autocentres Ltd, which specialises in all sections of the motor industry including service and MOT centres and tyre and exhaust centres.

Centre manager Mick Collins said: “Since we carried out the refurbishment, we have been astounded by the results, with a whole new customer base recognising us and relying on us for our work.
“We are excited by the prospect of three open days to celebrate a new chapter for the business and we hope as many people can attend as possible.”
To further entice motorists to the HiQ forecourt, the centre is offering four for two offers on selected tyres, 50 per cent off exhausts, £35 MOTs and £99 for an interim service and MOT.

There will also be a chance to pick up official HiQ charity pink caps, in return for a donation to Breast Cancer Care, along with a host of other offers and giveaways.

For more information about HiQ Kettering, the centre’s relaunch and its three open days, contact 01536 481 415.

Tuesday 7 September 2010


A collection of school emblems, uniquely designed by its pupils, has been brought to life by flooring specialist, Amtico International.

To mark the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Junior School (QEGS) in Wakefield, pupils were given the opportunity to create an emblem which best represented the school qualities.

Four of the best designs were then reproduced by the custom design team at Amtico International and incorporated into the 350 square metre installation.

Amtico’s American Oak was specified throughout Year 5 and 6 classrooms and corridors, complimenting the fresh modern twist to the traditional wood paneling interior.

A combination of Amtico wood shades including Black Walnut, Golden Oak and Ivory Maple were incorporated into the bespoke emblems to emphasis the pupils’ unique designs. The individual motifs featured a diverse collection of images reflecting the school’s qualities and activities.

QEGS headteacher, Mrs Louise Gray, said: “Life at QEGS Junior School is all about gaining and building the confidence of the pupils through a variety of activities both in and out of the classroom. We believe that every boy’s contribution within the school community should be recognised and valued.”

“For this reason we felt it was appropriate to empower the pupils and give them the opportunity to make their individual mark on the school and help launch the refurbishment.”

The hardwearing attributes of Amtico flooring and the flexibility of the company’s design team influenced QEGS decision to turn to the vinyl flooring specialist as Mrs Gray explained.

“Our refurbishment was extensive and we required a floor that could withstand our demanding usage and high footfall for many years to come. In addition, Amtico’s custom design service allowed us to transform our initial ideas into reality creating a greater sense of ownership for our pupils.”

Mrs Gray added: “We ran a competition to find four designs which best represented the school’s qualities. The winning motifs featured sporting memorabilia, chess boards, keyboards as well as our school’s emblem, our QEGLET owl. We are delighted with the results.”

Sian Lewis, UK Marketing Manager at Amtico International, concluded: “Amtico’s custom design service transforms initial ideas into inspirational and functional floors reflecting the business environment. From creating a life-like grass effect to replicating a Monopoly board, our team of designers are constantly looking at ways to push the boundaries of flooring designs.”

For further information, please contact Sue Foster or Lizzie Furnell on 01902 714957 or email sue@connect-group.com / lizzie@connect-group.com.


An Autumnal calendar of family friendly events has been revealed by a Midlands stately home.

Weston Park on the Shropshire Staffordshire border will celebrate the seasonal change with fungi hunting, spooky Halloween trails and a firework extravaganza.

The Fungi Walk takes place on Sunday 10th October led by a Shropshire Wildlife Trust expert. Walkers will forage for mushrooms and be taught how to distinguish the edible and non-edible varieties found within the estates woodland. Baskets and spoons are recommended for collecting the mushroom.

A ‘fright’ to remember on Sunday 31st October will see young Halloween hunters embark, if they dare, on a Pumpkin lantern trail with spooky storytelling and a spine-chilling disco with creepy nibbles.

Weston’s Bonfire & Fireworks celebrations take place on Sunday 7th November. The action pack night features two firework displays, a giant Bonfire, a fun fair all hosted by Midland radio station, Beacon.

Embracing the taste of Autumn and to celebrate British Food Fortnight will see the arrival of a new autumnal menu in the Granary Grill, Bar & Restaurant. Rich in harvest festival favourite with an emphasis on game, seasonal fruit and vegetables from local produces and homemade pudding the new menu, available from 21st September is set to tantalise the taste buds.

Further Information
Fungi Walk, Sunday 10th October 2010. The walk includes lunch in the Granary Grill Bar and restaurant and costs £7.50 for adults, £7.00 for seniors and £5.50 for children.

Halloween – Weird and Wonderful at Weston Park, Sunday 31st October. Pre booking is required.

Bonfire and Firework Extravaganza – Sunday 7th November. The gates open at 3.00pm. The bonfire is lit at 5.30pm. The firework display are at 6.00pm and 7.30pm. The cost per car is £16 maximum six people per car, £45 per 16 seater minibus and £110 per coach.

British Food Fortnight start on 18th September 2010.

For further information contact Sue Foster at Connect PR on 01902 714957 or email sue@connect-group.com


Weston Park’s Bonfire and Firework Extravaganza is set to illuminate the sky over one of the Midlands’ top attractions.

The popular family event, which takes place on Sunday 7th November 2010, features a giant bonfire, two firework displays and a fun fair, all within its 1,000 acres of parkland.

Weston Park is located on the borders of Staffordshire and Shropshire close to the motorway network and has hosted its annual event for the past 20 years.

Supported by a Midlands radio station, the Beacon Radio Roadshow team entertain the crowds from 4pm with fun and games to help make the evening go with a bang.

Families can enjoy two firework displays, the first rockets into action at 6.00pm followed by another sparkling performance at 7.30pm.

Looking forward to an action packed evening, Andrea Webster, Weston Park Marketing Executive, said: “Our Bonfire and Firework Extravaganza is always a popular event. The combination of a traditional bonfire, an exhilarating funfair with two spectacular firework displays and of course Beacon Radio, means there is something for everyone, whatever their age.”

The gates will open at 3pm with the bonfire is lit at 5.30pm. Free car parking and on site catering facilities are available.

Entrance is £16 per car with a maximum of six people per vehicle, £45 per 16-seater minibus and £110 per coach.

For further information contact Sue foster at Connect PR on 01902 714957 or email sue@connect-group.com

Fans urged to vote for another Champagne Moment!

Fans of the Dunlop British Touring Championship are being urged to vote for a Champagne Moment winner from the latest round of racing at Knockhill.

The prestigious awards have been rapturously received by recent winners, who have been able to meet their favourite driver, present him with a bottle of bubbly, make the most of a grid walk and win a pair of tickets to a future race.

Tom Onslow-Cole has already won three awards, while Gordon Shedden, Matt Hamilton, Steven Kane and Paul O’Neill have also enjoyed the sweet taste of success, as fans have voted for them in their droves.

Now HiQ want fans to start voting for the most deserved champagne moment winner from Knockhill, where Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato and Matt Neal all won.

Recent winner David Arneil (pictured) said: i could not have asked for any more from HiQ on my big day.

“Me and most of my friends getting onto a grid walk, meeting Mr Gordon Shedden after his race one victory, and of course getting my own bottle from you guys and signed by Flash himself, was amazing.

“We had all had a great day thanks to HiQ. To sum it up in one word I would have to steal one off Gordon himself - "Mega!”

The driver that receives the most plaudits from the round of racing at Knockhill will be crowned with HiQ’s Champagne Moment award and presented with a bottle of bubbly before the action at Donington on September 19.

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.

Fans can vote for their Knockhill champagne moment now on www.hiqonline.co.uk


Dartford FC's under-15 team has celebrated the launch of a new sponsorship deal with a solid start to the season.

In possibly the hardest game of the season, the team drew 2-2 away at Rusthall, just hours after being handed the kit from Dartford’s Volkswagen Van Centre, Beadles.

The sponsorship deal, worth over £1,500, is vital to the future of the club as it aims to continue the development of its youngsters.

Dartford FC's youth teams are hugely popular with some players going on to play for Dartford's first team; with the added incentive to progress in to professional football and follow in the footsteps of recent former players Jimmy Bullard, Dave Martin and Cody McDonald.

Nick Davis, the under-15s manager, said: “It’s imperative for this club to obtain sponsorship and Beadles’ involvement is invaluable.

“The money provides all players the opportunity to play, keep fit and develop as young adults by supplying much needed kits and equipment.

“This football club keeps the young lads in a safe environment where they can learn and progress with annual tours taking them abroad to experience foreign countries and traditions.”

Keith Banks, brand manager at Beadles Volkswagen Van Centre, said: “As a local business it’s vital we cultivate our relationships within the community; and what better way than to help develop youngsters with drive and ambition to create positive role models for the future community.

“By sponsoring Dartford FC's under-15s, Beadles is looking to the future by providing a good base for young footballers and possibly the professionals of tomorrow.

“Everyone at Beadles wishes the Nick and the team every success throughout the season.”

Sunday 5 September 2010


Chocolate and baked treats have been voted the nation’s favourite canteen smell as children across the UK go back to school.

According to a survey carried out by leading pen brand uni-ball, the delicious tasting foods are a firm favourite with young starlets. The survey also revealed that children continued to turn up their noses to bad smells such as boiled cabbage, semolina and liver.

uni-ball carried out the survey amongst 200 children as it launched its Signo Scents range – ten brightly coloured gel pens available in fruity and sweet scents such as Pineapple Yellow, Coconut Brown and Bubblegum Pink.

Stuart Barker, marketing manager at uni-ball said: “The results of the survey confirmed that fruity and sweet smells remain the talk of the playground, underlining our decision to emulate them within the Signo Scents range.

“We now want children to design their own pongy pens of the future. It could be the smell of cheese and onion sandwiches, freshly cut grass, lavender or the salty sea air – you never know, the scent may even go into production and prove to be a best seller for us one day.”

The winning ‘suggest a smell’ design will receive a VIP trip for five to ZSL London Zoo, with special opportunities to get up-close and personal with some of the zoo’s smelliest animals. Five runners-up will also receive a special uni-ball goodie bag.

Entry forms can be requested by emailing scents@connect-group.com or by writing to the uni-ball press office, c/o Connect PR, The Chubb Buildings, Fryer Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1HT. Closing date for entries is December 17, 2010.

For further information visit www.signoscents.co.uk or follow uni-ball on Facebook by becoming a fan of uniball_uk.


Issued on behalf of uni-ball by Connect PR

For further information, please contact: Lee Southen on 01902 714957 or email lee@connect-group.com

Friday 3 September 2010


Imperial Commercials, the UK’s largest independent commercial vehicle group, has invested half a million pounds in a new state-of-the-art van centre which will see the return of the Volkswagen brand to The Potteries and South Cheshire area.
Imperial Commercials has transformed a four acre site on Leek New Road, Cobridge which will provide a 24 hour workshop, showroom and forecourt display for over 40 Volkswagen vehicles.

The redevelopment will expand the commercial vehicle specialist’s presence in Stoke and bring new jobs to the area.

The existing site has been home to Imperial Commercials DAF truck dealership for over 20 years and has been refurbished as part of the redevelopment programme and will remain at this location. The new Volkswagen Van Centre and showroom will be situated at the front of the building.

Imperial Commercials, Executive Director, Geoff Haspell, said: “We are delighted to bring the Volkswagen brand to the area. We now have two ‘world class’ franchise partners which will ensure that more customers will benefit from our commercial vehicle expertise.

“The highly regarded Volkswagen range continues to expand which will allow the van centre to enter new markets locally and provide a more comprehensive service for van operators.

“As part of the new development we’ve created new jobs and have a combined staffing level of 56 employees across the site with future growth expected as the new business division strengthens.

“Keeping a business fleet on the road is of paramount importance so our 24 hour opening will provide our customers with the facility to get their vehicles serviced overnight, so minimizing any downtime.”

The management team consists of Volkswagen Van Centre, Head of Business, Gareth Kaye, Sales Manager, Simon Jackson, Service Manager, Des Todd and Parts Manager, Rob Sherratt.

Imperial Commercials is the UK’s largest Independent Commercial Vehicle Dealer Group. It supplies both new and used trucks and vans including servicing and parts from its extensive network of franchises including Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, DAF Trucks, Ford Commercials, FIAT Professional, MAN Trucks, Renault Trucks, Nissan Commercial Vehicles, ISUZU Trucks and HINO Trucks.

For further information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714957 or email sue@connect-group.com / becki@connect-group.com

Wednesday 1 September 2010


A group of novice cyclists from Northgate Volkswagen recently took to the road in the London to Cambridge charity bike ride, raising over £1,600 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The Bury St Edmunds team cycled the 60 mile route despite having done very little training.

The Volkswagen team of nine joined a staggering 4,500 other cyclists on a stunning countryside route from Lea Valley's Pickets Lock in North East London to Midsummer Common in Cambridge.

Donations were collected from customers, friends and Northgate Volkswagen’s owner, the Marriot Motor Group, who kindly gave £250 towards the total.

Team member and brand manager at Northgate Volkswagen, Robert Rolfe, said: “Although the ride was tough we all really enjoyed ourselves. The atmosphere, supporters and fellow cyclists spurred us on which distracted us from any saddle pain.

“We are very grateful to everyone who kindly supported us The feeling of accomplishment and the satisfaction of raising money for such a worthy cause made all the pain worthwhile.”

For further information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714957 or email sue@connect-group.com / becki@connect-group.com


The under 13’s squad at Glendowan FC in West Belfast will kick off this season in the Northern Ireland Boys Football Association National League with a brand new corporate sponsorship.

Isaac Agnew Volkswagen is getting behind the team as it enters the elite national league for the first time.

Last season the team remained unbeaten winning the treble in last seasons Belfast & East Antrim Invitational Youth League, taking home the league cup, plate and league title. The impressive performance led to the squads’ invitation to join the national league.

The Volkswagen car retailer, with showrooms in Belfast and Newtownabbey, is providing the 18-strong team with its entire kit, water carriers and training cones.

The team believes its new sponsorship will add to its energy and performance for this season as manager, Paul Delaney, explains.

He said: “The team has strengthened over the recent months and is striving to go one better this season.

“Our new status in the national league requires us to travel up to 70 miles to Saturday match, which can become very costly. So we are very grateful to Isaac Agnew for all their support, and very proud to be associated with such a prestigious brand.

Our new status means we will be playing against Northern Irelands’ professional club’s junior academy teams, so it will be hard work for a small club like Glendowan, but with the support of Isaac Agnew we relish the challenge.” concluded paul.

Speaking of the team’s success, Isaac Agnew’s Managing Director, Brian Robinson, said: “We are very happy to sponsor this up and coming junior team and feel it’s important to support the local community.

“We are delighted with their success and wish them the very best of luck of this season.”

For more information contact Sue Foster or Becki Oake on 01902 714 957 or email sue@connect-group.com / becki@connect–group.com

Onslow-Cole wins third HiQ champagne moment!

HiQ could be forgiven for renaming its Champagne Moments the Tom Onslow-Cole Awards, after the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship star won his third accolade of the season.

The Team Aon star has become the first driver in history to win three HiQ awards – voted for by the fans – in one season.

It is Tom’s second champagne moment win in successive race weekends and third in four races, after previously winning at Snetterton and also Oulton Park.

The 23 year-old captured the imagination of fans at Silverstone, where he showed raw pace and no shortage of skill to win one race and feature prominently in the other two.

He said today: “I’d just like to say a massive thank-you for everybody who has voted for me – not just this year, but ever since I have been in the series.

“Everyone has always been so positive towards me at each circuit and these champagne moment awards mean a lot to me.

“They have made me more determined to push harder and overcome everything that has been thrown at me during the season.”

Kieron Brennan of Surrey voted for Tom and will present him with his bottle of champagne at this weekend’s round of racing at Knockhill.

He said: “Tom was immense again. He deserves the award for a podium finish in each race, and proving to the moaners that even with an engine that’s been restricted, the AON Ford can still win.”

Tom polled a whopping 59 per cent of votes, beating Paul O’Neill into second place (22 per cent).

HiQ’s marketing manager Geraldine McGovern said: “Tom is becoming something of a hero for many fans, and we can see why he continues to get such high levels of support.

“He was superb again at Silverstone and we wish him well at Knockhill this weekend.”