Woking Business

MANY people are joining gyms at this time of year, after over-indulging at Christmas.

But months, sometimes only weeks, down the line, the good intentions can fall away, and gym attendance becomes a thing of the past.

Anytime Fitness boasts a wide variety of fitness equipment and machines

One gym that is focused on keeping its members engaged and interested is Anytime Fitness in Woking town centre.

Richard Williams, the franchise holder, says the gym works to make its members feel part of the club and involved.

Anytime Fitness Woking franchise owner Richard Williams

“With some of the budget chains, there is no interaction and people are left to their own devices,” he said. “At Anytime Fitness, when you join, we look after you.”

Richard says this includes phoning members who haven’t attended and understanding their reasons for skipping sessions.

“We encourage members to have a fitness appointment and work out a programme that works for them.”

As well as a full set of cardiovascular and strength equipment and classes, Anytime Fitness also offers virtual classes online as well as a 3-D body scanner that can help with setting up tailored programmes.

With an expected new influx, the gym is helping existing and new members to get back into their fitness routine after Christmas and the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

For the full story get the 9 January edition of the News & Mail

BROOKLANDS Museum in Weybridge has been named ‘Tourist attraction of the year’ at the prestigious Surrey Business Awards 2019 for its unique visitor experience and community initiatives.

Presented by the award-winning broadcaster and comedian, Mark Dolan, the evening held at Epsom Downs Racecourse on 21st November recognised many start-up companies, charities and professional services for their work.

Alongside Brooklands Museum, other well-known venues across the county competed for the Tourist Attraction of the Year award, including Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Painshill Park, Cobham and the Silent Pool Gin Distillery in Albury.

Tamalie Newbury, Director and CEO of Brooklands Museum said:

“We are so very excited that we won this award! Our nomination covered every element of what we do that not only makes Brooklands Museum such a great place for visitors, but which also gives something back to many people in our community and inspires people to shape their futures through the stories we tell of what people accomplished here.

This is an award for our team, our volunteers and everyone else who helps and supports the Museum, it’s great that our efforts have been recognised. We have a lot planned over the next couple of years that will make Brooklands Museum an even more exciting place to visit, you should all come and see it for yourselves!”

As well as the vast collections of cars, motorcycles, aircraft and the dynamic events programme that runs throughout the year, there are opportunities to learn a variety of skills, join a 7,000-strong Volunteer force or participate in one of the many motoring events on site. Brooklands also welcomes families on the autism spectrum with special openings, hosts a reminiscence café for those affected by dementia and welcomes over 15,000 school children from in and around the County on organised trips.

The Museum is open all year round and details of its work, collections, events and how to become involved in many opportunities can be found by visiting www.brooklandsmuseum.com.

For the full story get the 12 December edition of the News & Mail

A WOKING-based company took centre stage at a Parliamentary event, created to showcase innovation across the UK building materials industry.

The Fernox team at the event (Left to Right)  Darren Holdsworth, Jonathan Baker, Francine Wickham and Callum McDonald

Sheerwater-based Fernox, a leading manufacturer of water treatment chemical products, central heating system filters and plumbing consumables, took part in a Parliamentary Innovation Reception, held at the House of Commons recently by national trade body the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).

Highlighting its commitment to research and development in the manufacture of filters and fluids to keep heating systems working properly, and at the same time reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, Fernox was one of a number of businesses showcasing latest innovations at the event.

“The reception was held to shine a spotlight on the investment and innovation happening every day across our members’ businesses,” said John Newcomb, BMF’s CEO.

“The building materials sector in which our members operate is currently valued at £56 billion and directly provides more than 330,000 jobs, working across 23,000 companies in the UK. The sector makes a significant contribution to the economy and it’s important for us to reinforce the message of its value and significance.”

For the full story get the 21 November edition of the News & Mail

SURREY Wildlife Trust is selling firewood grown on its land and naturally seasoned, with the profits going to help conservation in the county.

The logs are generating thousands of pounds each year for the trust, while ensuring that woodburners and open fires are being fuelled with local wood.

The Logs for All team with a stack of their sustainable, naturally drying wood

“Our logs are treated by being stacked and then using the wind and natural heat to dry them below 20% moisture content, which is what other wood sellers provide,” said SWT business manager James Herd.

The logs all come from managed woodland, either on SWT estates or other sustainable areas in Surrey or very close by.

The wood costs £115.50 for a cubic metre bag, with SWT members getting a 10% discount. The first order comes with a free bag of kindling. If the wood is reordered, the bag it comes in can be returned to the trust, in exchange for another bag of kindling.

Logs can be ordered all year, with some going on barbecues and chimineas in the summer.

“If you want locally sourced, sustainably grown wood with the profits going to conservation in Surrey, come to us,” James said.

To order, visit www.logsforall.co.uk and select “Buy logs and firewood in Surrey”. You can then further narrow this down to sales in Woking, Weybridge, Guildford, Egham, Leatherhead or Dorking.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

DISCOVERING an appetite for food with flavour and dishes from a variety of cultures has fuelled the success of cooking and catering business Rameeza’s Repertoire.

It was set up by Rameeza Rayner, a West Byfleet mother of two, who focused on the curry dishes of her childhood as the launchpad for her business. She is now branching out to also provide cookery workshops on a range of international cuisines.

Culinary magician Rameeza Rayner

“Having studied law at university and then working in insurance in the City I never expected that I would be running a business offering catering and cooking workshops,” said Rameeza.

She credits her mother Rafeea, who was Cordon Bleu trained, as being the inspiration for her love of cooking and an introduction to teaching people to cook.

Rafeea used to run adult education cookery classes. In addition to that, as her mother is from the south of India and her father from northern Pakistan, Rameeza has gained a knowledge of a wide variety of regional curries.

Rameeza at work with a pestle and mortar

She started cooking while she was chair of her children’s school parents’ social committee, catering for some of their events on an ad hoc basis. When her two-year tenure ended, her friends suggested that she set up a catering business – which was the beginning of her Friday Curries venture.

She started taking orders for curries that she would prepare on a Friday and clients would collect from her house, gradually building a loyal following of regulars, primarily through word of mouth. Then, responding to requests for curry workshops, she started teaching groups at her home.

“People come with a very positive frame of mind and I really enjoy the sociable aspect of these days because I find cooking can be quite solitary,” she said.

Among the popular dishes included in her workshops have been Lamb Bhuna and Chicken in a Coriander Sauce, as well as a simple okra dish.

“People are surprised by the amount of time needed to prepare and cook the dishes, for example you have to allow the onions to cook slowly to bring out the flavour and create a base for the sauce,” Rameeza explained.

While she continues to provide catering services, she hopes to increase her workshops and intends to include Korean, Peruvian and Mexican dishes among a range of options.

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

THE 2019 Woking Means Business exhibition has been hailed a success, once again showcasing all that the enterprising borough has to offer.

Exhibitors chat to visitors in the HG Wells Centre

“I was delighted with the response from exhibitors, visitors and speakers,” said the organiser, Paul Webster of Woking Chamber of Commerce.

“The council pre-show breakfast briefing was packed out and got us off to a great start while the atmosphere in the hall was the usual ‘jolly, friendly buzz’, according to Keith Grover, of Networking in Surrey.”

The exhibition was held, for the 16th year running, on Wednesday last week in the HG Wells conference and events centre in Woking. It was the opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses from the area to network and showcase their products and services.

The News and Mail’s own carol Miller with Simon Isherwood of the BNI Woking business networking group

The day started with a Woking Borough Council breakfast forum and included seminars on tips for becoming an exceptional manager and leader, making the most of online marketing and winning new business.

Danusia Jolliffe of TVision Technology, a first-time exhibitor at the show, said: “We have been in Woking for five years now as a business, and it was really great to be able to speak to so many local companies.

“My colleague told me that he’d had more – and higher – quality conversations at this show, than we had had at one recently attended in London.

“We’ll definitely be exhibiting again, and look forward to next year’s event. We hope that everyone enjoyed the drinks reception at the end of the day that we sponsored.”

For more on this story and pictures of the event, get the 24 October edition of the News & Mail

PROPERTY consultants Vail Williams LLP are marketing a number of suites at the One Crown Square office block in Woking town centre, ranging from 312sq ft to 1,618sq ft.

The refurbished building, formerly known as Crown House, has been home to Vail Williams itself since 2018. The other occupiers include SMA Technologies, BLG Development Finance and Haier Appliances UK.

They benefit from a range of amenities including a concierge service, a refurbished reception area, meeting rooms, superfast broadband and wifi connections, together with communal tea points, secure cycle parking and showers.

QUALITY WORKSPACE – The remodelled reception area at One Crown Square

There is an onsite café and Fitness Space will shortly be fitting out a gym in the former RBS branch premises on the ground floor.

Vail Williams surveyor Elliot McNish said: “Opportunities of this quality are hard to come by in Woking. With a broad range of office suites available for start-ups, as well as more established businesses, One Crown Square offers high quality refurbished office accommodation on flexible terms to meet the evolving needs of today’s occupier.

“As tenants in the building ourselves, we speak from experience when we say this is a great place to locate your business.”

Vail Williams has been appointed to market office space by McKay Securities, which bought the building in 2014 and has since undertaken an extensive rolling refurbishment. There is now a total of 6,226sq ft available to let.

More information about the property can be found at www.onecrownsquare.com.

A COFFEE shop that combines a wide range of snacks with hot and cold drinks has opened in Woking town centre.

Coffee fans Bradley and Larne Johannie and son Benjamin enjoy drinks at the new cafe

Black and White has taken the site previously occupied by Café Americano, later renamed Santa fe, in Middle Walk.

Carl Whiting-Gorley, the owner of Black and White, has been in catering since he was 16 and considered opening a coffee shop in Guildford before choosing the Woking site.

Carl said the café catered for all dietary requirements and doesn’t charge extra for non-dairy milk.

He said the site was ideal for passing trade, especially commuters going to and from the railway station.

For the full story get the 17 October edition of the News & Mail (Pictures by Terry Habgood)

WOKING Means Business opens its doors for the sixteenth time on Wednesday to provide the perfect platform for companies wishing to take advantage of all that this enterprising town has to offer.

The event, on 16 October, is probably the longest-established business-to-business expo in Surrey.

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD – Woking Means Business invariably attracts a large and attentive audience

Those keen to get right up to date with developments in the town can attend the free Woking Borough Council Breakfast Briefing at 7.45am (for an 8.15am start), immediately prior to the show opening.

Speakers include the leader of the council, David Bittleston; chief executive, Ray Morgan; and guest speaker Ruth Nic Aoidh, executive director, commercial & legal at McLaren Automotive.

Anyone wishing to attend this event can do so if they register at www.wokingmeansbusiness.com/seminars, click on the main registration page link and book on Eventbrite. Pre-booking is essential as this event is always oversubscribed. For those unable to get to the breakfast, the council will be represented on the Woking Works stand no 6.

The early forum gives the show a substantial boost because the hall is quickly filled with delegates from breakfast and visitors as soon as the exhibition opens at 9.30am.

Last year’s Woking Means Business event attracted a great turnout

There will be a fascinating range of products and services on show, with exhibitors including Woking Borough Council, DoubleTree by Hilton, Woking Football Club, Lansbury Business Estate, who have not missed a show since it started in 2004, Menzies, Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, Eagle Radio, Woking News & Mail, Truffles, Headline Design & Print, Madlins, Curchod & Co, Tvision Technology, CCS Insurance, and the Talbot Inn.

There are three speakers on the seminar programme at 10.30, 11.30 and 12.30. All three consider different but essential aspects of running a successful business and explain how visitors can increase their knowledge and enhance their skills.

At 10.30am, Dene Stuart will present How to become an Exceptional Manager and Leader; an hour later, Paul Squires offers practical advice on how to make the most of your marketing online; and at 12.30, Richard Maybury delivers Win Easier in your Business – Top Tips from “Mr Productivity”.

Places can be booked at the same seminar link mentioned above.

Car Parking for Woking Means Business

During the regeneration of Woking Town Centre, parking has become more difficult. The council’s live link will show car park spaces available when you visit Woking Means Business.


For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail

A WOKING engineering company was officially presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise during a royal visit.

The Duke of Kent was at Semmco’s factory on Goldsworth Park Trading Estate on Wednesday last week to hand over the award, which was made for the company’s international trade achievements.

Managing Director Stuart McOnie accepts a commemorative glass vase from the duke

The Duke was welcomed by Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, Shahid Azeem, who is also chairman of the Woking Asian Business Forum.

Semmco manufactures access platforms and ground support equipment for the aviation sector and rail access platforms. The award recognises outstanding short-term growth in its overseas sales over the last three years.

Managing director Stuart McOnie said “We are extremely proud to have received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade and to have been presented with this award by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent.

“It’s an incredible achievement and one that has been possible because of the hard work and commitment from our amazing staff and the support of all of our customers.

“We are looking forward to continuing to develop our range of products and to promoting and selling them around the world.”

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is made each year to around 200 organisations. Now in its 53rd year, it is the most prestigious business award in the country. Winning businesses are able to use the Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.

During the royal visit, long-serving staff were presented with individual awards to mark the occasion and to thank them for their contribution to the company success.

For more information about Semmco visit www.semmco.com.

For the full story get the 10 October edition of the News & Mail