Top Rotherham exporters reveal secrets of their success

Three of Rotherham’s leading exporters are set to share their export journey, offer their insights and reveal their top tips for local businesses looking to break into international trade at an event organised by UKTI, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and RIDO.

The free breakfast event aims to help grow the Rotherham Economy by helping every business fulfil their export potential.

Being held at Fusion@Magna in Rotherham on October 15, it is aimed at entrepreneurs looking to take their first step in exports, businesses wanting to get top tips on expanding overseas operations or for anyone wanting to meet valuable contacts who can share their expertise and global networks.

From rapid growth stories and becoming a recognised world leader in specialist sectors to how a party planning crisis turned into a multi-million international business empire, the event will offer unique insights into finding success overseas and guests will also be able to ask these business leaders how they overcame the export challenges they have faced.

Those attending will also receive a free copy of a new guide to international trade called Five Steps To Export, which offers simple advice on identifying new opportunities overseas and how you can find growth on foreign shores.

The companies speaking at the event will be:

Gala Tents – Founded by Jason Mace in Rotherham and is now one of the world’s leading distributors of quality marquees and gazebos. After spotting a gap in the market when he had a millennium party planning crisis, Jason now turns over more than £10m a year and exports to dozens of countries around the globe.

Newburgh Engineering – The advanced manufacturing business from Rotherham works on some of the world’s most demanding engineering projects from nuclear reactors and state-of-the-art military equipment to the next world record breaking land speed attempt with the supersonic Bloodhound project. It has customers in a wealth of countries and is in high demand around the globe.

Pyronix – As a Rotherham-based world leader in the manufacture of security equipment including control panels, detectors and external sounds, Pyronix has grown 15% every year since 2010 and is now on course to reach £20m of annual sales by the end of 2014, 40% of which is in international markets.

Regional director of UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, Mark Robson, says: “Exports are crucial to the future prosperity of this region and our country. Brand Britain is in high demand across the globe and our businesses should be making the most of these opportunities.

“This event will allow businesses in Rotherham to hear how their neighbours are finding growth in international trade, learn how they can do the same and also meet like-minded businesses who can help them on their export journey.

“Without exports your business isn’t fulfilling its growth potential. International trade isn’t difficult, it’s just different and we hope this event will help inspire more to take their first steps into a new market.”

William Beckett, who won two Queen’s Awards for International Trade with William Beckett Plastics and is Chair of the Sheffield City Region Export Partnership, adds: “Exports are crucial to the success of my own business and the LEP is dedicated to helping more businesses deliver growth through international trade.

“We are world leaders in everything from the products we produce to the services we provide in this region and we should be doing everything we can to ensure every business fulfils its export potential.

“By sharing some of the incredible success stories in Rotherham with local business leaders we are confident we can encourage others to follow their examples.

“By working together and sharing our experiences and contacts we can really show the world what the Sheffield City Region has to offer the world.”

The free event at Fusion@Magna on October 15 starts at 8am and attendees will hear from each of the exporters before getting the chance to ask their own questions.

To register for a place, visit


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EU and Vietnam reach agreement on free trade deal

Following a telephone conversation this morning between EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, all issues of substance have been agreed on, and both sides have reached a mutually beneficial and balanced package.

This agreement will remove nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. “We have a deal. This finely balanced agreement will boost trade with one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. It sets a new, better and modern model for Free Trade Agreements between the EU and developing countries, and establishes a good standard for the trade relationship between the EU and South East Asia as a whole.” said Commissioner Malmström.

“Vietnam is a growing economy and once this agreement is up and running, it will provide significant new opportunities for companies on both sides, by increasing market access for goods and services. Over 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports, so having easier access to a growing and fast developing market like Vietnam, with its 90 million consumers, is great news. And Vietnam’s exporters will now get much easier access to the EU for their products, giving an important boost to the Vietnamese economy. Both sides have worked extremely hard in the past few months to achieve this breakthrough”, she added.

On the basis of today’s agreement, the negotiating teams will now continue the process, settle some remaining technical issues and finalise the legal text. Once finalised, the agreement will then need to be approved by the Council and European Parliament.

Read the press release and a detailed memo on the EU-Vietnam FTA.

Source: European Commission

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UKTI appoints new Chief Executive

Dr Catherine Raines will become Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) from  7th  September 2015, following current Chief Executive Dominic Jermey’s appointment to a new priority position as Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) International Counter-Extremism Coordinator.

Currently Minister and Director-General for UKTI China, Dr Catherine Raines has more than 20 years’ experience in FTSE100 business across the UK, Europe, the United States and China, where she variously held senior leadership roles in Operations, Corporate Development and Corporate Audit. Prior to joining the civil service, she also ran her own business as well as holding the role of Deputy Chief Executive at Staffordshire County Council. She takes up the post of UKTI Chief Executive after more than 2 years leading UKTI in China, having overseen an increase in UK business successes attributable to UKTI support from around £300 million a year to more than £3.7 billion.

Dominic Jermey joined the FCO in 1993 and prior to his role as UKTI Chief Executive was Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, where pursuing UKinterests in countering extremism was a key issue. In earlier roles, Dominic was based in Afghanistan with a focus on UK anti-terrorist objectives, led on the threat from Afghanistan-based extremist groups, and worked in Pakistan on Islamist issues affecting the UK. He will take up his new position at FCO on 4 September 2015.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Maude said:

The world increasingly sees Britain as the best place to do business in and to do business from. UKTI has a central role in mobilising government support for exports and inward investment. We have made great progress, especially in attracting investment from overseas, where Britain’s success among EU countries is second to none.

I am hugely grateful to Dominic for his leadership of UKTI, and wish him every success in his vital new role. I look forward to working with Catherine, who comes with a high reputation for leading change in both public and private sectors.

Notes to editors

  1. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.
  2. Catherine Raines’ career history is as follows:
    • Minister and Director-General, UKTI China, Beijing, 2013 to 2015
    • Deputy Chief Executive, Staffordshire County Council, 2010 to 2013
    • Owner, LiKailin Contemporary Fine Art, 2008 to 2010
    • Vice-President Corporate Development, AstraZeneca, China, 2006 to 2008
    • Head of Group Corporate Audit, AstraZeneca, London, 2004 to 2006
    • roles including Global Head of Operations (Respiratory) and Director, New Products Introduction, AstraZeneca, 1998 to 2004
    • Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, 1994 to 1998
    • ICI Pharmaceuticals, 1988 to 1994
  3. Catherine Raines has previously held Non-Executive Directorships with Pinewood Group, HM Land Registry, the Criminal Records Bureau, and the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership, and has also been a Trustee at the Whitehall and Industry Group.


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German for Enterprise project supports Yorkshire exports


Germanic Studies at Sheffield University is currently developing a unique collaboration with local businesses as part of the Final Year Language programme.

Businesses in Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Humber with trade connections in Germany or Austria, or those companies keen to expand into the German market, are invited to work with our students on a language-business project: German for Enterprise. Germany is the UK’s second biggest trading partner so this is a prime opportunity for Sheffield students to get acquainted with the UK’s export drive, and for local businesses to get the edge in doing business with German-speaking companies.

The content of the project is based around the unique business needs of the participating companies. Selected businesses team up with the Year 4 students with the full support of the University’s language experts as well as the Sheffield University Enterprise Unit.

Halton International and Fokus Sheffield have already benefited from engagement with the project, and recommend local exporters find out how it can help them too.

Information on the project is available on the Sheffield University portal here.

For more information on how the project has supported us, contact us.

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BIS issues guidance on Greece for businesses

Greece has introduced temporary capital controls: guidance for businesses. image






Greece has announced that they are introducing capital controls on the movement of currency. If you trade with Greece, or you rely on suppliers there, you may find that you are directly affected by the situation. The way your company is affected will depend on:

  • the business that you do
  • the contracts you have
  • whether your bank has been affected

As a result of the temporary capital controls introduced by Greece, it is possible that you may experience delays in receiving payments originating from Greece. Greek companies may experience problems making payments and deliveries. The main impacts you may experience relate to contracts and the transfer of money (cash flow). Where countries have experienced disruption in the past, companies have experienced:

  • delays on payments and deliveries
  • impacts on demand due to ongoing economic uncertainty

To ensure you are aware of the current trading conditions , see the website for detailed guidance.

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Emerging Economy Infrastructure Investment hits $107.5bn

The World Bank Logo


Worldbank data reveals that the top five counties with the highest investment commitments are Brazil, Turkey, Peru, Columbia and India are top. These five countries together attracted US$78 billion, representing 73 percent of the investment commitments in the developing world in 2014.

Total infrastructure investments in 139 emerging economies – for projects with private participation in the energy, transport and water sectors – rose to US$107.5 billion in 2014, driven largely by increasing activity in Brazil, according to an update released on the 9th of June to the World Bank Group’s “Private Participation in Infrastructure” database.

The data, covering the period from 1990 to 2014, reviews more than 6,000 projects across 139 low- and middle-income economies, providing a rich source of data on private infrastructure investment in emerging markets.

“Our update reveals that the top five countries with the highest investment commitments in 2014 are Brazil, Turkey, Peru, Colombia and India,” said Clive Harris, Practice Manager, Public-Private Partnerships, World Bank Group. “These five countries together attracted US$78 billion, representing 73 percent of the investment commitments in the developing world in 2014.”

For more on this story, see the Worldbank press release.

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Export Control: Licencing Performance Dashboard imageUnder the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Export Control Organisation (ECO) promotes global security through strategic export controls, facilitating responsible exports. They aim to help exporters sell their goods responsibly within the law.

As such, they see exporters as customers and work to demanding efficiency targets:

  • 70% of licence applications processed within 20 working days
  • 99% of licence applications processed within 60 working days


The ECO provide a regularly updated web page to give you a snapshot of current performance against targets, and also how they are doing on a country-by-country basis. The page also provides guidance on export licence applications and various links to additional services to support export development.

The intention of the ECO is that the information will help you to make better licence applications, which they believe is the key to the efficiency of the whole process.

Potential and existing exporters should find the content useful when looking at developing export markets within their business.

For more information, visit the website here.

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UKTI Inward Investment Report 2014 to 2015

UKTI Logo 2




Published by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the UK’s Inward Investment Report for 2014 to 2015 shows that the UK has maintained its position as the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Europe after attracting a record number of FDI projects.

See the report here.

See more information on International Trade at the website.

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Sumo Digital agrees Disney gaming partnership

Sheffield-based video game development studio Sumo Digital has agreed a partnership with Disney on its Infinity 3.0 game.

Disney Infinity 3.0 is the latest instalment in the action-adventure video game series, which allows players to bring Disney Pixar’s characters to life, from Pirates of the Caribbean to Toy Story and Frozen.

Sumo will be working alongside Avalanche Software to develop the new Star Wars theme and improve aspects of Infinity’s gameplay.

The deal follows a management buy-out in November last year which was funded by private equity firm NorthEdge Capital.

Founded in 2003, Sumo is headquartered in Sheffield with an office in Pune, India, and employs more than 240 staff.

For more on this story, see the article.

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Masterplan submitted for Olympic Legacy Park

A masterplan for a 26-acre London 2012 Olympic legacy project in Sheffield has been submitted.

A joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council, the Olympic Legacy Park has already received the backing of Lord Sebastian Coe and Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams.

The planning application for the Olympic Legacy Park (OLP) in the east end of Sheffield includes the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which will be run by Sheffield Hallam University pioneering technologies for  healthcare companies including Toshiba to help people move more.

Included in the masterplan is a range of sports and exercise facilities, giving members of the public the chance to improve their health and wellbeing alongside elite athletes and professional sports men and women.

A multi-purpose 3,000 seat indoor community sports and events arena, community artificial pitch and cycle ways will all form part of the OLP. The Olympic-standard twin-pad iceSheffield, English Institute of Sport Sheffield and Grass Bowl are all within OLP’s boundaries.

Plans also include Sheffield’s second University Technical College, UTC2 Sheffield, while new academy school and community hub on site – sponsored by Oasis Community Learning – will provide 1,200 places for youngsters aged two to 16.

For more on this story, see the article.

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