Independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.
NEWS NORTH DEVON HAS BEST COLLEGE IN UK North Devon wealth manager and independent financial advisers Philip J Milton & Company Plc has been appointed to manage a further £55 million on behalf of more than 1,600 new individual investors. Approached to help The firm did not seek out the opportunity, but was contacted for its connections, stability, trust and reputation following the suspension of the fund’s previous Londonbased investment manager by the Financial Conduct Authority in December. Managing director Philip Petroc has been rated first out of 183 UK Further Education colleges by education industry magazine FE Week Toasting success: (from left) FE Week publisher Shane Mann, Petroc principal Diane Dimond, Petroc vice principal Bill Blythe and FE Week editor Nick Linford Skills are one of the top concerns for North Devon businesses and the area has received a massive boost after Petroc was named top Further Education college out of 183 colleges in the UK in FE Week’s annual NICDEX league table. NICDEX rates colleges in four categories – learner satisfaction, employer satisfaction, 16-to-18 positive progression and adults into employment – with a maximum potential score of 40. Scores are based on official criteria published by the Department for Education. Petroc scored 93.8% for employer satisfaction, 92% for 16-to-18 positive progression, 56% for adult progression into work and 81% for learner satisfaction. Petroc’s overall score of 36 placed it two points above the second place colleges and knocked previous winner Exeter College off the top spot. Diane Dimond, principal and CEO, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be top of this highly-regarded league table, improving on last year’s second place. “My thanks go to all of our amazing staff and hardworking students, as well as employers and partners in the area who work so closely with us. “At Petroc, success at Milton commented: “Earlier in the year, we achieved a record £150 million under our discretionary management, where clients entrust us with the daily decisions for the management of their capital with us. This is something of which we were immensely proud, albeit Brexit-related volatility has made this task challenging. “This addition will take total funds under our management to over £200 million, which is a wonderful achievement. This is also an incredibly positive endorsement of our services in that the decision of the fund’s every level is promoted as a positive driver for continuing in education and gaining employment and every year our students go on to the best universities in the country, higher and degree apprenticeships as well as skilled careers. “We pride ourselves on our strong links with employers, ensuring our learners have great work opportunities trustees and administrators to appoint us reflects the firm’s prowess, competence and capabilities, as well as our integrity and longevity.” Philip J Milton & Company will manage the extra, segregated funds without providing financial advice at this stage and its existing systems are fully capable of managing the increase in its work load. “This really is wonderful news for the firm,” added Philip. “Our existing discretionary investment clients will also benefit as this gives us improved economies of scale and new investment available to them, and I truly believe this is why we have such success with student progression into employment. We work closely with organisations across a wide range of sectors, and value their feedback to shape our curriculum and ensure we’re meeting the needs of our communities. The fact that over 93% of employers would recommend us as a training provider is fantastic and makes me extremely proud.” Devon as a county scored highly with City College Plymouth, Exeter College and South Devon College also achieving top 12 positions. Investment in Petroc’s services will continue after the announcement that it has secured £1.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund to create a Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence at its North Devon campus in Barnstaple. ■■Details 01271 345291 or petroc.ac.uk Financial advisers to manage a further £55 million opportunities for further possible diversity and support to existing holdings. “We shall also be viewed as a bigger ‘player’ in the market at large, giving us the opportunity of being propelled into a new level of operation.” Future expansion Philip believes it will support expansion of the firm’s services and 30-strong team and boost the North Devon economy. He says it shows the area is establishing the gravitas to attract such confidence from across the country. ■■Details 01271 344300 or miltonpj.net 2 business action | February / March2019 | business-action.co.uk
Best beach loos in England North Devon might have the best natural attractions in the country, but that’s not enough for visitors these days: they want the best facilities too. Putsborough Sands is demonstrating how the area’s businesses are investing in high quality facilities after receiving the Loo of the Year 2018 award for Best Loo within 50 metres of a shoreline in England. Rob and Sarah Tucker, owners of Putsborough Sands, are investing their own funds to provide the best possible visitor experience. “We rebuilt the toilet block at Putsborough in the winter of 2015/16 and reopened it for Easter 2016 to great acclaim,” says Rob. “I don’t think anyone ever expected us to do the job quite so well. We spent more than £250,000, installing solid Idigbo doors, great tiling and expensive china.” Rob and Sarah made the investment because they Toilets make a big impression on visitors and, with local authorities closing more public conveniences, the private sector has to work twice as hard to maintain North Devon’s high standards. Putsborough Sands has received recognition in the 2018 Loo of the Year Awards as providing the best loo within 50 metres of a shoreline in England wanted visitors to enjoy the same high quality experience they would have in a restaurant or hotel. The Loo of the Year Award examines many different criteria including signage and communication, decor and maintenance, fixtures and fittings, cleanliness, hygiene equipment, air quality, extras, security, access, baby changing facilities and overall management care. Their aim, since their inception in 1987, is to encourage and promote the highest standards in ‘awayfrom-home’ washrooms. They are now the accepted industry standard and facilities are judged by unannounced visits during the year. Rob continues: “The Loo of the Year Award people came to have a look and, up until now, we have been awarded the top Platinum award, which really pleased us. This was an acknowledgement of the great job we had done and that the toilets were really first class. The Platinum award was, I believe, just for attainment of a great standard. “This year we were nominated for an individual award in a national category as well and we can now claim to have the best toilets in England within 50 metres of a beach. We are a market sector leader – something we are very proud of.” Rob adds that the standard of toilets included in this year’s awards was exceptionally high. Putsborough Sands car park, shop and toilets are open all year round for visitors to the beach. ■■Details 01271 890231 or putsborough.com @businessactionm | February / March2019 | business action 3