Category 2015 Blogs


Preston enters 2016 with confidence, says Lancashire Evening Post


Keith Mitchell, manager of the Fishergate Centre

The Lancashire Evening Post began the new year with an upbeat report on confidence in the city saying: “Preston is on the up – and 2016 will prove to be its year.”

The newspaper’s business editor David Nowell predicts retail will lead the way and commented: “The city’s place in the pecking order of major shopping destinations of the North is set to soar in the New Year.”

The changes will reflect the quality of shopping on offer, showcasing the quality of our brands

“With a £25m development of the Fishergate Centre planned, the future is looking bright.

With a £25m development of the Fishergate Centre planned, and units rapidly being filled in St George’s shopping centre, the future is looking bright.

Major new brands moving to Pres...

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Samaritans provide emotional first aid

Nasrin Fazal, Manchester and Salford Samaritans

By Nasrin Fazal, Manchester and Salford Samaritans

We’re not just here to listen. Samaritans also exists to give others the tools to help save lives. Our work isn’t only about manning phone lines.

Today our committeed volunteers in Manchester and Salford are involved in a range of vital outreach projects in our local communities. Some might call it providing emotional first aid.

We’re also hard at work in partnership with other organisations. For instance, railway staff across the North West are now better equipped to help vulnerable people at risk of suicide thanks to work by Samaritans.

Nationally, more than ten thousand railway staff have now been trained to spot and help vulnerable people at risk of suicide on Britain’s rail network, thanks to Samaritans.

Action by staff from ...

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From agri-resorts to circus tents: engineering doesn’t get any more varied than this!


From an ambitious mountain agri-resort in the Malaysian Highlands to circus tents for Cirque du Soleil, Quarters 2 and 3 in 2015 for international engineers Web Structures have brought in some varied projects.

The Web Structures team is working on a design competition for the development of an agri-township near Cameron Highlands in Malaysia on a site covering an area of more than 3,000 acres that will include residential, commercial, cable car stations and other agri-tourism attractions.

In Singapore, Web Structures’ experts have been tasked the design and supervision of circus tents for the world famous Cirque du Soleil’s Totem show in partnership with architect and M&E engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff.

TC Tan, Director of Web Structures, says: “There are three main tents, a single ...

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Sensible decision-making in football shock

Paul Lambert, new manager of Blackburn Rovers Photo courtesy of the Football League

The Rovers Trust, the official supporters trust for Blackburn Rovers, has spent almost half a decade calling to account the owners of the famous Lancashire club, challenging their decisions and calling for regime change at Ewood Park.

So it is with considerable relief we can say that, in persuading Paul Lambert to become the new manager of Blackburn Rovers, the Rao family of Pune, India, have arrived at their first proper football decision in five years.

Gary Bowyer’s promotion from within the ranks two-and-a-half years ago was at least acknowledgement from someone in charge that the crazy days of Kean, Berg and Appleton had to end.

Of course, most Rovers fans could have told the Rao family, Derek Shaw, S...

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Supporters’ trusts & local ownership are the way forward for football


A deal to secure the future of Accrington Stanley is a throwback to a once commonplace football investment story.

The Accrington Observer reports that: “Altham business What More UK has cleared £1.2m of debt and added a further cash injection of around £600,000 into the club.

“The deal means What More UK owner Andy Holt will take over a debt of almost £480,000 owed by the club, while his company would pump in more than £580,000 to pay off other creditors, with further investment to follow.

“Andy Holt said: “Let’s be clear, whatever individual, company or other entity owns the club is largely irrelevant, because this isn’t a business venture.

“Has anyone ever made a profit out of Accrington Stanley? In 50 years I will be dust blowing in the wind; hopefully our input will me...

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Preston business backs Fishergate Centre’s ambitious plans

A £25m revitalization plan for the Fishergate Shopping Centre in Preston

A £25m revitalisation plan for the Fishergate Shopping Centre in Preston

Business leaders have welcomed ambitious plans for the £25 million revitalisation of Preston’s Fishergate Shopping Centre as a major step forward in the vital regeneration of the city.

The plans, announced by centre owner Benson Elliot last month, have been greeted with widespread support.

One of the largest private sector investments in Preston’s city centre for more than two decades, the plans will create more than 250 new long-term jobs.

The redundant TJ Hughes store in the centre will be replaced with six modern shop units, a new mall linking to a feature entrance from the car park and a family-oriented leisure offer of five restaurants and a fully integrated compact cinema.

A planning application will be su...

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Why engineering is the winner in competitions

By Dr Hossein Rezai, Group Director of Web Structures

Dr Hossein Rezai, Web Structures

Dr Hossein Rezai, Web Structures

Many engineers shy away from competitions; we see the great value they bring to our practice and our profession.

It’s not just about winning them, although that helps! Taking part is important to us because it increases our knowledge and understanding and allows us to be true innovators.

Competitions enable us to work in close collaboration with leading architects across the world intensively over a relatively short period – to help enhance and realise their design concepts and to anchor them into engineering reality.

Proposed design for the Airport Control Tower, Taoyuan International Airport

Competitions are challenging – they enable us to push back the boundaries of our profession, helping structu...

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Trust the experts for export success, says WNJ

VortexLancashire engineering company Premier Hose Technologies (PHT) has ambitious plans to double export sales over the next three years as it continues at the cutting edge of carbon fibre technology.

The family-owned business, based in Clifton, near Preston, has just completed the buy-out of a minor shareholder in a deal, advised by WNJ.

Now Managing Director Nick Jeory has his sights set on growing the overseas market which already accounts for 12 per cent of business and includes markets in Europe, North America and Asia.

His company is at the cutting edge of carbon fibre technology with Patent protection on many of its industry-leading products.

It provides precision hose systems and components for the aerospace sector as well as the emergency services and the Formula 1 motorsport industry.

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Why volunteering with Samaritans makes a real difference

Nasrin Fazal, Manchester and Salford Samaritans

By Nasrin Fazal, Manchester and Salford Samaritans

Volunteers’ Week, which took place in June, is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.

It’s also a timely reminder of the vital role volunteers play in organisations like Samaritans and the continuing need we have for people to come forward.

We are currently looking for volunteers to join our team. So, what makes a Samaritans volunteer? Well, we come from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Volunteers are carefully selected, not for any paper qualifications, but for their ability to listen carefully and caringly to people with many different problems and concerns.

You don’t need any experience or qualifications, but you do need to be open- minded and non-judgemental.

To find o...

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etc urban: the dissected house

etc urban architects has completed a stunning new home in London transforming a tired 1960s bungalow into an inspired and spacious modern house.

Side elevation with cCorner staircase glazed lantern. : Modern houses by Etc Urban

Homify, a fast-growing platform for architects, interior designers and construction experts, helps customers find the right expert for their own home. Homify’s James Rippon comments on the design by architect Philip Thornton of etc urban:

“Walk along the quiet residential streets of Balham in South London and you may be lucky enough to stumble upon this striking example of a modern residential renovation. What was once a tired and dated bungalow from the 1960s is now ultra-modern and stylish, without being pretentious or boastful. Designed by etc urban, the home’s bold design comes from its simple form, using sharp clean lines and geometry to cr...

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