Author: Alice Midgley

Seymour says cheers to Skelton pub completion

Seymour Civil Engineering and Barnes Construction have celebrated their respective 40th anniversaries with the completion of a ground-breaking £2m public house development in Skelton.

The Longacre is the latest pub development from Marston’s PLC, located at the newly-developed Skelton Park on Pheasant Fields Lane.

As one of only three construction companies on the Marston’s PLC framework, The Longacre is the 38th public house that Ipswich based construction company Barnes Construction has worked on in partnership with the national pub chain.

Brought in as the civil engineering contractor for the project, Seymour Civil Engineering completed the earthworks for the development, as well as laying the foundations, installing the drainage system, creating a gabion wall around the site perimeter to manage soil erosion and laying the kerbs, paving, new entrance and 50 space car park.

Sarah Jopling, Site Manager at Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “This project in partnership with Barnes Construction has been a real triumph. It was completed on time and on budget and to see the pub finished and open to the public is something both the teams from Seymour and Barnes are very proud of.

“This is a special year for both companies as we’re both celebrating our 40th anniversary. To be able to work alongside Barnes, a company that is so well respected in the industry and has been growing from strength to strength for 40 years’, is an honour.”

David Faichney, Senior Contracts Manager at Barnes Constructions Ltd, said: “This is the first time we have partnered with Seymour Civil Engineering and the company’s professionalism has ensured the project has been a real success.

“We have built up a fantastic relationship with the team we’ve worked alongside on site. We have bounced off each other perfectly, and their commitment to quality, health and safety onsite, and completing work on time has been very impressive and has made them a real pleasure to work with over the past seven months.”

The £2m invested by Marston’s PLC, has brought a family-friendly pub to the East Cleveland shopping park, as well as bringing over 45 new jobs to the area.

As one of the North East’s leading civil engineering contractors, Seymour Civil Engineering is no stranger to the East Cleveland area. Last year the firm partnered with Skelton Villages Civic Pride, Redcar & Cleveland Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund on a scheme to regenerate Skelton town centre.

Jordan Quincey, the Project Manager for the Marston’s Longacre pub development, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Longacre ready to open, and we’re exciting for next week when the doors officially open to the people of Skelton.

“Marston’s looks for sites with large infrastructure and the site at Skelton fitted the bill perfectly. Alongside the Skelton Park shopping complex, Asda supermarket, and the new Aldi store that is under construction, we felt there was a real opportunity for a family-friendly pub.”

Seymour Civil Engineering is also involved in the construction of the new Aldi supermarket on the same site, which is due to open in November 2018.

Wynyard Park recruits are blooming marvellous

WYNYARD Park has welcomed two new young green-fingered recruits.

In partnership with East Durham College, the luxury housing development in the Tees Valley has taken on the apprentices to support the grounds and maintenance team, looking after the landscaping and gardens of the Park and ensuring the site is continually kept to a high standard for residents to enjoy.

Craig Pinder, Development Manager at Wynyard Park, said: “These are the first apprentices Wynyard Park has taken on, and so far I’ve been really impressed with their progress. The warm weather has been very challenging from a landscaping perspective, but the apprentices have shown no signs of shying away, which is exactly what is needed working on a luxury development like Wynyard Park.

“There are very few housing developments of this scale in the region, and for apprentices who have a genuine interest in horticulture, working on Wynyard Park will provide them with plenty of exciting opportunities to learn and grow.

“Wynyard Park executive housing is set to grow quite substantially over the next five to ten years and it is important to us that we give opportunities to the young people in our region to join the team and be a part of this vision.

“Building strong relationships with local education providers, such as East Durham College, is a huge part of this and we are looking forward to working with the College and other educational facilities in the future.”

Hayley Clifton, Business Development Advisor at East Durham College, said: “We are thrilled to support young people across our region with finding work with businesses such as Wynyard Park. Our strong working relationship with Wynyard Park means we can offer quality apprenticeships for young people from our local area and support Wynyard Park by finding motivated, passionate apprentices.

“By fostering relationships with business like Wynyard Park, we can open up new and exciting opportunities for young people looking to take their first steps into their future career.”

Jack Wiffen, 16, and Jack Armstrong, 22, started with Wynyard Park in mid-June, settling into life at work before they start their college course in September. Both are studying for a RHS Level 2 in Practical Horticulture.

Jack Armstrong said: “We’re working as part of a team, which is responsible for the upkeep of the entire Park. Everyone’s really helpful and supportive and provides us with guidance and constructive feedback with each job we do.”

Jack Wiffen, who travels through from Spennymoor each day, said: “I love that the apprenticeship gives me the chance to cover all aspects of landscaping and maintenance. There’s a lot to be learnt and always something new to discover.

“When I was at school I spent quite a lot of time working on a friend’s farm. I enjoyed working outdoors and getting stuck in to a project, which is why I’m so pleased I have the opportunity to learn and develop a career with Wynyard Park.”

The Park is also considering taking on further apprentices in a range of areas including bricklaying and joinery.

Hartlepool businesses join forces to support local hospice

Two of Hartlepool’s leading businesses and prominent supporters of Alice House Hospice have pledged their support to this year’s Moonlight Memory Walk, one of the charity’s most popular and well established events.

Hospice patron J&B Recycling and corporate partner Seymour Civil Engineering have co-sponsored the five mile night time walk which takes place on September 8. The route leaves Hartlepool College of Further Education at 10pm and is a circuit turning round at the halfway point at Seaton Carew Golf Club.

Mark Penny, Commercial Manager at J&B Recycling, said: “J&B is incredibly proud to be able to sponsor the Moonlight Memory Walk this year. The company has been a member of the hospice’s Guild of Patrons for a number of years now, working to support the work the hospice does in the local community, which also brings benefit to both our employees and customers.”

Seymour Civil Engineering’s Lisa Gooding added: “The work of the hospice touches the hearts of so many in Hartlepool and its surrounding areas, to be able to give back to the hospice means a great deal to Seymour. A number of Seymour employees have taken part in the walk in previous years and the event is always a really good night. We’re keen to help make this year the biggest and best yet.”

Both businesses are celebrating significant business milestones, with J&B celebrating its 20th anniversary and Seymour its 40th. The two organisations are long term supporters of local hospice care and over the years have helped with funding and resources for a variety of projects.

Greg Hildreth, a fundraiser at the Hospice said “we are delighted that Hospice patients and their families can benefit from the ongoing support of these very generous businesses. Both companies have been invaluable in funding the delivery of our care services. Support such as this offsets running costs of events and helps ensure that the money raised can go straight back into helping people in need. We hope that lots of people will join us for another memorable evening.”

Entrants to the Moonlight Memory Walk will receive pre-event refreshments as well as a fantastic warm up disco from Walter Barton of Deck One and there will also be a late supper provided on completion of the walk. To register, go to or call Janice on 01429 855536 to request a paper form.

Why media relations is brutally good PR

The media, it’s everywhere! Whether it’s TV, radio, the morning paper, the monthly magazines, or articles that appear in your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn feeds, it’s what keeps you updated with what’s going on, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.


These messages that you receive through a number of means each day, they reach a large number of people and often have quite an impact on people’s thoughts and maybe even actions. So how can your business get in on the action?




Media relations involves working with the various arms of the media to keep your business’s key target audience informed and updated on what’s happening within the business and what it’s all about.


Within this guide, I’m going to cover some of the reasons why media relations is such an integral part of the communications plan for any business, and a few steps to help you prepare to take on the task.


So the obvious place to start and the question that needs answering, ‘why is media relations so important and brutally good PR?’

Well the reasons are pretty endless, but here are a few key ones for you to think over. Reasons that are important whether you’ve been in business for 5 minutes or 50 years.


You’re doing incredible things on a daily basis, incredible work that could persuade new customers to choose your business over your competitors. But they’re not going to do that if they’ve never heard of you and therefore don’t have a clue of your brilliance.


This is where media stories come in useful. They not only increase awareness of your brand and what you’re all about, they shout about the amazing work you’re doing, helping massively to build up a positive reputation.


Potential customers also want to know that you’re the best of the best and an easy way to do that is to position yourself as a business leader using the media to spread the message


Media relations isn’t just about press releases, it could be writing a feature style article that highlights your opinion as a leading one in the industry or on a particular topic, video comment, social media or simply providing an opinion that could be included within a wider discussion.


It’s important to understand a number of elements when it comes to media relations


  • The journalist


They come in all different shapes and sizes (meant more metaphorically but I guess they literally do) and all work in very different ways.


For some, time is of the essence. For those who have daily papers to fill, or a quota of stories to go online each day, a pre-written press release goes down a treat. They then have all the information and quotes they need in front of them and much-valued content.


If you ask them to carry out the interviews themselves, only providing them with the basic background information, unless your story is massive news, it’s unlikely they’ll be interested or have the time, even if they are.


Side note and shameless plug

If writing a press release for your company sounds like hell on earth, or is something you just don’t have time to do, it’s our speciality, the bread and butter of what we do for clients, day in day out.

Not only are we bloody good at it, we enjoy it, and we’re more than happy to work with you to get something written up ready for you to send out.


On the other hand, you may have journalists who would rather put the story together themselves. If this is the case, best to not just give them a press release and be done with it. Open yourself up to them as a source they can use and most importantly come back to in the future.


Best way to go about contacting journalists? Pick up the phone and have a chat. I know I know, we’re in a technical age where people don’t call one another anymore, but trust me it’s for the best. It gives you the chance to build up a rapport with the journalist, pitch your story to them, find out if it’s of interest, and if it’s not find out what you can to change it so that it is.

If you can make their life easy, they’ll remember that, and they’ll be more likely to come back to you for future work. You’ve positioned yourself as a business they can trust.


  • The publication


Again these vary massively and quite honestly, If you want to build up a relationship with these publications and prove to them that you’re a trustworthy source for them to use for stories and features in the future, you need to understand them.


Take the time to look over what they’ve covered in the past, the writing or presenting style, take note of any regular features they run that they might need support with.


All this information will help you approach them as a help, not a hindrance, and as it will be in your business, you avoid hindrances like the plagues and embrace helpers. This is the position you want to be in.



So that’s media relations in a nutshell (I could go on all day but I’m sure you’ve got lots of importance bits to be getting on with) and I’m sure you’re thinking one of two things.


Either, ‘bring it on, I’ve got this’ or ‘well that sounds horrendous, and a massive drain of my time’


If it’s the latter, absolutely no bother, that’s what we’re here for! From identifying the initial story, to writing up the press release, achieving a heap load of coverage in all your target publications, and making sure it gets in front of your target audience, we’ll take care of the whole thing.


A great example of a recent media relations project we carried out, was working with Orangebox Training Solutions, a training provider based in the North East and operating across the UK.


The company was celebrating its second birthday and Orangebox’s founder and Managing Director, Simon Corbett, came to us to work on a news release to show how far the company had come in its first 24 months, and what its plans were going forward.


After an hour-long conversation with Simon, I had all the information I needed for the story and I went away and wrote up a release, tailoring the news line to the various publications that we were targeting. A strong photo often sells a story so I made sure to also get a group photo of the team with plenty of Orangebox branding in the background to help raise awareness.


Within a matter of weeks, the story was everywhere. From some of the largest online business news platforms, such as Bdaily, BQ and Insider Media, to the key regional publications, including Teesside’s Evening Gazette and The Northern Echo and Tees Business, we made sure the story was in front of all the right people in the North East.


So I hope that’s been some insight into how to approach a media story. Of course this is our website so here’s our own shameless plug…..


Want Publicity Seekers to look after your brand and shout about your business? Talk to us today about a communications audit, social media management, content creation, video media and award submissions.

J&B Recycling recognised for its excellence in national awards

Continuing the 20th year of trading celebrations, J&B Recycling has been named the winner of the UK Excellence in Recycling Solutions Award by the Business Excellence Awards.


The awards, which are ran by Corporate Insider, are dedicated to displaying excellence across different corporate industries, and after a fantastic year which has seen J&B make significant investments across the business and achieved record financials, the judges crowned the Middlesbrough-based business the winner.


J&B Recycling’s Managing Director, Vikki Jackson-Smith, said: “The past year has been a fantastic one for J&B and to have all our hard work formally recognised on a national level by the Business Excellence Awards is amazing.


“To celebrate our 20th anniversary we’ve pushed the business to the next level by making a series of major investments, with more investment planned for the next 12 months. To know that we’re now leading the way within the UK industry, as an independently owned firm, is fantastic.”


The announcement of record financials back in 2017, along with the upgrades to its machinery, plant, and fleet, has set J&B Recycling up perfectly to continue to grow, with a vision for future acquisitions.


Vikki added: “Our future plans are ambitious, but we’re more than confident in our ability to achieve them. The future looks fantastic for J&B, we have strong line of development capital funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) behind us, and we are not limited to how much of that £2.6 billion fund we can access.


“I’m really proud that the Business Excellence Awards has named J&B the winner of the UK Excellence in Recycling Solutions award in our 20th year. I’m excited to see the company continue to develop and grow over the next 20 years, living up to our title as a recycling firm that delivers service excellence to all of our customers.”


This year’s winners also included Bank of Cyprus, Amigo Loans, IBB Builders Merchants, Smart Apprentices and Deloitte.


Arianna Smith, Head of Corporate Awards commented on the vigorous level of competition this year. “We were simply overwhelmed with the volume of nominations received for this year’s Business Excellence Awards.


“The judging panel had no easy task in selecting the winners, and I personally am very proud of each and every winner. I look forward to visiting some of the winning firms in 2019.”

Guide: Why awards are brutally good PR

At the end of last week, the team from Publicity Seekers put on our glad rags for the annual Hartlepool Business Awards. 


Put together by the Hartlepool Business Forum, the yearly event is always a fantastic evening, bringing the business community of Hartlepool together and celebrating the abundance of successes from the past 12 months. 


A fancy dinner followed by a glittering award ceremony, of which I was invited on stage as the new Hartlepool MP Mike Hill’s glamourous assistant, the evening not only highlighted the best of the best but brought to my attention the number of great businesses that are based in the town. 


And this really got me thinking, thanks to these awards I am now aware of businesses which before I had no idea existed. 


Apart from potentially getting to take home a trophy and a certificate, there are so many benefits to entering awards, awards really are great PR. 


Entering awards is a great way to show that you mean business, and an even greater way to persuade potential customers that you’re as good as you say you are. 


Not only is it free marketing that will help improve your brand awareness, a shortlisting, nomination or a win, is a brilliant 3rd party endorsement for your business and a seal of approval for your products or services and a sign of quality for your customers. 


It’s also a great way of differentiating you from your competitors, automatically setting you one step higher in the eyes of your target customers. 


  • The entering 


It’s a mixed bag with awards, some are free to enter, some have fees attached, some require you to write submissions, and others you simply put yourself forward for or are nominated for by someone else. 


The Hartlepool Business Awards are free to enter but require entrants to write a submission, touching on a number of factors suggested by the judging panel. 


This is the first and often the biggest hurdle for entrants. ‘I don’t have the time to sit and write an submission for an award’ or ‘I’m not a great writer and struggle to fit all the points needed into a concise submission.’ 


Well that’s what we’re here for. At Publicity Seekers we will do the leg work for you. After a bit of background research in to your business and the award you are wanting to enter, we’ll sit with you for an hour or so, get all the information we need, and go away to put an award winning submission together. 


And I’m not just saying that, our submissions really are award winning. A number of clients return to us year after year asking us to write submissions for a variety of different awards, and our success rate of getting clients shortlisted is through the roof. 


Here’s just a couple of examples from this year…. 


Hart Biologicals walked away from the Made in North East Awards last October with not one but two wins. They were named Manufacturer of the Year (under £25m) and Exporter of the Year 


The team at Total Recycling Awards were crowned the winners of the Best Services Provider award at the Teesside heat of the North East Business Awards in March. 


J&B Recycling are gearing up for the National Recycling Awards in June, where they are shortlisted for the efficiency award, as well as the Independent Operator of the Year. 


  • Getting shortlisted 


Getting shortlisted for an award brings with it a heap of benefits.  

It’s a fantastic opportunity to improve brand awareness and build the business or the business leader profile. 


Many awards are closely associated with a particular publication which will cover the shortlisting for its readers, and alongside this you have the opportunity to maximise PR exposure through your own platforms. Get a story up on the news section of your website, update social media, email signatures, and any other marketing materials with the finalist logo, and basically shout from the rooftops about your achievement in any way you can. 


  • The awards ceremony 


Getting shortlisted for an award often comes with a glittering award ceremony. The ceremonies themselves are a fantastic opportunity to recognise just how much the business has achieved with those who have made it possible, the team around you. Celebrating successes is great for team morale which we all know, in turns makes for happier more motivated employees. 


The awards may even be a great opportunity to woo potential clients. If you have space on your table you can invite them along for an evening of good food, good wine and all you best charm.  

They’ll walk away remembering your kindness and what a good night they had, and next time they’re looking for the services you offer, likelihood is that you’ll be the first business that springs to mind. 


But most importantly, attending an award ceremony is the opportunity to work the room. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.  

Get your business card as far and as wide as the room will allow. In my eyes there is no better way of building relationships than by attending networking events, and award ceremonies tend to be a lot bigger than your average mid-week networking breakfasts. 




If you are fortunate enough to be crowned the winner of your category then that’s bloody brilliant!  


You’ve been banging on about how good the business is for ages now, but having that brilliance recognised by someone else, so much so that you’ve beaten other businesses to the top, is one of the greatest 3rd party endorsements you could ask for. 


Award wins increase credibility, and act as a sign of quality for potential customers. Winning awards can also strengthen the relationships you have with suppliers and differentiates you from your competitors. An all-round success really. 


Award winners are also likely to receive further coverage in the publication associated with the awards or in the local/regional news. 


Some may even run pull our supplements of all the winners, a fantastic way to raise your profile and get people talking about your business. 




We’re nearing the end of this year’s awards season, but come next year I urge you to consider what being named the winner of an award could do to boost your business. 

And as always, we’re here to help. Feel free to give us a bell, we’ll be happy to discuss options and offer any advice. 


I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners from this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards, particularly our clients Seymour Civil Engineering who took home the Investment in Training award, as well as being named the Overall Business of the Year. 

Seymour lays solid foundations for 40th year with top business award

Seymour Civil Engineering kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations in style after stealing the night at this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards.

The team, who attended the glittering awards ceremony at the Hartlepool Borough Hall, celebrated a double award win picking up the Investment in Training award, closely followed by the diamond of the night, being named the Overall Business of the Year.

Karl Brennan, Pre-Construction Director at the firm, said: “It was brilliant to win the Business of the Year Award at this year’s event, especially as it is a very special year for the firm. Seymour is a Hartlepool company, which is proud to have its roots in the town, and to win this award on our 40th anniversary year is an absolutely fantastic achievement.

Over the past 12 months alone the Hartlepool based firm has carried out a diverse range of flagship projects, both within the town and across the wider North East and Yorkshire region.

Karl continued: “I am really proud to be a part of Seymour and was truly honoured to have been able to accept the trophy at the award event this year. I’m looking forward to taking it back to our head office in Hartlepool and sharing it with all the colleagues who have made Seymour what it is today and who have made winning possible.”

The Hartlepool Business Awards celebrated the successes of a range of Hartlepool based businesses in a selection of categories.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Reece Hugill, founder of Hartlepool brewery, Donzoko Brewing Company, whilst Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Rob Collier, who spearheads a group of multi-million pound businesses in the town.

It was a double win for Rob Collier, as Advanced Retail Solutions won the Service sector category, whilst Families First North East took the Community award.

The Manufacturing award went to The Expanded Metal Company, Couch Potato Films won the Creative Industries category, and the Tourism, leisure and Hospitality award went to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

After a successful year, which has seen its workforce grow from three to seven, JDM Earth Ltd was named Small Business of the Year, and Simon Corbett, Founder of Orangebox Training Solutions celebrated winning the Most Promising New Business category.

Karl Brennan from Seymour Civil Engineering, added: “Seymour is a business that doesn’t see standing still as an option. We have continuously reinvented ourselves, innovating in a number of different civil disciplines from drainage strategies and sea defences to urban regeneration schemes and historic restoration services.

“Recognising the 40th anniversary over the next few months is going to be really exciting and we have lots of celebrations planned. Yet we’re in it for the long game and our success doesn’t stop here. We are constantly looking at how we can make the next 40 years of Seymour a thriving success, pushing the business to the next level in every way possible.”

Seymour recognised for its commitment to inspiring the engineers of the future.

Seymour Civil Engineering’s passion for inspiring and nurturing future generations of civil engineers has been formally recognised, as the company was presented with the Mike Gardiner Cup at this year’s ICE North East annual dinner, for the second year running.

The Mike Gardiner Cup is an award presented to the company who has shown outstanding support of the Institute of Civil Engineers Education Programme, and has been proactive in engaging with the younger generations across the North East.

Kevin Byrne, Seymour’s Managing Director, who was presented with the cup at the ICE annual dinner at the end of April, said: “As a business we see the importance of inspiring the next generations to consider a career within the civil engineering industry and we are passionate about showcasing the industry to the engineers of the future in any way we can.

“It’s no secret that our industry is facing a pretty serious skills shortage, one that if not tackled will have a serious impact on the future of the civil engineering sector. Seymour has an apprenticeship programme that we’re incredibly proud of, that has supported young engineers into the business and has given them the grounds to really excel within the industry.

“In addition to this, we also recognise the importance of engaging with the engineers of the future as early as possible, to ensure that 13/14 year olds choosing their subjects at GCSE have all the information they need to consider a career within engineering.”

Over the past 12 months, Seymour has attended a number of interactive events across the North East, showcasing the ICE’s cable stayed bridge, an activity which gives school children the opportunity to have a go at building and dismantling a 13m span cable stayed bridge.

Kevin added: “Civil engineers design, build and maintain the world around us and make our day-to-day activities possible. Interactive activities like the cable stayed bridge reveal to younger students the impact that civil engineering has in our modern society.

“The bridge exercise has been even more impactful this year as for many of the children taking part in the activity, the construction of the Northern Spire, the cable-stayed bridge over the River Wear in Sunderland, is happening right on their doorsteps.”

As well as exhibiting at numerous events, Seymour has strong connections with a number of local schools and colleges, with employees acting as STEM ambassadors and CITB Construction ambassadors committing time and resources to attending career events, pushing the opportunities available within the engineering sector.

Taking home, the Mike Gardiner Cup has kicked started what the company hopes will be a successful awards season as it celebrates its 40th year anniversary.

Seymour Civil Engineering has made it down to the final in seven out of 14 categories, totalling nine shortlistings across all the categories, at the 2018 Construction Excellence North East awards, as well as being shortlisted in three categories, including Company of the Year, in this year’s Hartlepool Business Awards.

At the recent Civil Engineering Contractors Association North East awards, they swept the board winning Project of the Year, Going the Extra Mile Award, Health and Safety Company of the Year and Training Company of the Year.

D Day looms as businesses prepare for GDPR

GDPR, the four dreaded letters that are ruining lives up and down the country.

And why is it such a life ruiner? Cause it’s a massive ball ache that’s why!


The development of the internet over the past 20 years has totally flipped the way we communicate on its head, and as the current Data Protection Act hasn’t been updated since 1998, pre-smart phones and social media, these new regulations have been a long time coming.


With D Day, or rather G-Day, a matter of weeks away (May 25), this week the Publicity Seekers team and I have dedicated our lives to getting our heads around this absolute minefield and continued finalising new processes and policies, both for ourselves and our clients.


I’m pleased to say that we’ve got all our affairs in order and are ready to welcome GDPR with open arms, but it’s still pretty worrying to hear SME’s say ‘we’ve still got ages to sort stuff out’ or ‘I don’t think it’s going to impact us much’.


SME’s are just as much in the firing line when it comes to GDPR as UK brand giants. If anything, the repercussions of a data breach will be even more disastrous.


So what’s the impact of GDPR from a PR perspective?


Well, apart from the truly horrific fines that businesses are at risk of receiving, SME’s out there, good luck coming up trumps with a cool £17m, on top of this, if you’re company is being inspected or suffers a data breach, it’s not going to do anything for your reputation.


After the 25th May we’ll be entering a new data era, where people will have much greater expectations on how their personal information is managed and much greater rights to ask for that information to be edited or deleted all together.


And it’s not just customers or clients we’re talking about here. Its employees, suppliers, partners, any company stakeholders basically. That’s a lot of people’s information to consider.


So what have I taken away from our week of GDPR?


Well the main thing I’ve taken away is that there’s a hell of a lot to take in. It’s safe to say that by 5pm on Tuesday afternoon, my brain probably resembled a pile of scrambled egg.

What is important to remember is that GDPR isn’t and should never be seen as a tick box exercise.

In order to be compliant with the new regulations there needs to be a major shift in process and most importantly attitude of everyone within a business.


If this means running training courses to get everyone up to speed, DO IT!

If this means running regular fresher courses in the next few months, DO IT!

If it means getting a professional in to audit your systems and set you an action plan, DO IT!


Yes, preparation is time consuming and an expense to your business, but I’m sure you’d much rather this smaller expense now, than face an unpayable fine later down the line.

J&B celebrates double shortlisting for the MRW National Recycling Awards 2018

NORTH East based J&B Recycling is in line for a national award after being recognised for the exceptional work they deliver within the waste management industry.

The well-established recycling company, has been shortlisted for both Independent Operator of the Year and the Efficiency Award at the 2018 National Recycling Awards.

The annual ceremony, which brings together over 650 recycling and waste management professionals at The Hilton on Park Lane in London, is recognised as being the most respected within the industry.

J&B’s Managing Director, Vikki Jackson-Smith, said: “To be shortlisted amongst some of the biggest names in the UK’s waste management sector is an amazing achievement for the business. The past financial year has been an exceptional year for J&B Recycling. With an abundance of major investments and record financial growth, coupled with efficiency processes that have been of massive benefit to the business.’’

The shortlisting has come just weeks after the company celebrated its 20th anniversary with a series of investments made to its plant, machinery and vehicle fleet, totalling £1.3m.

“Myself and the team at J&B are incredibly proud of our existing position as the largest independent waste management firm in the North East of England. And national recognition, as J&B Recycling celebrates its 20th year of trading, would be a real honour and privilege,’’ Vikki added.

Over the past 12 months, J&B has won other prestigious awards in recognition of its hard work within the trade. Late last year the company was crowned ‘Recycling Firm of the Year’ by the International Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence Awards 2018.

With the capacity for the handling and sorting of up to 75,000 tonnes of recyclable materials per annum, the company achieved record growth for the financial year ending 2017, reporting a turnover of £15.7m.