Tag: York

York engineering consultancy makes a splash

A York structural engineering consultancy, which has worked with top hotels in London, has taken the plunge to move into new offices to cope with increased demand for its services.

JME Consultants has seen business boom, with profits up more than fourfold in just over a year. Set up by Jack Merrett in 2019, the consultancy has just moved into new offices at Westminster Place just inside the York ring road and has recently landed its 200th project.

Clients range from home-owners to large national construction firms, and include 5 Star hotels in London, with design for swimming pools. JME Consultants have also advised large house building firms over the structure of foundations; designed the remedial works for a footbridge at Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, and designed everything from steel frames for large industrial units to straw bale and eco-friendly homes.

Jack had worked in the industry for many years, before deciding to set up his own business, with help from his wife Anna Oultram in her spare time. The company currently has one full-time employee, structural engineer Steve Margrove, with plans to take on another within the next few months. JME Consultants also uses three sub-contractors who are experts in CAD design.

“The five-year plan is to get to around ten members of staff, with the longer-term aim of having 20 to 25 staff,” said Jack.

“There is a tendency within the industry to put profit before people. We wanted to establish a business which puts people first, is realistic about workloads and operates with openness and transparency.

“It’s all about keeping standards high and treating everybody well, both clients and staff. We want to create a real collaborative atmosphere, where the people who work here don’t want to leave.”

The company has been given support, including a grant, by AD:VENTURE, which helps ambitious new businesses trading for less than three years in York, North and West Yorkshire, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Jack said: “Neither me nor Anna had run a business before. It was going really well, but we needed someone with a more holistic view. We wanted someone independent to give us advice and a nudge in the right direction, and of course you are not going to turn down funding.”

They were given a grant of about £3,600 from AD:VENTURE, which they had to match-fund, which contributed towards a specialist printer and additional software licences. But Jack says it is not just the funding that has helped.

“It’s an independent voice. They are not doing it for their own needs they are doing it to help you. You never worry that there is an ulterior motive; it’s honest and independent advice which is incredibly valuable.”

AD:VENTURE has funding and delivery partners across the Leeds City Region, including City of York Council and the region’s other eight  local authorities; the Business Enterprise Fund; the Prince’s Trust; Leeds Beckett University; West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning at City of York Council, said: “It is encouraging to see how job creation in the city can be encouraged through public sector working with the private sector to bring benefits to the city, and the wider region in terms of sustaining employment and developing skills.

“And it’s great to see that a nudge in the right direction by AD:VENTURE can pay dividends in terms of job creation in areas including sustainable construction techniques and green jobs.”

Local Wizards Looking for Hole In Wand with New Crowdfunding Campaign

Wizards-in-chiefs Phil Pinder (L) and Ben Fry (R) launch their Crowdfunder campaign to bring a new family-fun experience to York. CREDIT Frank Dwyer

After years of adding a sparkle to York’s famous Shambles with their enchanting potions, two entrepreneurs are looking to bring their magic to a new family-friendly experience in the heart of the city. And they are offering the chance to be part of making this dream a reality.

The city of York is certainly a magical place. Equally famous for its chocolate heritage as it is the plethora of ghosts and ghouls who continue to make the city their home. Now it is the turn of the witches, wizards and warlocks as two of the city’s entrepreneurs take on the challenge to bring more magic to York with their new venture – magically-infused mini-golf targeted at the family audience.

“We are so lucky to live and work in York, but when I come into town with my kids I sometimes struggle to find something that the whole family can all enjoy year-round. That’s what inspired the idea behind The Hole In Wand – an experience that all ages can enjoy and, importantly, keep returning to time and time again.”

Comments Chief Enchantment Officer Ben Fry – also known to many as the official Town Crier for the City of York.

With early concepts for the courses named Dragon’s Breath, Unicorn’s Folly and The Enchanted Forest in the works the team are already showcasing the whimsical approach The Hole In Wand will take.

The experience will open in the former premise of Patisserie Valarie, Coppergate, in early 2021 and is being designed to appeal to the city’s resident population, as well as welcoming York’s many family visitors throughout the year.

“What’s important to us is that The Hole In Wand becomes part of the everyday life of families in York. We want to be the place that families flock to as a special treat and to relax and unwind. We also want our marvellously-magical birthday parties to be the constant talk of the playground.”

Continues Ben

To bring their vision of an enchanting putting experience to life the team are looking for support from magic-fans in the community. They are aiming to raise £20,000 to bring their magic-infused dream venue for families into reality. In exchange for this support they are offering a series of special Crowdfunder offers, all with membership to their new ‘Magic Wanders’ club included.

“What we’ve done with our crowdfunding packages is to think about how we can add real value to what we are offering. From the smallest donation to our top package, everyone will be an equal member of our Magic Wanders Club. Whatever you can give you will get something spellbinding back and you will be a big part of our story.”

Added Phil Pinder, Director of Wizardry of York’s Potions Cauldron and Chair of the city’s Retail Forum.

The crowdfunding campaign will be in addition to the investment already being put forward by the enterprising duo, who have seen significant growth in their Potions Cauldron business. They now supply Hamleys of London and countless other stockists across the UK, as well as welcoming thousands of protege witches and wizards each year to their shop on The Shambles.

To pledge your support and to join the Magic Wanders club visit Crowdfunder and keep up with the progress of the campaign on Social Media using #HoleInWand.