News Updates » Uncategorized Nicky Godding News Site Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:37:09 +0000 en hourly 1 Sex, talent and creatively aren’t just in the city, they’re in the Cotswolds too Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:29:42 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Don’t make the mistake of thinking talent, creativity, excitement and sex are just in the city. They’re in the Cotswolds too.

copyright Wilts & Glos Standard

Photograph: courtesy of Wilts & Glos Standard

In March this year, BBC journalist Evan Davis reported on the growing economic gap between London and the res

t of the UK. His programme, ‘Mind the Gap’ reported that London is sucking talent from across the regions and using it to accelerate away from the rest of the country.

However, in the Cotswolds (which we consider to be Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire), this trend had already been spotted and one man, Oli Christie, founder and owner of Cirencester-based mobile games development business Neon Play, which won a Queen’s Award in 2013, was determined to do something about it.

“Viewed from our towns and cities, this area isn’t exactly known for its technical talent and I was finding it difficult to attract the skilled people I need to maintain the fast growth of my business,” he said.

“The thing is, these urbanites are blinkered. There are some amazing companies, people, venues and events here – it’s just that no one seemed to be coordinating the message and promoting this area’s true personality to the wider world. There is too little joined-up thinking going on.”

Oli found a supporter in Nicky Godding, Business Editor of Cotswold Life who was hearing the same complaint from other senior executives across the region.

“Pretty much every technology, manufacturing and creative company I talk to is worried about a lack of skills,” she said. “However, when skilled staff do relocate, they are blown away by the higher quality of life they can enjoy. Oli, who moved here from London, and his team are the proof and I’ve met dozens of exciting start-up, small and medium sized businesses as well as the big boys, and the message is the same: The Cotswolds is a cool place to live and work.”

And so Rock the Cotswolds was born.

The Rock the Cotswolds campaign is dedicated to challenging conventions, opening eyes and rocking the boat, at home and abroad, that The Cotswolds is a fantastic place to live, work and play, and isn’t populated entirely by the retired wealthy and red-trousered estate agents.

“Yes, the Cotswolds is full of honey-coloured houses sitting in picture-postcard villages, and tourists love our Roman history. We’ve also got the finest racing at Cheltenham Racecourse. We know that, and that’s great,” said Oli. “But there are companies here creating, designing and selling in some of the hottest global industries. There are hotels and restaurants that would make London blush. There are fashion labels that rock the world. And global superstars who call the Cotswolds home.”

Over the last few months The Rock the Cotswolds team has been calling in nominations for companies, people, venues and events that people wouldn’t necessarily think were located in the area.

From over 300 nominations, the Rock the Cotswolds team selected 75 people, businesses, events and venues that show how the Cotswolds rocks.

And on 6th June, at the stunning setting of Blackfriars’ Priory in Gloucester, the team is throwing a huge party to celebrate alongside 250 guests, including celebrities and the 2014 Rockers.

And next year they’ll be doing it all again.

“I passionately believe that if we show what’s really going on here, more skilled people will realised that life doesn’t stop at the M4’s Heston Services,” said Oli. “We want people in London, Birmingham, Bristol, New York, Shanghai.. to hear about Rock the Cotswolds and visit We want them to realise how much is going on. They can move here, get a fantastic job, start a company,” he added.

Now the Rock the Cotswolds team is calling for wide support. “It will take a groundswell of positive vibes, social networking and word of mouth chit-chat to keep this going,” added Oli.

 The three-man team behind Rock the Cotswolds, which includes Oli, Nicky and Melissa Ormiston, are not paid and all have day jobs. “We’re doing this because we’re passionate about the area and its potential over anywhere else in the world,” said Oli. “And we’d love Evan Davies to come down here to prove it to him.”

Visit to discover the 75 Rockers.

Follow the campaign: @rockthecotswold

Talk about the campaign: #cotsrocks

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Would you Adam and Eve it? 2 million pints, not out Mon, 07 Jan 2013 11:12:48 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> 80-year old Dot Gasson, probably Britain’s oldest working landlady, has finally decided to call last orders on a career spanning almost sixty years and well over two million pints pulled.

Diminutive Dot, who is barely 5’ tall, has presided over the bar at the Adam and Eve, Townsend Street, Cheltenham, for 35 years. She began working at the pub in 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, taking over as licensee a year later.  1977 was the also the year that Red Rum won his record third Grand National, Star Wars was released at the Cinema … and Dot married husband Brian.

The Adam and Eve is the local for many postal workers at the main Cheltenham sorting office, just around the corner and this Friday evening (14th December) many of them will be bringing a large celebration cake to the pub to wishing Dot and Brian a First Class retirement.

Dot was born at Beckford, Gloucestershire in 1932 and took over her first pub, The White Lion, in Winchcombe in 1958. “Back then it was a proper pub,” she says. “Now it’s a bit posh.”

A great grandmother, she has four children, two sons and a daughter live in Gloucestershire and another daughter lives in Cyprus, but she hasn’t had time for a holiday for 20 years.

James Arkell at pub owners Arkell’s Brewery, which bought the pub off Whitbread in 1991, presented her with a leaving gift and a bunch of flowers almost bigger than she is.   He said: “When we bought the pub we didn’t realise that the jewel in its crown was Dot.   Ever since she took over she’s been wonderful. The rest of the world has gone around and back but life hasn’t changed at The Adam and Eve. Dot has been a wonderful landlady and Arkell’s has been truly lucky to have her.”


When asked what her best memories of her life at the pub have been, Dot really can’t pick out one above the other. “It’s been a very happy pub,” she said. “I really can’t think of a time when it hasn’t been.”


Dot isn’t planning on sitting down when she finally pulls her last pint. “I’d like to do some charity work,” she said.



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Welcome to 2013 Mon, 07 Jan 2013 11:06:02 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Welcome to 2013. For some of my clients, the year is already shaping up to be a good one. For other clients, it’s still a tough market where every bit of progress has to be fought for.

However, all of them are looking forward not back and that’s the key ingredient in making progress.

For the wider economy, it depends on who you talk to as to whether Europe is recovering from the recession, or about to plunge even deeper into the next one, and let’s face it – nobody really knows what will happen. The construction industry is still nervous – some say they think the worst is yet to come. Other construction companies are more positive.   Retail will continue to have a very tough time and manufacturing also – though it’s a pleasure to hear of manufacturing companies who are bringing their business back to Europe as costs in the Far East escalate to near-Western European levels. I’m an optimist by nature and my view is that it’s not what industry you are in, it’s your approach that will determine whether or not your business will succeed.

If you are professional, positive and permanently planning where your business is going (I love alliteration), you’ll be OK.

Nicky Godding

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CPRE responds to dismissal of Ecotricity’s Berkeley Vale Wind Farm appeal Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:01:13 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> CPRE response to the dismissal of Ecotricity’s Berkeley Vale Wind Farm appeal

CPRE’s Gloucestershire branch has welcomed the Inspector’s decision to refuse permission to build four 120 metre wind turbines in the Berkeley Vale.

In his Appeal Decision, Richard Thomas, the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said he agreed with the view of Stroud District Council and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) that the proposed development would impact much more on the surrounding area than Ecotricity had indicated.

Given the high landscape sensitivity of the area, which lies within the setting of the Cotswolds AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and Stinchcombe Conservation Area and to other heritage assets, he said: “I consider that the cumulative harm is of such magnitude that it outweighs the benefits of the proposal.”

CPRE Gloucestershire Vice Chair, Richard Lloyd, who gave evidence at the Appeal Inquiry said: “In reaching a decision whether or not to build such a wind farm, a balance has to be struck between the value a wind farm brings to the community and the impact on that same community. The Berkeley Vale Wind Farm proposal was for four 120-metre wind turbines, only marginally lower than the towers of the first Severn Crossing. CPRE’s view, which the Inspector shares, is that this would have a huge and negative visual impact on the surrounding communities.

“The benefits of the proposal in terms of producing renewable energy also have to be weighed against the significant harm that the proposal would cause to the setting of and views from the Cotswold AONB and we are pleased that the Inspector acknowledged this in his ruling. The AONB is an important national asset, drawing tourism revenues into the area and its conservation is accorded great weight in planning policy.

Although we support renewable energy technologies, this is a very welcome decision which we hope will encourage a more sensitive approach to turbine location in Gloucestershire and elsewhere.”

CPRE Gloucestershire – notes for editors

CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is a charity which promotes the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England. It advocates positive solutions for the long-term future of the countryside. Founded in 1926, it has a branch in every county. 

Why is CPRE Gloucestershire’s view relevant?

Over a third of Gloucestershire’s countryside remains unprotected. CPRE has been standing up for the countryside for over 80 years. Unlike many environmental charities, CPRE has no vested interests; the organisation owns no land and relies solely on donations and grants.   It is politically independent. CPRE is concerned with land use across England, urban as well as rural. Its campaigning is evidence-based, reasoned and authoritative. Many CPRE members nationally and in Gloucestershire are experts in the planning system at all levels, local, regional and national.

 PR contact: Nicky Godding, Nicky Godding Communications, Glebe Farm House, The Street, Daglingworth, Cirencester, Glos GL7 7AE. Tel/Fax: 01285 653006.   email:,.  Mobile: 0 7966 510401

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Investors fly to sustainable rental values. Thu, 26 Apr 2012 16:07:53 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Investors are not flying to prime, but to sustainable rental values, according to a panel of investors at this year’s ICSC European Conference in Berlin. Risk-averse investors are also concentrating on core European markets.

Those who are still investing prefer to invest through joint ventures or club deals rather than through the ‘fund’ model that was so popular before the crisis. This is because investors want fewer partners and more control with their investments.

According to Anne Kavanagh, Global Head of Asset Management at AXA Real Estate, the fund model hasn’t recovered from the crisis.  She added: “Retail requirements are changing and shrinking in some cities, while expanding into other areas. We are looking at those trends and being careful in our decision making.”

The important point is where retailers want to be. The panel, moderated by real estate researcher and writer, Andrea Carpenter, pointed out that Investment follows retail trends, and investors’ money goes to towns and cities where there is a demand but with the growth of ecommerce, the number of cities where retailers want to be located in is fewer. Despite this, Kavanagh says that AXA is planning to boost its retail investment by 50% over the next year.

Investors are taking a much more active role in selecting their investments, according to Dr Frank Billand, board member of Union Invest, Germany.  “Interior design of assets will have to change to reflect changing consumer behaviour.  All our operators and managers play an active role in managing our assets and have responsibility to manage the change.”

But retail real estate is still a very good investment, according to Billand.  “When my investors question such a large single investment, I say: ‘Why? There are 80 tenants with that investment.”  His problem is finding the right product for such investments as development has slowed.

Matthias Boning, CEO of mfi management fur immobilien, agreed. He said: All investors are not only more careful but they have a higher level of knowledge to make the right decisions.”

For Eric Donnet, Managing Director and COO of AEW Europe, raising equity is difficult as investors are much more selective and opportunities that match that are fewer, particularly with new developments.

However, with fewer developments going ahead, the market is stabilising as there is no risk of oversupply, and for companies such as AXA Real Estate, this opens the opportunity for a strategic programme of refurbishment of existing shopping centres. Anne Kavanagh said: “We can invest equity in upgrading centres we own, confident in the fact that new developments won’t happen or have been shelved.”


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Department stores must reinvent to survive. Thu, 26 Apr 2012 16:03:07 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Department stores need to reinvent themselves to survive, according to three quarters of delegates at the annual ICSC European Conference in Berlin.  Only 5% of the 550 conference delegates, thought the exiting format could be sustained.

The department store format was born out of the industrial revolution, the invention of steel-framed architecture and the rise of the middle class who could afford to shop in them.   Fast-forward 150 years, the birth of shopping centres and it’s not surprising their relevance is now being questioned.  However, experienced department store specialists consider this star could be rising again.

Speaking at a panel session on department stores at the ICSC Conference, John Scott, Head of International Business Development for Debenhams, the second largest department store company in the UK and with 67 stores across Europe and the Middle East, wants to double the number of stores outside the UK in the next five years, but says the format must change to meet changing consumer demands.

“The future is likely to be smaller, more flexible, convenient and embrace technology,” he said.

For Lauri Veijalainen, Development Director for Finland’s Stockmann, which has stores across Finland, the Baltics and Russia and turned over 2 billion Euros last year, downtown stand-alone stores work best.  “Convenient parking is a must,” he said, citing Russia’s chaotic traffic systems.

A relative newcomer to the department store industry is Turkey-based TKM.  Just 60 years’ old, TKM has 65 department stores.   Nusim Oral, director of TKM, said: “Department stores can no longer offer everything under one roof.   Our slogan was ‘Everything to everyone’.  Now it’s ‘Choose yourself’.  But it was the growing shopping centre industry in Turkey that gave impetus to the Turkish department store.


She said: “People want to mix and match brands to reflect their personalities. A department store fashion customer can understand a whole season’s fashion in one visit.”


Department stores are failing to reinvent themselves because of cost, says Debenham’s Scott. “We have spent most of our money in the UK in the last few years on renovation, and it’s paying off.”


Some say department stores must shake off their ‘middle aged’ image. Scott disputes this view.   “Our average customer is women aged 25-45 with children.   We are a mid market department store and she is the biggest spending customer out there.”


50% of Turkey’s population is under 25, and TKM is working on the 25-35 age range as they will be starting families and will be customers for longer – though Oral points out that the younger customers have more disposable income.


The unique selling point for department stores will always be exceptional customer service, according to Veijalainen – a concept which is talked about a lot, but which is more difficult for shopping centres to deliver with continuity.









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Alexander Otto announced ICSC’s new European Chair Thu, 26 Apr 2012 15:56:42 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Alexander Otto, Chief Executive Officer at ECE has been announced as Chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) European Advisory Board. The ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping-centre industry.

Alexander Otto, one of Europe’s top real estate professionals, succeeds Marcus Wild, CEO at SES Spar European Shopping Centres who has led the organisation successfully for three years through the most challenging economic environment of the industry’s history.

Alexander Otto: “I am looking forward to this new challenge and am very honoured to succeed Marcus Wild who has done a great job as ICSC’s European chairman over the past three years.”

Otto defined the following major targets for ICSC during the next years: “We need to continue our efforts to turn ICSC into a truly international platform in order to meet the needs of a globalised industry. Transparency becomes more and more important. Defining standards for shopping centres and collecting und publishing data about the European shopping centre industry should therefore be a focus of ICSC’s research. Last but not least it is vital for the organisation to speak with “one voice” and to strengthen the cooperation with the EU.”

After nearly 12 years at the helm of ECE, Alexander Otto has built the company to be one of Europe’s most successful real estate businesses, continuing to grow despite the global financial turmoil. At the height of the crisis, the company not only fulfilled its financial obligations but started new investments and developments of around one billion Euros.

Mike Kercheval, ICSC President & CEO, welcomed the new Chair.   He said: “We are delighted that Alexander Otto is taking over the Chair for ICSC Europe. Members will benefit from his unparalleled knowledge which will build on the achievements of Marcus Wild as ICSC widens its reach across Europe and globally.”

Marcus Wild added: “The way we use technology and the nature of knowledge in general is changing but networking remains a key part of the equation. Different people are using technology to do new, truly exciting things. And networking helps people connect to productivity, connect to innovation, connect to entertainment, and, most importantly, connect with each other. I am sure Alexander’s dynamic leadership and passion will succeed in creating a bright, advanced and networked future for ICSC and its members.”


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National Trust Director General to give keynote Glos speech Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:54:04 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE)’s Gloucestershire Branch has announced that the Director General of the National Trust, Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, will give the keynote speech at its AGM in on 11th July at Stowell Park by kind permission of Lord Vestey.

Fiona has also agreed to be a Vice President of CPRE Gloucestershire, the local branch of the 86-year old national charity that promotes the beauty and diversity of rural England and seeks to secure the long-term future of the countryside.

Chairman of CPRE Gloucestershire Charlie Watson is delighted that the organisation has attracted such a high profile speaker: “Dame Fiona personally drove the National Trust’s campaign against the Government’s plans to make it easier for developers to build on the countryside. She has led the National Trust for 11 years and during her time membership has grown significantly, along with visitors to National Trust properties.”

Charlie added: “Her objectives for the countryside fit well with those of our members and we look forward to hearing her views, especially at a time when she may feel able to speak more broadly as she nears the end of her tenure at the National Trust to become Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.”

CPRE Gloucestershire is currently involved in campaigning on a number of issues, including proposed wind turbines  in the Severn Vale close to the escarpment of the Cotswolds and the potential scale of development of a proposed waste incinerator at Javelin Park.

Last month following its review of the Joint Core Strategy, an initiative of Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils, CPRE Gloucestershire criticised its out of date housing and jobs projections. Charlie added: “We welcome the decision by these three councils to work together, but their current projections for housing and jobs need re-examining as they are based on past trends, not well-researched future forecasts.

“Over a third of the Gloucestershire countryside remains unprotected.   We have to ensure that it doesn’t fall prey to inappropriate and indiscriminate and unrecoverable development. The support of Dame Fiona Reynolds will undoubtedly help.”

The CPRE Gloucestershire AGM is open to members only. To become a member of this vibrant and active organisation, contact the Gloucester Office of CPRE on 01452 309783 or email


CPRE Gloucestershire – notes for editors

CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is a charity which promotes the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of rural England. It advocates positive solutions for the long-term future of the countryside. Founded in 1926, it has a branch in every county.


Why is CPRE Gloucestershire’s view important?


Over a third of Gloucestershire’s countryside remains unprotected. CPRE has been standing up for the countryside for over 80 years. Unlike many environmental charities, CPRE has no vested interests; the organisation owns no land and relies solely on donations and grants.   It is politically independent. CPRE is concerned with land use across England, urban as well as rural. Its campaigning is evidence-based, reasoned and authoritative. Many CPRE members nationally and in Gloucestershire are experts in the planning system at all levels, local, regional and national.


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Not just here for the beer Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:52:26 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> More than 100 people turned out for this year’s Arkell’s Publican’s Information day at the brewery in Swindon.  One man was so keen not to miss it that after a hard day’s work in London he drove straight to the brewery rather than heading home.

Another, Jenny Hull who lives in Cirencester, said now her children are grown up, it was something she wants to discover more.   She added: “Some pubs are closing down, but that hasn’t put me off – rather I think what are they doing wrong that I could do better?”

Brewery director George Arkell spent the afternoon talking through the nuts and bolts of running a pub with visitors. He said: “Running a pub is an opportunity and a challenge.  Customers want more and tenants can turn the old-fashioned pub into a broader business.


“Practically all pubs have multiple income-generating opportunities.  Selling beer and food is just the start.   Our pubs can offer take-away service, host events, some have bed and breakfast and even hard standing for caravans too.”

Some attending the event said they had money to invest, but wanted a better understanding of what the business was all about.


“Like setting up any other small business, a prospective publican needs investment plus working capital,” said George. “But the benefits of running a pub owned by a family-brewery is that you are not alone.   We maintain the building and give our tenants as much support as they need – and there are not layers of managerial bureaucracy to battle through – it’s just us, so decisions can be made fast.”


Late year Arkell’s purchased a community pub and a hotel on one of Wiltshire’s most historic towns.  The brewery currently has five tenancies available across its estate of pubs, and as soon as a tenancy is available it is posted onto the Arkell’s website and announced on Arkell’s Facebook page.  Those seeking early information about pub tenancies can have their details added to the brewery’s e-alert system.

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Stanley Mann wins appeal on 1930s Bentley Speed Six Wed, 07 Mar 2012 14:17:15 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> STANLEY MANN WINS APPEAL

Car Dealer and vintage Bentley expert Stanley Mann of Radlett Hertfordshire today won his appeal in the Court of Appeal against a judgment handed down by HH Judge Anthony Thornton last October.

Mr Mann, regarded as the leading Dealer in Vintage Bentley cars, was sued by Mercedes Travis Brewer, an American lawyer, following the purchase by her of a 1930 Bentley Speed Six, a car generally acknowledged as one of the finest vintage cars ever made. Mrs Brewer, having purchased from Mr Mann using finance, fell into arrears and sought redress from Mr Mann when a leading auction company mistakenly undervalued the car when she came to sell it.

She alleged that the car sold to her was not as described and could not be called a Speed Six as it did not have an original Speed Six engine (among other allegations), a fact about which there was much argument.

Although Mr Mann’s case was that he had advised her that the engine was up to Speed Six specification, and she knew the engine to be non-original when she made the decision to buy, Mrs Brewer pursued a claim for damages.

The case raised important issues about the identity of a car related to its recorded history and provenance.

Mr Mann said outside Court, “I am very pleased with the outcome. The Court of Appeal’s decision has vindicated me. This is a good day for the Historic Car business and indeed, had the flawed judgment of HH Judge Thornton been allowed to stand, the implications for the entire antiques market would have been immense”

For a summary or a full transcript of the Judgment, view on line case of Mercedes Travis Brewer –v- Stanley Mann, at

Editors Note

Stanley Mann has been the acknowledged expert, enthusiast and leading dealer in Vintage Bentleys for more than 40 years. Racing and rallying such cars all over the world, Mr Mann has achieved significant success for both himself and his clients, who include film stars, sports stars, captains of industry, and TV personalities among many others.

Vintage Bentleys were produced in Cricklewood between 1919 and 1931, by a small company headed by W.O. Bentley, a designer revered still throughout the automotive industry. In just ten years of existence, the factory won the LeMans 24 hour race no less than five times, and became so successful that other manufacturers refused to compete against them. They specialised in “Fast Gentlemen’s Sports Cars”, but also made grand carriages capable of speeds in excess of 100mph in complete silence. It was the introduction of their greatest machine, the 8 litre (the successor to the Speed Six), that persuaded Rolls Royce to purchase the company in 1931.

Michael Grenfell of Wilmots Litigation is the lawyer in charge and his cases have formed precedents in the High Court and Appeal Courts. He advises leading Auction Houses, dealers and individuals on selling, buying and determining the provenance of cars, nationally and internationally. This includes the detection of fraudulent histories.

This is a landmark case in determining what a dealer has to do to satisfy a buyer as to originality, authenticity, provenance and continuous history of a classic car (or indeed an antique or a painting etc) when selling it to a member of the public.

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