Yeovil Chamber News Articles Copyright 26th Feb 2020 - 00:04 by Yeovil Chamber <![CDATA[Fire Health and Safety advisor]]> Ian Smith of Hallmarque Associates recently moved to the area bringing with him a wealth of professional advice and experience and can offer a consultancy service for both Fire Safety and Health and Safety.

A personal approach, Ian provides bespoke work and Training for all size of Organisations.

Over the 15yrs Ian’s clients include Bluechip, SME, Start-up, Charities, Gov departments taking him across the Globe, a 21yr career in the Fire Service and 10yrs RN qualified to Degree level .

Ian can help with Risk Assessment, NEBOSH and IOSH courses in association with South West Training ltd.

Contact for an initial FREE consultancy and see how Ian can make a difference   Email


<![CDATA[New Year, new promotion for family specialist at Battens Solicitors]]> Battens Solicitors are praising the work and devotion of family law specialist, Gareth Bishop. In recognition of his dedication to his clients and to Battens, Gareth has been promoted from Associate to Senior Associate.

Gareth joined Battens as a trainee Solicitor in 2010 and qualified with Battens in September 2012, working in the family department for 8 years. In his years of working in the family team, Gareth became a member of the Law Society Children Panel in 2015. The accreditation is a nationally recognised hallmark of quality that Guardians and other professionals can seek out when specialist representation is needed for children in difficult private disputes or care proceedings. Gareth’s focus is working with families where the local authority has become involved and provide advice and assistance where social services have issued, or are going to issue, court proceedings. Since becoming a member of the Law Society Children Panel Gareth has specialised in representing children in court proceedings, with a particular focus on cases involving serious harm caused.

Gareth said: “It is an absolute honour to have received this promotion as recognition of my hard work and commitment to Battens and the clients I work with. As a firm, Battens has a very supportive and nurturing approach to those starting out their legal career. Working in the family team comes with its challenges given the work we undertake, but as the leading lawyers in the area it is a pleasure to carry on with the excellent work we do.”

<![CDATA[December edition of Yeovil Press OUT NOW!]]> THE December 2019 edition of the FREE Yeovil Press community newspaper is available NOW for people to pick-up from various outlets in and around Yeovil.

The independent monthly publication – produced by Steve Sowden – is packed with LOCAL news, features and photos. Steve is now already looking ahead to 2019 and if any business would like to get involved with Yeovil Press with regards advertising and possible related editorial, please get in touch with him at . He offers very competitive prices when it comes to advertising and has recently increased his monthly print-run from 3,000 copies to 5,000 copies.

The Yeovil Press is available to be picked-up for FREE from the main Tesco store in Yeovil town centre (downstairs by the community noticeboard next to the entrance/exit and upstairs by the Hospital Charity stand on the entrance/exit at the top of the escalators); Morrisons store (by the exit); Octagon Theatre (reception area); Westlands Entertainment Venue (reception area); Yeovil Library; Jupiter Moon; Symonds & Sampson; Palmers Garden Centre; A Touch of Glass; No5 Café/Diner; Quicksilver Mail pub, Tesco Express on Abbey Manor; Tesco Express in Cavalier Way; Co-op store on Westfield estate; Co-op store/garage in Sherborne Road; A Touch of Glass; Yeovil Town Council offices; South Somerset District Council offices; St Margaret’s Hospice Furniture Store; Montacute Garage; Co-op store near Stanchester Academy at Stoke-sub-Hamdon; West Coker Garage.

The future is LOCAL printed news – you heard it here first!

<![CDATA[Battens Solicitors’ Residential Specialist receives key promotion]]> Battens Solicitors, one of the South West’s largest law firms, is celebrating the achievements of one of its Residential Property Specialists, Ross Siviter.

In recognition of his dedication to his clients and to Battens, Ross has been promoted from Associate to Senior Associate. Ross joined Battens’ Residential Property Team in July 2017, quickly becoming a popular and valuable member of staff. Ross deals with all types of property transactions including buying and selling freehold and leasehold properties, newbuild and shared ownership transactions, transfers of equity and remortgages plus more complex matters involving parcels of land in the Yeovil office.

David Stephens, Chairman at Battens Solicitors said: “Ross has been a great asset to the Residential Property Team and I am delighted to announce his promotion.” Ross said: "I am really thrilled to have been promoted to the position of Senior Associate since taking over the running of the Yeovil Residential Team. Battens is a firm that really supports and promotes career progression and looks to achieve the best from its staff. I feel very honoured to have been given this opportunity and look forward to the future success of our well established Residential Team."

<![CDATA[Local business sponsors emergency defibrillator after IT Manager’s cardiac arrest]]> A local company has decided to mark their 10th anniversary of trading with the sponsorship of a communal emergency defibrillator which will be accessible 24/7. With help from other companies on the Woodlands Court Business Park and from friends and families, the company, Scan Film or Store, hope to raise £2,000 for the provision of this life saving equipment.

The project has been inspired by real life drama when Sophie Popplewell, the IT Manager at the company, suffered a cardiac arrest last November whilst at home. She was 28 at the time with a 2 year old daughter. Luckily her husband was at home and gave Sophie CPR for 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived and they used a defibrillator to shock her heart. She was taken to the Bristol Heart Hospital where her family were told that she had a 50% chance of surviving. Sophie was in a coma for 3 days and then spent another two weeks in hospital before being fitted with a permanent implantable defibrillator to prevent another arrest happening. Luckily Sophie made a full recovery but no cause was ever found.

Sophie said “ A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, at any age and very often to healthy people with no known heart problems or risk factors. The chance of surviving an out of hospital cardiac arrest are 8%. If defibrillated within the first minute of collapse, the victim’s chances of survival are close to 90% but for every minute defibrillation is delayed survival rates decrease by up to 10%. I was so lucky that my husband was calm enough to take instruction from the 999 operator as he had never done CPR before otherwise I would not be here today” .

Sophie’s company is championing the fund raising for the provision of this life saving equipment which will be available to all of the new and existing businesses on the Woodlands Court Business Park on the Bristol Road 24 hours a day. To date over £500 has been raised for the equipment which will be fitted prominently to the outside of the Scan Film or Store offices (opposite the DPD building).

If you would like to contribute to this life saving equipment please go to the crowdfunding page

Contact Mark Yates @ SFS ltd 01278 450500 or

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat – w/c 15th November]]>

President's Heartbeat – 15th November 2019

There are a large number of manufacturing & engineering businesses dotted around the four Yeovil Business Parks, quietly creating success stories.  This is the manufacturing and engineering backbone of Yeovil; the 200-year legacy of ‘making things’ in Yeovil, employing 12,000 people, and making up 20% of the Yeovil workforce.  Business success is always to be celebrated, but if any success is coupled with a lack of ‘connection’ to the location of the business, and a primary customer base which has developed away from Yeovil, any success relative to the Yeovil economy can be-short-lived if a decision is made by such a business to relocate closer to its primary customer base.  I have recently met several owners and decision-makers of Yeovil-based manufacturers who know alarmingly little of the economic regeneration projects, joined-up thinking, infrastructure investment, and the rejuvenation of the town centre retail sector.

To encourage these businesses to feel part of a larger success story, and in response to a call from Garador MD Neil Discombe asking: “Garador is looking to network with local manufacturing plants for best practice sharing, would you be able to help?” Yeovil Chamber put together a working party comprising South Somerset District Council, Garador, Leonardo Helicopters and Porter Dodson Solicitors to resolve these two issues.  The appetite for action was clearly demonstrated at the 14th November launch meeting at Leonardo Helicopters (pictured), which saw twenty manufacturing leaders & decision-makers from across Yeovil, Crewkerne and Chard around the table, discussing the way forward.  Also involved at the launch were South Somerset District Council economic regeneration managers, Yeovil College employer engagement officers, and Inspire Biz, a HOTSW LEP-contractor promoting funding streams to scale-up businesses.  This wider representation is offering further support to Chamber and the fledgling group, tentatively labelled M-Hub.

The mood in the room at the 14th November launch, was to create tangible, long-term benefit to the manufacturing sector as soon as possible, and a clear two-point aim has already emerged: (a), to create a network of manufacturing businesses from across the Yeovil area of influence, sharing best practices and experiences, on an open agenda of cooperation, and (b), to create and develop supply-chain opportunities for all.  The initiative will be sector-specific; run by those who engage, for those who engage, but will be open to all businesses who ‘make things’, and form part of Yeovil Chamber’s business support package.  Feedback from break-out sessions at the launch meeting will fuel the agenda for a follow-up meeting at Garador, scheduled for 9th December.

(Image credit: Leonardo Helicopters)

CLICK HERE to discover membership benefits and to join Yeovil Chamber

<![CDATA[HUSBAND AND WIFE DUO GRADUATE TOGETHER AT THE 2019 YEOVIL COLLEGE UNIVERSITY CENTRE GRADUATION]]> Yeovil College celebrated the recent achievements of their University Centre Graduates with a formal ceremony at Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil on Friday 25 October.

This year also saw a husband and wife graduate together, with the same qualification and same employer. Studying the Diploma in Education and Training at the Yeovil College University Centre, Paul and Kerrie Homewood have supported one another through periods of studying, night classes and assignment deadlines. However, they succeeded and last Friday they had that incredible moment of celebrating together in front of their families. Kerrie, who is a Study Programme Manager in Social Work at Yeovil College, said: “The journey has not been an easy one but it has been a unique experience having one another as the perfect study partner. Not many people can say they graduated on the same day as their partner, and for that reason it will always remain an extra special day to us.” Paul, a Lecturer in Motor Vehicle at Yeovil College, said: “It was great to have someone close to me on the very same course as we became study partners and could help each other when it came to assignments and exams. Even if at times we were slightly competitive over who could get the best marks or finish first!”

Friends, family and special guests including guest speaker Marcus Fysh MP, the Mayor of Yeovil David Recardo and various other local councillors joined together to watch the students graduate from a wide range of different qualifications including Honours Degrees, Foundation Degrees, Diplomas, Professional Certificates and Postgraduate qualifications. There was an abundance of subjects represented including Media, Business & Management, Health Care and Early Years, English and a variety of branches within Engineering.

The two student speakers Clare Johnston and David Dummackin gave inspirational speeches about their personal journeys throughout their time studying at the Yeovil College University Centre. David Dummackin, graduate in Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Childhood Studies, Care and Education from the University of Gloucestershire (studying locally), and 2019 award winner said: “Due to the outstanding teaching, I now feel confident enough to take on a masters which last year I would never have done! Sometimes personal struggles occur within a year and for me it’s been a really challenging couple of years: mental health problems, illnesses, full-time work being a husband and father and struggling to fit everything in. The thing you realise when you do speak is its very common and the support out there is excellent and people really do help you. This year I had the support of so many people: family, college, peers and professionals because I spoke to someone; it’s ok to not be ok. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful, find what you love, do it every day and make a difference.”

CEO and Principal Mark Bolton said: “We believe that the right university-level education opens doors and changes lives. We work tirelessly with our local business community to ensure what we deliver, and how and when we deliver it, hits the mark to create a more capable and prosperous community for the benefit of all. We see our graduates secure their dream jobs and careers every year, inspiring us and their peers to be the best we can; I love what it does for our learners.”

Peter Thomas, Chair of the Yeovil College Corporation “The stars of the show get the headlines and they deserve to, but they couldn't do it without all the support, knowledge, faith and love of others. Graduates you are the stars of today's show. Yeovil College exists so that students can succeed. That is not only its primary purpose; it is its only purpose.”

The ceremony ended with 4 special awards, these were handed out to 4 individuals who had excelled in their field of study and went above and beyond to achieve their qualification: - The Wayne Minter Award for Excellence: Ashley Crowdie - The Outstanding Trainee Teacher Award: Brian Lee - The Harry Livingstone Award for Management Excellence: Louise Veiga - Yeovil College University Centre Outstanding Achievement Award: David Dummackin

100% of mature students agreed that their course at Yeovil College has challenged them to achieve their best work’ and 99% of students feel that Yeovil College is a safe place to learn.

Full list of Yeovil College University Centre Graduates: Jessica Chamberlain, Harry Hawkins, Ellie Hinds, Clare Johnston, Adam Kember, Robert Lydford, Steven Oliver, Katy Peck, Louise Veiga, Gregory Wright, Merryn Chestney Perkins, Charlotte Cole, Amy Cooper, David Dummackin, Jasmine Forster, Molly Foster-Grellis, Rebecca Garrod, Hannah Jeffery, Sylwia Kersley, Kennedy McCarthy, Jade Sealy, Catherine Whitehead, Laura Yeomans, Matthew Fisher, Antonia Villafane, Caroline Manson, Warren Aplin, Gemma Bonning, Georgina Brooks, Suzanna Coleman, Alison Enticott, Keith Howe, Dawn Howell, Rachael Lark, Gemma Lawrence, Karen Paxton, Catherine Pennells, Susan Read, Jamie Shurmer, Jonathan Staple, Raymond Tostevin, Matthew Wilkinson, Leeza Willcox, Jennie Workman, Danielle Damen, Louise Dowding, Bethany Gore, Amanda Horne, Andrew Morgan, Katelan Hathaway, Charlotte Norton, Emma Swithenbank, Yung Fun Tsang, Sandrine Bennett, Laura Collis, Chloe Griffiths, Paul Homewood, Paula Judge, Brian Lee, Leah O'Brien, Elly Otieno, Kerrie Robertson, Karen Savill, David Smith, Amanda Winnall, Sam Day, Carol Hosking, Paula Golding, Samantha Oak, Jacqueline Wayland, Angela Brooker, Nicky David, Fiona Rigby, Yasmin Denne, Naomi Astington, Charlotte Beale, Georgina-May Boyer, Callum Buckler, Emma Cable, Megan Cass, Charlie Dymock, Ruken Isiktas, Sarah Lebese, Beth Margrett, Holly Meaden, Jane Painter, Ella Pittard, Rochelle Roberts, Emily Rose, Kirsteen Shawdale-Mabon, Naomi Simmons, Sophie Speed, Abigail Strong, Tiffany Thompson, Rhiannon Walls, Danielle White, Curtis Coulson, Krystina Harbor, Sophie Middleditch, Caleb Munks, Jack Surmon, Benjamin Tizzard, Rachel Willcox, Abdullah Alomran, Christopher Gaylard, Victoria Phylosofou, Elle Westwood, Nikita Lester, Emma Stryker, Rhys Tucker, Benjamin Dew, Alan Lovell, Liam Mortimore, Luke Murphy, Jack Naughton, Jacob Ollis, Paul Richardson, Jake Tatchell, Hubert Wisniewski, Lauren Calway, Ben Card, Matthew Johnson, Jake Lamb, Harry Minchington, Savannah Studley, Joe Taylor, Ryan Cox, Charlie Watkins, Henry White, Gabriella Ball, Courtney Appleby, Christopher Garnett, Jessica Jeffery, Joseph Kember, Holly Reeves, Ashley Crowdie, Matthew Baghurst, Sarah Harvey, Jade Legg, Thomas Woods

<![CDATA[Leading law firm cycles 200km around Somerset and Dorset, raising over £5,000 for RNLI]]> Sometimes a challenge can seem unattainable, but Porter Dodson’s riders were determined not to let this one beat them!  Led by experienced riders, Stephen Wray and Phil Stocker, both of whom have completed Land’s End – John O’ Groats (LEJOG), their team of 11 colleagues – ranging in age from 27 to 60 – were nervously chomping at the bit when they set out from the firm’s Wellington office in the dark at 6:20am on Thursday 5th September.

Their goal? To cycle almost 200 kilometres around Somerset and Dorset in a day, visiting each of the Firm’s nine locations, to raise money for the RNLI. Their target was £3,000, so they were delighted when their final total weighed in at well over £5,000. Apart from the two leaders and one other experienced cyclist, none of the riders had completed more than half of the planned distance in a day before they started training.

Conditions were good and the team arrived at the firm’s Bridport office earlier than expected, where the Bridport News was waiting with local businesses to see them complete the first leg of their ride. After a brief pit-stop to refuel (there was cake aplenty!) the cyclists set off for Poundbury, where friends, family and colleagues were waiting excitedly as if expecting a royal visit! 

Dorchester and Sturminster Newton were quickly crossed off the list, with an on-time arrival of 4:30pm at the Sherborne office, where a welcoming committee waited expectantly in front of the Abbey.  By this time, muscles were aching and a few were questioning the sanity of the team – including some of the riders themselves!  Fortunately, Dave Hooper of Synergy Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy was on hand to give massages and ensure everyone was fit to continue, riding with them to motivate them for the remainder of the route. 

Onwards to Yeovil, where crowds of co-workers stood outside both offices to welcome the riders.  Being one of the larger offices, Yeovil staff had organised a bake-off style cake sale and a static bike ride to show their support. Several of the riders commented that the welcome was like finishing a stage of the Tour de France!

With just the final stage to get under their belts, the riders set off for Taunton, arriving triumphant at 8pm, where several of the firm’s partners served them much-needed refreshments and a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate their accomplishment.

Laura Roper, who only took up riding in 2018, told us “I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take part in this fundraising ride. It was one of the greatest challenges I have ever undertaken but completing it was incredibly rewarding.  There were times when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it the whole way round, but the amazing support from colleagues at all the Firm’s offices was a great boost for morale”

Finance Partner, Nicholas Clegg, who first suggested the ride and drove the leading support vehicle, said “We are proud to have such dedicated members of staff, who have given up their weekends and evenings to train for this remarkable challenge.  We are very relieved that everyone completed the day and there were no injuries or mechanical failures. The support shown by staff and local businesses at every office was overwhelming.”

Philanthropy Manager at the RNLI, Steve Law, praised the riders for their support: “My sincere thanks to those that rode as part of the charity cycle raising a fantastic amount that will be put to good use on the coasts. The RNLI is made possible thanks to people like the Porter Dodson staff who generously give their time as well as those who kindly give their money to sponsor them. My thanks also to the company for supporting their team with fundraising and thus the vision to end drowning, it means a lot to us and all those who risk their lives at sea.”

Riders will be visiting the RNLI College in Poole on 1st November for a tour of the college and cheque presentation.

For anyone wishing to donate, the team’s fundraising page will be open until the end of the year and can be accessed via Porter Dodson’s website

<![CDATA[YEOVIL COLLEGE ANNOUNCES ITS FIRST INFORMATION EVENING OF THE YEAR]]> Yeovil College announces its first Information Evening of the academic year, which will take place on the Mudford Road campus on Tuesday 8 October between 5pm and 7:30pm.

The evening will offer all the information visitors will need about the college, including what courses are available; ranging from full-time and part-time courses, degree Level qualifications, apprenticeships and night school. The event will be an opportunity to discover the great things the college has achieved last year and their determination to build on these achievements this year. Yeovil College has been ranked the best performing college in Somerset for overall achievement rates. Full-time programmes such as the A Level courses have exceeded expectations, achieving 100% pass rate for the fourth year running. The Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) places the college within the top 10% of the best performing colleges in the country.

Anybody that is interested in going will need to secure their place very soon because the information evenings have been growing in popularity over the past couple of academic years. The event will take place on Yeovil College’s campus on Mudford Road to give visitors the chance to explore all of the phenomenal on-site facilities, including Kingston Sixth Form Centre, Nexus Beauty Salon, Da Vinci Restaurant, the Leonardo Creative Industries Centre, Bradford’s Construction Centre, Screwfix Trades Skills Centre and the full-size Lynx helicopter which has been kindly donated to the college back in 2017.

Mark Bolton, CEO & Principal of Yeovil College, said: “Our Information Evening provides our potential students with the perfect opportunity to learn about and understand the options available to them, post year 11. We are focused on each person as an individual, driving and supporting everyone to achieve their maximum potential. It is an incredibly exciting time to take a serious look at Yeovil College as your number one choice. Not only have we achieved impressive results, which places us firmly within the top 10% of Further Education college in the country, we have recently obtained a game-changing amount of money to invest within our campus and IT structure. I urge anyone who is in year 11 to visit us, meet the staff, take a look around and ask us challenging questions – we look forward to inviting you to become part of our future success story.”

For further information and to secure your space at the Yeovil College Information Evening on 8 October, visit our website

<![CDATA[Leading law firm cycles 200km to raise funds for RNLI]]> When finance partner, Nicholas Clegg, first suggested a cycle ride taking in all eight of Porter Dodson’s offices over two days, the idea was met with considerable enthusiasm and a small working committee was formed. The RNLI was identified as a charity the firm wanted to strengthen their relationship with and with the support of their fundraising team, the Porter Dodson Great British Bike Off was born.

Being lawyers, the committee studied insurance implications and risk assessments, deemed the ride achievable and set a date. There was just a minor change to the original plan – the ride would take place in one day, not two! With a core group of ten cyclists agreeing to take part, training sessions began, starting with a relatively short 20 mile ride climbing nearly 2,000ft and testing everyone’s fitness and endurance levels. The cyclists hail from Devon, Somerset and Dorset, so planning training rides that suited everyone was challenging to say the least. With one main ride including all but one of the team to practise riding as a peloton, most weekends (and some evenings after work) a smaller number of the team can be seen training around the Somerset and Dorset countryside in their distinctive yellow jerseys. Dave Hooper of Synergy Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy has helped the team prepare for the ride, hosting a maintenance evening and showing them how to protect themselves from injuries.

Sunday 18th August saw Robyn Greenway, Laura Roper, Anusheh Burcher and Scott Bowley join Stephen Wray in the Porter Dodson 100 mile club, climbing a gruelling 2,461 feet. With this accomplishment under their belts, 121 miles seems less daunting and infinitely achievable.

The Porter Dodson Great British Bike Off takes place on Thursday 5th September, leaving the Wellington office at 6:30am. The first stop is at Porter Dodson’s Bridport office at 10:15am. All being well, the tryhard ten will arrive at Taunton at 8:30pm where staff at that office will be waiting to celebrate their success. Scott Bowley, head of the firm’s Bridport office, said: “I’ve only recently caught the cycling bug, having bought my bike in April after some “encouragement” from colleagues, so this has been an extraordinary challenge for me. After our 100 mile training ride, we think we are all now prepared for the big bike ride”

Steve Law, Philanthropy Manager at the RNLI, works closely with Porter Dodson and commented “We at the RNLI can only continue to save lives with the generous support of the public. My thanks and best wishes to those undertaking the cycle to support our crews and to all those sponsoring them. Behind every life saved on our coasts are those giving their time, energy, and money to enable the RNLI to continue and the team at Porter Dodson are a vital part of this.”


<![CDATA[Battens family law solicitor receives prestigious Children’s Panel accreditation]]> Battens Solicitors Family Law team member Emily Davies, has been awarded a place on the Law Society’s prestigious Children’s Panel. The accreditation is a nationally recognised hallmark of quality that Guardians and other professionals can seek out when specialist representation is needed for children in difficult private disputes or care proceedings.

Gaining the accreditation takes dedication and hard work. Emily, who has been practicing family law for almost 3 years, trained intensively before undergoing a demanding assessment and interview process at Chancery Lane’s renowned Law Society. “I am really pleased to have achieved the accreditation. It is a reflection of all of my hard work and means that I can now represent children through their Guardian in Court proceedings. I can also represent competent children in Court proceedings. This area of law can leave parents and children feeling confused, upset and anxious and I endeavour to advise and assist in an empathetic but professional manner whilst providing realistic and appropriate advice”.

Emily becomes the seventh member of the Battens Family Law team to gain the accreditation making Battens one of the leading family law firms in the South West.

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat – w/c 10th August]]> President's Heartbeat 10th August 2019

Work has now commenced at the south-west corner of Leonardo airfield, Yeovil, on iAero, a £10m research & development and innovation centre; delivering 2,400sqm of purpose-built space, supporting rotary-wing aerospace, associated design and engineering technologies, and supply chains. This significant (and very visible) project, will sit at the Western gateway to Yeovil at the end of the Cartgate link road, and when
completed, will represent yet more investment into the economic growth and future of Yeovil. The build stage of the project is expected to complete by Q4 2020, and will feature high-quality office, light industrial and collaboration space as well as innovation support services, and allow the tenant aerospace contractors to "live-test" their work on helicopters and rotary-wing craft, operating out of a working airfield.

Developed by Somerset County Council, in partnership with the region's aerospace industry; primarily Leonardo Helicopters, Tods Aerospace and the West of England Aerospace Forum, and funded by ERDF, HOTSW Growth Deal, Somerset County Council, and Leonardo Helicopters. iAero will form part of the South West Regional Aerospace Hub, and is intended as a rotary-wing specialist facility. £3m of the funding is from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme, helping local areas stimulate their
economic development by investing in projects which support innovation and businesses create jobs and local community regenerations.

I am proud to say that Yeovil Chamber has been involved in the project from the start, in consultation with Somerset County Council, WEAF, Leonardo Helicopters and potential tenants. iAero will be a very visible sign of the confidence being placed in Yeovil to deliver economic development and employment opportunities. Yeovil Chamber is now working with the project stakeholders to identify and create tenancy and work opportunities for local sector-specific and other contractors.

email me directly at for further information on tenancy and tendering for build/fit-out work at iAero. 

CLICK HERE to discover membership benefits and to join Yeovil Chamber

<![CDATA[President's Heartbeat – w/c 1st August]]> President's Heartbeat 1st August 2019

Yeovil is now capable of confidently punching above its weight.

The expanding suite of Chamber member benefits and business support took a significant step forward today. Following a recent request from Neil Discombe, MD of Chamber member business Garador, I met with representatives from Garador, Chamber, SSDC Economic Development and Leonardo Helicopters at Garador today to discuss the concept for a manufacturer's best practice network. Our brief, but productive meeting agreed the way forward for a working party under the Chamber umbrella, to establish and deliver a sector-wide network for engineering and manufacturing businesses located in and around Yeovil.

The proposed network is envisaged as sharing generic and specific best practices, providing mutual support and identifying potential supply chain and other business opportunities. Despite Yeovil enjoying a long history as a manufacturing town, Chamber membership from the engineering and manufacturing sector is currently very low. The new network will also serve to encourage Chamber membership for manufacturers, delivering member benefits, big-picture insight and reasons to stay and flourish in Yeovil, feeling they are part of the growing Yeovil success story. I said at the meeting, Yeovil is now capable of confidently punching above its weight; especially from within the manufacturing and engineering sector, which would assist with the town centre regeneration and release yet more of the massive potential of the town.

Talking of which; as I arrived at Garador, I spotted the diggers, commencing groundwork on the new £13m iAero facility, located opposite Garador at the south-east corner of Leonardo airfield. More good news, and a very visible sign of economic development at the western gateway to Yeovil.

CLICK HERE to find out more and join Yeovil Chamber or email me directly at

<![CDATA[Pardoes are excited to announce that Charlotte Dullaway has joined their growing Dispute Resolution ]]> Charlotte is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, specialising in probate disputes and related litigation. She deals with situations where people are unhappy with wills, such as when they have been disinherited or not left what they thought they were going to get, as well as where relatives and dependants feel they have not been properly provided for.

Charlotte, based in our Taunton office, trained locally and was keen to remain practicing in the local area. She says “I chose to specialise in contentious probate because of the people. Generally, when a probate dispute occurs people have just suffered the loss of a loved one and the emotional strain of litigation can be traumatic for them. I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to use my knowledge and understanding to help them reach a sensible outcome, obtain closure and move on with their lives.” 

There has been an enormous increase in the number of probate disputes in the Courts and covered in the media over the last few years. Family arrangements are becoming more complicated, people are living longer and accumulating more wealth. This, combined with the rise of DIY Wills, has resulted in more families than ever before going through the emotional turmoil of litigation to try and finalise the estates of lost loved ones.

The two most common types of probate dispute are challenges to the validity of a Will and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Challenges to Wills are on the increase in part due to the more widespread awareness of illnesses affecting mental capacity, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Where there have been signs of mental decline those closest to the person who passed away may wonder whether they really knew what they were doing, especially if they have been disinherited as a result. Other reasons why a Will may be challenged include if it is a result of coercion or undue influence, where there has been a mistake or where certain required formalities have not been fulfilled.

Claims under the Inheritance Act are often the result of the more complicated family structures in today’s society. Where there are new spouses or civil partners, children from multiple partners and, in some situations secret second families, it is difficult to balance the needs and expectations of those closest to you along with your freedom to leave your estate as you wish. If certain people do not feel they have been reasonably provided for, they can bring claims against the estate for a share, or greater share, of the assets.

Probate disputes are stressful. Grief and financial uncertainty can make it difficult to think straight and this is why it is so important to instruct a specialist lawyer to guide you through this complex area of law.

Bhavani Hogarty, Partner and Head of Pardoes busy Dispute Resolution team says; “Pardoes offer specialist probate dispute services to the local community. Charlotte’s focus on providing this specialist legal advice in a compassionate way makes her very popular with clients and we are delighted to have such a highly skilled and caring professional join our team.”

If you would like further information or require assistance with a contentious probate matter contact Charlotte on 01823 446230 or via email to

<![CDATA[Battens expands their Residential Property Team ]]> Battens Solicitors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mo Byers to their Residential Property Team.

Mo joins Battens as a Conveyancing Executive based in the Wareham office and is looking forward to supporting new and existing clients in the area. “I have experience in dealing with a wide range of residential conveyancing transactions and pride myself on being thorough. I am down to earth and able to convey matters to clients clearly and concisely but without the need for complicated legal jargon. Understanding that being patient, listening to client’s needs and keeping clients well informed throughout the transaction is key in trying to ensure a less stressful experience in what undoubtedly can be a very stressful life event for a lot of clients” explains Mo.

Mo’s legal career began as a Legal Secretary for a local firm of solicitors straight from school. From there, Mo studied and completed a Paralegal Diploma in Law Studies then progressed to Conveyancing Executive. “I enjoy the challenge of what each day will bring...every property and chain is different and has its own issues to be investigated and resolved. Conveyancing is such a fast paced and varied area of law and there's never a dull moment.” "It's a great feeling when a particularly complicated or stressful transaction is finally completed; knowing that I was able to achieve a happy outcome for my clients is extremely satisfying" said Mo.

Mo’s extensive experience in residential conveyancing transactions includes sales, purchases, buy to let, help to buy, probate and matrimonial sales, leasehold and new build properties, re-mortgages and voluntary first registration. Jill Cochrane, Head of Residential Property said: “Mo will be a great asset to Battens with her experience and knowledge. We are very much looking forward to Mo expanding our Wareham residential property team.”