Fit out Exceptionnel

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Coventry based specialist haulage company Steve Frowen Transport has taken delivery of its latest continental wide load escort vehicle. The special 40th-anniversary edition of the IVECO Daily has been supplied by Guest Motors and fitted out to meet French Convoi Exceptionnel regulations by Vehicle Lining Services (VLS).

Escort vehicles are required in France to accompany large loads to protect and warn other road users of an approaching convoy. Depending on the category of the load, they often have to work in pairs and in conjunction with local police.

Sales manager at VLS Matt Holland said: “The special edition Daily is really nicely equipped and made a great platform to create the vehicle that Steve Frowen Transport needed.

“The vehicle has been wrapped in yellow vinyl and had warning lights fitted to comply with regulations. Inside, it’s going to be used as a sleeper, so we’ve fitted it out with a side window in the load space door, night heating, cooking facilities and a separate leisure power system to make it as comfortable as possible.”

Steve Frowen Transport specialises in transporting bulky jet engines between the UK and France and with some individual loads being worth upwards of £30m. Steve Frowen began the company 12 years ago with a single flatbed truck. He said: “Large load transport in France is very specialist. The French part of the journey must have the load accompanied by a qualified French-speaking ‘pilote’.

“When we began, we would sub-contract to a local company in France, but often the pilot wouldn’t have enough English to communicate effectively with our drivers. To solve that problem, we hired our own English, French-speaking specialist to manage the trips. It also meant travelling the whole journey along with our trucks. The trucks have sleeper cabs so we needed sleeping accommodation in the escort vehicle too.

“This is our second Daily support vehicle - the first has received the thumbs-up from the drivers, so it made sense to buy another one.”

Birmingham based Vehicle Lining Services provides full fit out for commercial vehicles, from basic van ply lining to FORS compliance packages for trucks and bespoke packages like the Convoi Exceptionnel Daily.

Public Relations by Clive Reeves PR Birmingham




  • The new C-Spec tyre helped G-Drive Racing to a record-breaking pole.

  • Dunlop dries, intermediates and wets competitive in diverse conditions.

  • Jackie Chan DC Racing in strong contention for the championship.

The Dunlop Motorsport Team encountered the unpredictable nature of the Spa-Francorchamps round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The six-hour race had it all, with sunshine, rain and even snow all making an appearance.

The race demonstrated Dunlop’s diverse tyre range and being on the right tyre at the right time was paramount in such a challenging race.

Dunlop’s Trackside Support Engineering & Testing Manager, Mike McGregor, described how the tyres performed throughout the weekend: “The range of dry, intermediate and full wet tyres was used in this race and the mixed conditions were a good test of the full range in the build-up to for Le Mans. The championship fight continues to the last race as both Jackie Chan DC Racing cars are within striking distance of the team’s title.”

Dunlop brought the new for 2019 C-Spec tyre to Spa after it showed strong pace in the last round in Sebring. Jean-Eric Vergne in the G-Drive Racing utilised it well in qualifying nearly breaking the 2-minute barrier with an average lap time of 2min 00.674.

In the race, G-Drive was just 3.9 sec from victory, beating the championship leader by half a second, despite making one additional pit stop.

Mike McGregor describes the step forward the Dunlop team have had in qualifying: “Jean-Eric Vergne’s qualifying lap time was 1.8 secs faster than qualifying in 2018, this shows the step forward we have made in the performance of the tyres and the impact of the C-Spec tyre.”

Dunlop head to the next and final round of the WEC Super Season aiming to support their teams in their quest to secure the LMP2 title at the 24hr of Le Mans finale. Before that, the team head to Monza next week for the European Le Mans Series, with the Milanese circuit hosting the second round of that championship.

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham




  • Spa track surface expected to suit the Dunlop tyres.

  • New for 2019 C-Spec tyre to be supplied after Sebring debut win.

After a LMP2 class win for Jackie Chan DC Racing at the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the Dunlop Motorsport Team and their FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) teams head to the 6-Hours of Spa-Francorchamps full of confidence.

Spa-Francorchamps always seems to throw up changeable conditions, nestled in the heart of the Ardennes Forest, the 7.004km track provides a unique challenge in the WEC Super Season.

Spa-Francorchamps is an iconic circuit that pushes the tyres to the limit, the demanding corners of Eau Rouge and Blanchimont put huge strain and g-force on the tyres, drivers and cars.

Dunlop confident C-Spec tyre will perform

Dunlop’s Trackside Support Engineering & Testing, Manager, Mike McGregor, explains how Spa will suit the Dunlop tyres:

“Spa-Francorchamps more aggressive track surface and layout will suit the Dunlop A & C tyres, Spa’s varying track temperature means teams should benefit from Dunlop’s wide operating window giving the teams more grip and performance.

We predict that the Dunlop tyres will perform strongly at Spa, with Jackie Chan DC Racing looking for another LMP2 class win and G-Drive Racing bolstering our line-up we hope for a good result.”

G-Drive Racing currently compete in the European Le Mans Series, making the move to the longer WEC race using the same tyre specifications shows the flexibility and durability of the Dunlop range.

Dunlop are supplying half of the cars in the LMP2 class, G-Drive Racing, TDS Racing, and Jackie Chan DC Racing will all be supplied with the same tyre range, including the A & C dry tyres and the well proven Dunlop intermediate and wet tyres which are highly likely to be needed in the fickle Ardennes spring climate.

The seventh round of the WEC Super Season starts on the 4th of May, the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be the penultimate round before the teams head to Le Mans for the second time for the season finale.

PR by Reeves PR and Pitbox91 agency in Birmingham



Europe’s largest celebration of Eid returns to Birmingham’s Small Heath Park

- Diary Date: Eid al-Fitr to be celebrated on either Tuesday 4th or Wednesday 5th June-

With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan beginning on Sunday 5th May, Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre would like to confirm the return of ‘Celebrate Eid’ - its annual celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Birmingham’s Small Heath Park and Europe’s largest gathering for the holy festival.

It is anticipated that Eid al-Fitr will be held on either Tuesday 4th or Wednesday 5th June. The actual date of Eid - which marks the end of Ramadan - is determined by sightings of the moon and is confirmed prior to the event.

Reeves PR will once again be supporting Celebrating Eid, providing comprehensive press materials detailing information about the event, the significance of Eid al-Fitr to Muslims, the differences between the Eid observations, and local traffic and travel arrangements.

There will be an enhanced media facility available in the park, offering a number of raised platform views of prayer for film and photography. Interviews with key spokespeople, including event organisers, will be available in advance and on the day of the event.

A gallery of images, along with incredible drone footage of the mass prayer, can be found here:

For more information about Celebrate Eid, visit:

Media contacts for Celebrate Eid 2019 can be found below:

Bradley Meersand (Clive Reeves PR) - 07930 520 770 -

Clive Reeves PR - 0121 227 8227

Celebrate Eid 2019 will take place in Small Heath Park, Birmingham, B10 0EF

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham



The Bracebridge restaurant has opened its doors in Sutton Park

The newest fine dining restaurant for the West Midlands opened its doors this month.

The Bracebridge situated in the heart of the 2,400 acre Sutton Park overlooking the beautiful pool, is the brainchild of Darron and Claire Brough, along with Claire’s twin brothers Scott and Steven Lewis, both of whom trained under Michelin star chefs.

The waterside restaurant comprises two distinct dining areas and offers exclusive fine dining, with a sumptuously decorated and elegant dining room of 50 covers, serving the finest à la carte dishes.

Adjoining the restaurant is The Terrace, an outdoor bistro-style café that will serve breakfasts, brunches, light lunches and casual meals for visitors to the park with seating for up to 150.

The brothers, who trained under Michel Roux Jr and honed their craft in some of London’s top restaurants including Quaglinos, La Tante Claire and the The Halkin Hotel, say they are looking forward to welcoming their first diners.

“We have invested significantly to completely refurbish the building and we cannot wait to unveil the luxurious new-look restaurant to our customers,” said Scott. “It’s such an amazing space and location that we’ve pulled out all the stops to transform our vision to create a stunning restaurant and we hope we can engender the same love that the previous incarnation had.

“We’ve been working incredibly hard to create our dream, and are proud of what we’ve already achieved,” added Steven. “We’ve got a fantastic team of talented chefs and front of house staff, all of whom are focused on making The Bracebridge the very best destination restaurant for the area.

“The addition of The Terrace widens the appeal of the restaurant and means that anyone visiting Sutton Park can stop for a drink and bite to eat in a more casual surroundings but still enjoy food of the highest quality, using first-class ingredients.”

The chef proprietors worked alongside award winning Birmingham-based interior design firm, Faber, to create a timeless look for the restaurant and terrace.

Anouska Tarleton, lead project designer at Faber said, “We wanted to bring the outside, inside. It was crucial that we captured the essence of Sutton Park within the space to create a dining atmosphere that was both inspiring and inviting.”

We drew our inspiration for colour palettes and textures from the foliage to emulate the parks natural beauty,” added Anouska. “With subtle nuances of art deco glamour and the use of mirrors to create a sense of space, we developed a classic look that will stand the test of time.”   

In order to keep up to date with the latest news about The Bracebridge or to book a table, please visit

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham




  • Dunlop aiming for 11th consecutive championship title

  • New tyres introduced in both LMP2 and LMGTE categories

  • Teams switch to Dunlop after comparison testing

This weekend, the 2019 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) begins at Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France. As well as featuring battles between the top endurance racing drivers and teams, the six-round championship also promises to be a proving ground for the latest tyre technology.

The headline LMP2 category is one of very few international racing classes that allow a free choice of tyres. This allows tyre manufacturers to showcase their latest technology and encourages the designers and engineers to develop new concepts in their quest to help their customers win.

When G-Drive Racing clinched the 2018 ELMS title with one round in hand, it marked the 10th consecutive championship win for a Dunlop customer team. For 2019, half of the 18-car LMP2 grid have chosen to race on Dunlop, with teams such as Panis Barthez Competition making the switch after testing the company’s 2019 specification tyres.

The Dunlop ELMS range now includes the ‘C specification’ for the first time. This tyre, which provides improved feel at the rear and enhanced front-end controllability, had a successful debut last month in the FIA World Endurance Championship, being used by Jackie Chan DC Racing to take both pole position and victory at Sebring. 

Mathias Kipp, Motorsport Sales Manager explains Dunlop’s mindset: “Our ten ELMS titles have come from working closely with partners to develop tyres around the variety of different chassis and driving styles in the championship. For 2019, we have pushed forward with development and the C-Specification has received very positive feedback in testing and at Sebring. We are delighted that teams have chosen Dunlop after back-to-back testing.”

Dunlop gripping the Ferrari v Porsche battle

The ELMS grid also includes the LMGTE category. This year, the grid is a battle between teams using either the Porsche 911 RSR or Ferrari 488 GTE. Reigning champions Proton Competition head the line-up, representing the Stuttgart manufacturer.

Every team in the LMGTE category will use Dunlop tyres for the 5th consecutive year but, just as in LMP2, there’s been intensive development during the off-season. A new wet-weather tyre has been introduced for the LMGTE cars as Mike McGregor, Manager Testing & Track Support, explained: “The new LMGTE wet tyre may look similar to the 2018 tyre, but it features a new construction package and a new compound. We had two objectives with this tyre. Firstly, to provide a wider operating temperature and, secondly, to ensure it performs quickly from cold, for example on an out-lap after a pitstop. This will give more confidence to the amateur drivers and provide a higher performance level for pro-drivers to access.”

The 4 Hours of Le Castellet will take place at the Circuit Paul Ricard on the 12-14 April and is Round 1 of the 2019 European Le Mans Series.




• VLN Endurance Championship begins on 23 March - over 50 teams choose Dunlop

• Dunlop becomes exclusive tyre supplier to the TCR class

• Dunlop chosen by leading teams in the GT4 class

• All teams of the BMW M240i Racing Cup start on Dunlop

 The Nürburgring VLN endurance racing championship kicks off this Saturday, March 23, with the first event of the 2019 season. Dunlop has a great history on the legendary Eifel circuit, including two outright wins in 2018. This year, over 50 teams have chosen Dunlop tyres for the toughest racetrack in the world.

Dunlop continues its long partnership with Phoenix Racing who will enter the 4-hour race with two Audi R8 LMS racers. In addition, Dunlop has been chosen as the partner for the much-anticipated comeback of Zakspeed on the Nordschleife. The experienced team, with a long history in touring car, F1 and endurance racing celebrated its 50th-anniversary last year. They will enter a thundering Chrysler Viper GT3-R.

The Racing One team aims to build on the outstanding success of last year: the Dunlop-tyred Ferrari 458 dominated the class SP8 for production based supercars, winning every race.

Dunlop is the exclusive supplier of the TCR class

For 2019, the popular TCR (Touring Car) class teams race exclusively on Dunlop. A diverse mix of cars, including the Audi RS3 LMS, Honda Civic, Hyundai i30 N, Opel Astra, Cupra and Volkswagen Golf GTI will run on Dunlop’s latest 265/660 R18 TCR specification tyre

Dunlop is also focused on the burgeoning GT4 class in the world's largest sportscar series. "In the past two years, the GT4 class had a single tyre supplier" says Alexander Kühn, Dunlop Product Manager Motorsport Europe. "Now this category is open to all tyre manufacturers and we are proud to have been chosen by leading teams. We look forward to the open competition with the competitors." GT4 cars such as BMW M4, Porsche Cayman or Aston Martin Vantage run in a specification that is close to the road car equivalent. At the start of the VLN, teams including Sorg Racing and Ring Racing have chosen Dunlop for their front-running BMW M4.

Premiere of the BMW M240i Racing Cup

In the VLN and the 24h race, Dunlop has extended its partnership with BMW Motorsport. In the BMW Cup class, all cars are equipped with Dunlop. Since 2014, the class of the BMW M235i Racing has been one of the best-supported and most competitive classes in the VLN. This year, the BMW M235i Racing Cup will evolve into the newly-named BMW M240i Racing Cup thanks to an upgrade package. For the first VLN race, 16 BMW M240i teams have submitted their entries.

Dunlop supports the "Care for Climate" team with musician ‘Smudo’

German rapper, Smudo, will again enter a team of three Dunlop-equipped Porsche. He will also be behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the "Alternative Fuels" class, in which a Porsche Cayman GT4 CS of the Care for Climate team also competes. His team is completed by another Cayman in the standard production class.

PR by Pitbox91 and Reeves PR agency in Birmingham



Cancer Charity knows a million times ‘Every Pound Counts’

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The Birmingham-based Help Harry Help Others cancer charity has reached another milestone in its efforts to help find a cure for brain cancer, by donating its millionth pound to The Brain Tumour Research Group, led by Dr Andrew Peet at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

A cheque for £17,999 plus a single £1 coin was presented to Dr Peet, making up the million, at the charity’s annual fundraising ball in March.

Georgie Moseley set up the charity to continue the extraordinary efforts of her son Harry, who himself had raised £1.2m during his treatment for a brain tumor. Harry made money from making and selling colourful bracelets which, along with his infectious enthusiasm and positive attitude to his condition, captured the imagination of the public and celebrities across the country, contributing to his fundraising success.

Harry died at the age of 11 but his legacy has continued to grow. Georgie said: “Harry’s determination to help people and to make things better led to the charity we have today, which aims to do three things: Help Cope, Help Care and Help Cure.

“Around 1,550 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, a quarter of them with brain tumours. Our mission is continue to do what Harry began: to find a cure. But until then we want to make a difference wherever we can.”

Since becoming a registered charity in 2012, Help Harry Help Others has gone from strength to strength. As well as raising £1 million, the organisation now has a dedicated drop in cancer support centre and has even funded new facilities and equipment at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, Solihull Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Georgie added: “The support given to us by the public has allowed us to provide a variety of the practical and emotional services to more than 1,000 families who find that they never imagined they would need in a time of crisis.

“Our emotional support counselling for patients and their families is one of the most requested services. When people realise they need emotional help they are usually at rock bottom before they visit their GP. From there it can take several weeks before they get seen by a counsellor. With us, a client is listened to the same day they come to see us, and are then fast tracked to their first formal session within days.”

People do not need a GP referral to access the services provided by Help Harry Help Others, they can telephone, find information online or just call in to the cancer centre which supports adults and children affected by any type of cancer during office hours.

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham



Guest and Sherwood to showcase all its services at the Commercial Vehicle Show

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Guest and Sherwood Truck and Van is to showcase its portfolio of brands and services at the Commercial Vehicle (CV) Show, the largest road transport and commercial show in Britain, in April.

In a change to previous years, the company will not have a vehicle display at the show. Instead it will highlight the breadth of its versatility, displaying its wide range of facilities and services for the CV sector, including Partscomm - the company it launched in summer 2018, which provides parts, equipment and accessories for all makes of truck, trailer and light commercial vehicle.

It will also showcase Sentinel Fleet Management, a nationwide fleet management company that offers bespoke maintenance packages and services, including: scheduled event management and planning; non-scheduled event management; driver and operator contact centre; recharge management; workshop liaison; KPI reporting; document storage; fleet compliance and accident management.

Colleagues from all divisions will be on hand to talk to visitors about its new and used IVECO and Fiat Professional vehicle sales; its planned maintenance contracts for all makes of vehicle; vehicle-lining services; Partscomm and its expert bodyshops.

Robert Spittle, Managing Director of Guest and Sherwood Truck and Van, said: “The CV show is one of the highlights on our events calendar because it is the biggest and best in the country.

“It is the ideal opportunity to show the market just how versatile and innovative we are as a group in today’s ever-changing market. Our range of services make us the commercial vehicle specialists whether  you have one van or a fleet of trucks.”

Guest and Sherwood Truck and Van will be on stand 5F90 in Hall 5 at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the Birmingham NEC from April 30 - May 2.

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham



How to make the most of your apprenticeship levy

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By Samantha Brown, Head of Conference Aston, Birmingham

Are you a business paying the apprenticeship levy? If so, are you taking full advantage of the benefits that come with it?

Startling figures, published recently, have demonstrated that few businesses are using the levy to good effect to address the skills shortages within their organisations.

According to the DfE, responding to a Freedom of Information request by City & Guilds, it received an apprenticeships budget of £2.01 billion from the Treasury in 2017/18. However, only £268 million was spent by levy-paying employers on apprentices.

Why are businesses not taking full advantage of the apprenticeship levy funds that are available to them? It might be oversight, a lack of understanding of how the levy works, or simply the fact that some businesses view the levy as a stealth tax.

When you consider that businesses have just 24 months to use their funds for apprenticeships before the money is transferred to HM Treasury, it’s a pity more are not availing themselves of opportunities presented to them.

Here at Conference Aston, we are wholeheartedly embracing the opportunities that being a levy payer brings with 15% of our workforce currently enrolled as apprentices, undertaking high-quality training.

Part of the reason for this we put in place a cast-iron strategy before committing to an apprenticeship programme. This has enabled our learners to be supported through every step of their progression at work and to gain the nationally recognised qualifications they need for a successful career in their chosen hospitality sector.

We have four members of staff on front-of-house management apprenticeships, working towards their NVQ qualifications at Levels 2, 3 and 4 - the latter of which is equivalent to a Higher National Certificate, attained after the first year at university.

One of our chefs, Rafael Soldardo, is halfway through his 18-month catering apprenticeship, which he began after demonstrating a passion for cooking a few months after joining us as a kitchen porter, and we’re also supporting him to improve his English language skills. Having moved up through the ranks, he is now responsible for producing our fresh, seasonal and evolving salad offering, as well as creating our delicious sauces - both of which are helping him to massively advance his skills.

We also use the levy to up-skill our existing team members - something that many businesses do not realise they can do with levy funds. We consider training a fundamental part of the venue’s  development - not only does it help individual team members broaden their skill sets, it improves our offering too.

Our team has completed a range of courses, including ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) leadership development, coaching skills and mental health awareness.

We place an emphasis on workplace training and are committed to providing good-quality apprenticeship training. It is a solid way of future-proofing our staff, providing them with the skills they need in what is a competitive industry. It also demonstrates that we care for our team.

For more information about Conference Aston, visit

PR by Reeves PR agency in Birmingham