Follow Harry and Meghan’s lead with a bowl food  wedding reception at Park Regis Birmingham

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Follow Harry and Meghan’s lead with a bowl food wedding reception at Park Regis Birmingham

Bowl food promises to be the next hot trend for couples’ wedding receptions, thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are said to be opting for more casual dining than a formal sit-down meal when they marry on Saturday (May 19).

Now Park Regis Birmingham, the city’s luxurious four-star hotel, which already offers bowl food as an option, says it is gearing up for an influx of requests from couples looking to follow in royal footsteps.

Mark Payne, general manager at Park Regis, said: “Bowl food has been an option for wedding receptions here since we opened and we’ve seen the trend grow over the past few months as couples say they want to be able to mingle with their guests and enjoy a less formal occasion.

“They are simple dishes but are no less delicious and visually pleasing than our more traditional menus and have been a real talking point among guests. Now Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed they will be enjoying bowl food after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel, we are anticipating that this will be a huge trend.”

Park Regis Birmingham offers a wide range of bowl food options for wedding receptions, with dishes ranging from tuna Nicoise salad, seared duck breast and duchess potatoes to beetroot meringue, pan-fried cod with a summer salad and vanilla and passion fruit pannacotta - to name but a few.

To celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 1565 Restaurant in the Park Regis is offering a special Royal Afternoon Tea from Friday 18th May to Thursday 21st May, with delicious sandwiches, pastries and fizz fit for a queen.

For more details about wedding packages at Park Regis Birmingham, which offers both civil ceremonies for up to 150 guests and wedding receptions for up to 250 guests, visit www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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The world’s first edible water ‘bottle’ comes to Selfridges Birmingham

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The world’s first edible water ‘bottle’ comes to Selfridges Birmingham

The world’s first edible water “bottle” is coming to Selfridges Birmingham to support the department store’s Project Ocean campaign.

Ooho is made entirely from seaweed and plants, with water and juices perfectly encapsulated inside, making the uniquely packaged material the most sustainable disposable alternative to any other container on the market.

It will be available exclusively in the Bullring store on June 8 for one week to mark World Oceans Day, where shoppers can try the radical product, which uses five times less CO2 and nine times energy compared to PET bottles.

Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “Selfridges is committed to raising awareness of plastic pollution and the damaging effects on the oceans and since 2011, our Project Ocean campaign has seen us tackle the issues of endangered fish,  raising awareness of marine pollution and we were the first store to remove single-use water bottles across the business.

“We are very excited to welcome Ooho to Selfridges, in time for World Oceans Day. It’s an incredibly innovative product that promises to make real inroads into the problem of single-use plastic and we know that our customers will love it.”

The edible seaweed membrane is filled with filtered water or juice, but it can also be disposed of as natural food waste, where it will degrade.

It will stock the following Ooho options:

Selfridges selection blackcurrant Ooho (£1.50)

Selfridges selection elderflower & cucumber Ooho (£1.50)

Selfridges selection strawberry & rose Ooho (£1.50)

Plain Ooho small (25ml, £1)

Plain Ooho large (125ml, £1.50)

Hotshot juice Ooho (£2)

Charcoal & lime juice Ooho (£2)

http://www.oohowater.comwww.selfridges.com

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Bar Opus launches line of skinny cocktails for summer

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Bar Opus launches line of skinny cocktails for summer

One of the hardest things about getting beach-ready is feeling like you’re punishing yourself by abstaining from everything you love — but getting in shape for summer doesn’t have to mean deny yourself the fun things in life. Whether you’re working on your bikini body or just trying to cut down on indulgence, the ingenious mixology team at Bar Opus have come up with their own low-calorie twists on classic cocktails.

Each expertly made concoction is less than 180 calories, which is the equivalent of a cup of low-fat Greek yoghurt — so they can be enjoyed guilt-free. From the 178 calorie version of the timeless Gin Martini, which contains just Chase GB Gin, dry vermouth and a twist, to the refreshingly sweet 122 calorie interpretation of the Tom Collins with gin, lemon, sugar syrup and cherry, these lighter cocktails don’t skimp on the alcohol or the flavour.  

This new menu has been specially created for sunny weather, and is best enjoyed out on the Bar Opus patio on warm afternoons; cocktails like the Greyhound, which contains Chase GB Gin, Aperol, pink grapefruit and rosemary garnish, and the French 75, with gin, prosecco and lemon juice, are simply summer in a glass.

Bar Opus is also delighted to be the first venue in Birmingham to offer Skinny Lager, a full strength, full flavour lager from SkinnyBrands Ltd which is gluten-free, suitable for vegans, and just 89 calories.

Available all summer and priced from £7 to £8.50, these skinny legends are the perfect addition to your summer squad.

Gimlet – 178 calories

Chase GB Gin, Roses Lime Cordial

£7.00

 

Gin Martini – 176 calories

Chase GB Gin, Dry Vermouth, twist lemon zest

£7.50

 

Gin & Tonic– 148 calories (or 97 if with slimline)

Chase GB Gin, Fevertree tonic water, grapefruit garnish

£7.50

 

Tom Collins– 122 calories

Chase GB Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, soda water, lemon slice, and cherry to garnish

£7.25

 

French 75– 140 calories

Chase GB Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, prosecco, lemon twist

£8.50

 

Greyhound – 147 calories

Chase GB Gin, pink grapefruit, Aperol, grapefruit and rosemary garnish

£8.50

 

Skinny Lager – 89 calories

£4.00

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Why the right meat supplier is crucial to Conference Aston

Conference Aston, the largest residential conference venue in Birmingham, has a no-compromise approach when it comes to sourcing ingredients of the highest quality for its diners.

Priding itself as a destination for fine dining combined with conferencing functionality, the city centre venue ensures that every dish for breakfast, lunch, relaxed dinner and private banquet has been lovingly prepared from the finest locally-sourced products.

Finding the right fresh meat supplier was key to upholding its standards for quality. It is why the venue’s caterer, Wilson Vale, works with award-winning traditional butcher Owen Taylor and Sons for all its meats.

A family business, the Derbyshire-based retail and catering butcher was established in 1922 and since then has been providing local customers and restaurants, including Michelin star establishments, with meat, sausages and pies of the highest quality.

It sources most of its meat from Farm Assured farms within a 30-mile radius of its business. All the animals are slaughtered at a nearby abattoir, which is handpicked for its highest welfare practices and standards, then transported to the Owen Taylor and Sons Factory in Leabrooks. There, they are matured and butchered by its experienced 150-strong team of specialist butchers and master butchers, who work to cover the 24-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week operation.

“Sourcing animals from local farms is a far more sustainable way of working and it reduces our carbon footprint, too,” says Nigel Winn, Owen Taylor and Sons Sales Executive.

“It also means that at every stage of the process - from the originating farm to the customer - we can trace exactly where each cut of meat and product has come from. Traceability is key and animal welfare practices are crucial.

“Having complete control and knowledge over the supply chain of the products means we can assure our customers that they are buying the very best Red Tractor approved meats. Our customers share our ethos for excellence, so establishments such as Conference Aston are able to buy with confidence.”

Twice successive winner of the ‘Catering Butcher of the Year’ at the Meat Management Awards, Owen Taylor and Sons is unusual in that it still has its own hanging room, where it matures the meat for as long as customers require before butchering it according to exacting customer requirements.

“Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t receive the majority of primals as boxed meat; we process everything on site to rigorous standards and we are extremely strict about every aspect,” said Nigel. “It’s why our customers trust us to get it right.”

Samantha Brown, Head of Conference Aston, said: “Sustainability and welfare are the watchwords in our kitchens and we insist on nothing less than exceptional quality.

“Everyone at Owen Taylor has a true passion for what they do and every member of staff is a perfectionist and this mirrors the ethos of our chefs and kitchen staff.

“We are a conferencing venue with a difference because we really emphasise the importance of fine dining and having suppliers of the standard of Owen Taylor and Sons is important to us.”

For more information about Conference Aston, visit www.conferenceaston.co.uk.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Apprenticeship provider reaches more young people thanks to state-of-the-art new phone system

One of the UK’s largest providers of work-based vocational training, is able to reach more young people than ever before, thanks to a brand new telephone system installed by Worcestershire firm Armstrong Bell.

LMPQ called in the telecommunications specialists to upgrade its outdated phones to a Cloud-based, hosted system that would enable staff to manage their calls more efficiently.

The team at LMPQ had previously been managing calls using basic handsets with separate phone lines, as well as mobile phones.

“As an apprentice centre we make hundreds of calls every day, and our old system simply wasn’t working for us,” explained David Hutchinson, Group Commercial Manager. “We need a system that’s reliable, flexible and easy to use so that we can effectively manage our calls and speak with as many students as possible.”

Armstrong Bell has installed ‘Venture’ at LMPQ - the latest generation of hosted Cloud-based systems. The apprentice centre now has 21 handsets, including a conference phone. Venture works via a highly resilient platform with multiple redundancy - so as long as LMPQ can access an internet connection, the system will be live.

“To effectively control the sales environment we needed a system that allows us to monitor the quality and length of calls so that we can set appropriate KPIs and targets,” said David. “Venture does exactly that - it provides detailed performance reports and dashboards so I can measure the success of the team’s call handling. All I have to do is log in and I can see how everyone is doing.”

As a premium hosted IP telephony service, Venture includes a vast range of features and benefits - including call park, pick-up and group calls, caller ID and anonymous caller blocking, automatic call back, do not disturb, programmable quick dial numbers, call groups, call and voicemail notification, forwarding by email and SMS, music on hold, and desktop CTI integration.

“We’ve found that younger people are much more likely to answer the phone to a mobile in preference to a landline - so being able to programme the handsets to present a mobile number has proven incredibly helpful,” continued David.

“Another key benefit has been the introduction of the phone headsets - the team no longer has to set aside time after a call to process data because they can update their notes as they go.

“We will undoubtedly see a return on investment when you consider the time and money we’re going to save with Venture.”

William Copley, Managing Director at Armstrong Bell, said: “Our team worked closely with LMPQ to provide a seamless transition to Venture and we also provided full training for staff so that they can maintain the system in-house.

“As a state-of-the-art system, Venture offers a host of advantages for users and LMPQ is already reaping the benefits of upgrading.”

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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BUILT/ builds innovative partnership with Calthorpe Academy

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BUILT/ builds innovative partnership with Calthorpe Academy

BUILT_ and Calthorpe.jpg

BUILT/, a new kind of builders warehouse in Birmingham, is joining forces with a local school for learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to provide them with materials for projects and for student activities.

The building materials supplier, which opened its first Birmingham warehouse in Aston in September 2017, said it was excited to draw up plans to help Calthorpe Academy, which caters for 373 children aged two to 19, on a long-term basis.

Nick Thomas, Managing Director of BUILT/, said as an innovator in the building merchant sector, focusing on future ways of working, it recognised Calthorpe Academy as another pioneer in its field, using modern technology, resources and teaching methods to prepare its students with life-long skills.

“We opened for the first time in Birmingham in January and have been very keen to play an active role in the community in our newest home,” he said.

“Rather than just doing a one-off project or sponsorship, we want to immerse ourselves in a good cause. Calthorpe Academy undertakes exceptional work with its students and we believe there is potential for us to make a difference.

“We’re excited to work with the school and are looking forward to meeting with the senior management team to discuss how we can help over the coming months. Whether it’s supplying materials or offering a crew to help with specific student projects, we will do what we can.”

Richard Chapman, principal at Calthorpe Academy, which is based in Darwin Street, Highgate, said: “We’re always seeking new and innovative ways to engage our students and partnering with BUILT/ will give us many opportunities to add new features to the premises and to source materials for our students to use.”

Last year, Calthorpe Academy opened a new post-16 Learning for Life Centre, which comprises three separate areas that focus on adulthood/life, vocational/life skills and work placement. Each offers a bespoke learning programme and personalised timetable for every student, some of whom need one-to-one care, while every learner also has an independent careers adviser who provides appropriate support.

Its horticulture zone enables students to grow produce, which is turned into jams and marmalade and an interactive Calthorpe Cafe allows learners interested in the hospitality industry to experience in a fully equipped kitchen. Students, all of whom have get involved with the making of a product, have also made recycled paper logs and are currently making Christmas wreaths and candles to sell at the school Christmas fair.

The centre also has provision for students to undertake tasks such as hairstyling at its own salon, which helps learners to tolerate touch and and also provides them with vocational skills, and car washing.

BUILT/ has a 60,000 sq ft site in Bourne Road, Birmingham, which offers the trade a wide range of staple building materials, electrical goods and plumbing and heating supplies, as well as kitchen and bathroom products, painting and decorating items, and tools, fixings and equipment - including workwear and PPE. It is open for collections and deliveries Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm, Saturdays from 8am to 5pm, and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

For more information visit www.built.co.uk or call 0121 392 2930.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Park Regis Birmingham unveils plans for impressive  new conference space offering views across the city

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Park Regis Birmingham unveils plans for impressive new conference space offering views across the city


Park Regis, the deluxe Birmingham city centre hotel, is to relaunch its conferencing facilities, with a remodelled space boasting 360° views across the city.

The £650,000 investment in the 16th floor facility will see a new 1,250 sq ft open-plan conference space with floor-to-ceiling windows, accommodating up to 240 delegates on the one floor alone.

Meanwhile, the 15th floor - where the existing conference facilities are - will be transformed to create additional meeting rooms and break-out areas, as well as a new bar area.

In total, the four-star Park Regis will be able to accommodate 450 conference delegates on floors 15 and 16, said Mark Payne general manager.

“This is a significant investment for us and it will ensure that we remain one of the foremost city centre hotel venues for conferences and business events,” he said.

“It has given us an opportunity to completely rethink our conference offering and we are excited by  our plans because it will really enhance our existing facilities. Whether businesses and organisations are planning day events or overnight conferences, we are confident that Park Regis will continue to deliver unparalleled corporate facilities and services to delegates.”

As well as new conference space, delegates will be able to use a dedicated entrance - separate to the hotel - on floor one on the corner of Broad Street, which will take them directly to the 15th floor where there will be a new welcoming reception and cloakroom area.

Overnight guests will be able to leave their luggage at the reception and it will be taken to their rooms while they attend the conference.

“The idea is to make the whole conferencing experience as easy and as enjoyable as possible for everyone,” added Mark. “We’re looking forward to unveiling the new space in the summer.”

The new space will be fitted out by Tang Interiors, a group company of Birmingham-based Colmore Tang Construction, which specialises in refurbishment and interiors for the commercial, retail, restaurant and hospitality sectors.

For details about Park Regis conferencing facilities, visit: www.parkregisbirmingham.co.uk/conferences-and-meeting

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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Colmore Tang partners with Virgin StartUp to launch £10m innovation fund

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Colmore Tang partners with Virgin StartUp to launch £10m innovation fund

Colmore Tang Construction has today (27th March) announced it is working alongside Virgin StartUp to launch a construction industry-first technology accelerator programme called ‘ConstrucTech’.

The Birmingham-based contractor has created a £10m innovation fund which will be provided to companies that can successfully show how their innovation and technology could improve the sector’s productivity, sustainability and skills issues.  

Colmore Tang has partnered with not-for-profit company Virgin StartUp to deliver ConstrucTech, and is open to applications from start-ups and entrepreneurs around the world.

Andy Robinson, Group CEO of Colmore Tang, said: “The debate around technology in construction needs to move forward quickly. Other industries are much better at seeing the potential in technology and grasping opportunities to boost productivity and commercial gain.

“Construction is falling behind and it’s having a negative impact on the sector, growing the divide between the traditional, ageing workforce and the young, technologically-advanced workforce that is choosing other industries over ours.”

Construction in the UK has been slow to embrace innovation and adopt new technology. Over a third of construction projects in the UK overrun on time (40%) or budget (35%)*. It’s believed technology can help fill this void and Colmore Tang has identified a number of key areas within its business, and the industry as a whole, which it believes could benefit from the contribution of enterprising start-ups.

Andy added: “ConstrucTech will help us discover exciting and innovative start-ups, whose products and services could deliver those technologies and innovations that will be the key to the future success of our business and that of the whole sector.”

Virgin StartUp is a leading business support organisation which has run a number of successful accelerators and supported 11,000 entrepreneurs across the UK; through providing of startup loans, mentorship, business advice and access to global business networks. It will use this experience to identify and recruit technology businesses internationally that could meet the innovation gap which has long existed in the construction sector.

Colmore Tang and Virgin StartUp are calling for businesses to apply to the ConstrucTech programme to address the following problems:

  • People: improving analysis of performance, sharing best practice across building projects, measurement of quality and also implementation of health and safety.

  • Data: using data to pre-empt potential delays, more efficient material ordering, more effective use of labour along with use of performance data to improve cost, timescales and estimates of new projects for future clients.

  • Smart Materials: design and implementation of materials to improve sustainability; improve safety and finding materials which are digitally connected.

 

Colmore Tang is providing start-ups with the opportunity to use the programme as a testbed and development platform to bring products and ideas to the construction sector. It’s hoped the £10m innovation behind ConstrucTech will be the spark to improve lacklustre productivity levels and also begin addressing the need to re-skill over half a million construction workers to suit the industry’s future**.

Virgin StartUp has previously run similar programmes for Virgin Trains (Platform-X) and it also developed the UK’s first Crowdfunding accelerator programme (Crowdboost). This will be the first time the not-for-profit has partnered with a company outside the Virgin Group.

Sir Tom Shebbeare, Chairman of Virgin StartUp, said: “Entrepreneurs have the power to positively disrupt whole sectors. Every day we support inspiring and innovative start-ups and help them to take their product or service to market. ConstrucTech is an important programme for start-ups that want to access opportunities within the construction sector. The challenges Colmore Tang has set are exciting and we can’t wait to partner with them to discover game-changing innovations and facilitate their adoption on building projects across the country. I urge any entrepreneur who thinks they can make a difference to apply.”

The window for applications opens today (26th March) and will remain open until 31st May. Virgin StartUp is scouting for start-ups with market-ready products or services that can address one or more of the programme challenges. Shortlisted applicants will then be asked to pitch their idea to a panel of industry experts during June, from which the programme participants will be chosen. Unlike many other accelerators, the ultimate aim of the ConstrucTech programme is to see successful companies trial their solution on one of Colmore Tang’s live sites, as well as potentially gaining access to the £10m innovation fund, in order to facilitate broader adoption of the technology.

Interested start-ups can apply to be part of ConstrucTech here: http://virginstartup.org/constructech

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

 

 

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 £25,000 funding boost for new older people’s  exercise classes in Devon

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£25,000 funding boost for new older people’s exercise classes in Devon

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A pioneering programme that helps to improve people’s experience of ageing has awarded Move it or Lose it, a specialist training provider of exercise classes for the over 60s, £25,000 to train 20 new instructors in Torbay and Exeter.

Endorsed training provider Move It or Lose It, which offers exercise programmes specifically targeted at older people and those with limited mobility, has hailed the funding from Transform Ageing as a significant boost as it grows across the country.

Founder Julie Robinson said as well as training new instructors, the funding will help them with financial and marketing support as they link to existing local partners and GP surgeries.

“We’re thrilled to have secured this funding from Transform Ageing because it means we are able to offer a fantastic opportunity for anyone in Torbay and Exeter looking to revive their local communities and set up their own flexible business,” she said.

“The funding will enable us to reach up to 1,800 older people every week through our classes, which has the potential to have a hugely positive impact on their lives. We’re looking forward to hearing from those who are keen to join our team, become an accredited instructor and help older people to enjoy healthier, happier and more active lives.”

Transform Ageing is a first-of-its-kind initiative to change the way society approaches and designs services for people in later life. It is delivered through a partnership and is led by Design Council, alongside UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, the South West Academic Health Science Network, and the Centre for Ageing Better.

Its delivery is also being supported locally on the ground in the south-west by Volunteer Cornwall, Devon Communities Together, Community Council for Somerset and Torbay Community Development Trust.

Mark Norbury, UnLtd CEO, said: “Older people have amazing energy, talent and ideas – and it’s vital we harness these to address the urgent challenges our ageing society faces – so it is fantastic to see the launch of this impressive cohort of Transform Ageing ventures. These social entrepreneurs are delivering truly fresh thinking with the potential to transform our health, connectedness and productivity - enabling us to see our ageing society as the wonderful opportunity it is.”

Clare Devine, Design Council executive director, said: “It is fantastic to see these ventures responding to the insights generated by local people. This really is about design led innovation from the grass roots of the community. People in later life, social entrepreneurs and public sector staff have worked collaboratively to understand in depth what would make a difference to day to day lives. Now we have an exciting range of ideas responding to what local people want and need.”

Anybody interested in applying for a funded instructor place with Move it or Lose it should email training@moveitorloseit.co.uk for more information.

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

 

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Colmore Tang Construction delivers BREEAM-accredited project

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Colmore Tang Construction delivers BREEAM-accredited project

Birmingham contractor Colmore Tang Construction (CTC) has received accreditation from the world-leading sustainability assessor BREEAM for its Pineham Park development in Northampton.

The contractor’s two distribution units, associated service yards and external works at the site adjacent to the M1 have been rated ‘Very Good’ by BREEAM, in recognition of the project’s sustainability performance.

Stuart Harrison, Head of Design at CTC and Design Manager for the development at Pineham Park, said: “To receive ‘Very Good’ ratings from BREEAM is a fantastic achievement and is a real testament to the hard work and planning that went into every aspect of the project - from the initial design stages right through to delivery and completion.”

BREEAM assesses how environmentally-friendly a development is, taking into account what measures the contractor or developer has taken to improve the efficiency of the design.

“For Pineham Park we sourced very sustainable materials, including certified timber for the acoustic fence,” explained Stuart. “BREEAM rates all materials so we had to think very carefully about what we were going to use and work with trusted suppliers who bought into our vision.

“A lot of factors have to be taken into consideration, including thermal performance measures, water efficiency and energy-saving electric devices. For example, we’ve installed external lights that automatically adjust according to the season and time of year.

“Another key element is the ecology report. We conducted a large survey of the area which found no wildlife but highlighted existing hedgerows and a small pond that needed to be protected.”

CTC erected a new barrier around the perimeter of the pond to protect the area and encourage wildlife, while all construction work was kept at a reasonable distance from the existing hedgerows wherever possible.

“With BREEAM it is about more than just recognising what is there - it’s about finding ways to enhance the existing environment and improve sustainability,” added Stuart.

“I’ve worked on BREEAM projects before but never on a commercial development. It took a lot of planning at design stage to make sure we got it right - BREEAM is not something you can just bolt on at the end as an afterthought.”

Pineham Park consists of two distribution units, one of which covers an area of 3,600 square metres while the other covers 5,500 square metres.

For more information visit: www.colmoretang.com

PR by Clive Reeves PR in Birmingham

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