NW briefs: Upturn Enterprise & Partner Network; Carr Moss Kennels & Cattery; The Manchester College; Marketing Liverpool; Football For Change

Kashif Ashraf
X The Business Desk

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A programme aimed at young, female, BAME entrepreneurs in Oldham has been launched by Upturn Enterprise & Partner Network, and backed by NatWest through grant funding, to support the local economy.

The new scheme aims to help entrepreneurs who may have limited knowledge and experience in developing a successful business to connect with the wider Oldham business ecosystem and build their businesses, many of which were created over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kashif Ashraf, chair and joint leader Asian Business Leaders, said: “We know there is the Northern Powerhouse which is aiming to help businesses across the region connect and thrive, but we believe we can create a strong local network by enabling some of these new businesses in Oldham to succeed and thrive. A successful business community will lead to a successful community which is a benefit for all. We aim to build on knowledge from local partners like the council and NatWest to help these new entrepreneurs. It’s through these connections that businesses can succeed.”

Cllr Arooj Shah, Oldham Council leader and cabinet member for economic and social reform, said: “I welcome this new programme, which will help so many under-represented people to reach their potential.

“We recently launched a women’s taskforce in Oldham to tackle disadvantages and promote greater equality. It’s great that Upturn Enterprise Ltd & Partner Network, backed by Nat West, share our vision for a fairer society and I look forward to working in partnership to help more young, female, BAME entrepreneurs be empowered to set up thriving businesses.”

Heather Waters, regional ecosystem manager at NatWest, said: “We are delighted to work with Upturn Enterprises on this new programme aimed specifically at female-led entrepreneurs. We believe enterprise is central to helping communities to thrive. In Oldham we see different organisations coming together and working together to the benefit of the wider community, and Upturn Enterprises’ programme will, no doubt, continue in this tradition.”


Peter and Andrea Rouch

An established Halsall-based kennel and cattery is set for expansion after being acquired by new owners, thanks to a six-figure funding package from Lloyds Bank.

Carr Moss Kennels & Cattery opened more than 40 years ago and offers overnight accommodation and care for cats and dogs for short and long term stays. When the previous owner retired, the business was put up for sale leading Peter and Andrea Rouch to make an offer. Combining a love of animals and more than two decades of experience running their own IT consultancy, the business approached Lloyds Bank, securing a six-figure funding package.

The support allowed the couple to purchase the company which included 35 dog kennels, eight cat pens, an office, and a house where they now live. There is also 1/3 acre of unused land on site that the firm plans to develop over the next two years to extend the kennels and build a second outdoor run for dogs. The business also hopes to hire an additional part time member of staff next year once travel restrictions have fully eased and demand rises.

Peter Rouch said: “Taking over a business that’s already well known in the North West can be daunting, but when we saw it was for sale, my wife and I jumped at the opportunity. Thanks to the support from Lloyds Bank, we’ve managed to keep the IT consultancy going and buy the new business. It’s been a big change from our usual day-to-day work but we’re off to a great start. During lockdown, many people got pets of their own, and now that travel restrictions are lifting, we’re seeing a big increase in demand for our services.”

Craig Chernouski, specialist business centre manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Carr Moss Kennels & Cattery is a prime example of a business transferring its skills from one sector to another to capitalise on new growth opportunities. Peter and Andrea have put their heart and soul into what is already a successful business, and we look forward to seeing what the future brings for the business.”


Mozhgan Taheri

The Manchester College has announced a new industry partnership with aesthetics clinic SCI-U, creating a new Industry Excellence Academy for Hair and Beauty. SCI-U will co-develop and co-deliver the college’s Beauty Therapy course, the first course to be offered as part of the brand new Industry Excellence Academy for Hair & Beauty.

As an industry partner, Wilmslow-based SCI-U will also offer students work placement of at least 15 days and exclusive opportunities within the beauty sector. In addition, it will also deliver industry masterclasses at the college’s on-campus, professional-standard Studios of Hairdressing, Beauty & Make-up, and sit on the college’s Industry Advisory Board. The partnership was officially launched with an event at the college’s Harpurhey campus on Monday where students met with SCI-U’s staff and were treated to a live industry demonstration, giving them a taste of the beauty therapy techniques that they’ll be learning and then providing for paying customers.

Lisa O’Loughlin, principal of The Manchester College, said: “As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and work to fill skills gaps locally, regionally and nationally, our industry partners are more important than ever. Our partnership with SCI-U will provide students with invaluable learning opportunities in the beauty sector, providing them with the skills and experience they’ll need to become the next generation of industry excellence in the sector at the end of their course.”

As part of the college’s Industry Excellence Academy offer, students on the Beauty Therapy course will receive employability sessions with a named Employability Tutor and be allocated a dedicated Employability and Partnership Coordinator to help prepare them and equip them with the skills they will need when they enter the world of work.

Founder of SCI-U, Mozhgan Taheri, said: “At SCI-U we are passionate about providing young people with the opportunities they need to thrive in the beauty sector, and The Manchester College shares our belief in offering relevant, career-based courses, not just the traditional, university-based routes to employment. Having met the students, it’s clear that they possess the talent and desire to succeed. We are really looking forward to shaping the future of the industry by providing them with the appropriate skills and experience they need to forge their careers and help provide the sector with the boost it needs post-pandemic.”


Marketing Liverpool has launched the city’s Christmas 2021 marketing campaign, entitled ‘Liverpool. Feels Like Christmas’, which celebrates the magic and togetherness of visiting Liverpool with family and friends at this special time of the year.

Activated on TV, video on demand, outdoor and newspaper advertising across the North West, it has been created in-house by Marketing Liverpool, Liverpool’s destination marketing organisation on behalf of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network (LVEN). LVEN includes many of the city’s biggest attractions including ACC Liverpool, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool BID, Liverpool One and National Museums Liverpool.

The marketing campaign has been supported with £90,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Cllr Harry Doyle, Liverpool City Council cabinet member for culture and visitor economy, said: “Christmas is even more special this year. We can enjoy a real Liverpool Christmas with our family and friends. The marketing campaign is vital in welcoming visitors from across the city region, North West and UK.”

Donna Howitt, place strategy director for retail centre Liverpool One, said: “It’s wonderful that we can celebrate Christmas in the traditional way this year, coming together with family and friends, and Liverpool has so much on offer for everyone. The visitor economy has come together to collectively bring together an unrivalled festive offer where visitors will leave with the fondest memories from a city that offers the warmest welcome in the country.”

Liverpool BID chief executive, Bill Addy, said: “Liverpool buzzes at Christmas and it’s because the stage is always set for the festive season. At Liverpool BID it’s something we look forward to planning through the year. We put on a good show, not just for those coming to visit, but for those living and working in the city every day.”


John Morley, left, and Craig Greenwood

Two prominent Merseyside business figures have spoken about their pride after helping to raise more than £250,000 for disadvantaged young people. Everkool boss Craig Greenwood and John Morley, the founder of Legacie Developments, were both sponsors of the glittering Football For Change gala dinner which took place in Liverpool last Saturday.

Stars including Sir Rod Stewart, M People’s Heather Small and pop singer Pixie Lott were among the performers on the night, while Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher and Everton striker and England international Dominic Calvert-Lewin took part in a football related q&a hosted by the comedian Russell Howard. The event included an auction with lots donated by celebrity names including Dua Lipa, Daniel Craig and Robbie Williams.

Football For Change was launched by Carragher, Liverpool player Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady last year to support NEET young people, facing social and economic disadvantages, into further education and employment. The initiative has the backing of Ian Donaldson, CEO of the Manchester-based Swinton Insurance group, as well as businesses from across the North West. Other businesses to support the gala included Sedulo, Dental Cafe, MJ Quinn, Wild Thang and DAM Health.

Everkool founder, Craig Greenwood, said: “The ambitions set out by Football For Change to help young people growing up in tough circumstances align with my values and my own personal experiences. This initiative is about raising aspirations by funding opportunities in education and training to help young people build better futures.”

John Morley, whose company Legacie Developments, sponsored the fundraiser, said: “All of the businesses involved feel a real sense of pride in what we achieved on Saturday. This money is going to help change lives in the city region by giving school leavers facing social and economic challenges the hope of a better future.”