North West business briefs: DAM Health; City of Liverpool College; TLT; Everything Genetic; Salford City Council

Prof Frank Joseph

Liverpool-based DAM Health has announced a key partnership with consumer genetic testing pioneer DnaNudge that will see its 90-minute PCR COVID-19 test, CovidNudge, deployed across more than 100 clinics in the UK and internationally in the New Year.

CovidNudge is an RT-PCR point-of-care testing platform that delivers accurate results in under 90 minutes without the need for a lab or any manual sample pre-processing. The test will initially be available in Liverpool, Manchester and Wirral clinics, then throughout the DAM Health estate in early 2022, providing testing and reassurance for all retail and corporate customers, where reliable, cost-efficient and easily accessible service is critical with DAM Health’s trained medical professionals.

Based at its Liverpool HQ in The Spine, DAM Health has major plans in the medical diagnostics world for 2022 and beyond. DnaNudge is a British company from Imperial College with headquarters in London and has recently obtained CE-IVD for its multiplex respiratory panel for the detection of flu A, flu B, and RSV, as well as COVID-19.

CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge, Regius (Royal) Professor Chris Toumazou, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with DAM Health, deploying our unique technology that truly democratises PCR testing into their clinics. The DnaNudge gold-standard PCR technology is simple to use and does not require a lab or lab expertise.

“Customers increasingly demand decentralised preventative and personalised care, with the pandemic experience having highlighted that infectious disease is a consumer world problem. There is a great synergy between the two companies with this respect. With the ongoing battle against the coronavirus spread, time and ease of access are critical, and we look forward to working together to enable this in the UK and worldwide.”

Prof Frank Joseph, DAM Health’s medical director, said: “We are all thrilled to partner with DnaNudge and in making their 90-minute PCR COVID-19 CovideNudge test available across our clinics in the UK into 2022. As the pandemic continues to evolve – we are seeing now its effects continue both across our nation and globally – innovators like DnaNudge align with our own continued ambition and determination to lead the way in the fight against COVID-19 in the months ahead.”


Elaine Bowker

The City of Liverpool College is set to deliver free Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving in partnership with North West Education and Training Ltd (NWEAT), as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The bootcamps have been designed to help bridge the HGV driver skills gap, with each trainee offered a guaranteed interview with an employer on completion of the course.

Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving have been produced by the Department for Education to support with the training and licencing of HGV drivers, in a quick response to the national shortage in the road haulage industry. According to reports, there is now an estimated shortage of more than 30,000 qualified HGV drivers in the UK, seeing salaries increase to attract new drivers, with typical wages now between £35,000 and £50,000.

The Skills Bootcamps are part of The City of Liverpool College’s work towards addressing the needs of employers and the wider economy, delivering targeted interventions to meet demands to fill vacancies and drive productivity. Working in partnership with North West Education and Training, the college will provide high quality training to give people the knowledge and skills to pass industry tests. Through the course, which will run for up to 16 weeks, participants will also acquire the appropriate licences to work as an HGV driver, or for qualified HGV drivers to acquire specialist HGV qualifications.

Elaine Bowker, principal and chief executive at The City of Liverpool College, said: “It’s great to be able to deliver this training in a sector that needs support, especially with the shortages this vital sector is currently facing. It is incredibly important to us that we play our role in getting people the skills they need to be ready for the world of work, so it’s fantastic that we’re able to provide this opportunity. These bootcamps will support our economy to address the skills gap, raising aspirations and supporting social mobility, as well as helping to reduce the impact of this shortage on the wider economy.”

Cheryl Denny, owner of NWEAT, said: “North West Education and Training is proud to partner with The City of Liverpool College on the HGV Bootcamps North West. NWEAT has been the strategic lead on many successful projects, moving people and goods both regionally and nationally, and we are looking forward to forming new partnerships and training drivers to achieve a successful professional driving career.”


Bill Hull

North West law firm TLT has retained its position on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS’s) Legal Services Panel, following a major review by the Government.

CCS supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2020/21, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.04bn – supporting world class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

TLT will continue to deliver a full range of services to the Government Legal Department (GLD), providing expertise, additional capacity and specialism and enabling the team to deliver a high quality of service to its stakeholders. TLT demonstrated its capability across more than 30 specialisms as well as technology and matter management systems, its ability to co-partner with the GLD and its extensive knowledge and experience of working with a range of stakeholders to deliver significant and complex projects.

The presentation team was led by Bill Hull, partner and co-head of government & public sector, with partners Kuldip Dhanoya and Gareth Oldale and legal director Nathalia Perera, supported by Caroline Ramsay, Emily Holdsworth, Clare Welch and Duncan Moss. Bill said: “We are delighted to have been re-appointed to this prestigious legal panel. Working with government lawyers over the last four years, and particularly in response to the COVID-19 challenges they have faced, has been an incredible experience. It is great to have the opportunity to continue to support the core legal teams with expertise, additional capacity and our specialism and also to co-partner to find best in practice ways of working.”

In the past year, TLT was appointed to the Government’s post-Brexit trade law panel and instructed to advise on three critical trade negotiations, re-appointed to the National Legal Services Framework in an expanded role, and appointed to Sport England’s new sports and arts legal services panel.


Everything Genetic team

Nantwich-based healthcare company Everything Genetic has announced a recruitment drive for 13 new staff to support its expansion in a rapidly growing sector.

Across its testing capabilities, the company has revealed it sold more than one million test kits over the past 18 months alone, which it says has already created in excess of 70 jobs in the local area, including new finance and IT directors, but it is on the lookout for even more. Vacancies span varying disciplines and experience, but include career opportunities across all levels of the business, such as marketing, sales and customer care roles.

The news follows Everything Genetic’s recent expansion and investment, after the business diversified into several life science sectors over the past 18 months. With the life sciences industry playing a central role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Everything Genetic expanded its original remit of offering genetic screening for common cancers and heart disease, to providing a full range of COVID testing kits for healthcare, employers and individuals.

A recent report from Savills found £19.9bn of life science-related capital was raised by companies based in the UK over the past year – a 23% increase on 2019. For Everything Genetic’s CEO, James Price, this uplift in investment over the pandemic underpins an unprecedented confidence in the nation’s life sciences capabilities and is testament to the strength of the sector.

He said: “From pioneering vaccines to the roll out of public health interventions, the UK has emerged from the pandemic as a life science powerhouse. We’re privileged that Everything Genetic has been in a position to support individuals and businesses navigate the complexities and ever-changing landscape of COVID testing, to enable individuals to travel abroad, do business, and see loved ones. We don’t want to lose all of that expertise once the pandemic is over, so recruiting for these new roles both demonstrates a boost for the region’s life sciences sector and is testament to the strength of our current financial situation and onward ambition.”


Greater Manchester advertising agency BuyMeMedia has launched a far-reaching publicity drive across Salford in a bid to welcome shoppers ‘home’ to the city’s high streets. Its ‘Home is on Your High Street’ campaign – orchestrated in partnership with Salford City Council and branding agency Whistlejacket – aims to capitalise on Salford communities’ strong feelings of local pride and ownership.

Backed by a £230,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund as part of its Welcome Back Fund project, it is hoped the multimedia initiative will drive spending at the heart of the city’s communities to support local businesses and protect jobs during the ongoing pandemic. ‘Home is on Your High Street’ will see 30 large format (48 sheet) posters erected in and around town centres. Four black (wrapped) cabs and 30 buses travelling local routes will carry the community message on their sides and rears, while 90 bus shelters will exhibit (six sheet) posters alongside 45 local phone kiosks. Forty five lamppost pendants hanging in shopping districts and eight leisure centre banners will also be emblazoned with the creative campaign.

Radio ads and digital programmatic geo-targeted ads in shopping areas will also carry the ‘Home is on Your High Street’ message to residents of Langworthy, Eccles, Monton, Pendleton, Higher Broughton, Irlam and Cadishead, Swinton, Walkden, Pendlebury and Little Hulton. The marketing mix is tied together with the memorable and visible campaign hashtag #SalfordHighStreets, and will run from mid-December to the end of March 2022.

Salford-born owner of BuyMeMedia, Mike Cleary, said: “The opportunity to have a positive impact on the fortunes of people and a place close to my heart and remind them that they, too, can make a difference by choosing to shop local was something I did not want to miss.”

Salford City Councillor David Lancaster, who is lead member for environment, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: “We’re committed to supporting local businesses across communities throughout the city. This funding from the Welcome Back Fund and European Regional Development Fund enables us to roll out this fantastic, visual campaign that we hope will invigorate our high streets once again.”

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