North West business briefs: American Golf; Liberty; Two Zero; Gateley; Tangerine Group

From left: Gary Favell, Kate and Justin Rose

Warrington-based American Golf and former number one, Major champion and Olympic Gold medal winner, Justin Rose, have joined forces to unveil a new world class golf academy as they embark on a mission to get more people into golf by connecting five million people with the sport for the first time.

The new Justin Rose Academy, powered by American Golf, is part of American Golf’s drive to make golf accessible to all, irrespective of age, gender social background and ability. Led by a team of highly trained PGA professional coaches and working with golfers of all levels, from complete beginners to seasoned professionals, the Academy will operate from American Golf’s leisure sites, including its flagship Golf Kingdom Leisure Park in Essex, Cheshire’s High Legh Park Golf Club, Rossendale Family Golf Complex in Lancashire, Hemingford Abbots Golf Complex in Cambridgeshire, Wythall Driving Range in Birmingham and Bexley’s Barnehurst Golf Club.

The academy will have a firm focus on community engagement, taking the sport off the golf course and into new territories via social media and influencer activities, events and a dedicated schools programme that will introduce children to the wide ranging physical and mental health benefits of golf. In its first five years, the Academy aims to bring 18,000 young people onto the Justin Rose junior programme, with more than 5,000 free lessons for school children given away during the first year.

Justin Rose said: “It’s an extremely exciting time for the golf. Not only is participation up, but the average age of players has decreased by five years to 41, plus 400,000 women have taken up golf for the first time since 2020. Encouraging young people to play golf will protect the future of the sport and schools are a crucial part of our outreach. It’s our vision to have golf on the PE curriculum. The academy will enable more people to benefit from the social and health benefits of golf, as well as us uncovering future champions.”

Gary Favell, CEO of American Golf, said: “This is a landmark day for golf in the UK. Justin is an extraordinary player and a hugely inspirational ambassador for the sport. Our Justin Rose Academy has huge ambitions to accelerate golf participation, while changing the perception of the sport for good and making sure it’s accessible to all.”

Attracting more minority groups into the game is a key focus for Kate Rose, Justin’s wife and founder of the women’s golfing event, Rose Ladies Series, who’s also leading the charge in her role as inclusivity mbassador at the academy, ensuring every minority group is able to participate in the sport.


Ray Jones

Liverpool-based property services firm, Liberty, has secured a £6m contract with housing provider First Choice Homes Oldham that promises multiple benefits to the local community – including new apprenticeships, steps to reduce carbon emissions and paid volunteering days for staff.

Liberty, which offers maintenance services nationally, is taking on responsibility for heating maintenance, servicing, and installation services for 11,500 homes owned by the housing association across Oldham, starting in April 2022.

In place for an initial period of three years, with the potential for a contract extension, the partnership could last five years in total. Liberty’s responsibilities will cover not just gas boilers, but 42 solar hot water systems and 16 air source heat pumps, too. Alongside the servicing and maintenance work, Liberty will also be contributing to First Choice Homes Oldham’s work in the local community.

Liberty will create 12 local apprenticeships, boosting job opportunities in Oldham. A further four work experience placements per year will help young people get hands-on experience in housing and maintenance. It will contribute towards helping to reduce the landlord’s carbon footprint through maintaining and servicing efficient renewable heating systems and committing to divert 99% of waste from landfill.

Ray Jones, Liberty group managing director, said: “We have had an excellent start to the year and it’s great to see this new partnership with First Choice Homes Oldham building on multiple other new contract wins. We’re proud to be partnering with First Choice Homes Oldham as it not only offers us the chance to do what we are best at – providing professional property services and excellent customer service – it also gives our team members the chance to give back to the communities they’re working in.”


Aidy Riggott

Ambitious scaleup businesses in Lancashire are being invited to apply for a new programme fully funded by Lancashire County Council which is designed to help them accelerate their growth.

The Scaleup Leaders Network, led by Two Zero, the council’s support service for the county’s scaleup businesses, aims to help business owners and managers to accelerate their expansion through sustained growth coaching and peer group learning with other high-growth business leaders. It will be delivered by business growth consultancy Cube Thinking and is open to 15 Lancashire scaleups which can demonstrate strong potential to accelerate their growth. The support will run until the end of March 2023, giving business leaders access to up to 12 months of support.

County councillor, Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, Lancashire County Council, said: “The scaleup community is a vital part of Lancashire’s economy and I am hugely proud that through Lancashire County Council there is a funded support service targeted specifically at scaleup businesses.

“The Scaleup Leaders Network will build on the established scaleup support service offered by Two Zero. The benefits of the programme will not just be felt by participating business leaders, the growth of these companies will strengthen our supply chains, local jobs and economic prosperity.”

Scaleup Leaders Network aims to develop the leadership mindset and scaleup strategies of those on the programme through one-to-one coaching, group masterclasses on key topics and by providing facilitated peer learning to help them build long lasting networks of likeminded business leaders.


From left: Gateley CEO Rod Waldie, Sara Prowse, Paul Jefferson

The Manchester office of legal and professional services group, Gateley, is to provide two bursaries for University Academy 92 (UA92) students as the higher education institution continues its mission to broaden access to higher education.

The partnership between Gateley’s Manchester office and UA92, the groundbreaking higher education institution co-founded by Lancaster University and the Manchester United Class of ‘92, will see the business provide mentoring support, guest lectures and two £5,000 bursaries in the coming academic year.

Based in Trafford, UA92 aims to make higher education accessible to all, through its founding principles of accessibility, social mobility and inclusivity. It is focused on fully preparing graduates for the world of work by offering industry-led courses. UA92 works closely with a range of businesses to provide mentoring, guest lectures and work experience opportunities, in addition to character and personal development guidance.

Welcoming Gateley’s support, Sara Prowse, CEO of UA92, said: “Not only will the firm be providing financial support, which will open up opportunities for disadvantaged communities, but their knowledgeable team will be sharing their advice and mentoring opportunities with the cohort. This package of support is invaluable and will further boost skills, knowledge and aspirations so that our graduates leave UA92 ready to carve out fantastic careers in their specialisms.”

Paul Jefferson, office managing partner for Gateley in Manchester, said: “The forward thinking ethos of UA92, supporting students in Greater Manchester who are ambitious for success and keen to fulfill their potential, sits very comfortably alongside our own core values here at Gateley. We look forward to working together with UA92 and their students to inspire them on their journey through higher education.”


Tangerine staff, from left, Julie Dillon, Patrycja Obolewicz and Angela Lucas

Lancashire’s Tangerine Group has pledged to give a weekly energy subsidy of up to £40 to their hardest hit employees. Employees earning under £25,000 will receive £40 a week, and those earning between £25,000 and £34,995, £25 a week.

The move comes as a direct response to rising costs globally and, in particular, gas and electricity bills compounded by the war in the Ukraine. Energy bills have risen by £693 this year, with the average household bill increasing from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.

The payment will cover 89 employees, more than half of Tangerine Group employees at the Lytham-based headquarters, where businesses, including VetPlus, operate from.

Tangerine Group founder, David Haythornwaite, said: “When we saw the news about the rise in energy prices, we felt it was important that we took action to directly help those employees who would be hardest hit. There has been a lot in the media about the need for the Government to do something and for those employed in the public sector, I would agree.

“However, in the private sector where we operate, I feel very strongly that this is down to individual employers, such as ourselves to step up to the plate and play our part. As John F Kennedy famously said ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ We are proud of our team at Tangerine — they’re like family and have been hard working and loyal throughout the pandemic, so we believe it’s only right for the business to support them.”