NW business briefs: Green Shield Group; Electricity North West; Big Fang Karaoke; Merseyrail; DIIG Cycle Studio; Claire House

Sandal BMW

Preston-based renewable energy providers, Green Shield Group, has been appointed by Sandal Wakefield BMW to deliver a 236.57 kWp solar system across its showroom site facilitated by Green Technologies.

The install, which will save more than £65,000 per year, will reduce carbon emissions by 37,810 kg per year with an estimated annual yield of nearly 200,000 kWh. The Solar PV system will generate the equivalent of 1,737 trees being planted on an annual basis.

Jonathan Harrison, Green Shield Group managing director, said: “It has been great to work with the team at Sandal Wakefield BMW understanding why they want to increase their sustainability pledge and the objectives behind this. We have supported in significantly reducing Sandal Wakefield BMW’s grid reliance whilst effectively reducing the businesses energy rates providing long term savings, we are looking forward to continuing working with the team to further reduce their carbon footprint.”

Jason Carter, of Sandal Wakefield BMW, said: “The Solar PV system we have had fitted here is a long term investment that will not only help us reduce our CO2 emissions, it will also help in our pledge to become a net zero operation as we move towards the Government’s target of carbon-neutral by 2050. We are looking forward to generating our own clean electricity.”

Solar PV modules generate clean electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current. Inverters then convert DC into grid-compliant alternating current used to power homes, buildings and businesses and utility power is then provided when needed.

Green Shield Group specialise in delivering carbon reduction strategies for businesses across the UK. The business operates across a multitude of sectors from manufacturing, motoring, education and local authorities simplifying the transition to sustainable solutions for clients whilst demonstrating commercial gains.


New apprentice cohort

Thirty seven apprentices from Carlisle to south Manchester have embarked on a three-year journey with the North West’s power network operator.

The new recruits will train to be part of the team that manages the safe delivery of electricity across the region through the 44,000 km of underground cables and overhead lines that make up the regional network run by the Stockport-based group.

After carrying out an initial two weeks’ learning at Electricity North West’s state-of-the-art Training Academy, the apprentices will then join one of the organisation’s many depots situated across the region, gaining on-site experience almost daily. This year’s apprentices were chosen from hundreds of applications and new roles include operational engineers, design engineers, civil engineers, mechanics and IT engineers.

Rachael Parr, Electricity North West’s people and corporate services director, said: “It’s always an exciting time to see a new cohort of apprentices join the business and embark on their journey. Earlier this year, we began a huge £2bn investment for the North West’s power network as demand for electricity continues to increase as people move away from fossil fuels for things like transport and heating to clean electricity. Our apprentices will have a major role to play over the next five years to complete the huge programme of work and beyond.”

More than 230 apprentices have been trained and developed by Electricity North West since 2007. Later this year, the firm will re-open its window for hiring with more than 35 apprenticeships set to be made available.


Big Fang Karaoke has announced its first immersive destination will be launching in Liverpool, on Friday, September 29. Liverpool-based Big Fang Collective is backed by leisure and hospitality-focused PE firm, Imbiba.

Fans of experience-led socialising will be able to step into a world of music, technology and nostalgia, all amidst a neon-lit Tokyo city. It’s a sonic slam of music and machine as Big Fang Karaoke launches in collaboration with Asahi, and comes from the team behind adults-only crazy golf brand Golf Fang. The venue, on Parliament Street, L8, will be located next door to the well-known graffiti-covered ‘Sprayground’.

The venue will provide four karaoke rooms which cater for between four and 25 guests and the Big Fang Karaoke team said: “We’re super excited to be launching our flagship venue in Liverpool, especially as it’s where Golf Fang first launched back in 2016. Liverpool is known for its rich musical heritage, as the birthplace of iconic artists and a hub of creative innovation.

“Big Fang Karaoke celebrates the era of neon dreams and retro futurism, where the boundaries of technology were pushed and creativity knew no bounds. We’re collaborating with Asahi on the project, whose brand originated in Japan (as did Karaoke itself) so the partnership made complete sense.

“Asahi is known for its ‘beyond expected’ and ‘futuristic’ outlook, so we harnessed these values, gave them a Big Fang twist and created a concept that we’re all very proud to be part of.”


Merseyrail has signed up to a new British Transport Police (BTP) app that aims to help passengers feel as safe as possible while travelling on the rail network. The app can be downloaded from https://onelink.to/muk9u2.

The Railway Guardian app is a two-way communication platform between British Transport Police and passengers, designed to encourage the reporting of a range of issues including anti-social behaviour and criminal activity on the UK rail network. It allows concerned passengers to make a report straight to the BTP control room. BTP officers can then deploy to the nearest, or next, station where appropriate.

Not only does the app encourage reporting of unwanted behaviour, but it also includes content aimed at encouraging positive behavioural change by providing advice on what is acceptable. The geographical location option also allows passengers to share their journey with loved ones. Passengers can report any crimes or concerns via the Railway Guardian app.

Under the ‘Report’ function, incidents can be reported to British Transport Police, Merseyrail, or anonymously to StreetSafe. If passengers require emergency assistance, they should always call 999. Aside from reporting security issues, passengers can also use it to register any problems they spot while travelling, such as wear and tear or maintenance issues.

Suzanne Grant, Merseyrail commercial director, said: “While our network is one of the safest in the UK, with passengers responding to customer surveys telling us they feel safe while travelling with us, we continue to work hard to ensure this remains the case. By partnering with British Transport Police in the development of this app, we are helping to ensure that criminal behaviour, including anti-social behaviour, will have no place on our network.”


DIIG Cycle Studio, a boutique space delivering motivational, beat-based cycling classes, has opened in the heart of Wirral, combining dynamic spin classes with encouraging beats, creating an exciting, full body workout experience for riders attending the classes.

Annie Sablier, 33, from Wirral, has been honing her riding and coaching skills over the past three years after qualifying as a rhythm coach in London. From there, she started working in boutique cycling clubs around the UK, and knew that there was such a power and a physical and mental benefit to the style of riding and techniques that she’d been developing.

She said: “Our DIIG Ride 45 minute classes provide a full body burn, riding to the rhythm of empowering, mood-boosting beats. Our classes will see our riders pushing themselves to the limit, releasing stress and letting go with our supportive community. We have various themed playlist rides which are shared on our Instagram page, and for those who want to take it up a level, we have an extra challenging 60 minute class.”

The mum-of-two took over a two story retail unit in Moreton, Wirral, earlier this year. She spent six months renovating the space to achieve the cool, calming aesthetic that DIIG needed to reflect the business.

The ground floor is an open space, complete with DIIG’s juice and coffee bar, a work/chill out area and where riders will also find the changing areas. The second floor is home to DIIG’s blacked out cycle room, complete with 25 bikes, mirrored walls, a state-of-the-art sound system and club lights. Annie added: “My hope is that DIIG Cycle reaches the people that need it – those who need that special kind of energy and community to elevate their fitness. Those who are in need of some time out to connect with themselves and find joy in their movement.”


Dragon Boat Race champions

Twenty local businesses raised more than £35,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice by competing in the 11th Liverpool Waters Dragon Boat Race at Princes Dock last week.

Peel L&P, the landowner and master planner of Liverpool Waters, invited its tenants, partners and suppliers from across the Liverpool City Region to join in its annual fundraiser, which was sponsored by Anchor Group Services. Dragon boat racing, which originated in ancient China, is now the fastest growing water sport in the world and is a favourite among corporates for its team building benefits.

During the day, teams competed in crews of between seven and 13 people who sat in pairs in the canoe-like vessels fitted with ornately carved dragon heads and tails. Each team took part in three timed races over distances of around 200m before the knock-out stages began. This year’s race was won by Avison Young and Fisher German who were crowned the champions after winning all of their races during the day.

Participating teams included: Peel L&P, Liverpool Waters, Claire House, Anchor Services, Arup, Avison Young, Brabners, Colliers, Curtins, DSG, Enervate and Vital Energi, Equans, Fisher German, Griffiths & Armour, Hive Projects, HM3 Legal, If We Ran The Zoo, Leep Utilities, Plan-it, PWS Financial Services, Vermont, and Walker Sime.

Dan Halliday, corporate fundraising manager at Claire House Children’s Hospice, said: “We’re delighted to be the chosen charity for the Liverpool Waters Dragon Boat Race once again this year. Not only does it raise such an incredible amount of money for the hospice, but it’s a great way for us to engage with so many fantastic businesses.”