North West business briefs: NWCRC;; Bed Factory Direct; Transmission Studio; Soul Padel; Clever Carbon Company

DI Dan Giannasi, North West Cyber Resilience Centre

The North West Cyber Resilience Centre (NWCRC) has announced that Three Business – the B2B arm of Three UK – has joined it as a new regional ambassador.

The telecommunications business will use its technical expertise to help the NWCRC tackle the ever-growing threat of cyber crime for businesses.

Three Business also joins existing regional ambassadors Siemens, Northrop Grumman, Salesforce, Sellafield and CyberSec Professional on the Guidance Council, which helps to inform the strategy and direction of the not-for-profit organisation.

Snehal Bhudia, director at Three Business, said: “As sophisticated cyber attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace, we work with the best in industry to provide the cutting edge of mobile threat intelligence software to our customers.

“However, a general lack in understanding of the risks and prevalence of cybercrime persists in the business community and, unfortunately, can result in costing thousands to rectify. That’s why we’re joining forces with the NWCRC to help educate businesses in the North West about the rising threats of cybercrime and how to be proactive in protecting their business.”

DI Dan Giannasi, head of cyber and innovation at the NWCRC, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Three Business as a regional ambassador and hugely value their input and expertise as a leading business in communications and technology.”


David Smith

Pioneering Manchester-based energy monitory company,, has been awarded £670,000 by Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst 10 (EC10) grant.

The Government-backed scheme will enable to integrate cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies into its energy monitoring platform which aims to revolutionise energy management practices, ultimately reducing costs for commercial and industrial users in regions with inadequate grid supply, with a particular focus on Nigeria.

This is the latest Innovate UK grant awarded to the tech start-up, which previously received a £600,000 grant from Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst 8 competition and a more than £1m investment in funding rounds led by Green Angel Syndicate and US venture development firm Factor[e].

The additional funding will facilitate the further advancement of’s smart plug-and-play IoT platform. The system offers real-time insights into energy generation, storage, and consumption from all energy inputs, regardless of their age, make or model.

David Smith, CEO, said: “We’re thrilled to have been awarded this grant. This not only validates the hard work and mission of our team but also underlines our commitment to combating climate change.”


Northern Trust Company has welcomed the Bed Factory Direct to The Croft Trade Park in Bromborough.

The company, which has been trading in Liverpool for 37 years, has moved into Unit 2 on the 26,820 sq ft trade park on a 10-year lease agreement.

Bed Factory Direct is a bed manufacturer and retailer, with more than 30 years of specialist experience in creating, selling, and delivering high quality beds, mattresses, and headboards. It had a store on New Chester Road in Birkenhead for more than eight years, but was looking for newer, more modern premises.

Croft Trade Park is a development of eight trade counter/industrial units occupying a prominent position on the Croft Business Park on Welton Road.

Luke Blockley, Asset Manager at Northern Trust, said “Meeting the occupational requirements of such a reputable local business is testament to the modern business space and excellent location that the estate offers. Croft Trade Park is now fully occupied and is home to a range of different trade counter style operators.”


The Kowloons

Transmission Studio, a new state-of-the-art virtual studio at Liverpool’s Brunswick Dock, has hosted the first in a series of ‘On the Docks’ livestream sessions with a virtual gig featuring a carefully curated line-up of talented local musicians including The Kowloons, Fiona Lennon, Harry McKenny, Paul Askew, Tasha Carlee and Nat Kelly.

The ‘On the Docks’ acoustic sessions, which are designed to provide a virtual stage for emerging artists to showcase their music to a global audience, will be broadcast from Transmission Studio by local livestreaming and virtual events specialist, Virtuopo. The company’s camera crew and production team will deliver a broadcast quality livestream to TikTok, via beawesomemusictv, where viewers can watch virtuals gig free of charge.

Founder of Transmission Studio and Virtuopo, Chris Holmes, said: “Our ‘On the Docks’ livestream sessions will give emerging artists a chance to reach a huge global audience as they perform in a professional studio setting. We’re excited to be supporting local musicians by providing a virtual stage at Transmission Studio, as well as a skilled production crew to deliver a high quality livestream and a viewing experience that will be on a par with a TV broadcast.

“It’s a brilliant line-up for the first session and we’re looking forward to livestreaming regular virtual gigs throughout the year.”

Ant Ng, who regularly plays at music venues across the city with his band, The Kowloons, said: “As a young band, this is an incredible opportunity to have our music heard far and wide. Of course, artists can livestream on their own channels using their own equipment, but taking part in ‘On the Docks’ means we have a professional production crew looking after the sound, lighting and cameras, which leaves us to focus on our music.”


Mark Hewlett

North West padel operator, Soul Padel, has formed a partnership with global sports brand Decathlon.

It is a major agreement for Soul Padel, which will see it host its first ‘summer padel festival’ as it embarks on an ambitious programme to grow the fast expanding sport. The collaboration will see two pop-up padel courts, installed and supplied by PADEL1969, at Decathlon’s Stockport store and an additional two courts at Glasgow’s Braehead store.

The festival will go ‘live’ from Monday, June 3, and run until Wednesday, August 31, and aims to engage and introduce the sport to local communities and fitness enthusiasts.

Soul Padel founder and CEO, Mark Hewlett, said: “This is an incredible opportunity to bring padel to these two communities. Decathlon is an internationally respected sports brand, and we are immensely proud to be partnering with them in the months ahead.”

Federico Fraguela, Decathlon UK commercial leader – Running & Rackets Sports, said: “Partnering with Soul Padel allows us to extend our reach and introduce padel to new audiences.”


David Oates with his NeuTrail dispenser

A pioneering Manchester entrepreneur has launched a series of ventures aimed at helping protect the planet by improving the sustainable practices of businesses and individuals.

David Oates, 45, has established The Clever Carbon Company, based in Worsley, with a mission to bring about change by rethinking the way that products are designed, made, used and decommissioned at their end of life.

One development by David, a sessional lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, is NeuTrail, a novel refillable dispenser for personal care products suc as shampoo or handwash.

Father-of-two David said: “We use circular-design and traceable takeback technology to provide products that last longer and don’t end up being discarded, thereby inspiring people to become more conscious consumers.”

David has received support for The Clever Carbon Company from the GC Business Growth Hub, and funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and British Business Bank.