Herefordshire People: Hereford Chamber of Commerce Up and Running

PUBLISHED: 08:33 09 July 2010 | UPDATED: 15:40 20 February 2013

Franks Luxury Biscuits

Franks Luxury Biscuits

Herefordshire Life looks at some recent success stories from members of the Hereford Chamber of Commerce

Herefordshire Life looks at some recent success stories from members of the Hereford Chamber of Commerce.

Herefordshire-based achieved a triple success at the ICT Excellence Awards 2008. The successful company, which currently employs twenty people at its head office in Kington, topped the honours list in one category and was highly commended in two others. It won the ICT Excellence Award for Most Improved Business and was highly commended in the Best Added Value Product Award and the Best Knowledge Transfer Award categories.

The Awards for Best Added Value Product and Best Knowledge Transfer resulted from a project carried out in partnership with Aston University. Recent legislation to ensure that websites and web applications are fully accessible can cause compliance headaches for many companies. and Aston University's solution enables compliance for a range of products at various price points. is a Government Gateway Alliance Partner and has recently gained the Accredit UK standard for Software Design and Development Segment, both of which helped to secure the award for Most Improved Business. Jenny Powles,'s marketing director, cites exponential improvements in the firm's fortunes following a management buyout. "Our ethos of excellent customer service and continuous improvement has stood us in good stead. We've attained so many professional benchmarks this year as sales have grown simultaneously; we're delighted to be honoured with this success and the wider recognition it brings for us in our industry.

Contact: Jenny Powles , Marketing Director,

01544 231768

Pack up your troubles

Voluntary work trainees, customers and members of the council's adult services and community regeneration departments recently celebrated the launch of Pack-IT Hereford Ltd, a market-led social enterprise that provides packaging, direct mail and e-commerce fulfilment, as well as storage, warehousing, light assembly, and parcel services. What makes Pack-IT unique is that it also offers a voluntary work training programme for people who have been out of work or on benefits and think they may want to look for work in the future.

Pack-IT Hereford Ltd is a licensed replica of the successful award winning Pack-IT Group, based in Cardiff, and has been developed locally in partnership with Herefordshire Council and the Friends of Widemarsh to create opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to lead ordinary lifestyles with paid work, training, and volunteering in an integrated setting.

The first group of six trainees are midway through a 10 month programme designed to lead them into regular employment either at Pack-IT or other businesses in the community.

For more information about Pack-IT Hereford's training programme, business or retail services please ring 01432 351589, email: or visit

Outstanding accountants

Hereford-based Thorne Widgery were recently named as the 2008/9 UK Accounting Firm of The Year runners up.

The award is the only one of its kind where the winners are chosen by a panel of fellow accountants. Explaining their success, AVN's Chairman Steve Pipe said: "Thorne Widgery are blazing a trail for other accountants to follow. Even in the face of the recession their proactive approach is helping their clients to grow, to create jobs and to become more successful. And as a result they are redefining what businesses should expect from their accountants."

Thorne Widgery managing director Stephen Smallwood said: "Times ahead are going to be tough and we want our clients to know that we will be seeking to support them in meeting the challenges that they will inevitably face over the coming months."

Going to the Poles

UK Trade & Investment recently organised a two-day exhibition, entitled "Taste of Britain in Poland 2008", in Warsaw for 15 British firms - including three from Herefordshire - to present their products to more than 30 leading Polish buyers, importers, distributors and trade press.

Commercial officers from the British Embassy in Warsaw were on hand to help the delegates, and all the companies were featured in a catalogue specially designed for the buyers. UK Trade & Investment also arranged for the delegates to visit leading supermarkets and delicatessens, to improve their understanding of the market before embarking on their meetings with buyers.

The firms that took part included Chase Distillery, of Hereford, Franks Luxury Biscuits of Hereford, and Westons Cider and Perry, of Ledbury.

Mark Wrathall of Franks Luxury Biscuits, said: "As well as being a cost-effective way to check out a foreign market, it is also a good way of networking with like-minded individuals and companies. I would definitely recommend it as an initial means to export."

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