Archives Month: October 2014

Subject to making final investment decisions EDF have been given the go ahead by the European Union to commence building the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.

The construction of Europe’s largest infrastructure project has been estimated to cost £24.5 billion and will create 25,000 jobs. It is expected that 900 permanent jobs will be required for the running of the power station, once built.

The impact on the local economy will be massive and on-going. Benefits will accrue to the construction industry, transport companies, the housing market and down the supply chain to retail businesses, B&Bs and pubs and restaurants.

With a long history of supporting the scaffolding industry, together with catering and retail outlets, locally based Armada Asset Finance is already planning for the impact that will occur in demand for additional support.

Armada was the first asset lender to show the scaffolding industry the benefits of financing tubes and fittings rather than, as previously, using rental contracts with suppliers.

Since the 2007 financial crisis the demand for funding scaffolding has steadily increased, partly because of Armada’s understanding of the industry and partly because of the speed of decision making. Armada is now perceived to be the UK’s foremost lender to this sector of the construction industry.

After the dramatic and prolonged flooding in the Bridgwater area of Somerset last winter, this boost to the economy of the area will be a significant encouragement.

Yesterday was another of these mornings when you wake up to clear blue skies and shirtsleeve weather. Making the most of this glorious autumn we jumped in the car and drove up the A303 to Stourhead, the National Trust property just inside the Wiltshire border, close to Mere.

Strolling around the lakes with the stunning colours of the season is a balm to anyone’s spirit. The setting for the Temple of Apollo, the Pantheon and the Grotto is breath taking at this time of year.

Uplifted and relaxed we headed west for thirty minutes, stopping in the ancient market town of Sherborne. Whether your interest is shopping or history there is so much to like in this jewel of Dorset. Georgian architecture is part of Sherborne’s appeal, as is the castle, built by Sir Walter Raleigh or the Benedictine Abbey in the centre of town.

I digress, our table at The Green restaurant at the top of Cheap Street was waiting for us. Many times we have eaten at The Green and always been delighted but yesterday was special. We both started with the trio of Lyme Bay crab and truffle tuille followed by chargrilled scallops and a side order of marjoram chips. To finish, it was a no brainer, ginger sticky toffee pudding and espresso. Believe me, Sasha Matkevich’s chips are every bit as good as Tom Kerridge’s triple cooked chips – and we’ve enjoyed both.

The food and service were superb and deserving of a Michelin star. They should have been included in last week’s 2015 Guide. Come on Michelin, there are too many inconsistencies in your star awards.

With full tummies and a smile on our faces we left The Green and crossed the road and entered the tardis, otherwise known as The Toy Box – room after room of every delight for first borns to fifteens. This is the best toy shop west of Regent Street. On the way back to the car we looked like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman.

If you can make it, get yourself to Sherborne next Monday, 13th October when they celebrate Pack Monday Fair. The centre of town is given over to street traders, both local and from France, Germany and beyond.

Dorset, the unsung gem.

From time to time we come across a person or situation that stops us in our tracks, makes us think and puts our daily trivia into perspective.

Major Steve McCulley is a lesson for us all. After seventeen years in the Royal Marines Steve’s luck ran out. In 2011 he was serving in Afghanistan when he was blown up three times, incurring multiple life-threatening injuries.

Following a period of rehabilitation at Headley Court, Steve decided to get on with life and follow his passion for cycling. With the support of Help for Heroes he established a company to manufacture bespoke carbon bikes, tailored to fit the individual’s specifications and requirements.

Over a period of forty years Armada has lost count of the number of people who have asked us to assist them in setting up a new venture and move their lives forward.

Not for our people to sit around bemoaning their lot. Daily, people are taking their courage and determination and hard work and following their dream.

Steve McCulley is an inspiration to all of us who are thinking about our futures.