Client News

October 09, 2014

Lucideon to create 100 new jobs and bolster US presence in innovation push

Materials technology company Lucideon has revealed ambitious plans to ramp up its presence in the US and create 100 new jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

The global company, which has its headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent, is opening up a new facility in North Carolina to tap into the region’s acclaimed expertise in materials science, and have better access to USA markets.

Lucideon’s Strategic Application Centre (STAC) will be based in the Research Triangle Park – an area the company’s bosses see as a powerhouse in the development and application of materials.
From there, Lucideon’s team of in-house chemical and industrial engineers will link up with academics and scientists from three renowned universities, to scale up materials technologies.
This new venture is part of Lucideon’s ongoing programme of investment, which will see the company increase its workforce by over 50 per cent over the next three years, with the majority of new roles based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Lucideon currently has just over 200 employees, of which a high proportion are graduates and post graduates.
Mark Smith, HR manager at Lucideon, said: “We’ll see the number of employees increase by around 100 across the group with most of the roles concentrated in the materials development area.
“We have already created over 30 new jobs in the last two years and recruited a number of graduates in key areas of growth and innovation.
“But we’ll be making many more additions as we look to build on our success.”
A leading provider of materials development, testing and assurance to a range of sectors including ceramic, construction, healthcare and power generation, Lucideon has offices and approved laboratories around the world.
The company helps clients to make money out of materials – speeding up innovation in their organisations, improving performance, complying with regulations and managing resources efficiency.
Lucideon originated from the Stoke-based British Ceramics Research Association, established in 1948 in the heartland of the ceramics industry, where the company still has its headquarters.
Today, while the ceramics industry is still a key part of the business, it has taken ceramics technology into many new and innovative areas, including working with orthopaedic implant manufacturers and other high technology businesses. The company is also a hub for the development of construction materials and technologies.

Tony Kinsella, Chief Executive at Lucideon, said: “Increasingly materials are being seen as the technology of the 21st Century.
“It’s a big step for our business, but America is leading the way in the quest to make materials make money.
“We already have laboratories in South Carolina and New York State, but we need to strengthen our position in the US and collaborate on projects to continue developing world-leading technologies and innovation, which will transform our business in the UK and keep it at the forefront of the materials industry globally.
“This is an exciting time for the business.  At the root of our investment into people and facilities is our passion for developing materials and material technologies of the future.
“This game-changing innovation is firmly linked to our client’s needs, helping them to create first-mover advantage and significant bottom line returns.”
Recent innovations from Lucideon include a world leading low energy firing project. Supported by the Regional Growth Fund, the project aims to lower the firing time and temperature of ceramics, cutting manufacturers’ energy bills dramatically, whilst also reducing their carbon footprint.
Lucideon has recently appointed scientists to help develop its services to the healthcare and nuclear industries, and opened a new £1.5 million pharmaceutical chemistry and micro-biology testing laboratory in Stoke-on-Trent.

Shepherd PR News


October 09, 2014

New appointment strengthens Shepherd PR team

Shepherd PR is delighted to announce the appointment of a new account director to meet growing demand for our expertise.

Ex-journalist and media relations expert Jo Hine joins our 10-strong team and brings a wealth of experience in consumer, education, financial and business-to-business media relations.

Jo’s former PR clients include leading ceramic brands Emma Bridgewater, Steelite International and Royal Crown Derby as well as UK subsidiaries of international financiers Dollar Financial.
From our offices in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, Shepherd PR generates media coverage, videos and award entries, as well as managing social media channels for clients within industries ranging from construction and manufacturing to automotive, energy and professional services. Our high-profile clients include Crown Paints and a range of national trade associations.
Founding director, Jane Shepherd, said: “Our aim is to make Shepherd PR the agency of choice across the Midlands and beyond.  Jo brings new expertise to the team and takes our combined journalistic experience to more than 60 years, which is probably unparalleled within our industry.
“Our practical approach to public relations, combined with high quality videography, ensures we have an enviable track record of securing media coverage for companies both in the UK and their international markets.”
Shepherd PR has enjoyed significant growth since it was first established in 1999, and has recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme at Aston Business School.


October 09, 2014

Shepherd PR extends apprenticeship scheme

Shepherd PR is on the look-out for more apprentices to join our growing team.
Our company, based in Ashbourne, has already taken on two youngsters after starting the training scheme last year.
Now we are looking to extend the successful programme by offering places to two more new recruits.
The firm, which generates media coverage, videos and award entries for clients, as well as managing social media, needs extra support for the video team along with help for the social media and news departments.
Jo Foster, Shepherd PR online manager, said: “We have found that apprentices can offer real benefits to our business and we’re pleased to be able to offer these opportunities in the area.
“We’re looking for people who are energetic and enthusiastic, with an interest in business and the media.
“This opportunity will give two people the chance to gain some great experience which they can combine with additional training.”
The scheme has already proved a success for two former students at nearby Queen Elizabeth Grammar School.

Kathryn Moorcroft, aged 19, has now moved into full-time employment at the business after completing a 12-month Social Media apprenticeship which combined work with studying at Derby College.
Kathryn has since returned to QEGS to give a talk about her experiences as an apprentice and the benefits it can offer.
Georgia Handley, aged 17, is currently studying Business Administration at Derby College as part of her apprenticeship at Shepherd PR, and almost 12 months on, is an integral part of the team.
Ms Foster added: “Both Kathryn and Georgia have contributed to the team and demonstrate what can be achieved by hard work and a drive to succeed.”
Anyone interested in the social media apprenticeships can contact us by telephone on 01335 368020 or by email: 

October 09, 2014

Workshop move to create major boost for Motiva

The opening of a high-tech workshop complex is set to transform behind-the-scenes operations at a leading vehicle solutions company.

Fleet specialists Motiva Group are switching long-established satellite facilities to the company’s headquarters nearby as part of a move to consolidate all of its activities.

The state-of-the-art unit, which opened for the first time on Monday (September 1), represents the first phase of a £700,000 project to redevelop the entire site in Stoke-on-Trent.

And it will have significant implications for the company, according to group operations manager John Cartwright.

He said: “The workshop signals the start of a new era for the business and it will deliver massive benefits.

“On a practical level, the move gives us much better facilities, far greater capacity and almost doubles our compound space.

“But it also makes us massively more efficient at a stroke and will create significant savings."

Motiva’s rented workshops in Bucknall, along with a truck centre first opened under the company’s M-Way banner in 1986, rolled down their shutters for the final time last week.

But there’ll be no redundancies with all staff switching to headquarters in Longton - just three miles down the road.

A dated unit formerly owned by a crane hire company has been transformed into a modern, fully-fitted facility featuring the latest equipment.

It houses the company’s commercial body shop and damage repair operation for cars, vans and trucks, with space to carry out MOTs for fleet customers.

The spacious new workshop features two full-length truck pits and no less than seven ramps along with separate bays for welding and spray painting.

Useable compound storage space increases from two acres to four and a half.

Peter Wright, Sales Director at Motiva Group, said: “Moving our entire technical operation to one site has been our goal for a number of years and I’m sure we’ll reap the rewards.

“Rather than running three workshops over two sites, with two service departments and two service centres, we’ll have everything at our headquarters.

“The move will make us far more efficient as it will streamline the entire operation and, though I can’t yet put a figure on it, it will save us a lot of money in the long run.”

The workshop is expected to open up new avenues for Motiva, with a move into corporate servicing now on the cards.

Mr Wright added: “Better facilities and improved logistics mean we can now target commercial customers who we were previously unable to approach.

“Clients can bring in their cars, vans or trucks and, at the same time, pick up a hire vehicle for however long it’s needed while repair work is carried out.

“It’s another service which adds to our growing portfolio and which complements our customer-focused approach.”

Work to replace the office complex next door to the workshop is now due to begin in October or November and should be complete by the beginning of next year.

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09-10-2014 (12:47): Shepherd PR is delighted to announce the appointment of a new account director to meet growing demand for our expertise.  Read more...