Carter Jonas Brings Residential Development Site in Aston Tirrold, Oxfordshire, to Market

Carter Jonas has brought a 1.85 acre (0.75 ha) freehold development opportunity to the market in Aston Tirrold, Oxfordshire, on behalf of a private landowner. Lower Ham Farm consists of planning permission for eight new dwellings, the conversion of two listed barns together with an existing farmhouse.
 
The property is available as a whole, with alternative proposals for the purchase of part also considered (including the farmhouse in isolation).
 
Located to the east of Moreton Road, the property benefits from excellent transport links, via the A417, to the A34 and the national motorway network.
 
The village of Aston Tirrold offers a range of amenities including a village hall (with an outreach post office), cricket club, three churches and The Chequers public house. A Waitrose supermarket is located in nearby Wallingford and a full range of national retailers, restaurants and leisure facilities are available in Oxford and Newbury, which are 19 and 18 miles from the site respectively.
 
The local area benefits from a number of independent schools, including preparatory at Moulsford, Chandlings, Cranford House and Cothill. Senior schools include Radley, Abingdon, Downe House, The Oratory and St Helen & St Katherine.
 
Mark Charter, Partner, Carter Jonas Oxford said: “Lower Ham Farm offers an exciting development opportunity, in an ideal location, to create a unique and visually striking residential scheme. It is perfectly located for the region’s business, retail and leisure hubs, and many excellent schools. The property is also in close proximity to Didcot Parkway train station, which is just four miles away, as such it is also an ideal location to commute into London Paddington.  The site’s location and potential make it an extremely appealing proposition for those looking to benefit from easy transport links amidst the pure tranquillity of the Oxfordshire landscape.”
 
Unconditional offers are currently being sought. Further information and bidding guidance is available from Carter Jonas Oxford.

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Park and Ride Satisfaction

Park and Ride service achieves ‘outstanding’ passenger satisfaction

The Oxford Bus Company’s Park & Ride service has achieved a ‘world class’ 96% overall satisfaction, in a survey of passengers by an independent watchdog. This places it equal first in England alongside another operator.

Research conducted by Transport Focus revealed passengers using Oxford’s Park & Ride services were highly satisfied in 2018, up 3% on the previous year. Passengers were asked questions regarding punctuality, journey time, value for money and the overall journey experience.

Other Oxford Bus Company city services achieved a 92% overall satisfaction in the passenger survey, an improvement of 3% on the previous year.

The news follows significant investment in the Park & Ride service ahead of the opening of the Westgate shopping centre in 2017.

Improvements included the introduction of a single ticket solution to cover parking costs and bus fares, and new payment machines. New bus shelters and stops were also installed in the city centre- plus, the introduction of distinctive purple Park & Ride branding and new signage making it easier for passengers to identify their stops.

Oxford Bus Company also invested in training for its 80 Park & Ride staff to enable them to act as ambassadors for the shopping centre and Oxford.

Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, Phil Southall, said: “The Park & Ride service has gone from strength to strength, thanks to significant investment in the fleet and branding, along with improved timetables and colleague training.

“The service represents fantastic value for money for people visiting Oxford and is part our of pledge to help ensure a ‘world-class’ welcome to the city. We’re pleased with the Park & Ride results and the higher rating achieved reflects the hard work put in by our team to consistently maintain high standards.”

The Oxford Bus Company invested £4.5m in the fleet of Park & Ride buses in 2017. Each bus has free Wi-Fi, social seating layouts, audio visual next stop information systems, USB and conductive charging points and Euro VI micro-hybrid engines with the cleanest available vehicle emissions standards.

A further £1m was invested in rolling out contactless payment functionality to the fleet to make the boarding experience as frictionless as possible.

The Park & Ride single fare ticket, costs £6.80 and covers parking for one car plus two adults and three children travelling by bus.

Mr Southall added: “It’s pleasing to have improved in many areas overall for our customers. However, it’s vital we continue to strive for improvement and seek solutions in partnership with key stakeholders to the bigger challenges in the city.

“Our journey times have increased on many services due to worsening congestion in Oxford, which remains a real issue.”

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Blenheim Business Entrepreneurs

Blenheim launches new search for business entrepreneurs

Blenheim is inviting entrepreneurs and new businesses to take part in a start-up scheme aimed at boosting their chances of success.

Working in partnership with the FAB Accelerator team, the Oxfordshire estate has put together its own programme designed to support locally-based firms.

The opportunity is open to any business which is less than two years old or has fewer than five employees, is based within 20 miles of Blenheim, and can provide something which could be stocked in their shops.

Applications will need to be submitted by the 10th of May and the successful candidates will be notified by 24th May.

They will then have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Blenheim’s senior management team over the summer.

After undergoing presentation training, they will take part in a final pitch on 26th June when the winning applicant will be selected and awarded with a contract to supply their products to the Estate’s retail outlets.

In addition to the contract, the winner will also receive ongoing tips and advice from members of the Blenheim management team.

“As part of our stated goal to triple our economic contribution to the local community within 10 years Blenheim is committed to providing start-up businesses with support and a busy marketplace to showcase their products,” said Blenheim CEO Dominic Hare.

“By using the expertise and experience of the FAB Accelerator team we’ve been able to set up our own programme to identify, support and develop exciting new businesses in the area,” he added.

Last year’s competition attracted more than 50 entrants of which eight went through to the final pitching process.

Neve’s Bees, which produces 100% natural beeswax skincare products, and designer and artist Kathryn Croxson, who creates a range of clothing accessories and homeware, were both selected and had their products go on sale at Blenheim Palace.

Julie Macken, Neves Bees says: “I would highly recommend entering the Blenheim Start-up Competition: the exposure we have gained from being in the shop has increased our brand awareness many-fold and the kudos of being associated with such a ‘high-end’ outlet has opened many doors.

“In addition to this, the extra revenue from selling in a large outlet has enabled us to invest in our new gift packaging, allowing us to enter a far bigger marketplace. We are now developing a range of Neve’s Bees products using Cotswold Lavender with exclusive designs for Blenheim Palace which we hope will secure a longer-term future for us with Blenheim.”

The brainchild of Fabulous Bakin’ Boys’ founder Gary Frank, FAB was Oxford’s first accelerator programme for ambitious entrepreneurs and startups.

Anyone interested in taking part in the Blenheim Accelerator competition can find out full details and enter online here

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Oxfordshire has found its Voice – Now let’s use it

Oxfordshire Voice is fast gaining recognition as the most effective way for people from all walks of business life in the county to come together and build a better business future.
 
Why? Because OV is a single forum where all sides can meet, discuss and decide the future of business in Oxfordshire.
 
The organisation was launched in January 2019 to bring together representatives from across the political and business spectrum: local authorities, elected officials, budget holders, business owners and workers of all shapes and sizes. 
 
“There’s a lot which needs to be done here – right across our county.” says Simon Howson-Green from Oxfordshire Voice. 
 
“We need a vastly improved transport system and better digital connectivity. We need to build new and vibrant communities to provide affordable homes to a growing workforce and we need to ensure the rest of the world knows Oxfordshire is open for business. 
 
“Firstly, this requires planning for the long, medium and short term but, more importantly,  all of these plans have to become a reality and need to be seen to be real. A huge part of OV is to go on a mission to explain the challenges the local authorities face so we are all better equipped to come up with workable solutions.”
 
 
This was part of the clear message from the latest gathering of OV partners held at the Weston Library. The forum agreed that Oxfordshire businesses needed:
 
• more transparency from local councils about their plans and why they were implementing them.
• the opportunity to respond to those plans and share their views and feelings about the planning priorities. 
 
Bev Hindle, Strategic Director for Communities at Oxfordshire County Council,  was a key speaker at the event and praised  OV for: “Bringing us together and getting us to focus on outcomes. (I’m) not aware of any other network getting under the skin of how we all can better engage.”
 
Oxfordshire faces a huge challenge. It needs effective, workable plans, not only for the next fifty years but for all of those changes which need to be made now. 
 
Until now, meeting these challenges has been fragmented, mistrusted and often frustrating. OV is determined to change this through collaboration. 
 
“OV is a potent and effective way to lobby, plan and decide what needs to be done through a carefully crafted structure of monthly forums and published findings in our quarterly Blue Papers” says Richard Rosser – one of the founders of OV. 
 
Another Oxford businessman, Darren Aston, took to social media to describe the OV forum as an: “Enlightening first experience of Oxfordshire Voice, highly beneficial and engaging for any size business. I can see that being involved with a forum that cares not only improves your feel-good factor, it is also an important part of building trust and understanding of what the future could look like and the support required to help make things happen.” 
 
Huw Mellor of Carter Jonas, who was on the Weston forum added, “What I was heartened by was the clear, collaborative effort seen between both the public sector and private business parties to make things work in the County. Very encouraging.”
 
If you would like to join this growing partnership, please register your interest Here

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Blenheim Palace

Blenheim bursary boost for local good causes

A number of local charities and good causes are set to benefit from a £50,000 charity and community bursary set up by Blenheim.
 
The bursary, which was launched at the end of 2018, is available to all charities and organisations based within a 20-mile radius of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
Among groups receiving funds, ranging from £160 to £4,500, are Freeland Primary School, WUFA Child Care Facility, Oxford Churches Debt Centre, Bladon & Woodstock Elderly Day Care Centre, Hanborough Scout Group and Charlbury Preschool.
 
Blenheim’s Head of Marketing and PR, Stephanie Duncan, said: “One of our key goals over the next 10 years is to double our charitable contributions to the local community.
 
“We’re proud to be able to provide funding to local charity and community projects and the bursary allows us to learn about the great work people are doing and support the positive impact it’s having,” she added.
 
Some of the other successful applications include; Combe Preschool Playground, Hanborough Bowls Club, YoungDementia UK, Charlbury Sports Club, Ramsden Play Park, Hanborough, Freeland and North Leigh Brownies, Rainbow and Guides, Wooton-byWoodstock Primary School, 1st Stonesfield Scout Group, Hanborough Youth Club, Elderberries, Combe Primary School, Woodstock Quake Youth Group and Stonesfield Preschool.
 
Applications were welcome across charity and community projects, including education, infrastructure, transport, health and wellbeing.
 
Applications for next year’s bursary will open in November and close at the end of January 2020 with successful applicants being notified in March and receiving funds in April.
 
Last year the bursary supported a number of projects including the new Woodstock Youth Club, Wooton-by-Woodstock Playground renovations, Long Hanborough Playgroup equipment and Cassington Village Sports Pavilion renovations.
 
• To find out more about the bursary scheme, and to apply, click here

www.blenheimpalace.com

Blenheim

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Jennie Cartwright - James Cowper Kreston

James Cowper Kreston welcome new Business Development Manager

James Cowper Kreston are pleased to announce the appointment of their new Business Development Manager, Jennie Cartwright. Jennie will be joining the central marketing team and operating from the Southampton office.

With a background in the financial sector, Jennie joins the firm having previously worked for Lloyds Bank, bringing with her a wealth of banking expertise. Not only this, Jennie is a keen clay pigeon shooter, competing both nationally and internationally, and is currently one of the top ten female shooters in the UK.

Andy Cowie, Business Development Director at James Cowper Kreston said: ‘We are thrilled to have Jennie join the team and assist with our expansion into the Southampton market. I am excited to work alongside her and look forward to the future.”

When asked about joining the firm Jennie said: “It’s been a pleasure getting to know the team and I am looking forward to working with them. Working in the accounting sector will be a new experience and I hope that I can help the firm to grow.”

www.jamescowper.co.uk

James Cowper Kreston

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Tom Barton - VSL Director

Building contractor set to develop its own new home

A construction firm is set to develop its own headquarters building after purchasing land in Eynsham.

SDC Contractors has bought the 2.7-acre site from Clockwork Components for £1.55m in a deal agreed by commercial property agents VSL.

The company aims to develop bespoke offices and storage accommodation and is relocating from nearby Long Hanborough.

SDC is actively developing a number of high profile buildings and schemes around the Oxfordshire area including the Botley retail development, West Way Place and science buildings at Harwell.

VSL director Tom Barton said: “This site is in an excellent location for this extremely busy firm needing good access to the A34 and beyond while remaining close to its core client base.

“It also means the company will be well placed to benefit from rapid development in the area in the near future and we wish them every success going forward.”

www.vslandp.com

VSL & Partners

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