Sutton Courtenay residential development site

Carter Jonas Sells Oxfordshire Residential Development Opportunity

Carter Jonas, the national property consultancy, has sold a freehold residential development opportunity with vacant possession in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, on behalf of The Granite Partnership to Linden Homes.

Located off Appleford Road, the 7.28-acre (2.95 hectare) brownfield site was a plant and machinery hire depot and now has outline planning permission from the Vale of White Horse District Council for 91 residential units. It forms the second phase of a larger development scheme, for which Carter Jonas secured outline planning permission in April 2013 for a total of 195 dwellings.

Carter Jonas acted for The Granite Partnership in the sale of the initial phase to Persimmon Homes in 2015 and subsequently submitted a revised outline planning application for the remainder of the site. This included establishing new access off Appleford Road and negotiating revised planning obligations.

Chris Wilmshurst, Development Consultant, Carter Jonas, said: “The sale represents another milestone in Carter Jonas’ long-term involvement in the site and is an excellent demonstration of the work undertaken by our planning and development team, working closely together with our landowning clients from the inception of planning all the way through to a successful disposal.

“This has been a complex project and required careful consideration of a full range of factors, including service connections, linkages and legal obligations to ensure that the revised planning permission could be successfully implemented. The redevelopment will breathe new life into an otherwise redundant property and provide much needed new homes to the undersupplied Oxfordshire market.”

Sutton Courtenay is situated on the River Thames in central Oxfordshire and includes a Church of England Primary School, village shop and three public houses. The site is approximately two miles south of Abingdon-on-Thames, which provides a full range of retail and leisure amenities. Culham train station (two miles) and Didcot Parkway (five miles) are nearby ensuring the site is well-located for London commuters.

Carter Jonas

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shakespeare rose theatre blenheim palace

The Play’s the Thing – Shakespeare to Bring £5M Boost to Local Economy

Blenheim Palace CEO Dominic Hare believes this summer’s Shakespeare festival could boost the local economy by up to £5m.
Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean theatre will be taking centre stage in the grounds of the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site for a summer season featuring four of the Bard’s most popular plays.
Running from 8th July to 7th September, the ambitious production involves the construction of a full-size replica of Shakespeare’s 13-sided Rose Theatre, set within a vibrant Elizabethan village.
Audiences will be able to see Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III and Romeo & Juliet all performed in the intimate atmosphere of an Elizabethan playhouse.
There will be three tiers of covered seating for 560 and an open courtyard for 340 standing ‘groundlings’.
“According to our financial projections the economic contribution to the area of the Shakespeare Rose Theatre programme could be as much as £5m,” said Dominic.
“Up to 1/3 of the audience are expected to come in from outside of our area, with many of them staying on and exploring the local area of additional days. We are determined to grow the local economy, prioritise local businesses and jobs and promote the region’s tourist attractions. Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre has the potential to become a very powerful driver for the local economy”
“As well as the economic boost we are also able to offer up to 500 free tickets for local schoolchildren as well as deeply discounted prices for many thousands more,”
he added.
The original Rose Theatre was built in 1587 on the south bank of the River Thames in London. It was a slightly irregular 14-sided structure made of timber, with plaster exterior and a thatched roof, open in the centre to the elements.
Its success paved the way for other theatres to be built in the area, including The Swan in 1595, The Globe Theatre in 1599 and The Fortune in 1600.

For tickets, please see:

blenheim palace ceo dominic hare

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Nature-Inspired Jeweller Wins Blenheim’s FAB Startup Business Award

A jeweller whose work is inspired by the natural world was announced the winner of this year’s FAB Startup Business Award at Blenheim Palace this week.
Shipston on Stour based Wild & Fine was among eight shortlisted businesses who pitched their Start Ups to a panel of Blenheim’s senior management and the FAB Accelerator team.
The winning applicant, who describes their brand as jewellery with stories to tell, was also awarded a contract to supply their work to the Oxfordshire Estate’s retail outlets.
In addition to the contract, Jessica Hickman-Woolcott, silversmith, jeweller and owner of Wild & Fine, and colleague Hannah Rogan will also receive ongoing tips and advice from members of the Blenheim management team.
“Being involved in the Blenheim Start-ups Competition 2019 has been a really inspiring experience for us,” said Jessica.
“It was a privilege to meet the other seven finalists and hear them speak with such passion about their brands. Wherever life takes them from here, we are confident they will all do very well and we hope to keep in touch with them in future.
“Both Hannah and I are very nervous public speakers and we entered the competition to challenge ourselves to get up in front of everyone and introduce the brand.
“We never expected to win. We were therefore extremely surprised to hear that Wild & Fine had been selected by the judges.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with Blenheim and are especially excited about the prospect of developing bespoke designs inspired by the Palace and grounds,” she added.
Working in partnership with the FAB Accelerator team, the Oxfordshire estate put together its own programme designed to support locally-based firms and is now in its second year.
The opportunity was 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.
The competition attracted more than 39 entrants of which eight went through to the final pitching process.
“Our decision to select Wild & Fine as our 2019 startup winner was based not only on their range of delicate jewellery, but also their passion and values, as well as the development potential of their collection to reflect the Palace’s beautiful gardens and parkland,” said Roger File, Property Director and Chief Operating Officer, Blenheim.
“We believe we can really make a difference to this new business, by providing support, advice and a year-long retail contract and we look forward to seeing them go from strength to strength,” he added.
The brainchild of Fabulous Bakin’ Boys’ founder Gary Frank, FAB was Oxford’s first accelerator programme for ambitious entrepreneurs and startups.
The Blenheim pitching event is a great opportunity for local Startups to show off their products. The quality of the applicants was incredibly high and testament to the thriving entrepreneurial culture in Oxfordshire. Said Gary Frank.
The other seven finalists were BREATHE360, A Blackbird Sang, Lou Lou Creates, Rootyfruit, Hazell & Gray, The Conscious Company and Miana Ltd creating everything from personalised canape boards to wellness products.

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Carter Jonas Oxford Celebrates Group Partner Promotion and APC Success

Christopher Rhodes, of national property consultancy Carter Jonas in Oxford, has been promoted to Group Partner; one of four from across the firm’s network of 33 offices.  Additionally, Cameron Hughes, also based out of the Oxford office in Summerton is celebrating exam success having passed his Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Both Rhodes and Hughes are members of the Carter Jonas’ Rural team. Rhodes joined the business in 2014 and focuses predominately on formal ‘Red Book’ valuations of agricultural properties and estates for a range of purposes including secured lending, taxation and matrimonial matters.

Hughes joined Carter Jonas in 2018. Following the completion of his postgraduate degree in Rural Estate Management in 2016, Hughes worked at the National Trust as an assistant rural surveyor. At Carter Jonas, he is involved with all aspects of rural estate management across a diverse range of rural land and property.

Mark Charter, Partner and Head of Carter Jonas Oxford, said: “Christopher shows exceptional leadership skills and is an exemplary member of the team. He has helped to grow our valuations business as well as develop new compliance and internal systems.

“Perhaps most importantly, he also acts as a coach and mentor to our graduate and junior surveyors. Because of this, it is extremely heartening to announce his promotion alongside Cameron passing his APC.

“As a business, we place a great deal of importance in our people and on ensuring their success at every stage of their careers. I extend my warmest congratulations to them both and thank them for all of their hard work.”

Carter Jonas

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Intellectual Property Office invests in new support role for Oxfordshire businesses

Intellectual Property Office invests in new support role for Oxfordshire businesses

• The Intellectual Property Office has partnered with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to create new business support job role – application window now open

• The IPO Regional Policy Officer will provide expertise to help businesses achieve maximum value from their intellectual property
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is to invest in an IPO Regional Policy Officer for Oxfordshire.

Applications are now being invited for the new role, which will see the successful candidate work with businesses in the Oxfordshire region to help them achieve the best value from their intellectual property (IP). The role has been developed in partnership with Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) where the role will be based.

Tim Moss of The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said: “This is a very exciting step in the IPO’s plan to develop intellectual property knowledge at a local level, building on the great work that Oxford LEP is already doing.

“The IPO has piloted Regional Policy Officer roles elsewhere in the UK with really positive results. With effective support, businesses are able to maximise on the value of their IP assets, benefiting both them and the UK’s economic growth.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire LEP, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the new IPO Regional Policy Officer. When appointed, they will be working closely with OxLEP to ensure that IP is integrated into business and innovation support programmes across the region.”

Full details of the role and how to apply are available on the Civil Service Jobs website.

The closing date for applications is 24 June 2019. For more information please email:


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BIO puts Oxfordshire at the centre of the business stage

Oxfordshire is poised to consolidate and strengthen its place at the heart of business in Britain – Brexit or No Brexit.

That’s the message from this year’s BIO, Oxfordshire’s largest business networking and showcase event, which takes place on 6th June.

BIO – which stands for Business in Oxford – is now in its sixth year and promises to be bigger, wider ranging and more important to the future of business in the county than ever before.

The organisers are expecting over seven hundred delegates with a vested interest in the success of business in the county to attend this year. The majority of attendees are business owners, managers and executives. There will be more than 70 exhibitors and a host of specialist speakers.

“Whatever the outcome of Brexit one of the major themes of BIO 2019 is to ensure this county is protected, prepared and proactive,” says organiser Richard Rosser.

“There is a real movement towards businesses looking at ways to work locally in the shadow of Brexit confusion and uncertainty.”

BIO2019 is being held at MINI Plant at Cowley, Oxford – an appropriate backdrop to highlight the need for continuity in business this year.

On top of the ‘B’ word and its effect on business success, BIO2019 is focusing on some of the major issues the county faces in a number of focus groups, workshop sessions and keynote speeches.

This year’s event is divided into three themes: Inspire, Discover and Learn.

BIO2019 is covering topics including the impact of climate change on businesses in the county and how they can action and understand its effects.

BIO2019 has also invited speakers from the B Corp movement which is encouraging companies to develop business strategies which are a ‘Force for Good.’ Other topics on the agenda include wellbeing in the workplace; a range of initiatives to strengthen cyber security and how to embrace and exploit the digital marketing landscape.

The event is also an opportunity for Oxfordshire Voice  – which brings businesses and local authorities together to help business thrive – to canvas opinion on the major issues facing businesses in the county and identify workable ways to address them. The opening session will feature Oxford City Council Leader, Susan Brown, Oxfordshire LEP Chief Executive, Nigel Tipple, County Councillor Ian Corkin and Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Director, Angus Horner. This drive is complemented by the range of speakers in the Discover sessions who will be discussing the skills shortages in the county, ways to solve the shortfall in housing for a much-needed workforce and the ongoing problems around the transport infrastructure across the county – and especially in Oxford itself.

Another key theme running through BIO2019 is the platform being given to the all-important future generations, those that will really benefit from the work Oxfordshire Voice and other excellent organisations are doing to create a better future for all of us in Oxfordshire. The closing session at BIO2019 will be in association with NXT focused on apprentices, young professionals and creatives who are already showing that the next generation are not only passionate about what they do but should also be listened to when making the key decisions for Oxfordshire.

BIO2019 is a real opportunity to discuss and listen to views on what the future holds….make sure you are there on 6th June by securing a ticket here

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James Cowper Kreston assist in Oxford International College acquisition by Oxford International Education Group

James Cowper Kreston assist in Oxford International College acquisition by Oxford International Education Group

James Cowper Kreston are pleased to announce the successful acquisition of Oxford International College by Oxford International Education Group (OIEG), the private education provider backed by Bowmark Capital. The corporate finance team provided transaction support services to OIEG as part of this transaction.

Oxford International Education Group have an extensive portfolio of schools with an international range. The addition of Oxford International College, the third Oxford College now owned by the group gives both parents and students more options to suit their specific educational needs, whether based domestically or overseas.

The corporate finance team at James Cowper Kreston provided transaction support services to OIEG to assist the financing and acquisition decision. The team worked closely with OIEG and Bowmark Capital throughout the transaction process.

Brad McAvoy, Corporate Finance Director at James Cowper Kreston said: “This is the first time we have worked with OIEG and Bowmark Capital and we were pleased to be involved in their growth strategy. Our work provided insight to OIEG as to how Oxford International College would function financially alongside the existing OIEG colleges. We are thrilled the acquisition was a success and hope to work with OIEG again in the future.”

James Cowper Kreston

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Leadership for Oxfords housing challenges

Leadership for Oxfords housing challenges

Challenges around Oxford’s housing situation are well-reported. A combination of unique and complex historical constraints, resulting planning protections, together with natural limitations of the floodplain area mean residential space is at an absolute premium. Add to this a student population of nearly 34,000, question marks over green belt development and a public perception that local government’s housing strategy is not clear and the picture is both complex and unclear

This leaves us with a housing market under pressure, with poor choice, high prices and a real need for leadership as to how the City plans for the future.

A City for students, keyworkers and young people

Oxford’s high student population inevitably puts acute pressure on the private rental market. Both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University are responding to this by developing additional bespoke accommodation blocks, enabling more students to opt for university housing, freeing up capacity in the private rental sector. Recent planning policy changes, however, have made this more difficult as the city planners seek to limit the criteria for locations of new student accommodation schemes. Some Colleges, such as Somerville, have been able to construct new high quality purpose built accommodation within their own boundaries, but it is not possible for all.

At the same time, both key workers and young people find it increasingly challenging to get on the housing ladder; the average young person has to spend 16 years saving up for their deposit for a first home. Even then, their options are too expensive or very poor quality stock; figures from Oxford City Council show that the average house price here is over 17 times average earnings.

Shaping the economy

The shortage of affordable housing has wider implications. Oxford’s growing economy as an education hub and location for fast-growth tech companies means its unemployment rate is just 1%. This in turn puts further pressure on the City’s employers.

Businesses are essentially competing with the London market or the science and business parks such as Oxford Science Park and Harwell Campus, as employees opt to live in more affordable outskirt locations. The end result? A shortage of talent in both the public and private sectors, and traffic congestion on the roads in and out of the City.

Property trends in Oxford

Where does this leave Oxford’s property market? From our perspective, the exciting buildings have been centred around the University of Oxford such as the new Maths Institute and the Blavatnik School of Government. Where protection and planning allows, developers are looking at converting old buildings and using permitted development rights. If we look further afield, real innovation and place-making is happening in centres such as Harwell Campus, with its masterplan to blend specialist laboratories, bespoke office space and leisure facilities to create a genuinely unique and modern place to work and live.

Looking at more original ways to expand housing options, let’s look at the impact of the successful Westgate development on the centre’s landscape. Despite concerns that the shopping centre would draw shoppers away from the high street, a broader trend to independent and more sustainable shopping could support boutique shops with residential occupation replacing current old office stock on the upper floors. With the option to develop housing above these independent retailers, it is possible this could create a more vibrant city centre.

Room for real leadership

With the local population increase set to put ever more pressure on Oxford, the time for a joint solution – across government, universities and business – is critical. Collectively we need to work together to create a broader vision, think long term and have the confidence to go beyond traditional thinking. Whether it is midrise buildings in the City centre, extending development in the green belt or widening streets to support infrastructure, decisions are needed. We only have to look to our friends in Cambridge to see how an entire landscape and eco-system can be transformed when we dare to innovate.

The Oxfordshire Voice initiative is one such response to the perceived lack of leadership. A collaboration between public and private sector organisations, it aims to inform and influence those policies and decisions that impact the future economic performance and growth of Oxfordshire.

For now, decisive action is needed to ensure we retain our thriving, forward thinking economy and behave responsibly for our residents.

Written by: Richard Smith, Partner, Commercial Property, Planning and Environmental Law – Penningtons Manches

Penningtons Manches

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Jonna and Gemma at Homeless Oxford

You HR Consultancy has started work with their charity partner Homeless Oxfordshire

You HR is working alongside an Oxfordshire based charity to raise awareness for the work they do supporting the homeless of Oxfordshire.

The number of rough sleepers in Oxford has risen by 175% since 2012.

Providing support for over 30 years Homeless Oxfordshire are the largest accommodation provider across the county. With a 56 bed hostel and 144 beds across the local community in 24 properties offering a full range of support.

Homeless Oxfordshire create individual solutions to individual needs. They provide health and wellbeing support via the Luther Street Medical Centre.

They influence public provision and policy by highlighting the social impact of our work. They raise awareness and reduce the stigma of homelessness, becoming the charity of choice for local people.

You HR Consultancy recently volunteered in the kitchen at O’Hanlon House and some of the team will be taking part in their charity bike ride to raise funds in May and also participating in the Oxford half marathon in October.

CEO Jonna Mundy said “It has been a humbling experience to volunteer with Homeless Oxfordshire and we are investing more than 100 hours of our support to develop the future aspirations of the charity and those they assist”

You HR Consultancy

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blenheim farming charity

Blenheim joins forces with farming charity

Blenheim is working with an Oxfordshire-based farming charity to host working visits for people with learning disabilities and autism.

A team of co-farmers from FarmAbility will be making regular visits to the Blenheim Estate to assist in a variety of hands-on animal and land-based activities.
The initiative is part of a series of community-based charitable programmes supported by Blenheim as part of its goal to double its charitable contributions within a decade.
FarmAbility is a farm-based programme for co-farmers, who are people over the age of 16 with learning disabilities and often also with autistic spectrum disorder.
Recently a group from the charity helped build lambing pens, ahead of the main lambing season, under the close supervision of Head Shepherd Charles Gerring and FarmAbility staff.
“People with learning disabilities and autism face significant barriers to finding meaningful roles in society, although with the right support and an inclusive atmosphere, co-farmers can make a really valuable contribution to their local communities,” said Sarah Giles, Director, FarmAbility.
“We were thrilled when the Blenheim Estate agreed to host visits and the connection we’ve made with Charles and his team has been fantastic in offering co-farmers the chance to develop new skills, both work based, and social.
“Above all, the warm and friendly welcome co-farmers have received from everyone they’ve met at Blenheim has created the sense of community and belonging they deserve.
“We are excited to be planning regular visits to Blenheim and are looking forward to exploring the huge potential for purposeful roles the Estate can offer to people with learning disabilities,” she added.
FarmAbility believes people with disabilities thrive when they have a regular opportunity to take pride in doing real work, to act within in a supportive team, and to feel part of a productive and welcoming community.
This makes farms ideal spaces where people who have struggled in mainstream learning environments can approach new experiences, build and strengthen skills, and gain confidence in themselves and in their abilities.
Blenheim’s Head Shepherd, Charles Gerring, said: “I have three children that have degrees of physical and learning disability so I’m particularly aware of the opportunities that should be given to the co-farmers.
“Everyone should be able to have the opportunity to try things out and, from seeing what the co-farmers can do and the pleasure and enjoyment they get from it, I’m proud we can support them,” he added.
The FarmAbility scheme is part of Blenheim’s continued drive to bring business, charity and social enterprise closer by sharing the World Heritage Site and its Estate with local and regional groups.
In 2017 Blenheim CEO Dominic Hare set out 10 bold goals for the estate which include doubling charitable contribution to the community and tripling the economic impact on the local community.

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