Office for Rent with Aitus Group

Aitus Group on Angel Drove Business Park currently has 2 spacious office rooms available in their serviced premises.

Suite 6 is a 1st-floor office is 160sq/ft which is immediately available to rent for £425pcm + VAT and no council tax.
Heating is via a central system and you can access the first by stairs or disabled access lift.
The first-floor waiting area shared by just 2 offices.

Suite 3 on the ground-floor is £375pcm + VAT and is available from February 3rd.
The size is 135sq ft.It comes with a brand new heating cooling system installed in January 2018 with control temperature via phone app.
Downstairs waiting area is shared by 5 companies in total.


  • Can be rolling with 3 months notice.
  • Includes wifi (guest), up to £50 electric etc, business rates etc
  • Friendly building with many long term tenants (2 years etc)
  • Parking bays are currently full currently full. It’s a first come first served basis when people lease. Spots can be rented nearby.
  • 3-month deposit
  • No other fees if you mention Spotted in Ely.
  • Weekly communal cleaner, can pay extra for own office clean
  • Shared kitchen facility (fridge, microwave, toaster, kettle, dishwasher, vacuum)Disabled access to the upstairs office via lift
  • Current Business here are:
    • Property company
    • Builder
    • Recruitment agent
    • Online retailer
    • Recruitment agent and online seller

If you have queries or wish to arrange a visit the call the Aitus Group on 01353 440575 or email Fiona Talbot on

For priority viewing and no fee signing mention Spotted in Ely

Networking Group For Ely Business Women Celebrates One Year Anniversary

The Ely group of East Anglian Women in Business (EAWIB), celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday 9th January 2019. The networking group marked the occasion with cake and conversation.

East Anglian Women in Business was created by Ward Gethin Archer Director and Family Law Solicitor, Sarah Fairbrother, to provide a local forum where business women can meet, interact and support each other in developing their businesses and careers. Sarah Fairbrother recognised that outside of Cambridge and Norwich there were very few networking opportunities in the local smaller towns.

From the outset, the aim has been to enable women to form strong links with other local women in an informal and friendly setting. There has been a great response from business women in the Ely area, with the networking group attended by a range of local businesses. The monthly meetings are free to attend with refreshments kindly provided by sponsors, Ward Gethin Archer solicitors and Grow Your Business accountants.

Ward Gethin Archer Family Law Solicitor and founder of EAWIB, Sarah Fairbrother, said: “I am thrilled that the Ely group is well established and look forward to the next year of East Anglian Women in Business. The meetings are a great platform for women to network and to exchange ideas and knowledge. Any women interested in joining a meeting should come along, new members are always welcome.”

The meetings follow the same format each month, with everyone given the chance to introduce themselves and explain what it is they do. There is a speaker, sometimes someone from the EAWIB group, followed by the opportunity to network. Unlike many networking groups, there are no membership fees, no requirements to give referrals and no minimum number of meetings that you must attend.

The Ely meeting takes place each month from 10.30am until 12 noon at the Almonry Restaurant and Tea Rooms, Ely. The timing is designed to accommodate the commitments that women often have in the early mornings and evenings. The next Ely meeting is on Tuesday 5th February.

In addition to Ely, other EAWIB networking groups run in King’s Lynn, Downham Market, Swaffham and Dereham. Anyone wishing to attend the meetings should visit to register online. Visitors to EAWIB meetings are assured of a warm welcome.

Press release from East Anglian Women in Business

Local Building Firm Raises The Roof at National Awards

An Ely-based building firm is celebrating after scooping a prestigious award at a national ceremony last month.

D.G. Building won the title of Best Local Builder or Traditional Craftsperson at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards Grand Finals.

The LABC Building Excellence Awards are the largest business to business awards in the building control sector.

The awards highlight teams that have battled with complex issues as well as building site constraints during construction. They showcase creative solutions and building control professionalism that leads to safe, sustainable and high-quality construction projects.

Jason Johnson, Building Control Team Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We were more than happy to endorse D.G. Buildings nomination.

“We have worked with David for approximately 12 years and seen his company grow from a fledgling one man business to a thriving, respected construction company.”

Councillor Neil Hitchin, service delivery champion for building control at East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “The Building Control team put their heart and soul into working with local contractors to provide a positive building experience for everyone.

“Our philosophy is about building relationships with local construction companies. D.G. Buildings continuously tender for projects that are beneficial to the local community and they go to great lengths to ensure all their work is of the highest standard.

“It’s excellent to see them recognised for their outstanding work. Thoroughly well deserved.”

Director of D.G. Building, David Gipp, was particularly commended for a new-build site where his team overcame a number of challenges, including having no mains gas supply and opting to use air source heat pumps to provide a more eco-friendly source of heat.

On the award win, David Gipp said: “I’m absolutely thrilled D.G. Building has been recognised in such wide-scale national awards. It’s an amazing achievement for us, and gives well deserved recognition for all the hard work my team have put in over the last few years.”

“We pride ourselves on carrying out all of our projects to the highest standards, and are able to carry out all types of work from accessibility conversions right through to new builds which sets us apart from most companies.”

“We enjoy a great working relationship with the team at East Cambs Building Control, and are looking forward to many more successful years working with them to deliver a first-class construction service to the local area.”

To find out more about the Building Control team at East Cambridgeshire District Council, view their page on the website:

Press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council

Ely to Celebrate Small Business Saturday with a HUGE GIVEAWAY

Ellgia a local, community-minded recycling company has pledged to raise the profile of small businesses this Christmas. Partnering with Visit Ely, Ellgia has called upon their wide network of business contacts to seek donations to come up with a variety of free giveaways this December.

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Sales Director at Ellgia said: “We are a locally based company and have always been keen to support the community. We initially came up with the idea of asking our business contacts for donations for one Christmas hamper. However, we were bowled over with the response and so now have five luxury hampers to give away! Working with Visit Ely we have come up with what we believe is a fantastic celebration of local businesses as well as a great Christmas promotion for local residents.”

To be in with a chance of winning one of these five amazing hampers filled with fabulous gifts and vouchers from over 50 different businesses, simply e-mail and you will be automatically entered into the free prize draw. Alternatively, you can enter in person by calling into the Tourist Information Centre.

In addition, starting on Small Business Saturday (1st December), Visit Ely will be putting out a daily post on their Facebook page for the chance to win a bottle of fizz, courtesy of Ellgia along with a gift voucher kindly donated by some of our fabulous High Street shops and restaurants.

Tracey Harding, Visit Ely’s Manager said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Ellgia on this initiative to raise the profile of our independent shops and businesses and of course encourage everyone to shop locally this Christmas.”

The Christmas giveaways culminates with an evening event at Poets House for all the businesses who have supported the campaign. During the evening the Christmas prize draw winners will be drawn in spectacular style, details of which have yet to be revealed! A charity raffle will also be held with proceeds going to EACH, the local charity supporting families with children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

Lucy Frazer MP said: “I am delighted to support this initiative which highlights the valuable role small independent shops and businesses make to our town centres. Equally it is always rewarding to see company’s such as Ellgia who understand the importance of working with other businesses and supporting the community they serve.”

Sally Gunnell OBE Leads Line-up at East Cambs Business Boost 2018

Key note speaker and Olympic champion Sally Gunnell OBE was joined by over 250 local businesses at East Cambs Business Boost 2018 held at The Hive Leisure Centre in Ely on Friday 23rd November.

Business Boost is the District’s largest business to business networking event and is organised by East Cambridgeshire District Council’s (ECDC) Enterprise team in collaboration with the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

‘Activate’ is this year’s theme, reflecting both the district’s fast business growth and the setting of the venue. Presentations from leading businesses including social media giants Buffer, Westfield Health and Sandler Training as well as Sally Gunnell’s excellent talk on corporate wellbeing provided an outstanding backdrop for delegates. All visitors were further engaged with the opportunity to network with local firms in the exhibitor hall.

As the only female British athlete to have held Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles concurrently, Sally now leads a corporate wellbeing company working with organisations to develop wellbeing strategies. Sally spoke with local businesses about her experiences and challenges on the path to success and how to use those principles to take business growth to the next level by building self belief and developing the right team.

“What a fantastic event to be invited to be part of!” said Sally Gunnell. “It provides the perfect opportunity to speak to other businesses, share some of the hurdles (pardon the pun!!) we all face and explore how we can overcome them. I love to make a difference! Being provided the opportunity to pass on my passion, knowledge and experience to inspire and energise individuals is something I am very grateful for. My philosophy is simple ‘small positive changes, consistently made’ are a winning combination both in life and in businesses.”

Stella Cockerill, Chief Operating Officer at the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce said: “We are pleased to support the return of this successful event, which provides a great opportunity for businesses to connect with each other. We were delighted to have secured some really excellent speakers that were able to offer businesses insights tips and guidance into issues that many of our members report as key challenges such as effective use of social media but also the importance of managing wellbeing in the workplace to attract and retain a productive workforce”.

Councillor Peter Creswell, Chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council said: “Following on from the success of the first Business Boost we were keen to support another high profile event to promote East Cambridgeshire as a growing economy and a great place to do business. Business Boost has proved more than just that. With visitors from across the region networking together, coupled with engaging and useful content from top speakers, the day has been an outstanding success.

We owe thanks also to sponsors PEM, Ellgia Recycling, Grovemere Property and Busy Bee Recruitment for their excellent support in making the day highly enjoyable.”

Press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council 

Councillors pay a visit to award-winning Recycling Centre

Members from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) were recently invited to visit an award-winning recycling company based in Lancaster Business Park.

The visit is a part of a wider effort to meet with and understand the needs of businesses from across the district.

Ellgia, who recently won a national award for Independent Operator of the Year at the MRW National Recycling Awards, pride themselves on using the latest technology to design bespoke waste solutions in Cambridgeshire.

Councillors and officers of ECDC were given a guided tour around the facilities where they gained an understanding of the business and an insight into recycling.

Ellgia presented their innovative ideas and methods for waste management to councillors, including how they fulfil their zero waste to landfill commitment. They not only offer recycling options for cardboard, paper, plastic, metal and rigid plastic but also converts leftover general waste into a material to fuel power stations and food waste into biogas. Creating renewable energy in this manner has saved thousands of tonnes of waste going to landfill.

Councillor Steve Cheetham, service delivery champion for economic development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Councillors thoroughly enjoyed their recent visit to Ellgia. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what the company does and how it works to reduce landfill.

“Ellgia is another example of a business that has decided to grow within the area, with two of their depots based right here in East Cambridgeshire and local offices close by.”.

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Sales and Marketing Director said “It is great to have interest from East Cambridgeshire District Council. There is a really strong message that needs to be told with regards to waste management.

“Waste Management is now becoming a science as we are no longer just a recycling business, but a manufacturing business”.

For more information visit the Ellgia website at

Olympic Athelete Talks Business at East Cambs Event

An Olympic gold medalist is set to headline an event aimed at small and medium East Cambridgeshire businesses this November. 

Annual business event, East Cambs Business Boost, which debuted last year, has been created by East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. The event is set to bring together over 200 local SMEs through networking, business exhibitions and seminars.

The headline speaker at this year’s event is Olympic athlete and Deputy Lieutenant, Sally Gunnell OBE, who is a renowned keynote speaker as well as an influencer in the world of Health and Wellbeing.  Sally is the only female British athlete to have held Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles concurrently.

At this event, Sally will be covering her journey from top sporting achievements to how she has applied it to her business. Topics in her speech will include how important wellbeing is for success at home and in the workplace, as well as how to build resilience in day to day life.

On the event, Sally said: “I’m very much looking forward to be speaking at this event. I  work with organisations of all sizes applying techniques and experiences learned from the Olympic track to the board room.

“I have seen significant results between improved organisational health, performance and results, and my team and I aim to help businesses achieve their full potential through providing bespoke solutions.

“I am excited to be speaking about these solutions in East Cambridgeshire and meeting some local businesses on the day.”

High profile speakers alongside Sally include Ash Read, the managing editor of the social media management platform Buffer, Mark Pinches, the head of coaching at Westfield Health and Caroline Robinson, the director of Sandler Training.

The event, which will take place at the Hive in Ely, will also play host to breakout sessions which aim to help activate sales and ensure businesses are performing at their very best for future growth.

Martin Smith, business development manager at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Bringing this event back for a second-year highlights just how important it is to invest in supporting local businesses in East Cambridgeshire.

“We constantly express how East Cambridgeshire is a nice place to live and work and it’s events like these that help us reiterate this message.

“We want all local businesses to do as well as possible and this is just one of the ways Enterprise East Cambridgeshire help create a buzz in the local business community.”

The event will take place on Friday 23rd November 2018 from 9:15am to 2pm at The Hive Leisure Centre and is kindly sponsored by Ellgia Recycling, Grovemere Properties and Busy Bee Recruitment.

To register for your free ticket, or sign up as an exhibitor, please visit

Press release from East Cambridgeshire District Council

Eat, drink and be merry

Since last December, bar-restaurant 11a has welcomed the people of Ely for dinner and drinks in a stylish, relaxed environment. One year on and the 11a experience is being taken to another level, with the launch of the Blue Bar at 11a.

The team at 11a say ‘11a is a place for everyone. Whether you are out for drinks with friends, a meal, music and dancing or, of course, all of the above. The last year has been excellent and we’ve listened to what our customers want and that’s lead us to launch the new Blue Bar at 11a.’

‘We’re excited about this next phase for us and can’t wait to share it with the people of Ely. Long gone are the days of a nightclub in this town-centre location, as you walk through the doors now, you’re greeted with an informal, warm, friendly and stylish venue. The perfect place to spend time with friends and to eat, drink and be merry.’


Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to go for a meal at 11a. The left of the building is an intimate dining area, serving a variety of delicious meals. The new Autumn/Winter menu launches this week and has all the favourites such as burgers, fish and chips and mac and cheese as well as some seasonal offerings like monkfish marsala, pumpkin and squash risotto and a treacle cured duck breast.


The new Blue Bar is located at the front of 11a, with comfy seating it’s the perfect setting to relax and unwind with friends. Treat yourself to a classic drink, perhaps a G&T from their excellent selection of gins or a simple, yet perfectly poured pint. If a cocktail is more your thing, then the new cocktail menu will not disappoint. As well as the old favourites and classics with an 11a twist, the expert mixologists have developed a new retro sweets range. Try a Cola Bottle or perhaps a Rhubarb and Custard!

The Blue Bar at 11a will also serve tempting bar snacks such as dirty fries, chicken wings and homemade sausage rolls; the perfect treat to accompany a cocktail. If it’s too early for a drink, you an also treat yourself to a great coffee and perhaps a slice of cake.

Be Merry

10 pm at the weekends is music time, from either the resident DJ or a live band. Chill out and soak up the vibes or let your hair down and have a dance. Larger groups can be catered for in the snug, it’s the perfect place for groups of up to 20 for a special night out and can be reserved.

The Blue Bar at 11a opens tomorrow (Friday 5th October) and will be having a launch party from 10 pm until late on Saturday 6th October. Everyone is welcome, so come along and check out the Blue Bar, enjoy a cocktail and dance the night away with music from DJ Gold.

Enquiries can be made to or call on 01353 610542

A Jolly story for Ely High Street

Ely is once again welcoming another independent brand to its wonderful community of small businesses.

The Jolly Bobbin will be opening its doors on Chequer lane on the 25th August. Owners, Amy and Mike Jolly of Ely have been operating as The Jolly Bobbin since 2015 when Amy began making and selling baby booties and hair-bows online. This grew into making a whole range of custom clothing, ranging from leggings to dungarees and sweatshirt tops. After becoming parents and getting fed up of the lack of truly gender-free, fun and colourful kids clothes on the high street, Amy decided this would be her inspiration.

After teaching paramedic husband (Mike) to sew, The Jolly Bobbin has been a busy little enterprise. With ever-growing online interest and two busy summers of festival trading, they decided to take the leap into a bricks and mortar shop in the centre of Ely.

The shop will be a miniature emporium of ethical, fun and practical child and parent related goodies. Alongside their organic gender-free clothing range (made on site), they have collaborated with other wonderful independent brands to bring a wide variety of products, including:- organic leather baby shoes, baby carriers/ring slings (following T.I.C.K.S rule), cloth sanitary products, hybrid cloth nappies, Baltic amber necklaces, teething/distraction necklaces and hand held pieces, beautiful vintage and chakra jewellery, reusable straws and kitchen roll, rainbow glass decorations, KindHuman t-shirts, beautifully upcycled campervan furniture, educational eco toys/puzzles/games and some lovely hand puppets from The Puppet Company. The Jolly Bobbin will also be stocking some goodies made by Rex London such as colourful lunch bags, mini backpacks, cushions and many more wonderfully useful items.

Opening day looks to be a great one with cake, prosecco and discount codes being given away during the morning.

Follow them on social media.

Toasting the Best of British Bed and Breakfasts

Local favourite Grove Barn has been shortlisted for National annual awards that celebrates the best independent hosts and hoteliers from across the UK

Grove Barn has been shortlisted for both the “Outstanding Host” and regional “Hidden Gem” Award at Britain’s premier annual awards for the industry. The eviivo Awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate the best of Britain’s world-class, and world-famous bed and breakfasts, guest houses, inns and small, independent hotels.
Recently announced, the eviivo Awards 2018 shortlist has seen Grove Barn, run by Joanne Holman, reach the final stages of the nomination process. Over the coming weeks, their application will be judged by a panel of industry experts before the winners are announced at the annual eviivo Awards dinner on the 16th of October at Quaglino’s on Bury Street, London.

Today the UK Bed and Breakfast sector is a £2 billion market of owner-managed businesses. Along with the thousands of small independent hoteliers up and down the country, they make a huge contribution to the British economy and to their local communities.
Britain’s independent B&Bs, guesthouses and boutique hotels represent the pinnacle of British hospitality, providing some of UK’s most quirky and unique holiday experiences. TripAdvisor recently revealed data showing that British B&Bs are now outperforming their larger hotel rivals by over 15% on average and the UK’s hotels and B&Bs are now rated among the very best in Europe. B&Bs, pubs with accommodation and boutique hotels are an increasingly popular choice for international and domestic holiday-makers, seeking a truly British experience.

Through their market leading technology, eviivo work closely with independent owners to help them compete on an equal footing with large hotel chains online and market their properties more effectively in the highly-competitive global marketplace.

Joanne Holman of the Grove Barn commented: “At Grove Barn we work so hard to give our guests a fantastic and unique experience. We are absolutely delighted to have that recognised through this shortlisting for the Hidden Gem – South East Award and hope we are successful on the night.”

Commenting, Paul Saxby, Events Director at eviivo said: “eviivo are proud to be working with many of the finest businesses in Britain’s vibrant hospitality sector. These are often small, family-run businesses that play a significant role in driving tourism and jobs to their local community. These devoted, independent hosts take immense pride in their service and our awards shine a light on many fine examples. What unites all of our customers is their passion and tireless dedication to offering a fantastic guest experience. Congratulations to all those shortlisted and we look forward to once again celebrating the very best in the industry at this year’s awards.”

The eviivo Awards takes place onthe 16th October at Quaglino’s on Bury Street, London.

Grove Barn is situated in Cambridgeshire. For further information please see

Sad day for retailers as an Ely Favourite is set to close

Mr Simms Sweet Shop on the High Street in Ely is set to close.

In an announcement this morning, owner and manager David Learner said, “It’s with great sadness that I have to tell you that Mr Simms Ely will be closing soon. The combined efforts of business rates and the fading footfall on the High Street have made the renewal of our lease impossible. A final trading date will be announced shortly”.

The favorite shop of all children opened 5 years and has enjoyed a sweet success until recently, it seems.

Many have already taken to social media to say how sad the day has become with the news. Elizabeth said, “What sad news not only for yourselves but also the residents of Ely. My grandchildren love coming in and choosing some favourites. good luck for the future” and Zoe said, “This is such sad news, Evie and I absolutely love your shop, for its wonderful selection, but also it’s wonderful friendly staff.  We wish you all the best, and hope your next adventure is a good one.”

David is also known for his generosity after giving away stock and prizes to local charity giveaways and for establishing Ely 501, the writing competition for children.

David, seen in a video we shot with him back in 2015 also said in his release, “If you have any unused Mr Simms Ely gift vouchers or Pick n Mix cards, please ensure these are used as soon as possible as they may not be used at any other branch Mr Simms.

“Thank you. The past five years have been truly extraordinary and a wonderful adventure.”

From everyone at Spotted in Ely we wish David and Jane all the best on the future and hope they find another project to fuel their passion soon.

Ellgia Wins Major National Contract with British Sugar

Ellgia is proud to have been awarded the national contract to provide British Sugar with their Waste Management and Recycling services.
The long-term contract has started and includes working with their six major sites in Peterborough, Wissington, Bury St Edmunds, Cantley, Newark and Bardney.
Ellgia is delighted to have been chosen as the waste and recycling partner and will work with British Sugar to provide a service that will deliver efficient, measurable, cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions. British Sugar will benefit from Ellgia’s innovative recycling and waste to energy processes whilst working towards their target of zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.
British Sugar are the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets, processing around eight million tonnes of sugar beet and producing up to 1.4 million tonnes of sugar each year.
Joe Hemsley-Rudd, Ellgia’s Sales and Marketing Director said “Ellgia is delighted to be entering into this exciting new partnership with one of the leading UK’s brands in British Sugar. This partnership is a powerful endorsement of the Ellgia brand to showcase our ability to deliver our first class & industry leading complete service.”


Lucy Frazer MP Emphasises Need for an Agriculture-and Agritech-First Brexit to Michael Gove MP during Visit to South East Cambridgeshire

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, came to South East Cambridgeshire on Thursday. His visit was prompted by an invitation from South East Cambridgeshire MP, Lucy Frazer. Mr Gove visited local businesses in the agriculture and agricultural technology (agritech) sectors and Ms Frazer took the opportunity to press the importance of agriculture and agritech in Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Lucy and Michael visited Barcham Trees, G’s Fresh (G’s), and the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB).They attended a series of presentations and site tours and witnessed first-hand why South East Cambridgeshire has become a world-leader in cutting-edge farming and agritech.  
The visit covered the development of an arboretum at Barcham Trees, which will create up to 40 new jobs and deliver a unique visitor attraction to the area, a tour of G’s harvest rig operations, which have been the product of extensive in-house development, and a talk on the future aspirations of NIAB’s Innovation Hub, including the incubation of businesses with a waste or productivity focus.
Mr. Gove said, “the pioneering work being done in the agriculture and agri-tech sectors here is boosting business in this region and driving economic growth nationally. The UK is a world leader in agricultural research and innovation, and leaving the EU is an opportunity for us to set the global agenda.”
“I am one of the people that Lucy has brought here in order to ensure we do what we can at the centre of government to help people in this part of Cambridgeshire, and specifically Ely, to achieve everything they can in the future”
Lucy Frazer added, “businesses in Cambridgeshire are leading the field internationally in many areas. It is important to recognize the invaluable contribution this makes to the local and national economy. Hosting the Secretary of State was not only a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work being done by local businesses in driving forward innovation but also a chance to meet with them again and discuss matters relating to Brexit and ongoing investment in research and development.”
Leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, and Deputy Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Cllr Charles Roberts said, “it was fantastic to welcome the Environment Secretary to East Cambridgeshire. The NIAB Innovation Hub in Soham is a great example of innovation in agriculture and we’re proud to have it in our patch.
“Clearly the Environment Secretary was impressed with what he saw. It was good to see employees raise concerns they have directly with such a senior member of Government.”
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer added, “the former LEP played a key role in supporting the Innovation Hub. I am clear in my view that the new Combined Authority Business board will continue to provide whatever help it can in order to support the great work going on there.”

Andrew Carrier Joins Ward Gethin Archer's Ely Commercial Team

Leading Norfolk and Cambridgeshire law firm Ward Gethin Archer have appointed well-known and respected commercial solicitor, Andrew Carrier, to join its commercial law team in Ely.
Andrew, who has worked in commercial law for 18 years has vast experience in dealing with all aspects of commercial work, previously working for a large regional solicitors practice in Cambridge and Birmingham and then moving to London with his own commercial law business, before joining a local law firm in 2014.
During this time, Andrew has developed a large client base and has an excellent reputation in the commercial law sector for a fast, efficient and friendly approach. Andrew’s experience lies in advising business clients on legal issues such as commercial property acting for both landlords and tenants and dealing with sale and purchase transactions, as well as business sale and purchase transactions and general company and commercial matters.
The appointment follows the recent opening of Ward Gethin Archer’s new Downham Market office to great success earlier this year.
Andrew said; “Joining Ward Gethin Archer is a fantastic opportunity for me. The firm has been in Ely for over 230 years and has an excellent reputation in the city and the region. I hope to bring my skills and expertise to the firm to enhance and help the firm continue to grow.”
Commenting on the appointment, Chris Dewey; Managing Director: “I am delighted to welcome Andrew to the Firm. Andrew’s skills and expertise will further strengthen our evergrowing and thriving commercial team, which offers a full suite of legal advice to help all our commercial clients.”
Outside of work, Andrew is a director of the King’s Lynn BID and a keen ultra-distance runner competing in the UK and abroad.
Contact Andrew on 01353 662203 or email to discuss your commercial law issues.

Ellgia aims to raise £12,000 for Macmillian

Waste Company, Ellgia based at Lancaster Way plan to raise over £12,000 over the next 12 months for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Last year, the same partnership raised over £5,000 when Managing Director Steve Cook and Technical Director Cameron Murdoch took on the Berlin Marathon.

Steve Crook – MD , James Murdoch and Cameron Murdoch – Technical Director

Macmillan is the UK’s leading cancer care charity, with the purpose of improving the lives of anyone affected by cancer. From diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond, Macmillan are a constant source of support.
Michelle Hutchinson, Fundraising Manager at Macmillan said “Nearly 84 people every week in Cambridgeshire hear the overwhelming news that they have cancer and currently Macmillan cannot be there for everyone. We are delighted to be working with Ellgia in Ely, as with their help we can reach more people and raise more money to support people affected by cancer.”
Steve Crook, Managing Director said: “After the success of last year’s fundraising for the Berlin Marathon, we are delighted to team up with Macmillan again and announce them as our Charity of the year. The charity to close of many people’s hearts and we hope to make an even bigger difference this year.”

Big Issue founder and Social Entrepreneur, Lord John Bird to speak in Ely

Co-founder of The Big Issue, Lord John Bird is to be the keynote speaker at Ely Cathedral 2018 Celebration of Business.

Lord Bird, who entered the House of Lords in 2016 has endured a chequered life, living in orphanages, on the streets and a spell in prison where he learned to read and write.
In the 70’s he worked in the Houses of Parliament washing dishes before setting up his small scale printing and publishing business to which he grew until 1991 when alongside Body Shop owner, Gordon Riddick, “The Big Issue” was created.
Although in the early days, the publication was a London magazine, it quickly spread across the UK into other cities and towns and then other countries. It is now produced in 34 countries and available in 24 languages.
The company now incorporates many others businesses all set around creating social change.
You have the opportunity to see and hear Lord Bird at The Celebration of Business, ‘Tough Times: Good Business’ on Tuesday 24th April at Ely Cathedral.
This years celebration, run by the Ely Cathedral Business Group, is just over one day unlike previous years where the exhibitors set up for a weekend of display.
To register as an exhibitor or visitor and hear the keynote visit:

Drayman's to be run by Three Blind Mice!

A new era for Ely’s micropub is now official as local brewery partners, Dan, Alex and Stu, also known as Three Blind Mice purchase the award-winning establishment.
The pub went through a regeneration a couple of years ago when Andy and Jo Pearson bought the then named Liberty Bell and renamed it on behalf of Andys father to “Draymans Son”.
The Pearsons turned this one-time part-time business into a bustling enterprise which now features high on the Trip Advisor places to visit and has won the 3 available award from the local Camra society for the last 3 years.
In a joint statement to Spotted in Ely Jo and Andy said, “The Drayman’s was part of mine and Jo’s hearts. We lived it and loved it. The fact that Jo allowed it to be named after my father said it all. When we decided to sell, Three Blind Mice stated they wanted to buy. It was perfect, we loved the brewery and the three lads are our friends. Our dream is in safe hands and both of us wish them the very best for the future. We know they will take it to another level and be successful.”
When taking over the pub, the new owners said, “When an opportunity to be seriously involved in your favourite pub presents itself, it’s hard to refuse. In our humble opinion, the best pub in Ely was up for sale and we really wanted it! Shep and Jo told us their plans to move on to pastures new, and how they wanted to leave their legacy in good hands, so how could we refuse!
“The Drayman’s Son, a second home for so many, a community, an institution, a truly wonderful place to hang out and chat with lovely people, was up for the taking and we had a chance to be the new owners! After a meeting (or two) with the solicitors, all was done. And since the start of March, Three Blind Mice have take the helm. With the great support of the fantastic staff, Rob, Glenn, Stan, Zoe, Jacqui, and Ant, The Drayman’s Son is now not just our favourite pub, it’s our pub! So, come down and join us for a beer and a chat whenever you’re free!”

Deanta opens its Doors on Lancaster Way

Official Opening of Deanta UK Office and Warehouse Facility on Lancaster Way Business Park

On Friday the 23 rd March Deanta UK officially opened their new HQ facility at Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely.  Lucy Frazer MP for South East Cambridgeshire attended a Champagne reception and ribbon cutting to officially open the new facility which will employ up to 70 people within the next 2 years.
Deanta UK, designs, manufactures and distributes a range of real wood and veneer internal doors and look to provide excellent customer service, deliver a quality product and innovate to stay ahead of current trends.

Lucy commented “Back in early 2017 I attended site to witness the start of construction, 12 months on it is fantastic to see the completed building full of Deanta product and a busy workforce of over 40 people who are enjoying their new work environment.  Deanta are a dynamic team with a clear vision and I wish them every success for the future”.
Mike O’Toole Managing Director at Deanta UK said “Todays celebration provides attendees with a great opportunity to explore our new bespoke workplace and see how well the accommodation works to drive business activity forward.  Being located at Lancaster Way Business Park (part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone) means we have been able to safe guard land for future expansion and we also benefit from some business rates relief.  The building measures an impressive 48,000 sq. ft. and includes state of the art office accommodation and extensive warehouse space allowing plenty of room to grow”.

The best-kept secret in Ely: Ely City Golf Club

As you come into Ely along Cambridge Road, you’ll see Ely City Golf Club.  What you can’t see from the road is that if you turn in instead of driving past, you’ll be treated to one of the best views in Ely. A stunning 110-acre parkland course with a mature woodland and majestic views of the Cathedral.
While you’re there, why not stop for a drink or bite of lunch in the Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant. Enjoy a freshly prepared meal or a coffee in the lounge overlooking the beautiful course or on the large terrace if the weather’s good. If you’re looking for a great Sunday carvery, then look no further. A great family venue with plenty of space to park. You can even hire the Club as a venue for your special event.

Oh, and you don’t need to be a member. The doors are open to everyone, all year round.

Long gone are the days where the Club – one of the top three courses in Cambridgeshire – is exclusively for members and experienced golfers. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll be welcomed by the friendly team. If you’re looking to take up golf or improve your game, you can book lessons with a fully qualified golf pro to get you on the right track. There’s even a fully-stocked shop to meet all of your golfing needs. You can hire the Club for business meetings or sign-up for business membership to give your employees an excellent staff benefit.

Ely City Golf Club is much more than a round of golf.

Although you don’t need to be a member, becoming one brings some excellent benefits. Being a member is a great way of spending quality time with the family. There’s a full calendar of events all year round and you’ll make some great, long-lasting family friends. It’s not just about a round of golf, you’ll be part of a community.
If you’re thinking of taking up a sport this year, then golf is certainly one to consider. Golf is great for your health and wellbeing. A round of golf at Ely City Golf Club takes you on a five-mile walk in beautiful parklands where you can enjoy nature, get some exercise and good, healthy fresh air to boot!

If membership is for you, there’s no better time to join, with an offer on adult membership to celebrate this years’ Masters. The Masters’ Membership is a 7-day promotion running during the 82nd staging of the Masters from April 1st to April 8th.  Adult Memberships will be available from the clubhouse for a joining fee of £82, usually £600. New members will also receive the Welcome Pack with a retail value of £100 – branded balls, pitch repairer, club shirt and bag towel.
So next time your thinking about a round of golf, going for a drink, or out for Sunday lunch, drop in and visit Ely City Golf Club and enjoy the friendly welcome and beautiful surroundings of Ely’s best-kept secret.
#promotion by Ely City Golf Course, written by Carly Mason

Three major retailers coming to Ely – but only if bats and voles are protected

Three major retailers are coming to Ely – as long as developers can satisfy planners that water vole and bat populations will be protected, Spotted in Ely can reveal.

Last week, East Cambridgeshire District Council gave the green light for the construction of budget supermarket chain Lidl, bargain store B&M and DIY chain Wickes, in an out of town development near Angel Drove.

But before work can start, East Cambridgeshire District Council has asked for a plan detailing how populations of water voles and bats will be protected during construction and once the development is completed.
The two species are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Developers also have to supply a detailed document, stating how they plan to remove and manage pest plant Japanese knotweed from the site.
As long as they can meet these and other conditions, Healy Investments have been given permission to proceed with the new development at Octagon Business Park.

Supermarket giant Tesco had initially planned to move to the site but pulled out in 2015 after suffering financial losses.
The new development will include 313 car parks, 18 disabled parking spaces and 66 cycle parks, and is expected to create the equivalent of 604 full-time jobs.
It includes a new, stand alone Lidl store, which would take up 29,790 square foot over two floors, as well as a 20,000 square foot, one floor building housing B&M.
The third proposed unit is a 26,000 square foot, two-floor building housing DIY store Wickes.
The application includes 313 car parks, 18 disabled parking spaces and 66 cycle parks.

Construction can take place between 8am and 6pm throughout the week and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays, with no building allowed on Sundays, Bank holidays or public holidays, to minimise disruption to neighbours.

Ordinance Survey map of the site

The Ely Southern Bypass, due to be completed this summer, would be located directly to the south of the site, with the nearest bus stop being at Tesco, about 600 metres to the northeast.
The application can be viewed here.

Spring Tour Event – Your chance to discover more about King’s Ely Nursery, King’s Ely Acremont and King’s Ely Junior

WE know that if we could bottle the spirit of King’s Ely we would be onto a real winner, but we would like you to come and experience it for yourself.

On Friday March 23rd, we are doing just that by hosting a Spring Tour Event for families interested in joining King’s Ely Nursery (ages 1-4), King’s Ely Acremont (ages 4-7) and/or King’s Ely Junior (ages 7-11).
Come and see how the adventure of a King’s Ely education enables pupils of all ages to flourish. Whether a student shines in a classroom or lab, on a stage, on a pitch or on a mountainside, our school promises an abundance of opportunity for personal development, both academically and socially.
We empower our pupils to challenge themselves, to push beyond the boundaries of their own expectations and to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are the hallmark of every section of King’s Ely. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils develop the self-knowledge and inner resilience that will enable them to face the challenges of an ever-changing world.
King’s Ely is a family – a community that is vibrant, nurturing and inclusive. We are a school that can take each child on a seamless journey, travelling from one section to the next, whilst welcoming newcomers at key transition stages, giving support and adapting the offering to the needs of every child in our care.
Only by visiting King’s Ely can you feel the energy and warmth of our community. To book your place on our Spring Tour Event on Friday March 23rd, or for more information, please visit or call Admissions on (01353) 660707.
Advertorial by King’s Ely

Bravo! Ely Prezzo survives the cutter

Ely pizza and pasta lovers will be relieved to hear that the city’s popular Prezzo restaurant has survived the cutter for now, Spotted in Ely can reveal.

The struggling Italian chain plans to shut down a third of its restaurants in a bid to save the company.

But the Ely restaurant, overlooking Ely Cathedral, is making enough profit to stay on the company’s safe list.

Yesterday Prezzo announced it had entered into a company voluntary agreement (CVA), a procedure under the Insolvency Act, “in order to deliver a sustainable long-term plan for its business”.
Prezzo has submitted a restructuring plan to its creditors and will seek their approval of the CVA at a creditors’ meeting on March 23.
If given the go ahead, it will shut down 94 of its 300 restaurants across the country – but the Ely branch is set to remain open for now.
The popular High Street eatery is classified as a “category 1” lease restaurant, meaning it’s performing adequately at the current rent.
The group operates a number of chain across the country, including Chimichanga, Caffe Uno, Cleaver and MEXIco, but its core brand is Prezzo.
Over the years, Prezzo has suffered stiff competition from other brand names, such as Pizza Express, ASK Italian, Zizzi and Bella Italia.
The CVA allows a company to come to an arrangement with its creditors over the payment of its debts.
If the agreement isn’t approved, Prezzo is likely to enter into administration.
Prezzo was bought by private equity firm TPG in 2014 for just over £300 million.
It’s been a tough week for retailers, with Maplin and Toys R Us both going into administration.

Businesses show that Apprenticeships Work

‘Apprenticeships work’ is the message coming from business and public sector leaders involved in Enterprise East Cambridgeshire’s newest event taking place during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.
Key speakers for the free to attend event, taking place on Friday 9th March at the Maltings, Ely, will include Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer and Corkers Crisps’ Caroline Bosworth. The day will include practical advice sessions plus a wealth of information for businesses wanting to find apprentices and the funding options available to them.
Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, said: “I am a strong believer that apprenticeships are an excellent route into employment. Apprenticeships feature heavily in our plans for the combined authority. This includes creating 600 jobs within the health and social care sector and a commitment of more than £690,000 over the next two years to support small business financially to take on apprentices. I am proud to be involved in the event which will bring businesses together in my home district to shine a light on the importance of investing in our young people and the backing available to make that a reality.”
Head of People, Projects and Engagement at Corkers Crisps, Caroline Bosworth, said: “In 2017 we surpassed the milestone of employing over 100 people. This was achieved within seven years of forming the business which we are hugely proud of.  What has become clear to us, is the importance of having apprentices as part of our company. This has been hugely rewarding and we cannot wait to show other like-minded businesses why they should consider this route to recruitment.”
Platinum Properties and Cambridge Commodities also boost the roster of speakers for the lunchtime event.
At Platinum Properties we believe in the constant development of the company, our services and our people” says Maria Morgan, Managing Director of Platinum Properties.
Our team is comprised of highly experienced well-regarded industry professionals, some whom started their careers as apprentices themselves. We look forward to giving others a greater understanding of the positive impact that apprenticeships have on businesses and how the next generation of professionals can make a positive impact.”
Marie Lee, HR Manager at Cambridge Commodities, said: “At Cambridge Commodities we are very supportive of apprenticeships and how they can positively impact our business. Over the past five years, we’ve taken on over 15 successful apprentices, many of whom have gone on to occupy full-time positions within the company.
“Our main drive at Cambridge Commodities is to upskill and develop our teams to foster personal and business growth, and it is a pleasure to support Enterprise East Cambridgeshire’s employer event to celebrate just how much apprentices can strengthen businesses.”
Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is the economic development arm of East Cambridgeshire District Council and facilitate economic growth by working with the local business community in East Cambridgeshire
On the event, Councillor Lis Every, the Enterprise Skills Champion for East Cambridgeshire District Council stated that: “The Apprenticeship Works event will support local businesses to develop their workforce, access new talent and consider new ways of working.  
“East Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing regional economies in the UK; local businesses are thriving and keen to recruit from the amazing pool of talent we have in this region. This event promises to be a lively and informative event.”
The Employer Event: Apprenticeships Work will run from 11am to 2pm on Friday 9th March. You can register your attendance here:
The day will also include refreshments and a light lunch for all visitors.

Grovemere Property Showcases Business Growth at Lancaster Way.

On Friday 19th January 2018, Councillors from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) visited Ely’s Lancaster Way Business Park and Enterprise Zone.
Hosted by site developers Grovemere Property, Councillors saw first-hand how the rapidly developing area has flourished since the completion of substantial investment in infrastructure during the past year.
Grovemere Property, founded in 1924, is a family-owned business which has evolved into a provider of high-quality employment space. In 2007, Grovemere Property moved to Lancaster Way Business Park in Ely, where they work closely with the council’s proactive economic development team, to bring new businesses into the area.
Councillor Steve Cheetham, Service Delivery Champion for Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “The council has outlined its ambitions to increase jobs and inward investment into the Enterprise Zone at Lancaster Way in its corporate plan and this visit allows councillors to see the opportunities we have in the area.”
Approximately 75 acres of additional commercial development land was opened as part of a Phase II infrastructure project at Lancaster Way in August 2017 by MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer QC.
Harvey Bibby, Marketing and Development Director at Grovemere Property Limited said “We have enjoyed hosting Councillors from East Cambridgeshire District Council. The aim of today was to highlight the significant progress being made at the Lancaster Way Business Park Enterprise Zone. I think first-hand experience of the site and buildings being constructed on the park will enable the Councillors to engage with interested parties and the wider community which will in-turn assist with the promotion of the park and encourage jobs growth for the district.
Councillors also took the opportunity to visit the brand new premises of door manufacturer, Deanta Limited. Their FSC-certified solid core oak and walnut internal doors are created at their manufacturing facility on Lancaster Way.

New Networking Group For Ely Business Women Launched

A brand new networking group has been launched for Ely business women, starting off with a free meeting on Tuesday 30th January from 10.30am until 12 noon at the Lamb Hotel, Ely.
The event will be free to attend with refreshments and cake kindly provided by the event’s sponsor, Ward Gethin Archer solicitors.
East Anglian Women In Business (EAWIB)  has been created by Ward Gethin Archer Director and Family Law Solicitor, Sarah Fairbrother, to provide a local forum where fellow business women can meet, interact and support each other in developing their business and careers. Unlike other networking groups there are no membership fees, no requirements to give referrals and no minimum number of meetings that you must attend.
Sarah said, “Our launch meeting will give everyone the chance to introduce themselves and what it is they do, as well as network to form strong links with other local women in an informal, friendly and non-pressurised setting. Meetings will be held between 10.30 and 12 noon, as we understand the commitments that women often have in the early mornings and
Other EABIW networking groups are currently being set up in Chatteris, King’s Lynn, Dereham, Watton, Swaffham and Heacham. Sarah continued, “I recognise that outside of Cambridge and Norwich there are very few networking opportunities in the local smaller
towns, especially for women who may feel intimidated by attending these size of events.” Anyone wishing to attend the first meeting on Tuesday 30th January should RSVP by visiting

Food Supply Chain Industry Benefits The Economy In East Cambridgeshire

One of Cambridgeshire’s leading food supply chain specialists opened its doors to members of local and central government to showcase the inner workings of their purpose built processing and repack facilities in Newmarket.  Susanne Devanney from the Department for International Trade (DIT), MP Lucy Frazer and a number of East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) Councillors were given a tour of the premises which produces a wide range of chilled and frozen products for the retail, food service and ingredients markets.

Mark Cheadle, Managing Director at CP Foods (UK) Limited, said: “We were delighted to welcome Susanne, Lucy and all the ECDC delegates to our Newmarket facility. Having the support of the DIT and local government officers is important to our continued investment in the area. It was a good opportunity for us to showcase our operations here in the UK and to demonstrate the global reach and growth opportunities we have from being part of one of the world’s leading listed agro-industrial food conglomerates, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited.”

CP Foods (UK) Ltd has invested heavily in the local area, with the construction of two state-of-the-art sites over 35,000 ft2.  Utilising the skills of local workers, the company employs over 220 staff in a variety of roles.  Operations run 24/7 and produce more than 36 million packs each year.

MP Lucy Frazer said “It was a pleasure to visit CP Foods (UK) Limited and take a fascinating tour of their facilities at Fordham Road, Newmarket. CP Foods is an important local employer and one of the region’s leading food supply chain specialists and it was great to have the opportunity to meet with its staff and senior management – we discussed, amongst other things, Brexit and the challenges facing the industry.  Thank you to CP Foods for inviting me.”

Councillor Steve Cheetham, service delivery champion for economic development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is so encouraging to see businesses like CP Foods  investing and growing within East Cambridgeshire.  Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is highly focused on increasing the region’s strong business reputation and CP Foods is a prime example of the high calibre of businesses in the district. I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Enterprise East Cambridgeshire aims to encourage, support and deliver business initiatives that increase sustainable economic growth and inward investment. Located in one of the fastest growing regions outside of London, the area is strategically positioned to dominate regional economic development over the next 20 years.

International packaging firm makes significant relocation within East Cambs

Local company Faerch Plast (formerly Anson Packaging) recently opened the doors of its impressive new UK headquarters and design facility on Lancaster Way Business Park in Ely.

Hosted by the company’s Managing Director, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, joined East Cambridgeshire District Council’s economic development officers for a behind the scenes look at their new advanced research and design facilities.

Faerch Plast specialise in packaging for the food industry. This recent HQ investment comes on top of significant expansion of its high volume manufacturing facilities in Sutton near Ely during 2016. The company produces plastic packaging for fresh meat, ready meals and ‘food to go’. The firm has an ‘A- list’ client base linked to the supermarket sector and has been a leading force in the food supply chain since 1969.

Managing Director Andrew Osborne-Smith said “Following the successful opening of our new Design Innovation Hub at Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely, on Friday 13th October, we welcomed South East Cambs Member of Parliament, Lucy Frazer to our facility.   It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our continued investment into the region and we valued the opportunity of discussing our current position and future developments.   We were very grateful that Lucy Frazer was able to visit.”

The opening of the new facilities draws existing employees from within the region and creates new skilled job opportunities driven by the company’s impressive growth ambitions.  During the visit the firm’s commitment to waste reduction and environmental programmes was also of special interest.

MP Lucy Frazer said “It was a pleasure to meet with senior management and employees of Faerch Plast, one of East Cambridgeshire’s leading food supply chain specialists. On a guided tour of its facilities, I was fascinated to hear about Faerch Plast’s past and future expansion plans; welcome news for jobs and growth in our area and a vote of confidence in East Cambridgeshire’s vibrant economy. We discussed business drivers in the food supply chain industry and the challenges of Brexit. Thank you to Faerch Plast for hosting me.”

Councillor Steve Cheetham, Service Delivery Champion for Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “It is very encouraging to see businesses like Faerch Plast, who already have premises in the district, choose to grow within East Cambridgeshire. Enterprise East Cambridgeshire is highly focussed on increasing the region’s strong business reputation whilst making it a great place to live. Faerch Plast’s investment in their new headquarters is testament to that and I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Junior stylists turned salon bosses Claire and Hannah are a cut above the rest

When best buddies Claire Farrow and Hannah Smith became junior hairdressers over a decade ago, they dreamt of one day running their own salon. Today that dream becomes a reality.

The two mums, who met while studying at Ely College, are celebrating the opening of Farrow & Smith Hair Design.

The funky salon opened today – after a whirlwind three days of redesign, during which the twosome roped in family members and friends to help revamp and redesign the premises on Fore Hill.
Claire told Spotted in Ely: “We dreamt about running a salon but never thought we would. Our dream has come true.”
Hannah started off 13 years ago as a junior hairdresser at the same premises, when David Green Hairdressing was based there.
A year later, Claire started after a recommendation from Hannah.
Working together only extended the friendship, with Hannah being asked to be a bridesmaid at Claire’s wedding seven years ago.
When Claire had her son Reuben and Hannah had daughter Ella two years ago, they didn’t want to give their careers the chop – so they carried on seeing clients at home.
Recently they were approached by Eve Youngman, who took over the salon after David Green relocated to The Atrium, asking if they wanted to take over the lease, as she is now based in Dubai.
The two pals jumped at the chance – and being so close has its fringe benefits, as the two will share the day to day running of the salon between them.
Claire said: “We couldn’t do it without each other. It’s allowed us to pursue our dreams while also making time for our families.”
Farrow & Smith Hair Design will provide usual hairdressing services, as well as hair extensions, and express blow dries on Friday afternoons for people who want to “get that Friday feeling” before going out.
There are plans in the pipeline to provide special parent and toddler sessions.
“Because we have young kids we know how difficult it is for people to come to the salon. We want a safe environment for people to come and be pampered. We want to create a fun, family friendly, down to earth and approachable vibe place where everyone feels welcome.”
Farrow & Smith currently have four hair stylists and a junior stylist and are looking for more to join their team.
For more information click here.

Arbuckles goes mobile with another VIP Trip up for grabs

Ely Leisure Villages first restaurant Arbuckles launches it’s first app on Monday available for Android and iOS devices.

Users of the app will be entered in a prize draw to win a VIP Trip to Norwich just like the one won by Spotted in Ely follower and Norwich City fan, Natalie Terriss.
As well as the VIP Trip, all users will also get £10 off their first booking and get access to new offers plus access the new “Loyalty Card” feature.
All of the offers are subject to terms and conditions but to enter the competition you must register on the app before the 17th October.

Local Entrepreneur joins the board of world established technology company

Local businessman, serial entrepreneur and family man, Jonathan James has been appointed to the board of technology giants TLM Technologies.
James from Soham, who owns over 100 shops and many other businesses, has joined the board of the company in a non-executive role.

Jonathan James outside one of newly acquired Select Convenience stores

TLM create end-to-end solutions specialising in the convenience and fuel industries. Jonathan James’ has more than 20 years of experience in the sector will benefit this international business who customers already include HKS Retail, EuroGarages and Costcutter here in the UK.
Talking to Spotted in Ely Mr James said, “TLM is a very forward thinking business and highly respected in the Fuel and Convenience industry. With technology and the convenience market rapidly developing it is a very exciting time to be joining the business”
In a statement issued by TLM this morning, spokesman Lee Papper stated “‘I am proud to say that TLM is still expanding rapidly and we have a very exciting year ahead of us, from the launch of our innovative evo+ solution in October to the highly anticipated official launch of evoPOS next spring, TLM is going from strength to strength – and we are delighted that Jonathan will be helping steer us into continued success in the future!”

Environment Agency calls on Mick George Ltd for Solution

Having been awarded the £10.5million Earthworks contract, Mick George Ltd has recently set to work on raising the flood banks at the Ouse Washes reservoir, spanning Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, sub-contracting to JacksonHyder, in this Environment Agency project.
The development in its entirety is estimated at a value of £27million, and is a consequence of recent inspection under the Reservoirs Act 1975, whereby recommendations for Matters in the Interests of Safety (MIOS) were made.
Originally constructed during the 1630’s as part of the drainage of the Fens, the embankments have been repeatedly modified and repaired, until major works were last undertaken between 1990 and 1996 to raise and formalise the banks’ with imported, locally sourced materials. The embankments themselves comprise of Kimmeridge Clay, Glacial Till and Overburden Hoggin, but with compressible peat and tidal flat deposits lying beneath.
The project is primarily concerned with raising the height of the Middle Level Barrier Bank between 60cm and 80cm right along the 30km embankment stretch, from Earith to Welmore Lake Sluice, Salters Lode. Mick George Ltd will for the main part act as a major supplier of the clay materials, as well as completing the formation of the banks.
This is the first stage of the flood defence scheme, which is anticipated to take up to 3 years to complete, with work limited through summer to autumn, to avoid disturbance of breeding birds at this internationally important habitat, with the location identified of particular conservation interest.
The first year of works will concentrate on areas through Welney and Mepal, on the Middle Level Barrier Bank and between Sutton Gault and Chain Corner on the South Level Barrier Bank. Following construction works there will be a further two years of maintenance works to establish a good grass cover which is important to ensure the stability of the banks.
The flood bank is the dam of the flood storage reservoir, the area of the Ouse Washes which is deliberately flooded.
When full, the reservoir stores approximately 90,000,000m3 of water, enough water to fill Wembley Stadium 22 times over. The reservoir protects thousands of properties, roads, railways and more than 67,000 hectares of farmland from winter flooding.
Michael George, Contracts Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’We’re extremely pleased to be working on this project. The site has a lot of heritage, and we believe, being a local company serving the surrounding regions on a daily basis, that we are best placed to deliver the project with the attention that is required.’’
George continued: ‘’We recognise the impact that the current failures of the embankments have on nearby residents, visitors and business operators like ourselves, so have a vestured interest in enhancing the location to the highest standard.’’

High Street Passage Party

The shops in Ely High Street Passage are throwing a street party on Thursday August 10th, following last years successful event organised by the independent retailers who work there.
The party is absolutely free, and will feature live music, storytelling sessions, sewing demonstrations, taster massage sessions, face painting ice creams and a visit from Miss Cambridgeshire.
The party, organised by Burrows Bookshop, Artichoke Ely, PositivEly Treated, The Treasure Chest, Sew Much To Do, Age Concern and Uclassy, is to thank regular customers and to encourage new ones to visit High Street Passage.
A spokesman for High Street Passage says: ‘Our street party last year a was huge success and highlighted what a vibrant community we have in Ely, and how important independent retailers are to the people who live and work in the city. This is our way of saying thank you, and encouraging new shoppers to take a step off the high street to explore the unique blend of shops in our special little alleyway.’
The party starts at 2pm on Thursday August 10 in Ely High Street Passage. For more information click here.

Lancaster Way Infrastructure Expansion Ends But Doesn't Stop There

Phase 2 will enable Grovemere Property to open another 75 acres of additional land with various business consent.

In October 2016 work began at Lancaster Way by contractor Mick George. Their role was to create an escape route for water and drainage and an extension of the current road system on the Enterprise Zone.
The opening event took place last week to celebrate the completion of this phase of the infrastructure project.
Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire performed a ribbon cutting and said “ I am delighted to see the progress being made at Lancaster Way Business Park which forms part of the Cambridge Compass Enterprise Zone. The growth of business within the park during the last 5 years has been phenomenal and I understand a further 2 buildings are scheduled to commence prior to the end of 2017 creating another 150,000 sq. ft. of commercial space with the ability to host up to 600 employees”.

Companies and people who attended the ceremony include Grovemere Property Limited, Mick George, Peter Brett Associates, Stormport Professional services Limited, The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership. Trevor Bedford. ECDC, Plan Surv, Lucy Frazer MP and BDB

Kays of Ely Under New Management

‘Kays of Ely, Lighting & Gifts’ previously Ely Lighting & Gifts is under new management, bringing back the original name ‘Kays’. New owners Wendy and David Gamble hope to give the shop a 21st-century twist, whilst retaining a traditional feel and good old fashioned customer service.
Some of you may have already seen the new attractive signage. Please come in and browse our new and exciting range of lighting and gifts. Your Lighting needs may be traditional or modern, sparkly or plain, we have something to tempt everyone. If your looking for the perfect gift we stock a range of collectable figurines and trinkets, having recently introduced new ranges of beautiful jewellery, candles, bags, grooming products and small gifts for just about any occasion.
We specialise in all those ‘Hard To Find’ light bulbs, with over 200 in stock! and are always on hand to source the most obscure for you.

You can be assured of a warm welcome from everyone at ‘Kays of Ely’, we look forward to assisting you with your lighting needs, selecting the perfect gift, or when you simply want to treat yourself!

Ely entrepreneurs are expanding

City residents Ivar and Martina Jenssen, the team behind, are expanding.

The Grand Opening of Stamford My Shop is Local was held on July 11 th at the Arts Centre in Stamford. Attending was the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Stamford, Councillor Max Sawyer and Mrs Audrey Sawyer, the local press and about 30 of the town’s independent shop keepers and other friends of My Shop is Local. Stamford My Shop is Local covers both Stamford and Oakham as well as the areas in-between. Martina said: “We are really pleased to provide an online shopping solution
Stamford My Shop is Local covers both Stamford and Oakham as well as the areas in-between. Martina said: “We are really pleased to provide an online shopping solution for both the independent local shops and the residents of Stamford and Oakham. The shopkeepers here are just fantastic, they are very supportive and they have really embraced the concept and My Shop is Local. We are sure that working together with them, we will be able to provide a great service for the residents of Stamford, Oakham and surrounding villages.”
This is the first location outside of Ely for My Shop is Local, but we understand from the entrepreneurs that more locations are in the pipeline. The local day to day operations in Stamford and Oakham will be looked after by the local team based in Stamford. For those that want to have a look, just google Stamford My Shop is Local.

Ely Firm Ellgia Acquires Purple Recycling

Ely-based waste management and recycling company Ellgia is pleased to announce it has acquired Purple Recycling this week and will take over operations at the Purple Recycling site in Prickwillow with immediate effect.  Ellgia anticipates a smooth transition with all services continuing as normal and has confirmed all staff will be retained.

Steve Crook, Ellgia’s Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have acquired Purple Recycling; it is a thriving business, servicing customers in the commercial and construction sector and will strengthen and widen our offer in the region. We have considerable experience in this sector in other parts of Eastern England, and this acquisition is complementary to our current business and allows us to expand our services across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.
“In the future we will look to align the brand with our corporate identity and familiar green livery. However, our immediate focus will be working with Purple Recycling’s customers and staff to ensure we continue to provide a great service now and in the future as they become part of the Ellgia family.
“We will also take over Purple Recycling’s waste management and recycling facility, which will allow us extract more recyclable materials from our waste streams and offer greater environmental benefits to our customers.”

Left to right: Mick Clarke, Barry Gray, Liz Trangmar, Jack Lavington, Fred Lock, Darrel McKinney and Stuart Smith

Ellgia is an innovative commercial waste management company based in Cambridgeshire, offering a growing range of bespoke solutions to customers across the East of England, Lincolnshire, Humberside and East Yorkshire, through its depots in Ely, Boston and Scunthorpe
The company was established in 2011 and makes waste management simple and cost-effective for its customers. It operates an innovative ‘pay-by-weight’ solution, using the latest container weighing and identification technology with a focus on recycling innovation, resource management and real time customer interaction on service and recycling performance.
At the heart of its success is the development of bespoke solutions that meet the needs of each of its customers, whether they are a very small business or large enterprises with multiple sites.

Sisters share a slice of the action at Isle Bakery

It takes a brave person to set up a business with their sibling!

But sisters Claire Harrison and Holly Hodge, the creative talent behind The Isle Bakery, Ely’s newest cake shop, assure us there are no food fights in the kitchen when they’re busy baking!

The two Ely women love whisking up “beautiful cakes that taste as good as they look”.
So when they thought about turning that passion into a business, having each other for inspiration and support was the icing on the cake.
Growing up on a farm, Claire and Holly have many happy childhood memories of baking with their mum and siblings but it wasn’t until they reached adulthood that they discovered a passion for cake decorating.

They set up Isle Bakery at the start of this year, after baking for family and friends for several years.
Their first order was an exquisitely decorated unicorn cake, which proved an instant hit.

Since then they’ve conjured up magical custom made cakes for a number of occasions, including special birthdays and milestones, as well as quirky and unusual creations.
Claire says: “We’re currently working on a cake that combines two friends passions, princesses and superheros, on one spectacular cake.
“The cake will feature Batman and Belle themes and hopefully make two little girls very happy.”
Holly and Claire had each played with the idea of turning their baking passions into a business – but in the end decided that the best way to have their cake and eat it was to join forces and set up Isle Bakery together.

“We both love baking and trying out new decoration ideas. We had both considered starting our own businesses and it seemed like a good idea to do it together.
“This way we can bounce ideas off each other and take on larger orders which we work together on.
“We each have our own areas of interest and that helps us offer a broad range of designs, techniques and styles to our customers.”

Setting up a business with a sibling isn’t for everyone – but luckily Claire and Holly’s partnership does not turn up the heat too much in Claire’s kitchen!
“Fortunately we are a very close family and have always got on really well.
“It is great to have someone to bounce ideas off and to share this incredible experience with.
“It certainly felt less scary starting a business with each other than it would have done on our own.
“Working together also means we can cover each other for holidays and we always have back up if one of us is ill meaning our customers won’t be let down.”

The two sisters don’t have a limit on the number of people they can cater for and work on a case by case (or cake by cake) basis.
“It really depends on the intricacy of the design, the shape of the cakes, number of tiers and how many other bookings we have on at the time. We are happy to consider all order sizes.
“One way people can increase the number of servings is to add cupcakes to a cake order.”
Isle Bakery caters for different diets, accommodating people who are dairy or gluten intolerant as well as vegetarians and vegans.
“We have made egg free cakes before. We both have personal experience of food intolerances and passionately believe that there is no reason why people following special diets should have to put up with inferior quality cakes.”

Before they even set foot in the kitchen, the bakers plan out each creation, discussing each customer’s order with incredible attention to detail.
“Some people come to us with really specific ideas, even photos, of what they want. Others have a general theme in mind or are open to suggestions.
“We work with customers to refine their ideas, going back and forth until everyone is happy with the proposed design.
“Time spent planning a cake varies hugely depending on the complexity of the design. Modelling is usually the most time consuming part of a project and some projects we have to start weeks in advance.”
Holly juggles a full-time job in public health with her passion for baking while Claire is mum to Kessie, six, and Layla, four.

Juggling motherhood, jobs and a small business takes a lot of planning, Claire says.
“It is challenging at times. We make sure not to take on more work than we can manage as the quality of our finished product is paramount.
“Being organised is incredibly important and we have a lot of spreadsheets on the go!”

Muffin ventured, muffin gained – and Claire advises anyone seriously thinking of starting their own business to give it a whirl.
“Make sure you are prepared for lots of hard work. Having the support of family and friends has made the start of our venture so much easier than it might have been.
“We have also been delighted by the fantastic support we’ve received from the local community.

“I guess at the end of the day you won’t know if it’s for you unless you give it a try. We’re glad we did.”
If you knead a bit of inspiration, be sure to check out Isle Bakery’s delectable creations by clicking here.

Support Ely’s independent businesses this Christmas by choosing My Shop is Local

Ely residents can give a double gift this Christmas by stocking up on goodies from local businesses – all at the click of a button.

Supporting Ely’s independent businesses is easier than ever before, thanks to a one-stop-shop that delivers local produce straight to your door.

ely-my-shop-is-local-order-deliveryAnd by shopping locally for festive groceries and gifts, you are not only gifting the recipient but also helping our local businesses flourish and keeping people employed in our community.
Ely My Shop Is Local has just expanded its services to cater for busy or housebound residents, who may not get the chance to shop in the city centre during the day.
Customers can now combine their shopping from multiple stores into just one order, choosing not only free same day click and collect but also free same day delivery, as long as they live within 15 miles of Ely.
In addition, they can pick an hour in which they would like to have their groceries delivered.
Martina Jenssen, who runs the family business with husband Ivar, says: “If you change your mind about your purchase you can benefit from free returns as well.
“Anyone living within 15 miles of Ely can now shop locally with the city’s independent local shops in the comfort of a sofa, on the train on the way to work or during a lunch break.
“Support local by shopping local. Help our independents and our city centre.”
My Shop is Local only works with local independent shops or locally owned and operated franchises. It does not support national chains or internet based retailers.
Shops signed up to the scheme include Bent & Cornwell Quality Meats, Cloisters Art & Antique Centre, Ely Fudge Company, Endless Creations, Handmade Hotspot, Ian Stacey Photography, Italian Jewellery, Jurassic Bark, Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Razamatazz Magic Emporium, Spar Ely, Subway Ely, The Motorist Centre, The Treasure Chest and Tickets Ely Events.

Sammy Magic Magic, of Razamatazz, entertains with his magic tricks.

According to statistics, over 88% of Ely’s workforce travels out of town for their employment. Others have limited transport, childcare commitment or may not be able to get into town, Martina says.
“We are trying to move the trade from the ‘worldwide’ internet to our local shops. We want to change people’s habits and their view on shopping.”
The Jenssens hope that by promoting small independent shops through their shopping portal, they can prevent these businesses from closing down, leaving empty buildings on our high street.
They hope to “get more of the lovely and unique independent retailers to open up in our city and help Ely flourish.”
As well as getting free delivery in and around Ely, for a small fee, people can also choose to have local produce delivered nationally through My Shop is Local.
Research shows that £5 spent with an independent business has a value of up to £25 to the local economy. So, the money stays in the local economy creating more jobs, sustainable businesses and a better town centre.
What could be a better gift to give this Christmas?

A Tasty Way to Try a Variety of Food

This Thursday, 3rd November sees the first Ebb & Flow Food Tasting event in Ely at the Market Street Brasserie.

Robin DSouza Opens Markets Street Brasserie“EBB & FLOW” is a pop-up food event at Market Street Brasserie where our guests can enjoy a seven-course menu specially designed by our Chef Patron, Robin Dsouza to give you a unique food experience, a culinary journey full of flavors, colors, and textures – a true food performance where ingredients play the main role.
Robin moved from London to start up the new Market Street Brasserie in June this year and already proving that his style of English food with a Mediterranean twist is something that Ely has missed.
Tables are now available from 6:30 to 10:30pm and you can book by calling 01353 669930 or via email Booking is necessary with a deposit of £10.00 per head

The Menu

“Meet the Truffle”
– Sourdough bread and truffle butter
“Mellow Melon Music”
– Cantaloupe melon and stem ginger shot and shrimp croustade
– Cantaloupe melon and stem ginger shot and sweet corn pepper croustade (V)
“The Game Shall Begin”
– Dukkah-spiced confit rabbit ballotine, mango and coriander emulsion, and Parmesan cheese twists
– Zucchini and feta cakes, mango and coriander emulsion, Parmesan cheese twists (V)
“Fly Me Into the Blue”
– Sriracha-spiced Salmon, roasted beetroot and fennel shavings, and coriander pilaf
– Butternut squash and chick pea curry, roasted beetroot and fennel shavings, and coriander pilaf (V)
“The Elderflower and Pomegranate Duo”
Elderflower and pomegranate sorbet
“It Works Both Ways”
– Roasted lamb cutlet and slow braised shoulder, miso-flavored aubergine, and fondant potatoes
– Aubergine cannelloni, ratatouille vegetables, pepper coulis and Cheddar cheese glaze (V)
“The Chocolate Finale”
– Dark brownie, milk brûlée, white panna cotta, caramel sauce and chocolate soil

New Pet Store in Ely, A Day 1 Success

Jarl & Joanne Ford along with colleagues Siobhan and Neil have opened a new pet friendly environment store “Isle of Pets” in the grounds of Isle of Ely Vets on West Fen Road.

Isle of Pets L to R: Siobhan, Joanne, Jarl & Neil

Jarl tells us, “We want to listen to peoples pet needs and we are very happy with day 1, but we have a long way to go, learn and expand upon.
“Everything we have in store is tested and highly regarded as friendly and safe for the various animals we cater for”
20161022_143022Isle of Pets will be open 7 days.
For more information see their Facebook Page: or call 01353 669912.

Ely's newest late night bar is looking for staff

Ely’s newest late night bar, Bar-ology, is currently recruiting – and you don’t need to know the difference between a Flaming Ferrari and a Sidecar to get your bartending skills into gear!

With just 20 days to go until Bar-ology on Fore Hill opens its doors on October 28, owner Rob Gilkes says the main qualities he’s looking for are people who are “dedicated and passionate” – and in it for the long haul.

He and fiancée and manager Megan Snooks, a former cocktail waitress, will be teaching mixology – the art of mixing fancy drinks (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail) – as well as other skills needed to keep customers happy.
Bar-ology will be hiring 10 staff to cover a range of tasks, with job interviews taking place next week.
dsc_0786-1Rob, who has a background in the hospitality trade, as well as in marketing, says: “We want an enthusiastic and dedicated new team made up of confident, energetic, happy people.”
Applicants must be 16 or over and can be looking for part time and full-time roles.
Catering for over 300 customers, Bar-ology will feature the DJing skills of Marc Fuccio, who’s previously played in Cambridge, London and Ibiza, and the first jukebox with a photo booth in East Anglia.
The upstairs area will be available for private hire on certain days, and will include a personal bar.
As well as providing cocktails, Bar-ology will be serving tapas style mini meals as well as award-winning coffees, teas and hot chocolates, and Rob hopes it will prove popular with the entire community.
“We want to be a community hub, a place where people can meet and chat.
“We don’t want to be stereotyped – we are not another nightclub.
“We are a late night bar but also a meeting place for people in the day.”
A moveable ramp will be provided to enable wheelchair and buggy users to access the building, and Rob hopes people of all ages, including families, will use the building in the daytime.
“We will be big on our coffees and teas.”
They will be offering a range of award-winning flower teas with therapeutic benefits as well as aiming to serve “the best coffee in Ely.”
Megan hopes people will be impressed with the tapas style mini-meals on offer, adding: “We want to make it as affordable as possible.”
The couple plan to offer three mini-meals for £10, promising quality cuisine that doesn’t cost the earth.
dsc_0787Rob bought the venue just two months ago. It had been empty since Jar Jars shut down two-and-a-half-ago and is currently undergoing an extreme makeover before its grand opening later this month.
Bar-ology will be open seven days a week, with late openings on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
To apply for a job, please email your CV to

'From Field to Frier' – Double open day success for top local firm.

Isle of Ely Produce opened their doors not once but twice recently for a double open day first farmers on Friday and then chip shop owners on Sunday. They also held a farmers’ dinner at the Cathedral and launched the 2016 Ely Potato Race. Already they have pledged over £2,500 for local charities

On day one at their farm in Oak Tree Lane Littleport , MP for North East Cambridgeshire Steve Barclay met up with owners John and Oliver Boutwood and spoke at length with many local farmers, with the hot topic of conversation being what happens for farmers next after BREXIT

Oliver Boutwood with Steve Barclay and Richard Lee (farmer)
Oliver Boutwood with Steve Barclay and Richard Lee (farmer)

It was their second potato seed trials open day and showcased many new and different varieties of seed aimed at the chipping and crisping sector.
Key potato growers turned out in their droves to spend the day with the Isle of Ely Team. on display too was over £2 million worth of farming machinery
On Sunday Chip shop owners and managers saw first-hand the long and often arduous journey a potato makes before it reaches their shops. It was an important day for all suppliers too as much of the day was spent exchanging ideas and listening to key speakers who presented ideas from across the industry.
Included in the afternoon was a visit to one of the biggest potato farmers in the area A L Legge & Sons. Here they saw acres of fantastic fertile land ideal for growing the UK’s best chipping potatoes.
James and Bonny Ritchie from Simpsons Cheltenham (the UK's Best Fish and Chip Takeaway digging )
James and Bonny Ritchie from Simpsons Cheltenham (the UK’s Best Fish and Chip Takeaway digging )

Pete Legge was on hand to have a chat and gave chip shop owners an idea of just how much investment they’ve made to ensure the end product received form this area is the best in Europe.
John Boutwood Isle of Ely Produce MD said. ” The process of producing and then following on the supply chain of the potato is important and involves our farmers as much as our top chip shop owners too, we have developed a process called field to frier, which involves them both and these open days reflect that ethos”.
Next up for Isle of Ely Produce is the Great Ely Potato Race which takes place on Saturday October 8.If you would like to enter a team into the potato race or sponsor please email race day organiser Austen Dack at

Tracy Allgood makes heartbreaking decision to close successful deli: "The last six weeks have broken me"

The owner of a successful Ely delicatessen says the difficult decision to close down her business was cemented after an exhausting summer.
With just over a week to go until Allgoods of Ely shuts its doors for the last time, Tracy Allgood told Spotted in Ely she will miss the people coming into the shop but needs to get her work-life balance back.img_3833
“The last six weeks have broken me. I’ve worked every day in the summer holiday. The work life balance hasn’t worked. I don’t mind full-time but not two full-times.”
Tracy’s looking forward to spending more time with her family, particularly sons Matthew, 14, and Daniel, 13.
She’s had an offer on the building but it has since been withdrawn. The building will go back on the market next week.
Tracy said she’ll miss the people who’ve regularly visited the store over the past couple of years but needs to take some time out for her family.
“I’m glad we’ve tried it. It wasn’t for us. At least I don’t have to wonder ‘what if’ in 10 years time. The bit I’m going to miss is the people. We are still local and we’re still going to enjoy seeing everyone.”
The Market Street deli first opened in March 2014, quickly gaining a reputation for its legendary Scotch eggs and other culinary delights.
Its last day is Saturday, September 17. Until it shuts there’s a closing down sale with 20 per cent off everything except cheese, Scotch eggs, brownies, alcohol and soft drinks.
Allgoods is no longer selling gift vouchers but will honour outstanding ones.
On September 1, Allgoods announced that its closure on its Facebook page, much to the surprise and dismay of local residents.
The message ended: “I would like to thank everyone for making our time in the deli so enjoyable and thank you for all your support over the past couple of years. Tracy x”

Free fire safety sessions for businesses

Free fire safety sessions are being held for businesses in Ely next month as part of a week-long series of drop-in events across Cambridgeshire.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service fire officers are offering local business owners, managers and staff advice at the open-door events across the county as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) UK Business Fire Safety Week, which takes place from September 5 to 11.
About Our Service BannerFire safety experts will be on hand to offer advice and guidance at the free fire safety drop-in sessions, without any need to book an appointment.
Fires in non-domestic premises in Cambridgeshire have fallen steadily over the past five years, but 76 per cent of these fires have been accidental, which means some may have been avoided or their impact reduced if businesses took further fire safety measures.
The majority (48 per cent) of accidental fires in non-domestic premises over the past five years have taken place in Cambridge city and Peterborough and of all the accidental business fires across the county, wiring cabling and plugs has continuously been the most commonly recorded ignition source.
Station Commander Giles Grainger, lead officer of Business Fire Safety Week, said: “We want to help businesses manage fire risks and hazards to potentially save lives and safeguard their businesses against financial and commercial loss.
“Business Safety Week is a good opportunity to remind employers of the need to review fire risk assessments and training and make sure existing and new staff know the importance of fire safety.”
The free local drop in session will take place on Thursday, September 8, at Ely Fire Station, Egremont Street, Ely, between 10am and 4pm.
There will also be sessions in Peterborough, Cambourne, Wisbech, St Neots, Huntingdon and Cambridge.
For more information click here.

Summer street party celebrates local businesses

Ely’s High Street Passage took on a carnival atmosphere as local businesses gathered to celebrate its first ever street party.
Organiser Annabel Reddick, of Burrows Bookshop, said about eight local businesses were involved in organising the High Street Passage Summer Party – a free event for the whole family to enjoy.
“It’s just to bring a few people together and have some fun. We thought it would be nice to celebrate summer and local businesses.”
Entertainment included live music, face painting, a magic show by Sammy Magic Magic and story telling, with special offers available inside the shops taking part.
Youngsters were invited to come dressed as their favourite children’s book characters to be in with a chance of winning a “booktastic” prize.
For more information about High Street Passage click here.

Plough & Harrow Opens Once Again For Business

Patrick & Carol Creek are pleased to announce the opening of the new look and revitalised Plough & Harrow on Ely Road in Littleport.

The original Plough & Harrow closed some years ago and made way for the Littleport Steakhouse & Gigi’s.
The premises is no longer 2 rooms downstairs but one walk through from the bar to the restaurant. Patrick said, “We listened to local people and have got ourselves a pool table for the community to enjoy”. The games room does have a feel that could be in your home.

Carol told us, “Sundays will be Sunday Roast days but during the week it will be all fresh good English cooking and all home made pies”. She specialises in desserts to which she has been making for years and is bringing all her experience with her.

The back area has been cut back and a small play area installed which they plan to expand which is hoped will encourage families to enjoy the new look  building.

A New Way to Shop in Local Stores

Ely My Shop is Local - Grand Opening 17 June 2016
left to right: Martina Jenssen – Director, Tracey Harding – Tourism and Town Centres Manager for ECDC, Lis Every – City of Ely Councillor, Lucy Frazer – MP for South East Cambridgeshire and Ivar Jenssen – Director.

Ely My shop is Local had their Grand Opening on Friday the 17th of June. The company was officially opened by Lucy Frazer, local MP. The event was held at the Old Dispensary and attended by local dignitaries and independent shop owners.
These days the local independent shops are facing an increasingly tough competition from online sales run by national retail chains like Argos or John Lewis, as well as online retailers like Amazon. The internet site: is aiming to assist local independent shops with internet sales.
Having selected goods online from one or more local shops customers can chose to collect their order from the shop itself or collect the order later in the day from Spar Ely on the High Street. Alternatively, orders can be delivered the same day. 
Ely My Shop is Local was started by long-term Ely residents, Martina and Ivar Jenssen, whose offices are soon to be located at 4 Fore Hill, Ely.

“By using local residents can support their local shops even if they cannot make it to the town centre that day”, says Martina. “It is easy to use and you can decide if you want to collect your order or have it delivered that same evening.”
You can find out more information from the Facebook page at:

Market Street Brasserie Opens

IMG_8341The old Montaz is gone and in it’s place is new chef Robin D’Souza and business partner Nelson who have created the “Market Street Brasserie”.

Robin has moved from London where he was the head chef at Piccadilly’s Le Meriden Hotel.
The food at the restaurant on Market Street, Ely is described as English with a Modern European Touch.
The establishment is open 7 days a week and watch out for a Spotted in Ely exclusive special offer coming soon.
Until then you can find out more about Market Street Brasserie at or call 01353 669930 to reserve a table.
Robin and Nelson are also taking part in next weeks Fasting Feast on the Market Square.

Beauty businesses join forces and create The Beauty Loft

IMG_7107Becky Cross has always been “Beauty by Becky” above Toppers on Forehill but to be able to offer more services decide to join forces with Louise Nicholas from “Little Beauty Treats” and formed “The Beauty Loft”.
The official opening took place last Saturday with free drinks and cakes and opened their doors to everyone who wanted to visit.
The business is staying above Toppers and plans to be able to offer more products and services with its new increase in staff numbers. They specialise in Nails, Lashes and Tanning with 3 treatment rooms all newly decorated with the new colours of the business.
Business is now in full swing and taking appointments and you can find out more about Louise, Becky,  Ruby, Jessica and Saturday girl – Georgia by visiting their Facebook page: or calling 01353 665033.

Plough & Harrow set to make a comeback in Littleport

Set to reopen in July
Set to reopen in July

After many years of being the heart of Littleport, The Plough & Harrow is set to make a comeback to the wonderful building on Ely Road.
Patrick & Carol Creek are the new owners and have begun on making major changes both inside and outside since GiGi’s and The Littleport Steak House closed.
Carol said, “We want to restore this back to being a traditional English Pub & Restaurant, a place for all the family and community.
“We’ve been out talking to local people and at their request we are installing a pool table and wheelchair accessible ramp in the front”.
While still working full time in London, Patrick is doing most of the renovation work and said, “We have knocked through the two rooms to make it much easier for people to relax in the bar before heading to the their table without going outside.
“We have also cleared out the garden area and plan to build a picketed play area for children. We also want to ensure we bring as much of the old style Plough & Harrow back and supply all the favourite drinks of the locals including real ales”.
The Plough & Harrow is due to open early July.
They have set up a Facebook page at

A glimpse of the future for Lancaster Way

Local architect Margherita Cesca from MCMM Architecture, Consultancy & Interior Design has give Spotted in Ely has exclusive access to plans to unveil a new manufacturing and office building for Lancaster Way Industrial Estate.
Deanta UK, one of the worlds leading design and manufacturers of doors has outgrown its current location in Pymoor and the new building will house their new headquarters.
Margherita, a massive Spotted fan. Raised and trained in Italy she is known worldwide for outstanding looking architecture, interiors and design and is now a permanent resident in the East Cambridgeshire region. She tries to influence her Italian flair wherever possible.


Lis Every opens Pure Ely

Mayor Lis Every officially opens Pure Ely
Mayor Lis Every officially opens Pure Ely

Local business Pure Ely has officially opened in 3 Cups Walk thanks to our now former Mayor, Cllr Lis Every.
As her last duty to help with commerce in the City Centre, Lis agreed to formally open the renovated shop which is now home to a wide range of beauty treatments and already employs 5 local people including an apprentice. A subject very close to Cllr Every’s heart.
Lis embraced the new business and said of the new ladies “Its fitting that today we welcome Cheryl, Emma, Ellie-May, Jan & Olivia, who are the Pure Ely team to our wonderful City of Ely.”
It is particularly rewarding to see a really “go ahead” group of ladies who will join our other small, independent businesses who make up so much of what Ely has to offer.”
Thank you Cheryl for moving your business from home to these wonderful premises.”
For more information about Pure Ely go to


Jurassic Bark is already 2 years old

Local pet supplies business Jurassic Bark will be 2 years old as of the 28th of May and are inviting local people and businesses to gather at their store in Littleport.
They will also be giving one customer the chance to win a £50 voucher with raffle tickets given for every purchase made.
The owners, Ania and Fez said, “We have invited all our customers and friends as way of thank you from us as a local business.”
We feel privileged and extremely delighted to have such great committed customers, long may it continue.”
We have a great new team in Littleport who all love animals as much as our team in our Downham Market shop.”
The shop is also open to all dogs to come and socialise and im sure help their owners enjoy the tea and cake Jurassic Bark has available on the day.

Sutton Parish Council to host Business Forum

East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) will be supporting a business forum organised by Sutton’s Parish Council on the 19th May 2016.
The Parish Council is working on a joined up Neighbourhood Plan to help shape important developments across Sutton and the local area. Key to this is consulting with its business community to understand their needs and future plans.
To achieve this, business owners and representatives from organisations within Sutton’s local economy are invited to join in the consultation.  The Neighbourhood Plan Working Party would like to hear about current issues of running a local business, as well as related factors that may influence future business development.
This may, for example, include direct business support, infrastructure improvements such as broadband, transport, utilities, skills availability or more generalised planning.
District Councillors Lisa Stubbs and Lorna Dupre both represent the area and are leading the events organisation, which is also open to the views of employees.
Councillor Stubbs said. “Our objective is to formulate future policies that support business development in the Sutton area and link with the local community and wider economy of East Cambridgeshire”.
Councillor Dupre added that “It is also important to understand what employers and their organisations would like us consider to make Sutton an even better place to locate a business”
The organisers have also invited Enterprise East Cambridgeshire, which is the Local Authority’s economic development team, to attend. Representatives will be at the event and on hand to discuss issues such as grants, apprenticeships and other business related support
In addition, specialists from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough, Local Enterprise Partnership and the Skills sector will be available to give advice.
The venue is the Cheffins Machinery Auction Barn on the Elean Business Park Sutton and has been timed to coincide with the lunch period to avoid business disruption. 19th  MAY 12.00-2.00 pm.
For more information, email:

Platinum Properties win award at The ESTAS

The Ely based agency received the Gold award in the Tenant Voting for best Agent in the South East at the prestigious estate and letting agent awards in the UK, the ESTAS, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane on Friday 15th April 2016 attended by 900 of the UK’s top property professionals.

The awards, celebrating their thirteenth year, determine the best estate and letting agents in the UK through research carried out amongst clients who are asked a series of questions about the service they have received from their agent, over 30,000 questionnaires were completed by customers during the competition. 

Estate and letting agents were shortlisted in 15 regions around the UK in which Platinum Properties were also shortlisted for the Landlord voted award.

Simon Brown Founder of The ESTAS said “The ESTAS are special because shortlisted and winning firms are selected purely on the service they deliver to their clients. In fact just taking part shows a firm’s commitment to their customers so to be shortlisted is a great achievement in itself and for the winners this is the highest accolade they can receive in the industry.”

Phil Spencer, who has hosted the ESTAS every year since their inception in 2003, said ‘The ESTAS recognises all firms involved in the buying and selling process. Agents, brokers, conveyancers and developers are all judged in exactly the same way, purely on customer feedback. People find moving home to be one of the most stressful experiences of their lives. It is important that agents, mortgage brokers, conveyancers and developers help make this milestone in their lives as smooth as possible and provide the high quality service the customer expects and deserves, the ESTAS recognize those professionals that are most committed to doing so

Jon Notley, Chief Commercial Officer of headline sponsor Zoopla said, “This is our sixth year sponsoring The ESTAS and we are delighted to be once again supporting this key industry event. Customer feedback is essential to any organisation and it is fantastic to see the best in the industry being recognised for their efforts. Many congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

Maria Morgan, Managing Director of Platinum Properties, said “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised at this year’s ESTAS. We were delighted to have been shortlisted in both the landlord and tenant categories initially, which was a huge honor alone given we are a relatively young company, but to win the award voted for by our Tenants means so much to us as we know it’s our customers who have judged our performance. We take our levels of customer service very seriously, which is part of the reason why both myself and Tanya Pearson, despite our many years in the business, are so committed to Platinum Properties becoming a trail blazing company in our approach, because we know clients have a choice. We have always been very proud of the personal service and the personal recommendations we receive for that, but this also proves we are delivering on our promises and we look forward to coming back again next year to fight for a title in both the Landlord and Tenant categories again.”

Eel Catchers Daughter Welcomes 25,000th Customer

An extra special visitor to The Eel Catcher’s Daughter earlier this week …
Charlie Stringer from Ely got a nice little surprise as she became the stores 25,000th customer. Helen who owns the Eel Catchers Daughter still hand writes all of their receipts and has done since they opened in November 2013.
Charlie was presented with a voucher for £50 which she said she would use to treat herself some time soon.
Helen said on her Facebook page, “Thanks to each and every one of you … We couldn’t have got to that figure without your support!!”

The Perfect Recipe for a Pure Ely

Left to Right: Ellie South, Cheryl Bailey, Emma Whitehowles

Next week will see the soft launch of Ely’s newest beauty salon, Pure Ely in Three Cups Walk opposite 3At3 Cafe.
In the property that was to be Julian London Kitchens, Cheryl Bailey is to open a high end spa after being in a smaller unit for some years and gathering many repeat clients.
Along with Emma Whitehowles and Ellie South, Cheryl plans to be taking appointments from next Tuesday 3rd May and the large store is now being installed with the latest equipment and comforts needed for such an establishment.
Clients will be able to receive treatments like spray tans, sunbeds, nail, teeth whitening, anti-wrinkle injections, waxing and ear piercing all of the information can be found on Pure Ely’s website.
Cheryl is also an employer who believes in apprenticeships and has already enrolled her first one, Olivia and will train her as well as offer her the college courses needed to herself become a trained therapist.
While the store is being renovated, clients wanting to book can do so through Pure Ely’s Facebook page or by email and you can find more information about their services at The phone line will be open from next Tuesday morning 01353 661321

The King's Barbers. A new experience in mens grooming

Mark - Before and After.jpg
Sorry for the ugly mug before and after

Yesterday Spotted in Ely went undercover to see what our new sponsor, The Kings Barber has to offer on Market Street.
Within moments of walking in, we were greeted and offered a tea or coffee as well as being asked if we wanted our coats hanging.
There was no queue on a Tuesday afternoon and I was seated in the chair straight away. Asked what I wanted and I instructed on haircut and shave.
Alex was my barber and we discussed how I wanted things done and without hesitation he began. I was actually amazed by how he artistically moved around with a mixture of shavers and scissors and at one point I thought of him as the Scissor Ninja as he quickly and with accuracy chopped away, tapping the comb every few seconds to clear away excess hair and even using the dryer like a wild west gunslinger to clear waste falling around my neck and shoulders.
Alex then asked if I wanted my brows sorting and I agreed. He shaved some of the excess but then, with what can only be described as floss he did some chopping and straightening of the brows. Was a little painful at first but worth the little pinches to get them tidied up.
Next came the shave and I had no idea what to expect. Moisturiser was applied all around my lower face and neck. A hot towel was then wrapped around my face leaving just a small hole for my nose and the sensation almost made me want to sleep. Using an old fashioned brush, lashings of soap was applied to my face and neck and with a sharp cold blade, Alex began to remove the facial hair, taking care in the sensitive regions.
Further moisturiser and a hot towel was used and while the cream soaked into the skin, Alex massaged my shoulders, arms and even clicked my fingers. It was fabulous and I remember looking over to Alison and saying you don’t get this while your hair being done. She was indeed jealous.
He then restyled my hair using a gel, dried everything off a towel and dryer, wiped away the excess hair to ensure nothing was in my clothing. Overall the process was about 30 minutes long but felt great and refreshing.
I will definitely be using them again very soon.
Thanks to Alex and owner Fayz. We did announce who we were after paying for their services and told them we wanted to do it quietly so we could offer a fair review.
If you haven’t yet experienced any of their services, we recommend you do so.

Kings Barbers Open and Joins Spotted in Ely

Kings Barber Logo-01A new traditional Turkish Barbers has opened in Ely on Market Street and has become one of Spotted in Ely’s new sponsors.
With 4 barbers, they offer short waiting times for any service you may need including detailing cuts, massages, hot towel washes, shaves, eyebrow threading, face-masks and much much more.
The no appointment necessary approach means that you can get your service on your needs and not when they can squeeze you in. Every customer is welcome and greeted by friendly staff always willing to please.
Open 7 days a week from 9am Monday to Saturday and from 10am on a Sunday, just walk in and you will seen and no one will be turned away.

Charlie's Angels enjoy the new look at Costa, Ely

wp-1453721547041.jpgThe new look Costa in Ely is complete after its first re-fit since 2006.
For 10 years the store has not changed until the last 2 weeks where a whole new terracotta look makes the coffee shop look not only brighter but bigger also providing more seating.
The work area is also much more spacious now allowing the staff to do their duties much more efficiently.
Along with Charlie, the store manager, Thea, Amber and Rebekah seem much happier working with the extra space and new equipment.
The feedback initially received from customers has been outstanding.

Local success at the Chippy version of the Oscars

John scooped The Award for Outstanding Achievement during a prestigious ceremony hosted by the voice of food and drink on BBC Radio 2, Nigel Barden, at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.
Sponsored by Middleton Food Products, this award recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to the industry and has been instrumental in advancing the industry through innovation, modernisation or simple perspiration.
John from Isle of Ely ProduceOver 40 years ago, John started out his business by selling potatoes to the trade. Despite a horrific car crash which confined him to a wheel chair for life John battled through over a year’s treatment in Stoke Mandeville to restart his business.
Between John and his son Oliver and daughter Claire, they now distribute over two million bags of potatoes to fish and chip shops across the UK and Ireland every year many of which are grown in the fens.
In addition they purchased Chippy Chat, the leading magazine for fish friers and suppliers, as well as launching his annual ‘Field to Frier’ open day which is attended by key delegates across the industry. Both magazine and event are regarded as a poignant source of sharing knowledge within the trade, showcasing new product launches and best practice from across the industry.
Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director of Seafish, said: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry.
“The fish frying industry is not one which is short of exceptional talent however there can only be one winner in this award category. John has been raising the bar for fellow fish and chip operators for over 40 years and is a truly deserving winner of such a special award. He has dedicated his life to improving the standards of his trade and it’s something we are all very thankful for.
“When searching for our outstanding achiever, representatives from across all parts of the fish frying industry are invited to nominate a person deserving of recognition, and John’s nomination is truly one that the industry is wholeheartedly behind.”
“John is an extremely worthy winner, and it’s a privilege being able to reward his life-long passion and commitment to the fish and chip trade. He is a very popular member of the fish and chip community, joining various promotional groups over the years at the Potato Council and the National Federation of Fish Friers. Warmest congratulations to John on his outstanding achievement.”
Now in their 28th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.
John was truly shocked by the award as he was there to help present an award himself which Isle of Ely Produce themselves sponsor. The Field to Frier award was won by Craig Buckley from the Fish Bar in Crewe.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit or follow @FishnChipAwards.

Local Agency receives highest recommendations again

Recommends Agency LolEmerald Frog Marketing has once again been approved by Recommended Agencies Register (RAR) following high ratings and recommendations from clients.
The Recommended Agencies Register is the UK’s leading directory for businesses looking for advertising, design, PR or digital agencies. Agency clients are invited to rate agencies out of 100 for their skill in specific marketing disciplines, including campaign management, design, digital and direct marketing, as well as their creativity, value for money and ability to deliver on time. Clients rate their agencies directly with RAR to reduce the risk involved for businesses in sourcing the right marketing partner.
“We are delighted that our clients have rated us so highly that we again feature on the UK’s Recommended Agencies Register”, says Jo Evans, Director at Emerald Frog Marketing Ltd. “In particular we ranked highly for our expertise in campaign planning and it’s great to be recognised at a national level. We’d like to thank all our clients for recommending us and our team for all their hard work as we continue to grow”.

The Travellers Rest is under new management

The Travellers Rest has had its fair share of Landlords over the years but with its unique location of being central to the all the towns and villages surrounding it yet on a main busy road it isn’t ever going to be a real drinkers pub.
Steve Shipp took over the management of the pub on Monday 18th January and aims to utilise this beautiful pub to its full potential.
This includes Fish and Chip Tuesday, Steak Night Thursday, Live music, discos and comedy nights most Friday nights, Breakfast buffet all you can eat on a Saturday morning and Sunday carvery. The food offering is of a wide selection of good quality homemade meals but with a emphasis on its grill menu.
The pub is open Tuesday-Sunday and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday and lunch on Sundays.
In the coming week a pool table and dart board will be added in leisure areas of the pub to offer leisure activities but with a defined separation from the main restaurant space.
Friday 5th February will host an official opening event which will include a disco, a guest performance from an up and coming local solo artist and a FREE BUFFET, the event is also FREE to attend.
The pub is open for business now with larger cosmetic, interior and exterior improvements in the coming weeks.

Ely Mobile Data Survey

Spotted in Ely today spent some time on the phone with Lucy Frazer MP who is willing to help contact the main mobile network operators to understand why Ely is not receiving the best service it should, while other areas around us are.
6 months ago we contacted by snail mail all companies and only got one reply from EE who say they have no current plans to activate 4G or upgrade current infrastructure in our area. We hope the weight of our local MP would increase the response possibilities and better outcomes.
Having spoken to OFCOM, they cannot get involved as all operators meet the minimum requirement of supply to a percentage of the population in the UK.
This now only leaves one option, to force the operators to give the ideal service that we deserve. After all there are over 40,000 people affected by the poor coverage and the first network to upgrade may well clean up.
Lucy is willing to help but must first be able to fully identify and understand the issues in hand. She recently started campaigning for better broadband for the region and now will help try get better mobile signal.
This is not an anonymous survey and we would like to be able to contact you in the future for further questions and pass on developments. Please fill in the survey below and lets make some progress against the 4 main networks – Vodafone, EE, Three and O2.
[mlw_quizmaster quiz=2]

Emerald Frog Marketing auction to raise money for local charities

Littleport marketing and PR agency, Emerald Frog Marketing is celebrating five years in business  by holding an online fundraising auction of promises to raise money for five local charities: The Liam Fairhurst Foundation, Little Bundles, Froglife, The Wildlife Trust and Branching Out.
Jo Evans, Director at Emerald Frog Marketing said: “We’ve set ourselves a big challenge to mark our five year anniversary raising money for local charities. Prizes include a flight for three over Cambridge, a Samsung tablet, a signed photograph of Jenson Button as well as numerous other exciting prizes kindly donated by local businesses to raise money. The auction is open to the public for bids, so please help us to raise as much money as possible and grab yourself a bargain or early Christmas present in the process!”
Established in 2010, by business partners Jo Evans and Cheriee Chater,  Emerald Frog Marketing has won several local and national awards and works with clients from a wide range of industry sectors, from start-ups and SMEs through to international businesses and charities.
The charity auction runs for 5 weeks from September 5th until October 9th and is open to the public for bids. Visit to view the full list of prizes and to place your bids.

Charges for Plastic Bags to Take Effect from Oct 5th.

A new law to help protect the environment will take effect in a month’s time and will mean that you will pay 5p for every single-use plastic bag you purchase from large shops. Smaller retailers are not yet included in the law but can voluntarily donate if they wish.
Each store has the option of who to give the money to and then report this each year to the Government. All the big organisations are still deciding whom to give their pots to.
We have approached Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose in Ely but at this moment, decisions on who the money raised will go to is yet to be made. Each has promised to contact Spotted in Ely as soon as that decision comes to them.
Small shops do not have to oblige to the new law but if you are a local shop who is looking to charge for the plastic bags, we’d like to know what you plan to do with the money raised.

There are exemptions to the rules:

Paper bags are not included.
Shops in places of transit, such as airports or on board trains, aeroplanes or ships do not have to oblige by this law.
Bags required to contain certain items such as unwrapped food, raw meat and fish, prescription medicines, uncovered blades, seeds, bulbs and flowers or live fish are also exempt.
Biodegradable bags are also exempt currently but a review of the standards are ongoing.

Why the new law?

The law is coming into force to reduce the litter associated with them. Recycling is now high on the agenda of the Government.
Over 7.6 billion single-use plastic bags were given to customers by the big supermarkets during 2014. That’s over 140 bags per person in England and that’s over 61,000 tonnes in total.
Plastic bags can take years to degrade and can cause damage to wildlife and the environment. Despite homes already having bags in draws and storage, bags being taken from Supermarkets has risen every year for the past 5 years.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland already charge 5p per bag and Wales saw a reduction in use by 79% in the first 3 years.
The Government estimate that over the next 10 years the scheme will include:
An expected benefit of over £780 million to the economy
Good causes could earn up to £730 million
Millions of pounds saved from litter cleaning
Carbon reduction costs around £13 million.
The Government have released a video on YouTube further explain the scheme.

Ely’s Labour-tech gets a new coat and tails.

Inside the new look Labour-tech
Inside the new look Labour-tech

Established in 2001, Labour-tech recruitment have been at the centre of Ely’s employment industry for over 14 years. Back then they were a small team of individuals with a goal: they wanted to help the unemployed in the region get into work, help local organisations find the best available candidates to fill their vacancies, and, in doing so, become the region’s leading recruitment agent.
“We also wanted to dispel the allusion that all recruitment agencies are merely glorified estate agents dealing in people rather than property” explained Keith Wilson, Labour-tech’s Managing Director. The long-time Ely resident has always been of the opinion that high employment in any region leads to a better quality of life for all residents, and so, rather than aim for the highest turn-over of candidates, Labour-tech would aim for the highest quality of candidates for any given job, and then work hard to pair candidates with organisations in which they would fit as individuals rather than merely as a skillset. It’s a synergy, if you will.
Fourteen years on and Labour-tech now cater for a vast portfolio of highly valued and highly satisfied clients, finding the best candidates for their vacancies whilst providing a close, supportive environment for those candidates to really excel in their chosen profession.
During the last couple of years Labour-tech have been enjoying a period of expansion, on both an industry level and as a local brand. They have recently moved premises to a larger office on Market Street – a position which basks in the architectural grandness of the cathedral – and in doing so breathed new life into an empty building on one of Ely’s busiest thoroughfares.
The office move has been followed by a complete redesign and rebranding of the business. If you’ve wandered past 57-59 Market Street recently you will have noticed the changes taking place. Between graphics design, carpentry, high quality window graphics, and a great deal of in-house development, Labour-tech have emerged from their metaphoric chrysalis with bright new wings and a definite inclination to reach for the sky. The new frontage is bright, snappy and clearly states what Labour-tech is all about.
The changes aren’t just skin-deep either. Inside there are now stations for candidates to register, upload their CV, search for vacancies and apply for jobs online as soon as they walk through the door. There is no reception to go through; the front desk is made-up of Labour-tech’s very own team of highly trained Recruitment Agents who are ready to help in any way they can. These improvements, along with their renewed appetite for social media and a greater online presence have made Labour-tech one of Ely’s most recognisable brands, and a real force for reducing unemployment in the region, bearing the burden of recruitment for other local businesses and helping those with or without jobs realise their full potential.
If you’ve not seen the new Labour-tech, head down to 57-59 Market Street, Ely and take a look for yourselves.

Choose a local charity from White Stuff

The White Stuff is due to open within the next few weeks and eagled eyed Spotted in Ely followers will have seen work commencing in the old Yours Clothing Store on the Market Square.
They now need your help nominating a local charity to assist for the next few months.
National chain White Stuff are committed to offering at least 1% of their annual profits to nominated charities and will regularly hold charity events to raise extra funds.
For this seasons of charities they have selected either Garage Community Trust or Branching Out.
Garage Community Trust is committed to community development, delivering a service that is relevant to local people. All sections of the community are invited to join in activities such as drama groups, a youth band and parent and toddler groups. Through their work they nurture and support those who need it the most.
Branching Out is a small local charity supporting adults with learning disabilities who live in the local community with a variety of fun work experience and social activities. Their high quality team help people with encouragement to overcome and achieve in everyday life. Their work reaches wider community groups including social services referrals and mental health.
Have your vote at

Poets House goes into Administration

Poets HouseWe have today received a sad press release from BDO LLP regarding the administration of Poets House in Ely as well as Paddocks House in Newmarket.
The good news so far is that retention of all 72 staff across both hotels as been maintained and the doors will stay open for business. The directors of the businesses have been made redundant.
Sarah Rayment, BDO Business Restructuring Partner said:

The hotels will continue to trade and are unaffected by the appointment of Joint Administrators over the Companies. It is very much business as usual and customers should continue to contact the hotels in respect of any future bookings or other related queries. The funder to House Collection Limited is committed to supporting operations at the hotels whilst the Administrators undertake their review

The Joint Administrators have appointed local operator, PAT Partners, to support management with the continued operations of the hotels.

Mr Simms is 2 years old

Congratulations to David Learner and his team at Mr Simms Sweet Shop on reaching their second birthday.
They state on their Facebook Page:

From all of us, to all of you
Thank you x
We couldn’t have done it without stars like you
The boys that crunch and the girls that chew
We could never have thought that we’d get this far
Without Pick n Mix bags and a Nougat Bar

And Toxic Waste and Sherbet Fountain
A Reese’s Bunny as big as a mountain
And Corker’s and Quiggin’s and Daniel’s Delights
And tourists and children, a magnificent sight
So it’s time to say thanks as we get to our feet
Like any new two-year-old we think it’s a treat
To have had your company as well as the leisure
Of the wonderful Ely that finds us for pleasure

Emerald Frog Marketing appeals for businesses to donate for local charities

Emerald Frog - 5th Birthday
Emerald Frog – 5th Birthday

Littleport marketing and PR agency, Emerald Frog Marketing is celebrating five years in business  by organising an fundraising auction of promises to raise money for five local charities.
Prizes donated to Emerald Frog’s “5 Star Charity Auction” will be available via an online public auction later this year to raise money to be split between The Liam Fairhurst Foundation, Little Bundles, Froglife, The Wildlife Trust and Branching Out.
Jo Evans, Director at Emerald Frog Marketing said: “We’ve set ourselves a big challenge to mark five years in business by raising money  for five very hardworking local charities. We are  looking for fellow local businesses, large or small, who would like to donate a product, service or voucher to be auctioned to support these local charities in exchange for a bit of local publicity. Donations already include a flight for three over Cambridge, a Samsung tablet, an array of donated trade services, beauty treatments, meals for two and products from a Dragons’ Den winner.  It’s shaping up to be an exciting event.”
Businesses will receive free publicity via the “Auction Guide” sent to bidders,  a free branded “lot” on the auction website, a blog post for use on their own website and promotion across social media, PR  and advertising activities. The auction will be held online for 5 weeks from September 5th.
Established in 2010, by business partners Jo Evans and Cheriee Chater,  Emerald Frog Marketing has won several local and national awards and works with clients from a wide range of industry sectors, from start-ups and SMEs through to international businesses and charities.
If your business or organisation would like to donate a prize to help raise money for the 5 Star Charity Auction , then please get in contact with Jo Evans at Emerald Frog Marketing at for full information,  or visit

Ely to Get New Shops

Ely’s City Centre is slowly changing with quality high street stores and a variety of local independents still trading and a thriving Saturday Market.

It is thought that by the end of the year all premises in the main streets will be occupied and open for business.
The latest announcements comes from The White Stuff, a growing independent clothing chain with a high reputation for quality and looking after its staff. Local Sammy Brooks who currently owns KNA Printing and Sam Brooks Productions will be opening Razamatazz Magic Emporium.
The White Stuff is set to take over the store “Yours” on Market Square and Razamatazz will be on Market Street.
Ely has always boasted about Free Parking and Independent Traders but often calls for national companies to come to Ely have been made.

Ely’s Business Show of Independents

Ely businesses will be flocking to the Market Place as the special showcase day which focusses on raising awareness and visibility of local independent
businesses is set to take place on Friday 3 July.
Independents Day is part of a national campaign that aims to create a buzz around supporting independent businesses and encourages people to shop local. This is the fourth consecutive year that Ely Chamber of Commerce, part of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce has facilitated the showcase day within Ely alongside East Cambridgeshire District Council.
John Bridge OBE DL, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Independents day offers a unique opportunity to shine the spotlight on independent businesses that are often hidden away or unknown to the local community.  The annual event is undeniably important for showcasing the vibrancy of distinctive and unique independent businesses within the Ely area. By shopping local and sourcing services from independent businesses people can really help boost the local economy.”
Steve Copeland, Business Development Manager at Labour Tech, attended last year’s event and said “Labour Tech was delighted to attend Independents Day 2014. It was a great opportunity to showcase and promote our business to new candidates and clients from the local area as well as raise our profile. It was a very enjoyable day and we look forward to being part of the celebrations this year.”
David Toulson-Burke, Managing Director at The House Collection, the Hotel Group that manages Poets House Ely also said: “Last year’s exhibition was a new venture for us and was beneficial for providing an opportunity to engage with locals and showcase ourselves to fellow businesses as part of the overall community.”
Last year’s Independents day attracted over 30 local independent businesses. The event is a great opportunity for patrons to distribute samples, promote special offers and celebrate their independence.

Carer's Week at Sainsburys

Carers Trust Cambridgeshire and Sainsbury's ElyThroughout this week a range of local Carers organisations will be holding information stands in store to inform customers about the services they offer in the local community.
Sainsbury’s Ely is supporting Carers Week which takes place from 8th – 14th June.
Across the week, the following organisations will be in store to talk to customers and colleagues about the work they do and to share details of support that is available for carers:

  • Monday: Carers Trust Cambridgeshire
  • Tuesday: Timebank & Care-Network
  • Wednesday: Alzheimer’s Society
  • Thursday: Timebank & Care-Network
  • Friday: Trust a Dietician (AM) & Centre 33 (PM)
  • Saturday: Carers Trust Cambridgeshire


New retailers welcome in Ely

Press Release from East Cambridgeshire District Council
retail 1With Ely continuing to thrive as a place for shops, cafes and independents to set up – a new Welcome Pack has been created for new retailers coming to the city.
The idea came from a series of visits made by members and officers from East Cambridgeshire District Council last year to gain insight into what local retailers thought of Ely.
The meetings sparked some great ideas with one put forward by the owners of Yarn on the Square – Ginette Heard and Christine Brown – forming the gem of the idea for the Welcome Pack.
They suggested that when they first opened their store in Ely it would have been useful to have had a reference manual of some kind to provide information on the city. This idea was welcomed by other traders both new and established so has been brought to fruition by the newly formed City Centre Forum.
retail 2Tracey Harding, Tourism & Town Centres Team Leader at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We know how important it is for the beating heart of Ely to be strong and vibrant. Not only does it give the residents a great range of choice but it acts as a magnet for visitors to come and spend their money. This is why it is important that we work together to create a community spirit for our retailers. The Welcome Pack is the first of many initiatives which we are going to introduce over the next few weeks and months with the aim of creating a city centre we can be proud of.
Ginette Heard from Yarn on the Square, said: “When we first opened in Ely we were like any other new business – excited and full of ideas. We had a lot of support from friends, family, and Business Link, but we were both completely new to retail. To begin with it was not always easy to get the information needed. , and we were not always sure of who to ask even very obvious questions. When we were asked to look back to those early days, we thought it would have been useful to have a little more knowledge of how the city centre worked and the support which was there. This is where the idea for the Welcome Pack came from and it is great to see our idea become a reality to help others.”
Tracy Allgood from newly opened Allgoods of Ely, said: “As a new business in Ely I was asked to have a look through an early draft of the Welcome Pack and I thought it was really helpful with lots of useful information. As a fledging retailer, time seems to fly by as your life is taken over by your drive to see your ideas succeed. This is why the pack is so useful as it puts in your hands all the details, contacts and numbers you need in one place. I have had a great start to my business and I can’t wait to see what the future for the city centre will be as we all work together.”
Every business has had an Information Pack delivered to them and all new businesses will have one delivered to them when they open.
For more information please call 01353 665555 or visit

New apprentice learning precision on the job

Hybrid Laser Tech together
Press Release from East Cambridgeshire District Council
Apprentices in East Cambridgeshire are continuing to help drive forward the district’s economy.
The East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship scheme brought Thomas Barry, aged 19 who attended Soham Village College and Hybrid Laser Tech together.
The company, who manufacture and supply precision laser cut ceramic substrates, has been working closely with the Cambridge high-tech and micro-electronics industry for over 20 years.
Hybrid Laser Tech are based at a purpose-built 10,000 sq ft facility in Ely enabling the business to become an integral part of the complete manufacturing service that is provided to our customers as part of the Shearline Precision Engineering family of companies.
David Littlechild, at Hybrid Laser Tech, said: “It has been great to have Thomas as part of the team over the last few months – he has been a fantastic asset and we are all pleased with the progress he has made. At Hybrid Laser, we believe in investing in our staff to give our customers the best service and products using the latest technology that allows us to deliver one of the best cut qualities currently available in the industry. The East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship is a great way to ensure the young engineers of the future have a way to develop their skills with local companies like ours.
Cllr Bill Hunt, who leads on Economic Development at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “The East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme brings together schools, young people and local business for the benefit of the district’s economy. Each of the apprentices that have been helped over the last few months has developed skills which will benefit them in the future. As they meet the challenges of the work place – they are not only learning new things about themselves but they help their employer to succeed and grow.”
The East Cambridgeshire Apprenticeship Scheme helps to support local businesses and provide opportunities for young people by topping up the national AGE grant of £1,500 by up to an additional £2,000 if the business takes on a young person from within the district as an apprentice.
The scheme aims to help eight to ten new apprentices to find work in its first year and forms part of the district council’s wider work to help support links between employers and secondary schools for the benefit of the district’s young people.
Businesses wishing to access the scheme should call 01353 665555 and ask to speak to the Economic Development team.