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Now celebrating its fifth year, the CHS Awards provide UK hotels and venues with a fantastic opportunity to showcase their facilities. The awards are designed to be accessible for all types of hotels and venues, allowing even the smallest independent venue to be recognised for an aspect, service or feature of their property or service.

Taking place on Thursday 6th June at The Royal Armouries in Leeds, the unique awards will be showcasing the very best of the hospitality industry over 22 categories including Best Onsite Technology Offering, Venue Booker of the Year and Best Front of House Individual or Team.

Amanda Jackson, director of Hospitality Guaranteed has been selected for her industry expertise to join an independent panel of 50 event professionals from leading agencies throughout the UK to judge the categories.

Amanda has over 25 years in the hospitality industry, working for multiple well-known hotel groups. During her impressive career, she developed in many roles throughout the industry and has an acute understanding of the challenges faced by various departments, as well as an ability to consider the wider commercial objectives.

It was from these learnings that she recognised a need for independent advice within the venue sourcing process and, along with her business partner Victoria Brunton, went about reforming the industry. She said: “The people within the hospitality industry work really hard and were sometimes managing multiple events in a variety of properties from one location. It was clear to Victoria and I that processes could be simpler and we set about developing a system to benefit the industry as a whole.”

She added: “There are some fabulous examples of outstanding service within hospitality on a daily basis that sometimes go unnoticed, the awards provide a platform for these to be profiled. I am looking forward to seeing the achievements of the entries and being involved in what I am sure will be a difficult decision-making process.”

Hospitality Guaranteed provides an information led on-line management system supported by exceptional service with a clear focus on quality and efficiency to benefit the supplier and the client.

Award submissions are now closed and finalists will be announced live at the Conference & Hospitality Show in Leeds on the 30th April 2019. The award ceremony and gala dinner will be held on Thursday 6th June 2019.



Real estate investment company Aprirose has launched its own hotel operating platform. The platform will initially be operated in conjunction with hotel operator Kew Green Hotels, which will provide systems and support while the new service is established.

Aprirose operates across a number of sectors, Tim Shearman was appointed as CEO of Aprirose Hotels in June 2018. Aprirose’s hotel assets now total 25 under a number of international brands from the major franchises, including Hilton, Marriott, Accor, plus its own QHotels brand. 

Aprirose’s QHotels are currently undergoing significant asset management and modernisation, with the rebrand of seven of the hotels, with the launch of five Doubletree by Hilton last year and two Delta by Marriott due in early 2019. 

Tim Shearman, CEO, Aprirose Hotels, said: “The creation of our own hotel operating platform is an exciting new development in the growth and evolution of our hotel portfolio as we have further expansion plans nationally and internationally. It demonstrates our long-term commitment to the sector and will allow us to recruit industry leading talent and drive value for our clients. By initially working with the experienced Kew Green Hotels team it will allow us to hit the ground running and offer a seamless and best-in-class service to our customers.”

Alex Pritchard, CEO of Kew Green Hotels Ltd, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Aprirose in the establishment of their new operating platform. These additions are part of our continued strategy to grow our managed division, alongside our owned estate, with a target to reach a portfolio of in excess of 100 hotels.”


Aprirose, the real estate investment company, has appointed Philip Gardner as Commercial Director to oversee its hotel management platform’s sales, marketing and revenue disciplines.

Gardner joins Aprirose from Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) Europe where he was the Vice President leading the revenue management team. Prior to that he was involved in the planning and deployment of the IHG Europe marketing funds. He has also held a number of commercial roles, including the creation of the London Marriott revenue management cluster.

Tim Shearman, Chief Executive Officer Hotels, Aprirose, said: “Philip’s experience in the hotel sector and in the commercial roles he has held make him a strong addition to the team running our new hotel management platform. As we look to grow the business Philip will be a great asset given his extensive knowledge and experience, specifically in sales and revenue management within the hotel sector.”

Philip Gardner, Commercial Director, Aprirose, said: “The recent launch of our new hotel management platform makes it an exciting time to be joining Aprirose’ hotel team. The team at Aprirose and Kew Green Hotels involved in the management platform is best-in-class and will provide me with the opportunity to work with some of the sector’s leading experts. I’m looking forward to working with the hotel team, engaging with the exciting portfolio of hotel assets and leveraging their success to date to build a scalable and first-class management platform.” Gardner’s appointment follows the launch of Aprirose’s new hotel operating platform last month, which will be operated alongside Kew Green Hotels, who will provide systems and support whilst the new service is established.

About Aprirose
For 30 years, Aprirose, the London based real estate investment company, has been delivering consistently high returns across a variety of different sectors and geographic markets.  The company has a diverse portfolio of over £1.5bn of commercial and residential real estate under management, and is managed by a senior, multidisciplinary team. The team has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the cyclical property market and are uniquely positioned to act on areas where they identify potential and advantage.


CCT Venues has received a Platinum honour at the prestigious Clean City Awards.

The awards, presented by the City of London, celebrate businesses across the Square Mile which adopt responsible waste management and environmental practices.

CCT Venues Barbican, our venue at 135-137 Aldersgate Street, has been recognised in the Clean City Awards almost every year since 2008. Over that time it’s won one Merit, two Gold and now six Platinum accolades – plus the sought-after Chairman’s Cup in 2016.


Pictured: Keith Bottomley (Deputy Chairman of Port Health and Environmental Services, City of London), James Russ and Ivari Kare (CCT Venues) and Sir Andrew Parmley. Photo credit: Clive Trotman


This year, judges praised our commitment to actively recording, monitoring and reviewing our food waste, and our sustainable purchasing policy which prioritises environmentally friendly suppliers and products.

Our pledges to reduce, reuse, recycle – and to be mindful of waste when it comes to energy and paper were also recognised by the panel. We recycle everything we possible can, and ensure that lights, computers and devices are always switched off when not in use.

Other initiatives in place across our portfolio of London venues include re-using and upcycling office furniture, building our corporate and social responsibility strategy into the staff appraisal process, and making sure that recycling bins are widely available in all areas of our properties.

We’re also replacing our complementary plastic pens with biodegradable pens to cut back on single-use plastics, switching to recycled paper notepads, and introducing biodegradable products in our food services areas, rather than items that would otherwise go to landfill.


Award-winning venue, Make Venues Woodland Grange has appointed Mark Thurman as its new General Manager. The announcement follows the successful launch of the group’s new brand Make Venues, and forms part of the management team’s ambitious plans for the business.

Mark brings with him a wealth of operations experience. He joins the team from the Casa Hotel in Chesterfield where he served most recently as its General Manager. Previous employers also include Hallmark Hotels and Q Hotels.

Mark commented: “I’m excited to join the venue at such a pivotal time. Woodland Grange has such an incredible reputation for high-quality service, an award-winning team, and a loyal and growing client base. It will be a privilege to help build on those foundations and help to lead the team into a new and exciting era for the business.”

Make Venues, which also includes Engineers’ House in Bristol and London’s Broadway House, coincided last month’s rebrand with the conclusion of the group’s five-year growth strategy, during which it increased turnover by 45%. 

“We are delighted with how far our business has come and look forward to adding Mark’s experience to the team,” said David Vaughton, Managing Director, Make Venues. “He joins us at a very exciting time. Woodland Grange continues to build on its reputation for excellence and we know that Mark will play a significant role in its future achievements.



General Economic Status

  • GDP growth has been cut significantly, to just 1.2% for 2019 before rising to 1.4% and then 1.6% for the next three years
  • Aim is to create another 600,000 new jobs by 2023
  • Debt to fall to 82.2% of GDP next year, then 79%, 74.9%, 74%, and finally 73% in 2023-24
  • Wage are forecast to continue growing faster than inflation

It is worth noting that all the forecasts are based on the assumption that the UK leaves the EU with a deal (ie., goes into a transition period during which the status-quo with the EU remains). If we crash out, then all forecasts are off.


Tourism Related Issues


  • Of particular importance to the tourism industry in the context of the Tourism Industry Deal, the Government confirmed that the Comprehensive Spending Review will start before the summer recess with the outcome in Departmental budgets announced alongside the Autumn Budget


  • The Government announced £260m of funding for the Borderlands region (areas in Southern Scotland and the North of England).

Employment and Skills

  • The Government has appointed Professor Arindajit Dube to undertake a review of the latest international evidence on minimum wages, to inform future National Living Wage policy after 2020
  • From this Autumn, PhD-level occupations will be exempt from the cap on high-skilled visas from this autumn


  • The government will launch a call for evidence on Offsetting Transport Emissions to explore consumer understanding of the emissions from their journeys and their options to offset them.
  • From June 2019, citizens of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea will be permitted to use e-gates at UK airports and at Eurostar terminals. (This was previously been announced as occurring in summer)
  • Landing cards from all other countries will also begin to be abolished from June 2019

Business Support

  • The Government is launching a call for evidence on a Business Energy Efficiency Scheme to explore how it can support investment in energy efficiency measures in order to help small businesses
  • The Government will launch a global review into the Economics of Biodiversity to explore ways to enhance the natural environment and deliver prosperity
  • The Government has published a consultation on Infrastructure Finance, seeking views on how the government can best support private infrastructure investment in the context of the UK’s changing relationship with the European Investment Bank


•      The Government announced a review of global tech companies to ensure they pay a fair share of tax in the UK.


  • The Government asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to undertake a study of the digital advertising market





Inntel’s Meetings Management Portal has been helping corporate procurement and finance teams manage their organisations’ meetings and event spend since 2015.    The latest enhancement to the technology platform is an improved delegate management system, in collaboration with Groupize. 

Meeting arrangers using Inntel’s Meetings Management Portal can now create customised, branded and mobile responsive delegate invitations in minutes.   Registration site features include location details, hotel information, schedules, itineraries, flight information, FAQ and more.    Meetings arrangers can use the portal fully to self-manage their room blocks, add special requests, take payments and share documents and agendas.

Douglas O’Neill, Inntel CEO said, “Following the addition of a new event app for our clients and enhanced meetings management information, the Groupize delegate management solution is a great incorporation to our Meetings Management Portal and we have already received positive feedback from clients using it.”

Alisa de Gaspe Beaubien, Chief Operating Officer at Groupize commented, “The relationship with Inntel represents a great opportunity for Groupize to expand our presence in the UK.  We’re excited to partner with Inntel and its clients, providing them with our industry-leading meetings management solutions.”


Creative communications agency, Top Banana, have been appointed by G4S as a venue finding partner. Working with the team of Executive Assistants, Top Banana will be responsible for sourcing all venues for the Senior Group Executive and Board members external meetings and events across the globe.

Top Banana’s venue finding team has more than doubled in the last 18 months in line with their significant growth and new client wins. G4S joins the likes of Whitbread, Holland & Barrett and Coty who all benefit from Top Banana’s venue finding offering. 

Kate Scully, Global Travel Manager, G4S comments “We were really impressed with Top Banana’s venue finding offering and can already see the benefit they are bringing to our business. The main selling point for us was their new online platform which provides a seamless process from initial enquiry through to the billing and job completion, which saves our team a huge amount of time. It allows us to track budget, spend and cost savings all in one place, allowing us to see the true value of using a venue sourcing partner.”

Louise Goalen, Director of Venue Finding at Top Banana contributes “We are really excited to be working with G4S and have already processed a number of enquiries for the team. It was a great new client win for us in 2018 and we look forward to seeing our relationship grow in 2019.”



HBAA has created two courses to enable both members and non-members to train their staff to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

The first two-day course will take place on 2 & 3 May at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel and the second will be at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham on 20 & 21 June.

This MHFA England accredited course will give participants a recognised qualification as a Mental Health First Aider which will be a valuable skill and understanding both in the workplace and also in the wider community.

This is the latest step in the HBAA campaign not only to raise awareness of the huge scale of Mental Health issues in the hospitality and events industry but also to enable members to take action to prevent problems and address them when they occur. The HBAA Executive Committee recently completed this course, learning how to spot signs of imminent issues and how to help.

Full details of the courses and how to book are available at

Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA past Chair and Board member who is leading this initiative says; “A staggering 70 million work days are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year. However, it is the pain and distress that individuals and their families and friends suffer that is most important to reduce.

“The response to our campaign has been overwhelming - several people have been waiting for details of these courses since we announced our plans. Places are sure to go fast.”




Warwick Conferences has once again been named as one of the UK's best academic venues after winning the silver accolade in the M&IT Awards

Organised by Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine, the awards ceremony brings together industry professionals from all sectors to reward excellence of service and product. Shortlisted companies are nominated based on customer feedback, with the winners voted for by readers of the magazine.

Warwick Conferences has an excellent history at the M&IT Awards, having achieved success in the Best Academic Venue category on more than 20 occasions.

Clive Singleton, General Commercial Manager at Warwick Conferences commented:

This is an exciting time to be part of Warwick Conferences and develop a new strategy to build on the excellent foundations already in place. I will be driving the business forwards, meaning that the Conferences can help invest even more money back into the University’s world leading teaching, learning and research.”

"What is particularly pleasing about this accolade is that it is voted for by our customers, so we are thrilled that our delegates have had fantastic experiences at our venues and have taken the time to vote for us.”



The Barbican has announced a collaboration with East London Liquor Company to launch a special edition Barbican London Dry Gin, which will be available for conference and event delegates to buy in the Barbican Shop and drink at events using the centre’s bars from March 2019.

The gin has been distilled using the finest 100% British wheat spirit infused with lemon & grapefruit peel, coriander, angelica root, juniper berries, cubeb berries and cardamom, and features a label design inspired by the iconic Brutalist architecture of the Barbican.

To celebrate its launch, the head mixologist at the Barbican’s Martini Bar, which is available for hire as part of the Barbican’s event offering, has created a ‘Signature’ Barbican Gin and Elderflower Martini cocktail, which blends the Barbican London Dry Gin with elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lemon juice and fresh ginger to release the bold, fresh, citrus flavours of the gin. The ‘Signature’ cocktail will be served at the Martini Bar on the first floor of the Barbican Centre throughout the spring and summer.

The first whisky, gin and vodka distillery to find its home in east London in over 100 years, East London Liquor Company has been at the forefront of the boom in quality spirits since it began distilling in Bow Wharf by Victoria Park in 2014. Tom Hills, Head Distiller at East London Liquor Company, said: ‘I can remember my first visit to the Barbican and being in awe of the structure and brutalism around me. More recently, the Barbican’s progressive arts programming has been a steadfast source of inspiration and a reminder of the merits of wholehearted commitment to interdisciplinary innovation. I want Barbican Gin to convey that same boldness with fresh citrus and the spice of the cubeb berries and cardamom. I can think of no better way to enjoy everything that the Barbican has to offer than with a gin cocktail in hand.’

Jo Davis, Head of Retail at the Barbican, said: ‘London has always been associated with gin, and with a gin renaissance happening over the last few years it was only right that we should introduce it to the Barbican! We were excited to learn about East London Liquor Company who, located almost on our doorstep in Mile End, have brought gin distilling back to London’s East End after more than a century.

Jackie Boughton, Head of Barbican Business Events concludes: ‘We are always looking for new ways to enhance the delegate experience here at the Barbican.  Offering our own gin is just another part of that process and we hope to announce opportunities for client tastings and drinks packages using the gin in the near future.’




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