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Archive for August, 2015

School friends build foundations for new business

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Two old school friends from Penrith have joined forces and taken the huge step in setting up their own construction and project management business.

After working together for the past 14 years at a local construction firm, John Bousfield and Nigel McCombie decided it was time to go it alone and take up the challenge of starting their own business.  The pair, who first met at secondary school, left their jobs earlier this year and have already made a start on their first project, with more work lined up for the future.

Bousfield Projects is the overarching name for the business, focusing on the pre-construction aspect of projects; with McCombie& Bousfield as the building services side of the business.  Bousfield Projects, headed up by John, will help clients in all the intricate elements of development such as choosing the right Architect /co-ordinating design and cost control.

McCombie& Bousfield will be looked after by qualified builder Nigel and with their close network of contractors, offer the complete building package for domestic and commercial properties of all sizes; including new builds, conversions, structural works and new developments.

Both John and Nigel have lived in and around Penrith most of their lives.  They have both gained considerable experience in the construction and building services industry gaining over 35 years experience between them.

John comments,

“We have taken that huge leap of faith that many people do when starting their own business, but we are confident that with the skills, experience and contacts we have in the industry we can build a successful business.  We work together really well and have worked on many projects before.  We are also really good friends, so it is an ideal way for us to lay solid foundations for our growing business”

Together they have worked on a wide variety of projects from residential properties, to larger commercial developments.  Through their careers they have also both gained many industry related qualifications.  Nigel has gained a SMSTS qualification in Site Manager training, as well as an NVQ level 4 in Site Management.  He holds an NVQ in Bricklaying and is also a qualified plant operator, whilst John holds an ONC & HNC in Building Studies as well as a current SMSTS certificate.

John is also very proud to have designed and built his own home with his Fiancée Helen, which was shortlisted for an LABC (Local Authority Building Control) award and won a NHBC (National House Building Council) ‘Pride in the Job’ award for excellence in On-Site Management.

“We are immensely grateful to Atkinson Building Contractors for the training, experience and opportunities we were given during our time with them that has given us the foundations for starting our new venture.”

McCombie & Bousfield can be contacted on or 01768 889149

Country Puddings win the double

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

For the seventh year running, Cumbrian pudding manufacturer Country Puddings has scooped prestigious accolades in the Oscars of the food industry; the Great Taste Awards.

Famous for its Cumbrian origin the Sticky Toffee Pudding has been awarded one gold star, whilst Country Pudding’s Sticky Ginger Pudding has received two gold stars, with comments from the judges table “This is near perfect as sticky ginger puddings go. We were digging in for more”.

Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for speciality and fine food & drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.

A selection of Country Puddings products were judged by a panel of the nation’s most discerning food experts including top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.

Country Puddings traditional favourite puddings are sold nationwide and earlier this year claimed the prestigious accolade of being one of the UK’s 50 Food Stars by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.  They were also shortlisted in the Growth Business category for Northern England in The Food and Drink Federation Awards, which honour the talent and inspiration in the UK food and drink sector.  They will find out next month if they have won.

Country Puddings has grown consistently over the years and recognition in awards like these proves their puddings are a much loved addition to the menu.

Lynne comments,

“Gaining accolades and awards like this for our business is always great news.  It not only shows us that we are doing something right and that people love our puddings, but it also gives the small team who make all our puddings the recognition they deserve.  We are always looking for new recipes and ingredients and never rest on our laurels, so awards like this drive us forward to continue developing the business and achieving great things.”

Previously Country Pudding’s Syrup Sponge Pudding, Tangy Lemon Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, Bread & Butter Pudding, Summer Pudding and Creamy Vanilla Custard have all won one or two gold stars in the Great Taste Awards.


Penrith Building Society Builds a Water Pump in Africa

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A community in Zimbabwe is now benefitting from clean drinking water, thanks to a donation through AquAid by the Penrith Building Society.

Penrith Building Society installed two AquAid water coolers in its offices over nine years ago, with a donation being made to The Africa Trust for every bottle of water the company purchases.  The result of this is that AquAid has been able to buy an Elephant Pump on Penrith Building Society’s behalf for a community who previously had no access to safe, clean drinking water.

Amyn Fazal, Chief Executive at Penrith Building Society said: “It is fantastic to think that a community in Zimbabwe is able to have its own fresh drinking water well, thanks to the donations we have been able to make installing water coolers in our offices for use by our customers and staff. I believe strongly that we all live not just in our local community but belong to a worldwide community and we all share a common responsibility. It is part of our corporate social responsibility to put back into the community and it is great to be able to support such a worthwhile project in Africa. The Elephant Pumps that AquAid provide are vital to communities such as this one in Manicaland.”

Elephant Pumps are also used by millions of people in over seven thousand other communities. The Africa Trust is working towards providing clean water, through the Elephant Pumps, for more communities throughout Africa, including countries like Tanzania, Uganda and most recently, Liberia, through donations by companies such as Penrith Building Society.

Fern Shaw, AquAid Africa, said: “It is so important that AquAid receives help from companies like Penrith Building Society.  It makes a huge difference to people’s lives in these communities where they may otherwise have to walk several miles to find water and even then, may find it contaminated.  It is only through the ongoing support of businesses that we are able to continue to carry out this vital work.”

The Elephant Pump is based on a 2,000 year old Chinese design that has been adapted to be made stronger, more durable and from local materials available in rural sub-Saharan African communities.