Spotlight: John Haines ‘The Skatepark Entrepreneur’

One of the privileges of being involved with Ministry2Business is getting to meet a lot of people doing terrific work in different sectors and workplaces.
One of the challenges I’m aware of  is it’s very easy to feel isolated especially when it comes to living out our Christian faith at work. 
So, quite simply I hope these Spotlight interviews inspire and encourage us to see we’re not alone and we’re part of bigger story that God is telling. 


Introducing:  John Haines – Managing Director Projekts Mcr 

1. Tell us a little bit about your business story – how and why you got involved with Projekts Mcr?
I discovered skateboarding around the same time that I really started to take my Christian faith seriously, just before I started university in 1999. Shortly after graduating, I was invited to work with a start up social enterprise called Projekts Mcr, which was a group of Christians who were aiming to make things better for skateboarders in Manchester. Initially I thought it would make a great year out between uni and work but once I began to see how little development was going into skateboarding at a grassroots level and how very few Christians were involved in skateboarding on a development level, I just decided to carry on. I enjoyed seeing the change and the impact of the work we were doing – it’s quite addictive.

2. What have been some of the significant encouragements in your work?
Seeing skaters in the skatepark enjoying the ramps is a big encouragement. It means we’ve created something that the skate community really wants. But the biggest encouragement is hearing the stories from users about how we’ve helped them get through some very difficult times. It’s easy to think of the skatepark as just another space to play or just another activity centre, but it’s not really like that for most people who come here. For many skaters, it’s the centre of their community, where they feel supported and safe.

3. You’ve recently launched a Community Share Offer to help fund the expansion of the park – what’s your vision for the park and what support are you looking for?
We’ve launched a community share offer to raise the funds to expand because we’ve reached capacity and we want to keep on growing. The land under the flyover has very little commercial value but it’s ideal for skateboarders because it’s covered by the Mancunian Way and stays dry in almost all weather. The idea behind the expansion is to build 700sqm of concrete ramps, making us the largest managed concrete skatepark in the country.

If you’re interested in supporting the expansion plans you can visit:
www.crowdfunder.co.uk/projekts-mcr 
You can also download the proposal: Share offer – Projekts for Community Mark Assessment V2

4. Your Christian faith is an integral part of your life – how does it impact and shape your work?
I want what I believe to impact every area of my life, including work and I hope that my behaviour and what I say might point people to God and at the very least not be a barrier to someone wanting to know God. Jesus’ life and teaching is all about relationships – with God and with other people – and I would hope that in any interaction with people in work or through work, I might reflect God’s attitude.

5. What has been a key lesson you’ve learned especially as a young business leader?
It’s the painful lessons you remember the most, isn’t it? It’s not always easy but I think employing the right people – people with the right attitude, primarily – is a big one for me, especially with the kind of work we do, working with young people and building community. It’s obviously easier said than done but it really pays to take extra care when taking someone on. 
Thankfully, we have an incredible team at Projekts – very supportive, keen to make a difference, hard working, caring, patient and excited to be part of a growing organisation.
****
You can connect with John on LinkedIn 

Image Credits:

Skate Park pictures provided by Projekts Mcr
Light Bulb Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

Manchester Christmas Markets 2018

During the first two weeks of the 2017 Manchester Christmas markets, nearly 80,000 mugs were sold (45,610 coffee mugs and 33,000 Gluhwein mugs)! With more than 9 million people visiting over the 6 week period, 2018 looks set to be another record breaking year.

Manchester Christmas Markets officially open on Friday 9th November through to Saturday 22nd December with the city’s Christmas lights switch-on takes place on Saturday November 3rd.

Launched in 1999 as just a single site in St Ann’s Square, the markets now sprawl across the city and attract millions of visitors each year.  This will be the last year that the markets main hub will be hosted in Albert Square due to the refurbishment of the plaza and Town Hall.

New for this year’s Christmas Markets is a magical Ice Village in Cathedral Gardens.  The highlight will be a walk- through Ice Cavern experience filled with intricate ice sculptures including a steam train, mischievous elves, enchanted toys and Arctic animals – all set against the backdrop of a frozen toy factory.

There’ll also be sculptures telling the story of Manchester, including a female train driver with a ‘Votes For Women’ badge as a nod to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as other legendary Mancunian symbols like football, music and Manchester’s worker bee emblem.

There’ll also be an ice skating rink, a Santa’s Grotto and the Polar Bar, where visitors can warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate.

For all the crucial information about the Christmas markets including opening times, market map, and travel plans please visit the Manchester Evening News here >>

Original article written by Emily Heward for the MEN.
Read the full article here >>

Amazon Moving To Manchester

Internet giant Amazon has announced it is opening a corporate office in Manchester and is bringing 600 jobs to the city.  The Hanover Building which will serve as Amazon’s home is located in the NOMA area of the city, in a move that is a major coup for the region.

The aim is for the Manchester office to open in 2019 – bringing hundreds of new jobs to the city. Hanover Building will be Amazon’s first UK corporate office outside of London and will be home to a wide variety of teams.

The teams will work on projects that benefit Amazon’s customers around the world, including software development, machine learning and research and development.  New employees at the Manchester office will complement teams working on global innovation in London, Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Doug Gurr, Head of Amazon in the UK comments: “Manchester was at the heart of the industrial revolution and has a fantastic history of innovation.  With the UK taking a leading role in the global tech, we are delighted to announce plans to open a new corporate office in the city.”

“The city offers an incredibly talented workforce and a budding tech scene with some of the most exciting, fast-growing tech companies in the UK situated here. Our new office will be home to over 600 staff, many of whom will be focused on developing exciting new products and services used by Amazon customers around the world.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is delighted with this development: “Amazon opening their new office in Manchester is another vote of confidence in our city-region as a global digital leader. We are the UK’s top digital city-region and we are open for business.”

Amazon has committed to creating 2,500 jobs in the UK in 2018, taking its total UK workforce to over 27,500.

Original article written by   at The Business Desk
Read the full article here >>

LJ Real Estate Win Property Newcomer Award

The region’s property elite were in the spotlight at last night’s annual North West Property Awards. Developments that have transformed the skyline of North West towns and cities, such as No.1 Spinningfields, were celebrated along with the teams of planners, lawyers and architects that made them a reality.  To mark the 20th anniversary of the awards, Insider also teamed up with the BBC on a new prize – Building of the Decade – which was voted for by North West Tonight viewers.

Property Newcomer of the Year Winner: LJ Real Estate Advisors
Sam Lawson Johnston and George Haddo have spent more than £40m acquiring, renovating and then leasing historic buildings in Manchester including Canada House and the Northern Assurance Buildings.

People’s Choice Award: Building of the Decade
Winner:
 Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Integral to the new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital building, which was completed in 2015, was the input of the children, all current or former patients, who voted on the schemes and designs they liked.

North West Property Personality of the Year
Winner: Lynda Shillaw, MAG Property
Lynda is divisional chief executive of MAG’s property business and is responsible for investment and development across its three airports. Her remit also covers the 3.5 million sq ft Airport City Manchester development.Lynda Shillaw, divisional chief  executive of property at Manchester Airports Group, took home the Property Personality of the Year accolade.

 

New Sculpture For St Ann’s Square

A sculpture of a homeless Jesus sleeping on a bench was unveiled by Dave, a homeless person, outside St Ann’s Church. ‘Jesus the Homeless’ is a near life-size bronze sculpture by the Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz. It depicts a figure lying on a bench, with its pierced feet indicating it is Jesus.

Facing a growing problem of homelessness in the city and a global crisis of people displaced by war and conflict, the figure challenges passers-by to question their attitude towards homeless and marginalised people that they come across in their day-to-day lives.

Rector of St Ann’s, The Revd Nigel Ashworth, said For many people homelessness is not simply about having no place to call home, but about living with some kind of emotional trauma. By giving the homeless Jesus space outside our church we are showing that we stand in solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, in the same way that Jesus had compassion on them in His earthly ministry.”

Jesus the Homeless with artist Timothy SchmalzChurches across Greater Manchester have responded to the growing homelessness crisis by developing a clear plan of action in partnership with others. City churches open their buildings every year to help provide winter night shelters and other frontline services for homeless people. St Ann’s is also working on a pilot project for street homeless people called ‘Morning Hours’ which provides a warm space, hots drinks and toast, first thing in the morning before any of the city’s day centres open.

The Bishop of Manchester, The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, who chairs the Manchester Homelessness Partnership, said “Jesus is very explicit in the bible; when we offer or refuse care to those in need, we will be judged as though he himself were the needy person before us. This sculpture casts Christ’s words into metal. It links them directly to one of the most visible expressions of human need. Its identical twins can be found in other great cities around the world; a reminder that Manchester today is a truly global city.”

Article written by Ann Mummery, Communications and Events Manager Manchester Diocese
Original source here

Manchester – A Radical City For 2018

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham has announced his strategic resolutions for 2018 calling on Manchester to reapply it’s radical and pioneering verve. 2018 marks both the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Trades’ Union Congress (TUC) in Manchester and, on 6th February, the centenary of the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1918 – granting votes for women for the first time.

It was a victory won by Moss Side-born Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst who inspired and led the Suffragette movement and is acclaimed the greatest northerner in history in a recent poll.

Mr Burnham set out his five resolutions for the New Year. “Right now, our divided world needs a new dose of that radical Manchester spirit. So, as we prepare to celebrate these momentous events, we should resolve today to apply it afresh to the many challenges of our own difficult times.”

Mr. Burnham’s 5 resolutions included support for those affected by the Arena bomb last May and continuing to press government for more funding for Greater Manchester’s emergency services .

Keeping homelessness high on the agenda is another resolution as people demand urgent action to improve the situation. “I am confident that the plans we have developed in Greater Manchester will continue to deliver real results,” he said, “but I will monitor progress closely, as well as continuing to donate monthly to the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, as we work towards our goal of ending rough sleeping here by 2020.”

His fourth resolution is to initiate a major overhaul of the transport system. The increasing level of congestion on the roads reflected the fact that public transport was “simply not good enough”. Mr Burnham pledged to use new powers to change the way local buses worked as well making the case for new investment in infrastructure.

His fifth resolution is to continue to build the voice of the north and make the case for more devolution: “If we are to rise to the challenges of Brexit, we need to develop a world-class digital and transport infrastructure and have the freedom to innovate on policies which Westminster has traditionally neglected, such as technical education.

“While we live in difficult times, I start this year with great pride in our radical past and great optimism for what we are about to achieve.”

Original Story Written By Ray King for ilovemanchester.com 2/1/2018
Full version available online here

Manchester’s BooHoo.com Booms

 

Image result for boohoo

Manchester-based online fashion retailer boohoo has raised its guidance for full year revenue again to be 80% ahead of expectations, as it posts a 106% increase in half year turnover to £263m.

It was only in June that the company said it expects full year revenue to February 2018 to be 60% ahead of expectations but today’s half year results show the incredible pace of growth, with six-month pre-tax profits up 41% to £20.3m to the end of August 2017.

In June the company raised £50m on the stock market so that it could build an automated super-site of over 600,000 sq ft, which will provide it with over £2bn of net sales capacity to keep up with demand.

The boohoo brand continues to account for the majority of revenue at £182m but the company’s Pretty Little Thing brand, which it acquired at the start of the year, is seeing incredible growth with its half year revenue of £73m up by almost 290% on last year. Nasty Gal – it’s latest addition – had a turnover of £8.4m from March, with sales growing month on month, the company said.

As well as the introduction of new brands, boohoo has also expanded its range and plus size, curve, petite and menswear have been the categories with the highest sales and strongest growth, whilst the more recently-introduced boohooKids, maternity, lingerie and tall ranges are also showing high rates of growth. The company said its growth was largely attributable to international markets as it continues to increase market share overseas.

Article by Joanne Birtwistle, The BusinessDesk.com, 27/09/17
Read full article online here

Top Business Women Join In CEO Sleepout

On 16th October 2017 Old Trafford Cricket Ground will host Manchester’s 2nd CEO Sleepout. More than 80 business leaders will give up one night of comfort, sleeping out under the stars, at the iconic home of Lancashire County Cricket Club in a bid to fight poverty and homelessness in Manchester. Jenna Bowyer (Business intelligence developer at Boohoo.com) and Julie Wilson (co-founder of Rule 5) are among the group of prominent business women taking part in the sleep out.

Statistics from national homeless charity Crisis show that while the vast majority of rough sleepers are male, life for women on the streets can be particularly bad, with one in four women sleeping rough having been sexually assaulted in the past year, three in 10 being the subject of sexual violence while homeless, and six in 10 being intimidated or threatened with violence.

Julie Wilson told Business Desk her reason for being involved:  “Homelessness is an issue close to my heart and I’m delighted to join an increasing number of women in this year’s CEO Sleepout, raising not only vital funds but awareness of local charities such as MASH, who provide invaluable support to women living on the streets of Manchester. It’s a fantastic event, uniting business leaders from all sectors to tackle what is a growing problem.”

Since its foundation in 2013 by businessman and philanthropist Andy Preston, CEO Sleepout has raised more than £1m thanks to support from thousands of executives participating in its sleepouts. In 2016, 87 Manchester business leaders raised £64,000 by sleeping rough with the scheme. Ministry 2 Business was part of a small team that helped establish the initiative in Manchester.

Preston commented: “We’re really pleased to have a number of prominent women from the city joining us for the sleepout, who will help to highlight the needs of women sleeping rough.  This year we have had a great response from Manchester’s business community and other leading figures from the city’s civic life. Our priority as a charity is to raising awareness of the homeless crisis being seen in cities across the country, and this can only be achieved through joint working, so we will continue to work with a range of partners that can affect change and tackling underlying causes of homelessness and prevent it before it occurs.”

You can find out more about CEO Sleepout on the website.

Article written by Nick Jackson, The Business Desk.com, 26/09/17
Read the original article here

New Chairman For Co-Op Insurance

Co-op Insurance appoints chairman

Peter Hubbard is Co-op Insurance’s new chairman.  The former chief executive of AXA and UKGeneral has also held non-executive roles at QMetric Group, Keoghs and Sure Thing Insurance.

Mr. Hubbard said he joins Co-op Insurance at an “exciting and important time in its transformation journey”.

“Co-op Insurance has a long and distinguished history, and we have the opportunity now to create and deliver a compelling Co-op Insurance for the future, one which meets the needs of millions of Co-op members and customers.”

Article by Storm Rannard, Assistant Digital Editor at Insider Media Limited.
Read original article here

Mobikes Arrive In Manchester

Image result for manchester mo bike1,000 Mobikes have been scattered around the city centre as a new bike sharing scheme for Manchester and Salford has been launched. Manchester is the first area outside Asia to adopt the service, initially for a six-month trial but with a view to expand.

Reporting for the Manchester Evening News, Charlotte Cox explains:

Mobike is the world’s first smart, dock-free bikeshare platform aimed at helping people make short trips across cities. The orange and silver aluminium machines have non-puncture airless tyres, a GPS tracker, built-in locks and a cashless smartphone app. The bikes are designed with chainless shaft transmission and durable disc-brake, they are hailed by their creators as ‘maintenance-free bikes’ with a four-year fix-free life span.

Bosses say they are ‘near impossible’ to vandalise and ‘pointless’ to steal. They have developed a credits system where users who defy the Mobike rules – park them in the wrong place for example – will be charged more to hire them. ‘Good users’, meanwhile, will be rewarded.

The bikes the brain child of Hu Weiwei, a Chinese entrepreneur.  She told the M.E.N at a cycling conference in Holland that she envisions Manchester becoming the ‘Shanghai of Europe’ – doing for bike-sharing on the Continent what Shanghai began in China. Welcomed by city leaders the hope is that they will help tackle congestion and pollution levels.

To use a Mobike subscribe to their app, pay the deposit, find your nearest bike & hop on! Visit the Mobike website

Read the full article here>>  Published By M.E.N Written by Charlotte Cox

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Spotlight: John Haines ‘The Skatepark Entrepreneur’

John Haines has worked with Projekts Mcr since 2001 and has ambitious plans to expand the skatepark

Read more

Manchester Christmas Markets 2018

More than 9 million visitors are expected to visit Manchester’s Christmas Markets which open Friday 9th November.

Read more

Amazon Moving To Manchester

Manchester will be home to Amazon’s first UK corporate office outside London. The Hanover Building in the NOMA area of the city will host 600 Amazon staff, part of the 2,500 jobs the company have promised to create in the UK this year.

Read more