Category: Uncategorised

Creative ideas for corporate gifts

By mlEditor,

With so much marketing spend now devoted to digital media, is there still a place for promotional products in the marketing mix?  The answer, according to James Leach, is a resounding yes.



As managing director of family owned Impress Ipswich, based at Masterlord’s Epsilon House, James knows that companies recognise the value of tangible promotional products to connect with their target audience.  This is branded merchandise given by companies to existing or potential clients or staff.

Impress are endlessly creative, with a range of products that is truly impressive and a fulfilment service offering clients direct despatch of gifts to their clients.

“It’s not just about having a wide selection of good quality promotional goods,” says James Leach. “We aim to make the process as seamless as possible, including distributing gifts worldwide. Sustainability is important too, whether it’s a metal sports bottle, clothing, or a boxed gift set.”

The flexibility offered at Epsilon House was a game-changer for Impress. When they needed more space, the Masterlord team built a door through to an adjoining office so they had a large store room and a production facility for digital printing, right next to the main office. 

“We looked at other locations, but Epsilon House is a brilliant place to work, it’s got everything we need. We love it here and, if we need to expand, there’s flexibility to do that without moving,” adds James.  

The family-owned business was started by James’ father and mother in 2001, with their own production facilities. They started sourcing the best products from all over the world and, when his father retired, James took over the business. They moved to Epsilon House in 2021 and have continued to grow.

Useful branded merchandise is designed to inspire people to select that business over its competitors, or remind them of the brand so they choose it in future. Usually, those free products have a practical use that remains in a customer’s office for many months – more effective than transient advertising or social media, adding value to the marketing mix. 

Working with local councils, schools and universities, events and conferences, charities and festivals gives the company a wider knowledge of what works in different markets.  

The power of positive messaging can be an integral part of the product, or printed on it.  The team works with clients to design or find the right products, providing a personal service that builds a relationship for returning business. From keyrings and button badges to pens, notebooks, bottles and sporks (try one, they’re brilliant!) and custom-designed high-end products, Impress pride themselves on sourcing the perfect promotional gift for any company. 


For more information:


Tel: 01473 253690

Keeping tech simple

By mlEditor,

How many remote controls do you have at home, or even in the office? Or perhaps you have an Amazon Alexa that refuses to connect with the rest of your home appliances? Juggling multiple ‘smart devices’ can be an issue as the amount of tech grows. Creating bespoke home solutions by integrating technology and design is the mission of Masterlord tenant Cerebrum Systems.  They are home automation specialists, designing and installing TVs, home cinemas, audio, smart lighting, blinds, networks and more.

It’s all about keeping things simple, according to technical director Kieron Eales who, with procurement and interiors director Jules Gregory, founded the company seven years ago. Prior to creating Cerebrum Systems, Kieron had over ten years’ experience working in the electrical and home automation industry. Jules, meanwhile, gained her expertise through over eleven years in procurement and interior design.

Working across East Anglia, London and surrounding counties, Cerebrum work with developers on the design and specification of home tech for residential and multi-dwellings, through to fitting and commissioning. As systems become more sophisticated, the expertise of Cerebrum is in high demand.

From home cinemas to lighting and motorised blinds, Cerebrum have a wealth of knowledge in the construction and residential industry. The integration of systems, from lighting to speakers, mean Cerebrum’s design and installations make for a clean design without compromising on quality.

‘We aim to make our installations future proof’, says Jules. ‘Using cabling in the right locations for the right systems throughout a home means the owner can extend or change their setup easily without running more cables. This saves you having to knock through or replaster walls at a later date!’

Home cinemas and media rooms have become more popular, combining wall-mounted screens for watching a film or playing games, with high-end sound systems. Using visualiser software, Cerebrum can show clients the exact look of their installation and swiftly modify it. If a client doesn’t have space for an immersive home cinema, a media room can be multifunctional, with tech discreetly hidden and perfectly tailored to suit their lifestyle. 

With many more people working part or full time at home, a fast network is vital. Even when rural networks won’t support streaming video, for example, alternative satellite systems can be used to deliver high-speed connectivity. 

Cerebrum Systems originally had an office in Epsilon House, but moved to Alpha 2 when they needed more space and the ability to show off the latest tech.  

‘The flexibility at Masterlord Office Village meant that we only had a simple move onsite, it was a seamless operation.  We’re perfectly placed here with good road links to London and all over East Anglia,’ added Jules Gregory. 

Cerebrum’s expertise in design and technology is clear when you visit their impressive Alpha Terrace office, where they’ve customised the space perfectly.

For more information:

Alpha 2,West Road, Ipswich, IP3 9FD

Tel: 01473 599089


Signage in the digital age

By mlEditor,

When it comes to signage, only the best will do.  Whether it’s branding, directions, information or promotion, signage still has an impact in our digital world.  


Graham Botting, owner of RM Phoenix, supplies all the signage for Masterlord Estates, often to tight deadlines.  For the Masterlord team, being able to react swiftly is important.

“When a new tenant moves in, the fascia sign is changed right away,” says Abi Dawson-Smith, who manages operations for Masterlord. “We always keep our signage up to date and smart, whether it’s banners or direction signs, pod points or containers. Graham provides an expert personal service.”

Visiting R M Phoenix’s print works at Clopton Park, near Woodbridge, is an eye-opener.  Large format ink-jet printers that can run 18 hours a day allow Graham to set up a job and monitor it remotely while he gets on with other tasks or even relaxes at home.  Traditional screen printing is still used, particularly for specialist jobs such as printing on objects or for colours such as fluorescent that ink-jet printers cannot provide.   

But the digital revolution has taken over, as a digital printer can do in 12 hours what a manual silk-screen press would take up to eight days to complete.

“Digital printing can run itself,” explains Graham. “Once the machines are set up I can focus on printing or cutting anything from business cards to vehicle vinyls. Rico digital presses have replaced traditional litho presses for leaflets and brochures, allowing me to do high volume runs in colour without spending hours monitoring the machines.”

The purpose-built double-height print works give Graham complete flexibility, as printing machines and a high-tech guillotine for cutting are heavy and require a large amount of space.  

The range of signage and print work is remarkable, from self-adhesive labels to vinyl notices on local council wheelie bins, window filming and vehicle graphics to brochures, business cards or stationery. 

During the pandemic, Graham worked alone and was able to continue his business to handle high demand for Covid signage.  As a Suffolk based business for over 22 years, he covers East Anglia and has built a reputation for high quality and on-time delivery.  

“I work 12 hours a day five days a week,” Graham adds. “But I keep weekends free for family and golf!”

For more information: 

Graham Botting 01728 747138

Exploiting the eCommerce explosion

By mlEditor,

Exploiting the eCommerce explosion

Identifying a gap in any market requires vision, skill and resources.  Tom Rees, founder of award-winning WIRO at Epsilon House, saw a rapidly rising demand for eCommerce growth services and pivoted his business from design and print agency to become experts in the eCommerce industry and, more specifically, Shopify. 

The pandemic drove online sales, with huge growth as more companies moved to an eCommerce model.  Conventional high-street retail premises still have their place, but almost everyone also buys online, worth $5.4 trillion in worldwide sales last year.    

“We wanted to improve the customer experience of our brands and merchants by providing custom-built sites on Shopify.  Improving the customer experience can be the difference between a brand converting 0.1% more. If that’s an established enterprise brand, that could be hundreds of thousands in additional revenue,” Tom explains. “We work with home and furniture direct-to-consumer brands, health, beauty and fashion, and are expanding into luxury and premium brands.”

WIRO’s dynamic and rapid growth has won them industry-leading status from European eCommerce Awards, UK Dev Awards and UK Agency Awards. Their standing in the industry is impressive for a company that only moved into the eCommerce sphere in the last four years. 


An eCommerce site isn’t 100% development when you approach an agency, it’s a mix of design, strategy, testing and development. Tom and his team provide off-the-shelf packages to suit any size of budget. Tailored theme builds allow his team to speed up and simplify the build process. It also allows brands to focus their budget on design and strategy, rather than dedicating their budget to development and testing.

Says Tom, “Many clients believe they need everything built from scratch for their brand to feel ‘customised’. Often that’s not the case. It’s actually counter-intuitive to the process, usually slowing it down.  For a smaller brand, getting to market quickly is imperative for success, so we’ve invested heavily in developing configurable off-the-shelf solutions and a core framework. This gives a swifter route to market with improved functionality.”

WIRO is still growing, with clients including Swyft, Piglet in Bed, Wattbike, Kick Game, Wright Bros, Skin Rocks & MJ Jones. Another project manager is joining to deliver client success and run their growth retainers. Tom is also building out a sales & marketing team.

“Any website has to work well for the client and the customer, so we’re very process driven to provide a seamless experience.”

Piglet in Bed


Epsilon House has been the agency’s home over a period of time, as space demands have changed.

“We have complete flexibility here, moving into an office or changing offices is really simple. Being part of a business community is important too,” adds Tom.

For more information: 

Sawing to success, a Swedish family business

By mlEditor,

With the environment and sustainability a worldwide priority, it’s refreshing to discover a family business in Sweden operating six timber sawmills and a pulp mill producing paper and board for food packaging. 

Renewable resources is the buzzword at ATA Timber, one of Sweden’s largest privately owned sawmills, producing timber for the construction industry since 1945. 

Steve Place heads up their new regional office at Epsilon House, handling imports through their own terminal at Sheerness in Kent.  With more than 25 years in the business, he’s part of a dedicated team based at Ipswich and Colchester, with almost 100 years collective experience between them.  

ATA manages its own independent log procurement business, sourcing the finest quality raw materials from sustainable forests in southern Sweden.  Most of their timber is exported to markets in Europe and worldwide, with the UK an increasingly important market.

Spruce and pine are in high demand as softwood building materials, with ATA Timber suppling builders merchants across the UK.  Locally, Coastal Building Supplies and Collier & Catchpole (both still family businesses) buy ATA timber. Even their hauliers, Nicholls Transport, are an environmentally aware family business with exclusively gas-powered trucks.

Says Steve Place, “It’s all about our relationships with customers, the knowledge and experience we bring and the service we provide. The market is constantly growing and evolving. We’re working with a sustainable product where longer term demand is going through the roof.”

Choosing Masterlord Office Village for a new office was “ridiculously quick” says Steve. “It’s a great location for all our team and close to the A12 and A14. Having a staffed reception and being part of a business community is a real bonus. We moved in within a couple of weeks of deciding. It was very easy.” 

Steve travels between customers, ATA Timber offices in Colchester and Sheerness and their head office in Sweden, with his colleagues, Karen and Lucy, at the Epsilon House office. 

ATA Timber plants around 3,000,000 saplings in Sweden each year as part of their commitment to renewable resources. It’s a policy reflecting their commitment to the environment and the sustainability of their business.

Find out more:


Physical wellbeing top of the agenda

By mlEditor,

Physical wellbeing is a key element of everyone’s quality of life, with exercise having proven benefits. But when you need support after an injury, or to improve flexibility, physiotherapy and pilates are proven methods of treatment. 

Hadleigh Physiotherapy, based both at Masterlord Office Village and Hadleigh, has a wealth of expertise with partners William and Charlotte Dykes and their team of physio and massage therapists and pilates instructors. They always start with a clinical assessment, to decide on the most appropriate treatments. 

From injuries due to sport or a fall, to back and postural pain, the team uses physiotherapy and pilates as the primary tools, also offering acupuncture and treatments for vertigo.    

Both William and Charlotte are driven by their desire to have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing. William, who swims competitively, plays golf and is a member of Ipswich Golf Club, and Charlotte, with her background in physio at NHS hospitals, thrive on their interaction with people.

Charlotte explains, “Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. Don’t put it off, seek expert advice.  We empower people to understand why they have pain. If they understand, you can take the fear away.

“Everyone is more proactive now in looking after themselves, but sometimes ‘weekend warriors’ can push themselves too far with exercise or sport and cause injury. Generally, each person knows what’s wrong with them. We provide education and self-management along with treatment to help them recover.”

William Dykes started his business 20 years ago in Martlesham after working in the NHS. In 2013, he and Charlotte bought the old dairy in Hadleigh where they started a private practice and now offer 20 pilates classes each week.  People travel from all over Suffolk for the quality of their treatment and classes. 

The move to Gamma Terrace at Masterlord came when they outgrew their space at Martlesham in 2018.  Originally a short-term solution, they discovered that people found it easy to access and can combine a treatment with a visit to Waitrose, John Lewis or B&Q!  So they expanded.   

“It’s a great location, parking is free, and with two locations we can cover the county,” adds Charlotte. 

With a dog and two girls to look after at home, the husband and wife team have found a way to balance their busy work and life.  There will never be a shortage of runners, cyclists, horse riders, golfers, tennis and team sports players who need their skills. 

Hadleigh Physio are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year with a gala event at Trinity Park, Ipswich on Saturday 30 September.  All proceeds will be donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which saves lives by delivering highly skilled doctors and critical care paramedics by air or car to seriously ill or injured people in the region.

More information:

Call 01473 810185 or email

Unit 9, Gamma Terrace, Masterlord Office Village, Ipswich, IP3 9FJ


The Clinic, 111 George Street, Hadleigh, IP7 5BP

Donate to the East Anglian Air Ambulance:

Working magic with words

By Angela Prichard,

Working magic with words

Words can create magic in a drama or comedy, or immerse us in a novel’s fictional world. But it requires a different set of skills to write compelling copy for business, particularly for social media. That’s where new Epsilon House tenants Magic Word Media have focused their creative talents (notice how their name tells the whole story!)

Their website talks of wizards and sorcerers, but not the Harry Potter kind. The team are copywriters with specialist skills to craft words that entertain, engage, persuade and, yes, sell.

National newspaper journalist Simon Young brings a fresh perspective to content and social media from his 20-year career in regional and national newspapers. Simon was news editor of the East Anglian Daily Times before becoming head of news and assistant editor at the Sunday Express.

He changed direction as head of content for one of the world’s largest online gaming companies, combining journalism with content creation and digital marketing. With a unique skillset, his own company was a natural progression, now employing four media specialists.

“We can provide anything from copy for a new website, blogs and brochures to social media management – anything that involves words,” Simon explains.

Choosing Epsilon House, with an office right next to reception, was a good fit: “It’s a great business community and a good location.  As we continue to grow, there’s flexibility with Masterlord to move to larger offices.”

For social media, building engagement is key: “It’s 80% engagement, 20% selling,” Simon advises.  “People buy from people, so we like to show the human side of our clients’ businesses.  Working with a company’s social media, we put ourselves in their customers’ shoes. We keep it relaxed and informal, have fun with it.”

Tailoring social media content for each platform, with posts that engage and encourage people to like or comment, attracts a wider audience and builds communities.

“Regular posting is essential,” Simon adds.  “The value of using our company is that it releases client time to spend on other priorities and we get better results. It’s about convenience and expertise, all wrapped into one package.”

His company works across diverse market sectors including logistics, estate agents, online gaming and a leading Suffolk golf club.  As newspaper circulations take a nosedive, even with online platforms replacing print, every company needs to engage online to remain relevant and competitive.  Simon Young believes that his wordsmiths can provide a creative solution for any business.

For more information:

or call Simon Young 01473 526424

Business rate relief changes: what they mean to you

By Angela Prichard,

New small business rates come into effect on 1st April, 2023.  Revaluation of properties was delayed due to the pandemic. That’s all set to change, and this will affect some businesses at Masterlord Office Village.

You can get small business rate relief if your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property – although you may still be able to get relief if you use more than one property and the rateable value is not over £2,899.

You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.  For a property with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to zero.

You can check your entitlement with Ipswich Borough Council’s rates office on 01473 433851 or visit

As an example, this is how it could affect a Masterlord business that received 100% rate relief but will start paying on a sliding scale from April this year.

From Chef to Trucking

By Angela Prichard,

A family transport business that has grown from a single unit to a fleet of 14 DAF trucks is backed by a unique knowledge of the haulage industry.  TDJ Transport is operated by husband and wife team Terry James-Overett and Donnah James, with over 20 years’ experience between them. They recently moved to serviced offices at Epsilon House to run their rapidly growing business.

Terry was a driver, serving his time on the road, before setting up TDJ Transport. Working from home proved challenging, as long and often unsocial hours can take their toll.  Terry and Donnah took space locally but decided to move to Masterlord as Suffolk’s friendliest office village, with its networking opportunities and light, bright offices.

“It’s the perfect space for us,” he says, shared with school-friend Mark Taylor (also a driver of course!) who works on logistics. Donnah’s background in warehousing and transport makes the team a perfect match as they face daily challenges posed by a changing market, delays and occasional strikes.

Their container work with roll-on roll-off ferries forms 90% of their business, but the team’s agility means that they can seize opportunities with both local and long-distance UK haulage, and they’re also European licensed.  They have strong contacts with freight forwarders, who rely on TDJ Transport’s fast reactions to provide solutions.

All their 14 trucks are based at Ipswich, allowing them to react flexibly and swiftly in a competitive market through the Port of Felixstowe, and do business with other transport companies based at Epsilon House.

Terry’s passion for trucking is matched by his skill at building complex, large Lego cars that adorn his office!  It’s an impressive display with hours of painstaking construction: “I do it for relaxation!” says Terry.

Another surprising discovery is that he was head chef for some prestige hotels and restaurants before moving into haulage in 2010.  Favourite food? You’ll have to ask him!

But it’s his commitment to a charitable campaign raising awareness of suicide among men that is closest to his heart, having lost close friends. Some of his trucks promote, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a vital support network for men facing mental health issues.

Terry and Donnah explain that their business has grown organically: “We’ve worked hard to build it steadily and make it a success.”  They’re in good company at Masterlord Office Village.

More information:



Navigating troubled waters

By Angela Prichard,

When employees are made redundant, have to transfer to another company as part of a merger or takeover, or bring an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal or discrimination, employers need expert advice.

Employment law is so complex, only a legal specialist is likely to understand the rights both of employers and employees.  With a government determined to ditch many EU laws in the next couple of years, it’s an ever-changing landscape that makes it difficult to keep up.

Lawyer Nigel French has been immersed in employment law and human resources for over 30 years, with his daughter and fellow director Lydia joining him five years ago as an experienced human resources consultant in London and East Anglia.

Nigel has lectured on business and employment law at the prestigious Anglia Ruskin University and is much in demand for workplace seminars aimed at directors and managers.

He took an office in Epsilon House for eight years from 2010 before relocating to Essex. Now back in Suffolk, he makes use of Masterlord’s virtual office service with a prestige address, phone answering, copying, postal services, and a meeting room when he needs one.

“Epsilon House provides a professional service so I can focus on the business,” Nigel says. He admits that he enjoyed being part of a community at Epsilon House where the shared kitchen areas are a melting pot for business ideas and advice. One person he met over coffee at Epsilon has now been a client for ten years: “The networking opportunities were and still are great!”

With current economic volatility, many services are being contracted out: “In uncertain times there’s a lot of fluidity, with companies being taken over and, sadly, redundancies.”

When employees transfer from one company to another, it’s often difficult to harmonise their terms and conditions, which will change with the move.  Mergers and acquisitions are a growth area for legal expertise, as is advising on employment tribunals for unfair dismissals.

Claims for detrimental treatment as a result of whistleblowing is an area of particular increased activity in recent times, according to Nigel, and the employers he advises have to be careful in the management of the exit of staff, whether by dismissal or a negotiated settlement agreement.

Contract disputes are also common, with breakdowns in the relationship between a company and employee, leading to the drafting of legally binding severance packages, which eliminate the risk of claims subsequently. “Some of these cases can produce knotty problems requiring careful management”, says Nigel, “and we offer sound, pragmatic and cost effective legal advice in resolving practical workplace problems.  We recognise that it’s about providing protection for employees but also looking after the employer to whom we’re providing legal guidance.”


For more information:


or call 01473 599230.  Mobile: 07549 888557