Category: Uncategorised


King’s cafe reopens!

By Masterlord Estates,

Kings Coffee House reopens Monday, 12 April!  New owner, new look…

We’re all excited that the Masterlord café is reopening!  It’s takeaway only for now, but new owner James Harrington can’t wait to show off the newly redecorated Kings Coffee House and fully reopen in May.

Limited time special offer: one free tea or coffee per person with each food purchase!

 

Kings Coffee House

 

Who can resist a home-made sausage roll with melt-in-the-mouth pastry and caramelised onions, a fresh breakfast roll or delicious salad box made to order with your favourite ingredients?

James has been based in Ipswich for 32 years and has great plans for the best café in the area. He starts baking at 7am every day to deliver fresh goodies for everyone to enjoy.

 With his food background as commercial director of a blue chip company, he knows what people like and is enjoying his new business as ‘there’s no commuting, planes, trains or hotels and I’m 15 minutes away!’

 

 

During lockdown, James has been busy redecorating, fitting new equipment and lighting. He plans to maintain the high quality food standards that customers expect and to expand the range.  Try a delicious hot chicken goujon wrap with sweet chilli sauce, followed by a slice of moist home-made cake packed with fruit, baked by James’ wife Liz.  The range of burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps and cakes is mouth-watering.

 Hopefully, from 17 May, you can eat inside at Kings. Upstairs has welcoming leather sofas and tables for eating in or catered business buffet lunches booked in advance.

Save time and order in advance on 01473 237377 or email kingscoffeehouse@aol.com

Pay and collect at Kings Coffee House, Alpha Terrace.   

 Open 7.30am to 2.30pm weekdays.  Breakfast is the best way to start your day, with a huge choice of coffees and teas and a freshly-made breakfast roll.

With customers visiting from John Lewis, Audi, B&Q and many other companies in the area, the secret of Kings is out – and it’s right on your doorstep at Masterlord Office Village!

Project Gigabit

By Masterlord Estates,

Large companies like British Airways are planning to allow staff to split their working lives between the office and home, potentially selling their huge Waterside HQ used by 2,000 employees. BP is another company expecting full-time staff to work from home two days a week.

But is home connectivity in rural Suffolk fast enough to support this massive sea-change in our working lives? For many in the county, ultra-fast broadband is still a dream.  How often is the cry “You’ve frozen” part of the ritual of a video conference call?  

Soon, with the recent Government announcement of Project Gigabit and Suffolk one of the areas prioritised in the rollout, working from home confirms a cultural shift in our lives. 

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said: “We’ve already made tremendous progress with Project Gigabit – our national mission to get everyone in the country the fastest broadband on the planet.

“We’ve gone from around 9% coverage in 2019 to 40% now.  I’m confident we’ll get to 60% by the end of the year. The challenge is the last 20%, which can’t be delivered commercially – and that’s what our plans are all about.”

To reach gigabit speed broadband in rural Suffolk is a challenge and the government is investing £5bn nationally, but only £1.2bn will be available before 2024.  

The issue was a key government commitment, with a promise to bring full fibre and gigabit capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025.  That target will not be met, but progress is accelerating.

Insurers drag heels on business interruption claims

By Masterlord Estates,

Do you have an outstanding insurance claim for business interruption since the first lockdown?  Delays or refusal to pay seems to be an epidemic among insurers, despite the Financial Conduct Authority taking the unusual step of starting legal proceedings with 370,000 business claims against a number of insurers.  Some claims have been paid, either partally or in full, but only after the Supreme Court issued a judgment against the insurers on 15 January.

Many claims are from small and medium-sized businesses like those on the Masterlord Office Village, who were confident that their business interruption policy would cover them when the pandemic hit and they had to close their doors.  But a year later, most of them are still waiting for their money. Many insurance policies didn’t exclude events like pandemics from their cover, and others explicitly covered any losses as a result of someone “falling ill with a disease notified to the authorities within 25 miles of their business”.  The pandemic is covered, the Supreme Court decided, but the insurers – including big guns like Hiscox – don’t agree.  They have even accepted claims but set the value at £0.

More legal cases are pending to challenge the insurers, including Hiscox and Amlin, who are dragging their heels on settling claims.  FCA data shows that, so far, 10,000 policyholders have received some money, with insurers paying out more than £470m.  But more than 50,000 are still waiting.   There’s even a Hiscox Action Group to pressure the company to pay out..

Businesses pay insurance premiums in the expectation that, when they have to make a claim, it will be paid.  Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the pandemic.

Office pranks?

By Masterlord Estates,

With Spring finally here and positive signs for the future after lockdown, it was a pleasure to see some fun and humour take place here in Epsilon House.

One office decided to play a little prank on one of their team members. Having decided a larger office was needed they picked one and moved over a weekend while their colleague was off.

On the day of their return the team set up a camera to record the reaction of said colleague walking into an empty office, stripped of its furniture!

 The reaction was priceless, a look of shock, of visible surprise, short lived thought as they soon spotted the camera and started to laugh – must know their team well!

I suppose we now have to wait and see if this is the start of an office prank war…

 

Have you played any office pranks? Let us know at feedback@masterlord.co.uk

Working from home: is your computer secure?

By Masterlord Estates,

Fake emails, requests to reset your password or update banking details, malware from downloads and data theft: just some of the issues you may face working from home, particularly on your own laptop, tablet or mobile.

Sharing work laptops with partners or children, or using unknown wi-fi connections when working remotely, can bring a whole range of other dangers which could compromise your online security and data, even your company’s network. 

For advice, we turned to cyber security expert Eric Sheehan at Black Dog Cyber, a member of the Masterlord business community at Epsilon House.  He recommends five key methods of ensuring your security online, particularly when working from home:

  • Don’t open emails if you do not recognise the sender or company, or you’re suspicious about the subject line or source email address.  Email can be compromised, so if something looks odd, even if you know the sender, double check before you open it.  Never open an attachment until you’ve verified the sender. It’s OK to be a little paranoid! 
  • Be very wary of login or password change requests, unless you have specifically requested them.  They’re invariably fake.  Never click a link to login to a system. Use trusted bookmarks or go directly to the website you know to be safe.  If in doubt, check with the company sending the email or your IT department if you have one – using publicly available contact information, not the details in the email.
  • Don’t use the same password for all your logins.  Once a login is compromised, a cyber thief could gain access to multiple accounts.  Use a password manager to keep all your accounts secure with different passwords. Don’t share your passwords with others, even work colleagues. This is particularly important if others in your household use your laptop.  Check to see if your account information may be known by using www.haveibeenpwned.com 
  • Use two-factor verification.  It’s a double-check on your identity that is used by many companies and banks. That extra-step security is often an available option, so take it!
  • Use trusted wireless connections or hotspots, don’t piggy-back on someone else’s. Use encryption on your laptop, especially when working at home.  

“Get expert advice and make sure that working from home or the office is safe.  It’s so easy to put it off, until a problem crops up and your data is compromised or you’re locked out of your laptop. Cyber security should not be a chore, it should be seamless.”

Eric Sheehan, Black Dog Cyber Ltd 

Contact him on 07912 758906

or eric.sheehan@blackdogcyber.com

See more about cyber security

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre has practical information on how to protect yourself and what to look out for.  Click above. 

Criminals use email, phone calls and text messages to convince you to share private information, often imitating well-known organisations or government departments. A text from HMRC should ring alarm bells, as should a phone call asking for bank details – they’re bogus! 

 

 

Let us know what you think of working from home or returning to the office, share your advice or recommend useful information we can share with the Masterlord business community.  We’d love to hear your feedback on these newsletters or suggestions for other subjects we can cover.

Contact the Masterlord team: feedback@masterlord.co.uk. 

Practical support for your business

By Masterlord Estates,

New Help to Grow scheme –

 

Here’s a unique opportunity to get practical management training with a 12-week programme from the UK’s leading business schools, technology advice and vouchers for up to 50% off new productivity-enhancing software.  It’s all part of the government’s new £520m Help to Grow scheme to increase innovation, productivity and future growth for companies with 5 to 249 employees. Register now and get more information here

 

Management

The programme provides subsidised management training to enhance the skills of leaders, with 30,000 places available over three years. It will develop strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. The programme is 90 per cent subsidised by the government, with participants paying only £750.

Digital

Digital is an online service offering free advice on how businesses can improve their digital capability as well as allowing them to get vouchers for 50 per cent off approved software.

Vouchers are expected to be available for software that helps businesses:

  •  Build customer relationships and increase sales
  • Make the most of selling online
  • Manage their accounts and finances digitally

CBI feedback

“Smaller businesses are lacking the cash and capacity to keep innovating after investing heavily to adapt and survive in 2020. Help to Grow could make a real difference on the ground.

“The UK has some of the most productive companies in the world, but also a large number who are not yet firing on all cylinders.

“Management training, access to digital advice and making productivity-enhancing software more affordable will all help smaller businesses become more effective and play their full part in driving the economic recovery.”

Tony Danker – CBI Director-General

Spring budget – how it affects your business

By Masterlord Estates,

Today’s positive Spring Budget – what does it mean for your business?

 

Our Masterlord headlines following Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget today – and how it could affect you.  Apart from the expected furlough extension and changes to income and corporation tax, there’s news of an ambitious ‘Help to Grow’ initiative for small businesses – plus new Freeport status for Felixstowe and Harwich.

 

  • The chancellor announced an ambitious new £520 million ‘Help to Grow’ initiative, aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recover and build back better by adopting digital technology and management training to increase innovation, productivity, and future growth. The initiative contains two schemes. Help to Grow: Digital – this scheme will provide SMEs with discounted software and expert advice on how to best utilise it. Help to Grow: Management – this scheme will offer MBA-style management training to SMEs with the aim of increasing innovation and boosting growth. This will include projects to support people get management training and train small business in digital skills.

 

  • New freeports at Felixstowe and Harwich will make it easier and cheaper to do business, as well as creating jobs. The eight others selected to be freeports are: East Midlands Airport, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

 

  • The furlough support scheme (Job Retention Scheme), paying up to 80% of employees’ wages, is extended to the end of September. After July, employers will contribute 10%, rising to 20% in August and September. The Universal Credit uplift of £20 a week will also continue until the end of September.

 

  • The income tax threshold for those paying the basic rate will rise to £12,570 next year. For higher-rate payers, the threshold will be £50,270. Both rates will stay the same until 2026.

 

  • The VAT registration threshold will remain at £85,000 until 2024.

 

  • Corporation tax will rise to 25% in 2023, still the lowest corporation tax in the G7. A new Small Profits Rate ensures that only businesses with profits of over £250,000 will be taxed at the 25% rate.

 

  • Good news is that planned fuel and alcohol duties have been cancelled! Also, the chancellor announced the up-to-£500,000 “nil-rate band” for stamp duty will finish at the end of June, not the end of March as planned. First-time buyers will get a “government guarantee” on mortgages, with a deposit of 5%.  It all helps!

 

 

Don’t forget that, if your Masterlord office is your only business premises, you receive 100% rate relief providing it is not over 1200 sq ft. However, if you take another office, you will then have to pay full rates on both offices. For information, contact Ipswich Borough Council at business.rates@ipswich.gov.uk

 

 


Felixstowe Port set to become a freeport


The background:

Since March, 700,000 people have lost their jobs and the economy has seen its biggest fall in 200 years.

The Office for Budget Responsibility expects the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022, six months earlier than it predicted in November. But it also forecasts that over the next five years the economy will be 3% smaller than it would have been.

 

Forecasts show the UK government has borrowed £355bn this year, the chancellor said. Next year this is expected to be £234bn. Borrowing will fall in 2022/3, as a proportion of national income.

 

(Rishi Sunak Photo – Copyright PA News)

New ABC Wonderland nursery opens!

By Masterlord Estates,

We’re delighted to welcome our latest addition to the Masterlord community with the opening of ABC Wonderland, offering exceptional child care and nursery facilities with an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating. Under latest Government guidelines, nurseries may remain open.

 

A world of wonder awaits little ones aged up to 5 in the entrancing nursery, with individual  areas for different ages (1-2, 3-5), shared spaces both inside and, in summer, outside. There’s always freshly prepared food, eaten together family style, and a range of hands-on activities to stimulate and educate in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

ABC Wonderland is owned and run by Alex Nunes and her husband Luis  – who doubles as chef  – with qualified early years practitioners to ensure every child has creative fun.

 

Alex’s 17 years’ experience and qualifications are evident as you step into the stunningly designed space. Much thought and effort has gone into making this a nursery like no other, with an open curiosity approach to everything, reflecting Alex’s passion.

 

There’s a magical sleep room for babies and different adventures for up to 2-year-olds and 3 to 5-year olds. Every week offers a different theme, with food from different countries in a friendly family atmosphere.

 

 

Open from 6am weekdays, the nursery is a Covid-secure and stimulating space for little ones, right here at Masterlord in Unit 5, K Line as you enter the village.

 

For more information or to arrange a visit, call Alex Nunes on 07972 913375 

Alternatively drop the team an email – abcwonderland.2009@gmail.com 

Covid Update – We Are Here For You

By Masterlord Estates,

We know how important it is to have continuity in your business and to work safely. Masterlord Office Village is the base for many essential services, operations and key worker businesses, we will continue to support our community during the latest lockdown. Diligently following Government guidelines Epsilon House and the Masterlord Office Village is open, providing a safe environment for businesses to operate.

In the meantime key resources can be found on the .Gov website including

Details on the New Government Restrictions as of November 5th 2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020

Details on the Job Support Support Scheme extension

Details on additional financial support for businesses during Covid-19

 

OUR SAFETY MEASURES

Your safety is our top priority and we have taken measures to ensure that you can be confident about moving around and working on the Masterlord Office Village. Our on site safety procedures (including but not limited to) are:

 

Advanced temperature screening at Reception. We monitor the temperature of everyone coming into the building using the latest thermographic camera screening technology so that we can alert someone to a potential problem. This is a no-contact system and has no facial recognition, for privacy.

 

All tenants and visitors will benefit from enhanced screening, which is leading the way in office safety. The back door is now closed to all tenants for your safety, so that everyone must pass through Reception. Thanks for your co-operation by not using the back door!

 

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all shared areas and facilities, including toilets, kitchens, meeting rooms, lifts and stairwells. In the kitchen, please place all your items in the dishwasher to avoid additional handling.

 

Respecting the recommended 2m social distancing, particularly in public areas and at reception, where a screen has been erected on the desk.

 

The lift is limited to one person at a time. Please stay 2m from the lift door when waiting to enter. We recommend using the stairs when possible.

 

Hand sanitizers are provided in shared areas and reception. Washing your hands on arrival with soap and water is also recommended.

 

Remember that office air-conditioning only circulates air in your office. There is no central air-conditioning or ventilation system.

 

Epsilon House will remain open with all our stringent safety and hygiene protocols in place. You can be confident that we’ll be here for you – whether you choose to continue working from your office or from home. Don’t forget that we can provide a range of options for business at home using our VoIP phones or phone divert as well as virtual PA and receptionist services.

If there is anything else we can do to help you through lockdown, call us on 01473 276100 or contact us via email reception@epsilonhouse.co.uk

Happy Christmas from the Masterlord Team

By Masterlord Estates,

Christmas Jumper

It is looking festive here in Epsilon House, the Christmas tree is up, and mince pies are at reception for those in need of a festive nibble.

It has been a strange four weeks of the second lockdown, and we have done everything we can to support our tenants through; from taking in deliveries to handing out keys, preparing paperwork or scanning letters; always happy to do what we can to assist but even happier to welcome tenants and visitors back to Epsilon House.

Christmas is almost upon us and this year Epsilon House reception will be closing at midday on Christmas eve, reopening on the 4th January as normal, hopefully to welcome in a much better year than 2020.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our tenants, suppliers, and visitors a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.