First phase of new EU import control system comes into operation

The European Commission has launched its new import control system (ICS2), a major reinforcement of the Customs Union’s ‘first line of defence’ against security and safety threats posed by illicit traffic in goods across the EU’s external borders. In its first phase, ICS2 will focus on postal and express consignments coming to or through the EU by air, before eventually being applied to all modes of cargo transport. ICS2 is the new advance cargo risk management platform at the heart of the reform of the EU’s Customs Pre-arrival Safety and Security programme.

New partnership launch the UK’s first-ever Centre of Excellence at Media City

HOST, Salford’s Home of Skills & Technology at Media City, have announced its partnership with Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content, to establish the first Unity Centre of Excellence in the UK. The Centre of Excellence at HOST will offer extensive in-person support to students, professionals and small businesses with a mission of becoming the ‘Beacon of the North’ for best-in-class technical skills and innovation across industries. According to XQ Institute’s report High School &

Raytheon Professional Services develop digital skills

Raytheon Professional Services, in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership, has successfully recruited and developed a diverse cohort of cyber security specialists in Greater Manchester as part of the RPS Cyber Academy. Delivered virtually from Salford, the Cyber Academy reskilling programme was one of the first of its kind in the UK and is currently supporting more than 90 Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents with accessible routes into better quality digital employment.

Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council launch consultation for Stamford Quarter

Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council want to hear from the local community as they share plans for the future development of the Stamford Quarter in Altrincham. The vision, which has been put forward by the joint venture between Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, is to transform the Stamford Quarter into a mixed-use destination. At the heart of the proposals are plans to reshape the high street by blending retail, leisure, commercial and residential space in a bid to encourage more people to come into the town centre.

Manchester baby business secures major export contract

Family-owned Manchester business Cosatto has secured its first export to Australia in 15 years, shipping £130,000 of its bespoke baby products with the financial support of UK Export Finance (UKEF). The UK and Australia are important economic partners. A new free trade agreement between the two countries would be worth billions of pounds to the UK economy and is close to being signed.

Cosatto already sells to retailers large and small in the UK, and sales to distributors in countries like Japan account for 15% of its growing export business.

Manchester Airport Group calls for roadmap to restriction-free travel

The UK’s largest airport group, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has responded to the recent update from the Prime Minister regarding the restart of international travel. While welcoming moves towards a risk-based approach to reopening the sector, the group has expressed significant disappointment at an apparent lack of any provision for a return to restriction free travel when conditions allow.

MAG owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, handling over 60m passengers per year prior to the pandemic.

Passion, Integrity and Delivery

GM Business Connect talked with Paul Whitnell, Founder of the British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA), which is a non-profit networking organisation operating across the UK and Ireland, about the impact of the pandemic on their organisation and their membership. Paul commented: “Like many of our members, we found that last year was almost like pressing a reset, or at least a pause, button. We have all examined ourselves over the last few months and many of us have found a resilience and adaptability that we didn’t know we had.

#ForgottenLtd campaign lobbies for proposed Director’s Income Support Scheme (DISS)

In support of the estimated 2 million small businesses that have not benefitted from Government Covid support since March last year, lobbying group #ForgottenLtd have been campaigning for help for the struggling small limited businesses and their directors. They are asking that the government extends Covid-19 support packages to small limited businesses that have now been left behind for 10 months. With this in mind a proposal for a Director’s Income Support Scheme (DISS) has been written, and is currently being considered by treasury.

Timescales for Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone

Proposed daily charges

The following daily charges were proposed for non-compliant commercial vehicles during public consultation:

  • Buses, coaches and Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from spring 2022).
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from spring 2022).
  • Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 2023). If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 would be issued,

Brother joins elite club of world’s most sustainable companies

Tameside-based Brother UK has played a leading role in helping its global parent company, Brother Industries, to join the FTSE4Good Index – a select group of the world’s most environmentally and socially sustainable companies. The Index measures the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practice, which includes household names such as Apple, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. The listing reflects the global business’s success in working to meet the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, from tackling climate change and resource depletion,