Northants Telegraph Sunday Extra - business exhibition, Miss England and pre-school's anniversary

Weekly round-up of news you need to know

By Northants Telegraph reporters
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 9:56 am
Updated Sunday, 16th January 2022, 9:58 am
Northants Chamber exhibition
Northants Chamber exhibition

We've got so much news these days that we can't always squeeze everything into the working week. So every Sunday we'll bring you updates on recent stories, some news-in-brief and other things you need to know from across Corby, Wellingborough, East Northamptonshire and Kettering.

The managing director of a Corby-based family-run industry leader in British woodworking has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Amarjit Binji, who runs AJB Group Limited on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate, is among six finalists in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category of the Midlands Business Awards (MBAs).

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Madison Looby

Now in its 16th year, the MBAs recognise and reward achievers who demonstrate remarkable outputs and contribution in line with category criteria.

AJB Group is a manufacturer of world-class joinery products. Its client list includes The Shard, BBC TV Centre, Centre Point and Battersea Power Station, as well as famous celebrities.

Father-of-two Amarjit started out as a carpenter and joiner. Frustrated with the lack of innovation and modern technique within his specialist field, he decided to set up his own company in 1999 which continues to prosper. AJB Group currently employs around 40 staff. AJB Group began in a 13,500 square feet factory in Leicester’s Oadby Industrial Estate. In 2015, the business re-located to a 40,000 square feet state-of-the-art factory in Corby.

Amarjit said: “It is an incredible honour to be shortlisted for this award – especially in such a hotly contested category full of magnificent entrepreneurs.

Helen Hewitt, chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation, said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to congratulate Amarjit on being named as a finalist in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category of the Midlands Business Awards. As a proud ambassador of the woodworking and manufacturing industry, Amarjit’s passion and drive deserve applause and are contagious, so this is no surprise. Well done, Amarjit and good luck.”

Tom Pursglove, Conservative MP for Corby said: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to Amarjit. Individuals like Amarjit are integral to our local and national economic success and are a role model to aspiring business leaders. I wish him the very best of luck for the final.”

Winners of the Midlands Business Awards will be announced on March 4.

Little Stars Kindergarten in Newton Bromswold has celebrated its 20th anniversary. Little Stars was originally started by Sally Cotter in January 2002 when she was a parent to two young children. Having worked in a day nursery prior to becoming a parent Sally had gained experience required to open her own setting. Sally wanted her setting to be small and offer shorter hours to fit around being a parent herself.

From those humble beginnings, Little Stars has gone from strength to strength. For the past 17 years it has continuously been awarded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and is just one of a few chosen settings to be designated a ‘good practice setting’, meaning they provided mentoring services and received visits from other settings within the county to observe outstanding practice.

Sally said: “It has been a pleasure being a part of so many children’s first steps into their educational journeys and we look forward to many more years ahead.”

Kettering Civic Society is looking for volunteers to run heritage walks and more and, as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project, The Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum have organised a training programme for volunteers. The programme is sponsored by Historic England and the Kettering Cultural Consortium, and is designed to improve skills in volunteer roles that have direct interaction with the public.

The training sessions will be delivered by Laura Malpas, who is a professional trainer with extensive experience in this field. She is a committee member of the Northamptonshire Heritage Forum, and has a passion for historic and cultural activities. A certificate of attendance will be given to add to your CV. The course is free of charge.

There will be two half-day sessions. One of these will be concerned with ‘front of house’ skills: meet and greet, engaging with the public and communication skills. The other will deal with guiding: organising the day, telling the story and body language. The course will be repeated each week for four weeks, beginning February 2.

The sessions are currently planned to take place on Wednesdays, morning and afternoon, at the ARTworks gallery in the Newlands Shopping Centre.

The first Northamptonshire Chamber Business Exhibition has been announced for 2022.

The event will be held on International Women’s Day, Tuesday, March 8, at Kettering Conference Centre from 10am until 3.30pm, and will include talks by key business leaders, including the Chamber’s first ever female president, Robyn Allen.

The exhibition, sponsored by Chamber Business Platinum Partners dbfb, is open to both members and non-members, and is free to attend for all visitors on the day.

The major event will boast more than 50 stands showcasing the wares of Northamptonshire’s finest businesses, as well as exciting seminars and plenty of opportunities for organisations from across the area to connect and network. It will include a Business Before Hours networking event, from 8.30am until 10am, with a breakfast and structured networking opportunity for attendees.

There will also be a panel discussion on Unconscious Bias, hosted by the Chamber’s Women With Vision Network and a topical seminar, entitled Social Media for Small Businesses, delivered by 123 Internet Group. Places for the breakfast networking and seminar must be pre-booked.

Newly crowned Northamptonshire Chamber president Robyn Allen said: “I am very much looking forward to my first exhibition as Chamber president. As ever, the Chamber team has been hard at work on making the event the best it can possibly be, and as a Women With Vision Champion, I am delighted to see this fantastic event take place on International Women’s Day.”

“Our Women With Vision Network was born from a passion to help business women and create a community of support and mentorship. Holding an exhibition exactly a year since its conception, seems a very fitting way to mark the first anniversary milestone and celebrate its success.”

Exhibition stands are available to book for Chamber members strictly on a first come first serve basis. Call 01604 490490 or email [email protected]

A 23-year-old Kettering woman is in the running to be named Miss England.

Madison Looby, a sales associate, is one of 29 contestants from across England who has been invited to submit videos to enter the first heat of 2022.

Each of the contestants are submitting an introduction and catwalk video and will have the option of submitting a talent video for an additional round.