Media release
13 June 2024

For further information, to visit the Hub or to arrange interviews there, please email [email protected]

The West London Retail Skills Hub launched at Westfield White City on Thursday 6 June, and will be a truly pioneering way to address the retail skills shortage and grow the wider business talent pool in West London. The first of its kind, the Hub is a beacon of hope for the rest of the UK, too.

The West London Retail Skills Hub is a new resource developed by Westfield, the charity Spark! and West London College – supported by Ethos Farm, Inspire ATA and West London Business.

The Hub will support people of all ages to start or grow their career in retail and was inspired by one of the key recommendations arising from the West London Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which aims to improve skills and opportunities right across West London. It is funded through a blend of investment from the public and private sectors.

Located in the heart of Westfield London, White City, with an entrance next door to John Lewis & Partners, the Hub will develop over the next year to provide world-class retail training – including employment support and specialist retail programmes – for the local community.

Jobseekers looking for careers in retail can email [email protected] to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Speaking about the launch, Katie Wyle, Head of Shopping Centre Management, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “We are thrilled about the opening of the new Retail Skills Hub at Westfield London, which represents a significant step forward in redefining retail as a dynamic and rewarding career path. Our goal is to not only support our retail tenants by providing well-trained staff but also to inspire job seekers and employees with the diverse opportunities the retail sector offers. Through targeted outreach, recruitment support, and comprehensive training programs, we aim to showcase retail as a viable and exciting career choice.”

Karen Redhead OBE, CEO & Principal, West London College, added: “West London College is proud to be a key partner in the West London Retail Skills Hub. This exciting initiative opens up invaluable opportunities for communities across the seven boroughs of the region to gain essential skills and experience for a thriving career in retail. By collaborating with local businesses from Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow, the Hub empowers us to further inspire and drive economic success in the region through high-quality education and skills development.”

Matt Lent, CEO of Spark! shared: “Spark! is delighted to be a partner in the new Retail Skills Hub, based in the heart of the largest shopping centre in Europe, Westfield London. This resource is a game changer for retailers and young people alike, connecting employers with their future talent and creating the employability skills and pathways into rewarding careers for young people.”

For further information, visit www.retailskillshub.london

ENDS

For further information, to visit the Hub or to arrange interviews there, please email [email protected]

Notes to editors:
Photo 1: L-R: Matt Lent, Spark!, Katie Wyle, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, and Matt Fawcett, West London College, at the launch of the West London Retail Skills Hub.
Photo 2: The West London Retail Skills Hub launched on Thursday 6 June and will support people of all ages to start or grow their career in retail.

Images courtesy of West London Retail Skills Hub.

For a high resolution versions of the images, please click here.

About West London Business:
West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group (CLAG) operates under the umbrella of West London Business, chaired by Shanker Patel.

West London Business (WLB) ensures West London is a successful, inclusive, environment for responsible business. West London is the UK’s global gateway; a £73billion+ GVA economy underpinned by 120,000+ businesses. We are a business-led leadership forum, with members including Heathrow and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as key regional firms such as Fuller, Smith & Turner and Bigham’s. WLB has 15,000+ supporters and convenes 30+ events per annum, including the West London Business Awards.

Our members work together through WLB to raise West London’s global economic competitiveness and catalyse action for people and planet. Through our work we inform and influence the work of local, regional, and national government policymakers and promote inward investment.

To find out more, visit www.westlondon.com.

Media contact:
Fiona Anderson,
GEC PR, 07931 382773
[email protected]

June 2024 – As electric and hybrid car sales hit a new global record in 2024*­­, the need for increased electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure has become paramount. Whatever your reason to be driving in the Gatwick area, convenient access to charging stations is a top priority and it appears UK airports are stepping up to meet this demand with Gatwick Airport opening a new Gridserve Electric Forecourt in January.

To help drivers plan ahead and travel with peace of mind, award-winning airport parking specialist Airport Parking and Hotels (APH.com) has released a guide comparing the EV charging ports at Gatwick Airport and surrounding area.

Available at www.aph.com/evcharging, the guide features 20 different charging stations and their facilities including distance from Gatwick Airport, range of devices, charging power, valet availability, number of connectors, and costs.

For those crunched for time, the newly opened Gridserve Electric Forecourt at Gatwick Airport offers 32 connectors with power options ranging from 22kW to an impressive 350kW, priced at 79p/kWh. With the ability to accommodate various types of connectors including CCS Combo, it ensures rapid charging and minimal waiting times, making it a top choice for travellers in a hurry.

Looking for low-cost EV charging options? The guide highlights several affordable charge points including Gatwick South Terminal Orange Car Park, featuring 4 connectors, 22kW power, and accessible via the Pod Point app, providing the most cost-effective on-airport charging at 25p/kWh. Whereas the Holiday Inn London Gatwick, located 1.5 miles from the airport, provides a mix of fast and rapid chargers with power up to 50kW, accessible through the BP Pulse app.

Tesla owners, although capable of using any of the 20 charging stations in the area, should take advantage of the London Gatwick Supercharger, conveniently located on airport premises. This Supercharger offers high-speed charging with power up to 250kW, priced at 37p to 47p/kWh depending on the time of day.

The guide also covers off-airport options such as Tesco Extra Gatwick, which provides affordable charging at 44p/kWh – 49p/kWh and up to 69p/kWh for rapid charging.

Or for travellers looking to return from holiday to a fully charged car, the most convenient option is pre-booking airport parking with a reputable service provider such as APH. In addition to offering EV charging, APH provides safe and secure valet parking to ensure a hassle-free experience.

Finally, for EV owners looking for no-cost options, Motorline Gatwick Hyundai Dealership offers free charging at its premises, though drivers must report to reception upon arrival.

Nick Caunter, Managing Director of Airport Parking and Hotels (APH.com), said, “We hope the APH guide provides a one-stop solution so drivers can plan ahead and find reliable EV charging when on the go, making their journey to and from Gatwick airport as easy and stress-free as possible.”

For further information on Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) visit www.aph.com or call 01342 859515.

ENDS

Notes to Editors
* Electric and hybrid car sales to rise to new global record in 2024 published in The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/apr/23/electric-and-hybrid-car-sales-to-rise-to-new-global-record-in-2024#:~:text=The%20Paris%2Dbased%20forecaster%20said,by%202030%20as%20prices%20drop, 2024.

Images

About Airport Parking and Hotels (APH)
Established in 1980, Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) is an award-winning airport parking operator and retailer, winning the ‘Best Airport Parking Company’ award at the British Travel Awards 2023 for the thirteenth year running. In addition to APH’s own car parks serving Gatwick and Manchester Airports, APH also offers parking at all major UK airports as well as airport hotels, airport lounges and via trusted partners other extras such as car hire and travel insurance. APH has worked closely with the World Land Trust since 2005 to help support rainforest conservation by protecting threatened forest habitats.

Media Enquiries
GEC PR
Sarah Salord, Company Director
[email protected]
020 3907 6824

04 June 2024 When it comes to Wedding and Honeymoons, Sri Lanka is a standout destination in the Indian Ocean thanks to its wide appeal for all sizes of wedding parties, and the exceptional value the Indian Ocean island offers British travellers. 

Getting Married in Sri Lanka: Key Information

  • Sri Lankan law requires foreigners to spend at least four days (three nights) in Sri Lanka prior to notifying a marriage registrar of intended marriage.
    A marriage abroad will be legally recognised in the UK providing it was contracted according to the law of the country in which it took place. There is no requirement, or facility, to register the marriage in England afterwards.
  • The legal requirements for Registration of Marriages of Foreign Nationals in Sri Lanka are very straightforward. You are required to produce the documents including passports, birth certificates and tourist visas to the Divisional/District Registrar of the area where your marriage would take place. When booking your tour operator or the wedding resort can ensure you have all required information before you travel.

Aitken Spence Hotels has unique award-winning resorts across Sri Lanka that can cater to a wedding party’s every need, and with over 25 years curating wedding events, would-be brides and grooms can be reassured that their journey from engaged in the UK to married in Sri Lanka will be handled seamlessly by the resort team.

Best for Sri Lanka Beach Weddings – Heritance Negombo

Located only 20 minutes from the International Airport and ten seconds from the Indian Ocean, Heritance Negombo is ‘the’ destination to celebrate love overlooking the beach.

With the options of the lvo ballroom, banquet garden and beach lawn,  the resort can cater to wedding parties of up to 450 guests. Couples can therefore choose from a monsoon wedding on the beach lawn for 20 nearest and dearest, to a banquet for 300-plus friends and family.

Special Wedding Touches: Exquisite wedding cakes by six-time culinary Olympic Champion Chef Dimuthu Kumorosinghe are available upon request. For wedding parties that would like a touch of Sri Lankan tradition there is an opportunity to incorporate the lighting of an oil lamp as part of a Sinhala blessing within the wedding, and have Sri Lankan dancers and drummers as part of the wedding service.

For more information about Sentido Heritance Negombo, visit www.heritancehotels.com/negombo.

Best for Nature Lovers – Heritance Kandalama

Envisioned and created by Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa, Heritance Kandalama is located in the area known as Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, and is an architectural wonder set amidst a lush conservation forest spanning 224 acres, almost invisible amidst the greenery that surrounds it. Promising panoramic views from wherever you stand, the hotel itself is a unique Sri Lankan tourist destination which doesn’t just sit on the landscape but is naturally a part of it, making it the ideal destination for an enchanting fairytale wedding.

Three sites within the hotel can cater to weddings for 150 – 260 attendee weddings.

Special Wedding Touches: A package of custom wedding cake, Champagne and/ or Sparkling Cider toast, and a four-hour beer or wine bar, is available on request. Weddings menus start from USD 50 net per person.

For more information about Heritance Kandalama, visit www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama/

Best for A Stunning Architectural Backdrop – Heritance Ahungalla

The first-five star beach resort in Sri Lanka, Heritance Ahungalla, was designed by legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa, and is known for its vivid blues reflecting the Indian Ocean, which forms an elegant backdrop that is perfect for the exchange of vows. The inherent amalgamation of comfort and spirit of hospitality that is second to none makes Heritance Ahungalla uniquely suited for wedding celebrations that marry simplicity and charm.

From designing an elegant ceremony under a beautifully decorated altar on the beach where guests can enjoy the breathtaking sunset, to a waterfront wedding in the verdant lawn with a stylish and contemporary setting – the versatile event spaces make the ideal canvas to paint your dream wedding.

The hotel takes pride in providing attentive, personalised service and the extra touch of class, as you celebrate your most important milestone.

Special Wedding Touches: Couples can pick their choice from carefully crafted local and global menu offerings to suit their palate. Resort chefs create the finest cuisine that can cater to various culinary tastes coupled with impeccable service, to offer guests an unforgettable dining experience. Make the most of our eclectic cuisine and unwind after the ceremony with a romantic candle-lit dinner by the shore under the starlit sky.

For more information about Heritance Ahungalla, visit www.heritancehotels.com/ahungalla/

ENDS

For further information, trade partner rates, or press trip requests, contact [email protected]

Notes To Editors:
Image Captions:
Image 1: Heritance Negombo is ‘the’ destination to celebrate love overlooking the beach.
Image 2: The View from the Royal Suite at Heritance Kandalama.
Image 3: Best for A Stunning Architectural Backdrop, Heritance Ahungalla.

For these and other high-resolution resort images, click here.

About Aitken Spence Hotels
Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC. Aitken Spence Hotels owns and operates 17 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes eight hotels and resorts spread across the island of which five are Heritance properties, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five (with one Heritance resort), three in Oman and one in India.

Media Enquiries: Fiona Anderson, GEC PR | [email protected]

  • The cultivation and production of excellent coffee, combined with environmentally friendly agricultural practices, are essential to the economy and local communities of Central America and the Dominican Republic.
  • These practices, increasingly adopted by coffee producers in Central America and the Dominican Republic, are capturing the interest of travellers eager to discover how it’s produced and support sustainable and rural tourism.

May 2024 – Central America is infamous for its major coffee producers, with each region offering unique and immersive Coffee Trails showcasing the production process as well as the local history and deep connection between the communities and environment.

Each coffee route offers a unique experience, from the rich history and vibrant coffee economy of Guatemala to the sustainability and biodiversity of Belize. Honduras is the coffee powerhouse of Central America, Nicaragua for its exceptional organic coffees, and Panama for its unique Geisha variety. In El Salvador, the coffee tradition dates to the 15th century and the Dominican Republic merges tradition with sustainable tourism on its coffee trails.

Guatemala: A Journey through the Country’s Coffee Heritage
Coffee is not just a beverage in Guatemala, it is a way of life. It’s vital to the economy and local communities, creating more than 500,000 annual jobs, and contributing between 3% and 3.5% to the national GDP, standing out as the main agro-industrial export product of Guatemala.

Coffee Trails in Guatemala
The Coffee Trails of Guatemala reveal the diversity and richness of Guatemalan coffee, in addition to its traditions and culture. The main coffee producing regions include Acatenango, Antigua, Atitlán, Cobán, Fraijanes, and Huehuetenango, each offering unique characteristics in their beans due to their specific geographical and climatic conditions. Coffee-related activities in the regions include farm tours to Filadelfia, learning about the cultivation and processing of coffee at La Azotea and interactive experiences on the historical tours with Coffee Tour Chicoj.

Belize: Learn about Coffee Sustainability and Quality
Although not known as a major coffee producer, Belize is emerging on the international scene thanks to the high quality and sustainable production practices. Nestled in the heart of the Mayan jungle, the country offers a coffee route that provides a sensory experience and an education in organic agriculture and biodiversity. Here, coffee grows under the canopy of extensive rainforests, facilitating slow growth and natural maturation that enriches its aromatic profile. Moreover, the rich biodiversity of Belize contributes to the fertility of the soil, directly reflecting in the superior quality of the coffee.

Coffee Trails in Belize
Gallon Jug Estate is a shining example of sustainable production. Here, the Arabica variety is grown in the natural shade of the rainforest, allowing a slower maturation process and a more intense aroma. This method not only enhances the quality of the coffee but also preserves the ecosystem, avoiding the use of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.

Honduras: Enjoy Coffee Tradition and Flavour in Every Cup
Honduras is the leading coffee exporter of Central America, being a vital part of the country’s economy. Between October 2022 and October 2023, Honduras exported 7.1 million quintals of coffee, a significant increase compared to the previous year.

Coffee Trails in Honduras
The coffee routes in Honduras showcase the rich culture and tradition around its cultivation with the most popular areas including Copán, Opalaca, Montecillos, Comayagua, El Paraíso, and Agalta. Each offers a unique vision of the country’s coffee heritage and conditions that influence the characteristics of the coffee, from altitude and climate to soil composition, resulting in a variety of flavours that are among the best in the world. The route also offers horseback riding and nature walks, adding an adventurous dimension to the coffee experience.

El Salvador: A Journey Through Coffee Culture and Biodiversity
The coffee tradition in El Salvador, dating back to the 15th century, continues to be an essential part of its cultural identity and a pillar of its economy resulting in coffee tourism becoming one of the major attractions of El Salvador. The Coffee Trails are committed to sustainable practices and highlight the lush biodiversity of the Salvadoran coffee forest offering a unique opportunity for travellers to immerse in the local culture, learn about the legacy of coffee, and enjoy activities such as hiking and adventure sports in coffee-growing areas.

Coffee Trails in El Salvador
Nestled in the picturesque Los Naranjos, the Entrecafe Experience is an agrotourism adventure allowing visitors to connect with nature and get to know the vibrant culture of Salvadoran coffee up close. Or the Gourmet Coffee Journey in El Salvador with Montecristo Tours offers the opportunity to taste coffee and learn about its process from the Maya Chorti origin in the city of Metapán, Santa Ana.

Nicaragua: A Journey Through the History, Culture, and Nature of Coffee
From the first commercial plantations near Managua to the coffee boom between 1840 and 1940, coffee has profoundly marked the economy and society of Nicaragua. Nicaraguan coffee is famous for its high quality, highlighting the Arabica, Caturra, and Bourbon varieties, cultivated in 95% organic conditions under the shade of native trees. This method not only improves the quality of the coffee but also contributes to the conservation of local biodiversity.

Coffee Trails in Nicaragua
Jinotega, known as the coffee capital of Nicaragua, is the country’s main producer. The farms in this area take advantage of the altitude and ideal climatic conditions to offer coffees with aromatic profiles ranging from citrus to floral. The Matagalpa region is also famous for its coffee culture, complemented by natural reserves and a rich cultural and historical heritage.

Panama: An Adventure in Unique Coffee Flavours
Panamanian coffee, recognised worldwide for its exceptional quality, has experienced unstoppable growth, consolidating itself as one of the best in the world. The coffee industry in Panama began in the 20th century in Boquete and has prospered notably since then, particularly highlighted by the famous Geisha variety, which has captured international attention thanks to its unique flavour profile.

Coffee Trails in Panama
The Coffee Route in Panama unveils the richness and diversity of Panamanian coffee, all under the imposing shadow of the Barú volcano. Visitors can enjoy farm stays, tastings, and learn about coffee production from plant to cup­­. This itinerary offers the chance to sample local blends and the famous Geisha variety in regions such as Tierras Altas, Boquete and Renacimiento which thanks to its volcanic soil rich in minerals, adds a unique flavour.

The Dominican Republic: A Cultural and Ecological Experience
Introduced in 1790 and consolidated as an economic driver by 1840, coffee is deeply ingrained in the social fabric of the Dominican Republic. Currently, the coffee routes allow visitors to discover organic production methods and enjoy one of the most authentic flavours of the country, demonstrating the commitment to sustainable tourism. These routes offer a unique window into rural Dominican life and its sustainable agricultural practices.

Coffee Trails in the Dominican Republic
Located in the hills of Bonao, the Atabey Coffee Route allows visitors to get up close to the cultivation and processing of coffee, immersing themselves in local cultural traditions and the daily lives of families who depend on this crop. In the community of Los Guasaros, nineteen kilometres from Bonao, El Cafetal stands out for its shade plantations and its agroforestry diversification. Visitors can take a 55-minute tour surrounded by coffee plantations and tropical fruits, enjoying the biodiversity and natural richness of the area.

For more on Central America, visit https://www.visitcentroamerica.com/en/.

ENDS 

Image Captions

Media Contact
Sarah Salord / Fiona Anderson
CATA / GEC PR
Email [email protected] or T. 44 (0) 20 3907 6824

Great News for Job Seekers: The West London Retail Skills Hub Launches on Thursday 6 June

Media release

23 May 2024

West London retailers, charities and educators have united in a bid to get more young people into local jobs with a new concept, the West London Retail Skills Hub, launching at Westfield White City on Thursday 16 June. 

The West London Retail Skills Hub will be a new resource developed by Westfield, the charity Spark! and West London College – supported by Ethos Farm, Inspire ATA and West London Business.

The Hub will support people of all ages to start or grow their career in retail and was inspired by one of the key recommendations arising from the West London Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP). It is funded through a blend of investment from the public and private sectors.

Located in the heart of Westfield London, White City, with an entrance next door to John Lewis & Partners, the Hub will develop over the next year to provide world-class retail training – including employment support and specialist retail programmes – for the local community.

Jobseekers looking for careers in retail can email [email protected] to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Speaking about the launch, Katie Wyle, Head of Shopping Centre Management, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “We are thrilled to announce the opening of the new Retail Skills Hub at Westfield London, which represents a significant step forward in redefining retail as a dynamic and rewarding career path. Our goal is to not only support our retail tenants by providing well-trained staff but also to inspire job seekers and employees with the diverse opportunities the retail sector offers. Through targeted outreach, recruitment support, and comprehensive training programs, we aim to showcase retail as a viable and exciting career choice.”

Karen Redhead OBE, CEO & Principal, West London College, added: “West London College is proud to be a key partner in the West London Retail Skills Hub. This exciting initiative opens up invaluable opportunities for the local community to gain essential skills and experience for a thriving career in retail. By collaborating with local businesses, the Hub empowers us to further inspire and drive economic success in the region through high-quality education and skills development.”

Matt Lent, CEO of Spark! shared: “Spark! is delighted to be a partner in the new Retail Skills Hub, based in the heart of the largest shopping centre in Europe, Westfield London. This resource is a game changer for retailers and young people alike, connecting employers with their future talent and creating the employability skills and pathways into rewarding careers for young people.”

For further information or to register interest to attend, visit https://westlondon.com/events/1259-west-london-retail-skills-hub-launch/.

ENDS

For further information, to attend or to arrange interviews, please email [email protected]

 

Notes to editors:
Photos 1 and 2 : The West London Retails Skills Hub, launching Thursday 6 June, will support people of all ages to start or grow their career in retail. Images courtesy of West London Retail Skills Hub.

For a high resolution versions of the images, please click here.

About West London Business:
West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group (CLAG) operates under the umbrella of West London Business, chaired by Shanker Patel.

West London Business (WLB) ensures West London is a successful, inclusive, environment for responsible business. West London is the UK’s global gateway; a £73billion+ GVA economy underpinned by 120,000+ businesses. We are a business-led leadership forum, with members including Heathrow and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as key regional firms such as Fuller, Smith & Turner and Bigham’s. WLB has 15,000+ supporters and convenes 30+ events per annum, including the West London Business Awards.

Our members work together through WLB to raise West London’s global economic competitiveness and catalyse action for people and planet. Through our work we inform and influence the work of local, regional, and national government policymakers and promote inward investment.

To find out more, visit www.westlondon.com.

Media contact:

Fiona Anderson, GEC PR, 07931 382773

[email protected]

Media release
00.01 Monday 29 April 2024

What’s Best for West London?  

Ahead of London’s Mayoral Election,

West London Business Outlines Key Priorities in 2024 Manifesto


Ahead of the London Mayoral Election, West London Business (WLB) has released a Manifesto, setting out the key priorities for London’s new Mayor, that will benefit those who live and work in the West London vicinity: Inclusive employment; Innovation and growth; Education and skills; The built environment; Climate change; and Energy & infrastructure.

West London is the world’s most connected place. It is a £70bn+ economic powerhouse – with Heathrow Airport, the UK’s global gateway; 2 million residents and a workforce with a wide range of skills; a world-leading TV and film production cluster; the White City Innovation District; and Park Royal – the UK’s largest and most successful industrial estate.

Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business, said: “Absolutely critical to West London’s contribution to the capital and UK’s growth is energy supply – the latest research indicates urgent grid reinforcement upwards of 2,300 MVA is needed.  We urge the new Mayor to work with WLB and other stakeholders in securing accelerated investment from National Grid in the high voltage transmission network serving West London.”

“I encourage Londoners based in the west of our capital to get out and vote next Thursday 2nd May, to have a say on who will be next to lead the greatest city in the world.”

A copy of the manifesto can be downloaded here: https://westlondon.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/WLB_Mayoral_Election_Manifesto_2024.pdf

                                                                              ENDS

 For further information or to arrange interviews, please email [email protected]

 

Notes to editors:
Photo 1: Ahead of the London Mayoral Election, West London Business (WLB) has released a Manifesto, setting out the key priorities for London’s new Mayor.
Photo 2: Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business.

For higher resolution versions of the images, please click here.

About West London Business:
West London Business (WLB) ensures West London is a successful, inclusive, environment for responsible business. West London is the UK’s global gateway; a £73billion+ GVA economy underpinned by 120,000+ businesses. We are a business-led leadership forum, with members including Heathrow and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as key regional firms such as Fuller, Smith & Turner and Bigham’s. WLB has 15,000+ supporters and convenes 30+ events per annum, including the West London Business Awards.

Our members work together through WLB to raise West London’s global economic competitiveness and catalyse action for people and planet. Through our work we inform and influence the work of local, regional, and national government policymakers and promote inward investment.

To find out more, visit www.westlondon.com.

Media contact:
Fiona Anderson, GEC PR, 07931 382773
[email protected]

Kim Challis Named as Incoming Chair of West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group


West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group (CLAG), has announced that Kim Challis, Regional Managing Director of APCOA UK & Ireland, will imminently take over the role of Chair of the business-led solutions group.

Kim Challis is currently Chair designate of CLAG, and will be taking the helm from former Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kay from 1 June 2024.

CLAG was created in June 2021 to formulate business-led actions to respond to the significant economic contraction West London faced as a result of the pandemic, aligning with and complementing the work driven by local authorities and other partners across the sub-region.

The initiative, which formally launched on 2 March 2022 at the Capital West London Growth Summit, has since been coordinated by West London Business (WLB) and supported by the West London Alliance. The group focuses on four workstreams: Recruitment and skills; Place and identity; Net Zero and infrastructure; and Innovation and growth.

Speaking about her appointment, Kim Challis, Regional Managing Director for APCOA’s UK & Ireland and Chair designate of CLAG, said: “I am hugely excited about taking on the prestigious role of Chair of West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group. I look forward to meeting with other corporate WLB members engaged in the work of the West London Corporate Leaders’ Action Group to tackle the challenges we face within the area, and devise the actions we can take together to drive improvement for those in our local communities.”

Shanker Patel, Chair, West London Business, added: “I am delighted that Kim will step up to Chair CLAG from 1 June, succeeding John Holland-Kaye.  Kim has taken an active approach to Social value in APCOA UK, leading their work to increase opportunities to develop women and young talent by thinking differently about how the company recruits and markets itself.

“With the right support of Government, West London is exceptionally well placed to drive economic growth in the years ahead with leading corporates collaborating to share best practice. There is a lot of good collaborative work going on locally in West London, but some real risks too: the March 2025 funding cliff edge for key skills and economic development programmes (notably UKSPF), and the labour market squeeze caused by overly restrictive immigration rules that came into effect on 1 April.

“Infrastructure investment is desperately needed.  CLAG members will work together to ensure that Government, National Grid and SSEN urgently address energy capacity constraints.  We will also continue to champion the West London Orbital (WLO) rail scheme which is incredibly good value for money bringing passenger services to a barely used freight line linking Brentford FC to Brent Cross via Old Oak Common.”
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An Insiders Guide to Choosing Maldives All- Inclusive Getaways

19 April 2024 – With all-inclusive holidays becoming more popular than ever with UK travellers, the choices on offer for all-inclusive breaks has grown exponentially. However, as no two all-inclusive offerings are the same, choosing the right all-inclusive has become more complicated.

For instance, premium travellers wishing to holiday in the Maldives have many “AlI In” options available, so it’s worth doing your research and thinking beyond price to ensure a Maldives all-inclusive break delivers the best for you experientially as well as value for money.

These All-Inclusive resorts each offer unique experiences that make them suitable for discerning travellers that wish to experience varying aspects of Maldives resort culture:

Maldives All Inclusive Best for Families: Adaaran Select Meedhupparu

Nestled on a mature island adorned with ancient trees and its own house reef, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu invites families to embark on an unforgettable journey of relaxation and adventure in the heart of the Maldives.

The resort offers children a chance to explore the Maldives’ stunning underwater vistas and spot a range of marine wildlife species through snorkeling excursions starting as little as USD 20 (approx. £15.70).

With its own dedicated kids club, parents can indulge in thrilling adventures while their children engage in activities such as art and crafts, perfect for families seeking a hassle-free summer retreat.

A Beach Villa at Adaaran Select Meedhupparu starts from USD 367 (approx. £ 292) + taxes in June 2024.

For more information on Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, visit https://www.adaaran.com/selectmeedhupparu/offers/island-getaways.html.

Maldives All Inclusive Best for Adults Only: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is the perfect adults-only resort for couples seeking both serenity and adventure in a Maldivian paradise. Enjoy thrilling water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, jet skiing, and catamaran sailing. Indulge in intimate experiences like romantic sandbank picnics and sunset fishing excursions. Explore hidden gems of the Maldives with island-hopping adventures to secluded beaches and pristine lagoons. Unwind at the resort’s Mandara Spa, which offers a range of rejuvenating treatments – from traditional aromatherapy massages, to result-driven ELEMIS face and body treatments.

An Overwater Villa with a private jacuzzi at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo starts from USD 818 (approx. £651) + taxes in June 2024.

To book a stay at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, visit https://www.adaaran.com/prestigevadoo/offers/island-getaways.html.

Maldives All Inclusive Best for Gastronomes: Premium All Inclusive Heritance Aarah

Located in the azure Raa Atoll, Heritance Aarah is the home of culinary decadence in the Maldives. At the core of Heritance Aarah’s enchantment is a diverse and flavourful culinary scene, brought to life through its unique ‘Dine Around’ concept. With seven distinctive restaurants and five bars, each establishment creates its own epicurean tale. Enhancing the Premium All-Inclusive experience, Heritance Aarah presents a remarkable array of dining options, from exclusive pod dining to world-class buffets curated by award-winning culinary artists. Guests can indulge in culinary delights from around the world, including a fusion of Maldivian and Sri Lankan cuisine at Ambula, vibrant food cultures at Haatha, and ocean-fresh seafood at Ginifathi. Delve into the spice-infused wonders of Asian cuisine at Ranba, or savour the refined grace of European gastronomy at Ralu. The resort’s culinary odyssey promises an array of palate-pleasing adventures that not only satisfy taste buds, but enrich the spirit.

A highlight of the restaurant menus is the freshly caught fish and seafood, sustainably sourced from the surrounding waters. The resort actively supports local fisheries by procuring fish and seafood directly from nearby communities. Additionally, Heritance Aarah’s organic herb and vegetable garden supplies the resort kitchens with a bounty of freshly harvested produce. The organic gardens reduce the need for externally sourced ingredients, while delivering fresh, healthy, and sustainable food options for guests. This culinary ethos not only satisfies the palate but also supports environmental stewardship and local agriculture. So, as guests relish the last flavours of this barefoot culinary haven, they take away memories of exquisite tastes and also the satisfaction of knowing their dining experience contributed to a greater good.

A Beach Villa at Heritance Aarah in June starts from $730 (approximately £585) + tax per Villa per night.

To discover more or to book, visit: https://www.heritancehotels.com/aarah/

Maldives All Inclusive Best for Time Poor Thrill Seekers: Adaaran Club Rannalhi

Accessed via a short speedboat ride away from Male’s Velana International Airport, Adaaran Club Rannalhi offers thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts an Indian Ocean escape from the ordinary. Discover a range of exciting excursions and activities designed to elevate your tropical island summer. From thrilling sunset fishing expeditions to enchanting island-hopping adventures, romantic sunset photo cruises, and captivating dolphin tours, Adaaran Club Rannalhi ensures endless possibilities for exploration.

A Standard Room at Adaaran Club Rannalhi starts from USD 251 (approx. £200) + taxes in June 2024.

For further information about Adaaran Club Rannalhi, visit https://www.adaaran.com/clubrannalhi/offers/island-getaways.html.

ENDS

Notes To Editors:

Image Captions:
Image 1: Adaaran Select Meedhupparu is a great all-inclusive option for families holidaying in the Maldives.
Image 2: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is the perfect adults-only resort for couples seeking both serenity and adventure in a Maldivian paradise.
Image 3: Heritance Aarah presents a remarkable array of dining options for gastronomes, including ocean-fresh sustainably sourced seafood at Ginifathi restaurant.

For high resolution images, click here.

About Aitken Spence Hotels
Aitken Spence Hotels is part of the Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC. Aitken Spence Hotels owns and operates 17 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Company’s owned hotels are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands, popular around the world for its exceptional service and undisputed product and curated lifestyle experiences. The Company’s Sri Lankan portfolio includes eight hotels and resorts spread across the island of which five are Heritance properties, whilst the Maldives resorts totals to five (with one Heritance resort), three in Oman and one in India.

Media Enquiries: Fiona Anderson, GEC PR | [email protected]

See a Different Side to Sri Lanka on the New Trails of Bawa Architectural Tour


See a Different Side to Sri Lanka on the New Trails of Bawa Architectural Tour


26 March 2024 –
Heritance Hotels and Resorts, the flagship brand of Aitken Spence Hotels, has launched a new tour that promises guests a journey through the creative mind of world-renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, credited as the father of ‘Tropical Modernism’, a design combination of traditional and modern architectural identity.
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