October, 2015

New venue

News Release: Businesses back new venue for 41 year old hospitality show


A decision to hold Cumbria’s only annual hospitality trade show at a new venue – the Rural Auction Centre, J36 of the M6 – is already proving popular. Fifty-seven businesses from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria have signed up to attend the 41st Lakes Hospitality Show which takes place next February (Weds 24th and Thurs 25th).

One of those attending is Amelia Wilson who owns a new interior design practice in Asby near Workington.
The 42 year old returned to Cumbria last year to start her new venture. It is a complete departure from her previous job at global commercial insurance company AIG where she was responsible for 300 staff 300 staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“I’ve always been passionate about interiors and this beautiful part of the world” explained Amelia Wilson.
“The most important message I want to get across is that interior designers do not need to be expensive. I charge similar rates to other trades people like plumbers and electricians and if you use me for project planning and purchasing I can save you time and money.

“I will be showcasing schemes and products and giving away some trade secrets at this important launch event for me.”

The Lakes Hospitality Show is the focal point for the region’s hospitality businesses. It coincides with the pre-season period when many plan their next round of investment. For some it could be expanding their premises, renovating rooms, or extending their offer with a new product. For others it could be finding a new supplier or buying-in services to improve the way they run their business.

As organiser Nick Hood added: “The hospitality industry plays a vital role in the local economy. We create jobs, buy services and products and ultimately bring people in who spend their money locally. It’s important we provide a high quality experience, run successful businesses and always look to invest and improve. This is the place to find out how to do just that.”

Interiors, food, drink, equipment and technology businesses feature alongside those providing vital support service such as banking, insurance and IT at this trade only event. The new venue provides easy access from the M6, and the three counties of Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire, ample parking and space for the show to grow.
The 2016 Lakes Hospitality Trade Show takes place on the Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th February 2015 at the J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands – just off junction 36 of the M6.
Image shows Amelia Wilson, who will be launching her business at next February’s Lakes Hospitality Show, seen here trying out a new product at a London design show.

Women of the Year

News Release: Jo Thompson to be recognised for her personal contribution to society

Jo T black and white (1)

East Sussex award-winning landscape designer Jo Thompson is being recognised for her personal contribution to society at a 60th anniversary ‘Women of the Year’ lunch later this month in London (Monday 19 October).

The 45 year old joins over 400 women from all walks of life, all of whom have achieved something of significance. Jo’s is in acknowledgment of her innovative and diverse garden design achievements.

With a practice established in 2006 and a portfolio of projects for private, commercial and charitable clients, Jo Thompson is frequently described as one of the UK’s leading designers. Her more public successes include medal winning show gardens at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show and events in Russia and Japan. She was named a Society of Garden Designers ‘Future Designer’ in 2014 and is a member of the RHS Gardens Committee for Rosemoor and an RHS show garden selection panellist.

A single mum to two teenagers, Jo has learned how to juggle work and family and now runs a practice with four employees. Thompson has not always been in the design industry. Initially a teacher, she retrained to become a landscape gardener when her children were young.

Jo and her team now work in the UK and internationally on coastal, country, public, roof, show and town gardens of all sizes. She says her success is largely due to the partnership she establishes with her client and her keen understanding of a ‘sense of place’ which is fundamental to good design.

Commenting on this celebration of her work Jo said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way. The work of female garden and landscape designers is slowly making the headlines in an industry which seems to be dominated by males. Personally I would also like to see more women showcasing their talents in the very testing and high profile professional environments of events like the RHS Chelsea Flower show”.

As the gardening season comes to a close Jo will continue sharing her love of design as a speaker at the Times Literary Festival this Sunday (4 October) and by joining cruise ship passengers on garden tours of the Canary Islands in November.


Images of Jo and recent garden design projects are available on request.

Notes to editors

Women of the Year has recognised, celebrated and inspired women of all backgrounds since 1955 and continues to shine a light on extraordinary women through an annual Lunch & Awards ceremony, lecture and on-going foundation work. Exceptional women will receive special awards at the Lunch for being an inspiration to others, demonstrated by their courage, selflessness and dedication.

Sandi Toksvig, President of Women of the Year, said: “The Women of the Year has celebrated the wonderful achievements of women since 1955. Everyone involved is incredibly proud to see so many extraordinary women carrying the torch of those who came before. The remarkable women who make up the attendees and winners at this year’s Lunch are being recognised for their strides in making the world a better place.”