Laura Bolt is on something of a learning curve. Having previously worked as a business writer in Nottingham, before freelancing while living in Switzerland last year, she came to the realisation that her passions lay elsewhere. After much research, she enrolled on a three-month course at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, run by Darina Allan, whom Bolt describes as the Delia Smith of the Irish cookery world, and a ’real food’ champion. “The course was fantastic as it gave me the chance to meet lots of artisan producers and get involved in events such as farmers’ markets, which was really inspirational,” she explains. “I then set myself a 12-month target to find out how I wanted to work with food. Making my own products and selling them on the market was one of the things on my hit list to try and that seems to be what has taken off.”She set herself up as a caterer in July this year, producing a range of foods, and currently has a stall at the Local to Ludlow market every second Thursday of the month, where she sells solely baked goods, as a way of building her profile. She currently works from her home kitchen and has so far relied on roping in friends and family to help prepare and serve food at events she’s catered for. “This is something that will obviously change when the business grows,” she says. “It’s my hope that event catering will eventually become the main income for the business.” However, her initial aim was simply to create something that, hopefully, people would want to buy. “Although I’ve done far fewer catering events than farmers’ markets, private catering looks to be where the turnover is going to come from in the future.” Her next move will be to concentrate on additional promotion of her business, as well as looking at the feasibility and cost of a commercial premises. Bolt says it’s early days to know what she’d do differently if setting up her business all over again, but she believes she should have had more confidence in herself and what she was capable of achieving.
The Sir Michael Latham award was created by the Government to recognise construction firms who adopt modern methods of construction, innovative technology, collaborative working and high quality apprenticeships.Mace is a leading British construction company and is being recognised for their innovative ‘Rising Factory’ method, where a factory climbs up a building as both the structure and internal rooms are built within.The awards are independently judged by construction industry experts who called Mace’s entry an ‘ingenious development’, and one which is likely to be adopted across the industry over the next few years. This approach is estimated to make construction safer, 25% faster and to cut waste by 75%.The award is supported by the IPA, part of the Treasury, and BEIS. It was created in Sir Michael Latham’s honour as one of the first individuals to advocate for greater modernisation of the construction sector in his 1994 Constructing the Team report.This is the first time the award has been presented at the 2018 Construction News Awards, where Mace also won Best Innovation for its ‘Rising Factory’.It follows publication of the Construction Sector Deal and Transforming Infrastructure Performance programme – the Government’s long term plans to improve productivity of the sector.The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick MP, speaking at the award ceremony last night said:“We are backing Britain with record investment in infrastructure so we can build a country that is fit for the future.“The construction industry must play its part by closing its £15 billion annual productivity gap.“Mace’s innovative way of building has the potential to increase safety and efficiency right across the sector.”Business and Industry Minister Richard Harrington MP, said:“Mace is championing the sort of innovation, collaboration and investment in skills that must become standard practice in the construction sector to meet the nation’s infrastructure and housing needs.“The government has made the biggest investment in construction for at least a decade through our modern Industrial Strategy and Construction Sector Deal, and together with industry we are working to create buildings that are smarter, safer and cheaper to run.”Chief Executive of Mace, Mark Reynolds said:“We are hugely honoured to receive the Sir Michael Latham Award for our work on the rising factories at N08 East Village. Sir Michael’s work had a massive impact on the construction industry, encouraging us all to push forward innovation, improve how we work and build on his legacy.“For Mace, the rising factories represent an evolution of how we can deliver buildings, and this award is a fantastic recognition of all the hard work done by our project team and supply chain to make that a reality. It’s also important to acknowledge that we can’t deliver innovation like this on our own – this award would not have been possible without the support of our clients.”