B P Collins is delighted to announce the shortlist for Bucks Business First’s ‘New Business of the Year’ award 2018. As proud sponsors of the category for three years, B P Collins is passionate about supporting and advising new businesses in Buckinghamshire.

The first finalist is Arrow Planning, started by Mike Walker who had previously worked for a local planning department and a big development company.

Arrow Planning provides planning advice to clients leading projects from initial appraisals through to implementable planning permissions. Focusing on the Greater Thames Valley, but working wider afield, they help to deliver planning permissions, local plan allocations and appear at planning appeals. Its project work ranges from individual dwellings, changes of use through to Strategic Urban Extensions.

Gina Connell, Business Development and Marketing Director explains why Arrow Planning was shortlisted:

“Mike believes that Arrow Planning solves a very real problem in the property sector – navigating the planning system. Through his previous jobs he recognised the gaps between a planning department and a big development company and his company offers a bridge between the two.”

The second finalist is Gym Fit 4 Less, which aims to bring gym access to people of all ages and fitness levels on a budget. The managing director Mark Schmull has many years’ experience in the leisure industry and with a couple of gyms already under his management, he wishes to expand through a franchise model.

Gina Connell said:

“Mark’s ambition and plans for growth impressed us despite facing competition from the big gym chains, which is always a challenge for a new business.”

The third finalist is Fit Life Health Club in Haddenham, which is close to Thame. The owner Steve Gregory is passionate about fitness and healthy living and set up the gym after his career as a professional footballer came to an end. He is from the local area and already ran boot camps so had built up a loyal following. Having found a suitable building, it was renovated to create a holistic and inclusive gym which covers exercise and nutrition support for all ages.

Gina explains why it has been shortlisted:

“Steve plans for growth were really novel and exciting. He has already identified another gym in the area and is potentially seeking investment from his existing gym users so they become champions of the business and partners in it.”

The winner will be announced at the Bucks Business First awards ceremony at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury on 22 May 2018.

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Gina Connell
Chief Marketing Officer

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