November 15, 2012

Ricky’s memorial to Britain’s old soldiers will shine on …

Property developer Ricky Sharma faced the project of a lifetime when a friend of the family called him out of the blue.

Businessman and philanthropist Dr Jan Telensky asked him to build a ‘shining’ memorial to Britain’s war dead based on a winning design by a young family.

Ricky, from Camberley in Surrey, said: “Jan has been a friend of the family for a long time and I know what he’s like – but it was a bit of a shock when he asked me to take on this latest building project.”

Mum Maura Gillespie, of Potten End, near Hemel Hemstead, with help from children Zak and Zara, produced a design for a mosaic of a poppy. It was chosen as the winning entry in a competition arranged by MP Mike Penning and the Royal British Legion.

In her submission she said: “A ceramic poppy would look bright on a grey November Remembrance Day and it would be a shining reminder all year.”

Ricky, aged 32, said: “It was a bit tricky and took me nearly two months to complete. It’s heavy, made out of Portland stone with specially designed ceramic tiles as mosaics. I had to keep as close to the family’s design as possible, but it was definitely worth doing.”

The unique memorial, which is more than four feet tall, has been erected near the ‘rainbow’ memorial garden in Hemel Hempstead’s Marlowes.

Mike Penning said: “The competition had a terrific response and we were inundated with entries and so many were of an incredibly high standard. I thank everyone who took the time to take part and I hope everyone will be happy with the result.”

Chairman of the Hemel Hempstead branch of the British Legion Peter Gibbons said: “It is a very striking design and immediately caught the attention of everyone who saw it.”

Dr Telensky organises free holidays through the MoD for British soldiers injured on active duty at his hotel, AquaCity, in Poprad next to the foot of the High Tatras Mountains in Slovakia.


Highland Council to boost infrastructure and development projects

The Highland Council will highlight to the Scottish Government a series of infrastructure and development projects that would boost economic growth and create new trade jobs.

The list of key projects will be passed on to the Scottish Government for their consideration as part of the review of the National Planning Framework (NPF3) which is expected to unlock investment for national developments of strategic importance for Scotland.

The projects that will be put forward by Highland Council are all considered to be of national significance and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable economic growth.

The projects being promoted by the Council to the Government include strategic road improvements to the A9. A82 and A96 trunk roads that connect Highland communities to the rest of Scotland, enhancements to Highland ports and harbours including Nigg and Kishorn, enhancements at all Highland airports, the provision of  superfast broadband and the upgrading of the existing electricity transmission network to realise the growth potential in renewable energy generation.

The Council is also taking the opportunity to raise other issues it feels that are of national importance such as the decommissioning of Dounreay, faster train journey times on the mainline, coastal development including the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energy, waste management and natural heritage.

Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said: “All the projects we are putting forward could potentially bring huge benefits to Highland businesses and residents as well as bringing wider prospective socio-economic growth to the whole of Scotland.

“Our response will highlight the need to ensure we have the best infrastructure in place to make the most of every opportunity and will recognise the work we are doing to promote sustainable development and economic growth.

“Our plans are ambitious and they reflect the confidence we have in the Highlands as great place to live, work and do business in.”

New Trades Jobs in Darlington


Developer Terrace Hill has signed an agreement with Darlington Borough Council to build a £30 million leisure centre that will boost the trades and create new jobs.       

The 140,000 sq ft leisure scheme in Feethams, Darlington, will be anchored by a nine screen multiplex cinema and include an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as a number of restaurants, bars and shops.

Terrace Hill has secured an agreement with VUE Entertainment to operate the cinema, and is in advanced discussions with Whitbread who want to operate the 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The property group has already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains. At present, the operators are not represented in the town, with the multi-million scheme providing an opportunity to bring their brand to Darlington and help the local economy.

Philip Leech, Chief Executive of Terrace Hill, said: “Having made the strategic decision to increase Terrace Hill’s focus on development, thereby better utilising our core expertise, we are very pleased to have been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to develop this important new scheme.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the Borough. There has been a lot of detailed negotiation around this development and I believe that the Council has chosen the best scheme for the site.

“The news is clear evidence that Darlington can attract a first class development of this kind and that there is confidence in the business world in what the Borough has to offer. Once complete it will be a welcome addition to the already strong culture and leisure offer in the town centre.”