All the latest news and events from Airport Business Centre


12th December 2012

Be a Part of the South West's Annual Business IT Survey

The South West Business IT Survey was commissioned as a joint initiative by Stem Group, a leading IT company in the South West, and Plymouth University.  The survey is aimed at assessing the health and trends of the business IT landscape in the South West of the UK year on year.

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This is the second year of the survey, it is hoped the survey will build on last year’s success and more conclusions will be drawn when comparing 2011 to 2012’s data to see how IT in business is improving in the region as well as pointing out areas for improvement. 

Surveys like this one are essential in today’s modern world to measure IT and its impact on businesses. With technology moving on quickly, some companies and organisations lag behind the times and do not realise the benefits IT can bring to a business. 

In periods of economic instability, those organisations which survive are likely to be those that identify and implement best practice. By recording how organisations in the South West are using IT, it will help them to identify gaps and issues to develop their infrastructure to better support their overall objectives. Because this is an annual questionnaire we can use longitudinal data to identify those trends which can help competitive advantage” states Dr Nigel Jackson, Associate Professor at Plymouth University Business School, Reader in Persuasion and Communication.

As an incentive, Stem Group is offering the chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher if businesses fill out the questionnaire before the 21st December 2012.

“Last year’s survey gave some real insight into IT in the South West; most organisations are looking into the latest technologies like Cloud and virtualisation to save IT budgets that have been cut. As IT becomes an increasingly integral part of our working lives, it is important to map our region against the rest of the UK.” Stephen Tyrrell, Managing Director at Stem Group comments. 

You can take part in the survey here:

The questionnaire should just take 5 to 10 minutes to complete and by doing so you will be helping to identify the landscape of IT in the South West.  Please feel free to pass this link on to any other businesses within the South West.

You can find the results of the 2011 survey here:


5th October 2012


THE man who led the team which brought the America's Cup World Series to Plymouth has been honoured in a prestigious award ceremony.

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City businessman Dave Young won the Community Engagement Award in the 2012 Plymouth University Vice-Chancellor's Enterprise Awards.

He joined a talented and dedicated line-up of passionate campaigners and researchers whose work was acknowledged in the ceremony on Saturday.
Professor Martin Attrill, director of the university's Marine Institute, won the World-Class Researcher Award in recognition of his pioneering work on the effect of climate change on marine habitats and the impacts of marine protected areas and marine renewable energy.
The 24 awards were separated into six categories – Pioneering, Empowering, Spirited, Expert, Connected, and Creative. Trophies were designed for the occasion by students Sean Bunton and Christopher Grover.
Ian Sherriff, a member of a national panel set up by the Prime Minister to improve community support for dementia sufferers, was named Ambassador of the Year.
Mr Sherriff, an associate lecturer at Plymouth University, said: "I am thrilled to be honoured in this way for work which, I believe, is already having an incredible effect on the lives of so many people within our communities."
Mr Young, who was chairman of the group which brought the America's Cup to Plymouth in 2011, said: "A huge team effort culminated in thousands of people seeing a truly amazing spectacle, and this award is recognition for everyone who was part of that success and the legacy that continues to grow from it."
Film-maker Danny Cooke, who has worked with Plymouth's Olympic bronze medallist diver Tom Daley, was presented with the Outstanding Student accolade.
Professor Stephen Sterling, head of education for sustainable development, won the Outstanding Contribution category for work which has seen the university consistently ranked in the top five institutions in the national People and Planet Green Gown Awards.


28th August 2012

Let's tap into Olympics spirit for city by David Young

Read the thoughts of our MD, David Young and join him to promote Plymouth.

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David Young MD of The Airport Business Centre Ltd PlymouthHERE'S been a real lift in our spirits from our glorious summer of 2012 across the whole country – if you just ignore the weather for five minutes.

The Jubilee celebrations were magnificent, despite plenty of predictions of a damp squib, followed by the truly outstanding Olympics in which we built, organised, volunteered, secured and performed our socks off in so many different ways.

As a result a real sense of pride has been rekindled across the country.

I do get upset, however, by the speed at which some parts of the media turn from such brilliant coverage into the negative stories on which they generally lead.

Many, together with the general doomsayers of life, are now predicting all the euphoria will rapidly turn into post-Olympic blues.

So how can we ride this wave of positive energy into our own community for maximum collective benefit?

Well the plans for Home Park on the back of the brilliant Life Centre, and James Brent's development of Argyle/Pavilions etc, will give Plymouth sporting and event facilities of national significance.

We live in one of the most magnificent locations in the world and want more people to come and share it by promoting events like Flavour Fest, the National Fireworks Championship, the Marine City Festival or the America's Cup World Series.

We have some brilliant businesses based down here across a wide spectrum of sectors, some seeing impressive growth.

We have notable strengths in the manufacturing, marine, engineering, creative, medical and technology.

We have a private sector working very closely with the public sector at delivering economic growth against clear strategies.

We all have a part to play in this process – whether it's getting involved in the Plymouth Chamber or other community groups or to just being a vocal supporter of the city, rather than a doomsayer (those that generally expect the worst and love being proved right).

The Olympics success shows us that with dedication, belief and hard work we really can excel.

And as a city we must now emulate that journey and all play a part in supporting, believing and delivering.

So please find a way of making your contribution – get involved with the Plymouth Chamber if you are in business, as together we can achieve so much more.

At the very least let's all talk our city up and expect the best – we might get a very pleasant surprise in the process.


9th August 2012

Have you checked out the Arctic Jubilee video?

The Una Group and Stem Group sponsored this video as part of the educational outreach programme: Education Through Expeditions. This video will be going out to schools all across the UK.

17th July 2012

Airport Business Centre Goes Green: The Largest Installation of Solar Panels in Plymouth

The Una Group has recently completed a project to install the largest amount of solar panels at any one building in Plymouth.

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The 1,000 solar panels that cover an area in excess of 100,000 sq ft and took 2 weeks to install with an 11 man workforce. This is the largest roof system that Hive Energy Ltd has ever installed. The solar panels, which cost around £400,000, will create 267,000KwH per year for The Una Group which will be enough power for Airport Business Centre’s and Eaton Business Park’s daylight power usage.Solar panels on the roof of the Airport Business Centre in Plymouth

The Una Group embarked on this project as a cost-effective way to generate green energy for their businesses. David Young, Managing Director said “We are delighted to have been able to support this large solar project because environmental concerns rate highly with all of our businesses. This is a long term commitment to providing sustainable energy to two of our major business sites.”

The green energy produced by the 100 ton weight of the solar panels, is more than enough to run the whole site within Airport Business Centre. One of the main energy consuming businesses located within Airport Business Centre is Stem Group, an IT support and services provider who run an in-house data centre containing a large number of servers 24/7.

Not only will the energy created reduce the businesses carbon footprint, it will also facilitate in reaching Plymouth’s mission of having reduced their carbon footprint by 20% by 2013. This gives the project a two way benefit for both the City Council and The Una Group.


6th June 2012

The Una Group and Stem Group Support The Arctic Jubilee

The Arctic Jubilee team have reached the summit of the highest point on the Queen Elizabeth Islands and had their tea party!

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Arctic Jubilee team, sponsored by The Una Group and Stem Group, at the highest point on the Queen Elizabeth Islands

Local companies The Una Group and Stem Group have sponsored the educational outreach programme which promotes the Arctic environment to over 350 schools in the UK. This programme has also aided in the preservation of the Inuit culture which has been passed down from generation to generation for millennia.

As the expedition has progressed the team has been responding to questions from school children designed to promote the understanding of topics like Inuit Culture, Polar Environments, British History and Exploration.

Now that the team has reached the summit they will have a ski exploration of the British Empire Mountain Range before flying back to the UK.

Stem Group love to support local charities especially when there’s educational value. The Arctic Jubilee Expedition is a fantastic example of this, where students from all over the country can get involved and get inspired.” Stephen Tyrrell, Managing Director of Stem Group.


15th May 2012

Local Company Purple Rainbow Programmes LTD Grows & Finds Office Space at Airport Business Centre

Purple Rainbow Programmes is the latest tenant to join the Airport Business Centre in Estover. Purple Rainbow Programmes is a strategic business improvement services company and thanks to a recent growth in the business they needed to find larger space to continue expanding. 

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Purple Rainbow Programmes provide a range of services from finding a competitive advantage to driving down overheads and costs for any business. Purple Rainbow Programmes have a great track record and have many impressive clients on their portfolio. 

Airport Business Centre is the cheapest around and in the most convenient location for us. The services they offer are attractive to a small company like ours, we can use HR/bookkeeping for example as and when we need it.” Richard Blackmore, Managing Director of Purple Rainbow Programmes states.
With the economic climate as it is, it seems that people are setting up their own businesses more and more or taking their home-offices to the next step. The portfolio of tenants here at Airport Business Centre is very varied but the majority will make the most of the business services we have available here.” Pippa Edwards, Tenant Liaison Officer at Airport Business Centre comments.


7th March 2012

Free IT Event at ABC!

Stem Group has been running a series of successful and free IT events at ABC in Plymouth. They have decided to capitalise on this success and roll these workshops and seminars out as permanent events in their calendar. 



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The next event on the 20th March 2012 will be on Protecting Your Business: The Data, IT and Continuity Challenge. Please click here if you would like to register for this event

The events are available for everyone from IT practitioners to those who hold responsibility for IT (like Finance Directors and business owners). Not only do the events showcase emerging technologies (like virtualisation and storage), but they act as a networking event for the IT industry in the region. 

In this next event attendees will be able to learn more about, and try, Dell EqualLogic replication, SonicWall WAN acceleration and CDP backup and recovery. 
We have found that attendees really like to test out the equipment we have in-house, first hand so they can try the technology before they buy it. We’re delighted with the success of the events and hope this success will continue.” Stephen Tyrrell, Managing Director of Stem Group.


14th February 2012

Find out How Your Business Can Gain & Benefit from an Apprentice

Ever thought of taking on an apprentice? Come and learn more about how employing an Apprentice could help your business. Representatives from Enterprise Plymouth will be in the Wings Diner at Airport Business Centre on Wednesday 22nd February between 10am and 2pm.


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Join the 82% of employers who rely on apprentices to provide the skilled workers they need for the future.  All their training is paid for by the government National Apprenticeship Service if they are under 19. 

Enterprise Plymouth has been working with owner and managers of small businesses for nearly 30 years. At no cost to your business, Enterprise Plymouth can assist with the recruitment and selection of someone who can bring new skills into your business. 
EPL Advisors will be in the Wings Diner between 10 – 2pm on 22nd February, to answer any questions.


20th January 2012

Children's Hospice South West Visit

Managing Director of The Una Group, David Young, was delighted to support Children's Hospice South West yesterday. David made a small presentation on behalf of The Una Group and Burts Chips. 

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"It was a truly humbling experience; we are delighted to be supporting the project." David comments.
David is photographed here (left) with Eddie Farwell (right), Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Children's Hospice South West.



16th January 2012

New Opportunity for David Pearce at The Una Group

David Pearce has recently decided to take on a new challenge at The Una Group as the new Finance Director. David Pearce will join the existing Accounts department and work closely alongside David Young, the Managing Director of The Una Group and its companies.

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David is a Chartered Accountant who has most recently been employed in senior finance roles with Air Southwest and Sutton Harbour PLC and prior to that at Plymouth College of Art and Brymon Airways. Originally from the south East, David has been living in the Plymouth area for fifteen years.

David states “I am excited to join a diverse and exciting company committed to investing in and creating employment in the Plymouth area”.

“We are delighted to have David Pearce on board with a wealth of finance experience to bring to The Una Group. I am sure with the qualities and skills that he has he will be a great addition to the team” states David Young, Group Managing Director.


6th December 2011

Dialysis Unit at Eaton Business Park Officially Opened

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A new health facility in the South West designed to significantly help patients in the region with kidney failure has been officially opened.
The Plymouth Dialysis Unit is a purpose-built facility for patients from Devon and Cornwall needing treatment for renal failure.
It was officially opened yesterday by patient Kevin Farrell and Sir Robert Dunn of the National Kidney Federation, the UK charity run by kidney patients.
Sir Robert said: "I am so excited about this unit. By opening it, we are opening the door to the future.
"The only constant in the renal world is change – better treatment for patients and better environments. I must commend the team, they have done a tremendous job and been totally tenacious in making this unit real. It is wonderful."
The facility at Eaton Business Park opened its doors in the summer and provides outpatient haemodialysis, and dialysis training to patients with advanced kidney failure in Plymouth, East Cornwall, North and South Devon.
Treatment is soon to be offered to patients elsewhere in the country who wish to visit the Westcountry on holiday.


24th November 2011

Stem Group & Plymouth University Launch New Annual IT Survey for the South West

Plymouth University and Stem Group (a Plymouth-based IT company) have teamed up to create an annual survey aimed at researching and evaluating the use of IT in businesses within the South West of England.


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Surveys like this one are essential in today’s modern world to measure IT and its impact on businesses. With technology moving on quickly, some companies and organisations lag behind the times and do not realise the benefits IT can bring to a business.

The South West Business IT Survey will be conducted each year, so that Stem Group and Plymouth University are able to see how IT in business is improving in the region as well as pointing out areas for improvement.

“With the IT knowledge of Stem Group and Plymouth University’s expertise in research and innovation, we’re confident that this survey will be a huge success. We are excited to create the first map of the South West IT landscape.” states Dr Nigel Jackson, Associate Professor at Plymouth University Business School.

As an incentive, Stem Group is offering the chance to win an iPad 2 if businesses fill out the questionnaire before the 1st December 2011.

“We are confident that businesses in the South West will get involved with the project and realise the benefits: from being able to plan IT in the future for the South West as well as mapping the area against the rest of the UK.” Stephen Tyrrell, Managing Director at Stem Group comments.

If you would like to take part in the survey please follow the link below and if you’d like to show your support of the survey, please email the link on and use social media to promote.


27th October 2011

The Una Group Provides Work Experience Placement for Recent Graduate Alice Seldon

Psychology graduate Alice Seldon will be working with Catherine Hodges on a 4 week placement to gain some experience in Marketing.

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Alice graduated from Swansea University after gaining a 2:1 BA Honors degree in Psychology. She returned to the South West earlier this year and has now been looking for work in the local area of Plymouth. Alice will be working with Catherine Hodges, the Business Development and Marketing Manager at The Una Group to gain some experience in marketing.


Now that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find employment once leaving education, work experience is becoming a necessary requirement when trying to gain employment. Many people are leaving university without any experience of the work environment.


We’re excited to have Alice working with us, with all of the companies under the Una Group umbrella we can certainly use an extra pair of hands and hopefully Alice will come out benefitting from experience and perhaps an idea of what she’d like to do in the future.” Catherine Hodges, Business Development & Marketing Manager at The Una Group states.


Work experience provides vital opportunities for individuals to gain practical skills that will increase employability. By having some insight into different areas of a business, work experience helps those who are unsure of what they would like to do as a career.


25th October 2011

Nova Homes expand their office space at ABC.

Despite the housing market being slow, Nova Homes, an estate agent based here at Airport Business Centre, has seen huge business growth.  So much so, that after only a few months here, they are already expanding their space.

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Jim Rainbow took on the Plymouth franchise of Novahomes last year. For more than half a year he worked from his garage but, as the city operation became more successful, he moved to ABC and took on Jo Lines as office manager.

Mr Rainbow puts down their ability to expand the local franchise to having fewer overheads than a traditional housing business.  This is due partly to the fact that they have their offices in a business centre rather than a shop in the city.



7th October 2011

New Plymouth energy centre to generate jobs and reduce carbon emissions

A new energy centre which will create 23 local jobs is being developed in Plymouth.


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The energy plant will convert 40,000 tonnes of waste wood into renewable heat and electricity each year, reducing CO2 emissions by around 16,500 tonnes a year.

The centre is the brainchild of MITIE’s Asset Management business, O-Gen UK and the Una Group. The companies have come together to form a new energy services company(ESCo),O-Gen Plymtrek, which is exploring opportunities to supply the energy from the plant to a local business.
In the construction phase 50 local jobs for contractors will be available. Once the plant is up and running next summer 23 local people will be employed to work there. 
Mike Tivey, Managing Director of MITIE’s Asset Management business, said: “We are delighted to be developing this energy centre in Plymouth and creating jobs in the local community. We really appreciate the support we have received from Plymouth City Council in bringing this exciting new venture to Plymouth.
“Generating energy from waste material is an important part of the fast-growing decentralised energy market, which provides organisations and communities with secure, locally generated power and heat for the future.” 
MITIE’s Asset Management business has helped develop and will maintain the energy centre during a ten year contract. The plant, which uses technology provided by O-Gen UK, will generate around 26,000MWh of electricity a year – enough to power 6200 homes or to make 866, 666 cups of tea. Waste wood, destined for landfill, will be converted to a gas fuel, which will be combusted in a boiler to create steam. This steam will drive a turbine to produce the energy and heat. 
The South West Regional Development Agency (SWERDA) has given a grant of £525,000 to the new energy plant in recognition of the impact it will have on the local economy by creating jobs.
David Pike, Managing Director O-Gen UK, said “We are delighted to work with MITIE in the development and expansion of our timber resource recovery business. This plant represents the first of a series of combined heat and power plants currently under discussion with MITIE across the South West region.”
The UK produces 4.5 million tonnes of waste wood a year. It is estimated that recovering energy from just 2 million tonnes of waste wood would generate 2,600 GWh electricity and save 1.15m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.


21st September 2011

Charity Events this Autumn

Join Airport Business Centre to support the number of charity events, including Macmillan Coffee Morning, Jeans for Genes, Give Blood session, Wear it Pink and Childern in Need.

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We are proud to support following Charity Events this autumn. Please join us on:

  • 29th September for Macmillan Coffee Morning
  • 7th October for Jeans for Genes
  • 21st October for blood donation at Future Inn
  • 28th October for Wear it Pink
  • 18th November for Childern in Need

To find out more, please contact us on 01752 697000. Thank you.


2nd August 2011

The Una Group Supports Local People in Conjunction with Plymouth University to Improve Employment in the South West

Victoria Ryde, a Business Studies student from Plymouth University, has joined The Una Group on a paid placement year as part of her degree. Many students today graduate with little to no real work experience; this makes finding employment challenging especially in these difficult economic times.

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A placement year will give Victoria the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in a real working environment, subsequently making her more employable when she enters the world of work.

Victoria joins The Una Group as a Marketing Assistant; she will be helping out with everything from marketing office space to the IT company (Stem Group) that The Una Group own. Victoria will be working closely with the Marketing & Business Development Manager, Catherine Hodges. Catherine is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate with Plymouth University. The KTP is a Government-backed scheme which connects businesses with academic establishments.

“I was keen to give Victoria real responsibility from day one so that she could put everything she’s learnt at university into practice. I hope that this experience will help Victoria in finding employment after her studies.” Catherine Hodges explains.

“Plymouth Business School is proud to be engaging with The Una Group who provides placement opportunities to our students; this significantly improves their employment prospects after graduation.  The Una Group is one of the most innovative and dynamic businesses in the UK and we are delighted with our partnership”. David Wheeler, Dean of Plymouth Business School comments.

About The Una Group: a diversified range of businesses grouped together under 3 core areas: commercial property development, environmental activities and business support services (like their IT company Stem Group). The Una Group believes in supporting quality people in achieving their business ambitions. | |


11th July 2011

New Tenant Transport Solutions Management!

Airport Business Centre are very pleased to welcome on board new tenant Transport Solutions Management (TSM).  

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TSM is a National taxi brokerage operating a 24/7 contact centre specialising in making corporate travel arrangements for a wide variety of corporate clients including Green Flag, National Grid, Royal Bank of Scotland and the RAC. 

Please let them know if you're in need of any corporate travel! You can find their details in the Current Tenants section of the website.


16th June 2011

10 AC45s will take to Plymouth Sound in race for the America’s Cup

Check out the latest press release for America's Cup Plymouth here!  

"Leading city businessman Dave Young, MD of the Una Group, is leading the private sector’s response and involvement with the America’s Cup as Chairman of a Task and Finish Group set up by the Council. Mr Young said: “The quality of the teams confirmed today add to the quality and significance of the event itself. The America’s Cup regatta in Plymouth presents great opportunities for businesses across a range of sectors to grasp.”