Business in the news

A BUSINESS forum holds its next meeting in Hartlepool later this week.

The Hartlepool Business Forum meets at Hartlepool College of Further Education to give delegates a chance to meet like-minded entrepreneurs as well as hear talks from leading industrialists.

The next meeting – titled How To Fund Your Business – will be held on Thursday, February 23.

Those interested in attending should arrive by 5.15pm for the buffet with presentations from 6pm.

For more information on January’s event, contact forum co-ordinator John Megson via Hartlepool Enterprise Centre, in Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, TS24 8EY, tel (01429) 867677, fax (01429) 264304 or email

More details are also available by visiting

l A UK business support organisation for the oil, gas, nuclear and offshore renewables sectors, is spearheading a market visit to Germany.

NOPF Energy is leading the visit between March 19 - 23 to Berlin, Leipzig, North Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria.

Its aim is to investigate opportunities for UK exporters in the German market with for the oil and gas sector as well as the re-emerging nuclear industry.

For more information or to book a place on visit please contact Kristie Leng at NOF Energy on (0191) 3846464 or email

l CONSTRUCTION sites in the Tees Valley are being put under the safety spotlight as part of an intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

The Health and Safety Executive has launched a campaign from now until March 16 to visit sites where refurbishment or repair works are being carried out.

Their primary aim will be to target high-risk activity such as working at height.

There were no deaths in the Tees Valley in the last financial year but more than 23 serious injuries were reported in Teesside.

There were two deaths and 132 serious injuries across the North- East.

Rob Hirst, HSE’s principal inspector for construction in the North-East, said: “The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers, all too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference.

“Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.”

Further information about safe-working in construction can be found online at