Business Diary: December 10

Claire Mitchell and Tina Boden
Claire Mitchell and Tina Boden
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WE all know that the Yorkshire Post has clout in the corridors of power.

Further proof was provided in a photo sent to Diary by Tina Boden, who is the Small Business Saturday Ambassador for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Along with local businesswoman Claire Mitchell, and 118 others, she went to 11 Downing Street to kick-start Small Business Saturday UK, which aimed to highlight the importance of getting behind our nation’s small firms.

As you can see, Ms Boden and Ms Mitchell were carrying a copy of the Yorkshire Post.

A host of events were held across the region to mark Small Business Saturday, and there’s even talk of a twinning agreement between the historic Yorkshire towns of Boroughbridge and Ilkley on the back of it.

“We need to educate consumers about how much of what they spend at local shops goes back into the local community,’’ Ms Boden told Diary.

It’s a tall order

YORKSHIRE’S brewing industry is making a comeback, as micro-breweries spring up in our county’s towns and villages to cater for consumers with sophisticated palates.

The scale of the brewing industry’s revival was spelled out to Diary in vivid terms by a piece of research that could only have been carried out by a committed ale lover.

The combined height of the number of bottles of Yorkshire-brewed beer The Locally Sourced Food Company will be supplying to supermarkets during December would be 17 times the height of Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building.

The Locally Sourced Food Company, which helps independent suppliers get their products into the supermarkets, will be supplying Asda and Tesco with 60,000 bottles of beer from Yorkshire breweries this festive season.

A bottle of beer is 24cm, so times that by the number of bottles placed end-on-end and you have a height of 14,400m, according to the company’s calculations. Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands at 829.8m, but it is still dwarfed by the Yorkshire tower of beer.

The Locally Sourced Food Company expects all 60,000 bottles of beer to disappear from the Asda and Tesco shelves and into shoppers’ shopping baskets.

A hot spell...

Ever wondered what the weather was like in Middle Earth, the land of hobbits, dwarves, elves and orcs, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings?

Well, wonder no more. Climate scientists from the University of Bristol have used mapping models from Leeds-based Getech to find out.

The results show that The Shire, where the hobbit Bilbo Baggins lived before he was whisked away on his unexpected adventure described in The Hobbit, had a climate very similar to that of Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.

However, Mordor, the land of the evil Sauron, had a climate similar to that of Los Angeles and western Texas.

The results are presented in a paper, penned by the wizard Radagast the Brown (aka researcher Dr Dan Lunt).

Among other findings, he explains why the elves set sail from the Grey Havens (the prevailing winds were favourable for their journey to the West), and the existence of a dry climate east of the Misty Mountains (the mountains cast a rain-shadow over the region).

Dr Dan Lunt added: “This work is a bit of fun, but it does have a serious side. A core part of our work here involves using state-of-the-art climate models to simulate and understand the past climate of our Earth. By comparing our results to evidence of past climate change, for example from tree rings, ice cores, and ancient fossils of plants and animals, we can validate the climate models, and gain confidence in the accuracy of their predictions of future climate.”

A taste of poverty

As Christmas draws near, our thoughts must turn to those who will struggle to buy basic goods this Christmas.

York-based digital agency Plump Digital has developed an online interactive game for a national charity to help raise awareness of the issue of poverty.

Plump Digital have designed and built ‘Skint’ for Barnardo’s. Skint gives players a taste of what it’s like to be stuck in the poverty trap. Skint shows that it can be hard to escape from poverty.

The game challenges players to stay upright as they are knocked by real-life barriers, such as childcare costs and benefit cuts. Players can run the game on websites, tablets and mobile phones.

Rob Colley, client services director at Plump Digital, said: “We were delighted to be asked by Barnardo’s to design and build an interactive game for them.

“The issue of poverty is such a big problem and we hope Skint will help raise its profile.”