Tag Archives: manchester

Travel brand WeRoad launch first Manchester campaign using UGC content

WeRoad, the adventure travel brand bringing solo travellers together for once-in-a-lifetime adventures, has launched its first-ever Manchester-focused out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaign. Through witty copy appealing to its target demographic and UGC content showcasing real customers, WeRoad’s Manchester marketing campaign aims to inspire travellers to embrace adventurous group exploration with new-found friends.

Since WeRoad’s successful UK launch in 2022, the company has created four OOH campaigns in the UK. This will be their first campaign in Manchester and from May 6th until 19th, the brand’s eye-catching “Once in a Lifetime Adventures” OOH advertising campaign will dominate 239 high-visibility locations across the city including bus stops, tram stops, pedestrian walks, roads, and train stations in a combination of static and digital formats; 4 sheet, 6 sheet, 6 digital sheet, and 48 sheet.

The high-impact, citywide marketing blitz cements WeRoad as a major force in the UK travel market after last year’s major London campaign. As the disruptive travel brand scales across Europe, the campaign celebrates WeRoad’s community of thrill-seeking explorers. The vibrant OOH ads showcase the cool user-generated photos from WeRoad’s small-group trips around the globe. Selfie-style shots immerse viewers in destinations like the Pyramids of Giza, the jungles of Sri Lanka, the peaks of Patagonia, and the Sahara Desert. Playful taglines like “Ever hiked through the land of fire?” and “Ever travelled through time?” culminate with the call-to-action: “Have you ever done a WeRoad?”

“Following our successful London campaign and growth in the UK, we’re thrilled to take over Manchester and introduce our ‘once in a lifetime’ travel experiences to the local community,” said Fabio Bin, CMO and Co-Founder at WeRoad. “Our real traveller photos highlight the unique, bucket-list adventures that await with WeRoad, offering a glimpse into our incredible journeys and community values.”

Fabio Bin continued, “Our debut in Manchester is a huge milestone as WeRoad expands across the UK. As the coolest city in the north, Manchester presented an ideal opportunity for us to connect its diverse population and ambitious travellers. We knew we had to go all out and truly immerse ourselves in the adventurous spirit of the city, capturing the attention of adventurous explorers seeking authentic and engaging travel experiences.”

Beyond OOH ads, the “Once in a Lifetime Adventures” push includes:

– WeRoad’s own signature events “WeMeets” in local bars and pubs across the city.
– Surprise intimate music concerts in partnership with global music community Sofar Sounds
– Weekly outdoor yoga sessions with The Wellness Hub to integrate with the community
– A ‘WeRoad takeover’ at Kampus, one of the coolest hang-out spaces in the city for the summer with live music, activations, drinks and entertainment.

Creative development: WeRoad in-house marketing team
Pictures: WeRoaders IRL
UK media buying: Justyna Chlopecka, UK Marketing Manager
Chief Marketing Officer: Fabio Bin
Media space provider: JCD, Global

Solar business lights up Caribbean with cutting-edge new marine technology

INNOVATORS behind revolutionary solar technology for the shipping industry have unveiled a cutting-edge and ruggedised new model for a giant of the marine sector.

Anglesey and Manchester-based Grafmarine created a square Nanodeck tile – in addition to the current hexagonal shape – that will be tested in Caribbean waters by SMT Shipping, a worldwide leader in the movement of bulk cargo.

This will allow pieces to connect on a flat surface even easier, which in turn means the AI solar management system can capture, store, and remotely manage more clean energy.

Leaders in the international shipping market are working towards net zero, driven by customer demand, legislative changes, and global targets, and exploring ways to decarbonise their fleets.

Grafmarine Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts said this new partnership will make waves and give them a platform to further trial their cutting-edge technology, supporting those aims.

“Testing this latest model will allow us to use more conventional materials in a square model, which is simpler to manufacture, more powerful and considerably more cost efficient for the client,” said Nigel.

“We will of course still use recyclable ocean plastics and our ethos as a business is to be a pioneer in fully recyclable renewable energy, but this gives us scope to gather data that will feed into the production process.

“This latest version is really heavy-duty and ruggedised, it’s easy to repair, replace and recycle, so we are excited to see the results.”

Chris Russell, Engineering director of Grafmarine, said the new more ruggedised square panels will be produced alongside the hexagonal model, with a focus on different markets.

“The square is ideal for the hard-wearing, extreme conditions of the shipping industry while the hexagonal alternative is more aesthetically pleasing and attracting a lot of interest in the luxury super-yacht market,” he said.

“Both are game changers and will have a major impact on how clean energy is stored and managed at sea.

“The relationship we are building with SMT Shipping, alongside other connections and partnerships we’ve made over the last year, will help us to develop this technology even further and make a real difference to this industry for generations to come.”

Operating a fleet of more than 60 vessels, SMT Shipping is active in the Americas with self-loading and discharging bulk carriers, cement carriers in Europe and transhipment vessels in West-Africa.

With sites in Cyprus, Poland, the UK, Netherlands, Norway, and the US, the company has been a mainstay in the arena for more than 30 years.

Recognising the importance of decarbonisation, several years ago SMT Shipping started the ‘Towards Zer0’ programme to test new technologies that can be scaled up within the fleet.

“We’re thrilled to include the Nanodeck technology in our programme and offer Grafmarine a platform for this pioneering technology. We look forward to the test results and together with Grafmarine will investigate how these systems can be applied on our fleet,” they said.

For more information on SMT Shipping, visit www.smtshipping.com and follow them on LinkedIn @SMT Shipping and Instagram @smtshipping.

Visit www.grafmarine.com and follow Grafmarine on social media @grafmarineltd for the latest on Grafmarine.

Solar pioneers sign major deal to help decarbonise global shipping industry

GRAFMARINE secured a new partnership with a global leader in the decarbonisation of the international shipping industry.

Based in Manchester and Anglesey, Grafmarine is at the forefront of developing Nanodeck technology for the maritime sector.

The company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Njord Accelerator to conduct a proof of concept, followed by a pilot installation which aims to fully explore the capabilities of solar tiles in the maritime industry.

Njord stands out for its role in enhancing the relationship between ship owners, charterers, vendors, and financiers. The organisation’s primary goal is to increase fuel efficiency of vessels, reduce their carbon footprint, and cut down greenhouse gas emissions.

Through this partnership, Grafmarine’s solar energy generation and management system, designed to capture, store, and manage clean energy at sea, in port, or at anchorage, will be validated.

Grafmarine has developed durable square panels and aesthetically pleasing hexagonal tiles that can be affixed to any vessel, showcasing its innovative approach to sustainable maritime technology.

Chris Russell, Engineering Director at Grafmarine, said: “Working with Njord is a privilege. Their guidance and support will be crucial as we refine Nanodeck technology.

“This collaboration not only marks a significant milestone in improving our product but also plays a vital role in introducing us to potential customers and partners within the maritime and shipping industries – it’s a pivotal step forward for us.”

Njord, headquartered in Denmark with a global presence, offers services including Technology Screening, Solution Design, Installation Partnership, and Njord Performance.

Steen Sander Jacobsen, Head of Technical at Njord, said: “At Njord Accelerator, we’re committed to supporting technology providers in advancing the green transition.

“Grafmarine’s solar tiles, known for their scalability, flexibility, and durability, represent a promising solution for the maritime industry. We’re excited about the potential this partnership holds.”

For more information on Grafmarine, visit www.grafmarine.com and follow @grafmarineltd on social media.

To learn more about Njord and its services, visit www.njordsolution.com.

Solar pioneers target ‘fully recyclable renewable energy’ following talks with circular economy giants

GRAFMARINE is fostering global partnerships and creating innovative solutions to drive the marine sector’s circular economy.

The Anglesey and Manchester-based business has secured contracts for international shipping companies to trial its ground-breaking Nanodeck technology, an AI solar tile management system which can be attached to any flat surface to capture, store, and remotely manage clean energy.

Director and Founder Martin Leigh has also been in discussions with world-leading organisations to forge new relationships focused on sustainability in the marine sector, driving their long-term campaign for ‘fully recyclable renewable energy’.

It comes as Grafmarine was shortlisted for the Technology and Innovation Award at this year’s Mersey Maritime Industry Awards having also been a finalist in the Clean Maritime Energy Award category of the recent National Maritime SME Awards, held in London.

“To have been nominated for two such prestigious awards is a great honour, it builds confidence and demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction,” said Martin.

“The feedback we have had to this point has been very positive, the sector has been hugely supportive and the conversations we are having centre on sustainability, not just through our technology but as an industry working to create a lasting circular economy for generations to come.”

He added: “Our target is to become one of the first fully recycled renewable energy products before 2030.

“To achieve that we are looking to build new partnerships in our sustainability supply network. Grafmarine has already worked with the SMI Hub at Henry Royce Institute, looking at the full life cycle of our marine plastics, and we are now including the use of ocean plastic into our next prototype test before the end of 2023.”

The team has also been working in collaboration with The Circular Revolution – an academic research group specialising in the Circular Economy with Swansea and Exeter universities and Powys-based Riversimple – to hone its circular business model and identify further opportunities. The findings will be presented at an event in Cardiff later this year.

Grafmarine Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts said the drive towards net zero and lowering – and eventually eradicating – the company’s carbon footprint goes hand in hand with further development of its Nanodeck technology.

“There are so many avenues we can pursue, and so many ventures and projects at home and overseas we are engaged with,” he said.

“From the recycling of old fishing nets and developing new photovoltaics (PV) with partners in a bid to eliminate toxic waste, to the implementation of alternative ‘green’ materials, we will continue to engage with organisations across the world to make that happen while further developing our product, itself a game-changer for clean energy generation in the marine sector.”

Martin added: “It’s an exciting time for Grafmarine, we are working on a new, larger solar tile prototype that will be unveiled next year and are in discussions to manufacture in Wales from 2025 onwards.

“That’s our vision, things are progressing, and we are very determined to make it happen.”

For more information, visit the website www.grafmarine.com and follow Grafmarine on social media @grafmarineltd.

Global shipping company commits to installing AI solar cells on vessels following successful trials

AN INTERNATIONAL shipping company will install revolutionary solar cells on its vessels to manage and store renewable energy following successful trials in Equatorial waters.

Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd, which operates a fleet of multi-purpose vessels from offices in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, signed a letter of intent with Anglesey and Manchester-based Grafmarine to utilise the cutting-edge NanoDeck AI Solar tile management solution.

The companies have worked in partnership over the last 12 months, providing Grafmarine with a marine vessel to test their NanoDeck technology, a solution which can be attached to any flat surface – in this case, a cargo ship – to capture, store and remotely manage clean energy generation via AI solar technology.

This included a return voyage from Scotland to West Africa, when the NanoDeck sent live data that gave both organisations a better understanding of how the equipment will withstand the rigours of a marine environment.

The first vessel to install this solution was the UAL Osprey, with plans to roll it out to multiple vessels when additional tests are successfully concluded.

Captain Simon Merritt for Carisbrooke Shipping said: “We are extremely excited to be the first trialling such innovative technology, which is already providing promising results. With further modifications and upgrades we hope Grafmarine will find a viable solution not only for Carisbrooke, but also the wider shipping industry to reduce their emissions and provide sustainable shipping above and beyond the goals set by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation).”

Crew on the vessel will support Grafmarine with basic maintenance and monitoring of the hardware and solar cells. They will be trained how to operate the system and access will be given to Grafmarine and partners to carry out assessments and collate results.

Grafmarine Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts said the collaboration will help support the IMO’s vision for a cleaner renewable power source to reduce the industry’s massive impact on the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our tests with Carisbrooke demonstrated the technology does work and provided us with data that will allow us to improve the system further,” he added.

“Trialling it in Equatorial waters gave us a sense of how many efficiency gains can be made and has given us even more confidence in the Nanodeck as a clean, affordable, and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

“We thank Carisbrooke for their support and look forward to continuing the relationship.”

Grafmarine also has test locations in the Celtic Sea via the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapults (ORE) new test buoy at the Marine Energy Test Area (META), as well as a sustainable smart-port platform in the Port of Tyne and plans for further sites across Europe.

For more information, visit the website www.grafmarine.com and follow Grafmarine on social media @grafmarineltd.

You can also visit Carisbrooke Shipping for more news and information.

Pioneering green business successfully trials game-changing solar energy tiles at deep-sea port

GROUNDBREAKING solar energy cells were successfully tested at one of the UK’s most efficient and sustainable deep-sea ports.

Grafmarine, based in Anglesey and Manchester, trialled its NanoDeck AI solar tile management solution at Port of Tyne, near Newcastle.

A leader among international green ‘smart ports’, the site is hosting the UK’s first and only 2050 Maritime Hub, which acts as a catalyst for research, advancing technology and tackling shared challenges in the battle to decarbonise the industry and raise awareness to climate change globally.

Port of Tyne embraced and collaborated with Grafmarine over a period of six months, trialling their state-of-the-art smart solar power solution NanoDeck, which can be attached to any flat surface to capture, store, and remotely manage clean energy.

This pilot was part of the Port’s ‘Clean Energy Testbed’ which aims to enable companies developing innovative clean energy technologies.

Grafmarine’s Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts thanked the Port of Tyne for its support and spirit of collaboration as they explore new ways to help the transport and logistics sector decarbonise and meet future legislation.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at Port of Tyne, they are one of the UK leaders for innovation in sustainability and the journey to decarbonisation in the maritime arena,” said Nigel.

“They are renowned for embracing small technologies and micro businesses like Grafmarine, companies with an idea that could make a major difference for generations to come, with the right backing.

“They have certainly given us that, through engineering and technical support and by identifying the most suitable locations for testing; we can see what a revolutionary concept this is in a marine environment.

“The data we collected reflects and demonstrates the NanoDeck could be an engine to assist in driving decarbonisation at the port and others worldwide in the future.”

Grafmarine Director and Founder Martin Leigh said they will continue working in partnership with Port of Tyne and trial the solar tiles in harsher conditions over the winter.

He added: “With the introduction to additional model designs, PV and battery technology, the opportunity to test our NanoDeck solution in both harsh environmental and low sun radiation conditions will be invaluable to our continued development.”

Eleni Bougioukou, Innovation Manager for Energy and Sustainability at Port of Tyne, echoed those comments and said their focus is on contributing to the growth of the economy while becoming the UK’s safest, most progressive, customer-focused, and environmentally sustainable port for generations to come.

“We are very excited to be working with Grafmarine as the NanoDeck is an example of the kind of clean energy technology that will help decarbonise the maritime sector and accelerate the transition to a clean and sustainable future,” she said.

For more information, visit the website www.grafmarine.com and follow Grafmarine on social media @grafmarineltd.

Visit www.portoftyne.co.uk for the latest news and information from Port of Tyne.

Innovators trialling revolutionary solar technology on ships in Equatorial waters

GRAFMARINE is testing revolutionary solar energy cells in Equatorial waters.

Based at M-SParc in Gaerwen, Anglesey, and Manchester, the company is piloting its NanoDeck AI Solar tile management solution in partnership with Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd, which operates a fleet of multi-purpose vessels from offices in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Grafmarine Director and Founder Martin Leigh said they have come up with a solution which will support the International Maritime Organisation’s urgent requirements for a cleaner renewable alternative power source to reduce the sector’s substantial impact on the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions.

“NanoDeck challenges the current reliance on fossil fuels by providing a clean and sustainable alternative renewable source of energy which can be attached to any flat surface – in this case, a cargo vessel – to capture, store and remotely manage clean energy generation via AI solar technology,” said Martin.

“It can be fitted to both new and existing vessels, helping the industry on its journey to decarbonise and meet future legislation, whilst further assisting in the global development of smart low-carbon ports.”

Commercial Director Nigel Marc Roberts added: “Our collaborative partnership with Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd will provide us with data that will further develop the system as we continue to forge new relationships in the US, Europe and Asia.

“The system offers unique and innovative ‘plug and play’ technology which enables it to be installed quickly at low cost and upgraded in line with technological advances without the need for large investment, making this a future-proof solution.

“We are excited about the future and look forward to commercialising our first NanoDeck system in 2024 with further investment and sea trials in the future.”

Grafmarine also has test locations in the Celtic Sea via the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapults (ORE) new test buoy at the Marine Energy Test Area (META), as well as a sustainable smart-port platform in the Port of Tyne. They are also reviewing trial opportunities in the Basque region of Spain, the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology Canada and the US-based (NREL) National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

A spokesperson for Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd said: “We are pleased to assist Grafmarine by offering them a test platform where their new NanoDeck solution can collect data during real voyages under differing weather conditions and latitudes.

“During the current voyage from Scotland to West Africa and back the NanoDeck has sent live data, enabling Grafmarine to make further improvements and efficiency gains whilst understanding how the equipment will withstand the rigours of the marine environment.”

For more information, visit the website www.grafmarine.com and follow Grafmarine on social media @grafmarineltd.

Manchester-based M247 bolsters senior team with trio of hires

Global connectivity and cloud services provider M247 has continued its run of strategic senior hires, appointing three new product managers.

Ashley Davies joins the Manchester-based business as cloud product manager; Liz Hawke has been appointed product manager for unified communications and collaboration (UC&C); and Robert Smith joins as product manager for cyber security.

Formerly cloud services director at THG Ingenuity, Ashley Davies has a track record of successfully leading product teams and transforming the way end users move from virtualised on-premise environments to automated cloud operating models. He will be responsible for commercial and technical ownership of M247’s flagship cloud product line, as well as full partner landscape management, to further M247’s strategic ambitions.

Liz Hawke joins the business from Gamma, the unified communications ‘as a service’ business, where she was direct product manager for over five years. Liz will lead on UC&C and develop M247’s workplace offering, as the communications needs of businesses evolve.

Robert Smith completes the current wave of senior hires, as product manager for cybersecurity. Prior to joining M247, Robert was networking and cyber security product manager at Maintel. With 25 years’ experience, Robert has a stellar track record of defining product strategy, overseeing product launches and delivering service improvement plans across a broad portfolio of services.

Darryl Edwards, CEO of M247, commented on the appointments: “I am delighted to welcome Ashley, Liz and Robert to the M247 product team teams. With ambitious plans for the business in 2023, the addition of three new Product Leaders, each with their own invaluable experience and expertise, will no doubt be instrumental to supporting the next step of our growth journey.”

Altrincham based Hip Pop expands functional drinks range in Booths

A Cheshire based drinks business has increased their product selection in renowned food and drinks grocers, Booths, less than two years after securing their first retail listing.

Originally stocking four products from Hip Pop’s range of functional kombucha, consumers can now browse up to 10 products, soon to be 12, including their recently launched Living Soda, infused with apple cider vinegar and living cultures.

Hip Pop products have also been moved from the back of the store to the front, now including multipacks consisting of four cans in each pack.

Hip Pop’s co-founders, Emma Thackray and Kenny Goodman, secured the brand’s first major retail listing with Booths in the summer of 2021, following an impressive period of online growth. Their second retail listing was secured in 2022, with London’s leading department store, Harrods.

On the expansion, Emma said: “We are always looking for new ways to grow our business and achieve more brand recognition. One of the best ways we’ve been able to do this is by working directly with leading retailers, such as Booths.

“Our product range has grown substantially over the last 12 months, and we are excited to see an increasing number of Hip Pop products on the shelves.

“With new products in the pipeline, as well as moving into a larger brewery later this year, we hope this will open doors to further discussions with other retailers as our production capacity increases, allowing us to build long lasting relationships.”

Originally founded in 1847, Booths is now a leading grocery chain with 27 stores located across Northern England. Having secured second place in the list of the World’s greatest Food Retailers, the firm prides itself on working closely with British suppliers.
Based in Altrincham, Hip Pop’s team has grown substantially, and they now employ a team of 16, including Juliet Barratt, co-founder, and previous chief marketing officer of Grenade.

In the latter half of 2022, Hip Pop permanently slashed their prices by up to 50% to support new and existing customers throughout the cost-of-living crisis, and cemented a partnership with Manchester homelessness charity, Lifeshare, with one meal donated for every 24 cans sold.

The brand has received several industry accolades, including two stars at the Great Taste Awards, and the title of ‘Independent Drinks Producer of the Year’ at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival in 2022.

For more information, visit: www.drinkhippopr.com

The Zenith and Tiger Trailers relationship continues to strengthen as the manufacturer’s supply nears 500 assets following the latest orders

The relationship between Zenith Trailer Rentals and Tiger Trailers continues to strengthen following the Cheshire manufacturer’s supply of an additional 250 semi-trailers of differing types during 2022 which, when joined by the initial orders placed for 2023, will take the size of the Tiger Trailers fleet that Zenith operates to over 500 vehicles.

Tiger’s supply of trailers to Zenith commenced during 2021, with one hundred tandem axle box vans plus sixty tri axle curtainsiders finished in the livery of the nationwide joinery and furniture end user they were destined for.

During 2022, Tiger has manufactured a significant further volume of trailers for Zenith, comprised an additional one hundred and fifty unbranded tri axle single deck curtainsiders and one hundred curtainsided double deck step-frame trailers with wraparound curtains for operational versatility, some of which carry the branding of a major pet retailer.

The double deck trailers’ bolted decks can be set to any of three positions, prioritising the upper or lower deck, or splitting them 50:50, thus making them ideal for the pallet network amongst other environments. Their roofs slope downwards at the front for aerodynamic and fuel-saving purposes, and the trailers’ bespoke load-securing specification includes the fitment of kites, with straps incorporated at the rear to enable the tying back of the curtains. The double deck trailers will predominantly operate out of Zenith’s Carrington depot to the west of Manchester.

The partnership between the two companies is set to continue strongly, with Zenith having placed its first Tiger Trailers orders for 2023. Earlier on in 2022, Tiger Trailers’ production lines passed a milestone and the manufacturer’s 10,000th trailer was built for Zenith.

Phil Rodman, Managing Director of Zenith Trailer Rentals, says: “We have developed a close and valued working relationship with Tiger Trailers over the last two years and are very pleased with the quality of the trailers manufactured in time and in full manner. The Tiger Trailers assets were built to our exact requirements and form an important part of our sizeable and versatile rental fleet of over 50,000 heavy commercial vehicles, and we look forward to continuing to grow our relationship with Tiger throughout 2023 and beyond.”

Part of the company’s Commercial division, Zenith Trailer Rentals, the trading name of Contract Vehicle Rentals Limited, has a 22% share of the UK articulated trailer hire market. Headquartered in Leeds and employing over 1,250 people, Zenith’s vision is to decarbonise the UK vehicle parc by eliminating tailpipe emissions. The Group has also joined the EV100 global initiative to tackle the electric transport transition, reduce air pollution and combat climate change.

Darren Holland, Sales Director at Tiger Trailers, comments: “We are proud to be supporting Zenith in manufacturing a diverse range of articulated trailers for their fleet, tailored to the required specifications. Tiger’s efficient production practices and continuous investment enable us to build large quantities of trailers to relatively expedient lead times. It’s a pleasure to work closely with Phil and the wider Zenith team and we look forward to continuing to support them over the coming months and years.”

Tiger Trailers is one of the UK’s leading semi-trailer and rigid bodywork manufacturers and operates from a state-of-the-art factory complex including a customer showroom. The company builds the full range of products including moving double decks, temperature-controlled trailers, flatbeds and demounts. The manufacturer’s CSR and ESG initiatives from solar panels and car chargers to tree planting are complemented by the Tiger Safety Team and the road safety programme it delivers to schools.