Meet the Manufacturer, the only 100% British sourcing event, is seeking manufacturers and designers who are innovators in technology & design, product  development and sustainability to take part in a new ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition this year. The two-day conference and trade show on 25 and 26 May will feature Innovation Accelerator for manufacturers on day one and Designer’s Den for designers on day two.

Enterprising manufacturers and designers are invited to submit their ideas ahead of the event. Those with the most promising concepts will be selected to attend the Meet the Manufacturer conference to pitch their idea to a panel of experts and benefit from their knowledge and advice to take their business to the next level.

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Even when times are tough financially, there are some areas in which people are always willing to spend. One of them is the pet industry, making it a resilient area that has shown consistent growth in recent years. With 58 million pets in the country and around £4.6bn spent on them annually, it’s an area with huge potential and it provides jobs in pet food production, manufacture, transport, technology and more.

Practical items

Every pet needs food and the market for basic pet food is huge, catering to many different kinds of animal. Because some pets are fussy, there are often multiple flavours of food in demand within a single brand, and there’s a market for specialist food such as dog chews designed to protect tooth enamel. Pet medicine is another major area, covering everything from drugs to supports for injured animals, and pet housing is also in high demand, from cages for small rodents to dog kennels. Consumers also spend on bedding, grooming equipment and toys.

Luxury items

Alongside this market in practical items, there’s a market in luxury goods. Most pet owners like to provide occasional treats in the form of snacks, but also included in this market are luxury foods designed to provide animals with gourmet meals – or at least with what their owners like to think they’d perceive that way. Luxury clothing for pets is increasingly popular; as are manicures, dye jobs, stencilled tattoos and other forms of elaborate grooming. Many pets even have their own social media accounts and there are new online services to help them meet others in their local areas.

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Britain’s festival of boating drew to a close after welcoming everyone from sailing legends to pop stars 

As the 2015 Southampton Boat Show closed on Sunday 20 September, over 110,000 people had enjoyed a taste of Britain’s biggest boating festival. The Show saw 23 boats make their world debut and over 330 of the world's leading sailboats and high-performance powerboats on the water.

Strong sales have been reported throughout the duration of the Show, with many companies reporting an increase on last year’s figures including multi-million pound deals. Some serious marine business has been conducted with contracts between the marine divisions of companies such as Rolls-Royce and Sunseeker International being signed.

The Show kicked off in style with F1 presenter, Suzi Perry opening the Sunseeker stand with Britain’s Got Talent winners, Collabro. The Red Arrows provided visitors with a show-stopping display over the purpose-built marina on the first weekend, with sailing legends Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Olympian, Annie Lush all making appearances during the ten day event.

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The Chesterfield Company has expanded its operation by opening a new factory in Blackburn.The new premises covers almost 2000 square metres and has further room for expansion, allowing the company to increase the number of quality, handmade Chesterfield Sofas as well as various other items of furniture including beanbags, footstools, arm chairs, sofa beds and much more.

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“HISTORIC” is a collection of fine jewellery inspired by the remarkable work of William Burges, (1827-1881) was one of the most imaginative architect designers of the Victorian era. The collection was created by Neil Rayment, an Award winning goldsmith, and a renowned British designer with more than 20 years of experience in the jewellery and silverware industry.

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Lincolnshire based specialist leather company introduce the Abreption School of leather work.

Whether it’s the warming scent or the soft, supple feel, there is something special about leather that deeply appeals to the senses. This summer, the Abreption School will be opening its doors in Grantham, inviting interested crafters to learn more about the ancient trade of leather working.

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