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Liverpool John Lennon Airport's Health and Testing Provider eyes up ₤100m acquisition strategy

IN our weekly edition published on 6 June 2021,  we got a chance to interview the MD of AKEA Life, Ben Paglia, at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. In a new development, we have now been told that Salutaris People, the British healthcare and testing company that provides rapid PCR testing for airline passengers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in partnership with Test Assurance Group (TAG) and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, has announced a ₤100m acquisition strategy. We are told that it plans to acquire a number of businesses in the healthcare and facilities management sectors, within the North West and North East Regions over the next 3 years.

The company, which is on the UK Government's list of approved Covid19 test providers, will develop subsidiaries in Covid19 Testing Centres, healthcare recruitment, facilities management and logistics. Salutaris People is actively looking to acquire existing businesses across:- Greater Manchester, Leeds, Cheshire, Lancashire and Liverpool, operating within these sectors, with a turnover of between ₤1m to ₤10m. In addition to its existing private/corporate testing and PPE supply, Salutaris People will also tender for Government and NHS contracts. Previously, the PPE market has been the subject of intense public and media scrutiny over the awarding of such contracts during the Pandemic to businesses with no background in medical or healthcare.

The founders of Salutaris People, who have a combined 30 year proven track record in the healthcare and medical sectors, believe their exemplary track record in terms of service, transparency and accountability will put them in good standing for securing both UK and overseas Government contracts. Salutaris People has also retained 1 of the UK's leading corporate finance firms MHA Tait Walker to handle its acquisition growth and corporate finance. Corporate Finance Associate Partner Lee Humble will work closely alongside Salutaris People and its founder Ross Tomkins to oversee the corporate growth strategy over the next 3 years.

A Big 4 qualified ACA accountant, Lee Humble started his career with PWC over 15 years ago and has a varied background with 1st hand experience as a business owner, as well as being a finance director and advisor to several businesses he assisted with the pursuit of organic and acquisitive growth strategies. Since joining MHA Tait Walker in 2019, Lee has become a key leading member of the corporate finance team, with a focus on fast growth business and equity/debt-led transactions. Lee is also a central member in the MHA Corporate Finance network, which is one of the most active deal advisory groups in the UK.

Salutaris People CEO and healthcare entrepreneur Ross Tomkins said:- "We are delighted to be working with MHA Tait Walker on the corporate expansion plans for Salutaris People across both the North West and North East regions of the UK. Lee Humble brings a considerable amount of specialist expertise and knowledge to this client relationship, with the backing of a large advisory team in MHA. As an accountant, corporate finance specialist, investor and business owner, he understands both sides of the relationship, which is really important to us as we start our expansion plans. The economic powerhouse regions, particularly in the North West in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, produce some of the most innovative and dynamic businesses in the UK. We are really excited about the acquisition potential in these regions. We aim to channel those acquisitions along with our combined 30 years of expertise in the healthcare sector to make Salutaris People a global brand. Healthcare recruitment will become a big part of our corporate offering, as we have seen the strain placed on the NHS during the Pandemic and how this has then filtered down into the private sector. As many Government contracts in the PPE and Covid testing sectors come under rigorous scrutiny and oversight, we believe Salutaris People will be best placed to facilitate those supply chain contracts due to the very high standards and efficacy we adopt within our business practices."

Entrepreneur Ross Tomkins has a number of business interests across both the Northwest and the Northeast, with a strong focus on healthcare. He is the CEO and founder of Therapy Direct Healthcare, Balmoral Physio and Normedica medical supplies. Therapy Direct Healthcare is an ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 45001 accredited company formed in 2006 by clinical director Ross Tomkins, providing private and occupational health and physiotherapy services. Its client base ranges from NHS trusts, county Councils and blue light fire and rescue services to companies operating in the oil and gas sectors. Normedica was formed in 2007 and registered with the MHRA as a medical and hospital supplies business.

The business was acquired in 2019 by Ross and Joanne Tomkins and has since gone from strength to strength. It now supplies a wide range of public and private sector clients, including the NHS, Virgin Care and the Irish Government.

Salutaris People is also working closely with Liverpool based Test Assurance Group and Cheshire based private GP and testing provider AKEA Life. Together they operate the testing suite at Wilmslow; which serves Cheshire clients flying from Manchester International Airport. They also provide the Covid 19 rapid testing and on site laboratory facilities at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in partnership with the airport.

Lee Humble of MHA Tait Walker said:- "We are excited to be working with such a dynamic entrepreneur in Ross Tomkins. Salutaris People has an incredibly exciting future ahead both in the private and public sector, due to the nature of the markets it will operate in. Ross and his team bring an impressive 30 year track record in the healthcare sector to Salutaris People. This will enable the business to expand its Covid testing capability, develop its healthcare recruitment, facilities management and logistics services. The ₤100M 3 year acquisition plan is more than achievable given the sectors it plans to operate in and the high standards operated by the management teams both in situ and yet to join. We have numerous funding channels open to us with a view to facilitating our growth plans and we are already in active dialogue with multiple parties who we see as a great fit."

Salutaris People plans to open 3 Covid19 Testing Centres in the North West and three testing suites in the North East as air travel restrictions are gradually lifted under the traffic light system. It currently has rapid PCR testing suites and a laboratory at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Wilmslow in Cheshire. The company will launch its Newcastle Upon Tyne, Stockton On Tees and Sunderland testing suites in July to serve airline passengers wanting to fly from Newcastle International Airport and Teeside Airport. Both the Salutaris People test suites at Liverpool and Wilmslow provide Covid19 testing for airline passengers wishing to fly from Manchester International Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

For more information on Salutaris People and to book a test, visit:- SalutarisPeople.Com.

Brits plan to splash out on UK staycations this summer

UK motorists are planning to drive an average of 212 miles further for their UK holidays than they have in previous years, as staycations continue to boom. A study, conducted by Euro Car Parts, found that 33% of drivers will drive further this summer, due to the restrictions of international travel, and are also happy to spend more on their UK holidays than normal (30%).

Brits are also planning to use this summer to explore more of the UK, with 27% saying they would be visiting different parts of the country more often than usual, and another 27% planning to go on multiple staycations.

In comparison, 8% drivers said they'd be looking to stay close to home this summer, whilst just 11% of those surveyed are planning on visiting the same destinations that they would normally.

The research revealed that drivers of green vehicles are the most likely to be planning to drive further for their holidays. Electric car motorists are the most willing to embark on longer distances for their getaway, with 64% saying they are happy to visit destinations further away than normal.

However, it is hybrid car owners who are planning to drive the greatest distances for their getaway, at an average of 268 miles more than previous summers (June to August 2021).

On average, how much further Brits are willing to drive for their UK holidays (by fuel type):-

1. Hybrid - 268 miles.

2. Electric - 225 miles.

3. Diesel - 211 miles.

4. Petrol - 208 miles.

Across the UK, Londoners are anticipating the longest drives, 46% stating that they are happy to drive further than usual for their summer break. Bristolians meanwhile are planning to travel the most, with 37% saying they would be venturing on more than one UK escape.

The 10 Cities willing to drive furthest for their UK holidays are:-

1. London - 267 miles.

2. Southampton - 224 miles.

3. Newcastle - 220 miles.

4. Liverpool - 217 miles.

5. Edinburgh - 199 miles.

6. Cardiff - 199 miles.

7. Manchester - 188 miles.

8. Birmingham - 187 miles.

9. Glasgow - 170 miles.

10. Norwich - 169 miles.

For those looking to drive further than usual this summer, here are 3 expert tips for maximising fuel efficiency.

1. Manage your revs... Keep an eye on your revs when changing gear. The most fuel efficient RPM to change up a gear is 2,500 for a petrol car and 2,000 for diesel. So, monitor the revs count, stick to that number and the pennies you'll save will soon stack up. Additionally, try to avoid dropping your revs too low, as this could cause unnecessary strain on the engine and waste fuel. Staying above 1,500 revs in petrol and 1,300 in diesel cars should comfortably avoid this.

2. Slow down on high speed roads... Driving at high speeds down dual carriageways and motorways means your engine is operating at a higher RPM than it is on slower roads. However, by simply slowing down a little on those fast roads you could end up saving a lot of money. The most efficient speed to drive at is between 55 to 65mph, so driving at lower speeds could help you to conserve fuel.

3. nDon't overfill your tank... Although it seems counter intuitive, brimming your tank will lead to extra fuel being used to transport the extra weight, and by only filling it up halfway you can save money in the process.

UK holiday parks are also seeing a rise in people travelling from further afield for their UK breaks this year. Lisa Williams, Director of Marketing and Holiday Sales at UK holiday home park, Park Leisure, said:- "Brits are definitely making the most of their summer staycations this year. We're noticing a trend for customers wanting to experience different parts of the UK and they are travelling further away from home and staying for longer when they're there. Whereas in previous years we'd expect to see a lot of bookings for long weekends, we're noticing more enquires for one and 2 week stays. With the beauty that UK destinations, such as:- Cornwall, Wales and Northumberland, have to offer, it's not hard to see why!"

Helen Robinson, Corporate Communications Director at Euro Car Parts, said:- "With international travel likely to be off the table for many families, more and more people are looking to explore the amazing holiday destinations that the UK has to offer, and from our research it's clear that Brits are far more willing to look at destinations in Britain that are further afield for their getaways. We hope that our fuel saving advice helps holidaymakers to save money on their journey, so they can instead spend it at their destination."

So what tips do you our readers have for driving efficiently this summer and are you going to have a summer staycation? Email our Newsroom with your thoughts on this:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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