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Renowned kitchen designer Johnny Grey is featured in the latest Simon Acres Group ‘Industry Legends’ series. Widely acknowledged to have been at the forefront of kitchen design since the 1980s, Johnny Grey has authored five books, is visiting professor of design and kitchen culture at Bucks New University and works with the Royal Society of Arts to spread kitchen design into universities worldwide. He runs Johnny Grey Studios, which has designed kitchens for high-profile clients since 1978.

“It was a privilege to talk with Johnny,” says Simon Acres Group Principal Director, Simon Acres. “He is a true legend within the kitchen design sector, recognised for his interest in innovation, world class ideas about kitchen design as well as his custom made, contemporary kitchens. His recent move into creating multigenerational kitchens is a part of behaviour centred design approach for those with disability or ageing issues and how we will live together in the future.

“Johnny’s insights into kitchen design are fascinating. He has an unrivalled passion for craftsmanship and British design. He is also committed to training the designers of the future with his work at Bucks New University.”

During the film Johnny talked about the future of retailing. He said, “Independent retailers are a great asset to the UK design industry. They have to work together to promote the benefits of design excellence. Working with other professionals such as architects and property agents can be useful, but above all, I would encourage designers to push the boundaries and engage with their customers, showing they care about them and their lifestyles and not just the sale.

“I would urge designers to take risks and question their customers about what they really want from their kitchen. Look at all options and present them with ideas they may not have considered. A kitchen is probably the most expensive item people buy for their home. Retailers can reflect this by putting in the time and care to develop thoughtful solutions that are presented with creativity and confidence.”
The Johnny Grey film can be found on the Simon Acres Group website seen here.

Yvonne Orgill, MD at the Unified Water Label (UWL) comments on the 2020 budget.

“The promises of substantial investment in infrastructure and housing are welcome, as are the measures to combat climate change but the coronavirus crisis and the government advice on washing hands thoroughly, brings into sharp focus the issues around using water wisely.

“The levels of investment promised by Chancellor Rishi Sunak were impressive.  A £30bn package to combat the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy. £27bn of investment in infrastructure and a £12bn five-year affordable housing programme.

“The government hopes that these measures will help SME businesses deal with the short term impact of the coronavirus and boost the economy to halt the turmoil in the markets.

“Whilst dealing with coronavirus is the most immediate priority, focusing on climate change and the need to use water wisely, the world’s most precious resource, must not be ignored.

“It is my hope that we can encourage companies to use the UWL Water Calculator which contains information on water consumption for hundreds of products, enabling quick and easy specification, as the new housing programme gets underway.”

Known for fronting SPAL’s How to Series of videos Maggie Lech is taking up a new position at the UK warehousing and distribution arm of the world leading designer and manufacturer of axial fans and centrifugal blowers.

Effective this week, Maggie’s new responsibilities as Business Development Manager for Off Highway, Agriculture and Construction sectors West will dovetail with those of other recent recruit Adam Betteridge (BDM Off Highway, Agriculture and Construction sectors East).  Although each will have their own sales territory the two have agreed there will be some crossover where there are pre-existing business relationships.

Commenting on the new role, Maggie said:  “I am looking forward to promoting SPAL’s high quality heavy duty cooling solutions to customers, expanding the reach of SPAL in servicing and spare parts as well as making the sector aware of the availability of OEM products accessible to the aftermarket.”

Maggie will also work on building the network of approved distributors and dealers within the sector and looks to forming long term customer relationships.

Matthew Morris, MD SPAL Automotive UK, praised the move: “Having provided amazing office-based support over the last few years Maggie always had the ambition to progress and now she will be full time out on the road getting one-to-one with customers. With her in depth product knowledge and sparkling personality, she will be a great asset to the sales team.”


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