Don Foster MP

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Bath tech firm finds room to grow in new offices

October 3, 2023 by admin in News

Financial services technology firm Ascentric has moved to larger premises in Bath after outgrowing its previous base.

The firm, a subsidiary of Royal London Insurance and which has more than £3bn of clients’ funds under management, was launched in 2006.

It has grown rapidly over the past two years and now employs more than 200 people.

The expansion has prompted the move from its original Palace Mews base off Charlotte Street to the 27,000 sq ft former Council offices in Trimbridge House, Trim Street, in the city centre, which have been refurbished to Ascentric’s specific requirements and to allow for additional expansion.

Managing director Hugo Thorman said the new offices would provide a much more practical and efficient environment for the firm.

The new offices were opened by Bath MP Don Foster, who said: “Ascentric has become an important employer in Bath over a relatively short period of time and it is tremendous news that the business is staying right in the city’s centre.”

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BBC accused of secret advertising deal over Berghaus jackets

October 3, 2023 by admin in News

The BBC has been accused of allowing some of its most high-profile presenters to effectively advertise outdoor clothing after receiving discounts for them of 45%.

George Alagiah, the news reader, Neil Oliver, the presenter of the documentary series Coast, and Professor Brian Cox, who presented BBC2′s Wonders of the Solar System, have all been shown on television with the Berghaus logo prominent.

Regional reporters have also appeared in the firm’s clothing, as has the BBC‘s diplomatic and royal correspondent, Peter Hunt.

Viewers noticed the Berghaus label so regularly that many began to voice their concerns online.

Berghaus put a statement on its websiteon March 1 this year to deny any underhand deals and to reassure the viewing public that there was no sponsorship deal in place.

It stated: “No sponsorship deal exists between the BBC and Berghaus as this would break the BBC’s editorial guidelines.

“Over the years, BBC reporters have chosen to buy Berghaus products for use while working outdoors.

“Of course, we are pleased that correspondents, camera operators and others working in the media choose our kit, but to be clear, there is no sponsorship agreement.”

MPs accused the BBC of “advertising by the back door”.

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat culture spokesman, said: “The BBC should be squeaky clean about any commercial arrangements it enters into, particularly if the products might be seen on screen.”

The BBC Trust said it had received no complaints on this issue.

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BBC ‘ad deal’ row on £320 anoraks

October 3, 2023 by admin in News

THE BBC has been accused of “advertising on the sly” after a string of presenters wore Berghaus jackets on TV.

Bosses negotiated a 45 per cent discount on the posh anoraks, which normally cost up to £320.

Lib Dem culture spokesman Don Foster said: “The BBC should be squeaky clean about commercial arrangements.”

The Beeb has spent £18,000 on 169 Berghaus jackets in the past year.

Both the BBC and Berghaus yesterday denied any advertising or sponsorship deals.

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