SOUTHINGTON – Police on Christmas arrested a man and accused him of breaking into two businesses and trying to break into a third.
Scott Rhault, 43, of Thomaston, faces charges in burglaries at both Wine Works and Silver City Vapors, and an attempted burglary at Smokers Dream World.
Police said they received the first burglary alarm around 10:28 p.m. at Wine Works, located at 1700 West St. Responding officers found signs of forced entry into the building, as well as video surveillance that showed a suspect wearing all black clothing.
Then at 11:06 p.m., police received another burglary alarm, with this one being reported at Silver City Vapors, located at 1049 Queen St. Police there also found signs of forced entry and video surveillance that showed a suspect wearing all black clothing, similar to the suspect in the Wine Works break-in.
At that time, a suspect could not be located. Shortly thereafter, around 11:30 p.m., an officer saw a man matching the description of the two break-ins approach a strip mall along the Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. The suspect, police said, tried opening the door to several businesses and tried fleeing as officers approached him.
Police were able to take the suspect into custody, identifying him as Rhault.
Police also said they were able to tie him to the break-ins at Wine Works and Silver City Vapors, as well as an attempted break-in at Smokers Dream World, located at 1209 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike.
Rhault was held on $50,000 bond and was expected to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Tuesday. He faces six counts of attempted third-degree burglary, three counts of possession of burglary tools, and two counts each of third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal trespassing.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.
Her existing mortgage rate on the property is 3.76pc. But when the fixed rate expires in June, she will be moved to a standard variable rate. This is currently 7.85pc. This means that Mrs Deane’s mortgage payments will jump by 106pc from £6,914 per year to £14,299.
Currently, Mrs Deane makes a post-tax profit of £931 per year on the property. After her fixed-rate mortgage expires, she will be losing £4,977 per year. The blow has been amplified by the phasing out of tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages since 2017.
She said: “This affects our ability to pay our own mortgage and bills, and therefore is not sustainable. Sadly, I am now looking at the possibility of leaving the private rental sector altogether.”
Mrs Deane will be unable to remortgage the property because she will not be able to meet lenders’ stress test requirements. While residential loan sizes have maximum income multiples, buy-to-let mortgages are stress tested by an interest coverage ratio – a measure of how the rental income compares to a borrower’s interest payments.
For smaller landlords, the rent must total 125pc of interest payments. But landlords with larger portfolios, such as Mrs Deane, have a higher ICR requirement of 145pc. This dramatically amplifies the impact of higher mortgage rates.
In order for the property to be mortgageable, Mrs Deane would need to raise the rent by 25pc. But her tenant is on housing benefits, which have been frozen since 2020. “I do not see how this level of increase could be imposed on our tenants given their low income and the rising cost of living,” Mrs Deane said.
Two of Mrs Deane’s fixed-rate deals expire in June next year. The remaining three expire in January 2024. She has already served notice to one of her tenants. She said: “The financial and moral dilemma we find ourselves in is heart-breaking.”
The Bank of England has warned that the remortgage crunch will hit the buy-to-let sector particularly hard because 85pc of outstanding buy-to-let mortgages are interest-only, which are subject to more stringent stress testing than repayment mortgages.
There is also a particular risk for landlords who had agreed a consent to let on their residential mortgages.
WATCH NOW: Bristol Village Board votes to sell 60 acres of land to affiliate of Hard Rock International | Local News
BRISTOL — The Village Board and the Community Development Authority voted unanimously to sell nearly 60 acres of land to Hard Rock International for about $15 million Tuesday evening.
The vote came after a nearly 2-hour meeting at the Municipal Building, 19801 83rd St., that at times became contentious between area residents in support or against the sale to Kenosha Landco LLC, an affiliate of the Davie, Florida-based Hard Rock International.
Kenosha Landco LLC purchased nearly 59.91 acres of land located southwest of Interstate 94 and 60th Street from the village for $15,213,221.
The land is owned by the village but is located within the City of Kenosha because of a longstanding boundary agreement between the two Kenosha County municipalities. Any approvals for development on the land must come through the City of Kenosha because the land is located in city limits.
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Bristol Village Administrator Randall Kerkman said the village has been marketing the land for years and Kenosha Landco LLC made the highest offer for the site located southwest of Uke’s Harley-Davidson (on the opposite side of the interstate) and northwest of Cracker Barrel.
“I think it’s a great thing for the taxpayers if the sale goes through for $15.3 million,” Village Trustee John McCabe told the Kenosha News after the vote. “We could do a lot of good with that.”
Dozens of village residents turned out to express their concerns or hopes about the sale and to ask questions of village officials.
Resident Diana Brenner spoke against the sale during the public comment portion of the meeting. She feared the sale would pave the way for the casino.
“Do we need money? Yes. But does it come as a price tag of morals or values? Because this is going to bring more crime in,” Brenner said, adding she wants to keep the areas surrounding the village “family oriented.”
However, resident Todd Becker said he is “greatly in favor of a casino.”
“I think of all the direct jobs,” he said. “I also think of all the associated tax revenue that will come in from the casino, restaurant and hotels—anything that’s going to be built with it or built around it. Fifteen million dollars plus all that revenue, my goodness, that can only be a good thing for Bristol and the residents in Kenosha County as a whole.”
Becker said anyone opposed to a casino shouldn’t visit one.
“That’s your prerogative, don’t go,” he said. “But don’t interfere with my personal choices and freedoms. Give me my choice, you can have yours.”
Resident Bob LeFebve said he’s in favor of the board selling the property.
“I see this as two elements,” he said. “First of all, we own a piece of property that is not in the village but resides in the City of Kenosha. I know there’s a lot of rumors around that it will eventually be a casino, and that may well be, but that matter lies with the City of Kenosha, the County of Kenosha and the State of Wisconsin. That is not a matter before the (Village) Board. Our matter is simply do we sell this land that we’ve had in our inventory for a long period of time.”
Lorri Pickens, of Appleton-based Citizens Against Expanded Gambling, also attended the meeting. Perkins fought against the sale of land to Kenosha Landco LLC.
“I oppose any sort of government-sanctioned gambling,” she told the Kenosha News.
“When you think about the role of government, its primary job is to protect its citizens. How does the government win in this scenario? The citizens lose. Do you honestly think that everyone walks away from a casino a winner? Very few people (do). The odds are stacked very much against them. The entire industry’s business model is based on those who play to extinction. They don’t make money off of the casual gambler who goes in and spends $50 and leaves.”
Still, most in attendance spoke against the sale.
When asked by the Kenosha News if Tuesday’s attendees represented the will of the village residents, Village President Mike Farrell said “I don’t know the answer to that.”
Hard Rock International had previously planned to partner with the Menominee Indian Tribe to develop an $800 million hotel and casino at the former site of Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha.
A referendum on the matter was approved by residents and supported by locally elected officials. The plan, however, was rejected by then Gov. Scott Walker in 2015 during his presidential campaign and after objections from the Forest County Potawatomi, operators of a casino in Milwaukee.
Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole tribe and operates casinos across the country. On Wednesday morning Hard Rock International formally announced plans to develop an entertainment center and casino with the Menominee tribe.
Hard Rock International recently opened a casino and entertainment complex in northwest Indiana. Chicago officials have also given the greenlight to a major casino in that city.
Financial services firm Alpha FX has become the latest business to occupy the Hanover House office development in Bristol.
The company, which develops strategies and technologies to help organisations effectively manage currency, will be based in the building’s third floor after agreeing a five-year lease.
The firm, listed on the London Stock Exchange, is the fifth occupier of the facility on Queen Charlotte Street in the city centre, with the building’s ground floor now the only unlet.
It joins Norwegian wireless fabless manufacturing firm Nordic Semiconductor, specialist professional services and technology business Davies Group, geology and mine planning software supplier Datamine Software and planning consultancy LDA Design.
Refurbishment work was undertaken on Hanover House in 2020 to install a reconfigured reception, a new shower and changing facilities, cycle storage and car parking.
The deal that saw Alpha FX secure its new open plan space, totalling 3,255 sq ft, was overseen by agency Colliers, which advised the landlord as sole leasing agent on Hanover House.
James Preece, director in the national offices team at Colliers, said: “The refurbishment of Hanover House has proved to be very popular with occupiers seeking space that offers a relaxed feel with highly efficient new systems and finishes. Three new tenants have relocated here in the last 12 months.”
Luc Barford, managing director of Alpha FX commented: “Hanover House was a great fit for Alpha FX due to the high-quality refurbishment as well as a great location. We look forward to building an inspiring office space that takes us to the next phase of our exciting growth journey.”
Founded in 2009, Alpha FX employs around 100 people, with other offices based in London, Amsterdam and Toronto.
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The name of the new multimillion-pound facility being built as part of a major expansion of Bristol’s Bottle Yard film and television studios has been announced.
The state-of-the-art facility, which is being built on an industrial site in South Bristol, will be called TBY2. The space will have three sound stages – 20,000 sq ft, 16,500 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft- and is expected to open in the autumn of this year.
More than 40,000 sq ft of ancillary space is also being built, including serviced production offices, prop stores, construction workshops, costume and makeup, and break-out areas.
The £12m expansion is being backed by the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) and, once finished, will mean the Bottle Yard will have 11 stages for filming. The studios’ expansion is also intended to maintain and grow film and TV production in Bristol and the West of England, the Bottle Yard said.
Energy supply for the facility will be supported by a large photovoltaic panel, while transport between the main Bottle Yard Studios site and the TBY2 facility will be carbon neutral, with electric vehicle points and cycling provision.
The studios confirmed earlier this year that Bristol City Council, which owns and runs The Bottle Yard Studios, had contracted global construction specialists ISG to deliver TBY2 and that works were under way.
Titles recently filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios, the largest dedicated film and television production facility in the West of England, include STARZ Original Series Becoming Elizabeth (premiering Sunday, June 12), Stephen Merchant’s BBC/Amazon series The Outlaws (series two airing now), Netflix sci fi family series The Last Bus and BBC dramas Chloe, Showtrial and The Girl Before.
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As the nation celebrates The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, what better time to toast the triumph of the South West firms which have been crowned winners of some terrific titles?
Companies from across the region have been contacting BusinessLive to share the news of their success in being recognised with awards in recent months.
BusinessLive and its sister websites are no stranger to recognising the achievements of businesses in the South West. You can find out more about how to enter the BathLive Business Awards here. Nominations are also open for the GloucestershireLive Business Awards too.
So, from cheesemakers to accountants, here is a selection, in no particular order, of some of the businesses which have been achieving the gold standard in recent weeks.
Butcombe Pubs & Inns (Liberation Group), Bristol
Bristol-based brewery and pub brand Butcombe and its parent company Liberation Group had an evening to remember when it won a clutch of prizes at the annual Publican Awards.
The group, which operates an estate of more than 120 pubs, bars and inns across the South West and Channel Islands, took home a trio of awards as hospitality firms were recognised for outstanding work in the face of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The firm was named Best Accommodation Operator, Best Premium Food Offer and Best Managed Pub Company (+51 sites) at the event in London, hosted by Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness.
Jayson Perfect, group managing director of pubs and inns, at Liberation Group said: “Winning these prestigious accolades is such an honour and pays testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the business – from the teams at our pubs, head offices, breweries and distribution centres.
“Hopefully our success will shine a light on this fabulous industry and the incredible career paths we offer, encouraging those with a passion for people and hospitality to give it a try.”
Rumwell Farm Shop, Somerset
The Somerset farm shop scooped nine Taste of the West Awards for its own-made products including seven golds.
The shop, which is based on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington, received an award for each category it entered, with every product made by the team on site, and some featuring its farm produce.
The business won golds for its traditional pork sausage; unsmoked back bacon; homemade faggots; runner bean chutney; spinach mushroom and feta quiche; granary loaf; and jam doughnut. It also took a silver for its new gluten-free doughnut and was commended for its pear and almond tart.
Anne Mitchell, joint owner of the Farm Shop, said: “We’re delighted to have received all these awards and so many golds. These are truly wonderful results – an award for every product we entered, which is amazing!”
The business is celebrating its 25th anniversary in business this year.
Cornwall-based audio and ebook app Xigxag was named one of the most innovative tech companies in the UK in March.
The Gunnislake-headquartered company was announced as a Tech Nation 4.0 Rising Stars winner – the first time a business associated with the publishing industry has won the industry experts’ top accolade for start-ups.
With more than 26,000 downloads since launching, Xigxag offers readers a catalogue that holds more than 95% of the Sunday Times bestseller list.
Kelli Fairbrother, co-founder and chief executive at Xigxag, said the business was proud to represent the “tremendous potential” of Cornwall as an innovation hub within the UK tech ecosystem.
Ms Fairbrother said: “Our aim has always been to make reading easier and more accessible, engaging, and sustainable so that everyone can enjoy more books.
“We are grateful to receive recognition for creating the first-ever listen-and-read concept, the best-ever digital reading app and content platform in the industry – an exciting alternative to big tech.”
The digital advertising agency, which has offices in Exeter and Bristol, was named the best of its size throughout the whole continent at the European Search Awards ceremony in Barcelona in May.
The judges praised Launch for its “team-centric” approach to its work ,as it won the Best Small PPC Agency (under 25 employees) in Europe, and also Best Use of Search in the B2B category, for its work to drive global revenue for an ISO provider based in the UK.
The firm’s founder Jaye Cowle said: “Our mission is to be the happiest agency in the UK. I believe that happy people do great work, regardless of where you work or what you do.
“So, I am absolutely thrilled that the judges recognised this and saw how it is possible to deliver on challenging goals and have a happy work-life balance.”
Beach Retreats, Cornwall
Cornish self-catering specialist Beach Retreats scooped a top title in the international Shortyz awards in recognition of its outstanding social media over the last year.
The Shortyz bring together short-let industry leaders from around the world to shine the spotlight on the sectors success stories. They are decided by a panel of judges and through a public vote.
Designed to inspire guests to enjoy the beauty of Cornwall’s beaches, it was Beach Retreats’ #beachoutofhours campaign that won them the Most Effective Use of Social Media award. The campaign was created in response to the sharp increase in visitors that Cornwall experienced last year.
“It is an honour to receive this recognition for our social media,” said Lowenna Logue, brand manager for Beach Retreats. “These awards are testament to the hard work of the team and are a fantastic start to the season.”
Thatchers Cider, Somerset
The Somerset-based cidermaker scooped four gold medals at this year’s Taste of the West Awards. Among the ciders receiving an accolade was the latest blend to be unveiled at Myrtle Farm – Thatchers Blood Orange.
The company’s special edition brand, The Classics, which is made from classic apple varieties all harvested from just one single orchard in Banwell, Somerset, also picked up a prize. The other two to win were Thatchers’ alcohol-free cider Zero and single variety Katy.
Martin Thatcher, fourth generation of the family to head the business, said: “We absolutely love creating new ciders, whether it’s with a single apple variety, with apples from just one orchard, or with a new flavour. What’s important is that all our ciders are made with a passion for the highest quality, creating ciders that appeal to today’s drinkers.”
Rajastan Royal, South Gloucestershire
The Downend curry house was able to take away a national industry award for a third year thanks to its environmentally-friendly efforts.
Rajastan Royal won Takeaway of the Year in the South West at the annual Asian Curry Awards, which were presented during a ceremony at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair, hosted by BBC TV presenter Kate Silverton.
The restaurant reduced single-use plastic by introducing biodegradable carrier bags and offered customers more vegan choices on its menu.
Marketing manager Naseem Talukdar, also founder of charity Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects, said: “We are delighted to receive such recognition and are grateful to everyone who supported us.”
Verinder Powell Associates (VPA), Bristol
The Bristol tax-led accountancy firm which launched on the day the country went into lockdown was named Best New Tax Practice at the Tolley’s Taxation Awards.
Verinder Powell Associates (VPA) received the accolade at an award ceremony at the Hilton Park Lane in London attended by tax professionals from across the UK. The awards are widely recognised as a mark of excellence in the tax sector.
Founded by Rachael Verinder and Carl Powell the 10-strong firm is based in Warmley and works with individuals, start-ups and established businesses.
Ms Verinder said: “We are delighted that our hard work has been recognised by other tax professionals. From a challenging start we have gone from strength to strength, and that’s down to the efforts of our team and the support of our clients and intermediaries. We wouldn’t have achieved this without them!”
The recent Professional Adviser Awards in London brought more success for Gloucestershire-based Attivo.
The independent financial planners, which is headquartered in Cheltenham, was named the Best Financial Advisers to Work For for the third consecutive year. The company’s associate director Ryan Wright was also highly commended in the Rising Star of the Year category at this annual industry event.
The awards, now in their 17th year, recognise the knowledge, skills, and commitment to client care of adviser businesses across the UK.
“We’re delighted to pick up this award for the third year running,” said Stephen Harper, chairman of Attivo. “It confirms our commitment to building the right culture, where our people and teams develop and flourish as they enjoy working with each other and our excellent clients.”
Sharpham Dairy, Devon
The first UK cheesemaker to be certified as a B Corporation (B Corp), 2022 is proving to be a vintage year for Sharpham Dairy and its range of cheeses produced from Jersey Cows and Devon goats.
Located on the Sharpham Estate on the River Dart near Ashprington, the business won five golds and one silver accreditation in the recent Taste of the West Awards. Judges even went as far as comparing its Elmhirst cheese to some famous actors; “Fantastically gooey. Attractive and classy. Think Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant”.
These accolades followed shortly after the business, run by Greg and Nicky Parsons, was named joint winners of the Sustainability Trophy at the Virtual Cheese Awards.
Mr Parsons said: “It’s been an incredible couple of weeks. To receive these highly acclaimed awards by Taste of the West and Virtual Cheese awards is a real accolade to the hard work the team here has put in, producing the best cheese possible.”
Bridge Health and Wellbeing – Dorset
The physiotherapy business, run by couple Paul and Louise O’Connell, offers chiropractic, sports massage and rehabilitation services, as well as Pilates and yoga, from its space on Bridge Street in Christchurch.
After signing a deal to provide treatment for players with local semi-professional side Weymouth Football Club, Bridge Health and Wellbeing scored another goal when it was named the best family-run health and wellbeing clinic in the UK.
The accolade came at the Global Health & Pharma annual Private Healthcare Awards, which recognise excellence among healthcare providers, products, and professionals across the global industry.
Mr O’Connell, the company’s co-founder and lead physiotherapist, described winning the prize as “mind-blowing.”
He added: “Special thanks must go to our wonderful clients and our families who have been so supportive. Despite all the Covid challenges of the first three years of running our business, we are proud to have realised our dream of creating a dedicated wellness space where clients can get better, build strength and feel happy and healthy in their mind and body.”
Osborne Clarke, Bristol
The law firm was recognised as diversity champion employer at Bristol City Council’s Stepping Up Excellence Awards for 2022. The award was presented at the firm’s Temple Back office by councillor Asher Craig, deputy mayor.
Stepping Up aims to unlock potential and develop talent while ensuring a fair representation of black, Asian, ethnic minority, disabled people and women in positions of leadership. Now in its fourth year, the programme has supported 300 diverse leaders who have graduated or are due to graduate and 170 have secured new roles or set up their own businesses.
Osborne Clarke was acknowledged for playing a vital role in supporting the programme since its inception.
The programme director and architect of Stepping Up, Christine Bamford, said: “Osborne Clarke has supported Stepping Up’s Diversity Leadership programme since the very start, back in 2018. Truly Stepping Up would not have happened without Osborne Clarke’s initial support of venues and mentors.”
Roderick Thomas Estate Agents, Somerset
Roderick Thomas Estate Agents’ Castle Cary branch won the British Property Awards Gold Award for best estate agency customer service in the BA6 – BA10 area for the second year in a row.
Independently judged by a panel of industry experts, The British Property Awards send mystery shoppers to estate agencies, which are scored against a set of criteria. As the winner of the local award, the agency is shortlisted for a number of national awards, to be announced later in the year.
Harry José, branch manager of Roderick Thomas Castle Cary, said: “We’re terrifically proud to have won the prestigious British Property Awards Gold Award for the second year running. Our entire team prides itself on the exceptional level of customer service we offer, and it’s hugely gratifying to receive recognition of our consistently high standards in delivering the very best for each and every client.”
Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, Wiltshire
The Malmesbury-based business was among the South West recipients of the 2022 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in April.
The company, which was founded in 1994 by Kevin Wentworth Preston and employs 48 staff, makes unique and intricately hand-crafted wooden jigsaw puzzles at its factory in Wiltshire. The puzzles are manufactured using laser technology and are sold in shops, galleries, museums and by charities, as well as directly to customers in the UK, US and Germany.
In 2015, the company prepared a 10-year export growth plan and overseas sales grew by a total of 439% in six years with the proportion of goods exported increasing from 38% to 60%.
The company was recognised with the Queen’s Award for International Trade for its outstanding long-term growth over the last six years.
Sarah Watson, managing director of Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, said: “We are delighted to have won the award, especially in this year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! Our puzzles have become increasingly popular and I am so proud of our team here, who have worked relentlessly to keep on creating and making fantastic puzzles which continue to delight our customers worldwide.”
Ocean Adventurers, Somerset
The Cheddar indoor play centre scored a double win at the Bristol, Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards. The business picked up the New Tourism Business Award and the Resilience and Innovation Award for 2022.
Ocean Adventurers indoor play centre opened in 2019 and is the largest indoor play centre in the South West.
Director Laura Filer said “We are absolutely delighted to be winners in two categories. The standard of tourist attractions within the South West is incredible and to be listed among such amazing other businesses is incredible.”
Ms Filer said she was “especially proud” of the Resilience and Innovation Award.
The tourism awards recognise tourism businesses that have excelled in a particular area, demonstrated excellence or succeeded against the odds showing resilience and innovation. The awards involve a rigorous selection process including site visits, interviews and a judging panel of industry experts.
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BNP Paribas Real Estate (BNPPRE) yesterday announced that industrial & logistics consultancy founder Paul Smyth has been appointed as Senior Director within its national industrial & logistics agency team.
With almost 30 years’ industry experience and as a renowned industrial and logistics specialist across the occupier and trade counter markets, Smyth joins from PKS Property, which he established in 2009. Prior to this, he held roles at Atisreal (now part of BNPPRE) and Chesterton International. He is known across the industry for his work with occupiers and has acted for a variety of clients including Travis Perkins, CCF, Wickes and GXO.
Smyth has joined the team led by Ben Wiley, which recently announced that it had doubled in size. He is based in London and will support the national team as it provides expertise to its rapidly expanding occupier client base against the backdrop of the current lack in supply across the market.
“As a division, we have been working to place talent along the width and breadth of the UK. With supply lacking, strategic advisory is more important than ever before. We will not be one to rest on our laurels when it comes to providing our clients with market-leading intelligence and advisory, and bringing Paul on board, a leading consultant with an impressive roster of trade counter and occupier clients, was a no brainer for us,” commented Ben Wiley, Head of Industrial & Logistics Agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate
“Having worked for Atisreal before it became BNPPRE many years ago, I’ve watched first hand as the business has grown and reshaped itself. Coming back at a time where its offer, positioning and talent acquisition strategy is gaining huge momentum throughout the market feels right. I look forward to working closely with Ben and the team to deliver exceptional value and expertise for our clients,” added Paul Smyth, Senior Director, Industrial & Logistics Agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate
Smyth’s hire follows the flurry of appointments within the industrial and logistics agency team across the key offices in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle including Mark Rothwell as Investment Director, Bristol; Giles Thomas as a Senior Director in the National Logistics and Agency team; and in BNPPRE’s development of the next generation of talent, Rebecca Hewitt, Joey Higham, Zach Heppner-Logan, Chris Harris and Luke Whitmarsh as Graduate and Senior Surveyors.