Author: andypilley

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Pitch perfect setting for BES staff briefing

This morning, almost 200 members of staff from BES Utilities gathered on the pitch to listen to business updates from company Directors, Andy and Michelle.

Andy Pilley and Michelle Davidson, Co-owners and Directors of BES, hold regular briefing sessions to keep staff up to date with what’s been happening in the business and what’s coming up.

In today’s briefing they discussed opportunities for progression within the company, the new training and development e-learning programme they’ve invested in, and they provided an update about BES Metering Services Ltd, their most recent acquisition.

“We hold regular staff briefings as I think it’s so important to keep them in the loop with all the exciting things happening within the business,” said Andy. “It really helps with staff engagement and morale across the teams and it’s something we’ll continue to do.

“The venue for the briefing changed last minute as it was such a glorious morning, so it was an extra treat for staff as the pitch is usually out of bounds during the season!”

As well as being official sponsors of Fleetwood Town Football Club, BES Utilities’ Head Office is based at their ground, and the company is proud to employ over 200 members of staff, many of whom are from the local community.

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BES Utilities and Card Saver pledge £20,000 to help tackle bullying in schools

Card Saver and BES Utilities have today donated £20,000 to support a training programme aimed at tackling bullying in schools.

The Fylde coast-based companies – set up and led by entrepreneur Andy Pilley and his sister Michelle Davidson – have joined forces with Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach Norry Ascroft to enable the roll-out of his MADD About Bullying programme to 200 schools across the North West.

This is the second time Andy, who is also chairman of Fleetwood Town Football Club, has pledged a five-figure sum to support Norry’s ground-breaking anti-bullying work.

Earlier this year League One Fleetwood Town gave £10,000 to MADD About Bullying – which stands for ‘Making A Direct Difference’.

The programme, which is presented through a series of engaging video modules, explores the foundation of human behaviour and investigates strategies to tackle negative actions which can lead to bullying.

Fleetwood-based commercial energy supplier BES Utilities and Blackpool-based payment solutions company Card Saver have both donated £10,000 to support the roll-out.

Norry said: “Andy’s generous support is truly wonderful and I can’t thank him and his teams at BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town enough.

“MADD About Bullying is designed to assist teachers, parents and students and make a real and direct difference by addressing behaviour which can lead to bullying.

“Andy’s first donation enabled us to roll-out the programme to 100 schools. This additional £20,000 from Andy and his companies will enable us to reach another 200 North West schools. This fantastic support will make a real difference.”

The MADD About Bullying training programme is funded entirely through sponsors so it can be delivered to schools free of charge.

Andy said: “Norry’s an inspirational person who is so passionate about tackling the serious and complex issue of bullying in schools.

“We are delighted to be able to follow up the earlier backing from Fleetwood Town with additional financial support from BES Utilities and Card Saver.

“We are proud to be sponsors of a programme which could make a real difference for schools and young people.”

Norry set out to help teachers, parents and children after reading about a teenage girl who had committed suicide due to cyber bullying.

Explaining how MADD About Bullying works, Norry added: “Training teachers, parents and children about the behaviour weaknesses that drive bullying is the only way we are going to make a real difference.

“We have received some amazing feedback from schools already using the training programme and getting real benefits from the modules.

“This is something we want to roll out across the UK. Through the support of Andy and our other sponsors, it’s a dream that can become a reality.”

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BES Utilities pledges support for The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign

BES Utilities is backing a campaign to help raise funds for a vital community support service. 
 

The commercial energy supplier has pledged its support to The Samaritans ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign which was launched to help meet the charity’s day-to-day running costs. 

The Samaritans’ Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre branch deals with more than 2,000 calls a month from people who require emotional support or are in distress. 
 

Although the branch has a dedicated group of 70-plus volunteers the charity relies solely on donations from the public to pay its £147 a day running costs. 

BES Utilities, which is owned by Fleetwood entrepreneur Andy Pilley, has pledged its support to ‘Pay for a Day’ after the campaign was brought to its attention by the company’s Learning and Development Trainer Alex Dodd, who is a Samaritans volunteer in her spare time. 
 

Alex said: “The work The Samaritans does is so vital, they help so many people at times of real hardship and distress. 
 

“Every day the Fylde coast branch answers, on average, 80 phone calls, emails and text messages, and is there for anyone who calls or visits for a face-to-face chat.   
 

“It really is a lifeline for so many people and I’m so delighted and proud BES Utilities is supporting such a fantastic charity in this way.”     
 

The Samaritans’ Fylde coast branch, situated on Edward Street, Blackpool, was set up in 1978 and operates 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. 
 

Branch director Angie Pascoe said she was delighted local companies like BES Utilities were supporting the ‘Pay for a Day’ campaign.  

Angie said: “At the heart of The Samaritans are our volunteers who do such amazing, selfless work. But like any charity we need funds to pay for basic things like lighting, heating, phones and rent. 

“It costs £147 to run and maintain our branch and shop each day, which includes training for all our volunteers and paying for our Freecall phone service 116 123. 

“As a charity we rely solely on the generosity of the public. Local businesses often ask us how they can help and getting involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ is perfect. 

“Im really delighted BES Utilities has decided to sponsor the branch. It means a lot and helps our volunteers to continue to provide such a vital service.” 

If you would like to get involved with ‘Pay for a Day’ or get more information about the work of The Samaritans please email blackpool.fundraising@samaritans.org 

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Cod Army pitches in to transform park for footballers young and old

A once forlorn football pitch is bringing players of all ages together thanks to a stunning transformation led by Fleetwood Town.

The pitch in East Pines Park, Anchorsholme, was in a rather sorry state until the Cod Army’s grounds team got involved.

Town chairman Andy Pilley – who grew up nearby – pledged to help revamp the facilities after he was approached by the Friends of East Pines Park.

Now, following extensive improvement work, which includes drainage and a new marked-out playing surface and goals, the pitch plays host to a variety of community football sessions for youngsters. There are also weekly walking football sessions for older players.

And the new facilities have already been credited with reducing instances of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Visiting the park to see the stunning transformation for himself, Andy said: “I grew up near the park and know it very well. It’s an important open space for local residents that sadly, until the Friends group got involved, was in a rather sorry state.

“I’m delighted that as a local lad I’ve been able to assist the great work the Friends group does. The pitch now looks fantastic – I’d hazard a guess it’s probably the best park pitch on the Fylde coast!

“What is great to see is that since the work was carried out so many groups are now using the pitch. The club is committed to helping with its upkeep and we hope this is the start of something really special for Anchorsholme residents young and old.”

(3) Anchorsholme youngsters check out the new pitch at East Pines Park.JPG

Together with the help of Fleetwood Town, the Friends group– which is made up of a dedicated band of volunteers and local councillors – has secured grants from Sport England and the Lancashire Crime Commissioner.

This has enabled the creation of coaching sessions for under-11 to under-16 age ranges. The sessions, run by Sport Blackpool in association with coaches from Blackpool and The Fylde College, involve around 50 youngsters.

Cllr Paul Galley, who represents Anchorsholme ward, said: “Andy and Fleetwood Town have been amazing. With their support we have been able to create a truly wonderful playing surface. It has proper drainage, is correctly marked out, goals, nets, corner flags and is something the whole community is rightly proud of.

“The impact of the pitch and coaching sessions, together with our message of respect for the park, respect for other residents and respect for the local community, has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the park massively.

“Our next step is to create several East Pines Park five-a-side teams that can play in the leagues at Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex. Again, Andy has generously agreed to help us on that journey.

“Through Andy and Fleetwood Town’s support and guidance, we are creating an amazing footballing and sports legacy which will positively shape the lives of people of our young people for a generation to come.”

Since 2015, the Friends of East Pines Park has secured funding and raised money allowing them to install £45,000 of new play equipment, erect £28,000 of new railings, plant more than 4,000 plants and open a café at Anchorsholme Library. In 2018 the park was named ‘Best Park in Blackpool’ in the Blackpool In Bloom awards.

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BES Utilities wins contract to help public sector cut energy costs

BES Utilities has won a major contract which will help local authorities, the NHS, schools and emergency services drive down their energy costs.

ESPO – one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations – has set up a new fixed-price purchase framework that will allow public sector bodies to source gas and electricity at lower prices than they would otherwise be able to negotiate themselves.

And ESPO has confirmed it has selected BES Utilities as one of its three suppliers for the new framework.

The contract – which is worth an estimated £600m over two years – allows BES to supply a range of public sector bodies across the UK including:

  • Local authorities
  • Educational establishments (including Academies)
  • Central Government Departments and agencies
  • Police, Fire and Rescue and Coastguard emergency services
  • NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) bodies, including Ambulance Services
  • Registered charities
  • Registered social landlords

Michelle Davidson, co-owner and director of BES Utilities, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to supply gas and electricity to ESPO’s customers through this new framework. This is a major development for BES and opens a new market to us.

“We always pride ourselves on developing innovative products which help our private sector customers drive down their energy bills. We now look forward to bringing this dedication and expertise to the public sector.

“We are committed to working with ESPO and their customers, who range from schools, councils, the emergency services and charities, to deliver unrivalled service and real value for money.”

Lancashire-based BES Utilities is joined by Corona Energy and Total Gas and Power as the framework’s suppliers.

All three were assessed during the procurement process on their financial stability, track record, experience, technical and professional ability and regulatory status.

Declan McAlister, ESPO Category Manager (Energy), said: “We are proud to bring to market our brand-new Fixed Price Energy framework which will give excellent value and service to the public sector and will provide greater budgetary certainty.

“We are delighted to have a choice of suppliers on the framework that have all been rigorously assessed during our procurement process to ensure our customers receive the highest of standards from the ESPO they know and trust.

“In particular, the suppliers impressed us with their commitment to social responsibility and transparency, a key principle of this procurement process.”

BES Utilities is committed to social responsibility and helping customers in tough trading times through the company’s ground-breaking hardship fund and its partnership with the charity Business Debtline.

In 2018 alone, the BES Fund gave assistance to customers who had collectively run up energy debts of almost £500,000. Through pro-active intervention, BES and Business Debtline were able to provide clear pathways and viable solutions for businesses allowing them to continue trading.

ESPO, which is jointly owned by the county councils of Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Peterborough City Council, has more than 30 years of experience in public sector procurement.

As a large purchaser, it can take an aggregated and risk-managed approach to negotiations and so return greater value to customers amid often volatile energy market prices.

The new framework can secure pre-agreed, fixed prices for Half Hour (HH), Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) and Unmetered Supplies (UMS). This will, in turn, provide budget certainty for customers.

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BES Utilities launches specialist metering division following acquisition of Access Install

Commercial energy supplier BES Utilities is delighted to today announce the launch of its very own specialist metering services division.

This follows the acquisition of Liverpool-based metering, asset and management company Access Install, for an undisclosed sum, with a further planned seven figure investment in the operation over the next 12 months.

The business will now trade as BES Metering Services with all 80 Access Install employees – including a nationwide network of metering engineers – transferring to the Lancashire-based BES Group with immediate effect.

BES co-founder and chairman Andy Pilley said the development is great news for customers while also securing jobs. BES is also looking to create at least 20 new jobs by expanding the number of metering engineers employed.

Andy said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of BES Metering Services which is a very important development for both the company and our customers.

“Through this acquisition we now have our very own dedicated metering installation and servicing company and the importance of this cannot be over-stated.

“By combining this new internal capability with the services of our existing trusted partners we will improve the speed and reliability of metering appointments as well as access to the latest metering technologies and that is great news for customers.

“On top of this, having our own metering business demonstrates our commitment towards meeting the Government’s smart meter rollout target.

“We are delighted to welcome a new 80-strong workforce to BES and we look forward to expanding this dedicated team very soon by increasing the number of meter engineers employed. These are truly exciting times for BES as we continue to expand our business and improve services for our customers.”

BES was formed in 2002 and supplies gas and electricity to non-domestic customers across the UK. It recently bucked the national trend by slashing electricity bills for thousands of businesses by an average of 10.28%.

The group of companies now employs around 800 staff across all its businesses which include BES Utilities, Card Saver and Fleetwood Town Football Club.

Founded in 2016, Access Install provides Meter Operator Provider (MoP), Meter Asset Manager (MAM) and Meter Asset Provider (MAP) services. Operations and staff will continue to be based at Liverpool International Business Park following the sale to BES.

The Government has targeted the installation of more than 53 million ‘Smart Meters’ in homes and businesses by the end of 2020.

Smart meters enable customers to receive accurate and up-to-date information about their energy consumption which can assist in helping reduce bills and improve energy efficiency.

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Cod Army chairman helps youngsters get on the ball with their very own pitch

Football-mad youngsters living at a Salvation Army Lifehouse have now got their very own pitch to play on thanks to Fleetwood Town Football Club chairman Andy Pilley.

The Cod Army was approached by the charity with a view to donating footballs to assist young residents living in temporary supported accommodation, George Williams House. 

However, Andy was so moved by the fantastic work done by The Salvation Army he arranged for the club’s grounds staff to visit George Williams House in Fleetwood which offers support and services to young people and families facing homelessness.

The Highbury team cleared an overgrown garden area and created a football pitch for residents to use. Fleetwood Town’s Community Trust also donated goals, nets and footballs. 

James Scott, Salvation Army Support Worker, said: “We can’t thank Andy and the team at Fleetwood Town enough for their hard work and generosity in getting our garden back into use.

“Since the work they’ve carried out our younger residents have been playing football every evening after school and all day at the weekend.

“It’s a much-needed resource and this was a very generous gesture from Fleetwood Town FC. This offers the children a valuable chance to meet other young residents in a safe environment allowing them to have fun in a healthy way.”

Andy Pilley said: “Fleetwood Town is a real community club and when I heard about the great work The Salvation Army does in Fleetwood I was only too happy to help.

“Our grounds staff not only do brilliant work at Highbury, and our Poolfoot Farm training base, but in the community through our Community Trust.

“It is wonderful to see the transformation of the garden area at George Williams House and we hope the young people living there have many happy hours playing football with their friends and family.”

As well receiving temporary accommodation, residents at George Williams House are helped with gaining access to GPs, mental health support services and assistance with any health issues they may face.

This can include accessing help from agencies who work with people struggling with addiction issues.

Staff also offer support with money management when residents move on to their new home as well as tenancy training to ensure they sustain their new accommodation.

For more details about Fleetwood Town Community Trust’s work in the community go to www.fleetwoodtownfcct.com and for information about The Salvation Army go to www.salvationarmy.org.uk

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Onward Card prices launched for 2019/20 season

Adult card prices FROZEN as younger fans reap rewards of great deal

Fleetwood Town are delighted to announce a PRICE FREEZE for all adult Onward Cards for the 2019/20 season.

And, in a massive boost for young fans and families, the price of an Onward Card for all Under-16s has been slashed to just £23 a season for standing and £50 for seating.  

That is asaving of up to £40 and means young fans can watch the Cod Army next season for from as little as JUST £1 A MATCH!

Onward Cards for the 2019/20 season go on sale at 9am Tuesday May 7th.

The cards, which replaced traditional season tickets at Highbury last summer, not only give supporters entry to all 23 Sky Bet League One home matches but an exclusive range of offers and discounts across the club and its partners.

Onward Card packages are available to buy in full or with 10 monthly instalments using the club’s partnership with Card Saver and their Fan Pay service.

Adult prices start from just £17 per month, with Seniors and Under-25 Onward Cards £12 per month and Under 16s from £2.30 per month. Supporters under the age of five are free with a paying adult.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said“We are delighted to be able to not only freeze the price of the Onward Card for all adult supporters but massively reduce the price for Under-16s.

“We pride ourselves on being a true family club and providing real value for money for our loyal and brilliant fans. With packages starting at £2.30 per month for juniors and £17 for adults we feel we are offering fans a real bargain.

“This is a very exciting time for Fleetwood Town and we want as many families and young fans here at Highbury to enjoy this journey as we go ‘Onward Together’.”

Existing Onward Card holders have until 5pm on Tuesday May 28th to secure their seats for the new season. After this date, their seat will be available to purchase on general sale. Card holders should also retain their existing Onward Card as they will be revalidated upon renewing.

The Onward Card will be split into three different pricing structures, available on both monthly and annual plans. The Standing prices are for the Memorial Stand, with the Seating for both the Parkside and Highbury Stand. The Premium pricing is for Block D of the Parkside Stand only. A new improved Family Zone has been created in the Parkside Stand, located in Block A.

Monthly Onward Card Pricing
(10 monthly payments)
 StandingSeatingPremium
Adult£17.00£24.00£30.00
Senior£12.00£18.00£24.00
Under 25£12.00£18.00£24.00
Under 16£2.30£5.00£5.00


A number of existing Onward Card holders signed up for the club’s auto renewal process. Payments for the new season will be taken out of your account on July 1st. The club will be contacting members directly via e-mail and post over the next 48 hours.

If you wish to upgrade, move your ticket to another part of the ground, or switch to monthly payments, please contact the club directly via onward@fleetwoodtownfc.com

For fans who would like to pay up front, Onward Cards are available from £170 for adults, £120 for Seniors and Under 25s and £23 for Under-16s. An administration charge is applicable for cash sales.

Onward Cards are available to buy from Tuesday 7th May at 9am, over the phone by calling (01253) 775080, in person at the Club Shop at Highbury Stadium, or online at www.onwardcard.co.uk

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Fleetwood Town launches International Football Academy in global search for talent

Fleetwood Town is today proud to announce the launch of its very own International Football Academy (FTIFA).

Based at the English Football League (EFL) club’s £10m Poolfoot Farm training base, the academy is open to aspiring players from around the world.

Through a series of structured four, 12 and 24-week residential courses, FTIFA provides players with an unrivalled platform to help realise their dreams of making it as a professional footballer.

Players not only receive expert UEFA-qualified coaching, bespoke training programmes – all tailored to their individual skills and development needs – but the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of scouts representing clubs in the UK and abroad.

The first players enrolled at FTIFA – who hail from as far afield as America, Africa, India and the Middle East – are already experiencing the full range of benefits this unique academy has to offer.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley said: “Football is a global game and we know there is a huge amount of untapped talent out there.

“Our sensational training facilities here at Poolfoot Farm are among the best in the UK and so we want to open our doors to aspiring players, wherever they live, and give them the opportunity to learn from our top coaches.

“They will not only get the chance to train alongside our pro players and experience Premier League-standard facilities, but they will be able to showcase their talents to not only us but clubs here in the UK and around the world.

“Fleetwood Town is perhaps most famous internationally as the place where Jamie Vardy cut his teeth before becoming the Premier League star he is today. Who knows where FTIFA will lead us, maybe we’ll discover the next Jamie Vardy!

“This is a very exciting development for Fleetwood Town and the Fylde coast – it’s a true global search for football talent and we cannot wait to see what we discover.”

FTIFA is now being marketed around the world and academy managers have just returned from a promotional trip to Europe where they have been in talks with clubs and agents.

Mick Horsfall, FTIFA Head of Operations, said: “What makes this academy unique, compared to others in the UK, is that it is based within a professional football club.

“Every player that comes here will be treated like a pro footballer and get a true pro football experience. They will train alongside our first team, development and academy squads and be coached and mentored by FTFC’s elite academy coaches.

“They all get access to our stunning state-of-the art facilities which include top class FIFA-grade training pitches, gym and physiotherapy suite, classrooms and they eat in the same restaurant as the first team.

“Individual development is key. Players will be constantly assessed and evaluated, and their progress will be discussed with them throughout. Through bespoke training programmes and in-depth analysis we can clearly track their development and improvement.

“The aim is to make them better players, and be better equipped to make it. Their time at the academy really could be the start of these players’ pro careers.”

Among the first to join FTIFA is 24-year-old Godswill Erbahor from Nigeria, he added: “It’s extraordinary here. The facilities are amazing, the pitches, the physios, the gym it has all been amazing.

“The coaches work with us individually to look at our specific traits, our weaknesses and strengths. They really care about us footballers. The football is high quality. To see the elite players train here every day inspires you to be like them. I can learn so much from them.”

Jaylan White, 22, from New York followed up by saying: “Every day is a new experience and you are always learning. The coaches are always trying to better you as a player and that is what you need. This is one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen and I’m living my football dream here!”

To find out more information about the training packages available at Fleetwood Town International Football Academy (FTIFA) visit www.ftifa.co.uk or call 01253 208440.

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Card Saver Teams Up With Blackpool FC To Give Fans Hassle-Free Payment Options

Card Saver is today delighted to announce it is Blackpool Football Club’s new payment technology provider – a partnership which will allow fans to buy tickets and merchandise via a range of hassle-free methods.

The Blackpool-based payment solutions company – set up and led by Lancashire entrepreneur Andy Pilley – will now provide all cashless payment services at the League One club.

This will enable fans who want to buy tickets, merchandise or food and drink at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road stadium the opportunity to do so through quick, easy and secure payments via either debit and credit cards, or Apple and Google Pay.

Thousands of Seasiders’ fans are expected to return to Bloomfield Road for this Saturday’s home League game with Southend. This has already led to large queues outside the club’s ticket office.

Andy Pilley, who is chairman of the Seasiders’ League One rivals Fleetwood Town, said: “Myself and Card Saver are delighted to be the new payment technology providers for Blackpool Football Club.

“Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town are rivals on the pitch for 180 minutes every season, but we are also Fylde coast neighbours and so I’m delighted my company is partnering with the Seasiders in this way.

“You can clearly see from the crowds that have already been queuing up to get tickets there is huge excitement building ahead of Saturday’s game.

“The new board at Blackpool contacted me to say they needed a new card services and contactless payments provider and asked whether we could help.

“We have now installed 25 payment terminals covering all areas of the club, from the ticket office, club shop and in the hospitality and food and beverage areas.

“I am delighted Card Saver is able to provide payment solutions for this proud and historic football club as they and their fans enter a new era.”

Card Saver was set up in 2015 and has thousands of business customers across the UK. Together with many high street stores, SME businesses and charities it works with several football clubs, including Fleetwood Town and Premier League Burnley FC.

Ben Hatton, Blackpool FC’s Executive and Managing Director, said: “We are extremely grateful to Andy Pilley, and to everyone at Card Saver for coming in at short notice and pulling out all the stops in order to get us up and running for the game this Saturday.

“These new payment terminals will make a huge difference, particularly at the kiosks in the stadium. With contactless payments available to all supporters it should significantly speed up the time taken to serve people.

“It has been heart-warming to experience the swell of support for the club in the last week or so, and the fact Andy, the chairman of a neighbouring rival League One club, has been so helpful is a fantastic example of the football family pulling together.”

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