Grange solicitor welcomes launch of new estate agent service

A new estate agent has opened in Grange-over-Sands following the merger of Lowther Gardens solicitor Shirley M. Evans with Kendal-based Arnold Greenwood Solicitors.

Shirley, who has practiced in Grange since 1994, has welcomed the addition of a new branch of Arnold Greenwood Estate Agents alongside her legal offering following the merger in May.

She said: “It’s very exciting to have started this new chapter for the practice. I’m still here ready to help my clients in the way I always have, but I am now able to call on additional expertise to offer a wider range of services and help more people than ever before.

“The addition of the estate agency is another fantastic development and means that we can help clients to deal with the entire conveyancing process under one roof.”

Estate agency services at the Grange office are provided by the established Arnold Greenwood team of manager Dan Woolf and valuer Keeley Finlayson-Smith alongside Sophie Bainbridge, who joins the team as sales negotiator.

Dan said: “The new estate agency branch in Grange has got off to a great start. We had four properties on the books on the day we opened and we have had a steady flow of enquiries and visitors to the office ever since.

“We’re very happy to have the new branch up and running – it’s such a lovely area and everyone has been so welcoming.”

Established in Kendal in 1871, Arnold Greenwood covers a wide range of legal areas, including family and relationships, business and commercial property.

The merger means that a number of additional legal services including family law can be offered from the Lowther Gardens office, in addition to Shirley’s expertise in wills, probate, conveyancing, powers of attorney, and commercial property leases.

Partner Lee Hughes said: “Shirley’s track record of high-quality and personal service is outstanding, and we feel very fortunate to have welcomed her to the Arnold Greenwood team.

“The addition of our new estate agency in the Grange office gives us the opportunity to offer an additional service that builds on Shirley’s excellent work and reputation.”

Digital signature platform Videosign expands marketing and sales division

Digital signature and remote witnessing specialist Videosign has bolstered its sales and marketing division with a series of new appointments.

The expanded team is led by Nina Hinton, who joins the Liverpool-based software company as its new Head of Business Growth.

Videosign is an online meeting platform with the built-in ability to sign and witness documents remotely and verify identities using AI-powered facial recognition.

Nina has a background in business development in the education sector and brings additional board-level experience as a trustee of a charity supporting people with disabilities and/or health related issues.

She said: “I was attracted to joining Videosign because of the opportunities to find new ways of using the platform.

“Videosign was created for signing documents, but we’re interested in how else we can use it – for instance, we have seen a trend of clients using Videosign for exam invigilation.

“We want to focus on building relationships and finding out who needs the product and how it might help them.

“It’s about talking to people, finding out what their problems are, and unpicking that problem creatively.”

Further appointments to the team include Dan Bolton-Allen as Sales Development Manager, Jack Moore as Marketing Manager, and Finn Mason as Sales Support Executive.

Sales Development Manager Dan Bolton-Allen said: “It’s exciting to have joined a growing company with such a unique product.

“One of our priorities is working with the finance, banking and air travel industries to provide a solution to fraud and identity theft, using our highly-secure electronic signatures and verification tools to tackle common issues

“We are also working with users of Iress Xplan financial software to streamline client onboarding processes while maintaining security and regulatory compliance.

“The real joy of sales is finding opportunities to solve problems and helping people to find solutions they weren’t aware of.”

Videosign launched in 2019 aiming to develop a solution more secure, efficient and convenient than the traditional pen-and-ink signature.

Chief Executive Steven Tallant said: “I’m delighted to welcome Nina and her team to Videosign.

“Their combined experience of working in different sectors and focusing on finding new solutions to difficult problems can help us to unlock the potential of Videosign.

“Our fundamental aims have always been to help our clients to become more efficient and to do business more securely, and these important appointments bring additional knowledge and experience to help us offer further innovation and creative thinking to our clients.”

Merger sees established Grange solicitor unite with historic Kendal firm

A long-established Grange-over-Sands solicitor is to merge her practice with a historic Kendal firm.

Shirley M. Evans, based in Lowther Gardens, will continue to practise in Grange as the newest member of Kendal-based Arnold Greenwood Solicitors when the businesses merge in May. 

She said: “It will still be me, behind the same desk, and with the same phone number, ready to help my clients in the way I always have.

“I’ve had a long cooperative arrangement with Arnold Greenwood, and this merger means I can offer a wider range of services to clients in and around Grange.”

Shirley qualified at University of Bristol and Chester Law College, and worked for a large law firm in Manchester before relocating to south Cumbria in the early 1990s.

After a brief period working for an Ulverston-based solicitor, she took over the company’s Grange office to establish her own practice in 1994. Her main areas of expertise include wills, probate, conveyancing, powers of attorney, and commercial property leases.

She said: “I’ve loved every minute of it and I have particularly enjoyed being in Grange. As soon as I came here I could tell that it would be an excellent community in which to work. 

“I derive great satisfaction from helping others and I have the most loyal group of clients that I could ever have hoped for. My aim has always been for clients to leave my office feeling better than when they arrive.”

Alongside her legal work, Shirley has taken an active role in the community through a variety of posts, including Vice-Chair of Kendal’s hospital trust, a governor of Kendal College, Assistant Coroner for South Cumbria, clerk to the Tax Commissioners in Kendal, and tribunal judge.

She also became involved in a local support group for bereaved parents after losing her son in a road accident three years ago.

Established in 1871, Kendal-based Arnold Greenwood covers a wide range of legal areas, including family and relationships, business and employment law, dispute resolution, and commercial property.  

Partner Lee Hughes said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Shirley to Arnold Greenwood Solicitors. Her knowledge and experience, along with her strong reputation for providing excellent service to her clients, will be a huge asset to us.

“People in Grange can expect to receive the same high-quality and personal service they are used to, with the added bonus of access to the additional areas of expertise we can offer from our Kendal office.

“This is the natural next step in the close working relationship we have had with Shirley for many years.”

Rugby league stars endorse Manchester fashion label on a mission to champion mental health

A Manchester fashion label created to raise awareness of mental health issues is being championed by two north west rugby league stars.

Cerebral Clothing, which has pledged to donate 10% of its 2023 profits to mental health charity Manchester Mind, has received the endorsement of Warrington Wolves players Pete Mata’utia and Stefan Ratchford. 

Friends Charley Rich and Dan Lloyd, both 23, launched Cerebral Clothing in 2020 after suddenly losing a close friend due to a struggle with mental health.

Dan said: “Losing a close friend in that way came as such a shock to us, and we wanted to do something to help people who need support with their mental health.

“Our vision is to not only design and sell high-quality clothing, but to create a lifestyle brand that becomes synonymous with promoting awareness for mental health.

“We want to change the way young people communicate, as well as improving the overall attitude towards mental health in general.”

As well as donating part of their profits to Manchester Mind, Charley and Dan aim to organise events to raise further funds and build a supportive community promoting mental health awareness.

Manchester Mind is one of 105 local Mind associations nationwide, all of which are independent charities. 

Joanna Huddart from Manchester Mind said: “We’re touched by the kind commitment made by Cerebral Clothing, as their charity efforts will spark important conversations surrounding men’s mental health, whilst raising vital funds in aid of our services. 

“Manchester Mind are so proud to have Dan and Charley’s support and we look forward to working together this year.”

The ethos of the brand has gained endorsement from Warrington Wolves rugby league players Pete Mata’utia and Stefan Ratchford.

Pete said: “Charley and Dan’s story of losing their best friend was something that resonated with me because I’ve been through that situation myself and now I’m a big advocate for mental health.

“I try to get people to understand that it’s not the load we carry, it’s how we carry it. If we’re not speaking to each other about mental health, that’s when the load becomes heavy.”

Stefan said: “After meeting the team at Cerebral and listening to the story of the brand it was obvious that I should get involved and support them.

“Too often, people are told to ‘man up’ or ‘just get on with it’. Cerebral’s message that people need to open up about mental health is so important.”

Cerebral has gained a loyal customer following in the north west by creating high-quality unisex garments that are not only affordable, but fit well and boast a clean urban aesthetic.

The new 2023 range features everyday staples from comfy tracksuits and twin sets in neutral hues, to premium loungewear and baseball caps.

All products are responsibly sourced, using organic cotton and recycled fabrics, and produced in factories that meet the standards of the Fair Wear Foundation.

Charley said: “We’ve always liked to stay up to date with the latest trends and collections from our favourite designers, and that has been the starting point for our own range. 

“Essentially, we are our own target market, so we just try to design and sell what we know.

“What sets us apart is that we see it as our responsibility to use our brand to share that mental health message.

“Mental health can still be a taboo subject. We want to change the way people communicate, and help people to realise that support is there if you need it.”

Find out more at or search @cerebralclothing_ on Instagram.

Learn more about the work of Manchester Mind at

Notaries should exceed proposed federal security standards for remote online notarization, says Videosign CEO 

Videosign CEO Steven Tallant in New York

An electronic signature expert has welcomed anticipated regulations allowing Remote Online Notarization across the U.S., but warns that users must ensure they offer enhanced security features to prevent fraud and forgery.

The Senate is currently considering the SECURE Notarization Act, which will set minimum federal standards for Remote Online Notarization (RON) – affecting everyday transactions such as real estate purchases.

An electronic signature expert has welcomed anticipated regulations allowing Remote Online Notarization across the U.S., but warns that users must ensure they offer enhanced security features to prevent fraud and forgery.

The RON process allows notaries public to notarize documents remotely in a paperless process using electronic signatures.

Remote notarization has already been accepted in some states, and the new regulations propose a minimum standard for its use nationwide.

Steven Tallant, CEO of Videosign Notary, based in Liverpool, UK, has welcomed moves to allow RON in all states, but says users should choose their electronic signing software carefully to ensure its security features exceed the minimum requirements.

He said: “Use of electronic signatures was increasing before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the need for social distancing accelerated its acceptance among users.

“With lockdowns behind us, electronic signing remains widespread due to the convenience and efficiency it offers, and allowing RON across all 50 states is the logical next step for this way of doing business.

“However, my advice to any reputable notary public would be to go beyond the minimum standards when notarizing documents to give their clients confidence in the security of their documents and reduce the risk of costly litigation down the line.”

The SECURE Notarization Act requires audio and video recordings to be made of remote notarizations, and sets standards for identification of signatories. The bill allows a notary public to remotely notarize electronic records involving individuals in different states and outside of the United States, subject to certain requirements. 

Steven Tallant said: “The measures proposed in the bill offer some measure of security, but we recommend that notaries public take additional precautions that go above and beyond the minimum standard..

“Videosign Notary uses AI-powered facial recognition to compare an individual with their passport or driver’s license photo to confirm their identity prior to notarization.

“Additional evidence like IP addresses and timestamps made during the remote notarization process offer an additional layer of assurance alongside the video and audio evidence gathered while tamper-proof signatures are made.

“As use of RON becomes more widespread, offering all parties peace of mind should be the top priority for notaries public.”

RON can currently be used in many states for a wide-range of legal documents, including affidavits, property transactions and power of attorney. 

The new bill will require U.S. courts and states to recognize remote notarizations performed by a notary public commissioned under the laws of other states.

CEO takes to the skies to demo innovative electronic signature technology

The Chief Executive of a Liverpool electronic signature innovator used his company’s software to sign a new employee contract from a helicopter flying over the city.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant took to the skies to meet new Customer Success Manager Jamie Wilson and sign his new contract of employment remotely.

Steven said: “I’ve always said that our software offers businesses the flexibility to work from any location, but this proves that Videosign can be used literally anywhere you can get an internet connection.

“As well as offering our users convenience and efficiency, we also provide security features that provide incontrovertible evidence that signatures on documents are genuine.”  

Videosign is an online meeting service for remotely witnessing signatures of legal documents.

Facial-recognition software is used to verify the identity of signatories before tamper-proof electronic signatures are made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

New recruit Jamie’s contract signing was witnessed in person by colleague Maria Murphy and the aerial meeting and signature was recorded via the Videosign platform.

Jamie said: “When I joined Videosign I never imagined I’d be talking to my new boss while he was in a helicopter, but it just goes to show how using the platform allows you to do business with colleagues and clients anywhere in the world – it eliminates the need to rely on face-to-face meetings even when signing contracts and documents.” 

The opportunity to hold the airborne meeting came about thanks to a friend of Steven’s who is training to be a commercial helicopter pilot.

Steven said: “My pilot friend was planning a flight to log as part of his training, and invited me to join him – using it as an opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities offered by Videosign was too good to miss.” 

Videosign, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, supports businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial advice and conveyancing.

The company recently released a new instant-access version of the platform, allowing small businesses to sign-up and start using Videosign immediately.

Videosign was the winner of the Innovation Award in the Liverpool Echo Business Awards 2022.

Chester insurance broker looks to the future after successful first year

A Cheshire-based insurance company is celebrating a successful first full year of trading.

Highlights since the launch of Vista North West have included building a portfolio of more than 50 clients and placing nearly £2m in insurance premiums, as well as supporting local and national good causes.

Managing Director Dan Stockley said: “It’s been a fantastic first year for us.

“We’ve acquired a number of clients of varying sizes and quickly established a presence in the local insurance market.

“As the new guys in town the priority for us remains building relationships with our clients and the wider community.”

The company works with clients predominantly based in the North West.

Dan said: “Offering a personal and local service to our clients is absolutely central to what we do.

“Claims and risk management support for our clients has been and continues to be a strong aspect of our offering. We have assisted a number of clients with challenging claims matters and developed risk management strategies to help businesses contain cost in what has become a challenging insurance market for some sectors – particularly important at the moment with so many other costs going up.

“We believe this is the true test of a broker and the area we add the most value to all of our clients’ businesses.” 

Vista North West is a regional subsidiary of Vista Insurance, and its core staff team is able to draw on the resources of its parent company to ensure the best service for its clients.

Dan said: “Our relationship with Vista helps us to give our clients a really flexible, responsive, top-class service without the price tag that would normally come with it.

“We’re perfect for local SMEs because we can offer them a combination of low cost and quality service that no one else can.” 

Vista Insurance Brokers Chief Executive Gavin Ruben said: “Vista North West has got off to a great start, and I look forward to seeing the business continue to flourish.

“They have a very strong proposition for clients in the North West, delivering a personal service and backing it up with cost effective solutions on every occasion.” 

Alongside establishing the business, there has been a focus on developing community links.

Dan said: “We’re proud to have sponsored Chester Nomads FC, which is one of the longest established clubs in the city.

“Along with my wife I also raised £500 for Autism Awareness by taking on the challenge of doing 16,666 steps every day for a week – no mean feat for someone spending a long time at a desk every day. Autism Awareness is a cause close to my heart, and one that Vista North West will be supporting in the coming year.”

Among Vista North West’s biggest deals in the last year has been working with a Manchester-based vehicle delivery business, and there have been other success stories in sectors as diverse as printing & packaging and furniture manufacture.

Dan said: “Our vision is to become one of the key players in the North West independent regional insurance broker market.

“We continue to develop our network of relationships with the region’s leading professional advisors, including accountants, solicitors and independent financial advisors, supporting their clients and creating solutions to reduce their insurance costs.

“Having launched mid-pandemic, it has been really pleasing to see the business world re-open fully over the last year or so. Meeting our clients in a face-to-face environment is something that we thrive on to build long-term relationships.

“We have ambitious growth plans and look forward to building on the success of this year.”

Grand opening for innovative Cambridgeshire STEM education nursery

A leading scientist was the guest of honour at the official opening of a new nursery in Cambridgeshire specialising in STEM education and learning for early years children.

Prof Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President for BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, cut the ribbon to officially open Shelford Day Nursery, Great Shelford.

The nursery offers a unique science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum in a specially-designed building offering interactive indoor and outdoor learning spaces.

Mene said: “It was a real pleasure to visit the nursery and see the children playing and learning in such a stimulating space.

“Giving children the opportunity to learn through practical play, to experiment and to be creative is wonderful, and I hope the nursery will inspire many children to discover a lifelong passion for STEM subjects and their wider education.” 

The nursery, in a former bank building in High Green, Great Shelford, will eventually cater for up to 59 children ranging from babies to toddlers and pre-school children. 

Interactive learning is a major focus, with children able to enjoy outdoor spaces featuring a range of activities and materials.

Children have the opportunity to experiment with interactive water features, discover properties of different materials in sand and gravel pits and even develop their first engineering skills in a ‘construction zone’. 

There is still a place for traditional childhood games, with activities like hopscotch used to develop maths skills.

And children can gain first-hand experience of the force of gravity on a slide plunging from the first floor of the nursery to the outdoor learning space on the ground floor.

Inside the nursery, children have access to the latest technology, including interactive touch tables and a sensory room featuring colourful lighting and interactive fibre-optic installations.

Nursery Manager Deborah Parfitt said: “The first group of children who have started at the nursery have been having so much fun exploring the space and learning through play.

“It was lovely to welcome guests into the nursery so they could see how well the children interact with the space.

“We’re very grateful to Sir Mene Pangalos for taking the time to visit us and find out more about the unique education we offer.”

The £800,000 project was supported by Growth Works, the strategic economic growth programme launched by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority and Business Board to support businesses to accelerate and sustain their growth through consultancy and expertise, workforce skills development, and inward investment. 

For more information, visit

Enjoy traffic-free cycling in the heart of Lancaster

Cyclists of all ages are invited to ‘Ride Lancaster’  as part of the Bay Health Festivals organised by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.  

The event, supported by Rosebank PR & Communications, will see a section of Lancaster’s one-way system reduced to one lane on the morning of on Sunday July 10, allowing visitors traffic-free riding from the Lune cycletrack to Dalton Square.

In Dalton Square, visitors will be able to explore the Bay Health Festivals event, including a number of cycling-related stalls and activities.  

UHMBT Lead Chaplain Ian Dewar, the organiser of the festival, said: “Cycling is great way to travel and brings massive benefits in terms of physical and mental health.

“Our cycling village aims to bring people together united by the simple pleasure of riding a bike, and hopefully encourage non-cyclists to give it a go.”

“Many newcomers to cycling can feel intimidated by traffic on the roads, which is why we’ll be creating a temporary segregated cycle route as part of this event.

“Traffic will still be able to move through the centre of Lancaster, but cyclists will be given exclusive use one of the lanes of the one-way system for a few hours to encourage beginners and families to join us.”

The event in Dalton Square will run from 9.30am to noon on Sunday 10 July. The segregated cycle route will be in place in Water Street, Chapel Street, Rosemary Lane, Stonewell and Great John Street throughout the event.

Find out more at

Pioneering digital signature platform Videosign announces sponsorship deal with South African golf pro Oliver Bekker

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant with Oliver Bekker

Digital security software specialist Videosign has become an official sponsor of international golfer Oliver Bekker.

Videosign Chief Executive Steven Tallant met with the South African player via the company’s unique meeting software to sign the sponsorship contract.  

Tallant said: “We’re proud to have become Oliver’s newest sponsor and look forward to seeing the Videosign name on the fairways.

“South Africa is a country that has really embraced Videosign, and I’m really happy to be able to say thank you by supporting one of the country’s top sportsmen.”

Videosign is an online meeting service that uses artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition software to compare an individual with their passport or driving licence photo to confirm their identity when they sign a contract or legal document online.

The platform offers users the facility to record video and other evidence like IP addresses and timestamps when remotely witnessing signatures of legal documents.

Facial-recognition software is used to verify the identity of signatories before tamper-proof electronic signatures are made, witnessed by everyone in the meeting and backed up with video and metadata evidence.

Oliver Bekker is a seven-time winner on the South African Sunshine Tour, and was second in the 2021 South African Open.

He said: “Using Videosign to agree this new partnership was a great experience.

“There was no need for printing documents or waiting for the mail – I met Steven on Videosign, we had a conversation, and signed the contract there and then.

“This must be the easiest contract sponsorship contract I’ve ever signed.”

Videosign, with bases in Liverpool and Glasgow, supports businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial advice and conveyancing.

The company recently released a new instant-access version of the platform, allowing small businesses to sign-up and start using Videosign immediately.