Business Elite MD of the Year 2016

Simon Plumb, MD of the SPA Group Ltd, explains his journey and how it feels to win ‘MD of the Year’.

Based in leafy Lymm in Cheshire, The SPA Group, a dedicated marketing agency for over 22 years, delivers integrated marketing, PR and event management campaigns for an array of diverse clients, across many sectors. As such, I really love the variety of the work we do here and no two projects are the same. It is a constant challenge, but we always enjoy rising to the occasion and achieving stellar results for our clients.

The SPA Effect

Find out who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Our latest news

Fresh off the digital press, here you can find latest SPA blog posts and our favourite tweets.

Who we work with

A Downton Abbey themed party, 10th Anniversary conference and the annual Qbase Tribes forum.

Get in touch

If you want to discuss ideas for your next emotionally engaging campaign, give us a call on 01925 755590 or drop us an email

The SPA effect

SPA will absorb your brief, interrogate your objectives, then create and develop a powerful method of communication which directly appeals to and motivates your specific audience.

What do we do for our clients?
  • Increase sales
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve morale
  • Help clients build businesses

SPA Group

About SPA
How do we do it?

We create extraordinarily emotionally engaging activity for our client’s target audiences which aim to:

  • Changes behaviour/attitudes
  • Motivate people to adapt to positive, behavioural activity
  • Make them feel good! Create a beneficial reaction to the company

SPA Group

What activity do we engage in?

The answer is simple – whatever we believe will work for you!

Extraordinary events:
  • Sales conferences
  • Teambuilding events
  • Corporate parties
  • Motivational films
  • Seminar
Practical PR:
  • PR campaigns
  • Press Releases
  • Newsletters
  • Crisis PR management
  • Brand launches

SPA Group

The SPA effect

SPA will absorb your brief, interrogate your objectives, then create and develop a powerful method of communication which directly appeals to and motivates your specific audience.

Who do we influence?
  • Your customers
  • Your sales team
  • Your employees
  • Your suppliers
  • Your stakeholders

SPA Group

  • Simon Plumb
    Simon Plumb
    Managing Director

    Starting his career as brand manager for Vladivar Vodka, ‘the Wodka from Varrington’, Simon has gone on to create hundreds of successful creative communication campaigns, spanning a 30-year career.

    His versatile marketing and event skill-set (including being the world’s worst ventriloquist) across innumerable market sectors are proven, building brands and profits for a huge array of companies.

  • Fiona Osborne
    Fiona Osborne
    Business Manager

    Fiona joined SPA in 2008 as business manager. Fiona manages the company’s finances, the office and communicates with clients.

    Her background in administration has been crucial, organising many campaigns over the years, and her creative flair (becoming the SPA theme-queen) has shone through in providing that extra creative touch at numerous conferences and events.

  • Fiona Osborne
    Alice Ward
    Junior Account Executive

    Alice joined SPA in September 2015 having graduated with a degree in Classical Studies from Bristol University. She is considering a career in event management and SPA presents a platform and the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes of the Events, PR and Marketing arena.

    Her initial focus will be on transforming the social media aspect of SPA’s business, managing and keeping Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the SPA blog up to date. Alice responsibilities include broadening the agency’s outreach to potential clients and increasing the company’s visibility to current and prospective clients.


  • Lhoist UK – outsourced marketing to a safe pair of hands
    Lhoist UK - outsourced marketing to a safe pair of hands

    Buxton-based Lhoist UK (rhymes with Blast) is a Belgian owned manufacturer of the world’s purest lime – demand is worldwide and this is one of the global leaders.
    The quarry, sited deep in the Peak District, is home to an array of brilliant lime-based products used in the building, wastewater, utilities, steel, metals and food manufacturing sectors.


    SPA has been working for Lhoist UK, as the out-sourced marketing, PR and event management agency, for over 10 years, and the team has enjoyed every minute.
    Royal visits, product launches, PR and digital campaigns, press releases, newsletters, trade advertising, exhibition stand design and builds, Christmas parties, employee days out – you name it, we’ve done it!
    ‘What a treat to develop such a strong working relationship,’ said Simon. ‘In many ways this is a sleeping giant but I hope we have helped target audiences become aware of such a great company.’

    Simon Plumb, Managing Director, SPA Group Ltd
  • Out of Africa: A 25th Wedding anniversary
    Out of Africa: A 25th Wedding anniversary

    The theme for the 25th Wedding Anniversary was ‘Out of Africa’, and we were briefed to create an African ‘Safari Lodge’ in the garden, catering for 100 guests with live musical entertainment.


    A 10m x 15m stretch tent was erected, connected to the house, creating an event space which flowed from the living room double doors. A home-made ‘Hakunamatata’ bar plyed guests with African themed cocktails and local beer. Entertainment included African welcome music, a pianist, singing guitarist and a crooner. African theming, Pith helmets and 1920’s evening dress transformed an Indian summer evening in Cheshire into a night on the Serengeti savannah.
    ‘What a smashing night it was. It was such a brilliant vibe and a great atmosphere. You clearly put in a prodigious amount of thought and a tremendous amount of time, energy and effort into making it look stupendous. The only complaint was that the alcohol flowed far too freely!’

    Norman Haddock, Party Guest
  • Black Death Vodka lives again!
    Black Death Vodka lives again!

    Black Death Vodka, produced in the UK, was first launched onto the world in the late 1980’s, and quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, outselling all other vodkas.

    That was until President Yeltsin stopped all importation of the western brand into Russia in the mid 90’s, in an attempt to stop the capitalist influences on soviet lifestyles!
    But now, after 20 years, Black Death, with its iconic packaging, is coming back to life!


    SPA worked on the UK marketing and PR in the mid to late 1990’s and has now been re-appointed to re-launch this exciting brand in 2016.
    Currently the new bottle design is in production, the iconic label is being re-printed and the Best Vodka in the World is being distilled once more!
    Exciting times lie ahead as the world awaits the ‘Resurrection of Black Death Vodka!!’

  • Shows: Fundraising for Lymm Rugby Club
    Shows: Fundraising for Lymm Rugby Club

    Twice a year SPA are asked to write and produce the Lymm Rugby Club Summer show and Christmas Adult Panto. This raises much-needed funds for the Club to buy more land and build a new clubhouse. The Lymm Panto has been running since 1987 and has featured: Scrooge, Flash Gordon, Ben Hur, Aladdin-in-Lymm, Frankenstein and many more. The shows are renowned for being superb entertainment and are well-loved by the community.


    The summer show, produced by SPA MD Simon Plumb, was the Vaudeville Variety Show providing guests with entertaining acts from both ends of the talent spectrum. The whole show was received with great acclaim, showcasing the range of local talent in Lymm.

    This Christmas SPA are putting together the Christmas Pantomime ‘Snow White and her Seven Dwarfly Sins’ which is predicted to be a sell out show.

  • The Tile Association Crystal Awards Evening
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference
    • To refresh and upgrade an existing black tie awards night, generating glamour and excitement for 350 guests.
    • To entice guests to return, grow the event and give everyone a night to remember and look forward to.

    The TA Crystal Awards Evening presented the opportunity to elevate the quality of the night, using the crystal theme. The double-screen stage set became the centrepiece for all presentations, with showgirls adding glamour alongside the crooner and band, the crystal chandelier table-centres and a prestigious room and AV lights show.
    ‘The Crystal Awards were fantastic in all aspects from the presentations, the set, the entertainment and the table theming. We also had bumper attendees and expect to exceed this next year when word gets out.’

    Ian Crowther – The Tile Association
  • American Golf Annual Conference 2015
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    SPA was tasked with conceiving the theme, designing and building the stage set, creating a dynamic conference video, producing a variety of engaging presentations and creating an outstanding ‘Human Logo’ teambuilding event.
    This was designed to integrate teams and boost staff morale, creating One Team!


    SPA conceived the theme, ‘We are One!’ to create a wholly immersive and captivating experience for delegates. Using an ultra-wide screen with two-projection blend to seamlessly display content and videos, the visuals dominated the room, resulting in immersive presentations.
    ‘The challenge was to deliver an event above and beyond the standards of previous years and exceed everyone’s expectations. This level of interaction was a marked improvement on previous years. The Human Logo was a huge success, and we are using the image throughout the business. We could not have asked for more!’

    Nina Bebbington – American Golf
  • Business Doctors
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    Celebrating 10 successful years, Business Doctors appointed SPA to organize and manage their annual conference at Coombe Abbey, including a Monte Carlo themed awards ceremony.


    The event was designed so franchisees could enjoy the conference whilst also accommodating for their partners with all that Coombe Abbey has to offer, including revitalizing spa treatments. The Monte Carlo themed Awards Night, with casino tables and huge Martini glass centre-pieces presented a glamorous finale.
    ‘This is the best event we have ever run! What a great night.’

    Rod Davies, Business Doctors Founder
  • ‘Party like it’s 1912’
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    To organize and manage a private party to celebrate a 50th birthday in December, making it a festive celebration. This is to be a Downton Abbey themed party at Walton Hall catering for 150 guests.


    The Edwardian setting of Walton Hall was the perfect venue for a Downton Abbey themed Party, and the locality was an added bonus. The Hall was dressed for Christmas and the drive was illuminated with firelights to create an atmospheric pathway for the guests. Entertainment was provided by singing butlers, carols round the piano, a 30-man brass band and ‘Groovy Revolution’, a five-piece party band. The night came to a close with a specialty ‘Cheese Cake’ and festive fireworks.

    It was thoroughly enjoyed by all, but most importantly the birthday girl:
    ‘Everyone has sent messages praising the music, the food, the staff, the lighting of the hall, the band, the fireworks, the cars and the speeches – they loved the cheese and the free bar!
    Massive hit – we are indebted to you.’

    Vicky Fleetwood
  • North West Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    To create a business environment that facilitates access and introductions for the target audience for mutual benefit. To promote the personality and function of the NWF, building and developing a platform for future events.


    An evening event held in a marquee allowed The North West Fund to convey more of its personality as an operation. It was an informal and interesting event which evoked a relaxed mood, but with serious business networking opportunities.
    ‘All feedback has been positive and we were delighted with the outcome. As I had hoped it went off as a thoroughly professional, yet not ostentatious event. The format was different and the ability to network that the configuration of the event allowed was exceptional. ‘

    Andy Leach, CEO, The North West Fund
  • Capita SWAN Business Win Celebration
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    To organise a party to celebrate Capita winning a major piece of business north of the border. To be held over a weekend at Blair Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland.


    A well-earned reward for a hard-working team involving top class accommodation and 5 star dining in superb surroundings. Highland games were organised on the Croquet Lawn which consisted of caber tossing, Haggis Hurling, target golf and archery.

    Dinner, held in the William Fordyce dining room, with a Scottish dress code was great fun. This was accompanied by a pianist who got the whole team singing along, creating a wonderful and boisterous atmosphere.
    ‘I wanted to give my guys a great time, to make them feel special, and SPA more than achieved that by expertly blending all the elements together.’

    Richard Betts, Business Development Director, Capita.
  • Qbase Tribe II
    Ascribe teambuilding day

    The first ‘Tribes Seminar’ was such a hit that SPA’s task, for QBase, was to recreate the conference using their successful formula. The aim of the forum is to bring leaders of charity fundraising together to discuss the issues they face, and how to overcome them.


    Delegates met in the Flett Theatre in the Natural History Museum. There were speakers from RNLI, Alzheimer’s Society, Barnado’s and Macmillan Cancer Support discussing how they are using data and insight to increase donations during the challenging times. A light buffet lunch followed, held in the ‘From the Beginning’ gallery.
    ‘A top class event once more brilliantly executed by the SPA team. These events really put us on the map and provide a pipeline of new business opportunities.’

    Rob Jones, Qbase Marketing Director
  • Ascribe teambuilding day

    To run a full day motivational conference including evening entertainment which brings a disparate team of existing and newly acquired personnel together. Aiming to enhance existing relationships and forge new ones across all levels of management.


    With music being the conferences key theme, the day commenced with each team composing a ‘Company Anthem’. This led onto a structured, teambuilding activity, based on games relating to different decades, with each game accompanied by music from that decade.

    The evening’s entertainment was rousing competition based on ‘Family Fortunes’ with each table bedecked in props, wigs, hats and masks of a particular family. The eventual winners were of course the Royal Family!
    ‘A great day full of memories. I was proud to be part of the team, and proud of Ascribe!’

    Debbie Doughty, Head of HR
  • JW Lees motivational film

    Manchester brewery J W Lees appointed SPA to create an activity which engaged their team and would influence them on an emotional level, to reinforce the feeling that J W Lees is a great company to be a part of.


    A motivational team video was filmed with staff each singing a line from David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’. The video launched the teambuilding day and all staff were given a copy on DVD to take home and show their families. The video brought employees from all areas of the business together linking them through the activity and demonstrating the variety of roles and personalities at the brewery.
    ‘We run teambuilding days every year but this year, the ‘Heroes’ film made a huge impression on the team and produced the best result ever in terms of bringing everyone together.’

    William Lees-Jones, MD of J W Lees Brewery
  • Scottish Widows Parish Walk
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    SPA’s task, for Scottish Widows, was to recruit as many entrants as possible and promote the 85 mile Isle of Man Parish Walk to the world!


    Over a three year period SPA ran PR and ad campaigns for Scottish Widows, building awareness and attracting walkers to the largest, longest and most successful walk of its kind … the world.
    ‘SPA helped take the SW Parish Walk to another level in terms of awareness and competitors. What a great job!’

    Dean Waddingham, CEO Scottish Widow IoM
  • National Football PR Campaign
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    To manage the media for the National Football Museum, in the transition from its original base at Preston, North End to its new home in Urbis, Manchester.


    Media coverage was transformed from damaging and negative to positive and forward-looking. The NFM has gone on to become one of the major tourist attractions in the North West of England.
    ‘We are delighted to say the SPA team played a blinder in helping us transform our image!’

    Dermot Daly, Chairman of National Football Museum
  • Johnson Tiles presents ‘The J Factor’
    NW Fund ‘Colours’ conference

    To organize an awards presentations and ‘in-house’ talent show evening for 100-120 people.

    After a tough trading period involving wage cuts and job losses, the business wanted to reward staff. The concept of the evening was to build morale through all levels of the Johnson Tiles team.


    The Awards and Talent show entitled ‘The J Factor’ was a spoof of a hit T.V show. Employees acted as both performers and judges. Prior to the event, a music video was created by filming members of staff at work each singing a line of Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’.

    After premiering the film, the evening evolved into a casino night complete with Black Jack and Roulette tables. It was an evening for Johnson Tiles employees to have fun and let their hair down but still carried a strong central message of rewarding loyalty and effort.
    ‘I find it difficult to explain just how much impact the ‘Perfect Day’ film had. In the context of the ‘J Factor Awards’ night it defined Johnson Tiles perfectly. Powerful stuff!’

    Ian Crowther, Former Sales Director, Johnson Tiles

Please do get
in touch.

If you want to discuss ideas for your next emotionally engaging campaign, give us a call or drop an email to the address below.

Contact details

T 01925 755590

Spa Group

No.2 Bridgewater Court
Barsbank Lane
WA13 0ER

Directions from M6/M56

Take Junction 20 off the M6 or Junction 9 off the M56, follow signs for Lymm, then take the B5158 (Cherry Lane) into Lymm, following it to the ‘T’ junction with the A56.

Turn left here and take the fifth road on the right, which is Barsbank Lane. The second turning on the left leads to Bridgewater Court, which you’ll see straight ahead of you.

The SPA Group is second on the right…