In a double celebration on Burns Night, the Mayor of Hemel Hempstead, Councillor Robert Mclean, cut the tartan ribbon to officially open the new offices of local company Lumina Technologies.

The ceremony was held on Burns Night to reflect the Scottish roots of founder and MD Richard McBarnet, and was attended by more than 35 Dacorum business people.

Guests watched the haggis being piped in, and listened to the Mayor read the traditional Selkirk Grace. He then cut the haggis and invited guests to toast it with either traditional whisky or celebratory Champagne.

At the ceremony, the Mayor spoke of his commitment to supporting local businesses and his intention of attracting new companies to Hemel Hempstead through initiatives such as Connect Dacorum, apprenticeship schemes and the regeneration of the town centre. He concluded by saying that, as part of its commitment to the area, “Lumina Technologies and its expansion is really something that we should be proud of.”

Richard echoed the Mayor’s enthusiasm for Hemel when he spoke about his vision for making Lumina an active member of the town. “Our core ethos now is to establish ourselves as a local business and to be an active participant in the community as a whole. We have already established strong charity connections with organisations such as the Hospice of St Francis and DENS - as well as being part of the Connect Dacorum initiative.

“I wanted to organise this Burn’s Night celebration not only to mark our arrival in our larger premises, but also to make a splash to announce our presence to the local community. Too often, people don’t know their neighbours, and this is our way of meeting our business neighbours and show we are a proud part of the community. I’m therefore delighted with the turnout - it’s energising to see so much support, and to have the chance to get to know people in a more informal setting.”

The event was attended by representatives from banks and charities as well as neighbouring businesses and clients. Jeremey Read of Grant Thornton commented: “It’s great to see Lumina Technologies expanding in Hertfordshire; they’re a great addition to the local business community.” Sentiments echoed by Ian Taylor from Barclays: “I’m delighted to be supporting a great business in the local area.”

It was also a good opportunity for all the staff at Lumina Technologies to meet clients face-to-face. In fact, the occasion was the first time long-term client Simon Lucas from recruitment agency Society had visited the office and workshop. “We’ve been working with Lumina for eight years and there has never been a need for us to visit them, so it has made a nice change to meet them and see where they work.”

New client Dave Kelly from ID Integrated Security is also one of Richard’s new neighbours. “We’re at the beginning of our partnership, so it’s nice to be here to be able to thank them for all the work they’re doing for us; I’m looking forward to carrying on building our relationship.”