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Category: Costa People (28 articles)

Meet Marc Elliott: "Being able to communicate well with lenders and clients is essential to this business."

Marc Elliott of Fluent Finance Abroad and his partner Kelly

Marc Elliott of Fluent Finance Abroad and his partner Kelly

Marc Elliott is the British expat and brains behind Fluent Finance Abroad, the mortgage specialists based in San Pedro de Alcántara, Marbella. Providing clients with the most appropriate form of finance to purchase their dream home abroad, Marc – being half Spanish – has taken to life on the Costa del Sol like the proverbial duck to water. When he’s not hard at work sorting out people’s mortgages, Marc can be found relaxing on the beaches of Conil in Cádiz or occasionally belting out some top tunes in a karaoke bar…

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Author: 26/10/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Kristel Schoeman-Daneel: Claiming her place in the market with reclaimed wood

Kristel Schoeman-Daneel of Woodfactory

Pay a visit to some of the Costa del Sol’s hippest and most popular beach bars, restaurants, shops and cafés, and you’ll notice a growing affinity for eye-catching, sturdy, bespoke wooden furniture that is not only comfortable and durable, but environmentally-friendly, too. Dutchwoman Kristel Schoeman-Daneel – the creative mind behind Marbella’s Woodfactory – noticed a gap in the southern Spanish furniture market; namely, a lack of availability of weathered, rustic looking furniture made from reclaimed wood. Three years later and Woodfactory is decorating many of the Coast’s coolest establishments…

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Author: 27/08/2015 [0] Comments 

Cilla Black: The Costa del Sol loses a legend

Cilla Black, 72, who died at the weekend on the Costa del Sol.

Her voice may have been unmistakeably Liverpudlian, but the Costa del Sol had come to treat her as one of their own after spending many years enjoying life at her luxury villa near Estepona – Cilla Black, who died at the weekend aged 72, was a bonafide legend who will be sorely missed by her legion of fans…

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Author: 05/08/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Tomas Davidsson: "Technology is constantly evolving so my work never becomes boring"

Tomas Davidsson of TD Sat & Sound

It was a skiing holiday to Austria that gave former car mechanic Tomas Davidsson the urge to up sticks from his native Sweden and try life somewhere else. The sunny shores of the Costa del Sol beckoned and in 2000 Tomas made the permanent move south. Six years later he set up his own company, though in a field far removed from the one of brake discs, oil changes and head gaskets. Also with a background in installing television antennas, Tomas decided that the future was in user-friendly audio and visual solutions for homes and businesses…

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Author: 22/05/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet Jens Wenk: “Making my clients happy is what motivates me”

Jens Wenk, founder of Gecontec SL, with his wife Daniela

Jens Wenk, founder of Gecontec SL, with his wife Daniela

A professional builder in Berlin, Jens Wenk enjoyed his holidays on the Costa del Sol so much that he moved here in 1992, although his work later took him to Lanzarote and Tenerife. But when the time came to start thinking about growing his business, he knew the perfect place. That place was the Costa del Sol and he lost no time in returning to it…

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Author: 19/02/2015 [0] Comments 

British School of Marbella to expand campus

The expansion of the British School of Marbella is great news for UK families hoping to move to the Costa del Sol

What are the signs which indicate that the Costa del Sol is a much-loved bolthole for Brits hoping to live abroad?

Is it the ubiquity of the English language? Not really – most corners of the world where tourists converge have English as the de facto number one language.

Perhaps the popularity of stylish bars, nightclubs and cafés all designed to cater for the tastes of the British? Maybe, but truth be told the attractions of Puerto Banús turn the heads of partygoers from all over the world.

Is it the prevalence of ‘cheap n’ cheerful’ beachside cafés that line the promenades of Fuengirola and Torremolinos, attracting punters with their tempting chalkboards promising all day breakfasts, cheap pints and Premier League football?

Getting warmer, but again, a fry up, a cool beer and the chance to watch the world’s most exciting football are three attractions that really do have a global following.

No, the  surest sign that the Costa del Sol is a hotspot for heat-seeking Brits is the prevalence of international schools designed to cater for British families by following the British curriculum. Which makes the news that the British School of Marbella is set to expand its campus even more heartening, because it means that demand for places is growing again as more and more Brits decide that southern Spain is the best place for them in which to raise a family.

Due to be officially opened in time for the 2015-16 school year, the new campus at British School Marbella will be located right next door to the picturesque Monte Paraiso Golf course. The extra room means the school can also take on an extra year, so from September British School of Marbella (BSM) will add a Year 7.

“This is a very exciting time for BSM,” Sian Kirkham, BSM’s headmistress told The Olive Press. “The beauty of it is that we get to completely design our own classrooms exactly how we want them.

“Every year we’ve added the next age group so we’ve grown with our students and we always prefer to build gradually so that the fees don’t increase on the onset.”

The new campus will have more than mere classrooms. The facility will boast football pitches, basketball and tennis courts, indoor sports facilities, a science lab, a music room, an art studio and a theatre, ensuring children have access to the best state-of-the-art teaching facilities available.

All teaching staff at the BSM are UK-trained, with all lessons set alongside the British curriculum, meaning pupils leave having been schooled in the best of British traditions, and having earned qualifications that are recognised at British universities.

“We provide a very warm atmosphere as we are a family school where the parents can be confident that every teacher will know their child and be involved in their development process,” added the headmistress.

Author: 01/02/2015 [0] Comments 

Meet David Gibson: “The future looks very bright”

Partners David Gibson and Steve Dixon with pet labrador Ebony

David Gibson (seated) with partner Steve Dixon and Ebony, their black lab

When David Gibson and Steve Dixon bought an investment property on the Costa del Sol 12 years ago, little did they know it was a decision that was about to give their lives a whole new direction. They both had fulfilling careers in London – with David running a medium-sized manufacturing business there, and Steve working as a retail manager.

They’d purchased their apartment in Estepona as a holiday home and at the time the prospect of relocating here permanently hadn’t even crossed their minds. But it was when they came to furnish it that they had their eureka moment – and Mad About Furniture was the result…

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Author: 05/12/2014 [0] Comments 

Meet Andrea Böck: “2014 is going to be a wonderful year for the Costa del Sol!”

Andrea Böck, founder of Ambience Home Design

Andrea Böck: I can ski or snowboard in the Sierra Nevada all morning, and be back in time for a late lunch in Puerto Banús!

Andrea Böck has had a passion for beautiful properties, beautiful architecture and beautiful furniture for as long as she can remember. Originally from Düsseldorf, she spent a holiday with a friend living on the Costa del Sol who offered her a place to stay if ever she wanted to relocate here.

Back home in Germany, and gazing out of her studio window at the seemingly interminable cloudy grey skies, 13 years ago she decided to take her up on her offer, leaving her native Germany to move to the Coast. Founding Ambience Home Design in San Pedro de Alcántara in 2002, Andrea has never looked back…

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Author: 12/03/2014 [0] Comments 

Meet Carlos Abril: “There’s no finer place than Marbella’’

Carlos Abril of Abril Cumpián Solicitors

Lawyer Carlos Abril was born and bred in Marbella

Keeping it in the family – that could well be the motto of Abril Cumpián Solicitors. Consisting of three generations of lawyers, this Marbella-based firm has been serving the needs of the Coast for over a decade.

Carlos Abril is one of their leading figures, and as a committed family man and true son of the Costa del Sol, he knows more than most the pressures – and pleasures – that life on the Coast brings…

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Author: 16/10/2013 [0] Comments 

Meet Greg van Praagh: "The Coast is much more than a holiday destination"

Greg van Praagh of Pretasol

Greg van Praagh of Pretasol taking time out with his little boy.

Family guys come in all forms, but few have as many balls in the air as Greg van Praagh. A committed father and husband, Greg also deals with the daily pressures of running a growing business.

As Commercial Director for solar energy company Pretasol, he’s determined to use his boundless energy to help clients reduce their own energy bills. How so? By offering excellent customer service, unrivalled technical expertise and – most importantly of all – passing on an enthusiasm for the Costa del Sol that few can match…

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Author: 21/08/2013 [0] Comments 
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