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MARK WEEKS Safety still paramount

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Column - Page 4

NICK GARTLAND More obstacles ahead Column - Page 4

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Firm benefits from MAS ‘fire service’

A COMPANY making fire engines got a rapid response when it called for help to boost capacity and sales. Angloco Ltd – which designs, manufactures and distributes fire fighting and rescue vehicles to customers in more than 50 countries – worked with the Manufacturing Advisory Service to improve efficiency at its Batley site. The company, which employs 65 people, has turnover of £17.1m and exports to countries including Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, found the assembly of large vehicles was limited by factory floor space and the number of assembly bays. To increase production, build times for each unit had to be reduced – without compromising on the high standards for which the company is known. Working with MAS, the firm introduced “lean” awareness training for all members of its operational team – a skilled workforce already used to making their own decisions. Improvements included better control of the pre-build design review – with production owning this process and having a greater input into the simultaneous engineering design process. It was agreed not to start vehicle build until the design was confirmed

■ BLAZE AWAY: Rachel Dowling-Brown, of Angloco Ltd, with one of the Batley-based firm's firefighting vehicles

and the materials needed were available, so that progress would not be interrupted. In addition, only one vehicle per bay would be worked on at any given time. This created space to allow parts to be delivered direct to the assembly line – making materials available, visible and reducing trips to stores. Wo rk p l a c e o rg a n i s at i o n wa s

improved with a standard bench and racking system developed for each bay. A status board and daily start of shift meeting was also introduced to co-ordinate activity to support production. Angloco production director Kevin Sedgwick said: “We knew many of the changes that we wanted to make and MAS helped facilitate this process and

ensure lean manufacturing principles were adhered to. “The shop floor and all the key support functions were fully involved. We have already seen the first new vehicle built one month ahead of s c h e d u l e a n d b e l ow bu d g e t e d assembly hours.” He said skilled operators were now able to focus on vehicle build, making assembly quicker and reducing “waste activity”. Stores operated more efficiently with a twice daily “milk round” supply across all bays rather than trying to service numerous individual requests. The shop was also visibly tidier. Design engineers were better informed around the timing when sub-assembly design information was needed, said Mr Sedgwick. . This resulted in faster vehicle assembly and, by taking less time, created more available capacity for additional sales. Over the years, Angloco has provided specialist fire engines and equipment to customers including Qatar Petroleum, Kuwait National Petroleum Company and BP. It has also landed UK orders from customers including Essex Fire and Rescue Service, Leeds-Bradford Airport and the Ministry of Defence.

‘Zombies’ retreat but cash flow woes worsen ‘YORKSHIRE is being plagued by fewer “zombie” businesses, according insolvency trade body R3. But the number of companies with “acute” cash flow problems has hit a new high, according to figures from insolvency trade body R3. The survey showed that the number of “zombie” businesses – those only able to pay the interest on their debt, but not the debt itself – now stands at 6,000 for Yorkshire and the North East. The figure represents 4% of all businesses in the region – down from 9% last November. However, while the number of ‘zombie businesses’ in the UK has fallen over the last year from 146,000 to 108,000, the number facing acute cash flow problems has risen – indicating that the outlook for struggling busi-

nesses could be deteriorating. Nationally, 134,000 UK businesses are struggling to pay their debts when they fall due – a technical definition of insolvency. This is the highest figure in the last 12 months and 4,000 of these businesses are in Yorkshire and the North East. In total, at least 6,000 businesses in the region are struggling to pay debts when due or are negotiating payment terms with creditors. Chris Wood, Yorkshire R3 committee member and partner at Clough Corporate Solutions in Cleckheaton, said: “Businesses struggling to pay debts when they fall due are in a very perilous position. “While they have yet to enter formal insolvency procedures, businesses with such serious cash flow problems may

find that the day of reckoning is not too far off. “There are fewer ‘zombie businesses’ – but this is not necessarily because businesses that have been in this position are showing signs of improvement. Far bigger cash flow problems are occupying the thoughts of these businesses’ managers.” The number of businesses in the UK negotiating payment terms with their creditors is also at a record high, up to 137,000 from 130,000 last year. Mr Wood said the time may be fast approaching for lenders, including suppliers and banks, to decide which businesses to continue to support and which to let go. He said: “With the economy recovering, it’s crunch time for struggling businesses as lenders start to make

their minds up about which businesses to continue to support and which businesses to call time on. “Not all struggling businesses are doomed to failure. The prolonged period of low interest rates and government support schemes has made it hard to distinguish between businesses that are struggling but viable and those businesses that do not have a future.” R3 said an orderly “wind-down” of failing businesses was important. In 2009, R3 research found that over a quarter of corporate insolvencies were caused by the “domino effect” of another company’s insolvency. Mr Wood said the long-delayed failure of struggling businesses may cause a short-term jump in unemployment, and could hurt other businesses too.”

INSIDE Getting engaged THE role played by leaders in improving workforce engagement was the subject of a conference and panel discussion staged in Huddersfield. Engaging Leadership was organised by Partners in Management and held at the Media Centre as part of the Employee Engagement Task Force, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills to help deliver sustainable growth for the UK by finding better ways for industry to work.

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Century makers A FIRM supplying doors and glazing products for commercial clients is celebrating a landmark. Dortech Architectural Systems has received an order from Manchester Academy that will take its sales of Dor-Strong Doors past the hundred mark. Dor-Strong was developed by Dortech’s maintenance division as a result of the market’s requirement for reliable robust commercial doors.

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Retailers in move to protect workers A GROUP of 70 international retailers has agreed a programme of safety inspections at garment factories in Bangladesh in the wake of a devastating building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in April. Details of factories used by the brands, including Primark and H&M will be collected by next Monday and an initial inspection programme to identify grave hazards and the need for urgent repairs completed in nine months. In the meantime any immediate threats identified by other inspections or workers will result in factories being shut down – although employees will continue to be paid, according to the accord. The contract has been agreed between retailers, international and local trade unions and non-governmental organisations. It was put in place after the collapse

of the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in April, which focused world attention on safety standards at Bangladesh’s garment export industry, which supplies clothes for some of the world’s best-known retailers. Primark has announced compensation for victims and their families. Some of those injured and killed in the incident in Dhaka worked for a company that supplied the brand. Other retailers that have signed up to the new agreement include Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, N Brown, New Look, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Its aim is to move quickly to reduce severe hazards facing workers in factories covered by the accord, with plans for renovations and repairs put in place following inspections. “These will focus on those issues that pose grave and immediate risks to workers, in particular inadequate emer-

gency infrastructure and procedures and fundamental flaws that could lead to a partial or total structural failure of a factory building,” said the committee overseeing the programme. In the interim period, while details are being finalised and the inspectorate is being built, an emergency protocol will ensure swift action to protect workers at any factory where existing inspection programmes or worker reports identify an immediate threat to life and limb.” Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, welcomed the move, saying the Rana Plaza collapse “was a wake-up call about the urgent need to improve safety standards for employees in developing countries’’. She said the UK government was working with Bangladeshi authorities to offer technical support and advice on standards but that UK retailers also had a role to play.

■ TRAGEDY: Rescuers at the scene of the building collapse in Bangladesh

Page 2 Recruits required CENTER Parcs has begun a drive to recruit 1,500 staff at its new £250m holiday village ahead of the site’s opening in spring next year. The posts at the Woburn Forest site in Bedfordshire include 500 housekeeper roles, mainly part-time, paying from £6.60 an hour. Among other employees being sought are 126 waiting staff, 53 spa therapists, 50 lifeguards, 19 nursery nurses and six nurses. The recruitment process is expected to be completed by January with shortlisted applicants invited to assessment days near the site. Woburn Forest will be Center Parcs’ fifth UK site and is to include 625 forest lodges and a 75-bedroom hotel, as well as a spa, sports facilities, restaurants and retail outlets.

Lloyds’ landmark building sold

Bovis posts rise in sales

Catering choice

THE landmark City headquarters of Lloyd’s of London has been sold to Chinese insurance giant Ping An in a £260m deal. An innovative glass-and-steel construction designed by Richard Rogers and opened in 1986, the building had been owned by German asset management fund Commerz Real. Commerz Real bought the building, home to the world’s leading insurance market, for £231m in 2005. Lloyd’s lease on the site in One Lime Street expires in 2031. Jon Crossfield, a director of Savills, which handled the latest transaction, said: “This is a poten-

BOVIS Homes offered more housebuilding cheer with a sharp rise in half-year sales and reservations on the b a c k o f g ov e r n m e n t f u n d i n g schemes. The builder said the average price of homes it sold in the last six months jumped by 15% to £188,500, compared with £164,400 a year earlier. The number of private reservations it secured in this period rose by 40% to 1,389. Bovis said the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which allows people to buy a home with a 5% deposit, helped drive a 26% increase in net private sales per site per week.

FORMER WH Smith boss Kate Swann took a surprise role at a catering giant which feeds millions of rail and air passengers. Ms Swann has been named as chief executive of SSP, which runs restaurants, bars, cafes and convenience stores at airports, train stations and shopping centres for brands including Starbucks, Burger King, M&S Simply Food and Upper Crust.

tially landmark transaction, given it is the first by a Chinese insurance company overseas. “It is a high-profile and confident entry to the market for them and further illustrates the dominance of overseas investors in London at present.” Roland Holschuh, a board member of Commerz Real, said: “We are delighted with the transaction and it has been a major success for our investors. “The current liquidity and investor demand within the London market presented an ideal time for us to seek an exit in line with our original business plan.”

With more home loans being secured through the state’s Funding for Lending Scheme, the company said the sales prices it has achieved to date were “modestly ahead” of expectations. Buoyed by this improved outlook, Bovis said it has deals in place to acquire just over a thousand additional plots on 11 sites – the majority of which it expects to secure by the end of this year. This is on top of the 2,767 plots it has already picked up on 18 sites in the first half. Rival Barratt Developments is also expected to report strong trading with its full-year results tomorrow.

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £51.60 +0.51 Gannett 1736.19 -8.70 Hess Corp £45.80 +0.18 Microsoft £22.84 -0.07 Motors Liquidation 50.22 Wal-Mart Stores £51.14 +0.78 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 446 +2 +53/4 BAE Systems 4133/4 Rolls-Royce 1203 +10 AIM Brady Plc 721/2 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 3225/8 +31/4 BANKS Barclays 2985/8 +71/8 HSBC 7173/8 +47/8 Lloyds Banking Gp 671/8 +21/2 3 Ryl Scotland 288 /4 +121/8 Stan Chart 1485 +15 BEVERAGES Diageo 19861/2 +25 SABMiller £321/2 +3/8 CHEMICALS Croda £253/4 +3/8 Elementis 98 2237/8 +21/2 1 Johnsn Mat £28 /4 +5/8 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2113/4 -41/4 Costain 2781/2 -41/2 ELECTRICITY

Drax Gp 6231/2 +91/2 SSE 1577 -2 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 1851/4 +61/4 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 4411/2 +31/2 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 3351/4 +57/8 Cable & Wireless 417/8 +3/8 Comm Colt Group 102 -23/8 KCOM 831/4 +2 Talktalk Telecom 2331/8 +51/8 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 273 +1/2 Sainsbury 375 +21/2 Tesco 343 +17/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1822 +6 Tate Lyle 858 +9 Unilever £273/8 +1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3747/8 +1/8 National Grid 755 +6 Pennon Grp 679 +7 Severn 1738 +3 +2 United Utils 7041/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3641/8 +4 ICAP 4011/8 +117/8 London StockExch 1471 +15 Man Group 871/2 +23/4 Provident Financial 1514 +23

+5/8 Schroders £231/4 Schroders NV 1802 +23 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 4797/8 -31/4 Smiths Grp 1359 +13 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 25 -3/8 Carphone Whse 2471/2 +1/2 Dixons Retail 433/8 +11/2 Home Retail 1433/8 +11/4 Inchcape 522 +91/2 1 Kingfisher 372 /2 +53/4 M&S 4593/4 -3 1 +51/2 Mothercare 462 /4 3 Next £47 /4 +3/8 WH Smith 752 +10 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 7551/2 -1/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 871/4 +21/4 Barrat Dev 3427/8 +121/4 Persimmon 1267 +11 Reckitt Benckiser £481/2 +3/4 Taylor Wimpey 1061/4 +31/2 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1337 +29 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 1383/4 +21/2 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 285 +1/2 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 3577/8 +85/8

Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life

185 +3 1901/4 +35/8 1116 +15 3053/4 +111/4 3731/2 +71/4 MEDIA BSkyB 819 +4 D Mail Tst 7931/2 +61/2 3 HIBU /8 ITV 1523/4 +31/4 Johnston Press 161/4 +1/4 Pearson 1214 +5 1 Reed Elsevier 791 /2 +71/2 1 STV Group 137 /2 Trinity Mirror 1183/4 +61/4 Utd Business 668 +111/2 UTV 138 +3 WPP 1179 +24 MINING Anglo American 1245 +28 Antofagasta 802 +171/2 BHP Billiton 1689 +221/2 Eurasian Natural 214 +31/4 Res Fresnillo 921 +341/2 Kazakhmys 2565/8 +5 3 Lonmin 279 /4 +9 3 +3/8 Rio Tinto £26 /4 VEDANTA 1008 +16 RESOURCES MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 672 +7 Vodafone Group 1917/8 +1/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1350 +10

Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

354 133 755 £21

+1 -51/2 +6 +1/4

FTSE closed at

6450.07 Up 74.55

RSA Insurance Gp 1241/4 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1141 BP 4601/2 Cairn Energy 265 Royal Dutch Shell A £211/4 Royal Dutch Shell B £221/4 Total £323/4 Tullow Oil 1064 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1032 Petrofac 1252 Wood Gp(J) 855 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1426

+11/4 +9 +61/2 +33/4 +1/4 +1/4 +3/4 +16 +9 +15 +1/2 +22

PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £323/8 +1/4 GlaxoSmithK XD 171/2 5 Shire £21 /8 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 598 +61/2 Hamrsn 5191/2 +6 1 Intu Properties 322 /4 +27/8 Land Secs 952 +13 SEGRO 2851/2 +51/4 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 4277/8 +63/4 Sage Group 3601/2 +27/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 7991/2 +141/2 Bunzl 1374 +1 Capita 1037 +19 De La Rue 9601/2 +111/2 Electrocomp 2481/4 +61/4 Experian 1174 +8 1 G4S 228 /4 +17/8 3 Hays 93 /4 +13/4 Homeserve 2881/4 +63/4 Menzies J 710 +1 3 +11/2 Rentokil 95 /8 Smiths News 156 +21/2 Wolseley £321/8 +5/8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 860 +19 Spirent Comms 1251/2 +13/4 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £353/8 +5/8 Imperial Tobacco £231/4 +3/8 LEISURE & HOTELS

Bwin.Party Digital Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Gp Greene King Intercontl Htls Intl Cons Airl Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread

130 £241/8 881 1354 120 98 1507 828 1944 274 2063/4 3805/8 2381/8 1611/4 3321/4 3733/4 £313/4

+11/4 +1/8 +81/2 +14 +4 +13/8 -2 +17 +36 +4 +21/4 +5/8 +41/4 +33/4 +27/8 +35/8 +5/8

FTSE 100

INDEX 6450.07


FTSE 250

INDEX 14473.22


TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.56 dollars Bangladesh................. 109.14 taka Brazil.............................. 3.00 reals Canada....................... 1.50 dollars China ............................. 8.16 yuan Czech Republic ...... 27.71 korunas Denmark....................... 8.23 krone Euro................................ 1.11 euro Hong Kong................ 10.95 dollars Hungary................... 307.64 forints India.......................... 80.13 rupees Japan........................... 143.17 yen Mexico ....................... 17.39 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.79 dollars Norway ......................... 8.87 krone Pakistan.................. 140.18 rupees Philippines ................. 55.67 pesos South Africa................. 14.35 rand South Korea.............. 1493.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 183.36 rupees Sweden......................... 9.69 krona Switzerland.................. 1.37 francs Taiwan ...................... 39.17 dollars Turkey....................... 2.76 new lira USA ............................ 1.42 dollars



It’s a team game TWO chartered accountants have launched a joint venture to complement their existing practices – and hope that combining their efforts will add up to more help for hard-pressed local firms. Michael Bell, who heads Holmfirth-based Michael Bell & Co, has linked up with Chris Langrick, of Langricks Accountants, based in Knutsford, Cheshire, to launch Langrick Bell LLP as a joint venture alongside their respective businesses. Michael, 59, who is the current president of Huddersfield Society of Chartered Accountants, launched his practice in Holmfirth 24 years ago, while Chris, 34, set up Langricks in 2009 after a spell running a business in sunny Monaco. Both are Huddersfield-born and have clients in the town as well as further afield. Their core customers are small and medium-sized businesses – who have been battered and bruised by the recession, but are emerging as the key to Britain’s economic recovery. Says Michael: “The picture is patchy. Some businesses are doing very well and have managed to ride out the recession. Others have had a very hard time of it and are still down in he bunker with their tin hats on – and they have been there a long, long time.” Commenting on the lack of growth in the economy, he adds: “Maybe this is the new ‘normal’. But you cannot just pull your horns in and wait for something to happen. At some stage, you have get out and get on with business.” Chris says SMEs are at the “core” of the economy – but that putting the focus on what has happened to some bigger businesses had served to distort perceptions of how well some smaller firms are doing. “For example, a few big retailers go down and everyone thinks retailing is on its knees and there is no hope,” he says.

“A large proportion of my clients are business start-ups, although I have traditional businesses as well. The firms that are doing well are internet-biased in areas like web design and retailing.” Michael and Chris both have extensive experience in the accountancy field. Michael is a self-confessed “gamekeeper turned poacher” having begun his career with the Inland Revenue. The Hull University graduate trained in accountancy with Revell Ward in Huddersfield before joining Armitage Norton in the town, which later became part of KPMG. He set up Michael Bell & Co in 1989 at premises in Honley before moving to Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, about 15 years ago, where the firm now employs eight people. Says Michael: “We have a great team of people, including three chartered accountants, with a mix of skills, who make for a friendly office.” Chris served an accountancy technician apprenticeship with Huddersfield firm Wheawill & Sudworth and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2002. Born and bred in Huddersfield, he has lived most of his life in the Holme Valley.

He met his wife Camilla – who is business development manager at Langricks – on a ski-ing trip in France. Chris worked at KPMG in Leeds for five years, latterly in the transacting services team. He moved to Monaco in 2008 as head of finance for an oil and gas business, but returned about a year later to set up his own practice in Cheshire. Today, Langricks employs seven people. Asked why he left the glamour and glitz behind him, he jokes: “I’d rather have a pint of Black Sheep in the Rose and Crown than an over-priced lager in Monte Carlo!” Explaining the joint venture, Michael says: “We had been talking for a year about working together. We complement each other. Michael Bell & Co is very strong in tax and audit while Langricks are strong in areas such as monthly management accounts and financial planning. “We have clients in Cheshire, so linking up

with Langricks gives us a foot in both camps. “Together, we have a bigger presence. We can market ourselves as a joint venture, pool our resources and experience and put our heads together to solve clients’ problems.” Chris also handles turnaround work, helping “failing” or “at risk” businesses back on course. “Having worked for a business where you have to monitor cash flow and having done analytical project work at KPMG helps,” he says. Michael believes the time is right for their joint venture, commenting: “Businesses need someone to talk to – and their accountant should be more than just someone adding up the figures and handing them the ‘scoresheet’. You have to be actively involved in the clients’ business and be the first port of call if the client runs into any problems.” He says: “The problem lots of companies face at

present is lack of demand. Businesses will think that one month they have turned the corner and things are on the up only for orders to dry up the following month.That means there is no confidence. “People think there is a lack of support and a lack of lending from the banks, but many companies are reluctant to borrow to invest because they lack confidence in their business prospects long term and they are cautious.” Chris adds: “When a business is getting short of cash, you have to persuade them to put their hand up early. If they come to you early, there is a lot we can do to help.” Engineering their joint venture has been a time-consuming business, but both Michael and Chris find time for family and outside interests. Michael, who is married to Angela, has five children and five grandchildren. He plays golf at Woodsome and enjoys the great outdoors. Recently, he completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks. A keen Huddersfield Town fan, he recalls telling off a young, aspiring footballer for kicking a ball against a window at the Bells’ house in Honley. “I told him in no uncertain terms to go and play somewhere else,” says Michael. That teenager was Town favourite Jonathan Stead. Chris enjoys running and cycling, but spends a lot time with Camilla and their two children. He is also working on his golf, saying: “I’m into my second year and I’m trying to get a handicap!”


Page 3

■ JOINT VENTURE: Chris Langrick (left) and Michael Bell, who have set up Bell Langrick to run alongside their respective businesses and pool their expertise to help a hard-pressed SME sector

Langrick Bell LLP Work: Accountancy servicesy Sites: Holmfirth and Knutsford, Cheshire Phone: 01484 690730 or 01565 652707 Email: enquiries@langrick Web:

Can your business afford to ignore Health & Safety? With Competent Health and Safety advice from just £25 a month you don’t need to Wilby Risk Management offer a range of services including: „ Competent Advice „ Risk Assessments „ Assistance with CHAS applications contact us today on 01422 358525 or email


Page 4

Compliance costs rise THE cost of compliance continues to soar for small firms, a report claimed today. The study by the Forum of Private Business said that despite government promises to reduce the amount of time and money businesses spend on compliance, the average SME in 2013 pays substantially more than two years ago. It put the cost of compliance at more than £18.2bn – an increase of 8.5% compared to 2011. The research also showed firms are paying 11% more to external providers of payroll and tax support compared with two years ago. The Forum said this was most likely due to the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) – a new HMRC payroll process introduced in April which all firms with employees have to use. Taxation compliance remained the single biggest outlay for small firms, followed by employment law, with health and safety third. Forum policy adviser Robert Downes said: “Our research shows little has changed in terms of what’s costing small business the most for compliance costs. “The stand-out surprise though has to be the huge increase in spend on external contractors.”


Markets ready for more challenges

UNE proved to be a challenJ ging month for virtually all asset classes.

The key driver of asset prices over the last few weeks (and arguably over the last four years) has been the US Federal Reserve. Perhaps earlier than anticipated by financial markets, the US Central Bank have indicated that the end of Quantitative Easing (QE) could now be in sight, with a winding down of the programme expected to begin later this year and complete cessation potentially due by the middle of 2014. Given that QE has been so successful in inflating nearly all asset prices – from equities to bonds to commodities – it should perhaps have come as no surprise that the prospect of QE ending should lead to a simultaneous fall across all asset markets. We would highlight that the Emerging Markets, for so long the destination of cheap money from the West, have particularly suffered. The Bank of England’s QE programme is currently on hold, although the appointment of Mark Carney as the new Central Bank Governor brings some hope of easier monetary policy going forwards. The potential impact of further QE and the newly modified Funding for

CITY TALK Nick Gartland

Lending scheme (which involves lending money to financial institutions at very competitive rates for specified lending) may, however, be somewhat limited, given that demand for credit remains subdued – total bank lending fell in Q1 for the second consecutive quarter. Developments in China over the last month have been an added concern for investors. Interbank lending rates have risen significantly (although they are currently some way off their highs), in what appears to have been a policy engineered by the ruling authorities to stamp down on excessive credit growth. Although fears of a debt crisis emerging may be overdone, a message has been sent by the Chinese authorities that they are clearly committed to rebalancing and restructuring the economic and financial system, at the expense of near

Nick Gartland, Senior Financial Planning Director, Investec Wealth & Investment

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term growth. Meanwhile, Europe has ensured that it has not remained too far away from the headlines. The ruling coalition in Greece has fractured and political risk in Italy remains high. The economy has now suffered six consecutive quarters of contraction, bank credit continues to decline and unemployment is at a record high. The recent increase in US Treasury yields has also fed through into European bond markets, particularly those in the periphery. After a strong run, the prospect of diminishing monetary support in the US and heightened uncertainty in China are likely to make near-term i nve s t m e n t m a rke t s d i ff i c u l t . However, we do not think that a policy mistake is likely in the US or indeed China. Weak commodity prices and the normal “summer lull”

in an already uninspiring Europe may increase the challenges in the near-term, but as we head into the end of the year, the growth picture should become more positive with diminishing fiscal headwinds, reducing the negative weight on global growth from Europe in 2014. The months ahead will also present a number of political obstacles, including the debt ceiling debate in the US, a decision on Greece’s finance position and national polls in Germany. The situation in Japan also requires close monitoring, given that the Bank of Japan has also recently embarked on its own extensive QE programme. Happily, the corporate sector appears to be in a fairly strong financial position, with record amounts of cash to deploy through M&A and investment. Q2 earnings season will be crucial to assess whether current valuations are justified and whether corporates can continue to deliver profits growth in what remains a difficult global economic environment. Provided that they can, we are optimistic that so called “risk assets” can stage a recovery over the long-term investment horizon and successfully navigate through the various obstacles in their path.

Vigilance is the key RISKY BUSINESS Mark Weeks

HE number of workers killed in BriT tain last year has fallen, official statistics show.

Provisional data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals that 148 workers were fatally injured between April, 2012, and March, 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year. The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6. Britain has had one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations in Europe consistently for the last eight years. While this fall is obviously positive news, it’s important to recognise that 148 workers still lost their lives last year which highlights the need for companies to continue to take a

proactive approach to risk management and safety, particularly in high risk industries. The statistics show that 39 construction workers were fatally injured last year, nine fewer than the previous 12 months. However, as highlighted in our previous column, in recent inspections one in five construction sites received enforcement action from the HSE after failing safety checks – showing that companies can still do more to ensure the safety of their employees. At Wilby Risk Management, we specialise in providing health and safety assistance and guidance to businesses in the construction industry and can provide services from risk assessments to construction health and safety management systems to CDM co-ordinator services.

Mark Weeks is a risk management consultant at Wilby Ltd

Firms are in a sunny mood BUSINESS confidence has hit a 13-month high, according to a report. The latest Optimism Index from accountancy firm BDO, which predicts business

performance two quarters ahead, rose for the fifth month running to 94.3 in June from 93.6 in May – the highest since May, 2012. Optimism in the services

sector, which makes up roughly 75% of the economy, was particularly strong and moved up to 95.5 – above the crucial 95.0 mark that indicates growth.




h t 8 1 ar e y






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Birstall based Banana Moon Workshop Ltd specialises in producing personalised clothing. This family business since moving to new premises in 2009 has doubled its workforce while investing heavily in new technology which has allowed them to double turnover during difficult economic times.


Based in Knottingley, metal fabricating and powder coating specialist C & C Fabrications has been commended for growing its business during the recession by investing in plant, equipment and its staff, allowing them to better service a diverse customer base, improve its products and win new customers.

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Monthly winners are automatically entered into our Business of the Year Awards, held every July, when the preceding twelve monthly winners and members of the business community attend the annual breakfast awards ceremony. So if you are proud of what your company has achieved and it is based in Kirklees, Calderdale or Wakefield why not tell us about your success story.

Deborah Melluish Eaton Smith LLP T: 01484 821300 E: W:

Eaton Smith is proud to help businesses across the region achieve their objectives by providing support on local, national and international legal matters and transactions.


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS property Page 6 Opening doors Image-build plan wins approval from industry leader to new orders A FIRM supplying doors and glazing products for commercial clients is celebrating a landmark. Dortech Architectural Systems has received an order from Manchester Academy that will take its sales of Dor-Strong Doors past the hundred mark. Dor-Strong was developed by Dortech’s maintenance division as a result of the market’s requirement for reliable robust commercial doors that could handle unregulated and surging pedestrian ■ PRECISION: A Dortech traffic. engineer working on one of Initial demand was the firm's Dor-Strong driven by schools doors wanting to replace failing standard aluminium doors, but has since grown to include other customers, including Costa Coffee and the NHS. Dortech has also supplied Dor-Strong Doors to Balfour Beatty Work Place and Willmott Dixon Construction. Dor-Strong has been developed over a two-year period by Dortech, a company with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Dortech, based at Old Fieldhouse Lane in Huddersfield, can also provide a five year preventative maintenance back up service if required.

A BUILDING industry chief has welcomed efforts to improve the image of the construction sector – and drive out rogue traders. Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, welcomed measures outlined in the Government’s new industrial strategy, Construction 2025, to extend the TrustMark scheme for tradespeople and introduce new standards. But he said: “The challenge going forward both for government and the

building industry as a whole will be to ensure that consumers are made aware of the benefits of only using TrustMark-accredited tradespeople.” Mr Berry said: “The Government’s commitment to do much more to promote the range of access to finance products available to construction SMEs is also welcome, but it is disappointing there are not additional commitments to stop banks discriminating against construction firms. “Construction SMEs are more likely to be turned down for an overdraft or loan

than SMEs in other sectors. The banks must take a long hard look at their lending policies to viable construction firms and stop restricting growth in the industry.” Mr Berry said it was also good to see a number of commitments to help SMEs take advantage of public-sector work opportunities. FMB research said 69% of members found it “quite difficult” or “very difficult” to find out about public-sector contracts. As more than 99% of building firms are SMEs, it is essential their concerns are addressed, said Mr Berry.

Funding success for firm A TRAINING company has secured funding to provide courses for people interested in working on the land. H o l m f i r t h - b a s e d T K F Tr a i n i n g partnered Barnsley College in its funding bid and now offers courses in areas such as safe use of chainsaws, pesticides and woodchippers. There are also generic courses in areas such as First Aid, manual handling and customer service – all of which may help to improve a candidate’s prospects of gaining employment. For budding entrepreneurs, TKF also delivers the Institute of Leadership Management professional qualification in starting your own business. Vanessa Hatton, training and assessment co-ordinator, said: “Predominantly, the funding is available to people who are under threat of redundancy or recently redund-

ant. “However, some funding is available for those who are unemployed, but is area-dependant. Fifty percent of people undertaking this training have either gone on to be self-employed or have found employment.” For employers or individuals working in forestry, the Rural Development Fund for England is offering 60% funding for courses such as winching, grapple loaders and several forestry-based courses – providing an opportunity for employers and individuals to access cost-effective training. There are also opportunities for people leaving the armed forces who face redundancy and are funded via the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme. TKF offer a range of intensive courses, which last from 15 to 22 days. On completion, individuals are qualified to start work-

ing in the industry and can progress to more advanced courses. A recent Basic Arborist course included work experience with a national public service provider operating in the Sheffield area. As a result, the candidates were given the opportunity for job interviews with the company. All of those who applied have been offered permanent employment within the arboriculture department. TKF Training has 20 years of experience delivering professional training courses designed for companies and individuals seeking to maintain and develop their skills in forestry, tree surgery, utility arboriculture, agriculture, pesticides, off-road driving, health and safety and business development. TKF is a fully accredited City & Guilds (NPTC) Assessment Centre and an approved centre for Lantra-Awards.


Residential, Commercial & Industrial Surveyors, Estate Agents, Auctioneers & Property Management Consultants STEPS INDUSTRIAL EST, HONLEY HD9 6RA

To Let


Industrial unit with secure yard

Ground Floor Office Within tastefully converted chapel

590.67sqm (6,358sqft) 24 car parking spaces EPC Rating: TBA

To Let

Prominent Retail Property 82.68sqm (890sqft)

Self Contained

Suitable for a variety of retail uses EPC Rating: C

EPC Rating D


For Sale

Retail and Office Premises

81.38sqm (876 sqft)

175.4sqm (1,888sqft)

Suitable for a variety of uses, including Retail and Office

Prominent main road location Outskirts of town centre

Prominently positioned

EPC Rating: D

EPC Rating D

14 St Georges Square, Huddersfield HD1 1JF

t: 01484 530361

To Let

Popular suburban location

Detached Retail Building



114.17 sqm (1,230 sqft)

Excellent car parking

Previously used for car sales and repairs


To Let


To Let

Retail unit/offices 41.69m2 (448sqft) Ground floor display window Situated in a popular village centre EPC rating: D

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Blooming good move A COMPANY making garden items such as plant pots has completed a key takeover. Naylor Gardenware, a division of Cawthorne-based clayware specialist Naylor Industries has acquired the ceramic gardenware business of Clough Mill Ltd. Clough Mill, based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, imports frost-proof glazed garden pots from its factory in Ipoh, Malaysia. Naylor is a fourth generation family business based in South Yorkshire; the company has been manufacturing clay products since its formation in 1890 – mainly for the construction industry. Over the past 20 years, the company has developed a ceramic gardenware business, Yorkshire Flowerpots, which offers British manufactured products with a unique 50-year guarantee against frost damage. Naylor said it remained committed to UK manufacturing, adding that the Clough Mill acquisition would complement the company’s manufacture of the Yorkshire Flowerpot range, as well as its Kew planters – launched as a result of the company’s 2012 licensing deal with the Royal Botanical Gardens. Naylor divisional managing director David Cartwright said: ■ POT LUCK: Paul Fuchs (left), owner of Clough Mill, “The acquisition of Clough Mill extends our offering of high quality with David Cartwright, managing director of Yorkshire Flowerpots, part of Cawthorne-based Naylor Industries ceramic gardenware products.”


Ponderosa Park, Smithies Lane, Heckmondwike 800 - 1,500 sq ft High quality office suites with on site parking and conference facilities on site

to let

Immediately available for occupation


Barncliffe House, Near Bank, Shelley 120 m2 (1,295 sq ft) Ground floor showroom area fronting Near Bank with good onsite parking.

to let

Also available up to 4,100 sq ft unit


U ne e- xp av ec ai te la dl bl y e


Cumberworth Lane, Denby Dale 1,017 m2 (10,949 sq ft) Single storey warehouse/workshop & office/ showroom with large external yard

to let

on 0.65 ha (1.6 acres) approx

All enquiries to Alec Michael at Michael Steel & Co on 0113 234 8999 or email


75 New Street Huddersfield

1 Prime town centre retail unit 1 Sales Area 43.23m2 (465 sq ft) 1 First floor stores and ancillary 26.32m2 (283 sq ft) 1 Rent £27,500 per annum


Imperial Arcade

Off New Street, Huddersfield

1 Various retail and restaurant units 1 Units from 821 – 4,194 sq ft 1 Vibrant town centre retail location 1 Rents from £6,500 per annum



Leeds Road, Huddersfield

1 Retail, trade counter and leisure unit development 1 93 – 557.4m2 (1,000 – 6,000 sq ft) 1 Prominent frontage to A62 Leeds Road 1 Nearby occupiers include Travelodge, Costa Coffee and BMW 1 Rent on application

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Dragon fires up ‘smart’ firms GO-AHEAD businesses in Kirklees have been urged to enter a new award. Dragon’s Den star Piers Linney (pictured) is joining other successful entrepreneurs to find the Smarta 100 – an award scheme recognising the UK’s 100 most original and innovative small businesses. Others involved in the competition include Holly Tucker, founder of, PR guru Lynne Franks, King of Shaves boss Will King and Tom Cohn, the founder of last year’s winners – “onesie” pioneers Kigu. The Smarta 100, now in its fourth year and backed by O2, is the brainchild of Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund, whose book “Stop Talking, Start Doing” was the UK’s bestselling business book of 2012. The aim is to find small businesses that are building profits, delighting customers, embracing technology and social media and demonstrating strong social purposes. Previous winners have included Naked Wines, Huddle, Funding Circle, Graze, Zoopla, Crowdcube and SuperJam. The 2013 100 winning companies will be divided into 10 categories to ensure the awards represent a true cross-section of UK small business. The public will vote for the winner of each category, before a judging panel selects the overall Smarta 100 together with O2 Business of the Year. Businesses have until September 1 to apply at This year's winning Smarta 100 together with O2 businesses will be announced on October 1. The category winners and overall Smarta 100 Business of the Year will be announced at an awards ceremony in November.

Movers and shakers

Page 8

Conference proves an engaging event THE role played by leaders in improving workforce engagement was the subject of a conference and panel discussion stage in Huddersfield. Engaging Leadership was organised by Partners in Management and held at the Media Centre. Figures from the Office for National Statistics survey found that output per hour in the UK was 15 percentage points below the average for the rest of the G7 industrialised nations and on an output per worker basis UK productivity was 20 percentage points lower than the rest of the G7. The meeting was held as part of the Employee Engagement Task Force, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills to help deliver sustainable growth for the UK and a better way to work, a better way to enable personal growth, organisational growth and ultimately growth for Britain by releasing more of the capability and potential of people at work. The movement is widely supported across the UK, involving the public, private and third sectors in the belief they can learn a lot from each other. David Broadhead, academic entrepreneur and founder of Partners in Management, said: ‘There is a proven correlation between employee engagement and high organisational productivity and performance, across all sectors of the economy. “This event was organised specifically to

■ TALKING POINTS: Prof John Thompson (left), Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield, with David Broadhead (second left), of Partners in Management, and Employee Engagement Task Force panel members

allow employers to discuss with academics and task force members how engaging leadership can sustain high performance through an engaged and entrepreneurial workforce with a view to increasing productivity. “It was wonderful to see delegates from Plymouth, Kent, Peterborough and the North East coming to Huddersfield for this event,

the first of its type to be held outside of London. “Given it’s success we are planning a follow up event later in the year to coincide with Kirklees Business Week and continue to build Huddersfield’s reputation as a centre of entrepreneurial excellence.”

Nick Elliott, Jane Forbes, Hazel Macnamara, Heather Varley & Greg Wilson


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■ ON THE ROAD: Pictured are (from left) Mark Emond, Tamara Nikitin, Becky DeBemels, Nicola Plumbly, Andrea Cowburn and Paul Rodney

Ready for the off A VEHICLE hire company set the wheels in motion with an open evening to unveil its new depot in Huddersfield. Northgate Vehicle Leasing has established a new branch at Red Doles Lane, off Leeds Road at Deighton. VIPs were welcomed to the official opening by operations manager Andrea Cowburn and new business managers Tamara Nikitin and Paul Rodney. The event was a chance to show scores of local business people what Northgate has to offer in terms of rental packages. The company has set up operations

on a one-and-a-half acres site formerly occupied by its vehicle sales arm. Business-to-business customers typically include building firms, civil engineers, couriers and delivery services as well as printing and packaging companies. Darlington-based Northgate also has sites at Rochdale, Wakefield and Pudsey, but said the Huddersfield depot would serve customers in a 25-mile radius. The company now has more than 60 sites UK-wide.

ACCOUNTANCY firm PwC has announced five new partner promotions in its assurance division in the North. Nick Elliott, Jane Forbes, Hazel Macnamara, Heather Varley and Greg Wilson will work across all the northern offices within the private business, financial services and the public sector industries. Mr Elliott, a graduate of Manchester University, has been with PwC for more than 20 years and leads the risk team working with financial services firms across the North region. Ms Forbes, who has been with the firm for 12 years, will head up the government and public sector assurance practice in the North West. Ms Macnamara, who has more than 17 years audit experience, specialises in working with SMEs, entrepreneurial and private businesses. Ms Varley, who joined as a graduate in 1997, specialises in financial services and retail sectors and works with some of the region’s leading financial services organisations, including Bank of America. Mr Wilson, who has been with PwC for 20 years, will lead the team working with the region’s government and public sector clients. Ian Morrison, assurance leader for the North, PwC Leeds said: “These promotions are a significant development for PwC in the North as we continue to grow and invest in the region and particularly the Northern Assurance team.

Kirklees Business News 09/07/13