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ANDREW FIRTH Is Facebook fading? Column - Page 4

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

‘Let’s make more of manufacturing’ MANUFACTURING has the potential to deliver huge benefits to the economies of Kirklees and Calderdale, it is claimed. But the image of manufacturing must be improved if the sector is to recruit more of the science, technology and engineering graduates who are key to its future. The call to back businesses that make things comes from the Calderdale and Kirklees Manufacturing Alliance at a time when economic data paints a gloomy picture for the UK. CKMA chairman Gary Jones said: “Latest reports argue that overall quality of life could stagnate for the next 10 years. Income per head in the UK has fallen 13% since 2008; our annual output is no higher than it was at the start of 2007 and British manufacturing has just had the worst 12 months’ period since 2008 with a continuing contraction of output and reduction in new orders. “Yet despite the doom-and-gloom, we do have key assets in our local economy – a strong manufacturing past and a dynamic present. “Manufacturing is crucially important to our area and nationally. “Over 40,000 people are directly employed by well over 2,000 businesses in the sector locally with thousands more dependent on it – twice the national average. “And rather than being seen as a doddery old uncle confined, in his twilight years, to the protective care of loving relatives, manufacturing has the potential to deliver huge benefits. From research, design, production,

■ ASSETS: CKMA chairman Gary Jones is championing manufacturing

logistics and distribution, sales and marketing and after-sales service, manufacturing is a succession of value-adding activities.”

He said: “Manufacturing is still responsible for the majority of the UK’s innovations, exports and better-paid jobs. “Many of the jobs that remain on the factory floor now require a higher level and broader range of skills. “Manufacturing is at the forefront of helping to grow a ‘cleaner, greener’ economy and society.” He said new materials such as carbon fibre composites, ground-breaking new processes such as 3D printing, nanotechnology, cheaper robots and collaborative manufacturing services available online were revolutionising the manufacturing industry. He said: “Outsourcing to China is no longer a given as the age of mass manufacturing is turning towards more individualised production, even shorter lead times and a greater control over our production processes. “After years of austerity in the UK, the big disparities between Far Eastern wages and local pay packets have been eroded, meaning some jobs could be returning ‘back home’. “Our area has a proud tradition of specialised manufacturing in both large and small order sizes for a wide array of everyday and high-value products.”

He said the CKMA had a key role to play in the revival of local manufacturing. Its network of more than 3,000 companies included members who had survived and sometimes prospered in the worst post-war recession and had a wealth of experience to share. The CKMA, which works with local authorities, government, trade bodies and other partners but remains independent, also provided opportunities for business-to-business trading and collaboration on larger projects – enabling firms to compete with the “big boys”. He said it was “incredible” that only 6% of graduates who study science, engineering and technology go into manufacturing after university. “The image of manufacturing as a career choice is severely bruised and battered and our businesses struggle to get good quality recruits. “However, we are working to do something about it. We are, for instance, working with local schools to turn around the image of manufacturing as a job for the ‘also-rans’. “And we are helping to foster more and better local supply opportunities to grow our economy.” Go to

Town’s record year for company registrations HUDDERSFIELD is a hotbed for new companies, according to latest figures. A report by company formation specialist showed a record 1,187 new businesses were formed in the town last year. The number of firms dissolved stood at 683. The resulting total net gain stood at 504. That compares with a net gain of 394 in 2011 and 333 in 2010. The Duport Business Confidence

Report said net company growth in Huddersfield has been increasing steadily since 2009 – suggesting that the town is gradually recovering from the worst effects of the recession. The figures of 1,187 new companies formed represents an 8% increase on the 2011 figure of 1,098 and is well above the 2010 total of 1,008. The report said the town had several advantages, commenting: “Huddersfield has one of the largest economies within the Leeds City Region – yet the

cost of business premises remains relatively low, making it a desirable area for new companies to start up.” Peter Valaitis, managing director of, said: “Our latest report contains some very positive figures for the Huddersfield region. “A record number of company formations and net company growth that has been on the rise since 2009 are indicators of a good year ahead for the town.” Among other findings, the report

found that the average company director in Huddersfield is aged 42. One in 20 directors in the town are aged 25 or under while fewer than 3% of directors are 65 or over. The percentage of female directors stands at 32.3% against a national average of 29.9%. The report draws on statistics from sources including Companies House, the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey.

INSIDE Driving ahead A FIRM laying driveways and patios aims to go one better this year. Driveways and Patios, based at Rastrick, is through to the national final of an annual competition run by Birkby-based paving supplier Marshalls PLC for its registered installers. Driveways and Patios won one regional award in 2011 and two regional titles last year. Now the firm, run by father and son Chris and Adam Hallinan, hopes to go one better by winning an award at the national final.

● Full story - Page 7

12, March, 2013

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Higher education FIRMS in Kirklees are among construction sector employers to sign up for a scheme giving their apprentices university-level work-based training. Almost 40 firms have pledged to back the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Construction and Built Environment (Sustainability) course, which is now being offered at 17 colleges, including Leeds College of Building – one of the first to offer the course.

● Full story - Page 6



Digital deal gives a boost to Ladbrokes BOOKMAKER Ladbrokes is to roll out another 200 casino-style games for its online and mobile customers after striking a new software deal. The partnership with Playtech, which has already played a big role in the digital growth of rival William Hill, will see the launch of a new “Vegas” tab on later this year. The bookmaker said the tie-up with the gaming software firm represented the next phase in the re-invigoration of its digital business. The agreement, which is for an initial five-year period, builds on Playtech’s existing relationship with Ladbrokes, through which it provides bingo and Videobet technology for its betting shop gaming machines. As part of the deal, Ladbrokes is creating a new e-commerce and digital marketing services operation, which will be based in Israel. Isle of Man-based Playtech was founded in 1999 and has more than 2,500 staff working on gaming applica-

■ FAIR GAME: Ladbrokes said its tie-up with Playtech – initally for five years – marked the next phase in reviving its digital business

tions in casino, bingo, poker and sports betting. It recently raised £424m by selling the 29% stake it held in William Hill’s digital operation. Its chief executive Mor Weizer said: “Ladbrokes is one of the largest and most respected brands in the betting and gaming industry. “We are delighted to have secured the

opportunity to play an important role in accelerating the growth of its digital business. “The breadth and depth of the software and services to be provided under these agreements are unique to Playtech and reflect the group's successful acquisition strategy. “We are very excited about the prospects for this venture with Ladbrokes

and are committed to making it a great success.” Playtech will receive payments based on the pace of growth in Ladbrokes’ digital business. The bookmaker’s shares closed 14.6p higher at 239.8p, a rise of 6% while Playtech rose by 18.5p to 570p. Ladbrokes generated operating profits of £31m from its digital arm last year, having fallen behind rivals such as William Hill. It has focused on growing its online sportsbook, which helped revenues rise 9% to £178.1m in 2012. Ladbrokes, which dates back to 1886, has more than 14,000 people in Britain and over 16,000 in total. It is a leader in retail bookmaking in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Spain where it operates a combined total of more than 2,700 betting shops. The company also operates betting facilities at eight FA Premiership grounds and nine racecourses, including Ascot.

BA’s owners accept Iberia plan

Retailer hails DVD revival

THE owner of British Airways has backed a compromise deal that will limit the number of job cuts at Spain’s ailing carrier Iberia to just over 3,000. International Airlines Group, created from the merger of the two airlines in 2011, originally proposed 3,800 redundancies, but has now accepted a government-appointed mediator’s recommendation that 3,141 workers should go. The response of Iberia’s unions to the revised proposals, which include severance pay of 35 days a year rather than 20, is still not known.

WH Smith is to revive sales of DVDs and CDs in some stores as the stationery retailer plugs a gap left by HMV’s collapse. Low profit margins drove the company away from the entertainment market over the last few years – but following the closure of more than 100 HMV stores, DVDs and CDs are making a comeback in some WH Smith outlets. These shops include one of its most profitable in London’s Victoria railway station, where HMV closed a shop late last year.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said recently that Iberia “must adapt to survive”, having made a loss of £303.5m last year. Despite three months of negotiations, no agreement on a way forward has been reached between the airline and its unions. Iberia workers have already held two strikes and are planning further industrial action this month. Mr Walsh said BA is already seeing the benefit of recent structural change as it posted profits of £300m in a year when it bought and integrated regional carrier BMI.

However, it is not expected there will be a change in the company’s strategy on a national level. WH Smith plans to keep entertainment sales – mostly of popular DVDs such as the latest James Bond film Skyfall – in the “low single digit” percentages, after reducing it from 25% in 2003. WH Smith’s move away from the entertainment sector in favour of books and stationery has been a key part of the strategy of chief executive Kate Swann, who leaves this summer after 10 years in the role.

Page 2 Big boost for JCB CONSTRUCTION giant JCB has secured a £40m order from the Brazilian government for more than 1,000 backhoe loaders – the world-renowned digger which made the company famous. The contract will be handled at JCB’s new factory in Sao Paulo, but will also bring benefits to its transmissions and axles factory in Wrexham and its headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire. Now sold in 120 countries, JCB’s backhoe loader was first made in Rocester in 1953 and recently achieved a 500,000-production milestone. The 1,000 machines ordered by Brazil’s ministry of agrarian development will be put to work improving rural roads to ensure food produced for sale gets to market more quickly. A similar number were delivered to the same customer last year. JCB chief executive Alan Blake said it is an important deal for JCB, adding: “It is huge testament to the quality and versatility of JCB’s backhoe loaders and it’s fantastic to win an order of this size as we celebrate 60 years of backhoe loader production this year.” Current production rates see one backhoe machine roll off one of the company’s manufacturing lines every three minutes. Despite the maturity of the backhoe loader, it is still one of the world’s biggest selling pieces of construction machinery.

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £43.86 +0.46 Gannett 1448.41 Hess Corp £46.65 +0.05 Microsoft 1866.36 -12.08 Motors Liquidation 50.32 Wal-Mart Stores £49.03 +0.03 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 415 -5 BAE Systems 3691/4 +21/8 Rolls-Royce 1051 -1 AIM Brady Plc 92 +1/4 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 279 -37/8 BANKS Barclays 3111/2 -71/8 HSBC 7343/4 -21/4 Lloyds Banking Gp 50 -1/8 1 Ryl Scotland 301 /4 -47/8 Stan Chart 1822 +22 BEVERAGES Diageo 19981/2 +41/2 SABMiller £341/2 +1/2 CHEMICALS Croda £263/4 Elementis 98 262 -23/4 Johnsn Mat £233/8 +1/8 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 277 -27/8 Costain 288 +2 ELECTRICITY

Drax Gp 619 -3 SSE 1452 -14 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 2351/4 -21/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 4351/2 -5/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 2701/2 +31/2 Cable & Wireless 411/2 -3/8 Comm Colt Group 1283/8 +21/2 KCOM 80 -1/4 3 Talktalk Telecom 265 /4 +71/2 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2681/2 +51/2 Sainsbury 3467/8 +47/8 3 Tesco 377 /8 -25/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1871 +3 Tate Lyle 8231/2 -61/2 1 Unilever £27 /2 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3521/4 +1/8 National Grid 737 +21/2 Pennon Grp 653 +3 Severn 1634 +13 1 United Utils 723 /2 +12 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3167/8 -6 ICAP 3301/4 -123/8 London StockExch 1392 +9 Man Group 971/4 -21/4 Provident Financial 1645 +35

Schroders £211/4 Schroders NV 1700 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS REXAM 5251/2 +3 Smiths Grp 1293 +3 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 29 -1/4 Carphone Whse 2021/2 -11/2 Dixons Retail 321/8 +3/8 Home Retail 1295/8 +5/8 Inchcape 530 Kingfisher 292 +21/4 M&S 3623/8 Mothercare 289 -21/2 Next £415/8 -1/8 WH Smith 733 +28 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 7281/2 +31/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 913/4 +53/4 Barrat Dev 2375/8 -4 Persimmon 9361/2 -131/2 Reckitt Benckiser £467/8 +1/2 Taylor Wimpey 841/2 -1/4 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IMI 1322 -5 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 2151/8 -45/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 2525/8 -33/8 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 3221/4 -25/8

1671/8 +5/8 210 -1/8 1027 +11 2665/8 -31/4 3781/4 -23/4 MEDIA BSkyB 870 +10 +5 D Mail Tst 7121/2 3 HIBU /8 7 ITV 127 /8 -11/8 Johnston Press 131/4 +1/2 Pearson 1187 +22 Reed Elsevier 734 +11/2 STV Group 144 -27/8 Trinity Mirror 1201/4 -3/4 1 Utd Business 731 /2 -18 UTV 147 -3 WPP 1077 -11 MINING Anglo American 1861 +101/2 Antofagasta 1095 +26 BHP Billiton £211/4 +1/4 Eurasian Natural 346 -31/4 Res Fresnillo 1490 +11 Kazakhmys 5201/2 -12 3 Lonmin 331 /4 -51/8 Rio Tinto £343/8 +1/8 VEDANTA 1187 -1 RESOURCES 1 Xstrata 1166 /2 +6 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 665 +141/2 Vodafone Group 1853/4 +13/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life

Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

462 111 737 £243/4

+1 +1 +21/2 +5/8

closed at at FTSE closed

6503.63 Up 20.05 Admiral Grp 1359 +6 RSA Insurance Gp 119 -11/8 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1174 +5 BP 4521/2 +17/8 1 Cairn Energy 292 /8 -3/8 Royal Dutch Shell A £221/8 3 Royal Dutch Shell B £22 /4 Total £341/4 +1/8 Tullow Oil 1254 +6 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1058 +8 Petrofac 1479 +9 1 Wood Gp(J) 863 /2 -3 PERSONAL GOODS

Burberry Gp 1433 +16 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £303/8 GlaxoSmithK XD 6 -1/8 Shire £203/8 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 5801/2 -4 Hamrsn 5181/2 +1/2 Intu Properties 3273/4 -1 Land Secs 8321/2 -15 1 -23/8 SEGRO 266 /8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 364 -3/4 Sage Group 3417/8 -71/2 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 733 +15 Bunzl 1304 -2 Capita 891 -3 De La Rue 907 +81/2 Electrocomp 2641/2 -1/2 Experian 1163 +17 G4S 3013/8 +7/8 Hays 97 -1 Homeserve 235 -9 Menzies J 775 +2 Rentokil 901/2 -7/8 Smiths News 177 +2 5 Wolseley £32 /8 -1/8 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 9481/2 +3 Spirent Comms 1531/4 +1/4 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £361/4 +5/8

Imperial Tobacco



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

156 £25 837 1064 1143/4 197 1456 7111/2 1975 2451/2 2393/4 3417/8 2063/8 164 305 3111/8 £257/8


+ /4 -1/4 +21/2 +6 +31/4 +31/2 +1 +61/2 +4 -3/4 +145/8 +33/8 -1/8 -1 +27/8 +21/8

FTSE 100

INDEX 6503.63


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INDEX 14012.74


TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.38 dollars Bangladesh................. 110.88 taka Brazil.............................. 2.60 reals Canada....................... 1.46 dollars China ............................. 8.30 yuan Czech Republic ...... 26.84 korunas Denmark....................... 8.15 krone Euro............................... 1.10 euro Hong Kong................ 10.99 dollars Hungary................... 309.86 forints India.......................... 71.43 rupees Japan........................... 136.48 yen Mexico ....................... 16.80 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.69 dollars Norway ......................... 8.15 krone Pakistan.................. 137.49 rupees Philippines ................. 52.01 pesos South Africa................. 12.71 rand South Korea.............. 1423.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 178.18 rupees Sweden......................... 9.13 krona Switzerland.................. 1.35 francs Taiwan ...................... 38.71 dollars Turkey....................... 2.55 new lira USA ............................ 1.43 dollars

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS AFTER 20 years in the building industry, David Denton is no stranger to working long hours. And now he’s running his own business, the apprentice-trained joiner who rose to become site manager for one of Britain’s best-known housebuilders, says seven-day working weeks are not unusual. But the day starts even earlier since David decided to take part in the 25-mile Overgate Mountain Bike Challenge in June to raise funds for the Elland hospice. “My typical day starts with me leaving the house at 6.30am and getting home at 5.30pm before starting on the paperwork in the evening,” he says. “But some mornings, I’m out of the door at 5am to get some cycling in to build up my fitness for the event. “I got into mountain biking when I was in my 20s. I also enjoy ski-ing and snowboarding in the winter. “But I cycled the route of the mountain bike challenge last November and realised how unfit I was!” David, who lives in Elland with wife Alison and freelance project insulation. six-year-old daughter While David is busy, he management. Annie, has been in the says: “At the moment, I “There were no site building trade since manager jobs around,” he think the building industry leaving school at 16. is struggling and it will recalls. “I would look on Within weeks of taking his the internet and searches continue to struggle for exams, he became an the next five years.” came back ‘zero’.” apprentice joiner at He says progress on Now David is involved in George Booth & Sons in Government initiatives freelance site New Mill. management, covering for such as Green Deal – with “I remember fancying financial incentives to holidays or tackling being a botanist at one short-term projects as well carry out work to make stage,” he says. “But it properties more as working as an NVQ was the thought of having energy-efficient – is assessor for those to go to university that put following his footsteps proving slow while me off! sources of finance are through the “I once thought I was hard to come by for apprenticeship route. going to be a chef, but I construction businesses He’s also project did two weeks’ work keen to invest. experience working a split managing a barn David says the industry shift from 8am to 2pm and conversion with a is changing. “The weaker difference at then back on at 5pm. By companies have gone to Scammonden, where he 1pm I was clock-watching the wall and the stronger will have up to 10 and I realised if I was ones have survived,” he tradespeople on site at doing that, then catering says. peak times, including was not for me.” “What has helped me is Luckily, David found the decorators and plasterers. that schools, doctors’ The property was right career in surgeries and local converted about 15 years construction, authorities are now ago, but is now being After his three-year looking for value for refitted to provide holiday apprenticeship, he got a money. accommodation and job with McAlpine Homes “Instead of being tied by requires upgraded and after about a year progressed to assistant site manager with Ben Bailey Homes, where he worked for five years. He became a fully-fledged site manager at Termrim Construction in Huddersfield, with responsibility for schemes including a development of 14 bungalows at Moortown, Leeds. He later worked for Nu Construction in Elland before joining Halifax-based Southdale, where he was involved in a £12m social housing project. As the recession bit, David was made redundant in 2011 and took the decision to set up his own business offering ■ BUILDING A BUSINESS: David Denton says the joinery and construction construction industry is still about dealing with people services as well as


Getting things off the ground framework agreements, they have the freedom to put work out to tender and use smaller, local companies.” David has completed work for several schools, including Kirkburton Middle School, while during his career he has been project manager on schemes for the likes of Leeds Metropolitan University and Leeds College as well as the groundwork phase of the Bingley Five Rise Locks shopping centre. Says David: “My big advantage is having a background in both management and ‘on the tools’ “When I was at Ben Bailey, my job as assistant site manager meant dealing with the customers. “The site manager wanted to carry on building and left the assistant to deal with the complaints! That was fine because I learned more about people. “When I moved up to site manager it was simply because an opportunity arose. “While I was working on the tools, someone saw potential in me. I was approached to go into site management. “I thought I had nothing to lose, so I decided to give it a go. I have been involved in site management for more than 10 years now.” The role can be likened to that of a juggler – trying to keep all the balls in play by ensuring that men and materials are on site when they are supposed to be, troubleshooting any problems and all the time keeping an eye on the

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David Denton

timescale. David says: “You need to have the right people around you. “You can be the best in the business, but if you have the wrong people, things will come unstuck. You start on site with a programme and you have to do your best to stick to it. You have to adapt to suit changing circumstances. “But one thing that never changes is the end date – when you have to finish the job!” David enjoys the variety of work that comes with running his own business. “Being in management is basically paperwork,” he says. “But I’m also back ‘on the tools’ which is nice because I am creating something physically myself. “I enjoy ‘the tools’ more now than if I had just started because it is like doing something completely new after so many years as a site manager. “But having been in management has given me a greater understanding of other trades. “Part of being a site manager is to inspect the quality of someone else’s work, so you have to understand about cable routing by the electrician and so on. “You have to deal with everything from the major ‘civils’ installing flow control systems to prevent flooding right down to the final touches by the painters.”


Role: Owner Age: 36 Family: Married to Alison with daughter Annie, six Car: Land Rover Discovery Holidays: Ski-ing in Europe, mainly France First job: Working on my father’s farm at Hade Edge Best thing about job: The variety of work. After being in management, dealing mostly with paperwork, it is nice to be tackling physical projects again Worst thing about job: Doing the paperwork! Business tip: Make sure you are customer-focused. Most of my work comes from word-of-mouth recommendation. Look out for “scams”. Small businesses are often prey to people trying to trick you

DDJC Ltd Work: Joinery and construction Site: Elland Phone: 07747 024096 Email: david@denton Website: www.denton joinery


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Britannia rules in deal with mutual ROAD rescue company Britannia Rescue has sealed a deal with the Nationwide Building Society. Britannia Rescue, which is based in Huddersfield, will provide breakdown cover to customers of the mutual’s newly launched fee-paying current account Flexplus. A comprehensive road rescue cover will be provided to all FlexPlus account holders in any car they travel in when motoring in the UK and Europe. Britannia Rescue’s appointment extends an existing partnership with parent LV= as sole provider of its car and landlord insurance portfolios. Britannia Rescue employs more than 200 people at its Folly Hall Mills headquarters. The company has seen significant growth in the past year and this new contract will result in further recruitment over the coming 12 months. As well as recruiting new staff to handle breakdown calls for this contract win, the company is recruiting people to deal with customers reporting car insurance claims for LV=. Peter Horton, Britannia Rescue managing director, said: “A key element of our five-year strategy is to grow our partner portfolio, so this win is fantastic news and means more jobs for local people.” Martyn Dyson, Nationwide’s head of general insurance, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer their cover to our customers.”


Are we getting fed up of Facebook? OCIAL media is the most popuS lar online activity and globally it accounts for one in every five

minutes spent online. For the last few months, reports that the globe’s leading social network is losing popularity have been circulating. In January several media channels reported the loss of almost a million users since December.So has Facebook reached its saturation point in the UK? More than 50% of the UK population have a Facebook account and the network’s largest market in America only has 54% saturation. It is the slowdown part of the natural cycle or is it a sign of something more sinister? Facebook have themselves blamed natural attrition and stated the reduction in active accounts is just the normal flow of activity. Commentators have recently suggested that the loss could be caused by ‘Facebook fatigue’ as continuous concerns over data ownership, privacy and invasive advertising dog the business as it tries to monetise and add value. But a change in user behaviour could


Andrew Firth also be having an effect. According to a comment on Pocket Lint recently: “A lot of UK people are a lot more worried and only want to talk to their friends. People friended everyone when they signed up and now they regret that.” Has using Facebook lost some of its earlier kudos? As with any new trend, unless it keeps re-inventing, Facebook’s popularity is likely to wane. That much is natural. Keeping up with technology, keeping up with change is hard for most businesses but can be especially hard for technology businesses themselves, as rapid growth can become a black-hole where change becomes harder and newer, more simplified solutions grow in popularity. Take Instagram, owned by Facebook, which despite its negative press, seems to be the cool haunt for the latest generation.

The photo sharing network has had criticism over image rights, but is popular due to its simplicity and lack of privacy concerns. Younger users are also much less likely to bump into their parents on there. If Facebook is going to regain popularity without being cannibalised by Instagram or beaten by other competing social networks, including the seemingly very private Snapchat, then it needs to get cool again. Big is not always beautiful, Facebook made its mark from underground routes, a niche player that was new and different, growing rapidly into the household software it is. Can Facebook become cool again now that it is so big? Only time will tell, nothing lasts for ever… Do you remember MySpace - have you seen “new MySpace”?

Andrew Firth is managing director of Ascensor Website Design & Digital Marketing

Innovation in the spotlight

■ SPEAKERS: Patrick Allen (left), managing director of the 3MD Buckley Innovation Centre with (from left) Prof Nick Wilson, of Riskscorer Ltd, and Prof Graham Leslie at the Accelerating Your Business Growth event

BUSINESS growth was the topic for discussion when serial entrepreneur Graham Leslie spoke about his career and achievements at Huddersfield’s newly-opened 3M Buckley Innovation Centre. Prof Leslie charted his journey from the creation of Galpharm International Ltd, the largest privately-owned over-the-counter pharmaceutical company in Europe, in 1982, to its sale in 2008 to US giant Perrigo. He also spoke about how he has since created six companies, including start-ups and corporate turnarounds. He also explained his work at the 3M BIC on Firth Street as Huddersfield University’s resident professor of entrepreneurship – and its efforts to provide support for small and medium-sized businesses.. The event, entitled Accelerating Your Business Growth, also heard from Patrick Allen, managing director of 3M BIC and former executive director of marketing for the Co-operative Group, who spoke about the centre and what it has to offer small and medium-sized firms by providing help to access to finance, markets and technology. Prof Nick Wilson, of Riskscorer Ltd, spoke about the principles behind predicting company growth and failure. He gave examples of what works and what doesn’t work and how to analyse a firm’s potential for growth.

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Now, how can we settle this? N 2012 the Government announced Iemployers that it was proposing to give more freedom to have dis-

cussions with employees about a proposed settlement outside the context of an existing dispute without those discussions being admissible in employment tribunal proceedings. A consultation was launched by the Government and a response was published in late January 2013. The principle concern was that there would be an unequal balance between employers and employees, namely that employees would not have a genuine choice about whether to enter into a settlement agreement. The Government has suggested that existing safeguards will remain in place; in particular, the need to take independent legal advice on any settlement agreement before it becomes binding. A concern was raised about the lack of procedure which is required to instigate a discussion about settlement. The Government does not want to be overly prescriptive about what form the process must take however and this is with a particular emphasis on the problems associated with statutory dispute resolution pro-


cedures which applied from 2004 to 2009. Concerns raised by employers focused on the fear that employees would raise constructive dismissal complaints upon rejecting an offer to settle. The response is that will be prohibited from relying on an offer to settle in support of a constructive dismissal claim although the legislation in its current form may need amending to achieve this. A further concern from businesses was that employers would use settlement offers and initiate these discussions to extract a payout in circumstances where they would be resigning anyway. It is not seen as a significant problem by the Government, As with the discipline and grievance procedures, a statutory code of practice and guidance will be developed with ACAS and template settlement agreements and letters will be drafted. It was initially proposed that a guideline tariff would be set in the guidance which might assist employers and employees in

coming up with a suitable figure of compensation. This was unpopular with respondents to the consultation and this will not be pursued further. Instead, in the ACAS guidance there will be factors which should be taken into account when negotiating a settlement. It was made clear when the consultation was opened that improper behaviour in relation to the use of settlement agreements will not be tolerated. There is concern from both employer and employee groups that this is rather ambiguous and again the Government has responded by stating that the statutory code and guidance will provide illustrative examples. Although the Bill is likely to receive Royal Assent in spring 2013, until the statutory code and guidance are put in place most of the provisions will not come into force. It is expected that the whole Act will therefore apply from summer 2013 onwards

Dropping off at the PO A NEW service allowing small business to send their mail more easily has been launched at seven post office branches across Huddersfield. The new Drop & Go service enables small business customers who regularly spend more than £20 a week on postage to hand over their mail at the fast-drop counter at these branches and swipe a pre-paid Drop & Go card. The new service, which is being rolled out in more than 2,200 Post Office branches across the UK, aims to save small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs valuable time – and is free to join. Local branches offering the service are at Northumberland Street and New Street in Huddersfield town centre and at Westbourne Road, Marsh; Broad Lane, Moldgreen; Wellington Arcade, Brighouse; Lewisham Road, Slaithwaite; and Huddersfield Road, Mirfield. For further details about the scheme, go to and select “Drop & Go” as the service required.

Neil Wilson is an employment lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

Going for growth A FORMER childminder turned nursery owner has expanded with the takeover of a well-established nursery in East Yorkshire. Allison Lee, who already runs Little Acorns Day Nursery at Meltham, has acquired The Daisy Chain Nursery in Goole. The nursery, which was established in 2000, is registered for 48 children and has 14 staff. Allison, who lives at Lepton, said: “I have wanted to buy another nursery for quite some time. “We looked at a few nurseries last year. I looked around

■ CHALLENGE: Allison Lee, who has acquired a nursery in Goole

Huddersfield, but I didn’t really want an ‘overflow’ nursery for Little Acorns. “The Daisy Chain is an established nursery. The owner, who is retiring, has had it for 13 years.We went to look at it in October and the deal was struck at Christmas. Now we have completed the paperwork. “It will be a new challenge for me, dealing with a new local authority in East Yorkshire County Council.” Allison, who worked as a childminder for 18 years, acquired Little Acorns in 2010. The nursery is registered for 63 children and has 19 staff. “At the moment we are very busy,” said Allison. “A lot of mothers who work part-time are extending their hours in the current climate so they have more stability in their jobs.” Allison worked as an office junior in a Huddersfield law firm before becoming a legal secretary. She later worked for a stockbroking firm before taking a change of direction to join her mother running a childminding business. Allison has also written books and courses on childcare and childminding. She is also tutoring and will have another book out later this year.

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Firms flock to training initiative A KIRKLEES pub has found a buyer. The Stafford Arms (above) at Scholes, Cleckheaton was marketed at offers exceeding £195,000 by Colliers International on behalf of Spirit Pub Group. After several offers, the landmark detached property was sold for an undisclosed sum significantly above the asking price. The buyer, Richard Wilson, now intends to re-open the pub this month selling traditional ale and has plans to offer food as well. Colliers also sold the Crown & Anchor at Rodley, Leeds. The pub sold for well in excess of the £100,000-plus asking price and will reopen under the ownership of Alan Howard as a community pub offering food and a wide selection of local cask conditioned beer. Leigh Parsons, director of the licensed and leisure department at Colliers International in Leeds, said: “It is very reassuring to note that both of these historic pubs will remain open in the future. “Additionally, these sales follow on from two other pub sales for the same client, both of which are to re-open, proving that rumours of the death of the British Pub are greatly exaggerated.”

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COMPANIES in Kirklees are among construction sector employers to sign up for a scheme giving their apprentices university-level work-based training. Almost 40 firms have pledged to back the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Construction and Built Environment (Sustainability) course, which is now being offered at 17 colleges across the country. They include Leeds College of Building, which just six months ago became one of the first to offer the course. Others include Bradford College and Barnsley College while partnerships have also been built with sector skills councils, awarding bodies and professional institutions. Sarah Carter, project manager for higher apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said: “Construction firms, housebuilders, architects, NHS trusts, local councils and transport companies are just a few industries that have apprentices signed up to the three-year course, which is helping to shape the future of the construction

A STUDENT at Huddersfield University is among the finalists in a regional property competition. Toby Rainland, who is studying architectural technology, is aiming to impress the judges in the Yorkshire and North East Association of Women in Property Student Awards 2013. She joins seven others in the finals in the competition. Universities are invited to nominate their best students, who have to be studying on the


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industry.” The course has been specifically designed for A-level students with 80 or more UCAS points, Level 3 Advanced Apprentices, those with BTECs, a relevant HNC or people already working in the industry. The first students to enrol on the course started last September, but places are available for September, 2013, enrolment. The students will study towards an NVQ Level 5 in Construction Management (Sustainability) and a Higher National Diploma in Construction & the Built Environment as well as selecting construction management, civil engineering or building services as a specialist subject. Successful participants will then be able to pursue a career in a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, building services, civil engineering, construction management, maintenance, planning and surveying. Go to or or call Sarah Carter 0113 2226000.

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second year of a built environment degree course. Nationally, more than 80 students will be judged across the Women in Property branches. During the course of the awards’ seven years, more than 400 students have been involved. The other students are from Leeds Metropolitan, Leeds, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam universities. Clare Danahay, WiP branch

chairman, said: “The students are put through their paces describing to the judges a piece of course work they’ve been working on, plus they need to be pretty well informed on the industry, too. “We’re looking for the future stars in property and construction, so the standards nationally are very high. In the past, we’ve had some outstanding competitors from our regional universities and I have no doubt we will be as inspired

and impressed by them this year, too.” The regional winner will receive a cheque for £300, a year’s free membership of WiP upon graduation and will go forward to the national final in London in September, when she will compete against her peers from across the UK. Women in Property also help to secure work placements for finalists, to give them that all-important work experience before graduating.

Westminster goes to pot! FLOWERPOTS made by a clayware company have gone on display in Westminster. The products made by the Yorkshire Flowerpot division of Cawthorne-based Naylor Industries are attracting attention from visitors in the foyer of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The company, which employs a number of Kirklees people, was invited to contribute to a display organised by the Design Council to spotlight the importance of design in UK manufacturing. Naylor chief executive Edward Naylor attended the launch and met John Mathers, Design Council chief executive, and Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Enterprise. Mr Naylor said: “We are very proud of our Yorkshire Flowerpot range and it is nice to get ministerial recognition of our efforts.” The company has already shipped a container-load of its frost-free flowerpots to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan. About 600 pots, ranging in size from nine to 21 inches, have been sent to a number of garden centres in Japan. The company has also exported pots to Scandinavia and North America and has had recent enquiries from Sweden and Norway. The Cawthorne company is the largest UK producer of terracotta pots, turning out 1,000 a day or more than a third of a million a year.

■ POT SHOT: Edward Naylor, chief executive of Naylor Industries, with the firm's flowerpots on display at the offices of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in Westminster



Funding ‘failure’ hitting builders A QUARTER of small and medium-sized building firms have missed out on contracts because they can’t secure vital funding, it is claimed. The Federation of Master Builders said latest figures showed the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme is failing to support construction – as lending fell significantly in the last three months of 2012. The FMB has urged ministers to act, citing the results of its own survey of more than 1,000 member firms, which clearly show the ongoing restriction of finance to SME construction businesses. More than 40% of construction SMEs surveyed said they had found it harder to gain access to finance in the past two years, while 43% reported that credit is more expensive than two years ago and 25% were subject to increased charges for credit facilities. Of those surveyed, a quarter reported they had lost business or had to abandon plans for growth or investment because they were unable to raise the necessary funds and 18% said that the number of staff they were able to employ had fallen as a direct result.

Auction realises more than £7.8m A PROPERTY auction featuring lots in Mirfield and Batley has generated takings of more than £7.8m. The first auction of the year for property agency Eddisons – which took place on two days in Leeds and Manchester – saw 79% of the 123 lots on offer find buyers. Tony Webber, of Eddisons, said: “This was an excellent performance to start our auction year and continued the positive trend we saw at the end of 2012. “The sale rooms were packed and investors showed a real appetite for all types of stock, with many lots attracting multiple bids, which helped drive prices up.” These included vacant ground floor retail premises in Mirfield. The Greenside Road property, which extends approximately 946sq ft sold for £71,000, off a guide of £50,000-plus. And a vacant two-bedroom terrace house at Bradford Road, Batley, sold for £40,000. The guide price was £30,000.

Colliers on a high at Meadowhall COLLIERS International has been appointed to carry out planned maintenance work on the 1.3m sq ft roof at the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, near Sheffield. The company will project manage the investigation and subsequent repair programme for the entire roof. This will also include assessment of the fire and smoke extraction system across the site and the implementation of refurbishment work. The phased project is expected to last more than five years. Colliers International’s Yorkshire-based team has been involved with Meadowhall since 1999 when British Land acquired the site. Colliers conducted the original acquisition survey and since then has maintained a successful relationship with Meadowhall’s team.

Page 7

RIBA plea for Budget ■ DRIVE TIME: David Jessop (centre), of Marshalls PLC, hands the registered contractors award to Adam (left) and Chris Hallinan. Below – The Cobbletech system for which the Hallinans gained the award

On the path to national finals

A COMPANY laying driveways and patios aims to go one better this year. Rastrick-based Driveways and Patios is through to the national final of an annual competition run by Birkby-based paving supplier Marshalls PLC for its registered installers. Driveways and Patios won one regional award in 2011 and two regional titles last year. Now the firm, run by father and son Chris and Adam Hallinan, hopes to go one better by winning an award at the national final to be held next Monday at Bagden Hall Hotel, Scissett. The company, which is one of 20 finalists, was recognised for a project to lay a driveway at a house in Edgerton using Marshalls’ Cobbletech product – a paving which replicates old stone cobbles. Chris set up the company seven years ago having been a general builder for many years. Competitors in the annual competition are judged by their fellow registered installers from other regions. David Jessop, manager of the Marshalls register, who presented the regional certificate to the firm, said the Rastrick firm had previously been

successful in regional award categories for best use of a new product and best driveway over 70sq metres. The national final features 10 categories. Mr Jessop said: “Cobbletech is something of a unique product which is proving very popular.”

THE Government must use next week’s Budget to get the UK building again. claimed an industry leader. Angela Brady, president of the Royal Institution of British Architects, said action was needed to create growth, address the housing crisis and deliver homes and communities that people want to live in. She called on the Government to increase capital investment in new infrastructure, public buildings and housing to kick-start economic growth. The Government should also provide the mechanisms to finance the delivery of 300,000 high quality new homes each year – and take immediate action to start building the next generation of eco-friendly garden cities. Ms Brady said ministers should also create and promote a comprehensive inventory of all publicly-owned land and detail the sites that can be sold to developers in order to attract innovative development and create local growth. Sites sold to developers by Government should be developed though design and community-led competitions, ensuring long-term value is prioritised ahead of short-term revenue. Ms Brady called for the rate of VAT on building refurbishment to be reduced from 20% to 5% – and for the Government to adapt the existing 0% VAT rate for new-build to incentivise high quality sustainable homes. Such a “payment by results” 0% VAT rate for new-build would be applied only where the scheme meets a specified level above building regulations and an increased 5% rate would be applied for those that fail to meet high sustainability standard. She also called for additional funding to bolster local authority planning and housing delivery teams – to ensure councils have the skills and expertise to help deliver sustainable growth in construction and address the chronic skills shortages that are holding back development. Said Ms Brady: “After five years of economic turmoil, it is time for the Government to use this Budget to do more to support the UK economy and construction industry by getting this country building. “Every £1 of investment in construction activity generates £2.84 of economic activity. The construction industry is the place to start if the Government is truly committed to generating growth and jobs in this country. “We are in the grip of the worst housing crisis for decades, but only building a tiny proportion of the homes needed to meet demand. The Government must use the 2013 Budget to deliver a minimum of 300,000 desperately-needed affordable new homes in the next year.

Renewing link-up with nursery WASTE management firm Orchard Environmental has secured a deal that will see its work with a local day nursery expand during 2013. Elland-based Orchard has been working with the family-run Water’s Edge day nursery for three years to ensure efficient and environmentally friendly management of its general waste. Now the nursery, which has operated from its scenic setting on the banks of the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal for more than 10 years, has commissioned Orchard to manage its entire waste, recycling and washroom services. Water’s Edge runs three separate childcare units catering for children up to the age of five and employs more than 20 nursery staff.

Last year, it opened its doors to The Edge Playgym and Cafe, offering a friendly and clean play environment for local children and their parents and carers. Justin Holley, of Orchard Environmental, said: “The new contract will see us manage waste, recycling and washroom services for Water’s Edge with a view to minimising costs by sourcing the best providers in each case and bringing all administration under one roof with a single point of contact. “We are delighted to have expanded our work with a long-standing client and look forward to continuing our relationship with Water’s Edge to ensure they are maximising their revenue potential from recycling and minimising their waste costs across the board.”

■ CLEAN DEAL: Water’s Edge Nursery's management team of (from left) Kelly Heavyside, Carl Heavyside and Joanne Wood, has signed a new deal with Elland firm Orchard Environmental


Movers and shakers

Page 8

Lucy Tinker

G&T Accountancy AN accountancy firm based in Denby Dale has made a key appointment. Chartered accountant Lucy Tinker is pictured (above) being welcomed by Steve Glover, managing partner at G&T Accountancy Services Ltd. She joins the firm from Sochall Smith Ltd in Leeds and will be responsible for staff training as well as supporting accounts preparation, business and personal tax computations, bookkeeping and management accounts. G&T Accountancy Services Ltd was formed in 2010 by managing partners Mr Glover and Cassie Turner. High-profile clients include serial entrepreneur and business mentor Prof Graham Leslie, who founded Galpharm Stadium and was instrumental in the creation of the world’s first 25,000 all-seater stadium in Huddersfield.

Steve Moody

Bizspace A COMPANY providing flexible business accommodation has appointed a Huddersfield man as regional sales manager for the north, covering 20 sites in Yorkshire. Steve Moody (pictured), of Holmfirth, joins Leeds-based Bizspcae with a background in the telecoms and digital industries. He takes responsibility for managing a team of 10 throughout the region, based at Bizspace’s Brooklands Court business centre in South Leeds. The company provides flexible term office space, workshops, industrial space, storage and meeting rooms in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Sheffield, Barnsley, Halifax, Wakefield and Wath-Upon-Dearne.

■ FLOWER POWER: Pennine Garden Centre manager Andrew Harper (right) and assistant manager Andy Mears (left) with the award and staff

Blooming good show! EVERYTHING in the garden centre’s rosy. Staff at Armitage’s Garden Centre are celebrating after scooping a prize in the Garden Centre Association’s regional awards. Armitage’s Pennine Garden Centre at Shelley was named Best Destination Garden Centre 2012 in the North East. Director William Armitage said: “It is

always very rewarding to achieve these awards as the Garden Centre Association champions professionalism in garden centre retailing and the competition is always tough.” More than 160 garden centres nationwide are audited annually by the Garden Centre Association, whose annual inspections cover all aspects of service, plant quality, product display and professional advice.

Some timely advice

THE owner of the Cedar Court Hotel at Ainley Top in Huddersfield has announced a key appointment. Sean Battles has been appointed general manager of the four-star Cedar Court Hotel Leeds/Bradford with plans to develop its conference and events facilities. His previous experience includes general manager at The Best Western York Pavilion Hotel and The Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley, where he secured above target growth in sales as well as growing its wedding business and increasing the AA star rating. He has also worked at Studley Castle, Warwickshire and Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire. In addition to the Leeds/Bradford hotel, Cedar Court Hotels has four-star hotels at Huddersfield, Wakefield and Harrogate as well as the five-star Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa in York.

Ryan Barlow

virtualDCS HUDDERSFIELD man Ryan Barlow has joined Leeds-based virtualDCS as a member of the support team. The announcement comes shortly after the company welcomed Peter Bowers to the business as sales director. Mr Barlow (pictured) will be responsible for resolving technical issues for customers as they arise. The company provides Cloud solutions for customers in a range of industry sectors. Managing director Richard May said: “Ryan is heavily skilled in providing comprehensive, first-line IT support to customers and we are more than confident that he will be an asset to our existing support team.”

Sean Battles

Cedar Court Hotels

“We are absolutely delighted with the Best Destination Garden Centre award for our Pennine centre,” said Mr Armitage. “Our team plays a huge part in achieving these high standards and we wholeheartedly thank them for their effort and commitment.” Armitage’s also has a garden centre at Birchencliffe, Huddersfield.

■ SPEAKER LINE-UP: Colin Barratt (left), Dan Shah and Karen Wynard, who addressed the seminar on HMRC’s Real Time Information initiative MAJOR new tax rules will be affecting all employers from April – under HM Revenue & Customs’ Real Time Information initiative. And more than 80 delegates got an update at a workshop hosted by Huddersfield accountancy firm Wheawill & Sudworth, Elland-based Eastwood & Partners Financial Services and accountancy software supplier Sage. The event, held at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, included a real-time RTI payroll demonstration from Dan Shah, of Sage. He said: “Employers need to be making sure all their employee and payroll is

accurate and complete as a matter of urgency.” Karen Wynard, of Eastwood & Partners Financial Services, highlighted equally important new pension regulations that local businesses will need to get to grips with in the coming months. Avoiding problems during a HMRC payroll inspection was the theme of a presentation by Colin Barratt, of Wheawill & Sudworth. He said: “Collection yields are an important measure of the success of these inspections and businesses are under increasing pressure to accept extra PAYE/NI bills.”

Healthier options KIRKLEES business leaders are invited to learn more about the benefits of a healthy diet at a networking event next week. The 4Networking Huddersfield group meets every other Tuesday over breakfast at the Aspley Table Table on St Andrew’s Road. The next event takes place from 8am to 10am next Tuesday. As well as the opportunity for open networking and three focused one-to-one meetings with other attendees, the morning includes a presentation called “Eat your way to health – it’s cheaper than the gym” by Tony Ryalls, of the Upstairs Downstairs Café & Coffee House. Go to

Kirklees Business News 12/03/13  
Kirklees Business News 12/03/13  

The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees.